Projects keep coming…

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I am writing on Thanksgiving to give thanks to the men who made this week’s projects happen seamlessly. For years I have known that the decrepit railroad tie patio wall and vast peony collection needed attention. Earlier this year, I found a landscape company who is knowledgeable, willing, incredibly strong. Although my high school Spanish was of no help (other than for smiles and giggles), the company owner speaks prefect English and both projects went splendidly. Below are photos of the events of this week.

The 40+ year old railroad tie wall is dismantled. Fortunately the earth remained upright. Only one huge skink surfaced as the base was removed.
What a pile. I was in awe of the strength of the crew.
With the ties out of the way and the base leveled, paver base tamped, the landscape cloth is placed at the earth side and held in place with pins.
The first 6X6X10 goes into place. I had the opportunity to lengthen the wall. This is why I am always on hand when projects are in motion. Had to remind the men driving the base stakes NOT to drive them through the downspout drain.
Two other men from the crew measure and cut posts.
Once the walls were completed, the men moved the existing rock to the tarp, then dug down to lower the elevation of the path, since over the years, it rose, causing the patio not to drain well during heavy rains. This was a big job, where even a digging bar was necessary. The men never broke a sweat.
The completed wall. Hurrah! Next fall I will apply solid stain to match the other end of the patio. So pleasant to have additional seating and that decrepit wall gone.
With my back to the house, this is the view of the inner wall. The oriental poppies seen here will look so pretty come spring when they fill this area.
This photo shows the current condition of the patio. With 15 YO deck boards removed, come spring this slab will be power washed and prepped for the next paint job. No more deck boards! After much research, I am considering Olympic Rescue It! Has any reader used this product? Deck paints seem to have improved over the past 15 years. Many have granite or rock in the mix, but that would be way too rough for moi. Notice the older retaining wall that appears solid. I keep it painted and watch for any termite infestation, as I never want to replace THAT wall! The left side of that wall will be tweaked a bit as the “slope from hell” remains such a problem.
The heavy soil removed from the lowered patio elevation area was re-used along the east tree line, a path I use to the burn barrel. Hope no toads or skinks were covered in the process. One HUGE skink popped out of the ground at base level. I first admired it then walked it to the old woodpile, in hopes that it will find cover for winter. The ground remains thawed now, so it can dig another hole if necessary. My composting leaves are nearby too. I was so excited when it was in my hands, that I did not snap a photo. The skink was 12″ long and SO strong, as it attempted to move from my grip. The grandfather of all Swallowtail Cottage skinks!!!
As mentioned, I found a buyer for my entire collection of heirloom peony plants. For the past twenty years, I grew the small box of tubers sent to me by the current owners of my home place on Long Island, NY. My family left NY when I was seven, and I was glad to have a part of my past here at my home in Virginia. As seen from the holes out front, the peonies thrived under my care, but in recent years, they became a burden to harvest and sell at market. Buying habits changed, and there is competition from vendors who lowball. With these realities, fourteen large clumps were dug, transported, and replanted at their new home. I hope to work with the new mother and help her appreciate the value of heirloom varieties. Her father, who gifted them to her new garden, purchased clumps from me a few years back, and he took the leap last week and invested in this purchase.

For 24 hours following the Big Dig, my two beds resembled a mine field, yet my wonderful landscape crew came to the rescue the very next day and filled them with impressive topsoil (two tons!) fit for a Queen. Now I have the challenge of what to do with these areas. The bank above has failed many times over the years to support any kind of mass planting. Do any readers have any suggestions for an evergreen, low-maintenance plant material for zone 7a? I wish I could get my hands on the guy who originally graded this property back in 1973. He would get tarred and feathered.

So this quiet, sunny, 63F Thanksgiving Day in the USA, I close on my recent projects. For now.
The thimble of Speyburn whiskey tastes great on my tongue, and soon the oven and steamer will provide a hot lunch.

