seeing the only great light…

A friend of mine posted pictures on FB of her toddler, after his daddy carved the Halloween jack-o-lantern. He was fascinated by the candle they had lit and put inside of Jack Pumpkin. Understandably so, I think this must be where every child learns to think their parents are superpeople. And then, not long after that, he gets to see the magic of the Christmas tree, glowing with its beautiful lights! We can’t know what is actually running through their heads, but I’m sure part of it is “That’s so awesome!” and also, “My parents are awesome!”DSC_0643

I think of this whenever it’s late at night, and the only lights lit are the Christmas lights. Out of the darkness, the colored lights from our big tree, and the white lights from our little trees are shining in the darkness, and it’s a beautiful sight. I now know that my parents did not invent Christmas lights for my personal benefit, as I might have thought when I was little, but I am still fascinated by the magical quality of the lights.DSC_0649

DSC_0648Some people may think that Christmas trees are pagan or that they’re all about encouraging children to think of what they can GET out of Christmas. Maybe they are, and maybe some families don’t teach their children any better. But no matter how old I am, just as when I was a child, I am amazed and fascinated by the small beauties of Christmas, like the lights on the tree.DSC_0647

DSC_0646And you can be assured, that when I was old enough to understand, I learned about the truly amazing reason why we celebrate Christmas, and why our joy at Christmastime should be in giving to others. Because what more wonderful and amazing gift could have been given to this world, but God in the form of the man, Jesus Christ? As some people might put it, in this day and age, “Best. Christmas. Present. Ever!”DSC_0645

Or as the Bible puts it, “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” –Matthew 4:16 (which was Matthew’s quote from Isaiah 9:2)DSC_0644

P.S. Assuming the video works, I hadn’t actually intended to say anything while filming, but then I forgot I had the video camera on, and commented on the tree being pretty to my aunt. I was afraid it would be SO loud on the video… now I can’t understand how that’s even my voice. I must’ve been whispering AND getting over my respiratory infection, still.  : )

cookies galore…

With Christmas vacation officially begun, I had a license to goof off. But there are other things still need going, like making Christmas baking, so my mom mixed up the dough, over the weekend, and got started. By the time she had made several types of dough, I had joined in the process, if only getting cookies in and out of the oven, for a time.DSC_0655

DSC_0673When the pecan tassies had finally come out of the oven (they take the longest to bake, it was time to make the press cookies. A week or so before this, I had attempted a batch, and for the first time since Australia, it was a failure. You see, press cookie dough has to be pretty stiff, but if it’s too dry, it won’t press into the shapes you want, or stick to the tray. I’m still not certain what happened, because my measurements were right. And for the record, I am a cookie pro, and this had only ever happened once before.DSC_0663

DSC_0667DSC_0678I finally decided that it might have been like when I was in Australia, it was too warm and humid at the time. Usually, when we make Christmas cookies, it’s rather cool out and the heat is on, just enough to keep things comfortable. That day, it was unseasonably warm, too warm to have the heat on, but not quite warm enough to have the windows open. And it was rather humid. So, with no way of proving it, I blame the weather.DSC_0701

DSC_0679DSC_0709This time, all the dough came out perfectly (it wouldn’t dare do anything else, when my mom’s in charge), and I took charge of most of the pressing, for as long as my hands held out. While not quite a science, you have to keep twisting the handle on the press, press out the dough, and then… well, sort of jerk the press to the side, in order to get the dough to “cut” off from the rest. A couple seconds too little, and you don’t have enough cookie to stick to the tray, a second too much, and you have a fat cookie with a print on it, but not an actual shape to the dough.DSC_0686DSC_0714

DSC_0690I whipped out several trays worth, and then my hands got tired. I blamed it on all the writing from my exams, but it occurs to me that I twist with my left hand (and have a bruise on my palm to prove it), so I guess that didn’t really make sense, after all. Mom and Matt each took a turn, and then I finished off. But people can say what they like about modern cookie presses, with buttons to push. I wouldn’t give up using our Mirro presses for anything, and I even have several I’ve picked up at yard sales and antique shops, waiting for when my brothers are ready to bake their own, in their own homes.  : )DSC_0718

DSC_0731We finished the peanut blossoms earlier in the day, so that the Hershey kisses would cool off enough to be put away. When you first put them on a smoking hot cookie, they melt, so if you try and store them immediately, you’ll get chocolate smeared all over everything.DSC_0733

