Saturday, November 30, 2013

One of my few quiet moments....

This has been a busy week!  I have, as usual, much company here for hunting season.  There are lots of extra 2 and 4 footed people inhabiting the house right now, and this time at 5:30 am is one of the few quiet moments I will have.  Now, don't get me wrong, I do not mind this ONE BIT, but I do like to gather my thoughts for a while in the dark and the silence.

We have had a good week.  While the weather has been ridiculously cold much of the time, we of course, are properly equipped with the winter gear!  And there is blaze orange for the masses!  The hunters have harvested a few deer, we have had some really really good food, and I even got in my annual shopping trip to Eau Claire with my sweet friend, Luann.  Of course having baby Ella here for the last part of the week is awesome.  So with a baby, 2/3 of my kids, their lovely Sarahs, and 3 dogs it is a lively place to inhabit.  Well most of the time.  Last night, all the dogs, the baby and about half of us were sleeping in various places around the livingroom.  Even those of us who rarely nap were laying on the couch with the semi comfortable lap of the MA as a pillow.....  and a fuzzy little Manny as a foot tuck.

Thanksgiving is always a long day for me, which includes beginning baking about 8am and finishing everything up at about 6- that is minus the cleanup part.  We had a sort of oddish Thanksgiving meal this year.  Worthy of a Mad-Art teacher story.....

So this really is a Tale of the Chocolate Pie, and other Thanksgiving moments of uncharacteristic awkwardness.

Wednesday, I thought I had finished shopping for things for Thursday.  I had shopped earlier and I always forget things, so I waited for Wednesday when Luann and I stop at the County Market in Ladysmith on our way home from Eau Claire.  I picked up things such as a couple lemons, one more bag of fresh cranberries, a small bag of flour, etc.  So, I imagined I was all prepared for Thursday.

Thursday morning comes and I am looking to make eggs for everyone so they will get out of my house ( :) ) and I realize that the carton of eggs I thought was full only had 6 in it.  So after some thinking and negotiating, we had enough eggs (there were a few other eggs in another carton) to make the lemon meringue pie and chocolate pudding pie.  I'd just skip the pumpkin for now.  So I begin to assemble ingredients and notice that the corn starch is feeling mighty light, and so I have enough cornstarch to make the lemon- that is it.  So plan B for the chocolate.  Cut to the cupboard and I only have one pkg of pudding- sigh.  Argh.  So I begin the list for the emergency grocery store run I was trying to avoid, and of course buy eggs so all three pies are on the menu again.  Which is fine, but puts pie making back a bit.  I have all day so it's all good.  When the pies are done, they go to the back room on the chest freezer to cool and stay out of harm's way.

So things go swimmingly all the rest of the day.  As usual, I manage to goof around a bit and end up at the end having to put the turkey back in the oven after the initial carving- it seems I never get it totally done the first time, but the kids assure me that the rest of it is not dry - in fact, pretty awesome, so I guess I won't fret about the slightly undercooked bird, as it gets finished off while we are eating.  It all works out.  Regardless, as things are coming to their fabulous finish and the orchestration of getting it all on the table at it's proper hot/cold temperature, miss Ella is due to be laid down for her nap- good time, eh?  So Sarah takes her upstairs and I am starting to wrap it up, when i realize my turkey roll is not in the oven (my vegetarian part of it).  I head back to the freezer and of course, there sit the pies.  (eyeroll)  By this time I am exasperated (as I am every year) by the relative smallness of my house.  Like virtually every year, I have no place to put things and since we have a bunch of dogs around, the floor is not an option.  So, remember that every surface has gloves/bullets/orangethings/knives/socks etc. on it.  I put one pie on the desk in our room, and one on a little table, then I think I ended up putting the chocolate one precariously perched on the edge of the desk, while I got my dinner out of the chest freezer.  Off I go to finish the meal.

When things are done, everyone pitches in to get the last of everything ready. Greg carves the turkey and Sarah Jane and Jon helps get stuff on, while Sarah grace attends to Ella.  So we get everything on, using my china which I do every year (the elusive Mike always gets that down from the highest cupboard for me, part of the tradition, as he does not like to hunt) and Sarah had been downstairs for a few moments and guess who is still fussing upstairs.  So she heads up thinking that her Nuk had come out, so we sit down in the livingroom to wait for a few moments, and the time turns into 5 minutes and then 10....  So Jon says, lets just go get ready to eat, and we do.  He loads his plate, but wants to wait for Sarah, and we sort of wait, but then of course we eat.  It is strangely quiet, as we feel funny not having Sarah there and Jon is pacing in the livingroom, knowing that his wife is having a bit of difficulty with that lil girl.  So we basically eat, and most of us leave the table, but we decide that we will have dessert while she is eating when she comes down, which is what we did.  Of course we reheated everything and Sarah looked at us like we were nuts when we all went back and sat down with her.  But I think she appreciated that we were doing that.  Lol.  So, we had a laugh over that, and so we discussed which pies were to be eaten.

