It’s getting near the end of the what’s blooming posts. That’s a little sad. There are still some things happening, though, including the last flush of rose blooms. This is the enchanted evening:
This will be today’s pink picture as well. Please click here to support free mammograms!
I am playing around with focus here:
We have the front yard set up for fall now:
We got a white pumpkin. I have always wanted to get one to decorate with, so I did this year!
The moon flowers keep sending out blooms.
They really are so lovely:
I am trying a photo optimizer to hopefully let photos load quicker. They don’t need to be as huge as they come off my camera to show on the internet, so I am going to try this out.
Not much fall color on the trees yet. We were hoping there would be more to show John’s folks while they are here, so we might go into the Adirondacks this weekend and see if there is more color.
I haven’t set goals in a couple months because it has been so busy, but I decided I need to focus on some things this month.
- No scale. I normally weigh myself once a week, but I am going to take a break this month from weighing. No real reason why, but I will pay close attention to what I’m eating.
- Pink pictures. Each time I blog I will photograph something pink and then put a link to click for help fund free mammograms for women. I have done this for the past few years.
- Work on the headboard. I need to focus on a single project or I will get scattered, so that is the one I am choosing.
- Strength training. Now that a lot of digging and lifting and functional fitness is done outside, I need to get back to that inside. Not to mention less biking. So, time to transition back to that.
Wasn’t the moon beautiful on Sunday night? We actually were thinking there was going to be cloud cover and we would miss it, but luck would have it the front slowed down and we had good viewing. I used my 300 zoom lens to get some pictures. It’s not easy taking pictures of the moon, it turns out! I was frustrated at the haze I was getting. Thanks to searching on the trusty interwebs, I changed the settings on my camera to aperature f/11, speed 1/125 and ISO 100. That yielded this shot:
Of course, Sunday night was also Broncos football and we were dividing our time between the game and the moon! I had the camera on my tripod. It became harder to focus on the moon as it went into eclipse and I would just fiddle and take a bunch of shots, hoping that one would be in focus. I had to change the settings as the moon got darker when it stopped showing up in my picture. It took a while for it to dawn on me that I needed to change the setting again. I set the timer at 3 seconds (very slow – tripod necessary and remote trigger), the aperature to 5.6 and the ISO to 6400. This was the best shot.
You can actually see 3 stars in this picture as well if you look closely (noon, 9 and 7 near the edges). Slow shutter speed let the light in enough for those to show up. I was happy with getting a handful of good shots out of this. Of course, a bigger zoom lens would be great, but I will need to save some pennies for that. I truly am enjoying my new camera!
On a miscellaneous note, we pulled out fall decorations and set up the mantle.
I do love fall. It seems like the shortest season of the year, but it’s the same length as all the others. I think because at the end it feels more like winter!
My new cycling gloves arrived and they fit perfect! Plus they are fun.
They have that all important terrycloth thumb covering so I can wipe sweat. There is still enough time for some fall riding to put these to use!
John and I celebrated 19 years of marriage yesterday. I have known him almost half my life now. We met at age 24 and got married at age 28. We don’t exchange gifts, but we did go out to a nice dinner. We tried Sushi Aroy Dee, which is a Thai restaurant down the street. It’s only about 1/4 mile from our house and our first time there.
Thai iced coffee:
We split an appetizer that had potatoes, curry and I think green onions in it? With sweet and sour sauce:
John got a vegetarian sushi combo. It had all kinds of veggie sushi rolls on there with a side of tempura vegetables (not pictured). It arrived in a giant boat!
A+ for presentation. Not a bit of meat in that boat either, isn’t that interesting?
I decided on a curry. This is Massaman curry that has carrots, sweet potatoes, onions and peanuts in a coconut based broth, which I added scallops to.
This was delicious. We would go here again for sure. It’s pretty reasonable price wise. The best part was sharing it with my hubby <3
Our next round of company arrives on Wednesday. I wish the weather would be a little better, but we sure do need the rain. Here’s hoping there will be some fall color to show off by early next week!
This weekend was just the best weather! Saturday was a perfect fall day. Temps were in the upper 60s to about 70, sunny and just a little breeze. We hadn’t had a cupcake ride in a long time, probably almost a month, so that was on the agenda.
We had a bit of a tail wind on the way down and fairly zoomed along.
