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Sniffles, Sideboards, and Sunlight


Ahh, Tuesday. 

Doesn't really have the same ring to it as Monday, you know?

Lately, Tuesday has been kind of like my Monday when it comes to blogging. I do love a good hot off the press Monday morning blog post, but I just don't always seem to get to it. So, Tuesday will have to do for recapping the weekend and looking at the week ahead. 




Emily came down with a cold on Friday so she had to lay low for a couple of days. It made for a rather cozy weekend, but a little disappointing because she missed a birthday outing on Saturday with some girlfriends. To her surprise, these wonderful girls stopped by to drop off a care package for her... so incredibly thoughtful. That really brightened her day. 


We are currently on week three of Whole Food Kitchen and I am loving this class so much. The new format feels just right - longer cooking class videos, weekly ebooks, beautiful contributions from others. The weekly ebooks are each around 30 pages and filled with beautiful photos and graphics. It occurred to me that when all is said and done the material delivered will come close to (or exceed) 300 pages! Hmm... perhaps I do have a book in me after all. ;)


I've seen a few 4am mornings over the past week. I really do love that time of day, to catch the quiet start... the blue hour... the clear headspace for creative thinking. Early mornings are my time, always have been. Even as a teenager I struggled to keep my eyes open past 11pm as my friends would watch movies and such until 2am or later. 

My own daughter is a complete night owl, she has been since the moment she was born. It's kind of amazing when you think about the different internal clocks we each have. Individually unique yet so distinct - I wonder what the purpose is? Is there a primal reason for being a night person or a morning person? Like, okay all you night people, you're in charge of watching for predators in the night... and, hey morning folks, you must get the day started early by hunting, gathering or preparing food for the tribe

Oh, who knows. But it's fun to think about; seems like there must be a purpose to this kind of wiring. 








The sideboard arrived!

It took renting a trailer to get it here, but I love it so much. Tattered yet strong and ready to serve. It makes me want to host a buffet style gathering sometime soon, I can just see a hodgepodge of casserole dishes laid out across the top. 






The wall color is not nearly as 'limey' as it appears in this photo. 

I suppose we should put a dining table in there soon. It will certainly tighten the room up a bit when that happens. We have the table on hand already, and it is small, but the room is quite small to begin with so we'll just call it a cozy nook of a dining room... with a fantastically old, beat-up sideboard!


I find myself peeking in as I work in the kitchen... Hello dining room, you're really coming along!

It's been fun to slowly see this room take shape, having been used as a his and hers office since we first moved in. A few months ago I moved my office upstairs, wanting a 'set-apart' corner to write and think. The new arrangement is so good. And, having this dining room come to life expands our living/entertaining space on the first floor which is really nice. 

I love these sort of changes. I crave them, really. Every few months or so I feel compelled to clear and reinvent some part of our home, to breathe new energy into a tired and stiffled space. 


Speaking of change... this was taken last week. A 5pm glass of wine beside a sunlight filled window. Evening light is surely returning now.  

Yes, sprucing up corners of our home and increased sunlight each day... these are the sort of changes I look forward to. 

The Pancake Bowl (Recipe :: Banana Oat Blender Pancakes)


Pretty much all of my life, a pancake breakfast has been enjoyed on at least one of the two weekend days. I have a feeling many of you could say the same thing.

It's tradition - the boxed mixes, the family recipes, bacon sizzling on the stove top until that ever so enlightening day when we all realized it was much neater (and easier) to bake it in the oven. 

Growing up my parents had a few kitchen rules in this house - no fake maple syrup allowed, mashed potatoes do not come in a box, pinch pennies every which way you can but never buy cheaply made paper towels. 

And, pancakes must always be made in the blue pyrex bowl. 

For thirty five years this bowl has been sitting on the bottom shelf of the top middle cabinet in this kitchen. The custom made oak cabinets were one of two splurges when mom and dad built this house. (The second being hardwood floors throughout.) 

A built to last bowl housed in built to last cabinetry. Those were the good ol' days. 


Most designers would agree that although these cabinets (and those harvest gold counters!) are kind of a time capsule at this point, never has there been a more quality set of kitchen cabinets. They would last another hundred years if the house surrounding them remains standing.

When Mom and Dad moved out of this house last winter and we moved in, I asked Mom if she could leave just one thing - the blue pyrex pancake bowl.

It belongs here.

And so she did. 

We use it each and every weekend for pancakes, and hardly ever reach for it at any other time during the week (even though it is a great all round mixing bowl).


I just remembered... Mom also baked her Spanish Rice in here. I should make that too. Oh! She also soaked beans and would let bread rise in this bowl. (We never bought bread or canned baked beans at the store. I did not think these things were hip at the time, but now I do, of course.)

