Thursday, December 9, 2010

December days

 Twelve days till winter solstice. I'm feeling the effects of the dark and the cold. I'm mostly just going stir crazy in our small house with the kids. It has been too cold to get them out to play. It is essential to either have a play date or get to town to do something every couple days. One of the advantages to heading into town is seeing the sun and the mountains on clear days. The frosty trees, plumes of smoke and the pastel pink horizon are all impressive in their simple beauty. Our sun is coming up after ten and setting by three p.m. Our daylight hours are pretty dim as the sun stays low on the horizon. The temperatures here have stuck pretty close to zero over the last couple weeks, ranging down to ten below on the coldest days. Temperatures in town have been ten to twenty degrees colder.

Last weekend there were all kinds of fun Holiday events going on around town; a Gingerbread House competition, the Nutcracker ballet, a tree lighting ceremony. We had grandiose plans for getting out on some family outings, but Avery came down with a gnarly cold. Noah also got it, but wasn't nearly as miserable. So I spent a good portion of the last week, caring for sick kids and trying my hardest not to get sick myself, which is challenging as it is impossible not to get sneezed and slobbered on.

We have yet to get a real Christmas tree in this house, and will wait at least next winter when our addition is finished. We enjoyed helping decorate my folks Christmas tree. Below is our tree. D drew it on some wrapping paper and the kids had a good time decorating it - doesn't take much to please our kids - yet.

You may have noticed I haven't done much writing lately. I haven't been spending much time on the computer at all, or with my face in a book. Instead I knitted a cute little hat for Avery (left), and have been working on a delicate scarf (right) as a gift for our farm helper who has become part of the family and one of my closest friends. She has been on vacation and I've been thinking about her a bunch and wanted to make her something special to show our love and appreciation for all her hard work. These are my first knitting projects since I was expecting Avery, and had only just taught myself then and made a couple little things like baby socks that never fit and mittens that never stayed on. So, I am proud that the hat fits perfect and the scarf is looking more or less like the pattern.

We are in hibernation mode. The kids are going to bed early and sleeping in late. I've been making lots of comfort food. I made soup four days in a row and the kids were rebelling against anything soup like, despite how different they all were. So, then I made quiche for lazy mornings. We finished up the turkey with a dish that has turkey, gravy and veggies with cheesy biscuits on top. Last night I made lasagne. I put our own bacon and ground pork in the meat ragu, and made homemade noodles for the first time ever. I'm looking forward to making some more complex noodles, maybe some squash sage raviolis or some hand shaped tortellini.
This weekend we are having friends over for a big Indian meal. One of our guests is a strict vegan, so a lot of our own food is out, no eggs, goat cheese, goat milk, meat... I am going to make most of the meal vegan including no butter in the poori or samosa dough, but have decided to make tandoori grilled chicken,after all, I think the other four meat eating guests would enjoy some heartier fare.

How do you make the most of the shortest, darkest days of winter?


Buttons said...

Good Morning Emily it is almost 8 am here in Ontario Canada and it is very light out. Your short days of sunlight would be very hard for me.Being inside that long with the kids would be a challenge but you seem to do it well. I love your stories and your pics you have a real talent. I am impressed by your knitting skills. I maybe will teach myself to knit.I love your cooking adventures. Do keep your beautiful blogs coming. I so enjoy them. Grace

donna said...

You seem to be making the most of your daylight hours. I think I would just cuddle up inside the house next to the fire until summer came. I do not like super cold temperatures. We have had enough cold here to suit me. Highs in the teens, lows single digits with wind chills below zero. Enjoy your day and God bless.

Anonymous said...

Stay warm, Emily. I'll call and we can visit during the holidays when all the semester's work is done here!

Horses are furry and well. Fire is going in the stove.

I enjoy reading your posts on the kids, food, and all your critters.

Emily said...

Cindy, looking forward to hearing from you when classes are over. I told Mike you guys can stop over for eggs. Take care, Emily