It's been a fun and exciting weekend here in Wisconsin. I'd purposefully scheduled some relaxing and fun activities, because when one turns another year older, I think it makes it a bit easier to forget that fact.
Yesterday, Ben and I started the day off by going to Barthel Fruit Farm to pick apples. We picked three bushels of Cortland in practically no time at all. I'm going to make some into sauce and perhaps a cranberry/apple crisp or two, but most are slated to be turned into "Apple Pie in a Jar," when Mom comes out in two weeks. While at Barthel's, we also picked up a few pears to eat, a package of Galas, a package of ginormous Pippins to turn into a fresh baked pie, plus four nice-sized pumpkins for seasonal decorating.
We headed from the orchard to Azana salon in Brookfield where I treated myself to a 50-minute massage with the gift certificate Ben gave me last Christmas. It was wonderful; I have some money left on the gift card and should schedule another soon before the holidays come around again. The two of us followed this up with lunch at Le Cakery in Elm Grove, where I had my favorite: BLT salad and we split a tasty Turtle Brownie.
Then it was off to the farmer's market in West Allis where I snapped up two huge and beautiful mums before they were gone. We also bought some Roma tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, basil, lettuce, mixed sweet peppers, potatoes, two more bunches of Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena) for drying, and I think probably some other things that I've forgotten. I have to admit that I love the farmer's market and am sad that it will soon be dying down. I'll definitely be heading there next weekend and every weekend I can because I know the end is near. I was seriously tempted by the beautiful squashes but am waiting another week or two because I know they'll have a deal soon where I can mix/match in a basket for a really good price.
We came home and I took a few minutes to arrange the decorating purchases in front of the house. Here's a photo taken this morning. The straw came from the farmer's market last week. Good thing I got it then: I didn't see any this week. And it won't totally go to waste; I figure I can put it on the garden before the first snow (which I won't even want to think about).
Then it was off to the Brewers game at Miller Park. They made it to the postseason for the first time since 1982 and everyone here was really pumped up about it. The atmosphere in the park was electric and I am very glad to have had the opportunity to experience it. We had amazing seats in the Terrace Box level, pretty much right at third base. (Unfortunately, my camera died so I got only a few few photos - including the one above of the lineup for both teams.) I was crossing my fingers for a Brewers win because it would mean another game - one on my birthday - and I've always wanted to go to one on my birthday (the only way for this to happen, however, is for the team I follow to make it to the postseason). Yesterday's game was nerve-wracking, but they pulled it off, and it was just amazing to be a part of the crowd afterwards. People were making tons of noise, waving the free towels they provided at the door, high-fiving, chanting, etc. all the way to the parking lots.
Tam and Steve came to the ball game with us today (here I am with Tam). We got pastries on the way to the stadium from Cranky Al's (and a hazelnut latte that will beat Starbucks any day). It was great to go with our friends and spend time catching up with them. While the end result was unfortunate (the Brewers lost 6-2 and have been eliminated), it was awesome to be able to go and to experience the crowd and baseball again for one more day. And I can now say I've gone to a baseball game on my birthday!
Post-game, I opened some generous gifts from family members. Ben and I played a game of cribbage (he didn't even let me win on my birthday!) and finished reading the Sunday paper that we couldn't read this morning because we left for the ballpark so early to get parking (it's also raining outside, so no more outdoor activities today).
Tonight holds in store some pasta with fresh sauce and, I believe, just a wee bit of sewing.
What a wonderful weekend!