Sunday, December 30, 2007

Barrell Bottom Cookie Recipe, and some tears.

I am sad.

Today is my sons 21st birthday. That isn't what I am sad about, but I am sad to be sad on such an important day for him.

I am so affected by the world around me. I am like the empath on Star Trek. Remember her? Lots of curly dark hair and an uncanny ability to feel the emotions of others?

I feel so deeply the collective pain and sorrow of the world that I have a hard time even watching the news. I am not sure if we were meant to know about all the bad, globally. There is enough bad (and sufficient good to balance it) in our neighborhoods isn't there? But most people have no idea what a neighborhood even is. I am no better. Through my lively and vivacious people person of a daughter I am getting to know my neighbors. To care about them and their lives.
I should get to a point here.

I belong to an email group. The Corner Coffe Shop. It is a sweet loving place where Christian women gather together via email, sharing Incredimail Stationary creations and finds, and encouraging one another in their walk with Christ. I love these women. They are special, caring, precious women.

But I am not sure if its good for me.

Or is it?

Today a prayer request came across for a woman named Karla. She has 8 children, a good husband, and terminal kidney cancer. She held it inside throughout the Holidays so everyone else would have a good time, and then told her family that she had one month to live.

I am devastated. That sounds ridiculous. How can I be devastated? How dare I? But my heart is heavy. I feel the solid weight of sorrow in my chest and I can not shake it. It makes it hard to breathe. And I feel guilty. Guilty about "just" having Lupus. Guilty about feeling down because I have no money. I am alive! I have my family! I can make COOKIES!

I think of all the times that woman has made cookies for her family. Joyfully, like I did this morning. I woke up at 6:30 am and thought "I want to treat my wonderful son for doing all that he does. What can I do? Cookies!" And I set about in my kitchen which was delightfully cold and clean. I turned the oven on and opened the door to warm things up and happily scooped and melted, mixed and poured while the snow fell quietly outside my window. I was a mother. A happy mama. Light. Smiling. With no cares in my mind except that the cookies should turn out delicious.

She has one month to live. She will never again make cookies with a light heart. If she did make them, tears would be mixed into the dough for all the cookies that will be made without her.

How I HATE to better my life against someone else's tragedy. But I do. I think we all do.

You are in my prayers Karla.

And so I begin my day.

Barrell Bottom Cookies
(my son chose the name because I pulled the ingredients from seemingly empty cupboards)

2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 cup butter softened
2 eggs (thanks to my chickie girls)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups oatmeal ( I used could use any)
2 T instant coffee crystals (you can leave out if you don't have)
1 cup caramel chips
1 cup chocolate chips (you could use any addition that you wanted, butterscotch chips, pecans etc)

Combine flour, soda, baking powder, salt and oatmeal. In seperate bowl mix together brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, vanilla, coffee crystals. I mix with a wooden spoon. Add the flour mixture to the egg and sugar mix stirring until combined. Toss in the chocolate chips and caramel chips and stir.

Drop by large tablespoon full onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Snow Day!

Finally, it is really really snowing. Yes, we had a white Christmas, but only a few inches of the fluffy white stuff. It is SO incredible outside right now!

When it snows like this all of the corners, the untidy places in ones yard, block, neighborhood and city are all covered up and made white and new.

So peaceful.

So peaceful and quiet that if you stand still you can hear individual snowflakes touch their brothers already on the ground. You can hear your breath, soft in your own ears, and you can hear the muffled sounds of the branches heavy with their new burden.

I just might stay in my jammies all day long...watching the snowfall outside my window while I curl up on the sofa with my stack of pen-pal letters, a hot cup of green tea and some black and white movies.

If this does not fuel the fires of my creative mind, what could?

Friday, December 28, 2007


Isn't this just gorgeous? These were my moms birthday gift to M'Kayla. Of course when she gave them to her, they were in bulb form and we had to keep them in the closet for about a month...but wow! Its freezing cold outside, but we have spring inside!

I have knitters block. Creators block. Whatever you want to call it. After I throw myself completely into a project (the hats) I am left spent, weak, and wanting a cigarette. (I don't smoke). That lasts for abouta day, and then I am ushered back into the throws of creators angst. I want to create. Something. Anything. My mind plays it out at night. Things I could knit, yarns I could use, things I could paint, things I could sew, something I could re-do, make better...its exhausting. It will happen. I know it will. It always has before. But the time between when it happens and now seems to stretch out into eternity. Its so beautiful and releasing when it does happen. I finally find THAT project and am able to dive into it with complete satisfaction.

But until then. Arrrgh!

So I peruse relevant blogs, all the while feeding my imagination. Coaxing it. *shrugs*. I really need to clean my house.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Day After Christmas

What would possess me to begin a blog on the day after Christmas. I think it has something to do with the scattered and torn wrapping paper, the dirty dishes, the laundry and the mountains of unfinished business I have been putting off until "after" Christmas.

I would much rather sit here and create something peaceful. Something beautiful. Something without dusty corners, cobwebs or milk rings.

Yesterday was Christmas. It was such a wonderful day. There have been holidays in the past, where our rather large extended family gather together, and things have gone horribly wrong. But this time, it was perfect.

We woke Christmas morning and Mike and the kids opened the "Jayne Cobb" hats I had knitted for them. These are the first hats I have ever knitted. First anything really besides scarves. I knitted and knitted and knitted, getting them all done in 2 days. For those two days though, when I went to bed I would fall asleep and my hands would make strange knitting motions. My husband had to wake me up and ask me to quit knitting the sheets to his forehead. *wink*

You can see in the photo that they are monstrous things. Unsightly and large and silly looking, which is just the way they are supposed to look. For those few of you who knew and loved the Fox TV series Firefly , you will recognize Jayne Cobb's hat. I chose to use this pattern and would like to thank the creator for her helpful instructions. I am such a knitting newbie, and i breezed right through it.

Here is the hat on Adam Baldwin who plays Jayne Cobb:

And here are the hats on my lovely clan of Browncoats:

I REALLY need more practice at this blogging since I just erased the entire bottom half of my post!

What I said was (and this will be no where near as eloquent and pretty as the first time I wrote it):
After opening presents here with my hubby and the kids, time literally SHOT around the clock and I was still in my pajamas at 2pm when I realized that I should probably start wrapping my families gifts NOW in order to make it to my moms by 3pm. So at 2:30 I got right on it. I wrapped and wrapped and taped and wrote and wrapped and boxed and taped and tore...and we left here right on time at 3:40pm. It is ok though, lateness runs in my family. My mom and sis are always late everywhere they go. I am usually on time, or at least LESS late than they are.
But I was late, and so was everyone else, and all was good.

It was a PERFECT Christmas. I say this with many holidays in my memory that have gone horribly horribly wrong. Yelling, tears, stomping feet. Not this time. It was beautiful.

We dined on Prime Rib (so delicious it deserves capitalization) lovingly made by my sweet mother. She wore this apron that I made her the whole evening through.

And then we exchanged gifts. There were about 16 of us there, and it was so much fun. There was so much laughter and tears (of the proper kind!) It truly was a blessed and wonderful day.

Merry Christmas!