04 January 2009

Hurrah for cookie-eating small children with snow shovels

It's no great secret that my lower back might as well have been bestowed upon me by Loki himself.

Anything can send me in wincing in agony. Moving the wrong way as I walk, heavy lifting (no, cuddling Beanie does not count as heavy lifting), even sitting on the wrong type of fabric can cause great shooting pains down my spine and render me almost immobile.

How did I originally hurt myself? Gr. IX Phys Ed and the absolutely *lovely* teacher we had...heck, any 40-something woman with sun-damaged skin a bad orange dye job (I think she was going for blonde) who gloats about wearing her nine year-old daughter's skirts (which didn't fit the mother in the least) really does have the necessary psychological fortitude to be put in an authoritarian position over students.

So when it comes to snow shovelling, I rely upon the kindess others. Some I know (like the exbf and my father) and others I don't...like the mystery snowshoveller who cleans my driveway so incredibly pristinely before I get in from work. In my old neighbourhood, teenaged boys with shovels would show up expecting $10-20 to move your snow. They'd do a wretched job of it, and I'd wind up getting the exbf in to do it properly.

But in my new neighbourhood...

Christmas week-ish we had a gloriously amazing series of snowfalls. Environment Canada christened it "snowmaggedon" -- highly melodramatic, I know. But it was a highly melodramatic amount within a short period of time (most of which has since melted). Out I popped to survey what Ullr himself deemed necessary to drop on my doorstep, path and driveway. Back in I popped, hoping the snow really wasn't there. A short while later, the doorbell rang.

Two boys, vaguely recognisable as being from the neighbourhood, bundled in their winter warmies, toting shovels larger than they themselves asked if I wanted to be dug out.

"But I don't have any cash."

"That's okay, we want to do it."

Apparently these boys were very, very bored.

"Okay...do you want cookies instead?"

"Oh wow! Yes, please!"

Good gawd...and they say "please" without their mothers being present.

Needless to say, as they shovelled I packed a dozen cookies for each of them. Afterwards, I surveyed my small patch of asphalt. My word...it looked as if a snowblower had done it.

A few days later, after the next dump, I poked my nose out in much the same fashion. This time the boys saw me and came running over to see if I needed to be dug out again.

And again, they did it for a dozen cookies each...with delivered commentary from their families as to how much they liked the first load.

So now, I try and keep three dozen cookies on hand, in case the snows return, and with them cookie-eating small children with snow shovels.

Oatmeal Cookies
Yield 3 dozen, depending upon the generosity of your cookie spoon

112g butter
110g brown sugar
100g granulated sugar
0.5 tsp salt
0.75 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs
0.5 tsp vanilla
175g ap flour
0.5t cinnamon
115 g rolled oats

Preheat oven to 170C/350F.

Cream together sugars, salt and butter; add eggs and vanilla and stir well.

Sift together flour, bicarb and cinnamon, then fold with the oats into the wet mixture. Drop by onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

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K and S said...

what a cute and heart warming post, Jasmine, you are very lucky to have those snow shovelers nearby :)

NKP said...

That is awesome. You lucked out with good neighbourhood kids!

Deborah said...

I wish I could find some boys like these in my neighborhood! I'm afraid the snow has been piling up in my driveway. But then again, I'd shovel your driveway for a dozen cookies!

breadchick said...

Who KNEW it was only cookies I needed to bribe the urchins walking up and down the street!

Next snow fall, I'm pointing a huge fan out into the front yard with the chocolate chip cookie baking smell ala the mall cin bun place and see if I can entice one of them to come shovel the stoop!

Anonymous said...

I think in my neighborhood the kids would want money and cookies! How lovely that there are kids wandering the neighborhood, looking for people to help. Send them my way!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Gosh Jasmine this is why I love blogs!
Makes you believe in people doesn't it.
What great fun for everyone!!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! You may have solved the world's economic problems - enlist children to do work (that they consider to be fun), and reward them with cookies!

LaDue & Crew said...

My boys need to take lessons from these 2! Keep cookies on hand forever, and don't let these two grow up- you are blessed! I enjoy your blog immensely- Happy New Year! Janet

giz said...

Your admiration for your grade IX PE teacher just warms my heart (haha). Back problems are so hard - especially when you have to walk over the ice and are so guarded about killing yourself. You do know how particularly special these kids were and their parents should be commended for raising really decent kids.

Jenny said...

Snomaggedon skipped us (we got rain on Christmas Eve) but were hit with the snow yesterday. I wonder if I offer my own son a dozen cookies all to himself, if he'd shovel the driveway? (Probably wouldn't.)
Great that you found such enthusiastic helpers!

Anonymous said...

You know of course that they may want to mow the lawn for pie this summer! Great story.

Kristen said...

Wow. I think I need to move to your neighborhood! LOL Not that I shovel snow, but between my boyfriend and my dad... I don't think they'd argue a good shoveling job well done, especially if they didn't have to do it. :)