It’s Halloween, Mama’s first on the other side. So I baked some cookies tonight. Loaded them with her favorite stuff. I’ll sit down in the oak grove where we buried her ashes and share a couple with her. Probably should bring a beer for my Dad. He’s an old hand at this Halloween stuff. Been a ghostie now for a dozen years but it’s his first one in the ground with Mama. He spent all the others in a box on the cherry hutch. I’m sure he’s much happier now.
As far as cooking goes, I cook like I paint. It’s the mixed media approach. A little of this. Some of that. Never the same way twice which drives my family crazy but suits me just fine. Really. They can make their own cookies.
Here’s what you’ll need. All that nice healthy stuff. Tell yourself that. It helps with the guilt. Oh, and one thing’s missing from the photo–vanilla. Remembered it in time for the batter.
- There must be REAL butter. If you don’t have real butter then go get some. Or steal your kid’s Halloween candy and forget the cookies. Really. Just forget them.
- Use at least 1/3 LESS sugar than normal. Half if you’re brave.
- Stop frequently and taste the batter. That’s the best part.
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup or less white sugar
- 1 cup or less brown sugar
- 2 eggs…or 1 if that’s all you’ve got
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- scant cup white flour
- scant cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cup whole grain cereal (tonight’s cookies=oatmeal)
- chocolate chips to taste
- dried cranberries
- walnuts by the handful
Beat butter and sugar. Taste. Add eggs and vanilla. Taste. Add flour, baking soda, salt. Jump back when beater sends cloud of dry stuff flying at you. Mix it all together. Taste. Add oats. Taste. Sneak into bedroom with bowl. Lock the door. Eat the batter. Forget the cookies.
Or…. add the rest of the stuff. Chocolate chips. Cranberries. Walnuts. Lots of walnuts if Mr. Spouse isn’t home. At this point you may still forgo baking and just eat the batter. Or you can drop by the spoonful onto cookie sheets and bake at 375 degrees until golden brown. Anywhere from 12 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your oven. Mine took 16 minutes.
Oh yum. Yum. Yum again–I can’t stand it!!! Now sit down with a cup of tea and a couple of these luscious little nubbins. Have a nice conversation with your favorite dead person. Wish them Happy Halloween.
I made a couple of enchilada casseroles tonight, enough so I don’t have to cook for a couple of days. Just toss together a salad and we’re good. I popped them in the oven and went down (because it’s downhill) to give the horses their ‘bucket’.
The bucket being their nightly dessert of beet pulp, senior chow and supplements. Mmmm…yum.
Well, it is to them.
I wish I’d brought my camera. It was dark, the only light came from the hay shed. And it did wonderful things. Outlined the ponies’ backs. Cast long shadows. Long, like fifty feet. Or maybe only thirty. Really, I’m just guessing.
Leaves were dropping in the woods. At first I thought it was pinecones because they were so loud. But there were too many of them. One right after the other. And then one crispy leaf landed almost at my feet. Amazing how much noise such a fragile little thing can make.
Lots of sounds. Horses munching. A dog barking somewhere down the canyon. Those leaves. Peepers in the meadow.
I leaned against my boy, belly to belly while he ate. We’ve been together 16 years now. Old friends. Comfortable. It was chilly and his warmth felt good. From the corner of my eye I could see a bat swooping after whatever bats swoop after, disappearing in and out of the light. It always surprises me how fast they move. And how erratic. I’ve learned not to flinch but just ignore them.
Thirty minutes of quiet down-time. Thirty minutes to breathe deep (ah, smell the ponies!) and unwind. Thirty minutes to just be. Like a meditation.
It’d been a good day in the studio. A couple of paintings. A bunch of prep work for more paintings. And now I was done with art for the day. Really. D.O.N.E. Pony time was a nice transition. And after that…dinner. And family.
Even if they were watching football.