Pancake recipes change over time. 

Over the decades homemade recipes were replaced by boxed mixes. Those boxed mixes were replaced by fat-free versions of the same. Then, once everyone realized they weren't getting any thinner on all that fat-free food, family recipes were pulled back out again.

But... wheat has changed so much over the years, it's hardly recognizable anymore. So, many of us look for a different pancake recipe. 

Honestly, most weekends still find us pulling our tried and true wheat flour pancake recipe from the recipe box (our flour comes from here, ordered through our local food co-op). Our daughter reminds us that the pancakes she grew up on are still the pancakes for her.  We are each on our own journey, there needs to be space and respect for that. My parenting (and life) mantra, these days.

However, forty year old me has had enough wheat to last a lifetime. I'm so over it. Once a week or so is not a problem, but daily wheat intake leaves me feeling bloated, sluggish, and as though my brain is in a vise. So, I mostly skip it. But on Sunday mornings, alongside my girl, I serve myself up a (short) stack of her favorite pancakes. 

But sometimes, just for varieties sake, she (understanding of other people's needs) doesn't mind if we mix it up a bit, making one of our "crunchy" pancake recipes using coconut or oat flour.

This is actually kind of funny because although she likely realizes this at fifteen years old, most people would think the whole wheat pancakes she grew up on are pretty "crunchy" themselves. 


In particular, I'm a big fan of these pancakes right here, Blender Banana Oat Pancakes.

I'd love a tall stack of these.


Blender Banana Oat Pancakes

A retired Whole Food Kitchen recipe. 

makes 12-16 pancakes


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (nut or raw dairy)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg

 butter or coconut oil for cooking


  1. Place all ingredients, except egg and cooking oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Add egg and blend a few seconds more.
  2. Let stand 10 minutes or longer to thicken batter.
  3. If batter becomes too thick to pour easily, add some milk.
  4. Heat oil in frying pan or skillet.
  5. Pour batter, by 1/4 - 1/2 cup, into pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.


Print Recipe - Blender Banana Oat Pancakes



The pancake bowl's place of storage has changed since we moved in,  now sitting one shelf up. Surrounding the bowl is no longer the Tupperware of my youth, but healthier eco-friendly glass storage containers. Next generations are always doing things like that - making "improvements" as they see fit - allowing for progress, new beginnings, and change.

All the while, this steady and true pancake bowl sits in waiting, ready to do the same job its done for nearly forty years... offering up Sunday morning pancakes. 

Weekending and Thrifting


It was one of those weekends that started early on Friday afternoon. Nothing special was planned, there was just something about the day that just pushed me into weekend mode by mid-afternoon. I loved that. 

Still ignoring the Christmas wreaths on our front doors, I focused on the cozy inside instead. A few corners were fluffed, a perfect February activity if ever there was one. Looking at our basic, everyday things in a new light is always refreshing. 


Speaking of light, this little room (our den) is the darkest room in the house so I don't usually spend much time with my camera in here. On this day, the lighting seemed to be just right. Welcome to our den!

I finished another hat (pics to come soon). No other creative pursuit has taught me more about the process than knitting. In fact,  part of me that actually enjoys trying a project and having it not work out quite as expected - I always learn something valuable from that. I might even learn more when it doesn't work out than when it does.

When a project doesn't go according to plan there is opportunity to pause and think about why. I kind of like that space, the space of troubleshooting. In doing so I gain a better understanding of things such as needle size, gauge, pattern reading, cast-on methods, cast-off methods, etc. I bet some of you know what I mean. 

I'm reminded of just how particular I am about hat fit. This is good because right now I'm totally inspired to knit hat after in search of the perfect-for-me pattern. There may quite a big stack when all is said and done.


Heading into weekend mode early, I was inspired to gather all the bits of yarn I've been collecting (and gifted) over the last several months. Oh my, that was eye opening. In the world of knitting stashes, I know this isn't a tremendous amount, but I am loving this big-to-me collection just the same. I set it all up in this temporary way which looks cute but doesn't really offer protection from dust and dog hair. 

A glass fronted antique cabinet would be perfect. You know the kind with rounded glass sides and a door in the front? I think yarn is so beautiful to look at, I don't want to hide it away in totes or bags or something - but it seems like a certain amount of protection is a good idea.

A little thrifting adventure was in order. 


Oh!! I wish I could say this beautiful cabinet came home with us, but alas, it was hundreds of dollars above my budget. 

We are terribly spoiled around here with excellent thrifting prices so the dollar amount was practically a number I’d never heard in my thrifting travels. You see, it was being used as a display and not technically for sale. When the shop owner learned I was interested, he called the vendor of this particular corner to inquire about price. The response was basically, “Oh sure, it's for sale (for this crazy amount of money).” 

