A Prayer for the First Day of Spring: Be at Peace

Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life; rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise, God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand it, God will carry you in His arms.

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same understanding Father who cares for you today will take care of you then and every day.

He will either shield you from suffering or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

St. Francis de Sales


Mid-March Charms

Despite the snow and wind storm on Tuesday the birds have been singing in the morning, Randall the chipmunk has emerged and we no longer need candlelight for dinner with the curtains pulled open.

Yesterday I made a colorful heart-healthy salad bowl (above) packed with flavor: grated red cabbage with sesame oil and a pinch of sugar; European cucumber and grape tomatoes tossed with a dash of vinegar, paprika and cumin; arugala; guacamole made with avocados and salsa. So simple and good!

These two photos of my dear late pal Wishy the chipmunk were taken five years ago today. He had just emerged underground from torpor, which is how chipmunks spend the winter. Their body temperature lowers and they go into a deep sleep, but wake up periodically to eat from their stash they collected all summer and fall. Although I had put out food for him he skipped over it and ran over to me and stood up to put his nose to my face. How sweet he was! You can share his magic with your little ones by purchasing his book.

I love essential oils for aromatherapy. This past weekend I made a “Cottage Summer” room spray with notes of roses and sandalwood and used a photo of my roses last summer for the label. For the upcoming Coronation of HM King Charles III I used lime and Bergamot and made the label with the official emblem. Just some simple late winter alchemy turning my mood into gold!

YIMBY: Yes In My Back Yard!

I’m not a NIMBY. There is a three story affordable housing project for seniors almost literally being built in my backyard, except that it’s some yards over on the property directly abutting my backyard woods. You can see it if you look very closely through the snow (ten plus inches coming today!)

I have openly supported this project through the planning board process and town council meetings because there is a need for this kind of housing where real estate is off the charts. Since the pandemic began the influx of people has been extraordinary, and housing keeps going up.

I have a good ongoing relationship with the developers, too. In fact one of them stopped by today to let me pick the color for the side of the building facing my yard so that it will blend in better with the sky behind my woods. Isn’t that so lovely of them?

I Live in a Bubble, Or, Living in the “Real World” vs Living in Reality

This post appeared on my old blog a couple of years ago. I had received a message from a heckler who said that I “need to grow up” because I “live in a bubble.” I appreciate that they provided me with an excellent topic for a blog. So, the secret was out that yes, I do in fact live in a bubble, and I want to tell you all about it! For the sake of this post, I will define “bubble” to mean sheltered. I am totally sheltered and you can be, too! As for needing to “grow up” I’m working on my memoirs that includes my “childhood” as a latch-key kid without a curfew in late 1970s and 1980s New York City.

Continue reading “I Live in a Bubble, Or, Living in the “Real World” vs Living in Reality”

Maine Recipe: The Thrifty Yankee’s Navy Bean Soup

I’m loving my new vintage Maine lobster apron! However, no lobster on the menu tonight. I’m making a simple, frugal gluten-free vegan soup. I’m happy to share my own recipe with you:


16 oz dry Navy beans

2 cups sliced carrots

2 cups sliced celery (or a few shakes of celery seed)

1/4 cup sunflower oil

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp dill weed

1/2 tsp dried parsley

Optional: black pepper to taste


Rinse and check the beans for foreign objects, then add water to cover the beans and soak for six hours in a 5 to 5 1/2 quart dutch oven. Add more water until the dutch oven is halfway filled or less for a thicker broth. Turn the stove to medium high and bring to a boil and stir. Once boiling remove any bean foam and turn the heat down to low, add the salt, garlic, dill and parsley, stir then cover. Heat the sunflower oil in a skillet on medium high, add the carrots, celery and onions and stir for about five minutes until they are evenly coated and lightly cooked in the oil. Add the vegetables to the simmering soup and cover for about one to two hours until the beans are tender, or longer for a thicker broth, stirring occasionally.

Navy beans are rich in potassium, iron and fiber. One tablespoon of sunflower oil has 28% of the RDA for vitamin E! Plus, this is a budget-friendly meal.

Yankee Thrift is Freedom of Choice

I refer to myself as a “Thrifty Yankee” but what does that mean to me?

Traditional Yankee thrift isn’t obsessed with money. It’s not frugal for the sake of frugal or only buying things on sale. Many times it pays to spend more on a quality item that will last longer. It’s not frugal in all things all the time which, unless by necessity, seems miserly.

There were times I had to be frugal with everything because I didn’t have any other options. There were times years ago when I spent too much because I was making a good income and believed that I needed to have certain props to prove that I could afford such things.

Yankee thrift doesn’t mean I don’t ever buy extravagant or impractical things, but only if it truly brings me joy and is within my budget. It’s about what really matters to me and not my neighbors, so to speak.

Here in Maine there are so many lovely “things”, most of them living, that I find my days are naturally fulfilling.

Winter view of bare trees at Prouts Neck