We briefly interrupt the unusual silence…

To show you my recently completed (as in, like, this morning) project!

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I’m on a slipper sock roll.

Pokado’s is a little big for her yet, but at the rate she’s been growth spurting they’ll fit her fine in another couple weeks!

Both Pokado’s and Squeaky’s are adapted from the pattern referenced in this post. It was more math than I usually like to do in crochet-work, but they are so cute! And thusly worth it to me. 😀

I couldn’t find a crochet pattern for larger kid sizes that I liked for boys, so I winged it with LK’s.

TR’s came from this pattern, and I love how they turned out! I did modify the original pattern a little because his feet are long and narrow, but that was easy enough to do.

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Logic According to the 3 Year Old

We have guests arriving tomorrow to spend Christmas week in our little cabin:IMG_3547

Fortunately that picture is from a couple years ago and is not the current snow state.

The kids and I have spent a couple hours a day up there this last week. Cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning! Yesterday my mother-in-law generously gave a few hours of her time to come out and finish the cleaning I simply wasn’t going to get to (but still needed desperately to be done). Today the kids and I tromped through 4″ of snow with a couple bags of decorations because what’s a Christmas vacation cabin without a few decorations?

Among the Things is a little fake tree, and as I pulled it out LK asked, “Why is it such a little tree?”

Before I could answer Pokado looked at him sideways and replied, “Because it’s a little cabin.”

As an aside, decorating this year is minimal. With Christmas less than a week away, I have a hard time justifying decking the halls when it’s just coming down again in another week or so. We have our tree and I decided to bring out the Christmas tea set and my snow globes (I don’t collect too many things, but I do like tea things and snow globes!). Even they may return to the boxes if I feel cleaning the shelves for them isn’t going to happen in a timely enough fashion!

Been a little while, hasn’t it?

We’ve had two rounds of bad colds, which upon retrospect I actually suspect were flus on account of the fevers and tummy troubles accompanying the rest of it. I can’t remember any of us ever getting fevers with your garden variety cold before.

Everybody got taken down twice at varying times, but the bottom line is someone has been sick since the beginning of the month. The worst time was the three days two of the kids were in the thick of it when I got hit, then TR decided to teeth and growth spurt at the same time. Not much sleep to be had for a while!

I hate to be pessimistic, but this being sick stuff has kind of killed the pre-Christmas excitement for me. I’m still very much looking forward to it, but it’s hard to be excited at the thought of decorating when the house looks like nobody has touched it in two weeks because, honestly? Nobody has.

Still! It’s not all bad, and I do try to see the positive side of things, so here are a few of the goings on from the last few weeks.

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We got our tree! The Dearliest took LK and Pokado a little ways over the bank to go scouting last week, and they found a nice, tall, filled out Douglas fir. It doesn’t have much on it yet, but Pokado took it upon herself to commandeer and hang all the purple ornaments in the first box we opened.

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A couple days ago these two were pretty under the weather. Cuddles abound.

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We tried a new source for raw honey and were surprised at how little filtering had been done to it! So much wax and other particles…we didn’t much like it in our tea, and we use honey in tea daily. Thusly, we rigged this double boiler-type setup. Pan + pot + enamel canning funnel + coffee pot filter. Fill pan with water and heat on the lowest setting. It works beautifully and quickly, and it cleans the honey quite nicely! We have to clean the filter periodically with mild dish soap to remove the wax build up, but all in all it’s not too difficult a process. I think we’ll stick to our regular honey source after this, though!

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TR, feeling much better.

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Even when laid out on the couch LK loves Christmas. He’s keeping a few of his favorite Christmas cards with him.

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My sister-in-law hosted a Christmas tea party yesterday, but I decided in the end not to go because I wasn’t feeling well enough. I’d already made my appetizer and did have to go into town anyways, so I just dropped it off and hopefully they enjoyed them! This was one of the tea dishes I experienced in California. I unfortunately couldn’t really taste mine, but the Dearliest said they were really good and LK and Squeaky couldn’t get enough of them. Finally! A way to get LK to eat veggies!

Oh, and speaking of Squeaky…

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I’m afraid this is the only recent picture I have of her.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

After more than a week of taking care of a sick Squeaky, I’m slowly working my way back to the land of the slightly more alive. We bowed out of the big family Thanksgiving festivities because of fevers and sinus infections, so I did what I could (in a most exhausted state) to put together a little dinner here. Not much tradition, I’m afraid, but I did make pumpkin pies so there’s that!

An up and coming favorite in the house is the Dearliest’s spinach artichoke dip, a Thing he devised last year after enjoying the dip from Costco but not wanting to spend the money on a regular supply. He studied the ingredient list, said something like, “I bet I could make this easily,” and got the major ingredients within the week. (As an aside, I do love watching him when he takes to the kitchen! He cooks largely by smell. He rummages through my spice cabinets [yes, I have more than one], opens up jars, makes a face, then either adds it to his creation or puts it back.)

He has made it a number of times over the last year, but attempts to write it down have been…not so successful. This Thanksgiving, however, I decided to tackle it and make notes and you know what? I FINALLY HAVE THE RECIPE! Certain members of the Dearliest’s family will be thrilled. Some of them have been asking for it since its first appearance last year!

I will have to take a picture the next time. I’m afraid I didn’t get to it before the dip disappeared! This uses ingredients bought Costco-style and therefore makes enough for an army.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • 1 pound spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, skinned and finely chopped
  • 1 pound Parmesan cheese, grated (you can use shredded, but the finer it is the better)
  • 1 (32 oz) jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
  • ~ 2 cups mayonnaise
  • oil for sauteing

1) Heat 1-2 Tablespoons of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add spinach and saute until wilted. Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring frequently.
2) Transfer spinach and garlic to a large bowl and mix in cheese and artichokes. Add mayonnaise until desired consistency is reached.

For best results refrigerate at least 1 hour.
It’s good cold or warmed.
We like it with corn chips, but wheat thins or any other dip-able chip or cracker would probably work too!