First Stop: Plymouth, MA

Sorry for the long time (for me) without a post.  We attended the Family Economics last week, and this week we’ve had a cold going around our home, which I now have.

So, yes, I am sick *again.*  (I am starting to think that I just might have a sluggish immune system – I get sick with every cold that goes around, or at least I FEEL like I do!)

Anyways.  Back to the subject at hand.

On our trip East, our first stop was Plymouth, MA.  We rented a house right on the Cape, which was lovely.  The view out of my window was the ocean.  I could hear it when I was lying in bed at night.  It was lovely.

We arrived there late Sunday evening, unloaded the trailer, and headed to bed.  The next day was spent unpacking, grocery shopping, and settling.

 

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The view from my window.  Lovely, eh?

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Random shot from the car window

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Everyone else was having fried chicken for lunch, and I had this – smoked salmon, cultured butter, and rosemary-olive oil cheese (I can’t remember exactly what type of cheese it was).  The grocery store we went to had all this awesome food – cultured butter, cheese, and fun meats.  You see what floats my boat!

Dad took me down to the beach, which was a 3/10th of a mile down the road.  We spent some time walking around, chatting, and I took plenty of photos!  Even though it was rather chilly, it was fun.  And you can’t get a landlocked Midwesterner that close to the ocean without her getting to the beach!

 

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There was lots of water running and making pretty patterns in the sand

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Ahh…water…

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Ocean!  Please come home with me!

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This one’s from the next day, when we all went down to the beach together

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Twilight

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I decided to get up at 5 one morning to take a picture of the sunrise.  Meiling insisted that she get up with me.  We went downstairs, and sat on the couch to wait.  Meiling immediately launched into this whole story about how Noah took this picture of himself blah blah blah blah.  I just sat back and told her she had WAY to much energy for 5 o’clock in the morning.  In the end, we didn’t get that amazing of a sunrise – it just got gradually lighter.

 

The next three days we spent with the Heroes, History, and Hope tour.  It was wonderful to hear the pilgrim stories and to stand where they had stood.  The first day we visited many monuments and sites in Plymouth.  Thursday was spent visiting the dock where the Mayflower II would have been (it was undergoing repairs, so we didn’t get to see it) and Plimoth Plantation.  Friday we went to the Forefather’s Monument and the pilgrim museum – I can’t remember the exact name.

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Plymouth Rock

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First Parish Church in Plymouth – this was the original church started by the pilgrims when they arrived in Plymouth.  In the 1800s, I believe, this church adopted Unitarianism…

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…and then some people separated and started the Church of the Pilgrimage, which is right next door.  The Church of the Pilgrimage – this photo and the next.

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Pilgrim sarcophagus on Cole’s Hill

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At Plimoth Plantation

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The Forefather’s Monument – it was really chilly when we were there, so we only stayed for 20 minutes instead of the two hours we had been hoping to.

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I’m Still Alive

Yes, I am.  Although I am tempted to say just barely.  🙂

This weekend was our annual Men’s Advance.  And it went really well (at least from my view of things it did).  I helped it the kitchen, which was great, as usual.  But it is all very, very exhausting.

Very exhausting.

And on top of that, a cold is going around our church, and I could tell last week that, although I wasn’t sick yet, I was going to be soon.  So I did what I could to ward off that cold, but I had it on Monday.

It is appearing to be a real mean one.  As in it isn’t going to let off easy.

*Sigh*

Well, I had several wonderful grain free things over this weekend, and now I have been wanting to make them, as well as several other things that I have been wanting to make, but just haven’t gotten around to.  So, instead of making a mental list (which I am probably going to forget anyway, since my brain is out of it), I am going to make a list here.

(I know.  Another food list.  But bear with me.  It is hard not to be able to make any of these things, due to no energy, and the fact that I don’t want sugar while I am sick.  So hopefully this will help me let off some steam.)

1. Quiche or egg casserole.  Probably quiche, since it has crust.  I want crust.

2. Grain-free scones.  A dear friend of mine had these at their home when we were there for brunch, and THEY WERE AMAZING.  And I put butter on mine.  ‘Nuf said.

3.  Grain-free chocolate chip biscotti.  Again, another dear friend of mine made these, and I had them while at there home for brunch.  AND THEY WERE REALLY AMAZING.  And I need some again.  I think they had walnuts and raisins in them too.

4.  Grain-free biscuits.  I got a new recipe from a friend, and it is even better that the recipe I had tried.  I need something to slather some butter on.

5.  I need to make an apple crumble.  I tried to make walnut flour, but due to unforeseen circumstances, my walnuts never made flour.  Just a moist crumble-y thing that reminded me of a crumble. 

 

So that’s that.

What are you making/craving/hoping to make soon?

Do you have a cold?

Fun at the Farm

Yesterday I went to a friend’s farm to learn how to make soap.  Well, that was the intended purpose.  And we did make soap.  But we did plenty of other things.  🙂

I got there at about 8:45 a.m., just a little late for goat milking.  I love goats.  I have wanted goats for awhile.  I love milking, but I have never milked a cow.  Just a goat.  I also like goats because they are smaller.  And their milk tastes fine if you handle it properly.  So I got to milk a goat for a little bit.  Mrs. O. also had some kids, and they were very adorable.  Two were pretty young, so they are little and very soft.  Another kid is being bottle fed, so it follows Mrs. O. around like Mrs. O. is her mother.  The kid’s name is Lindy.  She is also very cute.  I stood with the goats and pet them as they all gathered around me.  The two youngest kids nibbled at my skirt.  I also went up into the hayloft.  What is so special about the hayloft?  I could see Mrs. O. and the goats down below me while I swept up the stray bits of hay.

