Alexe had a few hiccups on her trip home from NY, (really just the one, going to the wrong airport first,) and we spent the day prepping for her homecoming and belated birthday party. Outfit selection was high on Annaliese's to do list.
Caspian, my little afternoon helper, is very proud of his muscles. He carried three bags of supplies between Fred's and the back of the BTC, and before he would relinquish them, I had to take his picture. He disappeared into the store with my phone, and I saw him show the picture to everyone he found in the store and explaining how strong he was.
We made cider! A case of slightly old and bruised apples, a cider press from my father's collection, and a cuisinart made some of the tastiest cider I've ever had. After some experimentation I found the grating blade on the cuisinart is the fastest method for grinding the apples up. (Medium sized apples fit into the cuisinart chute whole and grind down as fast as you can load them.) Transfer into the press, about 8 cuisinart loads to fill the press, and crank away.
A case of apples 2/3 full made for two pressings, and a gallon and a half of cider.
The end of the soccer season. My team, missing Graham. If you measure success by how much fun they had, I think we were successful. Any other metric...
Sunday afternoon pumpkin carving:
I have no idea where she gets it.
But MOST of the time she's still our little girl.
Annual meeting of the Water Valley Main Street Organization, with this year's award recipients lining up for the newspaper photo-op. Alexe finished out her third year on the board and rolled off, receiving the standard participation award. (She's been otherwise occupied this past year, and may have missed most of the board meetings.) Dixie Grimes, queen of the BTC kitchen and chef extraordinaire, received the Person of the Year award for being the most significant single person to positively impact the Water Valley over the past year.
Snow cone at the Crawdad Hole, (pretty sure these were the last of the season, again,) along with a beer from Yalobusha Brewing Company. In this town where a few short years ago you could be arrested for beer possession, you can now enjoy a tasty brew 50 ft from the brewery that produced it.
It's getting nippy outside, requiring fresh, clean bedding for the animals.
Speaking of animals, we've had a rough animal related week. One of the pigs came down with pneumonia, (current theory is the other four kicked her out of the house on a chilly night,) and died the next day. I put a full round bale of hay in their pen, hopefully providing a surplus of warm nesting to go around no matter how they all get along.
The second event, the next day, was the putting down of Shadow. At 15, Shadow has been a faithful companion, watch dog, and mother figure to all the dogs that have followed for years beyond her shepherd/lab blood lines generally allow. She was a great dog, and is buried next to the garden, nose to nose with a suckling pig. (That was just a fluke of timing, but we think she would be pleased, and it may be the start of a tradition.)
To cap off the week, a dog with a collar but no tags came wandering through, and massacred all but one of the chickens. After the welcome he received on a return visit this morning, I'll be surprised if he comes back again.