Entry No. 56

FullSizeRenderThere’s a strange wistfulness in used bookstores I just can’t resist nor put my finger on. The particular scent of ink, years and paper, that no one’s ever managed to tame into a bottle, it hits me soon as I walk in the door. I’ll stand quietly in a volume-stuffed corner, my eyes taking in author’s names; the story-tellers, secret-keepers, fact-finders, private-weepers… My vision deftly sweeps over title after title.  Each bravely telling a thousand words with lonely few, trusting me to judge, with a glimpse, the entirety of what resides within two covers.

I’ve learned to open books so carefully, as each turn of page is like looking through cracks around the door into another’s soul. Mentally rummaging, I wonder where a book has been, whose dog-eared the pages, spilled coffee, fallen asleep with their nose in a chapter as I feel its weight, then its spine give way, cradled in my palms.

But more than anything, I consider the stories, the memories, the lies, the truth; things so long past, yet locked onto paper, in words for someone else to discover.  The curiosity to know what someone else has felt, thought and known before just never tires, nor the mystery of what I’ll find pressed between end and beginning.

Briefly, I’ll peek over my glasses, you know and see the quirky, quiet types milling about silently. Fancy coffee or thermos in hand, all seriousness yet never completely put together, something small yet significant always askew. They’ll look stunned when randomly spoken to and there’s an unspoken, knowing glance every newcomer receives when entering an occupied aisle.

So this day, I glanced down at my own fancy coffee, matching accessories and slid my glasses back up my nose for the umpteenth time. It was then I smirked at the empty place where a large, silver button’s been missing on my plaid coat for months. I bought a book, denied a bag, took a nice deep breath of that “something” in the air and left with a new journey tucked gently under one arm.

It’s always the same, hunting for that new, old bit of time standing still on pages. The bookshop people don’t change much, just the faces and perhaps the particular whiff of coffee I’ll catch in passing.  It’s rather nice, fitting in with the delightfully strange.

There’s a peculiar wonder in always finding a new way to fall in love with the same old thing all over again.  Also, I seriously don’t seem to own the indifference to pass a used bookshop without stepping inside. I hope they never manage to bottle that smell we’ll wander in for. Some things are just better left to ink and years and paper.

#bookstores #books #mystery #delightfullystrange

Entry No. 50

FullSizeRenderI’ve grown to adore hot water bottles.  My grandmother gave me one as a tween, a time when I had a horrible case of the Flu.  I remember looking up at her confused {it wasn’t the fever} and asking what to do with it.  I gingerly held the nearly too-hot-to-touch, rubber bottle in my hands. She said you sleep with it, it’s supposed to make you feel better.  I’m guessing I still looked a little lost as, she shrugged her shoulders and left the room.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 10.59.41 AMSee, I’d grown up using heating pads, electric blankets… The hot rubber bottle full of water was just strange to me.  Not any longer. The electric stuff, it’s great and serves it purpose but just cannot do what a Hot Water Bottle can. Heating pads are stiff, for the most part, require electricity and don’t make that special sing-song sound of water sloshing gently on the inside.  Wrap the Hot Water Bottle {it’s called a Hottie in many other countries} in a soft cover and the comfort is complete.  The cover serves to keep the bottle hotter longer and keep the hot rubber from touching tender skin.  Call me old-fashioned, but I’d prefer a little football of warmth beneath my covers to a heating pad any day.

I’ve begun selling these covers in my Etsy shop {see them here} and sew them in my studio, upstairs in my home.  Hot Water Bottles can be purchased at Walgreens, CVS, and on Amazon.  My favorite brand is German-made; Fashy.  To fill and cover your bottle, open the cozy and bend back the top of the cover.  Slip the bottom of the empty bottle into the bottom of the cover.  Fill the bottle according to your particular bottle’s instructions, close the bottle and slip the top of the cozy over the bottle.  Cuddle. It’s that easy.  Soothing, comforting, therapeutic – amazing.

Visit My Etsy Shop: Heart of Wonder

Entry No. 49

Nana’s Potato Pancakes

Everyone in my home loves to eat Nana’s Potato Pancakes.  They’re easy to make and I have several fond memories of my grandmother cooking up a batch of these.  Usually, she’d make them after holiday dinner company had come and gone, leaving a few servings of mashed potatoes behind.  In this photo, I used about a cup of leftover mashed potatoes. They were garlic Parmesan flavor with a bit of mayo added.  Anyway, I added one egg to the cold potatoes and enough flour to give the potatoes a semi-thick, pancake batter consistency.  I browned them over medium heat with a bit of butter.  They take much longer than regular pancakes to cook fully and are not as forgiving if you flip them too soon; so worth the extra effort though. Serve them with a side of applesauce and you’ve got a delicious brunch or savory breakfast from yesteryear.