The space between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is always kind of weird. Time feels suspended, somehow.  And because the kids have already had a full break’s worth of days off b/c of the snow, it feels…like too much.  They’re going to NJ tonight to see Oliver with the grandparents tomorrow, so at least that gives them something to do and gives me a break from the constant noise and interaction with People.

We went to Delaware for Christmas, as we do.  We arrived to great piles of snow on Thursday and drove out Saturday, heading for higher ground as the whole Delmarva peninsula began to sink like Atlantis.  The rain melted the snow very quickly and Delaware is mostly below sea level anyway.  The roads were like a path through a lake.  Good luck with those basements, folks!  We live on a mountain.  Suckers.

Anyway, it was a nice enough Christmas and I managed to take 3 whole photographs.  The digital screen on my camera is broken, so I’ll blame that.

Dean, Madison, Lily, Ben, Miranda. Or the other way for the twins. I don't know and neither do you.

Julianna and Steve

Ben and Dean in their matching jackets. Ben is, of course, holy and has a halo.

I also got the obligatory 20 seconds of video made while trying to take a still photo with the camera on the wrong setting.  As soon as I figure it out, I’ll post that.  Because what’s more engaging than accidental, poorly lit video?

We’d given the kids RockBand and Beatles RockBand for Hanukkah, so xmas was pretty low-key.  They got their gifts from family, about which they were happy, and from us they each got a stocking  and then the family gifts.  This year, those were the games “In a Pickle” and one of those “Find it!” tubes–looks like it’s full of sprinkles and industrial detritus?  Comes with a list of what to find?  Only THE LIST IS A LIE!  I have searched for the last 5 items until my eyeballs hang on my cheeks, dangling from their twitchy optic nerves.  It’s a cruel practical joke.  I respect the craft, but I will kill any of the designers that I encounter.  I will hit them over the head with the tube until it finally breaks open, showering down plastic sprinkles and random junk.  BUT NOT A WASHER, NAIL, WINGNUT, SCREW, AND PENNY.  Because they are not in there.  And that is what you get for lying–a book called “The Secret Files of Grown-ups,” and a set of Looney Tunes DVDs.   The children are delighted by the violence.  “He shot him in the FACE!”  I imagine Dick Cheney was reared on Looney Tunes.

In his stocking, I gave Ben some felt and a needle felting base.  He’s been learning how to needle felt at school, and they’d mostly been combining cut-outs from flat sheets.  He decided to make a bird out of wool roving (just loose wool) and I happened to still have my huge bag of naturally dyed wool from Hippie Camp in the trunk of the car.  So he set off to make a Baltimore Oriole and really kept at it.  Check it out, he did this all himself:

He still wants to add a bead eye.  Now he’s working on a female, but wants to make her much smaller. (and in case you’re wondering?  The orange is the alum mordanted wool that was briefly tossed into the cochineal dye bath, but then put into goldenrod.  The black is wool from a black sheep, mordanted with iron and dyed with black walnut. Now you know)

So the kids go to NJ tonight, I have a couple of meetings, and then fondue fest 2009-2010 on Thursday night.  No gluten in cheese.

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