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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Croup, Apple Pressing, and Mushrooming

Last week about half of the kiddos at Eddie's daycare got colds and/or croup. (Self-diagnosed, I admit, but what else makes all those kids bark like seal lions when they cough?). So I only went to school through Tuesday. Wednesday Eddie woke up sounding like a dog so we stayed home. He didn't seem sick or uncomfortable otherwise but illness rules dictate that kiddos stay home with icky coughs like that, especially when so many other kids at preschool were even sicker. The last thing I wanted was to infect MORE kids, especially the little babies.

It was actually a really nice change of pace to stay home with Eddie. Since March of this year I basically gave up my full days and then my half days off with Eddie. I had to TA pretty much every single day spring quarter and then I jumped full-force into my exam prep so there wasn't any time to stay home with him. I had hoped that I'd be able to take at least one afternoon off each week with Eddie this quarter...I haven't done it yet, but I think I will start that up again soon. Kids are so different at different parts of the day--depending on their energy levels, etc. And I miss hanging out with my bumkin by myself (I have to "share" him with Dave on weekends). So even thought it was a "sick" day we still got to do fun stuff like take a walk to the grocery store to pick up a few things and play outside.

Edward was still at our house and he noticed the van door was left open in the driveway. I'd let Eddie in there to find his sandals and forgot to close it before we walked to the store (oops!). So he texted me asking if I wanted it closed. When I responded I told him we'd wait for him at the corner of such-and-such streets if he wanted to join us on our walk. A few minutes later Eddie began waving and saying, "Uncle! Over there!" We meandered around the Grocery Outlet for a while and then I showed Edward the newish Chinese/dim sum place in the shopping center. He was suddenly craving dim sum so we ate lunch there. Most of it was "eh" but the steamed buns were SUPER good. We got the "student lunch special" for Eddie because I know he likes chow mein...apparently this special is only available from 12-12:2opm. How weird for the window of time to be so short.

I'd planned on driving up to Gualala on Thursday evening after school and letting Eddie sleep in the car. Dave had already taken all of Eddie's stuff up there so I'd just have to transfer a sleeping Eddie to his crib. Edward needed to get back to Livermore via train in time for an interview and I figured that we might as well spend our sick days up in Gualala so we could at least see Dave in the evenings. So we decided at about 1pm to depart ASAP. Edward helped me tidy the house, feed/water the chickens, and pack the van. I dropped him off at the Fairfield train station at 3pm. Eddie and I arrived in Gualala at 7pm since we stopped for a leisurely Taco Bell dinner in Petaluma. We sat inside next to the windows of the drive through. It was SO fun to watch drive-through-ers watch Eddie dance to the loud music playing inside the restaurant.

My MIL is in Arkansas visiting some family so it was pretty quiet and relaxing around the house while Dave and my FIL were at work. We played outside a lot, went to the park and the grocery store, played with the dogs, checked out the apple orchard, and did TONS of laundry. Boy howdy, do loggers dirty a lot of clothes. People say that when person returns to his childhood home he reverts back to his childlike habits. That is 90% true for Dave. He grew up in a household where only Mom does the dishes, laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc. because that's how Mom wants it. So when we are there, he leaves his dishes on the table, throws dirty laundry on the floor, doesn't make his bed, etc. And his dad is even more that way. So since MIL wasn't there, I took up her duties. I was happy to do it most of the time. But I learned something about myself over the 4 days we were there: I don't like tending to other people's needs when they expect me to do it without any appreciation extended whatsoever. Dave and I always thank each other for everything: cooking, cleaning, putting laundry away, taking the dogs on a walk, etc. It is how we work. My FIL is not that way...and it made me a little grumpy sometimes. But it was totally worth it so Eddie could see Dave before and after work.The weekend was much more fun because we got to hang out with Dave, plus Edward and Jennifer came up for the weekend, too. Saturday we spent most of the morning hunting for King Boletus mushrooms. I hit the jackpot after an hour and found three. Dave found one and left another behind so Jennifer could discover it on her own. The ones we didn't eat were put into the freezer to use at Thanksgiving. Then that evening we all went into the orchard to pick apples. We found two trees with delicious apples that were virtually bug-free so we picked every last apple of each of those trees. You can tell what Eddie's thinking in this picture..."Mama, we have ENOUGH apples. Let's go inside and watch Spiderman or Bob the Builder now." A couple of days before, Eddie and I discovered a bunch of bear prints and poop in the orchard, along with two damaged trees. You could clearly see where the bears, one big and one small, came in through the fencing. We played phone tag all weekend with the Department of Fish and Game, the Warden, and Animal Control to get a trap set to catch and relocate the bears. Of course, with budget cuts there doesn't seem to be anyone available to help out.

Saturday night my FIL agreed to stay home with Eddie after he went to bed so us kids could go out for dinner. We went to Bones Roadhouse for some smoked brisket. It was so good that Dave and I ordered a second plate of it at the end. Mmmmm.

Sunday morning we got the garage set up with all the apple pressing equipment: tables, press, knives, cutting boards, fan, food processors, garbage disposal, etc. At 11am, Jennifer and I filled a coffin-sized cooler with 4 boxes of washed apples and used the wagon to haul it into the garage. By 4:30pm we were hauling all the equipment back to the sink to wash up. Edward and Jennifer left at about 5:30 so they could drive home with a nice view of the ocean. We ended up with 21-22 gallons of cider this year. HOLY CRAP, that's a lot. Last year we had like 20 people working on 7 boxes and it took 8 hours. This year it was just 4 people doing 6 boxes in only 5.5 hours. We put it all in canning jars so I could can it to be shelf-stable so we don't have to take up freezer space. That canning process took hours, but at least I could watch Netflix while the pots boiled. Dave and I were totally exhausted Sunday night (and yesterday). We need to limit ourselves next year. Maybe only 4 boxes? It was so hard to stop picking apples when they were so good and bug-free!

(Oh, and Eddie's cough was gone by Sunday evening so our Gualalan respite seemed to do the trick to get him healthy again!)

3 comments:

Mariah said...

mmm apples. My apples are all gone from my tree so this makes me jealous-for the food not the work. It is a lot of work! also do you know if it makes a big difference the apple peeler you get-auto not using sharpie sized shredder

steph.kelley said...

Yay healthy Eddie! I wish I could have been in the Taco Bell with you -- that sounds like a riot. And I love that you label your cooler "coffin-size" — very descriptive! And creepy! :P xoxoxo

Team Roy said...

Those pictures of "had enough of this" Eddie are awesome! Glad he is feeling better, and glad you got to enjoy some time with both you boys!