Monday, September 27, 2010

Summing up

Lots going on, and a very neglected blog.  To sum up:

Number Two Son had his seventh birthday last week, and we celebrated by going to Valleyfair, a large amusement park just south of Minneapolis.  When I was a child we used to go here at least once a year, and it was the highlight of the summer.  So much fun!  Since then entrance prices have skyrocketed.  I can remember when it was $12 to get in -- now it's nearly $40!  That, coupled with us now living 200 miles away, have meant that our boys hadn't yet enjoyed the fun themselves.

 But Grandma and Grandpa offered to foot the bill (thanks G&G!) so we took them up on their offer and piled up the monkeys plus cousin Bethany, Uncle Bob and Aunt Linda for an afternoon of rides and fun.

 Graham was very hesitant at first -- the first ride we went on was the Merry Go Round and he didn't even want an up-and-down horse.  But he loosened up and soon was enjoying the Tilt a Whirl, the Scrambler and the kiddie rollercoaster.  Owen was far more brave, and went on all the roller coasters save the very scariest.

 The next day Aunt Kathy babysat the kidlets while hubby and I went on a picnic -- a picnic sponsored by Tour de Farm, an organization that hosts on-the-farm dinners with local produce using local chefs.  This dinner was held at the Oliver Kelley Farm in Elk River, Minnesota.  We met up with some old friends, Rick and his lovely wife Jessica, and had a grand time.  The food was just middlin' good (perhaps my expectations were too high), but the company was great and the location and weather beautiful. 

 The cosmos are blooming with such exhuberance, it makes me want to plant hordes of them next year.  These flowers fit right in with my idyll of a cottage garden, very calming and ethereal.  I have numerous garden idylls (cottage garden, production garden, formal English garden, etc.), and sometimes I feel slightly schizophrenic trying to achieve all of them at the same time.  Which will never happen, of course.  What I mainly achieve is a 'somewhat-productive-mostly-weedy-chaotic-mess' garden.

Hubby's brother Caleb and his wife Hope came out this weekend to help with a few home improvement projects.  We replaced all the old, battered screens on the front porch with storm windows, and then cleaned out and repaired the gutters.  Hooray!  The porch looks so much nicer, and we might actually get to use the space for something other than storage now.  Plus, we won't have to cover the screens with ugly tarps during the winter, to keep the snow out.  Double Hooray!

Like every autumn, there is too much to do and not enough time to do it.  Actually, that's usually true for winter, spring and summer too.  We still have two goats to shear (!), the garden to clean, the goat barn to muck out, the yard to tidy, potatoes to dig, etc. etc.  But this week looks like it will be shaping up nicely, so maybe we can hold off a little bit on our traditional first-frost date of September 30.  Fingers crossed!


Erin said...

You have been busy! And Valleyfair, LOL! I haven't been there since I was 12, nice to know it's still there :)

Mama Pea said...

A good balance of work and play. Getting away from home to enjoy recreation with family and then back home with family for help with the work!

I've still got garden clean-up to finish. Also all the other outside chores we want to get done before it gets really nasty outside and we can stay indoors to relax!

Mr. H. said...

"What I mainly achieve is a 'somewhat-productive-mostly-weedy-chaotic-mess' garden."

You just described my garden.:)

jenny said...

Hmm.. We have Kings Dominion where I live and I remember going multiple times in the summers. Tickets are now $43 and I just can't see coughing up nearly $300 for my family of 6. That's just crazy!

Ditto on the garden description-- sounds like mine, too! :o)

Jo said...

Hey Erin -- Yes, it's still there! A lot of the rides had already closed for the season, and it was all decked-out for Halloween, but we had a good time nonetheless. And no crowds!

Hello Mama Pea -- Isn't this weather weird? Yesterday it got to 90 degrees, today it was 80. When are we going to get our first hard frost???

Hi Mr. H. -- Your beautiful, extensive garden makes mine look like a roadside ditch! :)

Hello Jenny -- Yes, it's hard to justify spending that much money for a few hours of fun. That's why my kids love grandma and grandpa so much!