Yesterday, we went tomato picking.  We went back to Rainbow Farms since they were the first ones in the area to open u-pick tomatoes for the 2011 season.  We last visited Rainbow Farms for blackberry picking. Other farms will have tomatoes soon, they are just waiting for more ripening.

We met our friends for picking and it works out well.  One of us stays outside with the kids and the other goes into the market.  That makes for a lot less unloading and reloading of children since we have 5 between us.  For tomatoes, you stop by the shed for 1/2 bushel sized baskets and head to the field.


Since our last visit, everything had great signs.  It was so easy to find.  For future reference, there is a bathroom with running water in this barn.  That turned out to be a good thing for us.


Seems that Nick and Sally liked the dirt more than tomatoes.


At some point, Sally was eating the dirt – yuck!  She also ate a tomato or two.


The tomatoes at Rainbow are field grown on the ground.  It was picked over, but we managed to pick quite a few tomatoes.  I ended up with 2 of the 1/2 bushel baskets – so 1 bushel of tomatoes.


You leave the baskets and transfer the tomatoes to containers that you bring from home or misc. boxes that can be found at the shed.  Since we had just picked peaches on Saturday, I had great boxes to use for bringing home my tomatoes.

Each 1/2 bushel was $9.  So, I paid $18 for the tomatoes.  I’m currently simmering some tomato sauce in the crockpot.  I’m going to can all of them, but I am unsure if it will be crushed tomatoes, sauce, paste or a combo.  This is my first time with tomatoes, so I’m still in the intimidated stage.  It won’t take long to figure out my process.


We’ll probably try out another farm or two for tomatoes while they are still in season.  Hmmm… I think I need to buy more canning jars, lids and rings.  It’s not even apple season yet!


My “little” brother Frank turns 21 today.  Happy Birthday!  You’re an awesome brother and I love you!
Frank was in town to visit over the weekend and we were glad to see him.  Here are a few pictures from the last couple of years.



 Posted by at 9:00 PM  Tagged with:

I was heading south on route 8 today as I traveled from Mayfield Heights to Akron.  When I approached Hudson and the Clarion Hotel, I noticed a few historical ambulances.  After I finished up in Akron and headed back north, I decided to exit at Hines Hill Road and check it out.

Turns out, this week is the Professional Car Society International Meet in Hudson.  Who knew that such a society existed?

The hotel parking lot is where the cars are displayed.  It’s at the intersection of Hines Hill Road and Route 8.


There were many ambulances along with some combo hearse/ambulances.


Elmo and Grey Poupon mustard were both highlighted in this one.  There was a whole row of hearses.




Vehicles are still arriving and will all arrive by Saturday for the official meet.  A schedule of the events, includes a drive in as well as a lights and sirens show.  If you are in the area, it’s worth stopping by this week.  About 120 vehicles are expected for the peak on Saturday.


I spent the day at Akron City Hospital.  My mom and my cousin both had surgery.

My mom’s surgery was 5 hours long and then we had to wait 2 hours to see her.  She’s doing fine and should go home on Wednesday.

My cousin has been in ICU since Wednesday when she gave birth to a premature baby and encountered some unexpected problems.  Today, was her 4th surgery.  She was able to hold her baby for the first time today.  We are praying that she recovers quickly and doesn’t need more surgery.  The baby is doing fine and that’s quite a blessing.

We spent most of the day walking from the Same Day Surgery waiting room to the ICU waiting area and back.  I should have worn my pedometer, because lots of steps were involved.

next up: more blueberry picking in the morning


 Posted by at 9:43 PM

Yesterday, we picked our first blueberries and currants of the season.  We traveled to Greenfield Berry Farm in Peninsula.  We had wanted to try this farm out during strawberry season, but there were too many farms and not enough time.  The family was already going to Peninsula today to visit a Farmer’s Market and go to Century Cycles, so we stopped by for a bit.  I ran into Michelle from the farm at the market and was able to verify that they were open for picking from 10-2 PM.  I also bought some local honey from her stand.  The downside of this farm is that they open at 10 AM.  This is a late schedule for my kids.  Most of the time, we try to be done picking by 10 AM so we can travel home, eat lunch and have nap time.

