Crafty Cousins

Christmas Eve night, the Dyer girls got crafty.  My cousin Kristen had bought a gingerbread house kit at Sam’s club for $5 on a whim and asked us if we’d like to entertain ourselves by putting it together.  Of course we did!

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We sat around Granny and Papa’s table and giggled and cut up like old times as we took a stab at confectionery construction.  We’ve had some good times and crazy conversations at that table.  One thing is for sure: what happens at Granny and Papa’s table stays at Granny and Papa’s table.

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Though we were certainly enjoying ourselves, we took our craft very seriously, too.  We worked hard to get the walls and roof pieces to stick together.  We even enlisted the pepper and jam containers sitting on the table to hold the pieces in place as they set.  We soon discovered that our “mortar” (icing) wasn’t exactly of the highest quality.  I had the bright idea to use marshmallow creme as a binding agent because, as I recalled, it sticks to EVERYTHING.  It wasn’t exactly easy to control, unfortunately, so one side of the house looked like it had insulation bursting out between the roof and the walls.  Rookie mistake.  We kept that side concealed from our photographer.

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The kit also came with fondant (or fon-DANT! if you’re my enthusiastic cousin Kristen) to make the doors and windows.

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It was looking a little rough there for a while, but with the addition of the windows, bushes, random peppermints adornments, layer upon layer of frosting that tasted like joint compound but didn’t act like it, and dusted flour (an improvised touch) it really came together.  You could barely tell it was homemade.  Ha.

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Papa did say it was the prettiest house he’d ever seen.   It was charming in a very haphazard, out of plumb kind of way.

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This is where the $5 cost came into play.

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Not 5 minutes after we completed the house, disaster struck and it toppled to its death on the way to the dining room table from the kitchen table.  No one was sadder than Granny.  She almost cried for us.  We took it pretty well.

For next year, we’ve vowed to make our own superglue-infused icing and construct the house out of graham crackers instead of gingerbread so the walls and roof aren’t so heavy.  Just wait for it.  It will be epic.  And we’ll have Papa write us a State Farm homeowners’ policy just in case.

Y’all come back,

Sugarlump

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Big Stuff

I was big stuff when I was little.

Here I am showing the foundation of my childhood home in Philadelphia who’s boss.   (The reality is that my dad probably asked me to go stand out in the middle of the foundation for a sense of scale.)

Prior to living in Philadelphia, we lived in Maryland, where my sister and I were born.  Here I am standing at the front door ready to head out for doubles.  I always hiked up one pant leg for good measure.

I don’t know what I am waving around in my hand in this photo.  My hypothesis is that it was a VHS that I wanted my dad to come put in the VCR in the sunroom.

After my baby doll had worn out her welcome, I used her as a pillow when watching TV on the floor.  I was a very resourceful toddler.

When I was even smaller, I used to help Papa check on the cattle.

I was taller than Papa.

Granny and I would sit on the front walk and have serious discussions about all kinds of things…like Barbie, Barney, and the Berenstain bears.

I even wrote letters to Granny before I could read.  Here is one written the year my sister, who is now a junior in college, was born.  It appears that I wrote largely in code, except for Granny’s name.

Man, I sure got my money’s worth out of childhood.

Y’all come back,

Sugarlump