Archive | December, 2008

A Very Busy Merry Christmas

26 Dec

As this is being written, the parental computer is undergoing its a few times a year defragmenting when I am at the farm.  Hawthorne has diarrhea.  My father just fell and his shoulder hurts. My mother is worrying and getting ice for the shoulder.  Jay has been working outside, Isabelle has been sledding on the ice.  The son is home with the cat and rabbit because he has to go to work.

We packed up and brought all manner of things and food with us this morning. Christmas eve Isabelle played, with my accompaniment, Veracini’s Gigue (Suzuki Book 5) very nicely–without tightening her bow.  Her father wondered why her sound was not as loud as usual.  I was wondering what happened to her dynamics.  Then we went ot Tia La-La’s and had a grand time.

Christmas morning Jay and I took Hawthorne for a nice long walk and then gave him a deer neck to chew on for only about 40 minutes.  That was a mistake.  See above.

We had waffles made on a new waffle maker, a pomegranite, fizzy grape juice, thawed strawberries and chocolate truffles for breakfast.  We opened gifts.  I made cookies, wrapped more presents, made salald dressing, made salad, called relatives and was ready to go back to bed just in time to leave for L-L’s house once more.  We had more food with a more inclusive set of relatives, played games with young’uns and I started another hat (more on that later).

Then we went home to walk H. restock presents to take and went to visit friends up the road.  Where I had real suet pudding, which I nuked in order not to see the small flecks of white suet.  It was wonderful warm.

This morning: bread making, more present preparing, packing, laundry and a drive.

And here we are.  Ready to have Christmas celebrations with yet another part of family.  Wahoo!

Baby Norbert

18 Dec

Our darling daughter is sometimes very silly.  If you can not handle silly, read no further.

Back when she was considerably younger and smaller (seven years ago, to be exact–since she remembers), one year for Christmas her paternal aunts bought her a Baby Norbert.   She played with it so much it “died” months later.

She has mourned and mooned over its demise for years.  Then a few days ago she came across the booklet for Norbert and wondered if it was still made.

Well, it is not.  But someone was selling one.  And another someone, who had saved the vast majority of her birthday money, convinced her father to let her buy it.

Now all she can do is pester me about when Norbert will arrive.

She decided she will design mechanical dragons.


18 Dec

1) As the last person chosen for the jury, I was an alternate.  So after hearing the whole case–a civil liability lawsuit–and all the instructions the judge gave the jury, I was excused about 4PM on Tuesday!  And I had my opinion about how to apportion liability all worked out with reasons, too.

2) Isabelle and I played our instruments at an Advent sing/Christmas story re-enactment last night.  She did really well playing Of the Father’s Love Begotten and Angels, From the Realms of Glory.

3)  On the way home at about 8:15PM, a spikehorn buck ran full tilt into the front driver light of our car, was scooped up and over the roof into a deep ditch. The home owner nearest our encounter was not very helpful, so I drove the three miles to Mom M’s and called the State Police, Jay and Daren.

4) The trooper, Jay and I trooped back to the site, where he dispatched the poor deer, whose back legs were nearly severed at the knee.  The poor beast was shivering fron being in a deep ditch with quite a bit of water.  And shock, no doubt.  No internal injuries so I am very thankful we were able to help it out of its misery as it would have lived many more miserable hours.

5) The car?  The hood will have to be replaced.  The driver’s side lights will have to be replaced.  And all the plastic covers, etc.  The roof is dented.  But nothing major.   So I did get a buck this year.  A very expensive one.

6)  The trooper was so young!  He was from my home area and a hunter himself.

Snow Days

15 Dec

No school Friday because of snow.  Then Saturday morning we woke up to even more beautiful stuff.



By this afternoon it was all gone.  Temperatures soared from the teens this weekend to fifty degrees F. today.

And I was chosen to serve on a Supreme Court jury.

Just for the Record

8 Dec

I saw three big bucks  while I was hunting during gun season. I got nary a shot.

A large 8-point snuck down out of a backyard, into a drive, as I was in a high tree stand 100 feet away with a natural buckthorn orchard between us.

One came down a steep bank into stream ravine following a doe and crossed the streambed onto a small honeysuckle filled flat.  I was over 100 yards away up on the bank  and back by a shed.  If I had immediately pulled my gun up I might have been able to get a shot off.  But I could hardly believe what I was seeing.

I watched the pair–the buck actually, for the doe just melded into the brush.  I was able to pick out the buck’s antlers intermittently for about five minutes.  They were never in a hurry.  I think they just crossed on their own and were not caught up in early stages of  the drive that was underway.

Twenty minutes later, the man hunting from a stand on the other side of the stream ravine from me fired twice.  I thought for sure  those two deer were the object of his shooting.  Turns out they were not–there had been 5-7 other deer pushed by the drive.  But those two ran out in the general confusion.

Five  to seven minutes after Bob in the tree shot, I saw another buck down on that flat piece of overgrown flat.  He was just moseying along in that thick huneysuckle.  He stood in it.  I could see his tail, his legs, his antlers, his head.  All behind thick stuff.  I could not take a shot that I thought had a good chance of hitting him.  While I was watching him, gun at the ready, Daren came up from behind, finishing the drive, wondering what I was watching.

He came over and said, “Well, there’s no deer there now”.  Bob had shot a spike horn buck. We walked around and over, and I asked Daren if maybe we should push that small piece of brushy ground down by the stream since I thought the buck was still there.

That did not happen.  Daren laughingly told me to go after it myself as he went to get his truck.

So I put three shell in the gun and walked down, picked up the fresh trail, the fresh scat, followed it around and about until suddenly, at the very tip of the area, something large jumped into the stream and crossed ahead of me up a very steep bank.

That buck had bedded down in all that brush.

Ah well.

The Horse Came in Handy

8 Dec

Saturday, while I was downtown doing errands waiting for Isaac to finish retaking two SAT exams, Jay was out in the cold hunting.  When he gave up he decided to take Isabelle down to ride Cherry.

As she was saddling the horse up, Jay glanced out the shed window and saw two deer out in the field where Isabelle would be riding.

So he walked back to the house for his truck,  gun and the walkie-talkies.  Then he snuck down south into A’s property , where we have permission to hunt, into the woods and around the deer to the southwest.

He then told Isabelle to ride Cherry out into the field, keeping to the north edge, and try to push the deer towards him.

She did so and discovered the entire back of the field was filled with deer; 12-15 of them.  The deer fanned out and ran in the general direction of Jay’s hiding place.

He saw them coming, and when they got near started yelling, trying to get the nearest ones to stop, to no avail.  Finally he took a running shot at a nice doe.

They used Cherry to drag the carcass to the truck.

Call me Frugalista

3 Dec

A recent NYTimes Magazine On Language column by William Safire took note of the Oxford dictionary shortlist of words for the year.

Safire’s choice: frugalista : “a person who lives a frugal lifestyle but stays fashionable and healthy by swapping clothes, buying secondhand, growing own produce, etc.” This could become the nom de guerre of the “recession warrior.”

Welcome to my world.

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