Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fun with Freezing Cold Temps AKA Ice Buntings


We Southwest desert dwellers are the type to shrug off 110’F weather and put on a heavy winter jacket on the first 60’F fall day. So when the weatherman said we would be dropping into the 20’s and teens for overnight temps this week, it was big news. Yes, we get freezes here but a hard freeze is a rare occurrence as attested to by the un-insulated pipes that run along the outside walls of many houses here. 

O.k. after those of you who have real winters stop giggling, I’ll continue…

I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to make an ice bunting, something that I thought I might never get to do. I had seen them a few years ago on the interwebs and thought “that’s neat, too bad it’s generally nice and mild here in the winter.”

After I covered the cacti (they go gelatinous and die if it’s too cold), the bougainvillea, and double checked that the water pipes under the new house were in a layer of insulation, I broke out the paper cups left over from a birthday party a few years ago and food coloring. I filled each cup halfway with water and then put a few drops of food coloring in each. I did this out on the back deck where they were going to be left out overnight, that way I would make the inevitable spill of dyed water while transferring them out there.

As my fingers became increasingly numb with cold, I strung paperclips to some yarn I had dyed awhile back. I draped the yarn over each cup so that the paperclip sunk in to the colored water, which would later freeze to secure the paperclip. 

I was very excited about my use of the weather to my crafty advantage and went to bed very satisfied with myself.

Now the next morning, despite being excited about my ice bunting, I didn’t immediately run outside to check on it. Why? Well, it was freezing cold outside!! After warming my core with coffee, slipping my feet into some fleece socks and slippers, and donning a sweatshirt PLUS a heavy wool sweater, I went out to check on my creation. I tapped on the top of one of my frozen concoctions and felt the ice crack. They were mostly frozen but not completely. I had a remedy for this...the freezer. I gathered up my creation in a storage box, which btw I should have started them in, stuck it all in the freezer and went about my day.

Of course, as you can imagine, I was very excited to get home that afternoon. I pulled the bunting out of the freezer, took it to the front porch and tore the paper cups away from the colored ice and strung the bunting up. I also got food coloring all over my hands but I didn’t care b/c I had my ice bunting!!

Yay for winter weather and to excitedly anticipating this weekend’s upper 60’F sunny forecast!

Monday, January 7, 2013

What I Want for My Birthday

So, my birthday is this week. I won’t tell you how old I will be but suffice to say I will be 39 again J I am sure everybody reading this is scrambling to figure out what to get me. Not to worry! I will just come straight out and tell ya.

I want food!

No, seriously and I’m not being cheeky. I want food for my birthday.

Well, I actually don’t want you to give me the food. I want you to give it to your local food bank or any other organization that serves the food insecure in your area. Go take a peek in your kitchen pantry. See that can of beans, soup or tuna or that bag of rice or that unopened jar of peanut butter? That’s what your local food bank needs.

You’re voice, you’re time are just as important as anything that would be given in kind. SO, I want something else for my birthday. I want you to pass this along. Encourage others to donate food or their time to their local organizations.

Don’t know where to donate in your local area? FeedingAmerica can help.

Not in the U.S.? Check out the Global FoodBanking Network 

Want to donate your time and support other great organizations serving the food insecure? One concept that I love is the Community Café. If you live in the Denver area, you may be familiar with  SAME Café. They are a restaurant that runs on a pay what you can model just like many others around the United States. Find one near you http://www.oneworldeverybodyeatsfoundation.org/ and go have a birthday lunch for me.
Make my birthday this year the best one ever!!