This weekend started off with a bang, when I wandered down to the mail room and discovered a package addressed to me. [And let it henceforth be known that there are few things in life that I love more than packages!] I ripped into my unexpected manila envelope and discovered this little bit of happy:
BAH! I was so excited that I took my very first selfie, and I’m still embarrassed about it. My sweet mother in law sent me the most adorable Martha Stewart filing system! And who doesn’t love MARTHA? I’ll always have a soft spot for her–decorative pumpkins, criminal record and all. Now, are you ready for “How to Endear Yourself to Your In-Laws, by Ashley Dickens”? Refer to yourself as “your favorite _______”. The day that I married Kellan, I began to refer to myself as “your favorite daughter in law” any time I spoke to Gina and Russ. Call it brainwashing, but by the time Kellan’s younger brother Bryan gets married I intend to have my “favorite” status so solidified that the new girl won’t stand a chance.
Also, odds are that we beat his siblings to grand kids, so there’s always that.
The weekend slipped into bliss-status when one of my very best friends flew into town! Michelle has a wandering hippie heart, and thus I was only mildly surprised when she called me in the middle of last week, and asked if she could come. She’s the latest installment of a panicked flood of friends and family trying to make it to Albany before the snow hits [send. help.], and time with her was unbelievable.
Now, in true Instagram fashion:
On Friday night, we spent hours throwing together the perfect fall dinner. Pumpkin pie bars and stuffed acorn squash were only the beginning–the occasion demanded nothing less than my very finest stretchy pants.
Saturday morning found us at the Whistling Kettle for brunch! And as we’ve established a thousand times, nothing makes my heart sing like brunch. One pot of salted caramel tea and a crepe later, we dashed off for a hike. And Y’ALL, if there’s one time of year that upstate New York just SHOWS OFF…
Do you see that? The girl in the picture may LOOK happy, but don’t be deceived. That right there is ELEVENTY BILLION POUNDS of apples, and for a girl that eats a grand total of maybe three a year, it’s about eleventy billion too many. I was Jedi mind-tricked into thinking that I needed them by a cute little old farmer and a hippie that loves nothing more than eating local. The aforementioned hippie stuffed a couple in her carry on to take home with her [and really, now that Michelle is eating them back in North Carolina we can hardly call it “eating local” anymore], but left me with a formidable pile that’s currently taunting me from my kitchen counter. I can’t stand wasting food, and thus the apples must be used. But what on earth does one do with that many apples?! Kellan is traveling all week, which leaves me and my apple predicament all by our lonesome. The whole thing is very Little House on the Prairie, except Pa Ingalls won’t be around to save the day.
Send help. Also, recipes that won’t make me lop out of my yoga pants.