the power of a cookie

Just think how amazed you would be if today, someone handed you a tin of cookies and said, I made these JUST FOR YOU.

That my friend is a powerful expression of love.   Having someone bake for you is remarkable.  It sort of takes your breath away.

You HAVE that power.  It’s easy (6 ingredients), pretty quick, minimal cleanup and the outcome is simply beautiful not to mention melt in your mouth tasty.

20181127_110536-1Last night Mr. Right spent 45 minutes and shelled 1 pound of walnuts.  After shelling, that equals 1/2 pound of glorious, amazingly delicious, wonderful walnuts.   His effort will be rewarded.

Today, I baked the first of the season batch of Christmas cookies.  One of his favorites.

Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone, however, I’m one of “those” people.  I write, scribble, put stickers, use jelly markers, underline, highlight and leave notes to myself on the pages of my cookbooks.

On page 65 of a cookie book, I wrote: “this season, I baked 9 batches of these beauties”. Using a red pen, I wrote “heavenly”.   20181127_120053 I gave them 5 stars.  “Melt in your mouth”.  There are hearts and stars drawn all around the recipe.

These are extremely simple cookies with only 6 ingredients.  However, because there are such few ingredients, PLEASE use excellent quality of each.  The results will be so worth the effort.

May I gently suggest you bake a batch for your husband, boyfriend, teacher, neighbor, the weekly group you attend,  a teenage grandchild?  Yes, I wrote, bake a batch for your grandchild.  Write the short recipe out in your handwriting, and offer up a piece of your heart and soul, your family history.  I have two recipes written by hand from my grandmother.  Powerful and simple memento to pass down.

While at work, I like to send Mr. Right a picture of what was baked just for him.  Encourages him to drive with purpose on his way home.  Certainly, a powerful, mouthwatering picture to receive via text or email.

Hurry home, Mr. Right, freshly baked cookies await. Drive safely, see ya soon.

Russian Teacakes.

1 cup of butter ( I use unsalted, French butter), 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon Vanilla (I use Cooks’s choice), 2 1/4 cups flour (I use unbleached), 1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Maldon Sea Salt), 3/4 cup chopped Walnuts (Freshly cracked tastes amazing)

Heat your oven to 400*.  Mix butter, powdered sugar, and the vanilla.  Stir in the flour, salt, and nuts.  Shape dough into balls.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake 8 to 9 minutes.  Roll in Powdered sugar while warm; cool.  Roll in powdered sugar again.

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…..and so the baking season of love and goodness begins.   Love to hear about your favorite holiday cookie to bake.

In this together, friends, Happy Baking.

Chat soon.

 

muffins, squash & a smooch

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While looking in the freezer this morning, I saw a bag of our beautiful Blueberries.

On the off-chance Mr. Right might stop by after an appointment, I whipped up a batch of fragrant, beautiful muffins.

While peeling squash for dinner (his favorite, not mine).  The phone rang, I crossed my wet, messy fingers hoping it was him.

He said, “Hey, could you please meet me outside in 60 seconds?”  I thought Yippy!  He wants a smooch and I can give him a couple of warm Blueberry Muffins.

perfect.

blueberry muffins

 

I went out there to hand him the muffins, he held out a glorious Latte from my favorite place.

When people ask us how we have stayed happily married…………..20181112_112441-1

Maybe Acorn squash and Lattes are the answer?

Wait!

Maybe serving squash that I loathe and he loves?

Wait!

Maybe delicious smooches out of the blue, on a Monday.

Yes. Most definitely the smooching.

Happy Monday,

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

PS. Surprise your spouse with a treat.   You will be rewarded with a smooch.  I promise.

 

Happy Fall Y’all

Good gravy, it seems as thou I took a two-month writing sabbatical.

Let me catch you up, Cliff Notes style.

Grandgirlies (and parents) came to visit and it was glorious.  I tried to memorize every single laugh & giggle.  20180930_120451_resized

While holding hands and jumping off a curb at Pike Place Market, I didn’t land as gracefully as the spry 6-year-old.  Nothing broken, however, I did have to stay on the sofa for 14 days.  You read that correctly, the doctor actually told me (my words, not hers) that I would have to stitch, read and crochet for 14 days!

