Monday, February 11, 2013

Mid-winter Pursuits

Birdy
Blowing bubbles in the snow. (Have you heard about the snow here? Two feet! The children have grown hunchbacks and long beards since they last went to school.)


And teaching herself to play the guitar, which she is doing beautifully. Ben, meanwhile, is learning the ukulele. This ukulele, in fact, which he bought with his birthday money. If I had a single musical cell in my body, we could have quite the family string band!



Ben
All stop-motion animation all the time. His latest movie is here, and it features his own original ukelele soundtrack! (Don't believe his generous credits; this is really all him now, although, yes, I did wrap that teeny-tiny package, and Birdy did draw the ad.) The rest are all here. You can even subscribe, if you like, which will thrill him no end.

Craney
Watching the snow from the nest of Ben's bed. And also sleeping.

This particular cat posture is called "Bunny Feet."
Me
Blanket-making (Tutorial coming soon! I actually took pictures this time!)


Reading.


My friend Amity's brand-new book, which is harrowing and unforgettable (and--yay!--getting rave reviews all over the place). It's a little like Room, which I also loved, in that it's a story about parenting under duress and you're not sure how you feel about anything. I couldn't put it down.

Eating.
You can't see the jalapenos, but I swear they are in there.
Jalapeno-Cream-Cheese Scrambled Eggs. A new eggy favorite, although the Vinegar Egg is still my truest love. To make this new-comer, beat an egg in a cup with a nice pinch of salt and a teaspoon of cold water. Heat a generous half tablespoon of butter in a small pan over medium-low heat. When it's hot, add the egg to the pan with a tablespoon of cream cheese and a tablespoon of chopped pickled jalapenos (I blot them dry first on a paper towel). Scramble until done to your liking. (Easily doubled.) Yum.

Also nagging everybody about snowy boots and Lego everywhere and, most romantically, Valentines, and why haven't you done them yet? [No photo.]

Michael
Shoveling. And shoveling.
(Thank you, sweetheart! Kiss kiss kiss.)

What are you guys doing? Is it snowy there?

xo

45 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosh sorry! Here is my comment! Lovely photos with lovely tale of your weekend and the beginning of your week. No snow here. We went to the farmer's market on saturday in an attempt to make something out of the winter here.
      http://pomegranateandseeds.blogspot.com/2013/02/farmers-market-bungles.html
      As for a snowy snowy winter, me and the boys miss it so. It has been a year and half since we moved to a sunnier climate. Still not quite used to it. Hope you have a lovely start to your week. xxoo

      Delete
    2. Oh, you know I hear that, Rebecca!

      Delete
  2. Anonymous3:21 PM

    So.much.snow (in Nova Scotia)! But we're doing Valentines and nagging and making cool (by 4-year-old standards) things out of Jenga blocks and reading Unbored and making comfort food (homemade chicken and biscuits) and neighbors have shovelled us out twice since my usual lovely shoveller (and fire-builder) is at his out-province-job for two more weeks.

    Stay cozy! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh! Nova Scotia! I can only imagine. Good luck with the shoveling! xo

      Delete
  3. Francine3:30 PM

    Snow, yes, but not enough to miss school, at the children's great disappointment.
    Me, knitting a gigantic plastic bag that won't be finished but also reused wool for nice bracelets. Listening to one child playing violin sarabands, which makes me cry, and the Popcorn tune (remember?) which makes me laugh, and the other trying his first notes on the guitar (here too!) which makes me stop in wonder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. how do you knit a plastic bag, francine? tell me!

      Delete
  4. Some snow - great for fort-building and giant-snow-man making, very wet and packable. Also - me knitting headgear (elf hats, headbands) and trying to decide WHICH of the wondeful, knittable projects to make for my good friend and office-neighbor's new baby. AND - eating mini-omelets with cheese and chives (much like your scrambled eggs, but made in a tiny frypan and folded over). AND - trying to figure out some neat melodies that my daughter can play on the flute with the octave she has learned so far (and hearing many lovely complex melodies as I listen to the Italian Traditional channel on Pandora that would be SO LOVELY on the flute).

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ben you are one clever little man. Loved the Sequel. You are a whiz at this stop motion business. Do you have a little show called Plonsters on where you live. Maybe you can see it online? My kids (6 and 8 so a little littler than you guys) love it. Your little Poop Flies movie reminds me a little of Plonsters.
    Keep up the great work look fwd to seeing more (PS love the uke soundtrack also)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plonsters! We will look for it. . .

      Delete
  6. Betsy Martel4:55 PM

    I have been waiting for your next post so that I can share that during the blizzard (we got 25 inches!) I read The Snow Child. It was the perfect thing to read while snowed in for three days. I adored the book. I have been a one woman advertising department trying to get someone else to read it! I have so many thoughts on it that I am dying to share with someone. We were lucky enough to get out for a family snow shoe adventure on Sunday. Five kids, three adults ~ It was not peaceful, but it was fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, wasn't it just heavenly? I know.

      Delete
  7. Birdy's lovely hands remind me of my own daughter's, with barley there delicious little dimples. So precious!

