Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Complete Story (mostly)

So bits and pieces of Mark's story in the woods keep rolling in.
This will most likely be the last time I post anything. But the following letters from Mark's parents, I think nicely summarize the whole event. And quite frankly show the incredible goodness and mercy of God. We all know that it was God who brought Mark out of the woods, but the newspapers most likely aren't going to print that. So I thought I would give Everette and Sharon a voice. These were taken from Jim Porett's facebook page.

Two letters from the Albrecht's:
Letter #1
Dear Friends:
Please forward this message to others you know who prayed for us. It will be impossible to personally contact every one who has prayed, called, or emailed.

As you know last Fri, Sat, & Sun were extremely trying times for our family while Mark was lost in North Cascades Nat'l Park in Wa State. We were praying and hoping for the best, but by Sun were also preparing for the worst. Your prayers and encouragement got us through this time. We had decided we were going to trust God whether the news was bad or good, but we were definitely praying we would see Mark alive again.

God did answer this prayer as Mark made his way out to a road late Sunday afternoon. This was my best Father's Day ever but not one I want to repeat. Our whole family made it out to Wa for a 2 day family reunion - also the best vacation we have had.

Mark learned a lot during his experience and there are definitely some things he will do differently next time. After getting lost he made some wise decisions which helped him survive, but he was over his head on the challenges he faced, and he will be the first to tell you that God delivered him.

We are thankful to God for protecting Mark and appreciate your great support and encouragement during this time of trial. May this be a reminder to us all that we need God's strength, wisdom, and grace every day. May God bless you as you have been a blessing to us.

Everette & Sharon Albrecht

Letter #2 from Sharon Albrecht:
"It was so good to go out to Washington and see Mark after his "little adventure". He had obviously lost weight and was exhausted. However, he was relieved and thankful to be alive and back. While there we met with the rangers to express our gratitude and appreciation for all they did with the search effort. One of the rangers lingered afterward to let us know that she and her church had been praying for Mark. She went on to tell us that many predicted that Mark was dead from a fall or buried under an avalanche, and he might not be found. This is the usual scenario. Also, she told Mark it was a good thing he came out when he did because it snowed eight to ten inches Sunday night. After the meeting, we hiked up to the trailhead and we saw the spot where Mark emerged from the woods back onto the trail to safety and home. The North Cascades are beautiful and truly display the glory of God in His creation.

Mark says God led him into the wilderness and God brought him out. On Wednesday morning between 6:00 and 7:00, Mark broke camp and began hiking out. He planned to get out early, and he looked forward to getting some pizza to eat and getting well rested so he would be ready for work Thursday morning. ( He works Thursday-Sunday 5:00AM -4:30 PM. ) However, heavy cloud cover enveloped him limiting visibility on a trail that already had areas buried under snow/ice. Thus, he missed a switchback and hiked on. When he discovered that he was hopelessly lost, he made camp. The first time he set up his tent, it slid down the ice pack, so he found another spot with a tree to prop against one side of the tent to keep it from sliding. He spent the day using his utility tool knife to level the ice for the tent and the saw blade to cut branches to make an SOS and an arrow pointing to his tent. I think he also made a brush pile for a possible signal fire. After that he hunkered down in the tent to wait for help and pray. Thursday was sunny, so he spent that day drying everything out and waiting for help.

Everette and I were traveling from Georgia, where we had visited my family, to Alabama to visit Everette's mother Thursday. We were uneasy about Mark's situation since we had not heard from him Wednesday night, but we thought he might have been too exhausted to call. By Thursday night, neither of us could sleep. Friday morning we called his place of employment and found out he had not clocked in Thursday or that Friday morning. That's when the authorities were notified and the search began for Mark's vehicle, the lead to his whereabouts. With the aid of Mike Zackman, a friend, Purdue Alum, and pastor out there who helpled Mark get moved in, authorities found that Mark had registered for a permit to camp in the Northen Cascades. This information led them to his car Friday night. This was the lead that was needed to start search and rescue the next day. Saturday, Everette and I headed back to Indiana to regroup with the rest of the family and make arrangements to go out to Washington. For us it was a time of waiting; grabbing the phone every time it rang hoping for news, good news, any news. It was a time of praying and asking others to pray; a time of wondering where he was; what had happened; was he injured; did he know we were searching; had he given up hope; was he alive. It was a time of memories and reflection; of recalling lessons from God's Word; of listening for God's voice; and trusting God regardless of the outcome. "These things I(Jesus) have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. ( John 16:33 ) It was a time to cry out to God.