To my readers, I thank you for following along. I enjoy hearing from you and I invite your comments.

Stay safe and strong and above all hopeful. Cheers!

Copyright 2021 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

Feeling it

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Days never seem to slow, and meals are simple, healthy, and quick. Below are a few new meal photos that are lectin free, gluten free, both Keto and Paleo friendly and always organic.

I use my dry crepe pan to heat almond tortillas and top them with eggs and hemp seeds. Yummy breakfast. Sometimes my eggs go awry in the pan.
Here are roasted/shredded organic, free range chicken thighs, sliced artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, and a sheet of organic Sushi Nori seaweed stuffed with goat cheese. Almond tortillas add a crunchy twist. Somehow that Nori looks like an eel.
Another breakfast meal variation: Organic, free range eggs, roasted chicken, macadamia and pistachio nuts, artichoke hearts, and a splash of organic olive oil. A one skillet meal always accompanied by a half cup of organic blueberries and a T. of organic heavy cream. A large mug of Rooibos tea with a splash of organic 1/2 and 1/2 or freshly brewed Matcha hits the spot. And yes, I confess I do eat right out of the skillet some days. 😉
Hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, roasted chicken garnished with crumbled goat cheese over toasted almond tortillas make a satisfying meal. Steamed organic kale is a fine side dish.

For months I have enjoyed intermittent fasting, finding my best windows at 8AM and 2PM. So far I have lost 7 pounds and most of that fat. Am I happy, yes indeed.

The trying summer of 2021 is behind me and the gardens are nearly tucked in for their winter’s rest. I mowed for the last time on Sunday. My hips are so relieved. Many outdoor projects are winding down…exterior painting, house washing, removal of the old deck boards on the concrete slab patio, and rock relocation just to name a few. Next week the construction of a new retaining wall on the lower patio is scheduled. Lumber arrives on Monday.

I found a home for my vast collection of heirloom peonies, as in twenty years, they became too much for me to handle. They will be dug, transported, and replanted next Tuesday. My legacy continues.

My heirloom peonies will go to a new home next week.

Downsizing the gardens and aging-in-place continues. My battle against inflammation is ongoing.

How are your projects going? Are you ready for a long winter’s rest?

Keep safe.

Copyright 2021 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

the journey continues

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Last post, I blogged about my learning curve regarding aging and pain. Since then I found few recipes online that are lectin-free. I surmise that the Keto craze prevails among the masses.

One thing I did do was carry a copy of lectin-free foods (link is in my last post) and below are some snaps of my quick, easy, fast lectin-free meals. If you are interested in the topic of leaky gut syndrome, follow along. Even if you are from Keto Land, you may learn something.

One skillet meal: Since I cook for one, this example I consume at 2 PM and vary the contents. Contents: Quorn sautéed with organic veggie broth, romaine, Red Garnet sweet potato (pre-baked) and topped with goat cheese, avocado, and aminos. I roast 2-3 Red Garnets ahead of time and keep in the fridge sans skins. One skillet-toasted almond tortilla is always a side for crunch. For dessert I have a piece of organic, fair trade dark chocolate.
If you have not tried Red Garnet sweet potatoes, you are missing out. This variety is the only one I consume. Found at WF and always organic, this potato is so sweet and tender, it needs nothing else. Just roast the scrubbed potatoes on a sheet pan until baby-bottom tender…about 40 minutes at 375F.
In this dish, I have Quorn on the bottom, a large handful of organic cole slaw mix, sliced fennel and radishes that were steamed until tender. Then topped with sweet potato, avocado, goat cheese, and hemp seeds if you like them.
This was a breakfast: Two scrambled organic/free range eggs, sweet potato, pistachio and macadamia nuts, artichoke hearts, and one toasted almond flour tortilla. Not pictured is half-cup of organic blueberries topped with 2 T. of heavy cream. My favorite morning beverage is double-strength organic Rooibos tea with a splash of organic 1/2 & 1/2.

