Lilacs Burning Bright

I have become something of a candle fiend in the last year. Particularly on dreary afternoons or cold nights, I’ve got a little flame burning on the kitchen table or on the end table in the living room. Today I broke out the lilac scented one because spring just isn’t coming fast enough.
2013-04-13 candle
My childhood home had purple and white lilac trees in the yard and the smell of lilacs reminds me of Mother’s Days, birthdays (my mother’s and sister’s are a week apart in May), the excitement of the end of the school year, and the reassurance that yes, winter has finally passed. Though some find the robust aroma of lilacs too fragrant, it’s a homey smell for me. The flowers’ short lives go by so quickly every year—it’s nice to be able to unleash it any time.

Last night we had some friends over to play A Penny for My Thoughts, an improvisational game that is quite literally made up on the spot. Each player has lost his or her memory, and the players are trying to help one another remember. By offering one another clues and suggested courses of actions, the players slowly begin to “remember” what has happened, collectively making up a compelling story for each character that ultimately reveals what happened to trigger the memory loss to begin with. If you’re confused by all this, you’re in good company. It takes a while to get the hang of the game, but it’s worth it. We started to lose steam as the night wore on (by 11:00 when we stopped, we still hadn’t finished all the stories), but over the course of the evening we had revealed some astonishing character developments, involving all the torrid affairs, dying lovers, bloody hands, car accidents, and facial scars you could ever hope to find in a mid-day soap.

The game is an intriguing exercise in relinquishing control, as your character’s actions are provided by the players around you. Afterward, Colin pointed out that I had been blocking some of the suggestions for my character, of which I had been completely unaware. It’s tough to find the balance between shaping the character’s story (and thereby giving the other players something to go on when they’re offering suggestions) and allowing your pre-conceived assumptions about said character to be thrown out the window in an instant when the suggestions pull you in an entirely different direction.

I also gave this honey mojito recipe a try, improvising a cocktail shaker with two cups. (Can you tell I’m ready for summer?) Making a simple syrup out of honey completely opens the field for all kinds of cocktails I had previously dismissed as not being SCD-friendly. Time to start stocking the liquor cabinet…I see more games of Penny for My Thoughts in my future.

2013-04-13 penny mojito

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