It Is What It Is

Some would say I lead a charmed life. I have a wonderful husband, who works hard and makes enough money to keep us comfortable, and so that I don’t have to work outside the house. I work at home, generally at my leisure, and spend the remainder either reading, baking, or catching up on some tv.

I’m not one for hiding behind facades. I’d rather tell someone what’s going on so they can understand it, rather than pretend I have a perfect life. Because it’s not. I have anxiety. General and social. Sometimes one is worse than the other and it makes it very hard for me to do the things that I’d like to do. Even something as simple as going to the theater, is an issue for me.

I remember when I was a kid, when we had big family get-togethers at my grandma and grandpa’s house, (and we had a big family!), I would always go hide somewhere to get away from everyone. It’s a coping mechanism that I still use today. Back then I didn’t know that it was social anxiety causing it. Up until a year or so ago I had no idea what anxiety even was really.

It wasn’t until I started reading The Bloggess that I finally realised what was going on. I was like “Hey! I have that! I don’t feel so weird. Maybe I’m not just anti-social!” It was a revelation that I was finally able to put a word to what I was feeling.

About a year or so ago it started to escalate and get steadily worse. I didn’t want to leave my house, be around family or friends, or do anything at all really, other than stay home and read or cook. I’m basically a shut in. It’s always been manageable as long as I don’t do anything out of my comfort zone, and I try very hard to stay within those confines.

Lately, not so much. This month, we had plans to go to a concert, one that I had been looking forward to for months, and when it came down to it, I just couldn’t do it. It was crippling. I had never experienced an anxiety attack like that before, where I made myself physically sick, and was barely able to walk from the car to a building. I knew it was completely irrational, not to mention embarrassing, but I was helpless to avoid it. Something that was supposed to be so fun was completely terrifying to me for no real reason.

I’ve decided to go see my doctor about it, because clearly, the way I’d been dealing with it before is just not working anymore. I’m hoping he’s not going to be one of those doctors that says “If you think positive thoughts, it will all go away.” Ha!

Until then I intend to try to avoid things that will cause any anxiety. Thankfully, there’s a new tv season coming up, which means lots of new shows to record and catch up on! That should keep me busy.

 

Grandma’s Cinnamon Buns

When I was a kid, I loved going to my Grandma’s house. I had the best Grandma ever. She was everything a Grandma should be, soft and warm and perfect for cuddling, she was constantly cooking/baking, and her house was constantly permeated with the smell of yeast and rising dough.

She would always have some sort of treat for us, whether it was curly buns, tarts of all kinds, if the Cheese Wolf had come, or even cinnamon buns. Cinnamon buns were my favourite, and Grandma’s were the best.

After I got married and moved into my own home I started baking. Grandma’s cinnamon buns were always a scary thought to try to reproduce, but try I did. And failed. Miserably. I swore I’d never make them again! Then I did. And failed again. It took me four tries to get the hang of it and get them perfect. It wasn’t easy, and I don’t take failure well.

Grandma’s cinnamon buns are like her, soft and sweet, and a bit crusty around the edges. They’re sticky and buttery, and full of perfumey cinnamon. A perfect combination of deliciousness.

Friday 5

Welcome to this week’s Friday 5, Super.

  1. There are superheroes named Superman, Superfly, and Supergirl. Based on your performance this past week in whatever you do, what would have been your Super_____ name? Super Waxer?
  2. This week, what has been superterrific and what has been superlame? Superterrific would be, my cooking this week, superlame would be, Steve working all week-long.
  3. Which of Superman’s abilities would have been the most useful this week? His super speed.
  4. What do you most expect will be super this weekend? Not much, unfortunately.
  5. What are your thoughts this week about the coming Super Bowl? Meh.

Thanks for participating, and have a nice weekend! See what I did there?

Delicious

I forgot how much fun working with Phyllo pastry was. A while ago I found this recipe, while looking at Martha Stewart online, and thought it looked so delicious! So I set out and bought the ingredients for them.

