Mother Nature TRUMPS Covid...

Friends!!! It's a GLORIOUS autumn! Please please please tell me you, wherever you are in the world, are having the most amazing autumn ever! And just to show you how amazing autumn is here in my neck of the woods, I'm about to BOMB this blog post with autumn confetti, aka pictures of my yard and neighborhood as I drive carelessly through the streets risking my life to capture that perfect shot to share with YOU...because it was YOU I was thinking about while putting my phone in my right hand (I'm right handed!) using my thumb to "snap" the shot, all while steering with my left hand (again, I'm right handed), making sure no one was behind me, and praying for anyone coming at me, ignoring any street line because those lines are for serious drivers, not picture takers!





And YES, I saw the lady walking the dog!!! Bet you were looking at the trees and didn't see her!

Honestly, I'm not one for exercise, but with this weather and this scenery, you can't help but want to get out there and at least sit under one of these magnificent beauties.



And this is where we have been sitting every Friday and Saturday night since the third week of September⤵️! Sometimes it's just me and Bill and sometimes our daughter and her boyfriend join us. It's heaven...sun setting earlier, temps dropping, marshmallows and skewers on a tray ready to get blackened (I LOVE them nice and toasty and a little charbroiled 🤗), and hickory smoke filling the air while leaves and walnuts fall, scaring us and THE DOGS!








Yea, I'm that mom, bringing them a nice blanket to pop a squat on! Actually, it's been a good year since we had a bonfire so they didn't quite understand the idea of relaxing and what the fire was for. After a couple nights, they "adapted" to us trying to relax. Doesn't help when an opossum decides to show up! Just amazing a dog's sense of smell, sight, and hearing is. I will say, I don't feel unsafe with them around. They're sweethearts...yet very protective of their home and yard.



So, being October, a Covid kind of year, and the start of the last three months of the year, our family decided we NEEDED to get away! And what does this family do when in need of an October getaway? Off to amish country Ohio we go!!! And evidently, EVERYONE ELSE needed a getaway! I had a heck of a time finding a place for 7 of us to stay, but I was able to reserve two rooms at a great little place we've stayed before. It was a first for both my daughter's boyfriend and my son's girlfriend, sadly our youngest couldn't join us...but we made sure she got all her goodies. The trip did NOT disappoint in beauty, weather, and shopping. Just driving there was refreshing! Especially when this Miss Daisy🙋🏻‍♀️ has the cutest hard working chauffeur ever❤️



He thought I was taking pictures of trees...well I was, but this one was intentional❤️ The trees were just beautiful, the temperature just perfect. And when we finally reached Amish territory, we were greeted with this ⤵️



A rainbow of laundry, probably hanging there close to 8 hours already because they're up so early doing all their daily chores.



And of course you have to be ever so careful of hills! You never know if there is a buggy, a bicyclist, or just you average amish mom with a stroller in the road! Scary if you're not cautious!





And because we were arriving during school hours, we got to see a little "recess" action at the amish ball park! Sometimes I look at these pictures and forget the year is 2020. Girls running in dresses...it's like a scene out of Little House on the Prairie, you know? Get up early, do some laundry, mop the floors, milk the cows, feed the horses and other livestock, get breakfast/lunch/and dinner ready, head to school, play a little ball, go home to tend to the garden, get dinner ready, say prayers, off to bed. It's a simple lifestyle, yet FULL of hard work.

But don't think they're not competitive. Every October we've visited, we found a little town that hosts a volleyball tournament for the amish teenagers. They come from all OVER the county and surrounding counties. And they take this game like UConn and Ohio State are there scouting future players! It's intense and very crowded. But here's the kicker...it's not loud...at all! And there's my family of 6, LOUD AS A SUPER BOWL PARTY! As if not being PLAIN (as they are referred to) doesn't make us stand out enough, throw in the fact that we belly laugh at everything and talk like we all need hearing aids. Pretty obvious we were there🤦🏻‍♀️ I have to laugh because there was actually a moment where we weren't the loudest...brief moment. My daughter and I went into a pizza shop to get some pizza to go, and of course we are the only ones NOT amish. The rest of my family were outside sitting at a picnic bench somewhat near the street yet right by the pizza shop. While standing there waiting for our order, I/we hear this high pitched whistle- like sound that started off quiet(ish) then got super loud then KA-BAM! THIS LOUD EXPLOSION HAPPENED! The entire pizza shop got quiet...because evidently it wasn't quiet enough lol, everyone looks out the nearest window and then literally they all turned and LOOK AT ME AND MY DAUGHTER! So, my heart is freaking out and I start yelling, "WHAT WAS THAT? WAS THAT A CAR ACCIDENT? OH MY GOD WHAT WAS THAT?" and honestly, I was starting to panic because all I could think was 'my family is out there!' Then my daughter says, "mom, it's okay, it was a jet engine... On a buggy..." Yes, that's right...it was a jet engine on a buggy.😳 Evidently those rebel amish kids like to play around with jet engines and in doing so, caused a controlled explosion right in front of my family. It was a FIRST for me...but one older amish gentleman just shook his head when my daughter said it because obviously this isn't anything new to the area...just to ME! I just found it funny they didn't mind me yelling at them asking them what it was, and yet, they looked at me like I spoke a foreign language🤦🏻‍♀️ I'm seriously curious to know if they EVER raise their voices or if they ever panic, because I about lost my $h*t!



