Monday, October 31, 2022

Cider Bee

 The 25th Annual Norquist Family Cider Bee was held Sunday, Oct 30th, at my nephew Ben's home in Winlock,WA. 

My brother Hank comes from Idaho now, but still brings the 1000 pound orchard tote full of apples. My nephews bring the cider presses. We all bring ourselves and food, of course.

The forecast was for lots of rain, so Ben was prepared and we worked and ate and talked under cover, but most of the time it did not rain. We felt blessed by the weather gods or the other powers that be. 

We were underway by 10:30, bundled up in our various sweatshirts and layers. 

Troy was the apple getter.

Apple choppers, Sister Laurie and two of her granddaughters, Heidi and Hannah. And me. 
Heidi, Hannah and their mom Katie. 
The cranking crew. That's brother Hank second from the left, host Ben on the right. 

The Reeder gang met up around the coffee and doughnuts. It was great to have us all together.
Juice crew. 
Everybody gets into the action. My cousin Kathleen and her partner are in there somewhere. 

And then we eat - some more. 

And of course there is cider to take home, to drink, to freeze, to distil. 

It was another very successful Family Fun gathering full of cousins and aunts and uncles and siblings and grandparents and parents over three generations. 

Saturday, October 29, 2022

It's The Great Pumpkin, And Other Developments

I got my pumpkin carved on Friday.

When I picked it up and set it on the table, I was surprised. "Oh my gosh, this thing is huge!"  Much bigger than it seemed in the pumpkin patch. Of course Tom was the one who picked it up and carried it then.

Suddenly carving it seemed a bit daunting, but I had plenty of time, came up with a design, and plunged in. The Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin Special always comes to mind when I make the first stab. "I didn't know you were going to kill it."

It was thick but soft enough that it was easy to cut, just big!

My Jack-o-lanterns are always happy. None of those gory monsters for me.

There have been some medical developments this week as I continue to deal with my "skeletal" issues. As a result of meeting with my Physical Therapist Erica on Tuesday we have decided to back off on almost all of the PT exercises for two week and then assess. Since I am hurting more, we might be doing more harm than good.

Erica watched me walk, saw be lurch to the side, and saw what I didn't know, that my right knee had done a sideways "buckle". It just sort of came out of joint. She showed me on a model. We knew it was now in the severe stage of arthritic damage, but it hardly hurts, so I have been letting it go. Anyway, my left, other, hip is first in line for fixing. 

I had a phone appointment set up with my Orthopedic Dr for that afternoon so Erica had me ask about an "unloader brace". When I did, Dr. Chen was a bit confused. He thought we were dealing with my left hip. Well, when I told him my right knee was also "severe", he laughed. "You are going to set a record for the most metal by the time we're through," he said.

Yep. So I have an appointment with him on Monday, and an appointment pending with the sports med Doc to get a hip injection in my "fixed" right hip to calm down the  inflammation before I have surgery on the left hip. I am on the list for that sometime after the first of the year.

Yes, I'm complicated. 

Meanwhile, life goes on. On Sunday we will hold our 25th annual Norquist Family Cider Bee. This is 25 years in the 2nd G of cider bees. The original ones were held by my Mom and Dad on the farm where I grew up. We returned there each September with our growing families, our kids younger then than their kids are now. Now I'm the oldest sibling left and the oldest grannie. 

And life goes on. 

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Celebrating Irene

 Monday was a momentous day for our granddaughter Irene. 

The rain stopped in time for her Senior Night soccer game. Her poster, and those of the other girls being celebrated, didn't get wet. Their crowns didn't drip. We parents and grandparents managed the cold because we were dry. 

The game was worth celebrating too. Irene played the whole game this time, something she had been longing to do. She contributed her defensive speed to the Lady Rams 5-0 shutout. They qualified to move on to the league playoffs.

There's our #10 on guard. She asked her mother to do her hair up in braids for the occasion. 

I think Irene supplied the photos for her poster that her teammates created. I loved it that she included this three year old Irene playing "Soccer For Shorties" back in her Colorado days. 

Some longtime friends were there to celebrate her, and special friend Ryan brought her roses. 
Of course we were there too.

We all needed to go home after the game to warm up, but the excitement wasn't over for Irene and Jill.

They discovered this news!

I had called Irene Saturday afternoon just to talk a bit. She was busy finishing her application to her preferred college, so I let her get back to it. Then I guess she hit "send", because what was delivered on Saturday was already acknowledged on Monday!

Within 48 hours of submitting her application she was offered "admission with distinction, an honor reserved for Fall 2023 students who have distinguished themselves by demonstrating academic promise and leadership potential."

She may apply to the U of W, just to see if she can get in, but she's pretty sure she wants to go to WWU in Bellingham to study Oceanography. Her future looks exciting. 

Yes, we are very proud of her, and of Jill too. Together they make quite a team.

And as a BTW, I did get one more little bouquet of flowers from my garden, plucked out of the rain.

The Dahlias are gone, but a few Zinnias and Marigolds linger.

They are happy flowers!

Sunday, October 23, 2022

It's Very October Now

Will this be my last garden bouquet? I picked it at the end of this week when it was still warm and dry. Then it was suddenly cold and wet. Flowers don't like that.

It feels like real October now. We are having a break from the rain on this Sunday, so Tom and I went to the pumpkin patch this morning. It sounded like a fun thing to do, and I need fun.

Not a commonly seen sign,

but these are not common pumpkins!
Kind of pricy, but I like the inclusive, non-discrimination aspect. 
I think this will be my new header. 
Lots more here besides pumpkins. 

Giant cabbage and cauliflower. 

Very fat carrots.

Our wheelbarrow full of goodies. Yes, I did buy a pumpkin. It has been a while since I carved a Jack-o-lantern. Who says you have to be a kid to have Halloween fun. 

My produce is now stored, my mini-pumpkins are decorating, and my carving pumpkin awaits on the front porch, with ghostly friends. 
Embrace October. It's almost gone!