Death By Butter

Cranberry Cookies with the wrong colour chocolate chips because nobody’s perfect

Would that not be a much better name for the holidays? Merry Death by Butter Day? I don’t think I will actually die from eating my baking, but anything is possible. A week ago I had six 454 gram bricks of butter in my fridge. If you measure your butter in pounds you will get 453.592 grams in a brick, but here in Canada we rounded that up so as usual everything is bigger and better here. Don’t ask me for more examples, okay? I’m really busy.

There are three staples I make every Christmas. Fudge, short bread cookies, and butter tarts. The fudge has a much more alarming amount of sugar in it, but there’s butter in there too. Short bread is basically butter with a couple other ingredients for keeping it stuck together during baking. This year for the butter tarts I ended up with more filling than frozen tart shells, so I made a batch of butter pastry to finish. This helped me remember why I buy pre-made shells. Mine are uneven in thickness and shape, which is a polite way of saying they’re a complete mess. Except they taste good. And the pastry is lovely and rich and flakey even though the over-all end result looks like something exploded in the oven. Okay I’m done talking about that.

Butter goes in the mashed potatoes and the sweet potatoes and probably on the vegetables. W got me to make what he calls Swedish Bread this year. It’s a simple flat bread recipe made with – wait for it- butter. There is a lot of butter in my turkey stuffing. I bought a bag of dried cranberries because I like to put those in it too, and then discovered I already had lots. So I searched for a recipe to use them up and found one for cranberry cookies. Ingredients include white chocolate chips, a package of instant vanilla pudding, and a cup of BUTTER. They’re okay if you like a buttery chewy cookie but I think they might be better with nuts. And I seriously don’t understand the point of the pudding mix, but there’s a lot of recipes that baffle me so I’m not dwelling on it.

I don’t always make my moms Christmas pudding (steamed carrot pudding) every Christmas, but this year I had time so it’s ready too, except for the hot brown sugar and butter sauce you pour over it. When we were kids we preferred a bowl of sauce with a few pudding crumbs thrown in.

So my butter supply is dwindling! The reason no one gets gifts from me is because I’ve gone broke buying butter. But it’s only once a year. My dad always insisted it was better to use butter and not the cheaper substitutes if we wanted to keep the dairy farmers in business, so I’m doing my part. Ending up looking like a butter ball is just a small annoying side effect that should right itself in January.

Happy Holidays if you celebrate them! Peace, Love and buttery treats either way.

Ode to a Lamp

If you found yesterdays blurb inspiring, no worries, I’m back to normal with something the opposite of that. It’s all about this lamp.

Right now it’s sitting on top of the built on shelf of what used to be a very useful computer desk when we needed a pull-out perch for a keyboard. (The desk is now a collection spot in the bedroom for ”things that have to be put somewhere” until they finally make their way out the door headed for Value Village or the garbage bin.) The lamp is rather close to the ceiling when it sits up there. I thought it might throw more light down on me if it was up higher, but no such luck.

It’s one of those purchases I look at now and wonder “what was I thinking” and then feel the need to remember (or invent) my thought processes to justify carting it home. I liked how it looked, absolutely. I was in my ”African” obsessed stage of decorating development. I still have elephants and giraffes and decorative masks on my walls, and even some weird animal print candles hanging around, but less than half the amount of stuff I used to have. The lamp fit with the decor at the time but would also be useful as a light source I thought. Amazing how I failed to notice the shade being opaque.

Our house was built when nobody put overhead lighting in their living rooms, thus our need for a lamp or two. Unfortunately I have a history of poor lamp choices. I think it began with a cursed pole lamp wedding gift with three upside-down green tulip shades. It shed ugly lamp vibes all over me and I’ve been lamp doomed ever since. Remember swag lamps? Yep, I’d likely still have mine, creepy looking chain and all, if it hadn’t shorted out and tried to burn the house down.

For whatever obscure reason I still like this silly thing. It’s been moved all over the house in search of a spot where it might fit in and belong. It casts a dull glow in a dark corner but fails utterly otherwise. It’s too tall for a table, too short for the floor, hard to dust, and has an inconvenient switch partway down its cord. And yet, here it is, with a face only a doomed lamp lady could love.

I love it SO much, if someone snuck it out of my house and I never saw it again I might not even notice it was gone.

Your Weekly Big Fat Dose of Inspiration

From ”Wild Woman Sisterhood” on Facebook

A Traditional Náhuatl Prayer

I release my parents from the feeling that they have failed with me.
I release my children from the need to make me proud, so that they can write their own ways, according to their hearts.
I release my partner from the obligation to make me feel complete. I lack nothing in myself.
I learn with all the beings that surround me through all time.
I thank my grandparents and ancestors who met so that today I breathe life. And I release them from the faults of the past and from the wishes they did not fulfill, aware that they did the best they could to resolve their situations, within the consciousness they had at that moment.
I honor them, I love them, and I recognize their innocence.
I bare my soul before their eyes and that is why they know that I do not hide or owe anything, more than being faithful to myself and my own existence walking with the wisdom of the heart.
I am aware that I am fulfilling my life project, free of visible and invisible family loyalties that may disturb my peace and my happiness, which are my greatest responsibilities.
I renounce the role of savior, of being the one who unites or who fulfills the expectations of others. And learning through LOVE, I bless my essence and my way of expressing, although there may be someone who cannot understand me.
I understand myself, because only I lived and experienced my story; because I know myself, I know who I am, what I feel, what I do and why I do it.
I respect and approve.
I honor the Divinity in me and in you.

