Saturday, February 22, 2020

Finally. Sun.

Oh, it has been so gloomy this month. But for a few days, at least, we've had sun and somewhat warming temperatures. I'm not looking for blooms yet, but someone on my FB neighborhood page said they saw a robin, so I'll take that as a good sign. I hope he's as attractive as this one from last fall!


I'm rising on the "get better" scale and pushing full power. It has been a great improvement over the past few days. I felt good enough the other night to get out for the first time and see "Into the Woods," one of my favorite Sondheim shows. It was done by our university and boy, those kids were terrific. This production could hold its own with many a professional musical.


Rick had an especially good workday on Friday and surprised me by an invitation to dinner at a lovely restaurant. So, I took a nap and was ready to roll. What a treat! Tannin moved from the suburbs to into the city (OK, the small city) and with it, their prices came down and I swear their food quality went up. I'd been to the old place and didn't like it much at all but this new one -- which took over an old Kentucky Fried Chicken site -- was great! I think we just about closed the place down!


We splurged with wine, appetizer and wonderful entrees, which we could get as small plates, all we needed after the appetizer. I am beginning to feel that I am re-entering the world again.

Rick is heading north over the weekend to go skiing with Greg, the oldest. I thought I'd make up some cookies to send along for the ski -- and for Greg to take with him. Oatmeal with heath bar and salted caramel chips!


This is the recipe I used (below) from the "America's Test Kitchen TV Cookbook." They turned out quite well, I think.


Although, next time I'd cut the baking time down. I don't think it's the oven; things I've done on familiar times in there have been fine but these got a little too crisp! Still, tasty enough to send along with the guys (and some to keep for a snack!)


I finished a mystery called "Desperate" by Patti Battison while sidelined. I debated whether or not I should start the second in the series because in the first I picked out the murderer in the first by page 19. I kept hoping I was wrong because it's so disappointing to feel you figured out something so early and easily without really having to work at it.

Agatha Christie believed that the clues should be available for the reader to find along with Miss Marple but she does it so masterfully it still is hard for me to detect the villain -- even when I've read the book before! But this writer dropped way too many clues. At least, too many for me. I believe it's a self-published book and part of me would really like to write to her and say "if you hadn't done this, then I probably wouldn't have figured it out." (If she just dropped the first three pages, I might never have guessed).


I figured I should give her another chance so just finished the second in the series, "Obsessed."  It was much better, good twists, some decent character development from the recurring characters in book one. I have a third and will most likely do it next while I'm on a roll. Then it will be time for another biography or memoir, I think.

My absentee ballot for the primary arrived. As I type this, at least seven of the candidates listed have dropped out. I'm not sending it in till after Super Tuesday because who knows who will dump by then.


Pet peeve: Putting ballot tax/millage issues on non-major-election ballots. They always bury them, either in August when no one is in town or in the primary. These might get a little more traction, given that the primary is so lively this year. But otherwise, major taxing decisions tend to be voted on by a startlingly small group of people. It should have at least 50 percent of registered voters voting to pass something like this.


And I finished another felted ornament for next year's sale, along with a couple of special orders. This star makes me happy!


That's a good way to describe me. Happy again!


And the sun is still out!

Sharing with:   Let's Keep in Touch     /     Pink Saturday     

52 comments:

Valerie-Jael said...

Glad to hear you are feeling better and living the high life again with restaurants and musicals, things like that do us good. I was invited to lunch by a friend today and enjoyed it very much. Your robins are so different to ours. I'm not looking at that cookie recipe, it's much too tempting! Enjoy your weekend! Hugs, Valerie 🤗

Susan Kane said...

Into the Woods is a great musical. Unexpected. Glad you enjoyed it.

Lowcarb team member said...

Just love the picture of the robin, they are my favourite bird.
So good to read that you are rising on the "get better" scale.

Enjoy your weekend, and have a good week ahead.

All the best Jan

KAREN said...

So glad to hear your feeling better ~ I love a good (non gory) not to scary mystery too, maybe I'll give that author a try if you feel she's safe ~ We have robins in our yard -Yipppee- your photo is beautiful. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Evi Erlinda said...

Great photo of the robin!
I see, you are happy again! Cookies look crisp and yummy, and felted stars look beautiful with little flowers :)
Reading Agatha Christie books, they are always mysterious for me till the end :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Miss Val's Creations said...

Same here with the lack of sun! We are finally having a sunny day today and tomorrow. Oh those cookies. Yum! They are sure to make the men very happy. This upcoming presidential election will likely to be most entertaining this country has seen yet. I look forward to the debates. The felted star is super happy!

