So, this thing with the inconvenient name is coming up quick, 7 weeks from Saturday which is nothing in my book.

A few things are up in the air, and I need some input in order to pin them down. First though, a list of new developments/changes that are settled.

-- Remember how I said we'd make a whole bunch of stuff, as much as we could? I listed things like cheese, veggies, beer, cured meat, foraged mushrooms, fruit, etc. Well, some of this is too much, at least this year. At this point we're on track for beer and wine, a ton of produce, and pork. Maybe some chicken, although a two meat meal seems odd. We're not going to push it by trying to make some blue cheese just for this, or take a chance spending a weekend hunting mushrooms when we could jeopardize the bigger picture.

-- Even though the date for dinner is Saturday, October 30th, Becky and I will be taking the week before off to get shit done. A few people that I know of are coming out for the whole week, and if you're lucky enough to be flexible enough to do that we'd sure love to see you. There will be a lot to do, the more the merrier.

-- Exciting group events will be planned for the weekend at least. We're talking haunted auction barns, capture the flag, hay wagon rides, chicken fights in our pond, if it's fun we'll do it.

-- We're going to ask you for money. Not a lot, just enough to cover expenses. If you stay from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon I'd guess it'd be in the $60 range, including all your food, beverage, etc. We're not trying to be inhospitable, just practical. Of course, if the money is an issue for you personally we can work something out. We're going to play it by ear for the week previous, if you work your ass off we'll take care of you.

-- There was a lot of debate here at TBA about where people should sleep. I've mowed a big patch of grass atop our little hill for tents, and it should be possible to drive up there for those with RVs or vans or whatever. Assuming the party is based around the house I figured it'd provide a dry, though potentially breezy, place where people could sleep without being interrupted. If weather is horrible we can stay in the barn, it's water tight although the floor is harder. Beds in the house (we can sleep 8 including the air mattress) are reserved for people who need them. I'm excited to camp out, should be fun. If for some reason you'd prefer to stay nearby in a hotel, there are a few about 25 minutes away. Inquire with us if that is the case.

Things that need to be sorted out:

-- We have no idea how many people are coming, at this point we're guessing somewhere between 20 and 100. If you're coming, please let me or Becky know. If you're bringing people, please let us know. If you're bringing a dog please let us know. If you need a tent, or if you have extra room in a tent, let us know. If you need a sleeping bag or have an extra one, let us know. If you have any bizarre dietary restrictions, let us know.

-- We're going to eat some pork. How much depends on the head count. It's convoluted, but here's the gist. Stump's gotta go. She's growing slower than all the other pigs, and she's obviously not as worm proof. The original plan was to slaughter on 10/1, cure a ham, and eat that. That would necessitate a slaughter weight pig on 10/1 (225-300lbs according to personal preference, I'd like the higher side) where Stump will only be 150 lbs then, if she trends along her weight gain as she has for the last month. The other complicating factor is that I would like to get 6 months worth of pork for us from the same slaughtering event. We could put off Stump's slaughter until 10/28, when she'd be approx. 230 lbs., or the third option is to buy a whole other pig from someone else and slaughter it in addition. Point is, I need a head count, because the total consumption could range from Stump's hams to Stump entirely, and if we need another pig I'd like to buy it sooner than later. I could go on and on about this, but suffice it to say that being a small producer is more complicated.