Wishful Thinking

Posts about what I wish would hurry up and happen, but probably won’t.

Dear Followers of www.donnaeverhart.com


I did mention that website change, didn’t I?  Are you finding me?  No?  This is what happens when they let me have hold of the power tools.

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Juuust kidding.  I haven’t been doing the work, but, here’s what has been going on – without getting too far into the weeds.  The website is now redesigned.  As part of that redesign, it is also being supported by a new web-hosting entity.  These back end changes to enable that have resulted in two sites.

Old.  New.

You are likely not getting to the old site if you have it bookmarked.  Even though the old site could have been found under http://www.donnaeverhart.com, it was really www.donnaeverhart.wordpress.com.

That’s how you would find it today.

Meanwhile, the new site is here.  But, then I noticed my stats showed zero visitors to the new site.  And that I had zero (!!!) followers.  Which made me…

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Hmmm.  What could be the problem?

Ah.  All of you are over there on – I mean here – on the old site – and maybe not even here because of “broken” links. (bookmark).  Yikes.  What I didn’t know was creating the new site would leave you behind.  I thought it would be a seamless transfer.

The question is, have you missed me?  If so, I would love it if you would follow me over at the new place.  Check it out.  See what you think.  At the bottom of each page, you’ll see how to follow my blog – again.

I hope to see you, HERE!

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Out With The Old


…in with the new, as the old saying goes.

Yesterday I took the tree and decorations down.  Some will think, but what about the Twelve Days of Christmas leading up to the Feast of Epiphany?  A twelve days of Christmas celebration never took place in my family’s household.  Growing up, the tree came down soon after the 25th – maybe not as quick as mine, but quick enough.  I wonder how many of you actually follow the tradition – with your celebrations beginning on the 25th and lasting until January 6th, which is the 2016 timeframe?

I received a new Garmin fitness tracker for my birthday (earlier in December) and to give you an idea of what it means when I say “take the tree and decorations down,” consider that I logged over 4.5 miles of walking – inside my house and in my yard alone.  On top of that, I estimated I climbed the staircase with boxes, presents, and cleaning stuff at least 30 times – probably more.  At least that’s what my leg muscles are telling me this morning.

That new fitness tracker leads me to my next thought.  I’m not any different in that I love the idea of fresh starts and new beginnings.  I make resolutions, which I usually keep to myself – in case I don’t stick with them.  🙂  Statistics say most of us aren’t good at this resolution thing.  Check out some of those facts here.

2017 is peeking around the corner.  Are you ready?  What do you want most this year?

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Courtesy 123rf.com

 

 

 

 

 

2016 In Review


I’m in a state of disbelief another year is just about gone, and so, what better time to gather up some pictures and share them here, thereby providing a “snapshot” of 2016 in review!

To say it’s been a wonderful, fun filled, exciting time doesn’t even come close to how I really feel.  The holidays are almost here and I find I’m in a reflective mood, feeling ever so grateful for all that’s happened while looking forward to what 2017 might bring.

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And so it began…like every other New Year, with fireworks, that feeling of renewal, AND the ever present resolutions!  (did you break all of yours like I did mine?)

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February arrived, and with it Miss Priss turned 1!  She likes cake.  A lot.  She will hate this picture in about 15 years.

In March, page proofs arrived for THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE.

Then came the ARC (notice the cover) and book plates.  So exciting to see!

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Early April, and spring was here.  The rhododendrons were spectacular, as always!

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Also, in April 2016, came my first ever book club presentation! Here we have some members of the Cosmopolitan Book Club.

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In May came another event, a reading and publication discussion for Ye Olde Town Arts Club!

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In June 2016, I received the good news that the book was really resonating with the Sales Department, and with booksellers.  The cover was tweaked to bring the title out more.