After the milking, we went in to make soap.  First we had to find all Mrs. O.’s soap making supplies, as she had them in different places.  When we had the buckets of oil out, we ran into a minor dilemma.  One bucket of oil wasn’t labeled, and another was labeled as two different things.  We spent some time examining the oils and trying to determine what they were.  This is important, because when you make soap, you have to use a specific amount of lye for each different type of oil.  If we didn’t figure the oils out, the soap wouldn’t work.  Just as we decided which oil was which, I went back to get another bucket of the coconut oil to see what it looked like.  Thankfully I did, because it turned out that what we thought was palm kernel oil was actually coconut, and vice versa.

Making the soap was actually not hard at all.  Most of the time was spent getting the oils and lye to cool to the proper temperature.  After that it didn’t take long.  We decided to scent it peach gardenia , and color the soaps pink.  Mrs. O. cut the bars today, and said they are lovely.  I can’t wait to make more.

Once the soap was in the mold, we cleaned up, then ate lunch.  After lunch we walked down to The Church.

The Church is an old country church just down the road from their home.  It is so close, you can see it from their house.  There aren’t any services there anymore, except for a memorial service there once a year.  Mrs. O. said that there hasn’t been a regular service for about 50 years.

Around The Church is an old cemetery.  We spent some time walking around in the cemetery on the right side of The Church, where the older gravestones are.  The oldest stone that we saw was dated 1871.  There were a few that only had initials on them, and we were guessing that those could be even older.

Then we went inside.  The pews are still there, and there is a big table made out of some boards set atop some pews for when they have a potluck.  There are two old pianos up in front, and I was able to play one.  It was out of tune and the keys stuck a little, but it was still wonderful.

After we came back, we (Mrs. O., Mrs. O.’s daughter Holly, and I) went for a ride around their property.  We were looking for a calf that was born a few days ago, but we weren’t able to find it.  We got to see anther calf, though, and the goats that they have out grazing in the field, and the sheep.  I shot a few pictures.

After our ride, we made some mocha milkshakes and sat around and talked.  Soon it was time for dinner, and I went home after the evening milking.

It was so fun.  Thank you so much for having me out,  Mrs. O. and Holly!  I can’t wait until we do it again!

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Mrs. O. …

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…making the lye mixture

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The oils

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Stirring the melted oils – Those are all the soap pictures that I took.  I will post more when she gives me the soap

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Going to The Church – the dogs came with us

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The Church

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The front door

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The graveyard on the left

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Lots of old gravestones

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These only had initials on them

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Inside The Church – the pianos are one behind the other

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The pews

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The piano I couldn’t play

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Up above, where you would usually put your music

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Mrs. O. put this Bible there.  She said that she thought it needed to be there, just in case.

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The piano I played

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The ceiling – just thought you would like to see it

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Up front

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Walking out of The Church

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Macy!  Meiling loves this dog. 🙂

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The door – they tie it shut so it won’t blow open

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There is a board of directors that still takes care of the building.  It is kept in great shape.

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A barn across the way

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And some trees 🙂

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You have to love those gravel roads

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Macy!

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Beautiful fields

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The cows

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The sweet calf

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Sheepies

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They have one tan sheep, for color

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The goats that they have out for grazing (these are not the milk goats) coming to meet us

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While we were leaving, the sun was setting

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I’m Blessed

This past Saturday we helped a family in our church move.  I think this is my third church move to participate in (not counting our own).  I love it.  There is something very special about how our church comes together to help the family move.

I’ll give you a run down of what the day looked like so you get a picture of how this all worked.  The family we helped was moving from about 1 1/2 hours away to about 10 minutes away.  The first team of people started loading the truck at the old house at around 8 or 8:30 a.m.  Team 2 started arriving at the new house at 12:00.  The truck didn’t come until one, so after completing a few quick jobs we all had a great time visiting.  Not long after the truck arrived, the parade of boxes and furniture began.  The men, boys, and some of the young ladies were unloading the truck while the ladies and the rest of the young ladies started unpacking boxes or doing other odd jobs.  It went something like this:  the kitchen chairs were brought in, so a few ladies started wiping them down (moving is a great time to clean out and clean up).  When the table came in, one lady assembled it while another wiped it down, all the while having a conversation about farming.  In the meantime someone else is putting the food in the fridge with a few other young ladies, and the box parade is continuing.  As more furniture is being brought in, a few of us head to the master bedroom to start putting the bed together.  There are a few more boxes to be unloaded in the kitchen, so that gets taken care of.  Then someone hands me some clothes, so I take that over to the closet, where a few ladies are now sorting the clothes.  (They have this really nice large master bedroom closet, so that everyone’s clothes could fit in one closet.  Isn’t that convenient?)  When all was said and done, we out of there by 3:00.  There were still more boxes for them to unload, but the furniture was there and the kitchen was set up, and the house was starting to look like a home.

All this to say that I love watching our church in action.  This not only happens when somebody is moving, but when there is a new baby, or someone is ill.  Everyone pulls together to help.  They have become more family than friends.  It shows me one of the many ways in which I am so blessed by this wonderful, loving group of people that God placed me in.  We did this for them, and they did it for us, and, when the need arises, we will do it for them, and they will do it for us.  It is so wonderful knowing that.  To me, it is a great picture of how the church works.  I love all of you so much!

Have you ever been able to see the church in action?  Have you ever been blessed this way?