Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ben, Tucked Up in Blankets

He's home sick from school today with a nasty cold.  The weather is mild - the air smells fresh and the sun is going in and out of the clouds.  My husband suggested that Ben read on the balcony to blow the germs out of his lungs.  So, with hot tea and a good book, chosen, I am sure, for his interest and not for the irony, he got himself snug on the balcony loveseat.

He's not the only who's coughing and complaining in our family just now.  I have escaped the pestilence (so far! knock on wood!).  I tell them all to force clear liquids, even in they're not thirsty, to get lots of sleep, and wash their hands before touching anything other people touch.  At night, they use humidifiers and homemade cough syrup (it's worth clicking on that link just to see 3-year-old Ben!). 

When I was growing up, Mom would have us take Vitamin C to help our immune systems.  What's the modern equivalent?  What do you give your people to boost their immunity in the season of lots of people inside sharing germs with each other?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

How I Put Up My Hair

When I posted pictures of my sea-green dress, you all zeroed in on my hair and asked how I put it up.  Some of you even went so far as to ask for a tutorial.  Listen, I am a teacher by nature and I love teaching, but online tutorials are not the same as teaching and I'm a little out of my element.

But I scheduled my annual hair cut for next week, which forced me to decide if I was going to attempt a tutorial for you or not.  I enlisted Genevieve to hold my phone as I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and put up my hair, and we went for it. You can imagine that Ben's trombone practice in the background is the soundtrack, ok?

So that this feels more like teaching to me, please tell me if you tried to follow my directions and, better yet, if you have a blog, post a photo and link in the comments.  Or, instead, tell us all how you get your hair up and off your face. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

I Made Myself a Pair of Socks

Phoebe is modeling my socks - more interesting than my modeling, I assure you.

I am really curious to wear my own knitted socks.  The people I have made socks for (my kids) love them, and I like wool socks in the winter, so will I like my own handmade socks?  It's starting to get cold enough to think of long underwear and wool socks.  I'll report back!
Balloon's from Genevieve's birthday
I got the yarn for these socks at A.C. Moore.  It's self-striping, and I love the colors.  I used Wise Hilda's Basic Ribbed Socks, although I forgot the ribbing along the top of one foot.  Oh well. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sunday Dinner: Honey-Baked Chicken and Braised Broccoli

I read about Anna's birthday feast, but my library didn't have the same Susan Herrmann Loomis cookbook she used so I settled for In a French Kitchen.  I glanced through it quickly Saturday night - the prose includes everyday details of French kitchens (fascinating!) and the recipes seem very doable.  My eye landed on Braised Broccoli and with no trouble at all, I added it to our Sunday dinner.

honey-baked chicken (More with Less)
baked potatoes
braised broccoli (In a French Kitchen)

thaw chicken

Sunday morning:
scrub potatoes, put in oven on timed bake
cut up chicken, mix sauce, put in oven on timed bake
cut up broccoli/onions/garlic and put in pan with lid

Sunday noon:
set table
cook broccoli

This was an excellent, easy Sunday dinner.  I'll be doing this one again!

Braised Broccoli
Put in wide shallow skillet with lid:
about 1 lb. broccoli, cut in bite-sized pieces, tender stems included
3 Tbsp. minced sweet onion or scallions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup water

Sprinkle over:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
fresh-ground pepper

Cover and cook on med-high for 10 minutes.  Lift lid and stir. Continue to cook without lid, stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates and contents are sizzling, hopefully even getting a little browned, maybe 5 minutes.  Serve hot or room temperature.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Portraits of a 12-Year-Old

For God created her inmost being;
God knit her together in my womb.
I praise God because she is fearfully and wonderfully made;
God's works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Her frame was not hidden from God
when God made her in the secret place,

when she was woven together in the depths of the earth.
God's eyes saw her unformed body;
All the days ordained for her were written in God's book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-16 but I changed the voice/pronouns

And that's a Bonnie Butter marble cake from Betty Crocker's cookbook that she made entirely herself and tinted the yellow part pink.  It was delicious.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

A Little Clothespin Bag for a Little Clothesline

Before we knew the walnut tree was coming down, I was throwing a sheet over my umbrella washline to protect my laundry from the falling walnuts.  Black walnut is a serious stain, so if you go to old-timey demonstrations of dyeing fabric and fibers, black walnut shells are one of the materials in the dye pot.  So you can see why I was trying to keep it off my laundry.

I suddenly realized that I could put up a washline on my balcony, a way to keep the laundry out in the air and the electric dryer turned off.  I bought a retractable clothesline ($14.99 at a Mennonite store), and my husband put it up for me with accompanying hooks so the line could zig-zag back and forth in a small space. 

I had the pleasure of making up a little clothespin bag hung from a child's hanger to go with it.  Oh, it was fun!  The calico is some sweet 70s stuff lined with a scrap left from an apron I'm making for the museum shop. 

And it was nice take a break from that big order from the museum shop for this little bag that was immediately filled with clothespins and trotted up to the balcony.  Because laundry for 5 people, one of whom is clinging to her cloth diapers, is a big job that must be beaten down every day.


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