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Halloween and a Harvest Shoot

It ended up being a very busy weekend, so I’m in that state of needing a weekend to recover from my weekend. But first, I’m going to double back a bit.

As you may recall, Wednesday was the discovery of the Great Mouse Oubliette, which lead to filling the house with the Smell of Death. Not “death warmed over,” just “Death.” So on Thursday I followed some excellent advice and tried hitting it with lemon juice. This led to the discovery that the lemon juice I had in the basement was too old for anything but cleaning, but that’s a separate story (time to clean off the pantry shelves again.) The lemon juice helped, although not enough. It brought it down to a smaller smell of lower-case-death with a lemony chaser. I was also concerned about soaking the drywall on the other side – I could tell that it was going to work, but worried that I’d do more damage in the process. Friday I picked up some Febreeze at the store – the supposedly anti-microbial variant (given that it’s the bacteria eating the mouse exude that make the smell.) I loathe the smell of Febreeze, but it’s better than the Smell of Death, yes? I pried the baseboard off, and sprayed it down. It *really* cut the smell. Okay! This was a good step. We went on with our routine, and at 7:30 put Charlotte to bed. As we were coming down the stairs, I noticed that the cat was completely fixated on the baseboard, and I heard scrambling in the wall. Seriously? Yep – we had another one in the oubliette. So off with the baseboard and out with the sherbert container, and another one went out the back. Since the baseboard was off and it was still stinky in there we gave it another spray, which is working well enough that I don’t notice it unless we have the hole open. Honestly, I’m thinking that a drawer and a snap trap are the way to go. When dad comes to help us add the electrical outlet, I think that we probably will open up the wall way up on top of the plate to see if we can find the run. I’m not sure what we’ll do then, but that’s why I’m waiting for dad. He’ll know.

Friday was all about cleaning. That went well, but unfortunately I’m back to having Fibber McGee’s closet in the library. I have this clump of “stuff” that I just don’t have a place for, and I keep shifting it from pillar to post. I need to buckle down and find an “away” to put it. I also need a better place to store donations while they’re waiting to go to the Salvation Army or the consignment store. But that also is another story.

Saturday’s plan was to clean in the morning and head over to jtdiii ’s for the annual gourd mutilation as close to 2:00 as possible, but after Charlotte’s nap. Needless to say, she didn’t go down for her nap until 12:30, and at close to 3:00 was still asleep. We *did* get the downstairs picked up and Bob got the leaves off the driveway, yard, and archery range, but eventually we decided that if we were going to go at all, we needed to just wake her up. She took it better than I expected, honestly. Fast stop at JoAnn Fabrics for stitch holders – I’m learning to knit mittens, and while big safety pins work, they’re annoying; fast stop at the brewing store for a bottling bucket; and we decided to forego the fast stop at Hall’s Archery. The idea was that Bob would drop Charlotte and I at John’s, and then head over to Hall’s. That ended up not working out so well – Hall’s closes at 5:00 on Saturdays. We should have stopped on the way in. He should have checked the hours before we left. However it looks like it worked out well in the long term, because discussions on Sunday led to an expansion of the shopping list. Regardless, we made it to John’s and after an initial “I-don’t-want-to-be-here-I-don’t-know-who-they-are-they’re-going-to-eat-me-I-want-to-go-HOME fuss from Charlotte, she settled down and we picked out a pumpkin to carve. I haven’t carved a jack-o-lantern in probably over twenty years, so I don’t think I did half badly, and I had a lot of fun. As usual, there were an assortment of tasty nibbles and a lovely soup. The conversation and company were good, and Charlotte was able to gorge herself on tomatoes and broccoli. What’s not to love?

Once home herself went to bed, and we went back to prep for the Harvest Shoot Practice/schmooze on Sunday. Most particularly, I got the spice cake baked. I was supposed to have done that on Friday night, but instead I sat on the couch and knitted a mitten. Sometimes that’s just what you have to do.

