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Hello! Welcome to our tiny bathroom. It’s been done for a while but I am just getting around to taking pictures. At 5′ x 6.5′, there isn’t a whole lot to show, at least space wise, and, as a result, we have kept it very minimalist, no cabinets, no shelving. Luckily, should you be worried about where we store all of our toiletries and whatnot, there’s a very snazzy collection of drawers and cabinets in the hallway just outside the bathroom door.

To keep everything simple, we used the same lights, flooring, and tile as the kitchen. The dark border is a Schluter edge (also in the kitchen), a look I had to fight our tile guy over(words not fists). I won the battle and his opinion. Everyone thinks it looks awesome!

And this horror is the before photo. I told you we bought a dump! The space was overwhelmed by bulky cabinetry that had outrun its useful life. The sides were rotting out, the door didn’t close, and the drawer no longer fit. The sink, when both taps were turned on FULL blast, only let a trickle of water escape. The awful vinyl floor (a match to the old kitchen) was curling up on itself, badly stained, and impossible to clean. The hubster, tall guy that he is (6’1″) splashed water everywhere when showering because the doors were way too short. A right mess. Seriously.

But now, jeepers, it is lovely and fine: a nice toilet that you can’t see, a great sink, a cool faucet that works, a splash proof shower door, and a REALLY deep tub. Ahhhhh….


Hi there!

How are you today?  Confused, perhaps?  As in, where is the quotation that is usually posted here on Thursday?  That Colleen is like clockwork with those.  Well, I didn’t figure you wanted to be inundated with them, and therefore pulled a little switcheroo with my anniversary post on Tuesday.  Nineteen years.  Ms. Keller certainly got it right.  I love finding just the right combination of someone else’s words and my photo, not that the right combination of my own words is exactly simple.  Writing can be hard.

Tablecloths are easy, however.  I am really loving this one.  It is my latest find from the bins, and oh so adorable – how cute is that little lady next to my muffin?  It’s cheery, too, like a lemon yellow, full of sun and smiles kind of day, which, by the way, is what we’ve had in great abundance in these parts these past few weeks.  It has been wonderful and a bit odd, I must say.  I cannot recall a sunnier winter in my eleven here in Stumptown.

Hmmm, I have no segue way for what comes next, drat.  It’s tough going from writing about sunshine and cheer to um, fiber.  My naturopath wants me to eat 30 grams a day.  While I definitely appreciate the benefits of healthy bowel movements, lower cholesterol, lower risk of cancer, I have to say that, save for the not at all pleasant psyllium drink I have morning and evening, it is not so easy to get-r-done, and this is coming from someone who really strives for such things.  I eat beans, a lotta beans, whole grain everything, fruits, veges, but still have a hard time reaching the magic number.  Take these muffins, by my calculation, they’ve got three grams each, so I would need ten to get my recommended daily allowance, and while I really, really like them, that would just be too much.  Not that it will keep me from trying to get to 30 by other means (Yams!  Parsnips!), by golly, I will.

Just in case you’d like to try the muffins, here’s the recipe, and I hope you aren’t dissuaded by their healthfulness (that word is a mouthful) because they really are delicious, like carrot cake.  I like carrot cake.  Yum.

Carrot Muffins

2 beaten eggs

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 cup wheat bran

1/2 cup sugar (actually, I used 3/8 cup sugar and 1/8 cup agave nectar, but don’t know how easy it is to find everywhere)

1/2 teaspoon ginger

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots

3/8 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/8 olive and 1/4 sunflower)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup chopped dates (I am a recent convert – slightly sweet and full of fiber!)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, bran, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, agave (if using), carrots, and oil.  Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir until combined.  Mix in walnuts, raisins, and dates.  Pour batter into greased or lined muffin tins.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

This made 11 muffins, but I fill my cups pretty high, so you might get 12, or you might get less.


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Isn’t it neat how life works out?  You think you are going to do one thing, but for some reason it doesn’t happen, and there you are doing something better.  That was our Sunday.  We got up and moving rather leisurely with the intention of walking to get the hubster’s hair cut.  However, once we found the coupon we were to use (our household is quite thrifty) and realized it wasn’t a walking distance affair, we had a change of plan.

