Taking advantage of a sick day to catch up on things. Stupid sinuses.
There was a birthday party, Sunday morning the weekend before last, to celebrate our little girl turning five. On a rainy morning, all of our friends bundled up their kids, slogged through the rain and mud, and came to our construction zone for pancakes and conversation over the screaming hoards of kids. We count ourselves very lucky to have a community like this.
The place cleaned up pretty well, all things considered.
Pancakes and cupcakes and sheet cake were consumed, and the birthday girl was spoiled rotten. My favorite part may have been the group beading, all these little people parked around a bucket of plastic beads, tongues sticking out, threading them onto strings.
After the party I had a fun afternoon out with some friends, rescuing a truck that had sunk into a field outside of town. 2 hours playing in the cold rain, with my truck, lots of chains, and a come along, we dragged the heavy diesel out of the field and up the gooey logging road.
It has been cold, 20s at night, and wet. The pigs have turned every corner of their pen into a muddy mess, so I spent a little time with a shovel clearing out drainage ditches, and then built them a dry spot with hay.
Everyone has been going a bit stir crazy, being stuck inside, and surrounded by mud and gloomy skies. It saps the energy to do anything, and severely limits the things you can do. a.Caitlin helped out with a delayed birthday present, a tea set. This is one of several tea parties that occurred on this particular rainy afternoon.
Annaliese's school takes a field trip every month, and parents are welcome to go along. Alexe and I have not had time to go along on any of these, and Annaliese made a specific request that I come this time. Not a request that can be refused.
We climbed on the bus and headed to the bouncy castle pirate themed indoor playground place up near Oxford.
We had permission to bring Caspian, but I couldn't convince Annaliese to invite him. She had her heart set on alone time, so the little boy went to his school for the morning, and we didn't dwell on the field trip.
It became apparent Annaliese was very hungry for alone time with her daddy, (that's me!) and my heart melted when she told her friends they couldn't sit with her because she was sitting with her daddy, then curled up in my lap and snuggled in for the drive.
The place we went was well designed for its purpose.
The upstairs game room.
They had a very early lunch of pizza for the kids. Even though we had gone out to the new pizza place in Oxford the night before, and even though all her classmates couldn't sit still long enough to eat a single piece, Annaliese calmly sat and ate three before wiping her mouth daintily and heading back into the fray.
Chloe is one of Annaliese's best fiends.
And on the drive back Annaliese let her sit with us, where she curled under my arm and fell asleep. She's a light sleeper, I thought I was being sneaky with the camera.
At some point the sun came out, and moods town-wide were lifted. Caspian and I took a boy trip to the park, where he cruised on his bike...
And rode without touching the handlebars when he passed a group of teenagers, which got him the cries of "adorable" that he was angling for...
We hit up the playground, and had many super-pushes on the swings...
These kids love each other, but really blossom when you get them apart and the fighting stops.
We've been doing what we can to soak up the sunshine that has finally come back. We had a couple days of 60+ temps before it dropped back down to 20s, and on those days we made it to the track, and have taken several family tromps around the farm.
He dressed himself for this one. I had been working on the garden, and had stripped to the waist, whcih meant Annaliese was also not wearing a shirt.
It was moments before the little boy decided he needed to follow suit.
The start of Alexe's garden, terracing work coming along. Unrelated, note Shadow's derriere: We had a big trek to the vet last week, with everyone getting their shots, Shadow getting a large mass removed from her butt, and the older pup and the cat getting spayed. $400 later, our menagerie should be good for a while.
Alexe returning home from the store on her bicycle, having pedaled all the way up the hill loaded down with groceries. I am continually charmed by this girl, and find it endlessly surprising how much she loves being a grocer.
Meanwhile, even thought it's been muddy and cold, the house is progressing. The second section of the kitchen counters first required a brick-scavenging trip, this time just around the corner to the Tatum's house, where in exchange for rescuing his truck, John let me rip out an old garage foundation.
When I'm done here, I think I'll have done plenty of brick work for this year.
The sink compartment, with an alcove towards the wall to both support the counter that will tie into the wall on that side, and potentially house a dishwasher, though we're still undecided on whether we want one of those.
I had to come back and add a level of bricks under the sink after we put it in place and decided, at 39 inches, it still didn't feel high enough.
All ready to be plumbed in.
This is the latest, the radiant floor heating system. On demand hot water heater, 95% efficient, propane, will supply all domestic hot water needs, and heat the house. The rest of the manifold is from Radiant Floor in Vermont.