Sayonara Fall

Saying goodbye to fall, and slowly ushering in winter.  One iPhone pic at a time. 

A night after an all day work meeting when I all I really wanted to do was have a martini, but instead had a photo taking session with a lovely teenager.  

Bread baking with Momma Debi on a slow coffee Sunday morning.  Bliss.  

Firecracker is a beauty.  And I like to wear the same bows as her.  

When arriving home before dark is rare, it is completely relished.  

Coffee at night.  I recommend.  I refer to it as smart forward thinking for morning.  

Salsa from the garden which Momma D. and Sil so kindly shared.  Yes please.  

Friday morning sludge maker with kitchen pocket doors closed for politeness.  


Not only do I wear floral under a sports shirt, I also keep my name tag on for the entire errand running time.  

Striped pants, homemade pizza, and wine on a night before four days off of work.  Need I say more?  

Trying out the new binoculars and keeping Tootsie from licking my face.  

Before dawn Sunday morning movies with a fire are officially my favorite.  Between the hours of 5 and 7 on Sunday mornings is the about the only time I can actually sit and watch a full movie.  It's over before the sun comes up and it feels like cheating time and I freaking love it.  

She does penny tricks while waiting on brunch just to drive me to the brink of insanity.  Because I'm really really great at not figuring things out quickly.   

While these two played checkers to avoid the insanity.

And this one.  I have no words for her pre-brunch activities, other than...I die from the cuteness.  

Walmart in other towns is actually do able.  Walmart here?  Never.  

Certain things bring back certain memories every single time.  Unsweetened iced tea from the Shoppette will forever be Lisa and our long after school fourth grade planning meetings.  

Juggling jobs means some Saturday mornings are spent meeting with folks.  I'm okay with it.  Most of the time.  I know one day I'll be those retired people in the background and look back on these days and smile.  

I broke out deer and snowflake leggings and I don't ever want to go back to wearing anything else.  

Color coding grade levels is my jam.  

Morning light is also my jam.  My favorite.    

Red and green.  It started to happen a bit early.  Even though I promised it wouldn't.  I needed to have a dishrag ready though, right?  

Sister Pister and I spent a lovely vacation Monday morning creating warmers for our coffee mugs using Grandma Gladys' yarn and buttons.  I love the notion we can have coffee together even when we are five hours apart.  

Then, well what happened was...I had to have warm twinkly lights to enjoy by coffee by so...

Just call me K-mart. 

Jumping the gun. 


No Coincidence Here

There we sat, the three of us completely alone in a vast movie theater on a Tuesday night at 9:30, laughing and exchanging side glances and are you still awake...over and over again.  Taking in a movie together exactly one week ago was a gift for so many reasons.  A weeknight away from real life because work conferences for two happening to collide with a day off for the other one, creating a perfect trifecta of circumstance.  Three friends who consist of two sisters and a me, the one who has always idolized both of them and tagged along for a variety of adventures.  Including movies on Tuesday nights when I'm thirty and can no longer stay awake through anything.

A fifteen minute cat nap during the beginning of About Time did not stop me from soaking in the message.  Feeling the beauty of the slowness of the characters wrapping me in their story one fiber at a time until at the end, the tapestry was finished and it all made perfect sense.

Live every single day as if you would never want to step into a closet and time travel back for a replay.  Live every single day as if you wouldn't change one tiny moment or decision or reaction.   

Sometimes I feel consumed in a time warp, where I'm trudging through each day with the list of what will happen the next day running through my mind for the duration.  Attaching next and next and next instead of treating each day as it's own separate entity, taking it for it's own worth. 

For a brief moment after a dinner out, when Jenny and Becky looked at me with twinkles in their eyes and let's go to a movie right now, I thought of the next day.  Needing to be up early to attend a conference, needing to deliver pictures to a teenager who had been patiently waiting, needing to plan for work, needing, needing, needing.  Next day.  Next day after that.

Then I stopped.  Stopped and lived for the Tuesday night I was in.  A Tuesday night with two of my forever friends who I rarely see.  A Tuesday night with the opportunity to experience an out of the ordinary and create a memory.

Who knew the movie would be focused around just what I had been internally swarming and struggling with in my head?  I think it was not a coincidence, not one little bit a coincidence. 

And here's a picture of a glitter horse with wings behind my wine glass on a different night after being sat at the bar when no tables were available.  Again, not a coincidence.  These things happen for a reason.   


Cookies all Around

Happy Veteran's Day!  Teaching on an Air Force base has given me much perspective on how thankful we all should be for the men and women who serve this country.  We should be thinking of them and their families every single day, not just on a holiday.  I wrote about it a long time ago and it still holds true.  Absolute true. 

If you are at home today, you are in luck because here's where I get back to the sharing of the cookie recipe from the night in which I baked cookies with only the under cabinet lighting, because it was prettier.  

Chocolate Chip Fabulous-ness should be the title but it's really Chocolate Chip Cookies Doubled (Debi) in the book.  Which means they came from Momma D. and they have been made more times than one could count. 

2 cups softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups packed brown sugar
4 eggs
4 tsps. vanilla
5 cups all purpose flour (I tend to lean towards a solid 5 1/2)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. baking powder
2 tsps. baking soda
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla.  In another bowl, mix together the flour, salt, soda, and powder.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Scoop dough onto cookie sheet.  Bake for 9-10 minutes or until edges are brown.   

