Today was our second winter Fresh Fork CSA pickup.  It was our first in the dark!  It’s hard to get used to the time change.

I was super excited for today’s offerings.

Here’s what we were expecting this week:

  • 1 whole pasture raised chicken
  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 lb. baby leaf lettuce
  • Quarter peck Winesap apples
  • Choice of collards, Swiss chard, kale, or watermelon radishes
  • 1 lb. krispy treat granola
  • 1 lb. grassfed ground beef
  • Approx. 1.25 lb. chorizo sausage links
  • 1 pie pumpkin (for making your own pumpkin pie)

Here’s a group shot:


We got the braising greens for our “choice of”.  Apples are always welcome in our house.  I tried freezing chunks for use in oatmeal today.  I’m anxious to see how they turn out in the morning.


We love freezing pumpkin puree for use in pancakes and other dishes throughout the year.  You can never have too many pie pumpkins.  We’ll have salad with our mixed baby greens.


These sweet potatoes are good size and will probably end up in sweet potatoes fries for the kids for lunch one day soon.  They can’t get enough of them when I make them.  I just put the chicken in the freezer, but due to space, I’ll probably thaw it to cook on Sunday to make for a few easy meals to start the week.


The ground beef was starting to thaw, so I put it in the fridge.  I think we’ll make some fajita flavored for tortillas this weekend.  The chorizo is one of my favorite Fresh Fork products.  It’s frozen, but it won’t last long.  I will probably take it out of the casing and cook it ground for use in salad with quinoa, black beans and olives, etc.


In addition was bought 2 more yogurts ($5 each) since there isn’t a pick up next week.  Also, we were gifted a few watermelon radishes to try.  We’ve never had them before.


We didn’t get our granola and I’m not sure if it was on the truck, but we are checking on it.  It’s shelf stable, so we can get it later.   We’re actually out of granola, so I make make a batch this weekend since I’m in the mood for it.

I love that many items this week don’t have to be used right away.  It’s nice to have an easy week once in a while.


It’s hard to believe that I’ve been back from Hawaii for over a month and I still haven’t written all of my posts about my trip.

The last day in Oahu, we made a stop at the Dole Plantation.  It was on my list of things to see since I had never seen pineapple growing before.  I didn’t think it was worth the time on a bus to go, so I was glad that we had a car on the last day.


We didn’t have a lot of time, so we opted for the 20 minute, 2 mile train tour.


It was very commercial, but I still was able to see many things growing that I hadn’t seen before.  The mango reminded me of my trip to Africa where many times people were selling them at the side of the road.


Lychee fruit always looks weird in the store.  I didn’t know that it came from a tree.  The photo on the right is pineapple.  I never realized it was planted in the ground.  It was very interesting to learn about.


Toward the end of the ride, we saw this picturesque reservoir.


At the end of the trip, they gave everyone a sample piece of pineapple.  It was the best bite of pineapple that I have ever eaten.

We ended our short visit with a little shopping in their highly commercial gift shop.  We didn’t buy much since most of the items came from China and had nothing to do with Dole or Hawaii.


When we had kids and they started getting teeth, we had to figure out how to brush them.  It’s not the easiest thing to keep a toddler occupied and interested.  We had learned early on that we should be brushing their teeth until they are 7 or 8.

One day when I was brushing, I started singing, and between Stephen and me, a song eventually emerged.  It’s now sung at least twice a day.

So, I asked Stephen to help me type of the words to “The Toothbrush Song”.  Nick has a dentist appointment this week and I hope the song is paying off.

(Sung to the tune of “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush”. I scrub 1/3 of the upper or lower arch with each verse, so that every tooth gets its share of brushing by the time the song is done. – Stephen)

The is the way we brush our teeth,
Brush our teeth, brush our teeth.
This is the way we brush our teeth,
To make them clean and shiny.

Isn’t it fun to brush our teeth,
Brush our teeth, brush our teeth?
Isn’t it fun to brush our teeth,
And make them clean and shiny?

