Cookies, Coffee, and Contentment

There is something about baking cookies just because that brings me a sense of peace. It has been a tough week. My son has been sick since last Thursday. First, he had a stomach virus. That lasted Thursday and Friday. By Saturday he seemed to be over losing the contents of his stomach but he still wasn’t feeling well.

cold-1947995_1920.jpgOn Sunday he started running a fever. By the wee hours of Monday morning, the fever was up to 102 and he was laying in the floor crying because his ear hurt. He wouldn’t say much else. (Toby has ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder.) Not sure what else to do and with hours until the doctor opened I took him down to the emergency room of the children’s hospital.

The doctors there were fantastic as always. They took their time with him and explained everything they were doing. He was diagnosed with an ear infection, we were given a prescription for antibiotics, and released. I continued to alternate ibuprofen and Tylenol to help with the pain and the fever.

Fast forward to this Thursday. The fever still hadn’t gone away and despite three days of antibiotics, his ear was still hurting. So we went to the doctor to follow up and found out he had both an outer and an inner ear infection. The Doc prescribed some ear drops to go along with the antibiotics. The fever is finally gone and my son is on the mend.

Friday a sweet friend gave me a tub of cookie dough he had bought to support a fundraiser. Today, with Toby feeling better and with the sun shining after a week of rain, it seemed like the perfect time to bake some cookies. I didn’t even have to tell my son I was baking. The cookies had been in the oven less than two minutes before he followed his nose into the kitchen. Now the discs of deliciousness are cooling and I have a fresh cup of coffee in hand. Soon Toby will have a glass of milk and we will sit down with a couple of chocolate chocolate-chip cookies. For this moment, life is good. cookies-933191_1920.jpg

Advertisements

Morning Contemplation

cupI’m writing this on a Tuesday morning before getting ready for work. I have a new coffee mug that states “Mornings are for Coffee and contemplation”.  It is actually from the Netflix show Stranger Things, but I have wanted one ever since I saw a character drinking from it. Not because of the show but because I liked the mug. I like the show too of course, though I haven’t seen the second season yet. I am waiting to watch it with my eldest child and teenagers rarely have time for moms.

Anyway, I am rambling about the wrong thing. What I wanted to ramble about is the tree in my neighbor’s yard. The reason I like my new mug is that it reminds me to set aside time just to be, to sip a cup of coffee or tea and look around the world instead of just rushing through it. I am trying to be better at doing that.

So, I was sitting in my favorite chair with a hot cup of coffee and my front door wide open. The only light was from the door and the windows because I  wasn’t quite ready for artificial light yet. I heard the cicadas singing and there was a light breeze rustling the flag still attached to my porch from the 4th of July. I had the passing thought that these five minutes of my morning sound like the beginning of some sort of patriotic commercial or political ad campaign. Then I notice the gentle trembling of green leaves.

My across the street neighbor has a huge tree in her front yard that squirrels delight in. The wind this morning just teased its boughs while it was bathed in early sunlight. I waxed poetically inside my head about how pleasant the morning was and how nice it was to watch the oak tree across the street, and then promptly tripped over my own thoughts. Was the tree across the street an oak? Maybe it’s a maple?

I got up from my chair and moved to the door with my coffee so I could squint at the fall-leaves-63221_640foliage, trying to make out a single leaf. The wind picked up just enough to toss a couple of yellowing small ones from a top branch. They twisted and danced as they fell to the ground, making it impossible for me to tell what they looked like. My morning contemplation has been filled with: “Is it a maple or an oak?”

I am pretty sure the tree is a oak. Maples around here aren’t usually so big. If it is a maple tree it is very old. I could just walk across the street and look but that feels too much like giving in.

Baking Failures and Family Reunions

granny and papaw
Papaw, Granny, and Aunt Dixie

Today was my family reunion. I still feel drained from the interaction. Don’t get me wrong, my family is awesome and I love them, but I am an introvert by nature and being around a lot of people can be fatiguing.

My lack of coffee probably hasn’t helped. I haven’t had a single cup today, by accident not by plan. I woke up early around 4 A.M. for no apparent reason. Unable to go back to sleep, I read a book for a while, then it was time to get up. I had pumpkin bread to make and brownies to bake.

Normally I am good at baking. It is my thing. I usually stress back over the holidays. Today baking was not my thing. I tried. I really did. I also forgot to add one of the key ingredients to the bread, dropped an egg down the sink, splattered brownie batter all over my face, and then mixed the ingredients for the type of brownie I was trying to make in the wrong order; effectively making them look unedible. They actually tasted okay, they just looked bad. And I forgot to grease the pan so they stuck to the bottom and I ended up with brownie crumbs while trying to get them out.

I ended up taking store-bought lemon aid and a big bowl of grapes. I thought it was probably safer for all involved, considering I also absent-mindedly sat an oven mitt down on a hot stove burner and nearly caused a fire. Honestly, I am not usually so bad in the kitchen.

I did get to see many of my cousins and my Aunt Patsy. I have a ton of cousins. Some I haven’t seen in over a decade, others it has been a month or two. I enjoyed getting a chance to visit with them. I wish I could have stayed longer. However, my son decided to brave the reunion as well and quickly used up all of his socializing reserves. (He is high functioning autistic so his reserves run out even faster than mine.) Still, I had a good time. I hope to be able to visit with everyone again next year.

