That's what November was. A blur. And here are the blurry pictures to prove it . . .
Calvin and I met up with Abe, Grace, Cali, and Ray in Seattle to attend the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert. My favorite performer was the fiddler whose bow was in shreds by the time the night was over, but the very best part was enjoying it with family.
I went to the dentist. I really don't like going so, per tradition, consoled myself with a milkshake. From the sounds of it, I have several milkshakes in my near future.
Each one of these young women are inspirational in their own right. They are forging paths heretofore untraveled by their family members. Jessica (in the back) can play four instruments - well. She recently performed with the state's honors band in first chair. Vanessa (right) is not only musically but mathematically inclined. I believe she is will be the first to attend college in her family. Karen (left), as does Jessica, carries huge responsibilities in her family. Huge. It's quite amazing seeing their successes.
One of the nights that Calvin was in charge of Family Home Evening he fixed us Jamaican-jerked-chicken with coconut-milk-rice mixed with black beans. It was really good. We also went to one of his scout's basketball games. In eighth grade those boys play so much better than I ever played as a senior in high school. They are fast, coordinated, and jump high. The score was 15-0 within the first few minutes.
Went to work day after day after day. I really do have one of the best jobs. I teach religion to high school and college kids. The early morning class meets at the college (where this picture was taken), the other classes at the seminary building next to the high school.
Rearranging is a quick fix to old problems. We moved this old, old couch out and moved a piece of the sectional from the family room into its place. This has been a month of rearranging furniture, but we're done now. I think.
We went birthday shopping for Calvin. He is such a particular shopper that I had time to wander the whole store before he'd made his four choices. Three of the four choices have orange in them.
One night for Young Women's we made party favors for the ward Thanksgiving Dinner - 160 of them. I thoroughly enjoy talking to and working with these young women.
The weekend we went to Seattle to see the TSO, I babysat Atlas and Levin while Cali, Ray, Abe, Grace, and Calvin went to a movie. I asked Levin if he wanted to help me make meatloaf for supper. He ran and got his stool out and put it next to the cupboard and then opened the drawer and pulled out these bowl toppers. I put one on his head for fun and he made us both wear them as a hairnet the whole time we cooked. Our heads were good and sweaty by the time that meatloaf was cooked.
This ham was over a year in the making. No foolin'. After we raised and butchered the pig, Calvin made one hind quarter into a country ham (country ham is the name for a salt-cured ham that ages for several months to a few years). After Calvin had salt-cured the meat, he hung it in a flour sack from a hook in the food storage room and it's hung there since September 2012.
It was good. So very good. Especially when you'd get a bite of the salty ham with some crusted brown sugar. He'll be making more.
Abe and Grace came and spent the holiday with us. Last year Abe was still deployed in Afghanistan, so we were especially glad to be together this year. Besides eating, we've had several great discussions, played Hearts every night (loser has to buy milkshakes tonight and so far Calvin is buying), gone to the temple, and watched Ender's Game. Today Grace and I are scrapbooking while Calvin and Abe are curing bacon, making cheese, skinning antelope heads, and doing odds and ends projects.
It's been foggy the past few weeks. I see it as a winter wonderland, but Calvin sees it as hell frozen over. So glad we have each other to provide balance in our lives.
I continued to improve my chalkboard art.