Farm + Camp = Best Summer Ever

Farm Camp Summer 2015

Farm Camp Summer 2015

Every summer I sign up my kids for camp. They’ve done hockey camp, horse camp, art camp, clay camp, theater camp, cooking camp, and camping camp. This summer, I packed them off to farm camp at Angelic Organics. I signed up through the Rock Valley College Whiz Kids Program which made the camp more affordable for us. Only then did I realize I’d committed myself to a 50 minute drive there and back, twice a day, every day, for fifteen days. Since chauffeuring is not my favorite summer activity, I wasn’t sure I’d made the best choice. I’m taxi-mama during the school year after all!

Once camp started I completely changed my mind. My daughters started teaching me about sustainable, organic farming. Plus they learned new skills, like how to:

  • milk goats
  • make butter and ice-cream
  • hold a chicken
  • collect eggs
  • clean coops
  • bake zucchini bread
  • feed livestock
  • can pickles
  • groom a horse
  • water the cows
  • harvest vegetables

They came home smelling like they’d rolled in manure all day, their clothes covered in everything from chicken pee to horse slobber. In short: they had the time of their lives.

Goats love to eat burdock.

Goats love to eat burdock.

Kids love to hold chickens.

Kids love to hold chickens.

The best part? They went to bed early and exhausted.

The drive? Well that’s what audio books are for.


What’s to Like About Rockford: The Kroozin Kooler

Kroozin Kooler comes when you call!

Kroozin Kooler comes when you call!

This summer I had one of those BIG BIRTHDAYS. You know, one of the ones that end in “0”. My kids thought it was a big deal, even if I was in denial. “Who me? I cannot possibly be that old. Must be a clerical error.”

Alas, my mother confirmed, I was indeed that old. She insists she was there at my origination.

After briefly considering accidentally dropping my drivers license into the shredder, I decided to embrace my inner child. What better way than to gorge on ice-cream? And rather than imbibe in the dark, alone, with a quart of double fudge brownie delight and a very large serving spoon, I scheduled the Kroozin Kooler and invited my neighbors to join me.

The Kroozin Kooler?


I’m old enough to remember when ice cream trucks drove around the neighborhood twice a week in the summer time. My brother and I would turn off the sprinkler and dash, dripping wet, down the street with hands full of change. Our goal?

The Bomb Pop.

The Bomb Pop

The Bomb Pop

Now that I live in Rockford, I can just call up this local company, Kroozin Kooler and schedule an ice-cream truck to come to my house. My ice-cream lady carries the good stuff too.

Some of the selection

Some of the selection

I love this idea. A fleet of ice-cream trucks ready when and wherever you are. I love this company. The drivers are cheery. The trucks are bright and clean. The music is nostalgic. The product is divine and the price fair.

Their website: Their phone number: 815-708-1558 Their event request form: and Facebook page:

You know you want one right? No matter what your age, your orbitofrontal cortex will thank you.

Seeing Myself Through My Daughter’s Eyes

dreamstimefree_269702smMother’s Day was a couple weeks ago. Since that day also happens to correspond with my end of the semester grading frenzy, I didn’t get a chance before now to post this lovely poem that my 12-year-old daughter wrote for me:

a business teacher
a pitch perfect singer
a writer of astonishing books that I love to read
a cook of marvelous foods
AND she cleans like a pro

a helper with homework
a stay up late worker
She is head shopper for birthdays, Christmas presents and other stuff

is patient (ish)
and cool (ish)

But the best thing about my mom is that she loves me
that’s the best
I could get.


Yeah, I cried.

Photograph © Mamz