DSC_0736The following day, for similar reasons, we began icing the cookies in the early afternoon. You want to give them several hours for the icing to dry, so you can store them without getting the icing everywhere. I remember some years when we waited until too late, and I did storage duty, somewhere around midnight, because the cookies hadn’t been dry earlier.DSC_0744

DSC_0747While we continued to debate whether the icing was too runny (me) or too thick (my dad), we managed to ice them all, with all four of us working away at them. The press cookies are dipped into a bowl of thinner icing, and then you put sprinkles on them, while you use thicker icing to spread on the cut-out cookies, using a knife.DSC_0752

DSC_0758Looking at that table, it looks like a lot of cookies, but I think this is a smaller batch than some years. But maybe not. They really look like a lot of cookies, once you put them away in the cans and boxes.DSC_0762

DSC_0764The snowballs (Russian tea cookies) and Scandinavian cookies were put away last. If you’re not familiar with the look of the nutty Scandinavian cookies, with the hole in the middle, when we fill up a tray with those, we load them with raspberry or blackberry jam. So yummy!DSC_0742

DSC_0771I hope you are enjoying the Christmas activities in your own home, with your family, whether it involves baking or not. I will probably say this again, but in case you forget to check back, I do with you and your family a most wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year!DSC_0776DSC_0778

snowmen peeking…

When I woke up again, the second time this morning, I could hear the rain coming down and checked the weather report. I say I woke up AGAIN, because it’s normal on Saturdays for me to wake up earlier, once, check a few things on my Kindle and go back to sleep. This time, I slept until almost noon, but that’s ok! Because not only is it raining, it’s Christmas vacation!DSC_0557

DSC_0556The weather report looked rather odd… I couldn’t decide if that neon blue cloud hanging over Pennsylvania (I used to live there, so I keep it listed on my weather app) looked like that, on purpose or not. Turns out, my weather app uses a bright blue color to denote snow clouds… and this one seems to be hanging all over Pennsylvania, New York, and the surrounding states, until it runs into bright green and yellow rain clouds (what if they really looked like that?) in parts of Virginia. That rainy weather front lasts all the way down the east coast.DSC_0558

DSC_0559But all that snow and rain hanging in the air, hiding us from the sunshine, or the sunshine from us (depending on how you look at things), reminded me of some snowy little fellows that are all over our house. Yes, we have a lot of snowmen hanging on our Christmas tree, and a few scattered in different locations. What better place to share them, on this dreary day… when I’m free to do it!DSC_0572

DSC_0573DSC_0580Did I mention it’s vacation? : )  Honestly, it has been years since I haven’t been working a job where I had to work over the holidays. Christmas break for students never really caught my attention, because I was working right up until just before Christmas. Well, last year, Fernow Street closed for two weeks, and I was “laid off” for that amount of time, but it wasn’t a very cheery, free feeling, because I didn’t get vacation pay, and didn’t dare to go anywhere on money I didn’t have.DSC_0588

DSC_0590This year, it’s back to that feeling we had in high school, and before, from being free from school on the Christmas break! And since it’s college, it’s so much better than Thanksgiving break, because if I didn’t tell you this before, the only day I had off during Thanksgiving vacation was on T-day itself. I spent the two days leading up to it, working solidly on my final English Literature essay, and the day AFTER Thanksgiving, I not only came down with a cold (that developed into an upper respiratory infection), I had to give my entire attention to my military history paper. DSC_0600

DSC_0602DSC_0603No, I take it back, I had to get up in the mornings (no excessive sleeping in) to work on my Chemistry homework and a take-home quiz, and then in the afternoons and evenings, I devoted myself to my paper on the battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam), during the American Civil War. Three solid days of it, almost, and when school started on Monday, I worked on it between classes and as soon as I got home, until late. English Literature essay? I got an A. Military History paper? I got an A. With some really nice comments from both of my teachers, about my writing skills. So, it was worth it.DSC_0605

DSC_0608DSC_0615But now? Freedom! I can go to the movies (and plan to)! Read books all day, books that I WANT to read! Bake cookies! Sleep in! Watch DVDs and listen to Christmas music, now that I don’t have to study anymore (I can’t study with music on, if it has words)! Hooray!DSC_0624

DSC_0632I hope you enjoy our snowmen. : )  We certainly do. DSC_0636

a touch of Christmas…

While I continue studying for final exams, here’s a little bit of what Christmas looks like at our house. I can’t wait for the end of this week, so I can fully enjoy it, catch up on sleep, and get started on the cookie baking part of things! Also, getting completely over being sick would help, too. : )  Enjoy!DSC_0486         DSC_0480DSC_0487DSC_0494DSC_0506DSC_0511DSC_0517DSC_0530DSC_0531DSC_0532

one funky wedding…

My brothers and I pulled off the ultimate surprise. The weekend of my cousin’s wedding, my youngest brother arrived on leave from the Air Force. My parents didn’t know he was coming, so when he pulled into the driveway, I quietly let him in, so he could go back and bang on my parents’ door. The surprise was total.DSC_0243

DSC_0321This meant that all seven of us were going to be at my cousin’s wedding in Alabama. One brother had come from England (though he had the tickets BEFORE he knew about the wedding), one flew from New Hampshire, and one flew from Florida. We’re getting very spread out, recently. DSC_0225

DSC_0273The wedding was in the evening, so I played hermit and stayed in my hotel room for most of the day, studying and doing German homework. I had just started at Clemson, that week, if you remember. More on that another time.DSC_0254

DSC_0278When it was time to get ready, I was thrilled to wear my (ok, maybe they’re still my mom’s) “Atari” shoes, which went well with my dress. That particular dress has been waiting to be worn, ever since I bought it back around my birthday in May. I’ve worn both of the other two birthday dresses, but this one was for a dressy occasion. We all looked pretty “schnazzy”, if I do say so, myself.DSC_0289

DSC_0296Casey and Erica had a small wedding, loaded with family and friends. A significant number of the cousins managed to get there, despite most of us being grown up and living all over the world, now. DSC_0329

DSC_0306The reception, also, was beautiful, and full of good food and memories. I say memories, because the mantel shelves were loaded down with framed photos of the bride and groom, while the tables were full of the people that knew all about those memories.DSC_0345

DSC_0358If you hadn’t realized, my mom’s maiden name is Funk, so that’s why this was a “funky wedding”. Erica was thrilled to become one of the Funk granddaughters, and we were pleased to take her into our family. My Grandpa and Grandma Funk would have been very happy with their grandson’s choice of a wife, I know. DSC_0363

DSC_0371And as you may have guessed from the cake cutting pics, life with Casey will never be dull.DSC_0377

After the dinner and dancing, our family met up at my Alabama cousins’ house, and enjoyed lots of family “catch-up” time, as well as way too many cookies and a splendid lunch. My aunt is a wonderful cook, so we ate very well. I’m afraid the brunch part of things really included eating cookies BEFORE lunch, though. Our family is big on those. My mom got multiple thumbs’ up from her brothers, over the snicker-doodles (made with homemade Tahitian vanilla), molasses-oatmeal cookies, and peanut blossoms. DSC_0387

DSC_0391The trip back was uneventful, and we didn’t dawdle, as all of us need to be at school, whether to work, teach, or attend as a student. Since I had done most of my homework on the trip down, or on Saturday, I was ahead of the game for the week.DSC_0414

DSC_0427Hope you enjoy the pictures ALMOST as much as we enjoyed seeing my cousin marry the love of his life!DSC_0428DSC_0449

a home for akubras…

At the end of last month, I finally remembered to ask my dad about something. It had been percolating in my brain for some time, so it was high time I asked. DSC_0661

When I brought home two Akubras (and one fedora) from Australia, it hadn’t occurred to me where I would store them. You see, they’re supposed to either be on a hat rack, or sit upside down on a flat surface, so you don’t warp the brim (or something like that). Because both of them have a fair-sized width to them, I didn’t have a good shelf to set them, nor did I really want them collecting spiderwebs and dust. Or, if they did collect those, I still wanted the hats to be somewhere I could see them.DSC_0666But while putting them on the bedposts, when I was sleeping in the bunk bed, worked just fine, things changed when I came downstairs. I wanted my bed posts for the occasional bag, but not for the hats. They could get bumped or messed up, and you couldn’t display them properly. So, in my head, I began to puzzle out what I could do with them.DSC_0673