Thankfully, Adam took this quick pic with his phone so we could keep our eyes open for something just like it. 

Because the shop was using it as a display, the beautiful door had been taken so it wouldn't be in the way. But it was there, and the entire piece was in perfect condition.

It is exactly what I'm looking for. Don’t you think yarn would look so pretty in here?

Perhaps I could justify the purchase if we called it my "gift" for every gift-giving holiday this year? (I’m sort of kidding.)






I did find a few other treasures - a new art piece (victorian floral with meditating buddha!), some country plaid curtains for our dining room, and a new hutch for our apothecary supplies. I didn't take a picture yet of the two pieces together, but the glass doored section sits on top of the other piece forming one unit. The hutch will also go in the dining room. Now a little spruce up is underway and I can't wait to have a new space in our home to enjoy. 

The hutch was actually picked up earlier in the week from a place that we love that is sadly going out of business. There is a second piece that I'm bringing home too, but it is quite large and will require a little creativity in order to get it here. We’ll be doing that later this week. It is a fantastically long butcher block/island/19th century mercantile counter type of thing. Just beautiful in a totally beat up and rustic sort of way. I can’t wait to show it to you. 




There was a bit of snow this weekend too! Waking up to a fresh white covering is simply the best. Unless you don’t like snow, then it’s not the best. 

Spring is going to feel so good this year. 

I best get back to all the rearranging and continued fluffing that is going on around here. Emily’s new semester at homeschool co-op starts tomorrow, and we’ve begun a new (mid school year switch up) rhythm to her days at home, too. I’ll share more about that once we’re a month or so in and have a better idea if it’s working for us or not. 

Early weekending, good thrifting, continued learning in my knitting world, renewed homeschool energy, and freshly fallen snow. These are the things February is made of.

A Storm to Remember


Friday night I left the screen door open intentionally, in case we needed to get out.

By Saturday morning I was not so sure that was a good idea.


A true blizzard indeed!

Waking up on Saturday morning was both thrilling and overwhelming.

Thrilling because we had power! I can't believe it stayed on, but so grateful it did. Why on earth would people living in a climate like this not have a secondary heat source (that's me I'm talking to)? Really need to correct that. 

We do have a generator and had plenty of fuel on hand to run it if necessary. But to me, fuel dependent generators are a (loud!) band-aid. Not a true, lasting solution. 

Overwhelming because it still snowed for several more hours after I took these early morning pictures. It was a little comical actually... um, where do we start?


I have not seen this much snow from one storm since the Blizzard of '78, I was six at the time. In our area, snow accumulations over this past weekend were in the 30-40 inch range (exceeding most '78 accumulations), not taking into account the drifting and snow banks left from plows. That is, if you were lucky enough to have your street plowed. I know some are still waiting.

While visiting Northern Maine recently, I couldn't help but notice how wide the roads were. Even my parents road, a quiet, not well-traveled dirt road on the backside of a lake, is incredibly wide and spacious. I image the width of those roads is by careful design. Receiving heavy snowfall for several months out of the year, you have to have somewhere to push all that snow. Extra wide roads provide the room to do so.

We don't exactly have large snowfall accommodating roads down here. And it's a little difficult right now because of that. It will melt eventually, and people are managing as best they can, but most of our 2-4 lane roads are now reduced to 1-2 lanes. Definitely keeps you on your toes when driving.














Scouty Boy was of course beside himself with glee. He spent a good deal of Saturday trailblazing and attacking shovels. Because you know, shovels are evil.

I think it is impossible to photograph this kind of snow (aside from putting a yard stick in the ground and snapping a pic). Walking through it, especially for Scout, you just don't sink to the very bottom. In pictures it appears to be not quite as deep as it really is.

But trust me, that snow is deep.




About mid-day on Saturday the snow tapered off and my fabulous Uncle (of the year!) drove up the street on his bulldozer to plow us out. We were so grateful for this because on Friday when Adam went out to get our own snow plow ready (it's on a tractor), it wouldn't start. Even with him and a neighbor tinkering for an hour, it would not start. Such timing!

I honestly don't know how you could shovel your way out of this kind of snow. Which is what led to my proclamation that truly we are meant to stay home all winter and knit, read books, and live off our pantry supplies and canned goods from the summer garden... truly, family!


They were sure to remind me that I am not in fact, Ma Ingalls, and I should join them in celebrating Uncle Wayne's offer to clear our very long driveway. (Okay, I totally celebrated. It was greatly appreciated.)














After an acceptable amount of snow was cleared, there really wasn't much else to do but lounge around under the blue sky and try to play in the snow. 

