December 20th, 2002

bundled up, walkabout, snow

Cookie Party/ Holiday Concert/Sleepover

The kids are milking Super Monkey Ball 2 for all it's worth: I asked them to turn the game cube off after they were done with it.

The Holiday Concert was as crowded as usual, and very nice. This year's crop of 1-3 graders are especially good at the snap-stand gesture that is so impressive. I particularly liked "Snow Day." Critter was right, the band did sound good this year. The ninth graders sang Mele Kalikimaka, wearing grass skirts/hawaiian shirts and leis.

The older boys have been playing Dreamcube since we got home - the younger ones have been alternating between watching Dreamcube, playing Playstation, and now finally playing Dreamcube. Thus the request to turn it off, soon. Lunch was Homestyle Bakes, and after I finish this I'm clearing enough space in the kitchen to roll out individual pizza crusts (read: refrigerated biscuits), and cook up some mild sausage for the boys to make their own pizzas.

Last night's party was great. We made three different recipes of cookies: Caramel Fudge Brownies, Chocolate-Mint Cookies and Snickerdoodles. Ro cut up the gumdrops for Gumdrop cookies, which I made this afernoon. That leaves just the Christmas Cake Cookies. And Bourbon Balls, if Flar gets ambitious when he's home.

Wolf did a super job of lighting the Christmas tree, and the boys started finding places for ornaments on the tiny tree. Maybe we'll put together Tigger's tree on Sunday, and put more ornaments on it. :)

We (Knight, Ro, Critter, Tigger and I) exchanged presents wih Wolf, Sydb and Roo. Roo seems to really like package wrapping. I had springy bows on two of the packages, and she like pulling at them. She also helped Wolf tear the paper on another package. Sydb liked her present -- a ceiling fan kit, on the light-globe from which I painted Tigger, Roo and Kanga. Whew. I always feel sort of like a kindergartener when it comes to my painting skill level. Ro gave them a beautiful portrait of Roo, based on one of her early baby pictures. I got lots of nifty things, including a framed Christmas picture of Wolf, Sydb and Ro, a lighted pen, a cool picturebook, an affirmation ball and a racoon book mark.

Wolf, do you want the instructions that came with your RC car? He played with that a bit after we finished opening gifts. And saved up his kitchen calculator for showing off to fellow geeks at work today.

I think the only thing that got me any sleep was that Wolf had to be back home by midnight to be on call. Payment for working 8-5 yesterday so that he could be at the party at all. Ro stayed around long enough to make the last of the snickerdoodles, and went home with her cookies, half the leftover chicken, and a loaf of bread for a work potluck today. I hope it saved her a trip to the store so late at night.

The party was small, thank goodness, cause the house, which was clean so recently, was still mostly a wreck. What with the kids and the dogs and the new baby, I think we had quite enough to pay attention to, and I'm pleased that baking and decorating actually happened. Now that we've: opened ornaments in the dining room, opened presents in the family room, and baked cookies in the kitchen, house-cleaning is definitely a time-sink. I've decided to finish making cookies before really cleaning the kitchen. But that means making lunch and dinner in a crowded, in use kitchen.

My plan for the rest of the night is to fix dinner, bake Christmas Cake cookies, clean the kitchen, and make Flar's present. Ambitious to add in that last, but it's my last opportunity while he's out of town. This time, San Francisco. Gaucha called last night, and we had a reasonable conversation. I managed to get across that Flar was in San Francisco, that he'll be home Saturday, and that we were making cookies and decorating the "Arbre Natale."

Tomorrow we're leaving the house at 8am to go to a chess tournament in Cincy. I'm taking over a third of the participating members of the team in my mini-van. We've got 16 going, and I'm transporting 6 of them. It ought to be fun, but I don't expect to have the energy to *do* anything tomorrow night after we get home.

Better go feed the horde...
bundled up, walkabout, snow

My adventures with Shoe Repair

I believe I've mentioned I was having difficulties finding a place to fix my boots? I finally thought to call The Boot Store and they recommended someone to me. I called up, found out where he was, and yesterday, I dropped off my boots. At 3:15pm. I was startled when he told me they'd be ready by Saturday morning, but Bébé said he's be glad to pick them up for me. We had been out looking for boots for me for Christmas, but I think he's going to decide on something else, now.

Then last night, around 5 or so, the shoe repair guy called me back. My boots were ready to pick up. Early, and so he called. Wow.

I picked them up today after the Holiday Concert, and he'd even re-blacked the heels and polished the leather. Whee!

So, anyone who need shoe repair work done, call Bluegrass Shoe Repair, in Garden Springs center, at 859-278-3031. He provides fast, competent, friendly service. And bonus, the place smells of leather. :)
bundled up, walkabout, snow

Chocolate-Mint Cookies

The reason I sat down in the first place. I'm partially cleaning the kitchen, and this Ro left her recipe behind. So I'm posting it here. Note, it's interesting to follow notes written by a woman versed in the symbols of transcription. I've learned the symbol for "with" and it looks all mathematical set theory like: ⊆ if you can display that, only with the line on top.

The cookies are like taking chocolate, expanding it to cookie texture, and leaving a hint of peppermint behind. Yummy.

Chocolate-Mint Cookies

1 cup Flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbl butter, softened
3 Tbl applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp peppermind extract
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup, level with knife. Combine flour, coca and baking soda in small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Combine sugars, butter, applesauce and extracts in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed for 2 minutes. Beat in the egg white. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed until well-blended.

Bake on baking sheets lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
bundled up, walkabout, snow

Winding Down

Got most of the kitchen cleaned. Still baking cookies. No energy for starting on Flar's present. But I'll have Sunday, while he's out with his dad, so I'm reprieved. Still have the handwash and tabletop to do, then the kitchen floor.

I'll make some lists for tomorrow then crash.