Tuesday, January 10, 2012

where sheep wear spandex / an MS outing

Whether care giving or needing care sometimes the best thing you can do is just go have some fun.

Laughing while spandex wearing sheep tried to eat Patti’s wheelchair we began our visit to the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show.

With 24 accessible acres(approximately 24 football fields) under roof, I cannot think of a more wheelchair friendly outing for January. (and excellent pushing and walking exercise for me) 

Enjoying two creamy chocolate milk shakes from PA Dairyman’s Association in search of the butter sculpture we decided to watch some honeybees in a glass observation hive at an exhibit by PA Beekeepers Association. Soon we found ourselves in a conversation with a beekeeper about bee stings and medicine. While most visitors took a step back from the weird people talking about stinging themselves, several lingered, listened, and asked questions in a spontaneous discussion about Patti’s eventually unsuccessful two years of Bee Venom Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis and the beekeeper who had found genuine success for his Rheumatoid Arthritis through apiatherapy.

It’s hard to miss 1,000 lbs (454 kg) of butter and we eventually found the sculpture. After the week long farm show the sculpture is given to a selected dairy farm where it is converted into electricity.

After a couple hours of checking out and often visiting up close and personal certainly every farm animal and crop in our imagination – well, we were hungry … hey, the theme was “from the farm gate to the dinner plate.”

Heading to the food court area we decided on Lamb Stew from PA Livestock Association with frozen maple yogurt topped with maple syrup for dessert from PA Maple Syrup Producers.

Lamb stew and frozen yogurt could not have been more dysphagia friendly and feeding Patti was no problem in the crowd of humanity, over 50,000 attend each day. Most people are shoving one thing or another in each other’s mouth anyway under the ‘try this’ principle of fine farm show dining.

Happy and fed Patti was ready for a long winter’s nap.

Fortunately between MS fatigue and her memory loss she would not have to fret about counting spandex clad sheep. 

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 


  1. Frozen maple yogurt sounds delicious; lamb stew did too! That butter sculpture sure was interesting, I'm trying to figure out how it would convert to electricity? Sounds like a delightful day for the two of you!


    1. Betty, inquiring minds think alike :) apparently many farms have something called a 'digestor' which converts waste into electricity. In one past year the sculpture was given to a company that converted food waste from restaurants, etc into biodiesel to power taxi cabs in Philadelphia. All in all it's about reusable sources of energy from what was previously considered waste.

  2. Dear Patrick, thank you for sharing your visit to the farm show; I know that Patti loved it!! Your picture for me is as close to the farm show that I will ever get again. John and I used to take the girls; what a fun time. Your excursions are always of so much interest to me and I so enjoy seeing Patti with such a great smile. Thanks for being you!

  3. Sounds like a great excursion. Lamb stew - yum!

    1. Cranky as you well know one great excursion is worth it's weight in gold. :)

  4. Wow, that butter exhibit is wild! Reminds me of the ice sculpture competitions when I lived in Fairbanks. I'm always intrigued by artists who commit such effort to temporary exhibits.

    Sounds like a good time on nice flat terrain :)

    1. Yes the craftsmanship and creativity for such a temporary 'work of art' is fascinating though 400,000 people ooohed and aaahed at the butter sculpture. Not bad!!!


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