One of my favorite little pleasures is waking up early and making pancakes, with nothing but summer sunshine and the same bright songs to distract me. “Pancake mornings” do for me what meditation and yoga do for most other people. 🙂
I make these cookies once a month for “Tea Party Day” with Cakey, provided she goes a week without making animal noises when we’re getting ready for ballet. I usually add a bit of pink or purple food coloring to the glaze and let her dust them with sprinkles as they dry. We wear fancy hats and dip our cookies into pink lemonade…pinkies out of course. 🙂
Tea Party Cookies!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar 3 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease 2 large cookie sheets.
In an electric stand mixer (<3 my mom’s Kitchen Aid) beat butter and sugar together until fluffy and pale. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk salt, baking soda, lemon zest, and flour. Add eggs individually, beating well and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in vanilla with final egg. Slow mixer speed to low and add dry ingredient mixture and buttermilk in alternating batches, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, until dough is smooth. Make tablespoon size balls of dough (or use a cookie scoop!), flatten slightly on cookie sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart from each other. Bake each sheet individually for 12-15 minutes. Cookies should have golden edges and puffed centers when done. Allow to cool on sheet for one minute before transfer to a wire cooling rack.
To make the glaze, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl and brush on tops of warm cookies and allow to stand until glaze is thoroughly set.
From epicurious.com, originally from Edna Lewis printed in Gourmet Magazine, January 2008
Last Friday I had agreed to give my friend (“The Compulsive Liar”) a ride to the airport. Even though I was still feeling icky from everything that had happened on Sunday, I stuck to my word. I picked her up at 2, even though she said her flight wasn’t til 5, and the airport is only an hour away.
The trip started out normal enough:
TCL: So what happened yesterday?
Me: I had a really bad asthma attack and–
TCL: OHMYGAWD did I tell you <insert random statement about imaginary directing job/interview/boy with strangely exotic name>
I tuned out for most of the drive and imagined the nice, quiet walk I would enjoy at my favorite mall halfway home. Then, when we were ten minutes from the airport…
TCL: What’s with these signs for “**** Airport?” My plane leaves from ****.
Me: In New York?!
At this point, we’re about 10 minutes from the Massachusetts border. We’ve been driving in the complete opposite direction for over an hour and she’s said nothing.
Me: Oh my God…I’m so sorry. We’re never going to make it.
TCL: Yeah we totally will. Just turn around.
Me: Have you been to this airport before?
TCL: Yeah…loads of times.
Me: So…um…you’re aware that the highways are pretty much parking lots from 5-8 around there right?
TCL: Yeah, but we’ll totally be there by 5. (It was currently 3:30. The airport in question is 1.5 hrs away without traffic.)
In the end, I made it home in a speedy 6 hours and she made her flight…because she also had the time wrong.
After a failed attempt to spend the day at the beach, I decided to go looking for cake decorating classes and meet my sister and friend to bake cupcakes afterwards. I told them I’d only be gone an hour.
But, as I’m leaving the craft store, I get a call from The Boy asking if I’d like to meet up for a quick bite. I
stupidly agree and meet him at a sandwich shop we’ve been to 80 million other times. Only this time I start having trouble breathing for no reason. By the time we get back to The Boy’s place, I’m having a full-blown asthma attack. And I don’t have my inhaler. And he has plans to see a show with his friend in less than an hour. And I’m supposed to be home already. I tell him to go get ready for the show, horribly embarrassed by what’s happening. He refuses to leave me and decides we’re going to the hospital. I start turning blue on the way and scare the crap out of him. He holds my hand, while driving scarily fast and basically carries me into the ER. (# of people’s days ruined: 5)
At this point I’m coughing and wheezing so badly that I can’t speak. The Boy gives the triage nurse all my information, and they take me in…ahead of the 15+ people glaring at me from the waiting room.
We then meet the worst nurse in the world. The Boy had called my mother and begins rattling off the list of medications I take, how long the attack’s been going on, and the medication that usually helps. Completely ignoring him, she takes my vitals, and makes an irritated comment about how I’m “not that bad” based on my SpO2 reading. (Which is normally 99-100%, and has always been above 95% during an attack. This reading was 92%.) Had I been able to speak, I would’ve told her that my 1) SpO2 actually increases when I’m anxious…you know, like when I can’t freaking breathe, and 2) This is the lowest reading I’ve ever had. When listening to my lungs, she gets irritated because I’m being “uncooperative” by not taking a deep breath for her. When she finally gives me the nebulizer treatment, she gives me the wrong medication. And leaves. I’m turning blue and she leaves. She gives me two more treatments, which don’t do anything but make me shake uncontrollably.
Through all of this, The Boy stays with me….holding my hand, rubbing my back, telling me it’ll be okay.
Finally, a PA comes in the room and listens. A moment later, the nurse reappears with another nebulizer treatment and the oral form of the steroid the ER usually gives me via IV. She hands me the medication and immediately turns to leave. Before I take the pill, I notice it’s 5x my usual dose and stop her. I try, politely, to explain that I’d prefer a lower dose of the faster-acting IV form. She scoffs, tells me to “just take the pill, you’re not on any other medication anyway” and leaves before either of us can tell her off. Close to tears, I take the pill and hope for the best.
The last nebulizer treatment quiets my cough, and 45 minutes later I feel the steroids kicking in. While we wait for the PA to discharge me, The Boy holds me while I continue to shake uncontrollably.
When I finally get home, it’s five hours later than I’d planned. I feel terrible for blowing off my sister and friend, for ruining The Boy’s plans, and for scaring/disappointing my parents.
