Sunday, October 17, 2010

The beginning of the end...

 We all went hiking yesterday.  "Tsuga!" my son says, when I ask where we should hike.  About a mile round trip, and he hikes great.  The leaves are gone from a lot of the maples.  A lot of the trees are done, with really just Oaks and Beeches and a few others clinging.  We've defiantely shifted from greens/bright colors to bright/muddy colors/empty crowns.

The sky was amazing yesterday.

 Grove of maples, all empty...

 Still a lot of beautiful colors...

We did more raking... the story of my life for another 2 months, at least.  And this morning I got up and ran 9 miles.  It was beautiful and cool and crisp and sunny.  I have this thing... i like to run on roads.  I run on road I always want to turn onto in my car, but I'm always on my way somewhere or other.  So when I run, I pick the roads I wouldn't drive on... I pick the most indirect-winding ways.  I pick the road that only one car can drive on  at a time.  I look at gardens and yards, and fields.  I watch for deer, or birds.  Today I saw Cedar Waxwings everywhere.  I think about how much I miss living in the country... I let my feet pound the pavement and let my brain drift along the landscape....

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Autumn Weekends...

are too few.  Last weekend we enjoyed Applefest in Franklin, this weekend started with the little guy and I picking out pumpkins.  We found a free place in Conneaut Lake (I think next weekend will be the head up to the farm place and do hay rides and such).

Al's Melons has tons of produce, lots of pumpkins, and a mini corn maze.  Don't take your 6-12 year olds here.  They'll be bored.  But OMG the three year old was thrilled.

How 'bout this one Mommy?
Corn maze fun.  It was hard for me to catch a photo of him he was moving so fast.
Mommy, you go that way.

We picked out a few pumpkins for the porch and maybe to later carve.  Also picked up some unpasturized apple cider to mull.... MMmmmm

Today we woke up and decided to go on a hike down at Oil Creek State Park.  Really, this is my favorite state park in the area.  I wish we lived closer than 40 minutes, but really for as great and amazing as it is, it's not that much sacrifice to drive there.

We picked the Wildcat Hallow trails, which is a series of looping trails that take you through wetlands, forest, past relics of the Oil Boom, and through amazing rock formations on the geology trail.  The total Mileage, even if you took all the trails is probably only a 2.5 mile loop.  We ended up doing a little under 2 miles, and little guy was great the entire time.  I did hoist him up to my shoulders in some of the trickier spots, and there was a bit of hand holding on some of the slicker bridges and steeper slopes, but for 3, he's an amazing hiker.  The dog and husband also had a blast.  We even resisted the urge to stop somewhere for lunch on the way home.
 Lots of bridges
The Family
Mommy saves the day!
This will teach me to complain about my knee.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try to do a long run, but relaxing is pretty much in store for the rest of the weekend.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The one thing about autumn...


I do love leaves.  But every October through the end of November, we rake.  We rake and rake and rake and mulch and rake and mow and rake.  I used to mind a lot more when i was 20-30 pounds heavier and would get winded going up a flight of stairs.  Now I can handle raking a yard-full of leaves several times a week for a month or two.  Really.  I mean, leaving them on the lawn isn't an option.  It'll kill the weeds.. er.. grass that make up the front yard.  So I mulch them, I rake them, I put them in the compost pile, I spread them over the raised beds, I stick them in the flower gardens.

But mostly, I rake them, throw them on a tarp, and pull them out into the street for the city to pick up and then mulch for whatever use our city deems fit.

On beautiful days, I really don't mind it, and the kiddo had a blast today.  I need to re-develop my raking callouses, but otherwise, I'm READY!

Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the beautiful weather after a week of rain, and enjoy the colors of the leaves...
And I think the kiddo is enjoying the weather too...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tired Friday...

Been sleepy all day today.  Maybe because I woke up before 6, then the kiddo was up, so I just stayed up.  Today was a tidying up day.  I cut the little one's hair, then decided the dog might as well get trimmed too (I used different scissors).  Had a friend stop by to visit after lunch, then decided to do some work outside.

