The 14th.

Gracious, this is a bit of a waffling on!! Bear with me, please! (Not that kind!!! laughing!)

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Photo by Marina Shatskih on Pexels.com

Normally this holiday is my absolute favorite one in the entire year. I can hand out cookies and flowers with hugs like a politician kissing babies prior to an election (do they even still do that???) with little consequences. I’m not there, this year. I don’t exactly know why. I’m going to make heart cookies for The Craftsman to take to work and have some bunny graham crackers for Little Bear (some bunny loves him very much!). Yet…It’s just another day. I also am getting the plugs put in my eyes, not an entirely romantic sort of thing! But definitely needed. I’ve got an easy dinner planned, so I don’t need to think about that much. (I plan for EVERY dinner, it is better to decide days ahead!!)

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I keep thinking about Boston Ferns. A lovely plant sitting on the shelf near sunshine and watered once a week. I didn’t want to be this plant again, but it sort of looks like it is my place. I recall Mary Poppins pulling a large potted plant from her voluminous carpet bag and stating, ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever.’ Is being a Boston Fern that horrible? I do have everything I need, even if I don’t have what I want.

In church last Sunday, the bulletin had a brochure inside. As most of us do, I read it during lulls in the sermon. You have to remember it is a church thing, but it does have good stuff in it. It also made me think about how little interest modern churches have in the Old Testament. (Where the Song of Songs is.) The focus is on the love in the New Testament, which is grand, and most forget about the fascinating stuff in the previous writings. (Song of Songs is one of the most erotic books I’ve ever read and I’ve read a great many of that genre.) Anyway, our world, in and out of church buildings, is all about love. People today spread it around like confetti (or like I usually do on Feb. 14). They are what I call ‘Love Zombies’. People attracted to love, wishing for love to be everywhere, do activities in the name of love, and condemn those who cannot love they way they believe. (Crazy!!) And yet, there is something missing. Love isn’t just a noun, it is an action verb. This is what people forget.

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When I read the snippet in the brochure, it made sense. Cherish is missing from love in all kinds of relationships. This is action. Cherishing is laughing together, playing, disagreeing with care, sharing lives, and working to make the friendship stronger. Together cherishing and loving make a place where people bond, grow, and develop. A place of being curious about each other and not being bored. Fascinated with the person they were and are becoming.

In marriage, mine in particular, I know care and love exist. I am taken care of medically (my readers know more about that than anyone in my family!), I am warm and well fed (I am becoming very fond of Mt. Olive pickles…), and I do get hugs at least once a day, often with a kiss or two. (Attempts to encourage this are inconclusive.)

I get so tired, though, of The Craftsman saying things like, ‘I’m no good at planning.’ Yes, I do think ahead, I learned to do this. Buying treats in the store, putting a note with them, and placing them strategically isn’t that difficult. (I’ve done this often since my return. Notes alone are nice, too.) I know The Craftsman has a couple of projects he’s been working on for quite a while for me. I imagine they’ll get done eventually. I know there are three movies coming out before I head north we (as a family) want to see. (I never did get to see Mary Poppins Returns, but I’ve read the books!) If I ask for something, usually I end up purchasing it or Little Bear does. I’m beginning to think Cupid has been shot….

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The 14th is a beautiful day. I hope yours is full of good things and that you cherish those around you from family and friends to stuffed animals, fuzzy pets and beautiful plants. I know I will.

Yours, Kris, the Boston Fern.

Hand drawn houseplant

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The side of the range!

Little Bear turned 25 on February 4. I wanted to do something amazing for his birthday. I’d made so many cakes over the years. The hamburger one (HUGE!), the kit kat one, I made a candy pizza, an ice cream cake, one that looked like a shark, Big Bird, Garfield (that one was actually not very easy!), and a lot of fun cupcakes.

