Friday, January 8, 2010

Flurries and Fleece!

I guess one of my New Year's resolutions should have been to become a more reliably consistent blogger! Sorry to have maintained such a long period of silence! Lots of excuses, of course, but as my kids now say, "Whatever!" Hopefully I'll be able to use some of the 'excuses' as the subjects of future posts! Just like the vast majority of the country, we here in the Chicago metropolitan area are experiencing winter weather. UNLIKE, the vast majority of the country, this is pretty much NORMAL for us in January! The snow falls are now coming more often but mercifully coming in manageable amounts. Unlike our delicate southern relatives and friends, who get calls of school closures the night before any actual bad weather arrives, the girls have been off to school every day like clockwork...except for this morning when they got a "late schedule day" in order for the work crews to get the back-to-back snow falls of yesterday and last night cleared. Then off to school it was and there they stay until the dismissal bell frees them for a weekend to frolic in the snow. An idea of how much we've received in the past 24hrs.... or maybe this is a better perspective? Even cold weather grouches, like myself, find a new snowfall not only beautiful but peaceful. You see, the new snow acts as a sound muffler which makes for a much quieter city in the winter....that is until the snow plows come scraping down your street. Most every porch around here sports some sort of snow removal devices! It's a must if you want to even get outside some days as the snow can blow and drift up against your doors during blizzards....for my southern friends and relatives that would be a hurricane that comes in winter! Can you guess how snow climbs up trees?? Dear sun belt residents, this is what the spray of that lovely marvel of modern snow removal looks like! Snow blowers are a MUST have for anyone with any kind of driveway who wants to avoid landing in the cardiac care ward of the local hospital. There is, of course, a certain 'etiquette' to be followed when aiming the exit flume of your snow blower. The sooner it's learned the better relations are with your neighbors!! Plowed streets and parking lots means SCHOOL'S OPEN! Now the slip sliding one does on the slippery film of snow left behind by a snow plow can make for a less than optimal trip to school but nonetheless SCHOOL'S OPEN! This means we have to plow our driveway so the princess delivery vehicle can make it out onto the street! Nice of them to give us a extra two hours this morning to accomplish this feat but usually we are doing this in the dark of the wee hours. Even their afternoon coach needs to be cleared off in anticipation of the dismissal bell. You'd think this cold, wet chore would motivate us to turn our nice two car wide storage building back into a garage...but the motivation doesn't come until it's to cold and snowy to actually act and by the warm weather...there's no more motivation!! The girls have started a 'snow hill' in the hopes that we get enough this winter that they can sled in our own back yard (: For now it has only been named and claimed...Mount Mahoney we claim thee in the name of the United States of please grow up fast so I don't have to chaperon anymore trips to the town's sledding hill! Wait a minute! What am I saying!!!! NO! STOP! ENOUGH ALREADY! UNCLE!!!!!!! I'll drive to the hill. I promise I will if you stop growing right now! Even though schools are open there has been a spate of cancellations of after-school activities. This has left us with some time to get to a long neglected project... Some of you may remember how I used to make blankets for an organization in Guatemala. Well what with the costs involved in shipping to Guatemala and my realization of the organization's less than honest disclosures to it's donors, I had a stash of fleece just waiting to be turned into blankets for another deserving charity! We found such an organization and a local chapter happens to be only a few suburbs away from us! So for the past few snowy nights we've been 'blanketeers' for Project Linus! Working on this with kids the age my children and nieces/nephews now are is a joy! They 'get' the need and they 'get' the technique which makes for many willing hands (: I sew the two long sides by machine to give added strength during laundering and then cut fringe on the ends which the kids knotted into a decorative edge. Grown ups helped too!! Mostly Auntie Peggy was on homework/tutoring duty during the evenings but there was a lull here and there where she got in on the blanket 'bee'. Alyssa was the "Queen Bee" and knotted more than anyone else! This also had a lot to do with the fact that she needed significantly less homework/tutoring time. She also did a lot to help me with the 'prep' phase by being another set of hands to line the two layers up evenly atop each other before I sewed the sides. So here's a shot of the "Blanketeers" with a bunch of the finished blankets. Why is Patrick in this picture, you ask? Because not only do real men eat quiche but they also tie a mean square knot!!! I told you he was a 'keeper'!!!!!! So from oldest to.... youngest, we had a blast staying inside a nice warm house making soft warm blankets for children in need! Iced stalks make for a pretty glimmer of light but I'm of the opinion that the shorter this winter is the better! After last year's marathon of cold and wet it's just gotta be better...right? Because even if Currier and Ives made icicles look romantic, they are nothing more than nature's Popsicles waiting for thirsty sledders to snap off and suck, or icy swords for the young at heart to fence with,or frozen daggers that chill the heart of a beach deprived mid-westerner!!!


  1. well we have been so lucky this year and basically have not had winter, its cold this week but last year we had all the foofs caving in on businesses so its great this year, whatever the reason I like it. Don't you love those blankets, we have a few of them, one which is the only blanket Maya will sleep with.
    Yes I am waiting for Vanessa and gang to be ready for more toys etc to start fo the their next Guatemala trip, then I will start packing some stuff up for that.

  2. I so want to come play in that snow!! One day I will be there sledding with Julia because by then Mari won't think it's cool anymore:) LOVE the blankets!!

  3. oh I love this post. the part about the icicles is great! and love those blankets. how wonderful to do a charity project with the whole family. yes, you're a blogger slacker!