I finished up most of my garden putting to sleep, then decided to split some perennials while I was thinking about it.
I moved some Black-eyed Susans, several types of thyme, some sedum, some pinks, and several other things that I'm not sure what they are, but I'll find out next spring/summer when they bloom!  I think I got some phlox, some type of lily, some mums, and a bleeding heart.  I'll be happy if these splits thrive.  I know the soil is pretty nice, but I hope there is enough sun. I also mulched them with the rest of my early summer mulch.  Good luck little perennials!

Creeping Thyme!
  I also limed the garden under the pine tree.  The ground cover gets sparse, due to maybe acidity, or an Australian Shepherd running around in the stuff... but liming it last fall seemed to encourage it to grow this summer, so I'm hoping for the best for next summer as well.
I also put up some Halloween decor.  I do get too crazy, but I do like the house to feel somewhat seasonal. Boogily Boogily!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

In the spirit of autumn...

I decided to dye my hair orange.  I really like it a lot.

Zoe likes it too.  I will await judgment from the husband, but the child also seems agreeable.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The sickness

Running is some sort of sickness, I'm sure.  Today I was determined to run.  A long run.  I had a race last Saturday, and after feeling unwell the past 2 days due to tiredness, I decided I MUST run today.

It was pouring all night.  It poured most of the morning.  I watched the sun attempt to break through the puffy grey fall rain clouds.  It failed.  Around 10:30, my mom called.  I peered out the window, It was not raining.  I told her I was bringing the kiddo up, and was going to run a loop there.

I suited up, in shorts and sleeveless shirt.  I thought this clothing would be ok for mid-sixties.  I pulled on my five fingers, got the stuff together for the kid, and peered at the sky as I threw us into the car and got moving.  It's a 10 minute drive to my mom's, and on the way, the sky opened up.  I sighed inwardly.   I kicked the wipers up to high, sang Beatles songs at the top of my lungs (I'll follow the sun, of course), and the rain was back down to a sprinkle as I pulled into the driveway.

I stepped into my mom's and the downpour I had driven through on the way caught up.  Sheets of rain made the leaves on her trees dance.  I flipped on the weather channel and sat, feeling slightly defeated.  The rain suddenly stopped and the weather channel confirmed the shower that had hit would be the last for a while.  I fled.

8 miles.  On mostly dirt roads, my feet sinking into them slightly as I went.  Trees turning, being sprinkled by trees still wet with rain, running past an old farm, clicking at horses as I ran by, admiring the low deep grey clouds... but it didn't start raining again.  I got a bit misted on during the last mile, but... it was a great run...

Tomorrow, I will plant my newly arrived garlic.
These are California Extra Select (shrug)  they smell good, look good, and will hopefully get me a lot of garlic next year.  I think I'm going to have to fill up an entire raised bed for them though... which means the purpose of the latest raised bed may change from a Perennial bed, to another lettuce/veggie bed in the spring.  We'll see what happens.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Still recovering from this cold/sinus thing.  I ran yesterday, and so today I thought I'd get out and do a bit of trail running.  Of course, running and temperatures above 80 don't agree much, so I didn't do as well as I'd hoped.  I blame my recovery and the heat, but I did make it 2.5 miles, so yay.

The leaves are really changing, the fields are doing their final bursts of colors and flowers and seeds.  I saw a garter snake slither out of my way as I ran by.  I also saw a mother and baby sitting at an overlook near one of ponds.  At least I think I saw them.  I could have been hallucinating.  It could have been me 3 years ago, with my newborn, sitting in the afternoon sun, looking over the fields and ponds.  Maybe I just hit some weird parallel dimension thing where I was overlapping my previous time-line.... Or maybe I just watch too much star trek...

I spent a few minutes after my run walking around, cooling down, and catching my breath. (and maybe restoring some of my sanity)
Some type of Aster finishing out the season.

I drove home the long way, listening to some Decemberists and Goldfrapp, and snapped a few pictures of the slow transformations happening in my garden and yard.

