Music Monday | 3 Doors Down

Wow! I cannot believe that November is almost at an end. That means this will be the last #MusicMonday song courtesy of my personal shuffle list on Pandora. :D

This week’s random pick is “Kryptonite,” a song by the American rock band 3 Doors Down.

Released in 2000, this song hit the #3 spot on the US Billboard Hot 100.

 

“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”
― Confucius, The Book of Rites

I apologize for the short post. I know I’ve been a little absent this month but I hope to make it up to y’all in December! :)

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Have a great Monday, everyone! <3

Iced Pumpkin Spice Cookies

I love November! It is the perfect month for baking! And I love to bake! Nearly as much as I enjoy eating the sweet treats of my labor. I simply cannot resist the opportunity to bake anything that contains my favorite spice, cinnamon—add in a little nutmeg and cloves, and I’m on cloud nine! So imagine my utter delight in discovering a delectable cookie recipe that combines all three: cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. :)

Iced Pumpkin Spice Cookies! These cookies really are to die for. Combined with a steaming cup of black coffee, it makes for a perfect November treat!

I baked up a batch of these cookies yesterday morning as my 3-year-old granddaughter was visiting. As I pulled the first pan of cookies from the oven, she walked into the kitchen, breathed deeply, and said, “Hmmm, grandma, those smell soooo good!” :D There is no higher praise in my estimation! <3

Iced Pumpkin Spice Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1-teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients.

Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls (not teaspoonfuls as normally suggested); flatten slightly.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

This recipe makes approximately 2 dozen scrumptious cookies.
Enjoy! :D

Featured image and recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com

Music Monday | a-ha

Next up for November’s #MusicMonday shuffle is the Norwegian band a-ha, and their 1985 hit song “Take on Me”. A catchy tune, combined with a clever music video that ran incessantly on MTV, this particular song won a-ha a handful of awards at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards, as well as a nomination for Favorite Pop/Rock Video at the 13th American Music Awards.

I really hate to admit to ever liking 80’s technopop, buuut there’s a reason why it popped up in my Pandora shuffle! :D

 

“Music cleanses the understanding, inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself.”
Henry Ward Beecher—Sermons, “Plymouth Pulpit,” Second Series: The Right and the Wrong Way of Giving Pleasure.

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Wishing all of you a wonderful start to your new week! <3

Music Monday | Don McLean

I missed last week’s #MusicMonday as I was feeling quite under the weather. Nevertheless, here we are, ushering in another new Monday—a new week full of new possibilities!

I’ve decided for the month of November to take the easy way out and set my Pandora Radio on shuffle and see what musical selection it serves up for me to share!

This week’s song is “American Pie” by American singer-songwriter Don McLean. A great song, from the third “adult” album I ever bought as a tweenager in the early 1970s. (In case you’re interested, the first “real” album I owned was Jim Croce’s début album, and album #2 was The 5th Dimension’sThe Age of Aquarius, :D )

While McLean has steadfastly refused to discuss the meaning behind the lyrics for “American Pie,”  I’ve chosen to share a music video that interprets the many pop culture references found throughout the song —although, I must warn you, you’ll have to be willing to overlook many typos! :)

 

“Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.”
― Frank Zappa, Real Frank Zappa Book

 

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Enjoy the music and have a wonderful week, everyone! <3

Weekly Photo Challenge: Minimalist | Hermie Doodle Dee

 

Hermie2

She was no more than eight weeks old when she, and her six rambunctious brothers, were abandoned. Discarded like nothing more than ordinary trash. Taken from her mother and dumped in the desert in what I suspect was a trash bag—from her lifelong loathing of plastic bags—she and her siblings had been left to suffer and die.

I happened upon this group of seven Lab/Pittie mixes on a mid-October morning during my morning walk through the desert. After an intense search for the owner of the puppies, I sadly learned from a neighboring woman that she had personally seen them wandering the road behind ours for about a week.