Needless to say, I crocheted 5 hats, read all my library books and stitched a beautiful pillow in time for Christmas.  Also, the stars aligned and I put in the final stitch of my “And a Forest Grew” piece.

 

We received one of the all-time best photos of two grandsons who fell asleep.Boys

 

On the 31st we carved pumpkins, gave the chickens pumpkin guts and welcomed 70 trick or treaters.

 

We pulled, plucked and dug the last of our carrots, tomatoes and 46 pounds of beautiful potatoes.

 

Yesterday, we enjoyed a fun and happy bike ride through the swirling November leaves.

fall leaves, bike ride

As we turned our clocks back yesterday, we always remember our family’s best time-change story of all time.  

It was the “Spring ahead” time change, our boys were teenagers.  As we did every single Sunday, we were headed to church.  I gotta tell ya, getting two teenage boys out of bed and upbeat about attending church didn’t always happen smoothly.  (Just being honest here.)  We were cutting it close to the opening hymn.  The parking lot was already filled with cars.  So we parked, quickly walked inside and slipped into an open pew.   The song that was being sung was the CLOSING benediction song!

We respectfully left after the song was played, silently walked to our minivan, got in and Dad said, “we are going out to breakfast”.  We all BURST into LAUGHTER.   Best conversation breakfast of all time.  hahaha

In this together.  Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

Happy Fall Y’all.

Chat soon.

 

chick inn

You all know the story by now.  (If not, I’ll give you the micro Cliff Notes.)

5 1/2 years ago when I was extremely ill, a life long friend drove into our circle driveway with a horse trailer full of supplies.  She & her teenagers dropped off a coop, feed dish, water container, bedding, straw, food and 3 chickens.  She got back into her truck and I yelled, WAIT!

I don’t know a thing about chickens!

She said, then I guess you will need to learn fast.  Good Luck, you’ll be fine.

Everyday after that, I had to get up and go out to the backyard and tend to my chickens.  Every single day, I read and read and read until I couldn’t find anything else to read and learn about chickens.  The first weekend, Mr. Right drove me to the library and a book store.  The boyfriend carried arm loads of new books.

Pretty wise girlfriend.

I went outside morning, noon and night to check on Lovey, Mary-Ann and Ginger.  I had to lift small buckets of feed and drag the bag of bedding.  I lifted the small, then large containers of water.  I spilled, sweat, was frustrated and kept trying.  Mr. Right only helped me when he had to.  I did 95% of the work (slow & steady) all by myself.

Fast forward 5.8 years.

My fascination (sounds way better than obsession) with chickens has grown.  I try to learn new things all the time.  I use only natural methods of raising them.

 

I include fresh-cut Rosemary when laying in fresh straw to discourage bugs and just this past week, I learned to tie a cooper coupling on the fishing line in my water container to reduce algae growth.

The time had come for a new Coop.  20180828_071910-1

While standing in the kitchen (which I do a LOT), I look out the window and can see the chickens.   I wanted to be able to see them, yet I wanted their new digs to be nice looking.

We did a little research and ordered a basic coop.  When it arrived I painted the parts and Mr. Right put it together.  Then we (read that as I picked things out, he figured out how to install them and make it all work) upgraded some of the hinges, locks and he reinforced some of the places that would get the most wear and tear.

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The run, which we refer to as the “East Wing” was designed and built by Mr. Right.  Yes, the same Mr. Right who continues to refer to the girls as “Buzzards”.  I think secretly he likes them.  haha20180828_072001

The run is actually built in two, five foot sections and can be taken apart for cleaning etc.  It is attached to the main coop and can also be taken apart.  We put clear carpet runner 20180828_071754on top of the wire in one section to provide more cover from the elements, yet still allowing sunshine and light to get through.

20180828_071813-1We made a feeder and water container out of pvc pipe.  So far, working well, with only a slight adjustment needed on the feeder.

This morning, while checking on the girls Ginger, Dolly (Madison), Margaret (Hatcher), Dixie (Chick) and Queen Frosting…. I gratefully collected egg number 2, 224.20180828_072907

I am grateful to be healthy enough to take care of them.  I will be forever grateful to my friend for slapping me upside the head with a slipper to gently encourage me to get off the sofa and back to living & working.  And of course, Mr. Right for indulging me by listening to one more crazy idea for the chickens.

