I’m taking the plunge to Google calendar.  I used an electronic calendar when I worked in an office full time.  It was strictly for business.  All of my personal items have always been tracked on paper.  I don’t have a smart phone and paper has always seemed faster and easier.

Unfortunately, it makes it impossible for Stephen to keep track of the kids and I.  I still don’t have a smart phone, but I do have a tablet that will have the calendar accessible whenever I have internet access.

We just went through and added all of my current obligations.  It was much simpler than the paper one for things like Nick’s preschool which is reoccurring.  I’m still not convinced that this is going to work, but I’m going to give it a try.  I can always go back to paper, but I have a feeling it’s going to be full steam ahead.

Now, I just have to remember to look at the calendar on line everyday.  This is going to be an adjustment.  I’ll keep you all posted.

 Posted by at 9:16 PM

Well, this is the last pick up of the season.  20 weeks sure flew by.  Our miss our weekly trips to Whole Foods, especially since the store is finally back together after their reorganization.

Here’s what we received today:


apples, acorn squash


sweet potatoes, carrots


garlic, green peppers




This is an easy week with lots of things that we love and use all of the time.  We were out of apples, so those will go into oatmeal and lunches for the next few days.  Acorn squash is one of my favorites.  This one is a little past its prime, so I am roasting it the next time I turn on the oven.

We ate some of the sweet potatoes for dinner tonight.  They are fabulous.  I’m going to add the carrots to butternut squash soup this week.  It was my missing ingredient and magically appeared in our box.

Garlic and pepper will both go into an “unstuffed cabbage” dish that I am going to make in the crock pot on Thursday.  It’s swim lesson night and we are all hungry when we get home, so I need a good plan.

The lettuce will go well in salads and wraps for our lunches the next few days.

It’s been a great summer.

 Posted by at 7:35 PM

A few weeks back, a saw a Facebook page about lambs for sale.  I pondered it.  A couple of weeks later, I ended up ordering 1/2 lamb from Blue Egg Farm.  I’ve eaten lamb a couple of times.  I’m not sure if I have ever cooked it, but I’ll be soon learning.

Here’s what our 1/2 lamb looked like after processing:


We have lamb for stew.


We have lamb loin chops.


We have ground lamb.


We have lamb leg steaks.


We have a lamb shoulder roast.


We have a lamb shank.


And, we have a mystery non-vacuumed packed bag.


I’ve contemplated buying a half of a hog many times before and never went through with it.  I’m never sure if we’ll have the freezer space.  A 1/2 lamb seemed like a manageable amount to spend and store at one time.

I’m excited to give a few lamb recipes a try.  I hope that the kids like it too!

If you have any ideas or favorites to share, let me know.



Wow, what a great event!  Today, Fresh Fork Market hosted a customer appreciation pig roast & pot luck.  It was quite the event.  It was held at Hill N Dale Club in Medina.  We arrived right at 2PM and there weren’t too many people there yet.  The kids headed straight for face painting.  Kirsten did a great job and the kids loved it.


We didn’t have a mirror, so we took photos of the kids and show them to them.  Worked like a charm.  Next up was pumpkin carving.  Our kids aren’t quite old enough to work the tools, so I talked them into coloring them with a marker instead.


There were 3 sets of corn hole set up.  Quite a few people enjoyed them.  We also had brought chairs for Nick and Sally.  For a while they carried them everywhere they went.


There was a registration table.  We could get our deposit back or donate it to the Innovative Farmers of Ohio.  Mary Holmes their president and Parker Bosley staffed the table.


Most of the attendees brought a dish to share.  The dishes were labeled and set out in the pavilion.  It was quite the spread.


The pig was the main attraction.  Here, Trevor and Clark are checking the temperature.  It was a really big pig.


Kelly was our emcee for the day.  She did a fabulous job organizing the signage and activities.


Our family participated in and egg toss.


They were strong eggs.  I love this one with the egg mid-air.


Oh, and it rained!  But, Trevor put up and tent and the pig was fine.  We had tents to eat under and we didn’t let it ruin our festivities.


Nick and Sally didn’t even know what a 3 legged race was until today.  Sally fell a couple of times.


Nick didn’t want to stop, so Stephen swapped Sally and became his partner.


The kids went back for round two of face painting.


The played with (fought over) the umbrella.


We played awesome Fresh Fork bingo for bacon!  And then there was the pie eating contest.  No thanks, those folks were crazy.


We had a super excited winner too!  Before we headed home, Sally tried catching a few rain drops.


I never tried to count the number of people who came out, but I’m sure it was at least 200.  I can’t wait for next year!  Although, Nick has announced plans for us to have one in our living room tomorrow.  He wants to run the games and thinks Trevor should cook a pig everyday.


Yesterday, my week of learning continued with a water exercise instructor class for the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program.  The class was held at the JCC, so it was convenient for me to take the class.  Out of 13 participants, there were only 3 of us who had never taught an exercise class before.  I found the class to be very informative.  We learned a bit about the Arthritis Foundation, class set up, logistics, lesson plans, and most importantly the exercises.  The day was divided up with about 6 hours of classroom instruction and 2 hours of pool instruction.

