Archives for August 2011

Hanging With the Grandparents

It’s always fun for us to do grandparent activities. It’s slower, but it’s a lot of fun too. We enjoy doing some things we would never do on our own at home.


We got in a game of dominoes last night. Grandpa wasn’t up to going out so the dominoes players came to us. Jesse and I played with Grandpa and Grandma, along with aunt Cheryl, great-uncle Don, and good friend Helen. She’s one of our favorite of Grandpa and Grandma’s friends.

Dominos game

This afternoon we worked on planning out some of the meals we want to fix this week. Jesse and I made a quick run to the store for a few extra ingredients we needed. I was so excited about the produce prices! At home, the produce department uses up about half of my grocery budget for the week. We will definitely enjoy it while we can.


There’s a stray cat that has been hanging around the farm. He came back tonight for some more food. Grandma got it to follow her down to the barn to eat.

Grandma feeding cat

Jesse got some mowing done for Grandpa this evening. The grass sure was getting long. It looked like he was having fun riding the big mower.

Jesse mowing

He wore a mask just to make sure he wasn’t breathing in too much of what he was kicking up. Gotta keep those lungs healthy! We forgot to bring any, but they were able to grab a box before leaving the hospital since we knew we would need them.

Mowing with maskBackyard

Grandpa perked up and wanted to see Jesse’s progress with the mowing. All of a sudden he just got up and went outside to watch. So Grandma and I followed.

Gpa and Gma

It started to get a little cool out when the sun started to go down. We got our long sleeves on and got more comfortable while Jesse finished up.

Mower watching

The clouds sure looked pretty as the sun set. We watched all the pretty colors change as it got darker.


Back at the Farm

Spending the night and waiting for the car shop to open to get the car fixed properly was definitely the right decision. We were able to just relax and get refreshed for the rest of the drive. The hotel happened to be in a super convenient location to the car shop and it came with free breakfast for Jesse, so that worked out well. We appreciated the smoking policy at the hotel, they had a $250 penalty for smoking in the room. We just thought that was great, nothing like walking into a stinky room.

No smoking

One good thing (probably the only good thing) about having food allergies is that I now always have plenty of snacks on hand to keep me full. We had a cooler full of healthy foods so I was able to get a good breakfast just like I would have at home.

Breakfast on the go

First thing after breakfast Jesse was able to call the car place right down the street from the hotel. He looked up some reviews about the place online and found one that sounded like a similar situation to ours and they were very pleased with the work this place had done for them. So Jesse drove the car to the shop to confirm that our guess about the alternator was correct, which it was. After waiting for the diagnostic to be done and talking about the repair Jesse was able to walk back to the hotel, which only took him 11 minutes!

We found a few activities to keep us busy while we waited. Jesse was able to catch up on some of his email and do some work on a couple small projects he has been working on. After packing up all of our stuff except for the cooler I spent some time getting caught up on the computer.

Laptoping in bed

Then, since we were still waiting, I painted my toe nails too. It was kind of a weird feeling to be wanting to get going so badly, yet laying around chill-axing for so long.

Painted toes

I had packed some of my homemade pizza that I had planned to eat on the road. I get tired of salads really fast and cold pizza is a fine option to have. However, since the hotel had a microwave, hot pizza is even better. I ate an early lunch before we were ready to leave.

Hot lunch

The car was done right at noon like they had estimated it would be. Jesse walked over to pick it up and I had the rest of our stuff packed up by the time he was back with the car. We loaded up quickly and were on our way. Thankfully, the rest of the trip was quite uneventful. We crossed the border into Ohio around 8:30. I was waiting forever to get a picture of the welcome to Ohio sign, but never got it. It was only for the people going left after the bridge. No welcome for us… boo!

Bridge to Ohio

We finally pulled into the farm around 11:30, unloaded only a couple of necessary items and went straight to bed. I sure do love being back at the farm. I love the open space and the fresh air. I love being able to sleep with the windows open. Today has been a take it easy and get situated day.

The farm

We’ve been asked to help with making meals, which is a perfect task for me since I’m not easy to fix meals for these days. I think it’s a good decision that we decided to come, we’re happy to be able to help out a little.

Road Trip – Fail!

Today has been one of the weirdest days in my life. It’s one of those days that is so far beyond NOT funny while it is happening, but maybe we’ll think it’s a little funny after it’s over. Only because we never could have dreamed up any of the situations we have found ourselves in today.

As Monk would say, “Here’s what happened:”

Early Monday morning Grandpa Sipes (Jesse’s grandpa) was taken to the ER with heart problems. Luckily, Jesse’s aunt happened to be in town visiting them so she’s been able to help out Grandpa and Grandma with all the hospital stuff. Jesse let her know that we could make ourselves available if they needed us or if anything about his condition got worse. She told us Tuesday afternoon that it would be great if we were able to stay with them for a while after she left to help get them all set up on new home health care. Jesse felt strongly that this was something we could do so we decided to get packing and leave as soon as we could.

I packed up a bunch of clothes pretty quickly. I’m usually not a very light packer to begin with because I like to have choices, but packing in such a rush means I brought even more than normal. Then I made a quick trip to Nutrition S’Mart to stock up on my special allergy foods that I probably wont be able to get there. I felt like a fugitive, packing everything we might need and stuffing it into the car and taking off. It’s a good thing we decided to drive because there is no way we would have been able to fly with all the stuff we brought.

Me driving

So the day started off great. Jesse even let me take the first driving shift since I knew I would crash as soon as the adrenaline rush from my packing high wore off. We were talking and snacking, enjoying the road trip. Then all of a sudden all of the warning lights in the dashboard come on at once and the car started loosing power. Jesse immediately moved over to pull off at the next exit. By the time we were off the exit ramp and on a little side road, the car had lost all power. We coasted down the deserted road wondering where we would stop. We pulled into a boat shop just as the car stopped running.

Boat shopBoat lot

It was completely dead. Jesse went into the boat shop to ask if one of the guys could try jump-starting the car. So the guy pulls his tractor over and hooked up the jumper cables. I just had to get a picture, I’ve never seen a jump-start from a little tractor. Unfortunately, that didn’t do the trick… fortunately, the guy happened to have a boat battery that would work for our car. We bought the battery and went on our way. We are so thankful for the help from this kind stranger… we happened to die right where someone was able to help us.

Tractor jump

We were pretty sure we had solved the problem since the boat guy ran a test on the battery to confirm it was truly dead. A few hours later the car repeated the same thing! This time we noticed the signs faster and quickly turned off the air conditioning, radio, and all the lights. That gave it enough power to drive a couple exits to where there was an auto store. Too bad it was already closed! Another jump-start from another stranger got us to Walmart for a battery charger and to a hotel for the night. We were pleasantly surprised with the fanciness of the hotel for the low price.

Fancy hotelHotel bathrrom

So now we’re here for the night and looking for a place to take the car in the morning. This is SO frustrating because this car is still new to us and we have had absolutely no problems with it. We even had it all checked out before we left to confirm it was in good condition for a road trip. Now we are stuck with no choice but to spend extra time and money to get it fixed so that we can get to where we are going.

We have two pretty funny things running in our hotel room tonight. We are charging our car battery to make sure we will have enough power to get to the car shop. That wasn’t easy to carry in. At least there is no chance someone can steal our car.

Battery charger

Jesse has his entire office set up since he needed to bring the computer to work on once we were at Grandpa and Grandma’s house. After unpacking the car he sat down and started answering emails like we were at home. At least something productive got done today.

Jesse computing

Exhausting day… now it’s time to sleep in our king sized bed and hope for a more successful day tomorrow!