Friday, January 27, 2012

January Miscellany

So January went where? Still looking for it. And still trying to remember what we did with it. Oh yes, we did do a few things. I think it was mostly gearing up for the great project- the great work to begin on our huge unfinished house that I haven't blogged about for a few years now because just thinking about it made me a little bit crazy. If you got our Christmas letter, you remember that we received some funds to recommence work on our house. So we have been attempting to begin, but so far it feels like we are spinning our wheels a bit. After several days of cleaning up and organizing and prepping to replace all the wire that was stolen a year or so back, we were broken into again. Thankfully, there was no new wire up yet to steal, but we have had to focus on amping up the security on the house since it is obviously being watched. This may or may not include moving our rottweiler over there, just to introduce him to the neighborhood you know. It definitely includes a fence and security system that will allow us to alert the authorities should someone attempt to break in again.
Another thing we did in order to help simplify our lives was to take James out of school. We debated a lot as to whether or not this would help minimize craziness, but so far we feel we have made the right decision. And James is loving homeschool. Since he is such a fan of filling out papers and getting all his work done right away, it leaves very little for me to do except, of course, put stars on things.

Since we've been slow to get going on the big house, and since it has been the rainiest January that I can ever remember here, I've been a little stir crazy. So I started a few projects. One of those was to attempt a rudimentary mastery of french pastry- again. Many times over the past ten years of life with my pastry-loving husband, I have tried to attain that elusive, ethereal, epitome of baking- the croissant. But after so many failed attempts, I gave it all up in despair. I mean, who can stand all that butter going to waste? But after an inspiring blog post at my new favorite food blog, Annie's Eats, and a sigh of longing from my husband, I tried again. And this time- success! Well, at least the beginnings of success. I was so excited that I made a triple batch of dough (please don't ask me how much butter was contained therein) and froze it in sheets, like the puff pastry you can buy in boxes at the store. I've been playing around with it, and this morning we enjoyed pain-au-chocolat with strawberries. Not bad for a Friday morning.

I also started (and finished) a baby quilt. I love making quilts, but starting a big one always takes over my whole house and my life. So I content myself with baby ones. My mother is an incredible seamstress and makes beautiful quilts for all her grand babies, but that means all the nephews and nieces on my side of the family are taken care of, bedding-wise. So I started making them for the nephews and nieces on Steve's side of the family. It's a nice gift to send since it is lightweight and unbreakable and sometimes needs to be sent as far away as the Indian Ocean. This one is only going as far as the north coast of France for my sister-in-law's third child- a girl.

I delight in making girly things, and I obviously don't get the chance very often.

It turned out to be sort of reversible too, since when I outlined the individual flowers on the front, they are traced on the back too. And I love how the green edging turned out.

Anyways, this kind of thing helps me whenever I get the urge to sigh for frilly dresses and flowery decor, or to repine because the only sewing I do for my boys is patching the knees of tattered jeans.

So I guess that was January. How was yours?