During the pool instruction, we learned about recovery and rescue for a bit.  Then, we tried a few exercises with some of the permitted equipment.  We also had to swim 25 yards and tread water for a minute.  The bulk of the pool time consisted of us each teaching part of a sample class to the other participants.  It was fun!

After the pool time, we changed and headed back to the classroom for our test and wrap up.  I didn’t have any problems with the test and passed with flying colors.

To actually be certified as an instructor, I need to teach 6 classes in the next 6 months.  The JCC offers and Arthritis Foundation water exercise class three times a week. Even with our great staff of instructors, we always seem to be in the need for subs. I’m hoping to teach on a semi regular basis at some point.  The 6 classes shouldn’t be a problem for me to achieve.

Now, I’m considering getting the MS certification along with the regular water aerobics certification.  There is so much to learn and so little time.  Maybe I’ll write a bucket list soon.

 Posted by at 8:43 PM

Today was a perfect autumn day for a CSA pickup.  We had some logistical issues this week and at one point considered Solon, Mayfield, Beachwood, Hudson and Mentor as possible sites.  We ended up making it to our normal spot at Mayfield.  I was glad to visit with Kirsten and Robert for a bit during a slower time.


Here’s what we are expecting to receive:

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 3# sweet potatoes
  • 1 head cauliflower (some will be cheddar, purple, or green varieties)
  • 1 head leaf lettuce
  • 1 head baby Bok Choy
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 lb. chorizo sausage links
  • 2# cornmeal
  • 2 ct. red peppers
  • Red onion (s)
  • 2 ct. zucchini
  • Approx. 1.5 lbs. tomatoes
  • 2 ct. eggplant (or 1 if they are enormous)
  • 1 lb. pumpkin sage linguini
  • 1 quarter peck Cortland apples

They were out of slicing tomatoes.  I was happy since I was offered spinach as a replacement.  I have too many tomatoes in the freezer already.  Everything else on the list was dead on!

I’m behind on egg use a bit.  I see some hardboiled ones in our future.  Maybe I’ll make a small batch of deviled eggs for Sunday’s pig roast.  We’ll use the peppers in eggs and salads this week.


Last year, we found that either Andouille or Chorizo could be used in this recipe.  So, it’s definitely on the agenda for this week.  I remember it being extremely delicious.


I tossed the pumpkin sage linguini in the freezer since we have a busy few days ahead.  I’m sure it will be tasty.  I’ve never met an Ohio City pasta that I didn’t like.


I’m going to make a veggie lasagna this week.  I’ll use the squash and eggplant in that dish.


We haven’t picked any tomatoes from our garden lately.  I’m sure these will be welcome snacks.


I’ll sauté the Bok Choy for Stephen one day.  He likes the Asian flavors.  The apples will be great for our oatmeal.  We made all of our other apples into sauce.


The lettuce will go for salads.  The cauliflower will make a great side dish with some chicken we have ready to eat in the fridge.


To make make room for our 1/2 lamb, I’m making a pot of chili.  Some cornbread will make a nice side to go with it.


I’m glad it’s cooler out and love cooking this time of year.


Tonight, I headed down to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  The leaders and participants from the Capitol Reef trip got together at the planetarium.  We watched a slide show of photos that we submitted.  They looked super cool on the dome of the planetarium.  Jason also put together a bit of a show for us.  He showed us the sky as it would have been back in August and Utah if there weren’t clouds and we talked and reminisced about our trip.  I would go on another trip with Nathan, Jason and Michelle anytime.  It was fun to realize just how much I learned on the trip.  Once again, they rolled out the red carpet for us and it was great!

Sometimes I think I am addicted to knowledge.  I think my husband is rubbing off on me.  After our reunion, I attended the Frontiers of Astronomy Lecture that was held in the auditorium of the museum.   The lecture series is sponsored by the Case Western Reserve University Department of Astronomy, The Cleveland Astronomical Society and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  I had no idea what to expect.  I read the description of the lecture.

“Exploring the Extreme Universe with the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

Thurs, Oct 11, 2012; 8 pm

David J. Thompson, Ph.D., NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Gamma rays, the most powerful form of light, reveal extreme conditions in the Universe. The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has been exploring the gamma-ray sky for several years, enabling a search for powerful transients like gamma-ray bursts, novae, solar flares and flaring active galactic nuclei, as well as long-term studies including pulsars, binary systems, supernova remnants and searches for predicted sources of gamma rays such as dark matter annihilation. Dr. David Thompson will discuss results of these searches. Some results include a limit on Lorentz invariance violation derived from a gamma-ray burst, unexpected gamma-ray variability from the Crab Nebula, a huge gamma-ray structure associated with the center of our galaxy, surprising behavior from some gamma-ray binary systems, and a possible constraint on some models for dark matter.

