I sat this morning at my computer, put down my cup of coffee and a hastily-made slice of toast, turned on my computer, then spread These Is My Words across the keyboard. I sat like that, without looking at the monitor, until I finished the last 120 pages of the book.
On Saturday, I ordered a huge amount of yarn to make a gigantic rainbow blanket. A friend is learning a new-to-her pattern that I have already made, and I wanted to crochet along too. So I am making this gargantuan thing. More on that much later.
It has been snowing since breakfast and we could receive as much as two feet by Wednesday. Usually, I go out and shovel the porch and front walk every few hours. That makes for less work at the end. This is more of a blizzard, however, and there is a lot of blowing. The little bit that I shoveled this morning was quickly covered with a few gusts of the wind. It finds every niche and fills it until the surface of the snow is smooth and even, and you can’t really tell where anything is located… where the curb drops, where the steps were, where a path was cleared for the dog.
Rob is out of town for a few days; I don’t need to think about him driving to and from work in this weather. I have food and books and yarn. I had a very early supper of sour cream pancakes with bacon and hot coffee.
The next week will be soooo delightful. This is my favorite day of the year, a long dark day that harkens the beginning of Winter. Tonight, our little family exchanges gifts. On the 24th, we visit my grandmums, and on the 25th, we stay home to celebrate my birthday. My husband’s best friend visits on the 27th. The 30th is our 21st wedding anniversary. I hope to see lots of family and friends stopping by during that time.
I’ll see you back here after the holidays, unless I happen to pop in with just photos.
This has been the most rewarding holiday season, pre-holiday season even, that I can remember. I think that it comes down to a few things, most important of which is to not overwhelm myself. There are holiday tasks that I am behind on (getting out the cards that have packages with them, such as cowls) and things that I won’t get to do, but I decided early on that I would keep it simple. Then, whatever extra that I want to do and have time to do will be considered SUPER-FUN, EXTRA BONUS TIME!!!
Here is what is keeping me sane so far this season…
Easy meals on busy days — On a hectic day, try an easy brisket. I made this yesterday and put it in at 9:30 AM. At four, I sliced a couple of potatoes and carrots in half, and I dropped them into the slow cooker. At five, we ate and the food melted in our mouths. Today, I have plenty of leftovers. Other easy meals that I like to prepare, which are big enough to accomodate surprise guests and/or provide leftovers include chili and roast chicken.
Stretching out my baking and keeping it simple — I choose a few favorite treats to make and have enough ingredients to make each several times. Instead of doing all of my baking at once, I do it over the course of several weeks throughout the holidays. This way, I always have something fresh to serve, and I also have goodies to give away to friends and family. Right now, there are cellophane packages of peppermint bark in the fridge. I will be making that again in a few days since it is so quick and easy. I am also doing spritz cookies. I am keeping plenty of baking supplies on hand for those urges that I tend to get this time of year that simply say, “go in the kitchen and bake.” Who am I to argue?!
Quick and easy last-minute gifts — Crocheting is relaxing to me. How cool is it that I can create gifts while kicking back?! Answer: VERY. Before the busy season began, I found a few simple things to crochet that make nice gifts. A lot of people will be receiving the one-row lace cowl (link to pdf at bottom of post) and the one-skein scarf (pdf). I like that I can adjust both to suit the needs of the giftee by changing the number of stitches and/or rows, not to mention the size of the hooks.
I keep forgetting to note that, although I’ve had a Tumblr for a very long time, I am just now starting to update it regularly with things that inspire me. Think of it as my online inspiration board. You can find it HERE.
I am a wee bit scattered today (pretty obvious, eh?), so I’m going to watch my favorite home video from last winter and then finish those last stitches on Red is in the ‘hood. I will be blocking that puppy sometime today.
Tomorrow? SOLSTICE! In case I don’t make it back by then, have a merry and bright one.
Between November 15 and March 15, many of the riverway access points and trails are closed to provide a barrier for the American Bald Eagles that roost in our area. The VFW park in Prairie du Sac is one of the only spots that is always open. Like, last week when X and I stopped by to snap some shots of the amazing ice that ebbs and tides there, we couldn’t because of the TWENTY FISHERMEN UNLOADING THEIR BOATS. (Instead, here’s a different VFW park ice photo from some years back. Here’s another.)
Yesterday, the whole family jumped a snowbank and we followed our own trails near August Derleth park. We skip the (snow-covered) paved paths, and we follow those of other animals and explorers. Or, we make our own.
I brought along the dreamy Diana toy lens. We’ve been fast friends.
Here’s a handful of delicious linkage, with the first being a lovely look back at the fashion of the oh-so talented Alexander McQueen. I am sad to see that he has passed away.
Alexander McQueen — You can view most of his brilliant collections at the style.com site. RIP, talented man.
dreamandawake — Recycled, upcycled, deconstructed, and/or reconstructed clothing and a hot-damn awesome website.
Curve Art — Birds playing guitar. Just watch the video.
Maria Kallin — I thought this to be a delightful photo stream with lots of dreamy colors and delightful bokeh.
Ask Philosophers — From their site, “What is AskPhilosophers? This site puts the talents and knowledge of philosophers at the service of the general public. Send in a question that you think might be related to philosophy and we will do our best to respond to it. To date, there have been 2785 questions posted and 3596 responses.”
This last weekend we visited a close family friend and some other friends in the Wausau area. It was timed so that we could attend an ice fishing tournament on Saturday. I don’t fish, although I really enjoyed it as a child.
That stated, I absolutely adore the community and, as much as that, the literal and lovely assault of my senses by: the roar of augers, snowmobiles, and four-wheelers; the passive-aggressive cold; the blinding sun; the crunch of snow; the rush of heat when entering a shanty; and the smell of wood stoves and grills.
I’m going to share a few photos below, but if you want to see all of them please click HERE for a SUPER-HEAVY photo page as well as more details like who, what, where, why, how. (people, shacks, set-ups, catching fish) You can also see some video from the day HERE.
(An aside: Most of the photos were taken with the Dreamy Diana toy lens that I purchased from Photojojo. And, the always-necessary fishing line shot is HERE.)
Just a quick hello and happy almost-weekend before we head up north to an icefishing tournament. While I no longer fish myself, there’s nothing like a shanty town on the ice. And, oh-em-gee, I’ve been told that the wind has blown the snow off of the ice and I might need cleats to walk.
I LIVE FOR THIS.
Here are a few photos snapped with the Dreamy Diana toy lens. (That was a well-spent sixty bucks.) Have yourself a merry little weekend.
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