baby steps, and a recipe: orange ricotta tart

orange ricotta tart | the merry gourmet

Every November, I wonder whether I’ll have the nerve to attempt NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) or NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). With the first, I’d commit to write a novel during the month of November, or, at least, commit to daily writing with word count goals. With the second, I’d commit to writing a blog post daily for the entire 30 days of November.

No. The answer is no. I don’t have the nerve, nor the stamina.

But here it is, November already, and I’m putting fingers to keyboard. Just one blog post. It’s a baby step toward what I really want to be writing, but I’m okay with that.

summer adventures, part 3: glacier national park

glacier national park | the merry gourmet

Summer is over, yet here I am trying to catch up on my summer vacation posting. Posting this last post, about our days in Glacier National Park, has been on my to-do list for the past month and a half. But so are so many other things, and those things have taken priority.

Ah, Glacier. This amazing national park embedded itself into my soul. I can’t stop thinking of it or reading about it or looking at online photos of the park. During the week, I check my weather app for local weather, and then I automatically check the weather forecast in Glacier. I tell my husband about bear sightings or recent snow in the area. I’m certain he’s getting tired of me doing that, but I can’t seem to help myself.

glacier national park | the merry gourmet

We were lucky to snag rooms in the historic Many Glacier Hotel for a couple of nights. We booked our room about a year in advance. It was small, with two double beds, no air conditioning, a clawfoot tub in the bathroom, and a shower rigged into the tub that required following a list of about 17 steps in order to turn it on – and again, in reverse, to turn the shower off. I loved it.

beach-house baking: peach streusel pie

peach streusel pie | the merry gourmet

It all begins on Monday.

Middle school.

I don’t feel ready for this next part of my daughter’s life. Or rather, I do feel ready in part. I feel ready for the part where I stick to my parenting skills, where I love her unconditionally, and where I try my very best to support her no matter what. But I don’t feel prepared for all the outside pressures that I know will be piled on her shoulders as she enters middle school.

I worry that we have not prepared her well enough for the mean girls she will certainly encounter or for the subtle bullying that I know she’s already experienced (and didn’t recognize).

I hope we’ve prepared her to trust her instincts and intuition about what is right and what is wrong. I think we have, but these next years will be telling.