Monday, December 31, 2012

When it snows, I shovel. Always.

It's all pretty!

[caption id="attachment_48" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Pretty!"][/caption]

Whenever we get snow, I have to shovel the driveway, no matter how much snow has fallen. It can be a tiny, tiny amount, and I still have to shovel. Why? Because my driveway doesn't get any sun, and any snow on there eventually turns into a horrible sheet of ice. It took me two years in this house to accept the fact that snow = shoveling. "It's not that much! Such a small amount of snow! I'll just sit in pajamas and drink coffee and stay here where it's nice and dry and warm." TREACHEROUS SHEET OF ICE. Every time.

The nice thing about this, aside from cementing my self-image as a non-procrastinating, productive person, is that I get to wear lots of things that I've bought off of Sierra Trading Post over the years (thereby justifying my longstanding love affair with STP, initially started because of my fixation on quality and value, but cemented by their fantastic selection of cheap Smartwool socks). My classic snow-shoveling outfit comes almost completely from that site.

[caption id="attachment_49" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Stylish!"][/caption]

For those who are curious:

Auclair Six X Beanie Hat: wool blend, fleece-lined. $4.85
Carhartt Thermal Lined Hoodie Sweatshirt: the best hoodie ever. $18.75
(the shirt is actually a nightgown I made, and the jeans are very old)
Double Diamond by Black Diamond Sportswear Microfleece Tights: the ugliest things I've ever worn, and also the most comfortable. $12.97
Smartwool Medium-weight hiking socks: Probably about $7. I have gotten so many pairs of socks from STP, I cannot keep them straight (but I love them all).
Not pictured: Vasque hiking boots from ages ago: $45. I've had them for about 10 years and they have held up amazingly well.

The purpose of this post was not to drive me back to STP to look at more socks, but that's probably what's going to happen.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Things that improve a cold night

[caption id="attachment_45" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Chrysanthemum tea."][/caption]

Tea/cider/hot chocolate/beverage of choice.
Space heater.
Oversized blanket.
Turning the thermostat up past 60 F.*
"Jacques and Julia: Cooking at Home" on PBS.
Good books.
Milk and cookies.
Holiday music.
Festive candles.



Saturday, December 29, 2012

Party thoughts

[caption id="attachment_42" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="This is perfectly reasonable."][/caption]

Party clean-up would be much easier if I didn't get so obsessive about it. Washing dishes: fine. Cleaning all the floors in the house: probably unnecessary, especially at 2 am.

Additional party notes:

Pouring ginger ale over drinks almost always improves them.
There are too many punch recipes and too little time.
I love fancy vintage glassware.
Donald and James do very well with crowds.
I need to figure out a vegetarian curry puff recipe.
I should probably only bake half-batches of chocolate chip cookies.
Surprisingly few people are familiar with Tim Curry's "I Do the Rock."
The nautical room isn't nearly as confusing to people as the enormous Wayne Gretzky poster in the living room.
No one likes mulled cider as much as I think they do.


Thursday, December 27, 2012


Punch bowls are fascinating. I have one. It's enormous. I found it for $2 at a vintage mart, and I couldn't be happier...although I sometimes wish I had another, smaller punch bowl.

[caption id="attachment_31" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Festive!"][/caption]

Presenting a punch recipe for a smaller punch bowl! When I make this recipe in this punch bowl, it looks sad. Like I've forgotten half of the punch somewhere else. It is a good amount of punch for a pumpkin keg. Something to think about for autumn.

1 (750 mL) bottle dry white wine
1 (750 mL) bottle sparkling apple cider or juice
8 ounces spiced rum
2 ounces triple sec

You put them together. Ta da! I suggest chilling EVERYTHING beforehand.

Another punch I haven't made yet, but have high hopes for because I think it'll look really cool in this bowl:

Gothic punch from "The Punch Bowl" by Dan Searing:

4 bottles Catawba
1 bottle Bordeaux
1/2 c + 2 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 c orange juice
1 bottle Champagne

Look at the volume of stuff in that! That's totally going to look deliberate, and not like I've accidentally spilled most of the punch in the kitchen. I'm excited.


[caption id="attachment_32" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="I don't have enough friends to justify the size of this punch bowl."][/caption]

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wednesday night is vacuuming night

[caption id="attachment_25" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Mmmm"]Might need more milk[/caption]

Earlier this evening I thought to myself, "maybe I'll just chill out and put off vacuuming until tomorrow. Watch some TV. Read a book. NOT vacuum." Then, I baked some cookies and vacuumed the house. Wednesday night is vacuuming night*. Maybe it's muscle memory. In any case, I can't fight it. I have become a tidy person through sheer force of habit.

It's pretty nice. I like it.

*From Donald's perspective, Wednesday night is "hide behind the stack of boxes in the unfinished corner of the basement until Shena comes to get me and I can come out again."

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


[caption id="attachment_10" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="With this, the nautical room achieves the next level. "]James loves this quilt[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_9" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="ham/split pea/great northern white bean/turnip soup"]I am an innovator[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_8" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="My mom made me this scarf!"]seriously, it's so heavy, you guys[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_7" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="I am going to make all of these."]he just wants to help[/caption]

I have all these things and a website. LOOK OUT, 2013.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

hello world

I wonder if we'll ever reach the point where "hello world" is known primarily as the default first post on websites.