beavers near my house

 

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The woods have been extra interesting lately with revived beaver activity near our place.  Did you know that beavers are huge rodents?  Yes indeedy, and they are on my list of “favorite animals”.  How could anyone be afraid of a beaver or upset by a beaver? They are practically harmless.  They’re too busy working to be a bother to anyone.   After you see a photo of a baby beaver you’ll never be the same again.  Those tails!

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Anyone walking on our street could see the new beaver dam that I first noticed last week.  It’s where the stream goes under the road, so obvious.  It must be a favored spot because I remember years ago they made one in the same location, and the town dug it out.  Consequently, if I hear a loud truck these days, I run to the window and look to see if the town is digging the dam out of the stream like they did last time, with my heart filled with fears and woe.  I imagine all the work that the beavers put into their dam, all the gatherings of twigs, branches, grasses, stones, and mud.  Everything gathered and collected by a large rodent!  Imagine!

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Here is the most precious sight; of a lone stone on top of the dam, placed oh so carefully by a beaver.

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Well, and then I discovered ANOTHER ONE, this one is deeper into the woods in a place where no heavy truck or digging equipment can go.  My heart is lighter as I ponder the beavers that live near my house.

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This morning I was cleaning the kitchen and there was a pot of burnt peas in the sink.  They were burnt because Sarah and I were sewing pants for her doll and forgot about the peas.  (True story) So I left them in the sink until this morning, and then I walked them to the chicken coop.  Chickens are partial to burnt peas.  Then I continued on my way, looking at how the ponds were filled up nicely after two days of rain.  When I got to the stream I could hear the beaver again.  Oh joy!  It was about 8 am in the morning.  I rushed to the house to get my camera, a towel to sit upon, a breakfast in a sandwich bag consisting of cheese, raw mushrooms, and trail mix, and I also put on a pair of jeans because I was still in my pajamas.  Then I went down and sat.  Very soon I heard a loud splash and then another one.  Dang, I thought.  There are at least two and they know I’m here.  I sat and sat.  Then, finally my dreams (beaver dreams) came true.  I saw the first one.  I saw the second one.  And then, one more.

The third one allowed me to take its photo.

It was very hard, as it was behind branches and leaves, but I did the best I could.

It was silent the entire time.  Silkily silent.

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“A beaver’s forepaws are quite dexterous.  They can fold individual leaves into their mouths.”  Backyard and Beyond by Edward Duensing

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gliding through the water….see the glimpse of the famous tail?

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I encourage each and every one of you to visit your local library, go to the children’s section, and find every book you can about the beaver and check them out.  Read them this weekend, look at photos that are actually clear and nice, and be amazed by this animal.

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Oh I forgot to mention that this morning I also found their lodge.  It’s by the stream under the old dead pine tree on our property.  The first two beavers I scared ended up swimming toward the lodge and then they dived under the water to “go home and hide”, from me, presumably.

I found the perfect place to sit and stalk them, so conveniently at the bottom of our lawn, on a bank in the briars near the pond.  No one can see me.  I just have to remember to shut the dog in the house or he will stand and bark and scare everything away.

In fact, as I write this, I am filled with longing to throw the computer aside and run back down there.  Typing as fast as I can…….

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After many photo attempts, this one also eventually vanished under the water to the lodge.  “Goodbye for now” I said.  I sat for a little while longer and then got up as I was freezing in certain areas, namely my behind, hands, and nose.  I ended up walking down the edge of the stream, through the woods to the bird forest, through the dam field, into the woods again, across the rushing stream (very exciting) back across the field, down the little dirt road to the main road, and up it to home again.

I finished cleaning my kitchen and then had time to blog.

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I saw this sweet bird and several more just like it.  Autumn is nice because everything is going to seed, there are berries, too, and the bird activity increases as they fly about looking for food.

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See the spot of yellow?

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I discovered a crab apple tree.  They were at the end of their peak but maybe next year I can harvest some and make jelly.  I did eat one. . . . .it was nice and tart.

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reflections in the water

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One last beaver quote:

“When alarmed, a beaver dives under water, its tail slapping the surface as a warning to other beavers.  But in sum, beavers live unhurried lives.”