Saturday cloud cover kept the copters grounded. A hasty search for the obvious was made along the trail and two campsites. We were told that there was no clear evidence that Mark had been at either campsite. A couple of leads came in that raised our hopes but they did not pan out. Sunday a large widespread search was conducted adding 50 to 60 trained volunteers and two dogs. Weather conditions were lousy with clouds again keeping copters grounded and rain and snow expected later. We were being gently forewarned to expect the worst.

Meanwhile, Mark entered into a spiritual battle Saturday night. He felt that he would not make it through the next day or two if he was not found. That's when he heard the taunting voice telling him God did not love him. If God loved him, this wouldn't have happened to him. God didn't care. No one was looking for him. He was going to die out there. To fight it off, Mark started to sing/scream, "Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so ...". He quoted Psalm 121, pulled scripture cards out of his wallet to read aloud, and prayed. God broke through and gave him inner peace and reassurance of His love and faithfulness. Then his mind began to clear and he remembered the position of the sun, which he had seen Thursday only, and a plan began to form. Sunday morning the ground was clear enough for him to see the terrain, check his map, and figure out his position based on his memory of the sun's position. With that information and using his compass, after making some adjustments for error, he ate the last of his meager rations and broke camp. All the while he prayed for guidance and safety. There had been some directions he had contemplated taking but God stopped him with with a frim, "No". When he realized he could walk down and hit the trail, if his figuring was correct, God did not block his way. Mark said it took him five to six hours to get to the trail. He emerged from thick brush by a creek, nearly falling on his face from the little ledge. He had only taken a few steps when he saw a hiker appraoching through the fog. Mark waved his arms in the air and called out to him, "I've been lost since Wednesday and haven't had anything to eat. Do you have any food?" This hiker gave Mark everything he had. He told Mark searchers were looking for him and that he could meet rangers up at the trailhead or down in the parking lot. Mark said he didn't have enough strenth to climb, but he could make it going down. With that, he accompanied Mark to the parking lot where Mike Zackman and his son, Timothy, were making their way to look for him. Mike stayed with Mark and prayed with him before the meeting with the rangers and media.

When we got the phone call about 6:30 PM on Fathers' Day saying Mark had been found; that he was alive; that he had walked out on the trail; that he was not hurt; that he was wet cold and hungry, we wept and gave thanks. Then we shouted, laughed, called family members, friends, and we ran out to tell our neighbors. Such rejoicing! The lost had been found!

Later, Mark was allowed to talk with us for five minutew before his debriefing with the rangers. His first words to Everette were,"Happy Father's Day", and his first words to me were, I'm sorry I put you through so much."

Needless to say, this has been a defining moment in all our lives. Mark came out of his wilderness encounter with God seeming stronger, deeper, centerd, at peace, different in a good way. We have a deeper understanding of the frailty of life and a deeper sense of God's trusworthiness.

O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! -- From Psalm 34

Sharon Albrecht

P.S.This doesn't really fit the mood of this epistle but the question lingers regarding why there was no evidence that Mark had camped at either campsite. Mark was trained by his scout leaders not to leave anything behind at a campsite. "Always leave it clean and in better condition than which it was found." Mike Z. said Mark stayed with his family Sunday night and he saw him pull out this ziplock bag with strange looking contents, ummmm let's call it solid body waste material, from his backpack. Mark's explanation, "Ive been trained to leave my campsite clean." "