Breakfast always includes two eggs. Thanks to all the hard-working chickens out there. Sometimes I have a wee slice of organic/free range chicken thigh that I roast and shred like pulled pork. Roast the chicken with herbs and spices of choice…I like cumin and chile powder. Perhaps a grab of nuts, and frequently an opened capsule of Host Defense Mushrooms, Comprehensive Immune Support by Fungi Perfecti, LLC. top the eggs.

I am happy to report that this way of eating is melting belly fat. Less weight on my cranky hips is always a good thing. Yes? And I always end my shower with cold water. Ah, refreshing.

Some readers may wonder why I do not mention fish. On occasion I do eat boiled, wild caught shrimp, but rarely. Deeply distressed about the state of our planet’s oceans, I sadly consider oceans a cesspool, filling daily with human contaminates. Perhaps in the highlands of Scotland, the rivers run pure and the wild-caught fish are pristine. Alas. I do drink The Botanist gin. 😉

As I continue my life’s journey, I research and remain curious. One thing both my health care team and I agree on is: I want to continue my life doing the things that I love. Caring for my gardens, where I host toads, skinks, and wild birds, nurturing my creativity, and remaining independent all remain paramount.

Good Read: The End of Alzheimer’s Program ~ the first protocol to Enhance Cognition and Reverse Decline AT ANY AGE. By Dale E. Bredesen, MD.

Has this blog post inspired you? Can you relate? Please let me know in the comments section.

Keep well and safe.

Copyright 2021 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

My food journey

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Aging throws many curve balls.

During the past year, I never worked harder. Keeping up with doubled online baking orders, last September my body baulked. My hip sockets froze. Some days I could hardly walk! For a very active senior, gardener AND baker, this was not the scenario I planned.

Last November, I began my fact-finding journey by seeing spine and hip specialists, had injections, x-rays, ablations, months of deep tissue massage, tried topicals, CBD, and of late, an MRI, yet to date no medical intervention helped. Nada!!!
Living with chronic pain is exhausting and frustrating, especially when the medical profession is of no help…”all the King’s horses…” Pain Management prescribed a muscle relaxer RX that rendered me stupid. Acupuncture was short lived, as Medicare does not cover such treatments. I felt like I had run out of options!

Still the gardens required weeding, weekly mowing, and with a summer drought/heat/humidity from hell, dragging the hose around to new plant material was frequently required.

As a frequent YouTube follower, I discovered only last week, a crazy/passionate guy named Wim Hof. Since traditional docs kept mentioning inflammation, I did further research on Hof. I took his free mini course and began daily deep breathing exercises when I woke, braved the cold shower. YES, A COLD SHOWER!!!!

See his link here: https://www.wimhofmethod.com/free-mini-class

I admit I found the deep breathing a snap, but the thought of the cold shower was daunting. As Nike says, “just to it.” After merely three days, I no longer take hot showers! Only two minutes in the cold, while lathering up, I find my body warming up! And when I step out of the shower, NO pain! Yes, crazy Hof may have ended my suffering.

As I continue my research on pain management, I found yet another topic on YouTube describing leaky gut. At my ripe old age, I presume that I have it. Stubborn belly fat and weight gain convince me, despite an active lifestyle.
I checked out three library books on the topic, and began a new way of eating. I printed out the free list of lectin free foods (https://gundrymd.com/wp-content/pdf/Plant-Paradox-Shopping-LIst.pdf), gave away all gluten/lectin containing foods, and will let you know what happens. I also began intermittent fasting three months ago and eat at 8 AM and 2 PM. I dont miss the snacks or three meals. Of course the new diet permits chocolate…72%, and Trader Joe’s has the perfect bar…organic, Fair Trade, and 72%.
SIDEBAR: I find Gundry’s podcasts oh-so-slow and too much like an infomercial. His books cause me to glaze over, so skimming is the way to glean the info I am seeking. I will continue to look for lectin-free recipes online. OR I will post my creations here on this blog.