Ah, we can learn from the beaver, can’t we?

beginning with the nighttime moon

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“Oh, if there’s only one song I can sing,
When in His beauty I see the great King,
This shall my song through eternity be,
“Oh, what a wonder that Jesus loves me!”  ~Philip Bliss

This hymn is stuck in my head this morning and I’m just so happy because today I have absolutely nothing pressing…..in the last week this family has had a total of 10 appointments (mostly dental, one doctor, and others) and I’m ready to have a peace-full morning instead of getting ready to go…….I’m a home-bird…..

I have a steaming Scarlet fiesta mug of green tea on the coffee table in front of me, and a curled up chocolate lab snoring by my side on the couch and I’m ready to let my fingers tippety tap along the keyboard….I love blogging…everyone should do it.  Life is so interesting.

Last week, Rich was gone on a business trip for five days straight and our college son Ethan was home for the week, too.  After Caleb’s dentist appointment and right before his doctor’s appointment, we had time to sit at the bookstore and drink hot coffee beverages.

(Caleb had no cavities but was put on antibiotics for a sinus infection).

(a page from the latest Victoria magazine–I was so tired last week that I had to read this quote like 5 times before it made sense.  And… Seth, waiting for the bus one morning).

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Hanging out on the porch with Sarah.  She was blowing the whistle CONSTANTLY.

She gets to learn how to play the recorder next year at school and the whistle is a tiny recorder.  So she would blow and then take a break to say things like “Can I buy my own recorder, Mom?”  “I’m going to get a pink one.”  “Did Caleb buy his?”  “Where is it?”  “What color was it?”  “Seth doesn’t bring his home.”  “He doesn’t like to play it.”  and so on.

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These muffins were yummy.

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Rich took this at the football games on Sunday.

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Reading on the porch with my kitty.

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Ethan was home all last week and so (because I’m a good mom) I thoughtfully made him a dentist appointment for a cleaning.  (he was less than thrilled because has bad luck always at the dentist).  He drove himself.  I was at the grocery store when they called me, “Hello we have Ethan here and he has a couple cavities that he didn’t get filled last time and the dentist has time to do them now if you’d like us to do that?”  And naturally I said, “Oh yes, that would be awesome, and please have the Doctor check Ethan’s gray front tooth.”  Then we hung up.  After another hour or so, Ethan came home with his eyes sad and face blank.  He put his papers from the dentist down on the counter.  Ethan doesn’t talk much so I had to pry.  “What did they say about your tooth?”  “They said the roots are a little shorter and it might fall out eventually so I have to go to a specialist to get it looked at.”  I ran over to the referral paper, and called the number right away just to see if perhaps they could get him in while he was home.  And yes, they were able to get him an appointment on Thursday.

So Thursday came.  The appointment was at 8:30 in the morning.  As soon as the kids left on the bus at 7:30, Ethan and I got in the car to head to his appointment, which was on the other side of Hartford.  Ugh busy city traffic.  We had no time to go through the Dunkin Donuts drive- thru.  So we battled on through the traffic and got to the Endodontist with just enough time to park, find the office, and fill out papers.

Ethan was called to the back for his appointment and I followed, simply because, like I said, Ethan doesn’t talk much and I wanted ALL the information.  The dentist took an X-ray, and tapped on his front teeth.  Then he held a tiny piece of cotton with his dentist tongs and sprayed icy cold air on it.  “I’m going to put this on your tooth and you raise your hand when the pain is unbearable, okay Ethan?”  He pressed the cotton on Ethan’s gray tooth and Ethan never raised his hand.  “The reason you feel no pain is because that front tooth is dead,” the dentist explained.  “You will need a root canal and then eventually we can bleach the inside of the tooth the next time you are home from college.  I can’t just put the bleach in it this week or you might end up with a brilliantly refrigerator white tooth and that would be worse than the gray.  I need to check the bleaching process every few days so we can take the bleach out once that tooth matches the other ones.”  Wow, this was getting interesting.  Ethan didn’t say a word.

We left with a root canal appointment for the very next day.  Ethan’s bad luck at the dentist continued but you know what?  It had to be done and it is all done now.  The two of us had breakfast together that morning and then went to the mall and consoled ourselves with new shirts (Jcrew for him and Anthro for me).  Rich came home that night and took Ethan the next day for the root canal and now he’s all set until he can get his tooth bleached.

