Our favorite rainy-day pastimes

Today, we spent the whole days indoors to the sounds of pelting rain and hail, only to climb up to the balcony in the afternoon and be rewarded by all this brilliancy – trees and rooftops freshly washed, clouds dispersing, and a glimmer of afternoon sunshine showing through.

I thought I’d share some of our favorite ways to cozy up on a too-cold, too-wet, too-windy, indoors-y day.

  1. Curl up with a book. If you know me even a little, you have probably guessed that would be a top favorite. Whether it’s a new treasure from the library or an old friend from the bookshelf, a book is always a win on a rainy day.
  2. Brew a cup of tea. Cold, rainy weather is perfect for warming teas. My favorite combos are cinnamon-cloves-nutmeg or ginger-lemon-aniseed.
  3. Pull out a board game or puzzle. We used to do that a lot by candlelight in our old home, where electricity during thunderstorms was more a pleasant surprise than something you can count on. Which brings me to…
  4. Light candles. There’s nothing like candles to brighten up a gloomy, dark day.
  5. Watch a movie or a favorite YouTube channel. I’m not a fan of too much screen time, but I do love to make dinner early and then free up an hour or two for a movie and snacks.
  6. Do crafts: my go-to is crochet, but anything goes – drawing or painting, gluing or making playdough, or going all out with modeling clay.
  7. Bake: can you think of a more perfect combo than a tray of cookies or homemade rolls, hot from the oven, and a rainstorm raging outside?
  8. Take a hot shower: now blessed to be living in an area where we can actually turn up the water heater without fearing a power outage, I love to hop into a hot shower, then into a pair of cozy pajamas, and then straight to bed.

I hope you are all enjoying the colder season – unless you’re in the southern hemisphere, of course, in which case you might be shopping for flip-flops and sunscreen while the rest of us huddle under quilts and hunt through the drawer for warm socks.

First rainy day

Rain has been a bit late to come this year, but today it fully made up for its tardiness. It poured and poured, and I was overjoyed we had taken the time to enjoy the lovely cooling weather the day before – because today, there was no poking one’s nose out of doors.

Being shut up at home made everyone get crafty. Shira whipped up this little red back warmer for one of our kittens.

Meanwhile, I improvised these cinnamon twists, sorted clothes, pulled coats, boots and umbrellas out of storage, and got the closet shelves ready for the season.

I know that some of my overseas friends are already shoveling snow, but my kids had been running around barefoot up until yesterday.

At some point, I will probably get tired of muddy boots, damp and the indoors, but for now I’m enjoying the change of seasons.

The good things in life

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This has been a busy summer, but thankfully, not too busy to appreciate the good things in life. Above: a little moth we were lucky enough to be able to watch transform from a chrysalis before releasing it.

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Our mango tree surprised us with pretty big fruit this year. The previous winter had been rainy, so I guess it needed more water.

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Two pullets of this spring’s hatch. All in all, we have 5 young pullets and 8 cockerels (the latter will not be remaining with us – one roo is quite enough!)

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Quail eggs – as pretty as they are delicious.

Hope everyone is having a good August! I love the sunshine, but could do with less heat.

Simple summer fun

I’ve been a bit quiet lately, but this doesn’t mean our days are lacking in action. On the contrary, we’ve gotten into our summer routine, which is both busy and relaxing.

Above: some lovely modeling clay art by Shira (11) and Tehilla (9).

Aaaand, we’ve had a hugely exciting event last week when our cat has had her kittens. She is such a good mom and it actually looks like she’s counting on us to babysit her kittens when she leaves them for a bit!

So these are our days. Some work. Some rest. A shady spot in the garden. Playing with the quickly growing baby chicks. Ice cream and watermelons.

Hope you’re all having a good time too and taking care of yourselves.

Delicious beer and onion rolls

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When you’re out of bread, you can run to the grocery store… Or you can get out some flour and dry yeast and whip up a batch of delicious, savory, crusty rolls.

This time, upgraded with beer, dried onions, and caraway seeds.

I’m terrible at quantities, but the general idea is, you use beer instead of water in this recipe.

So, here goes:

About 2 1/2 cups flour

1 tbsp dry yeast

About 1 1/2 cups beer

2 tbsp dried shredded onions

Heaped teaspoon caraway seeds

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar or honey

1/4 cup olive oil

Some more olive oil for coating

Mix all ingredients and knead thoroughly. Let the dough double in size, then knead again.

Form the rolls and place on a baking sheet. Lightly pat them with olive oil, or spread it with a silicone brush.

Let the rolls double in size again.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the tops get nice and golden.

Enjoy with butter, cream cheese, or tuna salad. Yum!

This world is crazy

Honestly, though. I feel like everything that is going on right now is messing up with my head so badly that I just want to crawl into a narrow hole and hide.

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Seeing how that’s impossible, I can find nothing better than sitting in the shade of the mango tree, supervising the little ones in the wading pool.

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Watching my geraniums grow is nice and relaxing as well.

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Oh, and baking cookies. These ones are oatmeal-peanut butter-chocolate chip, and they are seriously good.

Hope you’re all hanging in there and keeping sane. Because it sure hasn’t been easy lately.

Humongous heat wave

For the past three days, every time I opened the door it has been like stepping into a preheated oven, day and night. Yes, that bad. Stifling, scorching, suffocating heat that is literally making us lethargic.

I try not to run the air conditioning all the time, but it’s not easy. We wake up in the middle of the night sweating. Thank goodness for AC, cold drinks, and showers (having lived with constant disruptions in running water supply for a few years, I really appreciate the last one).

So what have we been doing without our favorite pastime of nature walks, and with the heat too intense for outdoor work or baking? Well, there are always books and crafts for the kids to fall back on, for which I’m thankful.

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The mulberry tree in the nearby park has been especially bountiful. I just wonder why nobody else seems to take advantage of all this fruit. We have been making jam and also froze some for later, but there’s a great deal more than we can use up.

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The incubator is humming along and we are supposed to have our first chicks in a few days. The kids can’t wait.

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I’m making another little jute basket for storing odds and ends – it seems I’m always in need of more of those!

I hope we get to enjoy more pleasant weather soon and can get out of doors again. On the up side, I can’t imagine the coronavirus surviving too long in this heat.