Wednesday, November 1, 2017

On Making Excuses, the Joys of Cozy + My Blueberry Scone Recipe

Well hello, friends!

My plans were to jump right into a little series on emotional health, but for some reason it's not coming together.  I can dream up some excuses, but the stark truth is that just like you can't hurry love, you can't force imagining, creating, writing.  Any good thing of value must flow from a place of unhindered freedom, not cobbled together from some kind of calendar notation or mandated to-do list.

Later.  We'll do it later.  Promise.





I'm shaking my head at November's reality.  The heat kicking on this morning reminds me that summer is long gone, that the holidays {gasp!} aren't all that far away.  You might not be ready to go there, but I do have one essential question for you to consider before we start galloping into that frenetic pace and it's right here.

Meanwhile, a glance at the unmade bed with its flannel sheets and electric blanket, the toasty slippers on my feet, and my dad's old fleece bathrobe wrapped tight all serve to remind me that chill has descended.  Tucked away are the beloved flip flops, tee-shirts, and shorts.  Last night I donned a fuzzy purple scarf as we headed out the door.  The fleece vests are already getting a workout and the gloves aren't far behind.








Every season has its own winsome pleasures.  Yummy stews and sauces and pot roasts simmer all day in the crockpot.  Candles sparkle in the windows at dusk, throws and quilts land on every chair, piles of magazines await in the big old turquoise enamelware bucket, and the living room rug's been unfurled yet once again.

Cozy has become the name of the game.

The fire pit we ordered will be arriving any day now.  We'll be sitting outside close together with great mugs of steaming hot cocoa in hand {extra whipped cream for me, two marshmallows for him} as we burn the huge pile of old cedar shingles he tore down when re-siding the garage.

If I get especially motivated, I'll head to the kitchen to bake a batch of blueberry scones to keep that hot cocoa company.  Check out this favorite recipe right here.




I do believe that winter's right around the bend.  And much to my surprise, I'm embracing it all.






P.S.
This year's 3rd Stocking Stuffer Giveaway is coming up, along with that Emotional Health series!  Help me get going on that by letting me know what you need to read either in your comments or via lindastoll@juno.com.  And thanks to those who've already done so.  Be sure to subscribe here so you won't miss out!


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Better late than never
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29 comments:

  1. It's definitely the time of year for coziness, Linda. I might be odd, but I love the cooler weather fall and winter bring. Of course, living in Georgia, our winters are a lot milder than where you live, so being outside is pleasant most of the time. Enjoy the hot cocoa and scones!
    Blessings!

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    1. Georgia in the fall ... sounds lovely, Martha.

      I love the start of each and every season ... it's being held hostage in the middle of an endless one that leaves me yearning for the next.

      Thanks for your company today, friend ...

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  2. Love your photos and the coziness you convey in your writing too. Yes our heat is on too. UGH. But you helped me pause and be thankful for the wonderful things this time of year brings too. Thank you

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  3. First of all, I think you and I not only have a similar mindset this holiday season, Linda, but our love for antiques, vintage and turquoise blue is in sync as well. In fact, I just finished painting my door a color so very similar to your front door that it's "scary" how much we're alike! Ha! The only difference is, I'll be adding an antiqued finish to my door once this cold snap moves past (supposed to warm up around here for a few days). And I absolutely love collecting and displaying old blue glass bottles of every kind too, which makes your mantle so pleasing to my blue-crazy eyes! ha!

    Yes, I want to join you in slowing my pace so that I can really soak up all that this time of year has to offer--chief among them, my joy over Christ's coming to earth in a manger! Thanks for always anchoring us to what really matters in life. (And sadly, that means none of those cute blue touches you and I have in our homes!) Love ya, my friend!

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    1. An antiqued finish, huh? Mmmm ... I might be interested in copying you on that, friend! Keep me posted, ok?

      And I want to give a big shout out to you as you let your beloved Tuesday night link up go. I can imagine this was a difficult choice, but it sounds like you did what you needed to do in this season.

      Everything changes, including what we do with our blogs, how much time we invest, how we connect with our readers. I hope you find yourself feeling free and unencumbered as you move ahead.

      Bless you, girl ...

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  4. I was thinking, as I put away my warm weather clothes ad got out the cold weather ones, that I like the former so much better - the lighter look and feel of the fabrics - so I always hate putting them away. But the winter ones are definitely cozy and much needed. I also like getting back to oven meals that I haven't made since last winter because I don't dare turn on the oven for an hour in the summer, even with AC.

    Your other post asked what was essential and what was definitely out for the holidays. The only real essential is remembering and commemorating the birth of Christ, not just the birth of a sweet baby in a stable, but remembering why He came and what He would do for us, and letting His peace and forgiveness rule in our hearts. Everything else is extra, but nice extras, especially the ones that reach out to others. As was said in the other post and comments, we need God's discernment for what to allow and what to set aside, and that will look different for every family. If traditions feel stressful and weighty rather than giving joy, they've outlived their usefulness. (Of course, sometimes the joy comes after a stressful preparation). I still love to send out Christmas cards and letters, though more people seem to be dropping it every year. There was one year we just didn't get to Christmas cookies - it just got lost in the shuffle of things to do. But no one seemed to miss it, so we didn't make them for years. We've just started back up the last few years - with the kids grown, our schedule has lightened up a good bit in the program and recital department, so that gives us some more time. We have never been into Christmas caroling personally, unless it was with a church or school group, but I know a lot of people enjoy that.

