The wet shoes referenced in the title would be from trying to do a whole bunch of outside chores today while the drizzle melted the snow from Sunday/Monday.
This is a challenging time of year on the farm. These are the Mud Days. Everything is just ... mud. The hardest part about this time of year is that it is so diffucult to keep the animals comfortable. Everything is just soaked.
I made an attempt to build up the bedding in the horses' stall with some woodchips. The problem is that the pile of woodchips isn't exactly right near the stall. And with the ground being as muddy as it was, it was impossible to move a wheelbarrow through it.
Here's a little math problem - with two parts.
a) How many Tidy Cat buckets of woodchips does it take to make a 4 inch deep bed in a 12 x 15 horse stall where x = the melting rate of 10 inches of snow and y = the precipitation rate of rain?
b) How many bottles of wine will it take to get the job done?
The answer to both a and b is: a lot. I was going to email this little math problem off to my daughter's calculus teacher but ... I'm not sure what he would think.
So anyway, wet shoes.
Aside from dealing with the wetness, today was a pretty productive day. I was home all day and I managed to get some little projects done - installing a dog door for the beagles, putting plastic over a screen door, fixing a screen and getting it ready for plasic, cutting son's hair.
Well, it felt more productive. The thing with the plastic is this - we have a lot of windows. When I say a lot I mean A. Lot. Like if I told you, you wouldn't even believe me.
It's 80 windows.
I crap you not.
Remember that picture of the house from the snow day? That particular room alone has 26. Fortunately, that's more of a 3 season type room that we don't heat so I'm not too worried about that. But, that still leaves a whole boat load of windows. Some have aluminum storm windows with screens and that is all well and good.
But some don't
Some have the old wood storm windows and some just have the old wood frames with screen. The latter group is the one I am currently trying to address with the plastic. I have no idea how many there are. I just kind of take it one window at a time. A friend of mine who is also living in a big ol' drafty house gave me a huge roll of plastic. It's awesome! I can't express just how wonderful it is.
So, plastic on windows. Yay for heat retention!
But back to the business at hand which would be "The Ugly Sisters Remember When".
We didn't really plan a specific topic for today but I thoght what with this being Thanksgiving week and all, maybe something along those lines would be good.
So ... Thanksgiving.
When I was growing up, my parents were pretty much always the ones to host Thanksgiving. My dad's dad was there - because he lived with us - and usually my mom's parents and sometimes aunts, uncles and cousins.
When there were a lot of people there, we were one of those families that had a kid table and a grown-up table. The kid table was the round oak table in our kitchen and the adults got to eat in the actual dining room. It was always kind of fun sitting at the kid table. We were always silly and laughing and, once in a while, boisterous enough to get a warning from one of the adults.
I can still picture my mom making dinner. She always wore one of those full aprons while she bustled around the kitchen. Turkey, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, butter beans, salad, cranberry sauce, gravy, kielbasy (smoked and fresh!), string beans, stuffing (oh heart's delight!) and several types of pies.
My dad was always in charge of the mashed potatoes. I'm not sure how he ever came to be the Potato Engineer but, once they were ready, it was his job to mash them. Which he did with a hand masher and his tongue sticking slightly out of the corner of his mouth. When they reached fluffy perfection, he would pile them in a serving bowl and then embellish the heap with pats of butter.
My dad's other job was to carve the turkey - a job he took very seriously. He would come to the table with the big carving knife and one of those knife sharpeners that looked like a sword. He would take his place at the head of the table and start the Thanksgiving pageantry, criss-crossing the knife over the sharpener, elaborate arm swooping motions, until it was just right. Whatever that was. Who knew? Then he would poke the two prong fork into the turkey and begin to carve while we all waited anxiously. When he was done, we would all pile our plates, say grace and dig in.
After dinner, the adults would clean up and retire to the living room for beers, wine, sometimes a shot of something, and coffee for the ladies. Except my grandmother - she would have a beer or shot. Or both. Rest her soul.
The kids would go outside and play. Probably tag or some make believe game. In a little while we would come back in and have dessert.
I know there are people out there that dread holiday get-togethers - something I can't even imagine. My holiday memories are nothing but wonderful and happy. I don't remember anyone ever fighting or arguing - just a lot of eating, talking and laughing. As the years went on, the number or guests dwindled until it was just my parents, grandmother my and my sister's families.
And now it is just my mom.
Who very graciously agreed to cook the 24 pound turkey I got from Giant.
Because, hey, free turkey! Plus her house is warmer.
So this year, my hubby, kids and I will have Thanksgiving dinner with my mom. And so it goes.
I don't really think about Thanksgiving Past very often so I'm glad I wrote this post. It gave me a chance to look back, almost like I was standing outside and looking in the dining room windows of my parents' house. I see a room full of people, sitting around a bountiful table, enjoying each other's company. I can hear the animated conversations and laugher. As I step back into the evening, the lights glow warmly and I can still catch the sound of an extra hearty laugh.
I step a little further back still and, even though I can no longer hear the people inside, the cheerful lights spill into the yard.
Snow flurries start to fall and I start to float up into the sky. Down below I can see the houses of our neighbors, where they are also sitting down to their holdiay meals.
Floating a higher still I can see over my whole home town and the twinkling lights of all the little houses. A beautiful peace alights on the earth, and I think to myself...
"Holy Crap! I'm flying!"
This post was brought to you by NaBloPoMo and Perrier.