Saturday, July 30, 2011

Market House Farmers Market

We've tried the local farmer's market before, but have always been disappointed. Today was different!

It was all quite quaint, with Amish farmers, beautiful produce and fresh flowers.

I shouldn't have been surprised when I saw this. Look closely. One seller offered us a sample of melon, then took his cigarette and stuck it in the side of a plum container so he could cut the melon. Yuck!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Snail's Pace Acres

We had our first, and my last, visit to Snails Pace Acres this week. I barely stepped foot in the barn when the allergies began. Other than that, the farm was beautiful, as always.

Speedy is still kicking. And still hanging out with Oliver the llama.

A friendly little kitty with no eyes. Not just blind. No eyes!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Good Day!

We drove up to Erie earlier this week for a back-to-school shopping marathon at the mall. Why was it such a good day?
1) 3G all day!
2) No sales tax on clothes.
3) Done getting kids clothes, shoes, cleats and shin guards.
4) Found a pair of my discontinued running shoes (that I have been unable to find at any other store or online).
5) Tart frozen yogurt.
6) Starbucks.
I definitely felt like I stepped off the farm and found myself back in civilization.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dog Grooming Class

The owner of The Pooch Parlor agreed to give us a lesson along with Sport's grooming today. I learned a lot. Mainly that grooming is best left to the professionals. I haven't even been bathing Sport correctly!





And, this is where we got sidetracked. You'll see why I forgot to get an after picture. The groomer breeds Cocker Spaniels and has two pups about to turn 8 weeks old. Just look at this face!

We're trying hard to persuade my brother and sister-in-law to get one of these darling girls.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


The heatwave has FINALLY passed. I thought we were going to melt last week!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cambridge Springs and The Riverside Inn

We braved the heat today and drove to Cambridge Springs for lunch and exploring. It's only about 40 minutes away, but other than Campbell Pottery, we've never gone to Cambridge Springs.

Along the way, the three Hodges Sisters couldn't resist having their picture taken in front of Hodges Lane.

I can't really say that I've never been to Cambridge Springs. The very first time that I visited Conneaut Lake, when Bob and I were dating, his family surprised me with a group outing to The Riverside Inn's dinner theater. It was a Medieval themed meal and performance, complete with food like giant turkey drumsticks, but lacking utensils of any kind. Maybe it took me twenty years to get over that and finally return to The Riverside Inn.

The front door to the Inn. Cambridge Springs used to be a popular destination for the wealthy because of it's natural springs. The only remaining hotel, The Riverside Inn has been operating for 125 years.

Lunch in the dining room.

I ordered a Mediterranean salad. It arrived complete with red onions, olives, feta cheese and sweet potato fries. This shouldn't surprise me since fries are common on salads in Western Pennsylvania.

The hotel still uses old room keys.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Family in Town

Just as my side of the family left, Bob's family arrived. His brother, dad and dad's wife were all in town for the weekend. It's been awhile since we've seen them, especially Larry, and it was wonderful to catch up.

On the boat.

A magical evening at Barb and Chas' beautiful cottage.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baby Bird Update - Chimney Swifts

I'm happy to report that all four chimney swift babies are doing well. Apparently insectivores need to eat quite frequently. Every 20 minutes or so we hear the mom or dad fly down the chimney where they're greeted with loud squawks. One by one, the babies quiet as they're fed, then mom or dad flies back out the chimney. In fact, we've learned that as soon as the last baby is silent we can rush outside as watch the parent fly out of our chimney.
About one a day we peek behind our wooden screen. Yesterday we discovered that their eyes are open! The pin feathers are also starting to unfurl into feathers.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Woolly Mammoth 5k

My mom, the kids and I ran in the Conneaut Lake Historical Society's Woolly Mammoth 5k on Saturday. It was the same grueling cross-country course as last year - through steep forest paths, over uneven terrain and across (numerous times) streams.

New this year- the Woolly Mammoth!

And we're off...

I was definitely humbled this race. Despite my regular running, I was outrun by two of my three (non-running) kids. Kate and I were together just past the two mile mark when we heard something coming at us from behind. Out of nowhere, William, in his Keens I might add, sprinted ahead of us and was the first in our family to cross the finish line. I should have known we were in trouble when we left for the race and he said, "Ihope you had a light breakfast (dramatic pause) because you'll be eating my dust all day!" He later said that his only goal had been to beat Kate. We're now two days post-race and the poor kid is still sore.

Kate and William each finished 3rd in the 17 and under group. My mom was first in her age group! I'm such a nice daughter that I won't even say what that age group is or how many were in the group.

Our three medalists received beautiful etched glass medals.

There is an incredible old barn at the start/finish line.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Schedule

For the past 7 years or so, my cousin, her kids and my two aunts have spent a week at the lake each summer. Somewhere along the way, my mom and I started making a schedule for their visit. I know, sounds a bit controlling. But, here's the thing. None of us can make a decision. Without the schedule, we'd sit around all day saying, "What do you want to do?" "I don't care. You decide." Also, over the years, we've acquired quite a list of annual traditions that we have to squeeze into one week. To complicate it even more, Regular business hours don't apply around here, so we have to work around the crazy schedules of some of the places we like to visit.

None of this is set in stone, and we also have the weather to contend with. The first year that my cousin visited, it was so cold that we sat on the beach wrapped in blankets. Another year (when we had about 10 additional family members visiting) we had the most sweltering heatwave. I think that, along with the somewhat rustic cottage conditions, scared some of our relatives off. Luckily, though, nothing seems to deter our most diehard visitors. We always a look forward to their visit. And then collapse with exhaustion at the end of the week.

The six kids climbing into the Bookamer's Polaris for a ride through the woods surrounding the farm.

This calf used our arms as a salt lick. Her rough tongue gave us a little exfoliation treatment.

Dollar Spaghetti Night at the golf course. Only on Wednesdays.

After spaghetti, on a the golf course.

The Scavenger Hunt list. Boys vs. Girls.

Hanks frozen custard. Closed on Tuesdays.