Blog Archive

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Halloween 2013

Guess what Eddie was for Halloween?  If you're not sure, think about these facts:
  • He's a boy
  • He thinks he's really strong and tough
  • He's four
  • He loves weapons
Answer: NINJA!

He debated on his costume for a couple of weeks...until we got to the store last month and he spied the double sword/double sai ninja weapon pack on the shelf.  HE NEEDED TO HAVE THESE WEAPONS IN HIS POSSESSION.  So he promptly decided to be a ninja.  
Have you ever seen such a cute ninja?  You can tell from his mouth that he was making sound effects for me as he posed.
And of course he was the cutest (I mean FIERCEST) ninja around.  But he's a terrible ninja because they're supposed to be quiet and sneaky and he thumps his feet wherever he goes.  

We didn't need to decorate the house for Halloween this year because it was scary enough with all the CRAP everywhere.  
See?  It's like a creepy hoarder's house: piles of crap everywhere.  We had to move two bedrooms out for carpet installation and the only semi-available space was the soon-to-be-downstairs-kitchen.  
The entry way into the house.  Looky there, a kitchen cabinet in a box!  Next to a new stove in a box!  SIGH.
But we did hang our inflatable spiders and spider lights and ate off of paper Halloween plates. And we carved our pumpkins.

Dave's, Eddie's, mine.  We let Eddie draw a face using a permanent pen, then we cut the shapes for him, and he gets to erase the pen marks with nail polish remover.  
There was a parade and a party at preschool that morning and I attended both.  The preschoolers led the parade and got to go through a 5th grade classroom, where they were each given a goody bag.  Back in the classroom there was an impressive spread of festive foods--I didn't eat any because seeing all the slobbery kids touching everything grossed me out.  But I'm glad they all enjoyed the treats!
Parading kiddos!  Since he couldn't carry his weapons at school, he opted for a knight helmet instead.
Eddie and his friend Charlie were super excited to find glow-in-the-dark teeth in their goody bags. 
Eddie went straight for the blue gummy worm jello mold.
That night, we took Eddie trick-or-treating along Gualala Court, one of two places kids go around here. It's a loop, actually, and most of the houses were decked out for the holiday. One even had flame throwers (cue four year old boy enthusiasm for gratuitous displays of flames).  His best buddy, Mason, and another friend were there so Dave and I got to socialize with their parents.  
Mason the storm trooper, Eddie the ninja, and Rylan the ninja turtle.
All total, Eddie got 29 pieces of candy--I know this because he counted it that night and again every single night thereafter.  He thinks that's a LOT of candy and we're going to let him think it is.  No one needs to tell him that his mama used to haul home half a pillow case full when she was his age.   
For dinner that night we had a decorated Costco take-and-bake pizza.  Pinterest had all sorts of ideas on decorating pizzas so I combined three ideas into one. It looked best uncooked.

I hope everyone had a fun, safe Halloween this year! I saved the best part of this post for last...the gif of Ninja Eddie.
I canNOT get enough of these gifs!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Chestnuts and Firewood

Last week several people at work started getting a cold.  Dave was out sick Thursday and Friday.  That meant I got to (had to?) take his dad "to town" for his doctor appointment and a meeting at the drinking water office on Friday.  It was a long day but we did get a lot done while in Santa Rosa.  My favorite things were the restaurant supply store (ever so conveniently located next door to the roofing supply company where we had to buy some stuff), eating out for lunch, and getting an ice cream before driving the two hours back home.  I was hopeful that Dave would be all better by the time I got home, but he wasn't.  So he stayed home in bed all day Saturday, too, while Eddie, John, and I attended the 32nd Annual Zeni Ranch Chestnut Festival.  

I haven't been since before Eddie was born.  This year's was more fun than I remembered--lots of music, tons of food, and lots of people to chat with.  Eddie had a grand time running around with other kiddos.  John and I spent about 30 minutes picking chestnuts way up on the hill where other folks hadn't gone yet.  Next year I need to bring sturdier gloves--the sharp spines came through my leather gloves and poked my fingers too much.
Eddie and Papa heading up into the chestnut orchard.
Me and some chestnuts.  They grow in clusters of about 4 super spiky shells, with about 2-4 nuts in each shell. You can see the yellowish spiky balls all over the ground below me.
Me, my bucket o' nuts, and John's shadow.
John purchased about 3 pounds of nuts for us to take home.  We'll eat some soon and then pop the rest into the freezer for later.  I'm hoping to make some stuffing with them for the holidays.
The open fire on which to roast chestnuts.
Fire roasted chestnuts.
Before we left, John took Eddie and I up a hill to see the small log cabin he and his father built back in the 1960s to use for deer hunting. Every season they'd rent it and spend a few weeks hunting in these mountains.  It still has the old blue and brown painted double hung windows that were taken from the Surf Motel renovation.  The Coast House had the same windows up until a few years ago.
The deer hunting cabin.
John walking down the hill from the cabin back to the ranch festivities.
Eddie was completely exhausted by the time we left.  He fell asleep as soon as John started driving back home.  He woke up when we stopped to collect some sugar pine cones on the road--where we happened to have a nice view of the historic Gianoli Ranch Vineyard.  I pointed it out to Eddie and told him that it's where his great grandmother Ida was born.
You can see the Gianoli vineyard across the valley.
Yesterday we braved the chilly wind on the ridge and Dave's lingering cold to cut firewood for this winter.  Along with a great many other things, this task has been on our list for quite some time.  John pulled two felled madrone trees out of the woods for us to cut up. This is a very dense wood so packs a lot of fuel per volume.  But dense also means it's harder to chop up with the ax.  

Last year for Christmas Grammy and Papa gave Eddie his own pair of ear muffs for working around chainsaws and riding on heavy equipment.  He was excited to use them finally!
Three Bowers, making firewood for their women.
Dave and John cut up the first, larger tree and I got to use the chainsaw to cut up the second one. I did some chopping, too, but dang was it hard!
Dave let him try chopping some of the rounds...he's a little small for that still.
Eddie was a very good helper when it came time to move all the wood.
This picture cracks me up because my hair is positioned to look like Eddie has a really ugly haircut.  Trailer trash boy ponytail anyone?
We stacked up about half of a cord of wood in the breezeway-turned-future-pottery-studio at the Coast House.  Hopefully it'll hold us for a while.  Of course, we haven't had use of the living room since we moved in because of all the construction and resulting shuffling of stuff in the house.  But last week we had carpet installed in two north bedrooms downstairs so we moved Eddie's bunk bed down into it's proper place in one of those rooms.  And that allowed us to uncover the couches in front of the fire.  So of course we had a nice fire last night.
The living room up until Sunday evening.  It was unlivable so maybe we should have referred to it differently.  You can barely see the stone fireplace at the back left.  I'm excited that we unearthed it and the couches so we can enjoy toasty fires this winter!