Gone Berry Pickin’

So I’m still trying to catch up with postings and updates since the boys arrived back home but with being so busy with Operation Make Up For Lost Time, school starting back up, work, regular life craziness, etc, I am finding that what I am posting about is further and further in the past. Hopefully I can get on top of it and be back to real time, or as close to ‘real time’ as I can get as far as blogging is concerned. It’s just that I really have a preference for chronological order, with the rare case inserted here and there when I’m particularly excited about something and have to get it out of me right away (case in point, the ‘Fresh Baked Banana Bread’ post I made recently). Therefore, today’s post about going berry picking actually happened on August 26, an entire month ago. Enjoy all the same:

When trying to think of things that we could do as a family for Operation Make Up For Lost Time, my head kept coming back to a local orchard where you can pick your own berries. It wasn’t even about the berries. Yes, I thought they would taste good, and sure, all three kids can completely go through two whole grocery store packs of raspberries in one day, but more than that, I just kept seeing my kids together, laughing, loving, helping each other…it was the memory that I wanted more than anything. And I did get the memory, although it wasn’t as completely idyllic as I envisioned.

A few of our crew ended up being more concerned with the bees than the berries and left two of us to finish the picking while they went and walked around the shop. It all worked out, though, because it gave me some alone time with my eldest, and the other group found some awesome purple Amish Country popcorn that we popped up that very night in our Whirly Pop Popcorn Popper.

On our way to the field.

Ziven walking ahead on the path towards the berries.

She ate way more than she got in the basket, sweet little thing.

I was quite surprised that I could barely even smell this compost pile until I was right above it, taking a photograph of it, but, boy, then could I!

Besides the berries, this was our Piefer Orchards purchase.

As I was washing off the berries, etc, I was serenaded with some lovely ukelele songs.

Dirty Walks Part Two

After the morning’s walk, we did a lot at home: fixed two laptops, did some laundry, ate lunch, put Rudy Mae down for a nap. Once it started to be early evening, we wanted to spend a little more family time fun before I had to go into work at 830p. We decided to go over to a gorgeous nature preserve literally less than a mile from our house. Glen Helen is not only a wonderful place to go hiking and soak in the beauty, but it also where Caleab and I were married. We are sentimental dweebs so every now and then, we like to take Rudy and show her where the two of us united our family and tell her how she was there, very tiny, in my belly.

Now, in my head, I was thinking that with the canopy and the shade and the (hopefully) light breeze, it would be cooler inside the glen than out in the unguarded sun. How wrong I was. It was suffocatingly boiling hot. Rudy was soaked in sweat, with actual drips running down her face and her hair looking like she just came out of the bath. I will not even get into how you could have rung out my bra. But we did not turn around and run right back to our air-conditioned abode. We continued on our walk because Rudy was loving it and so were we. We were sweaty, exhausted and (more for Rudy) filthy when we emerged, but we made our Fourth of July memorable and, of course, I got a few good shots.

Rudy Mae sitting by the front of the building where Caleab and I were married.

Caleab overlooking the glen and all of its beauty.

Everything that Rudy Mae sees when we walk, she not only needs to pick up and carry, but also needs to show us.

Caleab and Rudy Mae are standing in the back, where he and I were married.

Teensy tiny little flower heads.

If only my photographs could really capture the glorious beauty that I was seeing with my eyes.

There is a really wonderful water area way below here, but without our proper hiking feet and being with Rudy (for the time being), we were not prepared to make that journey. It is incredibly steep and dangerous to get there.

A most inviting path.

Crumbling and eaten.

Some spider found prime real estate.

The end of a fallen tree.

A loving father holding a precious daughter look at a drop off area, staying back in safety.

One of the million times Rudy Mae had to stop to look at/pick up/dig around in something.

These legs have a film of grime just coating them.

Rudy Mae heard a noise and looked around quickly.

She dug that little hole in her exploring.

We were walking back toward our car and we passed these windows. Rudy saw her reflection and squealed, said “Baby!” and ran and kissed it. There were several of these windows and doors and she made a point to go around and kiss every single one of them.

Rudy Mae by all the windows and doors that she kissed.

When all was over, we had a very sweaty little critter on our hands.