Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Super Snow Moon, Flowers, Books, and Apple Muffins

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are weathering 
the storms of life and hanging on to the hope of spring. 

The heavens have been illuminated by our recent
Super Snow Moon - an amazing sight in this beautiful world.
I took this photo with my 6 year old Nikon Coolpix P520. 

We had another dusting of snow yesterday morning
to sugar coat my world. 

I was feeling hopeful that the snow was finally gone, 
and brought home these sweet little blooms 
to plant in this tub.
Ramblin' Man drilled drainage holes for me.  

A hellebore and mini-daffodils. 
Hope springs eternal :)

I think I shall be so grateful once warmer 
temperatures arrive and I can play outside in the dirt once more. 

Ramblin' Man has been cheering me up with 
lovely discussions of future plans.......
a camping trailer, finishing the loft remodel, 
building a workshop and an old window greenhouse. 

Sometimes I get impatient, but I know how busy 
life is. He has a demanding job, overseeing 9 
district managers and 180 distributors in 
a territory that includes all of the Pacific Northwest 
and Alaska.

I am very proud of him, but I must be very independent 
and self-sufficient, as his work takes him away 
for many hours and often, many miles.

I keep the home fires burning.....

Coffee keeps me going during these cold 
winter days. I admit, I drink too much caffeine. 
I am working on that......

I just ordered a book on making herbal teas.
I am very interested in herbs and how to grow and use
them in cooking, health and beauty. 

Most of my library, including all of my herbal and gardening books,
 are in storage right now, waiting for the remodeling to be done. 
We are turning the master bedroom into a library
and the loft will be our bedroom. 

I get frustrated sometimes, because progress is so slow. 

This long winter is not helping. 
I've been trying to get interested in a decorating or craft 
project, but I am not inspired. 
I am in a bit of a funk. 

I did order a few new books that might entice me 
to forget my frustrations......
Some wonderful memoirs. I love memoirs. 
Especially written by women. 
I love books about pioneer women.
I found several. 
Building our home on raw land, 
here on the edge of the wilderness,
gives me new perspective on the trials 
and tribulations of our early pioneers. 
I think women have been largely forgotten in history, 
unless they were royals, famous, married
to famous men, or somehow notorious.

I ordered the books from

They offer discount books and very affordable shipping.

This book is a favorite memoir - not exactly pioneers,
but the memoir of two young women in 1908 who accepted
Indian Service appointments as field matrons for the Karok
Indians in northern California for two years.
Wonderfully written, and full of adventure, fun and a good
dose of brevity for the challenges they faced, they write;
"In the sixty-mile stretch between Happy Camp and Orleans,
we were the only white women, and most of the time quite
scared enough to satisfy anybody."
Written in 1957 by Mary Ellicott Arnold, it gives the reader
a compassionate glimpse into the life
 of our native peoples and the courage
and bravery it took to navigate that world.

These are more modern memoirs that I highly recommend.
Heather Lende  writes from Haines, Alaska
and I love her books. She also wrote for 'Woman's Day' Magazine
in 2012. Her writing inspired me to become
a reader columnist, that same year, for my regional newspaper,
'The Tacoma News Tribune'. I wrote a monthly
column about life here 'on the edge'.

'Call the Nurse' and 'Nurse, Come you Here',
are wonderful memoirs about a woman
who moved with her family to a Scottish Isle
and found herself reluctantly (at first) enlisted as the region's only nurse.
Both of these books are written with warmth, humor and compassion
for the people in their small communities.

This memoir takes place in my neck of the woods, 
Washington state. I am almost done with it. 
It's about a forgotten young man who was abandoned 
by his family, but had a strong desire to succeed in life.
He worked his way into the University of Washington
and was recruited for the rowing team. 
It's a story of resilience in the face of daunting adversity.
And of course, there is a sweet love story as the backdrop, too.  
It was recently made into a documentary. 

This is my next memoir to read while I wait for my new books.
I am in love with all things Italian, after my recent
visit to Rome and Tuscany.
My love affair actually started with the memoir,
 'Under the Tuscan Sun'
and just progressed from there.

I'll let you know how I like it.

I generally don't read too much fiction, although
if someone recommends something,
I am only too happy to read it,  
and I do love the classics. 
I inherited this beautiful, classic library from my parents. 

I love books.
I don't think you can have too many.
Ramblin' Man indulges me, even though
he rarely has time to read, other than
books about managing business.
He does like how-to books, and has an ever-growing collection.
He built this house by reading books.
He had never built anything, other than a dog-house,
before he jumped right in to build this house
for his family.
Now that's devotion.

I am truly interested in the human condition
and figuring out the psychology of how the world works.
Books satisfy that desire and curiosity.
I also read a daily newspaper.

There is not enough time to devote to all the subjects
I am interested in.
I think I need 2 - 3 more lifetimes........

