I have spent the better part of a week chipping off my cracked nail polish. You probably do not care to hear this. I know, it’s just a silly first world problem. But with no sign of the virus quarantine coming to an end anytime soon, which will result in no manicures, I decided to return to the natural, unadorned me, at least on my fingertips. It’s OK. I think these times we are living in are calling us back to reality.
This same idea of real living came up at a Zoom meeting I was in with some friends this week. They were all saying how this time at home, stripped of all our busyness, has allowed them to see what’s essential in life. One friend equated the busy life with being on a treadmill, always moving but never really going anywhere. For me, its that nail polish that prettied up my life but didn’t add any real, lasting value. As a whole, we are learning what was essential and what is not.
So, what to do with the time we used to spend on the non-essentials? I have witnessed many beautiful things come off the I Wish I Had the Time to-do list and into Becoming Realities. My niece and her family cleared space to plant a garden and built a chicken coop for their baby chicks. Another is trying her hand at painting and has created some beautiful pieces. My brother produced a short video of himself reading one of his favorite childhood stories. (Baby J loved it!) I have not done anything quite as impressive as these, but I have pulled out some yarn and have been crocheting as time allows. How about you?
Another cool idea my friend, Beckie, shared on her blog was about writing a manifesto. I like the idea of putting into writing what we believe and what we would like to accomplish. It’s a perfect time to think about what’s essential when it comes to living life well, what we feel our role is in this world, and what legacy we would like to leave. What do we, as individuals, want to be known? How do we want to use our talents and knowledge to make the world a better place? What kind of influence would we like to have on others around us? All helpful questions to ask when thinking about what this manifesto should say. I have already begun to make some notes on what mine should include. Please head over to Beckie’s blog to read her post Creating Your Manifesto. She has some more great tips on how to get started.
Our household continues to be well. Homeschooling, swinging on the swing, and cooking fills our days. There is much for which to be thankful. We have had a couple of extended family members catch the virus and recover. My husband, sons-in-law, and daughters continue to have work to do. The weather is slowly turning to spring and all the green that comes with it. We have a wild turkey that wanders the yard and keeps us entertained. Yes, we are simple people. But these things that spark joy will ignite well-being in our souls, and that’s something we all need. It seems these things seem sweeter since busyness has not been around to dull our senses.
The sweet treat for this week is Apple Crisp. I woke up this morning thinking one of the realities I needed to get back to was WW (formally known as Weight Watchers). I have been allowing the fact that things are unsettled and stressful to influence what I was eating. I was trying to control my environment with what I was eating. That’s only good if you’re making good choices. The result? I have put on a few unwanted pounds. Boo! So, in response, I took back control. This Apple Crisp recipe is a happy consequence of it all. It is lower in sugar and fat, but it is still very yummy and satisfying, just right for living well with no regrets. Enjoy!
Makes four generous servings
- 4 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, I used Truvia Brown Sugar Blend in the entire recipe
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup oats
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8-inch baking square dish with oil.
- Place apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons brown sugar in dish and combine. Spread out in even layer.
- In a medium bowl, combine oats, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Mix with your fingers or a fork until the mixture is combined and crumbly. Sprinkle over apple mixture in baking dish.
- Bake until bubbly and topping is light brown, about 50 minutes.
Sorry, I have no photo of the finished product. We gobbled it up before I had an opportunity to take one. Just let your imagination picture something very delicious.
It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.Laura Ingalls Wilder