Saturday, January 26, 2019

January Cold

It's cold here, for sure.  Another polar vortex here in the mid-west while, on the other side of the world, they are suffering from record heat.   Although by the time I'd had my coffee this morning it was a mere 8 below (F) and sunny.  Jack's kitchen pipes were frozen when I got up and I started to feel panicky about my own empty house, 25 miles away.   Time for a field trip home to check on things!  And maybe I'll turn my heat up a little.   I generally keep my house at about 60 degrees, but the colder weather makes me nervous, so I think I will turn it up to 65.     That's silly, I know, when I am not even there to enjoy the luxury, but still.
Aside from the cold, which we are lucky enough to easily avoid most of the time since we are retired and have shelter, things are good and we are grateful.

My grands continue to be a major delight in my life.   The oldest, 14, could not think of a thing he wanted to ask for as a gift for either his birthday or Christmas.   We decided to give him a 'cheese extravaganza' experience since he loves trying new cheeses.  We started by making him a cheese fondue, then (on a different day) visited a cheese shop where he was able to taste whatever took his fancy, and and choose several cheeses to take home.   A few days later I made macaroni and blue cheese for dinner, which he AND (most of) his family loved, and I have to admit, so did I.   I used a variation of Ina Garten's "Macaroni and Cheese for Grown Ups."  But what I loved just as much was that, at such a young age, my grandson knows that he doesn't need more "stuff" and was willing to say so, which will lead the way, I hope, to more experiences as gifts.   He is the quintessential STEM child, with an intense interest in mathematics and science.  And he is more fun to talk to and puzzle over questions with than almost any adult I know.
Both my grandson and my granddaughter are musician, as I've mentioned before, and this week she played a solo at the school concert, Vivaldi's Concerto in A Minor, Opus 3, number 6, 1st movement.   She knows it by heart, of course, and it was just a joy to sit and listen to her.   Tears ran down my face.
She is good at  math and science, but what she really loves is art.   When she isn't reading or playing music, she is drawing, but this year she also experimented with a variety of clay crafts, including using a wheel and making a fantasy 'coat of arms,' with one of her favorite animals, the fox, along with a stylized violin, drawing pens, and a book as her logos.  They are both such a fun mix of child and almost grown.   
We are expecting to be homebound this weekend as the temperatures drop even further.  I have not sewn anything for a long time and this might be a good weekend to get back to it, although I expect I will do more cooking than sewing.   My hubs just bought a new embroidery machine with an even bigger hoop AND a serger, which will be entirely new to me, so it is hard to do my old projects while I am waiting for the new toys to arrive!  I have nighties and a blouse cut out and ready to experiment with!  I also have a mile-long list of embroidery projects ready and waiting.   But my most pressing projects are belated Christmas gifts, cut out and stacked up at my house.  These days my regular sewing machine is at my own house, along with those overdue 'regular' projects, so until I have all those ready-to-go quilt pieces and other things with me, not much sewing is likely to get done.  Living between two houses has its challenges, and we are hoping that several lost items and lost habits will return to us once we are truly settled somewhere!

Tomorrow night I will also call an automated phone line to find out whether I will need to go in for jury duty at the regional federal court.   They didn't need me at all last week and, although I would treasure the opportunity to sit on a jury, I would be happy to be passed over until the weather is a little more mild.    
Life is good.  I have people to love, a fire in the fireplace and butterscotch pudding on the stove.   What more could anyone wish for?


Marie Louise said...

Oh, you must be so proud of your grandchildren. I find it very mature for a boy of 14 to ask for an experience instead of money which my grandson did when he turned 14 last month."Just give me money."he said. I refused because I know he is going to buy candy with it or may be saving it for another phone he does not need in my opinion. I love the fact that both your grandchildren play some kind of instrument, mine just play computergames, ha, ha. Are you musical gifted yourself?
I wonder, are you switching houses each week? The distance of 25 miles between them makes it bothersome I guess, when you want something from the other house.
Do you notice that my comments are getting longer and longer? I have a lot more to ask you but I will save that for next time.
Enjoy your new toys and keep warm.

Barbara said...

I’ve been following your weather on our local news. So terribly cold. It must be such fun watching your grandchildren grow up and become the people they were born to be. I make that same mac and cheese dish, and I love it. It makes more than we can eat, and so there are always bonus dishes in the freezer...another perk. How much fun it must be for you now to say, “My hubs...” did this or that thing.

gpc said...

Hello again, Marie Louise! Yes, for sure, my Grands make me proud. Actually, he didn't even ask for an experience, he told me that he hoped it wouldn't hurt my feelings but that he simply didn't need a thing, perhaps we could just have birthday cake together. I am the one who apparently needs to create some sort of gift out of every occasion! Neither of my Grands have phones yet, as much by their choice as by any adult influence. They see their friends with them all the time and think they would waste too much time on them if they had them. They do have iPads, which they use to shoot movies and do tutorials on coding and such.

I was considered musical as a child but not in any creative way; I won awards but only because I was technically adequate, I have no ability to improvise or create. My ex-husband was and is very musical, though, and both of my kids and the Grands have benefited from some sort of genetic connection to that, I suspect.

We are mostly living at his house; which is to say, I live like a traveling salesman, out of a bag that I pack and refresh every few days. I know it will be over soon enough, but it does sometimes feel like forever. :)


Marie Louise said...

I did not know it was possible that there are children without a phone glued to there hand, at least that is overhere the case.
You see I am so surprised by it that I felt the need to reply immediately, eventhough it is past my bedtime, it is 11 pm.
I would think juryduty is both boring and a very responsable job, but what do I know? I just know what I have seen in American movies or read in John Grisham novels. I wish you a lot of wisdom if you are chosen.

gpc said...

Marie, Louise, my Grands seem pretty mature now but from what I've seen, most of us eventually end up in similar places as time goes on. I am sure they will get interested in phones and annoy us by texting all their friends, rebel against rules, and make choices that concern us. The growing up process isn't easy on any of us, as I recall. :)

I would like the chance to be a juror . . . maybe in the summer. I reviewed jury verdicts for decades when I had my first career -- I would enjoy being on the other side for a change.