Friday, November 13, 2009

Today I'm Loving...

...Breyer's new yogurt: mint chocolate chip flavor, of course. It's every bit as good as their mint chocolate chip ice cream (one of my all-time favorite ice cream flavors), just not as cold.

...this chocolate chip cookie recipe from Lisa's blog--definitely my new favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I first saw it almost two years ago(!) and wanted to make it then, but kinda sorta "lost" the recipe in one of my infamous piles of papers. Although my cookies in the picture above don't look as good as Lisa's do in her post (since she's an amazing photographer of anything: people, food, trees, anything), they surely did taste good. I won't say how many I've eaten, but I will say they're all gone.

...clementines from Costco. Tis the season! I'll write more about that in a sec...

...Josh Groban's Noel CD. I'm not the type to wait until after Thanksgiving to listen to Christmas music; in fact, I listen to it all year round, whenever I feel like it. After all, Christmas is a celebration of an event that CHANGED THE WORLD, and why confine the remembrance of that to just one month? (I do find it bothersome, however, how businesses, particularly retail stores, start playing Christmas music and putting up Christmas decorations very early--just to get people to buy more stuff for Christmas. What a manipulative misuse of the Christmas holiday in general and Christmas music in particular.) Anyway, my spirits have been soaring recently as I've been listening to this CD. Josh Groban's voice is undeniably spectacular. I've wished for years that I had a better voice; but I'm convinced if I had a voice that good, I'd be so full of pride that no one could stand me!

...Christmas candles in our windows. It's actually a misnomer to call them Christmas candles, because I typically put these candles in our windows in the beginning of December but don't take them down until the spring when it's warm enough to have our windows open. At some point during my growing-up years, probably during high school, I was part of a choir that toured; and we happened to pass through an area of Pennsylvania where it was very common for people to have these white candles in their windows--not just at Christmastime, but all through the year. I thought it was simply gorgeous and have always loved the look of white candles in windows. It was fun to go ahead and put them up this year a few weeks before my normal time; it makes me feel like I'm actually ahead in one area of life. ;) The picture below doesn't do justice to the beauty of these candles. I would have gone outside to try to get a photo of the house exterior with these lights, but it happened to be raining when I took this picture and going outside in the cold, damp weather didn't appeal to me at all! This picture was taken in Shav's room; and although it's very hard to see, he is actually visible in the bottom left corner--asleep in his cradle. What an angel.

Time to catch up on 30 Days Thankful...
Days 11, 12, & 13 - As my mind has jumped ahead to Christmas during the past few days, I've thought of several sweet memories connected with that. For one thing, I remember how much I loved falling asleep while the candle in my bedroom window was still on. These days, we have candles that automatically turn on and off; but back then (SO long ago!), the candles had to be unplugged when we wanted to turn them off, so every night before they went to bed, my parents would trek around to all the windows and unplug them all. I always wanted to be in bed and asleep before they got to my window so that I would have that lovely dim glow while I fell asleep. I didn't always achieve my goal; but when I did, it was wonderful!

I was also thinking back to our Christmas fruit. Every year, we would order some boxes of fruit through the FFA. We would store them in the garage where it was cool; and when we wanted a juicy grapefruit or tangelo, all we had to do was go down to the garage to get one. That fresh citrus scent is closely linked in my mind with winter and Christmas. To this day, all it takes is to begin peeling a citrus fruit and catch a whiff of that scent; and I instantly travel back in time to those times of my childhood and the excitement of Christmas approaching. It's been happening recently as I've peeled the clementines I mentioned above, some for me and lots for my boys. They love them as much as I do; but I don't just love the taste--I love the smell for the sake of the memories connected to it.

Of course, I have to smile as I think back on the Christmas gifts I received as a child. I remember...that I often sat on the piano bench to open my gifts...that I was always amazed by how the gifts--the wrapped gifts--showed up just in time (as I got older, there were a number of years in which I KNEW that my mother had fallen behind in her preferred schedule of getting things done early and the gifts were not wrapped until the last minute; but somehow--probably by staying up late on Christmas eve!--she always finished them and wrapped them so creatively, using bows and other decorations in unique ways to really make the packages look special)...that I received things like a box of pencils personalized with my name, a subscription to Ranger Rick magazine, and pretty handkerchiefs--and was thrilled to receive such things.

I'm thankful for candles in the windows (during Christmases past and now in this November), clementines and the way their scent carries me back, Christmas gifts that were simple and practical but beautiful and thrilling at the same time, and these happy memories.

3 comments:

Jolanthe said...

speaking of Breyers mint ice cream...Sharp Shopper had little pints of it for 99 cents. :)

first things first said...

Sweet memories! Thanks for sharing. I love how you have so many happy memories of your childhood. You are truely blessed!

Polly said...

I love that Josh Groban CD!! And I too have a fascination with white candles in windows at all times of the year. So pretty and cosy!