Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.
Last year this time, I was with my failing Dad. He passed before Christmas and I moved through the holidays last year in a fog. This year I can’t get him off my mind and the tears are never far from the surface. Apparently, I put the sympathy cards in with the Christmas cards and put the box of them away together. Pulling them out started it, then every ornament or Santa that he and his wife gave me triggered it again. I will get through. The family, not me, but others close to me have struggled with some health issues in the past month and that has produced it own level of stress. All will be fine in the long run, but not right now.
I did get the house decorated. As our daughter was born right after Thanksgiving, she insisted that no decorations be put up until after her birthday when she was growing up. That rule still applies. Sometimes it is the day after Thanksgiving, sometimes a week later. With a late Thanksgiving this year, the decorating was late. The Santas and snowmen are adorning the shelves, windowsills, and table tops.
They get tucked all over the great room and kitchen, this is only some of them. Saturday, Jim and I drove to the city and partied with his HOG group, staying the night in the hotel where the party was held and on Sunday, drove home to go out with the kids for lunch and off to buy a Christmas tree from one of the cut your own lots. Last year, we let the grands pick the tree and came home with a 12-13 foot tree. This year, I picked it and it is only about 8 feet tall. Last night, daughter and her family decorated the tree with their family decorations. We put one for our annual ornament, one that we have joked over annually that came from a good friend a couple of decades ago, the three little soft gnomes and daughter insisted that the tree be wrapped in the yarn candy cane rope from our box.
When I went down a couple of days ago to put an empty decoration box in the root cellar part of the basement, I saw a puddle of water. This happened a few years ago and I did not know what was causing it until I talked with my son. The air handler condensation tube drips into a floor drain. The floor drain has a pipe that runs under the slab and out the back of the house, through a PVC pipe that goes 18.5 feet straight back off the stoop, then at a 45º angle off for another 10+ feet where it terminated in a shallow pit fill with gravel. Twice the end of that pipe has gotten clogged with dirt, the gravel pit also filling up and the condensation backs up until the entire pipe is full and the puddle forms on the slab. The first time it happened, I had no idea where the pipe was or how far out from the house it was laid. I started at the back door slab and dug a shallow trench from where I could find the pipe until I found it’s terminus. It was sleeting and snowing that time. Today it was just a cold rain and I knew approximately where it was so instead of a trench, I only needed a series of shallow holes to follow the path to the terminus.
When I found the end, I cleaned out the mud, left an open hole and drove a stake until I have a warmer, drier day to redig a pit and fill it with gravel. I think I will mark the terminus spot with a larger flat rock so I can find it even faster next time.
One of my pullets began laying this week. She is a half Buff Orpington, half Americauna. She looks mostly like a Buff Orpington, just a bit smaller and only slightly darker. I was curious what she would lay and her eggs are small and olive colored.
We are now getting about 10 eggs a week, half blue ones and half olive green ones. The Buff Orpingtons which are generally winter layers, have not resumed from their molt.
Saturday is the second Holiday Market. The forecast is abysmal with an 80% chance of precipitation starting as freezing rain. It will be about 22 when I leave home to drive down. It may reach the mid 40’s by the end. It will probably not be the best Market, but I have the soaps, lotion bars, salves, knitwear, and yarn, so I should give it a go. I will dress warmly, figure out how to put two sides on my tent and hope the wind is calm.