Still, I'm not nearly as eager to hit the keyboard these last few Fridays. Most weeks it's because I'm feeling tired, and I've learned that that erases all my creativity. That doesn't explain today; this has actually been a relatively easy week--though one of my co-workers came down with...duhduhduh!..THE FLU! Ahhh!!
As it turns out, though, she only had a fever for a couple of days. Not to detract from her miserableness, but at least it didn't keep her plastered to her pillow for a week. On the other hand, she did have Tamiflu at hand. I'd like to get the flu shot, but the last time I went to the pharmacy, they were only giving it to kids. Perhaps I should go back and try again! And walk on my knees...
Our office does nothing--nothing!--to mark special events, be they holidays or birthdays. (Well, okay, they are giving a going-away/shower "party" for another co-worker, but that's unusual.) So as Halloween approached, I thought, the hell with it, I'm gonna bring in a treat for everyone. And what to bring? The answer was simple:
Duhn-duhn-duhn! Tangerine-glazed pumpkin cookies! Miss Chef found the recipe in Health magazine four years ago, and I think we can now officially call it our own little tradition. She made it that year for a pumpkin-carving party we hosted, and everyone raved about them. This is the first year I've made them on my own, and you know what I learned? They're farking easy! You should definitely try them; if it's too late for Halloween, they make a great Thanksgiving nosh, too. But you should make two batches. And invite me.
Oh, but here's the best part! Miss Chef and I both made a batch Thursday night; she measured out the ingredients and took them to work to bake, and I made them at home. She was disappointed with hers, and asked to try mine, when she got home..and she said mine were better!
See, I told you they were easy.
The pecan tree is still slowly shedding nuts. I gather a half-dozen or so whenever I get home early enough to take Rosie to the park. I was getting more a couple of weeks ago, but either the tree's slowing down, or the squirrels are speeding up. All the same, those daily handfuls are definitely adding up:
Last weekend Miss Chef used some we had cracked earlier to make candied pecans. Half of them burned (see? even chefs have to throw food away sometimes), but the ones that didn't were wonderful. I haven't seen enough of her this week to ask her how she did it; I know cane syrup was involved. Not that you need cane syrup, she just happens to have a bottle and thought it would work well.
We have the weirdest stuff in our pantry. Like a big round block of palm sugar she bought at an ethnic food store. "How do you use that?" I asked. "I don't know, but it looks interesting." It's been taking up space in there for many moons. But I mostly don't complain, because her defense is absolutely true: she will eventually use it. And 90% of the time, it will be for something fascinating, unusual and tasty. Like cane syrup for candied pecans.
Oh, and in the picture above, you can see I've put my personally painted vase to good use already. Those flowers? Miss Chef got them for me for our anniversary last week. 9 years, and she still makes me laugh. Plus, you know, she gets me flowers. And she gets me. That's important too.
The trees have been putting on quite a show the last week or so. The few times it's been sunny while I've been out walking, I've felt like smacking myself for not thinking to bring my camera. But now I'm just as happy I didn't. I tend to look at everything as a potential image when I have my camera. This year I've been able to just absorb the beauty, from the golden leaves glowing on the willow oaks, to the multicolored carpet beneath them. Too beautiful for words; even a thousand of them are insufficient. This is one spectacle man cannot reproduce or control. That makes it even more precious to me.
So tomorrow's Halloween. I'll be at home, greeting trick-or-treaters alone again. Bleah. Miss Chef would enjoy all the little kiddies so much more than I do. I do love seeing them all dressed up, and maybe this year I'll recognize even more of the parents. I'm still pondering how to handle the teens who show up without even a costume, just a pillow case. I'd like to refuse them candy, but they're generally bigger than me...and it's Halloween.
Oh, wait, that's the whole point, right? Maybe instead, I'll put on my witch hat and cackle like a maniac until they turn tail and run.
Hee hee hee heeeeee!!! Happy Halloween, everybody!