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I had a vague idea of a cake with white frosting and a ganache sort of chocolate layer on top with snowflake cupcakes on top of that. (To be fair, the cupcake idea only happened after it started snowing on his birthday!) He wanted a poppyseed chocolate cake and I found several online recipes, but they were fiddly and time consuming. In retrospect, I took tons of time with what I did!!! The other would have been more fun. (maybe!) I found a butter cake mix in the cupboard and added a hint of chocolate powdered baking cocoa with poppy seeds and mini chocolate chips. The baked mixture was very good, but the silicone baking pan wasn’t made for add ins….

The darn things stuck, even after spraying and cooling. The three that were removed mostly intact had no real definition on the tops. I grumbled and decided I’d pipe on the white lines. (I just rolled my eyes at myself. It was not efficient!) After too much frosting of all kinds, the cake ended up with a marbled motif…and then so did the cupcakes. The main cake ended up being a basic triple chocolate mix.

I added the candle letters the guys got for a cookie cake they bought for ‘me’ last year while I was in AK. Even with the few undesired pink candles in the cupboard, I still didn’t have enough for 25, so I stayed with the letters. It was festive, none the less! The cupcakes I took to the warehouse where Little Bear works were also cheerful with a lot of sprinkles. (I love sprinkles! They are joyful little shots of sugar.)

All in all, it was definitely not one of my best birthday cakes, but it did taste good. Which really should be the entire point of cake!

Warming Cat Nips

Summer is the time for squabbles. In winter, we must protect one another, keep each other warm, share our strengths.” George R.R. Martin

Maxwell is often cold. His fur is growing back, but his preferred spot is anyplace it is warm. I had on a long skirt one day while sitting near the heat vent. When it came on, there was a spot of Marilyn Monroe happening. Maxwell, discovered this ‘tent’ and moved in. Awkward, but not too bad. Most of him was under the bench I was sitting on.

When I am in the house, I often wear a ‘house jacket’ made of polar fleece. Since I was cooking, I removed it and dropped it on the bench. Maxwell found it and I conveniently draped the coat for his comfort. (I’m really a good cat mom!) Moses found the fabric on the floor and parked himself on the warm cloth. As you can see, Maxwell was not impressed!!! Silly cats!!!

Catching Up

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As many of you liked the post last Friday, you know I had a birthday. I made a roast in the crock pot and I frequently put it on high for an hour and turn it to low..this time, I forgot to turn it back to low. It was on high for several hours. (I‘m lucky it wasn’t more dry!) The gravy I made to go with it sputtered and I burned my finger (It wasn’t bad, I sat with it on ice through dinner and by the next day it was back to normal.). The bread I made was almost a disaster. About one hour left to go and Little Bear and I smelled smoke. I quickly removed the barely done loaf and found it must have been flour in the bottom of the contraption. I put the loaf back, but the damage was done. The darn thing fell a bit flat. (I just rolled my eyes at myself!) We ended the evening watching ‘The Greatest Showman‘. I’ve always wanted to see this and finally got the chance. Barnum had an amazing life and it astounds me what he is most remembered for didn’t even happen til he was in his 60’s!!!! (I also had purchased popcorn and somehow bought individual bags. Which wasn’t all bad. We each got our own!)

Saturday night we went out for dinner. Little Bear wanted to go to a certain Chinese Buffet that I can’t stand, but it was what he wanted. (Buffets often seem so dirty) We got home and watched ‘Groundhog’s Day‘. (I absolutely LOVE that movie.) Sunday, was church and football. I stayed in the kitchen during the afternoon and read and cooked. (My oven element could not be replaced quickly, so we had to order one to pick up on Tuesday! I was nervous, but soldiered on with the cooking. I did note the top element works better..) We had all sorts of finger foods for dinner.

Monday was Little Bear’s 25th birthday. It snowed (I always want snow for my birthday!!), I made a mess (that will be a forthcoming post), discovered a carrot Groot, and we had a bit of a party including the jukebox.

I’ve wanted to go outside, but Tuesday morning I was a bit worn out and no one really wanted to take me driving that evening.  I’m finally getting better, yet there are days when I feel every second of my 54 years. (I need to follow the advice of the above quote!) I love this month of February. It is full of amazing wonderful things, especially those of us who happen to rejoice in being an Aquarius!

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Frantic Friday!