Why was his tooth gray in the first place you might ask?  He cannot remember the injury, but at some point when he was younger he bumped the tooth hard enough for it to die.  With seven children and five of them boys, it’s a wonder any of them have white teeth.  Seth had a gray tooth for a time, too, but it was a baby one and fell out.  My brother David says Ethan should just get a gold tooth and be done with it.

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I bought this vintage wool hook rug at an antique store this weekend….it’s now on the pantry floor and I love it.  I’ve been waiting for just the right throw rug for my pantry.  The outer part of the rug is dark gray, then a beautiful dark blue and light blue design, with light gray after that and a bunch of bright flowers in the middle.  The blue matches the blue glass bottles in the window.

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YESTERDAY it was Seth and Sarah’s turn at the dentist……(and tomorrow is my turn).

For prizes, they got teeth.

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And then we went to the grocery store.  I made them leave the teeth in the car and when we were checking out, Sarah turned to Seth and cried, “Seth, we can go to the car and put our teeth in now!”

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Back at home…… (with a fogged up camera lens again, it was so damp and rainy)

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David was on the roof.

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He was bouncing a small basketball off the house and trying to make a basket down below, with the help of Caleb and Seth.  He made it once.

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(I took this one through the window)

It was pouring rain.

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Last night my husband went downstairs to check on Seth, who was crying in the basement.  He and Caleb had been fooling around.  David and I looked at each other with alarm when we heard Rich yell, “DON’T PLAY FOOTBALL IN THE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!” and Sarah came running upstairs laughing.  “What happened?  Sarah, tell me!”  “Seth hit his head again and it’s bleeding a little bit right here,” she pointed to her head, “on the side of his head.”

Sure enough, Rich marched Seth upstairs, who already had a goose egg forming next to his temple on his forehead, and got him an ice pack.

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This morning it already looked much better, but you can see the remainder of his injury next to his eye.  (he had a bump up higher on his temple, and a scrape by his eye).  I mean, at least it wasn’t his tooth.

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7:15 this morning as I put away the dishes.  “Mom, take a picture!”

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Kids left on the bus.  All is calm, all is bright.

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The sun is shining!  After a long weekend of rain, it is pure delight.

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We end with the morning moon.

Happy Tuesday, friends.
You are loved.

 

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home happenings

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Good morning!  It’s good to be home, my children are home…..for it’s Columbus Day.

“One misty moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather……”

That’s us this morning, rainy and cloudy, cozy and cool inside, oh so beautiful outside.

The colors are always so vivid with a washing.

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EVERYTHING outdoors is covered in a fine coating of dew.  My camera lens instantly fogged up, making a lovely “filter” for these orange flowers in the garden.

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I wanted to show you the trenches in the lawn.  Rich wants to heat the garage with propane and I said, “Only if you bury the tank.”

We are also having the upstairs bathroom remodeled and it is currently gutted down to the bare boards.

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Seth and Caleb both had a game this weekend, and as their parents we were so very proud of them but alas both teams suffered losses this time.  And as it was damp and a little drizzly, we spent most of Seth’s game sitting in the truck.  The weather for Caleb’s game was nice so we sat in our chairs, side by side, while Seth, Sarah and David ran around and played with their friends.  I ate TERRIBLE yesterday……not only a dunkin donut but also a reeses pb cup.  My chin feels a little extra dumpily today.  But oh, so good.

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After Caleb’s game, Rich went right down to wait for his son, ready to comfort and encourage after a tough loss.

DSC_1219 1“The gardener knows the seasons better than other people, for he tells time by Nature’s world, by what the garden yields each week or month.  It has given us a purposeful feeling to complete the cycle, to know the beginning and the end.”  ~Home Gardener’s Cookbook

I found this 1974 vintage cookbook/gardening book recently.  It made a pleasant “porch read” this weekend while sitting in my rocking chair.  (Along with the book Gentleman Gray used as a pillow).  Always have to be reading…..how about you?  Any engrossing recommendations?

