Saturday, September 26, 2020
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Last Friday we took a trip to a local pumpkin patch. The little boys had looked forward to it all week and were so excited to go. We arrived at the pumpkin patch and they had a fun time, we looked at pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and sizes. But mainly they were impressed with the many "spooky" inflatables, particularly the Mummy in the outhouse, and Dracula in his coffin. There was a nice play area set up, a giant tractor built out of hay bales was a big attraction for the boys. Everyone selected their very own perfect pumpkin and then it was time to go. We headed off to a local McDonalds to pick up a happy meal for each boy and then to a local county park for a picnic. It was a beautiful September day and the boys enjoyed their meal and then burned of some energy on the jungle gym and a short walk around the pond. It was a lovely day out for the boys and grandma.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
The last Sunday of summer 2020. I made "the giant beef pot pie" for the family to eat and, I enjoyed some vegan baked beans and thirded bread. I spent Sunday morning baking bread to keep us going for the next few weeks. However the new bread supply dwindled quickly as the family arrived and ate their way through two loaves of warm from the oven bread. "The giant beef pot pie" is a family favorite this time of year, I make it in our largest cast iron skillet, which I also use to make "the giant apple pie", another fall favorite.
The weather was beautiful and all of the grandsons headed outside with our son Ben to play football, it was fun to watch. After eating it was time for family haircuts. Our daughter Amber is a hairdresser, she stopped working in the hair business about a year ago and now works for a dentist, but she still enjoys cutting hair and has a nice little side business going to her clients home to cut their hair. Every five or six weeks she does family haircuts. Little grandson Ralphie has lately refused to get his hair cut, but it was getting so long that this time his mom and dad (Taylor and Ben) said he had to do it and after a bit of coaxing he willing went to the chair!
Masen and I enjoying a late summer evening together.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Friday, September 11, 2020
Last Saturday we took a trip to Conner Prairie, it is about a two hour drive away and located on the north-east side of Indianapolis. My last visit to Conner Prairie was about twenty years ago, it was very enjoyable and I was excited to go again. I have to say it was a pretty disappointing visit this time around. We were blessed with beautiful weather so that was a plus, pretty much the only plus. The price of admission was quite expensive, and probably should be reduced while Covid 19 restrictions are in place.
A nice playground was added at some point since my last visit and the boys enjoyed burning off some energy after being cooped up in the car for a while. An added attraction was a giant tethered hot air balloon, it looked like fun if you liked heights, but I was unsure what it had to do with the early 1800's and seemed more of a way to extract money from visitors.
We toured the Conner farm house, built in 1823, due to Covid we were unable to go upstairs and could only peek through the doorway of each of the two rooms downstairs. We meandered on to Prairie Town, a representation of a small community in 1836, again most of the buildings were either roped off so we could only peek through a doorway, or closed. There were very few "in character" people wandering around.
The Animal Encounter was a joke! We had to wait in a socially distanced queue and finally were allowed into the barn, to see a geriatric goat, a goat kid, and a crate of chicks placed so far away from where we were allowed to stand we really couldn't see them. I believe the people working were embarrassed by the lack of animals and apologized and said there are some sheep but they were at the Vet that day getting a check up.
Our trek continued to the Tree Top Trail, another trendy feature added to "enhance" the visit, again I asked myself what on earth does this giant tree house, jungle gym have to do with the telling of life in 1800's Indiana.
Then over the covered bridge, this was the Civil War exhibit and it consisted of a few banners with brief statements about the Civil War and then on the other side of the bridge we "arrived" into the late 1800's, one building was open so we could peek through a door, and the very large, grand, Victorian farm house was closed.
I really feel the price of admission, $57 for myself and three boys, was a rip off. Surely over Labor Day weekend a full staff should be on hand, exhibits open, and plenty of animals to encounter. The whole experience was really rather lame and certainly not worth the four hour round trip of driving and the cost of admission. I surely hope Covid restrictions are to blame for the poor visitor experience and that this is not "business as usual" for Conner Prairie.
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Last Sunday evening we drove to Witmer Lake, near Wolcottville Indiana to see our daughter Emily and her husband Joe be baptized. It was an absolutely beautiful late summer evening and a lovely way to finish the weekend.
I made vegan bake beans from scratch. I soaked navy beans overnight. The next morning I drained and rinsed the beans and popped them back into the pan with a quart of water, a chopped sweet onion, chopped garlic, salt, a generous glop of molasses, a shot of worcestershire sauce and a squirt of ketchup. I put the burner on low and let the beans simmer for several hours. Once done I had a scoop of beans for lunch and divided the rest up into generous half cup servings. I put the scoops of beans into a cup cake pan and put them in the freezer. The next day I popped all the frozen lumps of beans out of the pan and put them into a large freezer bag. Now when I want some beans I just pull out a "lump" and have a perfect serving to enjoy.
Last Sunday I took a lovely fourteen mile bike ride, the weather was perfect, sunshine, light breeze, comfortable temperature, awesomeness. I love my bike and many years ago named her Delores. My mom bought Dolores for me as a birthday gift about twenty five years ago, we went to a specialty bicycle shop, The Cycle Path, (sadly it is no longer in business) and I was instructed to select a good bicycle. I chose Delores, she was described as a road bike, and perfect for everyday riding, and she has certainly proven to be just that.