Reflections on Halloween 2009
November 1, 2009
First off an observation……This blogger in training needs to do a better job of documenting things from start to finish. Sad to realize I didn’t take any in-process photos yesterday…the counter covered in newspaper, 5 pumpkins in varying states of being carved, piles of raw seeds, the patterns, carving tools, carved out chunks of pumpkin, my son and I covered in pumpkin gunk. Good times. Instead just have the final outcome of Halloween 2009 at our house.
We ended up with 6 carved pumpkins, one carved the day before at day care, the rest carved on Halloween morning at home. Final tally, I’d only carved 2, son did rest. I was responsible for all the pumpkin cleaning, pulling out the slimy guts, separating the seeds from the fleshy, gooey threads that connect them to the actual fruit. And boy, did we have seeds.
Son mentioned at the day care, they’d roasted the seeds two ways, with salt and then with cinnamon sugar. Then voted on favorite, where he voted “BOTH”. I’ve only ever done salt – somewhat evolving that to a savory garlic and herb version. Ended up splitting the seeds to to pans – on the right is the normal salt version, left is with a small bit of butter, brown sugar and common pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger). Would have to agree and vote “both”!
Trick or Treat in our town was from 5-7:30. My 10yo son had a friend spending the night, both going as versions of Star Wars clones. This was going to be the first year he trick or treated without parents, so I was a little worried, but we’d laid out the ground rules, they knew which streets they couldn’t cross, where they could go. A bit after 5pm, armed with flashlights, glow sticks and candy bags they set off. The boys were back well before 7:30 – first to grab additional coats, and later cuz they were tired of walking.
I donned my Cruella costume and the dog put on his Robin costume. We had maybe 40 trick-or-treaters. Lots of comments about the pumpkins from the parents, a few little ones nervous by the talking decorations and spooky music, but overall a good time. No dalmatians tho’, which would have been kinda fun!
Today it’s more or less back to normal, Halloween decorations packed away, pumpkins remain, and now time to tackle the masses and masses of leaves in the yard!
Pushing my limits………
September 27, 2009
Sometimes the universe just aligns….hubby out of town, son at a friend’s house, bike already loaded in the car…. rare afternoon with no plans, no deadlines. My first thought was “naptime”; but that thought was followed quickly by “go for a bike ride”. I’ve been doing my riding on the roads in an 8-10 mile radius of my house. Busy roads, many with bike lanes but still lots of cars. Sure, I’ve found a couple of parks with trails, but those are short, barely 1 or 2 miles. I’ve wanted to give the Glacial Drumlin trail a go, and I seemed to have the perfect opportunity.
While I like and appreciate the social aspects of cycling, the Sunday morning long rides with my husband, the shorter leisurely rides with my son; what I really I love about cycling is the solo aspect. How I can use it to tune out the rest of the world, connect with myself, push myself; get lost in the mental dialogue to go further, go faster, push through wanting to quit, push past the muscle fatigue. I find the same thing with running (though my body, esp. my hips, doesn’t seem to appreciate it), with training for or doing the half marathons, with yoga.
Left out from the Fox River Sanctuary in Waukesha, WI which is at the east end of this 52 mile trail. The first 12 or so miles are paved, the remainder hard packed gravel. My goal was to ride the entire paved portion, an approximately 25 mile ride out and back. This would be my longest ride to date. A decent test for what I could do. Looking at my training log, it was just three weeks ago that I was wondering if I could ride 10 miles, and here I was determined to go 25. This is an out and back ride, so if I made it to the end of the paved portion; I had no choice but to ride the whole way back. Seemed like the perfect opportunity to push to my limits.
On entering the trail, I immediately fell into a rhythm. Loved that I could just ride with no cars or traffic to worry about. Could wear earphones and listen to my music. Dutifully stopped at the self-pay box for a trail pass, but after that didn’t stop until I hit the halfway mark, was able to just ride. Passed a few leisurely riders along the way. Got passed by a “real rider” hunched over on his road bike. That just pissed me off, pushed me to ride faster. Discovered that I could maintain his pace, which was a pleasant little jolt.
