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dscn3547Almost all of the three feet of snow we got just over a week ago is gone. Mostly the remnants are ice and piles of snow where it was plowed. The boys are upset since their snow tunnels are also gone. I must admit that they were pretty cool and I am sure that as soon as we get some more snow they are going to be out there looking to dig them again.

This morning I made crumb cake to share with some friends. I adapted this recipe from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for big crumb rhubarb crumb cake since I loved the big crumbs but I am not a fan of fruit in my crumb cake. Pretty damn good if I do say so myself.

Big Crumb Crumb Cake

Big Crumb Crumb Cake



For crumbs:

  • 1 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. ground ginger
  • 4 3/4 c. a/p flour 

Mix all ingredients until well blended and crumbs form. Put aside.

For cake:

  • 2 c. a/p flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 c. sour cream
  • 4 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 12 tbs. softened butter, cut into pieces

Mix the sour cream and eggs/yolks together. Add vanilla. In a blender bowl mix together all the dry ingredients. Add the butter and egg/sour cream mixture until blended well. Pour into a 13×9 greased baking pan and spread evenly. Top with the crumb mixture broken into big crumbs. Bake at 325 degrees for about 45-50 minutes. Let cool and dust with powdered sugar.  Enjoy!

As it is starting to get dark, it is starting to flurry….maybe we will wake to a dusting of snow covering everything in white once again….the way it is supposed to be.

Tom reminded me that I have been slacking in the posting and when I went back I realized that I have left everyone hanging on Day 3 of the patch testing. I went and came back with a positive for fragrance, nickel and cobalt so in addition to the chromium and the adhesive that makes 5. 

Most interesting and a nice christmas present of sorts was the fact that we figured out that I must also be allergic to elastic/rubber/latex of sorts. The elastic band of stockings I had been wearing left welts that are still here five days later. Lovely. Add that to the list. Research into the adhesive allergy issue definitely relates it to a latex/rubber allergy and that is used in most elastics so…bingo! Yet another thing to itch over. This however, does make some sense in the my leg/arm rash thing since socks with elastic hit the part of my leg that broke out the rash and elastic from sweatshirts/etc would have been right on the part of my arm where I was getting that rash. Why though not the other leg or the other arm if I am that allergic? Good question, we haven’t figured that out yet, but we are working on it. Everyday brings a new discovery. I think that somehow I am heading off to be the Girl in the Plastic Bubble, but we will see.

No celebratory or otherwise drinks this Christmas season. I have been relegated to the designated driver again…..a nice chunk of my life has been spent that way when I was pregnant. Anyhow, good news to know that we are figuring some things out, difficult with dry weather and a dry house to figure it all out since the boys and Tom are dry-skin itchy occasionally as well.

We are fortunate to have good friends and neighbors. The days leading up to and Christmas were made especially nice by the constant interaction between us all here on the hill. Baked goods were exchanged back and forth with some yummy results, doorbells rang with wishes of good cheer and Merry Christmas. It is very nice to experience Christmas with a group of people who you care about and knowing that the feeling is reciprocal. While the flow of children is ever – present in our house, something about Christmas makes it all the more special. We are very lucky to have such good friends and neighbors which makes living here in Vermont all that much more special. 

I think that one of the reasons that Christmas time holds a special place in my heart is that it was my dad’s favorite holiday. He was like the biggest of all the kids and Christmas was definitely when he had the most fun. Some of my fondest memories are Christmases growing up. I always think of him this time of the year. He would love it here and be very proud of us and our wonderful friends and neighbors. 

Tom made me sad today, he was relaying a conversation he had with his father, reminding him that in 7 years all my boys would be grown and gone off to college. It seems like such a short time and makes me feel so…..OLD and SAD. Bummer.

