Monday, October 3, 2011

from funny farm to fun on the farm

farm-fun-turkey-dinner

farm-fun-chicken-coop

farm-fun-screamin-oaks

farm-fun-bells

farm-fun-hay

farm-fun-sleepy-jean-sign

farm-fun-sleepy-jeans-barn

farm-fun-equipment

farm-fun-sleepy-jeans-barn-2

farm-fun-chocolate

In our final month of domestic limbo here in Kansas, I'm searching for stuff to keep us busy outdoors on the weekends and to reduce the human footprint on our house until the closing. Basically we bunk here, and we breathe, but beyond that I'm committed to minimal activity indoors. I've already proudly marked one month of no cooking. The oven exploded two days before we put it on the market, we had to express order a brand spanking new range, and I'm not touching it before we move. It has become quite a funny farm around here trying to keep ourselves occupied and sane.

Yesterday we took the funny farm on the road to a real one. We departed on the annual Kaw Valley Farm Tour, a self-guided tour of 25 farms around east central Kansas. We had never done it before, and I figured this was the last opportunity. I love driving on bumpity back roads, flying through the countryside past silos and barns, up and down the hills. But getting to a specific destination requires adventure and patience. Rural roads often go by multiple monikers: highway number, street name, rural route direction. Maps are marked with one name, the roads themselves with another. Sometimes neither are labeled, making both useless, and GPS (which I despise anyway) generally is just as confused. Paved roads turn into gravel and dirt; dead ends abound; required turnoffs quietly veer off to one side behind me while I'm looking out the other window. I committed all these fouls and more.

So in the end we only made it to two farms. But we made it to the best ones, I think. First up was the chocolatier Sleepy Jean's, whose factory is installed on an old farm. I've been buying and consuming Jean's confections on the sly ever since we moved here. They're amazing. And so is her chocolate farm. She let my kids cut past all the adults so they could get a first row view of her chocolate making demonstration, and she gave them double chocolate samples. I loved her story about how she left a high powered corporate career, learned how to make her own chocolate from the cacao bean grounds up, and built it into a thriving business. And I loved that I left her farm with two blissed out kids.

The second was Screamin' Oaks Farm in Tonganoxie. I figured with a name like that, it had to be good. And it was. For hours my girls milked goats, spun wool from their sheep, played in the sandbox, chased a turkey, built mazes out of haystacks, formed instant friendships with the other kids, and got filthy. Made me realize how content kids are when they can just run and play, free of parental clutches and playdate schedules. I ran into my sweet friend Estelle and her family (a surprise encounter, as that was the last place I expected to see anyone I knew) and we whiled away the rest of the afternoon having fun on the farm before we had to return to our own funny farm for the night.

P.S. The turkey's name is Dinner. Not kidding :)

14 comments:

Chel said...

How neat! Most people would be hunkering down their last few weeks in a place, not trying to find adventure! You are my hero :)

I'm so sorry things are "askew" right now- I really do hope you find your new, perfect home SOON (if you haven't already) and can get settled in very quickly.

cath c said...

excellent adventuring!

my two fave photos are the turkey and the 1909 door.

and i want to eat the chocolate spoons....

Who you callin' housewife? said...

Looks like such fun. And great photos -- for a second there I really thought I could get me a free sample.

Hope that move goes well. Avoid all appliances until the move is completed.

lisa b. said...

I remember when we had our house on the market a few years back. Every time our realtor called we were at the library. I think she thought I was crazy but she had no understanding of how much destruction could take place in 5 minutes. Young kids and a house on the market make for a huge challenge but it sounds like you've got it figure out!

kristen said...

You make everything look and sound fun. Oh Lawrence will never be the same....

Annie Pazoo said...

Hey, Aimee. Great pics and great fun! (I'll let you in on a little secret: I try to avoid all appliances after moving in, too. It's been 12 years and I'm still trying to avoid them). Love the farm visits!

PS: My captcha is "milymodi" don't you love that?? ??

Pat said...

What a nice contrast to the last post--the country meets the city. It looks like you know how to have fun just about anywhere. There's an adventure around every corner, right?

Christine E-E said...

when do you actually move out of your Kansas house? and where in NY are you moving? and remind me... why are you moving? job? following the seasons (love the cold)? more artistic options?

Beka*B said...

Awesome! And yup! Can totally relate to the utter gibberish of the North American mapping system. I am slowly learning not to assume that what is shown will be so, and to follow my nose and enjoy the magical mystery tours that unfold...

I always thought if I had chickens or pigs they would be named after the days of the week for that exact same reason :D

Kelly Warren said...

I'm enjoying your adventures! A turkey named "Dinner..." Snort... :-)

Shelley Malone said...

Looks like you've found the most fun way possible to avoid messing up the house before you move. I bet the girls are having a blast!

My Soul Can Dance said...

i love those colorful bells! i bet they sound lovely when the breeze blows!

We Three 3 said...

that is a beautiful turkey Aimee with all those b/w feathers!
You take some fab photos, feel like I am right there too. The spoons of chocolate look deliciouso!

yosef samarta said...

great pics...:)