Laurie said...

It’s good to hear your feeling better, the flu and colds going around this year seem to really leave one exhausted or is it just me lol. I use the exact oatmeal cookie recipe, exactly! I’m sorry I can’t see your ornament to make a proper comment but I know it’s lovely. I am a “ series reader” and it’s a compulsion with me complete them in proper order. Mysteries are my favourite, but I do read a varied menu of books, although now it listen to the books,, I always enjoy to hear what you’re reading,,

Sandi said...

I like your stars! A very cool idea. 😊

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

The sun really did bless Michigan this week, didn't it. It makes you feel so good even though it was still really cold. A robin? Wow!

Those cookies look great!

I will wait until after Super Tuesday to vote in the primary too. I don't want to throw my vote away by voting for someone who might end up dropping out by the time our ballots are due.

You are still going great guns on felting. I bought one kit and got so frustrated I decide it wasn't for me. But I've always enjoyed trying new crafts that come along so I have no regrets that your blog inspired me to try it.

Arti said...

A robin already? It'll take us at least two more months to see them here. As for mysteries, I've been reading quite a few so far this year. Read AC's Death on the Nile to prep. for the movie adaptation coming out later this year (Kenneth Branagh as Poirot again, and directs) Have you read Julian Symons? I read his Colour of Murder, and now listening to Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs. All Brits mystery writers in the early 20th C., finding them a bit dated.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm glad you are feeling better now and your night out sounds wonderful! Love the felting you are doing and I'll look for those books. I like mysteries and just finished a good one today....The Right Sort of Man by Montclair. I think you would like it! I can't wait to start the second in the series...there are only 2 so far! Hugs!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie,
I am glad you are feeling much better now. I love the cute Robin. Your felt ornaments are so cute. It is nice to have an evening with a dinner and show. Feels like back to normal activities. I will check out that back and author, she is new to me. I do love Agatha Christie's mysteries. Enjoy your day, wishing you a great new week ahead.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Given that happiness is part of your genetic code, Jeanie, it does not surprise me that you are "happy again." Being sick is not to be wished on anyone of course, but sometimes in that period when you don't feel truly dreadful, but are still not ready to venture outside, you can use the time well. And you have done this. And bravo for Mr. Smoothie for inviting you out to dinner. That's always a shot in the arm (grooan!).

NanaDiana said...

How wonderful that someone has spotted a robin there already. Lucky you! I don't like predictable books where you guess outright who is "it" or the outcome of the whole of the story.
Lovely ornament to add to your collection.
Have a great Sunday-xo Diana

Carol said...

I feel so much better when the sun is shining! I love your little star as well. I have seen a few robins the past couple of weeks, which makes me think spring is near.

gigi-hawaii said...

Good to read that you are out and about. A nice dinner with your friend hit the spot.

La Table De Nana said...

I'm all for happy! Good for you:):):

La Table De Nana said...

PS you should see our snow! Feet and feet

Mae Travels said...

It's great that things are looking up -- how you feel, the weather, a new restaurant, all good. Our spring bird to look for is the red-winged blackbird, which actually does migrate. Some of the other birds that people get excited about are actually here all year such as robins and bluebirds; they just don't show themselves as much in winter. We took a walk in a marshy place yesterday but didn't see our bird: it was beautifully sunny but it's really too early.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Joanne Huffman said...

Glad things are looking up.

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Great post, Jeanie. So glad you are feeling better. Thanks for the cookie recipe - I love oatmeal cookies.
We have had a gloomy February as well. However, we have had sun the past 2 days and it is almost strange when you first see it as it has been so long. Our daffodils are up everywhere, but not blooming yet. And that is a good thing as we are to have snow toward the end of the week.
Enjoy these last days of winter and time to read - we will be busy with spring in a blink.

Sandra Cox said...

That first photo is picture purrfect.
Glad you are on the mend.

Divers and Sundry said...

I found your blog through one of the other blogs I follow, and when I saw your robin I smiled :) They are year 'round birds here, but we still sometimes say, "The First Robin of Spring!" when we see one on early spring days lol

I love oatmeal raisin cookies and those look delicious. I always use the recipe on the oatmeal box, but maybe I should broaden my horizons a bit. Your snowy scene makes me a tiny bit jealous, as we don't get snow much at all here. We are already in the early voting for Super Tuesday, and I have a candidate picked but hate to vote until the actual day. I love your felted star; I've never seen anything like it. I'd imagine they'd sell well.

