Sunday, January 30, 2011

Be Cool, Stay Healthy...With an Apple Cozy

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
~Latin Proverb

Ever since I taught myself how to knit using four double pointed needles, I've had a blast trying new patterns and challenging my knitting skills. It's been daunting, yet fun, and I won't even begin to tell you how many times I started, ripped out, and began again.

But there's something extremely gratifying about accomplishing a task that once seemed impossible. The euphoria is amazing-- even if it's only over knitting a little apple cozy.

So, in honor of February and Healthy Heart month, I present apple cozies. Who says being healthy has to be boring?


"Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.”
~H. Jackson Brown Jr.

No matter now busy I get, I still love my knitting the most. There's always time for for my yarn.
These are just a few of my favorite booties that I've created in the past week or two.

I've Always Been a Snacker

"Pretzels had their beginning around 610 A.D. somewhere in Southern France or Northern Italy. A young monk was preparing unleavened bread for Lent, the Christian period of fasting and penitence before Easter. Christians of the day prayed with their arms folded across their chests, each hand on the opposite shoulder."
~The History of Pretzels

I've always preferred snacks to meals. I'd rather eat snacky foods all the live long day and skip the big three. It's simply more satisfying, I suppose. Not to mention that it leaves me feeling less sluggish and tired.

Growing up I can recall two specific foods that my parents always had stashed away for times of crisis-- Cheerios and pretzels. And, while I love me some Cheerios-- any variety will suffice-- I tend to stuff baggies of pretzels in my purse, desk drawer, even the console of my car. You just never know when a hunger attack will ensue.

What's the saying? ...An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

So, the other day, I had an idea. You see, it's been rather cold and snowy and I just needed a reasonable excuse to turn on the oven and generate some extra heat in Chad-o's chilly abode.

I found a rather simple homemade soft pretzel recipe and got to work.

This particular recipe was my first experience baking with yeast. Thankfully, all went well. People really make it out to be way more difficult than it actually is.

As I was rolling my pretzels out, my mind flashed to the workers at Auntie Ann's, a soft pretzel shop that makes the most amazing carbohydrate treats. I tried to envision how they create the perfectly shaped pretzels- not too chubby, not too skinny. All I needed was a little white hat and embroidered apron and I would have been the perfect pretzel artist.

As I was rolling and baking away, I began to think of how pretzels may very well be the most perfect treat. It's possible that the old fashioned, salted variety emerge as my number one, but I do have a special place in my heart for a chocolate covered pretzel. Sweet and salty...mmm

Or, dip in cheese, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, add jalapenos or raisins. I love working with a medium that has endless possibilities.

I'm just getting started with this new pretzel making craze. Perhaps next week I'll do some experimenting and maybe you can come over to taste test.

These critters turned out to be a tad on the tiny side, but still packed a tasty punch. Rest assured, this is not the last of my pretzel adventure.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stopping by the woods...

"Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow."
~ Robert Frost

As I stifled a yawn, pulled my robe closer, and reached for my favorite extra-large coffee mug, I peered through the kitchen window only to have my eyes fall upon this delightful sight. I simply love when the snow piles high outside the window ledge. It reaffirms my hunch about waking early.

Something about a fluffy, white snowfall calms me. Combine the calmness with a slight case of cabin fever and I had the perfect recipe for a peaceful little outing. I put on some extra warm clothes, filled my thermos with steaming hot coffee, grabbed my camera, and set off on a scenic winter field-trip.

I thoroughly enjoyed the silence. Other than the swooping of snowflakes and gusts of wind, I proved the only interruption to nature's quiet party.

I gazed around, taking in the wonder and letting my imagination and thoughts perform a recital through my overactive mind. How is it possible that these brittle twigs and pods continue to stand steadfast against blustery winds, harsh cold, and feet of snow and ice?

Mother Nature, obviously. She's one amazing woman.

Looking around and watching for tiny details caused me to question the 'white-ness' of snow. In some areas it gleamed a bright white, almost glowing with glitter and shine. In other places, it appeared heather-gray, the color of a old, worn, thread-bare sweatshirt. Yet, other views showcased a spectacular, cold sapphire cast.

I've taken this same trip before. Actually, I take it quite often. I go here to think, to be quiet, to let my mind wonder. But no matter how often I visit, I'm overcome with amazement. This very same place totally transforms in accordance with the requests of Mother Nature.

Stunning. Magnificent.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Puppy, Reporting for Duty

Ruff Ruff, Friends,

Today Mama had the day off. Well, not really, but her phone rang this morning-- twice...awakening me from my sweet slumber. And, judging from her yippie skippie response to the phone messages and the way she pulled the blankets closer, rolled over, and drifted off to snooze-land, I can only imagine that it was a surprise cancellation of that work thing she does everyday. Poor woman.

