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Friday, November 3, 2017

 As I said in the previous post, I had a bonus trip to Dennis' place for his surgery.  Which meant bonus time for me to spend with Gabe and Daniel.  I got to drive them to school and pick them up and spend  extra time with them.   We didn't really do anything that outstanding, but that was the beauty of it.  Just time doing what they normally are doing and seeing their everyday life.  I need to make sure and get down there for more of that!
 I know...swimming outside in October???  that is the California life
My parents had a huge maple tree taken down because it was starting to rot.  It was a lot of wood and since they don't burn firewood anymore, we were happy to take it off their hands.  We rented a splitter and got it all split and stacked in his barn.
The rest of the month was spent putting the yard to rest for the winter.  I trimmed and trimmed! It filled 3 yard debris bins and every basket and container that was around here.
 For the first time ever, this year I planted carrots.  It was pretty fun pulling them up and discovering these tiny little beauties.  Along with carrots, I had tomatoes and green bell peppers, a few grapes and apples.

 I took this down the street.

At my house on Rugg Road, every fall, ladybugs would work their way into the corners of my kitchen and hibernate for the winter.  Tons of them.  I know it is kinda weird, but I liked having them there.  I mean, it was LadyBugs.  Somehow, they just don't seem icky like a bug of any other kind.  Well, ever since we moved in here, there have been tons and tons of boxelder bugs and stink bugs.  We don't notice them until the fall, on the warm afternoons, they just cover the sunny sides of house.  As the day cools, they find any nook or cranny to hide in. The first year here, we were new and didn't realize that they were actually camping out in the cracks of the windows.  Last winter, John started vacuuming them, each time filling the canister of live crawling bugs that he would flush away.  Well, this year it seemed like the bug population had doubled in size.  It was just plain creepy to look at them. Not many got inside, but every time you opened a door or window a bunch came in.  He vacuumed and vacuumed and it never made a difference. The outside was still covered. We started thinking about another way to get rid of them. The internet said that they hatch out in the boxelder, maple and alder trees.  We have a bunch of maples right below our house.  In the fall they move to where it is warmer, thus our house was a perfectly warm spot for them.  I remembered how Home Defense had worked so well to get rid of the giant ants at the other house.  All we had to do was spray a line of it and the ants would not cross over it.  I didn't know if it would work the same on these bugs, but something had to be done. So I went out and bought a whole gallon of it and sprayed around all the windows.  I could not believe how insane it was as they came, not just crawling, but POURING out of the window cracks.  It was something horror movies are made of!  They died by the hundreds and I just swept them away.  John went up on the roof and covered the sides and gutters with it.  Not only did they die instantly, they have continued to die as the days roll by. So many that John takes his leaf blower to get them away. And none are hanging around on the windows on the sunny afternoons.  Hopefully that is the end of them, at least for this year.  Next year, John plans on going up on the roof and coating the place before they arrive and maybe they will just pass us by next year.

We have had some pretty amazing views this fall color this year between sunrise and fall leaves.

 Here is a shot of the same field from last winter and this fall.
I have had some pretty amazing skies this fall.
The shot below is one of my all time favorite shots ever!  The heavens opened up and it was glorious.  I posted this on a photo site and had over 4,000 people like and comment on it!
Jessi's kids were here as I spotted the shot above.  I grabbed my camera and ran out the door saying I had to shoot this...I just cracked up when I was done and there stood Josiah with his gun, shooting too.
 This shot happened on the same day as they had tornado warnings and one actually hit an airport in Aurora and turned over a few small planes.  
 I am so glad that I don't sleep all morning and miss this!
With Halloween getting close, Jessi invited me on a trip to the Portland Zoo to watch the annual Pumpkin Smash.  They had huge huge pumpkins in the elephant yard and when they let the elephants out, it is pretty obvious they have done this before, as they knew just what to do.  
the little baby elephant grabbed a chunk and ran off to enjoy it in peace
We took a look at the other animals and had a little picnic lunch.
 The trees are all ready for the Zoo Lights at Christmas.
 Joshua ran in his school's district meet.  He is such a good runner and loves it and I love watching him. I can not believe how many years I have gone to cross country meets, starting out when his Dad was  6 years old.  It is just such a good atmosphere.  The runners cheer each other on, the teams stand and cheer for their team mates on the field, waiting until every one of them has come in.  It isn't about who wins as much as how much you improved from your last run.  
The end of the month was so busy, some how, we managed to fit in our girls spa day at Ruby's.  Such a good place for a massage and soak in their salt water pool out back.
After our spa time, the guys met up with us at Tad's for dinner.  The sunset was so beautiful along with the fall colors reflected in the still water of the Sandy River.
The next day was Halloween.  Once again, the only Trick or Treaters we had were the grandkids.  This year they brought their little neighbor girl.  Of course, I planned for a lot more kids, or maybe it was a secret hope for none, as I sit and devour the bags of candy that nobody showed up to claim.
Here are shots from Abby of these two guys as they did their school Costume Parade.  
 And a shot from John of Josh in his Dad's letterman jacket before he headed out with a friend.
 I crack up every time I see this tree across the street from Jessi.
 Another month has come and gone.