Chick Date

chick dateJan asked me on a date today.

He said he would pick me up as soon as he got home from work and then we would drive through the beautiful countryside on an adventure to pick up the week old baby chicks he bought from a guy on the Swap.

I like dates. I like baby chicks. I like drives through the beautiful countryside with my husband. So of course I said yes.

We took off in the Geo (the little tin can on wheels that Jan drives) across miles and miles of gravel roads.

And all those gravel roads were covered with new gravel.

Trust me when I say that driving on new gravel in the tin can car is not an enjoyable experience.

But we finally arrived at the farm of the nice older man who was selling the chicks.  This fella was quite the character and entertained us for at least 15 minutes with stories punctuated with “dadgum” and “cotton picking” before he produced the chickens from somewhere inside the house.

We pronounced them perfect and paid him.

Then he continued, without a breath, for another twenty minutes with more “dadgum” and “cotton picking” stories.

We finally pulled ourselves away and took our box of chicks to the car.

I climbed in first and Jan handed me the box saying, “You better hold them.”

So I did.

Off we go, in the Geo, down the gravel road covered with new gravel, with a box of week old chicks in my lap.

Did I mention the fact the Geo makes makes strange and wondrous noises – especially when it is bouncing along on new gravel?

All these noises and wild bouncing frightens the little chicks. Do you know what little chicks do when they are frightened? I immediately wished for a thicker box as that tiny car started to smell very ripe.

I, of course, got a nose full and was praying for deliverance when my husband announces, “I think the guy we get our honey from lives down this road.” And he turns down a gravel road in the opposite direction.

The bumpy turn on new gravel really sets the little chicks off and they attempt to fly out of the box on my lap.

So now we are taking the long way home, in the Geo, on gravel roads with new gravel, while I’m holding a box of week old chicks who are pooping up a storm and trying to fly in my face.

It was a long, smelly ride.

It is safe to say that I did not enjoy the beautiful countryside, nor could I enjoy the lovely fragrance of the wild plum blossoms that lined the ditches on both sides of the road.

At least he came through with the adventure part.

Trust me when I say that I plan to be the only chick on our next date. 🙂

The Orange Chair Adventure

Three generations of women.

One grandma. Four aunts. A slew of cousins.

One day of adventure.

One amazing niece who hosted and made the arrangements.

Many miles traveled to enjoy a day of memory making.

EmporiumA flea market. Antique stores.  Curiosity Shops. The Emporium.

Giggles. Laughs. Secret purchases.

Crazy driving.

El BashasA Mediterranean lunch.

Discovering gyros, schwarma, and garlic sauce.

orange chair paradeFinding the perfect orange chair and recruiting cousins to help carry it out of the store, across the busy street, and down two blocks.

Then watching two amazing aunts figure out how to get it in the back of the mini van already packed with bodies and purchases.

cousin photo shootSeizing photo ops to remember the day.

A snapshot in time.

Precious people.

Precious memories.

mom and her girlsAnd of the course – the big orange chair.

Priceless.

Of Bridges, Parks and Puppy Chow

My niece Sarah came to visit.

10665206_10204999968018216_6736673193094802581_nWe love her.

We love spending time with her.

We love going to thrift stores and antique stores with her. She always finds the craziest things.

10686652_10204999970258272_8071903550618517225_nLike the same creepy cupid print in every place we shopped. It was following us.

We love driving back roads with her and soaking up the beautiful fall views.

And laughing.

10620800_10204999973138344_6768824139870526135_nLots of laughing.

And puppy chow and pot de creme and raspberry scones and pumpkin cheese cake muffins.

And silliness.

1554528_10204999970858287_155935240697903953_nAnd long walks and deep talks.

And beautiful parks with bridges.

10670228_10204999971338299_7207709068947523214_nWe love our Sarah.

Come back again.

Soon.

A Visit from the Folks

My folks were here last week. 🙂

That sentence makes me smile.

They haven’t been here in almost a year. Although we had seen them frequently through-out the past year (2 weddings, a graduation, a camp-out, bridal showers, grandpa’s funeral, and even an early Christmas celebration), they hadn’t been here.

At my house.

So we had some catching up to do!DSC_0085

We had games to play, projects to work on, and a birthday to celebrate.

We had a trip to town – which included grocery shopping with my dad, a stop at the thrift store and coffee for the girls.

Of course – we visited both of the Amish stores so Mom and Dad could stock up.

And one afternoon Mom and I even escaped to a quilt store. As we drove out of the driveway we both realized that we had forgotten our cell phones and left my dad and 3 teens in charge of the house.

I think we went a little giddy with the freedom! After increasing our fabric stash at the quilt shop, we stopped at the newly-opened tea room for afternoon tea and gi-normous chocolate hazelnut muffins.DSC_0093

That sentence also makes me smile. 🙂

After consuming a few cups of tea – our highly caffeinated minds thought it would be a good idea to drive into the next town and find the thrift store.  And since we were right there – we hit the grocery store and dollar store.

When we escape – we do it right!

Thankfully the house was still standing when we returned. And everyone was still alive. The dishes were even done.

And we might have started a new tradition for the next time they visit!

Which we hope is soon.

Very soon.

Dead End Adventure

Just when you think all is normal – things take a turn!

We had spent a long weekend with my family at our annual Camping Trip at Dolliver State Park.

1011159_10200136474912170_384301849_nLots of food.

Lots of fun.

Lots of silliness.

Lots of bug bites! 🙂

Jan left early – on Sunday night – to check the livestock and go to work on Monday. But the rest of us stayed one more night.

That’s when things took a turn to the unusual.

We were in the middle of packing up in the morning when a sudden rainstorm hit. Talk about a torrential down pour!

Then the electricity went out leaving us sitting in the dark dining hall eating sandwiches while mini lakes were forming all around us.

Now that’s a memory we won’t soon forget!

But that was just the beginning of the day’s adventures!

We got the van packed up and Pedro started the 3-1/2 hour drive home through intermittent heavy rain and strong winds. We were about halfway home when the transmission went out.

Boom. Just like that.

We pulled off on a side road and waited for rescue to come.

DSC_0005There we were – sitting on a dead end.

Four hungry, tired kiddos and me – in a over-packed mini van that smelled strongly of wet tennis shoes.

We called Jan – who was at work at the time. He had driven the Geo that morning, which wasn’t very helpful since it will only hold four people if 2 of them don’t breath.

He had to drove home (the opposite direction), get the mighty Suburban, then drive up to get us, picking up a car dolly at U-Haul on the way.

Poor guy.

This was going to take a while.

We watched Duck Dynasty on Pedro’s laptop, read all the magazines we threw in the car at the last minute and took naps.
Then we finished off the chips and made a big dent on the scotcheroos. Pedro would have eaten the left-over corn but we couldn’t find a spoon.
And we waited.
We didn’t drink any of the pop or water we brought because several of us needed a bathroom badly, and the corn in the fields wasn’t high enough to cover us and there was probably poison ivy and ticks in the ditches.
Still we waited.
Three and half hours we waited.
Finally help arrived and the old 1996 Suburban pulled that fancy pants mini van all the way home.
I guess you just never know what a day will bring.
So always go to the bathroom before you get in the car.
And never leave home without chocolate.