Impromptu Picnic

Poor old Julia had to eat sunglasses ūüėČ

It’s still very warm here, about 85 degrees and very breezy. ¬†While I am getting very excited about feeling those first true fall frosty days, it was a pleasure to eat outside, surrounded by the beauty of fall leaves, without worrying about the girls being too chilly.

Hummus, pita, salad, and tomatoes

Whirlwind Behind

It’s been so long since I posted; things have been running so quickly by me that I can barely keep my head above water. ¬†During the week the girls and I have been trying to enjoy the many storytimes this place has to offer within walking distance ¬†and the (sometimes) crispy fall weather. ¬†I LOVE THE FALL, and this might surprise you New Yorkers, but I love the winter too. ¬†I missed the snow in Alabama! ¬†I’m not talking about the 4 inches that fell and locked up the highways for 19 weeks, either. ¬†There was something quieting and pleasantly isolating about steady winter snow; we’ll see if it is like I remember. ¬†People here say the winter is brutal – seriously, more than one person has told us that exact phrase – but I don’t think they mean NY lake effect brutal.

I have SO many pictures backed up that I think we’re just going to have to forget those. ¬†Here are a couple of Hazel and I having fun talking about fall leaves. ¬†I like to throw a little science at her on our daily walks, so we’re talking about decay, leaves, coniferous trees, and evergreens. ¬†Total fun.

Camping and Other Fall-y Things

I don’t know if it’s because we’re expecting another baby, but Amos and I have been like the Cleavers lately. ¬†Last weekend Amos and Hazel camped out in the backyard. ¬†He made a fire in an old scratched pot that cost $4 from the Salvation Army. ¬†We tried to teach her how to roast marshmallows, but she kept dropping her stick into the flames. ¬†I let her have a bite of my s’more, but she was done after the second bite, eager instead to run around in the backyard using the new flashlight Amos bought her that morning.

This weekend is no different; if anything, it’s more fall-like. ¬†We carved up the pumpkin I picked out yesterday morning. ¬†It’s actual jack-o-lantern size. ¬†The ones we got from the pumpkin patch a few weeks ago are all small enough for Hazel to easily hoist. ¬†She kept running away from all the other ones, insisting that they were too big. ¬†The one I got yesterday morning is a lovely, clear tangerine, with a pointy green stem that resembles a witch’s hat. ¬†Amos did a wonderful job cutting up the pumpkin with a Dremel tool. ¬†We have two; one small, happy practice pumpkin, and a smiling, goofy, buck-toothed big guy.

After Amos and Hazel were settled into the tent with books, glow sticks, and The Secret of Nimh playing on our small, portable DVD player (a special treat for using the potty so well this week), I headed over to a cook-out campfire at Danny’s sister’s house. ¬†We had a great time around the fire, being silly and eating hot dogs. ¬†Well, being the starving pregnant lady I’ve become, I should say I had fun eating s’mores, hot dogs, popcorn, and vegetable soup!

This morning, to top off the camping adventure, we had a special “camping breakfast” of cinnamon toast, homemade strawberry applesauce, and scrambled eggs. ¬†Then Amos and I took our coffee back outside so we could build a fire and make pasta necklaces with Hazel. ¬†She loves pasta, and she loves necklaces, but she had kind of a hard time getting the hang of putting the yarn through the rigatoni. ¬†Scooping out pasta and handing it to us in turns was her major contribution, which she seemed to really enjoy. ¬†We all have matching pasta necklaces now!

And here’s a little treat: ¬†this is a video I took of Hazel acting silly while Amos and I were carving the jack-o-lanterns. ¬†It’s linked off my Facebook page, which is normally completely private, but I took the privacy settings off so I could link it here. ¬†I’ll leave it open for a week or so, but then I’m putting it back to private. ¬†I hope you can view it before then (especially you, Nancy!).

Pumpkin Patch!

You guys have to know that I absolutely love fall.  I love the flavors, the colors, the weather, everything, so I was the most excited about our weekend trip to the pumpkin patch.  I scouted out a couple of options before settling on McGee Farm, which I felt was more homey and natural than some of the commercialized ones that were also close by.

