Tuesday, July 28, 2009

OVGPG Patch Tour

Every year the Ohio Valley Giant Pumpkin Growers organize a "patch tour" where they pick 4 growers that everyone can visit around the region. This is a loooong day because the stops are often an hour or more apart and even in separate states! But the patches are always AMAZING and the growers are world class.

So imagine my shock when we were asked to be on tour!! I'm pretty sure my family thought like 10 people would show up to see our patch because they had no idea what kind of event this is. They were in awe when over 100 people showed up at our patch Sunday from all over the nation. Wisconsin, Oregon, North Carolina, New York, North Carolina, Indiana, and Pennsylvania were all represented by visiting growers. It was a ton of work getting the patch in tip-top shape, but totally worth it to be able to show off our efforts.

We had 6 platters of cookies and went through 4 jars of pickles!

My friend drove his 1965 Mustang all the way here from Indiana!! I rode with him the rest of the tour; AWESOME!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Book with Geocaching

I requested this from the library as soon as I found out the main character Terra goes geocaching in the book. It is a youth novel but I am a sucker for those (hey I read Twilight didn't I). I am only on page 43 but can tell it is cool.
The book is stamped by the library as July 2009 so I'm sort of excited to probably be the first to check it out.
The absolute neatest thing? In the blurb about the author on the back, it says she has found geocaches all over the United States. AWESOME!

Monday, July 20, 2009


This is my wonderful mother holding Gimpy. I LOVE THIS PICTURE!! I will probably frame it for her because she HATES chickens and I laugh just looking at this pic. Let me explain Nick's chicken raising method and why Gimpy has been a royal pain in the butt for the past 2 monthes.

Nick read like 5 chicken books before embarking on this adventure and found this plan for a chicken pen for his liking. We move it twice a day over the land that will be next year's patch; this way the fertilizer goes right where we want it w/out ever having to scoop up poo!

You put the water into buckets that sit up top and it trickles into a hanging waterholder. Pretty nifty.

Well then Gimpy (we named him for obvious reasons) starting acting like he couldn't walk. Everytime we wanted to move the pen, he wouldn't move and if he tried to move he really struggled. We had to pick him up. Why do I think it was acting?

I made Gimpy his own area under a tree. He stayed there 2 days and third morning was gone. I thought he got eaten! Well 2 pm I was out in the patch working and heard SNAP. The livetrap had gone off! I thought we caught a cat. Nope it was Gimpy trying to get back into his pen (he knew where the food was haha). HILARIOUS!! Gimpy went on 3 more "field" trips staging his escape when it was dark and coming back by the next evening. By the 3rd trip, I figured out Gimpy could indeed walk VERY well, in fact RUN really FAST (I had to chase him to catch him). I put him back with the others.

But this story has a sad ending. By time Nick got home from Washington, Gimpy starting pretending he couldn't walk again. Nick decided to put him back in his "area" (against my wishes) and Gimpy diappeared with nothing but a trace of feathers a few days later. Nick thinks it was a skunk but I refuse to believe skunks eat chickens (we caught a baby skunk in the trap the night Gimpy got eaten). Who knows!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Almost a Decade

I was watching the news the other night and one phrase caught my attention. They were talking about how the Harry Potter movies have been captivating audiences for "almost a decade" now.


I'M OLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow how time flies. Harry Potter has a special place in my heart because for our first date, Nick and I saw the 1st Harry Potter movie (and not on DVD haha). Yep it was November 2001 and it had just come out that week! Of course we go to every movie that comes out now and I can't wait to go see the latest (hopefully tomorrow!).

Now the books are done but there is still that excitement of waiting for the next movie to come out. When the movies are over, it'll be a weird sad / empty / depressing feeling because I don't really want to close that chapter of my life.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Garden Update

Well peas are done (HALLELUJAH) so I've pulled and mowed over them. A few more days from now we will be picking pickles (EEK). I successfully kept everything alive when Nick was gone, even though he had me in tears the day after he got back!! I think he was comparing our patch to growers out west that he had visited (world class growers) and obviously our plants don't even come close. He didn't blame me but made me feel bad since I was the one caring for them for 10 days. Cool night temps are giving us low day 10 numbers but we'll see how that pans out as the season progresses. We are in a drought right now so his homecoming was VERY welcomed because it meant we could lay 2500 feet of drip tape!!

Stayed tuned for a post on Gimpy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ohio State Parks

This is an ode to the awesomeness of the Ohio State Parks. Not only do they allow geocaching in their parks (some states don't), THEY actually hide caches and sponsor contests!! AWESOME!