Books are my windows to the world. 
I travel to far-away places, live many different lives, 
and learn anything my heart desires 
through the pages of a book. 

When I was a child, my favorite place was the library. 
Being shy and introverted, I was happiest when I 
could escape into another world.
If that world included horses and animals, 
I was in heaven, indeed.  

My (messy) living room bookshelf holds my childhood favorites. 

In high school I read 'How Green was my Valley', 
'Green Mansions', 'To Kill a Mockingbird', 
David Copperfield, Mark Twain, and even Shakespeare.  
We spent a whole semester reading, 'Romeo and Juliet'
and then going on a class trip into Boston to see 
the newly released 1968 Franco Zeffirelli movie
starring Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey. 
I had just started dating Ramblin' Man 
and he sat beside me, sweetly holding my hand. 
We imagined we were they, 
as my family was very much against our relationship 
because they thought we were too young.
All these years later, here we are. 

Later, I fell in love with James Herriot 
and his, 'All Creatures Great and Small' series. 
I read the 'Little House on the Prairie' series 
to my children, along with 'The Education of Little Tree', 
which made us all cry, 'Hatchet', and 'The Call of the Wild'.

Some other favorites of mine were, 'Gone With the Wind', 
'Jane Eyre', and 'Rebecca'. 

As a young mother I lived in a rural part of Oregon, 
far from the nearest library, but a book-mobile program 
allowed me to check off books from a mailed flyer
to be delivered to my door. 

The selection was limited, so I found myself reading 
things I might not have, otherwise. 

This book had a profound impact on my interpretation of the world, 
and led to a lifelong interest in books 
 written by people who have lived in 
parts of the world that do not have the freedoms we take 
so much for granted. 

Another excellent book I read was 'My Life with the Eskimo', 
written in 1913 by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. 

This book inspired my interest in other cultures, 
especially native peoples. 

I've read books written by slaves, native Americans, 
Holocaust survivors, and people who have survived 
all manner of trials and tribulations. 
It is these stories of shared humanity, resilience and hope, despite 
the travails and struggles of this sometimes, cruel and inhumane world, 
that inspires me so. 

While I wait for my books to arrive, 
I have been searching for some new, healthy recipes.
Cookbooks are another passion.  

I found these healthy, delicious muffins. 

Here is the recipe:

Apple Muffins

Makes 18 muffins. 
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tart apples, peeled and chopped into small dice
(about 3 cups)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2 eggs
1 cup natural applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Fill muffin pans 
with 18 paper liners. 

In small bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, 
cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. 

In a separate small bowl, mix apple pieces with 1/4 cup 
of the brown sugar; set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and 
remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar together 
until creamed. Add eggs, one at a time, blending well. 
Add applesauce and vanilla extract and mix together. 

Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, a little at a time
and mix just until blended. Stir in apple pieces. 
At this point you can add a handful of raisins or walnuts.
Or both :) 

Fill 18 muffin cups. 

Bake 20 minutes. 

Cool 20 minutes......

Meanwhile, clean up and brew some tea. 

Pour the tea and add some butter to the warm muffin.

Enjoy! Preferably with a good book!

These muffins get better with age
(don't we all?)
due to the moisture of the apples.
They also freeze very well.


"You can never get a cup of tea large enough
or a book long enough to suit me."
- C.S. Lewis -

I am very thankful for the freedoms we have in this country
and the voices and heroes that have
fought to make it so.


What type of books do you like to read?
What are your favorite books?


Today I am sharing with:

 Thankful Thursday
Keep in Touch

Won't you join the fun?


  1. Karen, we are most definitely kindred spirits. I love reading. I do enjoy historical fiction books. Two series in particular which revolve around World War 2 and also Israel becoming a nation again - the author's name is Bodie Thoene and the series are - The Zion Covenant and the Zion Chronicles. I don't think I could chose a favorite book though. I do love Rebecca and Gone with the Wind. It's been a while since I've read Jane Eyre. I also love the Anne of Green Gables series!

    Love your red timer! And your muffin recipe is something I must try. I don't have whole wheat flour and I wonder if I couldn't just use all all purpose flour instead (not as healthy I understand). XO

    1. Hi Gina, kindred spirits we are! Your book selections sound wonderful and I will add them to my 'book of book lists'! :) Yes, Anne of Green Gables is a favorite. I loved the PBS movies, too. I do think you could use white flour. It's a very forgiving recipe! Always nice to have you stop by for a chat, my friend. xx Karen

  2. your pictures show, spring is a tug-a-war between winter and summer.

  3. Wow you really captured a beautiful picture of the moon. Love the muffin recipe and wonderful post. Cheer up the rain has to stop sometime soon. I am so looking forward to March and hopefully dried weather.

