another winter storm! *happy dance* i know, i know...i'm the only person left who is still loving the winter coziness and isn't loudly proclaiming to all and sundry that "i'm really tired of winter" or "i just wish spring would come" or "i'm really sick of all this snow". i am NOT. i am not sick of the snow, cold, winter, nor am i dying to have the sticky torpid humid toronto summer come and take over my life with its insatiable demands for energy-sucking air conditioning and its attempts to colonize my lungs with all manner of fine particulate matter. no thank you! all the complainers out there: it's actually NOT that hard to experience a comfortable winter. you need to a) get a pair of PROPER winter boots
b) get a warm, practical coat
c) get an assortment of mittens and gloves
d) cook winter food
all of the above serve to ameliorate whatever negative effects of winter there are. granted, it's not fashionable per se (although i think i look pretty cute...i don't kid myself that i'm christian dior-worthy), but you're cozy and comfortable and impervious to the weather, and when you come home, it may not be exciting per se, but there's nothing wrong with barricading the door and surrounding yourself with good company, wine, food, and conversation. i love it!
ergo, i'm greeting today's winter storm having prepared in advance: all my necessary errands were accomplished during the week, the larder and pantry are stocked, i'm sitting in my flannel pajamas (which i don't plan on vacating all day) and i had a lovely breakfast of dippy eggs and toast. i think i'm coming around on the dippy eggs and toast. the dotytron and the roomie are staunch supporters, but i was on the fence. i tend to be very particular about my food (well...about everything, really) and i was fearful of the mess of slicing off the top of the egg and having little bits of shell in my yolk. i was also fearful of having my toast fingers get cold. the toast fingers DID get a little cold, but there was nary a shell fragment to be seen in my egg, and the yolk was very saucy and tacky and yolkily rich...it is quite a lovely and frightfully dignified breakfast - it makes you feel like the very best kind of upper-crust victorian-era brit having a bite of breakfast gazing out the window of your country estate (and you know how much i'm not a fan of the brits)...it's so neat and tidy and i love bread as utensil.
dinner with nany and poppa was a hoot. nany doesn't like her picture taken because in her words, "i'm always thinking, who's that old lady?" so i won't identify the people in the above picture in order to protect the innocent. we had a lovely salad with lots of veggies, bread and butter, rigatoni in a rose sauce, and my lemon tart. i'm obsessed with their dining room table set and the buffet they have. i'd love a buffet for holding plates and things, and it makes such a lovely piece if you ever do an hors d'oeuvres party or well, a buffet. both the table and the buffet (and the dining room chairs) are this fantastic mid-century modern piece...timeless and sleek and burnished and glowing with a gentle patina. nany and poppa are such great company and we see eye to eye on so many things. i LOVE having my opinions validated by the aged set. it's THE BEST! we're hatching plans to do an annual doty family get together in the summer, to provide another opportunity for the whole clan to gather outside of the christmas brunch thing, where we're always in a restaurant and don't have as much of an opportunity to mingle and whatnot. i don't mind organizing it...it'd be easy...have some sausages and burgers, condiments, have everyone bring a salad, and some desserts and booze in coolers, and you're good to go!
after we came home from that, we had a quick visit with my bff and his lady friend. i really really like them. they're funny and so good together. the bff is doing a project on kids identified in the school system as "gifted". i was one of those kids...i wrote that standardized test when i was in grade 3, and got called into the principal's office shortly thereafter to do a one-on-one with some kind of educational gifted assessor (i remember thinking that i was going to the principal's office to get my eyes checked...and then WHAMMO! logic and reading comprehension and spatial relations test! on the fly!). i guess i did well because i then went to xavier's school for gifted children, which basically means that i was put into another class with a bunch of other similarly identified kids, and that was my class from grade 4 to grade 8. we never mixed with the other kids and it was the weirdest, most isolated group of misfits ever. most of them had pretty s****y social skills, and puberty kicked all our asses and we were pretty much the nerd-bombers of the school (although we were granted the privilege of early and sustained exposure to computers, which is probably why my wpm is so freakishly high). the bff says that now the common practice isn't to separate out the special needs kids or the gifted kids, but have everyone be all together. i personally think that's a TERRIBLE idea. there should be SOME together time (ie. we shouldn't be isolated the way my class was), but how can one teacher deal with such a wide swath of kids and meet all their needs? the next generation is going to blow because of this kind of coddling, "fail the kid up the system" "heaven forbid you tell the kid/parents that their kid can't hack it" mentality.
here are some of the characteristics of gifted kids that the bff is reading about: "highly motivated people with an extraordinary ability to process information in a speedy manner who are highly passionate about broad ranges of thinking and possess a strong sense of morality and justice." he says that from a very young age, they develop a very strong sense of morality and justice and therefore tend to learn best by being argumentative and combative (spurred on by this sense of morality underpinning their convictions) and that as children, they get easily frustrated talking to their peers and prefer to engage adults in conversation, and thus can tend to feel very isolated and lonely.
sound like anyone we know? haha. i've probably told this story before, but i distinctly remember coming home from kindergarten and telling my mom one day, "i don't like the other kids because they're stupid" and what was my mom's response? how did she seize upon this future-hallmark moment to impart upon me her invaluable pearls of wisdom? this is what she said (or thereabouts): "well, you better get USED TO IT because the world is FULL of stupid people." hahahaha, i love my mom. from her i learned the skill of not suffering fools. i also think i get my soft spot for old people from her too. she's such a softy. from my dad i get my bull-headedness and my obsessive compulsive aspects and my sense of order and my varicose veins (curse you, father!), and from my stepdad i get my yell-y side and my long-winded argumentative side. it's fun seeing yourself in your parents as you get older (or seeing your parents in you)...you spend all your teenage years chafing against this and thinking that THEYJUSTDON'TUNDERSTAND how you're SODIFFERENT and how YOU'RENEVERGOINGTOBELIKETHEM and then you just end up being this curious amalgamous mish-mash of all their genetics and a fat dose of your culturalization.
today is a day of homework and reading and baking and comforts-of-home type stuff. i'm going to make a big ole' king-don type cake (moist, deep chocolate cake with marshmallowy clouds of frosting) for tomorrow. tonight's dinner is a pan-seared salmon fillet, served on an onion bun with boston lettuce, sliced tomato, and dilled tartar sauce. with sweet potato and regular potato latkes and a big, crunchy crispy salad. i have a bit of pie crust left that i think i can stretch to make some kind of apple-crumble tart/crostada, which i'm going to serve with vanilla ice cream and the whiskey toffee sauce. there's nothing better than a house smelling of apples and cinnamon and cream on a cold wintry day.