Sunday, October 7, 2012


Last night, team Hodge carved a pumpkin. Micah, Josh, and I decided we'd show our support for Obama- even though Tennessee will inevitably vote Republican. I must say, I'm impressed by the resemblance we managed to create with just a pumpkin and some kitchen knives!

Presenting: Obama Pumpkin ~2012~

The knife in this picture is evil. 
It's the sharpest one I've ever had and I once suffered a severed tendon that resulted from my underestimation 
of serrated blade sharpness. About three years ago, I wanted hamburger helper for dinner. I became impatient 
as I waited for the chunk of frozen ground beef to thaw when I decided it would be a genius idea to break it 
apart by any means necessary. I opted to used the knife you see here and proceeded to stab furiously at the 
frozen brick of beef that had refused to thaw at an acceptable speed. My hand slipped from the steel knife's handle,
 and my poor little pinky slid down the knife's toothy blade. One surgery and one month of physical therapy followed
 to regain half of the pinky-mobility-range I had, pre-hamburger helper disaster. Since that day, I have both fear
 and respect for all sharp objects...expecially this one.  I refrain from stabbing slow-cooking ground beef nowadays.
 I normally avoid using this knife for any purpose, since I've determined that it bears ill will. Conquering my fears,
 I knew that we had to use the sharpest knife available in order to cut through this pumpkin's flesh. Luckily, no one 
but the pumpkin was hurt on this occasion. I still only use this blade when absolutely necessary- and I can't 
remember the last time I made hamburger helper since our last fateful encounter. 
I was brave to face the enemy that had once maliciously targeted my weakest appendage. 
However, I would not make the mistake of underestimating its intentions to harm me again. 
My yellow cleaning gloves would protect my fingers this time, I decided. 
Normally, I dig into pumpkins without any barriers between my hands and orange, slimy innards. 
Nevermore, my friends, will I carve anything without some sort of hand protection! 
Yellow rubbery gloves may not be an optimal selection for safety gear, but they served their purpose 
even if they did nothing more than reassure me that I would not slice my finger if I became
 frustrated or careless in knife-handling and pumpkin carving procedures. Call me crazy, I don't care. 
I do look mentally off-base in this picture, so I understand if my sanity is questioned. I don't normally
 post pictures of this sort, but I've chosen to feature this photo to emphasize one's need for safety gloves 
when using serrated blades. Mine probably aren't up to precautionary code, but they served their purpose. 
An empty trash bag seemed like a good choice of protection shield for my kitchen counter. 
I normally carve pumpkins outside, but this project was too detailed to complete in poorly-lighted, outdoor areas. 
Tossing gooey chunks into a trashcan I'd placed nearby, I delighted in the successful outcomes 
of my non-conventional, pumpkin-carving set-up.
One should probably dress in attire whose ruin would not cause one distress. 
I probably should have worn something more worthy of being covered by sticky strings and seeds, 
rather than the dress I'd worn to work. I told myself that I'd be careful not to get any pumpkin guts 
on my recently purchased frock. I lied to my face and this garment now lay in a pumpkin-crusted state
 that will take every cleaner known to man to revert back to its original condition. I had been too excited
 by our pumpkin plan to take two seconds to change clothes. Luckily, my dress had only cost me ten dollars. 
I'll probably spend more than that to buy detergent now. 
Pumpkin Carving tip: 
Don't wear the dress you plan to wear to your best friend's wedding when you're going to gut a pumpkin. 
Seems obvious, but don't convince yourself that your cautious carving techniques will prevent you from 
destroying a perfectly nice outfit. 

Micah and Josh entertained themselves with shadow creatures.
 I hadn't thought of using the outlines as a carving template until now, but it could be cool to try next time!
I think that I may use this shadow picture idea next year- I may try to spell 'Halloween' with hand shadows, 
then carve a pumpkin for each letter. I still favor our pumpkin idea for this year! Half the time when 
I'm working on one crafty project, I'll think of a few others that I want to do in the future...
A Dinosaur? An alligator? Shadow pictures are open to interpretation. 
 This year, our pumpkin's picture doesn't leave much to question- We are Democrats, in a Southern state 
that inevitably votes Republican. 
We don't blame every misfortune of our lives or our country on Obama, 
 although he could have done better in the first debate. 
I have little doubt that most of my neighbors hate our pumpkin this year. 
My Romney-loving family members have already voiced their
 disapproval of my political pumpkin, despite my tolerance of their occasional pro-Republican Facebook 
posts and religious viewings of Fox News. 
I posted a picture of a pumpkin and the backlash began within minutes...Regardless of your political preferences, 
you'll have to admit that the Hodge family carved a pumpkin that boasts incredible likeness to our current
 (and hopefully, re-elected) President Obama. 
Although we received little praise from my side of the family, 
several others remarked that our pumpkin is remarkable. 
Still, I must protect our creation
 from being destroyed by anyone who means it harm.
 Living in Tennessee, I have no doubt that someone plots to smash our most remarkable Halloween creation. 

Don't worry, Pumpky Pres-y, we will protect you.
At first, we thought our plan to carve Obama's face into our pumpkin was too ambitious. 
I searched online for templates and found no other but Obama that would one-up our pumpkins from the previous year. 
Since the debate was scheduled to commence on the following day, we felt it appropriate to show the world our voting intentions...
even if it came in the form of a glowing candidate's face!

After I outlined our template, Micah and Josh applied their twin-teaming efforts to carving out Obama's face.
 They normally work well together on projects and this one was definitely accomplished by three people. 
We all took turns to ensure that no one pumpkin carver would get tired, risking a careless cut that could ruin
 our creation's outcome. 

The boys initially tried using a nail to poke through the thick layers that separated them from the 
pumpkin's innards. This was a painstakingly slow process that was quickly replaced by my enemy-knife's 
more effective severing capabilities. Slowly, we began to see progress. Each of us used our carving turns to 
cautiously chip away bits and pieces o' 'punkin'. 

Each member of our Hodge-podge felt the same nervousness when carrying out their individual cutting 
responsibilities- None of us wanted to be responsible for a detrimental slip of the knife that could altogether 
 ruin Halloween. 

When not up to carve, two temporarily non-participating Hodges gave plenty of unwelcome advice to 
whichever Hodge held the knife. Advice frequently came in the form of taunts or threats- 
"Don't mess up and dishonor our President and our country," or "Ohh, you'd better be super careful 
when you get to that part- if you mess that up, you'll ruin EVERYTHING."

Such comments were taken and given by all Hodges, who collectively ensured that no one family member 
would lose focus on their crucial role of serving our country, via exceptional pumpkin carving. 
 Though we exaggerated the consequences of any carving mistakes, our admonishments to each other 
proved effective. 



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