    Hugs diane

  4. Hello, Karen!
    I love your gorgeous moon photos. I love to read, ever since I was a child too. Like you, I feel the books can take me to far away places. I lean toward the mysteries, some fiction and non-fiction. I hear too much reality on the news so I am reading lighter books now. I enjoy seeing your deck, plants and lovely home. I am looking forward to spring, growing herbs might be on my to do list. Enjoy your day, have a great weekend ahead!

  5. I have read, Call the Nurse. A great book I really enjoyed. Thanks for linking up. Great to hear from you.

  6. What beautiful pictures of the moon! A 'dusting' of snow looks pretty with your flowers.

    The apple muffin recipe sounds & looks delicious!!!

    I also love to read. Lots and lots of books here in Plum Cottage. My husband loved to read also and built the buildings on the property from knowledge gained through reading books.

    Have a wonderful weekend ~ FlowerLady

  7. We have read so many of the same books, Karen! I want to read some of the ones you shared. Right now I am nearly finished with "Caroline", a book inspired by the Little House series, but from Caroline's viewpoint. I am enjoying it very much.
    I smiled reading about you and your hubby as youngsters on the field trip...I remember going on that same field trip, except no boyfriend lol. My mother had made me the prettiest new dress of soft white cotton with tiny pink roses and a pink satin ribbon belt. It was such a special day, and I loved the movie.
    I wish I could sit down with a cup of that good caffeine and visit with you! Blizzard headed here this weekend...and we already have the snowiest February on record. Looking forward to spring gardening, too! Cozy weekend to you!

  8. Karen, the snow moon is beautiful, and glad you got a picture of it. I love the herbal teas, but I'm with you on the coffee.....I love coffee! Turning your master bedroom into a library sounds like a wonderful idea, and especially since you love to read so much. You have quite a selection of books already. This sounds like a creative project to look forward to. Oh Karen, I also love the Pioneer women! I think that is my favorite era. I really admire the women of this time; they were so brave, and were hard workers on their farms and in their homes. They were strong during difficult times as well. Your apple muffins sound delicious, and even better with a nice cup of tea or coffee. I've always loved that delightful polka-dot mixing bowl.

    Well, it sounds like Spring may take a little longer in your area, as you still have all that wonderful snow! I'm sure it's a lot harder to live in it than to see lovely pictures of it. This was such a nice post, Karen, and I enjoyed every bit of it. And I wanted to tell you that you are a talented writer too. Your words flow so nicely.


  9. What a wonderful post! I feel as though I'm sitting in your cozy kitchen and having a wonderful talk, avoiding the snow and hoping for spring. I'm a reader too and I read a lot of everything. I do love memoirs and biographies, though. And mysteries. Not tons of fiction, though now and then book club will pick one or I'll find one set in Paris or England and then I might get hooked. I've been reading like a crazy girl since I was a kid, so I so get the feeling. And it's perfect for the winter blahs, transporting us to another world, if only for awhile.

    Thanks for the muffin recipe -- looks delish! And thanks also for stopping by to visit me the other day! I love your visits and comments!

  10. Yes, books do make for good company, don't they, Karen? I enjoy fiction, historical fiction, oh course, cookbooks!! Your muffins look so yummy, and perfect with a cuppa tea. Your polka dot mixing bowl, your measuring spoons and your cup and dish are darling, and make me smile! Keep those home fires burning! Hugs, Kitty

  11. I haven't felt like reading much, but we do have a library. It was the dining room. It's a nice and cozy place with all kinds of books, many pictures on the wall, and mismatched things on top of the book shelves and on the walls. I have a curiosity cabinet that has rocks, shells, a turtle shell, birds of all sorts (not live) and many other goodies to explore.

  12. I think our Kentucky winter season this year would rival the Pacific North West for grey rainy days. It does seem that we have been in the camper for a long time while our house is under construction. Even knowing that my husband and son are working wonders doesn't always stifle my impatience to be in a 'real' house again.
    For many years my husband's work took him away. I kept myself busy: gardening in season, sewing, part time jobs, music and, always, reading. I noted quite a few of my favorites in your stacks of books. Over the decades I've read a lot of historical fiction. My tastes now run more to essays, first person narratives, British mysteries. I read a good deal online.
    Reading is always enhanced by a good mug of tea--no muffins, as the camper doesn't have a good working oven.

  13. Oh how I loved this post. So much beauty and touching memories, I plan to put this link into my I Like post on Thursday next. Thanks! LeeAnna

  14. I am not a big reader anymore, when I get my free time I tend to make my cards or looking at blogs. The bible is about the only thing I read anymore. I used to love Rosamunde Pilcher books, she is from England Oh I can't think of the other Author right now, there was also an Author that wrote stories around quilts too and I can't think of her name either. My hubby still loves to read and our daughter got her love of reading from him. I am so ready for spring too, only a few more weeks hopefully!