The following photos show a few of my new food finds at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Kroger. Quorn Meatless Grounds are also sold at Kroger. * See note below.

Quorn…who would have guessed? From the UK, found at WF and Kroger, and a great substitute for meat made from mushrooms and egg whites. BEWARE: not all the Quorn products are clean… all others I checked contain SUGAR and other non-desirable additives. Always READ LABELS! I also found decent almond tortillas at Trader Joe’s. Just blister them in a carbon steel pan on low heat. Great substitute for traditional “toast.”
Organic hemp seeds from Trader Joe’s…lightly toasted, yummy on just about anything, but made me queasy. The new coconut aminos in BBQ flavor add good flavor to some bland foods.
Lazy moi, WF sells organic coleslaw, raw or steamed…good fast gut food.
Modest first gut healthy meal…sliced green banana, organic radish, almond tortilla, Quorn Meatless Grounds sauteed with good quality, organic olive oil, a splash of Imagine organic veggie broth, and WF slaw is a one pan meal (cover the pan for three minutes and slaw will steam, and grated fresh ginger… topped with goat cheese, coconut aminos, another splash of olive oil, and toasted hemp seed. Voila!

So readers, let me know what you think of my food revelation?
I will keep you updated on my progress. Please share in the comments section and kindly share any links.

Please stay safe, get vaccinated, and wear a mask.

PS: as always, I am never compensated for mentioning items or links. Just want to share knowledge.

Copyright 2021 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

Brownies, Keto Style

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Quick and easy recipe made at home in minutes.


Tender. Moist. Yummy.

Here is what you will need:

1 1/2 cups almond flour (I use Blue Diamond Brand)
1/4 cup turbinado sugar (Trader Joe’s Fair Trade, raw)
2 eggs (organic/free range)
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips (your choice)
One stick unsalted butter (melted)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (raw)
Pinch of Himalayan salt
Medium steel mixing bowl
One whisk and one rubber spatula
8X8 baking pan lined with parchment across and up sides (attach paper on rims with metal clips)
Cooling rack

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350F, rack in the middle.
Line baking pan with parchment strips both ways across bottom and up sides (clips hold in place).
In mixing bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla, salt, and sugar until sugar is mostly dissolved.
Melt butter and chocolate in a small pan over low heat. Stir to combine, then remove from heat.
Add almond flour and chocolate/butter to egg mixture and whisk briskly until well incorporated.

Note: Almond flour contains no gluten so strong mixing will not toughen the finished brownie.

Scrape the batter from the whisk and using the spatula, add nuts and combine.
Pour batter into pan.
Batter will be thick, so nudge the batter into the pan’s corners and level out.
Bake 30 minutes.
Cool completely on cooling rack, then lift brownies out of pan using the parchment handles.
I like to refrigerate them overnight, stored in a metal tin, then using a long chef’s knife slice into as many as 64 pieces.
Store in fridge.
Enjoy with a cold glass of milk or milk substitute.

This is really a quick, simple recipe.

After the first time, you will whip them up in no time again and again whenever a treat is required.

I began intermittent fasting one month ago and slid right into the program, eating at 8 AM and again at 5 PM.
Whenever I feel the need for a treat (which is not too often), this is my go to recipe.
Sure, not sugar free but heck, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do and any sugar substitutes make me gag.

Last year I finally ordered a true square 8X8 metal baking pan (AMZN)

Parrish Magic Line 8 x 8 x 3 Square Pan

Brand: Parrish Magic Line

and adore it. Will never go back to brownies in a Pyrex glass pan. Pyrex is great for my market cornbread, but not brownies. If you like perfect corners, treat yourself to a truly square baking pan. It is also great for fudge or any recipe where perfect, square corners are the bomb.

Let me know how you like this recipe.

Please continue to be safe, and for all of us and those you love, get vaccinated.

PS. I do not receive compensation for mentioning brands in this blog. I just want to share quality finds.

Cheers!

