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Summer in October

October 8, 2007

Yesterday, I ventured out of suburbia and headed west into the farmlands of New Jersey to visit Wendy and her family’s farm for their harvest festival.

After outsmarting Mapquest, which tried to thwart my attempts by giving me faulty directions, I managed to stumble across Wendy’s farm. Much to my surprise, it was huge! The fire department was on hand with food, there was an animal farm, a corn maze, produce, pies and homemade jams and butters to buy and a hayride to the pumpkin patch! There must have been a few hundred people who came out on the sweltering October afternoon.

Our group, however, was made up of myself, Wendy, her friend Charlotte who lives on Long Island, Kim and her children, including Gena, who has diabetes and looked to be about 9-years-old. Oh, and we also had three dogs with us. After the group met up near the animal pens, we took a hayride to the pumpkin patch where we each picked out a pumpkin.


When we came back to the farm, we decided to venture into the Corn Maze. Wendy took a couple of maps in with us, but Gena was determined not to use them and instead we decided to use Lily, one of the dogs, as our guide through the maze. While we did make it out of the maze in about thirty minutes, I’m pretty sure Lily was just following the sounds of the people in front of us.

Gena and Lily leading the way.

Once we made it out of the Corn Maze, it was time to test. Whipping out our glucose meters – well, I did as I was the only Minimed pumper in the bunch. Everyone else had Cozmo and just used the Cozmonitor in their insulin pump. Being the only Minimed pumper is very atypical for me! Gena was low and I was still riding down a high from earlier. While we were all chatting amongst ourselves, a couple of girls next to us asked Wendy and Kim if we were diabetic. They started talking and the girls, who were sisters, told us that they had diabetes too! They were visiting their father who lived in the area and we just happened to run into them at the farm!

We chatted for a solid forty-five minutes about insulin pumps, being a young person with diabetes, how often we do – or in most cases don’t – change our lancet, fundraising, the Walk to Cure Diabetes and even how the weather affects blood sugar! Apparently the dramatic swings in East Coast weather can cause some blood sugar roller coasters. Since Oregon’s weather is pretty much a constant 40-45 degree wet winter for five months, I’ve never picked up any changes in blood sugar when it comes to the weather.

Eventually the girls and their dad took off for the movies and we gathered our things and headed to Fudruckers for dinner. Before leaving, we picked up our pumpkins and made a couple additional purchases. I bought apple caramel bread (baked by Wendy!) and homemade pumpkin butter, which are both delish!

All in all, a very satisfying afternoon – in more ways than one!


  1. Kim & Kids permalink
    October 8, 2007 10:56 PM

    Hi Allison,
    It was great reading your blog about our day at the farm yesterday! What an amazing and knowledgable young woman you are!
    Keep in touch and Gena says “HI!” I loved the pic of she and Lilly going thru the maze. now, I really believe that Lilly was well trained by her mom, Wendy, as to how to get thru the corn maze in record time. W/out out her, we too could have been wondering aroudn for over 2 hrs!
    The apple carmel bread was an awesome breakfast and the pumpkin pie was a great nighttime snack!
    Take care!
    Keepin gon Wlaking for a Cure
    Insulin is SO NOT a cure!

  2. Allison permalink*
    October 8, 2007 10:57 PM

    Thanks Kim! It was great meeting you too. Hope to see you guys again soon!

  3. Sara permalink
    October 8, 2007 11:48 PM

    re: weather affecting blood sugar…
    What do you mean?
    I know I have noticed that I use far less in warmer weather. Which in South Florida, let’s face it, is pretty darn often. Not sure if I have noticed any changes from the humidity.

  4. October 9, 2007 1:05 AM

    I am just curious – do you think less insulin is needed in the summer due to more exercise, or is the “season” an independant factor? My exercise levels are constant – I do not notice that I need less insulin in the summer. What I do notice is that in the spring and fall I am more prone to unexplained ERRATIC hypos. Allison your site is so beautiful! Has anything more been decided about the possible meeting for adult diabetics next year?!

  5. Shaaban Mpendu permalink
    October 9, 2007 2:08 AM

    They are so attractive. I congratulate the farmer

  6. October 9, 2007 4:31 AM

    Fudruckers–hah. Childhood memories flood back with the mention of that place! And I do miss the fall being here in tropical Taiwan, so it was a treat to see your photos and read your blog. Cool that there were so many diabetics together–rare that would happen!

    I like your new blog style.

  7. Allison permalink*
    October 9, 2007 7:44 AM

    Sara: I honestly don’t know! All the girls really said was that as soon as it got hot or cold, the way they reacted to insulin switched. I said I never had that experience, but then pointed out that I had never experienced a sudden shift in weather.

    Chrissie: The exercise might have something to do with it, but I think for them it was more like what you described during summer and spring… just completely erratic. And thank you! I feel bad for changing it again, but the font on the other layout was just too small… No word yet. We’re in talks with another organization. Hope to make an announcement soon.

    Amylia: Thank you! I’m glad I’m able to bring a bit of home to you. You should post pictures of TAiwan. I’m curious to see what fall looks like there.

  8. October 9, 2007 8:57 AM

    Nice photographs! I remember reading an earlier blog post from you about you wanting to focus on your photography. There’s a great opportunity to improve your skills at a one day workshop conducted by Nikon. It’s called the Nikon school for photography, and there are sessions in New York city this fall and winter. I attend their one day workshop whenever i want to recharge my photography mojo. More details at

  9. Sara permalink
    October 9, 2007 9:40 AM

    P.S. I use less insulin in hotter weather regardless of exercise.

    But on the other hand I have only been diabetic in Southern California and South Florida. Not a lot of ‘sudden’ weather changes happening in either place.

  10. October 9, 2007 4:26 PM

    Where do you find all those diabetics. I can’t find any. I”m so alone here in Southwest Florida. It’s got to be the Northeast. Next time I’m in Connecticut I’ll have to check around. Love your pictures.

  11. October 9, 2007 4:50 PM

    Mmmmm Fudruckers. They used to have these in Massachusetts also.

    Sounds like a fun day. I’ve never noticed weather related blood sugar changes. I’ll try and keep an eye out for it in future.

    Must go home – I think it’s time to bake some apple pies. I’ve got some Honey Crisp apples at home waiting to be used.

  12. Allison permalink*
    October 9, 2007 4:53 PM

    RichW: Honestly, I have no idea! Even I thought it was a bit unusual. I must be a magnet for diabetics. Or just loud. I tend to talk about diabetes loudly, so maybe they just hear me? Who knows….

    Bernard: Yeah, we have Fudruckers in Oregon too but I never went to it very much. It was fun. I think their menu has changed… I don’t remember there being so many options!

  13. October 10, 2007 7:41 AM

    Sounds like you had a lot of fun, and thanks for sharing the pics!

  14. October 10, 2007 1:31 PM


    I’ll have to get louder.

    I tried an Ostrich burger at Fuddruckers in Annapolis earlier this year and I fell in love with Ostrich. Looks and tastes just like good beef. I have heart disease so I have to watch my cholesterol and fat intake. I don’t eat beef. I have a great story (sad) about my dad eating a hamburger after 10 years of abstinence. He had heart disease as well. Anyhow, I LOVE Fuddruckers.

  15. Allison permalink*
    October 10, 2007 3:37 PM

    Maybe the next time we have an O.C. get together we’ll just go to Fuddruckers instead!

  16. October 11, 2007 8:59 AM

    I’m in.

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