Hey, Mr. Right, I did have a small idea on how the feeder would work more efficiently.  Here, let me explain……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

August toss, continues

FB_IMG_1534171410548One of my first thoughts this morning, Happy Birthday to our 14-year-old Golden Retriever, Sweet Liberty!   Shhhh, there is a beautiful steak in the refrigerator with her name on it!  Such a sweet, wonderful companion, worthy of celebrating.

One of my other thoughts was, today, I will go through the “emergency” candles.  We all have them.  That basket you keep with dinged, stained or marred,  once beautiful candles? Oh, I should keep that in case the electricity goes out.  Okay, my basket of “emergency” candles is spilling over.  Time to toss.

Wait.

Idea.

Instead of tossing 3 candles, I went outside in my jammies.  I peeled some bark from our white Birch tree.  Came indoors, plugged in the glue gun.  Cut some felt circles for the bottom of each candle.  Glue gun ready to go.

To sum up, I went from having 3 things to toss today to 3 beautiful candles ready for fall decorating.

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Off to find something else to toss today.  (You now have a better understanding of how my brain swirls continually with ideas.  Getting things done/finished some days is tricky.)

How goes your August toss?

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

 

smooth Friday

Hello and Happy Friday!

I wanted to share a helpful, easy, “you will thank me by next Thursday” tip.

20180212_135712_resizedWhen you fill up your refrigerators and freezers this weekend, might I gently suggest you make 7 or 8 smoothie packets at the same time?

Super easy.

A beautiful way to bathe yourself in Grace and Wellness.

Bring home your greens and wash.  (Yes, even the greens in the bags.)  I wash with vinegar then rinse with water. Then I dry/spin the whole bunch in a salad spinner.  You could easily use paper towels or a clean cotton towel.   Vinegar is inexpensive and best part ….. it really works.20180212_135312_resized

We froze oodles and oodles of berries last year, so I am still working off of those.  Or you can purchase frozen berries.

Now, get out 7 or more zip freezer bags.  Roll down the tops.  Set up an assembly line of sorts.

(I use these amounts for one smoothie, you can certainly double or so forth the recipe for more.)

20180212_135415-1_resizedAdd one cup of clean, dry spinach or Swiss chard or bok choy or kale or a combination of greens to each zippy bag.  Then I add one cup of a variety of berries.  Sometimes, I toss in half a banana.  Add anything else you want.   The sky is the limit.  Toss in a handful of chopped up peaches or apricots!   (some weeks I do a tropical take on the smoothie….pineapple, mango, strawberry, lime) 20180212_135719-1_resized_1

Actually, next time you are at your specialty health food store and you “treat” yourself to a $6.00 smoothie, jot down the ingredients that you fancy in your favorite option.  Then re-create in your homemade freezer packs.

The idea is to create these helpful, beautiful packets that will help you make a smoothie quick and easy and almost effortless.20180212_135305-1_resized

That way, you can add your liquid, fresh coconut pulp, ground flax seeds, etc. and toss in your bag of frozen goodness.  40 seconds of blending later, you are enjoying a great smoothie.  Little effort to create something wonderful.  Fast and hits the spot.

Refreshing.

Perfect to drink on the way to work.   Perfect to drink on the way to take care of your grand for the day.  Perfect to drink while you decide if you want something more for lunch.

Just think of all the good you will be doing to your body?  One cup of berries a day times five days a week times each month.   Woah, Nelly!  That is a bucket full of antioxidants!  

Berries are some of the most powerful (and delicious) disease-fighting foods available. Color pigments in berries that are powerful antioxidants. Blue, purple, and red color have been associated with a lower risk of certain cancers, urinary tract health, memory function, and healthy aging.

20180209_132104-1_resized_3In this together, friends.

(next Thursday, when you take out a frozen zippy bag and make an amazing smoothie, send me an email.  I promise you, you will be so happy that you took the time to make something good for you!)

Here’s to our wellness and good health!

Cheers!