Autumn tradition: Corn maze

One of my favorite newer Autumn traditions has been visiting a corn maze!!

This is something neither Andrew nor I did growing up, but when we lived in Arizona, Michelle introduced us to the wonder and glory of navigating a corn maze after dark …

This year, we returned to Pierce College with Fernando and Jessica …. except this time on a Saturday night.

First to Fab Dogs for dinner, and then we ended up getting to the actual Halloween Harvest Festival a little before 9p (after stopping for cash AND having to park miles away).

Once we FINALLY got there …. this was the line..

Correction: This was TWO lines of equally ridiculous length …

So, we had to wait about … 30 minutes? 45? maybe longer, I’ve blocked it from my memory….. Just to buy tickets to get in.

Finally in … Just before 10p sometime.

In addition to the corn MAZE … there is also a haunted corn … path (we did this last year), 2 haunted-house type places, a petting zoo, crafts and (of course) a pumpkin patch.

For whatever reason, the line to do the haunted corn path was looooong. Even though it’s not so good.

Luckily for us, we seem to be the only ones who know that. There was no line whatsoever for the actual MAZE…

If you’ve never done a corn maze … I should tell you: they GIVE you a map. There maze is set up as some sort of picture/creature/etc with check points throughout. They give everyone a little map (maybe about 4×6) and the idea is to punch your map with the hole-punch provided at each check-point.

For whatever reason, when we used to go with Michelle we would always forget to bring a flashlight. …. And, yes, it’s less scary with a flashlight, but there’s no way to actually read your map w/o one.

Unless, you WANT to get lost in the dark in a corn maze…. I mean, I’ve seen Children of the Corn, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre and all those other movies that involve middle-of-nowhere fields … I’m glad Andrew remembered the flashlight this time.

Besides, having just that spot of light makes for some fun photos (without using the flash on the camera)….

Also helpful?

I am EXCELLENT at ‘Corn Maze’ … . Or, rather, I am excellent at reading a nonsensical map in the dark.

We didn’t really get lost at all…. .Ok, maybe my excellence took all the fun out of it (for Andrew at least), but I led the charge and got us to all the check points …

Do you think corn-maze-skills translate into any real-world skills?

Jessica pulled up her Pandora app on her phone and started playing some John Carpenter soundtrack while we wandered around in the dark …. It was that perfect little extra touch :)

(blurry, but still spooky…. after all, what do you expect in the dark?)

after soaring through the corn maze with flying colors (no prize for being awesome, though) … we wandered around a bit more.

Most of the ‘exhibits’ or activities, or whatever you would call them were closed since it was so late ….

…. but we still got to feed a 4-horned sheep (goat? Just realized I have no idea)…

And got the best cotton candy deal ever.

2 for $5 …. and they handed me this one and I just about laughed out loud.

$2.50 for cotton candy twice the size of my head?? Yes please!

Yep, corn maze has GOT to be an autumn tradition from now on … tooo much fun!

You can view more photos and purchase prints here: 2011 Pierce College corn maze

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Home in Tarzana – kitchen


The last post about our apartment. I promise. The final corner and ‘room’ to be profiled.

When you walk into our front door, straight in front of you is probably going to be a bicycle, and then just past that is our kitchen.

It’s a decent sized kitchen. Plenty of storage space for us – especially since there’s no oven and a tiny fridge, there’s not really a huge need for all this kitchen storage space. …

The microwave cart lives under the front window, right next to Andrew’s record player. Which is probably why there is a tape player sitting right on top of the microwave.

Inside the microwave cart is our CrockPot and counter-top, plug-in stovetop. I’ve used it once.



The 2 appliances that we keep out and use often are the coffeemaker (daily) and the toaster. The toaster is brand new. Just bought it. Andrew was using it everyday, until it got too hot to leave the bread and butter out on the counter. Now that those live in the fridge, I think he has forgotten about his toast phase..


This sink is just under our side window. It opens towards our landlords’ driveway – so we pretty much keep the blinds closed all the time. Plus, it is East-facing, and the sun in the morning coming through the window tends to make the kitchen kind of hot …

The sink is … interesting. There’s no garbage disposal and no 2-sided sink wells (which would make dishwashing a lot easier, since we have to do it by hand). …


Just next to the sink on the other side is this tiny little book shelf.

