Archive for December, 2007

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Merry Christmas!

December 26, 2007

Our wee one’s favorite gift…

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Thanks, Aunt Jodi! 😀

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Tea Cookies

December 21, 2007

My church throws a Ladies Tea at Christmas every year. I joined the Tea Committee four years ago – hoping I could use my baking skills. Lo and behold, they needed me! Every year we do a platter of cookies – each carefully chosen for flavor and presentation. Every woman gets one of each cookie/sandwich.

For five years now, I’ve had the job of making the cutout cookies and decorating them – all 400 of them. This year was an advent theme so we made wreath cookies. I say we because this year – I feared I may not have time to do the cookies – so my idol, Rhoda, baked the wreath cookies for me and I decorated them.

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We couldn’t find an acceptable wreath cookie cutter – so we used a Linzer cookie cutter with the circle in the middle. Looks wreathish no?

After icing about 50 by hand with a royal icing tinted green, my husband asked if it wouldn’t be easier to just dip them. Dip them? Wow. So my second batch of icing I made a little thinner and dipped them as you would a doughnut – with one finger inside the circle and one outside – I gently removed excess icing by sliding the cookie just above the container edge before turning it over on the tray. DH saved me HOURS of icing – and they turned out perfectly.

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While the green icing was still wet (I’d dip 6 in a row) I added four white dots of icing around the wreath. Then, working left to right I ran a toothpick around the circle leaving hearts in their wake.

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The bows were a different story. They gave me fits. I dreamed of using a leaf tip and getting a nice big puffy bow of red icing. That did NOT happen. After trying about 20 different tips and consistencies of icing, I gave up and went with my tried and true shoestring type bow with a silver dragee in the center. We jazzed them up with some pearl Luster Dust and a very soft fluffy paint brush. You can see a bit of blurred shimmer in the above pic.

Hope these inspire you to make something beautiful!!!

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Happy Birthday!

December 17, 2007

Bruce, if you’re still lurking around these parts, happy birthday! Last Saturday we were reminiscing about your 40th birthday party…hard to believe that was [how many?] years ago, and that little baby niece you swore was anamotronic is now a first-grader. Time flies, huh?

Hope you’re having a fabulous day!

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the kndness of strangers

December 9, 2007

So last night I went to a Christmas party. We’ve gone to this particular party for 14 years running, at least I have; sometimes my husband stays home. So I alone will be eligible for some kind of special prize at year 20, they tell me.

Anyway, I stayed too late. Traditionally the party doesn’t run late but there was a game of 80s Trivial Pursuit going on, with a handful of people that I hadn’t seen in years, and the next thing I knew it was midnight. Those of us who had stayed late were treated with a magnificent ice storm in which to drive home.  Drag.

I took my normal route which is a relatively straight shot, only to be greeted by a bevy of police cars attending to a four-car accident. Right before the bridge over the river, which meant that traffic was being re-routed in either direction. So I had to drive down to the next town, basically, to get across the river and continue home. I was slightly irritated but grateful that I wasn’t in one of those four cars.

I turned on to the main stretch of road that would (eventually) take me home and saw that ahead there was a train at the Crossing From Hell, which is one of the reasons I don’t take that road normally. It’s not uncommon to be stuck at this particular crossing for 10-15 minutes while multiple freight trains inch through. During an ice storm? I was wishing I’d brought my knitting bag.

So I pulled up, threw the car in park, and rolled my window down so I could try and chip off the layer of ice on my side-view mirror. My scraper was too big, though, so it was a pathetic attempt. I closed the window and was considering getting out and scraping off my winshield again, when I saw a man approaching my car waving a wee bitty scraper.

At 12:45 a.m., in the middle of an ice storm, this guy jumped out of his warm car and came over to scrape off my mirror. How flippin’ sweet is that?

I rolled down the window and chatted with him while he chipped away, thanked him and wished him a safe trip home.  And while I battled ice on my winshield the rest of my drive, my mirror stayed clear and I thought to myself, thank God this man wasn’t afraid that I would flip out having a stranger approach my car in the dark of night. He just saw a situation where he could help, a small gesture of kindness, and he did it.

Warms the heart, eh?

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The Van Diaries: Part One

December 4, 2007

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As regular readers are aware, I was recently selected to receive a 2008 Dodge Caravan (with every bell and whistle known to man) to drive for one week as part of a word-of-mouth marketing program. Lucky me! No strings! All I have to do is yap about it! Which isn’t hard because it was amazing. I think my kids will be hopped up for the next month just thinking about it. There’ll be a crazy cute youtube video at the end of these posts, too, so stay tuned. 😉

Day One

The van was delivered in the early afternoon… Read the rest of this entry ?

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this may be a bit controversial

December 4, 2007

..but I PUFFY HEART James Lileks:

At a recent event a party guest was handing out a 6th grade class assignment her kid brought home: a survey on global warming attitudes. The first question gauged our concern over global warming; I marked “not very concerned,” which drew a wide stare from someone looking over my shoulder. It’s like you’re one of those people they sang about in “Hair”! People who don’t care about war, or social injustice! Somehow “not very concerned” means you’re a global warming denialist, and you would, if you had time and money, drive to the Arctic in a Hummer and push polar bears into the drink. With the windows down. And the heat on. No, it just means that I am not very concerned. I think energy conservation and alternate sources of power are good ideas in their own right, and must be pursued; I just don’t think lower Manhattan will be awash in 2050 unless we cut carbon emissions to a level previously associated with the 15th century, and I’m not going to live in a state of guilty panic over my carbon footprint. If others want to walk around wearing sandy underpants, fretting over what they cannot avoid doing and scolding others for buying produce shipped from Brazil instead of buying local, they’re welcome to it. Everyone needs a purpose in life.

Word. Also? Hee.

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making tortillas

December 2, 2007

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Very long-winded post about tortilla making following the jump. Don’t say I didn’t warn you… Read the rest of this entry ?