Today we started out early, arriving right as the farm opened, and had a super fun few hours with Hazel on the farm. ¬†We took a hay ride to the pumpkin patch and each chose our own pumpkin. ¬†Hazel looked all over the pumpkin patch for one she really wanted, and the tiny one she chose is just adorable. ¬†She kept rejecting pumpkins we showed her, saying they were all “too big,” until she found her tiny companion. ¬†After the ride we saw the goats and chickens, played in the hay (neither Mama nor Hazel was much a fan – too itchy & sneezy!), and talked about all the different kinds of pumpkins that were on display there. ¬†They had some truly gorgeous ones – the white variety, some so small they barely spanned the palm of my hand, the squatty French kind, huge orange globes perfect for carving, and some even a dusty green color that was similar to a Hubbard squash.

This farm has a little restaurant on the site, so we decided to have lunch there. ¬†Hazel and I shared some white beans and cornbread while Amos tried the chicken and dumplings. ¬†We were going to give the muscadine cobbler a go after lunch, but the three of us could barely roll ourselves to the car after our tasty, but totally filling, lunch. ¬†I was right proud that we braved the 90 degree heat and stayed outside for half the day! ¬†We left right at nap time so Hazel could sleep in the car, and now we’re taking advantage of the rest of the day by lounging around in jams while Amos makes that braised chicken and squash dinner that we all love so much…I guess I mean Hazel and I are lounging while he works! ¬†ūüėČ

And here’s one last picture of Hazel. ¬†It was kind of an accidentally taken photo, and the lighting was HORRIBLE, but look at her smile. ¬†It’s lovely. ¬†So I tried to fix this picture up a bit even though it would have been destined for the trash bin otherwise.

Fall in Clinton

A few more fall photos, this time from the village green in Clinton; these were extremely difficult to take, since I had a one-year-old who was kind of walking by herself (but not really, for whatever reason this morning) and a purse slung over my back.  So, they aren't the greatest, but the trees are pretty.  

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Outside Today

When I pick up Hazel on Mondays we always have about an hour to kill between then and when Amos is done at work.  We usually spend that time pacing outside at SUNY while I hold Hazel's hand…today, she was running and walking all over without me!  

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Fall has Fallen

Taken on our walk today with my iphone – I don't have anything to say, just that her cute little baby face and boots get to me sometimes ‚̧

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Taking Advantage of the Best, Shortest Season in NY

Fall here is something to behold.  Lasting for only a fleeting moment, the trees turn shades that have inspired poets, musicians, and artists for centuries.  Amos took a school trip to Plattsburgh last year, and ever since he's talked about driving to this certain point along the way, where there are little waterfalls and a gorgeous view.  Today, with the warmer 55 degree weather, we dropped all our work and jetted off.  These are the kinds of trips I like the best; Amos and I both have so much work to do, we hadn't eaten lunch, but we knew that if we didn't grab the incentive and just GO we would never have the time.  I only made time to grab my knitting, camera, and some milk for Hazel, and we took the afternoon off.

(I love that face on her.  She was actually laughing, I just caught her at a weird moment, but these are the pictures I love the best.)
On the way home we found an excellent bar & grill way out in the middle of nowhere.  I don't know what town it's in, I think it may be called Ohio, but I know we'll make our way back there.  Hazel had an apple we brought along and some homemade, and therefore not at all greasy, sweet potato fries.  These fries were reason enough to go back, clearly hand-cut and fried for just a second without any breading to mush things up.  Homemade pickles and a fantastic burger eaten in front of a crackling fire sealed the deal for me.
Oops, forgot one!

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Hazel’s Sweater

I love this sweater.  I love the yarn, I love the colors, I love the pattern, and I love that I got the pattern all the way correct.  This will keep her warm for probably the next 4 years, because it did turn out kind of big (I've since noticed that other people had this same outcome, so I'm still counting it as being correct).


Oh, and the yarn was spun & dyed locally in New Hartford.  Pretty cool!


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Every Year at This Time

I still am just shocked when the weather here drops from "summer" (at a hot 80 degrees or something) down to "fall" (a bone-chilling 55 degrees or below).  It's freaking 40 degrees outside right now!!!  I woke up and was freezing, immediately checked on Hazel and she seemed ok in her sleeper gown and a blanket.  That child may be like me, though – Amos has mentioned many times that when I sleep my body feels like 700 degrees to the touch, even if I feel chilly.  But I digress — 40 DEGREES.  That is Christmas weather!!!!  My internal thermometer will never readjust from Alabama to New York range.

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