Wednesday, May 28, 2008

First Communions and Smokin' Jim's BBQ

Well, we had a wonderful time in Walden a couple of weekends ago (I spent Memorial Day weekend out of town with some friends so I am just getting to this Walden news now, sorry!) celebrating Adam Winum's First Holy Communion. I was very proud of him, he's my godson, and I was very happy that I was able to be there at the Mass. Then we celebrated with a great party at Nat and Karin's. Here's Adam and me partyin' it up!

The cousins had a great time chasing frogs and riding the wagon down the hill. How we escaped a trip to the emergency room I'll never know!

We had a great time showing off how much Jack has grown since many of the family saw him at his baptism in January. At six months, he weighs in at 20 lbs...!

We enjoyed a tasty breakfast with the Santo family. It was great to see how much everyone's kids have grown just since last fall! And I have to tip my hat in thanks to Mike and Sarah for introducing me to Pandora. I know a lot of you techie people might know about this music software tuner thingy, but I had never heard of it before. You can create your own radio station, pretty much! I have been listening to it all afternoon and loving it.

Anyway, we got to meet the new Santo addition, Caroline, who I think had fun watching Jack bounce in her johnny jump up and somehow managed to sleep through all the commotion.

But the best story about the trip has to be the story of our dinner stop on the way home. It's late and I will try to make this short, so here goes...

We decided to take a different route home. We love the adventure of finding new quirky places to eat and shop, and it's also new scenery. The day was cool and partly sunny, rain here and there, not picnic weather, I assure you. Especially where there are little kids to consider, and I needed a place to nurse the baby. We don't eat out often, probably once every couple of months at most, and so it's a big deal for the kids.

So in Candor, NY we come across a sign for Jim's BBQ Chicken.

Jarret's mouth started to water at the mention of barbecue, and I was game for a new place so we drove around the block to check it out. Here's what we saw:

Now, on a hot summer day I would be totally into a place like this. Have some barbecue, a beer, listen to some tunes, and chat with some locals. But it's raining on and off, it's 49 degrees, and I've been in the car for 2.5 hours with four children, one of whom needs to nurse sometime during this stop. Despite my reluctance, I agree, and Rose bursts into tears, crying out that she wants to go to a real diner! I tell her that this is where we are going to stop and we are going to make it fun, and we head off to the bathroom:

(I am not kidding! At least it was clean, with a little hand cleaner sprayer to boot).

Jarret then heads off to use the facilities, so I am left to walk up to the trailer door and order some chicken and rib dinners with some beans and cole slaw for sides and a few sodas to wash it all down. The kids are excited at the prospect of soda and are happily playing in the gravel. Rose has forgotten her tears. We pull up a table in the picnic area and dig in.

We are quietly eating and I offer Jarret a bite of my baked beans, wondering if he'll enjoy them cold, because I don't. Hey Jim, I think you forgot to turn on the burner! The rest of the food was fair to middling. I've had worse salad at the diner in Damascus, NY right off the Quickway (thankfully, and not surprisingly, that establishment is no longer open). But it wasn't the glorious barbecue experience we were hoping for. I think it had all been cooked the day before, as I didn't see any smoking grills, even though Jim seems to have an adequate supply of wood:

The kids were happy with their soda, and we had food in our bellies, which is more than some people have these days. But we decided that we won't be recommending Jim's place to anyone, unless you are looking for material for a good story! According to an article in the Ithaca Journal which is framed and hanging on the wall in the picnic area, Jim's used to be quite the place - a frequent caterer for the ubiquitous upstate chicken barbecue. But I think that the glory days are over. As our experience was vastly different from that of Michael Stern, whoever he is. So we snapped a picture with Jim to remember him by and headed home.

All in all, it was a great weekend spent with friends and family, and we made some great family memories. Needless to say, I will be selecting the next dining establishment, and I can assure you it will at least have real silverware!

Thanks to cousin Natalie McQuilton for the guidance on how to work the pictures in here a little better! I'm off to bed, as tomorrow we are bidding farewell to our priest from Kenya, who is moving to another parish about an hour east of us. We are presenting a goat to him during Mass, honoring a Kenyan custom, so be sure to check back for news about how that all goes!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Ok, I can't figure out how to make the pictures that I spoke about in the last entry follow that entry, so if any of you experienced bloggers out there can help, please do! Scroll down to see the pics...
Some days I am just bowled over by the amount of work I have gotten myself into ...I have to start a fire before I do the dishes so that I will have hot water (long story, I'll explain later!), and all this while I am trying to nurse a five month old, keep tabs on a precocious two year old and navigate the ins and outs of sharing for my kindergartener and preschooler. Well, my mother in law was right about so many things, mostly that my life will never be boring! Most days, I can't beleive how blessed I am to be living my dream.
Anyway, today was a glorious day, the sun was shining, the ever present wind was warm, we gardened...Since the chicken house is not ready yet and the chickens are housed inside the barn where the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow, I have been letting two or three out into the yard to peck aroudn while I can keep an eye on them. One of my buff orpingtons stayed right near us as I weeded the garden, just like a dog! It was great to have her there and fun to find her worms and snails.
I realized this morning how much I needed to get done in order to get us all off to Walden this weekend and only got a few things done (the daily frustrations of having a thousand interruptions). Thankfully, I was able to pray my way through it all and managed to be kind, firm, and not lose my cool.
Jarret has been busy trying to finish up his job at the library in Gorham. It's beautiful, but because of the hours and school still being in session he has been doing the job for a month now. He has loads of work to move on to, for which we are thankful. And I am thankful that God has answered my prayer of being able to handle bedtime by myself, in fact, I even enjoy it these days! I do miss having Jarret around in the evenings, but work must be done and bills must be paid...which reminds me, I have bills to pay and an I pod to load up before our trip.
I took some pictures of our daily adventures, and here are a few pictures that Rose and Riley have been taking too. I think they both have a pretty good eye, what do you think!?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Today it's raining and stepping outside you can smell the soil from the tilled up fields. It's overwhelming, how it fills the air. I have ironing and cleaning to do, and the kids are all napping. Now that I have a place to write my thoughts I can't think of anything to say! Of course. Mostly what I am thinking is that I shouldn't be here typing up a blog entry when the ironing is waiting, dinner needs to be started (ugh! I didn't defrost the ground beef) and it's only a matter of time until Jarret comes home and I have to run off to my cleaning job. More later!