Friday, January 25, 2013

Bet Ree Drummond has all her little cowpokes do gratitude jars in between fixing fences with Todd and changing their matching flannel shirts. I hate this show.

I would love to say that I've spent most of January knocking out, or at least starting, some awesome resolutions; only two posts in a month would be a little more understandable.

But....that would be a gigantic lie.

The truth is, I didn't make one official resolution for 2013 (or at least nothing specific). Maybe this is a result of being content already with the things that occupy my time...or being lazy and not wanting to write a blog post about my plans and dreams...or being scared that if I wrote something down and didn't do it, I would feel bad...or being fairly confident that the things lacking in my life are kind of out of my control and can't be sensibly put on a resolution list (ex. have a family).  I don't really know what explains my waning interest in numbered "to-do"s. I just know that I want to be happy.  I want to be kinder to others.  I want to go see more movies. 
I was reading Louisville magazine last week and came across an article on "choosing happiness."  The basic point was that we can all do small things each day that make us feel more fulfilled and content even in spite of moments of anger or frustration that will surely occur nearly everyday. Essential to the argument was one of my favorite cliches: we may not be able to control what happens, but we can control how we handle it/respond.  Some of the suggestions included exercising a few minutes everyday, writing one email or letter of encouragement/kindness daily, keeping a gratitude journal where you document something everyday for which you're thankful.
I've started doing all three of these.  In the picture above, you can see my "gratitude jar." I think it will be a good reminder of how lovely my life really is as well as a pity party deterrent.  I haven't written any letters this week, but I have tried to send at least one email a day that I normally wouldn't take the time to send (ex. "I thought that comment you made during the meeting was hilarious." or "I appreciate that you stopped, let me cross the street, and waved and smiled." or "Your cookies were delicious." know, incredibly witty and insightful emails;)). Even though I run and have always exercised some, I've started doing a 20 minute workout in the mornings that just makes me feel better: three sets each of - 20 lunges, 25 squats, 80 jumping jacks, 5 minutes of yoga.     

And the movie analytical reason for this. I just love everything about the whole movie experience.

Best one I've seen in a while:

One I'm most looking forward to:

I'm rereading F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic right now. I don't think I had ever paid attention to the dedication section of the book (if you've followed Pillow Book much at all, you know how dedications and acknowledgments are often my favorite part of any book). It reads, "Once again to Zelda"....also the title to one of my favorite collections, Once Again To Zelda: The stories behind literature's most intriguing dedications.
You all know that Ree Drummond's exaggerated cowpokiness drives me bonkers.  However, this giant-house-owning, giant-truck-driving, giant-and-expensive-kitchen-cooking "pioneer" woman knows peanut butter pies.  I really love this recipe...
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
25 whole chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreos
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
One 8-ounce package whipped topping, such as Cool Whip, thawed

For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Crush the cookies until they're fine crumbs. Pour the melted butter over the top and stir with a fork to combine. Press into a pie pan and bake until set, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
For the filling: Beat the peanut butter with the cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add in the thawed whipped topping and beat until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.
Pour the filling into the crust, evening out the top with a knife or spatula. Chill for at least an hour before serving.
Here is the chocolate pie recipe I used for the equally healthy option also pictured here.
So, in 2013, I plan to acknowledge my gratitude more often, go see more movies, cook more pies... and fall a little more in love with Silas House.
Hillbilly Solid 012113 -  In this episode, House interviews author, Ron Rash, and throws in a playlist that includes the Alabama Shakes, Justin Townes Earl, Band of Horses, Edward Sharpe and the Lumineers.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Best dog ever.

Eight days after the fact and it's still a little hard for me to write this without crying.  Those of you who have loved and lost a pet understand this.  Even though Waffle wasn't technically my dog (Dad and Adrienne having picked him out nearly 15 years ago and after I had moved from Waterview), he still belonged to all of us.  The Australian Shepard who was rarely clean, who liked to go for rides, (whether to the gas station down the road or to Lowe's to pick up a Christmas tree), who was gentle with every puppy, kitten, colt, and calf fortunate enough to call Turner Farm "home," who greeted us all when we pulled up the driveway (no matter if we had been gone ten minutes or ten years) was family.  He followed Dad everywhere on the farm, even if he had no intentions of herding anything:). He wanted to ride in the gator every time Mom started it, even if Tucker and Gabby joined in and inevitably jumped on his head.  Four days before he died, he rode to town with me and visited with the ladies at the library and may or may have gotten a biscuit at the Kwik Stop.  He loved Isabella and let her bear hug him anytime she wanted. After two accidents this summer, he fought back from near paralysis to give us seven more happy months with him (and in all honesty, if it meant we could have seven more of him feeling healthy and happy, I would spend night after night sleeping in a tent beside him).

Waffle was a fixture on Turner Farm and his devotion to us was matched by our devotion to him.  We buried him by Cotton, our beloved horse, and in the barn lot that has come to mean so much more to the Turner ladies in the past two years. On that land now rests three guys who pulled through more than they probably should have been able to and who loved this farm, and the family on it, with their whole hearts.