Letters to Me

A stroll through the book store can be restorative for me. On this particular Friday night, it was a much needed “getaway.” Do you get excited when you spot books you’ve already read? Silly, huh? It makes me feel successful in some small way. “I’ve read this one, that one…” I can almost always remember where I was when I was reading a book, especially if I was on a vacation! Then I meet all the books I want to read, and know I will never live long enough.  It reminds me of a topic I wrote about recently–being bored. With so many unread books, how does one become bored?

During this time of the year, the book store is filled with even more gifty items then usual. I stumbled upon “Letters to My Future Self.” The cover promises: Write Now. Read Later. Treasure Forever. See website here.

paper capsule

There are ten prompts: These are my roots…Where I want to go…All the things I’d like to try someday…This is what I live for…It was an extraordinary day…I promise to myself…There’s no place like home…A pep talk for the future me…This is a letter about my love…I never want to forget this…And, two blank pages for topics of your own choice.

The gist – write yourself a letter. It’s “from the old me” written”to my future self.” The writer indicates the date sealed and the date to be opened.

Since I purchased this item, my mind has churned out letter upon letter. I’ve also pondered responses I may have written to myself 10 years ago, 20, even 30!  I have yet to actually write anything down, but I promise to get busy on this.

Even if you don’t put pen to paper, or hands to a keyboard (I intend to handwrite my letters), did any of the prompts make you want to craft  your own letters? I can’t decide where to begin though “It was an extraordinary day” is calling out to me.

We have much to be thankful for, today and everyday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Slainte! Susan

In other news…

The coloring crazy continues. When I walked into the bookstore, there were hundreds of coloring books on clearance. My first thought was it’s over.  But, as I continued my tour, new coloring books with new themes have emerged, and they are laced throughout numerous aisles now. Once confined to only one small section in the store.  I also saw monthly calendars where you color the scene for each month along with daily desk calendars, something new to color daily. This is far from over!

Finally, how do you feel about a color app? It doesn’t have the same appeal  or satisfaction for me. Maybe on a long plane ride, it would help break up the monotony. There are several free apps out there.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lessons from Making Soup

Whether you believe that it takes 21 days to build a habit or not, my soup making has reached day 21. No! I have not made soup for 21 days, but I have made a homemade pot of it, for 3 weeks, and that IS 21 days.I tried to research the 21 days to a habit, and of course the research is overwhelming. Never mind the research.

The cool weather and rainy day seems like the perfect time to enjoy the delightful aromas that drift throughout the house when soup is simmering on the stove. But, this isn’t really about soup concoctions. It’s about “life concoctions.” I’m not a cook. That has been established. But, now that I’m temporarily enjoying the process of soup making, I’m learning I can substitute this for that–broth when it calls for water, more oregano when I don’t have thyme, chicken breast not ground beef, table salt when I forgot sea salt, and dried basil when I couldn’t find fresh. (Real chefs are probably cringing here!)

At any rate, as I’m mixing up today’s soup (to be served Tuesday night after my running workout), a thought, and I suppose it’s a well-worn one, came to mind.  Life is kind much like my attempts at cooking. The “recipe” rarely goes as planned. The “ingredients” were unexpected.  I may have “under or overcooked” it. And, in the end-it was just fine. Some times the “recipes” turn out better than others. Rarely do we have to discard the entire meal, we work with what we have.  We file those recipes that went well–these are keepers. We delete those we don’t care to try again.

I do believe I learn from every experience. I file it away in my memory, always thinking of what I might refine for next time, just like my recent soup making escapades.

Add a little of this and that. Remove some of that. Keep doing this.  And, always with kindly and gently!

Slainte!  Susan

P.S.  Today’s recipe Pasta Fagiloli. Click here for the recipe.  I didn’t have all the spices. I used extra of what I had, doubled the meat using ground turkey instead of ground beef. It’s already delicious. Imagine what a delightful dinner this will be in a couple days.

Last week’s soup was super too.  Hearty Vegetable soup. Click here for the recipe.  I added lots of chicken breast.

Finally, this really is NOT a cooking blog.  Though it’s fun to discover a new recipe every now and again all while I’m embracing the lessons I’m learning along the way!

Sunshine in a Cup of Tea

I’ve always enjoyed tea, but when I started going to college, everybody I encountered drank coffee by the gallon. I didn’t like coffee as an 18 year old, but decided I was missing out. So, at first, I forced myself to drink the stuff. After all, I wanted to be a part of the college scene. Later I came to enjoy it, and even later (and definitely now), I can’t live without it. My mornings look something like this: alarm rings, one eye pops open, one hand turns off the alarm, one already active mind thinks only of coffee, two feet hit the ground, and before I know it, the hot steamy cup of java is in hand.

Last summer in Ireland, I was reminded of how much I do love tea. I gave up coffee for our Irish holiday.  Tea with a full Irish breakfast, tea and scones mid-day, and tea after dinner (with dessert, of course).  It was fun to see how each place served it a little differently, some in a dainty cup, and always with cream and sugar. Yum!

tea

How quickly I became my “American Self” after the holiday sadly ended.  But with the cooler evenings, I’ve been again enjoying tea–this time in the evening curled up with a book and sometimes a purring cat. It’s so interesting how I now associate tea with my Irish holiday and how cozy it makes me feel. The cherished holiday memories come flooding back.

The Irish are known for their hospitality. We learned the Irish are very quick to offer a cup of tea or coffee as you enter their home. And further learned of a saying that when you visit someone, “one arm should be longer than the other.” Translated for my benefit: You never go to a person’s home empty handed. You should have a baked good, jar of jam, or some other delicious treat in hand ready to give.

When I think of living simply and gently, having a cup of tea in hand on the cool evenings has to rank right up there with one of highlights of my day.  The warm cup, the scent of whatever tea is brewing, and the holiday memories are the little rays of sunshine I need. How about you…is there any simple item, easily attained, that brings warm cozy feelings?

How about a cuppa?

Slainte! Susan

In other news…

When searching Irish and their love of tea, I learned they are in the top five list of tea drinkers per capita. It varied by website, but definitely in the top five, and not grouped in with the UK. Interested? See it here.

Last week’s sweet potato soup was excellent. Perfect on a fall night.  Missed the recipe?  See it here.

Tonight I’ve another pot of soup on the stove. Since it’s a new recipe, I can’t endorse it just yet.  Curious?  The vegetable soup recipe I’m using is here. Again, I’m planning ahead. It’s for Tuesday evening. We will appreciate it after a long day.

Later, I’ll mention the new series of books I’m hooked on…the setting: Ireland. So sweet and heartwarming. Perfect with tea! (The Irish County Doctor series)