Thankfully, we cuddled and snuggled and dozed and watched television together for an hour or so. Having Mama to myself in the morning, well....just doggone wonderful. A treat! A little slice of puppy heaven! She made java and allowed me some of her delicious granola for breakfast. Lucky me. (tail wag)

Then, I heard her on the phone talking to Grammie. I was pretty sure they were planning something, but I hated to get all excited for nothing. The next thing I knew Mama was throwing a bunch of yarn into a bag, smashing her feet into boots, and putting my little coat on me. "Grammie's house?" I secretly hoped. "

Well, that snow is no joke for a petite little canine such as myself. I mean, it's one thing to scoot outside and potty, but it's another to tackle an unshoveled driveway and a poorly plowed street. But, like Mama, I enjoy a challenge. So off we went-- me carving my own perfect path-- and Mama following my trusty lead.

We made it, though, don't you worry. I kindly led the way, carving Mama her own little trail, just the right size for her feet. She appreciated it. That, I know, for sure.

I love lending a paw-- well make that four paws. Mama is such a rockstar that it makes me ruffy happy when I can help her out.

So, dear friends, finally, after much trudging and trail-blazing and snow eating, I spotted Grammie's house! I really love going there, even though I have to share the spotlight with that Millie dog.

I'm really hoping that the phone rings early tomorrow morning, too. My day with Mama was tops!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Something Old, Something New

"Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success."
~Swami Sivanda

My grandmother and mama are master crocheters. I'm a knitter. Typical. I've always taken the path of most resistance.

But, recently I decided that I wanted to learn how to wield a crochet hook.

We'll put it this way-- I'm slowly learning.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


"Invest in yourself. You are worth it."
~Samantha Bradley

As the last of my pine scented candle burns, I'm left with the lingering feeling of Christmas- a feeling I'm not quite ready to let go of. But as a new day dawns, the new year is upon me and I find myself full of optimism and ready to tackle the challenges and adventures of a fresh set of 365 more days.

Isn't it odd, almost selfish and perhaps a tad presumptuous, to think that most of us never even question the fact that we might not really have 365 days? I mean, not to sound depressing, but I bet that many people make their New Year's resolutions and never even consider the notion of only having 165 days, or 326 days, or maybe just a mere 10 days.

Most people slug a few glasses of champagne, don party hats, set goals, join the gym, and then....zoommmm....they're off, thinking of routines and to-do lists and the next item of pressing business. It's life. It's human. And, it's totally normal.

But, what if? What if you had the amazing opportunity to create the life and person that you-- just you-- wanted for yourself? Set aside the lofty ambitions of your parents. Forget the wishes of your spouse. Toss aside the "keep up with the Joneses approach". Would you create the person you are today? Would you want to be the person you've grown up to be?

As I approach a new year and another decade of life, I find that I've become a bit too reflective, a tad over-the-top in my thinking. I see things happening and I hear specific discussions and I get nervous. I don't particularly care for the passing of time and I'd much prefer that it slow down a bit. My friends are parents to toddlers, I'm the power of attorney for my parents, I actually contemplate things like retirement plans, and I have a will. Truthfully, it makes me nauseous. It makes feel like painting my nails with purple glitter polish, pulling on my cupcake hat, and running outside to make a snow angel. Sometimes, I want to start over again. I want the world at my fingertips and the people I loved and cared about and totally took for granted all around me.

For me, I think it's crazy that I live so much in the past. I spend so much time there-- the past, that is. It's safe and warm and mostly pleasant.

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions-- I've told you that before. But what I am big on is growing- in whatever way (other than added pounds- ha!)- academically, artistically, emotionally, psychologically--whatever. Growing is good.

So, I vow to spend this year evolving, taking the things I currently do and approaching them with new vigor and zest. I hope let my love of living in the past continue to mesmerize and inspire me, but at the same time, I need to wrap it tightly in a snug, little quilt and allow it to slip into a peaceful slumber.

It's time for me to create my own story.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Not Yet

"Yesterday has gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."
~Mother Theresa

I'm currently considering taking down the tree. But something keeps pulling at me, telling me not to do it quite yet.

I want to listen. I want to follow my heart and do exactly what it's quietly whispering, yet I fight the urge to listen to logic and to check "put Christmas decorations away" off of my long list.
Those little decorations, the tiny ornaments and twinkle lights, the giddy elves and the glittery cupcakes-- they make me feel cozy and magical and content. And, you see, when they are gone, so is the charm and slight quirkiness of it all, and back are the plain, boring walls, sterile table tops, and perfect dullness.

Perhaps those are the very reasons I decorated so early this year. Maybe I wanted to enjoy the eclectic wonder a bit longer than usual?

Please, Christmas and holiday season, don't go away quite yet. I'll miss you too much.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...