Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Snow at Last

Here's what we saw out the windows yesterday!

Alas it was only a passing snow storm and today the sun is shining again and melting the snow away. Still it was very beautiful while it lasted. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Saturday Activities

Friday morning my parents flew down to LA for a family reunion and returned late last night. So us four kids had a fun day of rest. (My brother took this quite seriously and napped for a good portion of the day.)

We girls spent the day trying new foods, (homemade by Elizabeth,) watching some of our favorite old TV shows, playing Epic Mickey II (one of our new favorite video games), and making crafts.

 I started working on a hooded capelet. The yarn is really soft! It's also much bigger and chunkier than I'm used to so it's been a little more difficult to knit than other yarns I've worked with, but I like an occasional challenge, and sometimes I crave trying and learning new things. Like learning to knit around in such a way that it makes a tube, as shown above.

I also used stitch markers for the first time.

That blue object is a stitch marker. It helps me keep track of where I began the row. 
Elizabeth also got an itch to craft, so she decorated these candle holders with glitter glue and craft jewels.

She also made this vase.
 I think they turned out great. Did you notice all the "hidden" Mickeys? They're ready just in time for the arrival of my Disney-Loving aunt this Thursday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Adventuresome Food

Our family loves food. All kinds of food: Mexican and Italian are two favorites; French food is always delicious, n'est pas? And we've recently discovered how much we like Japanese food.

We do more than just eat food, we experiment with it. My Mom calls her kitchen her laboratory, and she is always reminding me that cooking is science and chemistry you can eat. For Lent she's decided to give up cooking with white sugar, so lately we've all been eager guinea pigs to her experiments in making deserts without any white sugar, using coconut crystals instead. She's even making her own chocolate with those coconut crystals instead of sugar, and a darker chocolate I have never tasted! It could scare the milk out of milk chocolate! We all like dark chocolate much better than milk (plus dark is healthier), but my Dad and I share a slight allergy to dark chocolate too. It makes us sneeze! It's become a family joke that we can always tell when chocolate is really good and dark by how hard Dad and I sneeze! However it does not stop either of us from eating whatever chocolatey delicacy comes out of "The Dark Forest," as my Mom calls her kitchen now.   

But Mom's not the only one adventuresome with food. When Elizabeth first tasted sushi she fell in love with it, and one of her New Year's resolutions was to learn to make this fresh, exotic food. It turned out to be surprisingly easy, and though what she makes is humbler in flavors than what we get at the local Japanese restaurant it is simply delicious. Plus we eat it in the comfortable environment of our own dining room and can come to a sushi dinner in pajamas if we want to.

Yesterday we celebrated Mardi Gras with good Southern cooking: dirty rice, steamed vegetables, and the sweetest of oven fried sweet potatoes. The South sure knows how to celebrate Fat Tuesday!

For desert Elizabeth did another culinary experiment: Princess Tiana's famous, "man catchin'" beignets. Dusted with powdered sugar they were the bees knees. (Where did that silly term originate?) Beignets are described as being like donuts but I actually thought they tasted more like pancakes than donuts. They're not very sweet, rather bread-like.

 I love good food but I'm actually not much of a cook. Hence I'm very grateful to be in a family with others who take more pleasure than I in the science and art of cooking. 

For dinner tonight, Mom's three-cheese lasagne. (Want to know the secret ingredient? Homemade goat cheese from local, raw goat's milk. Yes, my Mom even makes her own cheese!)  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Extra! Extra!

Through my growing up years I enjoyed all kinds of games of pretend: playing house, making believe I owned a restaurant, and even being a librarian. (There has never been a shortage of books to check out to dolls and stuffed animals in my lifetime!)

At one time I made newspapers in my spare time. I wrote down all the household news on big pieces of binder paper, drew illustrations or printed out black and white pictures with my Dad's help, and taped it all together. Then I took my one newspaper (my make believe printing press was really not of much use in the business,) and proudly showed it to everyone, asking if they'd seen the latest news.

Well that childhood pastime, like so many others, is no longer practiced, but it has not completely gone away. Just as playing house has grown into assisting my Mom in keeping the house, writing my household newspapers has turned into blogging.

When I started blogging I was reminded of those newspapers I took so much pleasure in creating. I can write just about whatever I want for it and put up pictures of any theme and style to illustrate my story, just like a newspaper, or I guess in this case it's more of a magazine column. The things you can do with it are endless! 

The most beloved things of childhood are things to be held onto forever. I for one have loved reading and writing since a very young age and plan to be doing both when I am a little old lady sitting in an armchair in a cozy cottage with a quiet cat at my feet.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Open Windows

I appreciate the mild winters here in our little town. I like having all four seasons, but I prefer a warmer climate to a cold one; spring and summer to fall and winter.   

Today felt warm as spring. I even opened my window this afternoon to air out my room. So sweet and fresh does it smell.

If tomorrow is as warm as today I may even wear one of my summery Hawaiian dresses! (I do so love summer clothes.) I wonder if the Groundhog will see his shadow.