Categories
Food Fun

Cookies

I dreamt of cookies last night.

Some of them were chocolate chip, others were sugar with sprinkles on top. They were being offered to me, on a plate, by somebody. I don’t remember who. As with most dreams, many of the details disappeared as soon as I opened my eyes, leaving me with bits and pieces, fragments of feelings and images.

I do remember that I ate some of the cookies. I also remember saying, “These are delicious.” I don’t actually remember the taste of them, but I rarely meet an un-delicious cookie when I’m awake. So, the odds are good that my dream cookies were, in fact, delicious.

It was a nice dream. Even nicer, when I went to make the coffee this morning, I remembered that we have cookies here, in the kitchen. They’re sitting in a box, on the kitchen counter, waiting for action.

Here’s to making dreams come true.

Categories
Food Fun Pets

Snacks

My dogs, Mollie and Charlie, recognize certain words: outside, walk, breakfast, dinner, squirrel, no, good. They know what those words mean and react appropriately (or, in the case of squirrel, inappropriately, with loud barking and much drama). And recently, they’ve learned a new word: snack.

It started one morning when we all woke up early, and I was not quite ready to put their breakfast out. I offered them each a doggie treat, calling it a snack. Over time, it happened again, on early mornings and sometimes in the evenings, before dinner. Occasionally, they’d get a snack after a walk or before bed. They eventually learned to associate the word snack with their doggie treats.

They’ve also perfected the art of Begface: loving eyes, a slight head tilt, nose occasionally sniffing the air, mouth slightly open in an eager half-smile. Who can resist? Certainly not me.

And so, snacks are a routine now. I’ve started branching out, looking for new snack options, flavors and shapes and textures. It’s sort of like choosing between crackers and potato chips and popcorn, except for dogs.

I do my best to be a responsible pet owner, and I know that I need to keep their snacking under control. Just like humans, it’s easy for dogs to eat too many snacks (there’s a reason a well-known potato chip company built an entire ad campaign around the fact that nobody can eat just one). Still, it’s fun to reward them, to say the word snack and watch their happy reactions. It’s a sweet little ritual we share, an entertaining (for me) and a delicious (for them) moment in the day.

Here’s to snacks, the tasty tidbits of love that I share with my pups.

Categories
Food Fun

Pie

Today is National Coconut Cream Pie Day. Consequently, I’m now thinking of the TV show, Gilligan’s Island.

I grew up watching Gilligan’s Island back in the Olden Days before VCRs and video tapes and cable TV. The series was no longer filming, but the local TV channels had access to the existing episodes.

Where I lived, Gilligan’s Island was shown every Monday through Friday at 4:00 p.m. I’d get home from school, turn on the television, and join the Captain and Gilligan, Thurston and Lovey, the Movie Star, and the Professor and Mary Ann there on Gilligan’s Isle.

Growing up, my family’s desserts were most often layer cakes and chocolate chip cookies; I don’t recall coconut cream pie ever being served in our house. So, as a child, my knowledge regarding coconut cream pies was based solely on the TV show.

What I noticed was that the pies showed up at various times during the episodes, but they were rarely eaten. Instead, they most often supported one of the zany storylines. While I understood why they were used in that way, I couldn’t help but think that maybe they weren’t as tasty as they looked, and maybe that’s why the castaways were so careless with them. Certainly, if I was stuck on an island and had a truly delicious pie available to me, I’d want to enjoy it, not throw it.

I also wondered how the castaways had been able to make the pies. Sure, there were coconuts on the island, but where did they get the rest of the ingredients? How did they bake the pies? And, why was it always coconut cream? Why not mix it up a bit with some banana cream?

Of course, the most basic question, the one that those of us who watched Gilligan’s Island always got around to asking eventually, was how this group of people could build a neighborhood of huts, replicate many of the creature comforts of home, and figure out how to make dessert – yet never manage to repair the hole in the side of the boat.

But then, I’d remind myself that it was a kid’s TV show, not intended to be a true-life documentary. And I’d get back to enjoying the island adventures.

As an adult, I’ve eaten coconut cream pie. I like it. Each bite reminds me, just a tiny bit, of those fun childhood moments.

Happy National Coconut Cream Pie Day. Here’s to delicious desserts and fond memories of lighthearted entertainment.

Categories
Animals Fun Nature

Scurry

Yesterday, as I was watching the antics of a group of squirrels that live in our backyard trees, I realized that I didn’t know what to call them in their collective state. So, I looked it up.

A group of squirrels is called a “scurry.” Based on the way the squirrels in my yard were acting, this is an apt description.

After that, I became curious about the collective names for other groups of animals, birds, and bugs. So, I did some more investigating and found some delightful and amusing descriptions. These are a few of my favorites: A group of giraffes is a tower. A group of jellyfish is a smack. Zebras in a pack are called a zeal. And, a collection of ladybugs is called a loveliness.

Here’s to the fun of language and to watching the scurry of furry tree rodents that live in my backyard.

Categories
Fun Life

Classics

Today is Francis Ford Coppola’s birthday, which reminds me that I’ve never seen The Godfather.

I’ve also never seen Rocky or Casablanca. In fact, although I love movies and have seen many, there are quite a few classic films on my “never watched” list. There’s no particular reason that I haven’t seen them; I don’t have an aversion to watching them. I just haven’t done it.

