Thank you for visiting. You can find my Grow Your Blog Party post here. I hope you'll poke around the blog and see what's happening in my world. Leave me a comment or send me an email if you have any questions about any of the posts!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Tribute

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 
The place that most reminds me of my Grandparents 

In honor of Samhain I would like to offer this tiny glimpse of two of the most influential people of my life, my maternal grandparents.

Their names were Esther and Charles (or Big Charlie to his friends). If you've read my blog for a while you know that my parents divorced when I was 4 and my mom, brother and I moved in with my grandparents.

I have vivid memories of my time there, including the ghost that haunted the upstairs hall - that is a story for another day (and I promise to share it soon), the clover filled back yard, days spent dreaming under the giant maple tree by the back fence and nights listening to the rain as it hit the corrugated metal roof over the shed below my bedroom window.

My grandparents were born in the early 1900's, the teen years, which penalized them during their retirement years but they made it work! My grandfather was a gardener and if he wasn't gardening he was buying food and "putting it up" for later. We had a back porch which was enclosed and the place we would take off our boots and coats when coming in from the back yard. Hanging from the ceiling were bundles of chili peppers and onions. In the basement were potatoes, jams and jellies, canned tomatoes, pickles as well as canned peppers. It was a beautiful sight to watch my"mom mom" (that's what we called her) can fruits and vegetables for the winter and seeing all those colorful jars lined up on shelves in the basement was so interesting to me. I loved the process and the end result was so beautiful and would provide for us for months.

We lived with them until I entered 6th grade.

When I was in middle school my grandfather was injured on the job, he was a factory worker, and lost most of the use of his right arm. This was a very difficult time for my grandparents but again, they rode with what was dealt and decided to make a permanent move to their summer home, a gigantic trailer with a full length sun room on the Rehoboth Bay in lower Delaware. This was the place we spent our summers, fishing, crabbing and playing on the beach. When my grandparents moved south I was worried that I wouldn't see them as often but that wasn't the case. Rather than see them a couple of weekends we got to spend entire summers with them. It was amazing!

My grandfather taught me to drive a boat when I was very young. I could filet a fish before I was 10 and was deep sea fishing with him by 11. I am a morning person by nature as was he. We would be up before dawn during the summer and out on the bay setting crab pots as the sun was coming up. I didn't realize how poor they were until later but during those summers we ate like kings. Of course we caught the food but that was ok. Fresh blue crab, clams, mussels, flounder... yep, the bounty of the sea was our staple food. I stood in the food lines with my grandmother getting milk, eggs and cheese. I watched here scrimp, save, and make do. I saw - reduce, reuse, recycle - as a lifestyle, not a catch phrase. I imagine anyone who has relatives who went through the great depression would understand.

My grandmother taught me to cook and sew. She tried, repeatedly, to teach me to crochet but I looked like a kitten with a ball of yarn, it was EVERYWHERE! Yarn and I have a simple relationship, I use it for doll hair and it doesn't attack. I'm good with that.

Cooking with my mom mom was always informative. She showed me how to make cookies, candies and fudge as well as to make pepper jelly (I am currently tracking down that recipe from a relative) and other amazing foods. She turned scrapple into a delicious breakfast, made biscuits that were light and fluffy and served a coconut custard pie that was melt in your mouth fantastic!

I learned to both cook and sew under my mom moms patient hands. She never rushed, never worried. She just showed me what to do and then let me learn by actually doing it. It was wonderful. I made my own clothes in high school and made my children's clothes when they were small. They didn't fully appreciate my sewing abilities until they started testing me with outrageous Halloween costumes, for instance one year my sweet daughter decided to be a red satin unicorn with a silver horn, another year she was a tombstone - fortunately, thanks to my mom mom I was able to meet their crazy demands!

Many of the things I enjoy today are directly related to my experiences with these two amazing people. I love the ocean and the outdoors, gardening, boating and the water due to my grandfather letting me experience these things with him and I love creating, cooking, baking and taking care of my home and family because my grandmother fostered that within me.

So today, as the veil thins I send my love, respect and thanks to the two people who have most influenced my life! I thank them for taking the time to not only teach but to share with me their passions!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Blessed Mabon

Apple Hill, California

I wish a very blessed Mabon to those of you in the Northern Hemisphere.

