Thursday, July 31, 2014

Things that make me happy

I’m a simple kind of people and the simple things make me happy.  Here are just a few:

 I love blingy jewelry.  I try not to go overboard but some days I probably do a bit.  But I love looking down at my hands when I type and see pretty colours on my chest, fingers and wrists.  That’s probably why I’m always forgetting about earrings, I don’t see them when I type.  Today I have 2 rings on one finger, one on the other, about 7 or 8 different skinny bangles on one arm, a boyfriend watch and white wire bracelet on the other, about five or six single strand necklaces, all in various shades of blue and white and I just look so colourful.

I love folded potato chips and I love burnt chips.  Whenever I get one that’s both, I kind of just stare at if for a few moments in anticipation before crunching down on it.  There was a scene in a book I read recently, Archer’s Voice, where the heroine loved folded chips and dug them out first.  There was nothing ever said about that, but later in the book Archer, the hero had got her a bowl of chips, all of them folded.  That one short little scene just melted my heart ‘cause I could relate to her love of folded chips and for the hero to notice that – well, *soft sigh*

While still on the same subject, oozing butter tarts.  Now I hear from my sister who lives in the US that butter tarts aren’t really something you guys have there.  Oh my, what you are missing!  There are two kinds, store made/store bought and homemade.  Now the store bought ones aren’t bad, but homemade butter tarts, oh total yummers.  My mother used to make them for a special treat when we were young and talk about comfort food.  Hopefully I can find a recipe and I shall include it.  The good ones are loaded with syrup and raisins and the juice can run down your chin.  I very rarely have them as they are some of the richest foods you can eat and loaded down with calories and other bad stuff, but once in a long while(?) another soft sigh

***OK – found stuff about them.  I don’t normally do recipes here but since it’s mostly a Canadian thing and I want to share them world wide……..*****

“Butter tarts are a Canadian tradition. Waaaay back in the 1970s, a national contest here in Canada concluded that these butter tarts, originating from Wilkie's Bakery in Orillia, Ontario, were the best. I certainly think so and it's the only recipe I use. Add a sprinkle of toasted walnuts when you add the raisins, if you wish, or use only walnuts if you don't like raisins.”

Butter Tart Recipe

Pie Pastry (enough to fill 16 muffin cups, your own recipe or from a mix)

½ cup raisins

¼ cup soft butter

¼ cup packed brown sugar

1 pinch salt

½ cup corn syrup

1 egg lightly beaten

½ teaspoon vanilla

1.     Prepare muffin pans by rolling out pie dough and cutting 4-inch (approx) circles; fit dough circles into muffin cups; set aside in fridge until ready to fill.

2.     In a small bowl, place raisins and cover with hot tap water; let stand on the counter for 30 minutes.

3.     In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together the soft butter, brown sugar, salt and corn syrup; stir well until sugar is dissolved and butter is creamed.

4.     Add egg and vanilla and mix well.

5.     Drain raisins.

6.     Retrieve tart shells and divide raisins equally into all shells; then divide butter mixture into all tarts.

7.     Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes; filling will be lightly browned but still bubbling.

 Coming into work with a lot of work on my plate.  Without trying to sound too technical in talking about something no one else knows about or probably cares, we are assigned “tasks” by our Case Manager.  Since I started working in this job several years ago, we had thousands and I really do mean thousands of tasks.  The days flew by like you wouldn’t believe and I was beat daily, but all in a good way.  Then through ongoing changes and ongoing technology the number of tasks started going down.  In a matter of months I’ve gone from 300 a day to 30.  I’m used to working real fast in order to pound them all out and I KNEW I was earning my paycheck and I loved the feeling.  But now, until they change things to make up for the shortfall, the days are much longer and I have to stretch what work I do have and I don’t feel like I used to that I’m really earning my pay.  Of course it gives me time to do this so it’s not all bad.  But the odd day, I come in to a large amount of tasks again and I feel like going up and down the rows high fiving my coworkers.

Blogging again.  It was like a perfect storm that kept me away; drained after very busy day’s work, inability to get into blog and just no blogging mojo in general.  So if the stopping in blogging was a perfect storm, the return is a perfect glow after the storm.  I’m not exhausted at the end of the work day, I have time even to do this at work, my mojo came back and I’m back into the blog.  I’m thinking my mojo and job busyness are related.  I could tell it was coming back when I started doing more and more reviews at Good Reads and I knew it was back when I started putting personal stuff in the reviews and had to tell myself to stop doing that!!  Good Reads review readers didn’t care is I had a crush on a certain guy for most of my childhood life.  And I love to write.  I don’t have a novel in me – I have searched but it’s just not there – but I do love to write ABOUT novels, or about crushes, or about butter tarts or any number of things.  And I missed it and I’m glad I’m back doing it again

Freshly laundered sheets.  There’s nothing better than climbing into bed when you’ve just changed the sheets and they are still crisp and smell fresh.  It’s ever so much fun just to snuggle into them and wiggle around for a little bit.

Nighttime thunderstorms.  I love watching storms with great lightning.  Sometimes when there’s an especially heavy one going on, I turn off all the lights, open the blinds and just watch the show.  I know they can be dangerous, but they can also be beautiful.

Being given a special project at work that involves Excel just when I was anticipating a very long and boring day.  I had barely written the thunderstorm like when I got a communicator from my manager asking to see me in her office.  Naturally I thought it was something bad  - that’s just how I role.  But she wanted me to work on an interesting spread sheet.  My day just flew by after that and it will again tomorrow.  And it’s a Friday.  And a long weekend here in Canada.  That makes me very happy
'til later


azteclady said...

I love it when you write about whatever crosses your mind. I may disagree with you (not enthused about the upcoming Outlander series, for example) but I find the way your mind works really interesting.

Plus I just flat out enjoy "listening" to you talk about your every day life. You may not have a novel in you, but you do have a gift, KristieJ. Thank you for sharing it with us.

~ames~ said...

Hi Kristie!!

So glad to see you blogging again, I missed you!

And yes to butter tarts! Me and my mom love them sooo much.

Brandy said...

Never heard of butter tarts. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I have to agree with you about freshly laundered sheets. That ahhhhh feeling when you've finished everything for the evening and can rest. Your "tone" is just so vibrant and happy. I truly appreciate reading your posts and are so happy you're posting again!

Kristie (J) said...

AL - my poor mind never lets me rest. And it was really getting tough not being able to let it out in the blog. Mind you it did rest when I was so busy at work - but once the work started drying up, the mind reactivated. And *blushing* thank you.

Ames: Aren't butter tarts just the best thing? I'm headed out to a weeks vacation at an island in a couple of weeks and they have this bake shop that has THE BEST BUTTER TARTS IN THE WORLD. Talk about butter tart ooooooooooze. I can hardly wait to get some. I just wish I could hand them out to everyone whose never tried one before. And I'm glad to be back too. I missed everyone so much too - but just didn't have the energy.

Brandy - you simply MUST give them a try. I think they should be declared a Canadian National Treasure they are THAT good. And YES to the feeling when the housework is done and you know you can sit down and do whatever you want to do. Of course with me, I'm so bad and do whatever I want to whether the housework is done or not - but it feels especially good when it is. I get up in the morning and look around with childish wonder in my eyes, knowing it's clean.