It was so hard to move around out there. So hard. You can't really imagine the power this amount of snow has until you try to do something simple like take the dog for a potty break. Suddenly you are faced with an activity of epic proportions! Wading through 30 inches of snow is serious business. 

Snowshoes were necessary, I don't know how we would have gotten around without them. And when snowshoeing became exhausting, we'd just collapse on the fluffy ground and take in the quiet around us. The quiet of snow.  


But you know, there was quiet on the inside too. 

The kind of quiet that only comes with blizzard snowfalls, once every thirty years or so.

The kind of quiet that is perfect for staying warm and cozy, a quiet that occupies my busy hands and heart, a quiet that happily channels my inner Ma Ingalls. 

The quiet of a blizzard. 

Definitely, a storm to remember.















We've stocked up on fuel and filled all the buckets with water. 

Headlamps are gathered and oil lamps are filled. 

Mail has arrived, including the perfect goodies to ride out the storm with. 

A few days worth of almond milk and chai concentrate have been made. 

My workshop has opened, we'll exchange hellos over the weekend and officially begin our program on Monday (provided we don't lose power for an extended period of time).

Risotto has been made, wine is poured. 

Knitting sits beside me.

We're told to expect two feet of snow and 50mph winds.

(I'd rather three feet of snow and no wind.)

May we all stay safe and warm.

See you on the other side, friends. xo 

A Tale of Two Hats


It started with pretty yarn. Doesn't it always?

I really wanted to play around with some yarn that recently made it into my basket.

Then, it almost came to an abrupt end before things really even got off the ground. Let's just say double pointed needles and I did not get off to a happy start. 

But I soldiered on, the motivation to do so can be placed entirely on the encouragement of my Facebook friends. Who knew Facebook had such value? But it's true.

You can feel frustrated about your knitting and cry publicly on Facebook only to have an immediate and grand response from fellow knitters providing solace. They'll offer to chat with you on the phone, come over to your house, give you a one on one lesson via skype, or simply to keep you company in your frustration - all the while encouraging you to move forward. 

Seriously, knitters are good, dedicated people. 

And knitting is good for me. I can tell. 


I know it's all still new, and my projects to date are not much in the way of extravagance, but I'm getting it friends... the quiet allure, the timeless space, the grounded feeling of quality yarn in my hands... I get it

I love being able to create something functional with nothing more than a ball of string and a couple of sticks. No power cords needed, no sound from a machine. I could even knit by candlelight should the power go out in the evening (which I've happily done).

I could go on and on about my new love, but I'll just say this...

Knitting is perfect.

I think it will teach me everything. 

But... back to those double pointed needles. After finishing my last project, I wanted to give double pointed needles a try. It felt like trying to perform surgery on a butterfly (not that I have any idea what that is like) and became immediately discouraging. 

Hence, me taking my knitting woes to Facebook. 

And that is where I found all the help and wisdom I needed. 

Sarah even made me a video that demonstrated how to use double pointed needles! Saved by wise knitting friends, I tell ya. 


I wanted to make a hat. A hat! Based on most of the patterns I looked at, I thought I had to use dpns, but my Facebook friends said otherwise. Take it slow, use small circular needles, check out the magic loop method - that might work for you

I went to work knitting up my first hat (Winter Slouch), the plan being to use circular needles for as far as they'd take me, then carefully switch to dpns. I figured it would feel less cumbersome to get acquainted with double points on a project that was already established, that had a good amount of work completed. Much less fuss.

It worked! Sort of...

The knitting itself indeed worked, and the switching of needles worked, but what's that pesky thing that knitters always talk about? Oh... um... you know... gauge!?






Yeah. Apparently it matters.

So, hat number one went on and came off the needles but will surely not fit a single head in this house. Thankfully Emily has a friend with dreads... and I do believe she is about to get a little present.  


Next up, another hat of course. This time, Sugar Maple Hat, a different pattern using smaller needles. (I love tiny stitches.) From the start it seemed like a slimmer, though still slouchy hat. Just what I wanted. And I especially liked how the ribbed band was a little extra wide, a snug covering over the ears from cold wintry air. 




So, this little project stayed by my side over the weekend, coming along with us and taking form one little stitch at a time. 

I'm beginning to find a better groove with the dpns, still starting with circulars and going as far as I can with those (I think I'll probably always do that), then switching to double points at the end. 






This second attempt at hat making went pretty well. Still a little big, but very much wearable. 

Practice makes progress. 

Although I do hope our friends with dreads stand by because I don't think I'm out of the oversized hat making woods just yet. Maybe I need to take that whole gauge thing to heart, after all. 

Now, if only I can get my yarn to stop twisting up like crazy when casting on. Goodness that would save me some grief. (Feel free to instruct me on this.)

Project details from this post can be found here and here. Happy knitting! :)