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    1. I love your long, reflective additions to the conversations around here, Barbara. I feel like we've got our feet up together over a couple cups of tea, talking about what's on our hearts.

      You bring such a down-home feel to the comment section and I so appreciate you doing community with me here.

      And I so agree with you ... traditions that feel weighty and stressful need to be let go. That's true for Christmas ... and other must-do's we've gathered around ourselves along the way.

      God is always trying to do a new thing in our lives, isn't He. The more unnecessaries we can release, the more open we can be to what He has next for us.

      And what might we have missed along the way because we were too absorbed in what was ...

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  5. We had been surprisingly warm weather for this time of the year until the past week or so. Then this morning I walked outside and drove to the office in snow showers! November 1. Are you serious? But that's life in Indiana. And it's a life I embrace.

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  6. Should I even tell you I'm wearing flip-flops now? ;) I've been wanting to try making scones and since I have some blueberries in the fridge this might be the time to give it a try with your recipe. They're good in any season!

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    1. You'll love them! Promise! So much easier than making biscuits {no rolling pin} or muffins {no paper cups}.

      Please let me know how they turn out, Debby! Wish we lived closer so I could join you at your table ...

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  7. Applauding your photography skills, My Friend! SO INVITING!
    Blessings!

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    1. You're kind, Lulu. I do love when a shot captures the essence of something I want to hold on to ...

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  8. Both your photos and your words make me feel cozy, Linda. I really love that pillow and quilt. :) Such a good question to ask ourselves - "What is essential?" Not only in the busy time of year, but every day. Those scones look yummy! Love and hugs to you!

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    1. My friend Debby just wrote about this very topic today

      https://debbyhudson.com/2017/11/03/12574/

      I love that we're talking about this question. And you make a very fine point, Trudy ... this is a year round query.

      ;-}

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  9. Hi Linda. I always love the seasonal glimpses you share. Just looking at the multi-patterned quilt on your couch, and the orange mixed with blue on your mantel, makes me feel cozier. Blessings to you, friend!

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    1. You helped me view the mental with new eyes, Sarah ... yeah, I DO like that orange and blue together!

      Thanks for noticing!

      ;-}

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  10. You're my soul sister with the writing plans. Thank you for giving yourself the freedom to let the work create itself and for setting an example for us all. That's a gift, friend.

    What's essential? Good question that I'm going to spend some time pondering for this season. Thank you for the challenge.

    And, thanks for sharing the yummy recipe! ((xoxo))

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    1. Along the way I've learned to pay attention to how I was feeling about blogging. I grew to find scheduled posts and required visits and specific days to be weighty.

      These days I write when I have something to say. Even if it's not on the most popular day to publish.

      Seems to be working ...

      ;-}

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  11. I'm looking forward to your emotional health series, Linda! But I completely agree something like that should never be forced to meet a calendar deadline.
    I'm so not ready for Winter and cold weather, although I am excited about decorating for Christmas this year. The tree is actually coming out this weekend. I didn't decorate at all last year because my daughter was about to move far away and I wasn't fully functioning properly. Anyway, she will be home for Christmas so I may go a little crazy.
    How exciting you're getting a fire pit! I love them. I wish I could join you with a cup of hot chocolate (or hot tea ;) ) sometime. That would be a wonderful experience!

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    1. Oh, Candace, I LOVE a tree that's up for more than 2.5 weeks! How wonderful to have your daughter home this year. I remember how difficult it was for you to say 'good-bye.'

      Go a little crazy? Absolutely!

      Enjoy ...

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  12. Thanks for the recipe, friend! Your first paragraph is spot on! And "dad's old fleece bathrobe" has me all choked up. I dreamt about my dad last night and I'm still feeling rather melancholy. Embracing the season with you, Linda! and looking forward to your future posts, all in good time, whatever they may be :)

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    1. Oh, June, those dreams bring back all those emotions that seem to have disappeared during the busyness of our daily routines.

      As I've thought of my dad this weekend, I've been thinking of you and yours, too, friend ...

      Comfort and peace.

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  13. It is that time of year, for warmer clothes, cozy times, and to begin to prepare for the holidays! Those blueberry scones look so delicious! Scones are a perfect accompaniment for hot tea or cocoa! Burning in your new fire pit will be lovely! May the Lord bless your writing, as He inspires, we all know His timeclock never works on ours! Hugs to you today :)

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    1. The firepit has arrived. Can't wait to hang out outside with my man in the cold ...

      Brrr!

      And amen to your wise words about God's timeclock! He's never late or early, is He ...

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  14. Cozy it is. That looks so inviting.

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda