Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Living Simply

"Living simply means
concentrating on
what's important in
light of eternity,
and not taking the rest
of life too seriously."

Annie Chapman

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Art of Life

The art of life is to live in the
present moment, and to make that
moment as perfect as we can...

...by the realization that we are
the instruments and expression
of God Himself.

The best way to prepare for tomorrow
is to make today all that it should be.

Saturday, October 27, 2012



2 cups walnuts, chopped
2 cups coconut, unsweetened
1 cup dates, chopped
1/2 cup oats, rolled
1/2 cup honey (or alternative liquid sweetener)
1/4 cup water

Mix all ingredients.  Allow to stand for five minutes.  Then press into 1" x 2" logs.  Place on a prepared baking sheet at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes.  Turn them once during baking process.  Do not over bake.

Makes:  24 - 30 logs.

A healthy cookie.
Perfect for tea.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Discovering the Beauty

As we take the time to
discover the beauty
within ourselves,
we begin to discover
the beauty that
surrounds us.

The Leaves Grow Old

How beautifully the
leaves grow old.

How full of light and color
are their last days.

Poem: John Burroughs

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Discover the Fullness of Life

Love wholeheartedly,
be surprised,

Give thanks and praise...

You will discover the
fullness of your life.

David Steindl-Rast

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Rose is Out of Town

"The morns are meeker than they were,

The nuts are getting brown;

The berry's cheek is plumper,

The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,

The field a scarlet gown.

Lest I should be old-fashioned,

I'll put a trinket on."

by Emily Dickinson

Sparks Lake, Oregon 2012

An Invitation

You are invited to visit my other blog, My Cozy Kitchen. It's a quiet place where I share healthy, whole-food recipes. The recipes are posted from my collection as I prepare them or as they come into focus when I am browsing through my recipe files. They are filled with antioxidants and phytochemicals, are full of fiber, and help maintain wellness and promote good health. If you stop by, please leave me a comment so I know you've been by. I'd love to share a cup of tea with you, but in blogland a few words will have to do. Happy eating and stay healthy!

Disease Proof by Dr. Joel Furhman is a site that I enjoy and is highly recommended for help with healthy eating and food choices. Don't forget the G.O.M.B.S. method for wellness!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Star House

Do you have children or grandchildren? Here is a fun story to share with them. Since it is the harvest season, find a juicy, red apple to help illustrate the story.

Once upon a time a young boy names Johnny was searching for something interesting to do. His mother suggested that he go outside and play with his toys. His train was fun as it chugged in and out of his garage. "Clank! Clank!" went the fire bell as his fire engine zoomed down the sidewalk. But Johnny was tired of his toys.

"Please, Mother, tell me about something interesting that I can do," begged Johnny. His Mother then suggested that he go outside and find a little red house that had no doors or windows, but had a star inside of it.

Johnny looked and looked but he couldn't find the little red house with no doors, no windows, and a star inside of it. When he became tired of looking he went to Grandmother's. Grandmother was always ready to listen and she was wise. She thought and thought. Finally she told Johnny that when she had a problem which she couldn't solve, she always went over to visit Farmer Brown.

Away went Johnny to Farmer Brown's home. "Please sir, can you help me? My mother asked me to find a little red, round house with no doors and no windows and a star inside of it. I asked my Grandmother to help me, but she said that when she has a problem she comes to you"

Farmer Brown thought and thought. He looked at the apple tree at the top of the hill. "When I have a problem and I don't know the answer, I go and listen to the wind. Why don't you go to the top of the hill and stand under the apple tree and listen to the wind."

"Swish. . .Swish. . .Swish. . .went the wind and an apple fell right near Johnny's feet. Johnny picked it up and looked at it. It was little. It was round. It was red! "A  little red, round house," thought Johnny. "Maybe with a star inside of it? Who ever heard of a star inside of an apple? I'll just open it and see."

"There it is! There it is! A little red, round house with no doors and no windows and a star inside of it."

It is recommended that you use an apple as an object lesson in this story, cutting it crosswise to reveal the star inside.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Aunt Mabel's Potato Pancakes

My Aunt Mabel is a fantastic cook! Recently I prepared a recipe that she has always been famous for ~ Potato Pancakes! They are delicious served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Recently we prepared them as 'cabin fare' and served ours with catsup and a dairy-free ranch dressing, but Aunt Mabel always served hers with creamy cucumber dressing (also very tasty) or Rogers Golden Syrup. Here's a recipe for her famous pancakes.