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Day at the Beach

Yes, it's here. It has arrived. Actually it arrived last Monday, but I just never got around to taking any photos or blogging about it. Then when Mark was missing, it just seemed to frivolous. Now things are settling back into whatever state of normal we have around here. Bare with me and I will get to a point
Father's Day we had a buttload of family here (or a crap ton, if you prefer, Dallas). We had Everette's family, my immediate family, my extended family. After a dinner of salmon grilled on cedar planks (the best salmon I have ever eaten in my whole fish-hating life), the kids headed outside to officially christen the sandbox.
I thought I would share some pictures, as they are my favorite pictures of the summer, thus far.
Mary goes in first, she is definitely the most adventurous one, I feel sorry for her parents.
Jonathan is soon interested...They waste no time.
Big brother/cousin Elijah steps in, to boss, uh.. I mean... assist.Clearly they are in over their heads, so big cousin Sam takes up as leader. Baby Emily, is never one to sit out an adventure.
They are digging to China, one bucket at a time.It is important, when digging to China, with one bucket,and one shovel, that you pack in the sand as much as you can.

Keep scooping it in. And packing it down...

Dear Greenes--we should consider a family business.. mining of some sort.

We could exploit these kids for a good ten years.
Look, even the little ones are pitching in.
But alas....
It's just too hard.
Abandon ship.

Except Emily, she wants to take a bath in it. That girl is going to be a riot.
All the chillin' dun runn'd oft.What's a hard day's work without a shower.
That is well water, do you know how cold it is?!

do you see my giant peas... more on those later.

can we discuss this sweetness?

Monday, June 22, 2009

another interview with Mark.

He once was lost, but now is found

They found Mark yesterday afternoon. Or more accurately, he found them. He emerged at the trailhead near his car. He was cold and hungry but otherwise ok. We haven't heard a lot of other details yet, but there was an article in the J&C today. I'll let you read that, so as not to put words into people's mouths.
His parents are headed out there today.
I think we are all (or at least I am) trying to figure out what to do next.
Thank you all for your prayers.

****Here is a more detailed report from a seattle paper.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Most of you know already, but they have still not been able to locate mark. They had a few leads but so far they have turned up nothing, not camping gear, no nothing.
The most specific things you can pray for are:
1. that the clouds would lift so they can search by helicopter.
2. The snow would stop so that foot searching would be easier, and things wouldn't be covered by the snow.
3. Mark's parents (everette and sharon) can make arrangements to get to Washington and their travels will be safe.
4. Mark has a girlfriend, Suzanne (still in indiana), and I haven't heard one word about her in all of this, but I know they were pretty serious, so this must be tremendously difficult to find her place in all of this.
5. And finally, that God would protect and sustain Mark until they find him. Lord have mercy.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Helpless Feeling

So I generally try to avoid posting petitions for prayer about my great-aunt Gertrude who is having her gall stones removed. Not that those don't need prayer, but they can seem cumbersome, tedious and annoying. But this one seems to warrant a post.
Everette's cousin Mark recently graduated from Purdue and got a fantastic job working in Washington State as an airplane mechanic. He moved out there a few weeks ago. As a Hunting, fishing, out-door loving Eagle Scout, living in Everett Washington was a dream come true.
After working all weekend he decided to go camping in the Cascades. He left Monday and was supposed to return Wednesday, having to be back at work on Thursday. Everette's uncle Everette, (stay with me here) hasn't heard from Mark since Sunday despite repeated attempts to call his cell phone. He didn't show up for work yesterday (Thursday) and his company sent the Sheriff to his house. His car was missing and so was his camping gear. The police and park rangers are currently searching for his car. His plan was to drive up the road, pull off and hike about five miles in. What road? we don't know. What trail? We Don't know. You can read the news article here.
I think this is one of the scariest situations I have ever experienced, and I am so far removed.

So consumed with horrible thoughts and unable to do anything to help, I just thought I would appeal to the three non family members that read this blog to pray for Mark and his family.

This is one of those rare times when you actually pray that they find his car parked out side some skeezy motel, where he is inside nursing a hangover and wondering where the tattoo came from. But knowing Mark, this is highly unlikely.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

So you thought it was a bad thing I have been quiet....

Today I had this song in my head, feel free to hum along if you know it.

There's a place in France where the naked ladies dance.
There's a hole in the wall where the men can see it all.

