Chanukah, Solstice, Winter Break

Whoo Hoo!  I am officially on Winter Break.  This means I have two weeks off, which will go in a flash, but I will definitely still appreciate.  We had a good Chanukah, which ended the other night….

….and we did eat some latkes on one night.  For Chanukah we didn’t do really major gifting, although I did get a wonderful set of yaktrax, and look forward to using them on the slippery roads! 

In the world of school, I both gave and received.  Part of the giving was when our class (to celebrate studying South America) had a breakfast for the parents.  We made empanadas the day before, but when we realized the kids hadn’t made enough my partner and I went home and made several batches more.  Here the are waiting to go into the oven…..

 I made the vegan dough, which was straight from a kid’s book on Argentina.  See recipe below.  We also gave them books with instant hot chocolate (and tea for the vegans). 

I receive plenty from my kids every day, but on holidays some still feel compelled to give me gifts, which always makes me feel sort of uncomfortable.  I mean, I don’t want to try to address it before a holiday by asking people to make gifts to a charity if they were going to give a gift, because that might give the impression that they are supposed to be doing that.  On the other hand, lots of kids think it’s a special thing to do.  So I just try to be gracious, and I really do feel humbled by the chocolate, gift cards to bookstores, etc.  This year, probably due to the economy, there were fewer gifts, and that was fine with me.  The gifts were also very interesting and thoughtful!  So take a tour of my booty here…..

This is a blanket hand-sewn in India out of old saris.  It’s a cottage industry that benefits homeless women in India.  Whoa!  And so beautiful!


Two kinds of home-made jam, and a mortar-and-pestle made in India and purchased from a fair trade store in Madison!

A Christmas tree ornament from someone who didn’t realize I was Jewish!  (I told her I loved it anyway, and would hang it up in my house somewhere.)  What is it, the Sugarplum Fairy?  In fact, last week I did go and see the Nutcracker, and this coming week will go to A Christmas Carol (I have students in both productions), so I’m only missing Handel’s Sing-along Messiah event to really get in the mood, right?

We’re having the longest nights and shortest days ever.  Right now it’s 5:00 p.m. and it may as well be bedtime.  In the late afternoon (well, 3:00 p.m., but I could feel the night coming on fast anyway) I went for a walk and saw how the snow is shrinking back…. the teacher in me wants to say "sublimating."  Isn’t that the coolest word?  Anyway, a few sunny days and freezing nights have caused some funny snow patterns, especially on the swingset.  

It’s hard to see, and I couldn’t get closer because I was wearing sneakers, but the rungs of the climber look cool.

And it’s hard to tell here (but like those Loch Ness photos, you’ll have to trust me), there was an OWL in the tree!

Oops, gotta go, recipe later 🙂   And to all a good night!

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