After a morning and early afternoon of unrelenting mayhem (buy 30 bagels! buy 6 cookie sandwiches and a giftcard at Teacake! buy 2 gallons of milk! now use the milk to make a vat of homemade cocoa! cut out a few more corrugated cardboard circles! transfer cocoa to thermos carafe thingies! pack chocolates, cookies, and...well...everything! bring it all to school, but make sure none of it gets wet! put your hood up! try to maintain some dignity, you hood-wearing pack mule! set up 2 class parties! do a craft with the 3rd graders! try not to scream while all of them at the same time say, "Ms. Montes? Ms. Montes? Ms. Montes? Ms. Montes?") punctuated by equally unrelenting rain, the kids and I crossed the threshold of our warm little house. Vida went to the den to read. Lea went to her room and shut the door. Risa checked in at Woozworld. And me? I earthwormed into my bed and read Lord of the Rings while the rain pattered my window. Just like that, the hours preceding disappeared and life was good, warm, dry, and so nice.
Then I decided I would make Arroz Caldo with Chicken. The recipe (I know what you're thinking: why does she need a recipe?) called for "1 small chicken." I didn't have "1 small chicken," but because the cookbook was my mother's and was published in 1970, at which time I imagine chickens were quite small, I just decided to use the fat chicken breast in my refrigerator. Also, sadly, I lacked "1 small onion, chopped." I did, however, have a leek. So I used that. And it turned out so excellent and reminiscent of both my childhood and, not unpleasantly, the Greek version (is it avgolemeno?) of the soup. Now the kids and the SU are sitting in front of the fire playing Monopoloy and drinking eggnog. And, yes, there are Christmas carols and twinkling lights and stockings. I like it here.
Despite the annoyances that occurred earlier today, I just caught sight of the holiday craft I did with the 3rd graders, and it's kinda cute. Here's Lea's:
The SU says it's the "least offensive craft ever." I think that's what people mean by the term "faint praise." I'll take it.