There's more butter and sugar than ever should be allowed but trust me on this. 

And flour will fly all over hell because it's a gigantic doubled batch.  Taking deep breaths and thinking of the end products works to combat the white mess. 

Because of the enormity of the dough, the spatula will break.  Which will cause you to get out the supposedly fancy pink one from a certain store, the one nobody likes because it doesn't really work.  That's what fancy gets you.

After that, you will run out of normal sized semi sweet chocolate chips and have to add in mini chips as a substitute and then you'll always want to do that, serendipitous surprise.  

The wooden spoon you inherited from Grandma Gladys will need to come out to do the final mixing as you stand on a chair because it's that serious.

Finally, you'll scoop and scoop and scoop because the batch goes on forever.

And if you are named Amy and an absolute bottom of the ninth-er, you will pull a comfy chair into the kitchen to sit and read your book club book while you wait in between oven dings because the next night is book blub Friday.     

Why couldn't one read the book in the living room?  Because the World Series trumped all, that's why.  Improvising is the name of the game around here.  

After the whole ordeal is said and done, you'll have enough cookies to bring a large container to work the next day, send two plates to Billy's work, and freeze three containers to be shared at a house warming party on the following Sunday. 
Plan appropriately.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

These gems are chewy and freeze like they were born to freeze.  Sometimes it's a good idea to do a little tester cookie or three to see if you need to add flour.  They run on the flat side but you don't want them to be run over style. 


Every Time

If for no other reason than to simply remember a Sunday evening when the sky colors came an hour earlier than they did the week before.  

If for no other reason than to take one quiet moment before rushing off to the next scheduled thing, to reflect in those seconds about how rewarding it feels to push yourself hard.  

If for no other reason than to always know this corner of the world is home, with its gravel roads and tall ditch grass and surly sloughs.  

If for no other reason than to remember every sunset I experience is a gift and a true wonder.   

If for no other reason than to just be really really grateful.  To be given the chance to do every day.  Maybe the same as I did the day before.  Maybe much different than tomorrow will be. 


As of Late


I'm obsessed with banana chips.

And dried blueberries from the bulk section.  They don't have added sugar which deserves a twirl and a foot stomp, however they are pricey.  Let's just say there was a moment to the cashier of say what now?  Those berries were twenty-six dollars?  Clearly, I can't really be obsessed with them so special occasion treat it is!     

I have been pulling that old new to me rocker over to the fireplace in the morning to read and it's rather lovely having a place to rest my arms while they hold my book and it's been mighty fine having toasty toes.  

Trail mix is no longer on my favorites list because it betrayed me.  I cracked a tooth on the junk a couple of weeks ago.  Favorites to junk.  That's right.  It happened on a Thursday.  On a Friday, I was certain the right side of my face was losing feeling and I would have a brain infection by Saturday.  I called the dentist and started with, "I'm sure I'm just being my kind of crazy but I'm fairly certain my face hurts..." and ended with being in his chair.  Once reclined, we chatted for a bit and I reiterated I was certain I was being overly anxious and analyzer-ish.  To which he looked at me and smiled because he knows.  So I thought for sure and since he knows, he thought for sure that it would be nothing.  Then I heard the word crown and I couldn't help but tell him, "Crap!  I wanted to just be crazy.  It really does all start to fall apart after you turn 30 doesn't it?"  Cracking teeth now and I don't want to know what's next.  

Remember the time I ate my memory card instead of the trail mix?  Just had to throw that in because it still makes me shake my head.  

My legs are super sore.  The good kind of sore where you have to lower yourself in stages to the sitting position.  The good kind of sore that comes from getting your hiney running again and muscle pumping again.  Can someone tell me why I thought it was appropriate to take two and a half months off?  Also, I've added in some Zumba and my that's fun!  I'm the most uncoordinated person on this side of the Red River, but I sure am enjoying making a fool of myself.  Plus I think forcing myself to learn to look at person in front of me and copy their actions at a high speed rate is doing things to my brain.  What things is yet to be determined, but I believe in learning new and making the brain work.  

I refuse to skip over November.  It does not deserve a skip.  It does not deserve talk of red and green and twinkly lights.  I love me the twinkle, but I'm holding firm on this.  Being thankful is what this month is for and I find myself thinking about blessings, both big and little.  Like the blessing of banana chips.  Or maybe more so, the blessing of feeling each morning that I love what I do.  And the blessing of decaf coffee.  

Especially when it's enjoyed in large doses by friends and family with pumpkin marshmallows on Halloween night.  

Overall, Halloween was a win.  

I really do love seeing the costumes and the excited faces and hearing the funny mixed up thank yous with trick-o-treats along side a few blank stares.  I also love that family and friends stay a bit and there's the complete chaos of pizza eating and door bell answering by whoever is closest and that at the very end of the night, Karen sits and visits but never takes her stocking cap off or her puffy coat.  It's those types of things.  They make a holiday...a holiday. 

And let me just say this, Billy makes friends with everyone.  He was like the trick-o-treat king.  

As for me, I feel the nerdiest of nerds on Halloween, on most holidays if I'm being honest.  Thinking about all kinds of ways to make or do or wear.  

Really, one could say I'm fairly nerdy on all days, even a Tuesday.  So maybe I could have summed all previously stated words up by saying this...

Currently, I'm a nerd.  

I never have been one to be succinct though.