Your sun element against your house would thrill my daughter. She has added quite a few sun images to the inside of her house, but I'm not sure she has any outside.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Glad to hear you are on the mend! Lucky gentlemen, getting homemade cookies to go along with their skiing trip. We are seeing some sun today, too. It give you hope! -Jenn

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I'm delighted you are feeling better, dear Jeanie. It's the best news I've heard all day. So glad you enjoyed the musical and it looks like you had a great seat, too.

Rick and Gregg were lucky that you felt good enough to make those cookies. Now I KNOW you are feeling better. When I'm sick, I want nothing to do with cooking, much less baking. And enjoying a night out with Rick must have felt good to both of you.

That star is amazing. I bet these will sell quite well.

So glad the sun is both literally and figuratively shining in your world. BTW, we don't have ballots. We caucus.

Lauren at Wonderfully Made said...

It's starting to smell/feel like spring here too (Although more snow expected this week but that's Feb/March in Chicago!). I noticed one day last week that the birds were singing all day and the sun actually had some warmth to it. So exciting! Your special dinner looks wonderful as does that felted ornament! I've never tried felting but have often wanted to!

Lynne said...

Felted stars are lovely.
Love the colors . . .

I think I am going to try some mysteries . . .
Feeling punky with a cold had me reading non stop yesterday.
I picked up some books at the library for 25 cents a piece.
One was. Lisa Scottoline, Betrayed . . . kept me reading but,
not sure I would read her more. Maybe one more.

Just pulled out A Gentleman In Moscow . . .
Maybe the fifth time will be the charm.
Many have said it was their favorite,
I just can’t seem to get to that, “can’t put it down” place.

How is that new stove/oven??

Wish I could be taking off for skiing in the north!
I think I might add my skis to the sale pile.
I just can’t risk broken bones at this stage of life.
Rick is in good shape, he will enjoy, I am sure!

Ricki Treleaven said...

So happy you're better, and the photo of the robin is so pretty!

Prims By The Water said...

Robins always come back in February. My grandfather always said the bird of Spring here in Michigan was the red winged blackbird. LOVE your felted star! Janice

Carol @ The Red Painted Cottage said...

Jeanie, I'm happy you're starting to feel better. I caught your last blog post, but I've been in the middle of another huge project that I just finished up yesterday. I think I heard on the weather tonight that we've have 3-4 days in a row of sunshine. That's really unusual for here in Michigan. I haven't even opened my ballot yet. It arrived weeks ago and it's been sitting on our counter since then. I'll do mine shortly before our deadline. Continue to feel well!

Sandra Cox said...

PS Those cookies sound yummy.

Victoria Zigler said...

I'm glad you're happy, and starting to feel better.

Iris Flavia said...

A cutie-pie!
Oh-oh! Don´t go full-power. Every time I do this it´s throwing be back, be gentle to yourself!

"re-entering the world again" sounds great, can I join?

OH! I.worked.the.oven this weekend for the first time in my life and I did not even burn myself (the outcome was miserable, according to hubby.... but the red cabbage, he said, was awesome).

A cute star!

And "Happy again!" - thank you, a great post "today"!!!

Rustic Pumpkin said...

So happy you are feeling human again and managed to get out and enjoy yourself. The cookies look so tempting. I can't wait to get a new and more reliable cooker so I can bake cookies again. Love your happy yellow star ornament. A lot!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Glad to hear you are feeling better and getting out. My sister said there was actual sun for a few days this last week in Oakland County. She hates dark winter days too. You're lucky to live close to a good university theatre program. I used to go to University of Miami productions when I lived in S Florida. I'm not really close to any good programs here in my small town on the West coast. Wishing you a bright and healthy week!

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, your robin photo is stunning. I am so glad you are feeling better and able to enjoy a dinner out and the theater. The new feltie is adorable. Take care of yourself!

Bonnie said...

Glad the sun is still out for you. We have more rain coming today.
We have hundreds of robins everywhere. Noisy and busy eating berries from neighbors trees.
I love your felted ornament! So pretty.
I'm always impressed with how much you read. I can't seem to finish just reading blogs.
Glad you and Rick had such a fun evening out recently.
Spring is coming and it is always later for you than us but you don't have the humidity and hot summers we do.
Have a great day, Jeanie!

thepaintedapron.com said...

I'm so glad you're feeling better Jeanie! Nothing like a show and a new restaurant to celebrate health again! Your felted star is adorable! Yes, mysteries need to be mysteries! Agatha is the Queen!
Jenna

Rita C at Panoply said...

