narrated by: Nicole
Fall is a busy time for the farm, we invited all the grandkids over to help pick the apples in the orchard. We aren’t opposed to a bit of free labor, paid for with apple pie and apple cider, plus fond memories.
Evan and Hatty mostly played together instead of picking apples, they both have short attention spans and are rather keen on playing.
We didn’t get everything finished on that Saturday though, and thankfully we have Lily-Mae still at home to lend a hand. I hope by the time she leaves for university, that Elias is back home to help with this farm he wanted.
I’ve always enjoyed gardening, and it is hard now to maintain my family garden with all the crop work, and my bridal boutique claiming my days. But coming out to clean the field and remove this past season’s crops is really calming for me. I didn’t expect to enjoy farming or being a farmer’s wife as much as I have. It’s worlds better than when Finn was working long hours in the science field at the university, though him being discredited seemed to be an ultimate low at the time.
That was a darker period in our marriage, but with the farm, we have reconnected. Instead of just being a babysitter for the grandkids, he now has a purpose, and we are all happier for it.
Lily-Mae isn’t thrilled with our outward affection, but we aren’t too fussed by it. She mostly holes herself up in her room anyway or is fused to the sewing machine, leaving us to spend the chilly evening with the fire, and the dog, Dash.
I’ve had to make some changes at Zoe-Gen, a surprising one was giving a raise to Bethany. I really wanted to let her go in the beginning, but she’s really stepped up this past year, and has become valuable to my team.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t say the same for Marta. She had always wanted to buy the boutique from me, but Lily-Mae is set on taking it over, and since Marta realized that, her performance has dropped. I haven’t really appreciated the characteristics she has shown, and I found her setting Bethany up to lose out on sales, plus her little affair here was really grounds for firing. I wish I had let her go then.
Since I hadn’t, I feel too much time has passed to use that as an excuse, so I am demoting her from my assistant manager. She acted sorry for her petty undermining, but I just don’t trust her now to operate above my employees.
I hope that she moves on to a new job soon, being demoted tends to get people to quit. In the mean time, I was thrilled to see Paloma and Meme in the shop. I hadn’t heard that she was engaged, and I couldn’t have been happier for her.
I had always been fond of Paloma, and would have enjoyed welcoming her into our family as a daughter-in-law, but seeing that didn’t turn out, I’m happy that she’s found someone to be with.
I offered to sew her gown, and she accepted. Now she’s just trying to find what style she prefers, and they are both relieved that Meme is having her baby in a few weeks, and will not be pregnant. There are only so many dresses that fit an expanding belly, and they’ll have many more options once the baby is born.
I’ve learned long ago to not talk about Paloma and her doings with Oliver, he knows that I always liked her, and I imagine it feels like a slight to Brooklyn. Both myself and Finn like Brooklyn just fine though, and with Oliver turning 30 this past May, we would like to see him moving towards a wedding.
I look forward to Thanksgiving, probably more than Christmas, because there aren’t any worries over presents. Just all of our family, gathering together, and lots of good food. Thankfully the weather has been warm for November, and all the rowdy ones can run around outside.
Elias brought his girlfriend, Caitlyn and her son Thomas, and Hatty spent a large period of time talking her head off.
Caitlyn had asked to bring her Dad over, and we welcomed him immediately. It was sad when we’d heard his new wife had died so soon after their wedding.
While I cooked food, Isla kept coming in to sneak food from the fridge. Waiting for a big feast is not something that she has the patience for at all.
All the grandkids ran around outside, and Hatty took a great liking to Thomas immediately. She’s the baby of her family, and little toddlers fascinate her. Grace has told me many times that they are done having children, but I think Hatty would quite like a little sibling to dote upon.
Chaz wanted to help make the dinner, so I sent him out to the grill while Julius kept an eye on him. Julius had just burned the ribs though so I should have sent out a more accomplished cook than him.
No surprise that Chaz burned the vegetable wraps, and Julius seemed quite pleased that he wasn’t the only one to fail. Most of the time, I don’t know what to do about Julius, but being surprised by him is something I shouldn’t be!
When it was time to eat, the house was full and I’d never been more happy that we had expanded.
Finn sat outside with Hatty, where she talked his ear off as well.
Julius’ girlfriend, Perla came over and she seemed to have a lot to say to Ainsley too, who mostly mumbled along in the conversation. From what I overheard it was about how great high school was and how she missed it. Apparently Perla had quite the pick of boys in high school, and seemed to imply that Ainsley would soon have her own group of followers, which mortified Ainsley.
Ethan was really pleasant, he spoke with all the adults, and even mingled with the kids, talking to Dax about his granddaughter Mavis. That was how they realized that Emma knew of Ethan, as her and Chris are good friends with Luca and Nadia. Small world.
Brooklyn helped pass out pie, and I couldn’t help wondering if Oliver was ever going to ask her the big question. Though Brooklyn doesn’t seemed worry about such things, she’s only twenty-five, and still getting her grips teaching in the high school. She’s looking forward to having Ainsley in her Home Ec class in the next semester, and I’m glad she has a friendly face looking out for her.
All the kids helped pick up dishes too, I don’t think my dishwasher has ever worked so hard in a single day. This was by far the biggest Thanksgiving dinner I had ever hosted.
Tillie even volunteered to help wash dishes by hand, while Emma and Grace retold stories of their youth.
We got all the grandkids together outback to take their picture. Hard to believe that we had seven kids, and have seven grandkids already and only two of ours have started a family. Though if Elias and Caitlyn one day marry, then we will automatically have an eighth grandchild. It’s on our minds, since Elias will be moving back in and taking over the farm, whoever he marries, will be our roommate so to speak.
We have no objection with Caitlyn ether, well I don’t. Finn hasn’t warmed up to her yet, she’s not the kind of girl that we’ve spent time with, that I think he is still struggling to find a common conversational ground with her.
Thankfully they made a little headway after dinner. Those interested sat down to watch the big game, and Caitlyn was just as into the game as the rest. Plus who can resist seeing our son Elias snuggling with Thomas and making him giggle.
It ended up being a great holiday, with no fights, and lots of delicious pie.
Notes: This was a fun Thanksgiving to host, all of their kids excluding Lily-Mae of course, are all grown, dating, married, with kids or without. I love the dynamics of everyone in their young adult days, plus Grace and Emma who are in their mid-upper thirties. The kids all got along great, and I let all the apple pickers, keep their apples, so they had a good time.
I had to demote Marta, because she kept micromanaging Bethany, and taking her off of sales. I was beyond frustrated, so I demoted her. Nicole would like to get rid of her, but I don’t know who would replace her. So for now she stays!