Sunday, January 24, 2016

Unexpected Pleasures

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There is a quiet pleasure in doing something simply and absolutely because it brings you joy.


A huge winter storm, locally dubbed Snowzilla, has smothered my corner of  Virginia in 3 feet of snow and closed area schools, giving me several work-free days. So I decided to indulge myself by doing all the non-gardening, stuck-at-home things I love.



Oatmeal coconut chocolate chunk cookies


Fluffy blueberry scones for my snow blowing neighbor

I baked, cooked, and baked some more,



wore pajamas all day and 
laid on the couch by the fire and read,


and shook my booty to
music music  music.



There's a garden under there somewhere....

81 comments:

  1. That's the way to do it. Your Scone's look delightful!

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  2. Sounds absolutely lovely!!! So glad you were able to kick back and do some fun things just for you in your pretty space! Loved the music picks too buddy! Happy week and stay warm! Nicole xoxo

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  3. The perfect way to turn a less than perfect day into a brilliant day. PJs all day YES! a rare luxury.

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    1. We've already had three snow days from this storm along with an extra day off last Thursday because of icy conditions but it looks like we'll have a few more snow days ahead of us because plowing out all the schools is such a huge task. Woo hoo!!

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  4. Unexpected pleasures are the best! You deserve a break. And you know how I feel about your scones!

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    1. I wish you lived close enough to come over and enjoy one!

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  5. I can almost smell the cookies! We had about 30" of snow here.

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    1. Our amounts of snow varied but 30 - 36 inches was the average in my area. My neighbor had a drift over 4 ft!

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  6. I thought of you when I heard how much snow Virginia got on the news this morning. It sounds like you made absolutely splendid use of the troublesome weather. And yum! - your baked goods look wonderful.

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    1. Thanks! We're still off from the storm and I've been sleeping in every day!

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  7. Looks like a lot of fun!! Your baking sure looks delicious!! Thank goodness for neighbours with snow blowers, strangely enough nobody on our block has one. Luv your music picks, we all gotta shake our booties more regularly!!

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    1. Shaking your booty is important! Snowblowers were a life saver with this storm. :o)

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  8. Sometimes being stuck at home yields unexpected pleasures. Looks like you've had a great time! (Drooling.) Do you have to make these days up at the end of the school year?

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    1. Nope! We have 13 days built in. I heard that if the governor declares a state a disaster, as he did for VA, then any snow days don't count against us but I'm not sure if that's true or not.

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  9. Oh, my gosh! A lot of snow...Here in North we have no such amount of snow. Yesterday I was shoveling and it was thin layer of snow only. I hope your plants wi;; survive Tammy.
    Delicious blueberry scones!

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    1. The snow will insulate my garden against the cold temps and keep it well watered. I'd rather have snow than extra cold temperatures that heaves my plants out of the soil when it warms and then cools again. I lost several plants to heaving the last couple of years. It was really frustrating.

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  10. I can't believe that I am about to type this: I envy you having all that snow. I am usually very excited when snow falls, then after half a day, I want it to go away so that I can get on with being outdoors. Next time it snows, I will remember this post and make the most of the bad weather and remember how envious I felt of you staying indoors, baking and relaxing.

    Stay safe and warm.... it will soon be spring.

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    1. You have a lot more going on in your garden in the winter than I do so I'd rather have the snow so I can have days off work. :o) My garden is almost completely dormant and is a big brown pile of blah.

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  11. I'm so glad you did some fun, work-fee things while you were stuck at home. Can you share your recipe for the blueberry scones? They look scrumptious! I bet your fur babies had a ball playing in all that snow!

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    1. They freaked out at first and one totally misjudged where the back steps where and accidentally jumped into a big pile of snow. It was pretty funny, but maybe not to the dog. :o)

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  12. How lovely to have a few free days and do whatever you want out of the usual routine. Sitting reading by the fire and baking sounds a great way to spend a wintry break.

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  13. How fun to make the most of those days. It's pretty, but we had a long driveway when we lived there so shoveling is what I remember most!

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    1. My husband worked like a beast to get the driveway cleared and a neighbor with a snowblower cleared the sidewalk and part of the front walkway. Shoveling takes forever!

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  14. What is it about cold or dreary weather that just makes us want to bake? Sounds like a great relaxing few days! Stay warm!

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    1. It's been wonderful! I can't resist a good snowcation! :o)

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  15. Well, I just had breakfast, but your scone and cookie pics made me hungry! :P

    We had about 8 inches (officially) here in Nashville. Nothing like the blizzard that snowed you under, but enough to coat and cover the garden nicely.

