Sweet biscuit success

2019-07-08_10-30-33There was so much good food over Fourth of July weekend. So much.

Thursday, we went to our friend’s house to hang out with him, his daughter (in town from London), and his sister and brother in law (in town from TX). Nik’s parents were there and it was a good time.

Since I’m rarely one to show up at a meal without bringing something, I thought I should bring dessert. The host isn’t a dessert guy though, so what should I bring?

Whatever I damn well please he’d tell me, for sure!

I looked around the kitchen to figure out what my sweet tooth wanted.

Among other things, I found blueberries in the freezer and baking mix in the pantry. Awesome. I decided some blueberry shortcake sounded really good and it was almost patriotic, right?

It was also super easy and I was feeling kind of lazy.

I preheated the oven to 425*F and poured some extra coffee in my mug. I was kind of winging it when I put the following in my mixer’s bowl:

  • 4 1/2 cups baking mix (mine was gluten free)
  • 1TBSP Baking Soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 TBSP Sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 8 TBSP (1 stick) melted butter
  • 2 eggs (forked until mixed well)
  • 1 TBSP Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp Almond extract (This is optional, but trust me, add it.)

Then I mixed the hell out of all of it with the paddle attachment. Starting on low until there wasn’t powder left, I increased the speed until the dough is light tan. The dough should be sticky and easily scooped, but not pourable. Somewhere between pancake mix and chocolate chip cookies.

I took one of my giant non-stick cookie sheets and dropped big blobs (about 9) on it and put it in the oven for 8-10  minutes.

You can stop here if you want and just eat these when they cool off or spray some whipped cream on them. Or you can cut them in half, spoon some berries on it, put the top on and cover in whipped cream.

You do you, boo. I don’t judge how you enjoy your desserts.

(If you’re wondering, the non-dessert guy who hosted that night? He LOVED them so I left the extras for breakfast. I know what to bring for his birthday!)

 

 

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Join me for a cup of coffee?

No.2019-07-12_02-59-07 I have no idea what these little things are. (And they are tiny!) I also don’t really have the inclination to google them. I just like them and thought I would share them with you.

Sometimes it’s enough to just enjoy something without knowing everything about it.

So what’s in your cup today? Mine is the usual coffee with coconut/almond creamer. I’m trying to stay away from milk and cream because the last few times have been more than unpleasant and make my skin break out.

Ugh. I’m closing in on 40, you’d think the skin issues would clear up, right? If my friends and I are any indication, the answer is no, it does not.

So how have you been? Things are interesting around here so if I’ve missed a text or fb message, I am so so so sorry. Remember when I said it felt like things are changing? Well there’s a big possible change on the horizon if the inspections go well and the mortgage stuff gets final approval…

WE MADE AN OFFER ON A HOUSE AND THEY ACCEPTED IT!

It’s a huge old farm house out in the country with acres, a lot of character, and a brand new kitchen. It needs work, but it’s mostly cosmetic, not construction so that’s a plus. We weren’t really planning on buying something right now, but Nik found it and we tentatively went to see it…and then back to see it. We asked around, a million questions, and decided to make an offer. There was some back and forth, but it got settled quickly.

Hopefully, it’ll be a smooth-ish and ultimately a great change.  But, if you’ve got any good thoughts and or prayers to spare could you send them our way for a reasonably smooth contract phase, good adjustment, and that Nik and I don’t kill each other picking out paint colors? I know it’s not like we’re facing something terrible and need them, but they’re still appreciated.

 

What a season it was…

meet you at home(2)
T-shirt I made.
You can see my shop here

Last night, the girls wrapped up the 2019 Softball season with a 19-9 win over one of their toughest opponents all season. (Every time they faced them, it was a tough game.) They had lost to the same team the night before, so victory tasted that much more sweet to the kids.

It was a long, but great season. They started at the end of February with indoor practice and a lot of uncertainty and question. There was a lot of conflict about how the Major team would be selected, how the Minor teams would be broken up, and the uncertainty of a new coach and team.

It all worked out well, though. The girls improved their skills, learned a lot about the game, and hopefully learned about themselves and what they can accomplish. Under the leadership of their wonderful coaches, our girls went on to win all but 2 games during the season. The All Stars only lost one game in the final tournament.

I’m really proud of all of them.

I’m also pretty proud of myself. That first day walking into indoor practice, there were so many new faces, but they weren’t all friendly. I knew a few parents from last year so I stuck with them, Nik, or brought something to work on. (I have felt overwhelmingly thankful for their continued friendship and support in some of my local endeavors. I only wish they had been part of our team so I could see them more!)

