I’m baking pies today.
Thanksgiving is in two days.
I’m going traditional with my baking.
Pumpkin and pecan will do it for us.
My dad is known as “Plain Bob” and he doesn’t like anything too fancy.
He usually finds out that he actually likes fancy when he eats fancy, but he’s happy with only chocolate chips in his cookies, zero toppings on his cheeseburgers, and just cheese in his mac and cheese.
So, plain ol’ pumpkin and pecan tomorrow.
I think the pecan will be too fancy for him come to think of it.
This is going to be my brother’s last holiday in Illinois.
He and his wife are moving to Tennessee on Sunday.
Next to a lake, surrounded by large oak trees, and where the winters are a bit less relenting.
I have no idea if we will see them for holidays anymore.
They will be about an hour and a half from Nashville.
Maybe I can convince Man-Farmer to take a trip to Music City sometime. We can catch a show at the Grand Ole Opry and grab some BBQ to take to my brother’s new house once they get set up.
Our family is really spread out now.
My nephew and his family are in Houston.
He has a 17 month old son who looks more like a 3 year old. The kid looks big so you forget his age when he’s biting someone at daycare or throwing himself on the ground at Target on a Thursday afternoon.
My niece lives in southern Illinois where she goes to college.
My cousins are in town, but they all seem to gradually be moving south to the Sunshine state.
The holiday participants are getting smaller in number.
So, my days of making desserts for a big crowd are dwindling as well.
Speaking of baking, my chickens have ceased laying eggs.
Chickens do go through a molt in the fall.
They start losing their feathers to grow in new ones.
They walk around in a perpetual bad-hair phase.
I don’t know why chickens have picked the fall to lose their feathers.
Umm, it can get really cold in the fall and they look cold to me.
They stop laying eggs because they are using all of their energy to grow new feathers and consequently they are trying to stay warm because they, you guessed it, they dropped their feathers.
But, I think our eggless hens are having more than a molting issue right now.
They are old.
And just like a human female, chicken females are only born with a certain number of eggs.
Once those eggs are used up, that’s it folks.
No more babies.
No more eggs to pop out of you.
And with the hens, no more eggs to tuck into my fridge.
If I were a real farmer, which I’m not, I would have eaten my chickens by now.
I just pretend to be a farmer. I’m what is called a Hobby Farmer.
Farming is my hobby.
Animal husbandry is my forte (I wish I was as good at growing food as I am with growing animals) and I just can’t kill my chickens because they are done laying eggs.
They are about 5 years old. They have names. They have been with us since they were a few days old.
Now, I must admit to you, we have killed a chicken before here at the farm.
When we got the chicks from the farm store, we got a rooster in the mix of 8 chicks we picked from the big silver tubs.
We didn’t want a rooster, but you can’t tell when they are little fluffy things who is going to grow up into a egg laying hen or a scrappy rooster.
We got one VERY scrappy rooster who was fascinating to watch.
He started learning to crow and he started getting huge tail feathers.
He was a beaut.
But he was an ass.
And he would attack our oldest daughter anytime she went into the barnyard.
So, he had to go.
My dad came over his ax and chopped that dude’s head clean off.
And we ate him.
And he tasted horrible.
So, now instead of chopping the heads off of chickens that are purposeless, I make sweaters.
Because they are older and thinner and the barn isn’t heated and they might get cold out there.
Gigi turned another year older last week.
She is one year away from double digits.
She went rock climbing in a 65 foot converted grain silo with her sister and few friends on Saturday.
Gigi is my clock.
She’s the last baby that was born in my friend group from college so, once she starts getting old, there’s really no hope for us anymore.
We are all closer to fifty than forty now.
We all have gray hair and I think I’m the only one who has ditched the dye bottles.
Gigi is our walking, sassy-talking proof that we are getting older.
And she is anything but old.
She’s golden-haired and can bend her body in ways I have never been able to. She’s full of youth and has only one freckle on her sweet, smooth face. She is still learning what life has to offer her. She’s not jaded yet. She’s not been kissed and then ignored by a boy. She hasn’t applied for her dream job and then sat anxiously waiting for the results of that interview. She hasn’t seen a real mountain. She hasn’t been robbed or been in a car accident. She hasn’t eaten a lobster roll in Maine. Life is still so new for her. She has everything to experience still. Everything that is beautiful in life. And everything that is ugly.
I hope she makes the most of it.
Because some days I feel like it’s all slipping by much too quickly and I’m not taking advantage of my days that I have left.
In fact, I KNOW I’m not taking full advantage of my place on the planet.
Shit…now I want some of that pie I just baked.
We live in a town that is rural.
And rural America has septic tanks that collect, quite literally, your shit.
We are too far out in the country to take advantage of the city’s sewer lines.
So, our shit is our problem to contend with.
And when the shitter gets too full, the toilet doesn’t flush as well as it should.
And if you ignore this non-flushing of your toilet for too long, you septic tank that is situated under the ground in your yard, can cause quite a mess if it decides to leak or bust. I think tree roots growing into your septic tank line can cause it to bust open too.
So, just think about what that means…
Your shit holder busts and where does that crap go?
It creates a stanky, muddy (but that ain’t mud!) mess in your yard.
Our septic tank is in the front of our house.
It was put in eons ago.
We have water wells in the back of the house.
You don’t want to mix your water line with your poop line.
That’s called typhoid.
We get our septic tank pumped out every couple of years.
This last time we lasted a year and a half.
Daughters use more toilet paper than sons, if you get my drift * wink*wink*.
Our toilet was slow to flush and so Man-Farmer called the Septic Specialists and they came right out.
He called at the right moment and they had an opening.
I’m hosting Thanksgiving and my crapper needs to be empty.
And I always, ALWAYS laugh when they pull their truck up into our driveway.
Their logo gets me EVERYTIME!
Septic guys have the best senses of humor.