We’ve woken to some chilly mornings since we arrived in the UK a month ago — the horizon, filled with a thick icy fog and the fields outside our door, dotted with frost-covered fleece.
And while we have lots to accomplish, there are days when all we can do is wait (…for phone calls…for appointments…for answers…and so on). Yet, when the world outside is icy and all your earthly belongings are floating their way across the Atlantic Ocean – passing the time requires a bit of improvising. This feels especially true when little ones are (still) out of school and noisily underfoot.
Here’s what we got up to yesterday…
Perhaps I’ve been hiding under a rock, but I never realized that rice pudding had it’s own special rice. I’ve always used medium grain and been pretty happy with the result. After finding proper “pudding rice” at the grocers, I decided to conduct a little rice pudding taste off (an idea everyone seemed in favor of). Recipe number one came from here (a long-time family favorite). The second was prepared “the French way” (as we call it). I found Recipe number two here. Hard to say which batch was the clear winner…as there was much back-n-forth gobbling going on. I think I still prefer the former…or was it the latter?? They’re both good (and frankly, rather similar).
Does every little girl (and boy?) go through a phase when they like styling/playing with hair? Wynn keeps asking for one of those plastic, long-haired doll-head-things, and I keep reminding her that now is not the time to acquire bulky new toys that require their own suitcases. Plus, who needs pretend hair when your mama (and sister and self!) has the real thing? Yes – I’ll admit, I’m a ready volunteer, as I (not-so-secretly) love when she plays with and styles my hair. I consider it a perk of having both long hair and daughters.
However, what she’s really in love with and could do for hours on end is braid. At home she would braid ribbon and floss and twine and yarn. Here, on the farm, far from the colorful strands that fill our currently-in-transit craft box – there is no such ribbon or floss, twine or yarn.
So we decided to make some braiding materials with plastic bags. Have you ever done this before? We’ve made bracelets and key chains using this technique. Simply cut the plastic bags into thin (or thick) ribbons. I cut horizontal strips. At the moment she just uses three…but I’m sure braids of 6 and more are in her future.
And finally, we’ve been digging deep into our recycling box these past few weeks – searching for both fun and functionality. We have found at least twenty uses for all-things-Tetra-Pak — which is the brand name for those waxy, watertight boxes that carry juice ‘n soup ‘n stock ‘n such.
These are entirely up to the task of drying kitchen utensils, holding paintbrushes (and water), playing in the bath with and (most recently) they come in very hand for carrying snacks in the car.
And since the UK is a place of many (many) coins, we also needed another change purse. So we decided to make one using this (easy) technique.
* I struggled to find a glue that would hold to the waxy surface. Even powerful and “waterproof” Locktite couldn’t manage it. In the end, I had to strip away some of the wax, to reveal the cardboard underneath – then gluing was no problem.
Just another pajama day on the farm. I’m certainly trying to enjoy these slooooow days, since I know there’s craziness on the horizon. But thankfully, that’s not today.
And usually, by the time we’re done crafting from within – the world outside has warmed up enough for us to venture out and begin another day.