 

Just another Monday

John_George_Brown_-_Sleeping_angelI met this Monday morning slowly and with heavy eyes. I was awake before the sun but refused to get out of bed, hoping for a few last minutes of sleep that never came. I don’t really dread Mondays. It is just that there is so much to do on them. It seems like all of the things I was unable to accomplish from Friday just swell until the wave of errands breaks over me on Monday.

I’ve accomplished three tasks already, four if you count taking a shower. (I am not above padding the number of my accomplishments where I can. Especially if it helps me get motivated.) I fetched paperwork I need to fax off, found and acquired coffee, then took the trash down to the curb because it is collection day. All mundane tasks that have nothing to do with writing.

As far as writing goes, I’ve not done much. I checked my email and discovered another rejection slip. After that I showed up here to write a blog post. I really didn’t feel like writing this morning, but it is Monday so here I am.

I showed up. It isn’t much but they say 75% of writing is showing up to the computer even when you don’t want to. (I made that number up. There is a percent that is routinely quoted but I don’t remember what it is right now. 75% sounds about right to me.)

I have a long list of tasks that need to be accomplished today. I will be very surprised if I vintage_childrens_reading_collection_poster-re1e1e6aba9b4490db9a80226b548ae57_26gc_400
get to them all. Many of them are boring things that take me out of the house and out among people I don’t want to talk to. However, if I am good and get at least half of my list done then I will reward myself by reading a book.

My daughter and I went to the Georgia Renaissance festival yesterday and I am longing to read a good fantasy novel. I am still tired, a little sore, and a little sunburned but it was worth it. We had a great time. Maybe I will write a fantasy story too.

Poetry in Whining

A Monday Lament from a Night Walker mugging fork

My back aches 
My shoulder hurts
I want to go back to bed

My bones creak
My brain’s still asleep
I hurt to much to be dead

My coffee is faulty
My movements are halting
Monday has come around

I worked the weekend
And work tomorrow too
Yet I am still Monday down

Monday’s have their pull
On the working world
It doesn’t matter when they come

At the beginning of the week,
In the middle, At the end,
Even after the setting sun.

Mondays and Missing Cats

Hello all. What is it about Monday’s? It’s like I wake up with an automatic To-Do list that somehow complied over night. Today is going to be a busy one.

I didn’t do much this weekend but sit around in comfortable clothes and watch Doctor Who. I had some sort of stomach nasty that wouldn’t let me get too far from a toilet without dire consequences. It was kind of nice to have self permission not to do anything. I could have done without the being sick part though.

Panda
Panda

Today I have to play catch up. There is housework to do, writing to get done, and a cat to find. Panda, our black and white cat, hasn’t been home in several days and I am beginning to get worried. Sometimes she will disappear for a day or two after we have done something to offend her, but this is a bit long. Usually these absences will follow a few days of breakfast being served late or us not letting her outside when she wants. She is the queen of the household and knows it.panda

I’m not only worried about Panda but my daughter as well. Technically she is my daughter’s cat. We brought her home from the animal shelter as a kitten, shortly after we moved into our house.

At thirteen, my daughter is all moody teenage girl. Her cat is the one she talks to when things get to be too much, because obviously mom can’t understand. (I was a teenager once too and did the same thing, so I know how this works. Cats can be wonderful confidants and they have the added bonus of being fluffy.)10502233_10201355538529691_2457240744323550533_n

To complicate things, not only does she have the usual teen stuff to deal with, but her father just moved across the country. She has always been a Daddy’s girl. She has always known if she needed him, he was right there and I would take her to see him. Now that is a bit more difficult since he is a couple of thousand miles away. They still skype and stuff but it isn’t the same.  And now her cat is missing.

My daughter does talk to me. It’s not like we have no communication, but talking to her Daddy and talking to her cat is different from talking to mom. Kids have a lot to deal with. So do parents for that matter.

I had more to say but my kids are awake now and I have lost my train of thought. I have to go make breakfast and get my son started on his homeschooling. He is full of energy this morning and is irritating his sister. She is in a good mood and is irritating him back so my house is very loud right now.

I’ll return with cat updates as I have them.

Thick With Sleep

Garfield-Mornings-garfield-172375_312_318Waking up today feels like pulling myself out of a tub of molasses. In a good way. I slept solid last night. I entered so deeply into the realm of dreams that I don’t remember sleeping and I’ve not quite returned to waking.

Yesterday was my son’s 11th birthday. His party was a lot of fun and I got to meet up with friends I haven’t seen in a long time. It was three hours of happy social interaction but by the time I got home I was done in. Only stubbornness helped me stay awake until a reasonable bedtime. (I would have just given in, but my daughter was out with a friend. I was waiting for her to be brought home.)

catnapAfter weeks of restless sleep and waking feeling like the day before never stopped; this thick with sleep feeling is welcome. It is cool outside which makes hot coffee all the more enjoyable. I don’t know what this Monday will hold but I am greeting it with a sleepy contented smile and a warm cup.