Sunday, October 24, 2010

Milking a cow

Earlier in the week I had been chatting with my friend Jen online. We hadn't seen each other in quite some time, and so we decided we should get together. I suggested she come with me to do one of my new things, and we decided to go and milk a cow.

I had done a little bit of research on this particular new adventure, because I didn't know anyone who had a cow. I called a family in our ward who has goats and oxen, but they didn't know of anyone I could see to learn how to milk a cow. I guess I didn't realize what a dilemma it could be to try and find a cow to milk. I don't quite remember why, but I was looking online at the Historic Wheeler Farms website. I think maybe I was considering this as one of my final new adventures, and as I was browsing around, I was looking at the different activities they provide. Lo and behold, you could milk a cow for $.50! They do this every day at 5:00 pm. Even better!

So, Jen and I had decided to meet up at the farm and milk cows. I was going straight from work, so I climbed in my car, typed in my desired destination on my GPS, and followed the British voice where she told me to go. I "arrived at my destination," but there was nothing there! Seriously, there wasn't even a place to turn off the road! I had seen a few signs on my way telling me I was going in the right direction, but now, there was just a long fence with tall, dead grass growing in front of it. I drove around for a little bit, hoping to find another sign, but I eventually happened upon the entrance to the farm. (Which doesn't, by the way, say Wheeler Farms on the sign at the entrance.)

I parked, found Jen, and we asked around about where we could buy a ticket to milk a cow. Tickets in hand, we then asked where this milking would take place. We were given vague directions (to the left of the country store), but we couldn't find anywhere that looked promising except for a pen holding two or three milk cows. We eventually figured out where we were supposed to be, and quietly made our way to the back of the barn. There were signs all over the place to "please be quiet during the milking." It kind of felt like we were in the library.

We had found our seats, looked around, and realized we were the only adults there who had come to milk a cow. There were probably 20+ kids there, all patiently waiting to have their 30 second turn to milk this poor cow who had her head in a feeding trough. We waited our turn, and then it was us. We took our respective turns, and I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, but it was an....interesting experience. The employee standing behind the cow didn't give me any instruction, just watched as I awkwardly grabbed on and started milking. The udder was a lot warmer than I had expected, but it wasn't so bad. Then Jen took her turn, and we ignored the strange looks from the girls working there.

We made our way back outside, where we looked at the water fowl, mostly ducks and geese, in the pond, then wandered around a little bit. We went back to the cow pen and took some more pictures of the cows there, looked around the "Country Store," and then decided to call it an evening. We both had places we needed to be, and it was starting to get dark.

It was really good to see Jen again, and I can't think of anyone I would rather have milked a cow with. It kind of makes me glad that most of our milk gets machine pumped now-a-days. Does that make me sound spoiled? Eh, oh well!

The Opera!

I had only come up with 27 new things for my list, and we were sitting around trying to think of possibilities, and my sister Annie suggested seeing an opera. Annie to the rescue yet again!

We looked up what operas were playing, and found tickets to La Boheme for only $15! Am-ma-zing! A few clicks and numbers later, and our tickets would be waiting for us at the will call window at the Capitol Theater on Wednesday, October 20. I was so excited!

So, the evening of the opera arrived, and my sister Rachel helped me decide what to wear. I ended up in a knee length black dress, knee high black boots, and my awesome necklace I had purchased on our trip to the planetarium. I must say, I looked pretty good! I drove down to Annie's house, where she looked smashing as well, and we drove down to the theater.

We were escorted to our seats by one of the ushers, and got ourselves settled in. We were only a few rows from the top of the balcony, but I think those seats were optimal. A few tall guys came and sat in front of us, and the seats to our right were vacant, so we moved over so we could see better. The lights went down, the curtains rose, and we were in for a treat.

There were four acts, which were blissfully short, and the plot was very sweet with a bit of humor thrown in. I was quite surprised at how much I liked it. I guess I had some idea of large women in terrible dresses with metal coned & horned hats. I was TERRIBLY mistaken. The only thing I didn't like about it was that the intermissions were almost as long as the opera. I think, however, I may just like the opera a lot!

Habitat for Humanity

I was looking for something to put on my list in the way of volunteering, but I have done a lot in that category. Then I thought of Habitat for Humanity, and it sounded like a good idea to me.

This new adventure wasn't too complicated, just an application to print out, fill out, and mail in. Then they'll call me and assign me to a project. Now all I have to do is wait...

Bone marrow donor list

So, after many phone calls, a lot of research, even more voice mails left with people, I have decided that now may not be the time for me to add my name to the National Bone Marrow Donor list.

I knew I could apply to be a donor online, but I kind of wanted the experience of going somewhere to make this one happen. I called around, talked to many people, some helpful, and some not. All in all, it was determined there was not a specified place to go and have your blood tested to be put on the list. So, I went online and began filling out the application.

