Plan B: Lazy Saturday Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rollsThere are Plan A days, and Plan B days.  When my four-year-old came cranky into my bedroom with coughs and sniffles before the light reached my eyelids Saturday morning, I knew it would be a Plan B day.  We curled up on the couch with library books and honey tea.  A couple years ago, I read a tip in a book on organizing to create both the routine you want to keep most of the time–Plan A– as well as the frame of a back-up plan you can default to when life throws you curves (the fact that we keep buying books on organization and simplifying should be the subject of its own post!)

And life with little ones, at least for me, means falling back on Plan B, oh, about every other day.  For us, that means guarding peace in our home by lowering my expectations for how much I’ll get done, staying home and playing in the backyard, reading lots of books, and making naps the Number One Priority.  Come to think of it, my Plan B is not that much different from Plan A, except I get even less done.

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Fortunately, I had put together cinnamon rolls the night before since we had family in town for the weekend (yay for extra people to entertain the kids while I work in the kitchen!)  Just don’t be all eager-beaver like me and not give them time to come to room temperature before sticking them in the oven–they took an extra fifteen minutes to cook that way, and I had to babysit them to make sure they got cooked all the way through without getting overdone.  And be warned: Don’t expect to have a Very Productive Day when you make cinnamon rolls for breakfast.   They make me want to curl up under a blanket and read all day.  Good thing we have Plan B for just that contingency.

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presentation may not be my strong suit, but I didn’t hear any complaints

*I used this recipe, found in Eat with Joy, by Rachel Marie Stone, with about half bread flour and half whole wheat, sifted of most of its bran.  I made the recipe through shaping the rolls and put the pan in the fridge overnight.  I skipped the cream cheese frosting for a small amount of buttercream frosting.

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Writer as Paleontologist

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Sometimes I am frustrated with this season of life, when it’s so difficult to carve out time for writing.  I miss being able to spend whole mornings, entire days, working on a poem or essay.  Losing myself in tinkering with a single line, meditating on the merits of this word over that word.

The high of head-down, charging-forward, steady, focused, creative work.

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Life with little ones feels a series of continuous interruptions: broken sleep, spilt-milk meltdowns, fractured conversations, abandoned shopping carts.

In this season of constant interruption, I’m trying to accept that there is little time for the deep digging, extended times of creativity (and as long as I’m still experiencing sleep deprivation, setting my alarm for 5 a.m. to have time to myself is just not going to happen). I want to embrace this time of unexpected discovery.

I’m marking the places I trip

over, the places something rare

and fascinating juts out of the sands

of my life, taking note and aching

for a chance to come back

later and dig.  Then

I will carefully mine

the sediment for more

bones, steady chipping,

brushing,

seeking,

hoping for a frame

to emerge.

Tedious work, sometimes, but once pieced together, it gives me the chance to do the fun, creative part of fleshing it out, really playing what if with the shape, the contours, colors, and textures.

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For now, I’m working on learning to excavate in smaller increments, on viewing a few moments of digging as worthwhile, on enjoying even five minutes of focusing on a line, a word, an image, on abandoning complete for work-in-progress (and isn’t that what we all are, anyway?)  On noticing.

But mostly, I’m working on trust– trust that this daily collecting of shards and bones will one day come together into something that, if not perfectly whole, will be beautiful.

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*Songwriter Sara Groves was the first person I heard liken her writing process to an archaeological dig.