Friday, September 24, 2010

What's in the can?-and other odds & ends

We are wrapping up our project in Oregonia, Ohio. One of our final activities was hosting a "milkcan" supper.
As adult children we inherit not only qualities but also "things" from our parents when they pass on. One of the "things" that my Dad passed on was a 5 gallon milkcan. In fact he made sure he had 3 of them to pass on to his 3 daughters. What is so special about a milkcan? Besides the fact that it carries with it fond memories of my Dad, it is the cooking vessel for a delicious meal to feed 10 or more hungry people. You layer sweet corn, potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, and kielbasa sausage in the can then cover with a gallon of warm water. Next the can is put over a hot flame and brought to a boil, let to steam for 30 minutes, then drained. The contents are poured into waiting bowls and everyone digs in! What yummy fun!

Hard at work!

Finished product!

It is a bit sad to leave King's Domain, where we became better aquainted with new friends, built a deck, walked through deer "infested" woods, rode a fantastic bike trail, and in general saw God's hand everywhere. But we set our sights now on many weeks enjoying our children and grandchildren traveling from Ohio to New Jersey and on to North Carolina. Eastward ho!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A day on the soccer field

Check out the link below for the slide show. I couldn't get the code to put it on my blog. Probably a "user" error!! Ha!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"King's Domain" and beyond

Oregonia, Ohio, is the "home" of King's Domain Camp and Conference Retreat Center.
Currently Hunter and I are located there on a MMAP, (Mobile Missionary Assistance Program) project. There are three couples working, with the men constructing a deck adjacent to the office building and the women doing various and asundry tasks, such as weeding a very rocky flower bed and shoveling mud away from some boards which we will paint next week. The location is beautiful, but what camp isn't? Unfortunately, or some would say fortunately, our rig is squeezed into a tiny spot with overhanging branches preventing any TV reception and poor, at best, internet connection. At times I want to complain and probably do, just ask my husband, but I try to remember we are in the class of "missionaries" and that often equates with sacrifice. So instead of technology filled free time we climb aboard the tandem and click off 30 miles on a bike trail not more than 1/2 mile from the camp which runs adjacent to a lazy river.
Week-ends are and will continue to be spent in Columbus Ohio, just an hour ride north-east where we will entertain two very active grandsons. Tomorrow I will report on Christian's soccer game-can't wait to cheer him on!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A biking "adventure"

After a fantastic family reunion (check out Rebecca's blog for wonderful photos besides just the one above), we have motored over to Wisconsin and spent the last week enjoying the quiet, cool evenings listening to the Canadian geese and wild cranes on Blue Lake, where we are camping. Most of our time we have biked, explored little towns, and relaxed after our busy week with the family. I'd like to share one especially fun bike outing. On my "bucket list" of to-dos before I "kick the buchet" is to tandem bike Ireland carrying all our gear with us. As a dry run Hunter suggested we try this on the Elroy-Sparta bike trail in this area. It is a 34 mile old railroad bed that has been converted to a crushed limestone trail suited well for biking. Since it was a train bed it only has 3 percent grades of up and down so without tough hills the riding is very enjoyable. This particular trail has three long, DARK, tunnels, which add a bit of mystery and excitement to the ride.
On Monday morning we packed our gear (change of clothes for the evening and toiletries) into a set of paniers (bags made to fit on a bike rack), loaded Hunter's backpack with snacks and our lunch for the first day, filled the water bottles and drove to the trail head. Could we have any better weather with temps hovering around the mid 80s, a gentle but not head breeze, and wispy clouds occationally blocking the sunsrays? We leasurely peddled along until we came to the first tunnel. Oh dear-we forgot a flashlight! Oh well, by squinting we could just make out the other end so we ventured into the dark and damp tunnel arriving quite happily at the entrance. This procedure we duplicated at the second tunnel but when we reached the third tunnel, finding it over 3/4 mile in length there was NO way we could see ANYTHING through the thick black interior. What to do? Wait for someone else and "piggy back" through with them was Hunter's suggestion-a good one if there were others actually riding the trail. In season this would have worked but out of season-a no go. Therefore Hunter had to admit my suggestion was our only option-backtrack 3 miles to Norwalk where we bought a flashlight then retrace the miles to the tunnel's entrance. That flashlight was worth its weight in gold for sure as we slowly walked through the inky interior. Emerging on the other side we climbed onto the bike once again and finished our day's ride by arriving in Sparta, Illinois, a quaint little town with friendly people.
We found our way to Strawberry Lace.It is a Bed and Breakfast treasure nestled in a small Wisconsin town. With Victorian grace and elegance the home is a feast for the eyes, the beautifully decorated bedrooms and comfy beds a welcome rest for the weary muscles, and the breakfast-oh the breakfast-was a four course gourmet meal fit for royalty-even royalty in biking shorts savored each morsel. The proprietors were extremely hospitable and we vowed to return with friends next year.
On the day of our return ride the skies opened like a well-oiled zipper and showered us with a steady downpour for the entire ride, complete with a background serenade of thunder and lightning. The tunnels became a welcome respite, although a bit cold. It is amazing how little time you spend snacking and resting when you are soaked to the skin. You just keep peddling. The car was a welcome sight and the showers in the trailhead restroom were a special treat. Who cares if you have any towels-just washing off the first layer of mud lifts your spirits.
Hope I haven't discouraged anyone from an overnight bike trip. We will do it again in a heartbeat!