  15. Love, as always, a glimpse into your life, home and thoughts. ;) I have been trying to get my mojo going too - with crafts and some other endeavors. Hibernation is such a good time to work on things - so trying to make myself. I've been up and down with reading too...but adore some of your suggestions and I'm going to absolutely check them out!

    I would love to be snuggling at your table with a hot tea and one of those muffins - gabbing all things life and dreaming on Spring. I'll play pretend and that will have to be enough. ;)

    And I am all things Italy too! Loved it there so much and would go back in a heartbeat. ::sigh:: Blessings on the rest of your weekend dear Friend. xoxo

  16. Karen, you are a true pioneer woman! I love your story and how your life is so full of bravery while living in the most beautiful spot in the world but sometimes by yourself. You are more brave than I could ever be. I rattle around in my home alone just when hubby goes to the store! I love to read and always have. When in high school we lived a ways out in the country and my dad worked everyday and my mom didn't drive. We had one day a week when we drove with my dad to my grandmother's and stayed there until he picked us up after work. I would walk to the library with my cousin and always found an Albert Payson Terhune book to read. All about dogs. I was lucky to find an old one of his, Lad, A Dog, at a garage sale awhile back. I had read it but it was wonderful to find it to add to my library. My mother was a great reader and belonged to a book club back in the 30's, 40's, and 50's. I have a lot of her books in my library now. She loved romance and had alot of historical romance novels. I guess that is what I got used to. It is always so great to read your posts and now that I have written my own novel, I better get some work done. Your pics of the moon are outstanding. Happy Weekend..Judy

  17. Lovely to catch up with you Karen.
    Reading is a good way when one is feeling in a bit of a funk. Thanks for the run-down on those books, there's a couple there I would love to read .. by Mary J Macleod.
    When there's opposition to one's love, like there was to yours, I think it makes that love all the sweeter and more precious. The same happened to us (based on religion), and we have just celebrated our 50 years of marriage.
    Those apple muffins look beyond delicious lol!
    Cheerio and enjoy your reading. Hugs xx

  18. A perfect post, dear Karen! :)
    Some snow, pretty flowers, books - lots of books - and happily staying in the cosy home and baking tasty treats. Your future plans (greenhouse, library etc.) sound wonderful and we are all looking forward to your posts about them.
    Happy Sunday! xx

  19. Your moon shots are fantastic! And spring will be here soon.

  20. I read The boys in the boat, that is fabulous book. How that boy survived when his father abandoned him at the tender age of 4. Not only he survived, but became gold winner in Olympic.
    I also love to read autobiographies and memoirs. I can tell you one book , " Lone fox dancing" by Ruskin Bond. Ruskin Bond is an Indian author. He was actually born in British India, but he didn't live India, after independence. I think you'll love his autobiography. You can get the book in Amazon.

  21. Hello Karen, oh I too love coffee and drink a few cups a day. I too love books. I am currently reading The Goldfinch recommendation by my daughter and love it. The muffins look and sound good. Enjoy the week

  22. Karen,
    Beautiful pics!! I now hope to get some reading done as I am no longer working!! My heart jumped when i saw photos of your charming Kitchen which i just love!!! Thanks so much for stopping by!! Thanks so much for your well wishes !! I am just glad that i do not have to work while I wait for my surgery. It was just getting to be too hard for me....

  23. What a fantastic post, Karen. So many favorites - from the moon to the many books and those delicious looking muffins. I really enjoyed it and made a note of some of the books you've mentioned, some I've already read. I've recently read a book about Tasha Tudor and thought it very interesting, her life, her dedication to simplicity, and of course her amazing drawings and crafts.

  24. Winter is doing me in too! I want Spring!!! I'm starting to start some seeds and that’s helping me feel Spring is coming! I enjoy to read time period books and mysteries! I consider myself to be a pioneer woman too since I can, Preserve and make all our food from scratch. I like using natural ingredients and practice homeopathy! Wow. A whole room for a library 📚, lucky you!

  25. Hi Karen,
    Thank's for sharing these wonderful photos.
    A spectacular moon, beautiful flowers and muffins look delicious.
    All the best
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

  26. What a lovely post, so nice to see all of your photographs and read about the many books.
    Super moon photographs and the hellebore and mini-daffodils are wonderful for Spring, which surely must be around the corner! I hope so.

    Enjoy this last February day and I wish you a happy and healthy March.

    All the best Jan

  27. Beautiful and delicious pictures. The flowers is very, very beautiful. Have a happy weekend. Hugs.

  28. Karen, looks like we've read a lot of the same books! The ideal day for me: raining, inside looking out on the garden, cat on my lap, a good book, a cup of tea and a muffin. Your muffins look wonderful!


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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