This year I did two challenges. One was new this year and involved one cache in each of the 19 state parks in Northeast Ohio. The other is an annual thing and has you find 18 caches in the parks in the "Portage Lakes Region" (don't be fooled this extends down to Jefferson Lake St Park which is over an hour away). I like that contest best because it always is a true "challenge" and it takes you to new parts of the parks every year; parts that you never knew exisited!!

Good times, good hikes, good friends. Ohio really does rock. And there are DEFINITELY hills in Ohio!

Here's some pics:

Every Portage Lakes Region cache (minus Guilford Lake) had an "Ole Man" and I always kissed him.

Remains of Sprucevale Pottery in Beaver Creek St Park. I bet there are ghosts near here! ;)

Last cache to officially finish 2009 State Parks things. It was my first 5/5 !!!! At Guilford Lake.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

THEY MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

An email with no text, just this picture, appeared in my inbox timestamped 1:48 AM. They had made it! I recognized the landscape immediately that it was them at the top because I had seen photos before. He could've typed one sentence ("having fun and miss you" or something) but I'll take what I can get.

Fourth of July was awesome as always with a giant family reunion of everyone from my grandma's side. I love it because it is the only time of the year I see that side and they are all super cool and country-minded. My great uncle owns a GIANT dairy farm and his kids / grandkids all live either on it or a mile or so away. One cousin married an Amish guy who quickly turned 'English' but is super funny and a hoot to be around for a day.
I've seen 5 fireworks displays in 3 days and going to one more tonight. A little obsessed. Although two were easy to see and just involved me riding my bike across the street and up a hill in the dark.
Finally in other news, I made a separte pen for "gimpy" the chicken because he is annoying me everytime I try to move the pen but no others have died. I've been polinating pumpkins EVERYDAY and am getting super nervous as the patch tour looms in the near future.

Friday, July 3, 2009

48 hours and counting

Before I sound like a complete weeny, I need to explain that I am pretty independent. Nick goes out of town on business ALL THE TIME (often for the whole week), leaving me at home alone. In fact, this year he was out of the state when we got robbed (and I slept in the house that night), for my birthday, and for our anniversary. I'm not really sure why he got chickens because they live 9 weeks give or take and he's been gone for 5 of them.

HOWEVER, this is the first time in 8 years I have gone 48 hours plus without talking to him. Normally he calls at least once per day when gone and it has been over 2 days now with no communication what-so-ever. Am I a worry-wart? Not really. But it would be nice to be able to hear if he was alive or not. I guess no news is good news in this case! I'd rather wait a few more days than have a hospital call me. I am just praying the weather is good and everything is going well.

PS a chicken died today (the only one so far)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Top 3 Montana Caches

OK so one was in Wyoming, but who is really checking. Doing my hw really worked out well on this trip. We were mainly going for "training hikes" so Nick could get ready for Mt. Rainier (HE IS THERE NOW!!!!). Every place we went was AMAZING (some didn't even have caches) and the places that did have caches were all the definition of awesomeness. These were my three fav caches that stuck out above all others.

3) Ringing Rocks - geological wonder where rocks ring like bells. There is only one other place in America where you can see something like this (PA).
2) Top of the World Geocache - definitely our highest cache to date! Over 11,000 ft in high and we were to the first to find this in 2009. No wonder, we had to trudge uphill in 32 degree temps and blowing snow!!

1) Highwood Mts Summit Series - we only had time to do 3 summits but it ended up being 9 hours and 14 miles of intense / steep / extremely gorgeous terrain.

Honorable Mention: natural bridges (triple waterfall I didn't know was there until we arrived....secret??!!!) and mystic lake (really lives up to its name)

Family Traditions III: Sour Cherries

At one point this week we had 6 family members picking cherries from the same tree. Here is Nick and my mom pitting on the garage floor. Totally not tradition. It is tradition to sit on the swing under the oak tree by the pond pitting together. Howevever when this picture was taken, it was 11 pm (we had been pitting LOOOONG after dark!). We did that everyday last week. Not normal.
I am a huge fan of sour cherries. Normally it's about 4 days of picking and pitting. This year turned into a full week plus some. I'm not even kidding when I say that we RAN OUT OF FREEZER SPACE and I did nothing but pick and pitt for 8 hours straight day after day after day. In fact we ran out of CONTAINERS too!! What a crazy crazy year. We ended up calling friends to come and take some off of our hands (but not after they had helped pick and pitt). It is weird how fruit trees do that (go in cycles). Next year I bet it'll be an off year. We have been eating every single cherry dessert under the sun for for fun.