Copyright 2021 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved


Keto almond crackers

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A tasty cracker made at home in minutes…

Recipe: Oven 350F YIELD: 50 + crackers
In a medium mixing bowl
Beat one organic egg together with
1/2 t. pink Himalayan salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. New Mexico red chile
1 T. melted butter
Whisk these well.
Add 2 C. Almond Flour (I like Blue Diamond brand)
Stir all together and press with a rubber spatula until a dough forms, pressing as you go.
Place a piece of parchment on the counter the size of the large sheet pan.
Place dough on the paper and shape into a rectangle.
Place a second piece of parchment over the dough and begin to flatten/roll with a rolling pin.
(Don’t worry about the jagged edges, they bake/taste just fine)
Keep rolling and turning the paper until dough is about 1/4″ thick.
Remove top piece of parchment.
Gently cut the dough into squares using a chef’s knife or pizza wheel.
Poke each cracker with a fork to allow steam out and crisping.
Slide the paper with dough onto a sheet pan and bake 18-20 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and cool crackers on rack 10 minutes.
Crackers will have separated while baking.
Slide the paper onto the cooling rack and cool completely.
Store crackers in a biscuit tin or airtight container at room temperature.
What could be easier?
Gluten free, Keto friendly. Great with soups, salads, omelets, and cheeses.

These crackers are crisp and tasty.
Change up the spices as you desire.
Options: Press sesame seeds into dough as you roll; the variations are endless.

Copyright 2021 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved



If you are climbing the walls…

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vacuum them.

Spending so much time indoors this winter, I began noticing billions of dust particles flying around when I made the bed, dressed, or ran the blow dryer. Streaming morning sunlight highlighted these particles and I thought, if I am seeing all this, what am I breathing? On one particular sunny afternoon, as sunlight washed a wall, I noticed dust clinging to the paint! OMG!

Therefore, I have an new appreciation for dust. Or rather a highly developed loathing of dust.

Yes, I use high-count cotton sheets, but I frequently vacuum the fitted sheet while the bed is airing following a night’s sleep…but not every day. Heavy velvet draperies hang at both windows too, you know the “puddle-type” so popular in the ’90’s? Those I consider “self cleaning” just by drawing them open and closed every day…but where does that dust go? Answer, somewhere else in the room. Ok, I have three wool blankets on the bed too, that I often shake outdoors. But still, dust particles dance like fairies.

Years ago I added a whole-house electronic UV air filter to the HVAC attic air handler. The only time it was chocked full was the year I baked twenty loaves of market bread per week. When that experiment ended, I swore the particles came from R35 cellulose attic insulation. That stuff may be a great insulator, but I cringe every time the AC tech goes up for bi-annual inspections. Could those cellulose particles be trickling down the returns? I considered pricey room air filters, but decided I did not want to own another appliance nor wanted the noise/lights associated with it. So it goes.

Since my current HVAC unit is twelve years old, I bit the bullet and have a SEER 14 unit arriving on March 6th, with all the bells and whistles. Parts of the old attic air handler date back to 1995, so it is time. Pain-in-the-wallet time. But when all is done, will my resident air particles vanish? Will they be sucked into the new electronic air filter? The technician assures me that the updated unit “will make a big difference.” He also plans to address a few other issues created by the original company, like poorly placed flex lines. If I have dust now, how much will I have after having three techs wallowing in my attic’s cellulose for eight hours? Geeze!

Meanwhile, spring is attempting to arrive in Virginia. The ice and snow are nearly melted in the gardens. Temps reached 70F this week for one day. I pulled a few pernicious weeds/grasses yesterday, and discovered what little stamina I have. Is this an age thing, or has the past year subtly taken a toll on my body, mind, spirit?? Gosh, the new Pegan Diet is tempting. Will it fix all my aliments? Will it restore my energy of youth? With every new year, I have plans for the garden…updates, edits, new plantings and all this takes strength, agility, and determination. I have plenty of the latter.

