Tag Archives: Dads

Father’s Day Ale

Dad’s Day is all about dads, so when I asked C what he wanted to do this weekend, his response was: brew So brew we did. A Father’s Day ale, full of delightful aromas and flavors and fingers crossed it’s a success.  We’ll find out in a few weeks.  It’s beer number eight for Aardal (Home)Brewing Company (we’ll be in business in no time at all). Anyways, in order to accomplish his wishes, we headed to Hopster’s Brew & Boards in hopes of killing two three birds with one stone: buying beer supplies, watching World Cup soccer, and enjoying a pint. Look at these two (my little heart loves this so very much): J and C Our trip a success, we journeyed home to brew the ale, make some spent grain pizza dough, cook a pizza pie, and relax the afternoon away.  Day number one of Father’s Day weekend?  A whopping success (as rated by all).

Photos on Friday, ehh?

Well, we’re heading to Canada, ehh, yeah, you betcha.  Wait.  Not North Dakota.  Canada.  We’ll leave it at ehh.  Ehh and some photos to ring in a long weekend.

Check out the farmer’s corn:

It’s huge!  Oh wait.

You should have seen the bugs crawling out of it too.  Mmm, savoring the glory of the harvest.

Go Broncos.  And Patriots.  But mostly Patriots despite what this picture implies.

Much better.


And we’re off.  Road trip with a five month old.  For the record, it seems like a great idea right now.

We’re hoping for lots of this from the back seat:

Sunday drivers: open farm edition

So we created a goal of becoming Sunday (morning) drivers during football season.  As a means to distract Christopher from the football-induced anxiety he suffers from each Sunday morning and to prevent me from puttering non-stop, we decided that we will take Sunday morning as our time to enjoy and find ways to not simply pass the morning, but to truly enjoy it.

Sleepy Sunday morning pre-drivers

Yesterday marked attempt #1, and we can successfully declare the Sunday Drivers victorious.

Our day began early, with a 6:30am wakeup call from the littlest member of the group.  After some coffee for us, milk for him, and a bit of eye rubbing from all three of us, we piled into the car to head west (young grasshopper).  We had our eyes on Route 9 as the means to our end: Chestnut Farms in Hardwick, MA.   Chestnut Farms is where our monthly meat CSA (community supported agriculture) originates.

Back up: earlier this year we signed up for a monthly meat CSA, and since then we have received ten pounds of meat (cow, pig, chicken) fresh from the farm the 2nd Tuesday of each month.  In a word, it is awesome.  So delicious.  Especially the bacon.  Oh, the bacon.

Anyways, Sunday morning we headed west on Route 9, destination Hardwick.  Our first stop of the day was Rutland State Park for a brief stroll through the woods, by a pond, through more woods, and back to the car.  As Sunday was the first of my favorite types of fall days – crisp yet still warm air, cool breezes, shining blue sky – our walk through the woods was a delight.  We finished it off with a snack at the car – all three of us – before piling back in to continue our journey.

Next up was the Hardwick Farmer’s Market, pleasantly located on Hardwick’s town green.  We stocked up on beets, rainbow chard, poblano chiles, hearty breads from a local bakery, and some hermits to satisfy a sweet tooth.  And then we carried on smartly – next stop, the farm!

Let me pause here for a minute.  I’m fairly certain that at this point in time it was still before 11am.  No one can accuse us of wasting a day (remember, these are pre-football Sunday drives).

So the farm: it was a delight!  We wandered around, visited the new chicks, saw a few piglets (including the runt – he was so cute, poor little baby bacon), hung out in the fields, and sat under a shady tree.  Oh, we also saw our Thanksgiving dinner – s/he was busy growing into a delicious dinner, entirely oblivious to what is to come.

Anyways, after the farm we climbed back in the car to head home, Sunday drive complete.  We arrived home just in time for the end of the first games (we’re new to this and our timing wasn’t as great as it could be).  Thoroughly exhausted, we spent our afternoon watching football, cooking the bounty from the farmer’s market, eating the bounty from the farmer’s market, and relishing in the success of our first Sunday drive.

See you at Thanksgiving dinner, Turkey.

On dads…

Today is my dad’s birthday, so I’ve got dad on my mind (Happy Birthday, Dad!).

I grew up with a great dad.  I always knew he was a great dad.

When he had to work on Saturdays, sometimes he brought us with him. He set us free in the warehouse of Hartford Office Supply with a pocketful of quarters and directions to the vending machine (I distinctly remember a smaller version of myself on a loading dock one Saturday, lost beyond hope, asking a HOSCO employee to guide me back to the big cheese’s office). Dad would gather empty boxes, stuff the kids in them, and send us flying down the conveyor belt.  If boxes make great toys for kids, imagine boxes stuffed with kids, combined with conveyor belts.  Really.  Memories to last a lifetime, and I say that with no jest whatsoever.

My dad also always, always, always did his best to attend any athletic pursuit Scooter or I participated in, and he always, always, always made sure we knew how important it was to him and how proud of us he was.  That importance was often demonstrated by cheerful hollering from the sidelines, fatherly tips or guidance, and a bag of gummy bears.  It also often came while my dad was dressed in a suit, having come to our games straight from the office.

We spent hours playing catch in the backyard every Spring when he got home from work and as the daylight faded.  In the winter, he carted me to indoor batting cages, and we fed tokens to the machine while I wailed away and Dad critiqued, coached, encouraged.

In the summer when Mom packed the station wagon with the kids and ventured to Manchester, Dad would drive up every Friday after work and stay for the weekend.  Those weekends were always packed with activities: Red Sox games, trips to Canobie Lake Park, long days at Singing Beach. He spent hours at the beach building us pools to play in, handing out italian ice money, burying feet in the sand, consoling kids after battles lost to waves.

As a kid, I never thought twice about these things.  My dad was my dad; how he behaved must have been how all dads behaved.  It’s only after getting older that I realized that my dad was a very unique dad, the cream of the crop. There is no dad rule book – what my dad chose to do with his time was his own choice to make. And he chose us; he chose his family; he chose making memories with me. And even more so, he delighted in those choices.

So now, three months into my little boy’s life, I look at the man beside me, and I realize more and more that my dad gave me Christopher.  He gave me the role model to look up to that made me seek out those same characteristics in my husband, whoever he was to be.  I look at the delight Chris derives from playing with his son (and the play isn’t even that interesting yet), and I think of my dad.  I think of my childhood and that feeling that no matter what, my dad was there and would make our adventure a fun one.

I see how cycles repeat themselves. I see how children learn from their parents – and how those lessons shape the next generation of parents. And I am so thankful – so very, very thankful – that my dad’s teachings led me to Christopher which led me to James which led me to feeling blessed – so very, very blessed.

So my thoughts on dads?

They’re pretty great, and I have some of the greatest of the great in my world.

Happy Birthday to you, Daddio; you taught me a lot about this little thing we call life.