Week 6 – Sorry for the Delay

Sorry for the tardy post, I was away from my computer on Sunday. But a fun past week it was.

On Wednesday, the staff who live on Camp went to a homestead farm to talk to our boss’s “second mom” primarily about raising chickens, but ended up talking about a lot more. (Second Mom = best friend’s mom) First off, the farm is absolutely picturesquely lovely. They have two barns and a house, a fenced in area for chickens and goats, and a good bit of garden space. She has lived a very interesting life, starting out homesteading before becoming an Opera Diva and traveling the world. Then, she and her husband settled in Slovenia for about four years before returning to Ohio to homestead again. The time in Slovenia means their goats and chickens have great names. This summer they’ll be doing a CSA, and we’ve been invited to participate in setting those up (harvesting, baking, etc…) because we all gushed about how awesome their farm is and how much we love it. Our goal is to have some chickens for fresh eggs, and possibly use them to till up some garden space, which is exactly what they’re doing. We also learned that the only way it’ll safe us money is to keep them grass fed, which, fortunately, is how our maintenance man, who will be providing the hens, wants them to stay. The main concern is keeping them taken care of over the winter, which the maintenance man will be kind enough to do as well. (He has a farm of his own with chickens and lots of other animals.) Mostly, this visit reminded me of, and reinvigorated, day dreams I have been having about having a small to medium size farm for sustenance and small market when I grow up. Potentially integrate with an outdoor education program. Sigh. Anyway, it was awesome to see and made us want to go back to it.

After that visit, we spent some time cruising around the farm, because it was not an insignificant drive from Camp. We went to a bulk food store that sells baking and candy making supplies – yes, my dream store. We got some supplies for making candy apples, which were amazing and delicious: caramel, chocolate, and M&Ms. Oh my goodness. Definitely a store that I shall be returning to. We also hit up an outdoors store and an awesome cheese store, where I found some Maple Bacon Cheese. Damn.

Friday was another great day, in which we got to attend the EECO (Environmental Education Council of Ohio) Conference to learn how to do our job better! The classes (I took on one Caves and Karst Ecology, and one on Aquatic Project WILD – a series of lesson plans to get students doing stuff outside with water) were pretty good and educational, but the coolest part was the building that they hosted the conference in – an old Elementary school turned into an experiential learning building. It has an indoor high ropes course and a series of classrooms each designed to teach a certain lesson, such as Mars, CSI, and so much more. It was a ton of fun to go around to all of the rooms on our break and just see what the kids had to play with it. It was a fortunate opportunity where great, inspired minds were backed by a superintendent who was willing to and able to give the money needed to get the project to go. If only that could happen more frequently for our education system…

Finally, my weekend was wonderful. Well, Saturday night through Monday morning, were. Most of Saturday and Monday were spent driving. I went to Connecticut to visit my AB! There’s a bit of distance from here to there… Fortunately less than from Hawai’i to there. First, she made me an amazing birthday cake (Banana chocolate chip with Peanut Butter Buttercream) and made me follow a trail of Reese’s for my presents! She sure knows me. We spent as much time outside as possible on Sunday. First, a lovely cafe in which I got her to apprehensively try, then enjoy, venison sausage. Then a hike around a stream, followed by giant bubble blowing by her apartment, when we got to spend more time outside than anticipated… due to the porch door unexpectedly locking itself behind us and it being a weekend… Luckily, it was a beautiful day out! For her upcoming birthday, we made Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting – in bunny cake pans we found at a tag sale! They were adorable. And delicious. Delorable? Adorlicious? Whatever. Awesome. It was a great weekend, too bad it takes so much driving.

Kids come back this week!

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