It’s lovely weather for a hayride with you

Here it is, my latest column! It’s about stuff to do in the Northwest in the fall! Read it below, or on The Issaquah Press’ website here.

Zip up your coat. Turn on the windshield wipers. Put the cover back on the barbecue. The wind and rain is back.

If this makes you sad, you should really cheer up; Oprah’s favorite things come during the holiday season, but mine come during fall, and the season officially starts Sept. 23.

Of course, I should tell you that nobody reading this article will receive a free car or a trip to Australia. Sorry, but Oprah is loaded, and I’m not.

The first great thing about fall is the color, and with all the deciduous trees we have in town, there is no shortage of red and orange leaves gusting through the air on a blustery day. Also, glue some dead leaves together and you’ve even got yourself a new coat.

Dead-leaf underwear isn’t as practical, although it is fashionable, as any stylish person will tell you

Be sure to hit up Salmon Days on Oct. 2-3, which always includes the parade and colossal street fair. In case you didn’t know, the Salmon Days parade typically includes somebody dressed as a copy of The Issaquah Press. Does that give anyone else nightmares?

As far as I’m concerned, Halloween season starts Oct. 1. That means it’s time to start figuring out your costume for the year, watching spooky movies and eating gratuitous amounts of candy.

It also means it’s time to carve a pumpkin. Be a little adventurous and get into the season by picking your pumpkins out at a pumpkin patch instead of a crate at the grocery store. Trinity Tree Farm, 14237 228th Ave. S.E., lets you pick your pumpkins straight from the field.

When you carve your pumpkin, be sure to save the seeds and enjoy one of the greatest gems of fall: baked pumpkin seeds.

Separate the seeds from the pumpkin guts, rinse them with water, let them dry and pour them in a bowl. For every cup and a half of seeds you have, mix in two teaspoons of melted butter and a pinch of salt.

While preheating your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, spread your seeds evenly on a cookie sheet. When the oven is up to temperature, bake them for about 45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

When the seeds are finished, there is no need to remove them from their shells; just let them cool and snack away. When you’re done eating, store the leftovers in an airtight container.

You know, I’m starting to think I could be the next Martha Stewart, if I just did some prison time and spontaneously became a woman.

Another great October activity is taking a trip to a haunted house or a corn maze. If you haven’t been to Nightmare at Beaver Lake at Beaver Lake Park in Sammamish, it is an absolute must. The annual outdoor haunted forest walk is run by the Rotary Club of Sammamish and is highly professional.

It’s open Oct. 19-31 this year, and tickets are $12 Sunday through Thursday, and $15 on Fridays and Saturdays. It has showcased creepy fairy-tale themes the past two years, and it is sure to be as fun as it is scary again this year.

After Halloween passes, it’s time for Thanksgiving and holiday shopping for all those responsible people who prefer to get it done early.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, and I keep forgetting it’s still September. So, enjoy the season, and remember you’re never too old for a hayride.

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Filed under Columns, The Issaquah Press

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