Tag Archives: memories

Queen Anne’s Lace and Feral Apple Jelly


I feel my best when I’m outside, among the trees, in a meadow, or beside a stream. Where I can see the sun shining, feel the wind blowing, and hear the birds singing.


Add some wild edibles or medicinal plants to harvest and I’m in heaven.


Yesterday we picked Queen Anne’s Lace, also known as wild carrot, latin name: Daucus carota.


There was a wild apple tree along the edge of the field and we picked a few that were within our reach.


I pulled out my grandfather’s Kabar and sliced one for us to eat right there beneath the tree. I can still see him doing this, removing the knife from his pocket whenever the need arose and peeling the blade out. Preparedness goes a long way in this life.


Once home, we placed the flower heads out to let the critters wander away and then steeped the blossoms in boiled water.


We chopped the little apples into chunks and placed them in water to boil.


We combined the juice and the wild carrot tea, added some sugar and reluctantly, some pectin and our yield is 6 half pints of Queen Anne’s Lace and wild apple jelly.

And we’ll think of those fragrant apples warming in the sun and the field of seemingly endless white blossoms when we slather this jelly on toast or biscuits.

Get outside and find something wild.





Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve. I’m five years old. I’m lying in bed watching the light stream through the vinyl blinds. It’s nighttime but the moon is bright and it’s being reflected off the snow that is blanketing the ground. I’m supposed to be sleeping. I can hear music coming from the other room.

I lift the covers off of me and swing my legs out of bed. I place my feet on the carpet and walk through the dimly lit kitchen and into the living room where I see my mother sitting in the middle of the couch on the very edge of the cushions. On the coffee table in front of her are the two slender red candles we put out weeks before when we were decorating the apartment for Christmas. Tonight, they are lit and I can tell they have been burning for some time because they are half the size they were and there’s wax all over the silver candle holders. It seems like she is waiting for someone. I think it must be Santa.

She tells me to go back to sleep. Santa won’t come if I’m awake. I run back to my room and call for her to tuck me back in but she’s already making her way back to me. She wraps me in blankets and says goodnight.

I toss and turn for what seems like an eternity. I wonder if he will skip my house because I’m still awake. I finally start to doze but then I hear footsteps. I’m lying on my side, my face towards the wall. I hear my door creak open, I see light shine in from the kitchen, I see the shadow of Santa. He tiptoes into my room and as I hold my breath, he places my stocking at the foot of my bed. I want to turn around to see this mysterious person but I know I can’t. I concede to simply watch the shadow on the wall. He retreats.

I gently nudge the stocking with my toes. I hear wrapping paper crinkle inside. I feel as if I just might burst with excitement. I can’t wait to see if he received my letter and brought me the very toys I asked for. I close my eyes and smile. It’s almost Christmas and I almost saw Santa.




Join the Smoke Free Crowd

Exercise is a crucial part of life. Especially if you are like me and eat the goodies you blog about a few times a week. Even though I try to add fruit and vegetables to the mix, there is added fat and sugar that I normally wouldn’t have. Exercise boosts energy, promotes good sleeping habits, improves mood, and maintains weight. It’s recommended that you get thirty minutes of exercise a day depending on your lifestyle.

My exercise of choice lately is running. I have my husband wake me up a half hour before he leaves for work. I run a loop around our neighborhood that is about 2 miles, which takes me 20 minutes (there are hills!) I stumble out of bed, shuffle to my bureau and grab some running gear. This morning I pulled out a shirt I’ve had since high school. It’s the one I’m wearing in this picture. I’m the one kneeling on the far right. The Peer Outreach group took a field trip to the state capital and met the governor at the time, Jean Shaheen. Thank you God for pictures. They capture a moment in time that we might otherwise forget. The front of the shirt says SMOKE FREE New Hampshire and the back, Join the Smoke Free Crowd.

I run in the morning before breakfast, before coffee, before I’m really even awake yet! I get to see the sunshine peaking through the morning clouds, I hear the birds chirping, and inhale the crisp air.  This morning I saw two rabbits. Yesterday, a family of raccoons. Last week, a deer.

What is your exercise of choice?