Annaliese's school was closed for the full Thanksgiving week. Caspian's learning center was closed from Wed. to Friday. It made for a long week of child-friendly activities, something that in some respects is far easier at the farm, and yet with all the renovation work that is ongoing, and the unmoved components of our life that are still at the blue house, more challenging.
Some days the kids lament not being at the blue house, and on several occasions they have chastised me for ruining the new house. (Taking out the shag carpeting, or the "soft floor", has earned me many reprimands, and the other day Caspian spent the whole ride to school talking about how I was ruining the house by taking off the pretty white siding.)
Shadow, in her old age, is happy at the farm. This pooch, resident of Vermont, Nashville, Virginia, DC, and MS, is 14 years old, and showing signs of her age. She's sleeping more, leaking urine more, smells terrible much of the time, and her hearing is much diminished. Still a great dog.
She and the pigs seem to get along. I catch them communing like this every now and again.
Our good friends got a jump on the season, and the Sunday before Thanksgiving set up their Christmas light display. Their house is on Main Street, and this light show is hooked up to a loud sound system that blasts Christmas music. The lights flick on and off in time to the music.
With Caspian in school until noon on Monday and Tuesday, I had some hang out time with my little girl. This has turned into a rare occasion, as they're both home with me by noon each day, and I was tickled to see how grown up my little girl is. While I was showering she set out our clothes for the day: matching outfits, which we added matching blue jackets to before heading out.
Monday afternoon we took a family trip to pick up the organic, free range turkeys the BTC sourced from the local Mennonite farm. The farm was in full turkey harvest mode, and this trailer housed the next day's batch to be processed. I was pleasantly surprised to see how healthy, clean, and calm these birds were.
The young Mennonite boy spent time swinging inside the trailer from the metal cage, feet knocking turkey heads. Caspian and Annaliese were charmed by the turkeys and the boy.
There was a big chicken component to the farm, and the kids got into the baby chicks.
With the many projects around the homestead, I find I stop at the hardware store every day. The kids duck into these plastic dog houses every time they come with me, which is almost every day.
(Today Caspian was with me, we stopped on our way back from school, heading to pick Annaliese up from the BTC, and Caspian dove straight into the big house.)
I've made two trips to the dump to offload things I've ripped out of the house here. The $5 dumping fee, along with the amount of crap I can fit into the back of the truck when the cap is in place, and the nice man that runs the dump all by himself, make it a satisfying journey.
On the last trip I stepped on an inner-tube thingy that is meant to be pulled behind a motorboat, and I took the tow rope off it. I stopped by the tire shed on my way out, and presto:
Leah and Chloe came over on Tuesday afternoon for a play date. Annaliese and Caspian had been at their house on Sunday, affording Alexe and me a nice long walk out by the river. (Note the snapped Fiskar loppers. We're going to see how good that lifetime warranty is.)
It went over well, though coordinating a rotation with 4 kids under four, and enforcing it, was a bit of a challenge. Alexe was feeling poorly, and we had picked her up from work and put her straight in bed earlier, so I had the joy of policing the full afternoon by myself.
Most of Wednesday was taken up with porch construction. On Tuesday I took delivery of my cypress order from the local mill, and had the dimensional lumber I'm using for floor joists delivered, but with Alexe being ill, and the friends over to play, I didn't get much done. Weds, with Alexe at work and both kids home with me for the whole day, was another story. See the porches post.
After Alexe came home from her Oxford deliveries, the kids were put to bed, and I came in from the porch project and put my headlamp up, I started in on the pies. Alexe made an early night of it, and I pulled the last of the 10 pies out of the oven some time before 1 am.
To compensate for the terrible kitchen I was cooking in, and the one in the blue house I was missing, I found Wings episodes on Netflix to stream. Talk about a soothing companion.
Breakfast, Thanksgiving morning.
The kids suited up and collected pine cones, acorns, and leaves from all around the farm, and helped Alexe decorate the table for dinner. We ate, the four of us and Dixie, at noon.
Alexe was entirely responsible for cooking the 21 lb turkey, and she did a great job. Tender, moist, and super-tasty.
We took naps, ate pies, I tinkered on the porches, and when it was dark, we lit one of the many brush piles. The kids were treated to glow sticks.
What I'm thankful for:
It was an impressive fire, big and fast burning, it took an hour and a half to burn down a condensed pile of logs. A firetruck came out, and I met the young man halfway through the field, where he said, "oh, you're here, I figured you would be, have a happy Thanksgiving," and he headed back to the truck.
I love Mississippi.
The kids kept their glow sticks for bath time, and insisted in having the lights turned out.
They slooowly got into their pjs and climbed into bed, somehow finding time to hang the gorilla between their beds.
The next morning I was back on the porch, another pie-breakfast in me, and Caspian came out to keep me company. He asked me to go acorn hunting with him, and with Cat's in the Cradle in my head, I set my tools down, and we took a leisurely circuit around the farm to some of the big oaks, where we picked up many, many acorns.