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Despite all of the good things happening with THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE, I had to keep writing!  And in June, 2016, I completed my second novel, THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET.  And I had a celebratory beer.  🙂

July and August 2016 = typical summer months.  In other words, hot, hazy and humid, and a few violent storms.

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In August, Mom turned 80, her second birthday without my Dad.  Here she is with her great grands, and though I can still see the sorrow in her eyes, she’s getting along okay.

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In mid September, I found out THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE was selected as a November 2016 Indie Next List pick!

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I was invited to attend the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA), also in September, where I signed books at the all around author event, participated on the Southern Reads panel, and met a lot of other great authors.  And yes, here’s a lovely Penguin Random House Sales Rep, and look there, what book do you see?  SO exciting!

And then?  Unbelievably, (while also thinking FINALLY!) it was time for the book to release on October 25th!  I held my official launch at Raleigh NC’s well known Quail Ridge Books, on November 1st.  Not only did the staff have to bring out more chairs, they sold out of the books.  🙂  I had the best time, and was so thankful for all of my family and friends who came out to  make it such a big success!

During this event, it was announced that THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE was selected as an Amazon Top Ten Pick for November, as well as being featured as the Debut Spotlight pick!

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And that certainly helped to propel it here! (along with the Kindle and the Bookbub deals that ran almost simutaneously!)

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In the meantime, Fall/Winter lists had been compiled, and the book made these lists!

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It was a Library Journal Book Club Selection

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And suddenly, folks were sending me pictures of the book from everywhere.  Here we show Miss Dixie Dupree at the local Wal-Mart,  Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), Denver, Kentucky and Seattle.

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Then came the news the book hit the USA TODAY bestsellers list.         (!!! x a bajillion)

 

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It made the IndieBound bestsellers list (and…it’s still there!)

So, you can see why I am feeling so grateful.

It’s hard to wrap my head around the idea that this book, THIS story, would resonate with so many.  It’s not an easy read.  It deals with dark subject matter, social issues, and as one reviewer pointed out, “all the triggers are going to be pulled.”  And, as I’ve mentioned before, The Washington Independent Review of Books said it was”a harrowing tale of domestic trauma with Southern Gothic flair.”

And there have been many more reviews, like that one, that removed a lot of the doubt I had about writing such a difficult story without mincing words.

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Still, there is a lot of work yet to be done.  I was thrilled to be asked by my editor to read a manuscript and provide a blurb.  I am finalizing the revisions on BITTERSWEET.  I am working on my new book’s outline and first three chapters.  For now, though, I’m turning towards this holiday season and spirit of giving.  I wish each and every one of you joy, peace and hope.

Little Dog says, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too!

I hope to see you back here, in 2017.

xoxo,

Donna

 

 

 

Aftermath


We are fourth for states producing hurricane force winds, and in my lifetime alone, there have been 126 tropical, sub-tropical cyclones to hit North Carolina.

Before I write anything else, I want to remember the ones who lost their lives in the storm, the ones displaced, the ones waiting to go home, those who are still in need.

I can’t remember all of the hurricanes – mainly because I was very young when some came through, or their impact just didn’t leave me with any memory of them.

And then, there are ones you don’t forget.

There was Hurricane Fran in 1996 – I remember that one well.  Upstairs in my bedroom, I could feel my headboard move when a strong gust blew. That distinctive cracking of large trees falling in the middle of the night?  Burned into memory.  We went without power for days.

Then, after I was married, and we moved here to Dunn, and there was Hurricane Floyd in 1999.  We lost a huge holly tree, and our basement flooded.  We’d only been in the house a year, and had no idea it would.  Ah, so that’s what those sump pumps were for…but with no electricity?

Flood.

Speaking of flood.  It’s been said the predictions for rainfall here with Hurricane Matthew were underestimated, but no matter, because flooding would have occurred at the 8-10 inches they’d forecasted.  We’d already had at least that much the week before.  And instead, this time we got something more like 12 inches, or 14 – depending on who you listen to.

