what to do about pounds of raspberries.

Last week I picked a lot of raspberries. Well, correction. Matt and I picked a lot of raspberries and Letty did not. Letty wanted to roam free, and as I was in a magnanimous mood I allowed it. My sister had discovered a new farm and she was kind enough to share that information with me as I love raspberries and I am on a fruit freezing kick this summer. Shenk's Berry Farm was the name and picking was my game. 

Have I mentioned I eat raspberries with a little bit of cereal? Like multiple times a day? Yes? Good glad we have that cleared up. I've been frequenting the local farmer's market every Tuesday but that can still get a wee bit pricey and then I'm prone to not being the best of sharers (my berries!). When I heard that this place had them for $3.25 a pound I couldn't have grabbed containers any faster. Seven pounds and a few tens later.... here I am. With many berries to be put on my cereal and many more bags of berries in my freezer. I am sharing with Matt who is kind enough to let them soak into his chardonnay while I watch from the sidelines. But what else should I do with them? I'm thinking they would make a mean cheesecake in the future... While I go Pinterest - photos!


the summer of the baby shower. part one.

That would be part one of three parts. For my one of three new nieces. Hashtag mind blown. 

Last weekend my sister-in-law Holly had her baby shower at the Trackside Room in a little town called Stevens. I am going to keep the words and the pictures to an absolute minimum because girl has her own blog and I think she should get to ring this bell. But here it is in all it's glory. To say her mother was excited would be an understatement. I'd also point out the Planning Committee did an excellent job if I do say so myself.

 Oh to be a fly on the wall when Holly directs Steve as to gift and nursery organization. Modified bed rest and all.


i met a kiwi and she came and stayed with us in our home.

I never done anything like this before. (I am saying that in my best dumb Brooklyn accent, ala Sex and the City and the episode where she judges the firemen. Just like Ricky. Who's sisters made him do it.)

Back to the task at hand. Sarah. One of, if not the first blog friend. For the non-blog community this may seem odd (in fact most everyone who knows me in real life was confused). But picture it like an old-fashioned pen pal. We read each other's blog posts (letters), we wrote comments (return letters) and so on. Eventually it became ridiculous to be emailing and commenting and messaging through Facebook and Twitter all at once and so we exchanged cell numbers. Yes, like dating. Then not only do we read the posts and comment back and forth but we text. You get the picture? Before you know it this person who you have never met becomes a dear friend. Strange, yes? One night in the months of winter's past the Grand Plan was hatched that when Sarah and her husband visited Manhattan this summer they would drive the few hours and also meet me and mine. And so they did. And I told them they were staying in my home should they not mind the noise and the early wake-up call that noise provides. Which I was assured they did not.

Which brings me to this past weekend.

And.... it was great! After the hustle and bustle of Manhattan I would like to think that some peace in the country was just what they needed. We lounged around and talked and then talked some more. I made lists  (!) because that's me. 

Things that possibly could have happened but most certainly did not happen:
- We were catfished. But they showed up and looked and sounded just like I thought they would. Also we all looked up the definition of catfished. 
- Mass murder. Since I am typing this we all know they didn't kill us in our sleep. Or vice versa. 
- Awkwardness. Not a fan of it. Thankfully they arrived and it went off all smooth like. It was like kick your jandals off and make yourself at home!
- I offend the expats and disgrace my home state and/or native land. At least I don't think I did that. Sezzeh? Spelling? 
- Feel ridiculously dumb. Sarah is a petrophysicist. Say whaaaa? And she told me once her husband is the smartest person she knows. Soooo...cue crickets of the nervous variety. Turns out they are very smart and very down to earth people.

Here is the only picture I took all weekend because I have no idea why:

Things we did over the weekend that Sarah and her husband can cross off their bucket list. Legitimately:
- Saw the Amish
- Drove through a covered bridge
-Saw fireflies. The fireflies was actually one of the coolest things to witness. They were so excited (particularly Sarah) because it was a first. I think you should always try and be a part of someone's first firefly viewing. I even caught her a bunch so she could get a closer look. We take those fireflies for granted you know. 

