Today I was out riding my bicycle and I realized that all the trees were bare, all their autumnal glory faded and gone. I've had a cold for the last few days and I must say, there is nothing more helpful than taking a leisurely bike ride in the cold winter sun. And Chinese turkey soup.
At any rate, after I got home Clara got home and we went out in the backyard to soak up the little sun left in the day (mind you it was only 3.00p and the sun was already threatening to set). She pulled up weeds and fed them to the chickens while I pulled the straw bale from our trunk that Joel purchased a couple weeks ago and put down some fluffy fresh bedding.
I initially was wondering if they get as much satisfaction out of having their coop cleaned and then Joel's chicken (the Orpington) proved that they indeed do appreciate what we do for them. As soon as I had stopped making scary noises and thrashing straw about their coop she hopped up and found the "nesting corner" and made herself a little bed. She scratched around in the straw and made it as comfortable as possible and right in front of Clara and I: she laid an egg. This girl is a power layer! Most chickens get performance anxiety and won't lay in front of people watching her.
My darling *ahem* chicken got out of the pen when I walked in with their new bedding and hid very effectively. I had a feeling she was still in the yard but I had a nervous feeling that she had literally flown the coop and started running madly down the street yelling, "I'm free! I'm free!" But when I went out of the yard I found no such scene. After a couple minutes Clara spotted her under the camellia tree/bush and we were much relieved. When we finally were finally able to get her back in the pen I went over to spy on this clandestine hiding spot. Much to my joy, she had been laying here! And not once, not twice, but five times!
And before the sun went behind the fence we mulched (covered in straw and leaves) the garlic and onions I planted a couple weeks back. Then I hoed up our tomato and pepper patch that I pulled, also a couple weeks ago. Next summer we're going to use this space more effectively and not cram the tomatoes in so tight they don't get light or root space.
Earlier today I had a small light lunch of pomegranates, cranberries and mint in yogurt with some honey drizzled on top. It was too beautiful not to take a picture! Also, Hanna L., you may notice that there is a beautiful little vintage spoon I am using -- thank you!
Rachel made a delicious winter fruit salad for Thanksgiving and I polished it off this afternoon on the above yogurt. (Beautiful segue into thanksgiving) And here she is on Thanksgiving afternoon putting together this delicious fruit salad. It also had crab apples and mandarins but Joel ate all of them out as Thanksgiving dinner was settling in our bellies. (So easy to do, too) I love fruit, yum!
Gina also came over to help prepare (and enjoy) our Thanksgiving feast. She made chocolate covered raspberries -- so delicious!
Clara made a sweet and savory stuffing with raisins, leeks, carrots and pork sausage.
I made another pumpkin pie (with the left over pumpkin purèe from the last pies). This one turned out much better than the other two previous to this, smooth and creamy.
I also made brussels sprouts with chestnuts.
We also had a gorgeous pre-feast appetizer spread.
Joel was the king of the day and made our beautiful bird.
It was succulent and tender -- possibly the best I've ever had! (I apologize to everyone who's made a turkey I've eaten before -- but it was freakin' delicious!!)
And we enjoyed our bountiful feast fully.
Rachel brought her super friendly dog, Olive, with her and everybody enjoyed having a cuddly animal in the house (Orson struggles too much, its not really cuddling when one party is struggling...)
And that was our delightful friend- and food-filled feasting day. I was sad to not have gone home to California (my parents) or Ohio (Joel's parents) for thanksgiving but the day was wonderful and I wouldn't take it back for the world.
And to end on a slightly less happy note: mold! Yes, Joel and I had mold in our room. We also had major mold in the bathroom as well. I started reading up on black mold (stachybotrys) because I was afraid that was what it was. It had been hiding behind our bed which until recently had been pushed up against a wall in our room. I found it when pulling the sheets off our bed.
So after reading up on it I went on the kill. I threw open the windows, turned on our fan (in spite of the cold) and bleached the shit out of that mold. Listen, I'm not messing around with that stuff. I'm not normally a proponent of chemicals but this was a specimen that I did -- in no way -- want to encourage living, I wanted it dead. Mold is a serious problem in the Pacific Northwest since it is constantly wet/damp and dark, the perfect breeding ground for mold, mushrooms and other parasitic fungi. So I killed it so that Joel and I wouldn't inhale the spores (though I don't think it would get dry enough to actually release the spores from the wall...) and get sick. I got sick anyway but I think it was from sharing a drink with someone who wasn't sick at the time... Anyways, this will be the last post until finals are concluded. I'm working on a couple of really (ideally) great pieces right now. I hope they come to fruition! See you all on the other side!