All I know is we got A LOT.  Astonishingly, some got MORE.  And 17 (so far) Make that 20…have tragically lost their lives.  😦

We lost our internet and phone service first.  Yes, hallelujah for cell phones!  We also have a generator – one strong enough to plug in both refrigerators, TV’s, a couple lamps, and the most important item of all…the beloved coffee pot.  We have a gas stove, so we could cook by using a lighter to fire it up.  We didn’t have hot water – but who’s trying to win a beauty contest?  The generator once it got cranking provided us those few amenities, and despite being LOUD as a yard blower inside your house, it was well worth it.

Sections of I-95 are closed down – right at our exit.  They (DOT) are diverting traffic off of the interstate because of flooding.  Here I was, driving North (I don’t think I was supposed to be – notice NO CARS) while Southbound is being diverted – right on into my town of Dunn. i-95

Rivers are expected to crest tomorrow so the danger is still imminent for those nearby.  The picture below is the Black Creek.  Creek – yeah, um, not so much.  This was on my way to Wal-Mart, a trip that usually takes 5 minutes and took 20.  (remember that I-95 diversion)

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There are things one does during times like this.  Without power, you still flip on light switches as you go into a room.  You watch or listen to the Weather Channel 24/7.  You drive an hour and half to find a bag of coffee.  You wait in line at McDonald’s for two hours.  You stare out the window at the storm and pray.

And.. you realize you’re not as prepared as you thought you were.

Here are some trees down in the “hood.”  It might be kind of hard to see unless you click on the picture (?) but either way, one tree down looks like any tree down – if only they had missed those doggone wires.

Here’s a funny story.  The night we got our power back on, I had just said “I love our generator, but I’ll be glad when we can shut that thing off.”  Blip.  Two seconds later, the lights came on.  I wish my husband had taken a picture of my facial expression.

I wanted to go around and turn on EVERY light in the house – just because I could.  I grinned like a fool for hours.  WE still don’t have internet or phone service.  I’m posting this via a little wifi hotspot.

I feel grateful.  And sad.  And conflicted.

Good riddance Hurricane Matthew.  We will never hear your name again.  You took good people from their families, and friends.  You scared the hell out of us.  And you’re one storm I will remember.

What’s your hurricane story?

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White Noise – Redux


I posted this on my blog in November of 2014.  Considering all that I’m seeing, watching and hearing, I thought it might be worthwhile to dredge it up and post again.  I’ve become sort of…what’s the word, disenchanted? Dismayed? Disillusioned? 

Assume what you will after reading.  You won’t hear a peep about it from me.  🙂

ORIGINAL POST, 2016 updates in italics:

On this blog,when it comes to certain topics, this is what you’ll get:

WHITE NOISE

WHITE NOISE

When I started http://www.donnaeverhart.com back in early 2011, my intention was to focus on what was happening with my writing, with occasional family stuff thrown in, a book review here and there, photographs I’ve taken (strictly amateur), and whatever else I could dredge up I thought interesting.  I knew there would be certain topics I would steer clear of, and to this day, I’ve held true to that conviction.  (2016 update – yep, still the same!)

Topics I am determined not to post about are my religious, political, or ripped from the headlines viewpoints.  And that’s because everywhere I turn, from the TV, to radio, to Facebook, to other blogs, and who knows where else, that’s what I already get.  What do I have to add to the fray?  Nothing that hasn’t already been said.

Anyone can do what they want with their social media.  I don’t care.  It’s their space, their time, just as this space is mine.  Sure, I’ve waded into debates on other sites here and there a few times.  With the last one, I decided never again.  (2016 update – I’ve forgotten about this. Must’ve been real important.)   To the best of my ability, I’ve chosen to ignore being drawn into what can only become an inflammatory conversation.  The few comments  I did make on other blogs never made me feel better, and I knew I wasn’t going to sway any opinions no matter how many facts I lobbed over the internet fence.  It is/was, in my opinion, time wasted.  Besides, too much can be lost in this sort of online dialogue.  Sometimes the hot button topics are just too sensitive and difficult to parse into words that will go out to be consumed without that personal touch of voice modulation (are they yelling?), gestures, (slamming a hand down?) and eye contact, (or not) and a myriad of other human interactions. 

