I'm likely the only one goofy enough in my immediate family to feel this way, but today and tomorrow, Groundhog Day, always seem like extra-special days designed for my family, as if the first couple dates on the calendar this month are very much "ours." My older brother's birthday is today ("Groundhog Eve"), and he, my dad, and I were all born in Punxsutawney, so we share the hometown of the celebrated groundhog, "Punxsy Phil." It always feel both odd and somehow fitting for "our" family birthday and hometown to be celebrated and on the news over a national holiday every year. (My family would all roll their eyes at this, as I said, but I myself love holidays, even strange ones that fete a rodent weather forecaster.)
Have I mentioned here before that groundhogs are one of my favorite animals? They can get so big and chubby, and their hind-ends waddle when they run (if they're chubby enough), and they just melt my heart. 'Love, love, love them. ♥
I worked at a dollar store off and on throughout college and a couple years after, and one of my customers mentioned once that she had found a groundhog cub in the woods behind her house, and after watching it for awhile and concluding that its mother must have died, she decided--illegally--to keep it as a pet. The groundhog lived right in the house with her and her family for years, just as a cat or dog would, she told me--and although I wouldn't really keep one as a pet the way they did, I've been somewhat envious ever since. A pet groundhog! ♥ Be still, my heart!
And as I just said to Terri from the lovely blog "Artful Affirmations," be still to her heart too because she's the winner of my first giveaway. Congratulations again, Terri! :) I loved putting together the giveaway and will definitely have more now that I know how much fun it is, so good luck to everyone for the next one. Stay tuned. And thank you all for your sweet comments and the stories you shared in the comments of the last post. Reading them and discovering new blogs and new people brightened an exhausting end-of-January, so thank you for everything. ♥
And now back to my milk and Groundhog Day cookies. I made the three at the top of this post for Mike. The cookies are sugar cookies, and while they were still warm, I hollowed-out spaces for the groundhogs (Nestle-brand Butterfinger "Snackerz" candies) then frosted them with homemade buttercream and attached chocolate jimmies/sprinkles to the groundhogs for the eyes and Hershey-brand Reese's Pieces for the noses. Mike's the Peanut Butter Person of the two of us. I'm now working on my third plain frosted sugar cookie, and that'll be enough sugar cookies for me until at least Christmas Eve.
Happy birthday, Older Brother, ♥ congratulations again, Terri, ♥ and a jubilant Groundhog Day weekend to you all. ;)