Here’s the thing. I’m usually outgoing and chatty and tend to be friendly and funny, but groups of new people, without clear common ground like my crochet/craft club? That’s a situation which makes me nervous and feel more awkward than necessary. I hate that feeling. It makes my anxiety come to life.

I also know small towns with lots of shared history and camaraderie can be less than welcoming to outsiders. Other than to a select few, for all intents and purposes, I was an outsider.

While I don’t need to be liked by everyone, I also knew it would be a long season of softball without any friends at the field. I made it a goal to talk to one new parent at every practice and met some really fricken nice people because of that personal challenge. (I’d like to thank them for helping make the season that much more enjoyable for me, even in the cold rain.)

Ultimately, I met some particularly lovely people who I hope I can consider “year round” friends, but if life gets in the way? I’ll see you on the field next season.

While it was an overall successful season and I love watching the kids play, I’m glad it is over. I can wait a few months to hear more of the cheers from the dugout of YOU GOT A PIECE OF IT! NOW GET THE R-E-S-T! REST OF IT! Or G-DOUBLE-O-D E-Y-E GOOD EYE, GOOD EYE! Yes, I’m looking forward to soccer for something a little different until the next round of ball.

I wouldn’t mind seeing my softball friends on the soccer field, though!

 

Five Things (about me)

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Ivory roses in mixed purple dye, purple dye from the bottle, and green food dye

Hi there new readers and long time friends. It’s lovely to see you this dreary day.

How is everyone? I know some of my new readers by virtue of them reaching out to me to say hello or commenting when they see me in person, but I’m interested in hearing from others also!

Usually Five Things looks a little different, but since I’ve seen a whole bunch of new visitor activity, I thought I’d change it up a little and have another “about me” post.

Now, I love a good ice breaker and know that makes me a little weird. The first thing I’m going to tell you? I’m more than a little weird to most people.

I unapologetically like what I like, usually say what I want, and am learning to not give a flying rat’s keister about if new people like me or not. (I do try not to be offensive or rude though.)

Next fact! My favorite question to ask people I’ve just met is, “Tell me something random about yourself that I might not guess.” Their reaction and what they choose to talk about is often more telling than fact itself. Your mission if you choose to accept it? Tell me something about yourself that I might not guess. You have until the end of this post to think about what to share.

So what might you not guess about me? Well, I’m a total nerd. I love learning new things. I like math and numbers, science and experiments, unusual or interesting words, typography and fonts, themed parties, reading books, writing letters, doing puzzles, and lots of other nerdy things. Explaining DNA and genetics to N and later showing her how HEX codes work and what fonts go together? My nerdy heart almost exploded! (Currently, we’re experimenting with capillary action and how different flowers draw up water to their petals with colored water.)

You might guess this, but I get really excited and caught up in moments. When they’re good moments it’s charming, when they’re less than good moments, it’s less charming. I’m also likely to get “stuck” in bad moments and relive them over and over. It can be a really hard cycle to break, but I’m working on it.

Last thing for today you might not guess. Hmm. I’m always working on being my best me, but I’m learning to redefine what “best” might mean. I’ve engaged in a life long battle with my weight and acceptance of my faults. I’m learning not to battle them so much as manage the feelings attached to them.

A big part of doing that is recognizing  anxiety is how my brain manifests my particular brand of depression. While I’m told what I have is high-functioning anxiety, it is a struggle many days. I work on it, within it, and sometimes around it. (I will sometimes share my struggles and my triumphs. It’s not for the attention. I’d rather no one know I struggle. C’mon, my independent, capable, I can do anything, self is in jeopardy if you know that! But if someone “like me” is struggling and you are too, maybe we can help each other with it. No one is alone here.

So there’s a little about me, now it’s your turn to tell me something random about yourself that I might not guess.

Join me for a cup of coffee?

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Why, hello there! So glad you could join me for a coffee break today! How are you? I’m feeling bold and sassy thank you for asking.

Yes, this is my natural element during the week, screens in front of me, coffee in hand. If it’s not coffee, it’s ice cubes.

How has your week been? Ours has been a little crazy with softball practice, game, a concert, and another game tonight but it was mostly fun.

Well, fun other than the cold rain on Tuesday for the game. (They cancelled the t-ball game for the little kids, thankfully.  I’m not sure how that would have gone!)

You know, you’re not supposed to be able to see your breath in June, yet there we were! It was cold and wet. (I was thinking of offering the lady with the pod an incredible amount of money for her pod.) I definitely turned the shower on high and read some of my book there to warm up. I can’t wait to tell you about this one. (Unless it ends up stinking, but I don’t think it will.)

