I hope you’ve escaped the crud going around this winter. I was sick the third week of January, sicker than I’ve been in quite a while. My lungs were congested, fever had my teeth and limbs chattering, and all I could think about was getting more sleep. I spent upwards of 18-20 hours per day in bed for three days, with an increasingly sore back, because I was spending so much time prone.
I had to postpone most of my student appointments and my personal voice lesson with my teacher as a result. Guess what? When you’ve been sick like that, coughing and coughing, it may take up to two weeks for your poor throat and vocal folds to recover from the inflammation. I’ve been on partial vocal rest since.
One thing about being sick, it sure makes you feel grateful for your health, doesn’t it? Once I felt well enough to get out of bed, the nesting instinct set in and all I could think about was cleaning and cooking. I showered for the first time in three days and washed my bedding. Cleaned house and lit a candle and brought it from room to room. Made a broccoli cheese soup, a big fresh green salad with red bell pepper and cucumber and picked up a frozen French baguette at Albertson’s to brown and bake. Got a craving for dessert, for some reason, and reached out to my friends on Facebook for easy recipes that don’t require grocery shopping.
Try this one, from my friend, Jackie, the next time you have a sweet tooth. It’s simple, yummy, and you can ignore the sifting suggestion, as Jackie and I do.
1 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa
2/3 C sugar
½ C milk
½ chopped walnuts (I leave these out)
2 TBSP melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
Topping (recipe follows)
1 C boiling water
Sift flour (or not) and mix with baking powder, salt, cocoa and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the milk, nuts, butter and vanilla; blend well. Pour mixture into a greased 9-inch square baking pan.
Combine ¼ C sugar, ½ C brown sugar, 3 TBSP cocoa, ¼ tsp salt and 1 tsp vanilla.
Spread topping evenly over the first mixture. Pour 1 cup boiling water over all. Do not stir.
Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to an hour, until slightly crusty on top and firm. A pudding will form on top with a fudge sauce layer below. Serve hot with plain or whipped cream.
This illness also reminded me of how very important books are to me.
Before I got sick, I had picked up three fiction books in a row I couldn’t get into. So disappointing. I forced myself to finish one and brought all three back to my favorite local little library. Where I found one more…and went back to the Tigard Library, too. There I found one I will quote this much of:
Fireflies twinkled in the tall grass, a big yellow moon was rising out of the sea, and Paradise Ice Cream was hopping. Twenty-eight flavors and a short-order grill were housed in a small white cottage on the edge of a marsh, with beach traffic meandering past on Shore Road. Bright, colorful lanterns swung from a wire above the packed parking lot. People sat at picnic tables under a willow tree, gazing across the mouth of the river towards the lighthouse on the other side.
-from SANDCASTLES by Luanne Rice.
I’m so happy to have a good book on my nightstand again.
Let me know if you have a favorite author – I’d love the introduction! The same goes for your favorite uber easy dessert-to-bake recipe.
For your Calendar: April 11th – Swaha Studios – The Four Vocal Superpowers Most Pro’s Don’t Know!
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Love Your Voice and Voice Your Love,
Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)