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This morning was an excellent morning for muffins.  And so,

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(yes I gave him one)

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“Mom, these muffins are GOOD!”  ~Seth
“EVERYTHING Mom makes is good!”  ~Caleb
“Thank you, boys!”  ~Mom

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butterflies are growing scarce the bees are getting sleepy

the children played outside and had a picnic of yogurt and graham crackers; I found the spoons outside this morning while mailing a card, it was during that time when the brief sunny rain fell

I was planting bulbs when I saw a rainbow in the sky

in the evening the sky was full of spectacular clouds

Jacob said, “yes the sky had a lot of nice clouds in it today,” as he played video games

and the glow of the house was cozy and warm

both David and Grace chose to do their homework on my bed which I think is very sweet

they are welcome

this morning I wore green plastic garden shoes

water

forest

scolding bluejays

dropping acorns

magic

onward and upward

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I took a little road trip on Friday to get our son Ethan from college.  He has this whole week off from school and it’s been such a thrill for the whole family to have him back home again.  I texted him when I arrived at the dorm and he had a big smile as he walked out to where I was parked.  We both did.

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I stopped at the Vermont Country store and it was the best store to browse around in.  I bought some cleaning supplies and learned from the lady there that my clothespins are coming apart because I have always just left them pinned on the clothesline after taking down the laundry.  She said I have to keep them in a tin or a clothespin bag.  I’ve been hanging out the clothes for 20 years and never knew this.  I thought they just weren’t making the clothespins like they used to.  I am still a bit skeptical but I am certainly going to try it and see if they keep breaking.  (I use the ones with the spring in the middle).  And would you look at this kitchen goods display and all the King Arthur Flour things?  I’m going to have to do my Mom’s Christmas shopping here.

Ethan and I also stopped at a little independent bookshop which was fun, too.

It goes without saying that we will be making this trip several times this year so it will be fun to get to know other towns….Vermont is beautiful!  I would be happy to take along any friends who might want to join me in retrieving Ethan throughout the year so we can stop at neat little shops.  🙂

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Ethan surprised his girlfriend Tessa that night by showing up at her house for pizza with no warning.  They were one happy couple all weekend long.  He is leaving in a little while to pick her up from school.  (they have been dating for a year now) Sarah adores Tessa (the feeling is mutual).  When I saw them hugging I said, “let me take a picture!”

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Out and about for football games.  Seth and Caleb both won their games this weekend.

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Ethan and his best friend Zachary….both with a good month or more of college under their belts.  And of course Parker the Dog is happy to see his boys again.

Ethan has a bad cold so I’ve been torturing him with cough syrup.

The two of us went on a walk together this morning and I brought along my camera to photograph some of the beautiful fall colors.

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The sun is shining for the first time in days.  It brightens everything, including our moods.

(just like Jesus–The Son)

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I loved this scareCROW on one of our neighbor’s lawns.

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looking up into the trees

We saw a hawk and a crow flying after each other (in an argument over something)

We saw a dead toad, a dead squirrel and a dead goldfinch during various times in our walk. Which was sad and rather odd.

Aren’t you glad I don’t take pictures of EVERYTHING????

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looking up again

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

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We saw a flock of bluebirds.   I wasn’t able to get any good photos because I didn’t have a good zoom lens with me.  There were about 10 of them flying about.  The farmhouse at the end of our street has bluebird houses which were obviously greatly appreciated this summer.

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He walked barefoot because he’s ours country boy.  He has a straw in his mouth, too, but you can’t see it.

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I rescued this fuzzy caterpillar from the road (lots of things are getting hit lately, as I mentioned earlier)…….

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And would you look at this spider?   It’s exquisite!  I’m so glad we stopped and took a closer look at it.

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Just a couple more random photos:

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My brother Dave sent me this photo of Dad’s truck full of pumpkins and their puppy!  (I like how his white socks are all different sizes)

and……..

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Sarah and I finished another book!  We read The Adventures of Benjamin Pink and it was delightful.

I read to her whenever we have some free time together and the other children are always welcome to listen with us, too, but she is the only one committed enough to stay snuggled up next to me.  The others do their own thing as they listen.  We started our third book this morning, it was one that I bought at the bookstore in Vermont with Ethan.

Well, it’s been a busy morning of digging pennies out of the garbage disposal, finding water leaking in the bathroom and calling the plumber, doing laundry and dishes, grocery shopping, taking Grace her purse at the school, cleaning up the house after a busy weekend, texting Jacob after he had a check up (perfect!so thankful), walking 3 miles with Ethan, and getting dinner started in the crock pot.  It’s been necessary and nice to sit and blog for a little while here with my friends (and Ethan sound asleep on the other couch).  Thank you all for reading along.  I pray that each of you who stop by here today has a very blessed and beautiful week.  I thank God for my friends and for this outlet where we can share and get to know each other.

