Having survived the holidays, I did want to share that the kids outdid themselves with Christmas presents this year. Kid the Elder and his wife replaced my dying stove (one burner had a broken knob, and one had an intermittent short). Plus, it was at least 20 years old. The new one is used, but for the first time in over 20 years, I have a stove capable of self-cleaning (though I am not likely to use it, since it gets SO hot and I am in an old mobile home). It is wonderful to be able to cook on all burners again. It got installed the day after Christmas, being that I foiled the plan to install it while I slept Christmas Eve. I was sleeping in one of the comfy chairs in the living room, since I have been fighting a lung infection that prevented me from sleeping laying down for almost a week. The old one went to the dump as soon as this one was installed. No sense in putting it off while we had help.
Kid the Younger wasn’t able to come home for Christmas, but made it over a few days later for his birthday. Having a birthday so close to Christmas sucks, but I was well-trained by my dad, whose birthday was the 27th. The rules were simple – a joint present was not acceptable, and the birthday present could not be wrapped in Christmas paper. When Kid was younger we would forgo a birthday party in December for one later. Sometimes in January, but usually at the end of the school year, when we could invite the whole class over to run amok outside once filled with cake and ice cream. He way out did himself in the present department too – a ginormous gift card to Home Depot. He does know the way to his mama’s heart. I’m having as much fun figuring out what to do as I will actually spending it.
We did our traditional Christmas Eve dinner – tacos (been doing it since I was about 9) at my mom’s, but Christmas day was pretty laid back. Kid the Elder made coffee cake (another long-standing tradition, ever since he was old enough to run the stove with supervision). He changes it up every year, playing with recipes.
I finally decided that it was time for new Christmas stockings. When I was pregnant with my eldest I started making stockings for my potential children. I was running on memory for how big mine was and had way over-estimated. So for many years, Santa has had to break the bank filling them. Now, Daughter is gone, as is Sweetie, and Kid the Younger has changed his name. I placed an order to KnitPicks in early November, dug out the knitting books, and started knitting in secret. I got them all finished (except for weaving in some ends on mine) on Christmas Eve, and they got hung just before I went to bed. They still need fulled, and I will post a better picture once that happens, but here they are in all their glory:
As you can see, there are 5 of them. Kid the Elder is blue, DIL is purple, Kid the Younger is red, his fiancée is green, and I am yellow. The kids all have their mates color alternated with white on the toes, and the toe of mine has all 4 of the others. Since I’d ordered yarn without having a plan, I cut it very close on the yellow. I have only a tiny little ball left of it, approximately 2 yards. I am very happy with how they turned out, and it won’t be hard to do more if I am ever blessed with grand-babies.
I also knit socks for both Kid the Younger and his fiancée, but I don’t have pictures of them yet. They are supposed to send me a picture as soon as they find a second.
The ewes are starting to bag up (develop udders), so lambs are on their way! It’s always exciting to see what I get in the way of new babies. I borrowed a ram from my friend Correy, so I have high hopes for structural improvements. It will be interesting to see if I get some fun color patterns. I’m a total sucker for spotted lambs, though it is unlikely that he carries spotting. Some of the ewes do, so there is a possibility. I still can’t tell if the goat girls are pregnant, though I did dream that one of them was.
My other big adventure was helping Laura do in her two big white turkeys. She had been putting it off for a while, and finally conceded that she needed the prompting of my being there to get them done. We started with the hen, who was almost small enough to carry. Laura did most of the work on her, with me mostly supervising and bracing the carcass to facilitate certain maneuvers. Before we broke for lunch and to warm up a bit, we walked the tom up to the where we were working (no way we were lifting him up) and hung him up to bleed out. A hot cup of tea, a slice of homemade frittata, and a little sit down time were a nice break, before we went back out to finish the dirty work. We both worked on skinning him out, and pretty soon he joined his mate in the cold water bath in her front yard. They spent the night there before being boned out today. She will be making a lot of turkey sausage, and I may be smoking some of it. I’m pushing for one that includes dried apricot.
Hope you all had a nice holiday season, and are off to a good start in the New Year.