Sunday, September 16, 2007

Back to Fall

Well, it is getting cold here. We went this week to the fire station, and it was a bit of a bust, actually.

I guess I overestimated the need of the kids to see their friends shortly after we came back from Live and Learn. Or, maybe, it is that seeing their friends here, as much as they may like them, is not as exciting as a camp gathering.

Anyway, fire stations always freak my kids out a bit, what with the constant threat of an emergency. Ella decided to wear her iPod, but then took it off when the fireman (very sweetly and good naturedly) asked if he was boring her. She was embarrassed, because although I think that the fire fighter was just trying to connect, it singled her out, and then she was kind of done with the fire station.

Why does this always happen to my girl? She would like to come to situations on her own terms, and it seems most places we go some adult is trying to draw her out. As the "drawing out" backfires, she withdraws more. Nine times out of ten this just makes one of two things happen: a) the adult just tries harder and harder to our increasing discomfort or b) the adult tries to engage me about how *shy* she is. Ugh.

This rarely happens to Declan, and when it does there are different results. Maybe it is a gender thing? Girls should be more compliant and talkative? I don't know. IT is not an age thing, as this has always happened with her.

Anyway, we went to the Sheriff's Ranch to look at the pumpkins today. We ended up with one for the porch and a few tiny ones for, as Declan calls them "pumpkin pets". The man helping us kept telling the kids to take a few, so each child picked out two small ones.

I had forgotten to tell the kids that the people working there were in the custody of the Sheriff's Department. Ella saw one of them wearing a t-shirt that said "Sheriff Inmate" and started to laugh, thinking it was a joke. I whispered to her about the minimum security farm, and how the place works.

It was an interesting experience to see and interact with the inmates. She was shocked that the people there were prisoners, including the man who had told us the names of all the different types of pumpkins and told us which variety was the best for long term color on our porch. There is something to be learned from everyone who comes across your path, or pumpkin patch.

We also visited Bray Farm. How fun! The Scottish Highland Cattle were cute, I thought, but Declan thought that they were scary. That is until he saw that one had broken one of his horns, then he melted with compassion for that one.

We of course oohed and aaahhed over the chickens. Oh, I hope there are chickens in my future. These are a special kind of banded American chicken that had almost become extinct until the 1970s when all things American were in fashion. The breed was brought back. What a bunch of fat and healthy looking chickens.

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