A bit about us...

We are a modern family of three, living on less than two acres with a 3,000 square foot garden that meets our produce needs and allows us to share with friends and neighbors. Our laying flock of chickens seems to expand each year as we raise chicks each Spring to replace older hens. This blog is more of a journal, if you will, for us to chronicle and share our experiences in the yard, garden and kitchen. It is our hope that along the way a few folks might learn something, be entertained, or simply enjoy sharing in our stories and the lessons we learn on a daily basis. I named the blog after the times when I am the happiest, when I am elbow deep in earth.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Welcome home, honey(bees)!

I was super sad to hear that the hives at Zilke Vegetable Farm did not make it through the winter.  The good news is that Vicki has absolutely no intention of giving up on them.  She placed an order for three new colonies of bees to get three hives up and running once again this year.  I begged to be a part of the hiving for a couple of reasons.   First, I have had a totally irrational fear of bees that has been almost uncontrollable.  I am embarrassed by the way they've made me shake and run as though they were going to eat me alive.  As totally non-threatening as honey bees are, they terrified me.  I've wanted to get over that so I don't teach Lexi to be a crazy person over insects.  Second, I am a firm believer in documenting things that we are involved in (obviously, since I am always writing about it here...)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Our first FTF!

Since our upgrade to Premium Member status, I have been tormented daily with seeing new caches posting in our area that we can not go search for because we have to go to work!  It's crazy how making a living can get in the way of all the fun! :-)  I have wanted so badly to be the first to find on a cache, but there are a few groups who tend to "hog" all the first to finds in the area.  It is fabulous these folks have the time to spend caching every day, but it becomes frustrating for those of us who seemingly never have a chance because we are racing those who are retired and have the free time.

Our first FTF!  Find #111 4/26/12
Recently, Shane and I had to spend a day working from home to take our car into the shop for maintenance.  We have two cars, but the one is much less reliable to make the trip all the way to the office than our daily driver.  It is used for short trips only.  We dropped off the car needing service at the dealership and headed home, with one quick stop on the way...

I noticed a whole series of hides by one team, and thought we might just have a shot at one of them if we caught it quickly.  The cache listing was published less than an hour before we made the grab, and it was located right on our way home.  We were so excited to be logging our first FTF, we practically sprinted down the trail to the GZ!  Shane made the find fairly quickly, so I logged our smiley and we headed home to get to work for the day.  It was an exciting, albeit quick, detour on our short trip.  It was tempting to try for a couple more in the same series, as it appeared no one else was out and about yet, but we made the responsible decision to get started with our work day promptly instead.

What a great way to start a day, with success, right off the bat!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Take me home

#108's awesome camo
On our way home from our 5 cache day, we noticed a cache that was recently placed in a park not far from our house.  We pass it everyday, twice a day, going to and from work and hadn't noticed its placement just a week or so before.  In it, there was a travel bug that was headed to its final destination, which happened to be Tecumseh, my hometown.  I made puppy dog eyes at Shane and he agreed to stop, even though it was cold and getting dark fast. We ran (literally) into the park to try to make the find before we lost daylight.  We were hugely unsuccessful.  I was so disappointed, since I so desperately wanted to take the TB to its home and deliver it to its goal.

We had stepped right over it
Shane, being the real trooper he is, agreed to get up with me in the morning to try again.  I woke with the chickens, so to speak, and greeted him with coffee to get him going.  We went back to the park and, after quite a hunt, he made the find.  It was brilliantly camouflaged and we suspect we likely stepped on it without knowing the night before, given its location.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Opening Soon!

May 19, 2012!!!
Being good friends with the farmers who run a farm stand is such a blessing. I get inside access to planting, playing in the dirt and information. I have been anxiously anticipating them setting an opening date and was finally given an approximate date, May 19!!!! I won't hold them to it though as weather and other circumstances really dictate the date, but I wouldn't be heartbroken if they were open already! :-) They are feeling better prepared this year and ready to open earlier as a result. Make the time to stop out to see them on Carpenter Road in Milan, just North of US-23, on the east side of the road.  I guarantee you will want to go back, again and again.

Vibrant, delicious lettuce
growing strong
The lettuce has been coming for quite some time, stored turnips from last season have come and gone through the weekly farmers market at Original Gravity Brewery (every Wednesday 5-7pm - with Happy Hour being extended for market hours), and lots of wonderful new things are in the ground and growing along already!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Afternoon with a view

As always, be aware, this post may contain spoilers. In most cases, we try to keep things vague and non-specific, but occasionally there may be pictures or descriptors that give some secrets away.

Saturday, April 21, was an afternoon that just begged to clear our minds and spend some time together outside.  How could we resist?  We ran some errands and stopped at a park right behind the grocery store we found ourselves shopping at.  There were a couple hides in the park, so we figured, why not?

As we walked past the playground and picnic areas, we encountered this manhole cover.  Since Lexi was with her mom, Shane decided to take the obligatory bow in her honor.  It was fantastic!  I am guessing there were a few folks wondering what he was up to that day.  :-)  (It was totally worth it to bring Lexi with us in spirit.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Another milestone, 100!

Easter is one of the holidays we alternate with Lexi's mom, so we were excited to have her this year.  She arrived in the morning, searched for the eggs the Easter Bunny had left around the house for her, and even stumbled upon a basket of goodies as well.  :-)

Easy grab for #99
Since we weren't having a big elaborate meal for the holiday, we decided to go out and hit our milestone of 100 caches found as a family before returning home for homemade pizza - Lexi's favorite meal to help prepare. We headed for Tecumseh and let her make a quick grab for our #99.