Tuesday, April 3, 2012

SPRING BREAK: DIY: Homemade Play Dough

It is Tuesday.

Both Sylvan and Ivory are snoozing away upstairs.  Sylvan is curled up in his crib and Ivory is stretched out on my side of the bed.  The flicker keeps landing on our roof - ting - his loud call echos down the flue followed in quick succession by his hammering on the chimney cap  The first time I heard him I thought our house was going to explode, but no, nothing is wrong with our furnace.  It is simply spring time in Missoula.
I was clueless as to why this was happening until it was explained to me on Pea Green Boat, a wonderful local NPR show for children.  The flicker is using our chimney cap to amplify his sound - thereby laying claim to a larger territory.  Ivory has taken to calling him: "Our friend".
I just hope he doesn't wake up the kids.

Our spring break, so far, has been an enjoyable one.

We visited the kids - three little goats - that were only two days old.  The smallest one, still a little wobbly on his legs while the largest girl was gingerly trying out little leaps.  The trip turned into more of an adventure than I had imagined.   I got lost between here and East Missoula, ended up jumping some random man's broken down truck at the end of a dead end road, before we finally found our destination.

We finally made play dough.  (I threw Ivory's old batch of play dough out when we moved.  Nothing was wrong with it...  it seems to stay good forever.  And, I might add, it feels so much nicer than the store bought crap.) 

Homemade Play Dough

1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/3 cup salt
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
food coloring

- mix all the ingredients, except for food coloring, in a pan.  
- cook on low heat, stirring frequently.
- when the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and begins to form a ball, it is done.  Do not overcook...  or under cook for that matter, because it just stays sticky then. 
- let cool a little bit and divide into halves.  Kneed food coloring into the play dough until you get the desired color. 

We finally had a long awaited picnic on a quilt spread half in the shade and half in the sun under the tall trees in the Northside Park.  I even snuck out of the house last night for a cup of coffee and perused the pages of Home Sweet Home: the House in American Folk Art by Deborah Harding and Laura Fisher. 

But, this morning I woke up stressed.  Which wasn't helped along by either Sylvan's continuous screeching or my two cups of coffee.  I really wanted a shower.  We finally packed together a picnic basket and headed out to the "farm" where we have volunteered for the last two years.  Sadly, for now, it was a non-event.  Sarah, the farm manager, would not be there until the afternoon.  So I wrote her number on the back of my hand for later and we drove back home.  Sylvan fell asleep in the car and I carefully carried him inside thinking: "This is a perfect time to take a shower!!!"  But, when I ever so gently sat this seat down in the bathroom, his eyes popped open.  I took that much needed shower anyway. Sylvan, standing in the shower with me, screaming at the top of his lungs the entire time, and Ivory sitting on the toilet eating a grilled cheese sandwich.  (She insisted. I would have preferred she ate it anywhere but in the bathroom.)  I wondered briefly what hoops I have to jump through to enjoy a little privacy in the bathroom.

A little while later I unpacked the picnic basket at the dining room table and we had lunch.

And now Sylvan and Ivory are snoozing away upstairs, I am sipping a cup of coffee (decaff this time), getting ready to fold the last of the laundry, wash a few dishes and hopefully in half an hour or so, everyone will be refreshed and we can load up into the stroller for this afternoon's adventure:  a trip to the post office!

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