Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ofrendas And Pumpkin Festivals

This is the time of year that The Desert Botanical Gardens presents it's Dia de los Muertos Ofrendas Exhibition and Pumpkin Festival.   We eagerly look forward to these Celebrations that will culminate November first.

Princess T always looks forward to picking out her Perfect Pumpkin at the Pumpkin Patch during the Festival and the Hayride leading to and from the Patch.   I look forward to gleaning Pumpkin Stems that I will utilize for Fabric Pumpkin Creations so that they don't go to waste.  *Smiles*

I always have a Favorite Ofrenda Altar and this year it was the one Created by Talented Artist Patricia Silva of SOL DESIGN STUDIO.   Her Dia de los Muertos Skullies were superb and many were fashioned after the Iconic Artist Frida Kahlo.

This year The Young Prince couldn't join us since he was away at a Band Competition, they made the State Finals... but The Man decided to join us.   This turned out to be quite Challenging since the Festival was over-advertised this year and so by nine a.m. the parking lot was already full to capacity and folks were turned away up until past two p.m.!!!

The Man being the true Trooper wouldn't allow our Grand-Daughter to be disappointed and agreed we should walk in the three quarters of a mile from a nearby Park where there was still empty parking!   He's using a Walker, so this was quite the Sacrificial Trek and took forever and a day, but we made it!

I was fortunate that on the way Home a Dear young Lady agreed to drive me back to my vehicle so I could retrieve The Man and Grand-Daughter and they wouldn't have to walk back.  *Whew!*   In return I watched her Kiddos while she got her SUV, since she was parked in the lower forty of The Garden's Parking lot and had five very young Children, each that had picked out the biggest Pumpkins they could find and unable to carry them any distance!  Even a two-fer Siamese Twin tiny Pumpkin couldn't persuade any of the Kiddos from choosing anything that could easily tote!  *LOL*

She was relieved she didn't have to try to tote five enormous Pumpkins by herself nor leave her Kiddos curbside alone while she went to retrieve her vehicle.   You just don't think of these obstacles when you attend a Festival... I hadn't anticipated trekking in on foot from almost a mile away either... and Princess T's Pumpkin, tho' far more modest than her Quintet's Pumpkins, was still hefty enuf not to want to tote far!  *Smiles*

Yes, here she is with The One finally Chosen... mostly for it's Great Stem... there were quite a few Great Stems this year.   Grandpa was just Thrilled that he wasn't the Pumpkin Mule this year, even tho' he'd brought his Walker with a Seat, just in case he needed a Pumpkin Ledge to tote one on!  *Smiles*

The lines and wait to get to and from the Pumpkin Patch via Hayride were quite long... so by the time the Pumpkin Choosing had wrapped, we were hot and tired, quite ready to go Home.  So I came back another day to actually view the Ofrendas Exhibition.   A lot less crowds that day so I was able to get better Images anyway and take my time Enjoying the Displays.

There were some really Talented Pumpkin Carvers working the Festival... I can only Aspire to become this Adept at Pumpkin Art... and typically allow The G-Kid Force to just go ahead and Create their own Jack-O-Lanterns.

Since the Festival only allows one Free Pumpkin per Child under Twelve that attends and the ones you could buy there were pricey, I totally Cheated when picking out The Young Prince's Pumpkins and another for his Sister, and went to the Ninety-Nine Cent Only Store!  *Winks*

Well, hell, for Ninety-Nine Cents I thought these were some mighty Fine looking large Pumpkins with Great Mottled Coloring and to get the trio I needed for less than three bucks, quite the Bargain!  Not to mention I didn't have to hike almost a Mile in the heat, stand in line for two hours to go back and forth to a Pumpkin Patch, nor schlep them around a Festival either!   And she didn't take nearly as long to choose them out of the Bin at the Dollar Store!  *Ha ha ha* 

So the only REAL Battle was the 2015 Pumpkin Choice Smack-Down he and his Sister had once we got the Quartet of Pumpkins Home and they were deciding which would be whose?!  *Le Sigh*  The Pumpkin Patch one was a no-brainer, she wasn't givin' that one up for nothin', but there was quite the Mini Drama about divvying up the other three!  *Arghhhh!  Kids!*

She Settled it by breaking out the Black Sharpie and quickly drawing her Jack-O-Lantern Face on the one she liked best from the Dollar Store, using it's more Orange less Mottled side... he may have Tested with a Genius IQ, but clearly she Thinks quicker on her feet! *Bwahahaha!*   Yeah, she will also be the one that licks the Caramel Apple she likes best just to ensure he won't go near it!  *LOL*

Wednesday Addams Child that she is I'll have to take her back to the Gardens for the Day of the Dead Procession and to view the Ofrendas, she Enjoys it as much as I do.   Festive Macabre Art is something she is equally Attracted to and she Enjoys Creating our Home Altars along with me and the Rituals and Traditions are Meaningful to her.

