Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Visit

This year, our California kids and grandkids were able to join us for the Thanksgiving holiday. As usual, Johnny put the grandkids to work bringing in firewood as soon as they arrived. Kestrel loved loading the wheelbarrows. Cedrus loved giving a running commentary of what was happening.

Kestrel stacked the wood inside the wood room in the house, while Cedrus supervised.


Kestrel liked friendly Sweetheart, the goat that grandson Ian taught to love children... because they stroke her ears, which she loves.

 Big white guardian dog McCoy loves everyone, but only Steve cared to get up close and personal with a dog about as tall as he is.

Kestrel and Cedrus always love playing on the farm tractors.

Johnny saves the colored funny papers to read to the boys when they come. I don't know how much they get out of the comics, but Johnny thoroughly enjoys it and the boys love their Grandpa, no matter what he's doing.

This year we took our Thanksgiving Day hike before dinner, instead of after, as it wasn't raining and we were afraid it would start. The kids had never seen the seasonal pond full before. They liked throwing leaves with oak galls on them (otherwise known as sailboats) into the pond.

 The oaks are covered in galls this year and high water earlier had floated masses of them close to the pond.

The galls are also fun to stomp on and make pop.

 Steve took a picture of Munazza posing with Shirley, or rather Shirley posing with Munazza.

Thoroughly hungry, we retired to the house to finish cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Our friends the Millikans joined us as usual and we all ate too much, then sat around and talked and sang. It was a relaxed and comfortable gathering. Later, at chore time, the kids came out to the barn and saw two young Barn Owls peeking out of their loft bedroom, begging for food.What a fun Thanksgiving Day!

On Friday, we played Twister. Here Steve and Munazza and Kestrel stretch their muscles trying to stay on the appropriate colored circles.

Grandma and Kestrel had a turn. Kestrel had a size disadvantage but managed to stretch farther than seemed possible.

Cedrus, Grandpa and Kestrel played a revised version that allowed Cedrus to participate.

There was more work to do, though. Steve helped us clean up the electronic clutter upstairs. After we ransacked the attic for old computers, monitors, printers, etc., to be taken to recycling, the boys posed with Grandpa on the pull-down stairs they have always been curious about but never before seen in action.

At evening chore time, Kestrel decided he wanted to learn to milk a goat. And he did. Some of the goat milk they put in their cooler to take home with them was milk that Kestrel had squeezed out of Flashpoint's udder. He wants to get so good at milking that he can milk one goat while I'm milking another. (We have a two stanchion milk stand.) Sounds like a great plan to me!

Saturday morning, their van loaded to the gills, Munazza sat in back with the boys to give them breakfast on the road while Steve took first stint at driving. They left early so they could drive all the way back to San Carlos in one day.

After they drove off, I finished chores and took a nap.  Johnny napped, too. It is wonderful to have family visit but we sure do get tired. We revived after lunch and drove up Agency Creek to get more big rocks for the arboretum trees and look for Dippers. The creek is very high and we only found one Dipper. But we saw two Bald Eagles flying along the creek.

What a lovely world we live in and what a great family and friends we have. It's a thanks giving time for sure.

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