My dear daughter and her wonderful partner brought over this film for us to watch last evening. I made homemade, from scratch chocolate chip cookies. Richard brewed a wicked pot of Dunkin Donuts coffee; we're addicted to the stuff...no Starbucks for us, mind you. It was so pleasant to see older, "normal" women on the screen. While Hollywood is the peddler of "eye candy", Great Britain offers a little something more enriching and Calendar Girls is a perfect example. Helen Mirren and the entire ensemble were credible tributes to the spirit of real women and what we can accomplish if we set our minds to it. The English countryside was idyllic and this true story was told with humor and joy. I'd love to meet the original calendar girls; I believe I heard they raised over a million dollars for the local hospital! If you've got a few hours, sit down with your family. Nibble a cookie, sip your coffee and enjoy. I know tea might be a more appropriate choice of beverages considering the film's origins but somehow I know Chris and Annie would approve. So then, raise your cups and say "cheerio" to a wonderful time well-spent!
I felt like doing a little baking today. It's a bit coolish outside and overcast. A good day for baking! I got out my recipe binder and settled on a yeast roll recipe I found some time ago. I found a jar of unopened bread machine yeast in the cupboard that expired in March of 2007. I warmed a little water in the microwave and added a little sugar. When the water cooled to 100 degrees, I added 4 teaspoons of the vintage yeast and found it proofed just fine! An omen to start baking and see what comes of it. Out came my KitchenAid mixer and the dough quickly took shape.
Baking always makes me think of my parents. My father used to make the most delicious whole wheat bread when I was a child. Later, mother discovered the magic of bread machines and baked nearly every day in her later years. She would take loaves of bread to the neighbors along with homemade peach butter.
While the dough was rising, I poured myself a cup of steaming hot coffee and sat down to begin reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. It is beautifully written and has me hooked. I luxuriated in the quiet as the aroma of bread dough wafted througout the house. My own dogs at my feet. It's been a while since I just sat down and read. I have missed doing that. Over the past few years I have found it difficult to relax and just "be". I feel guilty if I am not doing something. Yet today I so enjoyed that quiet time.
Once the dough had risen, I cut it in two, pressed each half into a rectangle and spread sugar and cinnamon over the rectangles and shaped each rectangle into a jellyroll. I cut each into 12 pieces and placed them into some old cake pans my mother had that I had poured a butter/brown sugar/corn syrup mixture into. I let them rise again for a time and put them in the oven. Mmmmmmmmm...the aroma!
Twenty-five minutes later I turned them out of the pans and pulled one of those little delights away from the edge, sat back down with my book and savored the warm gooeyness. What a great way to spend the afternoon; I'd forgotten how wonderful that could be. I'm thankful I allowed myself to enjoy that simple pleasure.
A few years ago, Richard decided he'd like to raise chickens. He put great effort into constructing what I call the Taj MaChickenHal. Sometimes I think those chickens live better than I do! He puts a lot of effort into making them happy and comfortable. In return, they give us lots of tasty eggs. I love eggs. I love Richard for giving the girls what they want so that, in turn, they give us those delicious little nuggets of tastiness. We have chocolatey-brown eggs. We have green eggs - hold the ham. We have pink eggs. We have blue eggs. They all taste delicious!
I call the girls DixChix. I was inspired to paint a little something commemorating their hard work, so I took an old piece of plywood and sketched out a few of the girls. I wood-burned it and painted it with acrylics.
Speakeasy was a skinny ginger tabby who came begging one Spring around 10 years ago. He was bedraggled and sad. We already had taken in six other little drifters, but my daughter Sarah pleaded for us to take him in. We named him Speakeasy because he talked a lot. He settled in and made a place for himself among everyone else and grew. Actually, he grew and grew and grew! Poor Speakeasy had weight issues; while his compadres remained svelt, Mr. Speak grew to great proportions. He moved to live with my daughter who was better able to ration his meals than we could with all of our brood. For a little better than a year he lived with her and relished his sofa-time spent with her. About a month ago, he had some issues and she took him to the veterinarian. She was told he had colitis and was given an injection of antibiotic. He appeared to get better, but then about a week ago he stopped eating altogether and was wobbly on his feet. We took him to the emergency vet last Saturday where he passed away. So, Mr. Speak left us. He drifted into our lives and drifted out in much the same way. We'll miss him and remember his comical ways and his funny lumbering walk. He was feisty and loved his kibble. He looked forward to any time he could snuggle and share the sofa with his humans. Till we meet again, Mr. Speak. We grieved when you left us. You're in our hearts.
Just like crows, I love all things sparkly and shiny. I love feathering my nest with all kinds of delicious baubles and treasures I've found on my journey. Some of my passions include lampworking, painting and creating adornments for my home. Richard, the man I have been fortunate to have as the love of my life for these many years lights up my days. Our daughter, Sarah is the other joy of my life. I welcome you to stop by and visit me here anytime. I hope you find something you enjoy!