Now here's the part we (my childhood friends and I) may have made up.
But the men don't care
Because they're in their underwear.

First of all I apologize to those of you who weren't expecting to read about nudity when you came here today. But that's just how I roll.
So as I was humming this tune, a few thoughts occurred to me:
1. Why the heck am I singing this ridiculous song?
2. Really, did we really say the men didn't care because they were in their underwear?
And what exactly did the not care about? Did they not want to see the naked women, and were some how vindicated because they were in their underwear?
OR did they not care that they were in their underwear? Or are the women in their underwear?
3. Who made up this song? Where did it come from, and why do little kids sing it?
4. What would I say if I heard Jonathan singing it?

These are serious questions that need answers.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Let 'er Rrriiiiiipppppp!

The great ripping has begun.
Ew. Gross. Not that kind of rip.
Everette and I (mostly Everette) have been discussing for several years now, ripping all of our gazillion Cd's to one single computer where they can be sorted, consolidated, and... listened to.
Admittedly I think it is a great idea. There is a lot of music I don't listen to simply because it isn't convenient. The problem lies in the fact, that in all of these discussions, I am the one doing the ripping. Everette would always tell me how easy this or that software would be, and that he would set it up so it would be super easy. It never, quite worked out that way, for one because our first computer downstairs used Linux, and my brain isn't compatible with Linux, it is compatible with windows--only. We even discussed loading up all the CD's and sending them to a company to rip them for us. That... costs money.
And while I didn't necessarily want to be the one doing the ripping, I certainly didn't want to pay someone to do something that "was so easy". So they sat in the corner collecting dust, and generally being an eyesore.
Enter new smooth fully-functioning computer. Everette found this software that really does make it super easy. I could tell you what it is or how it works, but, well, i can't. It is magic. If Everette ever posts anything about it on his blog, I will link to it I promise.
The Disc drive opens, and you insert the CD, then the metadata (song info and album art) is pulled magically down from the sky through the internet. I have not pushed a button yet. Then I simply click "rip" and it rips all of the songs (quickly, 1-2 mins) stores it in the folder Everette instructed it to, then spits out hte CD. Then repeat. again. again. again.
did you see how many buttons I have to press?

the catch is this software is only free for the first 21 days. So we have 21 days to gather every cd shoved in every knook and cranny of our house and our cars (easy for me-since I just cleaned my old one out) and rip baby rip.
I am sure that our Cd collection pales in comparison to many, but let me just say that Everette for a period of time was signing his dogs up for BMG. He has a lot of CDs.
Everette and I made a serious dent in them last night. He VNCed (remotely connected) to the computer from my laptop and I ripped while we watched TV ( I clicked the button, and he put the CD in).
The trouble came this morning. I had gone to as many places as I could think of to gather cd's, and there were still several missing. Truth be told, they were the ones I liked the most, and cared about the most. I had exhausted every place I could think of and still no cds. I knew they were separated because they were in my car and in my classroom back when I was teaching, then we moved, then I had a baby. Do you see where this is going? I was starting to think the worst, that maybe they were left in my classroom, or my car that we just sold. Even though I knew they weren't
Then in an act of desperation I went upstairs to my very orderly desk and sat down. then on a file tray way back I saw a spindle. simply out of curiosity I pulled it out. Every CD I had been looking for was stacked neatly and safely on that spindle.

I was so relieved.
Just in case you don't see the direness of my situtation, let me give you a taste of what was on tha spindle.

o brother where art thou
Derek Webb (I see things upside down)
norah jones
Ben Folds (rockin' the suburbs)
Crooked Still
Stephen Foster
Johnny Cash
Bob Dylan
and others.
Do you see my concern?

thankfully they are all ripped safely stored on my computer where i can listen to them almost anywhere.

Oh the music that will be at my fingertips!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Photo Shoot

If you thought those pictures were cute... just wait until you see these. I few weeks ago, i had an "official" photo shoot with Jonathan. We were in Cleveland visiting my aunt. It was right before I cut his hair, and it was all curly and wild.
There are too many adorable ones, so I refuse to post any of them here. I want to force you to go here and look at ALL of them. You don't even get one tiny peek. Trust me you won't regret it. My son is cute. I will actually be ordering some prints of these... for all of you grammas and grampas out there.
Click on the link and prepare to be overwhelmed with cuteness.

