Another Thanksgiving, one that happened to coincide with my birthday this year (I’ve turned 17 for the 3rd time if you want to know). I was hoping — but not expecting — a little whimsy, like candles on the turkey, and that didn’t happen. But I got something much better: the in-laws behaved themselves and didn’t launch into one of their squabblefests for a change. Mrs. Fetched’s dad hasn’t had Fox Spew on this weekend, at least when I’ve been there, which makes being there a little more bearable.
This has not been a great year for the in-laws, health-wise: Mrs. Fetched is the only one of her immediate family who hasn’t had a stretch in the hospital this year. Big V has been in twice, and not all of her came home last time. She got out of rehab just in time to join us for the festoovities, complete with an initial prosthetic foot. She made a comment about “I wish my other leg was as thin as my new one!" (Careful what you ask for, sis.)
The good news: no trip to the chicken houses on my birthday. The bad news: my birthday is only one day out of 365. For me, Black Friday was an appropriate name. The poultry company started subsidizing the natural gas for the growers a year or so ago — which, given the price, is one way to keep growers from just shutting down through the winter. However, they’ve started doing some kind of pressure test to make sure the heat stays inside for just a little while longer. The houses were built in the 1980s, before and after I entered the picture here, and they’re nearly as drafty as they are filthy. They did an initial test last weekend, and they scored a 2 with a minimum acceptable score of 5 (not sure what the dimensions/units are just yet, maybe 1/10 PSI). They delayed putting in a new batch of birds, to give Mrs. Fetched another week to improve things, so it’s all hands on dreck [sic]. While a hired gun straightened out exhaust fans and sagging doors, we spent much of the afternoon inside a closed (and unlit) chicken house, seeking out spots of daylight to spray foam filler into. Mrs. Fetched and I walked around and put screws in some of the plywood that was bowing away from the studs and letting light (and cold air) in as well.
Of course, some cracks of daylight just weren’t conducive for spraying foam into — like the large doors in front and back. Mrs. Fetched had a plan, and raw materials to execute it with: when we put wood flooring in Daughter Dearest’s room, we had to rip out the white carpet. It’s been sitting in the detached garage ever since, and Mrs. Fetched appropriated it for the chicken houses. Panda cut 6-inch wide strips of carpeting and tacked them up… so yup, the chicken houses are carpeted (but a bit askew as always).
After we knocked off, mainly for lack of material to continue, I went to the back yard to continue leaf-removal exercises, and pulled up the wild blackberry vines. They weren’t bearing that well, and I figure Mason will be running around outside by next fall, so I wanted to make sure we have a briar-free area for him. I get better blackberries from stands a little farther from home.
Of course, I’m not going to let one of these go by without a picture of Mason. Daughter Dearest has been home all week, while Mason has been in and out of the manor… but he loves his aunt DD. It turns out The Boy is often unable to wake up, even with Mason in the crib next to the bed giving him the full-throated “FEED ME!!!” roar. Anyway, DD got to take care of him all afternoon while the rest of us were suffering in the chicken houses (I’ve had that privilege a couple times myself). He continues to grow, eat ever more prodigious amounts of formula, and develop. He’s starting to laugh, drooling like Amicalola Falls, and in the early stages of cutting teeth (Snippet cut teeth when she was 3 months old). His brain is wiring up at breakneck speed; you can see him taking more interest in his surroundings and he’s starting to reach for things. Anything in his hand immediately goes in his mouth, of course. Unfortunately, we’re getting more normal weather for this time of year now, so dropping him in the stroller is going to be a very occasional event until March or April.
Just think… we get to do this again tomorrow. Oh joy.