Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Year, New Adventures

It may seem like Liz has been keeping us shut up in the sock drawer for the last two months but the truth is that we just haven't been finding anything that we consider to be blog-worthy. Sure, Liz has a new job, which we'll report on eventually, and we have been accompanying her to work and such on an almost weekly basis, but nothing was compelling enough for us to share...until now.

Today we all set off on an adventure nine and a half years in the making - don't get too excited - a trip to the famous Maple Tree Inn. Nine and a half years before we could experience the ooey gooey goodness of fresh buckwheat pancakes smothered in real maple syrup? Yes. Every year until now, Liz has been holed up at "that other place" doing maple sugaring programs and listening to people talk about their annual pilgrimages to the Maple Tree Inn. The one day that Liz ever had off during the sugaring season - Monday - is the one day of the week that the Inn is closed.

After an hour and a half in the car - it would have been less if they had remembered that this sign goes OUTSIDE - we arrived to throngs of senior citizens and the smells of syrup, pancakes, and great coffee. The menu boasted more maple delights than any mere mortal could partake of in just one afternoon, too bad. Had we not stuffed ourselves with buckwheat pancakes and maybe the best sausage we've ever had, we might have found some room left over for a bite of Coconut Maple Crunch Pie, a Maple Milkshake, or the homemade Maple Walnut Ice Cream Sandwiches. Mmmmmmmm...

Here we are in the basement of the Inn stealing a quick shot in front of the giant evaporator.

Stuffed to the gills we decided not to go home and to instead continue our travels towards Amish country. The Amish have quite a settlement in the Southern Tier and many of their homes have small shops attached where they sell their handiwork. We only stopped at one, a quilt shop, but were very impressed by the sheer volume of work. Liz said if she spent the rest of her life quilting she could never produce half as much as what we saw today. One bed in the shop was literally covered more than a foot deep in quilts. Whoa.

Sorry, no pictures. We did pass several horse and buggies and even saw more than a dozen men busy building a barn as we traveled.

We continued on and as the hours passed our tummies began to rumble again so we headed for a locally famous restaurant called Earl's. Along the way we saw the most amazing things pop up from behind a hill - Giant whirlygigs! We wanted to get out and get a better look but somebody refused to stop the car.

After getting turned around a bit we made it to Earl's.

People think we are sometimes a little weird but you should see the tables at Earl's! Notice anything strange? All of the table have legs - with pants and cowboy boots on them!

Once we got some food in us and warmed up a little, Right started getting fresh with the table. I guess we need some more socializing.

Aside from the great food (rootbeer, grilled cheese, homemade curly fries) and unique decor, Earl's also boasts a Country Music Museum. (It's over there, in the corner). A modest museum - more modest than the Jell-o museum, yes) - it consists of several glass-fronted display cases containing country music memoribilia. Our favorites were the sparkly ones like this outfit that belonged to Little Jimmy Dickens, and the dress that was once worn by Tammy Wynette. (The Jimmy Dickens link takes you to a lovely little tune...)

So, our trip to get pancakes, with many diversions, took us nine hours in all. We barely made it to class but at least we have something to show for it! :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our First Christmas

Christmas was quite a day for two easy going socks like us. We started with a drive to Liz's parent's house. We took in the holiday sights along the way (and were "treated" to Liz's renditions of holiday classics like "Happy Holidays," "Winter Wonderland," and the entire Elvis Christmas album. The girl really likes her Christmas music!)

This is the famous "bear on the fountain" that marks the center of the town where Liz grew up and where her parents still live. A little further on we easily found her street by the festive sign that marked its start...

Apparently at night it is lit from top to bottom.

Once we arrived the feasting and tearing began. Food was everywhere and boy did it smell great! Before we could really dig in and enjoy all of the goodies the presents had to be opened. Box after box was filled with things only someone like Liz could enjoy until, as the very last package was ripped open, finally something we could enjoy, too...

They say Christmas is about family, well ours just got a lot bigger! Now that we aren't the "new socks in the drawer" anymore we will have to take these new members of our family under our careful guidance.

We chatted with the new socks and told them that Liz was okay as long as you didn't mind the singing and the rampant bunny that was unusually attracted to chewing anything in its path.

After everyone stuffed themselves to the point of groaning we set out through the cold night to enjoy some of the local holiday displays. One in particular dwarfed all of the rest. For what had to be at least a quarter of a mile we were blinded by holiday lights and deafened by cheerful Christmas music projecting from hidden speakers around the most incredible house we have ever seen.

After so much excitement we were glad to be home and tuck in for a well-deserved night's sleep.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Sock Christmas!

What would Christmas be without a pair of beautiful stripey socks hanging from the mantle?

We were very excited to be included in the holiday happenings but what's up with the "goodies" we were stuffed with? A spider and a bat?! The bat is kinda cute but that spider is huge! We guess Santa knows best...

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Lending a Toe

Seeing as Liz works at a nature center and we go there a lot, we thought maybe we would be able to lend a toe and help with some of the work. Liz thought long and hard and finally came up with something quite fun: Project FeederWatch.

Once a week we stare through binoculars at the bird feeders outside the nature center. We figure out what birds are visiting and then we count how many of each species come on each day.