Baby Cuteness!

So here are some adorable baby pictures...
I just thought you might like to see them. Feel free to ooo and ahhh, appropriately.
Seriously, I expect some gushing.

(sorry I am feeling super lazy and unable to rotate pictures--this is mostly to Everette because I know it drives him crazy).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hot Sweaty Neck Head

This is a real condition from which I suffer. Do not laugh at my pain. It is very serious.
We should start a research foundation, and pass out ribbons.

This condition is largely hereditary, passed down from my mom. It is occurs when the mountain of hair on your head traps the heat trying to escape from your head and your necks becomes highly sensitive to the 12 inch thick wool blanket draped around it. And it begins to creep back up your head until it is a large sweaty ball of fire.
I won't lie it is actually helpful in the winter... keeping your ears toasty warm. And it really isn't as bad as you'd think in the summer, because when your whole body is sweltering, who cares if your head is a measly 10 degrees hotter.
It is the most awful in the spring and fall. When the rest of your body is that perfect temperature, but your head feels like you stuck it in the oven. The longer it persists the more you think about doing crazy things. Things like moving to alaska, or taking an ice bath, or shaving your head. It can be severely debilitating, especially when you happen to find yourself downstairs without a hairtie, and the heat builds and the sweat drips down your head, and you can feel it sliding down your brain, and you cannot wipe it off because you cannot actually find the sweat under the mass of hair piled on top of your head. And because of your Hot-Sweaty-Neck-Head (HSNH) syndrome you are immobilized, and cannot go upstairs to get one. You are forced to lie on the couch, gather your hair together and attempt to twist it on top of your head and angle head on the arm of the couch so that it traps your hair above your neck, but allows your neck to breathe fresh cool air from the fan that you made your husband get up and turn on. And you can only sigh, loudly and do that other thing when you exhale with your lower lip out and attempt to blow air up on top of your head, but all you reall do is blow it into your nose, which forces you to breathe in, what you breathe out, thus depriving you of oxygen sending you into a downward spiral. You also must whine a lot. This is a symptom-not a choice. Please understand.
HSNH is exacerbated by other conditions that might raise your body temperature. Like the flu, or being pregnant (this is accompanied by a whole host of other Hot Sweaty places-like Hot Sweaty Knee Cap, etc.).

I'm telling you life is hard. for me.
Every year it's the same ordeal. I try to grow my hair out, becuase I want to be pretty and I want to have long flowing princess hair. But as soon as winter is over Hot-Sweaty-Neck-Head takes over and I am forced to either cut my hair or check myself into the nearest air-conditioned psychiatric ward.
Please have pity on me.
Donate to the Hot-Sweaty-Neck-Head Research Foundation, help end this terrible tragedy.

P.S. this is not in ANY way meant to make fun of real Research Foundations who do important things like curing cancer, or heart disesase, you should really donate to them.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It's Christmas at the Mills's's's's

I never know how that's supposed to go.
Anyway, since we don't celebrate the same Santa everyone else does... I have taken a popular children's Christmas song and rewritten the lyrics (sorry they don't rhyme) see if you can figure it out...

(feel free to sing along)
Who sends your gifts on a continental flight?
Santa sends your gifts on a continental flight.

Who has legs that are pasty white?
Santa has legs that are pasty white.

continental flight, pasty white.

Must be Santa, must be santa, santa claus

Who wears boots and a suit of brown?
Santa wears boots and a suit of brown?

Who wears a brown cap on his head?
Santa wears a brown cap on his head

suit of brown, cap on head
must be santa must be santa, santa claus

Who drives a brown truck in your town?
Santa drives a brown truck in your town.

Who delivers your Lands End nightgown?
Santa delivers your Lands End nightgown?

In your town, Lands End 'gown.
Must be santa, must be santa, must be santa santa claus.

