Friday, January 20, 2012

Bitter cold now. Why yes, it *is* mid January. A co worker just told me it's supposed to be down to 3F overnight. ("Single digits" as we say, overdramatizing the arbitrary measurement we're using.) (But it's supposed to warm up again to at least the low 50s next week so overall the warm dry winter trend continues.) I thought about running errands last night but a quickie to take Katy to choir practice and Lexi to the library was all I could do. Then I had to go home and put on fuzzy warm layers. Outgoingness postponed.

Featherheads. The kids in town (or at least at our elementary school) are wild about wearing a feather in their hair. Mostly girls but not exclusively. Lexi got one last weekend at a birthday party and Katy immediately had to have her own. We stumbled across some in Walgreens. She picked something small and cute. I guess I was fearing something bigger and more Cher. We've washed Lexi's hair with it in once already, it doesn't seem to have harmed it. Katy's is on a clip and that seems more practical to me. Sometimes in the wind Lexi's feather stands straight up, very funny.

We're giving Anne of Green Gables a try, reading aloud at bedtime. I know, it's a true children's classic but I've never read it before so I'm taking its measure. I am a little out of breath after Chapter 2, Anne certainly can talk the hind leg off a donkey. I like that Chapter 2 is titled Matthew Cuthbert Is Surprised. And Chapter 3 is titled Marilla Cuthbert Is Surprised. Is Marilla a variation on Maria? Hm, some random babyname website tells me it's a variation of Amaryllis.

For non-kid-related reading I have just finished Thank You, Jeeves by Wodehouse. I hadn't read it before and that was a treat. I was even able to follow all the plot swerves. Sometimes I think those are so piled on that I can't keep track of what six different characters are doing in the middle of the night in the country house. The interchangeable use of nigger and Negro to describe a visiting minstrel group was alarming. I would support a mild bowdlerization in favor of the acceptable word. I've given up on The Crown of Silence after a vision quest y thing in the middle where our protagonist met the winter king sacrificed for the life of the land and blah blah blah. I think I'll read the R.A. MacAvoy Lens of the World trilogy again to get some good fantasy in my brain. But just at the moment I am reading A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley. It jumped off the shelf at me and I can't put it down yet. It's his third Flavia de Luce mystery. I read the second after spurning the first for being too popular. But I really should get back and read that one too (The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie which sounded to me like some sort of southern American chick lit thingie which of course it isn't.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sky joy

I saw the full moon setting in the western sky this morning. It was a white ball through the window, through branches. I wished I could go drive to a good vantage point and watch it all the way to the horizon. Instead I took a shower and herded my chicks and got on with the day.

Last week I came out of my building after work and saw the tail of the great sky peacock flying east. There was a wedge shape of clouds, narrow in the northeast widening over my head. It was lace made up of small puffs of clouds against a mauve sky making up the tail pattern. The clouds were picking up color from the just-set sun.

Last Friday I took the girls and a sleepover friend to the playground after dark. The moon was nearly full and we didn't need the big clunky flashlight we took. There were clouds moving around and a moonbow that came and went. At one point there was an oval opening through which I saw the three stars of Orion's belt. Impossible dream job -- getting paid to watch the sky. Exclusively on dry days and nights of course. Lexi suggested astronomy. I like looking at the atmosphere (as well as the heavenly bodies) and astronomers are generally trying to see beyond it. And I don't care enough about the mass of Saturn.

Back to earth
Everyone is bizarrely healthy this winter. Is it because the weather is so mild? Or have the kids gotten past their most germoriffic years? The act of writing this down may cause one or more of us to start suffering a viral attack. But it's too pronounced not to be noticed. Katy did have a big ugly cold sore on her lip over xmas break. I wonder where she got that bug. I don't think I have that particular herp. I guess we'll need to be more vigilant about shared cups and chapstick. Sorry kid.

Nod and Katy went mudlarking again down on the river sandbanks. They brought back some stones (we will never run out) and a rusty bolt that they said was a railroad spike. I spent that morning at home with Lexi in my pjs and enjoyed it quite a bit.

We were running late this morning as is often the case. I left the housekey in the deadbolt and told Katy to lock up and meet us at the car. But she came down the walk with unhappy noises coming out of her, she couldn't get the key out after locking. We are approaching a time when I will be willing to leave the girls at home by themselves for small stints. I think we need to have a key/lock practice session and see how that goes.

I'm reading a fantasy novel, Storm Constantine's The Crown of Silence. It's pretty good but may be not quite as entertaining as her name all by itself. Against my intentions I started with the middle book of a trilogy. Concerned noise.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Turning up my nose

Don't make me...
Recently read recipe title: Roasted winter squash salad. It sounds absolutely unappealing.

But I have an eggplant aging in my fridge and here's an eggplant roasting technique that has my attention. Broil slices that have been oiled, salted and peppered. (#@)& the salting and draining first approach. Life is too short to do extra eggplant wrangling. If your eggplant is bitter throw it out and eat something else.

Smitten's mushroom bourguignon recipe is also beckoning to me. So I haven't lost my yen for food. I'm just finding that certain suggestions do not meet my needs.

I'm snacking on the Homesick Texan blog list this afternoon. Thank goodness for a substantial trove to pick through. I tried The Pioneer Woman's list but those blogs are mostly about food beauty shots and cuteness. But I am such a liar, here's a carne asada taco recipe that I got from one of them. The same blog has lots of recipes for cookies stuffed with other cookies. Leaving me baffled here. I require only one layer of cookie.

Ooh here's another one for my never-make-this list: Sweet potato and pecan fudge.
What a grump.

Something I'm excited about. There are things. I'm excited. And positive. Sometimes.

Black tea is high on my list of good things right now. Small sewing projects are making me happy. Mostly I've been patching the kids' clothes in creative ways. Katy has fewer things being the pioneer child in the larger sizes. Lexi has lots and lots of handmedowns while Katy is on the bleeding edge with her 7s and 8s. And she's hard on the knees of her leggings. I am looking forward to patching a knee tonight.

Should I go see Girlyman next Friday? I'm on the fence. Probably it'll sell out...

Something else bloggy to be wildly excited about: This is Kymm's site where she is "Reviewing Every Single Thing Imaginable in 2012". Yes, she has opinions and enthusiasm. You don't want to miss it.