So, I’ve decided that is something I will remedy. I will fill the gaps in my motion picture awareness. It’s a somewhat frivolous goal, but goals don’t always have to be about serious objectives. Life should include a bit of fun.

Given the many streaming sources and classic tv channels out there, it should be relatively easy to find the movies on my list. The next steps are coordinating my schedule and stocking up on more popcorn.

Here’s to the classics and making time to see what you’ve been missing.

Categories
Family Fun Nature

Whirly-twirly

There’s a tree nearby that is dropping its seeds right now. These seeds are designed to spin as they fall to the ground, like little helicopter wings. In fact, they are commonly known as “helicopter seeds.”

When my sons were youngsters, they loved playing with these types of seeds, which we called “whirly-twirlies.” We’d laugh as we threw several in the air at once and waited to see which one landed first.

Now that my sons are grown, we no longer play the whirly-twirly game. Still, I do sometimes pick one up off the ground, toss it up and watch as it whirls and twirls gracefully to a resting spot in the grass.

Here’s to simple fun and happy memories.

Categories
Food Fun

Pop-tart

In general, I eat things that are good for me. Vegetables, salad, chicken, etc. I’m not a health nut, but I recognize the difference that healthy food makes in my ability to think, and sleep, and move.

I have a major sweet tooth, however. If I knew that a comet was on a collision course with Earth and would wipe out life as we know it, I’d spend my last days in a sugary frenzy of fudge and frosting.

In order to maintain a balance between my love of sweet treats and my health, I limit my consumption of candy, cookies, cake, etc. to weekends and holidays. I look forward to Sunday night ice cream all week long. And every once in a while, not very often but from time to time, I’ll share my weekend mornings with a Pop-tart.

I’m partial to the Chocolate Fudge and the S’mores versions. I’ll toast those babies up, pour myself a cuppa, and enjoy a glucose and carb-filled wake-up experience.

I suppose I could have a donut or a fluffy chocolate-chip muffin instead. They’re all in the same “candy disguised as breakfast food” category. Sometimes, I do enjoy one of those options.

But, Pop-tarts can stay fresh in their box on the pantry shelf longer than a donut or a muffin can stay fresh in their containers on a kitchen counter. So, unless I’ve made a special trip to the store or am in the mood to do some baking, I’m more likely to have a Pop-tart available if I’m in the mood for morning dessert.

Being a grown-up requires using good judgment when making decisions. The days are full of expectations and rules and considerations; it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of life’s pleasures. An occasional treat is welcome and fun. As Mary Poppins taught us, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

Here’s to a little sweetness to start the day.

Categories
Fun People

Sing

Of all the things that technology makes possible, one of my favorites is that people who are miles apart – sometimes, even countries apart – are still able to sing together.

There are lots of virtual choirs out there delivering professionally-produced performances, everything from show tunes to traditional hymns. Nothing can truly replace a live choir experience, but the virtual versions are a good substitute.

A fun new trend, an informal approach to this remote communal singing action, involves sea shanties. Not long ago, a person in Scotland, Nathan Evans, posted his a capella version of The Wellerman on TikTok. Soon after, people all over the world were adding their voices, creating several variations on the first version. Since then, Mr. Evans has added more shanties, and more variations have been created, and now there’s a whole new awareness of and appreciation for the music.

I, too, want to sing and dance when I hear these shanties; they’re a good way to get the day started. Part of the fun is knowing that, somewhere out there, other people are also humming along and living the experience. I’ll never meet them, but we are each part of a larger virtual community.

Here’s to technology and the gift of being able to sing together, regardless of the distance between us.


Categories
Fun Nature

Snow

Well, it actually happened. We got some real, bonafide snow.

The Big Event was yesterday. It started around lunchtime and lasted a few hours. Big, fat, fluffy snowflakes, the kind you see in movies, coming down pretty heavily for a while. It was delightful. It all melted quickly, however. No accumulation at my house, although areas not far from here saw some real Winter Wonderland action.

I suppose it’s silly to get so excited about it, especially considering that snow tends to create inconveniences. Because it’s so rare for this area, there’s a bit of a freak out when it happens. Roads get shut down, traffic is a nightmare, schools close, grocery stores become crowded as people stock up on staples like milk and bread.

Thunderstorms, tornadoes, heat advisories – we’re experts at that stuff. It’s expected and normal; we’ve got systems and steps and lots of practice. Frozen precipitation? Not so much.

But it’s the rarity that also makes it fun, makes it worth celebrating. Snow is a big deal because it doesn’t happen very often. When it does, it feels a little magical.

So, I’m glad that this time, the snow happened on a weekend and that it didn’t stick around for long. It was the best kind of snowfall; not enough to create many complications. Just enough to enjoy.

Categories
Fun Life

Snowman

The weather forecasters have been talking about a very small (itty-bitty, teeny-tiny) smidge of a chance of snow around here in the next few days.

So of course, I woke up this morning with an earworm of “Do You Want to Build A Snowman?” from the movie Frozen.

Odds are that all we’ll end up with is a lot of cold rain. We don’t get much snow in this area, especially this early in winter. Mother Nature likes to play jokes on us when we think we’re smarter than she is, however, so either way, snow or no snow, I won’t be surprised.

Still, I’m hopeful. It would be nice to be able to give this year the chilly send-off it deserves while welcoming the new year with fluffy frozen flakes of fun.