Red, orange, green, brown, yellow…rich, beautiful color is everywhere! Being a red head – these are my colors and this is my season.  Don’t get me wrong, I love all the seasons but autumn is my favorite. The cool brisk nights and warm sunny days provide the best of both worlds temperature wise – I get to snuggle with my guy at night and enjoy the great outdoors during the day. Pumpkins, apples and squash show up not only in the garden and grocery store but in wreaths and table top centerpieces. Nature’s harvest is celebrated everywhere.  Soups and casseroles seemed to become more popular and families tend to snuggle in at home.

Of course the days start to get shorter, and while I prefer the long days of summer I look at the long evenings as time to play games by the fire, read books and to plan for spring :0)

Right now I am enjoying the bounty of my garden. While only a few of my plants actually grew well this year, those that did are producing lots of food. My tomatoes and green beans have taken over their garden spots and the cucumbers are finally big enough to pick. I will be freezing some of my beans next weekend and will be making zucchini bread this week from the beautiful zucchinis my friend brought me as well as some yummy apple cake to celebrate Mabon (recipe below).

I look forward to the changing colors of the leaves though right now our larger oak tree is defiantly staying green. Once it decides to change it will show off with brilliant oranges and reds.

This time of year definitely makes me thankful for all that I have. I have a wonderful home and amazing family and friends that I get to spend time with. I live in the high desert but just a half-hour away are the stunning Sierra Nevada Mountains, the jewel that is Lake Tahoe, rivers, forests and more. My yard is big enough for me to garden and for my children and dogs to run wild – my youngest is now 18 but he and his friends still run wild in the yard, usually with squirt guns.

I’ve been blessed and while I make sure to thank the Goddess everyday for my life and all that I have I try to make sure to send some extra thanks during the harvest. 

In honor of Mabon I'll be making this yummy apple cake for my family. I like this recipe because you use chunks of apples rather than apple sauce. 

This is from the All Recipes web site:

Recipe By: Ann
  • 5 apple - peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  •  2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) lightly grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. Sift together flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar for 15 minutes on high speed with an electric mixer. Add oil and blend in.
  4. Add four mixture and mix well. Add vanilla. Fold in apples and nuts. Pour batter into 9x13 inch pan.
  5. In a small bowl, mix 4 teaspoons sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle over cake.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
I hope you enjoy the day. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Kayaking at the Marina

This summer has been filled to the brim. With laughter, with fun, with baseball,with parties and candlelight, good food my wonderful family and lots of friends. I have been busy with work and home life and have been feeling pretty bad about neglecting my blog.

Then I realized that my blog will be here when the summer is over, as the  hectic pace lessens and the days begin to noticeably shorten. I'm looking forward to blogging again.

I've got recipes and projects to share, more magical green cleaning products, herbal goodies and other fun things that I'll be posting soon.

Thanks for sticking around.

I'll be back soon!


Friday, June 26, 2015

Marriage Equality

There is a lot of chatter on social media today about the United States Supreme Court decision that legalized marriage for everyone. As the mother of a lesbian daughter I am thrilled that my child is now able to have the kind of formal commitment to her partner that her father and I had with each other. Once they are married they will be afforded all of the rights that the straight community has taken for granted for years!

Today we can say that all people in the United States can get married, we no longer have to use the phrase gay marriage, its just marriage. That is a reason to celebrate! This is not a crime against Christianity, it is a movement towards equality in marriage, equality in how our country treats its citizens and equality is basic human rights.

Marriage is not a Christian construct, it predates Christianity. Marriage is a commitment to another. It is a vow, a bond, a promise. To acknowledge the love two people have for each other, their commitment to each other is not a threat, it is just the right thing to do. If you are not part of the community that this landmark ruling affects you really don't understand the enormity of this decision.

Imagine back 50 or so years ago, men and women of different races, (seriously, if their skin color was different) could not legally marry each other. Asinine? I say yes. It's like saying you can't marry the person you love because their eyes are blue and yours are brown. It sounds silly when you put it that way but skin and eye color are just some of the wonderful things that make us unique, and yet skin color was used as a legal way to prevent two people from marrying.

We are all humans, all part of the same species. We all deserve to love, be loved and commit to that love. Hopefully in a few years we will wonder what the big deal was all about and why it took us so long to make marriage available to all citizens!

