Do you see that happy, cheerful, bright and beautiful daisy? That lovely flower, along with a huge vase of other mixed flowers – roses, irises, daisies, and a host of bright and gorgeous other flowers I loved and don’t even know the name of – were given to me last week as a surprise from the hubs. He done good. Granted it was my birthday so there was a reason, but I was completely not expecting them or anything for that matter because we’ve had so many bills, bills, bills since Kayla was born and all the other mess we’ve been dealing with the boys as well, that life has seemed quite rather hum-drum and practical with not a lot of room for frivolity or just time to relax or enjoy.
Frankly, between you and me, the vast majority of the time I am grateful for hum-drum because at least it means the #%#@# isn’t currently hitting the fan. In my world, that is a BIG plus and besides, really, is not having any wiggle room to feel a little frivolous every once in a while any reason to feel bad – even if it has been a rough several years, believe me, I KNOW how lucky we are. Every now and then though for some reason I still seem to feel compelled to throw myself the most ridiculous little pity parties even though I know I have so much to be grateful for. After all, I have a ton of blessings that I AM grateful for.
Some days though that all just doesn’t seem to make a difference in the overall scheme of things and I still get down about life. I know we have a lot going on. After all, I don’t think anyone expects to go through the NICU with all three of their kids to then be followed by various mental health and physical health issues left, right and center for all of them, but they are here after all. They are mine. They are relatively healthy and happy and we have a good family. I am lucky.
Is it any surprise then that when I feel down on myself for feeling down about things that it just makes me more frustrated and sad and upset, and, well, you can see what a circular rut and spiral of a whirl that can make of things. What a mess!
The point of all this is that, even though, midway through my birthday I was feeling completely sad and lame in so many ways, it was SO great to get such a gorgeous surprise from Dusty – especially since I knew he had ordered them BEFORE my pity party. SO much more meaningful that way. Anyway, I just had to take a minute to say thank you to him for cheering me up and cheering me on. He also wrote a beautiful card too, but I’m not going to write that all here – besides it made up for the one with the wrinkly puppy on it asking how old I am… almost made up for it anyway 😉 !
I also want to say thank you to all of you for coming here and being part of this experience and sharing in my days – the hum-drum and the not so hum-drum. Thank you for all the birthday well wishes on Twitter and Facebook. Thank you for being my friends! To a girl who quite literally doesn’t get out of the house much because of constantly sick kiddos who have to be quarantined each Winter (and will Winter EVER end??) this little portal into the outside realm means the absolute world to me (and my sanity).
ANYWAY. Enough of my maudlin moments! On to the cookies!
This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was, of course, the Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies in the book chosen by Valerie of Une Gamine dans la Cuisine. I’ve wondered how these would taste, but for whatever reason have never gotten around to making them. When you consider the fact that the flavor and texture both are reminiscent of both the Honey Wheat Cookies and the Lenox Almond Biscotti it becomes harder and harder to imagine why I haven’t made these cookies before now. They were easy to put together and, I have to admit, my favorite part was actually eating the dough. In fact, I purposely trimmed my dough to a perfect square with the 1 1/2-inch square measurements to get the most dough ‘scraps’ that I could nibble on. I’m just silly that way.
I didn’t actually make any changes to the recipe, other than to make only a half batch because I felt like having that many cookies on hand wouldn’t be a good idea for me. I used the lemon zest and opted to use the almond extract this time around. The cookies were a bit crunchier than most shortbread – due I’m sure to not only the cornmeal in the dough, but the little extra cooking time. Still though they were extremely well flavored and satisfying and very buttery tasting. Definitely a keeper!
For more cookie madness, head on over to the Tuesdays with Dorie site and visit the other bakers.