Though the Young Prince is all into Face Make-Up, Cosplay and Costumes... he and The Man are far more into the Edible portions of the Holidays!  *Smiles*   This year the Young Prince wanted, of all things, a Red Riding Hood Cape for his Costume.... {insert my furrowed brow????}... I'm not even gonna ask!  And I thought The Man was gonna fall over when his Grandson traipsed out of the house into the New Neighborhood Gleefully Sporting a Silk Red Riding Hood Cape billowing behind him in the middle of the Afternoon this weekend after getting it!  *LOL*

Hey, remember, this is the Kiddo that messed with my Head... and my Heart since I needed a Minute after the unexpected Announcement... when the CPS Caseworker informed him, without my Consent, that during the Adoption Hearing they would pay for him changing his Name to anything he wants!   And he Announces, with deadpan serious expression and her sanctioning the choice, that he was gonna change his Name to Crimson Rose!!!   Crimson freakin' Rose!!!  {Insert me with no Words for perhaps the first time in my Life!  LOL}  And then stuttering, "Ummm... wait... I need a Minute..." since I needed a Moment before Responding to being blindsided by THAT!!!

Luckily after she left he informed me he was just messing with me to see my expression and response!  *Whew* Caseworker actually thought he was Serious and her thinking that Crimson Rose was a Good Choice made me Question her Judgment and Sanity tho'??!??!   He IS changing his first name,  and has a legit and well thought out reason behind it, and with the Blessings of his Mom, Myself, The Man and Sister he chose something not ridiculous that could be taken seriously as he grows up and won't negatively impact his Destiny.  *Sigh of Relief!*   Princess T is choosing to keep her Birth Name... which is a Beautiful Name and Good since it will be a difficult enough transition to remember to call him by a New Name after all these years!

But I must say I do like the New first Name he chose for himself and that he chose it so thoughtfully... so by the end of next Month I'll be referring to the Young Prince as Prince D rather than Prince R, just so you know and don't think it's yet another Grandchild!  *Ha ha ha*   But I digress... back to the Ofrendas and Pumpkin Festival...

I could understand why she was indecisive about which Pumpkin to choose this year since the Patch had some Lovely Specimens of all shapes and sizes.

And as for me, well, I'm always duly Inspired by the Ofrendas and the Ideas it will give me to improve our Home Altar each year since it is our Custom to Create a Home Ofrenda annually.

She keeps reminding me that once we get around to Completing our New Art Studio Spaces we can finally begin our Creative Process again at the New Home.

We're really looking forward to that day... there's been so much to do with the Move... the Adoption Process... the Holidays rushing up on us... and all the Big Changes in our Lives, that we'll be Restored with some Creative Time.

Even though Decorating and Styling the New Home has been Fun... and Decorating and Styling for the Holidays is always Fun too... there's just something about Creating your own Art that Restores and Feeds the Soul, isn't there?

I am TOTALLY going to Create some Frames in this Style to Showcase our Loved Ones Images...

So Simple and yet so Beautiful... I was Captivated by them.

And it would be a Project I could get the Grandchildren involved in Assisting me with... since Glitter and Glue are Art Staples for Kiddos!

I had to look up this Artist Online and see if she also offers some of her Amazing Art for Sale?  She does, at SOL DESIGN STUDIO, click on the Link provided.

I got a tote bag filled with discarded Pumpkin Stems very much like the stem on the Pumpkin in the foreground of this Image, so they'll look Awesome on Fabric Pumpkin Creations.

And I was Delighted to see that when I downloaded the Images taken at the Exhibit I did catch one Spirit Orb hovering at an Ofrenda.   I'd like to Imagine that it is Spirit that this one was Dedicated to, since these are to Honor and Celebrate our Dearly Departed Friends, Family and Ancestors.

Here's a Close-Up... Spirit Orbs are Beautiful in their own right if you can get a clear enough Image captured of one through the Eye of your lens... and if you're Fortunate enough to see one Manifesting with the Naked Eye they are Illuminated, pulsating and swirling with Colorful Iridescent Energy that dances around in the air, it's Mesmerizing and Enchanting!

I know that this time of year my Dearly Departed Loved Ones are even more strongly on my Heart and Mind than usual.

And it Touches me deeply to see the Ofrendas Created by others to Celebrate and Honor something and someone close to their Heart and Minds as well... it's quite Beautiful and Sacred.