There are many health questions, as you might imagine, and they want a lot of information so they can contact you should they find a match that needs your marrow. I went through and filled out everything that was asked of me, and got to the end of the process. They explained how it is expensive to test your blood and process all of the information, but how people have made donations to cover this cost. I could make a donation if I would like towards these costs, but I kind of felt like my donation of marrow would be enough. (What a Scrooge I am, right?) I left the donation box blank and clicked the box to move on in the process. I was told I couldn't move on until I made a "donation" of $100. Thus, I will not be a bone marrow at this time. Guess I need to find something new for my new things list.

Clark Planetarium

So, Saturday afternoon, (October 16) my sister Natalie and her baby Jared and I went to visit the Clark Planetarium after our In and Out lunch. We decided to do a little shopping at the Gateway, where the planetarium is located. Natalie was looking for shirts for work, and I found a killer necklace that I modified a bit to be more to my liking. Then, we headed over to the planetarium.

We entered and walked over to the ticket desk to see what was available. We were informed that there was a movie starting in the Dome Theater in just a few minutes about black holes, so we decided to join in and catch it. We were told where the elevators were, since we had Jared in a stroller, and we went up to the theater. The lady at the door there informed us we couldn't take the stroller into the theater and she would take it down to their "stroller parking" for us, as the movie was starting. Thanks for telling us to take the stroller up, people at the front desk. We walked into the theater and found seats.

The movie started, and it was fascinating both in information as well as presentation. The dome theater is as it sounds, a dome. The entire ceiling is the screen, so it is a 360 degree movie experience. Jared sat on my lap, and was pretty good for the first part of the movie. He got a little fussy about half-way through, so Natalie made him a bottle and I fed it to him. Then he was just too happy to go to sleep, (that kid is always in a good mood!) so we let him crawl around on the floor in front of us. And if you want to know anything about black holes, just ask me, because I know now. Pretty cool movie!

After the flick, we went back down to the main floor and retrieved the stroller from where the nice lady had "parked" it for us. We then looked around a little bit at the gift shop and the science-y toys and such they had there. I looked for a pin for my collection, but they didn't have any. Oh, well.

We made our way back out to Natalie's car, got everything loaded in, and she gave me a ride back to Annie's house, where my car was. Not quite what I was expecting from the planetarium, but a pleasant misconception, nonetheless.

Monday, October 18, 2010

In and Out Burger

Saturday morning (October 16) Annie and I were headed to Ikea and invited Natalie to join us. Annie needed some things to help her get her home a bit more organized, and I'm always up for a trip to Ikea.

We wandered around, bought things we did and didn't need, and got the cars loaded up. I was spending the weekend at Annie's in SLC, but went with Natalie upon leaving Ikea. We had planned on going to the Clark Planetarium, and I talked Natalie into stopping at In and Out on our way back up to SLC.

We pulled up to the drive through, and Natalie asked if she could order for me. I agreed, and made a comment about the man standing outside with a little computerized device for taking orders. Natalie looked at me and said, "Wow, you really haven't been here, have you?" I guess I'm more sheltered than I thought! :) She ordered me a cheeseburger "animal style," fries, and a diet Coke. We inched our way to the window, and I was given my meal.

The fries were hand cut, just like at Five Guys, but In and Out peels theirs first. The burger was delicious and tasty, and you can't go wrong with diet Coke. The scripture reference on the bottom of my burger wrapper was Revelation 3:20. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Fitting?

Now time to compare. Altogether, I think I would prefer the taste of Five Guys with the pricing of In and Out. But, if I have to choose a favorite all around, Five Guys wins. They were a bit more expensive, but the food was better in my opinion, so the price is worth it. Sorry, In and Out.


Annie and I decided that Friday night (October 15) would be a good time for me to try sushi. We arranged to meet up with our sister Natalie and her husband, Mike at Tokai Sushi 4U. Annie had been there before, and told us that even though the place looked a little sketchy, it was good sushi. I, having never eaten the stuff, trusted her judgement.

This particular restaurant has a special that runs on Fridays and Saturdays: buy one, get one free. I had been instructed earlier in the day by my boss, Katie, what was good and what to stay away from. We each ordered two rolls, so I chose the cucumber roll and the crunch dragon roll. We also had the WOW roll, the rainbow roll, the crunch rainbow roll, the honey roll, the dragon roll, and another one I can't remember. I was brave and tried them all. I didn't see the point in trying sushi if I wasn't going to TRY sushi.

I liked the WOW roll, and some of the other ones weren't so bad. One in particular, although I can't remember which one specifically, nearly made me gag. It wasn't the taste of the thing, but the texture of the raw fish I couldn't get past. But, I tried it with both feet in, and now I can officially say that I don't particularly care for sushi. At least not the ones with large amounts of raw fish on top. I think my poor nephew, Jared, would have to agree. He's only 8 months old, so Natalie was giving him a bit of the rice left over from some of the rolls. I think that if it had been appropriate, I would have made the same face he did with some of the things I tasted that night. But, I'm glad I did it!