Here are some pictures of the little men on Christmas morning. Sometimes, the simplest gifts are the best.dscn3561dscn3560dscn3562dscn3563dscn3566

First, we went from 3 feet of snow on Monday morning to about 5 inches and a lot of ice this morning. The hill was pretty darn slippery this morning. My in-laws were going to leave and we drove them down this afternoon to the bottom of the hill, for fear that they might slide off the road. Christmas was good, lots of good friends, family and good food (if I do say so myself!) Tonight’s dinner is prime rib soup made from the leftovers of the rib roast we had for dinner on Christmas. 

Everyone is enjoying their goodies, Tim headed off to his friend’s house armed with his “new” video camera ready to photograph their sword making for his grandparents. Very cute. The chickens are happy that they can actually see ground, even if it is through a layer of ice and are outside pecking around. The goats are always happy to be outside.


Christmas at the T's

Christmas at the T's

Best wishes to all for a Merry Christmas! May the peace of the holiday be with everyone. We are celebrating with family and friends – very lucky to have both. Much to catch up on in the morning.


Winter wonderland

Winter wonderland

This is how it looks outside outside our window this morning and it’s still snowing! Tonight is my friend Cassie’s cookie exchange. So it’s a great morning to bake cookies, I already baked about 6 dozen chocolate chip cookies and now I am making oatmeal lace cookies.

Well after 48 hours of having the patches on my back, it was itching like mad, I had them taken off this morning. As it turns out, the paper adhesive tape that they used to affix them to my back gave me the worst breakout. That evidently was the majority of my itchiness. I tested positive for potassium dichromate. Unfortunately, this is found mostly in construction materials and is generally a type of allergy common to construction workers, of which I am not.

So….I go back tomorrow for the third and final appointment to see if any of the “maybe’s” turn positive which can happen up to 24 hours after the patches are removed. 

So….no real answers, but we have a list of things that I am not allergic to….so I guess that is something.

That seemed to be what the goats were saying. The goats were on the porch today and would have been quite happy to come inside the house if we let them. Skye has an affinity to climbing as you can tell. She also decided that she was quite comfortable hanging out on the loveseat with Tom.


Tuesday night was the holiday concert at the elementary school and Tim wowed the audience once again as his part of “the Fool” in the play. He is our little actor and it was pretty neat to hear the whispers of parents, “he’s good”.  Tonight the boys went together with their troop (and us) Christmas caroling. Pretty darn Norman Rockwell, Christmas caroling by lantern in the dark with hot cocoa and treats afterward. It was pretty cool and I think that the boys had a good time as well. Tomorrow is tree decorating at the Heffernan house so the rest of the house will be decked out. Saturday is my friend Cassie’s annual christmas cookie swap, so lots of baking. Tomorrow is also Tim’s Christmas Luncheon for parents and grandparents at school as well as his Christmas party since some of the teachers and students at the school are hoping that Friday’s predicted Nor’Easter will give them a snow day. Highly doubtful but, hey, you never know.

So for about 24 hours now, I have had 29 of the “most common” allergens attached to my back. Things that sound familiar and some things that I never knew existed and cannot even pronounce. The general idea is that I wear these “patches” which are actually strips of adhesive with the allergens attached to them for 48 hours and then return to the dermatologist and he will remove the patches and analyze my skin to see if I test positive to any of them. Then after the patches are removed, I have to return the next day since some of the allergens can take up to 96 hours to show a positive response. 

What am I thinking? I am thinking that I never realized there is so much crap in everyday products and I’m poisoning myself and my family (as is everyone else on the planet for the most part) and I am also thinking that this sounds way too easy and I will be very surprised if any of them are positive. I have had this rash and this itchiness for so long that I am beginning to think it is just the way the rest of my life is going to be…. so I might as well get used to it. I secretly hope that somehow I will have a magical answer…but since no magic has transpired in the past

Well, as suspected, everything that was left on the ground froze solid. Going out to let the goats out was an adventure and ice skates would be preferable to shoes. The wind is blowing and it is cold. We are supposed to get snow tonight to make up for what was lost and then some. It definitely feels winterish, although, the calendar still says it’s autumn for a few more days.

Evilwife on the move

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