Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I like soft things

This past weekend was a long one of sorts, with a couple of days away from kindergarten. We took full advantage and visited the Aviary (thank you, neighbor KB, for the Entertainment Book with coupons!) and the zoo (love that membership pass!) On Saturday, however, we tried a new course by heading slightly north to check out some barns and farms in Butler County. (Find more information here.)

I've been wanting to do this for weeks; there was an article in the Trib about a smattering of family-owned farms that are kind enough to open their doors so that people can peek in and glimpse a different world. It's all free, and relatively loose—you just follow the map and stop wherever you'd like. None of them appear to be more than about an hour from the city.

I'd picked out a few that were rather close, because Todd had to work later on Saturday; we had a limited window of time. We dug out an old, substandard PA road map, and I jotted down names and addresses of a few of the close farms.

If you're anything like me, you prefer a plan. The plan can be roughly laid, but it needs to exist, albeit in fluid form at times. Also, if you have a man in your life, you might have realized by now that they hate directions: asking for them, using them, acknowledging them, etc. So, a tiny portion of our drive (ahem, cough cough) was spent bickering about which way to go, how the road we were traveling seemed to end, why the dirt path running between 7-foot brambles was not a good choice for us, and how it made more sense for us to switch farms since we were driving past one that hadn't originally been a destination but now loomed just a mile or two away... Fun, fun.

Happily, the weather was great. The scenery rocked. And our accidental landing zone was a huge, spotless alpaca farm. The little fella (lady???) pictured above was extremely friendly and we petted his/her woolly neck for many minutes. He (I'm hoping at this point it was male) gave me several nuzzles, and since alpacas eat pretty much only grass and straw, the thing even had nice breath.

It was relaxing, quiet, peaceful, and breathtakingly lovely. Then we were running short on time, so we stopped for ice cream and ate it in the grass under some fir trees. The day was complete.


But there's one other soft thing I am loving right now. It's the new, expensive, awesomely designed "Whisper Soft" toilet seat adorning the upstairs potty.

You know by now I'm a cheapskate. I will go for the low-priced item anytime, unless it's obviously junk. The toilet seat we had in place was not the best. We'd brought it up from downstairs after we replaced the upstairs system with a low-flow model, because the seat lid that came with the water-saver was cheap, bendable plastic. Not good. I'm not even sure how old the downstairs seat was, but it didn't matter: the metal parts on it were corroding away. I'd sliced my finger on it while cleaning the thing once, and had nightmares about infections for days. So. It needed to go.

I headed to Home Depot, ready to be tempted by many home improvement items and prepared to spend more than I thought I should. I'm thrifty, yes, but I don't like tetanus shots nor Neosporin-soaked bandages, and I knew I'd have to drop some bucks for a good seat. I guess it's like a mattress; you spend a lot of hours on it, so you should invest in something quality. Right?

I found many that would serve the purpose, but one spoke to me: the Whisper Soft. Does it whisper? No. BUT, it descends from its high place with slow, deliberate grace. Little boys in our home no longer need fear being hammered by a cruel, parts-crushing lid. Never again will the bladeless guillotine slam on unsuspecting flesh. Women, too, can rejoice in the silence that reigns in place of the awful banging noise that seats make when they crash down onto hapless porcelain.

It cost too much. But truly, it is worth it. So worth it.

Wishing you all your favorite soft things on this pretty day!

No comments: