Chaotic but Clean.

Don’t you think this is where most moms live? Smack dab in the middle of chaos – forget neat and orderly, it’s a thing of the past. Clean – whatever is most necessary – not white glove, not inspection ready – but clean. Even that is hard to manage with 2 girls (let alone a housefull of kids – can you imagine Jon & Kate’s life – seriously!) who love to dump their juice onto the carpet just because they can, and want to do things “by myseff”. Carpet gets vacuumed regularly but needs a good shampooing. Floors get wiped up only to become sticky and gross within seconds. I’ve just given up on some things altogether – but I have my standards. Bathroom has to stay clean (I get really grossed out thinking about bathroom germs) and dishes have to be washed. If I can stay on top of those 2 things, the rest of it all comes together.

By the way, I HIGHLY recommend a visit to Rolling Ridge Ranch if you are ever in the proximity of Berlin, Ohio. Despite my husband’s sheer terror of aversion to the Amish, and his threatening panic attack as we pulled into the parking lot, he settled down and we had a BLAST!!! You climb aboard a big creaky wagon with a covered top (when I was told it was a covered wagon, I immediately envisioned myself as Laura Ingalls pioneering her way across the country with her family – but I overestimated the situation entirely). The driver guides you through – cracking really humorous jokes (who knew the Amish were so funny???) and warning us of the aggressive animals. Aggressive meaning they would take the feed buckets out of our hands if they could… Anyway – Curly & Tater had SO MUCH FUN! Tater would have jumped out and ridden any animal that might have let her. Curly was petting everything she could get her hands on. The ride lasted for about 45 minutes – and we saw some really cool animals – up close & personal. We saw African antelopes, donkeys (mammoth donkeys!), potbellied pigs (and their tiny babies), spotted deer, llamas, emus, ostrich, alpacas, elk, water buffalo (that was awesome!!!), zebras (who stole curly’s feed bucket!), buffalo, a brahma bull, a camel, Scottish Highland cattle – I could go on. And they would stick their heads in right by ours or by our feet to get their feed. It was very interactive and cool and we may go again in the fall! Then there was the petting zoo – the cutest little pygmy goats – we actually wanted to put one in my bag to take home, but since stealing is wrong, we didn’t… They had goats, a baby brahma, a miniature donkey, ducklings, runner ducks, sheep and lambs, chickens (Roy was in H-E-A-V-E-N) – one was a white silky with about 10 chicks. We also saw pheasants, a Lady Amherst pheasant, peacocks, white peacocks, monkeys, lemurs, alligators – all in all it was very exciting and a lot of fun. We went with our friends Rick & Nanna. We always have a blast with them!

Then we visited Heini’s Cheese Chalet. oh was that awesome! I’m a cheese lover – always have been – always will be. I can give up a whole bunch of things – I can go caffeineless, popless, coffeeless, sleepless – but NOT cheeseless. And forget that fat-free crapola – it’s like PLASTIC!!! it doesn’t even melt. Anyway – real cheese – in about 45 flavors (maybe more) – and free samples… We came away with some garlic & sundried tomato cheese – TASTY, and we had a real good time until my friend Nanna beat up the old lady.

Okay – she didn’t REALLY beat her up – Nanna had her cute little guy, Cross-Eyes (no, he doesn’t have a disorder, it’s just his new trick), in his stroller. She was standing NEXT TO some old biddies who were taking their sweet time sampling the goods. Well, one of the ladies lost her balance and fell, and her very bitter, cranky, and loud daughter, decided that Nanna was somehow responsible for it. I was standing in the back – Rick got right in there and helped the lady back up and she was all pale and shaky. And her daughter starts making some noise and wondering what a STROLLER (gasp!) was doing in the store anyway! Well, I’m sure the lady would have appreciated the tag-game that WOULD have commenced if we had gone into the chalet strollerless… Nanna was just standing there fand the lady lost her balance and fell.  She was like 103 anyway!!!

So then her really loud old daughter blathered on, glaring and staring, and I was watching and getting steamed about it. So – needless to say, we had to needle Nanna the rest of the time about how mean she was… But she isn’t. Nanna is one of the best people I know – she’s funny and sarcastic (when were were making plans to visit the ranch and my husband suspected that the ranch was in fact run by Amish, and if that was the case he refused to go, she successfully persuaded him they were Catholic…), she loves coffee (woohoo!) and she’s really great at letting me be who I am and being my friend anyway! Besides that, she makes these death-defying PB&J bars and doesn’t care how many I eat!!! THAT is a true friend!

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