Pumpkin Picking, Pumpkin Carving, and the Anarchy and Socialist Anti-Religion Agenda of Curious George Boo Fest

by | Oct 31, 2014 | 7 Quick Takes, Catholic Mom TV Review, Halloween, October | 18 comments

— 1. Pumpkin Picking —

We had Frankie’s birthday party last weekend and the husband has been out of town this week, so our first chance to get pumpkins was Thursday. I suppose it’s just as well, because I’ve learned the hard way what happens when you carve pumpkins too early in Southern California.

We looked at our calendar for the day, which included morning Mass, school for mom and kids, work for dad, two naps, taking the car in to get new brakes, two sports practices, and two sports games. The window for pumpkin picking turned out to be 8:30 – 9:00 am.

So, the Tierneys went to the grocery store en masse. Precious childhood memories. We got ’em.

— 2. Pumpkin Carving —

And then, this afternoon, in shifts between shuttling various kids to various sports, and threats about Halloween being cancelled if that math/Latin/grammar didn’t get finished . . . pumpkins were carved.

— 3. Capsule Wardrobe —

The big capsule wardrobe reveal post was yesterday. This whole experience has been great, but especially getting to share it with all of you.

If you’re interested in learning more about the concept, check out my capsule wardrobe link-up. Or if you have a post of your own (old or new) about your wardrobe or simple living, link it up.

I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. A couple highlights are . . .

At House for Five, Deme breaks it all down, with great advice about shopping, returns, and how many hangers you should have. I have too many hangers.

Hannah at Gokie Notes makes some really excellent points about being sentimental about clothes. Spoiler: she says knock it off.

— 4. Catholic Costume Contest —

Speaking of community. We are the COOLEST. I have gotten dozens of awesome submissions already for the Catholic Costume Contest. They have ALL been great. Here’s just a sample . . .

From top left: Baby St. Olaf, Baby Blessed Mother (with even tinier baby Jesus), St. George + St. Michael + Bl. Pierre Georgio Frassati (with pipe) + St. Rose of Lima, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Isidore of Madrid + St. Gianna Molla, St. Catherine Laboure, Young JPII (at Sometime Martha Always Mary), St. Gianna + St. Dominic + St. Maria Goretti + Our Lady, kid-made St. Kateri (at Blair’s Blessings).

If you or your kids are dressing up Catholic for Halloween or All Saints Day, share your photos with us on Facebook or Instagram! Be sure to use the hashtag #catholiccostume . Can we get it trending? I don’t even know what that is. But I want us to do it.

You can also email them to me. Please let me know if you prefer I don’t share them on the blog. That’s allowed. You can still win.

Speaking of that, the winner will get a three month subscription to Saint Mail, my favorite solution for moms who want all of the liturgical living and none of the prep work.

— 5. Curious George —

As you may recall, a couple of weeks ago, I posted my reviews of ALL the Halloween-themed shows available on Netflix streaming, including the ones I hadn’t actually watched.

One show that got a sight-unseen thumbs down was Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest. I hadn’t seen it, but I am in general not a fan of the consequence-free “mischief” that is Curious George. I like a naughty anthropomorphic animal as much as the next mom, but I normally require that he get what’s coming to him, a la Peter Rabbit.

Anyway, people were shocked. SHOCKED. And rushed to his defense. And Bonnie, with whom I have a history of cinematic disagreement (and a friendship) insisted that if I was going to hate on George, I should at least watch it. So I said I would.

And then, life (and Once Upon a Time) got in the way. I kept figuring I’d watch it with the kids, but we never had a chance. So, last night, while I was sewing, because of my great dedication to the integrity of this blog and because I ran out of episodes of Once Upon a Time . . . I fired up Curious George Boo Fest and watched it all by myself.

I have to say that the mayhem created by George’s extraordinary lack of self-control and wanton disregard of all rules and laws and basic principles of civilized behavior in the books pales in comparison to what he exhibits in this movie. And everyone around him, but especially the man in the yellow hat, thinks it’s adorable.

