Eat Drink & Be Scary (And Other Ideas for Honoring Halloween)

"Eat, Drink & Be Scary," read the sign within a shop on Columbus Avenue in New York City. And last night I heeded part of that advice. I ate and drank at a restaurant on my block. The occasion was my last supper before I go my doctor for a mandated physical that I am required to have in order to be cleared for my upcoming eye surgery, which to me is scary.
I have less than "counting fingers" in my left eye and very compromised vision in my right eye; compromised enough to be considered legally blind. Unfortunately very dense cataracts have developed in both my eyes which are causing my vision to be more compromised than usual.
This past December my eye surgeon sent me to another well respected surgeon to determine what, if anything, should be done with the cataract in my left eye. Through a battery of tests it was determined that since I only have "counting fingers" in my left eye, I should leave it alone as cataract removal could likely result in double vision.
As for my better eye, the right eye, it was decided the cataract should be monitored.This determination was made nearly ten months ago, and now the cataract has become dense enough to warrant surgery, which has been scheduled for November 5th 2014.
I've been quite preoccupied with preparations that include having my spare eye-glasses adjusted with a target prescription of what the surgeon thinks I will need after the procedure.
And, I'm also preoccupied with who can go with me to the procedure. The hospital will not allow me to have surgery without someone accompanying me. I had thought this was under control, because this past August, I asked someone (RW) who seemed more than willing to take on the task. RW even mentioned that my asking him was providential because someone in his family had undergone the procedure and that person suffered from the same vision loss that I do.
It was only recently (as in the past few days) that I was told by one of RW's colleagues that RW would be out of town at the time of my procedure. When I checked out this bit of info, RW told me it was true.
I'm not sure if he planned to tell me about this but it's not important now. At this point folks I could ask have their commitments. Therefore I am reaching out to The Foundation Fighting Blindness. I have donated my art work to them in the past (albeit another affiliate), so at least I have a contact person there.
However, today, because I have to focus on my medical appointment, I'm trying to do the Scarlet O'Hara thing and go with the "tomorrow is another day" philosophy.
Meanwhile, I will make an effort to keep my sense of humor; something I was exercising when I first came upon the "Eat, Drink, & Be Scary," sign in the shop on Columbus Avenue.
The shop is called Paper Source. It is a chain store which is probably familiar to DIY types who are good with handicrafts. I'm not proficient in either skill, but the still small voice inside of me prompted me to go to the Paper Source for a look see as to what I might find to add to the decorations I had planned to put in my garden.
Every year, often with the help of Juan V, I put up things in my garden in honor of Halloween. My endeavor in commemorating the occasion within my garden is something I wrote about here on HT in October of 2013, and if you'd like to read that posting, the link is:
I still own the strands of pumpkin lights and Jack-O-Lanterns which were discussed in the aforementioned post. The "Jacks" can be seen in the photo-ops below showing them as they appear this year).
I have three Jack-O-lanterns. One can be seen cozy-ing up my Japanese grasses AKA Hakanechola Macra.
(Info on this grass is @
I find this grass offers unique color as well as texture within my garden. In fact, this grass was the inspiration for a greeting card that I designed a few years ago. (Info @
Another one of the Jack-O-Lanterns is staring into the doorway that leads from my apartment into my garden. His vantage point is from atop of one of my urban hedges. Urban hedges are something I discussed on HT (in the fall of 2013) and if you'd like to refer to my entries, the links are:
The third Jack-O-Lantern can be seen sitting underneath my Contorted Hazelnut, a shrub which he is admiring. And why not? Contorted Hazelnuts have earned their bragging rights! A number of stories about my Contorted Hazelnut can be found within the following link.
As you can see Halloween has not been lost on the limbs of my Contorted Hazel Nut, for its corkscrew-like branches are perfect for Halloween! And my pumpkin lights are enjoying hanging from them!
The "Jacks" and lights all have familiar faces to TLLG readers but there are new faces in my garden this year. See if you can find them in the following two photographs. They are aerial views of my garden in its Halloween splendor. The images were taken by Juan V when he was here this past Tuesday.
The white arrow in this image is a big clue as to the location of the new faces in my garden. The black arrow indicates the Jack who is spending time in the home of my Contorted Hazelnut. The latter of the arrows was added to give you a perspective about where the new faces are in relation to other elements in my garden.
The white arrow at the right in the image above provides another big clue as to where the new faces are in my garden. The other arrow indicates the Jack sitting atop an urban hedge as he gazes into my apartment.
That particular arrow was also added to give you a perspective about where the new faces are in relation to other elements in my garden.
And, dear reader, just where do you think all of these new faces come from? If you answered the Paper Source, you are correct!
For the day I came upon the "Eat, Drink & Be Scarcy" sign, I discovered these pumpkins, which are actually little bouncing balls that are disguised as pumpkins!
When I saw their whimsical grin and twinkling eyes I wondered if I could turn them into hanging ornaments to hang on my Smoke Bush's branches.
I presented my idea to Maxwell Coviello (who photographed the "Eat, Drink, & Be Scaecy" sign) as I wondered how a hole could be made in the pumpkin's stem; a hole large enough to accommodate some type of weatherproof twine that could serve as a hanger for my would-be pumpkin ornament.
Maxwell pointed out that there was already a small hole in the pumpkin's stem which was the hole the price tag had been strung through.
I hadn't noticed this hole due to my compromised eyesight but after he pointed it out, I wondered if someone at the Paper Source could string weather-proof twine through the hole for me, as I knew I'd never be able to see an opening that small.
The upshot is the store agreed to "thread" all my pumpkins (20) with weather-proof twine for the cost of gift-wrapping services! It was a great arrangement for me and they did a wonderful job in a short amount of time!
The flora in my garden is happy to have the new visitors.
My Smoke Bush is proud to have nineteen of the twenty fuzzy appearing pumpkins dangling from her branches! A group shot of this phenomenon is posted below.
The twentieth one has made his home in the branches of my 'Tamukeyama' AKA Japanese Maple (
The 'Tamukeyama' has already lost all of its leaves before they even had a chance to turn to their fall colors. Therefore she is thrilled to have the company of a pumpkin dangling from one of her arms, even though the sparrows usually spend their time there, especially now that the tree is leafless.
Thankfully the pumpkin and sparrows are willing to share my 'Tamukeyama's' limbs.
I guess you could say fuzzy pumpkins and sparrows will go out on a limb for each other! And rainfall does not seem to alter the mood of either one of them.
In spite of the heavy rains we had the other night, sparrows continue to sing, and the fuzzy pumpkins remain unscathed, except they have a bad hair day.
But the foliage of the Smoke Bush takes care of any bad hair day blues that the fuzzy pumpkins may have. She wipes the rain-drenched faces of her new friends with her leaves.
I was glad to see that my new Halloween visitors can endure the heavy rain and I'm very grateful to the folks at Paper Source for a job well done in preparing the fuzzy's hangers for wicked weather.
Now it's my hope that the expressions on the faces of each "pumpkin" bring a smile to those who see my garden from their homes, and, of course, I hope they also bring a smile to you, dear reader.

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Oct 18, 2014
    You do a wonderful job of decorating for the holidays and seasons. Best of luck with your surgery.

    • TheLastLeafGardener TheLastLeafGardener on Oct 26, 2014
      @Douglas Hunt Thanks for your kind words re my decor, my friend Juan V deserves most of the credit. He helped me place the decorations. And thanks for your wishes re my surgery, it is scheduled for 11-5-14. I spoke to the surgeon on Friday and she said every time she operates on a person with mono vision (such as myself), she has a retinal specialist in the operating room in case the cataract falls below the retina.