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Pumpkin cookies, ambivalence about autumn, a magic feather, and more (7 Quick Takes)


We had a Halloween party at work this week, which felt like another victory over the pandemic. Office parties were one of the things I really missed while working fully from home. I can work from home with great success, but I miss the social interactions.

I decided to bake pumpkin cookies because no one else in my household likes them and some of my colleagues do. I made half with chocolate chips and half plain, and I still can’t decide which I prefer. If you like pumpkin, I really believe you will like these cookies.

Mine came out too flat, so I think I measured the flour wrong. But they were still delicious, and I might have learned my lesson about making dinner and baking cookies at the same time. But…probably not.

Here’s the pumpkin cookie recipe, if you want to give them a try.


This morning I looked out into the gray dampness of the morning. The grass was covered with wet leaves that had been knocked down during the storms overnight. The bleakness made me shiver. But then I reminded myself that someone else would look outside and think how beautiful it was.

God really makes something for everyone, and there are people who absolutely love fall.

To me, autumn feels dark and somber, leading toward the cold and stillness of winter. For me, October has a heaviness to it that I’m not sure everyone feels. But I’m married to someone who loves fall. He finds energy and beauty and excitement in the shorter, brisker days. I’m so glad he does.

There is certainly a beauty to this time as the leaves change color and drop off the trees. And I’m thankful for the fall. I love living somewhere where I can enjoy all four seasons. Autumn just doesn’t make my heart sing like spring and summer do.


My phone’s Autocorrect has started writing my sister’s name in all caps. It’s hilarious to me. I don’t know how it happened, but when I type, “Treasa,” it jumps to “TREASA.” This is so wonderful that, of course, I will be addressing her by name all the time in my texts to her.

Don’t tell me how to change it. I don’t want to know. I love the idea that Autocorrect has decided that TREASA is so important she must be addressed in all caps. And so does TREASA.


I ran to the store just for a few items the other day. When I went to insert my credit card, I realized my half-gallon of milk had rung up at $1,100. I panicked. I think I usually look at the amount before I insert my card, but how many times have I been in a hurry and slipped that chip in without realizing the milk must be molten gold?

“Um, I think the price is wrong on the milk,” I said to the cashier.

“Oh, yeah. That’s been happening,” he said.

He nonchalantly knocked it down to $2.99, and I paid and left.

I hoped milk that was originally priced that high would be especially good, but my milk drinker told me it wasn’t all that great. Good thing I didn’t pay full price.


One of Ron’s feathers got stuck to a perch briefly this week, and it looked like something from a magic act. The photo really doesn’t do it justice. We thought maybe it was held there by static electricity until the birds knocked it down.

Sometimes I try to remember life before the finches and all the excitement they have brought to our home. I certainly had less to do to get ready in the mornings, but we also had so much less life and entertainment in our little home. I love their little personalities.

Meanwhile, now that Twitter seems to be offering some kind of audio feature, I am wondering whether it’s time for the finches to Tweet. They really need their own social media coordinator.


The streetlamp in front of our house burned out more than a month ago, and my husband filed a request for it to be fixed. There was a date it would be completed by, but then it never got fixed.

When things like that happen, I get involved. I love navigating these kinds of situations—the ones where you’re tweeting at the organization you know is responsible, and then they’re sending you to the county, and you’re on the phone with the county who tells you it’s not their problem, and on and on and on. Luckily, I have a friend who helped me get things done, and the streetlamp is now working just fine.

John handles many things for us and makes my life much easier, but consumer advocacy falls to me. I love winning these small battles. And now we have light for our trick-or-treaters.


We take holidays one at a time here, so I’m not planning for Thanksgiving yet. I make one exception, though, and purchase our butter turkey as soon as I see it in the store.

If you don’t buy your butter turkey before Halloween, you might not have a butter turkey for Thanksgiving. You can probably have Thanksgiving without a butter turkey, just as you can have Christmas without a tree, and Halloween without a carved jack-o-lantern…or, at least, we might be doing that if we don’t get our skates on here.

But butter makes everything better, and shaped foods are a passion of mine. I’m happy to have our butter turkey safely tucked away in the fridge.

Read more quick takes at Kelly’s blog, This Ain’t the Lyceum, and have a happy Halloween!

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