Saturday, December 26, 2009


Every year I receive a barn calendar for Christmas from my mom. I remind her to order it and she orders it and that is how it's been for at least 8 years. It is published by the people who publish Country Magazine and if you have never seen that magazine let me tell you the photos are to die for.

So yes 8 years now I have gotten THE MOST GORGEOUS calendar ever. Every barn has a little blurb about it underneath; who lives there, if it's been in their family more than one generation, what the barn's purpose has been through history and where the barn is. I immediately flipped through this year's calendar and saw that two were in Ohio; one in Wayne County (an adjacent county to me) and one in Auglaize County (I've been there but it's far away). I had seen neither in real life. 8 years of calendars and I've never seen even one of the barns in real life.

Do you know where this is going?

I ALMOST PEED MY PANTS WHEN I FLIPPED TO NOVEMBER AND SAW A BARN IN ABSAROKEE MONTANA! Not only have I seen AND PHOTOGRAPHED that barn, on facebook it is my "album cover photo" for my Montana trip AND my caption is, "could be in a barn calendar" !!!

Next goal: find that barn in Wayne County :).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Tradition: TubaChristmas

Tucker Jolly himself! Yes, that is his REAL name!

It's like Where's Waldo....can you find me?

TubaChristmas is a strange obsession:

I got out my TubaChristmas buttons to take the above photo and was shocked to see I've played in 20 TubaChristmases over the years. WOA! Canton, Akron, Medina, Wooster, and Columbus, but none compare to Tucker Jolly's Akron TubaChristmas. It is the oldest one in Ohio and by far the best. I've only missed one since 10th grade! I'll tell you of a guy who has missed NONE: Tucker Jolly. In fact this was the 30th straight year Tucker stood up there directing the mass of 500 tuba players and the Mayor of Akron even declared December 19, 2009 as Tucker Jolly Day. He's a tuba professor at the University of Akron. Let's all hope he never retires!

Friday, December 18, 2009


The week before Christmas break has got to be THE LONGEST WEEK of the year BY FAR. I think this week felt like 250 days long and today felt like 300 hours long and 10th period felt like 10000 minutes.

But now I'm home on my couch and life has turned good!


In other news, I think the ice on the pond beside our house is WAY thicker than last Sunday and I'm ready to skate once darkness falls (can't let the neighbors see me haha).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

1.5 Inches

Being married to an icefishing fanatic combined with having a pond 30 feet from our backdoor has its advantages. Nick is out there everyday chopping holes, drilling holes, jumping up and down, all while dreaming of when he can sit on a bucket and catch a fish through the ice.

This week cold night temps created the smoothest ice I've seen in at least 8 years. Bad news: it was thin and probabably not going to get to the "safe" 3 inches I'd need it to be in order to skate. Well we are both crazy so you can pretty much figure out what happened!! I had towels on hand in case of an 'accident' and I stayed near the edge, where if I went through I could still stand up, but nothing went wrong and it was totally great!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Back in the Game!!

For some reason, my house swallowed my GPS. Along with my purple bathing suit, my password sheet, and a mix of other things. Yep, haven't seen it since October! In fact I'm not totally sure it made it back from our trip to NYC. I saw it in Scranton PA but never again. Nick swears he saw it in our house after the trip but he's a guy and what does he know? LOL.

So yeah. Not being able to go geocaching was a killer because once pumpkins and cross country are over (late October), geocaching season starts (ok there really is no such thing except in my mind). This curse turned into a blessing because we got a NEW ONE AND I LOVE IT!!

Dakota 20.

Touch screen and the best part is it saves all the notes and hints right in there so I don't need to carry around a GPS and my I-pod anymore. Even better: the touch screen works with gloves on. :)

Up there are some pics from this weekend; we went up towards Cleveland to look at a used truck (yep Nick is considering upgrading because his S-10 has been beat to shreds over the years!). We didn't have all day but enough time to see some cool things.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Compost and Christmas Cards

What do we do in November, when the season has passed and the cover crop is sprouting and there is nothing better to do? Drive up and down streets stealing people's leaf bags! LOL. Yep, we do this quite often in the dark and it is actually quite fun. Not as fun is then slicing them open and dumping them on our larger-than-life compost pile.

What else do I do? FILL BUBBLES LIKE 2 HOURS A DAY!! Blech. With the ammount of seed requests I've been filling on a daily basis, I came to the decision yesterday that I am not doing Christmas cards this year. I am too poor from already spending $40+ on postage that the people are short on, plus my hand is permanently cramped from writing, plus just the concept of mailing even more stuff is making me crazy. Don't be offended if I don't send you a card, just be understanding and I'll be back in the game next year for sure!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Random Blog Link

Happened upon a few new blogs of young couples lately. This girl had been trying to get pregnant since last March and by following her blog the last month or so I could tell she was still optimistic but getting frustrated. I admire her so much for her openness to talk about this with the world! But it made that special moment that much sweeter when she could finally tell everyone her good news.

