Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November in Pennsylvania

Isn't he pretty? I had to take some photos of houses for work yesterday and my route took me past the cemetery in Washington. I happen to really like cemeteries, and this particular one gave me the inspiration for my middle child Agnes' name when I was expecting. I browsed all the oldest headstones looking for names. Is that weird?
Anyway, it's very peaceful and park like, and historical in there, plus the deer live in relative luxury and safety. So fellas like this guy here are pretty unconcerned when you stop your car and start taking photos. Pretty neat.

It rained all day yesterday so we brought the horses into the barn for the night. We've been using the tie stalls, meaning they are in stalls just big enough to stand tied with a manger in front of them full of hay & fresh water. They're out of practice since last winter and a little antsy, but I was afraid to leave them out since they were wet & I expected the temperature to drop a good bit over night. They need to get back in the routine anyway, because colder, icier days are ahead.

I brushed them and tried to rub them dry with some burlap sacks as best I could. I untangled their dreadlocks and got the burdocks out of their manes. Normally these simple things are as good a tonic as any for a crabby mood, but this one's persistent and I could probably stand another dose. Maybe it was because they were too wet to hug on and I didn't get the full benefits. I did go hug and kiss on the coondog and that helped too, but the funk remains.

We had a corral built for the two biggest steers to confine them for their last month or so. It let them run into the barn for cover, gave them exclusive access to their own water trough, their own round bale of hay, and grain twice a day. Sounds great, right? No getting chased by the horses. More food. But I watched them in their new accomodations and they just weren't themselves. Mark was monitoring their water intake and he said CalfLac hadn't come in to drink, as far as he could tell. Buddy seemed depressed being away from the horses and calves-his horses and calves. So Mark decided to turn them back out with everyone else. I wish I'd been there to see it, because apparently they ran around in circles from pure joy for a good five minutes.
Indoors the farmhouse makeover is nearly through phase one. I still have some touchup painting to do and the window treatments aren't due to arrive until mid-December, but we have some real improvement. Once again, thank you, Jill. The other bonus about that: there was like a 35% markdown on coondogs this week, no coupon necessary.

Lily asks me every day if she can stay home from school. I feel her pain and tell her we only have one more day to go til Thanksgiving vacation. She's not really buying it. Mark made his delicious unfamous crab cakes for supper tonight and she pulled an 'I don't like it' so I told her to put ketchup on it (or catsup, as my dear grandma used to call it.) So she'd take a bite, run around the room, and return to her seat. Normally, I'm not cool with stuff like that, but I have a strange singular memory of doing the exact same thing with popcorn while my parents watched Dallas on the TV in the basement. Take a bite, run like mad. Take a bite, run like mad. And they didn't yell at me as I recall, so. It's only fair?

My brother stopped by after work and we polished off a bottle of wine he made me buy for Thanksgiving over at my Dad's on Thursday. What? I watched Sam as my brother poured glasses and I knew it was absolutely killing him so I gave him about 3/8 of an inch in a juice glass. He was on cloud nine to be included. He probably had 3/4 of an inch total when all was said and done and believed himself to be somewhat tipsy. Ah, to be 11 1/2. NO THANKS!

His sisters thoroughly disapproved.

So we've been working on the house, as I've said repeatedly, and a bulk of it was painting. I chose the kitchen color, under duress, and hastily chose "Honey Gold" in honor of our fledgeling apiary. I was looking for a yellow. Was in the yellow tones, with about 2 minutes until we had to leave the store to get to a birthday party. So I'm embarassed to admit, I picked the shade because of it's name. At first, I hated it, but it's grown on me. But for the next 2 colors- dining room/area and living room- I couldn't take the pressure, gave Mark some vague directions, and turned him loose. He chose 'Cassiopeia' for the dining area and 'Raspberry Jam' for the living room. This is the guy who wears the same uniform of blue jeans and one of our screen printed farmers market t-shirts with our name on it every day. He drives a truck so busted we're all afraid to take it on the road. I could go on. But the point is, he picked a really nice shade of light blue for the dining and a beautiful rich brick for the living room. He's just full of surprises I guess. He picked out the flooring too. Nothing fancy-our house doesn't warrant it-but it's nice.

We got the first draft of the kids' Christmas lists. There are lots of hamsters and wigs and Lego's on the lists. I'm sure those are pretty typical Christmas List things, just like 'Don't forget to wash the glue out of your hair' is a typical evening time phrase. These things don't phase me as much as the fact that the girls are finally sleeping in their own beds instead of in a pile on their brother's floor. Is it wrong that I let them sleep like hobos for the past 7 or 8 months?
I have done no shopping thus far apart from 2 gift certificates for my grandmother. And that was only because I went to the grocery store and they were right there. So I'm really sucking on that front and that probably accounts for at least part of my moodiness.
It's gonna be OK though, thanks to the Christmas Hot Toddy Fairy and Amazon. The fairy's come early this year and I get free shipping with my Prime membership. It has it's privileges, the membership does.
Scatterbrained and tired,

1 comment:

Becky said...

Whew! Sounds busy around there. I love the colors. And Happy Thanksgiving to you guys and Jill and all the peacable kingdom you've got going on!