Walk, Run

I looked out the sunny window and thought, “Second day in a row of wonderful sun! We need to go for a walk.”

Then I looked out a different window (the one I can see approaching weather from) and saw Big Dark Swirling Clouds. But I have a decent eye for this sort of thing and thought, “Meh, we can make it easy.”

At our furthest point out, I realized I’d misjudged the storm’s speed. So we picked it up a notch. I told Arc he had to ride in the stroller, because we weren’t going to beat the storm if he walked. I told LK to stop scaring his younger siblings with his “the storm is coming!!!!” drama. I don’t like drama. The Princess likes it even less and ordered LK to stay Far Away from the stroller.

One street away from home, I couldn’t help it. I had to take a couple pictures. Sprinkles fell lightly but regularly, and the wind announced the arrival of The Edge.

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“Um, Mom? Can you please stop taking pictures so we can finish walking home? Now?” Said all my kids.

And, actually, we ran the last little way, because I couldn’t see anything beyond the solid wall of rain headed for us. Which is bad.tmp_9843-wp_20170216_15_16_31_pro-1925008265

The kids sprinted down the driveway, I hauled the stroller onto the deck he-woman style, and 30 seconds later we were all safe inside.

 

Just in time.

A Gollum in the Snow

I slowly put on the Princess’ boots, coat, hat, and gloves. Then more slowly my own boots, coat, hat, and gloves. I didn’t particularly want to go outside in 20-something degree weather and 4″ of snow. But a promise was a promise, and the kids had been diligent in their school and chores, so Mom was coming outside to play.

“Mom! Mom!” Pokado ran up to me, cheeks already flushed and snow splattered across her back. “You know that slimy guy in The Hobbit? The one with ‘my precioussssss.'”

“Gollum?”

“Yes! Gollum! Come see, come see!”

So I trudged along, secretly admiring her impression of the creature, not knowing that there was more to her impression than I realized.

She stopped at a clean patch of snow, carefully laid down, then just as carefully stood up.

“Look!” she said, drawing a face on it. “It’s a snow Gollum!”

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And I laughed.

And then I took to the back yard and walked with renewed purpose, pulling the Princess in the sled behind me. I still didn’t really want to be outside, but those are usually the days I need it most. tmp_16597-img_20170202_135533-1923581534

I spent 20 minutes chasing my snow Gollums away (referring here to my internal thoughts, although I chased the kids too), and you know what? By the time I left my walking track and returned to the house, the sun felt warmer. The hedge looked a little greener. And I no longer felt caught up in the tunnels of winter gloom.

I thanked God for a beautiful day (but still cold), for my children (who are optimistic enough to put a smile on Gollum), and for the seasons. I feel the hardest part is behind me now, and I can look forward to spring with eagerness.

I hear it in the wind, I hear it in the echoes of geese overhead. In the howl of the coyote, in the silence of the night.

It won’t be long now.

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Boys.

There is something very special about boys.

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This one announced he wanted to make an igloo out of the snow pile, and over a few days he demonstrated a remarkable ability to stay focused and disciplined on a single task.

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I found this one dragging a box around calling, “The giant’s going to get me! The giant’s going to get me!” The Dearliest added some facial features, and ‘Arc’s Man’ is now a Thing in the house. Also, laid flat it makes an excellent roadway for his Hotwheels.

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And THIS one. Well, he’s not pictured, but I love him dearly. Leave it to the Dearliest to one-up a Dodge pickup with the minivan.

7 Candles

Yesterday we celebrated Pokado’s 7th birthday.

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Birthday waffles.

She is such a happy, cheerful, helpful person. It has been wonderful to see the little worried sparrow grow into a war horse (she wishes).

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She received this little music jewelry box from her grandparents, and for a day and a half “My Old Kentucky Home” ringed about the house. I finally told her the dancing horse needed a rest.

In other news, LK is reading everything over my shoulder. Squeaky turned the quike  (a 4-wheeled ride on toy constructed by the Dearliest for toddlers) into a skateboard. Strong, silent Arc became a chatterbox, and the Princess now blames Squeaky for everything.

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Even things she clearly wasn’t involved in.

 

 

 

 

The Best Pie Crust Ever

tmp_11750-img_20170104_153922-1096831416Slightly adapted from The Joy of Cooking.

(Makes a 9″ double crust.)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, cubed
3 Tablespoons vegetable shortening (I use this one.)
6 Tablespoons cold water

1) Sift together flour and salt.

2) Cut in half the butter/ shortening until mixture resembles cornmeal. Cut in remaining half until dough is pea-sized.

3) Gradually work in water until it just holds together (another teaspoon or so may be required). Divide dough in half, shape into discs, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Note: To speed things up, I toss the flour, salt, butter, and shortening into a food processor and blitz until the desired consistency. Then I drizzle in the water and blitz some more until the dough starts to come together.
– – – –

Back in December I made a spontaneous cherry pie and used this crust on a whim. It was a total experiment, having never made cherry pie or the crust before, but word came back positive. Also, word came back that this crust was the best ever and the recipient just wanted to keep eating it.

Curious, I made more dough and tried it on a quiche, and yeah. It was really good. I love how simple it is, too. It really is a stroll back to basics.

Sometimes basics is best.

Recent Views and Things

I made a thing.

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Crocheted Circle Vest. Took me 4 tries to get it right! Pattern is now worked out and WRITTEN DOWN (important part, that).

I got a thing.

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Let there be MUSIC in the house again! Copeland seemed an appropriate initiation.

I renewed a thing.

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And the first piece I’m attempting to reclaim: Bourree (Bach)

I made another thing.

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Baked Alaskas. It was flaming awesome. (Post coming soon.)

I saw a thing.

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Went for a drive. Snow doesn’t respect roadsigns.

 

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Straight out the window. Windrows higher than our minivan by quite a bit. A D-9 Cat sat nearby, waiting for the next snowfall.

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Headed up the mountain by our old house. Sun shone brightly above the fog in the valley (and in the previous 2 pictures).

I finished a thing.

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In my break from most things internet, I made it to the end of my novel! Been a long 5 years.