Saturday, November 27, 2010


Now here's something I didn't really think too much about before having a baby: Motherhood seems to come with a greatly increased risk of illness.

When I was pregnant last winter, I caught a couple of colds, along with a stomach bug. In years past, I would usually get one cold per winter and that was it. I am not a sickly person in general. But then that compromised immune system that comes along with pregnancy kicked me right in the ass with two colds and a fun episode in which I got entirely too intimate with my toilet. It sucked, since I was so unaccustomed to being sick, but I figured that once that whole sharing my body with another person thing was done, I'd be back to my usual hale and hearty self.


I am now on my second cold of the season, a mere month and a half after dealing with the first one. My immune system appears to continue to be compromised, probably due to the fact that I haven't slept through the night more than few times in the past year or so.

You know all those stories in the media about studies linking lack of sleep with a poor immune system? I would now like to add the results of my own personal--unintentional--study on lack of sleep and urge you thus: Sleep as much as you can, or you will pay. OH YES YOU WILL.

That's all. Carry on.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mmm Mmm Good

Nothing whets the appetite for an enormous Thanksgiving meal like going out to pick some herbs and finding the dogs smeared in blood and dragging around a huge deer stomach spewing green bile.

I'm sure you know I say this from personal and very recent experience.

And then, when I went to grab one of my work gloves so I could get the putrid thing away from the dogs without touching it with my bare hands, I found that one of my gloves was inexplicably totally filled with dried corn. I probably dumped a full cup and a half of corn out of my glove before putting it on. A. must've accidentally dropped some in my gardening bag when he was cleaning up the shop.

The bizarre and the disgusting are never hard to find at Blackrock, even on a holiday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Calm at Present, Storm Ahead

The house sleeps.

Cubby has been up and gone back down. The MiL is awake but hasn't yet emerged. The rest of the house is still asleep. This is my chance to sit, to drink my coffee, to take a deep breath before diving into the happy maelstrom of the day.

And to give thanks for the many amazing things in my life, because that is, after all, what it's all about.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Can I cop out today and just answer some questions? Because, frankly, my brain is a little too overwhelmed with the mental planning necessary to figure out how to put the almost-completed kitchen back together and get the stuff that doesn't get back in the kitchen out of the way so I can clean the entire downstairs so I can move the silver off the sideboard for the buffet so I can set up tables and chairs and get out napkins and tablecloths and silverware and . . .

Yeah. Just answering some questions today sounds JUST FINE THANK YOU.

So! Beth asked if we can fit 22 people in our house. Not only can we fit 22 people in our house, we can fit a hundred just in the downstairs. And have. Not that I am anxious to repeat that craziness any time soon.

The question Beth was really asking, I suspect, was can we fit 22 people for a sit-down dinner? Yes. In fact, when we hosted Thanksgiving a couple of years ago, we actually set places for 23 people, all around actual tables with actual place settings and china and everything (photos here). With all the leaves in, the dining room table seats 12, and then we set up a table running the length of the living room, plus another smaller table in the library situated between the dining room and living room. The food is on the sideboard in the dining room. It's definitely cozy, but can be done.

Jean was wondering who these 22 people may be. They are all the MiL's family. She has four siblings in the area, so add in partners, children, partners of children, and now the children's children (hi, Cubby!), and it doesn't take long to get into the twenties. Family holidays are always this large. It is the way of things here. But everyone contributes food, so the host isn't really stuck with all the cooking.

Finally, Jean wanted to know how big our turkey will be. I have no idea. One of the MiL's sisters is bringing the turkey. Sometimes we have two turkeys, brought by different people. This year we will also be serving one or two of the large trout we have in our freezer for people who don't eat or don't really like turkey.

Not that I care anything about the fish or the turkey as long as there are mashed potatoes and rolls.

And now that I have answered questions, I have to spring into action and get our house ready for the Day of Thanks. Peace out, duckies!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Let's Review

Also could be titled: "Photos I Have Taken in the Past Week and Not Posted." Not that I would use a title like that, because that is just too dull. And this is anything but dull! This is EXCITING!

Like, check out Cubby and one of his other canine buddies! SO FUN!

Because Mia's not the only dog game in town.

Or how about the hysteria-inducing excitement that was our dining room?! OH MY GOD SO MUCH FUN!

I have since managed to at least clear off the table, though I remain unsure how we are going to wedge 22 people among the boxes on Thanksgiving.

And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, I leave you with the MIND-BLOWING excitement that is Cubby in a pseudo-hunting outfit given to him by my mother and in which I dressed him on opening day of rifle season. Because THAT IS JUST TOO FUN!

Apparently, his legs are supposed to blend in, and his torso is supposed to stand out. Puzzling.

But wait! Is that a deer the mighty hunter spies?

Naw. Just Mia. Who IS oddly deer-like for a dog, but lacks the highly prized antler rack.

I'm exhausted from all the caps and exclamation points. I have to go lie down now.

P.S. Alicia, I didn't forget about your question awhile back. I mentioned this in the comments of that post, but if you send me your e-mail address, I will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about cloth diapers. Same goes for anyone else who seeks my wisdom on this fascinating subject. Or any subject! I like to lecture.

Monday, November 22, 2010


It's really ridiculous that I don't knit. I mean, if anyone should knit, it should be me. Here I am with eight wool-bearing animals that have to be sheared every year anyway and a dire need for wool clothing to survive in our ridiculously cold house. ANDAND, a baby. For whom wool clothing is almost a necessity, and yet unobtainable through normal baby clothing manufacturers.

But I don't knit. And don't try telling me how easy it is, because I have tried and I just do not have the temperament for it so GO AWAY TWISTY KNOTTY YARN I HATE YOU.

So when I need wool socks for Cubby (which I do) or wool slippers for me (which I did), to Etsy I go. Where there are many, many people who knit, because they apparently don't have anger management issues when it comes to yarn. And they can whip out things like felted wool slippers in a cheery green color with black accents in about a week, thereby filling the gaping hole in our lives left by my inability to knit.

We can't all do everything. I have accepted my limitations and embraced Etsy, and my life is calmer for it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


The kitchen is still total chaos and the woodstove cooking continues apace: Italian sausage, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and broken-up spaghetti simmering at this very moment.

Yesterday I walked out the front door, stepped on a chipmunk head, and then saw that whatever cat had eaten the chipmunk had thrown up the rest of it on the arm of the Adirondack chair outside the door. Nice. Thanks a lot, cat, you disgusting animal.

The hammock has been put away for the season, the leaves have been raked off the front porch, and various other battening-down-the-hatches-for-winter chores have been done.

A. finally put a new toilet seat on the toilet. The old one had been cracked for about five months. The fact that we put up with that for so long is a testament to our ability to bear mild discomfort. Also a testament to the fact that we have about a million other things to do that take precedence over replacing a cracked toilet seat.

Like eating lunch, which I still have not done and am now going to go do. Better-organized post (marginally, anyway) coming tomorrow . . .