“They’ve been runnin’ around here for a week now, at least that’s how long I’ve seen em’ anyway. Don’t think they belong to anyone around here either. I talked to…” she pointed to a nearby house and mumbles a name I didn’t quite catch… “and he said he didn’t know where they came from either. Damn people just dumpin’ animals in the desert like this!”

I shook my head, more than slightly disgusted, “Well then,” I responded sadly, “I guess I’m going to have to gather them all up and take them to the shelter. It’s better than having them suffer and die out here.”

She nodded her head in agreement, “Yeah, that’s a good idea. I’m surprised they’ve lasted out here this long!”

I wondered, had no one else considered that it would be the right thing to do to take a litter of defenseless puppies to the shelter. Where at least they would receive food, water, shelter, and perhaps a chance to be adopted into a loving home? Evidently, for far too many people, this was considered either not their problem, or too much work! The responsibility, it seemed, had fallen upon me. With a heavy heart, I rounded up the puppies, put them in my truck, and headed to the shelter.

Once there, I explained the entire sad story to the women behind the counter. Together we went out, grabbed armfuls of puppies out of the truck, and brought them into the shelter. End of story. I hoped for the best.

I walked back to my truck, my heart breaking for the sweet little puppies I was forced to leave behind to who knows what fate, when I noticed her. Hiding in the corner of the truck bed was one last, little, black ball of fur. The only female of the litter, she had been frightened, cowering in the corner, and she was determined to stay put. I knew immediately that this one was coming right back home with me. She had stolen my heart!

And this is where Hermie’s story began.

She was named after Hermione Granger, the strong, intelligent, character from the series of Harry Potter novels. The Doodle Dee came later. I would sing to her that she was a “Hermie Doodle Dandy” in the tune of Yankee Doodle. Our little tune went like this:

♪ ♫ “Hermie Doodle went to town/A-riding on a turtle/Stuck a milkbone in her cap/And called it macaroni’.” ♪ ♫
♪ ♫ “Hermie Doodle, keep it up/Hermie Doodle dandy/Mind the music and the step/And with the kitties be handy.” ♪ ♫

…and Doodle just stuck. Sometimes the lyrics changed, but the words never mattered, it was me singing to her that brought her great joy. Then one day, for good measure, one of us added Dee. In the end, she was a doggie of many names. If we said Hermie, Doodle, Doo, or Dee, she knew we were talking to her, because she was the one and only, Hermie Doodle Dee!

Hermie had an irrepressible passion for life. Running through the desert, chasing birds, jackrabbits, and lizards, were her happiest moments. Diving through mud puddles and lounging in her little plastic pool on hot summer days brought her the greatest joy. She loved chasing her basketball and Frisbee, but never quite understood the concept of bringing it back to us. Once the ball or Frisbee was thrown, the chase was on! She would become a 105-pound locomotive, bearing down on the pitcher, coming within inches of them at full speed, daring them to try to take it back from her.

She wasn’t always a good girl though. She was a loner and didn’t like strangers very much. She loved her big sister, Nikki, in spite of the fact that she was a cat. She tolerated bigger dogs, but loathed small dogs, especially Chihuahuas. Nevertheless, her few idiosyncrasies never outweighed her wonderful qualities.

When the small spots of blood appeared on the patio, I knew it wasn’t good. A treatment of antibiotics seemed to help somewhat, but then the results came back. The vet said that her white blood cell count was way too high, indicative of leukemia. I didn’t really hear much of anything after that, the only thing my brain seemed to register was the word cancer… cancer … cancer… goddamnit. Cancer.

It happened so fast. I thought that we would have had so much more time. Her condition deteriorated rapidly. First, she lost interest in eating. Then her eyesight began to fail. Then she could no longer control her bodily functions. Five years young and she was dying, and suffering. I couldn’t stop the dying, but I could relieve her suffering.

I called the vet and made the arrangements.

“Come on Doo. Let’s go, sweetie.”

