Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Do madder what I till can't breade

Some blog posts just about write themselves. Often that's when I only have one subject to cover, except, I'm not having much of a One-Subject life these days. Sometimes I write well when I don't have the World's Longest Cold. My sinuses feel as though I have spackling paste piped into my head. So. Much. Fun.

What was fun was going to Alcatraz, a touristy thing I've never done, despite living within ferry distance for the past 9 years. We rousted the children early and packed them and some food into the car, then we waited at the ferry terminal. We tried to get the kids into the proper mind frame by reminding them of some realities (click to make bigger):

The ride over was big fun, because, face it, riding a ferry across the bay is usually big fun. Thing 3 did some careful standing. Fortunately, there is a little electric tram for folks who can't make the mile or so steep hike up to the prison once on the island. I took him and the littlest one that way, while the others hiked. It was a good thing.

Especially since, after that, Thing 3 saw (and heard; the audio tour is excellent) everything from his dad's back. I carried supplies and a three year old, but Eric did the really heavy lifting.

It was really just fun. I learned a lot and the two older girls have already read their way through a book about escape attempts. I hope Thing 2 doesn't ever try to make a replacement head out of toothpaste, cement, and whatever else they used so she can leap out the window, but if she does, I'll know where she got the idea.

Today was less of a vacation, although Eric stayed home again. My ever-dearer fellow farmer, Esperanza came over to help and brought her terrific mother, Patricia. Eric and I did the holding, Esperanza did the chopping, and most of us helped pluck and clean. I felt a little like Macbeth, in that, "I am in blood/Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more,/Returning were as tedious as go o'er." I'm not a fan of killing animals, even though I obtained these turkeys for just this end. There comes a point when you just have to do what is in front of you, fun or not. I wasn't planning to keep them as pets, and I didn't want to drag the killing out over months, so we did them all.

My sister came to watch and help, and she got lots of pictures and was just. . . there. It helps. I probably won't do turkeys again, and won't raise birds just for meat again ever. The economics just don't work out. Old hens, well, I'll probably do them, but quietly, on my own. And not the first four, as they have been promised an old age home forever, no matter what I think about it.

We thanked the birds for their lives, and thanked the people for their help. I posted an offer to Freecycle for some bits that are edible, but I don't want to eat. No takers yet. What am I going to do with these? I could always make stock, I suppose. I probably won't try any recipe that calls for eating the feet as they are. Stock it is. I'll put them on to boil tonight, I guess. Something to do while I'm grading papers. Never, ever boring.

After the hubbub died down, my sister and I sat and chatted and watched the kids. Eric was busy building yet another set of bookshelves. Although we are assiduous about getting rid of outgrown or unused things, books hold a special place in my family. So he's making a special place for Thing 2 to put her books. It's kind of a neat acknowledgement of her growing personhood. She has more of her own room, only shared with one sibling, and she has her own books, fresh from a birthday. I can only assume she'll have more, so she'll appreciate a nice bookcase.

As Denise and I talked, she worked on developing her new skill. Today, she purled! And ribbed! I cast on some of my homespun for her to take home and turn into something lovely for someone else. I can't wait to see what she does. She swears she'll stop after this one, but her children have suggested that they wouldn't take it amiss if she were to produce knitwear for them, too. We'll see if she continues her path of resistance after finishing this first thing.

I could spend more happy time with her (and our little furry pals) doing this, no problemo.


suzee said...

You are just a wonder. I write about being tired and staying in bed, you write about killing things while being tired.

I cannot believe you've never taken your lot to Alcatraz. It's The Greatest Field Trip Ever. I love it. So glad you finally went!

Finally, dear? Thing 3 is, by my reckoning, not female. So you have me completely confused.

(I think it is perhaps time to name 'em?)

Pancake Goddess said...

:-) sister knitting, just beautiful.

Susan said...

So glad a swollen ankle didn't cancel your vacation. Turkey feet photo is poignant. You are a brave soul and I am full of admiration.

allisonmariecat said...

Love the kitty in the lap! Ours are not lap kitties, being enormous examples of felinity, though they do like to sit beside us for tummy rubbing.

We were set to go to Alcatraz once, and I can't remember what happened that we didn't. I'm glad the ankle didn't squelch the fun. I believe I'll post that motto on a prominent wall in our house to point to when Lilah gets bigger...

Katherine said...

I love your blog: happy family, happy family, pile of turkey feet. : ) You do the most interesting things and in such a thoughtful way. I'm so glad I get a peak.

Mark and I did that tour years ago and it was so eerie - just the sounds of footsteps. If Thing 2 ever makes a replacement head, take a picture please!