Things Matt and I learned:
- Fanny doesn't refer to your butt down under. It refers to your lady parts. Never look at a fanny pack the same again, eh?
- If you ask for a Fosters in Australia that's bad. Very bad. 
- All kinds of interesting New Zealand facts like they have not a single poisonous creature and how they handle their taxes and so on. 

Now that they have flown on back to Texas for a spell I'll just resume life as normal except for the addition of a few new words for some not so new things. Jandals. Uni. Verandah. I'll call Austrailia 'Aus' (pronounced Oz). And just generally sound more intelligent. 

- Loz. Over and out. 


millions of cherries

There is a place not too far from here that grows things. This place grows cherries. This place grows peaches. This place grows apples and it grows pumpkins. We can go here from June to October and go here we do. 

I have dragged my mother and sister here often enough, but always in the fall months. This was the first time they both went to Cherry Hill Orchards for actual cherries. Dark.... sweet... cherries. See? The proof is in the picture.

The weather was the most perfect cherry picking weather. The kids generally cooperated and Letty did many more renditions of, is it right (ripe)? She's a great fruit picker I've found. Although I fear when it comes times for peach season I'll be many many many pounds of peaches in trouble. I drove away from this cherry orchard five pounds of cherries heavier. Most of which I froze. To do what with I'm not sure but I am open to any and all suggestions.


a trip to sodor: a day out with thomas

There is a staple around Lancaster County that I have not gone near since I was a child, and that staple is the Strasburg Railroad. My one and only memory of this place is of my younger brother perched on my grandma's lap cowering into her jacket every time the train peeped it's horn (is it called a horn?). He had a conductor hat on and he was quite the adorable little toddler. We have it on video. Anywayssss..... David loves Thomas. He can't say Thomas. He says mama. Also short for Mickey Mouse, mom, milk and more. The alliterations of the word are unending....but suffice it to say he loves him, regardless of pronunciation.

So when Thomas was coming to town again my interest was peaked and I considered the image of my scared little brother and also the other similarities those two share (mainly their lack of reaction to any and all physical pain, general rough-ness, and typically fearless nature) and decided I would roll the dice and attend. After all David is still under two and therefore free so if he hated it no foul right?

Thankfully I had my Stephs there to show me the ropes. This wasn't her first rodeo. It's a well oiled machine as only Sodor and useful engines should be. The trains run on time. The photo opp after the ride is quite speedy. There are little other rides for the kids to go on that are included with the price of admission. And toys. Lots of train tables and toys. And music. Avery also gifted us with her rendition of The Song That Never Ends, otherwise known as Let it Go. Oh and Letty got a tattoo. 

But back to the trains. This day was for the boys as they are choo-choo obsessed. I am not over-exaggerating in the slightest, even though I tend to do a wee bit of embellishment from time to time. They love their trains. They love their Thomas. They yell at each other when one or the other is holding on to Percy. They lay on the floor and stare at the wheels as they go around. Serious business these trains. So yes, the day was for them.

They treated the train as seriously as they treat their wheel watching endeavors. Once they got past the initial OH MY GOODNESS THERE IS THOMAS AND I LOOOOOOOOOVE HIM kicking and squealing and clapping thing. Oh yes and they compared bellies, waved at passerby's, and took their crocs off to air out their piggies.

After that hot hot day we went straight to a local creamery and got delicious ice cream. It was the cutest little place and I wish I could have taken more photos but David was doing his thing where he doesn't have any bones and Letty needed her ice cream yesterday soooo.... only this one photo. If you are ever in Strasburg hit up their Creamery. I can speak for the coffee and the chocolate flavors as they were delish. Avery had about five other kinds and she deemed them all good as well.

I foresee many more a Strasburg Railroad visits. I would particularly enjoy the Christmas train complete with Santa and sugar cookies and carolers. And perhaps they would have a Hogwarts Express in which case let me go grab my owl and I'll be right there....