One of my biggest hopes after graduation was to move out on my own. When I was hired at PIU in September, I had full confidence that I would have an apartment before the end of October.
Spoiler alert: I have worked at PIU nearly nine months, and I didn’t move until three days ago.
In those nine months of waiting on a delayed dream, I often thought of “Harlem,” the iconic poem by Langston Hughes.
As I spent the past year waiting for my dream to be fulfilled, I saw my dream fall into each of Hughes’s scenarios. My dream traveled through the stages of shriveling, festering, rotting, crusting, and sagging.
I cannot contain myself. There are a hundred things that I should do right now besides write a blog post. Yet, I find myself sitting cross-legged on my freshly-slipcovered couch, typing away.
Yesterday I moved into my first apartment, and I cannot wait to share some photos.
In a way, this apartment fell in my lap. A friend from PIU (whom we will call R) rented a furnished basement apartment from a couple who attends a nearby Baptist church. R graduated in May, and she moved to another part of town to rent an apartment with friends. I asked R if her landlords planned to find another renter after she moved out, and the rest is history.
Every Saturday I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week. These posts may grow or change as time passes. Please feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments section!
Oops! It’s been a month since I last shared my simple joys! Like everyone else in the U.S.A., I am busy and over-committed. How did we all get to this point?
June 14 is Flag Day
Something that I love about my daily walks through Old Salem is seeing all of the different flags. With the acquisition of each new state, our flag has gained a white star.
I can think of nothing more patriotic than Old Glory proudly waving in the sun. As Francis Scott Key suggests in The Star Spangled Banner, the flag is a sign of our freedom and a testament to the brave soldiers who protect us.
Partially out of personal interest, and partially out of scholastic necessity, I recently read The Scarlet by Nathaniel Hawthorne. If you are not familiar with the story, it takes place in a New England colony with devout Puritan standards. The main character, Hester Prynne, is found guilty of adultery, and she is condemned to constantly wear a scarlet letter A on her blouse as her punishment. The red letter is a beacon of guilt, shrouding Hester in shame. Because the town cannot ignore her sin, she is always remembered for her transgression.
Next week, my older brother will celebrate his 25th birthday. He has lived 9125 days, and I estimate that he has eaten Pop Tarts for breakfast at least 9000 times.
Yes, I realize that would mean that he ate Pop Tarts when he was only 4 months old. He probably did.
His favorite flavor is frosted strawberry. Although I don’t eat Pop Tarts nearly as often as he does, I do love just about anything with cinnamon.
And that’s where this recipe was born. In the picture above, there are three types of homemade Pop Tarts:
- Frosted Strawberry (for Brother)
- Cinnamon Roll (for myself)
- Chocolate Chip (for everyone because the world loves chocolate)
- 2 cups oatmeal ground into flour
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2-4 tbs cold water
- Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor. Pulse 20 times, and then let the food processor run until all ingredients are well combined and become a ball of dough. I had to stop the food processor several times to break up large chunks of coconut oil.
- Divide dough into two equal parts. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten slightly. Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit for about 10 minutes (it seems weird, but it worked). Roll dough between two pieces of plastic wrap until it is about 1/8 inch thick.
- Using cookie cutters or a knife, cut dough into as many pieces as possible before re-rolling and cutting.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place half of the dough pieces of a cookie sheet lightly sprayed with non-stick spray. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of each piece of crust. Leave about 1/4 in on each side so that the filling will not come out the sides when it bakes.
- Place a second piece of dough on top of each bottom piece. Use a fork to seal the edges. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the top of each pop tart.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool.
- I topped mine with a simple glaze (powdered sugar + milk), but that is completely optional.
- Eat and enjoy! These can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
P.S. – I am linking up with Angie and her cohosts Lizet @ Chipa by the dozen and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook for Fiesta Friday.
I jolted awake as the plane lurched up, down, left, right. While the flight attendants rushed to their seats and buckled in, a voice came over the speaker. “The captain has indicated that we will experience severe turbulence. Please buckle your seat belts.”
Although I consider myself a seasoned air traveler, I gripped the armrests. We were thousands of feet above Mississippi, and the plane was bumping along like a lawnmower in a potato field.
I heard the ding of a call light followed by the same voice on the speaker. “The flight attendants have been asked to stay seated. Please turn off your light unless this is an extreme emergency.”
“That’s it,” I thought. “We are going down. Here I come Jesus!”