Thursday, September 24, 2015

#ThankfulThursday | rainy taxi

I sometimes feel that given my spiritual leanings, choosing a favorite season is like choosing a favorite child. I should not only love them all, but love them all equally. The truth, though, is that I have a spotty history with summer, not least of all because it seems like summer takes up most of the year in North Carolina. It is always summer here. Falling in love with North Carolina was a slow process--North Carolina had to wear me down (falling in love with a North Carolina boy helped, as did giving birth to a North Carolina boy). Loving North Carolina is also loving summer, or, at least, parts of it (the not-so-sweaty parts). But, I have to admit, the part of summer I love the best is the end of it; September is my kind of summer--the light is softer, the air just a touch cooler, there's a breeze, and everywhere is little signs of approaching autumn. Here we are at the very end of summer--the kids, my man, my sister, my grandma, and me. I am so grateful for Sundays in September with these, my very favorite people. I am grateful to see summer coming gracefully to a close. I am grateful for the promise of autumn.

I Am Grateful:
  • for the feel of my baby's bare foot in the palm of my hand as I reach behind my car seat and hold it on the ride to work, and I'm grateful for the reminder in that act that I won't be able to do this forever, and I'll wish I did it more often when he's not so small.
  • for the turtles, we count 21 in total, who swim to visit us within moments of stepping onto the wooden bridge at Crowder Park.
  • that when Wolfman and I read each other's minds, it's usually either about sex or grabbing food from Cookout.
  • for melted cheese.
  • to be at the shop, alone, opening in the morning, with the drawers counted in time to spare when Porcupine Tree's "Rainy Taxi" begins to play on my special Happy Good Morning Pandora mix, and I imagine myself in that taxi.
  • for Martigan's subscription to Highlight's Hello Magazine, and all the enjoyment he gets from it.
  • for the genius who first put marshmallows in cereal.
  • for the trees planted in the mall parking lot, whose leaves I watch change through the shop window while I work these days--if Bob Ross had painted parking lots, he would've painted this one.
  • that Goodberry's flavor-of-the-day on the Equinox, our last Goodberry's trip of the season, is pistachio--my all-time favorite ice cream flavor--and it is amazing.
I am grateful for Ella's face in this photo and the two-seater Radio Flyer wagon Grandma found at a thrift store.
I am grateful for the Reuben sandwich at Gypsy's, after a day at the flea market and Schenck Forest with the ones I love.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Photo Journal | fairies wear boots

Around the time that Spring gave way to Summer, an interesting infestation cropped up at my grandma's house.  First, one little home appeared nestled under the rosemary bush aside her drive way, then within a month there were a dozen. Fairies. Wee folk. We never see them, of course (we're not that swift or lucky), only the evidence of them, namely new little houses every week or so, and gifts left in the old chimney flue for Mads and Ella--a toy car, a miniature deck of cards, stickers. These don't seem to be the usual type of fairies, this tribe that's moved into my grandmother's yard (and, she tells me, she's finding evidence that they're inside the house as well). Or, at least, they don't seem to be what I think of as the usual fairies. These critters aren't making homes out of tree bark and mud; they're not even repurposing and recycling the junk we humans discard. No, they seem to be pilfering bird and doll houses and those castles people put in aquariums(?), from where I can't say. And are they carrying these shelters in groups over their heads, like nocturnal ants? Or is there some sneaky magic afoot? Today is the first of Autumn, and I don't know yet if the cooler weather will stanch their migration. Do fairies hibernate in winter like bears?

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Wolfkitchen | Wolfman's Inventive Sweet Tooth Cookies [i.e. Cocoa Hemp Cookies]

When I'm craving sweets and there's nothing in the house to satisfy that craving, I eat honey by the spoonful, dried cranberries and raisins, and complain. When Wolfman is craving sweets and there's nothing in the house to satisfy that craving, he gets out my hand-me-down Betty Crocker cookbook and improvises. He is a far better person than I; I am not loathe to admit. Wolfman adapted this recipe from the classic Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie recipe. He replaced Crisco with coconut oil and used only brown sugar instead of a combination of sugars. The result was a cakey, spicy cookie, not too sweet--particularly tasty dipped in coffee.

Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cups coconut oil
  • 2/3 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hemp seeds
  • 2-4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Wolfman did not actually measure this part)
  • liberal cinnamon (as in, liberal use; cinnamon's political preferences do not matter)
Directions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix oil, butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in large bowl.
  3. Stir in dry ingredients.
  4. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes.
  5. Cool slightly before removing from the cookie sheet.

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