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03 February 2013 @ 10:33 pm
just a delightful weekend at home  
Saturday we slept in--I got nearly 10 hours of sleep, which was delightful after too little sleep last weekend and no chance to catch up all week. After breakfast we took a walk in the forest and explored a new path I hadn't taken yet. As I suspected it might, it came out of the forest in the next clump of houses up the main road--the folk at the end of that side street have a nice homestead with several outbuildings and a number of horses (which is, doubtless, part of the reason that path is so wide and well plowed, so that they have a nice place to go riding). The other properties on that street have smaller plots, so I am pleased that when a house came up for sale it was the one we got, which actually has a bit of land.

After lunch we ran some errands and then just enjoyed time visiting with one another and chatting with a friend on G+. I started some bread dough late enough in the day that after it rose I opted to just shape bread rolls, brush them with butter and put them into the fridge to bake for breakfast.

Today dawned very bright and sunny, making the snow on the ground and in the trees sparkle and glow. It was much too pretty to stay indoors for long. While the bread rolls baked I mixed up some pie crust dough, and then was hit with inspiration--rather than using the makeshift aluminum foil pie crust shield I had made for my huge pie plate I decided it was time to make a proper one.

I have been carting around with me one huge cookie sheet that I haven't been able to use. While it fit in every oven I ever had in the US, it was too big to fit in an oven I had in Australia, way too big for the toaster oven I had in Italy, and still too big for the ovens I have had here in Sweden. Why keep storing something I can't use, when I can cut it up and make something useful out of it? If it ever happens that I can afford a full sized oven again I will also be able to afford to replace the cookie sheet then.

Therefore I set the huge ceramic pie plate I inherited from my step onto the cookie sheet, traced it, then drew one larger circle, which I indented with lots of little triangles, and one smaller circle, which I left smooth. From there it was a simple matter to cut along the lines, bend the many little tabs (in between those triangles I cut out) down over the edge of the pie plate, and suddenly I had a nice, sturdy, easy to use shield to put over my pie crusts when I bake them to keep the crust from overcooking while the filling isn't yet done.

This completes my set of shields. Mom brought me a pair of store-bought aluminium one-piece shields from the states when she visited last September--they fit my small pie plates. One of my friends from high school sent me one set of segmented aluminum shields that fit my medium pie plates and my tart pans, and now I have this one that fits the huge pie plate.

pie shield

I had intended to test the shield straight away, but by that time lord_kjar was done with his breakfast and ready to head outside, so I decided I could play first, and finish baking later. We started with snow shoveling, which I rather enjoy with today's modern shovels, since it is basically going for a walk, and I love walking.

Then, since part of the shoveling we did was clearing the path back out to my sledding hill (the wind had completely filled it in with last weekend's snow, and we hadn't made time to clear it out) and depositing yet more snow on the top of the hill, it was necessary to pull out our "sled" (still only a normal camping foam mat wrapped in large plastic trash bags with a rope fastened to one end--we haven't had any luck finding a proper sledding sled large enough for an adult butt in any store in Luleå) and play for another 40 minutes.

me on top of the hill

and at the bottom of the hill

I am still not going as far as I managed last week sledding in the moonlight on well packed old snow, but we managed to pack down the new snow enough to get some decent runs in. After sledding I had a quick bowl of left over soup and then finally baked that pie. I am pleased to report that the new pie shield worked very well, and was so easy to use.

After enjoying some of the pie I looked out the window and noticed that the early evening light was particularly beautiful--I love that time of day when the sun is just down and the sky ranges from nearly white on the horizon through gradually darker shades of blue to nearly black overhead. So I decided to go out for a quick walk to enjoy it. I got half way down our nicely packed driveway, and realized that I own a spark, so I went back to the shed, got it out, and went for a kick instead of a walk.

I took the road down to the lake, and was delighted at how quickly one can kick one's way down the road while standing on a runner (switching legs often, of course, so that the work is evenly distributed). When I reached the lake the view was so pretty, with stars and planets starting to show nicely overhead, but much of the sky still more blue than black, that I decided to follow the snow machine tracks out onto the lake.

The snow there is not nearly so well packed as it is on the road, so I couldn't actually ride the runners and kick myself along, but I did not that walking along leaning on the spark handles meant that the runners took just enough weight that I didn't sink into the snow on the track at all (unlike when I walked home that way on Friday and it felt like walking on beach sand). Shortly before I drew level with our house I saw that a snow machine track turned off and headed towards the woods below the houses, so I followed it, and it came out in our next-door neighbour's driveway, which gave me a nice little 20-minute loop back to home.

That left us just enough time to visit briefly with a friend on G+ and snuggle a bit before it was time to head to folk dance class. Dance is always fun, but it seemed especially enjoyable this week, since we had missed it last week due to issues relating to not sleeping Saturday night while working on my spark.

We practiced a few old dances and worked on some new ones. One of the new ones was particularly difficult and most of us had problems making the timing work. Then, on the drive home I realized how to make it work--the music is kind of waltz like, so if one counts 1-2-3, 2-2-3, etc. instead 1, 2, 3, etc. it works better. Then I realized that the "long step" we need to take must actually take two counts of three (long in timing, not just slightly longer distance to step). If I am correct in this then the counts/steps for both parts is probably:

1-2-3 damer: höger bakåt (ladies right backwards)
kavaljer: börja långt steg (lords begin long step)

2-2-3 damer: vänster bakåt (ladies left backwards)
kavaljer: avsluta långa steg (lords finish long step)

3-2-3 damer: vrid (ladies turn)
kavaljer: korsa (lords cross)

4-2-3 damer: börja långt steg (ladies begin long step)
kavaljer: höger bakåt (lords right backwards)

5-2-3 damer: avsluta långa steg (ladies finish long step)
kavaljer: vänster bakåt (lords left backwards)

6-2-3 damer: korsa (ladies cross)
kavaljer: vrid (lords turn)
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
making my way: Gleecorva on February 4th, 2013 06:55 am (UTC)
It makes me very happy to read about your gladness and the goodness of you life!