Ever seen a hat rack in a store, or a hat stand? Ever wonder how the big hats fit on them, because the hooks are often close together? No ready made hat rack seemed like what I needed, and then where would I put it? My new room has mostly cinder block walls, which are awkward to punch holes into, for any reason. So, there’s only one wall with drywall in it, where the closet is. I was debating whether my dad could build me a hat rack that would hang the hats at two different levels, just above my closet doors.DSC_0670

DSC_0667When I finally asked him, we looked at pictures online, and debated exactly what I was looking for. How far apart would the hooks be? How did I want them shaped, to protect the inside of the hat? And where, oh where, would we put it. DSC_0754

I didn’t come up with any of this design. He took what I wanted and ran with it. Of course, he has an Akubra, too, so he could play around with mine, until he’s perfected the design for his.  : )  And he was the one that realized the hat rack could be attached to my bookshelves, and hang out over my dresser. DSC_0752

Before I left for my weekend in Georgia (back around the 4th of July), He had come up with the size of the “base board”, the shape of the wood to go inside the hats, and we experimented with the angle of each one. I wanted the hats to tilt outward, so you could see them, not just look up the underside of them.DSC_0753After I returned from Georgia, he took the time to paint the rack white, and then staple brown felt onto each horseshoe, to protect the inside of the hats. And because my fedora is smaller, it fits easily inside of either Akubra. My brother was unable to figure out what the rack was for, when it was sitting upstairs, waiting to be painted. It’s true that if you didn’t already know its intended purpose, you would never guess.DSC_0758He did a great job, didn’t he? My Aussie friends will all be jealous, I know.  : )  My “The Boss” and “Riverina” hats can now rest comfortably.DSC_0756

a bit of a hodge-podge…

Who’s up for a bit of randomness? Me, that’s for sure. None of these items seem to be enough for an entire post, but if I turn on the faucet of hodge-podgey rambling, then I can get some of it out of my system. Ready?

You may remember that I recently moved out of my old bedroom, into the basement. Since then, I’ve settled in nicely, and it doesn’t even seem odd to me. I think that may have something to do with the joy of not sleeping in a bunk bed anymore. I don’t know about you, but I almost managed to bash my knuckles on the upper bunk’s springs, ever night or so. And for someone that loves to spend a Saturday afternoon, curled up on her comforter, propped against the pillows, reading a book… you can’t do that from the bottom bunk! You can read a Kindle, but it’s too dark for reading an actual book. And don’t talk to me about those clip-on bed lamps, I’ve never liked ’em.DSC_0663

Now, my tropical comforter (or duvet, if you prefer) shows up nicely against the white walls and dresser, and I have a carpet again! Wooden floors are all well and good, but I’ve always thought that a bedroom should have a carpet, to feel all soft and cozy against my bare feet. Who needs socks in winter, if your floor isn’t cold?

While I put more of my stuff away, bit by bit, my parents get the fun of deciding what color to paint the walls of my old room. I was working away on that baby blanket, promising to help strip wallpaper, when it was finished. But they were finished before it was complete. So, I’ll be in on the painting, eventually.

My week began with getting my new Kindle Fire in the mail, as the last one suddenly stopped charging. Having had it for just over a year, if I’d only had the warranty it came with, I’d be sunk. But when my first Kindle was busted, on the way home from Australia, I was so annoyed over it that I bought a TWO year warranty on the new one. And so, my replacement Kindle was still covered. Now, it’s loaded up with all my favorite apps and books. The only “problem” is my favorite game wants me to start over, rather than allow me to sign into my old game. So, I’m waiting for the company to get it sent over to my new Kindle. Yes, it’s a VERY silly game, but when you’ve been playing it for a year, who wants to have to start over? Not me.DSC_0662

My mom’s week began with starting her new job at the university, and while she got to deal with the nerves and learning the ropes, I got to enjoy the exciting side of it. Because I heard about this job through a friend of mind, and from there, she’s now working in a building where I have a lot of friends! So, I have a good reason to go visit them, in the department right across the street from where I work. For now, I’ll continue to enjoy dropping in on my mom, every day after work, until she either tells me to go away because she’s busy, or because I suddenly get busy in the fall.

But the fun stuff also bleeds over to where I work, because I can bother the grad students, asking if they met her yet, and learning even more of their names. I’ve finally begun to learn the names of the professors and staff, rather than just sticking with calling them Sir and Ma’am. You see, when the “grown-ups” come over, I never know what to call them! I’m not a student, so do I call them Doctor, Professor, or by their first name? A few of them have given me permission to use their first names, but otherwise, I’m as polite as can be, with “Yes-Sir-Ma’am-Sir-Ma’am!”.