See all those people?.⤴️ I was literally the loudest person there...🤦🏻‍♀️ and I was just talking!

The following day we did a bunch of food shopping. It's the reason we travel four hours to visit this area. Interesting fact: stores run and/or owned by the amish had signs on their doors stating the employees weren't made to wear masks...basically, your call. If you want to go in, that's your choice. By the looks of all the food we bought, it's pretty obvious what our choice was.

One thing I found amusing was no matter how old you are, the petting/feeding zoo is always a hit😂 My daughter was the youngest there and she's 25. She all but begged to go in and feed the animals. Next thing you know, I'm asking my husband for $3 so I can go in and another $2 for food to feed them!







Look at those eyes! Of course I HAD to take pictures of everything, including my favorite sheep, goats, and roosters! But I was so excited to see this little chicken! He somehow got on top of the glass box and I noticed he was following people around, people who weren't paying any attention to him. So I had my daughter take my phone so I could "try" to feed him. He was so excited! I broke up the food (carrots) while he patiently waited and then he all but jumped in my hand❤️





I really wanted to take him home! And while I was making friends, Bill was dreaming of dinner...



And then there's my son...🤦🏻‍♀️ Every time I turned around he and his girlfriend were hoping on or in something.




And then my daughter is off making friends with a little donkey☺️



But, no matter what the reason for visiting the area, nothing is more fascinating then the horse and buggy and the amish families. I could take pictures all day long of them. Their family unit is strong, their religion just as strong, and their lifestyle speaks volumes.





And here's a view from the place we were staying. There is nothing like sitting on the porch listening to the clip clops of horses and watching the sun come up and the sun go down...






The picture above is one taken on our way home Sunday morning. It was about 7:30am. It's beautiful to see all the buggies heading to a particular home for church and even more beautiful when you find the home and see all the buggies lined up and parked.

Like I said, the trip was worth the 4 hour drive and the food? Well, the restaurant we dined at Saturday evening had an hour wait line. It was to be expected, and although it's 'COVID SEASON', this is a normal wait this time of year. I loved this kind reminder while waiting...although it made me more hungry!



So what did we come home with? Well, everything from a cabbage head and spaghetti squash to flavored honey and fried pies! You name it, we got it! Cheeses, breads, jams/butters, chocolates, pies, pastries, dips, tea, noodles, baking ingredients, peanut butter spread, soups. Stuff that makes you crave October!



And now that we are home, it was time to get ready for Halloween! Are you all having trick or treaters? Our area has been given the go ahead! It's been fun driving around seeing so many homes decorated for Halloween. LOTS OF BLOW UP THINGYS this year. I don't really do anything scary, but I do like lights. This year I got out there and took pictures to show what it looks like as the sun goes down!





Oh and my son and his girlfriend decided to carve pumpkins. I love how their personalities came out in their artwork. She's all about the pretty ❤️ and he's all about the 'unexplained' lol. Yes, his is a UFO...and he said I needed to take a video of it in action🤦🏻‍♀️



He cracks me up! Hey, it's all about the fun😂 And that's what I've been having all October! Apple updated their phones and I was changing my screens to autumn themes! Pumpkins found new homes on my windowsill, and bright beautiful leaves got strung by twine and hung from the mantel...




I also worked on my Etsy store Thanksgiving and Christmas stock! I'm so excited to be selling these themed tea bags right now. Thank you for those who have checked out my store and have already started their Christmas shopping! I wish the pictures showed how cute they really are! If you're looking for a little stocking stuffer, unique and inexpensive gift idea, birthday gift, or something seasonal, be sure to head over to the shop! So many designs to choose from, but it's limited quantities! I actually have a tab on my home page that will take you straight there! Or click HERE!




And friends, that's it! Not sure if the weather is going to allow us another bonfire tonight, but fingers crossed! Go have yourself a great weekend of October fun🍁 Oh, btw, I can't WAIT to tell you about our Thanksgiving plans...🤗

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    A glimpse of the outside world..
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    Scrambled Eggs..

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