The farm is on Major Road, near the intersection of Oak Hill.  It was very easy to find and would be about 40 minutes from our house in Mayfield Heights if we were driving straight there.  It’s actually pretty close to 303/271 interchange.

Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits for U-Pick.  I love the ease of freezing and how versatile they are in pancakes, muffins, oatmeal, etc.  Blueberry season is fairly long and should be around for the entire month of July and maybe into August.

I loved the sign at the road for the farm.  The other one is near where you park.  It’s simple and effective.


After we talked to the farmer, we took our containers and walked a short distance to the field.  We past some nice flowers on our way.


Nick has really been enjoying all of the different farms.  Since this was the holiday weekend, Stephen joined us for some picking.  It was the first time all 4 of us went together.  He’s picking red currants here.  We didn’t pick many, but I hope to make a bit of strawberry currant spread or sauce.


Sally is starting to learn how to pick.  Too bad she doesn’t understand the colors yet.  Here’s a photo of Farmer Daniel.  He’s in charge.


We didn’t stay too long since we had errands to run, but we managed to pick $10 worth of fruit.  It’s maybe a quart and a half of blueberries and a cup of currants.  The prices are a little higher at this farm, but they are naturally grown, so no sprays.  It’s similar to organic but without all of the paperwork.  The farm is also part of the Countryside Initiative to rehabilitate farms in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park area.  I really appreciate this aspect of this particular farm.



Today was a very long day.  My family and I arrived early to a local hospital so my dad could have a heart catheterization.  To make a very long story short, I’m thankful for modern medicine.  I’m thankful for people like Dr. Thomas Fogarty, the inventor of the balloon catheter and Dr. Julio Palmaz, for inventing the stent.

Our day ended with a happy family photo (minus my brother).  Get well soon Dad!


 Posted by at 10:30 PM

Today was a long day.  My husband had surgery this morning and everything went well.

We had a hard time finding a sitter for the kids after our original plan didn’t work out.  Thanks to some good friends, we had coverage until 1pm.  We ran around the house this morning getting ourselves ready, cleaning up the house, making lunch for the kids, etc.

It was hectic to say the least.  We arrived at the surgery center and then waited.  They took him back for prep and I waited.  I got to see him before surgery and we waited.  They took him to the OR and then I waited again.

At 1pm, he was in recovery and our sitter dropped the kids off.  Then, the kids and I waited.  They played in the waiting room for a while, and we only had one meltdown.  After the meltdown, I retrieved the DVD player from the car and the rest of the waiting went much better.

At 3:30pm, we finally arrived at home.  We got everyone settled and then I ate lunch.  A bit later, we went and filled prescriptions, bought milk, and stopped to pay a bill.

At some point, when I was checking on my husband, I heard some commotion from the living room.  I’m not sure what happened, but it ended with Sally stepping on Nick’s glasses.  Instead of making dinner, we headed to the glasses store where we waited for someone to fix the glasses.

I was happy when bed time for the kids came and I’m happy that my husband is doing well.  I hope I can do something other that wait tomorrow.

Next up: plan to go to the J for a good workout in the morning.

 Posted by at 9:08 PM

We never made it to the JCC today.  Sally was up for a couple of hours last night.  We lose 2 nights of sleep per new tooth.  Last night, she got a molar.  We ran errands today and then played at the playground.  Nick rode his bike and Sally took a tricycle, but ended up walking.  They were both exhausted when we came home and took great naps.  Sally slept for almost 4 hours.  Nick slept for almost 3.  I was in heaven.

By the time everyone was aware and ready, there was not enough time left for a gym workout.  We headed to another park and then to pick up our Fresh Fork CSA.

After dinner, the family went out on our bikes.  Instead of just riding around the neighborhood, we ran errands.  Stephen rode his recumbent with Nick and Sally in the Burley trailer and I rode my single.  We rode to Target and Michael’s to pick up a few items that we’ve needed for a while.  It was great to get a ride in (about 4 miles total) and check something off the to do list at the same time.

