The Fall Stirring

There’s something magical about the fall. Perhaps it’s the sun’s golden hue, or the sweet allure of pumpkin, or the promise of cooler temperatures (even though it currently still feels like summer). Whatever it is, it always makes my imagination feel more alive. And it always gets me in the mood to write in November, whether I actually have time to participate in NaNoWriMo or not.

This year, time isn’t on my side, and I won’t sign up to write 50,000 at the last minute. My growing belly is a good reminder that rest and satiating nesting instincts needs to come first, not writing 1,667 words a day. There will be plenty of time for that next year.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have intentions of being more intentional about writing. Lately, I’ve slacked. While much of the world slowed down earlier this year and over the summer, my job only became more busy, ensuring that teachers were equipped to roll with the punches. Now, everyone has settled into a more normal routine, and I have more time to write again. I need to take advantage of it before the sleepless nights begin.

Even though I’m not technically participating in NaNoWriMo this year, I have been enjoying their prompts on Instagram. It’s been a welcome companion for my first novel, which is ready for some structural changes. Who knows where the changes will go.

What writing projects are you working on right now? Does the fall stir your creativity too?

Happy Hobbit Day!

I didn’t mean to take the summer off of blogging, but it appears that’s what happened. The truth is, as usual, life has been busy. Between working part-time from home (which has been the norm for a few years), caring for my toddler full-time (which is also the norm), and preparing for another little one, there’s been a lot to do.

But there’s nothing like a good holiday to slow everything down, at least for a moment. And tomorrow is one of my favorites: Hobbit Day! Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday! It’s a good excuse for warm, hearty food–even though it still feels more like summer here.

While I have quite a few favorite British, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish recipes, a Hobbit Day go-to is scones. Sweet or savory doesn’t matter. Paired with dinner or a cup of tea, they feel like quintessential Hobbit food to me.

So, in honor of the holiday, here’s my go-to scone recipe. Honestly, I’m not sure where it’s originally from. It might be from one of my mom’s old cookbooks or a magazine. Or maybe I found it when I first moved out. I’ve been on my own long enough that it’s hard to remember now. But regardless, I hope you enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Scones

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or however many your heart tells you to add)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, and baking soda. Use a fork or pastry cutter to cut in butter into the flour mixture until it looks like a coarse meal.

In a small bowl, beat the egg lightly before adding the milk and vanilla to it. Pour the mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until the flour mixture is moistened.

Add the chocolate chips. Use your heart to decide the right amount.

If you don’t have a scone pan, turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut into triangles. Place the triangles on wax paper on a baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Do you celebrate Hobbit Day? What are some of your favorite UK recipes?

Nine Years Later…

It’s been just shy of 9 years since the last time I watched astronauts launch into space. I stood outside my front door, watched the Space Shuttle Atlantis go up one last time, and whispered a prayer for their safe return. When they came home, the twin sonic booms signaled the end of an era.

It’s been 7 years since I saw Atlantis up close for the first time at the Kennedy Space Center. I held my baby daughter close and told her that I used to watch it fly to space. That I used to dream of being its pilot. She must have remembered because not too long after, she began waiting anxiously for rocket launches too.

Today, I count down the minutes along with the astronauts waiting in the Crew Dragon. I watch the sky, hoping that it stays clear enough for launch and for us to see it from the same spot where I watched Atlantis almost 9 years ago. I know my daughter will be too young to remember today (or whichever day the Crew Dragon finally launches, weather permitting), but I love that I get to share this historic moment with her.

Our homemade rocket has been helping us prepare for the historic launch. I’m not as good at paper crafts as I thought I was, but my daughter likes it.