Aunt Mabel's Potato Pancakes

8 medium potatoes, raw and grated
1 1/2 medium onions
1 package silken tofu, firm and 2 Tbsp. flour*
[or 3 eggs *see note below]
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder

Heat oil in a large skillet to fry the pancakes.

Shred raw, peeled potatoes using a carrot grater. Put in a large bowl. Mince the onions. Add to the potatoes. Next add the tofu, flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix well.

Use a large spoon and spatula to add the potato mixture to the oil. Brown on one side, flip over, brown the other side. Repeat if necessary (so the potatoes are cooked through) then remove to a plate covered with paper towels to drain. Serve with your favorite dressing or maple syrup.

*Flour is used with the tofu to act as a binder. You can use regular all-purpose flour or a gluten free flour such as soy flour, fava bean flour, or a gluten-free flour blend. It works nicely. For a non-vegan version, add eggs and omit tofu.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Joyful Yellow of Autumn

Cheerful and clear, yellow is the color of autumn. Just look around you. What do you see? Where do you see the color yellow? In the leaves or squash and fruits or possibly chrysanthemums and Black-Eyed Susan's. From nature to tabletop, the color that nature favors for this season in home and garden are color the many shades of autumn!

Even the sun is yellow, and here sunlight filters onto the glass, creating a jeweled effect that is intensified by the repetition of pattern and its golden hue.

Alma's garden beams with sunshine's rays, illustrated so beautifully by the Black-Eyed Susan's she grows in her back yard.

Hen and rooster have accents in yellow, only intensified by golden beauty of a gravy boat. What a warm and friendly table they create.

Gathering collections of items in yellow and placing them in a cozy corner of the house creates a cheerful appeal on days that are growing shorter and a little more dreary as coolness sets in.
Firewood is gathered by the truckload and is stacked and ready to split for winter's use. Wood gathering has become a family ritual over the years.

Pretty marigolds add not only cheer to the outside, but make a great addition to autumn meals. Have you tried adding marigold petals to hash browns or a leafy green salad? Yummy and so beautiful!

Bowls of golden pear tomatoes are being gathered at our house. Delicious in salad with sweet onions and fresh cilantro, they are in such abundance that they are also being dried and roasted for winter use.

October's color can be found in a campfire. It's golden glow signals just the right coals for roasting marshmallows or hot dogs --- and it's warmth keeps the toes of those whom you love nearby so nice and toasty!

Right now a golden cup of pumpkin tea and a nugget of brown sugar cube sound like the perfect way to welcome an autumn evening and the close of a lovely day. Life is full and busy right now. Autumn is the season of transition --- of season and of life. It's a time to enjoy the day that God has blessed us with, for abundance and blessings. 

I hope your A U T U M N is beautiful and abundant!

Nature is Art

‎"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an

 oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all." 

Stanley Horowitz

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hot Carob Drink

Carob comes from the seed pods of a locust tree that is common in the Mediterranean, Africa, and the Middle East. Rich in may nutrients and sometimes used as a natural sweetener, carob is considered a very healthy food. Because it is an excellent source of pectin, it's used to sooth tummy ailments. Although it doesn't really taste like chocolate, it is frequently used as a chocolate alternative. It's delicious in hot drinks, puddings, cookies, and pies. Some individuals who don't care for the sweet flavor of carob alone love it when it has a touch of coffee or coffee alternative (like Roma) added. Here's a simple carob recipe that I enjoy.

Hot Carob Drink

1 heaping tablespoon carob powder 
1/4 tsp cornstarch
6 to 8 oz water or milk of choice* 
vanilla to taste
stevia or other sweetener of choice

1. Mix the carob powder and cornstarch in the water until smooth.

2. Heat the ingredients, stirring occasionally, and serve with a little vanilla.

*I prefer the soy or coconut milk option for enhanced flavor.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Crimson Light on Autumn Forest

The seasons are changing. Autumn gives poets so much to write about. Descriptive words, colorful phrases, and imagined pictures of autumn work together so well in poetry and prose. I enjoy reading a poem quickly at first, and then re-reading it once or twice more so I can savor the words and the word-pictures that enter my mind as the repeat takes place. Take a moment to enjoy this autumn poem and see what pictures it paints in your mind.

