Saturday, June 9, 2012

Far-flung farms and Little Disney

I know I've been gone for awhile.  I'll do a post in the near future about my excuses and catching up, but for now we had a very bloggable weekend so I'll just jump right back in here like I was never gone.
Friday.  We started out making a trip 10 miles south to pick up our CSA box.  I just LOVE southern Frederick county in June!  It's all beautiful farms surrounded by mountains.

We pass velvety sod fields backed by Sugarloaf Mountain:

Do you think they'd let me roll in their grass?

fields of wheat and corn:

Our mountains are more blue than purple, but we do have amber waves of grain

nurseries, where they grow "teenager trees" (what Emily calls them because they aren't babies but they aren't full-grown trees yet).

And eventually, Thanksgiving Farm!

Charlotte visited the rescued exotic birds (why do nurseries always seem to have these?) and the tadpoles in the pond while I picked up our box, then we headed all the way to the OTHER side of Frederick county to visit our friends' farm.  

On the way I stopped at the little farm market in Myersville.  It's a tiny little place that sells all kinds of esoteric foods for DIRT cheap that you wouldn't expect to find in a tiny town like chia seeds and nutritional yeast.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I need to make sure to make a monthly trip out there to stock up on the weirdo foods we love.

Growing up, I went to church with a family who owned a farm outside of Myersville.  We used to stop by just about every weekend, and we even occasionally got animals there to raise up at our house (goats, chickens, ducks, one time even a calf).  They have a baby calf there now who is being bottle-fed, and they are more than happy to have people swing by to visit and help feed the baby, so I took the opportunity to share an experience with my girls that I had enjoyed growing up. 

Me, right after the cow stepped on my foot
The girls, right before the cow stepped on Charlotte's foot :-(
 I'm such a city slicker now, I forgot the #1 rule...never wear flip-flops into a barnyard.

After we fed and scared the not-quite-used to people yet baby cow, we explored the farm for a bit.  As a kid I didn't fully appreciate how GORGEOUS it is out there.

The clearest farm pond I've ever seen
Checking out chickens
Bwoooooook bwok bwok?

The same mountains our living room window overlooked when I was a kid
Howdy, sheep and goat

I LOVE LOVE LOVE living in a neighborhood close to the city, but even if I never want to live out there again it's still nice to have roots out in the country, especially for the kids.

After our farm experience, we retired to Gemmy and Dibby's house for lunch.

The girls enjoyed various tomato-based meals
I enjoyed a frickin' amazing carmelized onion, mushroom and stilton gallette  with a chickpea crust that my gourmet cook father made
 After some hide and seek....

This was an especially tough game

...Mom, Emily and I drove to Smithsburg to hit up some of the orchards out there because I had visited plenty of Frederick County farms already and my day of farm touring wouldn't be complete without adding a couple from Washington County as well.  Among other things, I found local "split" Bing cherries for $1.50/pint.  I pretty much bought them all.

Once we got home I attempted Janetha's cauliflower pizza crust that I saw on Lauren's blog.  It was quite time-consuming, since you had to wait for the cauliflower to cool after you heat it up, but it was yummy and the girls liked it better than the whole wheat crust I usually make.  I just need to make sure I start it early and spread it thinner (or cook it longer) next time.

This morning started with a massage for me!  Will and I finally worked out a time when I could cash in the massage gift certificate that he got me for Christmas.  He took the girls to the first part of the Teddy Bear Picnic event downtown while I enjoyed my massage, then we swapped and he got his massage while I hung out with the girls.  My massage was awesome, of course!  Pratically everyone I know goes to this lady and I've heard nothing but good things.  After having her work on me "until she was done" (which ended up being 1 hour and 25 minutes!) I felt great, although since she incorporates a lot of stretching into her massage (including lots of leg stretches), I'm pretty sure she got quite a view of my lady bits once or twice.  Oh well, I left most of my modesty back at the hospital after I had Emily. 

I met up with the girls while they were eating ice cream cones and dancing with some teddy bears, and my friends Carolyn and Christian with their 2 girls (one of whom is very new!) were there as well.  It was a really neat little event, with lots of fun and free things to do.

Soooo sticky

Deathly pale from the Badger natural sunscreen

We covered up some of the paleness with face paint
Charlotte, who was a champion at getting her face painted at Epcot, would only consent to having a hand painted

The 3 moon bounce buddies

The look that means it's probably time to go home and take a nap

On the way home, Emily commented that the Teddy Bear Picnic was a lot like Disney World.  I chuckled, but then realized it kind of was like a brief summary of the girls' favorite parts of our trip to Disney.  The girls got their faces painted in both places.  They shyly asked and were allowed to meet "the princess", as they called her, who was actually Miss Teen Urbana 2012.

Adult-sized person with a crown = princess

Instead of dancing with 2 chipmunks while a guy played the guitar they danced with 2 bears while a guy played the guitar.  They proably even enjoyed dancing with the bears more because the bears didn't have militaristic handlers making sure the kids stayed a safe 5 ft distance away from the characters.

This poor guy was handler-less and fair game for kid hugs

And I appreciated that there was 100% less barfing and diarrhea at the Teddy Bear Picnic than there was at Disney World. 

So thank you Everedy Square for saving me a plane trip and a boatload of money!  My kids think you're just as fun as Disney World.  And I think you're better.

Because we hadn't had quite enough fun yet, as soon as we got home we changed the girls into bathing suits and walked across the street to our neighbor's graduation party.

Jazmin getting hit in the back of the head with a water balloon

Emily running with the high school seniors

Emily doing her strutting Leo

The little girls hosing down the big girls
Then we crashed at home for the remainder of the evening.  Oof.

I'm too tired for anyting else but crawling into bed and reading A Clash of Kings tonight, but stay tuned for an update including (but not limited to) the triumphant conclusion of Emily's preschool career, the triumphant debut of Emily's dance career, and the not-so-triumphant dental "surgery" that kept us house-bound (and questioning our decision) for almost a week.

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