Leaves haven’t turned much yet other than a few rogue trees that wanted to get it over with early for whatever reason.
We arrived in Saratoga at mile 19. Check out my odometer!
I hit 2000 miles! Truthfully, my mileage is 10 miles more than the odometer says because I had to recalibrate for my tires at the beginning of the sesaon and it reset everything. But, it just didn’t feel right unless I saw it on the odometer.
It’s pumpkin spice. Now that it is officially fall, I can embrace all that stuff, and this cupcake was extra worthy! The caramel drizzle made it. I brought along Rebel and just in case you want to see the frosting closer, here you go:
There was a block party going on right outside Park Side Eatery (home of the cupcakes) and we checked that out:
We didn’t dilly dally too long because we had a party to go to later. The breeze that got us to Saratoga had died down pretty well, so we kept up good speed on the way home. Shadow selfie!
John got a phone call on the way home, so we stopped so he could take that and I took some more pictures!
Total miles: 41.5
Average speed: 13.3 mph
Top speed: 26.2 mph
Calories burned: 1245
This seemed like a really easy ride today. I think the cooler temperatures really helped with that, not to mention just being in good bike shape.
2000 miles isn’t really that difficult in the season. It just requires consistency in riding. 2000 miles is around 60,000- 70,000 calories or 17-20 pounds worth of calories. I’ve lost 13 this year, so all that biking has done some good and shows that I am able to lose during biking season
We showered quick when we got home and headed back down to Saratoga by car this time for youngest niece’s birthday celebration! We made mini pizzas:
And the usual cake.
Devon turned 12 and next year she will be an official teenager!
It’s time to starting turning the garden into fall. Cleaning out the tired annuals, planting bulbs and fall perennials.
The bed looks a little empty without the tall annuals:
The new drill bit works pretty well for planting. I did 30 bulbs in 30 minutes. It took me a few minutes to get the hang of it.
I found it easier to pull the drill in and out a few times to get the dirt out. Also, if you rotate the drill around a little, you can make the hole wider, which is good for some of the bigger bulbs. You do have to make sure you don’t have roots in there or they catch on the drill. I was going to plant bulbs on the side of the house where we haven’t turned the bed over yet and there were too many roots in the ground to make holes. All in all, this certainly is helping. I think having the soil a bit more moist would help as well.
My agastache is still blooming:
The agastache have really been workhorses in the garden. Long blooming and they just always look good. I haven’t needed to deadhead them or do anything other than water them.
I planted a baby calycanthus in the spring that looked like this:
Now is like this:
It sent out 2 really long branches. I have a question in to Bluestone about whether I should prune those back to match the shorter, smaller growth or see if the other branches will catch up. It is supposed to be a shrub at some point. It’s such a young plant that I am not quite sure what to do with it.
I have another flush of blooms happening on the Fair Bianca:
There are a ton of buds on this, too. I love that late season flush of rose blooms!
There is a bloom on the Enchanted Evening as well, with more buds popping.
My snapdragons are just piles of greenery with some stems sticking out. Lesson learned that I need to stake these tall ones and stake them early.
The globe thistles sent out some more blooms. Quite late, too, although I certainly don’t mind!
This weekend is dragging out some fall stuff for decorating. I took a break from work today and went shopping for some base decorations. I got a couple hay bales and some 2 bushel baskets:
John and I need to do some planning and stuff on how to decorate – then implement. John maybe not so willingly pulled into that LOL!
We should have good weather for long riding this weekend as well!
It’s fall! Now it’s finally time for all those fall things. Like pumpkin oats! I made a big batch Monday for the last breakfast before our company left and had leftovers this week.
I know some people don’t like leftovers or batch cooking, but it truly is so nice when you have been super busy and you don’t have to think about what to eat! Work has been back to really busy again and it was nice to have something to pull out of the freezer and heat up. I am also laughing at all the fingerprints on John’s phone
This is that funny time of year where the overnights get really cold and the temps are nice during the day. Our breakfast ride on Wednesday was so cold! It was about 45 when we left the house. I was layered up like crazy:
My eyes were watering a little bit, too. Even though I wear eye protection, the cold makes them water. It’s going to be too cold for morning rides soon. 40 is close to the cut off for riding comfort. I’ll walk in those temps, but riding is not very comfortable when it is that cold. John and I both decided we are going to try to ride a little longer into the cold season if we can with thermal stuff.
