So, the rundown.

I dropped Mabel off Thursday night, and immediately started to miss her. I'm really a cat person, but I do like my doggie. (When she is not being annoying.) My biggest fear was that the kittens, who keep jumping up on the countertops and THE STOVE (where they are not allowed) would somehow turn on the stove and burn the house down. So I duck taped the stove knobs and put the cover on the burners I use--the other ones are already covered. I gave everyone extra food and water, watered my plants extra good, and had a long list of things to remember. I crossed everything off my list, thank goodness!

I left on Friday morning, drove all the way up 75, and in Findlay, realized that I could have taken a very scenic route all the way up 68. Which would have been quite cool and probably a lot of fun. If I ever drive that way again, I'll do that. It might take me a bit longer, but heck, if I'm getting such good gas mileage, that's ok.

I stopped at an orchard off of 23 in Michgan--Spicer's Orchard, where I found fresh cherries, so I bought two quarts to eat while we were at the hotel. We stopped on the way back as well, and they had cherries and blueberries, and I did buy more cherries. Yum! I will have fruit for a little while now. :)

Once in Frakenmuth, I drove around a bit while waiting for my family to show up, and I saw the coolest painted barn--and I do mean the coolest ever. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photograph, but I remember how it looks. If I ever paint my shed, it will look as nice as this barn did.

I found the downtown and the shops--lots of neat shops, including a health food store, which was nice as well. I did find the yarn shop, and spent a good amount of time in there before choosing three different skeins of yarn in a similar colorway to make myself a very pretty scarf (next weaving project, perhaps?) and I also got some tea from Revolution Teas and Whittard of Chelsea, which were both very tasty. I have some left, still.

Then my family showed up and we walked around for a bit, and then went back to the hotel we were staying at, which had an indoor waterpark. I didn't go swimming, but Ethan, Bekah, and Jess seemed to have a lot of fun. (Ethan especially, of course!)

We went to more shops on Saturday, but by the end of the day, my feet were killing me and so were my shoulders, from carrying around my bags all day long, so I ended up not going to the Bronner's Christmas store/warehouse. Maybe next time, if we go again. Instead, I ended up going to the bead shop with Jessica for over an hour (in the rain, even) and didn't buy a thing.

I brought back chocolate cheese, which is very interesting and tasty, and other cool stuff, too, including Michigan honey. Mom and Dad bought me this Jim Shore figurine--I didn't realize he was so prolific!--and I really liked his cat figures, too. At least I can buy them on ebay if I want to. Ethan came home with too many toys, of course; they had a week in Wisconsin before Frakenmuth, so two vacations in one, really!

We ran into traffic in Dayton, of course, and didn't get back until around 7pm. Then I had to go pick up Miss Mabel, deliver presents and thanks to my coworker, and zip home as a storm tried to form around us. Luckily, we didn't get the brunt of it, only some rain. Mabel and I got back to the house a bit before 9pm, and I tried not to crash too early--I was up until around 11pm. I'm still a bit tired today, but everything is largely put away and sorted out so I can go back to work tomorrow.

This morning, I picked 3lbs of beans, one largish zucchini, two tomatoes, and three yellow crookneck squash. The squash has gone nuts; it's actually attempting to block the pathway between the lima beans and the zucchini. And I saw baby cucumbers, too!

One of my pole beans--the Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans--was 7 1/2 inches long.


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