Grand Total # of People’s Days Ruined: 7
Tomorrow it will officially be three months. I know he doesn’t remember the exact day and probably won’t call me to “re-evaluate the situation,” but that’s okay. A few weeks ago I was still fighting the crying attacks, telling myself “you’re okay. you have to be okay.” Today, I recognize that while I still love him, he is going through something that I am powerless over. I’m lucky enough to be on good terms with him as well as his family, so if this is more than temporary I know I won’t lose a whole group of loved ones.
I’ve often had the feeling that my friends don’t take my job seriously, but recently one of them began nannying for a family with three (older) children. She texted me after her first day saying she was too exhausted to call and “How on Earth do you do this every day?!” In truth, the kids I take care of are really wonderful. They’re (usually) well behaved, respectful, and so sweet. I’ve been with them since their oldest was three, and I’m more than a little attached to them at this point. Nannying has not only been a great incentive for birth control, but I’ve gained so much more respect for my mother. I remember being five and thinking how I would never lie about setting the timer for nap, or use manipulation to get my kids to wash their hands or go inside for dinner. Well, they’re not my kids, but I’ve told them they only need to nap until the timer (that I never set) goes off, tricked them into washing their hands by claiming I can make more bubbles than them, and used racing as a ploy to get everyone inside for dinner.
Bottom line? I’m a lucky gal. I love my job, and while I may be single, I have a whole lot of love in my life.
Seriously, how could anyone turn this guy away?
So, yesterday was my first day back at work. Sort of.
The family I work for had a party to welcome the new baby. I was supposed to just be another guest, but because I’m shy and awkward around new people, I ended up taking care of their equally shy two year old. The parents kept reminding me that I was supposed to be relaxing with the other grown-ups, but it was more fun playing hide & seek with their son than standing in a corner alone.
Speaking of their son…he’s afraid of his new sister. He has a baby doll that sings when you push its chest, so when he met his new sister, he basically punched her in the chest. He was startled when she screamed instead of singing “Twinkle Twinkle” and hasn’t gone near her since. On the other hand, their older daughter adores the baby and was more than a little reluctant to let anyone else hold her.
When I finally joined the adults, the new baby was being passed around the room. Fortunately she’s like her brother and (so far) can sleep through anything. When it was finally my turn, her little fingers curled around my pinky and my heart just melted. Her brother did the same thing when I first held him (which feels more like a week ago than two and a half years ago).
Life’s going to be a little more crazy, but the good kind. 🙂
I spent yesterday evening babysitting my neighbor’s three children, and was told that I’m not a grown-up because I’m not married and I’m not tall enough. (I’m barely 5’1″…their parents are both over 6′.) The conversation then turned into “Well why aren’t you married? When will you get married? Who do you want to marry?” Since a 25 year old boy’s commitment issues are difficult to explain to a third grader, I said I just want to marry someone who buys me a lot of ice cream.
I hate hearing that I’ll meet the right person when the time is right, because I’m a control freak and don’t like admitting that I’m powerless over anything. I want to meet that person now, but I’m in no hurry to get married if that makes any sense. I just miss the stability I thought I had.
For the time being, I’m just trying to focus on getting into grad school. Yeah, it might be a distraction, but so far it’s a pretty darn good one.
On the other hand, I’m meeting The Boy to see Harry Potter this afternoon. I will try very hard to keep it platonic, because while he may not be able to control his impulses, I know I can.
Ehh…Woody Allen can explain my thoughts better than I can:
Seriously? What do single twenty-something girls do? Okay, what if you’re shy and can’t handle more than a few sips of alcohol?
Yeah, I pretty much spend my life watching “Bolt the Superdog” (for the freaking 80 billionth time), baking, working on my grad school apps, and getting way too excited about True Blood. Oh, and if it’s a really wild night I might have a glass of wine. At home. With my cat.
I mean, I’ve gone out with my other single friends since April, but honestly haven’t really enjoyed any of it. Maybe it’s because I spend most of my days with a 6 year old and a toddler, but I don’t feel I have very much in common with most of my friends at this point. They lived away at college without working, I commuted from home and got a full-time job.
I went out with my friend, The Compulsive Liar, earlier this week for dessert…and the conversation was basically:
TCL: So how’s life?
Me: Oh, you know…busy. The kids have been-
TCL: Huh…yeah. I have a new guy. He’s new to Georgia too and blahblahblah-TMI-that-I-never-wanted-to-hear.
want to throw something at you I’m really happy for you.
TCL: And omigawd…did I tell you about work? I’m directing a movie with J-Lo.
(At this point I have a sudden pang of missing The Boy, who had always wanted to follow-up everything that came out of this girl’s mouth with “no you didn’t.” And not in that sassy-girl way.)
I had nothing to contribute to the conversation. I mean, unless she wanted to hear about the horrors of potty training (and nobody does) or discuss the new after school lineup on PBS.
- First the sad: I woke up to the sound of my father crying today. My uncle was the victim of a hit and run in January and has been in a rehabilitation hospital since late February. Though he’s made a tremendous amount of progress, we’re finding it difficult to face the reality of the situation. He will likely never walk or live on his own again. Oddly, my impulse is to immediately focus on the positive; a few months ago he didn’t even remember me. But, there’s no escaping how much everything about the situation sucks. Not that anyone ever deserves something like this, but my uncle has spent his whole life giving to other people and neither expecting nor receiving much of anything in return.
- Now a lil happy: In other news, has anyone seen “The First Wives Club?” It’s strange how easy I can identify with three middle age divorcées. & I love Diane Keaton so much. =)
- And some super-happy: The family I nanny for had their third child this morning. It’s a girl!!! I know it’s going to be insanely stressful once I go back to work, but for now I’m so excited. It’s nice to have a bit of sunshine amongst all this ickiness.