Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Vennard Birthday Celebrations!

Hubby's kids and grandkids came over for a birthday bash for Hubby, his son Kenny, and his grandson Noah.   All their birthdays fall in a 2 week period.

We started out by letting the kids help decorate the birthday cake.

Elsie adds some frosting.

And Noah adds some more!

And then Elsie adds just a bit more!

The finished product!!

I wonder what Hubby got for a gift??

We made Eggplant from our garden, mashed potatoes (because Hubby insisted we couldn't have his kids over without making mashed potatoes!!) and homemade pasta.

I figured Noah and Elsie would get a kick out of helping me make the pasta.

Finishing off the meal is Noah, Wendy, her boyfriend Brian, Matthew and Kenny.

And Noah couldn't resist bringing in his Halloween costume and showing us the mask!

After dinner the kids went upstairs with Hubby and played some music while the adults stayed downstairs and chatted.  It was a great birthday celebration for three great guys!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Apple Picking.......and more!

One of my absolutely most favorite days of the year is Apple Picking Day!  When I had a preschool program, I took the kids Apple Picking on their first field trip every year.  And now, it's become a wonderful tradition to take our oldest grand daughter every year.   Our local apple farm closed a couple years ago, so we had to find a new one.   Cider Hill Farm was recommended to us, and I was quite pleased with the place.

Emily and I are ready to roll!

You begin with a wagon ride to bring you up a big hill to where the apples are located.   Since it's later in the season the apples were, as we suspected they would be, already picked at the bottoms of the trees.  So Emily had to use any means necessary to get the apples up high in the trees.

We picked mostly Cortlands because we love them both to eat and to make pies and apple crisp.
Munching on an apple while picking is permitted!

Thank goodness for the wagon ride back down because those apples were Heavy!!!

Emily said she already had a couple of  big pumpkins at home but she'd like to pick out a small one.   She chose one with a big stem, so she can paint it to look like her favorite animal.....a Narwhal!

I had to re-create the pumpkin picture that I try to do every year.  This year she was a bit too big to sit on any of the pumpkins!

As usual, I had to have some apple cider donuts.   While I was in the bakery, I picked up a whoopie pie for Hubby and and some chocolate chip cookies for Emily.  Add a jug of cold apple cider, and we were in business!  

When I asked Emily if she still wanted to come to our house to make some apple pie, I was very happy to hear her say, "Of course! That's the best part of the day!"

She really loves using the apple peeler/corer/slicer.   She took great delight in going as fast as she could to create as much juice as possible!

And when it came to rolling out the dough.....the more flour the better!!

Last year we tried to make a tie-dye pie but the colors all mixed together and it looked pretty bad.  This year, we decided to go a different way.

We made different colored dough, and Pepere taught her how to weave a pattern on the top crust.

Sometimes it takes four hands!

And.........ta da!

While the pies were baking, Hubby and Emily had a chance to play some music together.  Emily played Pepere's Ukulele while he played either guitar or piano.  She played her new favorite, "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You."  And Pepere took her upstairs to listen to an Elvis recording of that song.

Meanwhile, Memere volunteered to clean up the kitchen....not an easy task with these two messy bakers!!

Finally it was time for the pie to come out of the oven!
We were glad that the colors held even after the pie was baked.

And Emily enjoyed her first taste of apple pie!  She never wanted to try it before....but she loved it!

Such a great day and a great way to spend time with our beautiful grand daughter!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Topsfield Fair!!

I must admit, after the debacle we had at the other fair-that-shall-not-be-named, I was a little worried about going to the Topsfield Fair.......even though we'd been there many times without a problem.

Hubby and I took the day off so we could go during the week.  Hubby has a buddy whose house is right behind the fairgrounds and creates a parking lot on his lawn at fair time every year.   We left the house to get to the fair just when it opened at 10am.   And it all went perfectly!   No traffic, and we were only the second ones to park in his buddy's lot.   A very short walk to the back entrance, and we were into the fair!

Hubby and I like just wandering around, seeing whatever we come upon. Then later in the day we check the map and go see whatever we missed.

We had some fun in the Pig House, although all the baby piggies were still snoozing.

In the cattle barn were a couple of giant steer.   This picture does not convey how massive he is.

We got to pat this little darling.

I loved this fuzzy faced sheep!

Hubby gives a little sheep some lovin'.

We also got over to see all the bunnies and poultry.  The Fair had these tags you could get by finding the "7 Wonders at the Topsfield Fair."   We visited the Beekeeping building as well and should have gotten a ribbon for finding the Queen in the hive!

The giant sand sculpture.  Despite the appearance of some black clouds, we never got more than a few drips of rain all day.

This stage was a lot of fun!  This performer had all the kids up on the stage to bang on drums.  Later in the day was another man playing all children's songs.   This is the stage our friends, The Kelly Girls, will be playing on this Sunday!

Of course, there were plenty of games to be played.   We didn't indulge, but Hubby had me take some photos of the colorful displays.

Then it was time for the pig race!  It's always a different name, but Hubby and I love this very corny part of the fair!   I couldn't resist these two little boys who got some pig snouts to join in the fun.

These were called "Swifty's Racing and Swimming Pigs".

The pig handler is holding a tiny 5 week old pig.  This little guy did not race, but he did swim!

It was pretty hard to get a photo because those pigs are fast!

Naturally, eating the amazing food is a big part of going to the fair.  Hubby always loves some Polish food.....stuffed grapeleaves, potato pancake, etc.   It's a good thing Hubby didn't take photos of everything I had at the fair!  That would have been a lot of pictures!  I consider Fair Day to be Eat Anything You Want Day, so I had an Apple Cider Donut and cold Apple Cider, Fried Dough, a Quarter Rack of Ribs, Homemade French Fries, and an Ice Cream Cone.   We also bought some Kettle Corn to take home.

We saw some really good musicians.

I always love the Craft Barn.  Beautiful quilts and lots of other art including paintings, photos, sewing, knitting, stained glass, rug hooking, etc.

These are some of Hubby's favorite guys.  They are called Boots and Britches and they have an Old-Time "RV" they bring around to the fairs, then they sing some of the old standard songs.   They have some great stories and are very entertaining!

Finally, it was time to go.  Hubby and I don't go on any of the rides, but the gate we leave through goes through the Midway.  It was actually kind of cool to see all the colorful rides with the lights flashing and hear the people screaming!

Thankfully, it was a wonderful day at the fair.  With this successful outing, I'll be looking forward to going to the fair for many years to come!