We arrived Wednesday afternoon to Tom's Mom's house in the Hocking Hills of Ohio. Kimber Ann had had enough of the car seat, and commenced letting us know this just about the time we hit Chillicothe. She protested all the rest of the way to her Great Grandma Arlene's house.
Tyrel heard his Grandpa and Great Uncle Buck calling their mother "Ma". So great grandma Arlene became "Ma" to Tyrel. He took to her from the moment he met her last year, and follows her like a small shadow. He helped her eat her food (whether she wanted to share or not!), and climbed into her lap any time she sat down.
Thursday was Daniel and Samuel's 14th birthday.
Dan's cake was supposed to be a chess board with chocolate candy chess pieces. Unfortunately, in attempting to melt the chocolate IN the candy mold... I melted the mold. Dan decided his second choice was a cheesecake. I got the WalMart mixed variety... which met an unfortunate slide in the trunk on the way home.
Sam has memorized "Pi" out to about the 35th place. So for his birthday, I made him a Pi Pie. He decided he wanted a pumpkin ice cream pie.
Pumpkin isn't exactly in season, even in the Pumpkin Capital of the world, Circleville, Ohio.
I called several custom flavored ice cream places, and none had pumpkin ice cream. I decided to try my hand at making some pumpkin ice cream pie. This led to another obstacle.
No one has pumpkin in stock. WalMart hasn't carried it in stock for over 18 months. The local grocery stores and dollar stores carry it, "in season". As a last resort, and in order to get back to lounging on my MIL's deck, Tom's brother told me he was pretty sure he had some canned pumpkin in his cupboard at home.
So we headed back from town to Arlene's house. We ran into a detour. The detour circled us right back to the road we started on... so the guys took it in the opposite direction. We ended up driving the back roads of the Hocking Hills. Every road choice sent us farther away from the house! Buck suggested that the ice cream I had purchased would need to be sucked up in a straw, as the drive was turning from a 20 minute ride to an hour and 20 minute drive!
On arrival back at the house, I got out Arlene's blender. The ice cream was VERY soft by then! I blended some pumpkin pie filling with vanilla ice cream and cool-whip, and poured it into a graham cracker crust. Out of regular pie crust, we made the numbers. They were baked, then added to the pie once cooled.
It was a big hit.
Friday was the train ride! We took an 'excursion' train- the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway. It was a fundraiser run to make money to restore a steam locomotive. We got to choose where we wanted to sit- in the enclosed rail cars, or in the open air cars. We chose the open air car. We went from Nelsonville to Logan, and back to Nelsonville. This was my first time on a train at all, discounting riding the 'Five Mile Train Ride' at the Forest Park Zoo in Ft Worth, and the train that circles Six Flags in Arlington, TX. (Mom says I was once on a train as an infant, but I don't remember it!)
It was a whole lot of fun.
We mostly just stayed out on my MIL's deck, this trip. Usually, we are out hiking the local State Parks. Old Man's Cave, The Rock House, Cantwell Cliffs, and Conkles Hollow are all local to my MIL. It remained hot and humid, though not nearly so much as it was in Kentucky.
Tom and I did go look at the house he found online. It is less than 2 miles down the same road as Tom's Mom. A log cabin on 20 acres, set more than 1/4 mile off the road. The drive-by showed us that the internet failed to capture the absolute greatness of this place. So we called out the real estate agent, and went inside on Saturday. Inside, as the agent said, was 'dated'. (That is polite real estate speak for livable, but decrepit.) It is 3 bedroom, 2 full bath, 2 decks, a HUGE garage/ workshop... plus the original small hunting cabin. In checking it out thoroughly, we discovered it was not the "modular" home the real estate believed, but a 1972 double wide, to which the log siding had been recently added. The well pump was set FAR away from the house, back in the woods... where it wasn't sheltered at all. For a mobile on 20 acres... the 20% down comes into play... making this place out of our reach. But it was fun to look.
We headed for Arkansas early Sunday morning, before it was anywhere near 'bright' and early. The kids were little troopers, but we did need extra breaks. The shortest amount of time we ever spent on this drive is 12 and a half hours. Sunday, we were just under 15 hours.
Once home, we discovered half a dozen messages on our answering machine from the property manager of this house. "The owner is putting it back on the market". Strange, as far as we knew, it was never OFF the market. The lock box has remained on our door for three years, though it hasn't been shown in a year and a half. We have spent the past 2 days getting it 'show ready'.
This also means we have to be looking and preparing to move.
The fun just never stops!
Oh, the pictures are up at Moocrew2!
They are split into several groups, all near the top of the page. Thanks for reading!!!