December 2012

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My words are off somewhere, a bear, hibernating in a cave, or, perhaps, a chickadee, chirruping around the neighborhood, collecting a single morsel at a time. She zooms hither and thither from her cache, a wild, blank canvas that will reveal a marvelous pattern in its own time, not a moment sooner.

In the meantime, I decorate, gathering wind fallen branches, unpacking well-loved treasures, and lighting candles by the score. I knit, needles steadily clicking at scarves and snoods and soon to be hats and hand warmers. Then there are the hours upon hours spent in the craft room, cutting, arranging, and sewing fabric into quilts. Honest. Meditative. Sweet.

I hope that you are well and that your heart is made lighter by all that is good in the world. The light of your love. The voice of a friend. The warmth of an embrace. The things that truly matter.



I’ve had a lot of upheaval in my life as of late. Nothing major, per se, only the feeling change brings, even if it is for the greater good. The raging unpredictability of edges pricking on the softest of surfaces. Discomfort, occasional cross words followed by tears.

Yet this smile, always. Forgiveness. Kindness. Understanding.


A myriad of shapes. The lump of  hearts swelling. The ropey tangle of legs. The rorschach of backs pressing in slumber. The circle of embrace. The cocoon of spoons. The bubbles of laughter. The stars. The sparks.

All ours. For as long as we both shall live.


A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving. A good artist lets his intuition lead him wherever it wants.

Tao Te Ching


The question is not how to get cured, but how to live.

Joseph Conrad


Yeasted Pumpkin Bread
1/4 cup warm water

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (or 1 teaspoon, see *)

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (I used canned)

2 T oil (I used olive)

1/2 cup apple sauce

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 t salt

1 1/2 t ginger (or whatever spice combination you like)

3 cups whole-wheat flour

3-4 cups  flour

Optional mix-ins:

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over the water and let stand for a few minutes. Mix pumpkin, apple sauce, oil, eggs, brown sugar, salt, spice(s), and 2 cups of the whole wheat flour into yeast mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon to make a thick batter. Add remaining flour, one cup at a time, stopping when the dough forms a soft mass. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes, sprinkling with flour as you go. It will be very sticky to start. Once the dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a large oiled bowl with a towel over it or a lidded container.  Let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, at least two hours. I made mine in the early evening and let it go overnight, * so I only used 1 teaspoon yeast. The longer the rise, the less yeast you need.

If you want nuts, seeds, or dried fruit in your bread, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a rectangle. Sprinkle with goodies. Roll up the dough and knead it until everything is evenly distributed. Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a round. Place on a floured or greased baking sheet and allow to rise for another hour or so, until doubled in size.

Heat your oven during the last half hour or so of the rise, with an empty rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack. Slash a pattern on top of your loaves with a sharp razor blade (optional). Pull out the rack on the bottom and carefully put 1/2 cup water in it, slide back in (steam makes for a better rise!). Quickly put the pumpkin loaves on the middle rack and close the door. Bake for 30-35 minutes until well browned and the loaves sound hollow when tapped. Cool on wire racks.

This tastes great toasted or plain. Gild the lily by mixing equal amounts of softened butter and olive or sunflower oil together and adding a little honey to sweeten it. Spread it over and smile.




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