Yes, Autumn for us is certainly our very Favorite of all the Seasons... and there are so many Wonderful reasons why.

It seems to be fleeting and go by so fast though... since it is packed with so much Activity and reason for Celebration to us.   I'm always just more than a little bit Sad when it ends and Winter is upon us so quickly.

Though Winter and it's Celebrations are certainly a Glorious Season and time of year for us too here in the Desert... the Weather just keeps getting better and Cooler as Autumn transitions into Winter.

The return of the Monarchs is often Celebrated in the Dia de los Muertos Ofrendas as well.   I one day Hope to visit Mexico while spending time with Family there during these Magnificent Migrations and see it in person, I'm sure it is Awe Inspiring and rather Surreal!

All of the Skullies on this year's Ofrendas were Magnificent but this one was my Favorite... I'd like to own one like this one for my Collection of Art Skullies.

But any of them were Worthy to be added to a Serious Collection of Skully Art.

I particularly liked the ombre effect in the painting of these.

And the Vivid, Vibrant, Rich, Cheerful, Bright Colors of all of the Altars just made me Smile and made me Feel Happy.

Losing our Loved Ones is never Easy...but in Remembrance and Celebration of them and their Lives we can Smile and Recall with Happiness so much of what made them Special and Dear to us.

And I particularly like that about these types of Celebrations...

I am very Glad that I grew up Celebrating not only those we Love among the Living... but also Celebrating those who have passed from Time into Eternity before us... the Ancestors...

Certainly there is the Missing... but there are also the Smiles and Joys their Memories and their Stories Impart.

We like to re-tell the Stories and Joys... and even those Family Members who never knew some of them Enjoy hearing about who they were and what Fond Remembrances we can Share.   Princess T is one of the younger Great-Grandchildren that never got to know the Great-Grandfathers, and even one Paternal Grandfather, on this side of Time and Eternity... so she Loves to hear the Stories we recount of those who never met her in the Flesh.

I think that it is Important to form that Connection to our Ancestral Roots...

And it is my Belief that beyond the Veil it must bring Joy to be Remembered Fondly, Honored and Celebrated long after leaving this Realm.

After all... who would want to be Forgotten, Faded from all Memory and never spoken of ever again?

One thing that I always find to be quite Sad and Tragic is when I'm Junquing and come across discarded Images.   I Wonder... who threw them away like Garbage?  Why were they not passed down and along to be Cherished and Honored for who they were in the Lineage of whatever Families they came from?

Some even seem quite recent and may even still be among the Living... and yet there they were... tossed away by whoever in the bloodline no longer wanted them... and I cannot Comprehend such a thing since that is not our Way.   I much prefer to see the Old Images Lovingly Displayed like this upon an Ofrenda... and to be Shared in such a Meaningful, Proud, This Is Where We Come From and Heartfelt way!

I've even Rescued some of these discarded Images as Adopted Relatives... so that they have a New Home... even though they are no Kin to us, it seems such a Shame for them to be destroyed, neglected, Forgotten and unwanted.   I do Wonder if in Life they Endured the same or similar Fate... and not just their Image?   That would be even more Tragic, Incomprehensible and Sad still.

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.” ~ Mother Teresa

I am in total Agreement with that Sentiment and Statement!

And so I feel much more of a Connection to those who Choose to Remember, to pay Homage, to Celebrate and Honor those with their Ofrendas and to Share the Stories with the rest of us.   I am Thankful too that they have chosen to Share it Publicly with the rest of us through Exhibits such as this... if you get the chance to see one in person I'd highly Recommend it in fact... 

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. The best part of the blogging scene, is the cross cultural---and cross-country connections we make. How very interesting all the Muertos decor is. I would love to do some research behind it all, when I have time. Right now buried in DIY barbie, dollhouse as well as normal Fall craziness.

    Love this post, Thanks for sharing someplace I will never be able to go, Sandi

    1. Oh I do Hope you will Explore the Creation of Home Altars, it is such a Joy to Create and Share one's History, Family and Friends with others... not to mention to pay Homage to those who are now beyond the veil. Yes, the Fall Craziness is quite a Rush isn't it? *Winks* In the blink of an Eye the time rushes by so quickly when there is so much to Enjoy and Do! I agree that cross cultural and cross country connections are just one of the many, many Bloggy Benefits I never expected when I began this Blog Journey ... Dawn... The Bohemian

  2. Your post is so interesting! Entirely different than anything I do, but I love the meaning behind it! You are such a good "Mother" (grandmother to your kids) Blessings on you as you go thru this trying as well as rewarding lifetime experience!


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl