Category Archives: Cue Cards

An Incomplete List of Small Pleasures.

This weekend, Erica informed me that The Blog has been too focused on Running and Herbs.

Which, if you ask me (and it probably has been), sounds like a recipe to get a lot of spam comments about supplements, no?

So instead, while I watch lightning from a darkened kitchen table, I give you…

An Incomplete List of Small Pleasures.

  1. Fall and Resort.
  2. Greige nail polish.
  3. Sprinkles.
  4. Reading a book at breakfast time.
  5. Admiring the sunrise from the window in the living room.
  6. Prints.
  7. Watching the storm build.
  8. Dancing shoes.
  9. Bows.
  10. Going home.
  11. Coming home.
  12. Planning.
  13. Black coffee, not too much.
  14. Refusing to read maps.
  15. The tacky.
  16. Children’s Chewables.
  17. Shiny things.
  18. Post-It Notes.
  19. Sunlight splashed across a wooden deck.
  20. Open water.
  21. Cardigans.
  22. Elastic waistbands.
  23. Recyclable water bottles.
  24. Moving forward.
  25. Knowing I chose my own ending.

What’s on your incomplete list of small pleasures?

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Spending Sunday

Today, Kirsten asked the following question on The Twitter.

Even though my answer was immediate, it really got me thinking about how I spend my Sundays and how we spend our Sundays in the spirit of Ordinary Time.

Spending Sunday.

The alarm goes off, it’s 6 AM.

It’s long run day.  “Sleeping In” is not a term that exists in this house.

Well maybe it does for him, but for her?  There is no rest for the weary.

Coffee is started, oatmeal is made.  The day’s weather forecast is pulled up in an hourly format and analyzed ad naseum.  Because everything matters.  The wind.  It’s direction.  The humidity.  The abundance of sunlight or lack thereof.

Twitter is checked, books are read.  In an instant, my shoes are on and I’m out the door.

I’ll be back in a few hours, dear.

At some point, Marcus gets out of bed.  What he does during these early hours is a mystery to me.  The only evidence that he has set foot in the kitchen are the egg shells in the sink.

They are the modern-day trail of crumbs.

While I chase everything and nothing, my husband the Grocery Shopping Fairy sources our weekly list.  Because someone has to keep this family fed.

I come home.  Sometimes we laugh at how terrifically bad I am at navigating the stairs.  Sometimes we don’t.

We rinse the cilantro and put it away for later.

I shower and eat.  Again.  Because this is all about routine.  And eating is the basis for all of them.

The routines, I mean.

I nap because the thought of keeping my eyes open for a second longer is unbearable.  Sometimes I see it coming, sometimes I force myself into bed.

The end result is the same.

I wake-up and eat.  Again.

The laundry goes into the washing machine, to check another thing off of the list.  Our life is not all glamour, you know.

Fortified, I begin my work in the kitchen.  Sometimes there is baking.  Sometimes there is sauce-making.  Some days the immersion blender becomes an extension of my arm.

None of the specifics really matter.

At some point Marcus joins me, to eviscerate jalapenos or wash dishes or both.

We listen to the radio station that I kind of dislike but am too lazy to change.

Complacency happens.

I pull together a salad dressing and we begin our final dinner preparations.  I am happiest when they involve brightly-glazed stoneware or enameled cast iron.

Who wouldn’t be.

I eat, again.  We feast together like it’s Thanksgiving and suddenly the dishes are done and put away again.

The DVR has been hard at work, albeit silently.  Nestled amidst blankets on couches that have been well-loved, We reap the fruits of its labors.

The laundry needs folding, it’s time for bed.

There is never enough time and Monday morning is less than eight hours away.

What do your Sundays look like?

How do you embed Tweets on WordPress?

The kind of day…

After reading Sarah’s Manifesto today, I’m feeling a little bit inspired by her.  This may not be my Manifesto, but today was the kind of day that was VERY Manifesto.

The kind of day…

Today was the kind of day where I took joy in my breakfast, as if the combination were completely new to me.  Instead of the reality – that it’s one of the Stalwarts in my rotation that I have been chowing down on for nearly two weeks straight.

Today was the kind of day where I wore polka dots to work, because they’re cheerful.  Even though sometimes I worry that other people interpret that cheerfulness as youthfulness.  My polka dots are my own.

Today was the kind of day where a co-worker complimented me on my typing speed and asked me where I honed that, as if Taking Dictation was my True Calling or something of the like.  May the record show that Taking Dictation is NOT my True Calling.  But, Kat the Blogger smiled inside because this is part and parcel of our work.  Kat the co-worker extolled the virtues of teaching keyboarding as a skill in elementary school.

Or something like that.

Today was the kind of day where I connected with girlfriends six ways from seven to get their lovely faces on my calendar.  Because even though I’m now afraid that I will never have a free moment ever again, I would much rather fill my life with people who fulfill me than the activities and things that do not.

Today was the kind of day where the moment I stepped outside for my run, the “Wintery Mix” cleared up.  Where speed could happen and clarity came.  Where I finished thinking This Is Possible.  Where I finished wondering what is possible.

Tonight was the kind of night where instead of Sticking To The Meal Plan, I cooked my heart’s desire.  Which, as luck would have it, was already 100% present in our pantry.  And thankfully, could be Marcus’ heart’s desire as well.

Tonight was the kind of night where I wanted to play  FroYo Place in my own house.  Where I broke up the remainder of yesterday’s 70% cacao bar of dark chocolate and stirred it into the Greek yogurt before freezing it instead of after the fact.  See?  I’m catching on.  Where I threw in a pinch of shredded coconut, a dollop of cherry jam and a hearty helping of sprinkles.  Because even though it was totally unlike the Cherry Blossom Sundae I used to LOVE ordering at Culver’s, it was still kind of the same.

Tonight was the kind of night that needed to end wrapped with Too Fancy For The Man Cave throw blankets and a need to tuck oneself into bed far earlier than Past Kat ever would have tolerated.  You can take the girl out of the nest, but you can’t take the nest out of the girl.

Tell me about your kind of day.

P.S. Don’t forget, it’s Cake Week!

MondayFilled Cupcakes from Kirsten at Comfortably Domestic
TuesdayMolten Lava Cake from Mads at La Petite Pancake
WednesdayIce Cream Cakelettes from Jeanne at Inside NanaBread’s Head
Thursday – Petite Bundt Cakes by Yours Truly
Friday – Pupcakes from Allison at Decadent Philistines Save the World
Saturday – Ombre Rose Cake from Megan at Wanna Be A Country Cleaver

Defend Your Vice

It’s Wednesday, and I’m wanting to curl up under a pile of blankets.  Neither of those things are related.  So it’s time for another prompt!

Defend your vice.

Vices.

I jumped off of the Diet Coke bandwagon a little over two years ago.

I don’t think my daily coffee ritual is some sort of caffeinated sin.

I tend towards over-training and I don’t take rest days.

In my head, I feel like I live in extremes.  But on paper, it just doesn’t add up that way.

If anything, my life seems…extremely vanilla.

And what do vanilla people claim as their vice on every New Year’s Day and Ash Wednesday?

Sugar.

I suppose you could make a case for cursing or french fries, but let’s be serious.  It’s always sugar.

Just take my word for it.  And start asking when Lent rolls around.  But if someone tries to tell you that instead of giving something up, they’re taking something up?  Walk away.

Ironically, I never used to crave it.

When people would describe themselves as being addicted to chocolate or having a sweet tooth, I would roll my eyes and laugh.

And then I would cheerfully pipe in that I was more of a salty/crunchy girl myself.

Retrospectively, we call this Karma.

I say no to soda, because drinking calories outside of alcohol has never really been my thing.

But I think we can all agree that my love for eating frosting sans-cake is well documented.  Every birthday, every wedding.

So imagine my amusement when, over the past year, a rather startling development began to emerge.

Behold.

I started out small.  A bar of chocolate here.  A bag of candy corn there.  Just a little something to have around.  To stave off the odd-craving or to offer a guest.

Because I don’t know about you, but the entertainer inside feels like if you’re going to have Not Family Members over to your place, you need to be able to offer them all of the things.

We can save the discussion of whether or not that’s a rational response to having Company another day.

I would make sure to finish my first treat before I sourced the next.

But, as I’m so fond of saying, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, He’s Going To Ask For A Glass Of Milk.

In addiction circles, they’re known as gateway drugs.

Now?  I’m pretty sure that this stocked shelf of mine qualifies as a full-on stash.

What’s your vice?

At the dinner table.

Kittens, I 11/10 loved Reverb because on the days where I had nothing to say, it gave me the chance to explore something.  Maybe it was something I’d never taken the time to think about, and in some cases it was something that had been on my heart for some time.  I like that idea.  Of picking out and pulling in little parts of my life that won’t always find their way onto the blog.  Because there’s just no context for them.  No smooth way to just leap from one lilypad to the next.

So for the past week or so, I’ve been doing my best to round-up some writing prompts for the days where I just don’t have anything.  The well is dry.  The alternative is some old-school Dear Diary of the highest order.

At the dinner table.

I hope you’ll understand that I’m journeying back to the table at my parents’ house.  At what point you stop calling it that and start calling it your childhood home, I’m not really sure.  But I suspect it has something to do with all of the current occupants no longer residing on the premises.

That is not the case here.

We are inveterate dinner eaters.  Together, all at once.

Even in the busiest points of our lives, we’ve found the time to sit down as one and eat.  To sit down as one and share.

There’s something about this habit that makes it stand out amongst the others, because while so many people try to actively cultivate a space for the family meal, for us it is purely an unconscious act.

To eat at different times or to eat different meals would be simply unfathomable.

It is the most unintentional of intentional acts.

We sit down.  There are placemats and linen napkins that have been corralled with silver napkin rings.

And even though everyone sits in the same place every night, each family member has their name engraved on theirs.

Just in case something changes.

But one of these things is not like the others.  Because one day and without any fanfare, a fifth ring with a golden bow appeared.  That ribbon will probably stay attached to Marcus’ napkin ring until it is totally unrecognizable as a ribbon or has completely disintegrated.

No one has the heart to untie it.  You only get your own napkin ring once.

Sometimes The conversation always veers off the paved road.  If we’re on our best behavior, we make it through the passing of the serving platters around the table.  But most of the time, the transition is abrupt.  Immediate.

Gone is the discussion about Marriage Equality.  The updates on old family friends.  The story about That One Time When Dad Lived In Washington/Hampton/The Philippines.

And suddenly we’re recounting the time that we brought my cancer-ridden hamster, Furball to the Humane Society to be euthanized.  Little did we know it was their annual fundraising pet walk.  We entered the grounds to squeals of That family even brought their hamster!

This unravels directly into the time we were singing hymns at church and the cantor encouraged us to utilize a rubbing motion on our chests to indicate stirring our hearts.  A gesture that was enthusiastically adopted and embraced by the congregation.  At which point the four of us realized that when it was spread across hundreds of people, it read more like the entire congregation was performing a breast cancer monthly self-check rather than a spiritual act.

There was no stirring at all.

From there we end up re-telling the story of how Billy failed his 3rd grade aptitude test so badly that they thought he didn’t know how to read, OR recounting the hard time I did on the boys’ baseball team at the beginning of elementary school.  Mom didn’t know there was a separate team for the girls.

I was a league of my own.

There is a rhythm to this.

We’re haven’t really made it until someone has laughed so hard that they’ve choked on their food.  Then we know that we’ve hit our stride.

But by the time that the tears are streaming down our faces, our plates are empty.  The meal is over.

Yes, we may be excused.

This is the dinner table.

What is your dinner table like?

What is the funniest memory you have from a family meal?