tender heart.

I have not really been on my best behavior lately. I am in my second day month of unrelenting procrastination. The puppies are sporting fur do's worthy of a Tibetan winter. The weeds are winning won. I have some new health issues to deal with. The weather is finding new and exciting ways to torture and cause irrevocable damage to my moods. I am trying to clean out the garage (which I suck at). I still have not finished the laundry or reorganized my office. I know, right! I feel as though the only thing I have accomplished lately is to sweep up small piles of debris from the floor and whine occasionally. By the time evening crawls around, I am only fit to watch sappy lifetime movies and schmaltzy season premieres. I am only slightly concerned that my sleep routines may now become dependent upon the soothing sounds and muted palette of a media which usually lulls me to sleep by the first commercial break. Anyway, I'm not entirely sure what to do with these itchy, bone shifting kinda feelings I've been having. Seriously, I would have thought that after all these years I would know, right? Well, maybe not.

Maybe I'm waiting for my head to stop spinning. I feel twelve years old again, my emotions all over the place, sentences running together, just came home from camp feeling. Wanting to talk about all I saw, re-live every little thing. It's all right there beneath the surface waiting to bubble up. Oh and summer, I will miss you so! I know I have said nice things about Fall in the past, I do have feelings for her but it is nothing serious. Please don't leave me. You are still my favorite season and I will love you forever. Though you should know you kinda kicked my butt this year. P.S. Think about coming earlier next year and staying a little longer and really, about the humidity, not so much. okay?

I suppose also that I may worry too much that things will change, or that they will stay the same...but it's hard not to when I feel so grateful. treasure every moment of the day. cherish the love, light and laughter. dance around in the colors and music that fill my life. bask in the steadfast belief that things are exactly the way they are meant to be. I still have a pocket full of dreams. a heart to follow. yet, I am in a kind of transitional, funky place. I feel things shifting, if ever so slightly. I calmly await the ebb and flow of the every day. I know, the tide that goes out, always, always comes back in. I have been more quiet than usual. waiting. listening. hoping. clearing out clutter and making my space more breathable. There are certain things that I can only whisper about. to myself. when no one else is around. This makes me sad, but I am learning to live with it. and to tread lightly here because as you  know, I have a tender heart. 

I spent the last day of summer outside. In the sunshine. soaking it all up. At one point I had to let go of the hundreds of things I wanted to do. settle on a few unforgettable. So, I took what I could get and walked away happy. once I did that it made breathing easier, and besides what other choice was there? Because pretty soon you run out of summer. see, some things are impossible to hold onto. I made my peace with it and moved on.  sorta. still...I had a terrible yearn for you yesterday. it came out of nowhere. Fall makes it worse, that was the first time I saw you. It was also the last. In the Fall when the leaves fell. It wasn't shouty tears, or anything blatant or flashy, just a huge tide of emotion that rose up in me like a swell at sea. I miss you. always. I was not intending to talk about you. out loud. because you know I never do that. but. my heart still aches for the loss. even after all this time. I actually thought that with time I might give up the ghost. that the hurt would fade away. if even just a bit. because, at first I thought this might finish me. turns out I am made of stronger stuff. there are times when I can even dance. when I sing the songs in my heart. When I am filled up with life and spirit. and others, when the grief finds a way to catch onto a jagged edge of my broken heart that never quite mended properly.

I made peanut butter cookies, I know they were your favorite and somehow this comforts me.

just sayin'.

peanut butter cookies

3 cups unsifted bleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (smooth) peanut butter
makes about 3 dozen cookies

For the dough, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and allspice (if using) onto a sheet of waxed paper. 
Cream the butter in the large bowl of a freestanding electric mixer on moderate speed for 3 minutes. Add the light brown sugar in two additions, beating for 1 minute after each portion is added. Add the granulated sugar and beat for two minutes longer. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract. Add the peanut butter and blend until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl frequently with a rubber spatula to keep the dough even-textured. On low speed, beat in half of the sifted mixture, then the balance of the sifted mixture. The dough will be moderately dense, creamy-textured, and sticky. Divide the dough into thirds and enclose each portion, patted into a flat slab about 1 inch thick (more or less), in a sheet of plastic wrap. Chill the dough, covered, for 3 hours (or overnight, if you wish).

Preheat the oven to 350* in advance of baking.

Line several heavy cookie sheets or rimmed sheet pans with oven-proof parchment paper. 
Scoop up heaping 2 tablespoon-size mounds of dough, roll into balls, and place on prepared baking sheets, placing about 3 inches apart. Gently flatten the cookie in a crisscross pattern with the tines of a fork dipped in sugar (or flour). 

Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until set. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheets for 1 minute, then transfer them to cooling racks, using a wide off-set metal spatula. Cool completely. Store in an airtight tin.

* coarsely chopped roasted peanuts, 1 cup lightly salted or unsalted, can be added to the dough after the first half of the sifted ingredients are incorporated, using lightly salted peanuts creates a cookie with a salty-sweet contrast, unsalted peanuts a gentler flavor (if using lightly salted peanuts, reduce the amount of salt to 1/4 teaspoon)


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