Hey there. Hope you had a great weekend. We stuck close to home, close together, and did a whole lot of nuthin' (which was really a whole lot of sumpthin') because that's just what we'd planned. Some work together, some play together, some eating together, some sleeping together.  A together kind of weekend. Perfect.

All those quilts and blankets were on our bed! They got a proper airing, and then I retired some of them. Somehow, we build little forts in our big bed every winter, as we turn down the heat at night. "I need an extra blanket" -- "so do I!" -- and on it goes, until we've got fifty pounds of blankets piled on us in the winter nights, some on his side, some on mine, depending on whose feet are coldest or shoulders are shivering.

The tarte tatin was a treat -- we're not using sugar these days, so a real delight it was. The recipe is adapted from Michael Ruhlman's recipe here. I used apples instead of quince, as I had so many of them. I had been inspired to make this while watching David Levobitz's "Visit to a Paris Market" wherein he makes an apple tarte tatin. So, kind of like writing a novel, where you pull and little from here, there, who-knows-where, this dish was a little David, a little Michael, a little Debbie, and voila! Tarte Tatin. We loved it, even though I burned it a bit in the cast iron skillet. It was still lovely, and I will try again, and next time I will do better.

But my pie crust was perfect. Perfect! I texted my daughter: "I have finally mastered pie crust!" and when she texted me back "woo! congratulations!" I texted again, "tutorial on request!" at which she just laughed.  Now I have to find low calorie, low carb recipes (hahaha) for this decidedly non-low-calorie-carb pie crust, so I can make this crust over and over again. Made a quiche. Made a tarte tatin. What's next?

And all from the inspiration I got from watching David's video, which took me back to France, which is where I was headed for my junior year of college way back in the dark ages, only I never actually got there because... well, it's a long story that broke my heart until it didn't, but I pined for France. For years. Decades. I had taken French lessons since I was nine. I was fairly fluent by the time I went to college.I had memorized pictures and places and dates and had my favorites already picked out, my course already charted...

Isn't that the way it is, though? We think we know what we're doing (even with a novel), and then life tosses us a left curve. And, if we can stay with that curve, work with it, learn to embrace it, it has so much to teach us. That's what happened to me, anyway, even though at first I went kicking and screaming all the way, and then learned to love my life more than I can say. It's all good, and all is well.

This might not be the time to bring up the idea of going to France for my birthday in two years... so I won't. I'll talk about that later.  Ahem.

In the meantime, I took to my clean, Sunday morning bedroom this weekend and caught up in my google reader while Jim played at his steady Sunday church gig. The weekend was a bit carb heavy and yet totally restorative (including the texting-watching of Downton Abbey and Once Upon a Time with Cousin Carol on Sunday night, while finishing off the popcorn and also knitting several more rows on Abby's sweater. Who says I don't still multitask? Who says I'm not overly chatty today?)

And now it's Monday. I'm ready to go to work. I don't even know what chapter I'm working in, as I label each chapter "chapter next" as I'm working in draft, as I often pull a chapter or replace one or add one in along the way. This "chapter next" saves me the trouble of having to re-number.

At any rate, I've rested myself and my wee brain, and I'm ready to tackle the week's work. January is almost over! One month of my twelve home. I want to make the most of each day, so off I go to Greenwood, Mississippi, 1964, Freedom Summer, for book two of the sixties trilogy. An update on my month's progress, along with current questions, next.

Have a great week, y'all. 

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