Reverb 16 | Prompt 7 | White Elephant

Sarah and Kim have been sharing Reverb prompts and  Meredith and I are back in the saddle.  Because writing can be fun.  And we all have a lot to say.  Join us.

White Elephant: What are the gifts you’re looking forward to giving, or hoping to receive?

I am a terrible gift giver.  Not because I lack love for the people in my life, but because to be completely honest, giving gifts gives me just a monstrous amount of anxiety.  I want it to be thoughtful.  I want the recipient to actually want the gift.  I fret if it is neither of those things.

There is the year that I made my brother a calendar of photos of taxidermied mice.  That met the requirements of being demented and totally unsolicited in one fell swoop.  I still laugh about it to be honest.

Really though, the inspiration for the right gift is so rare, that if any sort of whiff of inspiration so much as comes near me, I am sold.  This year I started much earlier than later (read: October) and was rewarded for my efforts with what is for me, a semi-stash of gifts to be proud of.

On the other side of the coin (and I feel like this is a REAL topic change), now we have a child.  Which means that where for years Marcus and I have been able to skate by, without any “real” need for tradition or exchanging of gifts with one another, now we must begin to do these things that seem so unnatural to us.  I want this Hanukkah to be the first of many celebrations for Critter but it is so hard to find the line between “he won’t remember this one” (really, he won’t…he’ll only be 11 months old) and This Is The First Chapter In A Very Long Book.

\We’ll all just have to wait and see.

Reverb 16 | Prompt 6 | Sunny Surprises

Sarah and Kim have been sharing Reverb prompts and  Meredith and I are back in the saddle.  Because writing can be fun.  And we all have a lot to say.  Join us.

Sunny Surprises.  Most of North America starts to get frosty and cold this time of year.  If you had an unusually warm (tank tops and flip flops warm!) day unexpectedly and didn’t have to work, what would you do?

Just last week, I had a dream that we were at the Cabin.


It was lovely.  And then, the morning after, I looked out the window and thought, God It Is Only December.  In the best-case scenario, we are still five months away and then some from the fishing opener.

In other words, do not talk to me about summer yet.  If we cannot be at the cabin.  If we cannot be fishing for the world’s smallest Northern Pike, this is not even something I can entertain.

Reverb 16 | Prompt 4 | Deck the Halls

Sarah and Kim have been sharing Reverb prompts and  Meredith and I are back in the saddle.  Because writing can be fun.  And we all have a lot to say.  Join us.

Deck the Halls: Show us your holiday decor!  If you don’t celebrate during this season, show us your favorite year-round home decor item.

I am sure that you can all very well remember my best attempts last year at decorating for Hanukkah.  This year I have had a bit of a pause with the whole effort, largely because the twinkle-light garland I made sheds glitter (thanks, sparkle-ribbon) and also in part because I am 99.9% sure that Critter will try to gnaw on it at some point and if that’s not a debacle in the making, I don’t know what is.

Ah, next year, yes?

I feel like most of our home decor is accidental. Inheirited. Handed down.  This is not a problem for me.  I think we all know that the range of my decorating abilities are…limited.  Like this print that was in my parents’ house and my grandmother’s before them.

It hangs in our master bathroom and it’s only funny because its twin is hanging in my parents’.  We did not coordinate this.  Rather, I only discovered it when I was traipsing through there on Thanksgiving.  You’ll forgive me for having no clue, they moved only this year.

Is it my absolute favorite?  Who knows really.  It’s in the running.  But it illustrates the point perfectly.


Reverb 16 | Prompt 3 | The Best Gift I Ever Got

Sarah and Kim have been sharing Reverb prompts and  Meredith and I are back in the saddle.  Because writing can be fun.  And we all have a lot to say.  Join us.

The Best Gift I Ever Got: We all remember That One Gift that gave us The Most Joy.  Show us what that gift was for you and describe why it makes gives you all the feels.

This is not a story about Christmas.  Or holidays even.  But it is most certainly about the best gift that I ever got.

In the hazy time where Before Memory meets Memory, sitting in the living room of The Brown House, I Imprinted.

On Ellen Helen, which is what I know now to be a lovey.  I don’t know if they called them that at the time.

