"Sharing a birthday with National Pumpkin Day is pretty cool" by: Jessica Shepard

   So, recently, I was surfing and clicking around on the Internet with the hopes of fishing out more fun information about my birthday on Oct. 26.
   Apparently, it’s also known as “National Pumpkin Day,” too.
   I guess I missed this in my previous searches and I’ve got to say that I’m a little disappointed in myself for overlooking such an easy way to celebrate my birthday.
   I mean, I’ve got no problem immersing myself into the word of pumpkin-flavored everything.
   Not just pumpkin spiced lattes or cinnamon rolls but cupcakes, muffins and pancakes.
   Also, I’ll probably head to Kate’s Coffee, Tea & More for a pumpkin spice frappe with boba pearls in it – if it’ll still be available by then.
   I recall that last year there was a run on pumpkin spice flavoring and was woefully disappointed by having to wait for a new shipment.
   But, that was happening everywhere, so, I’m holding out hope for it to be better this year.
   Aside from that I’ll probably try to get my hands on a pumpkin pie or pumpkin tres leches cake from HEB if they have them ready by then.
   Heck, I’ve even made it a new family tradition to carve pumpkins for my birthday when my siblings finally make it home.
   The only real problem we ran 
into last year was that mom’s chickens through the carved pumpkins were treats for them and made quite a mess.
   Sadly, it falls on a Monday this year and that means no celebrating happens until the following weekend.   
   Luckily enough that happens to be Halloween and features a full moon and Daylight Savings Time falling back an hour.
   Did you know that pumpkins are native North American squashes and more are grown in Illinois than anywhere else?!
   Or, that the oldest evidence of pumpkin-related seeds dates back to somewhere between 7,000 and 5,500 BC to seeds found in Mexico.
   Also, the US produces about 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins and the largest ever grown weighed in at 2,145 pounds.
   The world record pumpkin was grown in Switzerland and weighed-in at 2,323 pounds in 2014!
   On one hand that’s pretty spectacular but on the other I’d be terrified of some vegetable that size growing in our garden.
   Plus, what do you do with it after it’s grown and weighed?
   That’d be one ridiculously difficult carving to make.
   I’d have to invest in some serious power tools like drills and a variety of saws.
   Plus, I wouldn’t know what to even carve!
   Even between my siblings and myself, it’s still a little bit of a contest to see who has the best pumpkin design at the end of the afternoon.
   I’m more traditional and try to make the scariest face that I can while my sister uses pre-made patterns for her designs and my brother doesn’t ever have much of a plan and does whatever he randomly decides on doing at the very last minute.
   I still maintain that pre-made patterns are cheating and that everyone should freehand their carving designs.
   To be fair, there isn’t any real competition going on – unless you count us trying to have mom judge our creations and pick her favorite still.
   Even then, she says each one is special and her favorite in its own unique way and that’s just the end of it.
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