My big accomplishment of the weekend was perfecting my technique for a chocolate pecan pie. My friends approved of it, so now I'm ready for my contribution to Thanksgiving. The final touch to perfecting the pastry came inadvertently, courtesy of the guy doing my annual heater check-up. I was already refrigerating the shortening before cutting it into the flour and refrigerating the dough before rolling it out. This time, I'd just cut the shortening into the flour when the heater guy showed up, so I threw the bowl into the refrigerator until he was gone before I mixed in the water. It turned out to be the lightest, flakiest crust I've ever made, and it cut beautifully. So I'll be adding that step on purpose the next time. We're getting a cold snap this week, so I'm planning on some chicken pot pies.
This has been a really successful year for me, but it's been hard to get out of the mindset I had during the years that weren't so successful. I've been trying to remember that I can indulge a little. So here are the kind of things I've considered indulgences: A new pair of walking shoes that are nice and squishy. Two new pairs of jeans that I got when I went into the Levi's store and let the salesperson help me find the kinds that fit me best (rather than just grabbing something in my size from the clearance rack). A little porcelain creamer so I don't have to try to pour milk from a gallon jug into my teacup. A new backpack for hiking so I don't have to use the backpack from college (it seems modern ones have innovations like an outside pocket for a water bottle and a secure pocket for a phone). Real maple syrup (instead of store brand generic "syrup") for my waffles. Oh, and a vacation.
But I'm trying not to get too crazy because for one thing, taxes are going to kill me this year, and for another, I still need to fix up this house to sell and want to be able to afford exactly what I want in a new house. And I have no idea how next year will go. But for now, I'm letting myself have fun in small ways that make me happier than something like a fancy car would.