Of course, I totally surprised her with the photos on her desk, and having her co-workers tell me about her reaction was very fun. I still do my mental victory dance, when I think about it. But I think that having those pictures will not only make her feel at home, but it surely gives people something to talk about, if they didn’t already!

As for me, and my job, nothing much has changed, aside from having even more to talk to the regulars about. Summer is very slow, so some days can be pretty dull, and we work at finding things to clean and organize. Eating lunch at 10:30am is very odd, and it usually leaves me starving, when I get home at 2:30pm. So, I’ve been experimenting not only with eating better in general, but making myself a salad after work, instead of eating dinner early.

If I eat dinner early, I’ll end up having four meals in one day… which is fine, if they’re small. But since I’ve found that I like cucumbers in salad (no one in my family likes cucumbers, except me) and I also like avocados (only 2 people in our house like those), I’ve been playing around with different salad combinations.DSC_0627

I’ve started trying a lettuce and spinach mixture, with shredded sharp cheese, avocado, cucumber, and then a bit of ranch dressing on top. I’ve never been a big fan of ranch, but I’m starting to like it with certain things, and since I’m eating a little more on the low-carb side, I can have it (everything in moderation!). I even planned to put some mini shrimps on top of it, tonight, until I realized we were out of greens. So, I’ll try it out tomorrow, and let you know if I come up with any other marvelous combinations.

Another thing that usually occurs when I get home from work is that I’m really tired and sleepy. Those two don’t always go hand-in-hand, because I know you can be tired, but not be sleepy. But lately, they just smack me upside the head, when I get home from work. That’s one reason I hadn’t been going to the gym so much lately, which I told myself wasn’t a bad thing, because I needed to rest up my foot. Which is better, by the way!

But whenever I start getting extra tired, with no good excuse, I get a little worried. I say no good excuse, because I know grad students and full-time employees that work from morning until night and they aren’t exhausted. I’m working from 8-2, and I shouldn’t be. Even with the hot weather, I should be living in the air-conditioning, and not bothered by it.

When I start getting tired like this, I worry that I’m having one of my mini mono relapses. I’m not complaining, because I’ve never had a bout with mono like some others do, where they’re flat on their back and unable to do anything. I’ve always been able to work and get about, it just makes me too tired to think or do anything, when I get home from work. Which can be frustrating, if you already think you have no life. However, I’m probably just being paranoid, and I’m not going to the doctor just to have them say I’m not sleeping enough. This too shall pass.

Bored already? I’ll skip to something else, much more interesting than me begin tired, shall I?

If you haven’t been checking my Books ’13 page lately, I’ve still been keeping up the reading pace. After readingDSC_1017-001 the entire Pellinor series, by Alison Croggon, I abandoned the fantasy books in order to read Glenn Beck’s Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns. Short and to-the-point, I had never heard of that book (and I’m not buying them this year, remember?), until my dad bought me a copy. It’s a great book, and as I’m a big fan of the 2nd amendment and have no interest in gun control, whatsoever, I think everyone should read it. But one of my co-workers DID almost have a heart attack when he saw me reading it.  : )

From there, I began to re-read one of my favorite books by L. M. Montgomery, Pat of Silver Bush. If you ever read my book posts, I won’t go onto a rant over it this time, I’ll just tell you that you NEED to read it. You may love thepat-of-silver-bush Anne series, but Judy Plum of the Pat books is probably one of the best characters that Montgomery ever wrote. She is REAL and she’s wonderful.

For some reason, when I had finished that one, rather than read the sequel, I started an e-book that had been sitting on my Kindle for forever. It was Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey Across the Life Line, by Abby Johnson. And then my Kindle Fire began to act up, and I had to stop mid-book, and wait for my new one to arrive in the mail. So, I read the sequel to my previous read, Mistress Pat, until my new Kindle arrived in the mail. Then I finished Unplanned.