One of my favorite movie scenes of all time is from the movie Robin Hood Prince of Thieves between Azeem played by Morgan Freeman and a small girl:

Azeem: Salaam, little one.
Small Girl: Did God paint you?
Azeem: Did God paint me? [laughs]
Azeem: For certain.
Small Girl: Why?
Azeem: Because Allah loves wondrous varieties.

Truly puts it in perspective doesn't it! Variety is wonderful. Some people are attracted to blondes, some to brunettes, thankfully for me some are attracted to redheads! Some people like tall and lanky, others like more meat on their partner's bones. Some people are totally into their partner's intelligence, others love their mate for their humor. Others have no clue why they love their partner but they know they do! We can not control who we are attracted to, if we could there would be no divorce and arranged marriages would still be all the rage!

Marriage equality means nothing to the straight community, they already had the ability to marry the person they love. However, marriage equality means a lot to the the rest of the citizens of our country because now they can live their lives with the same commitments, the same protections, and they same rights as their straight counterparts, regardless of which state they live in or move to.

Before you rally with the haters and cry that our society is doomed, take a few minutes for some self-reflection, dig deep to see why you are filled with so much hate for something that doesn't concern you, will not affect your life, will not change your relationship with your spouse and will not change how you live - at all. Let's face it, not all straight marriages are perfect, people cheat on their spouse, they abuse their relationship and sometimes they abuse their partner, they divorce, they remarry, they generally abuse the gift that is marriage - but for some reason that is all OK because the couple is made up of a man and a woman, yet that two men who have a loving committed relationship can now get married people think it will destroy the sanctity of marriage or destroy our society? -Sorry folks, I am not buying that. Love wins in my book - every time.

If you feel that marriage equality is an affront to your faith, rest assured that God (or in my case the Goddess) has everything in control. Live your life the best way you can and don't be a hater. Know that in the end God is in charge - you don't have to be.

I'm off to toast my daughter and her partner. While I already consider the amazing young woman that my beautiful child loves my daughter, being able to have her recognized as my daughter-in-law across the country once they tie the knot is a gift I am truly thankful for.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Blessed Beltane to You all

Public Domain Image from Google :0)

I hope you all had a beautiful Beltane! It was such a lovely day here in Northern Nevada. I was thankful to be able to sit outside and enjoy our bonfire without needing a jacket!

I've been quiet lately due to quite a few things. I'll be back soon though!

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Blessed Ostara to You!

Image from

I love this time of year! So many wonderful new things are sprouting and there are calves in the fields and buds on the trees. This year we'll be enjoying our Ostara dinner outside on the deck since the weather has been so beautiful! What a perfect way to celebrate the beginning of Spring!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day

My mother's family is originally from Ireland, I'm not, but my great grandparents came over from Ireland and I have quite a few relatives still living in that lush land today (and they own a pub!!). We have always been a rowdy bunch and enjoy celebrating this day, mostly by participating in the secular festivities :0) I want to wish those of you who celebrate either through the secular traditions or in a more religious fashion a Happy St. Patrick's day!

I found the following recipe for Guinness Cupcakes on and they are the perfect way to celebrate this fine day (or any day for that matter). These are the best Guinness cupcakes I have ever had, I think the frosting just makes them awesome!!

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Frosting - YUM!

PREP:  40 mins
COOK:  25 mins
YIELDS 24-30 cupcakes

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Guinness stout
  • 2cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1teaspoons baking soda
  • eggs
  • 1cup sour cream
  • 1cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 pinch table salt
  • 3 tablespoons irish cream(Bailey's or Carolan's)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • green sprinkles

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F Grease 24-30 cupcake cups, or fill with paper liners.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the butter, Guinness, cocoa and brown sugar, whisking often, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Into the work bowl of a stand mixer (or into a large mixing bowl), sift together salt, flour, white sugar and baking soda. Add the cooled Guinness mixture and beat on medium for 1 minute. Add eggs and sour cream and beat on medium for 2 minutes or until smooth.
  4. Divide the batter evenly amongst the cupcake cups. Bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then remove and transfer to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
  5. Meanwhile, in (cleaned) work bowl of stand mixer, cream butter until very light and fluffy. Add salt, and slowly add confectioner’s sugar. Do not run the mixer above low, or the sugar will spray all over your kitchen. Add a couple of spoonfuls at a time until it has all been absorbed into the butter. Add Bailey's and milk until spreadable consistency is achieved.
  6. Frost cupcakes with Bailey's frosting. Sprinkle with green jimmies.
I hope you have a wonderful and SAFE day!!