John got me a window birdfeeder for my birthday this year. I wasn’t actually sure how many birds would come that close to the house. Turns out quite a few! Mostly chickadees and a few sparrows. The tufted titmouse is now feeding heavily at feeders at this time of year to store seed and they love this feeder. Or they love the safflower seed, I guess.
Stealing seed and ready to leave!
This feeder has been great, I have to say!
It’s fall – so it’s time!
Yes indeed. This makes great ride fuel, too. It’s a nice change from dried fruit
It’s planting time! I just got the first shipment of bulbs that I ordered back in the spring. 100 bulbs here! I was jumping around when these arrived.
Since I know I would be planting a ton of bulbs, I ordered this:
It fits in to a drill like a normal drill bit. Here is the link from Amazon for it. Jisco JJB-9 Bulb Planter. It’s less than $13 and hopefully this will make life easier to plant all these bulbs I will update when I get a chance to use it.
I already posted this on FB, but here is the little snapping turtle I helped across the street. I was biking down the road near a nature preserve the other day and saw a tiny turtle. I stopped and it was dead. A couple days later in almost the exact spot was another turtle. I went by at first thinking it was the dead one, but then it looked like it moved. So, I turned around and sure enough, he was slowly working his way across the road. He would never make it with his tiny legs before he got sqiushed by a car, so I took him across to the edge of the preserve.
Cute little thing, isn’t he? Didn’t try to bite or anything. There must be a nest or something to see 2 tiny turtles in the same spot.
I finally found something I have been looking for. I wanted to use an old door for a headboard in our bedroom, but I wanted a specific style door – this style:
This way when the door is flipped horizontal, the pattern is even across the wall. Kind of like this (thanks pinterest!):
Or possibly this with the tin tiles:
It’s in great shape and the price was $20! I was hoping to get a door for less than $50 for this project and for a long time either the door was already sold by the time I saw it or it was more than I wanted to pay. It’s in really good shape. I had thought I would be painting an old door, but this one probably will just get sanded and restained (hardware removed as well – not vintage). Yippee – another project on the pile! At least I have enough stuff to keep me busy in the cold months now…
Regarding cycling, John and I have been struggling with tire issues the last few weeks. John has had several flats and now has a new tire. I blew out a tube on Saturday morning and then again this morning. You can see here how something sharp was able to get through the tire and pop the tube through that slit:
It goes through and through the tire. I was going to buy new tires after the season was over because I hate changing the tires and I was just going to leave the old ones on to ride the trainer with this winter before putting on the new ones. So, we used a patch kit on the inside of the tire to hopefully cobble another couple of months out of this tire (which was an old tire that I replaced another worn out one with!).
Cross your fingers for me. Tubes are kind of pricey as well. Every flat tire costs us $6 to replace the tube. So not only do you have the annoyance factor of just having to fix the flat, but then the cost gets annoying when you start getting a lot of flats. I went about a year without a flat until early this summer and now 2 in less than 3 days. BTW, I should hit that 2000 mile marker this weekend!
We had company this weekend and one of the requests for things to do was go on a hike. We looked for easier trails and settled on Pilot’s Knob, although it might have been a bit more challenging that we expected.
The trail head is about 10 miles from home, so not very far at all!
It started out somewhat more uphill that we were anticipating, but it was shaded and pretty.
The trail was quite well marked and well traveled. It wasn’t quite as rocky as Sleeping Beauty, but still a little challenging with tree roots.
We hit a fork in the trail, both of which led to the gazebo.
We weren’t sure which to take, but then someone coming down said the trail was a little easier and more interesting to look at, so we went to the right.
Finally up to the clearing and the gazebo 1 mile up.
We had some protein bars and fruit here and enjoyed the view!
That’s Lake George.
I finally got my first butterfly shot of the year up here. This was taken with the 300 zoom.
After a rest, our friend wanted to continue on, so we headed on the blue trail to the waterfall, which was supposed to be dry at this time of year:
We haven’t had a ton of rain lately and even the normally muddy areas were dry:
We didn’t have to walk on that to stay dry. This is my favorite shot of the guys right here:
We made it to the waterfall (at a total of 2.5 miles from the start), which was pretty dry – obviously or I wouldn’t be standing in it!:
Itty bitty trickle of water.