    ReplyDelete
  8. No snow here, but we did get some hail last week (that's a Big Deal in Southern CA). The flipside of the no-snow-weather is that weeding is very much a year-round occupation. And so I've been weeding. It goes like this: Pull two weeds. Pry pebble out of baby's mouth. Comfort protesting baby. Pull a weed. Jump out of the way as my older son whizzes by on his bike. Pull another weed. Remove dirt from baby's mouth. Repeat ad nauseam.
    But I've also been making Goat Cheese Deliciousness (aka this: http://benandbirdy.blogspot.com/2012/07/herbed-goat-cheese-car-trips.html) and wowing guests and potluck partners alike.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wonderful stuff to share. I'm loving Ben's animation, especially the ukelele soundtrack! My daughter went through her own animation phase, but sadly hasn't made anything in several years. She loved Poop's story. Maybe it'll give her some inspiration to get back to it.

    I'm definitely looking forward to more of Ben's work.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jennifer11:39 PM

    Oh my goodness! Ben's stop motion videos are fantastic!
    Also, I am so excited about the upcoming blanket tutorial! So many exclamation points!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous12:07 AM

    I'm in Connecticut and we had 36 inches. Perhaps that is why we had three lovely days of being snowed in, but this fourth day was more trying. One foot per good day. We had many different drinks (Black Magic Shooter anyone? Alabama Fizz?), cooked lots of different things (rosemary crackers, no knead bread), had our first round of Crack Broccoli (a huge hit!), played lots of games, shoveled endlessly, built a fort, watched movies, played with the Calico Critters, tried to discover when the plow was coming, etc. There is still no school tomorrow but at least I am going to get to go to work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds more fun than trying! : )

      Delete
  12. Nope, no snow here in Northern California...

    Ben's stop actions are great! What video editing tool is he using? I have a 9 year old who would love to give this a try...

    Thanks!
    mb

    p.s. those eggs look delicious -- guess what's for breakfast tomorrow?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mb, he's talking regular stills on a digital camera (on a tripod) and then uploading them to imovie on the mac. but i think there are apps that do something similar. . .

      Delete
  13. OMG, DYING over Ben's awesome movie. How anyone has the patience to do stop-motion animation is beyond me. I am in awe. Loved it. Hilarious. Loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Is Craney a Maine Coon cat, do you know? Gorgeous creature.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ami, thank you. He's actually a Siberian.

      Delete
  15. TracyP10:33 AM

    Haven't looked at Ben's videos yet, but just wanted to chime in with yes, snow (in SE Ontario), yes, some half days missed from school - not whole ones, which disappoints the children, and yes, guitar (and piano). Carnitas adobo consumed - it's in my lunch today! Yum. Isn't winter delicious?

    But, the shoveling. Same amount of snow as you, but from a different system. Fun times.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Have you read "The Light Between Oceans?" Talk about "a story about parenting under duress and you're not sure how you feel about anything." Except you're sure you can't put it down. Great read. Can't wait for the blanket tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay! I just got it from the library today. Thanks for the rec!

      Delete
  17. well fed chickens, those eggs are so yellow and yummy looking!

    ReplyDelete
  18. hannah3:02 PM

    I love the video, especially the carefully-laid wood floor! Are those Jenga blocks? Genius! Keep it up, Ben! The uke sounds great, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, hannah! good eye! those are jenga blocks.

      Delete
  19. It's really the whistling in states a-poppin' that kills me. Maybe the fact that I watched it TWICE and laughed SO HARD means I should go home? Ben rocks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that's the part that makes me laugh too. xo

      Delete
  20. For Ben-

    My 7 year old son is working on a stop action video for a school project. He has no experience, but a dad that is willing to help. Any advice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. Ben is using a regular digital camera, on a tripod, with the imovie program that came installed on our mac as part of the ilife package. but i think there are similar apps you can use? i am not sure!

      Delete
  21. Erin K.5:23 PM

    Los Angeles is a FREEZING 66 - everyone telling of the horrors of finding frost on windshields this morning and hunkering down in UGG boots and hoodies - fully zipped! Heads are shaking in disbelief that it is STILL COLD! It is almost Valentine's Day for Christ's sake! --- and I am only half kidding, this is actually a pretty accurate description of our thin blooded reaction to the chill.

    I am also nagging about making the valentines...that is a bi-coastal phenomenon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you poor, freezing things!

      Delete
  22. Danabee6:06 PM

    I live in Petaluma, CA. It is almost 70 today and supposed to hit 75 tomorrow. I am a winter person and would really like more rain and cold and dark, please! This weather is fairly typical for our area though. We will probably have some more winter after all the growing things have been tricked into thinking it's spring.
    Can't wait for the blanket tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Please, please, please keep giving us book recommendations! I have read The Orchardist and Snow Child and LOVED them both. I'm on to Room, and maybe Schroder, too! Love your taste in books...keep 'em coming! (and maybe WRITE some more, too!!)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Kayla1:25 PM

    Up here in Saskatchewan, we've had snow on the ground for 4 months - but it keeps accumulating and it's feeling a bit like the Long Winter - digging paths if not exactly tunnels out to the chicken house. Loving carnitas these days - actually cooked two roasts on Monday and so haven't really cooked anything else all week. Thanks for the Unbored book rec, the kids are getting into stopmotion animation too.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Jenny3:38 PM

    We just finished Mardi Gras here in New Orleans, and the weather was pretty good until the last couple of days. 50s at night & 60s during the day. I am trying to read the books that Catherine suggests; I've read the Snow Child, Good to a fault & have just started The Grief of others. They've all been excellent - only I'm having to read them in private as they've all made me cry!

    ReplyDelete