Cabin Fever Blues

It's gorgeous outside today. Clear and sunny and the perfect temperature for outdoor activities: -10C. What am I doing writing instead of skiing, snowshoeing or taking Milton for a walk on the beach?

I'm waiting for a new washing machine to be delivered.

For the past few months, our old washer has been making a sound that washers really shouldn't make. I finally got around to calling a repair guy who charged $120 to tell me that it was broken and really quite dangerous to run. So Toddler and I drove up to Kenai the next day and bought a new one. It's coming sometime today between 10a.m. and 3p.m.

I'm kicking myself for not checking the long-range forecast before agreeing to a delivery date. I have an app for that. I should have used it.

So I'm restless and stuck in the house on a gorgeous sunny day. What do I do on days like this? I bake. Today, I'm working from an old bread cookbook of my granny's. I'm taking a recipe for raisin bread that I can't for the life of me get to work and I'm going to make it work. This recipe is as old as the hills and looks well loved. No doubt the issue here is me and I'm determined to figure out what I'm doing wrong.

This will be the third time I've worked this recipe in as many weeks. Mercifully, Toddler's daycare requires me to provide a snack for the kids to share. Not quite right raisin bread fits the criteria and gets eaten.

Baking seems to be my springtime tic, my response to cabin fever. Over the past week, I've made whole wheat jam bars (with the plum jam I made during last year's kitchen mania), chocolate cherry cookies, banana bread, white bread, raisin bread and copious quantities of pizza dough. For the record, Jim Lahey's pizza recipe yields the best dough I've ever made. His new book dedicated entirely to pizza and dough is somewhere on a UPS van heading my way. I'm excited.

The down side is that the all the pants in this house seem to be shrinking. Hunter's been spending more time at the gym. I've been coaxing Toddler out for walks more often. It isn't good.

Good friends from Fairbanks are coming down for a few days next weekend. I hope they come hungry.

Snow Melt

If March is supposed to go out like a lamb, I'm dealing with one ornery little sheep. We have an awful lot of snow and it's still coming down. There's a growing concern about springtime flooding. If April decides to be warm, we're going to have a lot of water needing somewhere to flow.

I was reading the Anchorage news the other day and there found an expert suggesting that to prevent flooding, homeowners should shovel at least a three foot space between their house and the nearest snowbank. "You're suggesting I do WHAT?" I howled back to my computer screen. There is 6 feet of snow around the perimeter of my house and a whole heck of a lot more where the snow plow and roof rake have left their piles. There's no way on this earth that we are going to shovel that.

In the coming weeks, we're going to empty our crawl space and see what we can reasonably do in case of a fast snow melt.

Earlier this week, I told Hunter what I wanted for my birthday. Though my birthday's not until July, I  know exactly what I want. I want a snow blower. I really really want a snow blower.