Raindrops, Good Friday, Easter, and Cookies 🌷

It’s been so long since rain touched down in our region that we’ve forgotten what it sounds like when it falls in droves or when those raindrops touch the roof. But yesterday, we were reminded once again, and the sound was lovely. No wind, no storm, no messiness. Raindrops fell lightly and consistently, all day long, just the soft pitter patter soothing the flora. The blades of grass and blooms with their friendly faces that wish to brighten our days sighed with relief. They were immersed in droplets of hope, and so were we. This precipitation was a welcomed surprise just before Easter.

Today is Good Friday in the Christian religion: a day of commemorating Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. Thus, a day of grief, penance, and for some, a day of fasting. Then Easter follows on Sunday, a holiday for celebrating Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. On this day, I wish you an abundance of peace and comfort.

For Easter, I decided to do some baking, so I pulled the recipe card out of my recipe box for my mom’s sugar cut out cookies. I have wonderful memories of baking with her when I was a young girl. I continued that tradition with my daughter and son, but now that they live on their own, I bake solo. In the past, I’ve used Cross cookie cutters for Easter, but this time I bought some that are fun for both spring and Easter.

My faithful red hand mixer has treated me well, so no need for a giant mixer in my kitchen. Butter, white sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, and baking powder waited for their cue. Once the cookies were baked, I mixed up creamy buttercream frosting: more butter, powdered sugar, a little milk, and vanilla, and voila! So good! When the cookies were cool, I frosted them then I added colored sprinkles for decoration. Some bakers paint their cookies, but I like to sprinkle. And here’s what my kitchen looked like:

Bunnies, flowers, butterflies, and chicks! What more do we need, except, Love, Love, Love?! Oh, and do you see those white carrots with the green tops or fronds, as they are called? Well, I forgot orange sprinkles, so they turned into white carrots. Yes, white carrots do exist and they’re called, Arracacha, an Andean root vegetable. My son said that the carrot cookies look like feet. I didn’t see that then, but I can see it now. 🙂

Now that you’re full from cookies, you may be in the mood to read a delightful children’s book for Easter that I highly recommend, “Sir Chocolate Saves Easter” by Robbie and Michael Cheadle.
You can read it at:
https://writingtoberead.com/2022/04/13/growing-bookworms-sir-chocolate-saves-easter-sirchocolatestory-childrensfiction/. Robbie is also an incredible baker, and she shares her fondant and cake artwork in this adorable book.

I wish you a wonderful weekend ahead. And if you celebrate Easter, I wish you warmth for a wonderful day, and joy and rejuvenation this new season of spring brings.

Lauren Scott 💞🐰🌺

Words and Wishes!

“Mom, I love my new bed!”

Copper feels grateful for his new bed. He has three now spread throughout the house. So, as Thanksgiving Day inches closer, what are you grateful for? And don’t we all agree that showing gratitude isn’t just for this one day of the year; it’s for all year round. Let’s face it, watching the news gets depressing. The pandemic is still with us, people have lost their lives to this virus, fires raged in the summer, taking with them human lives and homes. Hurricanes landed causing devastation beyond our imagination. I feel like every day the news reporter tells us about another fatal shooting. Lives have been upended in the most horrific ways, and I’ve only scratched the surface. Still, if we dig deep enough, we can always find something to be grateful for.

Besides my family and Copper, I am grateful for the rain we’ve had, definite cause for a happy dance! We’re still heading into our 3rd drought year, but everything is green right now. Even the weeds are green for which I am grateful! We pray for more rainfall this winter so we can hear Mother Earth sigh once again.

I love the quiet early mornings when Copper and I go for our walks. We get to watch the sunrise and listen to the silence. The air is cool and crisp and wonderful!

I miss the long, light evenings from the summer, but hubby and I break out the candles for the long, dark nights. The coziness wraps us up in its warmth. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. It’s heartbreaking to see so many people living on the street or in their campers and vans. Having a roof over our head is not something to take lightly.

During this season, I love the smells of sweet and spicy, the baking of pumpkin bread, pumpkin pies, and pumpkin cookies. Hello, Pumpkin! And who doesn’t love the wardrobe changing of the leaves on the trees? Those rich, warm reds, golds, and yellows. I’m thankful for my bookcase that is bursting at the seams. So many books make me happy! I don’t know what I’d do if paperbacks and hardcovers became obsolete. I love the feel of the pages and the smooth covers.

Earlier this year, I did a post about Gratitude and the list I shared had a beginning, but it didn’t have an ending. Isn’t that something to be thankful for?! I’m writing this on the fly without any intense editing, so please forgive any errors. Lastly, thank you for your continued support and friendship in this world of blogging. And a Big Thank You to those of you who have bought my book, More than Coffee, and to those who have written fabulous reviews.

My family, Copper, and I wish you all a very warm and loving Thanksgiving!
~Lauren 🧡🍁🍂🧡

A Very Special Letter

March 25, 2021

Dear Mom and Dad,

Guess what? Your baby girl turned 60! Can you believe it? 60 doesn’t feel different, but it sure has a more profound ring to it than 40 and 50 did. I suppose then it does feel different. It’s Thursday, and Matthew, Michael, and I took the day off. They surprised me with an adventure – a relaxing drive surrounded by lush rolling green hills, cows grazing, majestic redwoods, and the crashing waves and beauty of the Pacific. I loved sitting in the back of the Pilot, chauffeured, enjoying the gorgeous scenery. The weather couldn’t have been better – sun shining in all its glory and the sky blue as ever.

Lunch was enjoyed outdoors encircled by those redwoods. I splurged on a patty melt and thought of you, Dad. How you loved your patty melts and chocolate malts! Well, I skipped the malt and indulged in Chardonnay!

We stopped in Bodega Bay to browse a little, then we resumed on Highway 1 driving along the coast heading for home. A fabulous all-day adventure that continued into the evening with champagne and more surprises. Family and friends in TN. and So. Cal. celebrated via Facetime, phone calls, and text messages.

I’m sure you’re aware of the pandemic that has stricken the world for over a year now. Well, Matt and Michael wanted to throw a big party, but even though things have improved, a large gathering just wasn’t a good option this year. But for my second Covid birthday and this big milestone, my entire family and circle of friends made the day as special as perfection.

In the big picture, we’re all healthy and doing fine, so please don’t worry about us. I wish you had been here to join in the celebration, to enjoy some bubbly and that sinfully delicious carrot cake that a friend made for me – you know carrot cake’s my favorite and how it counts as a vegetable in my kitchen.

I just want you to know how much I miss you, how much we all miss you. And I knew you’d enjoy some snippets from my 60th. Mom, it’s okay to let those tears fall, and Dad, I can see you smiling. I know you’re happy to hear your family is ok! I’ll end this now before it becomes a novel, and before I liberate those tears, too.

Love you so much, Lauren (your baby girl) xoxo

Age is not important unless you’re a cheese.

I am still young at heart and happy to be alive!

And I am grateful for all of you! ❤️🎂🥂

32 Years!

To my Husband,

Our love perseveres. It has survived topsy-turvy financial times. It has thrived through ribbons and bows and lots of Lego. It has boomed through high fevers and elevated lab tests, riding on a million prayers. It has traveled endless highways and zigzagging back-country roads with respect on its wing. Our marriage has grown like a pine tree, the roots deepening over more than three decades as we add another ring around its trunk. You have lit the fire in my heart. You have awakened my soul. You have pushed me to reach higher. Loving you is like a taste of nirvana that I have savored, never taking for granted. You see the better version of me that I cannot see. I could turn myself inside out, exposing my every imperfection and you would still love me. I do believe in luck and I am lucky to have found you and this love that binds us. My world is around you. Sharing each sunrise, sunset, and new dream on the horizon in this fascinating thing called life has been the answer to my dandelion wish. You are my beginning and end.

I love you forever…

We hope to celebrate 32 more anniversaries. 💗

Stay safe, enjoy your special occasions,
and thank you for stopping by!
Lauren 🥂🎉✨🌟🎊

Expectations

After a rainy, yet cozy Christmas Day, the day after was clear and gorgeous – Nicasio Lake.

Oh, What do you see
As clear as can be?
Hope on the horizon –
A glimmer of possibility!

When you hear the word “expectation” what thoughts come to mind? I immediately recall the many times my expectations of others were unreasonably too high, thus, leaving me extremely disappointed. A lesson learned…

On the other hand, expecting something to occur or to change can also be a form of positive thinking. Here’s how the wheels in my brain have been working lately: after such a tumultuous 2020 that so many are eager to view only from the rearview mirror, I expect the new year that is literally just around the corner, to outshine this current year without question or doubt. A vaccine is already accessible to some and will be available to the rest of us, hopefully, in the first quarter of the new year.

Am I too optimistic? Maybe so…we may have a few more months to mask up and social distance before normalcy arrives again. But I want to believe that we will be able to walk down the street someday soon and see others smile and not just through their eyes. We won’t be so paranoid about dodging droplets and touching surfaces.

So, I choose to be optimistic as we clink our glasses at midnight on December 31st and to expect good things to come after all the stress, loss, and pain. After all, what have we got to lose? When positive thoughts abound, our hearts and minds remain calm, and calm is certainly a place where we should hunker down.

What about you? Will you join me? 💗🥂✨🌟💗


Lauren Scott (c) 2020 💖
New Year Photo: Google

A Covid 4th of July!

Since my husband and I had yesterday off for the holiday, we took a drive on the back country roads, stopped at a deli along the way for takeout sandwiches, then headed to one of our favorite parks. Our morning began early because we wanted to dodge crowds due to Covid. We were prepared, though, ready to social distance and sport our masks when necessary.

When we arrived, the park was already half full with patrons eager to enjoy this beautiful day – temperature in the mid-seventies, perfect. We pulled into a parking stall, and before enjoying lunch, we ventured onto the trails for a good walk. Surrounded by Redwoods and all that nature offers in this outdoor playground is nothing short of magical.

We embraced serenity while walking along the creek, but were saddened by the deserted camp ground. Empty sites dotted the road – the new reality. Aww, but look at the Redwoods and how tall they stood: Proud and Majestic! Soft ferns sprinkled along the trail provided visual sustenance. Oh, but if you don’t watch where you’re going, among the beauty lies something wicked: poison oak! Don’t let its radiant red bursts of color fool you! If you aren’t wise, you’ll pay the price. We gently moved past the pretty red leaves, careful not to let them reach out and grab us. Then we stumbled upon a Bay tree adorned in woodpecker art. Look closely at the trunk; isn’t the texture interesting?

The comfortable side note was that not many people were out. We donned our masks now and then when needed, but we felt safe to brave the outside world and visit this park before the holiday crowd showed up later in the afternoon. The sandwiches were delicious and time together outdoors is always special. Time for reflection and a chance to chat about life without distractions – only the trees bend to listen to our whispers, and the leaves sway in the breeze, as if to wave when we walk by. This was a wonderful prelude to our Independence Day festivities this year when things are so strange and surreal.

To celebrate today, we’ll take a walk in the cool morning before the sun warms us up. We’ll enjoy the deer as they saunter by in the neighborhood. We’ll give thanks that Covid hasn’t touched anyone we know and love. When the clock strikes five o’clock, we’ll enjoy wine on the patio and our son who lives at home will join us. I’m thankful to have at least one of my children home to hug, even if he is 6’2” and 25 years old. Then Matt will perform his grilling magic for dinner. We’ll make it a good day because we’re employed and healthy. We miss our daughter and son-in-law in TN, but thanks to Facetime, we’ll see them this afternoon. Will this July 4th be memorable? It sure will, but not in a way that was intentional. And we’ll think of those who have perished and whose families are hurting and struggling to make sense of it all.

I wish you all a Happy 4th of July, too, in spite of the pandemic we’re living in.
Love and virtual hugs,
Lauren 💗