Monday, November 16, 2009

We are so not in Kansas (and by that I mean DC) anymore Toto...

Saturday, John and I decided to get out of the house and explore some of the local sights. Now that we're not in DC, that eliminates most museums and national monuments, but turns out there are some really fun things to see, and they're a bit more practical (especially for this area) than what we're accustomed to.

First, we headed to the local orchard. Now, I grew up down the road from a strawberry farm, and not far from several orchards. In fact, I remember several years of turning apples into apple butter, apple jelly, and dried apples to send off to various relatives. John hadn't had that experience, and we knew Timothy would get a big kick out of it. Sadly, we were a little late in the year for tractor rides, or u-pick, but we did get some nice apples, and apple cider that had been pressed that day.

When we left, since the day was still young, we decided to head down to a cheese factory we'd heard a lot about. It was everything we heard. The cheese is delicious, and it's only about half a mile from an Amish grocery, that is renowned for it's spices. Lots of good bulk items too for when I want to build up our food supply. =)

The grocery/spice store was nice, and I got some great ideas for when I need to stock up, but the cheese shop experience was what really blew my mind. I had assembled about half a dozen items, and when I went to pay for them, was informed that they only took cash or check, and I only had plastic. I was about to ask about and ATM, when the clerk said: "Oh, it's okay, put your name and address on this receipt, and you can mail us a check."

Wha-Huh? I'm sure I looked as if she was speaking a different language, because she repeated herself. I offered to go find and ATM if she wanted to hold m purchase, but she said that was okay. This worked too. Still blown away, I filled out the receipt, and we took our cheese. We wrote them a check once we got home, but I'm still a bit shocked by the whole experience. Back in DC (and pretty much anywhere else I've lived in the last several years), you had to present at least one form of ID, if not two to write a check, and they let us walk out with our cheese, trusting that we'd pay them back. It really restores my faith in human nature, so see someone trust others that much.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

You want me to do what???

For those who follow our blog, it's time for the rare, and therefore anticipated post by John. (Okay, maybe it's only anticipated by my mom, and perhaps that's only because there's pics of the grand babies, but hey, that still counts in my book.)

Lately, I have been asking the question "You want me to do what?" a lot. Back to when we I landed a job working for a great University on a career status position and Margaret asked this question when I said we were moving to Iowa. Then we get here, and I find out that one of the first sets I would be building was for a show called "Reefer Madness" the musical.

Then, there was this past week. Last Sunday I had to work in the morning (as I occasionally due because of technical rehearsals being on Saturday and Sundays) Thankfully, at this job I only have to be there for the beginning and the end of the rehearsal, and not for the entire 12 hour rehearsal everyday. So, after I got off of work, I rushed over to make it for church just in time for the last hour and to participate in priesthood. Little did I know that this was the day that the Elder's quorum presidency was doing PPI's. So here I am at church, dressed in jeans and a collared shirt, being asked about my worthiness by my priesthood leader. His first question was whether I decided to dress "mormon light" for the day. I explained to him the work situation, and that it was better to wear jeans to church, than to wear a tie while running a table saw.

I did however joke with someone else that I simply figured that if you occassionaly wear jeans to church you will likely never get asked to speak in church and you will definitely never get called to a leadership position. Well, I'm still not in a leadership position, but ten minutes after I made that joke, one of the counselors in the bishopric asked me if I would speak in church. Oh well, that method has officially failed me.

I did end up having to work most evenings this last week, so I wrote a talk about fasting while sitting through dress rehearsals for "Reefer Madness". Needless to say, I got a little bit of the munchies while working on the talk.

After all was said and done, the talk went well, and other than Andrew crying the whole way through it, and Margaret having to sit with him in the lobby, it all went off without a hitch. The best part is that next week is Margaret's turn to speak in church.

In other notes, I found this hat at work this week, and brought it home and gave it to Timothy. He's worn it everywhere he's gone, evidently, including dreamland during nap time.

Also, yesterday (Saturday) we had a bit of a family outing. We left with the intent of going to the apple orchard and coming home, and we did start by going to the apple orchard where we bought several pounds of fresh apples, some fresh squeezed apple cider, and some hot apple turnovers. However, instead of heading home, we decided to extend our day trip and drove about 20 miles south to the town of Kolona, an old Amish settlement here in Iowa. Our first stop was the Twin County Dairy and cheese factory where Timothy got to watch them make cheese curds through a window, and Margaret spent 20 dollars on cheese. The kicker was that when she went to pay they said they only took cash or check, no debit or credit cards. That put us in a bind, because we almost never carry cash with the modern convenience of debit cards, and we had left the checkbook at home. We were going to leave, sadly, without our cheese, when the lady at the factory store bagged our purchase gave us a receipt and told us to simply send them a check for the amount of the purchase. Margaret and I looked at each other and said "You want us to do what"? Never before have we been so sure that we weren't in DC anymore. It really is a different, much simpler way of life here in Iowa.