There are some who are very good at sharing their opinions with the right sense of diplomacy, yet no matter how eloquent they may be, somebody’s gonna get pissed.  Somebody’s gonna disagree.  It’s a no win situation.  Call me chicken.  Call me weak.  Hey, maybe call me…smart?  I have viewpoints on all of it, but, do you honestly care what I think about religion, politics or the latest news event?  I doubt it – especially if my opinion differs.

My other point is, what does any of that have to do with my writing goals and journey?  Not a thing.  In my opinion, it would be a turn off if you came  to read about the usual stuff I’m blathering on about, and got blasted with my personal opinions.  It’s not relevant to this writerly space which I consider almost sacred.

In that regard, here will always be like white noise, because there are already more than enough sideline analysts and commentators out there.

Aren’t you glad? 

Here.  Here’s some cloud pictures to look at.  I do a lot of sky gazing.  Every time I look at clouds, that Joni Mitchell song comes to mind, but this stanza where she replaces “clouds” with “life” seems appropriate.

“I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all.”

~Joni Mitchell~

 

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Finding Pennies


I made no move to mark or signal in any way my father’s one year anniversary of passing.  About three days before the official day, Mom and I went out to the grave site and swapped out the Christmas flowers for a selection of silk flowers I’d picked out, varying shades of off white, sunny yellow and deep blues.  A Spring bouquet.

She worried over the stone.  “Look, Donna, it’s sinking.”

I bent over and strained to see.  Yes.  Maybe that one corner was dipping into the rain sodden ground, ever so slightly.

“We have to call the cemetery office.  We have to tell them to fix it.”

“I’ll call them today, Mom.”

“Here, brush it off.  I don’t want it to be dirty.”

I whisked away a few strands of dead grass.  A bug.  A small bit of dirt.

“There.  That’s much better,” she said.

We didn’t get that quiet time we wanted with Dad.  Right beside his grave two men worked to prepare an “Opening.”  They were polite, and kept about it, but it was hard to stand there and feel any sense of connection to Dad, so, we left.

As is often the case when dealing with loss, those left behind, the ones impacted the most might tend to look for “signs.”  Several weeks after Dad passed, when Mom’s grief had diminished to a more manageable sadness and she once again became more aware of her surroundings, she began finding pennies here and there.  We were at a Minute Clinic at a CVS store for her to get a pneumonia shot, and while sitting in one of the little waiting chairs just outside the clinic, right in front of her feet – a penny.

“Oh!  Look, Donna.  A penny!  That’s your father signaling me.”

She bent over, picked it up as I said, “What?”

“Haven’t you heard about pennies from heaven?” she asked.

Vaguely, I think I had…I wasn’t sure.  She said after a loved one has passed, if you find pennies (or other change I guess) in odd places, it was a sign they were with you.

“Hm,” said I, with some skepticism.  It’s possible you could find spare change just about anywhere, if you looked hard enough.

But then, a couple weeks later, we were standing in the backyard discussing what she was going to do about mulching and trimming, and there on the ground at our feet, another penny.  In the grass.  How odd.

And still again, I took her to a store to pick up a few things, and as we waited in line to be checked out, what did we see?  Yep.  Another penny right by her foot.

More recently, my brother and I accompanied her to a minor procedure.  While she and I sat side by side in the waiting room, (my brother paced) there on the carpeted floor?  Sigh.  Yes.  A penny.

She was thrilled.  “I see you, Daddy.”

I have to admit, my hint of skepticism was waning.

And then this happened.