Next up: physical therapy in the morning.


Today started out like a regular day.  The kids and I headed to the J and I did a mostly rehab workout.

The workout:

  • calf raises, 2 sets of 15
  • single leg balance, 5 times
  • bridging, 12 times holding for 5-10 seconds each
  • step ups, 2 sets of 20
  • ankle pumps, 2 sets of 20+
  • quadriceps sets, 2 sets of 10 on each leg
  • straight leg raise, 2 sets of 10 on each leg
  • triceps, 1 set of 12 at 60, 50, 40, 30 and 20 pounds all in a row
  • biceps, 2 sets of 12 with 10 pound dumbbells
  • elliptical for 3 minutes (this felt “ok”, but I didn’t want to push it yet)
  • 20 minutes in the pool (water bicycling, etc. with a floatation belt)

I’m starting to feel a ton better.  My knee is most sore after kitchen work with the side to side motions.  As long as I don’t do lateral moves, it’s doing great!  Physical therapy works.


After our trip to the J (and a side trip to get Nick’s glasses fixed AGAIN!), we headed to John Carroll University to meet up with Lisa.  She writes a blog called Life After Losing at  She actually went to high school with my husband.  One day he said, I think you’d like this blog and the rest is history!  We enjoyed our packed lunch in the cafeteria with the kids.  We talked about FitBloggin’ and blogs and enjoyed our time together.

Next up: day off of planned exercises, but will try to do a few of the physical therapy exercises throughout the day


I got up at 4:30am so I could leave my house by 5am and catch the Rapid at Green and Shaker.  That is the most eastern spot to catch the Cleveland RTA train.  On Sunday, the 5:40am is the earliest train.  It gets you to Tower City at 6:03am (a little less than a mile from the start of the race).  The continuing train to the Browns Stadium doesn’t run until 9am on Sunday.

I arrived at the Rapid Station without incident.  I didn’t see one car during my commute until I approached the station.  About 8 other cars pulled in.  All but one carried runners.  I was dressed to spectate and it was easy to strike up conversation with the runners.  5:40am came and went.  Then, it was 5:53am and a couple of the runners got in their car and headed downtown.  Right after that a bus pulled up to the station with “GREEN LINE” on it’s sign.  We’re taking the bus?  We all hurried on.  At this point, there were many nervous and running late runners.

Apparently, there was a flipped car on the tracks and the train couldn’t get to the station.  We asked the bus driver if he was taking us all the way to the stadium or downtown and he didn’t know.  He was flying west since there wasn’t really any traffic.  We passed the accident.  You can’t really tell in this photo since it was still dark, but there were a few emergency vehicles and a bit further down, a mangled car upside down on the tracks.


The driver ended up taking us to Van Aken.  He honked his horn to get the attention of an approaching blue line train and we all hopped on.  About 6:25am, we arrived at Tower City.  After purchasing my fare card, I headed to the starting line.  The race started and finished near Cleveland Browns Stadium.  This was especially nice since the stadium was open for restrooms and cover from the elements.


It quickly became clear that I was not going to be able to see my family before the race.  I did make it close to the start line in time to hear the national anthem and watch the start of the race.  Once the corrals cleared, I met up with the other spectators.


After chatting with Maureen, Erin and Frank, I headed to the finish area and they headed to mile 7.  All of our family/friends seemed to be doing the half marathon distance.

At the finish area, I saw Katie and Alicia.  I’ll be meeting up with them later in the week at Fit Bloggin’.  They were volunteers who spent a few hours passing out medals.


There were also lots of bananas waiting for the runners.


It was cold, foggy, drizzly and not the best spectating weather, but the races were fun to watch.  I was able to see the finish of the 10K, wheelchair races, 1/2 marathon and full marathon events.

I was alerted via text message as runners completed 10K and when they finished.  All of the runners that I followed completed the race and many had personal records or met their goals.  Here are the runners in our group from left to right – Carol, Holly, Mom and Justin.


Next up: orthopedic appointment for my knee in the morning.