In the spirit of the holiday, I decided I would declare my independence from STUFF this weekend and indulge in a mini-writer’s retreat sort of thing. Enjoy three whole days away from the office, detach from the monotony of the familiar, cut all ties to distractions. Make some real progress with re-write number– whatever, I’ve stopped counting.
In theory: Yay, go me! In practice? Yeah, not so much.
Of course, due to budget constraints, the “retreat” part of the weekend mostly meant sitting on the other end of the couch. Which, oddly, wasn’t nearly as comfortable. Apparently I list to the left.
So I made the bold move of relocating to the couch in the other room. This caused my elderly cat to think I had died or something, given that she perched on the back of my regular spot in the family room and yowled like her little heart was breaking. What the hell does she do when I go to work? Poor thing. So, back to the same old spot, where she promptly curled up at my hip, purred and went to sleep.
Then I tried sitting at the kitchen table. This offered a nice woodland view through the bay window, but odd arm/hand angles for typing. Horribly uncomfortable, but at least I wouldn’t doze off. Not that that’s ever a problem, my writing is absolutely riveting. Ahem. Then my cat came in to sit on the floor like a dark blot of indignation just at the edge of my field of vision, glaring at me like a feline Basilisk of Doom. Sigh.
So much for trying to physically retreat from the same old rut. Well, I could still detach from all the other distractions, right? Like the internet. I’ve heard about a program called “Freedom” that irrevocably disables your internet connection for a set period of time. But that sounds so . . . restrictive. Imposed freedom. Sort of the antithesis of independence.
Besides, this seemed like such a good time to catch up on all those oh-so-informative blog posts I’d been meaning to read. I had three whole days, how long could it take? And of course I had to comment on a couple. But no twitter. Well, okay, maybe a little twitter. But no email. Everyone could just wait. Only there were a few that really couldn’t. ARRRGH!!
But the phone, I could ignore that! Except for those three people whose calls I will never ignore. And sure enough, they all called me. Or texted me. Some more than once. But it was a long weekend, certainly I could devote a few minutes, or an hour or two, to family?
So here it is late on the third day and I’ve actually made good progress in spite of the universe and my cat trying to thwart me, but not as much as I’d hoped. And I’m sitting here thinking those rebels had it easy 235 years ago — they didn’t have to worry about gaining independence from the internet or their cell phones. Probably not from their cats either. No, all they had to do was write a little declaration thing. Not like it was an entire novel. Oh, and also fend off an attacking army and kill a few thousand of their oppressors. Piece of cake. Or pie.
Oh, PIE! Something shiny! Let’s have pie! Sour Cream Blueberry Pie to be exact. It’s a July 4th tradition in my house. But wait, I’ve declared my independence from that sort of thing. Plus I figure I still have several hours left of this long weekend. Plenty of time to defeat my oppressors and be all productive.
I have an idea: YOU MAKE PIE! My daughter made this one last weekend and texted me a picture of it. She’s so thoughtful sometimes. Doesn’t it look delicious?
Here’s the recipe. My sister-in-law gave it to me years ago, but I’m pretty sure she got it from Southern Living. No idea where they got it.
SOUR CREAM BLUEBERRY PIE
1 egg, beaten
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (I use a bit more)
1/4 tsp salt
2-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
(you’re going to want to use a deep pie dish for this one)
3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp butter, softened (room temp)
3 Tbsp chopped pecans or walnuts
Combine first six ingredients, beat 5 min at medium speed of electric mixer or until smooth.
Fold in blueberries (with spatula). Don’t over-stir, you’ll damage berries.
Pour filling into pie crust (I’m assuming you know to put the crust IN the pie dish before this step).
BAKE at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
Combine remaining ingredients (use pastry cutter to mix flour & butter, it will be a sort of crumbly texture, not smooth, then add nuts). Remove pie from oven, sprinkle this mixture over top, return to oven.
BAKE for 10 additional minutes (or so) until topping sort of melts.
CHILL before serving. (also, store leftovers in the fridge, not that there will be any)
So tell me, what traditions did you embrace over this long holiday weekend? Also, any advice you have for getting away from it all without actually, you know, going anywhere would be appreciated . . . now that my weekend “retreat” is almost over. Sigh.