The power outage also made for a memorable first sleepover for ALL of our gals at Emily, Jonas and Ivy's home. The older girls had multiple times in the past, but this was Terah's first time and she was excited! I hoped the power outage would not be unnerving for her especially, and some texted photos of them making shadow puppets and Terah with her little headlamp on helped me fully relax knowing they were having a grand time. We enjoyed a rare evening with my parents (with the ability to finish our sentences without interruption) and savored sleeping side by side without our littlest in between us. That said, I was excited to be reunited with them the next morning!
We got one day of leaf raking in before the winter weather. We hope to get back to it, maybe as soon as tomorrow. Jason and I are still nursing sore backs and so we were both trying to be careful with our leaf loads. It was about as fun as we remembered it! The only part of the morning that was unsettling for me was when I raked up a bunch and heard some kind of hissing/squeaking sound. I didn't think it was a snake but couldn't place the sound and then I saw something that was clearly not a leaf. It ended up being a red bat. We aren't sure if it was well or not, but we put it into the woods and put some leaves over it for warmth and hoped for the best!
See for yourselves. Here's Alida at it:
Of course Terah didn't want to be left out of the fun. She made it all the way down the hill to the leaf pile with her load. I love that working together as a family is one of our favorite ways to spend a day!
And here's the rest of us at it - yes, lots of smiles that day!
In other news, the corn is all shelled (thanks to lots of helping hands and the power outage and bad weather for working out doors). We are now in the midst of sorting through our black bean harvest - it was hard to know if it was worth it to spend the time sorting them as up to 1/2 are spouted/molding. It was just that kind of year for some crops. But after enjoying them last evening with dinner and refried for lunch today, we'll be completing the sorting job. Yes, we can buy black beans but we can't buy these black beans. Yum!
I'm still having fun making cheese and right now am just 1 cheddar block shy of having my whole shelf full in my makeshift "cheese cave." Two weeks ago three women connected to Allegheny Mountain Institute came for a cheese making day. One of them has successfully made feta, which I really wanted to learn! I have a gallon jar of feta in brine in the fridge that will be ready to try shortly. Fingers crossed, as my one and only other try did not end in feta. The good news is that this time the blocks of feta are still well defined, whereas last time they all dissolved back into a cheesy glop! We were even able to finish up our cheesemaking in time to enjoy a hike to the lake (it was gorgeous with the leaves at the peak of their colors - though I must say I'm enjoying the photo now more than I enjoyed the scene then - since we had lost one of our fellow hikers by the time we got to the lake and I wasn't really able to relax until we were reunited!)
And, finally, we are enjoying a stint with my folks in their quarters upstairs and the Christmas music is floating down the stairs. There's a festive feeling in the air and the train is now set up in the common room again. The excitement was palpable when the train started going up. Terah and Alida were practically jumping up and down and Terah kept shrieking, "I so 'cited...I so 'cited..." That she was!