seagulls

February 29

I love that today is a leap day- it seems like a special pocket of time.

Outside, the cheery trills of robins are balancing the soft dreariness of grey sky on the verge of rain. This afternoon, the sun shone and lit the pink cherry blossom and warmed the rug. In the morning, as on all mornings here, sea gulls dotted the field like sheep.

This past week there were some glorious spring storms, erratic wind/rain/sun and all colours in the sky. I dug out my paints. I finally bought an umbrella. Days were segmented by cappucinos, africanos, earl grey and herbal teas. Our rabbits are molting winter down. The daffodils are nodding bright heads.

I hurt my back by lifting a bin incorrectly and have spent the past few days feeling like a century has been tacked on to my years. It's easing up now and I am so glad. (That icy-hot stuff is so weird!) How easy it is to take health for granted.

I'm including the recipe for what I wish I was making right now. I like to make and freeze a batch of these cookies to have on hand - a gift to our future selves.

Chocolate Apricot Pecan Cookies Adapted from Leslie Mackie's Macrina Cookbook. The original recipe does not call for pecans, so feel free to leave them out. 

In a medium large bowl, stir together with a whisk then set aside: 1 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour 1 c all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp finely ground espresso beans

In a medium small bowl or in a KitchenAid mixer, cream until light and fluffy: 1 c butter, softened 1 c good raw/brown sugar such as panela-rapadura

Add eggs to creamed butter and sugar one at a time, mixing well, adding vanilla with second egg: 2 eggs, room temperature 2 tsp vanilla

Add dry ingredients and stir to mix until flour is just incorporated. Then stir in: 3/4 cup dried unsulphured apricots, chopped 3/4 cup pecans, toasted and cooled, roughly crushed by hand 8-9 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

Let dough rest in the fridge for at least an hour before scooping and baking cookies. Or scoop then freeze dough to later thaw and bake whenever you need a few cookies! Makes about 16 cookies. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes. 

when the moon is out

Today has been a day of seagulls. On my way home I slowed down to a crawl because a flock of gulls had surrounded an old man by the roadside. I think he was feeding them, and they wandered contentedly in the street. Out walking beside the ocean this afternoon, I saw was the usual unremarkable seagull presence and then, lit by the low sunlight, one gull coasted in on a flurry of white wings. It wandered on the shallow beach, zigzag-ing its way closer to me and cocking its head in a questioning way. This morning, despite my lucky squirrel socks, I stalled through three lights at a little hill in town. Happily, at that hour of the predawn there was no one to see. Still a little shaky from my drive (calm reservoirs get low when  overtired) while walking to work from the car in the dark, I heard something move in the bushes beside the sidewalk. I started and ran.

Work went surprisingly well for such a tired day. I got stuff done and made people laugh, which seems like an all around success to me.

There are some things I like about my job and its hours. Often I'll look up from rolling pastry to see people going by with umbrellas in the grey drizzle, and by the time I'm done work the sky clears up and there are usually patches, if not great swaths, of blue. Sleep deficiency makes me feel fragile and more open, which can be a beautiful experience.

A woman I worked with for years always commented that she had trouble sleeping when the moon was full. I think there may be something in this for me. The brightness inspires a creaturely alertness and the night is very beautiful when the moon is out.

I was lamenting to J on how this blog seems to have turned into "I woke up early, drove to work and hopefully didn't stall too much, worked, then came home and hung out with my rabbits" and he suggested that maybe this could be a dream post, about where I would like to be a year from now and what I wish I were doing. He's a clever man. What I would really like is to be at home with a baby, and to have a big vegetable garden and chickens, and spend my spare time baking, painting and crafting.

We are having a roast for dinner tonight, in stages because it always seems to take longer than we plan for. It is somewhat of a picnic as we've set up blankets on the floor in front of the fireplace.

Here is Seven the rabbit's advanced maths for the evening:

*9/8\

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