Monthly Archives: February 2023

I baked some cookies…

In every family, there is a code sentence that always signals trouble. For some families it’s “sit down, we need to talk.” In other families, it comes with, “you won’t believe what I’m going to tell you now.” In our household, everyone knows there is trouble when I say, “I baked some cookies.”

I will apologize in advance to those women out there who love to cook, and some of those are in my own family. I apologize because for myself, I can think of no greater punishment than having to cook…I’m pretty poor at it and I’m okay with that. In addition, I never and I mean NEVER cook anything for the pure pleasure of it. But when things are at their worst, I bake cookies.

When Roy and I began traveling life’s highway together, he was unaware of this. It took five months into the marriage for him to stumble out of the bedroom one night, wipe the sleep out of his eyes and say, “It’s two o’clock in the morning, what are you doing?”

“I’m baking cookies,” I reply as I spoon some more dough on the cookie sheet. “Why, am I disturbing you?”

“Not you, just when the timer goes off,” he replied dryly. “Why are you baking cookies now. Come to think of it, I didn’t know you COULD bake cookies.”

“I don’t make cookies except in extreme circumstances,” I answered.

“And 2:00 in the morning is extreme because…” he prompted.

“I can’t sleep and it seems like a dangerous time of night to go for a walk in my pajamas and slippers,” I replied, sliding another batch into the oven. “You go on back to sleep, I’ll try to catch the timer before it goes off.”

From that point on, he adjusted to the fact that when his wife goes into the kitchen on purpose and bakes cookies, something major is wrong.

The time I hit the garage door with his fancy car, I baked a lot of cookies. Then there was the time that all the plumbing in the house was leaking. It was hard to do much washing up, when every pipe was leaking, but I made a batch of cookies anyway. Every time one of the children had an illness, I stewed and fretted and baked cookies. For all I know, they faked illness just to score a chocolate chip cookie! For the most part, I had them convinced that Oreos came from an old family recipe handed down from my grandmother, so when freshly baked cookies appeared in the house they were stymied!

So, today, on day two of the blocked in by the snow days, I got out the old mixer and a bag of flour and set to work making cookies. Roy came home and sniffed the air, and stopped dead in the doorway. “Oh god, let me see, uh, you’re leaving me?”

”Of course not, don’t be ridiculous, why would you say that?” I handed him three cookies, fresh out of the oven.

“You’re not leaving me. Did you wreck the car? Run over the dog? Chop a hole in the deck with the snow shovel?” His concern over why I was baking didn’t stop him from downing the cookies and hooking a couple more.

“I didn’t do anything. Nothing is bothering me. I’m just fine and so is the dog. However, it was a long, slow day, so I decided to bake some cookies. Can’t a person just bake some cookies?”

“I suppose so, but it’s never happened around here before. Cookies normally come with a side of milk and a major disaster. So, I wondered, why the sudden influx of fresh-baking?” he still couldn’t quite believe it.

“Honestly, that’s so insulting. You act like I never cook anything, and that’s just not so,” I said, and he finally relaxed and headed for the living room. A moment’s silence and then he asked, “What happened to my good recliner? I was going to take a nap.”

“About that,” I said, coming in with a plate of cookies and a glass of milk. “I was gonna mention that. But first, here, I baked some cookies….”

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All hail the weather rat

Photo by Niklas Jeromin on

Now, I have reconciled myself to the fact that we have a day entirely devoted to predicting the weather that has nothing to do with meteorologists. I have even reconciled myself to the fact that we have chosen a glorified rat as our spokesperson. I’ve even endured the replaying of Groundhog Day so many times I feel like I’m living the movie. All of this just adds up to the facts of life.

What I don’t think I can reconcile myself to is the fact that the back-stabbing little rat keeps predicting six more weeks of winter. Just the other day, on the edge of my seat, I observed yet another “prognostication” from the furry little rodent stating that we get six more weeks of winter and why? Because the little wimp saw his shadow!

What stymies me the most about this situation is that there is an entire cult following on this tradition. I was curious enough about it to research its beginning. I found that in Germany, Feb. 2 is Badger Day and a badger coming out of the hole in fine weather determines whether there will be four more weeks of winter.

It was continued in this country by the Pennsylvania Dutch, who adapted to a groundhog as the weatherman of choice and they decided to add two more weeks. So, while a badger, sunbathing in Germany on Feb. 2 means four more weeks of winter, a groundhog in Pennsylvania, wandering out of its hole on Feb. 2, predicts SIX more weeks of winter. That’s great; four weeks wasn’t enough, let’s punish ourselves with six!

The official ceremony takes place in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. They do it up right, complete with all night parties, a whole council in tuxedoes and their loving little rat…Punxsutawney Phil. I have to tell you before we go any further, that I will never be in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on Feb. 2, dressed in a tuxedo so I can help drag a groundhog with too much influence out of its hole to tell me the chances for an early spring…or not!

This winter may have put me in the wrong frame of mind for this beloved holiday. Since November, we have had nothing but winter. We have endured snow, ice, blizzards, cold temperatures and did I mention the mountains of snow, week after week for months now. As I am driving to work through the latest ground blizzards, I do not want to hear that there is a creature with the unprepossessing name of “groundhog” who has the nerve to tell me I’ve got six more weeks of this. No! I refuse, groundhog!

If we absolutely have to have this prediction made, can’t it be done by scientists, meteorologists, ect.? Heck, I’d even take a prediction by the badger–he only predicts four more weeks! So perhaps we need to drive to Pennsylvania and nail the groundhog’s door shut, or put laxative in his tea (that would distract him), or something to put an end to this frustrating holiday.

For those of you who feel I am overreacting, I invite you to come to visit me and look out upon my front yard. Oh, wait, my front yard is not visible because of all the “winter” piled up out there. So, if next year, I am not the first one in line to pat Punxsutawney Phil on his furry little head for ruining my day, and possibly my season, you will understand. However, if you hear that somebody punched the little rat in his protruding, weather-predicting teeth, just pretend you don’t know me. Have a nice Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, any February holiday except Groundhog Day!

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