We've never really spent much time appreciating the birds so we were surprised at how lovely many of them really are. And the equipment is cool, too! It's like those binoculars were made just for us...two sides so we can be comfortably next to each other and don't have to wait our turn to look at the birds.

This one is called a red-breasted nuthatch. Weird name but we kind of like it. It is very fast when coming to the feeder for seeds. It grabs one and then woosh! it's off again. If you stare at it long enough it even looks a little bit like us. Notice the stripey head and the colors are very close to our own.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Something New

We have been good and loyal socks to Liz. We know how much she appreciates our company and we look forward to all of our adventures with her. Now that the weather has turned cooler she wears us out a lot more, even though most of our trips couldn't really be thought of as adventures. She's been a little busy lately but really, everything has been fine. That is, until IT came...

IT came from our maker half-way across the country in Kansas. Like us, IT is home made. Unlike us, IT is merely decorative (rather than decorative and useful). Liz would argue that it has very real and practical uses. Whatever.

Just look at IT! How are we supposed to compete with that?! Not only is it new, but it is also woven from hand-spun wool. As if that weren't enough, while it doesn't have happy stripes like we do, it has something that produces a little squeal of delight every time Liz looks at it. Freakin' bats! How are we supposed to compete with bats?! Ugh.

Not only do we have to compete with the fact that it has bats but, on it's first night in town - the very day it arrived in the mail - she took it to the theater and left us sitting at home in the drawer! Apparently we aren't classy enough for the theater. We'll see about that...

That was all a month ago...we've been pretty busy since then. No adventures to speak of but we know there are some in our future. Liz did pay us the honor of wearing us on her birthday. Liz is going back to work at the place where all of the pumpkins were only now they are selling trees. We heard Liz telling someone that there would be real live reindeer there so we are looking forward to seeing them. Maybe we can get them to pass a note to Santa...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sock the Vote!

Today is a very important day! So important that Liz made us stay in the sock drawer right through Halloween so we would be ready for it. Today is Election Day.

As soon as we finished breakfast we headed for the polls:

It wasn't long to get to the polls. In fact, it's right across the street! You may notice the lack of line in front of the door. We saw lines running around corners on the news this morning but the gentle folks of Avon don't seem to be in a hurry to vote. We hope they understand how important it is!

Once we found our way inside we signed in (well, Liz did) and learned that we were number 163 to vote today. That doesn't feel like very many, although it was just 9 a.m. when we got there. We did have to wait a few minutes for our turn - there was only one voting machine in the room. Finally, our turn came.

There is a fancy curtain thing that gives voters privacy - human voters, that is. The curtain only covered Liz from the top of her head to her waist. What about our privacy? Fortunately Liz was able to do the voting for us:

Fingers and toes crossed! Now that we have done our duties as citizens we can spend the rest of the day having fun. As we travel we will proudly sport the fact that we voted. (We decided we need to take turns - Right gets the morning, Left gets the afternoon.)

Sock the Vote!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fun on the Farm

With another season comes yet another seasonal job. This time Liz is working at a farm. We don't think it's an ordinary kind of farm. They have animals and pumpkins and everything you would expect...but then there's all of the extra stuff.
For example:

The Hillbilly Hen House. The hens you see actually talk. They tell bad chicken jokes and sing farmer songs. When school groups come they tell all about what it takes for a chicken to make an egg.

"Why did the chicken cross the road, roll in the dirt, and then cross the road again?"

"Because he was a dirty double crosser!"

There are also lots of fun things for kids to do like climb a fort made of hay, jump in a pit full of hay, slide down giant slides, pick pumpkins, and play in a giant box full of corn.

You know we had to have our turn! Liz said she was aching to get in it since the first time she saw it. Some corn snuck into her pants while we were rollin' around. Fortunately it just shakes right out. We thought the corn would be hard and uncomfortable but it was great! It felt so good. Probably the closest we will ever get to swimming with Liz.

One of Liz's jobs is to drive the train. It's really just a tractor disguised as a train. The "cars" are barrels made to look like animals. Our favorite is the turkey even though we didn't get to ride in that one. The train isn't so bad - it's smelly but about the warmest spot on the farm when the days are cold.

After we took school kids for a ride on the train today, it was our job to show them the animals in the petting zoo area. We started with the easiest ones to catch. In fact, Liz put some of them in her pockets! each kid got a chance to hold one (carefully, of course).

The kids were given small handfuls of food to feed the animals in the petting zoo. Some animals were hungrier than others...

This is Baby, she's huge (and always hungry). She makes all sorts of funny little grunting noises and her tiny little tail wags vigorously while she eats.

And then there is Suzette, the llama.

Can you see the little boy with the red hair and the camouflage coat? In about five minutes only me, him, and another farm worker will be with the llama and Suzette is going to sneeze right on his head! It was so gross! He didn't seem upset about it though - just thought it was funny. That's because he couldn't see the top of his head like we could!

There are also sheep, a calf named Frank, and a mini-pasture full of naughty bunnies who keep escaping.

"No naughty bunny here. Nope. No, sir. Don't know what you could be talkin' about."

We are sure we will be going back before the season is over. There is just so much to do there!