Friday, November 3, 2017

October in Review

October seems to have gotten away from me—there were many things I meant to post about, but somehow never got around to it.

It was a beautiful month, sunny and dry, until it wasn't (more about that in a minute). I got the kids to walk through our woods a few times and we even went on a family hike once (I have mentioned how no one likes to leave the house, haven't I?). Unfortunately, I didn't take along my camera for documentary evidence.

E and Z and I did a Van Gogh art project, with various interpretations of what that meant.

And we all made tie-died t-shirts, which is so much easier now, with squirt-bottles of concentrated dyes, than last time I tried it, 30 years ago, with dipping shirts in and out of buckets of watery Rit.

C and I did our best to wrangle the last of the garden produce. He made several large batches of tomatillo salsa and I boiled or roasted the rest of the tomatillos and froze them for winter cooking.

With the last of the VERY LARGE harvest of chile peppers (jalapeño and habanero), I made hot pepper jellies, hot sauces, roasted and frozen peppers, and dried peppers. That was a lot of peppers.

With the end of the month came a crazy wind-and-rain storm, which knocked power out for most of the state, littered roads with fallen trees and downed power lines, and drove most of the leaves off the trees (though the beech and oak hung on tight).

The upshot for us was NO SCHOOL for this whole week, with power out almost everywhere (except, thank you sun and solar panels and batteries, our house) and roads too hazardous for buses to pass through.

Three people in our house were pretty psyched about this development. I even got into the spirit of it for the first couple of days, playing Snow Day, baking cinnamon rolls and watching movies, but a whole week with a houseful of kids (and no internet) put a serious dent in my work flow.

Despite calls here and there to postpone Halloween until Friday (to which we said "Phooey"), we braved the dark and tree-littered streets to make our usual trick-or-treat rounds.

Our usual hay wagon being unavailable, we made do with C's work truck, which worked out nicely, as grown-ups got to sit inside for once (although it was such a mild night, it wouldn't have been bad to be in a trailer).

The power outages and candle-lit homes made for an extra-spooky Halloween-i-ness, and I think people appreciated a diversion from sitting around in their dark houses, listening to their generators run. And I think the kids appreciated being part of a lower-than-normal turnout that led to even more candy in their buckets than usual.

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