I have no idea what the intention of this shelf is.

It’s too shallow for anything (except maybe spice jars), but if it was any deeper it would block the already small closet.

So far we have a couple tapes there…. that’s probably all that will live there.


Our refridgerator is dorm-size. It lives under the counter, and the freezer is basically non-existent. Luckily both Andrew and I eat at work very often, and so far the fridge size has just been a tad annoying, instead of completely unmanageable. Ex: We bought GardenBurgers that need to stay frozen, so I had to take them out of the packages and put them in ziploc sandwich bags (2-to-a-bag) to fit them in the freezer.



Like I said, plenty of storage space.

We have several completely empty shelves…


And finally, also in the kitchen, backing up to the wall of the bathroom and facing the sink area, is our closet.

It’s smaller than our past closets, so our clothes are pretty well smashed in there. Andrew says he’s just been wearing the same things over and over, so he doesn’t have to worry about getting clothes in and out …



There you go.

A full and detailed look of where we are living now.

You are welcome to come visit us, but you’d probably have to sleep on the kitchen floor. Next to the bicycle.

This is really just a temporary space for a year or so until we buy a house. So the smaller, cheaper and more uncomfortable it is, the more motivated we will be to do the scary thing that is homeownership.


Home in Tarzana – our new apartment

We’ve been living here in Tarzana for about 6 weeks now, and I have not yet posted any real pictures of our new apartment … I know I know. Shame on me.

But, for the longest time, the place looked like this, with a stack of boxes in the middle of the room…

Before - that "just moved in" look

Before - that "just moved in" look

But, eventually, I gave up thinking that the place would ever look perfect … or even great. And just decided to show you the way it looks. Much more authentic anyway, right?

First, take a look at our neighborhood. The next 3 photos were taken from just outside our front door … the lawn is yellow (not our fault).

We live on Friar St, near the crossroads of Victory and Tampa in Tarzana (if you follow this direction, you’ll hit Tampa). The neighborhood is full of $400,000ish houses, big mature trees, and I’m pretty sure the old couple next door has lived here since the neighborhood was built.


We have this little path from our front door to the sidewalk ….

We’re welcome to park in front of the house, except, of course, when the trashcans are there.


This direction goes deeper into the neighborhood and quiet residential streets.


Our apartment is (I think) a converted garage, and the entrance is on the opposite side of the building from the main house entrance … Just inside the gate to the right is our door; and if you go straight there is another gate to reach their side/backyard.


Our path – These tiles are maybe a 12″x12″ …


You see why people can’t just stop by? You’d never find our front door!

Those lights above the door are on a motion sensor … . except, they never sense you’re there until you’re inside the gate … which means that when I come home at 1130p and it’s all dark, someone could be hiding inside the gate, waiting to ambush me. And if they’re still enough, the light won’t go on until I walk inside the gated area … and by then it would be too late.

I try not to think about that.



We have all this lovely space just outside our door, but we can’t use any of it because the gardener needs the area to drag the trash cans back and forth 2 days/week. It’s really unfortunate.


Julie mentioned she thought this place was a converted garage because of the way the door is situated. … The door frame is a full 6+ inches from the ground.

It took a little while to get used to. I definitely tripped a couple times and stubbed my toe when I was carrying groceries and couldn’t see my feet …


And finally, just a glimpse of the interior. I will be posting about each corner of the room in more detail throughout the week (with the exception of ‘Etcetera’ on Wed, if you don’t care about the apartment you might not want to come back til next Tuesday).

These last 3 photos were all taken w/ my Wide angle lens and my back to the front door …

(the white door on the right of this photos leads to the bathroom)



Didn’t I tell you? Not cleaned up at all …. that bike in the middle of the floor is pretty much permanent.


So, there you go!

Your first little glimpse into where we have been living for the last 6 weeks and will probably be living for at least the next 9 months or so …

Tomorrow: a look at our “living room”