Monday, January 30, 2017

~ We are how we treat each other, and nothing more ~

I've had this song on repeat-play most of the day here.  'Love, love, love.   ♥  

Friday, January 27, 2017

January Comforts

I have reached "that"point in January and am sure some afternoons spent tromping through the woods or some long walks in general would lift my spirits, and as soon as the sky stops spitting out rain and rain-that-isn't-sure-if-it-would-rather-turn-into-snow-yes-let's-be-snow-now-no-let's-turn-back-to-rain every day, life will feel a bit brighter.  We had a couple gorgeous days in the sixties last week, but I had hurt my back and didn't feel up to getting outside to enjoy them.  Ohhhhhhhhhhh BLEHHHHHHH, January 2017 is getting to me, but it is especially book-filled, and Stuffed has been making a nest of a throw pillow and sometimes an afghan on my lap every time I sit down to read lately. 
In addition to all the usual news articles, I've made my way through my probably-annual rereading of the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, have gotten a few chapters into The King's Grave:  The Discovery of Richard III's Lost Burial Place and the Clues It Holds by Philippa Langley, and am now beginning chapter forty-three of Stephen King's The Stand.  'A rather mixed bag the past few weeks, as my reading tends to be, and I'm enjoying it all--as  much as one can use that word for taking in some of the news (and some of The Stand, for that matter)Winter after winter after winter--in any season, but ohhhhh, these winters, especially--the reading saves me.  And thank God for this floofy little cat on my lap while I do it

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Especially for Jenny, Another Birthday Candle

This is how the candle-taped-to-the-treat-idea began, Jenny.  :)  I couldn't get home for my 2009 birthday, so in the package Mom mailed that year, she included a pink candle taped to a store-bought cupcake.  :)  (The little one-story pink house beside it was a flea market find from just the day before, she had explained on the card.  [I am always looking for cute one-story houses.])  The candle really is a charming idea, and one I need to remember more often.  I clipped from a magazine years ago the idea to mail someone a box of already-blown-up gifts along with his/her birthday gift, and I love that but have yet to try it.  (I always imagine the balloons bursting during shipping.  [I should mail blown-up balloons to myself first as a trial.]  Anyway, here's to sweet moms and sweet ideas. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The First Ten Days of the Year

The new year is beginning with a flurry of book-buying for my former elementary school.  I will have donated about six hundred books by the end of this month so am very much on-track with my goal of donating a thousand by my fortieth birthday in May.  "Did you know that all media's now half-off on Sundays?" the thrift shop cashier asked me last week as she rang up my stack of books.  I did not, and the new prices will make my goal even easier to reach this spring.  'Fifteen like-new hardcover books last week for practically nothing--like a wink from the universe.    I also did not know that Mary Poppins dolls existed--!--and lo and behold, this one, complete with carpetbag and umbrella, will soon be flying off to the school with the related books. 

Mom's January 4th birthday proved tricky to get a package out in time for since there was no mail here January 2nd for the New Year's postal holiday and I didn't want to mail it the Saturday before and have it--with cookies inside--sit in a post office or postal truck over the three-day weekend.  With a few little wrapped gifts nestling them inside the box, gluten-free nut roll cookies ended up being Mom's birthday treat this year.  I used a bag of Bob's Red Mill-brand gluten-free pie crust mix and was completely charmed by the packaging.  This would make a darling print.  And it's pink! 
My original plan had been to make rugelach, but the dough was too sticky to roll properly and I hadn't remembered to leave myself enough of the flour for that purpose, so after a messy attempt at the rugelach, I ended up making a dozen nut roll cookies for Mom instead.  Had I put a bit more thought into my Plan B, I'd have made a tidier thumbprint cookie with the nut filling so they would have looked prettier.  Next time.  These turned out, though, with the nut-mixture mixed right into and around the dough, and they tasted good.  
The nut-mixture was about 7 oz. of walnut-meal, maybe 3/4 cup whole milk, a cup or so of sugar, an egg, and most of a stick of butter--cooked until boiling, then just kind of rolled into the pie crust-cookie dough.  Next time I make these, I'll add some of the walnut-meal to the flour so there will be more nut-flavor throughout. 
I baked them early in the morning on January 3rd--the day before Mom's birthday, so. . .cutting it close--practically ran to the post office with the package as soon as I'd finished wrapping it all, and was told that it likely wouldn't reach her until the day after her birthday.  Bah! to postal holidays!  And no, it did not arrive in my parents' morning mail delivery on Mom's birthday, which made me sad.  (She did not care--"Getting mail tomorrow will just extend my birthday, Vally!"--but I very much did.)  We talked just a few minutes that afternoon since she and Dad were on their way out dinner and a movie.  She called me before I left for work the next night to let me know that just as they'd been leaving for dinner, a postal van had pulled up to drop off her package--an unprecedented second mail delivery in a single day for them--so she had received it on her birthday, after all.  ♥  And yes, she loved the cookies.  :)
As the temperature outside has bounced from a painful 8° one day to now-raining-and-near-40° a few days later, I have mostly been a homebody, contentedly sorting books and puttering around the apartment, save for walks to and from work, the thrift shop, and the post office.  'A peaceful and most satisfying first ten days of the year. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Proving Yesterday's Point :)

'One of my all-time favorite heart-finds, this caught my eye at work earlier today.  Happy new year, again.  :) 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

~Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.~ Roald Dahl

It is a sunny 45° in late afternoon now, warm enough to enjoy open windows awhile, and with them this stunning view of the brick wall across the way.  :)  (My dream of apartment-rooftop baseball game-watching lives on!)  It is buoying to discover today--today of all days--that a bold and shining star exists inside each of these seemingly-simple Tulips, there all along for anyone who would just look for it. 
Happy new year.