Chronicles of Ordinary Pleasures

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I can’t go into my kitchen because the birds fly off the back porch where I’ve put bird seed.  Somehow they sense my presence if I am not very careful as I edge toward the door to watch them. The snow is coming down hard and there’s no sense putting birdfood down in the yard.  I’ll get to the feeders soon after they leave the porch.  Still, if I move quietly toward the door, I can see the female cardinals and sparrows, as well as a few chicadees.  The females have a punk male cardinal with them – I can tell young male cardinals from their punk looking feathers on top.  So, it’s not only the human family where children stay home longer or move back in.  (I really have to relearn how to get pictures up here.)  I hope the doves don’t come for awhile.  They are agressive and literally push smaller birds away – they certainly do not live up to their name.

When I can move around freely, I’ll make toast with cinammon topping.  Maybe I’ll make a Dutch Baby pancake.  You don’t need a lot of ingredients and it’s yummy.

The Big Pancake:

3 tablespoons butter

2 eggs, beaten

l/3 cup milk

l teaspoon sugar

l/4 teaspoon of sale

pinch of ground nutmeg

For garnish:

juice of one lemon

powerdered sugatr

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Put the butter in a 9 or l0 inch pie plate or ovenproof skillet.  Place in oven, then remove once butter is melted

Mix the remaining ingredients together with a whisk and pour into hot skillet or plate.  Immediately return to oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes till puffy and evenly browned on the outside.

then squeeze l lemon juice and powdered sugar.   Allora –  

I’m watching Mary Wesley’s BBC series on tape: The Camomille Lawn.  A wonderful story of love and regret in WWII England.  So I’ll cuddle up today and watch that, and if I haven’t had enough sugar – I’ll watch the Hallmark Channel.  Yup, it’s that kind of day.  Besides I’m tired of my political, stiffened outraged self at the moment.  

Today is my birthday.  I am 72, so naturally I’m thinking of my mother and all the sweet, kitchen-warm, winter afternoons we shared when I was a child – she listening to Portia Faces Life and Just Plain Bill and me sitting at the table coloring or helping out with the baking. Those were times when children were satisfied with the quiet task of paper, scissors and if we were lucky – the 54 pack of crayons. I’ve never since been so at peace and happy and safe-feeling.  Wherever you are mother – thank you.



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  1. What a wonderful essay.  I particularly like this:

    Besides I’m tired of my political, stiffened outraged self at the moment.

    I can relate!

    I hope you have a grand day.

    • Edger on December 12, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Happy Birthday, Xanthe!

    Now about those birds….. 😉

    • Diane G on December 12, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    I am baking xmas cookies with my son right now, taking a break between batches, in the middle of the most gorgeous snowstorm.

    I am making “Conglomerates” a recipe my Mom made up of leftover ingredients from the usual holiday baking that became our family favorite forever. My Mom would have been 85 now.

    Sometimes, I am so grateful to just enjoy the little things like the snow, the birds, the smells and the wonder of life… and today?

    I am grateful the world has you in it.

    Happy Birthday!

    • RiaD on December 12, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    happy birthday

    & many many more


  2. Is this you — the young child?

    It’s a real winter’s day, snowing, almost blizzard-like right now, blustery and cold!  Sure does make you think of warm and cozy things, like baking something — sounds like you have the day well planned out!

    I am so glad I got the bird feeder filled, soot feeder, etc. filled the day before yesterday.  I have mine on shepherd’s hooks, with re-bars, boosting them up higher yet (they are next to a neighbor’s chain link fence), as I have to get out my 6′ ladder to climb up to get the feeders down, reload them, climb back up the ladder to put them back up — the birds watch me as I do this.  The minute I get down, put the ladder away — they are there!

    This a.m., there were about 10 cardinals, some “youthful” ones, too!  (Dang, my camera battery was out!) Then, came the many others that I have, including downey woodpeckers, etc. and a little later, an uninvited guest — a sharp-shinned hawk!  He sat on the tall wooden fence for a good 15 minutes (I was worried, as there was a chickadee and a cardinal flitting about in some dense bushes) then he flew away! TG!

    I wish you a Happy Birthday — a peaceful, restful one!


    (I’ve never divulged mine for good reason — it’s Ground Hog’s Day!  LOL!)  

  3. May you continue to have great recipes for joy. You seem to have all the necessary ingredients. If you need any spice, just holler.  

  4. Im drinking rum & eggnog, I know, ewugh, and listening to Beatles… man, I love this album.

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