The man rakes up the leaves, George jumps in the pile. The man tells him not to, he does it again. And again. So the man gives him ten bucks and sends him to the pumpkin patch. Are you paying attention kids? Disobedience = money and outings.

Then there were some songs that were fortunately not catchy enough to be memorable or I might have had to go listen to Fulwiler’s shoe song again to get THAT (awesome) stuck in my head for another week.

And THEN we get the plot. There is a legend of a scarecrow called No Noggin, who, angry that his pumpkin head was eaten by a deer, kicks the hats off of unsuspecting revelers on Halloween. Now, *I* prefer Halloween bad guys who want to actually steal your actual head, so he’s already starting to lose me.

But, okay. Hat kicking. Let’s see where this goes.

The man believes No Noggin to be just a story, but when he finds a photo that proves the legend isn’t true, it makes everyone in town, all the ADULTS, really . . . sad.

Then, in an extraordinary display of disobedience, sneakiness, and wanton property damage, George inadvertently restores everyone’s belief in No Noggin, and, as a result, their enjoyment of Halloween. So George decides that the charitable thing to do is to protect the poor grownups and the false beliefs that they need to be able to enjoy a holiday.

It’s not a question of adults protecting a fairy tale belief for their children, it’s a “child” knowing that to disabuse his “father” of his beliefs would make him sad. George knows the truth, but the adults around him need the lie. The opiate of the masses and all that.

Socialist cartoons. First Babar, now George. <sigh>

And, in case it’s not clear, I’m kidding-not-kidding about this whole thing. But I stand behind my original, unseen, assessment that it’s not a very good movie and we can do better for our Halloween entertainment. Now I’ve seen it and I get to not like it.

— 6. Addams Family —

I also watched The Addams Family and my suspicion that Common Sense Media just wasn’t getting the joke was . . . confirmed.

I thought it was a fun, satirical, opposite world movie. And it has the sweetest happy ending ever.

That said, I was uncomfortable with the live auction scene in which, while it’s clear that the married couple are not in fact engaging in any physical romantic activity in public . . . it sure SOUNDS like they are.

The humor is sophisticated and nuanced and endearing. But it’s meant to be shocking, and it is. I would let my over tens watch it. I’d fast forward through the auction scene though. Awkward.

— 7. Once Upon a Time —

There’s a whole post on Once Upon a Time in the works, don’t you worry about that, because, in my professional PAID opinion, it’s the best non-BBC show on television. I do have to say, though, I’m not loving the “hey, you just need to get over that whole wanting to be with your baby thing.”

If I need to mix it up with a Snow Queen or a forest-dwelling ruffian, I’ll just put my baby in the Ergo. That’s what it’s FOR. I came here to nurse this baby and kick butt, . . . and the baby just fell asleep.


    • Mary

      Tommy is a Commie. Seriously. The engines are only good insofar as they are Really Useful. The engines are often really mean, and the only reason the Fat Controller cares is because it causes Confusion and Delay.

    • Kendra

      That's funny Mary. I've heard that before. I'm sure you're right. But I just personally love the idea of being Really Useful, it's my prime motivator, so I always kind of loved that line. I'm also against Confusion and Delay. But I've never been able to sit through the show, especially not the new CG version.

    • Amanda

      LOL Mary, you kinda really have a good point there 🙂 I do like the "really useful" kind of encouragement though, and the trains do naughty little-child-type things but they always get in trouble and make amends, which I like. I could imagine the author writing these stories about his own little boys' misbehaviors and turning it into a moral story to teach him things in a whimsical sort of way.

      But yes, the CG is super annoying. The books are generally okay but way too long. So when my boys make me read one more than once I do a fast version where I turn pages quickly and quote random lines from the book and I insert lots of "you are really useful" and "Sir Topham hat was cross" kind of lines and it sounds just like the book on fast-forward. My boys always giggle at that version and like it just as much as the regular one 🙂 Plus it takes about 60 seconds, win!

  1. Danielle

    Agree with you about OUAT! We really like all the plot twists that somehow always line up with what we know from fairy tales. Although I'm with you on the just throw the baby in an Ergo thing, I so appreciated that they showed her nursing the baby as a very normal thing to do. TV tends to send the message that bottle=normal and I loved the no apologies attitude Mary Margaret had about it. Happy Halloween!!