So, what’s in your cup today? I’m having regular coffee, but I think I’m going to have to go for a second one later. That one might be coconut flavored, or maybe toffee.

Why a second coffee today? Last night was a REALLY late night because the concert was at the Times Union Center with American Young Voices. 3,500 kids singing and almost the entire first level of the arena filled with people.

It didn’t matter that it was hard to understand the songs or that the seats were cramped. They really put on quite the show and  the kids had a great time. It was fun to see.
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Just one of the fun moments.

Do you have anything good planned this weekend or coming week? We’re going to a wedding on Saturday and Sunday if I don’t have to teach, I’ll go to Nik’s parents and see how my greenbean plants are doing and whatever else needs to be done in the garden. Either the rain has made them grow in spades or drowned them.  It’s also getting close to being time for scapes! YAY!

Next week has two, possibly three softball games and a t-ball game but then a weekend without much planned as far as I know. (I’m really glad I’ve made some buddies at softball. We spend a lot of time together!) I can’t tell you how much I really love the weekends when we don’t have much planned. Thankfully, the Universe doles them out, pretty much, when we need them the most.

Do you love a weekend with few plans?

Well, have a great one! I have to get a glass of water before I can refill my coffee cup. It’s about balance, right?

 

Thursday Three: Things I need to do before Saturday

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Actual moment from my office today.
I have just enough room to do yoga.
If I don’t fall over.
Is that worker’s comp if I do? JK

This week was a really peaceful time for me. There were some bumps in the road, but I felt overwhelmingly at peace, calm, and loved a good deal lately.

It was lovely and I want to get back there before the wedding I’m attending on Saturday.

I sat in that lovely headspace to absorb and the peace, calm, and love and was incredibly thankful for those moments.

But it all went to poop in the span of about an hour. I let some things get under my skin that I shouldn’t let bother me, but sometimes it’s hard.

I’ve spent the majority of my life trying to please other people – often to the detriment to myself or existing relationships. It has historically bothered me when people are upset with me or don’t like me. It’s been a big mental shift to not care about what others think, say, or do when ire or dislike is directed at me.

It’s something I’m actively working on. Not everyone has to like me and I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. (Did I really just say that?) I mean I’ve been told I tend to be likable but it turns out, not everyone will find my traits endearing. I’m learning to shrug it off. It’s more on them, not me. Other’s ill will, questionable comments, and icky behavior are more of a reflection of them, their history and insecurities than me.

It can still sting, though, like today.

It makes it doubly tough when it’s the same people again and again, but you have to interact with them for whatever reasons

I can’t control what others are doing or saying, but I can do things to recenter myself when it gets under my skin.

  1. Stretch and breathe a little. Mostly this means I do some Sun Salutations or other short yoga segment until the thoughts get out of my head. I find it difficult to stay upset when I’m focusing on every muscle doing the right thing.
  2. Belt out a show tune or monster ballad. It might include hand gestures, dance moves, and the wrong words depending on how upset I am.
  3. Do something nice for someone else. This might mean an uplifting note for a friend, a home mani-pedi, check in on a friend going through a hard time. It’s a forced shift in focus and the reminder that there is good in the world because I’m putting it out there…and I know in my heart that I’m not the only one.

I know this seems like an odd post from me, but I want to put it out there that if a perpetual people pleaser like me can relearn this stuff, you can too. One of the things I’ve been doing that seems to be working is that when someone treats you poorly, look bewildered that someone would do such a thing and walk or turn away.

Besides, sometimes it’s funny when they get all stymied or crestfallen they didn’t get more of a reaction from me.

Would you rather?

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In case you need a visual of me rolling my eyes.
I’m guessing you don’t.

Recently, I rolled my eyes so hard I hurt myself. I may have seen the back of my eye sockets. The verdict is still out on that one.

Yes, my inner 12 year old came out in a moment of whatthefuckery, but it was seriously ridiculous.

20 minutes later I was told I’m an old fuddy duddy because I told someone that while their idea sounded fun, it wasn’t something I could see myself doing. While I’m far from risk averse, it sounded too dangerous.

But I don’t want to be a fuddy duddy! Harumph..nor do I think I want to see much of my 12 year old self.

While rolling one’s eyes is rarely the correct response as an adult, if they can’t see your face, does it matter?

I’m pleased I don’t have to choose one or the other. I can be delightfully me, somewhere in between. (I really do keep the eye rolling to a minimum these days, I promise.)

But if you did have to choose – your very “best” tween self or a fuddy duddy for the rest of your life, what would you choose? Remember, fuddy duddies are no fun, but tweens…well, I’m not sure how to finish that statement.