We’ve been dealing with the flu, here in the Everhart household.  I recently washed a blanket I’d taken down from the closet to use one night when the fever spiked and I was certain death from freezing was imminent.  After it was dry, I folded it back up and was putting it back on the closet shelf.

In that closet hangs my Dad’s coat.  The one I’d given him years ago, and the one he wore ALL the time – especially after he became ill and seemed to stay cold.

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After he passed, I told Mom I wanted it – sentimental reasons and all.  I brought it home, washed it, dried it, and hung it up.  It’s been in the closet over a year.  I took it off the hanger, and something made me put it on.  I shoved my hands into the pockets, and stood there a moment, breathing deep, wishing, in a way, that I hadn’t washed it because it only smelled of detergent.

I wiggled my fingers in the left pocket and encountered a flat round object.  I pulled it out and stared at what lay in my hand.  Yes.  A penny.

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Coincidence? 

I don’t know, what do you think?

 

Rear View Mirror


2015 is about done.  What better time than now, on this last day of a year filled with ups and downs, to take a look back at all that happened.  And what better way than to just grab the photos.

Work in progress at the first of the year was my hard crime novel, A BLACK WATER SEASON.  It went on submission in February.

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Abigail, (a.k.a.) Miss Priss was born a month premature on February, 8th.

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March roared in and my father passed.  Who knew that Christmas 2014 would be his last?

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In April, I received the wonderful news that my Southern fiction novel THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE sold to Kensington!  This was a bit of a twist with regard to the submission of A BLACK WATER SEASON, which was passed on by the editor at Kensington, however, he asked to see something else.  I’m glad I had that “something else!”

It all became very real when the contract arrived from my agent.

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And even more real when I received the first part of an advance!

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Spring came late, even though we may not remember it now, it took a while to warm up to our usual temperatures.

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And during the Spring, I began work on a new book, working title THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET.

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In the late Spring, came my FIRST EVER edited pages from my editor.  Yes, red pencil marks and all.  It’s considered work, but I loved it.

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Shit! Look!

We took our usual trip to the mountains in the RV, and I got some more writing done and filled the days with long walks where I found this little guy who’s become the header pic on the blog here.

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Before I knew it, late summer arrived, and Mom turned 79.  Here she is with Miss Priss on our back porch.  When I look at her eyes, I see the sadness in them, even though she’s smiling.

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Fall came and my first ever writer’s conference, Bouchercon!  Even though this conference was more in line with the genre of mystery/crime novels, (signed up while I was writing BLACK WATER) I still enjoyed every second, and most of all, meeting some of the folks I interact with on other blogs, like Colin Smith, and the notorious shark herself, Janet Reid!

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I swear I looked out the window one day and this happened almost over night.

Fall 2013

Thanksgiving was hosted at our house, and in what has become a tradition for me, I had Christmas decorations up too!

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And it was a first for Miss Priss!  (Uh oh)

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And “Mister” offered up his contributions to the festive events!

And now, we are here.

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It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?  Here’s to the New Year, and may it be filled with all you wish for!

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!

 

 

 

 

By The Light Of The Silvery Moon


Did anyone see the moon Christmas night?  Or the night after?  They (scientists, reporters, etc.) talked about the Super Moon earlier this year, and after the spectacular show I witnessed on the 25th and 26th I wondered if they’d missed these recent dates.  They did discuss it was the first full moon on Christmas night in seventeen years.

With my lowly little camera it’s impossible to capture what I saw.  But, I tried.  Christmas night there was this beautiful halo encircling it.  The halo revealed faint rainbow colors combined with a few wispy clouds that partially obscured the moon now and then.

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The first shot shows the colors better, the second is clearer, but of course the moon looks like the phrase we’ve heard –  Midnight Sun –  instead of the moon.  I wish I could have figured out the best setting to get these shots because it was truly was mesmerizing.

