Lessons from Tolkien


Photo by Jeff Finley on Unsplash

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.  Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole full of worms and oozy smells.  This was a hobbit-hole, and that means good food, a warm hearth, and all the comforts of home.”  ~Old Bilbo  

Hello Lovelies! 

You know, I think hobbits are hygge experts, too.  I also know that when I get to New Zealand, Hobbiton is on my list of places to visit! 

But I digress.  

One Year On  

Can you believe I started this blog a year ago?  To be honest, I am amazed at how the time has gone by.  I never thought I’d be the weekly blogger type of girl, but here I am.  A lot has changed over the last year.  Most notable, The Moose, the Murder, and the Single Malt is in print.  I’ve also got ideas for the next three books in the series, and will be diving into writing The Clerk, the Contractor, and the Christmas Spy over the coming weeks. 

I also want to adapt my content to tie in with my new life, especially as I prepare to up-sticks.  I’m not sure how all of that will look, but it’ll be a blast finding out.  

Summer Hosting 

Would you believe I haven’t yet properly celebrated the launch of my book?  I aim to fix that with a simple brunch in the next couple of weeks.  Mimosas and scrambled eggs, scrummy pastries, fresh fruit, and a little bacon.  Most importantly, really good friends. 

Brunch is a terrific option if you find that dinner parties are too much work, or just too difficult to schedule.  A lot of people are really busy in the evenings, that’s when most school and work stuff happens.  Host a brunch and you can relax more with your guests.  All you need is a small selection of muffins or assorted breakfast pastries or pancakes, good coffee, tea, and appropriate fixings, a fruit platter, and some protein options. 

To make super simple scrambled eggs, crack 1-2 eggs per guest into a microwave safe bowl, add fresh ground pepper, and a splash of milk or cream.  Whisk the mixture up with a fork, and pop it into the microwave for a minute on high.  Keep an eye on it as it cooks, you don’t want it to overflow the bowl.  Stir and fluff with a fork at one minute intervals until cooked and fluffy (timing will vary depending on the number of eggs used).  I also like to grate a little cheddar cheese into my scrambled eggs. 

Bacon or breakfast sausages are super easy to cook in the oven, just lay them out on a cooling rack (be careful with your sausages, they’ll roll) set into a baking sheet to catch the fat.  Cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until cooked through. 

The simplest mimosa is just orange juice and chilled sparkling wine, like a Prosecco.

After that, all you need are enough plates, napkins, and utensils to go around.  Set a pretty table, or lay it out buffet style at let people mingle -just be sure you can keep hot food hot, cold eggs are yucky. 

Music is a nice touch, too, just keep it light so that people can enjoy your good food,  warm hearth, and all the comforts of your home. 

Or go to a restaurant and let someone else clean up!  

Make The Best Of It Challenge:  

“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? I don’t know. Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.” ~ Gandalf, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey  

I’m throwing down the gauntlet, ladies and gents.  This world needs all the kindness and love we can muster.  Start with yourself, welcome yourself home every day.  Figure out what you need to give to yourself in order to put your best foot forward every day.  Pick up a hobby or just one little, tiny, good habit that makes your life better.   Maybe it’s learning a new word a day, or picking up a second (or third, or fourth) language, or just enjoying a cup of coffee in the quiet of the early morning before you head off to work for the day.  You might not think it amounts to much, especially not at first, but try it for just thirty days.  I dare you!

If you’ve already got it going on, fabulous!  How about living that example out loud in the world?  Greet your neighbours when you see them.  Use those frightfully old-fashioned phrases, “please, thank you,” and “you’re welcome.”  When you arrive at the counter to deal with a barista or sales clerk, don’t be on your cell phone!  Give the person in front of you 100% of your attention in the moment, even when you’re looking in the mirror. 

Now, you’re going to shock and amaze people, and some won’t know how to handle your shining example at first.  Persevere.  Please, please persevere.  Let’s make the very best of all that we have, and all that we are, right here and right now. 

Thank You.

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