Still determined to walk, we set out in a different direction and collected the greens for this year’s holiday mantel and window.  Though I was a bit worried about finding enough, there was plenty.  There always is.  Then we came home and decorated, taking in the heady scent of evergreen.  If Christmas has a scent, that is it for me.  Wonderful.   New additions include the diamond church (Gregory’s name for the sparkle) and the tall white house.  It is simple and pretty and a bit of a hodge podge, but I like it just the same.  The hubster thinks it’s pretty neat, too, especially since we have one small box of decorations and use what nature provides on a fun walk, together.  He is also quite fond of the fact that the greens go right into the fireplace when we’re done, filling the house with the scent of the holidays one last time.

This last shot is for my Dad.  When I lived at home, and all the decorating was done, he would turn off the lights.  We’d sit quietly in the glow of the tree and admire the beauty of it all.  Shh…


So, I’ve got quite the hodgepodge for you today.  First off, isn’t this a gorgeous sky?  It was like the heavens couldn’t make up their mind, sweet, soft, and ethereal pink or menacing grey.  A bit like me, sometimes I just can’t decide.

Take, for instance, my sugar addiction.  One moment I am not at all interested in eating one more bite of it, and I get a little haughty, feeling, “Oh, I’ve really licked it this time!”  Then, I drive by Pix, pull over the car and eat half of a St. Honore before I am dumbstruck by what is happening.  Shoot!  As for this very moment, I am feeling, more than anything else, like I need to let the obsession go.  I am a pretty healthy person, all things considered, knocking on wood, etcetera, etcetera.  Why fret about it?  My cravings ebb and flow, like a river or the sea, just let it be.

Speaking of being and the flow of the sea, today my yoga practice involved a new, and rather exciting video (at least to me – it’s been out for a while) Shiva Rea: Yoga Trance Dance.  I’m pretty sure I have mentioned that I LOVE to dance, in a crazy, unscripted, primal, and occasionally, um, nutty, kind of way, really taking the rhythms to another plane, both physically and mentally (quite unlike my graceful ballerina friend Mara).  Thankfully, this DVD fully embraces these qualities, really engaging the practitioner in a dynamic and energizing flow, riding the waves of grace, energy, and movement.  I highly recommend it.

Now, a bit more of the sea, in a shopping and decorating note.  How about this painting gracing our bedroom?  There used to be a poster of an old map of Paris, but we had grown tired of it, and then I got, in a semi-paranoid state, to thinking that if the big earthquake comes while we are in bed and knocks it off the wall, we’re goners.  So, the other day at the Goodwill Bins, I found this.  It is an original oil painting by H. Walker.  I know nothing of this person, but bless his or her heart, the sea is right, and I got a bargain that will not kill me, my precious spouse, or cats, all for $20, including the frame.  Not bad, not bad at all my precious peeps.  Now if I could center the bed under the painting, my anal-retentive self would be super happy.  One thing at a time…

Finally, the last of the summer tomatoes.  We’ve had quite the season around here – I canned nine pints, made a big batch of Spicy Tomato Chutney (Zowie – I posted this recipe one year ago TODAY!), and eaten and eaten to my heart’s content.  These are the Sungold cherry variety from our rather prolific vines.  I sliced them, sprayed them with olive oil (using our refillable pump – love this gadget), followed by a sprinkle of salt, and two hours at 200 degrees in the oven.  With my instructions, because I didn’t want to stop watching the news and get off the couch (sometimes I refuse to budge), the hubster made this pasta dish.  Easy, delicious.   Why don’t you try it?  This serves two and is yummy!

Pasta (we used brown rice fettuccine, as we avoid wheat when we can)

1 handful pine nuts

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

3-4 fresh sage leaves, sliced fine, as in a chiffonade

1 handful raisins

1 large handful of sun or oven dried tomatoes

salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, to taste

While your pasta is cooking, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet until light brown, shaking the pan to evenly brown.  Set aside.  Add butter and olive oil to pan, bring to a slow bubble, add the sage and raisins, cooking until the raisins puff a little, add the tomatoes and gently stir, just until warmed through.  Once your pasta is finished, toss everything together.  Season with salt, fresh ground pepper, and red pepper flakes.

If you have some green tomatoes left in the garden, fry them up!  We sliced ours to about 1/4″, dipped them in Ener-G egg replacer (regular egg will do), dredged them in brown rice flour (more crunch, but wheat will do), corn meal, salt, and pepper, and fried in enough sunflower oil to cover the bottom of the skillet.  Fry until golden on each side and voila, yummy (I can’t find the photo, sorry).

What a day!  Enjoy yours.

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