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What a Friday, but it really started on Thursday. Thursday I’d been invited out to lunch, but the eye dr office called and said there was a cancellation on Thursday morning and I grabbed it. Thus, cancelling the lunch plans! (the above picture was an early ‘gift’ from TnT!)

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you can’t see the blacks of my eyes, but they are HUGE! 

The eye doctor was a good/not too bad appointment. The good part was the ‘pallor’ she found in the nerves of one eye was not as pronounced after she dilated it (I’ll be jiggered, that is NOT how people pronounce that word. Or how I do-I thought it was dialation. There isn’t an ‘a’!) . Anyway, the pallor is most likely caused by an MS flareup. She’s going to check it again when I return on Feb 14. That day she’s going to put ‘plugs’ in my tear ducts. (How romantic!!!) However, I’m betting the pallor will be even more diminished. Today I’m walking better than I have in WEEKS!

I got home tired (I’m still pretty tired) and opted to wait a bit before putting the frozen lasagna in the oven. (I’m glaring at the screen in remembrance!) I didn’t realise how long the darn thing took to cook. During dinner, I was going to tell my family about my appointment, but Strider called. So, I decided to wait til later. The conversation ranged from books and vocabulary to aging and movies and more. (I laughed when he said some of his friends are annoyed cuz he texts entire words and full sentences.) By the time The Craftsman had time to talk to me, he was in his hat and coat and ready to go to his mom’s. My glucose was pretty low, but I rambled on quickly and hoped I made a smidge of sense!

While making dinner, I realised the element in the oven was starting to look like it might need replacing. I must have my oven (Little Bear is 25 on Monday and I am going to take cupcakes to where he works..so glad he doesn’t read this!) because without it…YIKES! I was thinking about making more cheese straws for my own birthday, but I decided to use the bread machine for cheesy bread instead. I’m also going to use the crock pot and slow cook a roast, too. Easy birthday dinner for me!

Now, today! I have been very busy this Friday birthday. I have so darn much to do and I’m running out of time! (I’m also a bit concerned about the bread machine. I use it for dough all the time, but I’ve had the ingredients in the thing for almost 20 min and there hasn’t been any mixing going on. I checked and the mixer thing works, I just hope I didn’t just waste 4 cups of flour and a cup of cheese! –Huzzah! It is now mixing! However, it won’t be done by dinner, I started it a bit too late. Rolling eyes at self.) My aunt and Strider called and that threw me off a bit. So did a visitor I have been trying to avoid. I myself need to call some people, I’m not going to get to the fun email KK sent me, and I probably won’t get the email to my financial person sent off.  (I also had to call The Craftsman after I got done grocery shopping. The place he was hoping to get the element didn’t  have that one, so he wanted me to google a different place and call him with the number…) I did meet someone from Alaska in the parking lot of the grocery store, we chatted for a bit. Then, I got a very late lunch from Dairy Queen before I drove back to the house.  That was funny. It held a ‘Becky’ moment. I wanted a mini salted caramel truffle blizzard. They are made with vanilla ice cream, a bit of chocolate sauce, and candies. I asked for a vanilla salted caramel truffle blizzard and when it arrived, it was chocolate. I realised I should have asked for a salted caramel truffle blizzard with no chocolate sauce. Thankfully, no cups were thrown and no eyebrows twitched! The nicest part was I ordered a chicken strip meal with 4 strips. They put in two extra~I decided it was a birthday present!

I bought an apron for myself on Thursday (Bed, Bath, and Beyond) and I don’t know if my book is in yet. I also decided to wear clothes for ME this Friday. I have on the French lingerie I bought last summer and leggings with a long sleeved top and an oversized sweater.  (In the photo, I’m wearing the bra part of my lingerie..I did put on the rest of the clothing to leave the house!) The Craftsman gave me my favorite flowers and a 50$ Amazon gift card (now I can get him something and he won’t see it come thru the emails!) and a super cute singing birthday card..no signatures, so maybe I can regift it?  (Just kidding…probably!)

In closing, may you all have a splendid weekend from the old lady. (NOTE: I am positive most men age better than most of us of the female gender.)