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Coming Along















I started drinking coffee again after so many months without. It was actually the longest stretch of 'no coffee' in my adult life, I believe. Something interesting came to mind though as I pondered why I was yet again drawn to this stimulating elixir, after contentedly living without it for months.

For me, it's a nostalgia thing.

Living in a climate with four distinct seasons offers many moments throughout the year where changing sites, sounds, and scents will trigger so many memories and traditions.

Traditions like drinking freshly brewed coffee outside on cool Spring mornings. 

So, coffee in the morning again, and I'm okay with it. I'm sure it will always come and go.

Adam's brother is visiting this week and we are having the best time. He's such a fun uncle, I wish our visit could be longer. Tonight we'll head down to Mystic and have dinner on the water... hoping for a pretty, breezy evening before the heat comes tomorrow. 

... oops, I just checked the weather. Severe storms coming our way with a possible tornado warning. Yikes! Perhaps we'll just go out for Thai in the next town?

The gardens are coming along, chicken housing is coming along, and the slow but sure finish of our formal school year is coming along too. I'm switching into summer mode rather quickly at this point which feels so good because the sooner summertime is here, the longer it will last. 

Week's End


I had a dessert last night that was topped with stewed dried fruit. It was amazing! Simple, affordable, easy to source ingredients... now I'm thinking of about twelve desserts that I'd like to top with stewed dried fruit. 

Fresh fruit is often turned into a quick warm sauce for desserts around here (or they simply are the dessert), but oh my how sweet and plump sundried cherries and apricots become when a little liquid, heat, and time is applied. All I want to do now is place my dehydrator front and center on the kitchen counter and dry every piece of fruit that comes into the house so I can always be ready to make my new favorite topping. I feel like I'm already stalking my blueberry bushes enough, comparing their progress to this chart like a mother over her newborn babe (we are between petal fall and early green fruit, I'm obsessed). 


I want to plant more berries and grapes this weekend, and rhubarb too... why don't I have any rhubarb yet? Rhubarb Ginger Jam has been on my mind and it's been ages since I've made any. I hope the plant nursery still has a good supply. Kind of kicking myself for not stocking up when we were last there. Oh, but I did get plenty of strawberries! Adding to what we put in last year, things are looking pretty good out there. So many fruits do quite well in our region, we should plan accordingly. 
Getting the new to us home ready for the young ladies. 

Adam created a huge berry patch that with just a little more work this weekend will be completely enclosed which should be a great deterrent for the critters. I'll take a picture soon. So far we've got strawberries, blueberries and raspberries on the property and they are all looking quite good right now. Our raspberries (brought down from Adam's grandmother's homestead in Vermont) are not in the big berry patch yet, they are still close to the house, but we'll start moving those up this year and let them establish in the more protected area. Though being so close to the house they don't seem to be too bothered by critters, other than Scout, he plucks them right off the bush for snacking!


This week Emily decided to become a redhead! Henna gets easier to work with the more you do it. Just like using henna on skin, the first couple of times can be a little cumbersome but then it becomes more manageable with practice. Emily has used Mountain Rose Herbs henna before (a soft, light brown color), this time she ordered from Henna Color Lab. Both worked really well, but her color choice this time was certainly more vibrant!



We've had rain for days here. Everything is finally as green as can be, and as damp as can be too. A little drying out now would be welcomed... after tomorrow it looks like that will happen. Adam's younger brother is coming up this weekend and staying for the week so we'll be looking for reasons to hang out on the deck or by the campfire, and grill all sorts of things. Maybe I'll use the campfire to make a pot of stewed dried fruit. Who needs s'mores when you have stewed dried fruit?

















Today I am...

...settling into the first day of leading 30 Day Vegan. I love getting to know the new names appearing from around the globe and feeling grateful for so many familiar names returning too. (Registration is only open through this Wednesday.)

...thinking about asking my guy if we can take that new truck of his and go fill it with a yard of mulch. Our gardens would be so thankful. 

...trying to understand why I've experienced such a high level of technical issues lately. The latest...why would voice-over just stop working in iMovie? 

...okay with putting down one book that I just couldn't get into (I really did want to love that book), and picking up another that I was totally into just by reading the forward. Now I don't want to put this one down at all. 

...feeling an ache in my hands and wrists that I know is not good, wondering if an extended break is on the horizon. Do bloggers take sabbatical...?

...loving yoga frogs as a reason to step away from my desk and move some blood around.

...sensing yet another shift with the internet and wondering what my place as a user will be. 

...grateful for the three lilac shrubs I was gifted last year for Mother's Day. To have blossoms this Spring has made me so happy! I wish everyone could have a lilac shrub in their yard. 

...anticipating the end of a truly fantastic knitting project. So close!

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Today I am very happy for this life of mine... it's a good one. Achy hands, creepy internet, technical woes, and all. ;)

A Happy Discovery
























I uploaded the camera card and found a mix of my shots and hers. It seems she is picking up the camera again, a happy discovery this morning. 

A week in the life, for both of us. 

Lunch Box Noodles


The other night Adam and I worked in the garden until after dark. Emily, just outside the garden gate, played basketball until she could no longer see the hoop. Earlier in the day I was talking to a friend who mentioned an evening ahead that was filled with baseball practice and other activities... I think for many of us, our spring evenings are looking quite a bit different than the cold winter months we've just left behind. 


Scheduled in just the right way that works for each family, these bustling evening activities can feel wonderful as the sun hangs in the sky well past dinnertime. A hallmark of youth and springtime. 

But wait! What about dinner? 


Although we may linger around the dinner table a little less during this time of year, surely our children still need something to eat! And the gathering of a shared meal each day is a treasured hour that many of us strive for (even if said meal is packed up and shared on the tailgate of a car at the town ball field). 


The recipe I'd like to share with you today is perfect for such evenings. This is the kind of "one pot" meal that can be prepared earlier in the day, then brought to the table (or tailgate) within five minutes of mealtime.

As I slowly retire many of my workshop recipes (making way for new ones) it is fun to share some of those with you here. 


The biggest make ahead tip I can offer about a dish like this is to keep the dressing in a separate container until serving, a lidded jar is perfect for this. The liquid (especially the acidic element) in any dressing will begin to soften and break down fresh vegetables if added too soon. While it is perfectly fine to add the dressing a few hours in advance without any real detriment (it's just a salad after all), if you can keep the dressing on the side and toss it in at serving your dish will be even better for it. 


This recipe was originally developed as a tasty lunch box idea, but there is no need to reserve this dish for one particular meal.  


Lunch Box Noodles 

A retired Whole Food Kitchen recipe.

serves 3-4


  • 8 ounces soba or udon noodles (or any noodle of your choice, even raw zucchini!)
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 scallions, chopped (or 1/4 cup fresh chopped chives)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • sea salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste (I use mild)  


  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  2. Place cooled noodles and chopped veggies in a large bowl. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over noodles and gently toss to combine. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. 


  • You could keep the dressing separate and mix in right at serving time. 
  •  Think of other veggies you could add - grape tomato, shredded red cabbage, green peppers, chopped kale, etc.
  • Great picnic or potluck recipe!


Print Recipe - Lunch Box Noodles

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If you find yourself enjoying the garden during these relatively bug-free evenings, or on the sideline cheering for your favorite ball players... a yummy bowl of noodles and veggies with a tasty dressing just may be the perfect springtime supper for your family.