OK, got the photos from yesterday. Remember–said I was on fire. Said I nailed it in the studio. But I didn’t have my camera. You had to trust me because I wasn’t going to brave the wild beasties and things that go bump in the night just to snag a few photos.
So here they are, oils on cradled panels. Some cradles plastered. They’re the under-paintings for encaustics so technically they’re works-in-progress. Which is a fancy way of saying not done. I can’t wax them till they’re dry. Or almost dry. That gives me time to figure out what I want to do.
Then there were the little ones, three 6X6. They didn’t make the photo shoot. Probably napping.
Got this thing going on about doors…or are they windows? In my mind I’ve been calling them ‘portals’. Mama had a thing about red doors. We had one on our house when I was growing up.
This is something I worked on tonight. I think it’s 20X24. The plaster was heavily textured. Too much, felt like I was fighting a texture I didn’t want. Did a lot of scraping. My favorite tool tonight was a paint scraper that had to be 6 inches wide. Got it at the hardware store, one of my favorite places for art supplies.
Didn’t have much studio time today because life got in the way. I’ll have to look at it tomorrow and see what I think. Tomorrow…when I can spend ALL DAY in Studio Grande.
Oh. My. Goo’ness. Tonight I went down to the studio and NAILED it! I was a creative fool, yes indeed. After my day job–which is something I usually don’t do. For all sorts of reasons. Like, I’m tired. It’s been a long day. Or, it’s dark, I can’t paint by artificial light. And then there’s studio quat who’s been alone all day and needs some lap time…on studio sofa…in front of studio TV. Watching HGTV. Studio Quat is a sucker for those decorating shows.
In other words, I am an artist who arts during daylight hours on days when I don’t do my day job.
But tonight–after work, after dark–I went down to Studio Grande and (take a deep breath)…plastered two large boards, successfully changed the background color on a painting I wasn’t happy with, pumped up two little paintings that needed work AND, start to finish, did a 16×20 oil that ROCKS! Did ALL that in three hours.
Holy crap, this girl was on fire!
And the painting, the one I did from start to finish with absolutely no idea where it was going or what I was doing, the one I painted merrily through the dead spots–you know dead spots, where you want to throw up your hands and walk away–but I just kept on going and and let it happen…. IT JUST HAPPENED.
Like I was a PAINTER.
Why was tonight different? Affiliate Alert. Because before I did anything tonight I listened to Increasing Creativity, a hypnosis album I download from the internet. No lie, it was that good. So good I knew I had to tell all my art peeps. And then checked and saw they have an affilitate program and thought I might as well make it official and make a little money while I’m at it. But I would’ve told you about it anyway, even if they didn’t, because I’m still giddy from having such a good time in the studio tonight.
And I’m also embarrassed that I have no photos to show. Didn’t think to bring the camera with me tonight and by the time I was finished it was late and dark and wild beasties were on the prowl. I’ll take photos tomorrow and post them later. I’ll probably have a whole bunch of stuff to show you by then.
you can find it here
Daughter Dearest and I were watching the news this evening. There was yet another story about obesity. One of those things where they show video clips of anonymous rear ends and bellies, all on the far side o’plump.
Daughter Dearest (a svelt size 2 if even that) turned to me and wondered what it would be like to flip on the news and see your butt featured in a story about fat people.
I put down my bowl of tortilla chips and pondered the question. Really, WHAT would I do if my tushie was broadcast on network TV as a bad example? And then I realized…I wouldn’t even KNOW! Seriously, I could be watching a story like that, eating my chips and shaking my head about the deplorable state of the nation’s health and NOT KNOW that the particularly jiggly bum I was watching was my own.
Because, aside from an occasional brief glimpse in a three way dressing room mirror, (and who believes them anyway?) I DON’T KNOW what I look like from behind. My eyes face front.
But I do have a fat ass. A hairy one at that. Don’t believe me? Check out the photo.
Her name is Jasmine June. She may be an ass…but she’s also a princess.