We are free.

There are always some significantly gag-worthy memes to be found if you mess around on social media, but this one I like. Or ”respect and approve” if that’s a better phrase. Both the prayer and the picture are from ”Wild Woman Sisterhood” which I follow on Facebook because they are less gaggy than most. Plus they have a very cool name, right?

For homework today, look up “Nahuatl” if you don’t already know what it means. And if you do know, good for you, I’m impressed.

Peace and happiness.

El Seis de Diciembre

View of dusk from my quiet desk in the bedroom on the sixth of December

Sometimes I get google to translate random phrases into another language if English is boring the hell out of me. Thus the above title appears in Spanish. It was a toss-up between that and Maori, te tuaono o Hakihea. Beautiful. You could set that to music. Don’t say I never taught you anything here. And it was a hard no to Welsh, y chweched o Ragfyr. (Probably pronounced as if it’s not spelled like that at all.)

I moved my little desk out of the living room which faces north because it is depressingly dark in there this time of year, and the Christmas tree takes up a lot of room. W has his little office area there and his ancient glider rocking chair which grinds and squeaks and grates on my nerves about a hundred times worse than a dripping faucet. He is deaf and wears headphones and is oblivious to it. And by ”it” I mean pretty much everything going on around him. He also naps and either snores loudly or appears to have stopped breathing completely or looks like he might fall out of his chair. This bedroom window faces south and gets the afternoon sun. And is on the other (quiet) (less eventful) side of the house. The view from my chair is of trees and rooftops and not the snow covered yard. So many pluses.

Man the days are short this time of year. It’s not properly light until 8:00 a.m and the darkness starts creeping in at 4:00 p.m. That’s when I start turning lights on everywhere anyway. A couple more weeks will bring us to the shortest day of the year and then it’s all uphill from there.

Maybe I should have called this one “the blog post that went nowhere” or ”le billet de blog qui n’est allé nulle part”. I got to share a cropped picture of my bedroom window so it wasn’t a complete waste of time, right? (Perdita de tempo if you’re in Italy)

Prodigiously Yours

Daily Word Prompt December 4, 2021

Well I have lost track of how may times WP has reminded me it’s time to write a blog post, so is that reminder thing really working? Does anything really work the way it’s supposed to for me? No need to answer that of course because how would you know, right? And I might not appreciate your guesses.

Admitting here that I had to look this word up – Prodigious – (I was getting it confused with the words ”precocious” and ”prodigy” which are things you call a child who is super annoyingly smart and talented. I was never either of those things, so not an annoying child at all. There’s not too many people around who can verify or deny that claim so I feel relatively safe saying it.)

I like the obsolete meaning here the best. Hints of the sinister or violent mystery. Been watching too much Prime TV probably.

  • 1: causing amazement or wonder
  • 2: extraordinary in bulk, quantity, or degree : enormous
  • 3a: resembling or befitting a prodigy : strange, unusual
  • 3b: obsolete : being an omen : portentous

The morning of my doctor appointment this week we had prodigious amounts of freezing rain and ice covered streets. W manages to find the most obscure and dangerous routes to wherever we’re going because why would you take the main roads when there are school zones you can slide around in? Also a question you don’t need to answer, since there is no sane response. He did the same thing when we went for our third (booster) covid vaccination. The main roads are bare, the residential streets are generally not. We backed out of our driveway, headed in the right direction, immediately turned left onto a snow packed street, then right, then right again. At this point I inquired whether or not he was aware that another right turn would take us back home. But he made two more left turns and the second one put us on a main street which got us to our destination because you can only drive around in circles for so long until your wife kills you.

The follow up with my doctor involved a blood pressure check, so after hearing the words ”Glare Ice” a hundred and forty times in less than 10 minutes, I took the elevator to the second floor instead of storming up the stairs. I was the first appointment of the day and the doctor was a bit late, so I had a good 10 minutes to meditate and calm myself into a state of blissful serenity. Or a reasonable facsimile because everything went well and she is pleased with my ECG and my other numbers although my synthroid dosage might be slightly high so I have a requisition for lab work for February when there probably won’t be glare ice anywhere if there actually is a God.

Sorry for my inclination to speak prodigiously about my exciting medical adventures, but if you’re lucky enough to make it in to your seventies you might find out how much amazement and wonder is generated by learning how many things can go wrong with your aging body. And your mind, depending on your relationship status and how much ice forms in December. It’s all such a crap shoot.

Okay! So this wasn’t a normal getting reminded to blog day, but I did it anyway. Yay me! Pretty sure I will be reminded again tomorrow, so there’s a heads up for you. Have a prodigiously lovely Saturday.