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Inward, Summer Days


    Good morning, friends!~
               I'm sitting at my dining room table writing to you today on a beautiful, sunny morning where the sky is a perfect robin's egg blue, with no clouds. This sun is so welcome after rain and clouds all yesterday, and storms throughout this spring.
            I'm getting off to a slow start this week.....although I am trying to keep to the housekeeping routine that I set for myself a few weeks ago. This summer has had me feeling the need to go inward....to quiet my mind and my life and to try to cut out all the noise I can, and not juggle so many plates.
         I've been thinking so much about my great-granny Emma, who lived just a couple of blocks down my very same street, and how she might have organized her days. She's been gone over 3 decades now, but we all remember her so fondly....she was the glue of her family. So naturally as I contemplate being more intentional in how I keep my home and the food I prepare (it is SO HARD to try to make authentic, wholesome, natural foods these days.....it's become a project in and of itself, and I cant say that Im 100% succeeding, even with trying to be intentional) I find myself thinking of her.
   The other day I was at an antique shop on our day-trip to Independence, KS, and found this fun little cookbook. From the cover art, I suspect that it was published in the late 20s, but more likely the 30s. There's no publishing information in it. I love it because it assumes you know absolutely nothing about cooking, and its good to start from square one! There are recipes as simple as making coffee and toast. Then there are main meal dishes, desserts, and even suggestions on what to pack in lunches for people going off to work or children going to school. There are even recipes to give people who are sick (toast water!?!?!) and I have found it completely fascinating!

   I have found myself cooking more and trying to make more from scratch. I am trying to pace myself and make myself a schedule that makes room for these things, because it's taking a whole change in my mindset. Usually, things like making slow cooking meals or bread, etc. seem like a huge time suck. I often would find myself looking around my house at the 5,000 things that needed to be done and feel a huge anxiety attack coming on. WHEN was I supposed to tackle all this? How on earth could I keep up?
   I embarked on a week or so of a massive clean-out, each day devoted to a specific room. When I got most emergency things under control, I wrote myself out a schedule of which room to do for 'upkeep.' Today is the dining room and living room. I've noticed that I feel calmer working within this daily rhythm and Im not sure why Im surprised by this--- since I know that kids do better with a daily rhythm too. We all need to know what the day holds for us, as much as we can....what we need to get done, and also what can wait.
   And although I initially felt like it would take time away from my painting, I've found that it really doesnt effect it....I block out time for it, and when I finally sit down to paint, I can do it with a peaceful mind and know I have a certain amount of time where its my only concern. That's been really, really nice.




   I've been making bread, and also some 'treats', as I find that the snacky things in our house are where we tend to eat the most processed food. So my idea has been to make treats that, while not diet food--- are still more 'whole' food than the processed bars and cookies I've been getting at the store. One such treat was making "Dady's Brownies" from the Tasha Tudor Cookbook, which came out nice!
   They are a very old fashioned brownie....cakey and not as dark and rich as most brownie's we we eat these days. Tasha suggests frosting them with a fudge recipe also found in the book, but since I didnt have time to make fudge as well as brownies, I just made a simple chocolate glaze, and that worked fine.


   I feel like these brownies do need some sort of glaze or frosting though to be at their best--- or perhaps that's just the chocolate fiend in me talking ;) The recipe makes two square pans worth of brownies, so a good amount. I made one with nuts and one without. They didnt last long!

    Well, off to start my routine! Hope you are doing well. I have a new painting to show you that I finished last week, and I can't wait to share it with you. I'm still on my Scotland kick--- but this time, there's SHEEP! Stay tuned :)

And of course,
Take Joy!~
h

4 comments

  1. When I have a simple cake or brownie, I like to have a bit of powdered sugar on top. We have a fancy powdered sugar shaker I found at some thrift store or flea market years ago, and I can tell you from experience that shaking powdered sugar out of it onto a simple cake makes it feel extra special :)

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  2. You are like a breath of fresh air. I also feel the need to retreat, in a life and area with unwanted social pressure. I know the greatest truths are in solitude and home-life. Oh, my goodness. For family reasons, I decided last month to clean every single thing in our house and wipe down all the walls and ceilings. That meant every painting off the wall and vacuumed, and the wall dry-mopped. This all led to painting two rooms and deep-cleaning and rewaxing all the hardwood floors, and pulling all books off of shelves, dusting the bookcases and behind them, and vacuuming then windexing each book. It has seemed like it would never end, but I think we are at 80% done now, and YES! I hope to come out of it with a cleaning schedule...it's an absolute must now, to maintain the "clean." About working better when things are in order, I have always been that way about writing. Summer gifts and blessings to you...love your Scotland summer.

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  3. I love what you're doing with your cooking and cleaning. There is a simple, clean peace that comes from doing things the old ways.

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  4. I'm appreciate your writing skill. Please keep on working hard. Thanks for sharing.

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Each and every comment is appreciated! Thanks for coming to visit me :) ~Heather