Sadly I didn’t get to making them right away and part of the ingredients turned. A second attempt and I finally got to making them today. I omitted the egg yolks, merely because I didn’t have enough and didn’t think they’d keep that well if I didn’t get to them all right away, which I’m sure I won’t.

But wow! Delicious they are! The creaminess of the ricotta, with the sharpness of the feta, combined with the buttery phyllo and yummy spinach, equals pure win.

The best part? They not only taste good, but they’re beautiful to look at. Don’t you think?

Um…Yeah.

While browsing one day, I came across this recipe and thought it looked so good, and simple that I would attempt to make it. I had everything it needed except the cloves, which I procured from Mama Twi-Whore. So happily, I set up to make them.

After I made the filling and refrigerated it over night, I went ahead and divided them up into little balls. They were really soft so using spoons, I sort of shaped them into the closest thing I could that resembled balls. Into the freezer they went for a few hours to harden up. Four hours later they were still soft. Wtf? Whatever, I just wanted to get these things done. So I melted the dark chocolate to cover the middles and began to attempt to remove them from the wax paper lined pan. Why the fuck are they so sticky? Using a fork I scooped them up and into the bowl, covered them with chocolate, shook off the excess and stuck them on clean wax paper, and topped with sprinkles so they looked festive.

About 5 or 6 truffles in, the chocolate started to harden and get thicker so I returned it to the heat and melted it a bit. Why has no one ever told me that re-melting chocolate doesn’t work? All it did was make it hotter and melted the insides of the truffles, so that when I scraped off the excess, the middle stuck to the fork and therefore, the wax paper.

Being about half way through making the little shit balls, I decided to say screw it and throw the rest out. Now, I have festive little balls of shit, which look about as appetizing as lancing a cyst, sitting in my fridge, just waiting for someone to say, “Oh! Truffles! … Nevermind.”

I’ll stick to buying them thanks.

The good

 

The bad

 

The what the fuck?

I’m Dreaming Of…

Everyone knows I love Christmas. It’s my favourite holiday and time of year, and I’m a self-admitted “Christmas Whore”. Two weeks ago I put up my Christmas tree, not feeling Christmasey but doing it anyways, to get it done and put Austin in a better mood seeing as I was babysitting him. It took me three hours just to put up the upstairs tree and decorate it. A few days earlier I put the downstairs “fun” tree up as well. It was exciting but a big stretch for me to have a “fun” tree. It has colored and blinking lights, as well as our “special” ornaments that are all different colors. To fill it out I bought plain silver balls in different sizes. This is the first time in my life that I’ve had a tree with colored lights, and while it’s fun to have, I have to say I love my white/clear ones upstairs best.

I stuck with the same colors this year upstairs, keeping with moss-green, brown, and orange, with dashes of white and silver to brighten things up. Snowflakes are the main theme, and I have a few touches of feathers thrown in too to add texture. I haven’t gotten around to taking pictures of everything yet, not really feeling like I need to this year, because everything’s pretty much the same as last year, only more spread out from the larger house. I have been playing around with the lights and bokeh though, and have gotten a few good shots.

This year is especially exciting because I’m having Christmas Day at our house. No packing gifts and food up to bring to other houses, no being uncomfortable after dinner cause you forgot your “comfy pants”, no worrying you drank too much to drive home. This year we can sit around and not go anywhere. It may be a lot of work with all of the cooking and cleaning, but I get to do Christmas my way. We’re doing what my family does at Christmas (other than the fighting hopefully), a large breakfast, snacks all day, and ham and scalloped potatoes for dinner around 6:00.

As it gets closer to Christmas and the snow starts falling, shopping is getting done, and preparations are in order, I’m starting to feel it more. The songs, the lights, the smells, and the events that this time of year brings around all help to make me feel Christmasey. And even though I hate the snow and cold, I’m still caught dreaming of a white Christmas.