While I do not remember a great deal about the day, or anything else really, I do remember the moment I laid my eyes on that star-speckled, lavender, sort-of rabbit.  It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  And I hoped and wished with everything in my being that she would be mine.

She was.

It was the most perfect of days.  When I think back on this snipped of memory, I think about how many times in our lives we hope for one thing more than anything else in the world. How on this day the thing that I hoped the most for, possibly in my entire existence at the point came true right before my very eyes.

Reverb 16 | Prompt 2 | Cozy

Sarah and Kim have been sharing Reverb prompts and  Meredith and I are back in the saddle.  Because writing can be fun.  And we all have a lot to say.  Join us.

Cozy: Some of us live on the Tundra, while others live where the tumbleweeds roll.  Either way, we still have to nest when December rolls around.  What keeps you cozy through the wintertime?

There is a running joke in Minnesota that no matter what time of year it is, inside it’s always 72º .  Granted, there is a tremendous difference between heating your house to 72º and air conditioning your house to 72º , but I am sure you get the picture.

In our house, there are many blankets.  On the bed.  Stashed away in the basement (um, “man cave”).  Draped over the couches in the living room.  Tucked into the cedar chest.  Rolled up in the line closet.  Crated up in Critter’s nursery.  It is possible that we have too many for three people considering the fact that one of us isn’t even technically “able” to use blankets yet, but I refuse to believe it.  The AMERICA afghan my grandmother knit.  The quilt one of my Mom’s girlfriends knit when Critter was born.  A faux-shearling blanket I insisted we buy at Target probably 12 years ago.  The Fairbault Woolen Mills blanket meant to show that I had some idea of what I was doing decorating a house.  Spoiler Alert: I really don’t.

And all of this just to name a few of the many.  Our house is very literally a nest.  I use all of them.  Marcus uses barely some of them.

The seasons change.  The blankets never do.

Friday Food Round-Up!

TGIF.  This week’s menu was so cheese-centric and so so so good.

What we ate from the pantry this week: lentils (at last!  they are gone!), macaroni (one more week…except now we’ve cooked with it enough that I might by more.  Oops!), Bear Creek Creamy Potato Soup Mix.

Sunday – Lentil Soup, Grilled Cheese with Turkey, Brie, and Cranberry-Orange Marmalade

Ding dong, the lentils are gone!  The soup was delightful (and a nutritious-type thing after Thanksgiving).  The sandwiches were the best way to honor the last of the leftover turkey in our fridge.  I wasn’t sure if Marcus would be into the marmalade, but he was digging it too.

Monday – Creamy Potato Soup (Bear Creek Soup Mix), Grampy Jim’s Ham Turkey Sandwich from Farmhouse Rules


These were back on the scene this week because in addition to being delicious, I wanted to use up the rest of the deli turkey hanging out in our fridge.  Poof, gone.

Wednesday -Help With Hamburger from Farmhouse Rules, Garlicky Wilted Spinach

This is yet another meal that I’ve planned because I know Critter enjoyed eating it last time so I was hoping he would enjoy it once more.  Plus, it’s growing on us too.

Thursday – Corn, Cheddar, and Scallion Strata, Leftover Garlicky Wilted Spinach

Marcus had a work happy hour and that was going to leave me with zero time for dinner.  I actually prepped this on Wednesday night before I made our actual dinner so I could stick it in the fridge and then stick it in the oven just in time for dinner on Thursday.  In terms of The Actual Meal, I have been dreaming of eating this since I ate it the first time and it makes a massive amount of leftovers, so I knew we could freeze a bit.

Miscellaneous – Earth Cookies


I almost didn’t make these, but then I realized otherwise I’d eat like…$10 in granola bars.  So I made them.


Reverb 16 | Prompt 1 | Intentions

Sarah and Kim have been sharing Reverb prompts and  Meredith and I are back in the saddle.  Because writing can be fun.  And we all have a lot to say.  Join us.

Prompt 1: Intentions.  Let’s set our intention for the month of December on writing, creativity, and expression.  What do you hope to get out of a month of writing each day?  What is your favorite part about writing – the idea, the first words, the final sentiments?