Not only would I not be able to talk about an issues like that with the world, I don't even think I could talk about it with my mom! I'm trying to figure out how long I would be able to hide a pregnancy from my family. 1 month, 2 monthes, 3 monthes, 4? 5 monthes, 6 monthes, 7 monthes, more???? Ok I know 6 and 7 would be tough (LOL) but seriously!! I avoid awkwardness and how awkward would it be telling my DAD?!! I do see my parents everyday; EVERY SINGLE DAY. How long until you think they'd figure it out?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Yep Christmas is here a little early this year but awesomely worth it: I FINALLY FOUND AND PURCHASED HANGING SNOWFLAKE LIGHTS!! My front porch was made for hanging snowflake lights but for some reason I just could never find them in the stores. THIS WAS THE YEAR (Thank-you Lowes). LOVE THEM! They even twinkle :).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hoot Hike

My favorite animal BY FAR is the owl. If I could just have my own eastern screech owl, I would be happy for ever! SO CUTE!

So imagine my happiness when I saw Stark Parks putting on a Hoot Hike starting 1 mile from my house! YIPEE!

What was the trouble? The online signup said it started at 7 (and so did the confirmation email) but the newsletter I had gotten in the mail said 6. I know I know, it's only a mile away so why didn't I go at 6 AND at 7 to be sure? BECAUSE I'M AN IDIOT. Yep it was at 6 so at least 10 of us who showed up at 7 missed the Hoot Hike. But they people who made it at the right time didn't hear any owls so GOOD FOR THEM!!
At least the lady let me see the 3 she had in her van :). These are owls they keep because they are too injured to be released back into the wild (most got hit by cars). They are used for educational purposes.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Back to Life

Well now that pumpkins are over this blog can get back to being a mix of themes: geocaching, country, life in general. First I have to locate my GPS that my house ghost has hidden. Now that I can't find it, the itch to go geocaching is getting WORSE!
Can't forget to mention that maybe in the next year this will become a mommy blog! Just throwing it out there, not trying to jinx things. TRIPLE EEEEEEEKKK!

In other news, this year I've gotten my seasonal flu shot AND my H1N1 shot so now I just have to avoid common colds, 24 hr flu, tuberculosis, meningitus, strep, etc at school. What a bunch of germy kids. I am germ-phobe TOTALLY. WISH ME LUCK!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Papa Hawai'iloa

So I guess I was in "Time for Kids"! Super cool that a 2nd grade class read it in Hawaii, googled me, and is now writing me asking about pumpkins! They even have a blog / class page.

In other news, this showed up in my mailbox today. From an unknown person in an unknown country! It is one thing to see lots of online articles in different languages, but to actually hold a newspaper from another country that you totally can't understand is totally surreal!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pumpkins and Art

An artist I am not. Just ask my mom! Everyday in 7th grade I'd come home crying because my art teacher was threatening my perfect GPA with a possible B. Well believe it or not, the Department Chair himself from the University of Maryland College of Art google-stalked ME!! He wanted to cast my pumpkin so he could sculpt it!

Through a weird twist of fate (the carver Scott Cully from Oregon couldn't come as planned because of a family death), John Ruppert was able to get his wish. He drove from Maryland with a flatbed truck, crane, and a LOT of plaster this weekend! Nick and I helped and he finished in a little over 16 straight hours (WOA I KNOW!). What an interesting guy.
I am very excited about all of this. This sort of imortalizes the pumpkin in a way I'd never had imagined. I can't wait to see how many replicas he makes and where they end up! He's got 17 replicas from a pumpkin he cast in 1995 all around the country.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Time Change

This blog wouldn't be a true representation of me if I didn't make my annual "I HATE THE TIME CHANGE SO MUCH I WANT TO DIE" post.

So there you have it. I will soon be getting SADD and I will just sit on my couch and eat Doritos until spring.

In other news, regionals is tomorrow so hopefully the girls can make it to state (and suprise us).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Big Pumpkin in the Big Apple

Wow Wow Wow. That's all I have to say about the fact that a giant pumpkin landed me in Rockefeller Center on the Today Show yesterday morning.

I declared back in highschool that I would be perfect fine with never EVER going to NYC again. I changed my mind. Might have been the classy hotel NBC paid for us to stay in. Or the fact we had DRIVERS to take us around (those were the most interesting people to talk to!!! Turns out Tom Hanks might not be too nice afterall!). I'll post a TON more pictures on the trip someday!

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Monday, October 12, 2009

The Picture Seen 'Round the World

Life has been a surreal blur this past week or so. Nothing has really sunk in and I just feel like everything is a whirlwind. TV cameras showing up at school unannounced, lots of people stalking down my school email address, newspapers wanting to come get pictures, radio channels wanting interviews. I am on the list of yahoo's most emailed pictures. I'm also in a newspaper in Europe and New Zealand among others.