And then…I went outside with Little Dog the next night, December 26th, around 8:00 p.m.  And what did I see?  Another gorgeous moon rise.  I could actually see it creeping up in the sky.  It was huge – and I mean it was so big it didn’t look real – this orangey disc sneaking upwards in the East.  Inside I go to grab my camera, and again, I couldn’t do it justice.

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As you can see, I was trying different settings.  The first one is too bright.  The second is perfect color wise, but there’s no reference for the SIZE.  Imagine the pictures you see in National Geographic where the silhouette of a person is overwhelmed by a moon in the backdrop.  That would be a good comparison.  And the last is where I was trying yet another setting, but by then it was rising past a tree and this one shows my neighbor’s light at the corner of their house.  Still, with the tree branches in front and a few of those high level clouds floating across, (ignore the blurry if you can – I was trying not to breathe) it’s almost Halloween’ish.

I’m enamored with the moon.  And sunrises/sunsets that tend towards the dramatic in the early spring and late summer.  I’ve taken more shots of these than I have my own family.

When writing I love to describe a character’s experience with the natural environment.  For instance, in my latest WIP, there’s a hurricane, and a flood, and in the aftermath of the storm it’s steamy with the smell of decay from dead animals.  As the flood waters receded, there’s a moldy, stuffiness to the air.  The characters feel as if they are walking with wet blankets draped over them while the bugs swarm.

No, they aren’t comfortable, yet I can go back and look at some of the shots I’ve taken and figure out a way to describe what they see, and perhaps give them a moment of beauty at the rising or setting of the sun, writing them into a feeling of gratefulness they’re alive.

Much like the way I feel when I happen to capture pictures like I did here – even if they aren’t as perfect as I’d like them to be.

Life isn’t perfect anyway – only the stories we try to tell.

 

 

 

 

For The Love of Cookies


A lot has been happening here at the homestead.  I’ll call it post Thanksgiving madness with shopping (online and in stores) wrapping flurries, cleaning up flurries, with occasional writing flurries (current WIP @ 37K), all topped off with holiday parties to attend.

This weekend I’ll bake Christmas cookies with mom, as I’ve done since I can remember.  Back in the day we used to bake eight varieties.  We would get started at around 7:00 a.m. and go until 10:00 or 11:00 that night.  When I think back on it, I remember how sore my hands would be the next day from the mixing, kneading and dish washing.  I would be tired for two days.  But, oh, the smell!  I would go home reeking of butter, vanilla and chocolate.  Like that Yankee Candle I took a whiff of the other day, called Christmas Cookie.  Yeah, I smelled like that.

One of my favorites was Spritz.

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YUM!  (photo courtesy SouthernPlate)

I sort of learned that you can’t eat Spritz after you eat any of the others.  For example, what some call a Wedding Cookie, and some call pecan puffs, they are those little round cookies with pecans, cinnamon and they’re coated in powder sugar.  If you eat one of those, then eat a Spritz, the Spritz falls flat.  If you start off with Spritz, you can distinctly taste vanilla and butter.  Otherwise, it tastes kind of like Playdough.  🙂  Anyway, we would bake Spritz, sugar cookies, fudge, pecan puffs, peanut butter balls (Buckeyes), some sort of bar cookie (more pecans, chocolate galore), these little candies like Mounds, and peanut butter cookies – which we made more festive my sprinkling red and green sugar on top.

To say we’ve scaled back is like telling someone to cut the heat down and later on you go by the thermostat and it’s so low, it might as well be off.

This Saturday we will still do the peanut butter balls – but I won’t be bringing any home.  We will do peanut butter cookies, and sugar cookies too.  Those I will bring home.  Mom will make fudge and give me a few pieces because she knows how much I love it.  But I won’t bring a whole tin home like before.