Sugar Maples all over the place are bursting into color quickly.

I think these will be the final roses of the season... going to prune them back soon, feed them coffee grounds and mulch them heavily.   I hope they make it.

Bumblebee enjoying my monster sedum.  Going to try to split this sucker up and put it in one of my new raised beds, along with some of my other unruly perennials.
This dusty-miller, which I thought was an annual, has come up 3 years in a row and gets more and more vigorous.  I like how it sets off the evergreens around it.  If it reappears next year, I'll have to see if I can split it.
The empty raised beds... Makes me a little sad... but hopefully my garlic bulbs will arrive in the next day or so and I can get them in so they can start growing before I mulch them with more leaves.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The end of summer... and the beginning of autumn...

It's a melancholy kind of day for me.  I woke up early and watched the sunrise from the front porch.  It was cloudy, but warm, and I just sat.  The air smelled different, felt different on my skin.

I spent the majority of the day cleaning.  In the morning, I cleaned the inside of the house, opened all the windows, turned on the fans, let the sickness of the past few days air out.  In the afternoon, I cleaned out my raised beds.  I left a few tomato plants alone that were in containers out front, but I cleared out the other beds, with the kiddo's help.

I think the changing of the seasons always gets to me a little.  I took a run this evening, trying to clear out the rest of my congestion, letting my toe-shoes hit the fallen leaves, breathing in that unforgettable scent of leaves and decay and wind and dampness that really signifies the change of the season... It's not the calendar... it's the breath of the wind on my skin, the darkness in the morning and evening, the weight of the clouds...

I do love autumn, but it makes me a little sad too.  I'm finishing the evening listening to some music and remembering autumns in the past.  It's been a good day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Harvest time and Three years old.

So, besides getting a terrible head cold this weekend, and trying to deal with that... I also harvested potatoes from my garden and we celebrated the little one's third birthday.  It's hard to believe...

I wanted to get more done in the yard and garden this weekend, but the stuffiness and sore throat and general malaise really prevented me.  Hopefully I'll shake the rest of this off today and can resume my healthy activities tomorrow... I hope... I'm also feeling lazy about not running... stupid sickness.

Red potatoes that I pulled out of the ground.  I'm going to save some of the smaller ones over the winter and see if i can re-seed them next year.  Not more than a meal of potatoes, but it's still nice to have them out of my own garden, instead of shipped from Idaho.  I'm hoping my garlic bulbs arrive soon so I can get them in before we get our frost.  It will be soon.

Lil Red-head is 3.  Crazy.  I celebrated his birthday in my own way by watching "Dirty Jobs" which is what I was watching  in the hospital while I was in labor.
The play castle instantly became a garage... but what can you do.  He seemed to really enjoy the day though, even if he was running a fever and had to wipe his nose every 3 minutes...  Hopefully we'll all be better soon!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Running 15 miles, and trying to photograph a 3 year old.

Yesterday I ran 15 miles.  I am still not sure how I managed it.  I think it helped that I took a couple of wrong roads, and forced myself to keep going.  I chose an entirely too hilly of a route, but it was such a beautiful afternoon, and the breeze was amazing that I just kept going.  I didn't have my camera with me while I ran, but I drove back some of the route today and photographed some of the views... the photos really don't do it as much justice as being there...

I'm not sure what kind of crop this is, but I love how soft it looks.  Some kind of grain?  Alfalfa?  I passed a few of these fields in the first couple of miles.
Came to a dirt road and turned up it, as it led up to the sky and I couldn't stop.  It ended up being the correct road... and just opened into this 360 view of the countryside...
At about mile 13.5 I was hurting, so I called my retrieval crew, and he met me just after I has passed 15 miles.  I was pretty sore last night and a little this morning, but I feel really good right now.

Took the little guy to a nearby playground and let him run wild.  It is IMPOSSIBLE to photograph him right now.  I am not sure how many pictures i threw out to come up with these.

Three in 4 days.  He also attempted his first photograph himself:
Was the back of the driver's seat, but he did a good job!