Notes - September 2019

Sun, Sep 1

Checked out at 11:00 a.m. but we stayed around the Inn at Honey Run until 3:30 p.m. when we left for home.

Went to get Barney first. Arrived home around 7:00 p.m.

Mon, Sep 2

I noticed a growth along Barney's upper right eyelid.

Deb and I watched Gabbie and Dominic in the late afternoon and evening to let Catherine and Brad go out for dinner to celebrate the eighth anniversary of their first date.

Tue, Sep 3

I picked up our weekly CSA food box from Shared Legacy Farm. The Sylvania JCC serves as our pickup location. The season of food pickup started in mid to late June. I bought Bench's honey too.

Wed, Sep 4

Yesterday, I made an appointment for Barney at Graber's Animal Hospital for 10:00 a.m. today. This check cost around $150. An surgery appointment was scheduled for Friday.

Thu, Sep 5

Deb and I watched Gabbie and Dominic in the evening to let CP and Brad visit Gabbie's preschool. Gabbie starts school on Mon, Sep 9. She will attend preschool two mornings a week.

Fri, Sep 6

Long day for Barney at the vet. We arrived at the vet at 7:15 a.m. The surgery to remove the growth occurred before 9:00 a.m. I picked him up from the vet at about 4:00 p.m.

Sat, Sep 7

Today was Gabbie's third birthday.

At about 10:30 a.m., we arrived at an eight-acre lot of land, located near Erie, MI that we might purchase. We met CP, Brad, the kids, and Ben how is a realtor friend of CP and Brad's.

Around 11:40 a.m., we left the lot that's for sale, and we all ate lunch at Erie Restaurant, except for Ben.

It was a Bay Creek weekend. Bay Creek is a store, located in downtown Erie that is opened one or two weekends a month, selling home furnishings with some items locally made. We stopped in to peruse. We did not buy anything.

On the way home, we drove down Lewis Ave because Deb wanted to stop at the small produce stand/store, located near Temperance.

Before arriving home, we stopped at Bakery Unlimited to pick up the doughnut cake that CP got for Gabbie's birthday.

We left home around 4:00 p.m. We stopped at Flick's liquor store, located along Secor Rd in Lambertville, MI. I bought a small bottle of Basil Hayden's bourbon. Deb bought wine to drink late this afternoon and tomorrow evening.

We arrived at Rhonda and Jody's after 4:30 p.m. We had a little birthday celebration for Gabbie. It was only the six adults. Jody smoked salmon and chicken. We ate outside. Gabbie got bashful when we all sang "Happy Birthday" to her. Gabbie and I played out front. Gabbie opened a couple presents outside and inside. She was more interested in running around in the front yard.

We all left around 7:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Sun, Sep 8

I watched the Browns get beat by the Titans in Cleveland by a shocking score of 43 to 13. Except for two TD drives, including the opening drive of the game, the Browns looked horrible on offense and defense. Undisciplined. Unprofessional at times. And not ready to play regular season professional football. Cle committed 18 penalties for at least 180 yards. Many penalties were moronic. This was probably one of the worst Browns performances of the decade.

We left around 5:30 p.m. for a farm to table dinner experience at Shared Legacy Farm, located near Elmore, OH. We arrived that farm at 6:00 p.m. Several dozen people attended the event. We dined outside, under the cloudy sky. Mid-level clouds. Light wind. Temps started around 70 degrees and dropped into the 60s.

Kurt greeted the people arriving. He handed out a map of the farm to allow people to tour the farm. Deb gathered a couple appetizers, and we both got a mocktail before strolling the farm, viewing the plants, the high tunnel-typed greenhouses, used for peppers after being used for carrots earlier in the season, the chickens, the equipment, etc.

Kurt planted pawpaw trees and gooseberry shrubs. The farm is a big, flat, open area. It looked fantastic. Kurt built and installed a lot of support things this decade.

Kurt grows produce for area businesses, such as restaurants. He also is now growing produce for the new Whole Foods that opened in Toledo this year. At the moment, I think that he is growing onions for WF.

I liked the high tunnel setup. The wheels sat on the grooves of old guard rails. Kurt used two high tunnels. Two rectangle garden patches existed. Each rectangle was divided in half with one half now growing bell peppers, and the other half grew carrots.

The chickens frolicked within a mobile setup. Each year, Kurt dedicates a part of the farm to growing clover. The long, rectangle chicken setup included a covered area and an open area, surrounded by plastic fencing. Every two days, the mobile chicken setup is moved, which takes 20 minutes to complete. The chickens feed on the insects, and they are given food too, I think. The chickens fertilizer the ground.

