Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Sand Art

I had so much fun doing the Navajo sand painting project in the Senior College multicultural art class that I took last fall that I rashly promised to teach sand painting to three classrooms of children (about 50 altogether) in our church school during January.

So that's six bins of sand to mix with tempora paint and then stir and crush lumps as it (all-too-slowly) dries, 50 pieces of double thickness cardboard to cut, 200 L-shaped frame sides to cut from lengths of construction trim, (all to precise measurements), and lots and lots of sifting of sand through a piece of screen.

What was I thinking?!?!?!?!?!

At least I've got the glue, brushes and charcoal sticks bought, though I still need to pick up some more rubber bands so there'll be enough to hold the frames on all their works of art while the glue dries.

I just hope the youngsters enjoy making their pictures as much as my retired classmates and I enjoyed making ours!

Monday, December 25, 2006

winter sunset

winter sunset
Originally uploaded by Larry13.
Here, in honor of of today's green Christmas, is a sunset from our one (and long-gone) snowfall so far this winter.

Of course, now that I've said that, we'll probably sink into weeks of deep and bitter cold accompanied by feet upon feet of snow.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

MAC sent us a fruitcake!

MAC's fruitcake
Originally uploaded by Larry13.
Margaret makes "real" fruitcake; it's nothing like the cheap store kind. Hers is filled with spices, nuts and real dried fruits, baked a month in advance and then stored away, wrapped in brandy-soaked flannel, while the flavors meld into pure deliciousness.

This year, we were thrilled to discover a box on our doorstep which, when opened, revealed one of Margaret's famous fruitcakes! Ahhhhh.

Here's her recipe, if you'd like to try making some yourself:

6 C flour
I heap the following spices:
4 teas cinnamon
1 teas nutmeg
1 teas gr allspice
1 teas cloves
I measure generously:
4C chopped dried apricots (sulfured have a much better color)
2 c raisins
2C dried cranberries
2C chopped dates
2C pecans
2C walnuts
2C dried chopped pineapple
2C dried tart cherries
If the eggs are pullet eggs, add an extra:
8 eggs
3 ½ C brown sugar
2 C orange juice
1 ½ C melted butter
1/2C honey
Mix spices and flour. Beat eggs ‘til foamy, add sugar, honey, juice and butter. Add flour if you have room in the beater bowl. If not, put the rest of the flour in with the fruit. I often throw a jar of last year’s jam to use it up, but don’t put in blackberry---makes it a yucky color! Mix the wet ingredients in with all the fruit. Grease pans and line with waxed paper. Makes 10 cakes. Cook the smaller ones for 1 ½ hours, the larger for 2 hours at 300 degrees. Peel the cakes while they are hot. Wrap them in heavy flannel soaked in brandy. Slop on more brandy as you wrap them up in foil. Make by Thanksgiving to age ‘til Christmas. If you have any left over, they will keep a year, periodically slop with more brandy.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What American Accent Do You Have?

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The South
The Inland North
The Northeast
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Interesting results, especially as I've never even lived in any of those places it thinks I'm from. Oh, oops, except for Florida...where I really didspend my first decade or so, but I'd hardly call that "the midland", LOL.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Looking for the silver lining in these clouds

I'm looking for the silver lining in these clouds, all these clouds, all these rain-releasing clouds, all these rapidly blowing by in strong winds rain-releasing clouds. And, after some searching of dark and dusty corners, I've found it. The silver lining is that the temperature hasn't (yet) dropped below freezing (though it's heading down rapidly) so we have a blowing rain storm instead of having to deal with a full-fledged nor'easter...so far, that is...