This is mostly full in the spring. I would like to come back and see that. We decided to turn around and hike back at this point. Back to the gazebo and back down the orange path:
I found a little toad friend. I actually almost stepped on him!
It was a bit of a steep descent, so I packed the camera away after that so I wouldn’t drop it or if I slipped it wouldn’t get damaged. Didn’t care about me, just save the camera!
We did about 5 miles of hiking. It was a good hike and I would do this one again as well. Although, there are so many great trails yet to explore.
We had a post hike treat!
It’s not a cupcake, but still pretty darn good
I have a couple new blooms to show this week! Nothing like late bloomers (see what I did there?)
I still am stuck on close up shots of the garden. Looks like a Daddy Longlegs on the coneflower.
Did you know that DLL is not really a spider? I saw some science show the other day that said that.
Off to the back yard. This is the back patio work in progress. The middle windows are the dining room that overlook the back. From the front of the house, that is the ground level, but we have the walkout basement.
To the right of that tree is the in-progress shade bed. This was one of my plants I just put in there. Solomon Seal:
The hydrangea flowers are starting to turn pink now.
Some of the blooms are amazingly massive and weight down the whole branch.
That’s one bloom!
So, I planted 3 types of flowers by seed this year. I did french marigolds, moonflowers and teddybear sunflowers. Two of those are just blooming now. Here are the teddybears:
I know they are supposed to be a dwarf sunflower, but these are tiny! Not sure what happened with them. They don’t look like the picture on the seed package.
Autumn Joy sedum, now in color.
This one kind of glows in the evening light. It’s very pretty.
I also have what I believe is some kind of bittersweet maybe:
I left this up. It can be kind of invasive, and actually this is pulling heavily on the shrub that it is intwined in, so I will probably remove it.
Out front I am just about ready to pull the cosmos and the remaining cleome. I think I might get some hay bales and put pumpkins out or something to fill the space. The cosmos have a few blooms left and a bunch of new seedlings, actually. I am going to leave those and see how big they get before frost. Anyway, a birdie must have dropped a seed here because a little wild sunflower popped up.
I was beginning to think my moonflowers were never going to bloom this year and I walked out the other day and boom – I saw a huge bloom!
There are a lot more buds, too, which look pretty neat:
Moonflowers open up at dusk and close in the morning sun. They are like the opposite of morning glories. The blooms are very fragrant – and the plant is poisonous, so don’t eat it.
I’m glad to finally get some blooms on these. I do seem to have trouble growing plants from seed. I might invest in a grow light to do more annuals indoors this winter and start them earlier.
We hope to see more balloons this weekend and go on a hike. The weather should be pretty nice to be outside. It’s just about my favorite time of year!
Getting close to my 2000 mile goal! Only 60 something to go. Think I need some new gloves?
They are disintegrating a little more each time I put them on!
I was hoping to get through the season with this pair, but I broke down an ordered a new pair. I couldn’t find any gloves I liked in person, so I went online to order. I don’t like a lot of padding in the palm, just a leather pad, which takes some digging to find. Not sure how long it will take these gloves to get here, so I will just have to make do
Speaking of not being able to find stuff locally- one of the problems with owning a unique house is that standard stuff doesn’t fit. We have been looking for sheer curtains for the living room forever. Right now I have some lace things just tacked onto the window (classy…) for some privacy at night. Well, there are no curtains that are the right length, which means I would have to hem them or just make them. So, I hauled out my sewing machine, which I haven’t used in probably almost 15 years! I had forgotten how to even thread the darned thing:
Thanks to the magic of the internets, I found the manual online and actually got it working again. I have material and am going to try to do my own curtains. Are you scared? I am!
Tonight kicked off the weekend balloon festival. They had opening ceremonies and a small launch at Crandall Park, which is about a mile from our house, so we could walk there. Yay for no parking issues!!
I took the Rebel with me to get some pictures.
About 20 balloons went up tonight. We have company coming this weekend and will hopefully be able to go to one of the bigger launches if the weather holds out. It’s not supposed to rain, but it could be too windy for the balloons to go up.
Downtown extended the festivities with music and some classic cars:
I think it would be fun to drive or ride in one of these, don’t you?
Now it is time for the Broncos to hopefully beat the
Chefs Chiefs! And try to sew some curtains – eep! |