Kurt grows multiple types of tomatoes. We might be extra tomatoes this fall. The tomatoes were held upright with nylon roping at multiple levels. Metal stakes were used at the end of the rows. Wooden stakes were used within the rows. The tomatoes plants were scrunched together at the sides and held upright by the multiple horizontal lines of thin nylon rope. The soil around the tomatoes was mounded up and covered with straw. The tomatoes were grown close to each other within a row. The rows were spread apart by a few feet, at least.

We ended our walking tour of the farm fields and sat down at our table (number 8) at 6:40 p.m. Kurt's parents' farm is next door. We parked near their sweet corn field. Our sweet corn come from Kurt's Dad's farm. Within the sweet corn field, a loud recording played on repeat, powered by a marine battery. The recording played high-pitched raptor noises and a Red-winged Blackbird distress call. The recording acts like a scarecrow. It's suppose to deter birds, especially blackbirds from foraging on the corn.

At our table sat the founders of Bristro 163, which is a non-profit restaurant, located in downtown Port Clinton. It's opened from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. It uses a pay-it-forward philosophy. People donate what they want for their meals. The idea is that people pay more than necessary to help pay for meals for people who cannot afford the food. 30 percent of their meals are served free thanks to the pay-it-forward concept.

Tonight's dinner cost $150 per person. The money was going to charities or orgs, such as Bistro 163 and one or two other groups.

Also at our table sat a husband and wife business duo. The wife owns Black Kite coffee shop, located in the Old West End. Black Kite is one of our favorite local coffee shops. The husband runs a software company, and he's one of the founders/owners of Toledo Spirits Distillery, which opened its adjoining bar this year called Bellwether. The fourth couple at our table were their friends who were moving into the Old West End.

While seated, I saw a raptor fly in low over a field toward us. It landed atop an old pickup truck, that belonged to Kurt's parents. The truck was well away from us. The hawk stayed briefly and flew on. It was a Cooper's Hawk, probably attracted by the recording playing in the sweet corn field.

I drank water at our table. We were allowed to bring our own alcohol. Deb drank red wine that she bought yesterday at Flick's.

The course descriptions per the flyer that existed on our table. I did not see this menu flyer until we sat down, otherwise I would have tried a couple of the appetizers. Except for the tomatoes, I thought that the appetizers were all meat and cheese.

Shared Legacy Farms

Taste of the Farm

September 8, 2019


Pastrami style smoked beet with onion custard, rye cracker, pickled okra, and crispy leeks. Fresh Mozzarella with tomatoes, everything spice, basil oil, and orange balsamic. Merquez sausage steamed bun with plum chutney. Vegetarian option: Merquez-style eggplant steamed bun with pickled plum.

The following items were served to us at our tables.


Cucumber Melon Gazpacho
melon, cucumber, fresh herbs, red onion, mixed chiles


Squash Salad
roasted squash, mixed greens, C/J Wabash cheese, balsamic reduction


Stuffed Bell Peppers
pepper, wild rice, kielbasa, braised broccoli leaves, carrots, marinara

Mine was served without kielbasa. That was considered the vegetarian option. The non-meat version was served on a red bell pepper while everyone else received a green bell pepper. That was a good idea to keep things separated. More of the menu:


Apple Walnut Cake with whipped cream
Maddie & Bella coffee bar

Everything tasted amazing. I drank some regular coffee afterwards.

More from the flyer:

Our thanks to the local chefs and farmers who have donated their services for tonight's meal.

Fowl & Fodder, PENTA Culinary School, Syd & Diane's, Tree City Catering, Bench Farms, Canal Junction Farmstead, Maddie & Bella Coffee Company, Quarry Hill Orchard, Shared Legacy Farms, Turkeyfoot Creek Creamery, Weber Ranch

Our Beneficiaries ...

Proceeds from tonight's Taste of the Farm dinner will be split between the following three organizations devoted to fighting food insecurity. If you would like to make an additional donation to any of these farm partners, we encourage you to use the provided envelope.

Port Clinton
Bistro 163
Pay it Forward Dining
Offering all neighbors a place to eat and come together as one community. We serve fresh food from locally sourced ingredients, prepared from scratch. Patrons are encouraged to pay more than the suggested price to help others enjoy a meal.

Jewish Family Services
Family Pantry
Committeed to outreach and service to our community and advocacy for the vulnerable. Recipients are given food to make complete and healthy meals, based on individual preferences and special dietary requirements.

