One more trip to Arkansas. Sucks, but it is what it has to be. Kills me. Breaks my heart. But it needs to happen for both to grow. Fertile environment for both, requires self-care, watering, feeding, weeding and exposure to sometimes hazardous conditions. But, in the end, the result is really up to wanting to grow. I can only hope.

Heading up to mow the first weekend in September. If you’re in the area, stop on up. Need to do some road maintenance while I’m up there. Just had to order $200 worth of steering hoses for the tractor, but that’s the only reason we haven’t been up there yet this year. Soon…very soon.

Unless I screw something up, the final invitations are going out next week. Need to spend some time editing the database before pushing “print” on the envelopes. I can NEVER get the positioning of the bloody things perfect, so if you receive one printed on the back, side or inside…just be lucky you got one. If you’re reading this, you don’t need an invite. Bring an offering to the buffet table gods, and you’ll be welcome sans invite. We’ll make you work just as hard as everyone else.

That said, we’re just over 2 month out from the biggest apple cider and sauerkraut festival Cherry Tree Pennsylvania has to offer. We’re also currently the ONLY one, but semantics. Gives everyone a chance to become, and us to grow.

I’m filled up in the garage with things that need to come to the hill for the party. Working on a larger grill so we can cook what we need on site rather than rely on those crappy chafing dishes I had last year. Bringing the homemade gas heater just in case it’s cold. Bringing more lights, stuff, things we’ll need so I’m not making multiple 300mi round trips the week before the party. The new grinder is still holding at 99% complete. Going to run both old and new, simply because. 2 more canopy are waiting for the trip as well. Now 20’x40′ under ‘roof’ just in case of weather. Or 10×80. Or 4- 10×20 spaces. Don’t know how it’s going to work. Will depend on the forecast. Lets hope for sunny and 70, but we’ll plan for cold and rainy just in case.

MIGHT…MIGHT…MIGHT have the first ‘semi-permanent’ structure up there besides the porta-pooper. Still working in the fine points of that one. One more phone call, and then the hard and 5 digit $$$$$ expensive part starts. Might be able to announce this at the party. Might not. Still up in the air. It’ll be a high point for me regardless. We’ll see how it plays out in the coming weeks.

The 5.5 gallon bucket of Drunken Apple Hard Cider has been racked to the final settling carboy. It’ll sit here until a few days before the party when we pump it into the keg and ready it for tasting. Here’s to hoping. So far, the original tests are getting better. We’ll see how it turns out. Be prepared for a designated driver or extended wait to go home. I’m not putting out the ‘must leave by’ sign this year. Fire will roll until the last person leaves. You can camp overnight if you want. Remember it’s roughing it and the shower might run out of water and the weather can be unpredictable. Also the room service sucks butt. Your choice. I’ll be up there regardless. SOMEONE has to clean up the next day!

So…real soon folks…real soon!

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