Besides menus... we had a lovely Rosh Hashanah, and Eli made the 2.5 mile hilly walk (more down than up) to shul and never said boo about being too tired! It was great. We made it to our previous shul location in just over an hour (when Amirah was 3 it took 1-1/2 hours!). We were at shul in 1 hour and 20 minutes, just minutes before they blew the shofar which is what we were striving for. The childcare people did not show up for some reason, so parents had to fend for themselves. I pretty much spent zero time davening, but it was nice nonetheless. Had a lovely lunch and hung out at the E house until yom tov was over. Amirah's best friend so they were both very excited to have the afternoon together. Savta (grandma) was with us for the whole holiday too and it was really nice to have her here. I'm sure she and Amirah squeezed a month's worth of snuggles into a few short days. She loved having three days of slumber parties with her. And all the others loved seeing their savta too, of course.
Yom tov ended Wednesday night, so Thursday morning we took savta to the bus station, then went for a really nice walk at Tryon Creek, only to discover that as part of the annual set of art installations they do in the woods, the first one was a giant leaf man (kind of pagany/idoly/creepy). Scared the pants off of Eli and he spent our whole walk with his eyes covered. I'm really disappointed. This is our favorite place to go for a walk and we average 1-2 walks per week there in all seasons. The exhibit just opened so they won't change again until next fall. I'll let the park know. Maybe there's a way to move the exhibit to another location... I hope!! It's right at the beginning where all the paved paths branch off, so there's no path you can take where you can miss it.
So, I thought leisurely walk in the woods, leisurely lunch, then I would attack the entire downstairs and make it sparkly clean. But... I forgot we had plans to pick 150 pounds of grapes until Dean called me in the afternoon to see what time I was coming to pick him up. OY! So, scramble to get everyone ready, scramble off to get Dean, scramble to bank for cash, scramble to vineyard. We picked for 2 hours which really felt like 30 minutes it went so fast. It was really fun, despite the occasional downpour. Got our 150 pounds on the button! Then... so the grapes wouldn't succumb to fruit flies and/or mildew I had to wash, stem, and either juice or freeze all 150 pounds. Imagine our 3' x 6' dining room table 10 inches deep in grapes. That's how much there was. OY. Fortunately my friend BF stopped by and helped for over an hour. As it was, I was up until 4:00 (!). It would have been 5:00 if she hadn't stopped by! I made 9 quarts of juice and froze the rest of the grapes. We should get about 50-60 quarts total. Enough for a whole year of Friday nights, possibly enough for a few Saturday afternoons, plus a little extra left for pesach. We'll see.
The taste of the grape juice just doesn't even compare to bottled, hence the heroic effort. This grape juice dances on your tongue with dozens of different flavors. It's amazing. The thing is, I was already exhausted from all the shlepping and celebrating. Now I'm REALLY exhausted and looking forward to a 12-hour nap tonight. Dear friend RF is joining us for all of shabbat. I'm glad it's company who's not really company so if my face falls into the soup it won't really matter. :)
Well, not such a short update. I guess I just am really enjoying sitting down. No time for rest! That mess in the kitchen? It's still there!!!