Sometimes I have a lot of words swirling around in my head, tumbling over themselves in a race to get typed into a blog post. And other times, like the last few weeks, I have none. I sit down to my computer and all I can do is feel. The expressions for those feelings haven’t resolved themselves into anything comprehensible. I don’t understand yet. And when I don’t understand, I can’t communicate.
My friend Margo once told me that when she’s traveling or muddled and doesn’t have time or energy to write it all out, she just writes in bullet points. Short little bursts of information from her day and experiences that help her remember and track and, one day, understand.
So here are my bullet points from “my lately”:
- Asparagus growing is wondrous. One day there is nothing, the next there’s a 6″ spear ready for eating.
- Sundresses are the best item of clothing in the world. Truly. I find it difficult to ever be too downhearted in a sundress.
- When I’m grieving or hurt or sad, going outside at sunset and sunrise never fails to ground and comfort me and remind me that it’s OK to feel these hard things. They will pass.
- Bear bringing me a cup of tea without being asked makes me feel more loved than if he showed up bearing diamonds.
- Gardening makes me feel like I’m a magician. I throw dried up old seeds in the dirt, give them some water, and before long they’ve transformed into sugar snap peas and artichokes and tomatoes. Amazing.
- Watching baby animals of any variety is excellent therapy. They elicit laughter from even the most battered hearts.
- Stealing a few minutes to read a novel is never, ever a waste of time.
- Go for a walk. Even a little one. You’ll not regret it.
- Muscovy ducks make me smile. They are so quiet with their quacks that they seem to always have laryngitis.
- When you stroll past a rosemary bush, run your hands up the stalks then breathe deeply from them. Bliss.
- Eating lunch on the veranda makes even sardines, olives, and cheese feel like a feast.
- Reading other people’s blog posts is like traveling for me. Their words and photos take me to places and experiences completely different than my own, and make me a more balanced person.
- Re-reading my favorite childhood stories has been such a good idea. It’s like revisiting all my happiest memories.
- When I get homesick for mountains and pine forests, a dish filled with pine cones and set on the table sure is nice.
- Baking a cake is always a good idea. Especially when it’s a simple, homey one, heavily fragrant with vanilla and studded with spirit-soaked cranberries.
What are some bullet point moments from your life that you’re treasuring this week? xo
Vanilla Cake with Boozy Cranberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 cup vodka or rum soaked fresh cranberries
- Preheat oven to 375 F (180 C).
- Cover removable bottom of 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
- In medium size bowl, beat together sugar and butter until pale yellow.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.
- Beat in vanilla extract.
- In small bowl whisk together flours and baking powder. Add to wet mixture and stir until well incorporated.
- Add milk and beat until mixture is smooth.
- Add cranberries, stirring gently so they don’t break.
- Pour into prepared pan and place in oven.
- Bake 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
- Let cake cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove and cool on rack until ready to serve or until fully cooled and ready to store.