Free and open to the public.”

After reading the above, I still had no idea what to expect.  Our reunion ended just before 8PM and reluctantly headed to the lecture.  I was shocked to see a full hall.  It wasn’t standing room only.  In actuality, there were probably 40% of the seats empty, but it was a great turnout.  I’m was amazed.  I still had no idea what I was doing there.  I don’t really know much about astronomy, let alone gamma rays.

As I sat down, I heard some folks chatting behind me about how they didn’t know anything when they started coming to these lectures.  Now after coming for a few years, many of the things discussed are familiar and after they hear about things a few times, it starts making sense.

I listened to David’s talk and watch the slides.  I’m not volunteering to teach a class on the Fermi, but I must admit that I was interested and not bored during the talk.

Thanks to Nathan and Jason for suggesting tonight for our reunion and suggesting the lecture.  I’m glad I stayed.

Taxonomy and gamma-rays in the same week, I wonder what Saturday’s docent class will bring.

 Posted by at 10:47 PM

No, I didn’t recently go to Israel to pick onions, but as you may recall, my friend recently moved there.  She sent me this post to share about onion picking.  She’s also compiling a “foodie list” of things for me to see and do when I have the opportunity to visit.

Today my family and I headed out to a field about an hour from us to pick onions. We weren’t picking for us, we were picking for a charity group that gleans fields that farmers have already picked in order to donate the food to food pantries.  The field we went to was in Nahalal (in Israel), and while it may be far from where you are, like I said, it only happens to be an hour from us. There were about 31 of us, so the crowd was sizable.


The directions were pretty simple: pick a row, pick every onion that is not rotten or too small, remove as much of the paper as you can, throw it in a bucket. They collected all the buckets and as a group we ended up filling two large crates (maybe six feet by six feet by 4 feet, but it was a guess).

We started picking around 9 a.m. when it wasn’t too hot, and kept going until 11:15 a.m. (when it was VERY HOT). The group stopped for fruit and water, and then everyone else went back to picking. My kids were done by then, and a friend of my husband who lives on the next kibbutz over heard we were around and stopped by to say hi. The group picked until about 12:15 p.m. and then everyone was done and ready to go. By the time we left a group of army recruits from the base nearby had shown up to finish the field, along with a bunch of employees from a corporate bank. They get a lot of volunteers, which is great, they have a lot of fields to cover.
Afterwards we took the bus to Tsfat, instead of home, and enjoyed dinner with a beautiful view of the Kinneret. A good day all around.  It is 7:00 p.m. as I type this and I still smell like onions. I’d never picked onions before, so it was definitely an experience. Next year I hope we get to pick something a bit more tasty and a little less smelly.

Thanks for sharing!  I can’t wait to hear about more adventures.

 Posted by at 10:17 PM

Next week will be our last pick up.  The summer season has flown by.

Here’s what we received today:


apples, butternut squash


huge kohlrabi, garlic


bell peppers, broccoli




Stephen and the kids picked 49 pounds of apples on Saturday.  I’m in the process of making applesauce.  I’ll probably add some of the apples from the share to it for variety.  I’m going to make some puree out of the butternut squash.  I’m also going to try a recipe I saw for butternut squash bean burritos.  I’ll use this recipe as a base, but I won’t be making them vegan.  I’ll use the garlic and peppers in them too.  The broccoli was a side for dinner.  All that’s left is a little bit that someone can have with lunch tomorrow.  The lettuce will make a nice salad.  It’s so fresh and crisp.  I’m going to roast the kohlrabi with some beets and radishes that I have left in the fridge.  I have a chicken thawed, so I will be turning on the over in the morning to cook a couple of meals ahead.  I’m picking up 1/2 lamb this week and need to make some freezer space.  There will be more to come on that purchase soon.


I’ve been continuing with my training to become a Cleveland Museum of Natural History docent.  I first wrote about becoming a docent a couple of weeks ago.

So far, we have covered astronomy, volcanoes, plate tectonics, earthquakes, rocks, gems, minerals, caves, Ohio geology and more.  I love this class!

We are basically getting an in depth tour all of the nooks and crannies the museum has to offer.  We are meeting many of the museum staff and educators along the way.  It’s amazing how many cool exhibits that I have just walked by in the past and never stopped to digest.

Each session we take a quiz which usually consists of a review of the previous session in the format of how we would use our knowledge with visitors.

My favorite thing so far is the rock and mineral touch cart.  As a docent, we’re able to take the carts out and use them to interact and educate visitors.  I can’t wait to practice with Nick and Sally.  I met another docent who had the cart out after our class finished with it on Saturday.  She knew all of the rocks and minerals inside and out.  She was great with the visitors.  I hope that I can schedule time to work at the cart with her soon.  As docents in training, we can learn a lot from the more experienced docents.

Next up we’ll be discussing taxonomy and climate change.  I’m excited to continue on my journey to become a docent.

 Posted by at 7:09 PM