Saturday, January 17, 2009

I've Got Sunshine....

...On A Foggy Day!

The sun is shining! Oh it is so good to see it finally, has been a long time, believe me. You can't help but feel a bit better when you see sunshine, even if there is still snow everywhere. The dogs have been bugging me to go outside all morning.

Mom! It sunny Mom. we go out mom?
come on mom, outside?
mom, mom, mom, mom
pleeze mom?

I take them out into the small pen, off the dog room at the back of the house, to let them get used to it gradually and control their access. And I nearly get knocked down in their rush through the patio door. Good Grief! Yes, I know it has been a while since they have been out, but gee, patience guys!

I was concerned about them wading through snow up to their furry little armpits. Silly me. The snow has a very hard crust on top of it which supports their weight as they walk, er, that is, RUN, around on it. Boy are they a happy bunch. I stand on the step - the very icy step - and don't move. Everyone else runs around leaving pee-mail everywhere for all the creatures interested in learning about how the Bichons have fared over this last 6 weeks of nasty weather. It doesn't take long though for the cold to seep into their paws and for them to ask to go back in the house.

Soon they are curled up by the fire in the kitchen, warming their toes and other, er, ah, extremities, exhausted after the excitement of the outdoors. I, too, am in the warm kitchen, trying to decide what to do with myself. The TV is tuned to CNN to get the reports on the run-up to the inauguration. I still haven't found my motivation and ambition so will have to force myself to do something. I think I hear Cranberry scones calling to me. Will let you know.

The Cranberry Scones are made and baked and PERFECT! Oh yum, are they good, just what I needed. Light, buttery and flavorful. I make the same recipe most of the time, one I adapted many, many years ago from a tiny Robin Hood Flour Cookbook. When my kids were very young - and bear in mind my daughter Gina turns 36 tomorrow - I found a coupon on the side of a bag of Robin Hood Flour to order a cookbook from the company for 25 or 50 cents, I can't remember exactly, plus postage. It had maybe 30 to 40 pages of recipes, for pancakes, waffles, scones, quickbreads etc. I LOVED that book, used it constantly, literally wore it out. It is tattered, badly ingredient-stained, pages disintegrating and illegible...yes, I still have it. Wish I had a good copy of it, so I could put all the recipes on computer, sigh. Anyway, it is the best scone recipe ever, and if you have the cookbook, let me know, I would love a photocopy of it.

The dogs gather round when I remove the Cranberry Scones from the oven, muzzles tossed back, sniffing the delicious aroma. They pace the room, waiting for them to cool. Silly puppies, they aren't getting any. I eat 3. Usually I divide the dough into 8 wedges but this time I decide to make them smaller and divide it into 12 wedges, so I am not quite a greedy pig.

It's time to try the garden yard on for size. The kids stand at the door quivering with excitement as I dress in jacket, hat and gloves, and shoot through the gate when I open it. The snow is crispy as they trot across it, heading for the far side of the garden boat. It has been weeks since they have been out here and they enjoy every second in the sun.

My vantage point on the deck is shaded, no sun here for me. Why don't I walk out to the boat with them, you ask? Well, aside from using a cane for the bad leg thingy, I don't have any winter boots. Why not? Because you usually don't need them out here. The closest thing most people have to winter boots is high top rubber boots, you know, the ones with the red strip around the top. And I don't even have those, opting instead to just wear my running shoes.

Time to herd them back inside.
With the exception of Mason and Rosie, they all tiptoe as quick as they can across the uneven, slippery landscape back to the house. Rosie just wanders about following her nose, and Mason...Mason just loves to stand in the sunshine on a bare patch of grass, down by the garden boat, watching for whatever he might see. I have to bribe them with the promise of cheese to get them to come in. Rosie will do almost anything for cheese. Now they are curled up by the fire again, having eaten their cheese treat, dozing, dreaming their doggy dreams.

Those photos at the top of the page, aren't snow photos, they are sunshine photos. Albeit, poorly taken. I only had my cell phone camera with me, not thinking to take my real camera out with me. Oh well, at least you can see the sun shining on the yard.

Of course, two sunny summer garden boat photos to remind me of warmer days.

And remember, if you see my motivation and ambition, send them home. Yes, it seems ambition sneaked off too. I really need them back.


Time to make dinner, Richard will be home from work at 5pm and I am making Chicken Cordon Bleu. No, no, nothing fancy, just heat and eat. Yup, it's premade, frozen raw, bought from the store, you put it in the oven and bake it yourself. Have leftover rice in the fridge to go with it and will cook some frozen peas and carrots.

Like I said, no ambition, no motivation.


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