Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Upon checking the weather yesterday, today was supposed to be sunny and mid-60s. Perfect pumpkin weather. Jen and I decided we'd take our respective children (Grover and Aoife) to the pumpkin patch. Wanting to head out before naps, we got on the road at the crack of 10:30 and were among the pumpkins by 11. The sky was cloudy and it was cold, but it wasn't raining, so out we went. We drove into the muddy parking lot and found the most pitiful pumpkin patch right behind us. There were several rotting, broken or green pumpkins to be had, along with an assortment of gourds, but no bright orange jack-o-lanterns-to-be waiting for us. Grover ran straight for the tractor and climbed onto the hay-covered wagon, which I thought was very smart as there were no good pumpkins and no point in slopping around in the muck any longer. After a quick photo shoot, the tractor started up, about three school bus loads full of children jumped on and we set off on the lamest hay ride I have ever been on. The whole ride lasted about four minutes and drove from one side of the parking lot to the other. One might think a farm would plan a hay ride through the fields so we could see what was growing, or the beauty of the surrounding area, but no, clearly these farmers thought it better to show off their small, muddy parking lot.
As soon as we got off the hay ride, we jumped in the car (and by jumped in the car I mean checked diapers, loaded two children into car seats, gave them something to eat) and drove off to find another pumpkin patch. We decided The Pumpkin Patch was aptly named and stopped there. They had a large haystack to play on, a barn with chickens, calves, pigs, ducks, sheep and a llama, and a much better selection of pumpkins. We chose our pumpkins, put the kids back in the car and by the time we got home, it was sunny and getting warm. Just in time to go inside for naps.
I haven't been mushroom hunting in over 10 years. I don't know why I waited so long, as it is terrific fun! I only spotted one or two chanterelles, but found several types that would surely kill you if ingested. We stuck to the chanterelles.
Aoife had a great time ooohing and aahing at the trees. They put on their beautiful yellows, golds and reds for us--quite a show!
Each year, Paul leads a sea kayaking trip and this year, Aoife and I came along for some beach exploring and camping. Well, sort of camping, we stayed in yurts at Cape Lookout on the Oregon Coast. While Paul was kayaking, Aoife and I played on the beach, explored some small coastal towns and of course made a trip to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. I spent a long time showing Aoife the ins and outs of cheese-making, as it would be nice to have a cheese-maker in the family. She mooed to the cows as we drove out of Tillamook, which I am taking as a sign that she understands the delicate nuances of the art of cheese making.