Must be Mister, Must be Mister, Must be mister U-P-S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, sorry you had to see that. I am not sure where it came from.
Anyway, it was Christmas at our house, Christmas for everyone, but I think Everette was the most excited.
Because it certainly wouldn't thrill my heart to see this at my front door.(I will give a prize--a honest to goodness real prize, to the first person (not my husband) who can identify this company and tell me why they know who this company is (the brown boxes), and what they sell--we're going on the honesty system--no "googling")

Anyway, for those of you who don't know, just how geeky we are, we have a computer downstairs hooked up to our TV and entertainment system, that we use to view pictures, watch hulu, listen to music, and watch hilarious videos on youtube.

The first computer we got on ebay, and well, it wasn't super awesome. For one, it was noisy, two it was a bit finicky about when and how well it would boot itself up-my sister can attest to that.
So Everette decided to buy a different one, and he manged to work it all out so that we got a BlueRay player in it as well.
As you can see it arrived on Monday, and Everette spent the evening putting it together. While I spent it searching for the Planet Earth Series on BlueRay. This turned out to be quite difficult, and we ended up buying it, because were were just so dang excited.
I had mixed feelings about it, but I had already seen a lot of it from my mom and I loved it.
As amazing as it was on regular high def (I can't believe I just said that)--it was double that on BlueRay. And I was totally skeptical. I could 't imagine it being that better. It totally was. Anyway, my point of all of this was, it was so fun to see Everette so excited about his new geek toy. And our house looked like it does on Chirstmas morning.
Again, I apologize about the song.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Labor of Love...and dogged determination

I grew up in the same house my entire life, something I have come to realize as a rarity. This means that I have incorporated certain aspects of a home into a list of necessary items for a happy childhood. Everette has too (hence the sandbox). For me it is a front porch. I was so excited to have a front porch when we moved into our new house. I simply think houses with front porches are so much more friendly and more welcoming. The other necessary item for a homey front porch, is a porch swing. Not a freestanding glider, a hang-from-the-ceiling porch swing. I had planned for a while to get a porch swing for our front porch, but I hadn't really ever discussed it with Everette. This year I told him (after he asked) that for Mother's Day, I either wanted a baby jogger or porch swing. He opted for the baby jogger. I repeated my conversation to my mom, however, and she and my dad picked out a porch swing! She delivered it at our Mother's Day extravaganza. Where it sat on our front porch until this weekend. Knowing that Everette wasn't thrilled at the idea of hanging a porch swing, and that we had a bajillion other things to do around the house, I didn't push it. Last weekend I mentioned the box sitting on the front porch and how much I would really like to be able to go out in the morning where there is still shade on the porch and play with jonathan. He just gave me a look. So I waited. Then this Sunday he said we were going to assemble the swing. We put jonathan down for a nap and gathered the supplies on the front porch.
Assembling the swing went quickly with little hiccups, until it came to the mounting. Everette realized that the ceiling was not mounted to the studs, it was mounted to two trim pieces, which of course were less than 47" apart (the width of the swing).

It is in moments like these that I realize just how much Everette is like my dad, and how much I am like my mom. Everette began plotting ways to reinforce the beams with available supplies. I began thinking how we should just mount it to the pieces as is and it would "probably" be fine.Max "helping."

Thankfully I have learned from my mother and my father, and my husband, that in cases like these--most often my dad/husband are right, and my mom/me shoud just keep our big dumb mouth's shut, so the whole porch doesn't fall down. So I did, and instead steadied the foot stool as Everette tried to attach reinforcement to through a tiny hole he cut in the vinyl.
As I watched, I saw just how much Everette loved me. I saw it on his arms where the vinyl sliced it repeatedly. I saw it on his face as he strained to support his arms over his head and turn by hand the screws in the wood, since the drill was too big to fit in the ceiling. I heard it in his words when he restrained from spewing out his mouth a fountain of expletives, I could see brimming to the surface. Heck i wouldn't have blamed him, I was thinking them for him!
I could tell he loved my simply by the fact that he finished the swing, instead of telling me I was an idiot and crazy for even wanting a porch swing and stomping off in a fit of understandable frustration. This is where the dogged determination comes in... everette can't give up. I would have... I was already thinking.. forget it, I don't want a swing that much.
So he did hang my porch swing, and he even kissed me afterwards.
And today, I sat on that swing and folded a basket of laundry and watched the storm move in from the west. And later, I sat of the porch swing and watched my son play shirtless in the water.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I think I might have posted this last year, but since I can't remember, nor do I expect people to dilligently search my archives.
I stumbled onto a website listing places in Northern Indiana by county where you could pick your own produce. It's moderated by one person, and they rely on others to keep the info current.

