Thursday, March 27, 2014


Avery had a Frozen party yesterday for her big 10th birthday! She wanted to be Ice-Queen Elsa, so I made her a costume.
Elsa's outfit is a little slinky for children, but I kept the skirt-slit decent, and gave the sleeves a little more coverage than Disney artists did, so I think overall it works. These cheap shiny poly fabrics are murder to sew, though.

I didn't have a pattern, just free-handed it. I traced part of a dance bodysuit to get the original size and shape for the dress bodice, but the rest was done with a piece of chalk and a dream, so to speak.

Speaking of free-handing, I took hold of my fear of drawing, and made Avery a poster of "Olaf", the snowman sidekick, using an image I printed out from a website. I sure wished I had a projector, but in the end it turned out just fine. With this project, as with so many of my university term papers, the key to success seems to be extreme time pressure - no time to fiddle around, just do it!

Birthday 'cake' was a batch of caramel fudge squares - blondies - with some icing sugar 'snow'.

Happy to share the day with friends!

Monday, March 03, 2014

For what ails ye.

My husband pointed out to me not long ago, that I always get sick in March. I thought about it and realized Heck, he is right.

So, in keeping with my annual lemon and honey ritual, I got sick last Tuesday. Just a head cold, nothing major, but it does knock the stuffing out of one. I hate that glue-mouth I have on waking.

I have a magic potion which I invented to treat my annual cold, and I'm sharing it with you now.

1 organic orange
2 organic lemons
2-4 T honey
2" organic ginger root

Scrub the citrus well with a brush. Dry on a towel, then zest finely over a small saucepan. Halve and juice the citrus into the pan, without straining. (You want all those crazy bits of solids...that's the magic part.) Peel the ginger (scrape with a spoon works well, or use a little extra ginger and just slice off with a knife. You'll lose more but it's faster.) and grate it into the pot. Throw that honey in there, and heat it to a low simmer. (Don't boil it - too much heat kills Vitamin C.) Test it for sweetness -- this is a super powerful mixture and it can be pretty potent. You might need more honey!

Drink it while hot, stirring occasionally so you don't end up with a quarter cup of pulp and zest to eat at the end. Then, have a nap and wake up feeling a little better! Repeat at least twice a day, though 3-4 is better. (The nap, too - repeat the nap.) It's surprising how many people have said to me, "Oh, you have a cold?! Take some Tylenol and then at least you can get on with your life!" I recoil visibly - when I am sick, I don't want to get on with my life. That's the point of being sick - a virus takes you down because you won't go down voluntarily, and your body has had enough of getting on with things, and wishes to be laid down on the sofa for a few days with a heavy blanket, the ringer off, and a cup of magic potion.

You can put more citrus in there if you like: I use whatever I have and often end up with a grapefruit or two as well, though for no good reason I don't use the peel from those. You can also throw some stick cinnamon in, if you like - cinnamon is wonderful for respiration.


(Probably not too good if you have diabetes, though.)