One reason for the change is Hubby.  After years, and years, and years, what do I learn?  He’s not a big cookie fan – peanut butter and sugar get a thumbs up – but he would just as soon eat a plain old rice cake as to eat the others. For a while there we were baking all these cookies like crazy, until I noticed I was hauling it back here, tin after tin loaded with goodies, and eating most of it all by myself.

Finally, one year, I got a clue when this conversation took place:

“Here try some of these, they’re so good!”

“Nah, I’ll just eat the peanut butter ones.”

“Oooo, these are my favorites!  Try these.”

“Nah, I’ll just eat some of the sugar.”

“What?  But, these are the best!”

“I don’t really care for them.”

Mouth.  Open.  And not to put a cookie in.

Well darn.  So, I tell Mom this, and we have adjusted as time went on.  Besides, with Dad not there to gobble them up almost as fast as we make them, she has lost some heart for doing a lot of baking anyway.

Brooke (my daughter) will be there as she has been for years now, too.  And so, this tradition of ours will continue, minimized as it is, because it remains very special to me – and to Mom.  Even if we only baked ONE kind of cookie, it wouldn’t matter.  It would never be a wasted effort if one considers the human aspect of it, other than consumption.

You see, I try not to think too far ahead, because honestly, it’s too much for my heart.  It isn’t for the love of cookies at all, but for the love of Mom.  For who she was with Dad, and who she is now.

It is very different this year, and yet, we carry on.

Do you have traditions you’ve long held with someone special?

 

 

 

 

August Wane


Already the sun is disappearing quicker and days are noticeably shorter.  You have noticed, haven’t you?

Our house faces north/northeast.  I love to open the blinds first thing in the morning and as I do, I pay attention to where the sunlight hits the walls, furniture and floor.  I think, soon, a patch of sunlight will fall here, then here, and eventually, it won’t shine there again until next year.  Of course, it will shift throughout the house and land somewhere, but it’s small things like this which mark another end of the season.  It just seems to happen faster in August.

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Kids went back to school yesterday, or in some cases today.  Facebook is flooded with first days of this, or that.

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Payton, first day of 3rd grade

Another summer of sleeping late and playing outside till dusk, gone.  Childhood rites of passage, i.e., the art of collecting lightning bugs, the thrill of camping outside, running full speed all day and feeding that youthful hunger later with hot dogs and s’mores roasted over a late summer night campfire, no more.  The refreshing, thrilling moments of swinging out over a cool lake on a rope swing time and again, barefoot walks through a field, eating watermelon, riding bikes to the corner store, only a dim recollection.  Everywhere, kids grin at parents (or scowl), with book bags slung over shoulders, sporting new shoes and shirts, fresh haircuts and scrubbed faces, while their younger siblings photobomb wanting to be part of the big day.

Vacation is over.

Already, migrations for some species of birds have begun.  Yesterday I was standing out on my sidewalk in the early morning, waiting on Little Dog to do his business.  I heard loud, raucous honking.  I looked up just in time to see a large flock of Canada geese fly overhead in perfect formation, and so, where’s my camera?  Inside.  I wished I could have snapped that photo.  It was impressive.

Canna lilies are bloomed out, our tomato plants, although still producing fairly well, have slowed, and the squash is long gone as is the watermelon vine.  (that was actually an overgrown disaster we won’t try again.)

Soon, it will be this:

Fall 2013

Then this:

DSCF0218

And before we know it, this:

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Just the other day someone said, “it’s only 18 weeks until Christmas!”  I’m fine, just fine with seasonal changes.  I’m actually glad we have them, but CHRISTMAS – in eighteen weeks?  That’s a bit much to handle.  I’m still in my outside on the porch frame of mind.  I’m still going on my runs in tank tops and shorts.  Wearing flip flops, smelling of suntan lotion, and enjoying the heat of the sun on top of my head while I work outside.  I’m still relishing the scent of roses, an errant magnolia bloom on our tree out front, and the sound of cicadas late evenings.

In other words, I’m still in a summertime frame of mind.

Aren’t you?

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