The lemon is the obvious winner, because that is the best when fresh and it is homemade lemon meringue after all....  But then someone wanted chocolate, too.  I go back to find everything and the lemon had found it's way back onto the freezer (no idea how I did that, but it was there) and the pumpkin was on the desk, but no sign of the chocolate.  Um.  How does one lose a pie?  So a search was begun.  There was a pile of hunting coats and shirts that are the MA's on the floor, but after a quick look, no pie was seen.  The clothing was on the floor, because the chair that held that stuff was used for the diningroom event!  However, after all other avenues were exhausted, I decided that it must be there, and yes, there upside down, on top of Fred's coat and back tag was the pie- strangely unbothered by its' odd turn of events.  His back tag had a layer of chocolate on it, yet, but just a little..  So a little smoothing (the back of a hunting jacket with a back tag is oddly clean- I know, right?) and the pie was good to go.  It sounds unsanitary as I write this but that pie was intact, like you wouldn't believe.  If it was the lemon that would have taken a header (when someone whipped those clothes onto the ground to get to the chair, and caught the pie up in it's layers) the story would have been sadder!

So now many pie jokes are occurring and Jon is glad people have something else to talk about on Thanksgiving other that the broken bowl of gravy that happened to him maybe 15 years ago.  It was a good Thanksgiving (we won't even discuss the Packer game) but we didn't even finish the dishes and cleaning up until 8:30, which is when Fred finally took apart the rest of the turkey (which is traditionally his job, because I detest doing that, even when I wasn't vegetarian- ew) and the kitchen was sort of back to normal.

WELL- here it is 12 hours later- and I had a good day again.  Sarah, Ella Brenda and I hit up a cookie walk and craft show in Winter- our annual event- and we had to skip lunch out, as Ella is, well, you know, 7 months old and had to nap.  I have a bunch of cookies and I did manage to put my Wreaths and Roping (Ropes and Wreathing!) this afternoon, as it was a bit warmer than it had been the last week.  Nice to not be working out in the 0 degree temps.

I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and weekend. I'm thrilled to say that I have one more day left.  Everyone goes home tomorrow, but I have a lot of things I have to accomplish in the afternoon.

Don't let this weekend go by without being a joy giver!  :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Quick Mad Update!

Yeah, so I have been sitting on this bit of news for over a month, and I need to get going to work, but I HAVE to say this!!!

A gratuitous sunrise picture- STRAIGHT out of the camera- no edit.  It was amazing

The Mad-Grandma is going to be adding to her grandchildren collection this coming spring!!  The second mad son and his Sarah are expecting a new little Oswald and this gramma is EXCITED, Y'ALL!!

Hands raised in a GRAMMA victory dance!!

Oh. Yeah. baby!

Stay tuned for further Gramma updates!!!

(are you sick of the word gramma yet, if so, hold on to your butts)

And there is joy in the Oswald family in excess!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ella Grace!

I was - before my ridiculous bout of influenza- down south and stayed with Jon, Sarah and Ella, and it was pointed out by at least one dedicated blog reader that there was no Ella to be seen!  So in order to remedy such problems, here are a few.

Notice the BIB?!  :)
I was thrilled to be there when she was fed her first ever solid food! It was a hoot to see, she was more than ready to eat it.

Mom and Dad have been holding out on me!

Can't someone drop SOMETHING on the floor??

And now for the second course....
I also shot a few fall family pix for the Oswalds--

We also got in some "SO BIG" action, which she clearly thinks is hilarious!!  We all giggled a bunch about it!

While it wasn't in yet, she was working on getting that first tooth through!

Dis cold fing feels gweat, Gwamma!
It was so much fun to see her and the kids.  

And only a couple weeks and we will see her again!  What a joy!

Student Art work courtesy of the Mad Art Teacher- November 2013

I had mentioned in a previous post that I would put up some really nice student art work and so here it is!  There is a variety of classes represented and a variety of assignments.  From realism to abstract  to design, there is a lot to see here.

This is my HS student's art work, I put some of my Elementary kid's work on the other blog I have.  The other blog is merely a way for me to keep track of the very irregular schedule the elementary ends up having.  Wow, I think I have seen my Thursday kids, in particular the 5th grade once or twice in the past 5 weeks.  

Anywho, there are some single shots of work and some window pictures.  I did no editing, so if some of the pix are dark or unclear, that accounts for it.  :)

close-up drawing

Close-up assignment

Skeleton drawing for drawing and painting. Initial drawings for Advanced art

Design assignment, abstract painting


Abstract 1



Initial drawing

Initial assignment


shading assignment- Intro to art

abstract2- leaf

Abstract 2

Abstract 2

Hand drawing- Intro to art
I am very proud of the progress made during this first quarter.  Even though the advanced art kids are asking for the freedom to do their own projects, they are doing super well with a bit of structure.  AND none of them would have attempted any sort of abstract work.  We are not familiar with abstract up north here, so a little exploration was well worth the discomfort they felt exploring absolutely unfamiliar territory.
Don't worry their chance is coming!  But they will have to prove that they have some deep plans for their projects.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the art work!  I am really looking forward to the 2nd quarter- they are proving to be an outstanding group of artists.  And this is giving me so much joy.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cloudy-flower portraits and other dreary day things

This is just a quick picture post- I am seriously so tired I can't even....  

I had a great time editing, but now, I'm just tired.

So you will see that there was something of a blue sky showing here- something I haven't seen much of in person.  Other than in passing- like while passing through the outside from one indoor location to another.  


However, I am having a good time this weekend being outside a bit, in spite of the clouds.

So, here are a few pix from the week, and I will be back tomorrow when I can see straight, and write, and maybe continue my quest for a little more joy!  :)