Last year I went to this place called Annie's Orchard (listed on the site) in West Lafayette to pick blueberries. I think they are only a few years old, since their blueberry bushes were pretty young. But it was a fun time and I am hoping to come back. They have cherries and peaches as well. If only I can find a place to get strawberries.

My Bunn is broken

No I not referring to my "sit-upon" as my grade school teacher would say. I am referring to the awesome, amazing coffee maker we bought four years ago.
It broke on thursday. I came down to make coffee, and the light wouldn't come on. To make matters worse it has temporarily tripped the circuit so that the coffee grinder wouldn't work. This was only worse because it gave me false hope. My parents thought their bunn was broken, but it turned out that the circuit was tripped. (Actually mom and dad yours may have really been broken too!).
Can we please have a moment of silence for the bunn that we love so much that we bought one for my parents, my in-laws, and my brother and sister-in-law. They are wonderful coffee makers. And it made a lot of coffee, quickly I might add.

So what do you do when your coffee maker breaks before you've had your morning coffee?
You panic and curse a few times under your breath.

Then you remember the french press you own!So you put the tea kettle on the stove.
Then you remember that you are in the middle of making oatmeal, and your "darling" husband has an aversion to anything even remotely burned. So you give the oatmeal a stir and turn down the heat.
After you save the oatmeal, and you are feeling pretty much like Wonderwoman, your heart sinks because you remember that recently you ran out of your regular Sam's Club Fair Trade Medium Roast Organic Whole Bean Coffee, and you purchased a tiny bag of ground coffee to get you through the week. Which means you can't use it in the French Press because the beans have to be coarse or they will fall through the mesh and you will have to chew your coffee. Then you curse again, because why couldn't your bunn have broken after your morning cup of coffee when these things are much easier to solve.

So then you break out your super secret delicious, but super expensive whole bean coffee that you use to make Toddy with, ration out enough beans to make a cup of coffee and a carafe of coffee for your "darling" husband, who is starting to get grumpy because it is 9 AM and he has no oatmeal or coffee. Then you press the coffee and you drink it's delicious ness, and all is right with the world again.

Then your husband goes away for a few days and you drink your Toddy, and you think all is well. Then he comes back and you remember that he has this habit of drinking two pots of coffee a day and there is no way you are going to let him use that many toddy beans. So you go to Sam's and get your beans.
But then you get annoyed because you still have that little bag of ground coffee going to waste.
Not to mention it takes a while to make two carafes full of french press coffee. So you remember back to your elementary school days, when you read the Little House on the Prairie books, and how Pa always made coffee over a fire in a kettle with the grounds. Then you think that would be gross, but you think, all the bunn does is heat the water and drain it over the grounds through the filter.
and you think, hey, I could do that. So you go out to the garage to find the contraption that holds the filter and the grounds and drips the coffee into the pot. then you remember that it is trash day and your husband probably threw the whole busted thing away!
So you sigh, and wished you lived somewhere where the bunn never breaks and husbands didn't take out the trash (wait-that came out wrong...)
Then you find a funnel! Genuis you think!! So you put the filter in the funnel over the carafe, pour in the coffee grounds and the boiling hot water, patting your self on the back for being so pioneering.

Then you wait....And wait....

And wait....
Because this really isn't such an awesome plan, because it is taking FOREVER. And it really would have been much faster to just make French press coffee. And what you really want to do is just to crawl back into bed until someone magically comes to your house to make coffee, and you call Starbucks and ask if they deliver.

Then you write a blog about it and post terrible pictures of the
whole stinkin' ordeal, secretly bewildered at the fact that ANYONE, has EVER PAID you to take a photograph in your life.