Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 9: In Which Much Is Happy

By Saturday, I was doing better emotionally. I gave Caleb his first real bath! And Caleb enjoyed it. I should say, he didn't cry.

Phil spent the morning putting in a dryer vent. And then, about noon, I had washer and dryer capabilities on the farm for the first time since we moved here.

Washer and dryer. Washer and dryer!

First we washed the sopping towels from the trench disaster. That was a load that took about two and a half hours, because it was filthy and gross. But normal loads, even large loads, take only 59 minutes, and they come out almost dry. The dryer takes maybe 45 minutes.

We kept them going until about 2am. I watched more than half the epic Gandhi while I folded a small mountain of clothes.

And I threw away a good many of Phil’s t-shirts. He had some shirts that looked like Swiss cheese, but had kept them because, if we only do laundry every four to six weeks, he needed every scrap of clothing.

No need to do laundry so rarely now, though, so those worn out scraps can go away.

And then, next morning, we woke up and had clean socks in our drawers!

To celebrate, Isaiah and I made two apple pies. I tried a new pie crust recipe that was superb: it rolled out easily, without breakage. My rolling pin had molded in storage and I threw it away some years back; I recently purchased a new, French style tapered version and I love it. So Isaiah ran the apple peeler-corer-slicer and rolled out all four top and bottom crusts, and I mixed together ingredients and assembled. It was a quick process. Last time I made apple pies, it took me an hour for two. With Isaiah’s help, I would guess I worked no more than ten minutes. (Of course, with the boys getting bigger, I have to share more of the pies, too, but that’s okay.)

We found a wool area rug that had been in storage. No mice damage (hooray!), but something was living in it, or peeing on it. I checked online to confirm what I suspected: baking soda sprinkled and later vacuumed will remove nasty odors. So I tried that: I used a half gallon jar of baking soda and spread handfuls on the rug: scattering it at first, then wiping all over to rub it in.

When I vacuumed it the next morning, the rug smelled like wool. What a blessing!

Due to a forecasted sleet storm (that didn’t affect us, living in the rain shadow), church was cancelled, so we curled up at home and had a peaceful day.

I taped up the various history and science magazines that have been well loved; we watched a few movies; we made muffins and shortbread with cacao nibs and generally just relaxed.

And I tried my Mom’s suggestion to use a wet washcloth to try to take up the orange clay on my jacket. That worked well. I could wear that jacket to town again now. Yay! All that frustration over something quite minor.

Today was the first day I tried homeschooling since Caleb was born. It’s felt like a busy few months. I didn’t get to everything I wished, but it was a good day. Isaiah has been bit by the baking bug, so we made a pumpkin cake today. It was supposed to have a chocolate topping, but after two cups of sugar in the cake, and four cups of powdered sugar in the filling, I could not fathom adding more sweetener. My lips pucker just thinking about it!

I found my steamer pan, to go over a pot. So I made Mongolian dumplings for dinner. The boys aren’t really sure what to make of this new, creative cook mother. The younger two really hesitate about trying new things, but Abraham, after screwing up his courage to taste the little dumplings, said, “This isn’t bad. I’d say, about as good as a hamburger, but not as good as a cheeseburger.”

Phil reassured me that any insurance issues will work themselves out. Not on my preferred schedule, but eventually. And so we breathe deeply and move on, eating pie and cake.

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