Pretty cool stuff. However, I'm actually thinking my record will fall Oct 21st in southern Ohio of all places. If it's going to go down, I'd rather have an Ohioan (and a friend at that) do it. But I'll keep my fingers crossed that he goes 1699. LOL.

Next stop: New York City!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


4 days later I'm still speechless.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Handy Hubby


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I Lied

I lied; the most exciting day in the patch officially occured today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ESTIMATE = 1603 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

What Made You Move?

9th grader: So where do you normally like to go on vacation?

Me: We like mountains! We normally go places such as Montana, Alaska, Oregon, West Virginia, or Washington; anywhere we can hike and be away from people. We aren't really big into beach vacations.

9th grader: Did you like grow up on a farm?

Me: Yeah sorta.

9th grader: So then what made you move to Jackson township?


First off, I still don't know how that conversation went from vacation talk to farms in one sentence but the ending made me cringe as much as laugh. I then explained to her that YES I grew up in Jackson (and in fact STILL LIVE on the same street as I always have). Just one drive down our street and you can see dairy cows, giant pumpkins, turkeys, chickens, pigs, peacocks, goats, 4 barns, tractors, and much much more. She must not get out of her little bubble often. LOL.

Youth of today just don't really have a concept of local history. Only one generation ago, this township was nothing but farms. No mall, no Strip; just a small farming community. Well today there is less than one dozen farms left. Definitely more multi-million dollar homes than cows. I feel lucky to have grown up the way I did. It is my goal that my kids grow up in a similar way someday. In the meantime, I will continue to try to educate the youth of this community!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Exciting Day

Today was one of the most exciting days EVER: we measured my pumpkin and it is officially "estimating" over the current state record!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG.

I can't help but keep thinking: If I'm doing this well, how many OTHER people will also be showing up with monsters this year?

Friday, August 28, 2009


So my pumpkin now estimates over 1400 lbs and it is only late August. What does that mean? A whole more month of me being nervous about something going wrong!!! EEK!!! But on the plus side, it is a whole more month of potential growth. :) What a wild ride. I've never seen anything like this in my life; nature is awesome awesome.

In other news, we were presented with a "golden ammo can" for 1000 geocache finds. It was full of goodies and the guy who presented to us got so much stuff he had to put it all in a separate bag too! He did a really cool presentation and had researched us very well (bells, pumpkins, frogs, etc!).

School started this week and it has been a blast (but very tiring). I love the early parts of the year because the kids are still afraid to talk. LOL. Excellent.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Patch Update

This summer started slowly but August came with a bang. High temps and plentiful rain have given me some record growth rates. My largest pumpkin is 51 days old and over 1100 lbs already. (To compare, Nick's biggest last year didn't break 1100 until day 71). I'm praying it doesn't split; often if pumpkins grow too fast they basically blow up and split open. Then it is all over! My pumpkin grew 80 lbs in the last 2 days. EEEEEEKKKKKK!!!! If it does go down, well, it was one heck of a ride!

And in other news, school starts for me tomorrow. *tear*

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Last week I spent a week with over 100 teenagers at cross country camp, Camp Shaggy XVI. Yep for 16 years this has been going on and I think it is the reason our team is as big as it is. I've gone to six Camp Shaggy's and it is just not the same now that Shaggy has died and we moved camp locations (no longer camp in tents!!!).

One awesome part of the new camp location: I CAN GO CANOEING EVERY DAY!! And I do go everyday. :)

This year the adventures included jumping off a large tree, going to the spring (as always), getting rescued by pirates in a thunderstorm, interacting with Amish fisherman and visiting the Green band at a neighboring camp. FUN FOR SURE!

I'm only posting pics of the "storm" since I don't really have authorization to use the pics of runners on this blog.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Family Tradition IV: Trip to Kidron

This tradition isn't really the whole family but more of a "grandpa and me" tradition. Sometimes a cousin joins us and on this day my sister went for the first time! In fact now that I'm thinking about it, my fav memory was when I was in about 3rd grade and my 2nd cousin went along. The feed mill had free bulk peanuts and we ate them the whole way home. Weird how you remember certain things like that.

The tradition is heading out to Kidron, Ohio to buy pigs at their weekly auction. It is held every Thursday and is quite the experience! There are Amish people everywhere so I didn't actually take pictures in the auction barn but it is neat to see. We go once per year in the summer to get 3 or 4 pigs to raise for butchering the next winter. If we are lucky, Pa-Pa stops at the Dalton Dairyette (my ultimate fav summer place) on the way home for ice-cream!!

Gotta get in line to pick up the pigs.

Stopping at the bulk store to get ThermFlo for pies! YUM!

Lineup of buggies.

I figured since you can't see her face it was OK to take her pic. Too cute not to. She had 2 super cute kids in the wagon behind her bike.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Morning in the Patch

Getting bigger!! Average of 37 lbs per day for the last 6 days :)

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!