Thursday, February 16, 2017

Two thirds Midwinter

You know how we sing about being "in the bleak midwinter" at Christmas but winter has only just begun? Indeed, here in Vermont, it's oftentimes that the snow doesn't really begin to fall and stick in earnest until the end of December. It depends but, generally, for us, middle of February is the middle of snow season - the true Midwinter.

I heard, once, that Midwinter is around the time of the winter solstice because, in the ancient Celtic calendar, winter began on November first unlike our modern calendar when that is 'Midautumn'.

Anyhoo! We've had snow for most of December, this year, and winter is growing long. I, however, choose to not long for what I cannot have but to keep my heart in a place of gratitude for where I am, today! i.e. it's still winter and will be for some time; so, don't even talk to me about spring!!! (Though, I may buy tulips at the grocery store - it's part of the gratitude, you see. ;))

Winter is still so very beautiful! It's still wonderfully cozy and warm inside! Winter, to me, is a long meditation - an antidote to the busyness of the rest of the year - and I wouldn't want to rush it!


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Thars uh frost on the pumpkin doughnuts, tonigh'!

"Thars frost on the pumpkin, tonight!"

...said no true native Vermonter - EVER!

It's a phrase that only 'out of staters' (a.k.a. 'Flatlanders') would use. (That would be my side of the family, we're talking about - every year - repeated several times - each...)

There is a Vermont accent, though, but before I go on, you first need to understand that to be considered a 'true' Vermonter, one's family line needs to go back, at least, three generations. For example, the king gave my husband's family their land; so, he's pretty safely considered a true Vermonter.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

One time, Tom was taking me for a ride on a back road up into the hills of our little town. Our passage was considered a class four road; so, you can understand that we were really 'off roading' or 'four wheeling' on a wide path that was wending it's way through the hilly, woodsy landscape. The lane would jiggity-jog over and through the ruts and along the edge of rocky ravines and the reward was to be a beautiful waterfall hidden away for those few who knew about it.

We weren't three minutes off the highway, when we encountered a cow in the lane. Tom (having spent many summer's living in a cabin on the family farm) knew what to do. He climbed out of the truck and went out to chase the cow back through the gap in the fence that surrounded a tiny pasture scooped out of the trees and brush. It stays cold in the shady pockets of the hills that don't see much sun and there was a little farmhouse - smoke curling from the chimney - and an old timey farmer came out the front door to see what the ruckus was about. Well, they took care of the cow and, then, Tom and he proceeded to have a conversation that I couldn't understand at all - not one word! I recognized the accent and was surprised to hear how 'Canadian' the vowels sounded. I knew they were speaking English - but I had no translation for what the farmer said and could only catch bits of what my husband spoke.

I realized the treasure I was witnessing. An old farmer - Vermonter - lost in a hidden pocket of history.

Quite honestly, it was a very 'Brigadoon' experience!!

Well, they chatted on.... a while... a long, looooooong while.... 

(If you're from here, you understand and you're chuckling, too.)

That was twenty years ago and that unique population is disappearing fast - if it hasn't dispersed, already, into thin air - like the wisp of smoke that was curling from the old farmer's chimney...

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ 

sigh. Ache! Anyhoo!

I've been working on a gluten free recipe for pumpkin pie doughnuts. I thought that these were an epic fail but, then, the next morning, discovered that they simply needed to sit over night. Light and fluffy and moist - these are a little bit of golden amber heaven!!

Happy International Doughnut Day!!

(I know... right?)

These take time but if you'd like the recipe, I'd be happy to share! Just let me know...

(Alright, I've had a request... I'll be back later to type it all up... =) )

Heavy frost in our 'backyard'....


A little autumn, Appalachian music...

Monday, September 19, 2016

I don't know...

It's just sort of a day like this and I wanted to reach out and share it...


Monday, September 5, 2016

Berry Season

We had a wonderful summer - despite all of the renovations, but, alas, it ended. There must be lots of heart broken songs about this phenomenon - the end of summer blues - but I can't think of a one. The only thing that I am so glad to see the back of is the heat and humidity that came to stay through August! Fare the well! And don't come back! The very, very nicest thing about having cooler temperatures is that I can cook again!! The stone fruit and the berries have been beautifully delicious - perfectly ripe - all summer!

So, heigh ho! The boys are back to school again, tomorrow, after the long weekend and, Lliam, who graduated last year from high school has his first day of classes tomorrow at our local community college. We're kind of lucky to have him home for one more year before he goes off to wherever. (Art school is the plan!) Whether they're home or off at school, this time of year is so homey. We haven't gone into winter hibernation, yet. There seems to be just a little bit of mellow, outside festivity left in us and it's so nice to come back in to something sweet and sticky to eat! This cake was really tasty and had the most wonderful texture!! One could really sink their teeth into it - especially, after a night in the fridge - the flavors just settled in together. Really lovely!! It's a kind of lemony pound cake that is... gluten free! =) You can find the recipe here.

In the meantime, I've been considering going up to the power lines in the back 20 acres to see if there are any berries up there but.... there's been a bear in the neighborhood.... of course, I wouldn't see him. That would be just too coincidental but... there's a bear in the neighborhood.... hmmm! Maybe Tom will take me! :)

One last thing! On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, I will be guest hosting on Bella Grace Magazine's instagram page. If you could come by and say 'hi', that would be soooo encouraging!!! I'm slightly nervous/mostly in a creative hum.