"Summer's glory lies in ruins --- for the forest is afire --- Richly glows the crimson light on burnished dome and golden spire. Towers of jade collapse and rumble: walls of amber crack and crash. Leafy cities of the woodland fall in clouds of dust and ash.

Rafters of the green cathedrals --- roofs of beechen colonnades --- Hang in charred and burning beams across the blue and smoky glades. . . But Nature's unseen architects will work in silence day and night --- to build the mansions of the Spring upon this red and ruined site."

~ Poem ~ Patience Strong ~
~ Photo ~ Our cabin-neighbor's grandsons ~

Everlasting Love

But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children.
Proverbs 103:17

Father and son (also known as "Dad" and "Grandpa") visit on "the point", enjoying the view and relaxing with cups of tea. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Way Great-Grandmother Did

"That's the way Great-grandmother did it. She looked in the larder, the cellar and then took a walk through the garden to see what she had. And then she made menus for the next couple days."

~ Carla Emory ~

*Do you cook with an electric or gas range? Which do you prefer and why? This is my cabin range and I love how instantly it heats. I think I prefer the electric oven at home for baking though.*

Monday, October 15, 2012

Piquant Pumpkin and Peanut Soup

It's that time of year! Time to use up all that pumpkin!

Piquant Pumpkin & Peanut Soup 

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. ginger, fresh, minced
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. lemon zest
3 cups water
2 Tbsp. Bill's Best Chicknish (or other chicken-like broth seasoning)
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 - 16 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 - 13.5 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. agave syrup
Salt to taste
1/4 cup cilantro, fresh, chopped
2 Tbsp. peanuts, roasted

Saute' onion in olive oil. When soft, add ginger and cayenne. Then stir in lemon zest, water, chicken-like seasoning, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes. 

Strain the broth into another pot and discard the solids. Return broth to a low simmer. Then whisk in pumpkin,coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice, agave syrup, and salt. Cook until heated through. 

Serve with cilantro and peanuts.

For Everything There Is a Season

Late summer, early autumn is a beautiful time on the mountain. 

The late summer flowers bloom and those who's time has past have gone to seed. Even seed pods have a beauty all their own.

The dog days of summer are replaced by a chill in the air, making a campfire inviting and pleasant.

It's the time of year that sees a lot of action at the cabin!

That's because it is time to gather firewood and haul it home for the winter. For the men in the family, this is a time of interest and anticipation. I think it is their favorite sport.

My task is to find the dead trees that need cut down. It is kind of like a gigantic jig-saw puzzle. At first it seems that there are only three or four trees that are dead in the forest. But, after careful hiking and exploring to all the property's corners, an amazing assortment of dead trees are found and marked for cutting. For fun, I counted them this year and came up with sixty-five. Falling the trees and taking their limbs off is a task that befalls others in the family.

While they work, I'm happy to do my own thing. I call it "playing pioneer" and it is quite good for the heart and soul. 

The appetites of those who work hard must be satisfied!

Before long the log stack grows, eventually to a size approved by the woodsmen as "enough". Each log is then cut into sixteen-inch lengths. Then comes the task of stacking each one in the trailer.

Some are heavy, some are light. Some are large, some are small. But together they make up a warming stack of firewood for winter's use.

All in all, more than eight cords of firewood made it down the mountain, ready to heat in the winter months. There's nothing quite as nice as "mountain wood" in a firebox to keep a house cozy and warm.

Of course, after all that work, there was plenty of tea, a healthy reward for a job well done.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Long Time Ago

“When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, "What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?"

"They are the days of a long time ago, Laura," Pa said. "Go to sleep, now."

But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa's fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods,…

She was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.” 

Quote by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Covered with His Feathers

Thirty-some ago I purchased this small pottery container while sight-seeing in the North Cascades. It has been part of my decor in kitchen and patio, but now it graces a shelf on a hutch in our cabin. The first few years it sat there empty. But, over time, little bits of nature has filled its space. It now holds feathers of all sorts, creating a quirky feather bouquet. Turkey and grouse feathers make up most of this arrangement, but recently I found a bright blue feather from a Steller's Jay. I love its vibrancy and how it adds accent to the feathery cluster. Each time I look at it, I am reminded of God's love. There's a verse found in Psalm 91:4 that says "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be they shield and buckler." It is a promise of reassurance. I value the visual reminder of a promise that brings so much comfort and peace.