Bits and pieces

Friday, January 30, 2015

Some favorites from the week:

This book. I couldn't put it down, and I now I can't stop thinking about it.

I skipped the final season (and season finale) of Parenthood so I'd be able to watch it in one fell swoop. It ranks up there as one of my all-time favorite series, and I will miss the Bravermans terribly.

Remember Felicity? As I waited for the end of Parenthood, I began to spend a few late nights re-watching this other favorite, which ran from 1998 to 2002. Back then, it reminded me of my own time in college. Now, it makes me think of my children, and what's just around the corner. Eek.

Hometown pride.

So it's been a little snowy around here. There were two days off from school, much shoveling and blowing, and a dog in snow heaven, but now we're getting back to normal. As I was driving Holt, who's 12, to school yesterday for his first day back, he reminisced about his unexpected vacation. "I needed that," he said. I had to agree.

(Photo: My 24/7 Media).

Bundle up

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Until this past weekend, when a storm blew through, and tomorrow, when a blizzard (!) is expected, it's been a winter of almost no snow, and that's been a beautiful thing. I like snow, I really do, but I also love the ease of no-snow (with apologies to the ski resorts). Even the cold hasn't been too bad, with just a few stretches of bone-chilling temperatures.

It was during one of these stretches recently that my daughter Livvy had an early-morning hockey game in a rink I'd never been to before. There were large gaps in the siding of the barn-like structure, with birds flying in and out, to say nothing of the howling wind. We saw little of the game because the plexiglass surrounding the rink was iced over. The only thing left to do was to try not to freeze.

Which leads me to blankets. The smartest hockey parents come bundled up in down coats, mittens, and hats, of course, but they also bring armfuls of blankets, which they wrap around themselves or cover the benches with, or both. They carry all kinds of blankets, but the ones I love best (and look at most longingly) are the wool camp blankets - the kind that used to be in my attic. There was a blue one, a pink one, and an olive-drab one, all a little scratchy but dense and very warm. My sister and I brought these blankets to camp, but my own children protested when it was their turn to go and begged for softer, fluffier fleece. And then, in a moment of needing to clear out, I got rid of them (the old blankets, not the fleece and not the children). I'm horrified and wish I could take it back.

I also wish I knew what happened to another childhood blanket - plaid, the wool not as scratchy, with fringe on either end. On days I stayed home from school not feeling well, I would lie on the couch under that blanket and braid the fringe. Hour after hour of braiding between naps, reading, and whatever was on television. That blanket is gone, too.

So the other day I went on ebay and found a blanket to keep in my car and take to the rinks. The wool isn't as thick as the ones from the attic, but I think it will do the trick. I bought another one to cover the bench or throw over the couch at home. It has fringe on either end like the one I remember, just in case anyone needs practice braiding.

(Ebay is a good source for wool blankets at low prices. For more of a splurge, I like this, and this, and this. And now Target has gotten on the warm-wool-blanket bandwagon with its collaboration with Faribault.)

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