Friday, December 31, 2010


"Back To School". Perhaps the most dreaded, most malevolent phrase in all of kid-dom. With Christmas Vacation winding down, it's time to bring out that phrase around my girls. It still strikes fear, as it always has. Two little faces are crestfallen at it. Every time.

I remember way back in the day, when I was the school-goer of the house, living for breaks and days off. Of course, this was back in the 80's and 90's, which meant that school got "way uncool" and "super-lame" after all of the new sweater dresses, leg warmers, banana clips, Skidz apparel had made the rotation; and when all the "totally awesome" school supplies had either been broken into and were rendered now "uncool" (i.e color change pens), OR had been banned by the teachers (i.e the stack of Cool Shades notebooks filled with colored paper: pink, yellow, blue, purple).

In other words, we began counting the days till the next days off on September 1st.

Two weeks is just enough time, it turns out, to somehow convince yourself that you must have heard things wrong. It's not two weeks off; it's two months. One need not worry. One will be off for a long time. One can be happy.

Breaking the truth to my girls has been a delicate procedure. "It's not time to go back to school! No! We're still on vacation!" That vehement denial turned into desperate pleading, "Pleeeaaassseee make vacation longer. Please say we don't need to go back! We're smart! We're good! We don't neeeeeeeeeedddd to go back to school!" And now we've finally morphed into the final phase of 'reconditioning'--meek acceptance; "Today we're not going to school, are we? This isn't a school day, right?" Followed by a heavy sigh.

Christmas Vacation was good. Fun was had by all. Now it's time to pack up and get this second half of the year done. Up and at 'em, kiddos. (And I think they'll be ready to go on Monday.)

Ashlyn said it best the other day: Caedance was complaining about not wanting to go back, saying, "I don't want to go. I don't like school." Ashlyn put her arm around her twins shoulder, stared her in the eye and said, "Oh, but it's okay that you don't want to go and you don't like it. Because you'll just have to do it anyway. Might as well smile about it."

Wise words, little girl. Wise words, indeed.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hello Kitty.

"There she is! Grab her!"

"Come back here!" (insert cat meee-ooowww here)

"I almost got her that time!"

"Mom? Why does the cat always run away when I chase her?"

"Mommy why does the cat always run away when I squeeze her?"

"Hey mom? Why won't the cat let me sit on her?"

"Mom, can I bring the cat into the bathtub with me?"

Oh, poor felines in the Dickinson house. How I do weep for you. There was a time in life when you knew peace and calm. When you did not know the quick thud of chasing feet. When you were not quarry to the prey fast behind you.


Such changes.

And yet.

And yet the fact that you constantly place yourself within their eyesight and just outside their grasps tells me that you might not mind it all quite as much as you lead us to think.
Suki & Zoe. (Anna is hiding in peace. Somewhere else.)

On Being a "Dodder".

I love that the girls are figuring out the twisty-turny maze that is Familial Titles & Relationships. For the first time, they are understanding that not only am I their Mommy, but THEY are my daughters, which they call, "dodder". They're even working out that Grandma Peggy is not, in fact, my sister, but is my mother. And to top it all off, Ashlyn deducted that I must then be Peggy's "dodder".

Whew! That was a lot of figurin' for the early morning. We'll have to work on the male roles another day. :)

And what it all boils down to is simple: We are family. We are together. Here. Now. And I love it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Extra Rich Potica

This recipe is from a Slovenian Society Cookbook. So far, anything I've tried out of it has been wonderful.

2 ounces of yeast
1 TBS sugar
1TBS flour
1/2 cup warm milk
Dissolve yeast, sugar, and flour in warm milk and set in warm place until foamy.

1/2 cup sweet butter
1 cup milk, scalded
6 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 whole eggs, beaten
4 egg yolks, beaten
Melt butter in scalded milk and set aside to cool. Place flour in large bowl; add salt, sugar, cooled milk & butter, beaten eggs, and yeast mixture. Mix well. Then beat with a wooden spoon or heavy duty mixer until dough separates from sides of bowl. Knead about 10 minutes until dough is smooth and pliant (if necessary, add more flour). Grease dough and place in a greased bowl. Cover with cloth and set aside in warm place to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Nut Filling:
1 cup half and half or sweet cream
1/2 cup butter
2 pounds walnuts, ground
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Scald cream and butter. Pour over the nuts. Add honey, lemon juice and rind, vanilla, sour cream, and sugar; mix well. Add egg yolks and mix. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. If mixture is dry, add more cream.

 Roll out dough on lightly floured board or cloth until it is 1/4 inch thick. Spread nut mixture evenly over the dough. Roll as for a jelly roll. Cut into 3 rolls using a floured saucer, which will prevent the filling from oozing out. Place in 12 inch greased loaf pans. Prick tops with fork in several places and cover with cloth. Let rise in warm place for about 35 minutes. Brush tops with melted butter OR beaten egg and bake in 325 degree oven for 1 hour. When done, remove pans from oven; let poticas rest in pans for 10 minutes before removing; then cool on wire racks.