Sunday morning, in order to keep her out from underfoot, with great trepidation I gave Charlotte a crayon and a piece of paper with instructions that she was to color ONLY on paper, and ONLY on paper I give her to color on. I think she listened, because she was very careful. And very happy. I’ve got a good kid. I then proceeded to explore the outer limits of how many things one person can screw up making mustard soup and still end up with something that people want to eat. The problem was that I’m accustomed to working on a batch of soup sized for the vicinity of a hundred people or so. Things happen much more slowly on that scale than they do on a batch scaled for fifteen or thereabouts. So it boiled on me when I was distracted by something else. Twice. Which pissed me off. Luckily if it curdles it affects look and texture, but not taste. It tasted marvelous, it just didn’t look the same as it does at Simplefare. People certainly ate almost all of it, and very happily. We also discovered that the garlic and cheese rolls from Price Chopper are absolutely heavenly with mustard soup. I threw in a pork roast with sauerkraut and dumplings, everyone brought something to share, I had the crockpot out with mulled cider in it, and we ended up with two target stands going out back all day. Some folks even came down from Bergental, which was absolutely wonderful. So folks would shoot a bit, then come in and warm up/eat something, then go shoot some more, then come have some cider, and it went like that from a bit after 11:00 until sometime past five.  We also had a cadre in the house hanging out, talking and eating. I’d say we had seventeen people there (not including the ones who live there), fourteen of whom were out shooting. One of the next door neighbors stopped over, and declared it to be cool. That’s always a relief.

Folks trickled out around 6:30 or 7:00, we loaded the dishwaster, gave Charlotte her bath, and called it a success. I had a great day, Bob got to spend a whole day shooting, and people seemed to have fun. That’s a win in my book. I don’t know about him, but *I* want to do it again. Maybe we do one in the spring to open the range. That could be fun, although I’d have to think of something to keep the mud under control coming in and out of the house (the date the range opens is dependent on when it dries out back there…)

In more ordinary Halloween news, the doorbell only rang twice. That’s one thing I miss from Middletown - the kids in their costumes. That’s okay – I’ll happily eat the leftover candy. More likely, Bob and I will take it in to work so that other people can eat it.

But wow – it all worked well. This is why I wanted a house – I’ve always wanted to host stuff like this, and I’m enjoying it. I didn’t, however, get any laundry done, so I’ll be doing THAT tonight. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

It was worth it.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 1st, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a good time was had by all. Some day I'll have my house in shape to do these things...I hope!

BTW, this is how I spent Saturday night with VR:


Way cool! Sunny even ventured out and took his vitamin from her Saturday night. He was not amused, however, to find her still in the house Sunday morning.
Nov. 2nd, 2010 01:33 pm (UTC)
Here's my take on the matter - don't wait. We're a perpetual work in progress, and I'm just not worried about it any more. We held off on starting the practice until we had the privacy door that I required, but moved forward despite not having it finished or cased. As long as you're not a safety hazard and your bathroom works, go for it.

Life is too short to wait for moldings.
Nov. 3rd, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
I so wanted to stay -- and I so wish I could have had Victoria there as originally planned. She just fiddled & dillydallied and finally we figured out that she just wanted to stay home and play with Daddy.
So much for Daddy's nap, but he did get a lot of leaves raked.
Nov. 4th, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
So glad to hear that the Febreeze helped. I figured if it took care of recently dead rabbit, it should at least help with massively dead mouse.

We'd have loved to be there, but with the girls with their plans, and James working, it wasn't feasible. Though it would have been a lot more fun than dealing with Annie and her now broken ankle. She called from her friend's at 7 to tell me she'd twisted it and it hurt a bit, but she could walk OK. By the time I picked her up at 7:30 I was wondering if we'd have to cut her sock off. She's broken both the bottom of the fibula (i.e. fractured ankle) AND the cuboid (fractured foot). She's in one of those black walking boot thingies, with a pair of crutches. And it looks like someone is going to have to drop her off AND pick her up from school for at least the next few weeks until she can put more weight on it, since I don't want her walking the three blocks to and from the bus stop. And the school says they can't do anything about it. Maybe I should tell them that if they can't help with transportation, they'll have to come up with a home tutor, since wet leaves and crutches are a very, very bad combo. Either that, or give me a note for my employer explaining why I have to be late and take an hour and a half off mid afternoon every day. (Can you tell I'm a bit cranky?)

All told, being at your place would have been much, much more fun!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )