Little Discoveries

This week I noticed that the birds are beginning to burst into song long before the sun rises and it's been wonderful. Spring can't be far off now.

I discovered that my little daffodils are poking their green heads up in the garden outside our back door, just like they've done since my grandmother planted them in her own front yard. One year, my parents took David, the kids and me out to Dad's old farm and together, Dad and I dug up as many daffodil and iris bulbs from his childhood home that we could and brought them back to plant in our own gardens. My daffodils hardly ever blossom, but their green spears are always such a cheerful and hopeful sign of spring.

I took my dad grocery shopping earlier this week since Mom still is recovering from her knee surgery. I was a little girl the last time I went grocery shopping with Dad, and although I was the one pushing the cart and finding the grocery items, I still felt like a little girl as we ambled along the grocery aisles, dodging other grocery carts and picking out food. 

And you have to amble when you're walking with Dad. He's never in very much of a hurry, which I don't mind so much, but I think it makes Mom a little nuts.

We were ambling our way back to the dairy section to pick out Mom's yogurt and cheese when Dad stopped by a display of tulips. I kept on trucking along and only noticed that Dad wasn't with me when the question I asked hadn't been answered. I looked behind me and what I saw made me smile: Dad was holding two pots of tulips all wrapped up in Valentines Day paper, trying to decide which one to buy. They were both really pretty, but we settled on the pot of red tulips and Dad put them in our cart with a small twinkling grin, saying, "I think your mom needs a little Valentines present." 

They love each other so much.

Fat Tuesday was this week, the day you get to spend eating pancakes and King Cake and other such treats before fasting the next day, Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent in the Christian calendar. I no longer attend church like I did while growing up, but I still observe Fat Tuesday and the season of Lent in my own way (except we forgot to make pancakes Tuesday so we had them Wednesday for supper!). I don't give up anything, but rather try to take on something new: a new habit, a new discipline, a new way of thinking. Our priest in the church I went to when I was growing up suggested doing that one year to go along with the giving up something (one year in high school I gave up putting salt on my food and ever since, the only time I use salt is in my baking. I don't even put a salt shaker on the dinner table at night). I haven't decided quite yet what I want to take on, but I'm sure it will come to me in these next few days. 

Maybe I'll take on something that scares me and puts me out of my comfort zone. . . . . The possibilities are endless.

This week has been better than last week. I've been running regularly, watching this class on food photography and gotten out and about, even if it was just going to the doctors for a thyroid check, the cleaners and then stopping in a tiny little shop that sells house goods. I made cupcakes Tuesday and I think I'm getting better at piping on icing. Piping is really therapeutic, I found. There's a certain little rhythm that I fall into, a tiny little rocking to and fro as I trace the tip of the pastry bag around the rim of the cupcake, watching the buttercream "splooge" out the end (a word I borrowed from my favorite baking book), landing in what I'm hoping to be a pretty little rosette, but nine times out of ten, ending up more like a dying pansy. 

But even the failures are quite delicious, if I do say so myself.

AustinK-1479.jpg

I hope you all have a happy weekend doing whatever you're going to do. It's supposed to be rainy and cold and all around yuck for us, so Dave plans on working on his second new book he began last month, I'll probably watch some more of my class and Joe will do whatever Joes do on the weekends. Whatever you decide to do, have fun doing it!