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Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving, and Thanks a Lot

Thanksgiving spreadAnother 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.

Big V's prothesisThis 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.)

Chicken house cobwebsThe 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.

Homebrew door sealsOf 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.

MasonOf 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.


  1. Hiya FAR,

    Congrats on the B'day/T'giving/No Chicken Houses day!

    To bad about the chicken house drafts. You're a better man than I to be doing all that stuff. Then again, it's as if you had a choice. :)

    Hope Mason doesn't have too hard of a time teething. But I'm sure his grandparents will be there to make sure he gets over it in good shape.

    Have a good w/e FAR.

  2. Hi FM & thanks muchly!

    You're right, choice is an action I rarely get to exercise. The Boy is supposed to come help, but I think he's still asleep (at 11am) because he's not answering his phone.

    Now that Mason has a sufficient inventory of drool bibs, we'll have to find him a teething ring. It won't be long before he'll be able to grab things; he's working on hand-eye coordination now.

  3. New York will beam disaster alerts to Xbox gamers soon. 'Liberty City' to test emergency broadcasts via consoles reghardware.co.uk/2009/11/25/xbox_ebs/

  4. I just purchased a Playstation 3 a couple of weeks ago. I got a couple of good games for it too. I wonder what good full games are worthy of downloading from the Playstation store?

  5. File the above two comments under "random weirdness." Reghardware is a legit site, I've been there before, and the second has no link at all. I could understand one sleep-deprived gamer mis-typing a URL and entering a comment in the wrong forum, but two? Personally, I think it's spammers testing the waters… I have my mallet sharpened and ready.

  6. Good story about the chicken houses and beautiful story about Mason.

    The anonymous? weird is right!

  7. Hey Cone, thanks much. It's fun to watch the little guy get bigger… not so much fun to deal with chicken houses though. Mrs. Fetched thinks it's an excuse for the company to cut them off… which may be true, it would be better to wait until the loans are paid off though. Debt slavery at its finest.

  8. Happy belated b-day, Far!

    Good luck with those chicken houses! That doesn't look like fun.

    That is a sweet photo of Mason!


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