Food for Thought
Mobile Food Pantry
Addressing and alleviating food insecurity around Toledo in a thoughtful way. Our Mobile Pantries carry both shelf-stable and fresh food choices to those experiencing food insecurity and do not have ready access to a pantry in their neighborhood.

After dinner and while we were still seated, people associated with those three organizations got up front to speak a little about their orgs.

Dinner started a little after 7:00 p.m. Corinna Bench gave a little prayer before the soup was served.

It was great scene. The many round tables set on the ground under the cloudy, evening, darkening sky. The barn and other buildings. The chefs and other staff. The produce fields. The big open sky. The live music. Soft white lights strewn along one side of the seated area. The lights getting brighter as darkness fell. Good table conversation.

Kurt employs people to work with him, and one of the employees got up to speak about how much he and his family enjoy working with Kurt on the farm.

The event ended at 8:35 p.m. That's when most people made their way back to their vehicles. We chatted with Kurt a bit. Then we joined some others to stand around the camp fire. The Toledo Spirits guy brought Kurt a gift. It was a bottle of inexpensive tequila that he aged in an oak barrel. I tried some, and it tasted great. It was surprisingly good.

More people left. Eventually eight of us sat on stray bales around the camp fire. Kurt relaxed, smoking a cigar. A bright moon broke through the mid-level clouds some. We left the farm for home around 9:40 p.m.

Wed, Sep 11

Snail-mailed our 2018 tax return to the feds and the state. Once again, I've been unable to obtain an IP PIN from the IRS. I tried multiple times, jumping through multiple hoops to obtain one. We cannot file electronically. We are due refunds from both the federal and state governments. I cannot believe that it would be this difficult if we owned money. This is the fourth straight year that I have had to file our taxes by snail mail. Next year, we will get someone else to do our taxes and the filing. I'm done.

Around 12:30 p.m., we left Toledo for Deb's parents' house, located in the Gladwin, MI area. On the way up, we took a detour to Clare to allow Deb to attend a funeral viewing. We arrived near Gladwin shortly after 5:00 p.m. Deb's Mom got a ride with Linda to their Master Gardeners meeting. Deb, Deb's Dad, and I ate dinner at The Camp. I ate the veggie wrap, minus cheese, and french fries. I drank a Two Hearted Ale that they had on tap, brewed by Bell's, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. On the way home, we stopped at the Sugar Shack for a few "essentials," mainly wine for Deb and Deb's Mom.

At Deb's parents' house, we watched TV: NCIS and Fruity Knitting.

On the drive up, Dr. Graber called me to report the biopsy findings, regarding Barney's growth that was removed. It's not cancerous. It's a benign, non-malignant tumor or something like that, which can form around or in tear ducts. It could happen again in a different location. According the biopsy, Dr. Graber removed it all. It was good news. A relief.

Thu, Sep 12

We left the Gladwin area shortly after 9:30 a.m. We made one stop at routes 30 and 10 for fuel, coffee, and snacks. Barney got a little stroll. We arrived home a little after 1:00 p.m., I think. The drive up and back were easy this time. The August drives were terrible, which was not surprising as people cram in one last vacation or their only summer vacation before summer ends and school starts.

On Tue, Sep 10, Toledo's temps reached 90 degrees. Ditto for Wed, Sep 11. When we left around 12:30 p.m. on Wed, Sep 11, Toledo's temps were 86 to 88 degrees, reaching 90 late in the afternoon on Wednesday.

While driving west on Route 10 on Wednesday, we drove through a long, intense, heavy rainstorm. Visibility was low. Speeds were low. Some people pulled off the road because it was hard to see, and the heavy rain lasted for a long time. I kept driving, slowly with our flashers on, using the vehicle ahead of me as a guide. The rain let up and ended before we got to Clare. The temps were in the low 70s, and by the time that we reached Deb's parents' home, the temps were in the upper 60s while it was 90 degrees in Toledo.

When we left Gladwin this morning, the temps were around 55 degrees. Heavy overcast and cool. But when we arrived in Toledo around 1:00 temp, temps were approx 80 degrees. It was overcast in Toledo but definitely muggier than in Gladwin.

Sat, Sep 14

In the late afternoon and evening, we birdwatched at Magee Marsh and Howard's Marsh, we visited with friends inside the BSBO, and we shared a perch sandwich and fries at the Bono Tavern while drinking brewskis.

From 7 to 8 pm, I broke down and sawed kindling, branches, and logs. I filled our four-wheeled lawn cart with this wood, and I gave it to Kim and Brent to use. Late in the evening, we sat outside by the fire with Kim and Brent until 1:00 a.m.

