blues + bread


My holiday blues came early again this year.  I started writing this post last week and erased it over and over again.  There's so much I could say, but I want to keep things on a positive note today.  I will say this {it is not always easy, and I fail at it all the time}:  Just one kind word or gesture can do so much.  Show kindness and acceptance to those around you.  Even if they are not of your religious persuasion, sexual orientation, political leanings, or in line with what you think are right life choices.  You might think you know who someone is, but you might know what you have decided about them, either from an on-sight judgment or perhaps just years of superficial interaction.  You have no real idea what's going on with them.  You don't really see them.  So be compassionate.  Look for the good instead of criticizing ~ show them good.  Be love.  Acceptance is a powerful gift.

Nothing beats the blues for me better than time outside.  These pictures are from a week ago.  Multnomah Falls was a frequent "Sabbath afternoon activity" with my parents when I was young.  We always hiked to the top then, something I have not done for many years, something I would like to do again.  This day was so windy, so cold, but so worth the icy fingers and toes.  I feel so lucky to live where we do in this Pacific Wonderland.

Inside, we have been spending evenings around the woodstove to stay warm.  The heat and the smell of a wood-burning fire is one of my absolute favorite things.  I have been on a bit of a bread-making kick, keeping the dough warm overnight by the woodstove as the fire dies down and using my trusty thrifted dutch oven for baking the next day.  I've yet to try baking it on top of the woodstove, but I'd really like to do that sometime soon.  I've been using this recipe with pretty good success so far.  I don't use cornmeal or wheat bran before the second rise, just flour, and always substitute some whole wheat flour, and occasionally some dark rye or soy flour, for some of the white in the recipe.  It's so easy and makes a delicious toothsome loaf.   

What are you baking for the holidays?  And how do you banish the holiday blues if you get them?  

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving ~

these are the days


Sunday morning, just as it was getting light, we sat together having a quick breakfast out on the cusp of another one of our weekend adventures.  The sky was still a dark grey.  A soft gentle rain was falling.  I looked at my boys and suddenly felt overwhelmed.  Tears came to my eyes.  I said to my husband, "These are the days."  These are the days that we will look back on someday when the boy is out in the world on his own, the sparkling days of our golden years as an adventuring threesome.  These are the days the boy will remember.  The days that will forever be in his psyche, in his every fiber ... the elixir of our Pacific Northwest family life that runs through his veins.  The scents of the damp forest, the songs of mountain streams over rocks, the whispers of the wind in the trees.  Days of discovery, days of childhood, days of togetherness. 
by mlekoshi