Remember….you are loved.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

trust me :: you’re lovely

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It was a long weekend and this will be a long post full of photos!

First of all, the colors this weekend were stunning.  We had plenty of sunshine, which made them seem even brighter.

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We went to Target.

And the next morning Sarah was on a leash….

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My Mom and Dad said “you have to watch the Great British Baking show” so I finally turned it on Saturday morning–we ended up watching four episodes throughout the day.  It’s included on amazon prime.  The first episode was “cake” and my little ones got VERY inspired.

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They came up with this on their own after watching it with me.

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Seth got points for rolling his up, just like the people did with their swiss rolls on the show.   After I took the pictures they got out the whipped cream, too.

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They spilled so many bright white sprinkle balls on the floor that the kitten started chasing them around.

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Rich and I took four of the children to a corn maze.  I think it was the first time that we took 2 boys and 2 girls with us anywhere, an even match-up.

Two girls

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There was a playground in a deep bed of feed corn.

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two boys

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There was a hay bale maze for little ones to run through (or over the top which is what our kids did).

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And fun places to take goofy picture of your kids.

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We went through the corn maze but didn’t complete it 100% of the way…it got too confusing.  I don’t think we stopped laughing though.

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There was a “pillow” to bounce on.

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Before we left, we each picked out a pumpkin.

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After a while he asked someone else to pull the wagon because his “legs were too tired.”

We got to the car and he said that I forgot his jacket so Rich had to go find it.  Then, while we were waiting he said he had to go to the bathroom so Grace had to go take him.  It’s amazing what you remember when you have to sit still.

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On Sunday Rich went to church and I took the little boys to their game.  Caleb is number 54.  Both teams won.  It was a great morning to spend outside.  Rich and Grace were able to join me after a while.  Ethan dropped them off after church and went on home by himself (he drives now and it was great when I ran out of creamer for my coffee the other day and I could just throw him the car keys).

I could sit and stare at this picture forever:

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My man and my girl.

As soon as we got home I didn’t go inside…..I wandered around in the gorgeous outdoors.

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I love the faded pinkish red leaves in the background in this picture of glowing yellow.

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And how the fall colors blend and mix and stand out.  I see the brown and gray of tree bark, plus several different shades of red, orange, yellow, and green.

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I call Sam my halloween cat.  She followed me around, begging to get her fur stroked.

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The Osprey was in our dead tree again and this time it had a fish.  I was able to lay down in the grass under the branch it sat upon, which was way up high above me.  The bird held the fish in its feet and lowered its head down to twist pieces off it to eat.  The twisting action was a quick back and forth motion, similar to a person testing a doorknob to see if the door is locked.  It was fascinating to watch this interesting bird.

But Rich wasn’t very pleased with it eating HIS fish from HIS pond.

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But luckily, David ran over to look with us, and the two of them used my camera to zoom in on the fish.  They decided that it wasn’t from our pond, it was a trout.

(I found Dave’s “life is good” t shirt at the thrift store for 25 cents!)

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Kids played football together on Sunday afternoon, until Emily had to go to work.

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On Monday, Seth put clips all over his face!

Rich had to work but everyone else had no school or work, so a trip to Salem, MA was planned.

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Michael, Jacob, Zak, Grace, and Emily went for the day.  This picture was taken before they left to go get Emily.

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Ethan stayed home because he wanted to visit with his friend Tessa, also he had soccer practice.

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The funniest thing happened while I was taking the picture of Tessa and Ethan.  We were at the bottom of the hill and our house sits at the top.  Sarah was playing with the pumpkins on the front steps and let one go….all we heard was her little voice “Here comes a pumpkin” and it rolled all the way down, off the dock, into kersplash!  into the pond!

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Caleb waded into the cold water to get it after it floated close enough to the edge.

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Thank you Caleb!

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Caleb pointed out these mushrooms to me.

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I’m going to dig up this little pink-leaved bush to put in my flower garden.  It’s growing at the edge of the woods.  I love how the leaves turned dark pink for fall.  It’s beautiful!

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Last but not least, I took a this photo this morning while Seth read me his assigned 1st grade reading.  It was a variation of “Jack and Jill” that made me die of laughter…,,,,