Sun, Sep 15

Birdwatched nearly all day. I left home at 6:22 a.m. I visited Magee Marsh and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. I returned home at mid-afternoon to get Deb. We went back to ONWR, the auto tour, to see the approx 130 American White Pelicans. At dusk, Sandhill Cranes flew in as did about 200 Great Egrets. At least a dozen Snowy Egrets existed too. The main show, however, was the pelicans.

Mon, Sep 16

Listened the Browns game over the radio. Cleveland won 23-3. That's about it. Nothing too fancy. Jets were depleted due to injuries and illness.

Thu, Sep 19

Deb and I arrived at the Maumee Indoor Theater at 6:00 p.m. We watched the movie called "The Biggest Little Farm," which was a fascinating story about a couple building a farm based upon regenerative farming.

They called their farm Apricot Lane Farms. The couple sought help from Alan York.

A brief panel discussion was held after the movie. We stayed for that too. A few local vendors were setup inside the theater area, including Bittersweet Farm, Shared Legacy Farm, and the Black Swamp Conservancy.

The panel included people from the Original Sub Shop, the Phoenix Earth Food Co-op, the Black Swamp Conservancy, and someone who is farming BSC land. It was good discussion. They opened up to questions from the audience.

An informative evening.

Sat, Sep 21

In the morning, we shopped at the Toledo farmers market, located in the Warehouse District area of downtown Toledo.

At early afternoon, we left for Shared Legacy Farm, located near Elmore, OH. Deb attended a sauerkraut-making class from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. While Deb attended class, I wandered around downtown Elmore, visiting a quilting fabric store and a yarn store. I bought hemp yarn.

After Deb's class, we visited the quilting store. Deb bought fabric. The owner also owns the building. She showed us the upstairs, which is available as an Air BNB rental. The rental was fabulous. High ceiling, open, brick walls, two beds, nice kitchen and bathroom, washer and dryer, modern everything.

Then we spent time at Wine Flight, also located in downtown Elmore. I drank a can of Crunchy Hippie beer by Ernest Brew Works. Deb drank a red wine. She bought a bottle of the same wine. We noshed on a large pretzel that came with dipping sauces, such as an herbal olive oil, brownish mustard, pesto, and a tomato-like pate. All were tasty, but I liked the mustard the best.

After Wine Flight, we went home for a bit, and then we went to CP and Brad's house to visit. Our last visit was on Gabbie's birthday, two weeks ago.

Tue, Sep 24

Arrived at about 5:30 a.m. Left at about 7:40 p.m. Watched D and G myself until Brad returned home after 4:00 p.m. Busy, fun day.

Wed, Sep 25

Programmed a survey for Dave K. It would be an MLB fan intercept survey, conducted at three games this weekend.

Thu, Sep 26

Did some survey work in the morning. We left for B'ville shortly after 7:00 p.m. We arrived at 11:15 p.m. We stopped at Zavotsky's and we stopped for fuel. We took Route 30 across.

Fri, Sep 27

Walked down to the Pumpkin Festival in the afternoon. CP, Brad, and the kids arrived a little after 6:00 p.m. We had a busy evening at the house. Deb and I did not go downtown in the evening. CP and Brad went downtown around 8:00 p.m. for an hour so.

Sat, Sep 28

Deb, CP, Brad, Gabbie, Dominic, and I walked downtown in the late morning or around midday. We toured through the PF.

Back at the house, we watched most of the parade. It was a warm, sunny day. Too hot to stand around in the sun, parade watching.

We spent most of the time at the house. We did not go downtown. I was bushed. I laid down at 9:00 p.m. to read, and I fell asleep before 10:00 p.m.

Sun, Sep 29

CP, Brad, and the kids left at Noon. We did not visit the PF in the morning.

Deb and I visited the PF in the afternoon, and we toured the museum and viewed the quilts in the museum. Then we went back downtown, and we sat at the bar at the new Barrel House for a while, drinking brewskis and eating potato chips. Mom joined us.

We hung out at Mom's house in the evening. Jeesh. I never visited Dad's perch. We stayed Sunday night in B'vill.e

Mon, Sep 30

Deb and I left Mom's house at 6:40 a.m. for the Columbus airport. It was around a two-hour drive. For work, Deb flew from Columbus to Atlanta around 10:30 a.m. or so.

After the airport, Barney and I drove back to Toledo. We stopped along Route 23 for a walk and some grub. I got Barney a plain sausage patty.