I’ll admit it, once I started, I wasn’t looking forward to reading the part of the story that involved Abby Johnson’s time with Planned Parenthood. But you become caught up in all the good motives and reasons behind her joining them, and how she really wanted to help women. You could see it and feel it, on every page of the book. But more and more, she began to get her eyes opened, and realize some hard truths. However, I especially liked reading about her husband, Doug, who cared for her as a friend while she was in college, and whom she later married. Even when they disagreed on the subject of abortion, he continued to love her and stand by her, until the Lord brought her around. It’s a beautiful story.unplanned-cover1

On the musical side of things, I’ve still held to my intent of not buying any music, either. So, when I want to listen to some new music, I enjoy it on YouTube. I continue to listen to my favorite new artists from this year’s The Voice Australia, as well as a few from last year. I never get tired of hearing Karise Eden’s version of “Stay With Me Baby”, or her newest hit, “Threads of Silence”. And when I’m not listening to Kiyomi Vella or Celia Pavey, I admit to loving Robin Thicke’s performance of “Blurred Lines”, at the Voice Australia finale. He’s a bit full of himself, so I prefer to listen, rather than watch.

I think I’ll stop there for now. What have you been reading or listening to, lately? Any new changes in your life? Perhaps you have some hodge-podgey bits of your own happening? I hope everyone is well and happy in all that they’re doing! Thanks for reading along.

birthday bits-n-pieces…

Whenever anyone asked me if I had big plans for my birthday, I didn’t have anything “exciting” to tell them. In the days leading up to it, I went dress shopping with my mom, which was my birthday present. The day before, I saw some friends, and had coffee with them. And for my birthday itself? Aside from dinner and dessert, I really had no plans. DSC_0104

I admit it, I slept late, and really enjoyed checking all my FB messages on my Kindle. I don’t care if FB has to remind someone that it’s your birthday… I’m forgetful with own family’s birthdays, so how do you remember everyone else’s? Every kind message is appreciated, even if it’s early or late.DSC_0994

After enjoying my lunch at Zaxby’s, I lazed about, just a bit, trying to finish re-reading Pegasus, by Robin McKinley. Why, oh why, do we have to wait another year for the next one? But that book is even more marvelous, the second time around.DSC_0995

Finally over my lazy spell, I got down to business. While my mom was working on making chicken and dumplings, I had plans to make an Aussie pavlova. You’ll find more details in one of my next posts, because I can’t put it all in here. Working from more than one recipe and tons of advice, I was still slightly playing it by ear… but it still came out great. DSC_0062

I tried out one of my birthday dresses, a very colorful sundress, and enjoyed wearing it all day. And when I started to cook, I borrowed one of my mom’s aprons, so I would keep my dress nice and clean. I have a tendency to just wipe my hands on my jeans, when I’m cooking, normally. I know, dreadful. But aprons are made to go with dresses, even more than with shorts and jeans, wouldn’t you say?DSC_0996

My self-portraits were taken using the timer on my camera, and I had trouble getting it to focus. But I didn’t go get anyone else to take them, because I never end up getting the shot I want. I almost got it, this time, but why wouldn’t that crazy camera focus? The blurry one is my favorite one of my dress, actually, though you can’t see my face very well. And the apron shots were fun to try and get, even if the timer noise was annoying to some people.  : )  DSC_0036

But you know how every little girl loves being in a pretty dress, with ruffles, and wants to twirl, twirl, twirl? I think that feeling still lingers with any grown woman, who’s wearing a dress they love and feels pretty and feminine in it. I didn’t twirl, but I’ll admit to wanting to wriggle with excitement (just like a little kid), whenever I looked down and saw the ruffles on my skirt. DSC_0041

My friend Courtney joined us for dinner, right after I finished putting the fruit on the cake. It only occurred to me later that since we couldn’t find any candles, we never actually remembered to sing the birthday song. And before there’s any confusion, my issues with being sung to have always been in public, not with my family. So, while it didn’t bother me that we forgot, I love it when we sing it at home. DSC_0081

The dumplings, the favorite birthday dish for my baby brother and I, were delicious, as always. Courtney had never tried them, but soon learned how marvelous they are. If you’ve never had them, they are a bit like buttermilk biscuits, but slightly softer, and cooked right on top of the gravy.DSC_0085

When it was time for dessert, suffice it to say, it was a success. I had no Aussies here to tell me if it tasted right, or anything, and I know it needs to be cooked a little longer, next time. But my brother wolfed down four pieces, and he doesn’t usually overeat. DSC_0099

It was a lovely, relaxed birthday. Everyone should be able to have a party-less birthday, once in a while, just enjoying being with their family and taking it easy. Thank you again for all the birthday wishes!