Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Weekend Away from Hummingbird Farm

Labor Day weekend. A holiday that Americans get to take the day off work and honor their work ethic by doing one of three things.

  1. Working. Ghon works retail. He, like many other retail employees, had to work.
  2. Working. For me, Labor Day brings a day off from my career position, but usually just means I have an extra day to catch up or do more mom/housekeeper/shopper/bill payer duties.
  3. Drinking.  
Obviously, neither Ghon or I were partaking in much drinking on Labor Day. Nor were we working at the farm.

Original plans for the weekend did have us spending the day at the farm on Saturday. At the last minute, a friend asked us if we would help out at the chili cook-off in Harrisburg PA. Help out as in serve as the Chief Judge (Ghon) and Scorekeeper (me). We already had plans to serve this role on Sunday in Hanover PA. Knowing this event needed some guidance, we agreed. Friday evening, we loaded up the truck and headed to Harrisburg for the night.

The entire weekend was hot and humid. It gets a little boring for the kids at the chili cook-offs when we run the judging area. I can't run them around to do things, they have to stay close, and they never seem to have the toys they want once there.  The cook-off in Harrisburg is part of their Kipona festival, and close to the chili area was a kids area. They organizers have a ton of volunteers, and a 15-year old boy walked the kids down to the area to play some games and let the kids go down the big slide.

Fifteen year old boys do NOT have the same discretion as mothers do. That should come as a no brainer, right? Of course it does. However, I was not aware that the kids area had a game where you could win goldfish. Jonathan was so proud of his big win of three goldfish. The weekend challenge became how to keep three fair fish alive when we weren't going to be home for over 36 more hours!

Carnival fish. Free frisbee. I enjoy the frisbee much more than fish.
After the cook-off, we drove to Hanover PA for the night to be close to the next chili cook-off location. Once in the room, we ordered pizza, I got the kids bathed and we freed the fish. Into a chili judging cup.

We relaxed and watched the Smurf movie and chowed down on pizza. The kids seem to be taking after Ghon and I, and not really caring to eat when out in the heat all day, as none of us had any proper lunch or snacks, but tore up the pizza. I was playing around on Facebook on my laptop when I saw something leap out of the corner of my eye. I thought one of the kids threw a toy until Ghon yelled "GET IT!".

A fish jumped out of the cup, from the top of the refrigerator, and landed on the floor.

It took me three tries to scoop his slippery butt up off the floor and put him back in the cup. I then took a plastic plate from the pizza, pierced a few holes in it and gave the fish a lid.

They survived the night.

Sunday morning, we packed ourselves and the fish (back in their plastic bag) back up, and headed to Wal-mart, where I picked up a cheap plastic container, with a screw lid, to keep the fish safe at the cook-off site.

When Ghon and I were married 1999, it was the same day as the cook-off in Hanover. No, we did not get married at the cook-off. Obviously though, we often spend our anniversary weekend at a chili cook-off. The chairperson for the event remembered from last year that this was our anniversary and gave me these lovely flowers as a thank you for spending the day with them.

Anniversary flowers from the PA State Chili Chairman
If you look close, you can also see the fish in their little plastic home.

After the judging was underway, we were visited by Ghon's niece Jennifer and her daughter Megan who currently live in Florida. They were visiting with Cindy and her other daughter Krista. The visit was very brief, but it was great to see them all. I don't think they've see the kids in about two years.

Cousins visiting from Florida! Great to see you Jen & Megan!
A juggler made his way near the judging tent, and I asked him if he could show Jonathan some juggling. Not only did the two get their own show, Jonathan was also part of the act with a plate spinning on his finger.

The kids received a personal juggling show at the judging tent.
The kids favorite booth at the cook-off was the airbrushed tattoos. By the end of the day, Jonathan had four tattoos and Genevieve had three.

Also by the end of the day, despite all best efforts, all three fish died. After the first one went, we told Jonathan we would get him a replacement. Then we had to replace them all.

The kids were tattooed multiple times and helped give out the awards.

Remember my plea for saved pennies? Our friend Laurie was amazing this weekend. On Saturday night, she showed up at our hotel room with an orchid for me and a bottle of bourbon for Ghon as a thank you for helping out at the Harrisburg cook-off. On Sunday, she approached the judging tent with a big ol' jar of pennies!

Ghon had the jar still in his truck when he went to work Tuesday so he ran them through the coin counter at the end of the night. This represents roughly 17 square feet of flooring!!! Thanks, Laurie!!

Thanks for contributing pennies to the kitchen floor fund!
On our way home Sunday night, Ghon and I both saw a post on a Facebook Yard Sale site for a .40 caliber pistol for sale. I've always wanted my own handgun, and although I am not entirely sure why, Ghon says he would feel safer with me having one. After some conversations with the seller, I became the new owner on Monday afternoon. It is Ghon's anniversary present for me!  I am itching to purchase some ammunition and try it out. I've shot a few of Ghon's guns, but I am no expert. Virginia is an open carry state, but I plan to take the necessary course so I can apply for a concealed carry permit.  I plan on learning everything I can, and perhaps even taking some kind of gun safety course, even before thinking about doing any kind of open carry business.

My anniversary present - a .40 caliber pistol! In pink! Watch out people - I'm packing heat! Well, sort of.

So there you have it. A weekend away from the farm, but the farm still benefits: pennies and an armed matriarch. As noted, Ghon worked all day Monday, and I had the pleasure of shopping, doing laundry and of course, picking up my pistol.

Since Ghon had a late shift Tuesday, thankfully he was able to mow the grass before heading into work. The new lawn tractor has really decreased the amount of time it takes.

1 comment:

  1. Just consider the fish as sushi... and if they were flipping around, fresh sushi...LOL ...sounds like you all had a good time...