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2007 December

Practicing

December 8, 2007

Practicing

I recently found my old 35mm camera that I bought in high school to take a photography class. It is completely manual. I loved that camera and fought the push for digital for years because of it.

Then one fateful day I dropped it on the beach. It got sand in all of it’s delicate bits. It never worked the same again. Though I tried to will it to. I kept using it in spite of the crappy photos it was taking.

There is something about the sound the shutter made when you pushed the button that is lost on digital. And the way you had to use your thumb to push the lever and advance the film. I think it probably is a lot like the sound of typing on a manual typewriter. Or the ring of a telephone that sounded like a bell, and like the phone in everyone else’s house. Or associating the smell of coconut oil to a day at the beach. All things that won’t be a part of our children’s collective memories.

Though when I take 150 photos and end up with only 5 good ones, I am really thankful that I am not paying for film and developing anymore.

Posted by Chris @ 9:39 pm | 31 Comments  

Deck the Halls with Cardboard and Construction Debris

December 7, 2007

This week we brought all of our Christmas bins filled with decorations down from the attic. We went through them all and I am just not feeling the love this year. I am not sure if it just that I am tired of the same old decorations that I use every year or if it is just this Christmas in particular.

Or if I just don’t remember where to put the decorations. I keep pulling things out of the bin and thinking, ‘Huh, where did I used to put this?’

I feel as if time is racing forward so fast that I can’t even keep up, let alone enjoy any of the moments. I still have my autumn decorations outside, including a pumpkin that has frozen, defrosted, and re-frozen so many times that it is all black and gross looking.

My dining room has no furniture in it. We took it all out when our new kitchen cabinets were delivered so they would have somewhere close by the kitchen to be stored. And while I could wrap garland and lights around all the boxes, it really isn’t the look I am going for.

I think I had a point I was going make. But helping my two youngest put on all their snow gear to go outside and play is a lot like trying to wrestle jello into a snowsuit.

Posted by Chris @ 2:51 pm | 46 Comments  

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

December 6, 2007

Looking Out

Posted by Chris @ 11:24 am | 23 Comments  

First Measurable Snowfall

December 5, 2007

cold grey snowy day

This is what it looked like outside today. And no this isn’t a black and white photo. It was so dreary and gray outside that it looked like the color had been sucked right out of the world. My serotonin levels are plummeting along with the temperatures and lack of available sunshine

I had to search the attic for all the winter boots. Why they get put away in random bins with things like Easter decorations and camping gear is beyond me. But it probably has something to do with the fact that I send my children up there to put things away because I am to lazy to walk all the way up there. I justify it by saying they need the exercise. Unlike me. Ahem.

We read some Christmas books from the library, unwrapped our daily Christmas book, fought for prime position in front of the wood burning stove, did our Advent reading by candle light, listened to Handel’s Messiah, and ate home made spice cake. I feel like we have packed an entire seasons worth of fun into a single afternoon.

Now we are huddled in the dark watching the Charlie Brown Christmas Special and giving thanks for tivo.

It is just like my childhood.

Except that I am watching it surrounded by my family on a colored television, not on a 13″ black and white, all alone while eating my tv dinner apple cobbler out of the tin foil tray.

Posted by Chris @ 8:15 pm | 32 Comments  

Bath, Anyone?

December 4, 2007

Bath, Anyone?

Posted by Chris @ 10:23 pm | 22 Comments  

Interrupting your blog reading for a small rant

Last night I tivo’d Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer for the children. After lunch today when we realized that 24 degrees is not conducive to a snowball fight because your tears freeze in your eyeballs when you get hit in the face with snow, I suggested we sit down and watch it. It is my favorite of all the Christmas specials.

Can I just say…What the Hell??? Who thought it was a good idea to remake Rudolph? Rudolph who wants a nose job and asks why Santa can’t use headlights instead? Santa’s workshop is robbed? Toy Taker? And let’s not mention the bad music.

Burl Ives must be rolling over in his grave. Assuming that he is dead or else 140 years old.

The real Rudolph is coming on tonight at 8pm. I am setting my tivo up right now.

Carry on.

Posted by Chris @ 3:35 pm | 35 Comments  

The Tree Search

The Search for the Elusive Tree

It was 15 degrees outside and therefore the perfect temperature to go searching for a Christmas tree, like the rest of the Christmas celebrating, tree chopping down, don’t care about the environment, put the tree too early, buy into the mass consumerism, unenlightened world. Oh wait, I think the last one was only directed at me. But feel free to apply it to yourself if you want.

We have been going to the same place for 12 years. They don’t have the nicest looking trees. They aren’t trimmed up to perfection. They are like the wild tree farm, if there were such a thing.

Every year the pickings get slimmer and slimmer. We wonder how much longer the little tree place will be there. They charge $70 less, yes LESS, than the other local tree places. But most people like to grab their perfect trees off of a wooden stand and have someone else drag it and tie to their roof. We, on the other hand, have to bring our own saw. And yes we do feel smugly superior about it.

tagging the tree

We tie a tag with our name printed on it in black Sharpie marker. Explain to the children that no, we can not move someone else’s tag off of their tree and put our tag on it. Yes, even if their tree is nicer than the one we picked. It is short and fat, but maybe this year we can fit the angel on the top of the tree without her leaning over like Quasimodo.

our tree

We hug the tree and say goodbye. We will come back for it next weekend.

My oldest son wants it known that he wore this hat, gloves, and had his coat zipped under duress. Really he is much to cool to do any of those things. But I forced him because 15 degrees could make your ears and fingertips fall off.

Dammit I am way too busy to be running people to the emergency room. And Lord knows, the rest of the free world is probably already there.

Posted by Chris @ 10:22 am | 38 Comments  

Wanna Know What I Did This Weekend?

December 3, 2007

For Sale

Just like everyone else in the free world.

Posted by Chris @ 2:34 pm | 24 Comments  

Caught Shopping

December 2, 2007

Caught Shopping

Posted by Chris @ 5:55 pm | 43 Comments  

Spice Cake

December 1, 2007

Spice Cake

This recipe makes 2 9″ x 13″ cakes. I baked one half and froze the batter for the other half in a ziploc freezer bag.

3 cups gluten free baking mix
1 cup rice flour
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups white sugar*
2tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
1tsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg

2 cup vanilla soy milk
4 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup veg oil
2 cups canned pumpkin (not pie mix)

EnerG egg replacer for 3 eggs whipped frothy with seltzer water
raisins

* the white sugar I added in gradually tasting until it tasted right. You might want to do the same.

Grease a 9″ x 13″ cake pan and bake for 25 minutes at 350. Toothpick inserted in center should come out clean.

I will say that the finished cake tastes so much better than the batter did. I was originally going to try and make a gingerbread cake, but realized half way through that I had no molasses. As the cake was baking I was slightly worried. But once it came out we all tried it, even my gluten, dairy, egg eating family, and we all loved it.

Posted by Chris @ 10:01 pm | 2 Comments