    I realized that when that plants have a nice insulating blanket of winter snow, I actually feel much more relaxed than when they're exposed to freezing temps without any snow cover. Plus who cares whether a groundcover looks tattered when that groundcover is buried and out-of-sight? :)

    Enjoy your snow daze... :D

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    1. I lost several plants to heaving the last two winters so I love having snow to insulate everything.

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  16. I am glad the storm gave you a break. You seem to have enjoyed it thoroughly.

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    1. Snow days are a gift that I enjoy immensely. I don't even try to be productive. :o)

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  17. What a cosy snow break you've had. I'm glad you were able to enjoy the days spent inside out of the cold. Keep warm and don't work too hard shoveling! -Beth

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    1. I did a small amount of shoveling but my husband did 99%. He said it burned off all the cookies he ate. :o)

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  18. I love snow days - I hope we get one or two this winter, as it's been sadly lacking in winter-ness.

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    1. Up until this storm, we'd had very little winteriness, either. I was in shorts right before Christmas! Having grown up in California, I love a good snow storm. :o)

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  19. You used the Snow Day to your advantage. Baking and reading by the fire are all worthy and memorable.
    It looks like your dogs are curious and wonder what happened to their garden
    Have a great week
    Helen xx

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    1. They were very surprised to discover their garden had disappeared!

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  20. Next time a blizzard hits DC I want to stay at your house. No dancing, though.

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  21. Snow days are wonderful. I'm glad you had fun.

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    1. I'm still having fun. There was so much snow, we've had the whole week off.

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  22. I cannot wrap my head around 3 feet of snow, but it looks like you made great choices and even better cookies and scones! Yum! Your dogs look very happy.

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    1. They like a little bit of snow but were freaked out by the sheer volume they found in the back yard.

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  23. I almost wish I could have stayed in DC but ice was forecast for the Upstate and everyone thought it best to head home. Luckily, the storm delivered mostly sleet here, rather than freezing rain, topped with 3 inches of the pretty stuff. All trees standing and accounted for! Hope you have plenty of supplies and patience, you might need them. And take care!

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    1. If you'd stayed here, you would have been here a long time! Everything completely shut down.

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  24. Perfect activity for a snowstorms, no such thing over here in Britain though, but we are getting the tail end of the storm today and tomorrow as very mild weather with rain and ferocious wind.
    Stay warm, only 5 weeks till spring starts!

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    1. I've enjoyed the time off! Schools have been closed all week as they clear all the parking lots. My county has about 90 schools so it's been a huge task. It's been very relaxing to sleep in and just putter around the house.

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  25. Sounds like a good survival plan. I guess on the positive side, your garden is receiving needed moisture and your snow blowing neighbor is a happy person with those delicious looking scones.

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    1. I'm loathe to argue with extra moisture! I love snow and it's good for the garden. :o)

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  26. My girlfriend who is not too far away from you sent me a video and I hardly recognise the surroundings with all that snow.
    I don't like the cold but I'd risk it for just one of those blueberry scones.
    Stay safe and warm.

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    1. Thanks! I wish you were here and I'd bake some for you.

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  27. I always loved snow days--the one day I could do absolutely nothing and not feel guilty, not to mention wearing PJ's all day because I knew no one could get up our lane to visit us:) I can't get over how much snow all of you out East received! We have had maybe 3 or 4 inches all winter.

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    1. Exactly!! They're free days where the desire to accomplish anything goes right out the window!! But my snow days turned into a snow week so my internal drive to "get stuff done" kicked in. :o)

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  28. Sounds like a perfect way to ride out bad weather Tammy. I see you cleared an area for the pups. Usually I dig a tunnel path through the snow with a couple of small pooping areas. Otherwise the dogs would stand at the door and look at me like I was asking them to do the impossible. What we dog lovers go through!
    Those cookies and scones look yummy, by the way. I have tried and falied to master scones. Mine come out like bricks. After seeing your fluffy looking scones, I am tempted to try again. I'm imagining them slathered in butter right now! Yum!

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    1. I hope the recipe I sent works out well! :o)

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  29. Hi Tammy, what a snowstorm is good for :-)! I am so glad you got a few days off and had time to do the things you love. Your cookies and scones look so yummy. I haven't baked for ages due to the lack of time, but I can't complain. Here in Southern California the weather was very nice and I decided to spent my free time outside gardening last weekend, alas no cookies in this house!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. There won't be any gardening for me for a long time, except for my seedlings. I actually like winter, especially when it snows. :o)

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  30. Oh wow! I'm with you...every second of the way....I just love how you get on with other stuff that you love. Your baking is to die for! Your dogs have me smiling, I suppose your blind guy just followed the others through the snowy path! Bless! I enjoy seeing my dogs in the snow....though we don't get it that often, I love snow, as long as it doesn't hang around as ice etc forever. An absolutely gorgeous post...as ever! It's always a treat to visit you! I was thinking of you when I saw this on the news....so glad all is well and that you and yours are safely home. You look after you and take care on the roads. xxx

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    1. Scout, the blind dog, ended up going on a few walkabouts trying to find the patio. He couldn't figure out what had happened to his garden! No one lost power in the blizzard although digging out the area has taken all week. Getting up at 5:40 next Monday will be torture but I can't complain after my snowcation!