 

Read it! The Mother-in-Law

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth was provided to me at no charge through my partnership with NetGalley. The thoughts are my own. You can read other books I’ve reviewed here.

I’ve been trying to be better about reading books and getting them reviewed promptly but this one fell through the cracks. (I still have about 5 more to review and about 80 left to read.) Also, I think I need a graphic for these posts. We’ll see how the week plays out, maybe I’ll come up with one.

Moving along.

From NetGalley:

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, she knew she wasn’t the wife Diana had envisioned for her perfect son. Exquisitely polite, friendly, and always generous, Diana nonetheless kept Lucy at arm’s length despite her desperate attempts to win her over. And as a pillar in the community, an advocate for female refugees, and a woman happily married for decades, no one had a bad word to say about Diana…except Lucy.

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana is dead, a suicide note found near her body claiming that she longer wanted to live because of the cancer wreaking havoc inside her body.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.

It does find traces of poison, and evidence of suffocation.

Who could possibly want Diana dead? Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her children, and their spouses? And what does it mean that Lucy isn’t exactly sad she’s gone?

Fractured relationships and deep family secrets grow more compelling with every page in this twisty, captivating new novel from Sally Hepworth.

This book was NOT what I expected, but it was a great reminder that we all have challenges we’re facing and even those closest to us may not know what they are. I had figured out the whodunit part way through, but I just had to know how it all came to be. It also made me think about some of the challenging people in my life and what’s going on.

I enjoyed the book, but I didn’t find the characters particularly compelling or engaging. They were likable enough, but the plot is what kept me reading past my bedtime.

Is this something you’d like to read?

Change is afoot

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Nature doesn’t think about or fight change, it just does.

Have you ever had the overwhelming feeling that something is about to change in a pretty big way? I’ve been having the feeling for a bit and if I think about it too much, it jacks up my anxiety because I’m afraid it’s something bad.

Breathe, Court, breathe.

I have a feeling I know what it is, but not how it’ll pan out. (Well, I thought I did when I started this post a couple of weeks ago, but now I’m not so sure.)

My gut doesn’t think that it’ll be a bad change, but convincing my head of that is another story. Any change has the potential to be bad if it’s not done well – as is the nature of the beast. Let’s just hope it’s not a tremendously heart breaking change.

Normally, I don’t mind change. I seem to like it more when I’m the one making the choice, but I can see the value in a change someone else direct for you. Sometimes the Universe throws it at you because you’re not “ready” to take a much needed leap, or you don’t see an obvious door being opened to you. Some of the most disappointing moments or events in my life have opened amazing doors for me or allowed me to see doors already open, waiting for me.

I’m also not above thinking that it may not be a situational or external change. The change coming might be one which I need to make in myself. Perhaps an attitude I have or a personal journey I need to undertake. Who knows?

Sorry to be a little vague, I don’t have more details to share. I just feel a door opening soon and I’m keeping my eyes open about what it might be. If you happen to see it, let me know so I don’t miss it?

 

Join me for a cup of coffee?

2019-05-31_11-01-22 Good morning to you! How’s it going? I’m so tired, but I can do the things today. Maybe.

Yes, I look tired. I’ve been sick and it comes with a nasty cough. The kind that catches you off guard while you’re sleeping and you wake up coughing, gagging, and gasping.  I’ve scared Nik and myself a couple of times so hopefully this gets out of my system soon.

How have you been? What’s in your cup? I have coffee flavored coffee with a little coconut creamer in it. I would like a blended dirty chai, but they’re not too friendly point wise. I’m really trying to do WW right. I’m spending the money so I need to put the work in!

How was your week? Ours was set up to be a doozie with something every single day after work, but it ended up not being as crazy as we thought. Mother nature was grumpy again and she cancelled a game and a practice. While I do enjoy watching the kiddos play ball, it was equally nice to be able to I was able to not have to be outside in the Cold Damp Land of Allergies.

Oh! This week I picked up a crochet hook and worked on some things. They’re not very inventive, but they’re pretty. I’m finishing up a couple of things I started which feels nice. I don’t know if they’re gifts or lists yet, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

A friend of mine read my post about being zapped and suggested I go back to my roots and see where the path took me this time. One of the first creative “things” I did, once upon a time, was work for my dad’s t-shirt company doing design and production. So CourtisCrafty has a tshirt shop now. I’m not expecting anything out of it, but it’s a nice little outlet and fun so far. If nothing else, some of it makes me giggle and it’s good practice.

Well, I must be off for a refill! Have a great weekend.