    • Kendra

      Yes, I agree. I think the writing is both delightfully cheesy and really, really clever.

      And I love how Mary Margaret is embracing motherhood, that line from Jiminy Cricket just really bugged me though. If she WANTS to get away for an hour, sure, have at it. But if she WANTS to be with her baby, leave her alone and let her be with her baby. Jeesh.

  2. Amanda

    Glad to see I can forgo Curious George. I've always felt like you about the whole no-consequences mischief business. If I'm ever forced to read it to my offspring, I try to emphasize that he's a MONKEY. Monkeys are naughty, but they don't have consciences. It wouldn't hold up (since I emphasize other characters' good behavior for their example) but it's working so far.

    I just this week realized that the OUAT thing about the wardrobe is probably homage to Superman. I was trying to explain to the kids why Superman's parents sent him away, and even though there was no Savior business, it's pretty much the same explanation.

    In addition to getting my pumpkins at the grocery store, I bought them without the kids present. So much for my goal to be more fun 🙂

  3. Elise

    I just adore all the pictures of the saint-costumed kids! Don't have anyone to enter in the contest *quite* yet, but I so enjoy the sweetness. Hope you have a blessed weekend, Kendra.

  4. marymargaret

    LOVE love love OUAT and agree completely – MM is rockin motherhood and everyone else needs to back up and let her. (am I biased because my name is also MM? possibly.)

    Also – could not agree more about CG, even though my 3 year old LOVES him. Sigh. He's annoying and constantly causing problems that everyone just laughs about. Luckily I think we're past that and onto Wild Kratts / Little Einsteins.

    • Kendra

      Mary Margaret is my favorite name right now. I need my husband to not find out that it's on a show. 😀

    • Amanda

      I wanted to name my last baby Cora and my husband nixed it because he said he'd always think of that show.

      I named her Nora instead.

  5. Jessica Snell

    Aaaaaaaaaa! I *totally* want to see Snow carrying her baby around in an Ergo while she kicks butt! That would be so awesome! 😀

  6. Nanacamille

    Carve pumpkins too soon and you get Bugs in the Pumpkins along with a panic call to your hotel room in NYC to tell you about it. You are so received that it's not a real tragedy you agree to get new pumpkins when you get home but don't call again about it.

  7. Julia

    If it makes you feel better about your grocery store-acquired pumpkins, that picture of Vons just filled me with nostalgia for my San Diego childhood. East Coast Safeways just aren't the same. 😉

    And I'm excited for your OUAT post. I have to admit that I don't share your opinion that it's the best non-BBC show on TV. The cheese makes it more of a guilty pleasure for me, but still a pleasure!

  8. Chris

    Loving all your QTs, Kendar, but have to say, we are HUGE HUGE OUaT fans here.
    Have been since season1.
    We don't get TV or even netflixs bc we're cutting corners financially drastically, so all our shows come from the library or free streaming sites ( you tube!)

    OUaT is in the top 3 of My All Time Fave Show Ever.And yes, I agree…the best nonBBC show out there now.

    Thanks for the fun and etc in your post today

  9. Hafsa

    I'm still with Bonnie on this. Let's call a spade a spade, George is a monkey. He has no reason, he's an animal. In each episode of the actual show, he is always trying to do what's right. He makes mistakes, he tries most unsuccessfully to fix the mistake. He's not intentionally bad buuut he's still a monkey. I think for my four and three year olds, Curious George entertains them. We're not at an age where I think my kids can handle Sleepy Hollow legend so I'll take Curious George for now. We'll move away from George soon enough 😉

    But I do enjoy Once Upon A Time! I'll agree with you on that.

  10. Hannah Gokie

    Wow, thanks for the shoutout! And I finally jumped on the bandwagon and started watching OUAT…I can't wait to catch up because I'm already in love with it all.

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

If you’d like to learn more about what Catholics believe and why, and to be inspired by saints from every era all over the world, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of how to teach your kids about the faith in a way that’s true, engaging, and lasts a lifetime, we can help!

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