Because we don’t want cavities,
Cavities, cavities.
No, we don’t want cavities,
So we’ll make them clean and shiny.

So we’ll brush away yucky plaque,
Yucky plaque, yucky plaque.
Yes, we’ll brush away yucky plaque,
And we’ll make them clean and shiny.

The is the way we brush our teeth,
Brush our teeth, brush our teeth.
This is the way we brush our teeth,
To make them clean and shiny.

Isn’t it fun to brush our teeth,
Brush our teeth, brush our teeth?
Isn’t it fun to brush our teeth,
And make them clean and shiny?

The end.


On Saturday, I went on a field trip with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  I’m working on a naturalist certificate.  As part of my required hours, I can pick from a variety of classes and trips.  This trip was to the Medina Raptor Center.  Here’s their mission from their site:

The Medina Raptor Center is in its twentieth year of helping Ohio’s Wildlife.  We are a state and federally licensed facility dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of birds of prey.  Our mission and focus also include educational outreach programs that utilize live birds of prey to educate children and adults about raptors and their role in the ecosystem, and the need to preserve habitat.  We are a 501(c)(3) non profit organization and support of our programs is tax deductible.


Here are our fearless leaders for the day.  Laura on the left is in charge.  She has such a passion for helping the wildlife.  Stan is from the museum.  He leads many trips, but got to enjoy much of this tour.


While we waited for everyone to gather, we watched the trumpeter swans in the pond.  It was fun to watch them.  They like the ducks, but they chase the geese away!  At some point, people were dropping off cats to the center.  They’d just pull in and dump them.  Laura put up cameras to catch them and they were fined.  But, as a result she has 19 cats now.


Here, one of the volunteers (Everyone is a volutneer.  No one is paid.) shows us some of the food.  The entire top shelf is mice.  On the right, trays are prepped for the next feeding.


We got introduced to quite a few of the educational birds.  They were beautiful!




The center is a collection of buildings like these.  It looked a bit like you were going camping at Girl Scout cabins.  The center can hold about 50 birds at a time.  Since about 1/2 are permanent residents, that leaves around 25 that can be in rehabilitation at one time.  I enjoyed hearing about the process that the different birds can go through.  My favorite was when the birds go to mouse school.  They get trained to catch mice for food to make sure they will be able to find food when they are released.  They even have cameras to watch the birds from the office!


The trip could not end without a visit from Migisi, the resident, female, Bald Eagle!


What a beautiful bird!


Today, my friend Sarah had her annual dessert open house.  She has a sweet business and has an open house so customers can sample the goods and place orders for the upcoming holiday season.

Since Stephen was running a marathon (26.2 miles!) today, I took the kids with me.  The best part of the event is getting to see friends.  Most of them don’t like to be photographed.  But, my kids are used to it.

I brought along our portable DVD player to keep them occupied.  They also tried a few sweets.  I’m finally back on track again, so I didn’t partake.  I did however bring my own piece of homemade honey caramel which was delicious.  It was nice to be in a supportive environment without any pressure to EAT!  That being said, I did spend time at the table getting things for the kids and telling newbies how awesome certain things were since I had tried most of them last year.


Here’s just a sampling of the delicious treats!  It’s also my first try at posting a collage.


We had a great time despite the lack of naps for the kids and can’t wait for next year!


Today was our first pickup for our winter Geauga Family Farms CSA.  For the 6 week winter program, our pick up is on Saturday at St. Noel church in Willoughby.  For the most part, this works well for us although there is the occasional time when we have other plans on Saturday and would prefer not to bother.

Here’s a group shot of what we received:


2 types of lettuce


Sweet potatoes, green onions


Lacinato blue kale, wheat bread


Daikon radish, green bell pepper


Cabbage, acorn squash


We’ll enjoy the lettuce in salads this week.  We have some other salad greens as well and they will mix nicely together.  We can’t get enough sweet potatoes.  Lately, I’ve just been slicing and baking them.  We have been using the onions and pepper in unstuffed cabbage and will make that again this week.