I helped her up into the car; with her eyesight nearly gone now, she needed help. Her spirits seemed to rise as we took that last ride. Once there, I paid the extra fees to stay with her in her last moments. Somehow, I think she knew, as she rested her big, black head on my arm that this was goodbye.

“It’s okay, Doo. I’m right here.”

She was tired of fighting. She’d had enough. Stroking her gently, I whispered, “I love you Hermie Doodle.”

Her big brown eyes closed quickly after the injection. Much faster than I had expected, she was gone.

She’s been gone now for as long as she was alive. Five years was far too short to share with her, yet in her brief life, she left an indelible mark on my own. I will forever cherish the unconditional love she shared.

While someone, somewhere had thought that she had been no more than ordinary trash, they had been terribly mistaken. She was my loving, loyal, Hermie Doodle Dee!

 

Posted in response to this week’s Daily Post Weekly Photo Challege: Minimalist. “In this week’s challenge, show us your minimalist photos. Find an interesting texture, color, or silhouette.”

 

Celebrating Poetry | Lizette Woodworth Reese

All Hallows Night
by Lizette Woodworth Reese, American poet (1856 – 1935)

Two things I did on Hallows Night:—
Made my house April-clear;
Left open wide my door
To the ghosts of the year.

Then one came in. Across the room
It stood up long and fair—
The ghost that was myself—
And gave me stare for stare.

 

Featured Image: Ghostly reflection in the mirror – I 
Credit: zorani via Getty Images

Celebrating Poetry | Robert Herrick

The Hag
by Robert Herrick, English poet and cleric (1591–1674)

The Hag is astride,
This night for to ride;
The Devill and shee together:
Through thick, and through thin,
Now out, and then in,
Though ne’r so foule be the weather.

A Thorn or a Burr
She takes for a Spurre:
With a lash of a Bramble she rides now,
Through Brakes and through Bryars,
O’re Ditches, and Mires,
She followes the Spirit that guides now.

No Beast, for his food,
Dares now range the wood;
But husht in his laire he lies lurking:
While mischiefs, by these,
On Land and on Seas,
At noone of Night are working,

The storme will arise,
And trouble the skies;
This night, and more for the wonder,
The ghost from the Tomb
Affrighted shall come,
Cal’d out by the clap of the Thunder.

 

Featured Image

I am not, in fact, Wonder Woman

It is with great disappointment that I must tell all of you following the weekly story, Machinations of War, that I am unable to deliver Chapter 17 this week as promised. It truly weighs heavily on me, as I know there are a handful of you who have been faithfully following this series that my son, Alexander over at Riding into the Sunrise, and I, have been writing.

I haven’t been feeling well for the past few weeks and after an unexpected trip to the emergency room last Saturday night I learned to my great disappointment that I am not, in fact, Wonder Woman. :(

Between taking two different antibiotics, which have left me feeling woozy and muddled, plus upcoming trips to several different specialists over the next few days, I’m not sure that I will be able to find the time, nor energy, to write this chapter in the upcoming week either.

Since Alexander has decided to take part in November’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) we have decided that perhaps it would be best to simply put Machinations of War on hiatus until December. This will allow me the time to heal, and him the opportunity to challenge his novel-writing skills.

For those of you who follow the story, I hope that you will check back with us on December 3rd for our continuing saga.

I hope to be able to continue my #MusicMonday and create other worthwhile posts—but on a positive note—if I’m not writing, at least I’ll have more opportunity to read all the wonderful posts all of you share! ;)

Wishing all of you a wonderful Wednesday! <3

Celebrating Poetry | William Shakespeare

Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I
by William Shakespeare, English poet, playwright, and actor (1564–1616)

A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.
Thunder. Enter the three Witches

Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.

Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.

Harpier cries ‘Tis time, ’tis time.

Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights hast thirty one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

 

Featured Image: Henry Fuseli, Swiss painter and writer (1741 – 1825) The Weird Sisters or The Three Witches, 1783 via Wikimedia Commons