Sunday, December 14, 2008

Brrr

When I left the studio a few minutes ago, the gizmo that sits on the side of the building and sends readings to our satellite clock said it was -10 degrees. The snow squeeked under foot in that extra chilling way. I love 4 seasons but I don't love extreme enthusiasm for them. I prefer a more temperate 4 seasons really. What would one call the gizmo - it is a thermometer since I can't read it? It just beams some sort of ray at the clock who interprets it as a number. And it's been sort of off and on in it's beaming. I wonder if it needs a vacation too.

The wierd thing is yesterDAY we got to it and planted several hundred spring bulbs that I ordered. They were mostly small bulbs and my husband did the vast majority of the digging but the sun was shining and it was actually warm. Then just a big after we were done, the sky clouded up and the temerature started to chill down. I was feeling pretty good about things when I found another bag of bulbs that somehow had gotten left behind the mad planting frenzy. I planted daffodils, wild tulips, Dutch iris, and anemones. The narcissus got left out. Now the difficult thing will be to remember where the bulbs we planted in a big hurry are and to not dig them up again planting the next batch. There are a few bulbs that the previous owners planted that we enjoy every spring but I am thrilled to think we will have some more and different ones this spring.

Another big damn silk banner was made this weekend! We tried a different type of silk and the results were mixed. The silk did not "wick" the color so it took a lot more pigment to color it. On the other hand, the pigment was thicker so the colors were more uniform. It was harder to paint as the pigment had to be sort of pushed around. But the results were quite spectacular.

It was lovely to spend most of the weekend with good friends working on an enjoyable project. Then those wonderful people helped me to get ready for next week when my in-laws and father are coming to spend Christmas. They cleaned out the freezer and fridge and helped me move some things around in the kitchen to make room for the food. The big kitchen in the studio is a workspace and a good one 50 weeks a year. All the tools are there and things happen. Then there is the various 2 weeks when it is a kitchen when we entertain. And it is frustrating. There are tools all over the place but no place to store food. The tools that are there are too big or somehow otherwise not correct. There is no food processor or baking sheets/pans. So we have to trot down to the home kitchen and grab stuff. By the end of the weekend, most of my actual kitchen is in the studio which is fine until folks leave. Then there is a pile of stuff that needs to be moved back down the hill that took all week to collect. And the left-over food.

My friends helped me throw away food with expiration dates of up to 2004. I have a problem with tossing food, apparently. But, blessedly, it's a clean slate now. Just a few bits of stuff from the weekend that will be snacked upon. I feel so blessedly light and clean. There is empty space in the freezer and refrigerator and shelves. All the pans are clean and staged for easy use. I will bring up some of the appliance I know we will need.

My husband's nephew will be coming in a few days extra to help get ready and do some baking. I hope to make some cookies from my childhood. Most of them I don't know how to make. There was a no-bake chocolate cookie with coconut that I really used to love. And some sort of candy hash that had everything but the kitchen sink in it. And a health bread with dates and molassas.

It's been a long time since we have actually done anything seriously Christmas-y. We are usually so exhausted from the holiday shows that we just sit on the couch and play a video game. Which is a wonderful, don't get me wrong. I throughly enjoy that. But it will be good to do some actually baking and singing carols with family.

I hope there is spiral ham. I love making split pea soup with the ham bone for New Years.

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