Isn't it amazing what the sun can do?! Your robin looks like was easily the model for mine, and that colorful star is OUTSTANDING. So glad you're on the uptick again, and those cookies - oh my, Jeanie! I agree with your pet peeve on elections, putting issues on the ballot as a tactic for passage, hoping they fly under the radar. That's an issue in our local region as well.
Hoping for a good week coming. Let's make it so!

Sami said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better Jeanie, and have even been out to the theater and a restaurant.
The felted star is very pretty and the cookies look delicious, I enjoy oat cookies.

The French Hutch said...

So happy to hear you are feeling better and on the go. With all the nasty weather we were on the go finally all weekend and it certainly makes a difference for me. Your dinner out sounds really nice as your evening. I see you've been productive with your beautiful felt ornaments. The cookies look delish, wish I had one to go with my coffee.. We've had cold here, finally, but warming up fast........daffs almost bloomed out now and tulips are budding.......Have a great week.

Sandra said...

re: Desperate.She probably would appreciate the email. It is challenging keeping backdrop out of the beginning chapter.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Hooray for some sunny weather finally! We had a very dark and dreary month of January. We had our gloomiest stretch of weather since they started tracking it 30+ years ago. Day after day of gloomy skies can really wear on a person! It's been much sunnier here and we came back to 42 degree weather yesterday - it was only 12 degrees colder than the weather we left in FL (it was pretty cold Fri-Sun am).

Your celebratory meal out sounded fun! I'm glad you are starting to feel better. Those cookies look delicious, too. I love ATK recipes - they are so detailed! I have one of their GF cookbooks and it's excellent. I'll make the chocolate cookies from that cookbook next weekend for Paul's birthday. He doesn't like cake and honestly, GF cake is often not very good. So birthday cookies it is!

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jeanie, so glad you are feeling better.Your felted stars are really beautiful. They look just perfect. I haven't turned in my ballot yet either. Anyone would be better than what is there now, but it has to be just the right one..Good luck on that, right? The sun is shining here too. The warmth of it feels so good, but we really need some rain..Happy Monday..xxoJudy

Marilyn Miller said...

Glad you are happy again and feeling better. That star would make anyone happy. Your reading sounds fun. Hope your kitchen is back to what you can use and love. The cookies and dinner out to all sound delicious.
I hope the best person wins in the election.
And robins - they are such a harbinger of spring time.

Jenny Woolf said...

So glad you are starting to feel better Jeanie! I was about to start a reply to your last letter and thought I'd check on your blog first and it was great to see that the sun coming out behind the clouds! I love your felted stars, so sunny and cheerful!

Red Rose Alley said...

Oh, the wonderful Robin - this bird is dear to me. I used to see them all the time at a park in my old town, but haven't seen any yet this year. Your felt ornament is so charming, Jeanie. I love how you create things out of felt, it's such a talent. It's still snowing! Your warm oatmeal cookies out of the oven are the perfect treat for a cold Wintery day. I'm glad you had a few sunny days to warm your bones. It's been sunny here, but I'm not sure Winter is quite over yet. : )

~Sheri

shoreacres said...

Did you notice what your robin is sitting on? It's a juniper! Look at those berries; they look just like the ones in my post about the pollen. I think yours is eastern juniper, aka red cedar, eastern red cedar, or Virginia juniper.

Those cookies look wonderful! I'm trying very hard not to look at them, because then I'd want to make some, and -- well, you know.

I'm so glad you've had some sun. It makes such a difference. It won't be all *that* long until really pleasant weather comes around!

My name is Erika. said...

It is fantastic how the sun can improve just about anything. Or at least I think so. Glad the play was good. I have seen the film but never the play and it is certainly a good one. And those America’s test kitchen recipes always seem to work. I made their chocolate bread pudding earlier this year and yum. Loving your felting projects. Hope all is well and the robins are back. Hugs Erik

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Sorry to hear you aren't feeling well. Jeanie! Winter colds and flu and now we all have to worry about the Covid-19 virus--ugh!

Your cookies look yummy! I was happy to find a Louisiana Bakery Mardi Gras King Cake in my local grocery store so we have been treating ourselves with that all week.

Love the robin photo! I haven't seen any here as yet.

William Kendall said...

Despite my dislike for musicals, I've seen Into The Woods on stage and enjoyed it.

Olka said...

I've never seen a robin - can you believe that? The Spring is coming, I'm looking forward it :)
And I love your felted ornament! I'm going to try felting too! :)

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