Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Big E

Hubby and I usually like to go to a fair in the fall.   This year we decided to try something new and go to the "Big E".   This fair is held in Springfield, MA.  We found out it's not the usual agricultural fair we're used to.  It has more commercial stuff than like, and not as many animals, prize vegetables and crafts.  But we had a wonderful time and it was a gorgeous day.

You have to love petting baby goats.

There was a midway with rides....we chose not to go on those.

Tons of food...yea, we ate  our way through the fair.

Hubby's favorite...the Clydesdales
Camel rides...again we chose not to

Circus tent with miniature circuses.  We didn't get to see the real circus...the tent was too full.

I thought the coolest thing was the Avenue of the States.  A replica of each of New England's statehouses.  Inside was everything pertaining to that state.....industry, food, claims to fame.  

Sheep shearing

Sheep herding

A parade in the afternoon including the Springfield High marching band


Grown men wearing fezes driving miniature cars

More Clydesdales

Giant Pumpkins and Squash

Carved Pumpkin

Baby piggies

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apple Picking with Emily

Pepere and I started a tradition of taking Emily apple picking.  We all look forward to it - it's always been one of my favorite activities to do with kids.   We were excited to take her again this year.

Her favorite thing is the hay wagon we did it three times!

After the first time, we picked our bag of apples
It's always good to eat one as you pick

So many apples to choose from!

And what do you do when you have too many that won't fit into the bag?

Pepere teaches you how to store them in your pockets!

After the apple picking, it was time for another wagon ride

Then it's Memere's favorite part - snack time!

You just have to have those apple cider donuts, fresh out of the grease!
Emily chose popcorn......she didn't want the donuts.  (Are we sure she's MY granddaughter?)
After one more wagon ride, we picked pumpkins. 
 Pepere was very sad that he didn't get a single pumpkin out of his garden.  We chose three from the farm for our front porch. 

Emily felt so bad about Pepere's pumpkin patch, she made him a picture of it.



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes

Fall is just around the corner, and time to harvest what we sowed.    Despite having the biggest pumpkin plants I've ever pumpkins! 
Next year:
 1) We don't allow the vines to get eleventy-million feet long.
 2)  We hand-pollinate (there didn't seem to be very many bees)
3) we cut down a tree to shed more sunlight on our garden.

We planted zucchini and cucumbers.   No zucchini and only 2 cucumbers.

Next year:
#2 and #3 from above.

We planted green beans.  We got about 5 meals or so out of them. 

Next year;
1)  We take steps to keep the deer out of the garden so they don't eat the plants.
2)  We plant beans that will climb up a pole, so they don't take up so much room and they don't drag all over the ground.

We planted tomatoes.  We have tons of them!!

Next year:
1) We use tomato cages
2)  We don't allow the plants to grow six feet tall

Despite the problems, Hubby and I enjoyed our garden immensely.  It was rather exciting to go out each day and see the progress, harvest the vegetables, and of course, eat them!

Next year we do want to try to cut down a tree that blocks much of the sunlight.....even though I am opposed to cutting down trees.  This one is in the back of the yard, and doesn't contribute to the shade we enjoy when we sit in the yard.

We'd also like to enlarge the garden, and plant some other things, such as eggplant, peppers, onions and broccoli.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

New Walkway

Our old walkway....a little tough to mow the lawn.  And shoveling in the winter would probably be no treat either!
All dug up and ready to go

Of course a new "tool" was needed.  Hubby's been needing a wheelbarrow.

A dirty kid is a  happy kid!

Thanks to daughter Jamie for helping us haul 60 slate blocks and 10 bags of sand.

Working hard!

The level shows that the walkway is flat.

Unfortunately, it was also crooked, so 3 1/2 rows had to be removed and re-set.   For some reason we thought the road at the bottom edge of the walkway would be straight.

All done!!

Well, really.....he needs to put in the other edge, fill in the edges with soil, and support the stairs.  But definitely all done for tonight!  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How to Love your Grand-daughter

Now that I finally have a sewing room, I found that I love to sew just as much as I did years ago when my daughter was little and I made all kinds of outfits for her.   Now that I have a grand-daughter, I've been finding good excuses to make her new clothes.   (Grand-daughter #2 is still young, although I did make her one dress that I doubt she fits into yet!)

For Summer
To Start School

And now....since she saw a fancy skirt on a little girl when we went to the zoo, and said, "Memere, you can make me a skirt like that, can't you?"


Monday, September 3, 2012

Old North Bridge

Hubby and I had cause to go to Concord, MA this weekend.  Some friends of ours were playing a concert at the Old Manse.   The Old Manse is a house where the grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson lived  right beside the battlefield.  His family watched as the Revolutionary War began just yards from his home.

The Old Manse became the stomping ground for such luminaries as Emerson, Nathanial Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau.   It's now, of course, a museum where you can visit and hear the history of these famous Americans and see where Hawthorne and his wife etched poems to each other in the windowpanes.

Our first inclination was to bring our canoe and take a ride on the Concord River, then listen to the concert at the Old Manse.  But being the old, tired and lazy couple that we are, we ditched that idea and just went to visit the Old North Bridge and hear the concert instead.

Our Friends Play Their Tunes
Betsi Mandrioli
Jon Swenson

Bob Morse

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Karen's Rules for Grocery Shopping AKA- My semi-annual rant against idiotic people

Entering the parking lot:

#1.    Move your FAT BUTT along as you cross the parking lot.  Strolling along and chatting on your cell phone just makes me want to hit you.

#2.   Hold your children's hands in the parking lot.  Letting them run around like banshees is only going to give me a  heart attack.

#3.  While driving down the aisle searching for a spot, stay to the RIGHT.  It's just like driving.

#4.  When you are crossing and are not in a crosswalk, don't give ME a dirty look when I don't stop to let you cross.

#5.  Do not stop in the middle of the entrance and let your able-bodied wife, girlfriend, or whatever out of the car.  It just makes me want to "accidentally" ram the back of your car.

Inside the store:

#6.  When you must stand and stare at the grocery shelves while you contemplate what to buy...MOVE OVER.

#7.  When I move your cart so I can get through, don't give ME a dirty look.

#8.  When pushing your cart down an aisle, stay to the RIGHT.  It's just like driving.

#9.  If you let your children run around like banshees in the store, it's not my fault if I accidentally hit one of them with my cart.

At the register:

#10.  Don't chat with the cashier.  He/she cannot run the groceries over the scanner and talk at the same time.

#11.  When I say I want everything in the cloth bags, I do mean EVERYTHING.  Yes to the catfood.  Yes to the giant package of TP.  Yes to the laundry detergent.

#12.  When I say no I do not want anything in little plastic bags, I do mean EVERYTHING.  No to the meats.  No to the ice cream.  No to the Produce.

Leaving the store:

All the same parking lot rules as entering the store.   In addition:

#13.  Do not beep at me when I am sitting at a red light arrow and it says "No Turn on Red Arrow".  Especially when I have seen 3 different people pulled over by the police for ignoring that sign.

Thank you.