Enjoyed the views of the hills around me, the trees, and the occasional stream to cross.
The town of Wales at the 7 mile mark offered restrooms and tables if I had chosen to stop.
Dousman had a quaint feel with its gazebo, and aptly located “Bicycle Doctor” shop.
Shortly, out of Dousman the pavement stopped. I’d made it to my planned halfway point, but wasn’t ready to stop. Continued on the gravel portion.
Realized shortly after passing the 14 mile marker that while I still felt fresh, I had the ride back, decided to turn around.
Last couple of miles was a little tough; legs were rubbery when I got to the car. But damn I felt good! Loved this first trail ride. Love knowing I can go further than I thought possible, but a bit sad that I’m making these discoveries in the fall, and will soon have to stop for a bit…because as this sign reminds me, there are other uses of this trail.
Glacial Drumlin Trail from Waukesha
Find more Bike Rides in Waukesha, Wisconsin
"Fall"-ing for new things….
September 25, 2009
Wow, has it really been two months since I posted? Continue to struggle with getting my garden mojo back, that passion just isn’t hitting me. Dunno why. Think I remain overwhelmed, unable to find a path, a place to start, a vision for this space. I keep reminding myself, “You’ve created three great gardens”, but then the demon voices say, “Yeah, but those were blank slates, easy beginnings, this, this, this is, well, uh, a mess”. And that is as far as it gets.”Which makes posting in a blog under a name of “GardenKim” difficult.
Then it hit me…..I say in my profile, “striving to maintain balance through lifestyle changes, fitness, gardening, and travel.”. Well, heck, that gives me options, other things to write about. And suddenly I have so many posts in my head. I realized I’ve never done anything with those pictures from my trip to San Antonio and those lovely walks along the river, or the pictures from Grand Cayman and those beautiful gardens under the sea on my first scuba adventures, or the updated pictures of the beds in Chicago from this post, or my new found love of cycling that fits into that whole fitness and lifestyle changes heading.
This cluster of purple asters, milkweed, golden rod caught my eye as I curved around the lake, slowing just enough to also catch the surprising sight of a sign for scuba diving. Really, here, in a county park? Will have to check that out next summer.
The brilliant red of the Virgina creeper slowed me down enough to catch another interesting sign, “Dog Swimming Area”, where on a ride with my son tonight we paused to watch a chocolate lab retrieving balls before heading back down the boardwalk path, across the Fox River to our car.
Mommy and me: A garden play date
July 15, 2009
Sorry if you were hoping to read about children in the garden. Ok, yeah, that is one mis-leading title. Saturday was a planned garden date with my Mom and I…but not exactly a play date. Instead a day spent on the “Secret Garden Tour” hosted by Four Seasons Garden Club of Kenosha, WI. A tour of 6 private gardens most in the Pleasant Prairie/Carol Beach area. The day was perfect, rain had been threatened, but by 11 when I met Mom, the sun was out, low humidity, upper 70’s…a beautiful Wisconsin day. All the gardens were enjoyable, some more than others. The plant snob in me didn’t have much to see, but each garden sparked ideas in me. Overall I found several themes between the gardens…the importance of sitting areas within a garden space, the added interest containers can bring throughout a yard / garden, the importance of whimsy, and how the use of water features takes a garden to another level.
The light was not ideal to take a picture of this grouping of three wooden barrel planters each with a trellis to give height. the perfect solution to hiding a work area behind a garage.
Several gardens used non-traditional planting “containers”
Others used excellent plant combinations or groupings of containers
All six gardens had great sitting areas…a couple of my favorites:
This very impressive, very large water feature included one of the best looking bio-filter, natural rock filtering areas I’ve seen.
I found this use of a garden ornament to highlight and echo the colors of the plants to be very compelling.
It was a very enjoyable way to spend the day, just Mom and I. Made even better by a lunch al fresco at the Kenosha Yacht Club watching the boats go by. And of course, a bit of dreaming about a house on this empty lot with this view…where you could be anywhere.
Thanks Mom for the invite, great day. Love you.