hot potato

I just consumed homemade french fries in record time. I cut one potato (was going to do three, thought better of it when I looked in my fridge and saw too much food inside), sprayed it with the most vile cooking spray I have ever used (store brands usually get my love, but this is awful…I actually took some pictures, but they’re on my camera’s internal memory, and I don’t want to unearth the cord necessary to put them on here). Luckily, the taste of the cooking spray was overridden by garlic salt and pepper. I might have used regular salt, but I still lack a salt shaker…nearly bought one from WalMart, but it was so hideous (and I’m opposed to buying ones I don’t like just for the sake of buying them) that I refrained…so salted things end up being very salty.

I had an early out today. I have a reputation at school for not paying attention to the forecast (and so my occasional longings for weather-related closings are usually inspired by an ominous gray cloud that prompts me to look at a website for weather)…but I’m not sure that the closest weather watcher’s predicted this early out. Granted, we’re headed for some heavy snow and wind in the next couple days, and south of here (in southern-er) Iowa they had freezing precip, but it looks to be just starting to get bad 5 hours later. Oh well. I took advantage of the free time to do some errands (let there be milk with impending snow storm) and watch an Amazon Video on Demand movie (like renting, but on your computer): Mansfield Park. Though I imagine they stretched Austen’s story a bit (there is an occasion of infidelity in the movie which would have been more tastefully mentioned in her novel), it was a lovely story in which the end result is just as you hoped it would be. I would contend that Fanny Price is a heroine I can identify with more than Elizabeth Bennett, though they have many similarities (smart, unfortunate families, quick wit). The Jane Austen Book Club (a book and movie which are a pleasant one-time indulgence for an Austen fan, but not a classic) doesn’t portray Fanny Price so admirably…which leads me to want to read Mansfield Park for myself. I got pretty far into it in June of 2005, but put it down rather abruptly and never got back to it.

I made cupcakes yesterday for the first time in a long time. Please celebrate with me the benefit of an electric mixer in the baking of cakes. I’ve tried by hand several times (read: all last year at camp) and my cakes didn’t rise properly, were tough, and often underbaked. These cupcakes were divine, and the cream cheese frosting was a nice addition to the Devil’s food. I had no idea cream cheese frosting has butter in it (I made it from scratch), which greatly adds to its charms and its…evil? I’m not a food-phobia person, as a general rule (you won’t catch me complaining about your home-baked goodie having too much fat or sugar), but I wonder if the snowstorm will force me to consume most of them by myself. So…come by for the sake of my conscience and have a cupcake! They’re good! Sprinkles, too!

Lately I’ve wondered if I’m switching out of my morning-person tendencies toward evening. I do look forward to coffee and have some great focused time in the mornings before scurrying to get out the door on time, but I have never remembered fighting yawns so late into the morning as lately. I wonder if an earlier bedtime would help. I should add that I made the conscious decision to go into work earlier than usual today (it’s not a chorus day) and found the uninterrupted time to be most productive. I took down all of my snowflakes (and set aside some for laminating…I trashed my own, but some student snowflakes deserved preservation) among other things. Funny timing with the snow we’re actually getting now…but you’ll have that. I’m ready for Valentine’s Day.

Which brings me to another topic. Do you remember how Valentine’s Day was in elementary school? That, to me, was a most magical holiday. Sure, it got awkward once we moved to Iowa because we were of an age where the message on the card held a bit more significance (I recall being selective in which generic salutation to give to each classmate in case of communicating too little or too much friendship), but before that, in the golden 1st and 2nd grade years…it was magic. First of all, the party was centered around the opening of “mail”. I know that Valentines have shifted into more economically friendly versions that skip the envelopes altogether, but the envelopes were my favorite part. When Mom brought home valentines from the store, licking 22 or more envelopes shut and addressing them was such a highlight. Opening them later, same story. I’ve always liked mail, I guess. Anyway, I know that there’s a lot of romantic love hype this time of year, which I don’t really want to try fighting…but there’s also a bit of angst and frantic measures to become un-single by the big day. I don’t want to be part of that, either. I’ll just put it out there that I’m awkwardly navigating a married adult holiday as an elementary school child…and it’s only awkward because I feel like I’m starting to fit in as an adult in so many other ways. Does that make sense? I’m not putting a lot of stock into that being sensible, as it’s my momentary conclusion. …long story short, I’m not pro-singles-awareness emo shennanigans.

I think I’m going to attend to the rest of dinner now…a slice of the best Papa Murphy’s Chicago stuffed crust pizza I’ve had to date…leftover from an enjoyable meal with a loved one this weekend!

Peace to you,

Patty

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