Today was Miss L's 10th Birthday. We decided to take a trip up North to Barnes & Noble for some post-Holiday using of gift cards, since it is another rainy day.
We have gotten over 2 1/2 inches of rain in the past week. Just think how much snow we would have now if it was only cold outside! Instead, everything is just soggy and muddy.
I noticed this morning that my Hellebores are blooming already! They look lovely, and it's a nice change from the mud and dead leaves every where else.
JP made Swedish pancakes for breakfast, which is one of our favorite special breakfasts. I have not eaten anything substantial since Christmas dinner, due to tummy issues. It is keeping me from snacking on various Christmas cookies, candies and other treats lying about the house, but it isn't much fun.
L chose to go to her favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner. She got the buffet, but I settled for a bowl of white rice and some wonton soup.
Isn't she lovely?
She chose a Tres Leches Cake for her Birthday, and got to open more gifts. She is contemplating getting her ears pierced, and received several pairs of earrings recently, but is still a bit scared of the process.
I am ready to be done celebrating for the year. Poor L has her birthday at the tail end of the season, where everyone is getting burnt out. I hope she had a special day anyway.
It was gorgeous outside today - 65 degrees and sunny on Christmas Eve. This is El Nino at work, I suppose. Per Wikipedia: In Spanish, the capitalized term "El Niño" refers to the Christ child, so named because the pool of warm water in the Pacific near South America is often at its warmest around Christmas.
I took a ride on the ATV, let J's rabbit out to run, and spent some time watching the chickens out in the fresh air. It appears that one of our hens feels somewhat rooster-ish, she was mounting another hen! (Never saw that before.)
We let the girls open a Christmas present a day early, a collection of all 8 Harry Potter movies on Blu Ray. (My excellent Cyber Monday find on Amazon, a $65 savings!) We have been binge watching HP since.
I baked another Pumpkin Cheesecake (wink, wink - made with sweet potatoes) since it was such a hit at Thanksgiving. L didn't care for it once she knew it was made with sweet potatoes, which is why this one is a Pumpkin cheesecake (wink, wink.)
JP mixed up a bunch of no-knead bread dough for tomorrow, and the tenderloin has been trimmed, tied, and seasoned.
I went out early yesterday morning for the 3rd morning in a row, looking for deer. After an hour of sitting in the tree house, with no deer coming to me, I decided to go out looking for them. I walked the circuit of our property, wearing my proper percentage of blaze orange and carrying my rifle. I looked pretty tough (tee hee.)
Movement in the woods on 3 separate occasions turned out to be: squirrel, squirrel, and Lizzie the cat.
I went out more times this deer season than ever before, and even so the season ended up looking about like JP's tree stand.
My friend and I spent a couple of silent hours up in that tree stand a few years back, until the sound of the trickling spring below made us have to pee so badly that we hurried back up the hill to home in the deepening dusk. She was kind enough to embellish our sighting of Ernie the cat into me bagging a big buck in her newspaper column anyway.
It's the closest I ever came to becoming the "great white hunter", although I have had the opportunity to field dress my Dad's deer a couple of years ago. It's the vicarious experience that counts, right?
Now we are off to a Memorial Service for the wife of a friend, and then on to L's Christmas Piano Recital (for which she is not ready) - opposite ends of the spectrum. How does one dress for this line up of activities?
The girls have one more week of school before their extended Christmas Break begins. We have been listening to Handel's Messiah in preparation - HALLELUJAH!
Aha! The bear was eyeing Dad's taxidermy heads and antlers...probably hoping he won't end up there some day.
I just came in from 1 1/2 hours in the tree house. It's really cold out there, since I have to have the top of the Dutch door open in order to see to the South. I saw one small deer, who hurried across the driveway to the cover of some brush. I'll try again tomorrow.
The weather has been unseasonably mild so far this Fall. Although we have had a number of below freezing nights in a row, for the past several days the sun has been out and the temperatures have been up in the mid 50's during the day. It has allowed us to make preparations for February, the most wicked of months.
A couple of months ago, we were able to get our wood in for the season. This weekend I finally finished putting my garden to bed the way I'd been planning for the past 5 years. All of the beds are weeded and resting under a thick blanket of shredded leaves. Between the 2 of us, JP and I have managed to change the coolant in a couple of our vehicles & equipment in order to prevent engine block cracking due to cold. JP removed the shade from the Chick-bit house, and he & Dad got the latch fixed on the outdoor wood burner.
So far, we have not needed to fire up the big wood burner. We have been enjoying fires in the woodstove in the mornings though, and I will probably need to haul wood to refill the pile on our veranda at some point.
JP decided that it has been below freezing long enough that we could remove the window screens. I have all of the windows on the main floor cleaned inside and out where possible. It allows so much more light in!
It also appears that Dad has just bagged a deer. I heard a shot, and now he is on his way to the barn in his blaze orange to get the tractor. I have not been so lucky yet.
We are also ready for Christmas. The tree is up, the decorations are out, and the gifts are wrapped. There are a few more stragglers of packages that I am waiting on from Amazon, and I need to get a few more stocking stuffers, but most of it is done. I also have L's birthday gifts wrapped!
So. I think we're ready for it all - the Holidays, the snow and cold weather, even February. Bring it on!
The bear went up into Dad's "hunting cabin" (aka the gazebo atop his house) to check out the view for hunting season this week. He seems to be somewhat anxious about something he's looking at. I wonder what it could be?