Today I planned to do some baking, because the chickens are producing way more eggs than we can eat. I figured an angel food cake, banana loaf and honey-egg bread would get me through a dozen eggs. Actually, because of the size of our eggs, I only used ten, which is about what our flock produces in a day. But lemon pudding for dessert will use three more.
I love baking, although I don’t do it frequently because then I eat what I bake. I like making bread – I love the smell, the feel of kneading, the magic of adding yeast to the dough and getting beautiful, light bread. Of course, a slice of fresh, hot bread with butter and possibly honey is a treat to beat all. It takes me back to my childhood, when my mother used to make bread – not all the time, but often.
So here I was in the middle of this lovely day of baking, and the aroma of rising bread. I also have two new kittens, which is another cause for happiness. More about them in a later post; suffice it to say one is named Comma and the other Felix. Sky came to me with a hockey ball in her mouth and the “Take me out to play?” look on her face. As the bread was rising nicely, and David was reading and the kittens were snoozing, I put on my coat and took her out.
I have a pathetic throwing arm, but I have a ball-chucker, so I can sling that hockey ball far enough to make it worth running after. I took Sky all down the long driveway – where, in places, the snow and ice have melted enough to show gravel and dirt – to the mailbox. I checked the mail – phone bill, credit card statement, business-sized envelope from the Ontario Arts Council.
Drat. From previous experience, I knew that “Thanks for entering, but sorry” letters come in #10 business-sized envelopes, and cheques and final report forms come in 6″ x 9″ kraft envelopes. I opened the letter – might as well see who beat me out for the money. I still have my writing time in the car, and if it takes me longer to finish a novel that way, oh, well.
Lo and behold, the envelope contained a final report form, a letter saying “Congratulations…” and a cheque for enough money that I will be able to afford to take three months – ninety-two blessed days – away from the day job to write. I expect to get the second book finished, and the third started.
So there we are. A happy day with baking, kittens, and three months of freedom in it.
Could I ask for better?