Friday, December 19, 2008

And again, with feeling...

Here we are again; another foot of snow fell overnight and into this morning. Snow day. I wonder how many snow days we'll get this season. It sure it shaping up to be another snowy winter. Last season we surpassed the city's previous snowfall record by about 30 inches, and that was just ridiculous. I'm not sure how anyone deals with more than 100 inches of snow in a season on a routine basis. Our city certainly isn't equipped to handle this much snow in a timely manner. I expect they won't even plow our cul-de-sac until late into tonight. This morning already, I have seen three of my neighbors get stuck. Hey neighbors, stay home. The snow is too deep for your average fuel-efficient tiny car (this is Madison, after all.) It gets stuck under the body of your car.

Meanwhile, I have been working on some knitting. This is another Christmas present, and it's almost finished. I didn't quite follow the recommended color pattern, but I love denim yarn so much, and this seemed like a perfect application.
Snake In Progress
Slithery Snake by Zoe Mellor
with Rowan Handknit Dk Cotton, Tahki Cotton Classic and Rowan Denim

The meteorologists say that we're to get another 4-6 inches over the weekend. At some point I've got to stop being frustrated and just let it happen. I'm sure that'll happen any day now...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Anatomy of a Snow Day

In my opinion, it's a little early in the season for the weather to be this nasty. But what do I know? I've only lived in this state for 17 years (non-consecutive, but still). Maybe I'm just getting less tolerant as I age.

Thankfully, I bought decorations for gingerbread (graham cracker) houses yesterday, so that's what we did this morning.
Snow Day
I have directions from our preschool about how to make gingerbread houses with graham crackers and Royal icing. Each year parents make some basic houses and bring them in for the kids to decorate. We used a tub of regular vanilla icing to attach the candy.
Snow Day
Generally, it's one of those activities that is fun, but takes a lot of preparation and a lot of clean-up for about 20 minutes of activity. Rather a negative cost-benefit ratio, but you know. One of those things you have to try once, at least.
Gingerbread cookies
The other day we made gingerbread cookies and that was considerably more fun and productive, if you ask me, because I gave some of the extras to the neighbors. Our recipe is from our preschool:

Gingerbread Cookies

2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening (or butter)
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon

Cream together sugar and shortening. Then add eggs and molasses, beating well. In a separate bowl, sift the remaining ingredients together. Then add to the mixture, mixing well. Cover tightly and chill for about three hours or until the dough is stiff enough to handle.

On a floured surface, roll the dough to 1/4" thickness. Using your gingerbread man cookie cutter, cut dough into shapes. Place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets.

Bake in a 350 oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheets for two minutes, then remove and cool on wire racks. (I use simple powdered-sugar frosting for them.)

Let's hope I can find something a little less time-intensive and less messy to fill the afternoon!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Winding Road

I'm not afraid to admit that some of my days are meandering. Like this morning. We were supposed to have a playdate with some friends, but I think M might be coming down with something, so we stayed home.

She wanted to paint, so I pulled out the craft supplies and ended up deciding to completely clean out the craft area.

That culminated with finding my bead box. I immediately decided to make some stitch markers for the playdate friend's mom, a good friend who knits. (Immediately, meaning of course I hadn't finished cleaning out the craft area yet.)

Stitch markers (by me)

I have always been like this. When I was a in high school, for creative writing class I wrote a short, slice-of-life story about how my mom would tell me I needed to clean up my room before I went to the pool with my sisters. So I'd go into my room, find something under my bed and instead of cleaning everything up, end up getting completely distracted by a long-lost book or scrapbook or something else. I honestly have good intentions, but I am not the world's most organized person. I get the sense this was overwhelmingly frustrating for my parents.

After I made the stitch markers (three sets, actually), I decided, hey, there are some earring hooks in here. Why not try my hand at making earrings, too?

Earrings (by me)

So I did. Two pair, actually. I might give them to my sisters, who are infinitely more organized than I am. Their rooms were always organized, clean and straight. Mine was not a disaster, but it was cluttered.

But that's Ok. Because sometimes I think my distracted mind has allowed some room for happy things to happen in between.