Pennsylvania Farm Show 2011

I was sorting through a lot of stored photos today and came across the ones from our trip to the PA Farm Show last year.  It’s held in Harrisburg every January in a huge, indoor complex that houses everything from livestock and rodeo events to tractors and solar panels.  One of our favorite parts is the food court featuring foods produced in Pennsylvania.  After a long day on your feet, you can’t beat a fresh baked potato dressed simply with real butter and salt & pepper and wash it down with a Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association milkshake!

Cheers!

~ Janet

Garden Update – Day 49

I just counted and it’s already Day 49!  I don’t even know where the time goes.  I think this will be more of a catch-up post than a “here’s what’s happening today” post – I’ve taken photos here and there in the last two weeks, but never found the time to sit down and write.

Sitting on our balcony right now feels like being in the middle of a jungle!  Most of the plants have really taken off, though a few have faltered.  We had a minor disaster with the lettuce as hordes of what we think were aphids descended and ruined it practically overnight about two weeks ago.  We were so disappointed!  Not the “Most Photogenic Vegetable We Had!”  Aside from the bugs, the plants themselves started to get very “leggy, ” for lack of a better word.  We pulled the lettuce and bought lady bugs when we found the “aphids” on the cucumbers.  Those cukes have been through enough already with the cold snap!  The lady bugs did a great job and feasted for a few days before disappearing.

In far more exciting news… WE HAVE A TOMATO!  It’s teeny and green, but still!  And a JALAPENO!  We’re almost ready to make salsa – LOL!

We’re hoping to head out to Great Country Farms  in Bluemont, VA tomorrow or Monday to pick strawberries.  I don’t think I’ll get much jam made, but definitely clean & prep for a jam session next weekend.

Well, I’ve spent the better part of this afternoon trying to figure out how to post photos singly and have them look the way I want them to, to no avail.  I want to make the post more visually appealing, but at this point, I’m settling for a gallery.  Grrr…

Cheers for now!

~ Janet

Long Weekend Trip to Mountain Creek Cabins (Part 2)

Well, a few days later than I anticipated originally, but we’re back for Part 2!  I’m still having some issues with the pictures from that last post – I didn’t want the photos in the body of the post to appear in the gallery at the end, but when I try to take them out, they also disappear from the body.  *sigh* AAaany-way…

We got to Bruceton Mills pretty late in the evening, so we made a quick dinner and got ourselves settled in a bit.  The next day was absolutely gorgeous and we went on a little hike to explore the property.

Along the way we saw lots of violets and I had just read this post on Healthy Green Kitchen about making Violet Jelly!  I wanted to go back out and pick a gazillion of them, but we drove into Morgantown that afternoon and it rained much of the next day, so the violets ended up spared from my canner :)

On our last day, we got up very early and it was raining like crazy.  We got all packed up and headed to Morgantown for the one thing we couldn’t leave without: breakfast at Tudor’s Biscuit World!  I hadn’t eaten there in almost 10 years, so I had to introduce Stephen to biscuits as big as your head and the best sausage gravy I’ve ever had.  After leaving Tudor’s, we stopped at the only Starbuck’s in Morgantown (that I know of) and got caffeine for the road.  They had a drive-thru!  Oh, and the friendliest baristas I’ve ever encountered :)  Leaving WV and Western MD, we were driving out of the rain and I took a few pictures of the passing scenery (don’t worry, Stephen was driving!)

Right then, on to the photos:

~ Janet

Long Weekend Trip to Mountain Creek Cabins (Part 1)

Welcome!

So last week we took a few extra days off work and headed out to Mountain Creek Cabins in Bruceton Mills, WV.  It’s about 20 miles from Morgantown, home of WVU, and even closer to Cooper’s Rock State Forest and Cheat Lake.  Our place in Springfield, WV is about 65 miles from here.  We left from our home outside Washington, DC and detoured out to Purcellville, VA to drop our dog off at our friend Amanda’s place.  Amanda and her son, Eddie, love to have Pixie “sleep over” and spoil her to pieces while we’re away!  Because of the extra distance to her house, it took us a good 4 hours and change to get to Bruceton Mills.

We booked this trip with a Groupon I bought back in the fall, so our stay was about 40% off the regular rate.  This is a super deal, but posed some real challenges when it came time to book the dates we wanted.  We had planned to go with another couple, but more than two months ahead of when we wanted to go, every single weekend was booked solid.  The owners pointed out that we could still use the paid value of our Groupon even after the expiration date, but then we wouldn’t have received the discount, which is why we bought it in the first place.  Our friends couldn’t get leave from work during the week, so we ended up going by ourselves.  While it was still a great trip, we missed having them with us!

Okay, enough about that – let’s get to the cabins!  We stayed in the Shawnee Cabin, which is one of eight cabins on the property.

Shawnee Cabin

Each of the cabins backed right up to the creek and was surprisingly private, given that they were pretty much right next to each other.  For a nice sense of the peacefulness there, take a listen to this little video I shot from the back deck of our cabin…

Here are some shots of the cabin and the amenities:

I think I’m going to stop here for now, as the photos are taking a really long time to load and I’ve got a lot more to post!  Perhaps tomorrow I’ll get the rest of our trip photos up and a garden update, too!

~ Janet

Week 3/ Day 21

I seem to be a little behind on the posts here, but I’ve got a  few planned for today!  I actually started writing this one before we went out of town last weekend, but I wasn’t able to finish it because I was having issues with my photos.

The weather finally cooperated a few days this week and I was able to get some good pictures of how things are coming along.  While we didn’t have a freeze this past week, the cucumbers sure didn’t like the cool temps – I think we’ll be lucky if they make it.  One looks like it’s recovering, but the other is in bad shape.  Everything else seemed to fare pretty well, and I think the peas actually sort of liked it!

Okay, on to the pictures!

More posts to come today :)

~ Janet