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  31. Hope the sun is out and life is good! Those baked items look mighty tasty. It's so lovely to start seeing longer days...we are all getting closer to gardening season...woo hoo!! :)

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    1. I do love all the extra sunshine every day!

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  32. Howdy. Nice you stopped by. Later I will spend more time to see what's happening with you and blogging. The little I saw...I like ! Have a great day. Patsi

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  33. You certainly took full advantage of Snowzilla; what a great way to spend a day, and no guilt about other things to do! I absolutely love the William W. Purkey quote. Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Deb! The quote is definitely a keeper. Wise words! :o)

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  34. You did get hammered with the snow...we have less now than you it appears. My sister lives in VA and had about 3 ft. Looks like you had a great time during your snow days! I loved them when i was teaching.

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    1. I've never met a teacher who didn't love a snow day. :o)

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  35. Those scones look amazing! Two questions: how do *you* pronounce scones (I've read there's a bit of controversy about this!) and what is the recipe please?

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    1. Thanks! I pronounce them 'scoh-nz'. Here's the recipe:

      1) Turn your oven to 425 and stick in a cookie sheet.
      2) In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Self-Rising flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp fresh baking powder. Add 3 tbs sugar, if you like but it's optional.
      3) Add 6 tbs cold butter, cut in small cubes
      4) Use the pastry blender to cut it into really small pieces and work it into the flour
      5) Add 1/2 to 2/3 cups WARM buttermilk. If your house is humid, you'll need 1/2 cup, dry-you'll need closer to 2/3 cups. But be very careful not to add too much buttermilk or you'll have a flat scone!
      6) Using a fork, combine the buttermilk and flour mix. I use a back and forth motion, similar to mowing grass. You don't want to overwork the dough. This might sound irrelevant, but it's important. Once the dough comes together, I stop adding buttermilk.
      7) When you have a ball of dough, stop!
      8) If you want to add any goodies such as blueberries or one of my fav combos - orange peel and dark choc - do it towards the end of step 6.
      9) Scatter self-rising flour on a marble slab or a really cold counter/cutting board.
      10) Gently dump the dough onto the board and form into a circle. You want a thick circle so you'll have thick scones.
      11) Taking a big SHARP knife, cut the dough into 4 pieces. Sprinkle with sugar.
      12) Carefully place them on the crazy hot cookie sheet. I use a huge metal spatula.
      13) Bake for about 15 mins. YUM!!!

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  36. Thanks!

    (Btw I like how you pronounce scones, ha ha. Rick Steves had a radio program about high tea and that's how his English guest pronounced it. :))

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  37. It sounds like bliss tbh! I used to long to be snowed in when I was little, but it never happened once. Part of the attraction seems to lie in the number of food - based activities which take place!! Enjoy ...

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    1. Snow and baking definitely go together!

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  38. Sounds like the perfect response to a snow day or three! Wish I was your neighbour, those scones look delicious...

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    1. We ended up being off the entire week because it took so long to plow out all 90 schools in my district. But I loved every minute! :o)

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  39. Hi Tammy, that sounds like absolute heaven and if the kind of thing I've been doing over my winter hibernation too. If you can't plant it, bake it or type on it, I'm just not interested. I love the shot of the lounge, it looks so warm and comfortable, I could simply curl up and not move for weeks!

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    1. It is warm and comfy! Many books have been read on the couch by the fire. :o)

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  40. That' s a lot of snow, but what fun having an unexpected holiday. I have the same problem with WordPress, it keeps dumping my followers. I keep losing blogs I follow too. You suddenly realise somebody has gone very quiet. Then you go and look and find they have been blogging away and you have missed lots of posts.
    Those scones look delicious.

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    1. Apparently Blogger dumps followers on a rather regular basis, which is really frustrating. There are a lot of "Where are my followers?" questions in the help forum but no advice on how to solve the problem. I love making scones because it's so quick, easy, and tasty. It's hard to resist a scone!

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  41. That was a boatload of snow, for sure. I'm glad you had electricity and were able to enjoy your time off.

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