By the way, I had no idea we had lacinato blue kale.  I was able to check with the farm reps and get a speedy reply!  I’ll probably cook it like my other greens.  I usually saute them with garlic, onions, peppers and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

The Daikon radish always stumps me.  We’ve made “chips” and soup before.  I’ll have to see what strikes me this week.

I was surprised that we didn’t get eggs.  I thought we were going to get a dozen eggs and a baked good each week.  I’m guessing that with the abundance of other items still available that we will get eggs some of the future weeks.  I’ve been enjoying the local eggs, but I wasn’t out yet.

It looks like a great week!


I’ll spare you the photos, but my knee/calf/leg still looks like it ran into a train.  I’m glad to say that the swelling is going down.  My biggest challenge now is a large hematoma on the front of the knee.  It’s making it hard to use stairs and bend without discomfort.  Except for that, the whole injury is a ton better than 8 days ago when the injury occurred.

Unfortunately, I’m pretty good an knee rehabilitation.  This is my 3rd significant injury.

The hardest part is my workout schedule.  I was finally back to solid long workouts just 2 weeks before this fall.  Now, I am starting over – again.

This week, I did go to the JCC on Monday or Tuesday since I had 3 extra kids while my friend had her baby.  It was probably good for me to take a rest.  On Wednesday, I did 30 minutes on a stationary bike.  It was slow and all about range of motion.  I kept the bike going just fast enough that the TV didn’t think I stopped.  It was about 40 RPM and didn’t make me sweat.  That being said, it felt good to stretch out my leg.

On Thursday, I went to the water aerobics class.  I wore a floatation belt to keep me from too much impact and only did 1/2 the class.  The water felt great, but I didn’t want to overdo it.

Today, I did another 30 minutes on the bike.  I don’t really think I over did it, but I’ve been crabby most of the day.  I think I just get frustrated with taking it easy.  It’s also hard to WANT to cook and clean when you have a bum knee.  With a fridge full of fresh vegetables, I want to use or preserve things before they go bad.

I’m encouraged that my knee will be better each day, but I’m also realistic in my thinking that it could take several weeks for the hematoma to absorb.  Meanwhile, I’m thankful that it’s not more serious and I’ll keep plugging along!


Today was the first winter pick up for our Fresh Fork CSA.  Generally, we’ll be picking up every other week, but the first few pick ups are off schedule due to the upcoming holidays.

We are still picking up at Beachwood High School on Thursdays.  The pick up times are a tighter with our pick up scheduled between 4PM and 6PM.  We still have the option of picking up in Cleveland Heights later if we ever get in a jam.

Thursday is our extra busy day since Nick has a swim lesson at 4:30PM.  It’s conveniently just down the street from Beachwood High School, so we just picked up our CSA on our way home.

For the winter CSA, there is not an option for small, large, vegetarian or vegan.  Everyone gets the same package.

Here’s what we were expecting this week:

  • 1 Boston Butt Roast, 5-6 lbs.
  • 1 bunch cylindra beets with tops
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2-3 green peppers
  • 8 oz. mixed salad greens
  • 2 bulbs hardneck garlic
  • 2 ct. seasoned pizza dough balls
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese

Here’s a group shot:



We had our choice between a boneless or bone-in roast.  We chose the bone-in.  It came frozen and will become pulled pork in a couple of weeks.  I saw an appetizer that used shredded pork in a wonton wrapper that I would like to try.  I just need to find whole wheat wrappers or make my own.

We haven’t had Harvard beets for a few weeks.  So, these will go into that dish.


I’m thinking we might be having delicious pizza this week.  We got green peppers, spinach, fresh mozzarella, garlic (1 large bulb), and bread dough.  The spinach was a “veggie choice” selection.  Instead of the tomatoes, we got to pick between spinach, onions, potatoes or tomatoes.  I love the spinach!




The mixed greens aren’t my favorite, but I know they are good for us.  They’ll go well with the pizza.  We haven’t had cauliflower lately and it’s a family favorite, so it will make a nice side dish over the next couple of days.


Extra are still available at the back of the truck.  We picked up another yogurt ($5).  I haven’t decided how much we really use in a week, but it’s more than one.  Also, my banana bread recipe uses it and I feel like baking soon.  This winter, I want to try making my own yogurt, but I’m not sure we’ll ever get away from buying it.


The winter CSA is a bit more low key than in the summer and we didn’t have any line when we arrived just before 5:30PM.  I hope that trend continues as it starts to snow soon!


Today, we made a trip to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  Like many of our Wednesday evening trips, we ate outside by the dinosaur.  Sally had fun running around in the leaves.  It was a perfect fall evening.


At 6:15PM we had a scheduled trip up to the observatory.  The observatory is open Wednesday evenings from 8:30PM until 11PM weather permitting.  Since Nick and Sally go to bed earlier than that, I made arrangements with Clyde to see it earlier.  We timed things perfectly and got to see the moon through the telescope before the clouds rolled in.

Nick had wanted to see the observatory ever since an episode of Bob the Builder where they built an observatory to see the comet.  It’s amazing the things that are learned from some of the PBS shows.

With the end of daylight savings time coming soon, we should be able to go to the observatory a few more times this winter.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to see Jupiter and a few of its moons on a future visit.

We love being members of the museum.  There’s always an opportunity to see something new and different.  It never gets old.


Last Tuesday, the weather was beautiful.  We aren’t going to have too many more bright and sunny days before the snow flies.  We had seen the last piece of the Lincoln Electric wind turbine on a truck heading west on route 6 one day a couple of months ago.  Since then, we had seen the turbine from the highway on I-90, but we had seen it close up.

(Hi, this is husband Stephen. I’ll pick up the story here…

Back in March, we were in Willoughby Hills when we saw a strange and large truck drive by. It was hauling a huge industrial storage tank, or so we thought. “Let’s follow it and see where it’s going,” said Lyn, to my relief, because that’s exactly what I wanted to do! Nick and Sally initially didn’t understand, but once the  changing traffic let them get a good look at the truck, they threw in their wholehearted support for our mission.

The elaborate effort involved was fascinating, even for something as simple as turning a corner. The truck had to stop while people from the escorts made adjustments to the rear wheels. Then it inched around the corner with close monitoring from the crew and sometimes more adjustments. Here, it just finished a turn onto Richmond Road:

Wind turbine in transit

We started following the truck at 7 o’clock. At 7:20, we said, “OK, ten more minutes, that’s all!” By that time, the truck started down a lonely industrial parkway. We still had no idea where we were going, but we tried to guess from the corporate signs out front. With that quiet road, though, there was no way anyone could think that we just happened to be going the same way any more!

Wind turbine in transit

The truck eventually reached Babbitt Road, where it crept under a railroad bridge with mere inches of clearance, after the escort crew made a bunch of adjustments to the wheels. Perhaps they lowered the suspension, or even let air out of the tires, so it would fit.

After this long, we were dying of curiosity to know what we were following. A storage tank for bulk plastics? A section of grain silo? We had no idea, but it was close to 8. (Ten minutes? Who said ten minutes?) Nick and Sally were tired and we needed to go home. Just before we turned back, we spotted a man in business attire taking pictures of the operation. We asked him, and he enthusiastically explained that we were watching the arrival of the last piece of Lincoln Electric’s new wind turbine. I don’t think it took much more than the words “wind turbine” for Lyn to resolve to take Nick and Sally to see it when it was finished.

Lyn picks up the story from there…)


The turbine located at Lincoln Electric’s world headquarters at East 222nd and St Clair in Euclid.  We packed a picnic and set off for a visit.


It’s a mammoth sight to see up close.  It’s 443 feet tall and can produce enough energy for 686 homes.

We lucked out since one of the Lincoln Electric divisions had a nice picnic site out front.  It was especially nice for the kids since the other direction they could see trains.


The wind turbine, trains, sun, and a picnic made for a great outing!