If any of you have thoughts on any of these topics, do share in the comments section. After all, “we are in this life together.”

A question for readers: Do any of you own a robotic lawn mower? The thought of not walking behind my old Toro in summer heat/humidity is really attractive. I looked at what Home Depot is selling, and one can be had for $900. Laying the guideline is the biggest hurdle. Any advice?

Well readers, I am off perhaps to run the vacuum, which by the way has a HEPA filter. 😉

Take care and stay safe. We are not out of the woods yet.


Copyright 2021 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

Three hours of sun

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I discovered that this dreary weather has taken a toll and kicked me when I am already down. Keeping a happy face despite the stress of this pandemic, I finally met my match. For the last two days I just wanted to roll over in bed and forget. Forget the day, forget the suffering, forget the routines, and forget the fact that I have not had my first jab.

calm sky

On August 6th, 2020 a violent hail storm came through and beat my three roofs to bits. The insurance company called them a total loss. I never liked the typical three-tab shingles, so I priced metal. Angels were looking out for me, and I was referred to an Amish family who specializes in metal roofing. After my appointment in October, I signed on. There was a long wait list.

A week ago my phone rang and they were ready…they gave me a ONE DAY notice…I hung onto my hat and three days later, with five men on my roofs, I had my transformation.

Below you can see snippets of my old/new roofs…house, carport and garden shed.

P1060923

The former shingled roof.

Old cedar shakes

Old cedar shakes on the garden shed. I did like the shakes but how fragile they are…

lovely. just lovely

lovely. just lovely

precise workmanship!

precise workmanship!

Finally more handsome abode

Finally a more handsome abode. For nearly twenty years, I have worked, worked, worked on this 1970’s ranch…

The great part of metal roofing is that the old asphalt shingles remain on the building…that translates to no waste going to a landfill. A good thing. And the metal has an Energy Star rating and a 40 year warranty!

Ok, no wonder I am exhausted. But, wait! On March 6th, my HVAC system is being replaced! Yes, I am a masochist! This translates to workmen being inside my attic space (filled with R35 cellulose), tramping down my narrow attic stairs with the old air handler, walking through the living/dining room, and out the front door. They must dismantle/assemble what goes out and what comes in, THEN  new lines must be run the full length of the attic, out the soffit, and down the outside of the house to the new unit. OMG!!!

This time the $$$ comes out of my pocket. Yippee!

This is why at my ripe old age, I continue to produce income. I wonder what I would do if I did not own this money pit.

That is why I call home…MY NEEDY BOX.

Do you have one? Do share in the comments section.

The forecast says more sleet in two days. I’d best get myself outdoors this 50-ish F sunny afternoon, as soon I will be hold up in my kitchen baking orders or under a pile of mohair blankets binging on YouTube.

Copyright © 2021 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

“this too shall pass”

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Or will it?
Recent events in America left at least half of her citizens stunned, horrified, and traumatized.

Not only have we dealt with a narcissistic lunatic in the White House for the past four years, a pandemic of epic proportions since 2020, senseless murders, and the desecration of historic monuments, we are now forced to deal with hatred, riots, and rampant disregard for truth and democracy.

I no longer recognize my own country!

Years ago I worked two blocks from the United States Capitol building. On pretty days, I would take my lunch and sit at a fountain in front of the Supreme Court, then stroll across the street to the handsome gardens and grounds of the Capitol, politely nodding to Capitol police. I also photographed the beautiful iron work in the lamps, stair rails, and bus stops that embellished those grounds. Often I would gaze up at the fabulous Capitol building in awe, knowing that within those walls housed the elected officials of our nation. How small I felt realizing how behemoth the significance was.

Gone are those days.

Before recent events, I surmise that pedestrians or even employees on a lunch break on the Capitol Grounds, without proper credentials, would be suspect. Perhaps even disallowed. By 1999, I departed Northern Virginia, and returned to the place of my roots, where I spent my dreamy childhood on the back of a horse.

Since 2000, I embedded myself in the blissful countryside outside Charlottesville, bought my first house, developed a successful small business, and all the while the nation changed. While living in a small town, it is easy to miss the subtlety of toxic government. One can vote for change, yet there is an undercurrent of hate that festered. The boil burst on January 6, 2021.

As I eagerly await the new Washington administration come January 20th, I fear too often, despite my fragile hope and optimism. The cancer in Washington has had four years to metastasize. I dread many vital organs of government are malignant. I wonder if the diagnosis will be fatal.

As the great nation we once represented to the planet, this country is at a precipice, toes on the edge…teetering while the earth falls away. Can we draw back from this? Can this nation be healed? Will national terrorists tire and learn that intimidation never wins? Or have they drunk the Kool-Aid never to yield?

Time will tell. Eventually most people on the planet will be vaccinated. While big pharma is cooking up Covid vaccines, perhaps they could create a vaccination that would cure hate.

How are you coping with the recent events? Why not share a comment?

Copyright 2021 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

there is no place like home…

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Since March of this year, all life as before changed. Home became more of a sanctuary than ever before.

Typically, I sparsely listen national news, and I continued my usual routine sans mask or gloves. Then, as I prepared for another year of our farmer’s market, I quickly noticed that store shelves were bare…supplies were naught. Flour was no where to be found. WHAT??

By April, the drama unfolded as our market morphed into an online pre-order, pre-pay, drive through venue. I froze and let two weeks of market commence before I snapped to and opened the required accounts to participate.

Then the bizarre happened. Small production turned into huge…the community discovered my products and ordered in mass. I nearly had a stroke the first week, as orders poured in. I must produce and keep up! I must scramble for common supplies! Yes, MOI. Little old MOI!! A One-Woman operation since 2000! Click, Click, Click…people love shopping online.

Apparently, my foods/flowers became a source of comfort for hundreds. Revenue doubled. When I was able to find canning jars, I produced numerous batches of jams and chutneys. What became a rage in the fall was my Hot Fudge Sauce…women reported that they were simply opening the jar and eating straight away with a spoon. Forget warming it. At least stress eating is healthier at the farmer’s market.

One would not think that buttermilk biscuits, pimento cheese, and blueberry scones would be in high demand week after week. Nor would seasonal jams and preserves vanish immediately upon offer. Pestos sold through the seasons, as did the peonies during May. I could go on, but alas, this is a short blog this first day of winter.

There was a grand hunger.

Families loaded the kids and dogs (and one cat) into their automobiles and through the Saturday market they drove, trunks open, ready to receive local wares. I quickly surmised that this was an excuse for a family outing from the safety of their cars. Everyone was on their best behavior.

I entertained myself by counting the number of whisper-quiet Teslas that drove through. Affluent residents abound in this town, and we local producers are grateful. Oh, so grateful. This mutual support kept us all sane.

Then the summer wore on into fall.

Needless to say, I was so busy keeping up, I did not photograph any of these weekly happenings.

“Make hay while the sun shines” became my mantra. Normally I stop market the end of October, but this year sales revenue never slowed, so I rode the wave until December 19th.

As I blog today for the first time in months, I sit exhausted at the keyboard. Yesterday, I spent another five hours in the kitchen preparing the last orders before Christmas. I see that WordPress has changed its blogging format and I haven’t a clue how to insert photographs. So this will be an image-less blog, except for my descriptions.

And it may be my last blog if I cannot figure out the madness of WordPress’ engineers. Don’t fix things if they are not broken! Guess they have too much time on their hands. Meanwhile…

The best thoughts I can muster now are:

“There is a fine line between order and chaos”
and
all life is temporary.

I choose to think this too shall pass and we will emerge as the butterfly, more beautiful than the caterpillar and able to fly.

So readers, how have you spent the last few months of 2020?
Do share in the comments section.

Copyright 2020 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved