24 November 2010

01 November 2010

The world's least scary scarecrow

We ended our Halloween day on a much happier note than how it started. Mommaw and Poppaw Clark, Grandma and Grandpa Hromada and Aunt Karen came to our house to see Avery in her costume and enjoy a chili dinner with plenty of Halloween sweets. As Halloween was approaching this year, I couldn't decide on a costume for Avery. So I asked my mom if she would make one. And of course she agreed. We looked at patterns together and found a set with four characters from The Wizard of Oz. We decided that Avery would be the scarecrow this year. In the future she probably will choose the other three characters on her own. And the scarecrow would be much cuter on a younger Avery. We didn't think that Avery would be gung ho about trick-or-treating this year. We'll put that on hold till next year. So we all just hung out at home and enjoyed each other's company. We let Avery come to the door when the trick-or-treaters arrived, but she couldn't figure out what was going on and just stared at the "boys" and "gurls." By the way, she enjoyed wearing her costume more than what appears in these pictures!

Up in flames

Did you ever have one of those days that would have been better if you had just stayed in bed? That was yesterday for us in the Clark house. It started while we were getting ready for church. As I was drying my hair, I heard a loud POP! Then I smelled smoke. My hair dryer had died on me. When I couldn't salvage my hairdo, I sent Chris and Avery to church, went out to buy a new hair dryer and then joined them later at church. (I ended up hating the new hair dryer, so I returned it after church and bought another one. Who knew it would be so difficult to find a good hair dryer.) We thought that would be our only fire of the day and the end of the excitement. After church, Chris mowed the yard and our bazillion leaves. Since he'd been busy the last few weeks with school and soccer, the yard desperately needed some attention. As he began to mow, he suggested that we write a blog post with before and after pictures of his compost pile. He knew he'd add a lot of leaves to the pile. So, for the record, here's the before picture:

Since we've had such a dry summer, Chris was very careful to clear the leaves off the mower and also make sure he didn't get the mower too close to the compost pile as he emptied new leaves on top. As he neared the end of his mowing and emptied another load of leaves, he suddenly saw a flame in the pile of leaves. He ran into the house and asked me to help fill some buckets with water. But on his next trip inside, he told me to call 911. The flames were growing too quickly for us to extinguish. And there probably was gasoline in the flames.

So a few minutes later, White River Township's finest firemen arrived to help put out the fire. We even had a few sheriff's deputies visit, too.

The flames got pretty high, maybe six or seven feet. But the firemen quickly had them under control.

Everyone was very understanding when Chris explained what happened. He was as cautious as he could have been, but accidents do happen.

In the end, everything turned out fine. The fire was contained to the very back portion of the backyard and didn't hop over the fence to our neighbors' yards. Avery and I were safe in the house. And Chris handled everything with such a calm demeanor.

Unfortunately, the mower, Chris' pride and joy, will need some heavy repair work and may have to be replaced altogether. The front was completely melted!

So here are the after pictures Chris wasn't expecting for this blog post: