January Sunshine



One of the great pleasures of my life is cooking for family and friends.  In the last few years in search of new cooking challenges, I decided to try home canning and have become completely smitten with the process.

One of my go to cookbooks is “Food in Jars” by Marisa McClellan.  I highly recommend her cookbook for two reasons – she uses highly creative ingredients and gives directions for small batches.

Marisa is running a year long challenge at her website: https://www.foodinjars.com/01/13/2017.  I have decided to take up the challenge.

This is my first effort at marmalade but when a box of mineola’s showed up on my doorstep and two meyer lemons ripened on Dom’s tree I felt as though I was receiving a message from the kitchen gods.  What follows is the recipe in case you want to try it.  It was delicious on scones and next I am going to use it as a glaze for chicken.


  • 8 mineola’s
  • 2 meyer lemons
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh mineola juice
  • 1/2 tsp of butter
  • 1 packet of liquid pectin

1.   Start by supreming the fruit.  Do this by cut off the top and bottom.  Cut the rind of the fruit and slice into long strands.  Separate the fruit from the pith.  Discard the seeds and the pith.

2.  In an nonreactive pot combine the sugar, the rind and the fruit along with the juice and butter.

3.  Bring the mixture to a boil and stir for 10 minutes.  Make sure the marmalade reaches a temperature of 220 degrees.

4.  Prepare four pint jars for canning and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.



Thankfulness Mondays – THINGS YET UNSEEN


This is week 30 (of 52) participating with Bernadette of Haddon Musings, posting about things great and small, that we have to be thankful for, offsetting negative areas that surround us each and every day.

Hebrews Chapter 11 vs 1Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

That verse came to mind when I was thinking of how grateful I am that I can believe that some issues that concern me will resolve in the right time.

There is history in my life that allows me to know this. There was depression, there were several issues within the family, there were illnesses and other challenges.

Faith is not something that is necessarily exclusive to being a Christian, because every day people put their faith in their cars as they drive them, or in planes that they travel on, or…

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I invite you to come and join me on this pilgrimage to change the world through thankfulness.  Perhaps if enough of us join together we can change the negative climate that exists and is overtaking our planet. Together we can move our fellow citizens of to a better, higher and finer place.

This week finds me thinking about the momentous changes that are going to happen in our country starting Friday.  I am thankful that I live in a country that celebrates a man whose life brought out the finer aspects of our country and brought about so much positive change, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  And, I am thankful that I live in a country where his spirit of non-violenent action continues to be kept alive in the Woman’s March on Washington.  This event is intended to be a non-violent protest in the form of marches all over our country.  Women will gather on Saturday, January 21st to “show solidarity and to demand our safety in a time when our country is marginalizing us and making sexual assault an electable and forgivable norm. “

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I floated mutely

in the dark,

until I reached

the holy mark.

Alone and dying

in the park,

I sang my song

in the dark.

References in classical literature include the belief that upon death the otherwise-silent mute swan would sing beautifully—hence the phrase swan song.


This is written in response to Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, https://scvincent.com/2017/01/12/thursday-photo-prompt-SWANwritephoto

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52 Weeks of Thankfulness: Week 2, Women Power

This was posted on 52 WEEKS OF THANKFULNESS but I think it is very relevant to the readers of FEMINIST FRIDAY.


Fridays are Feminist Friday on Haddon’s Musings; although, I do not claim the title of feminist, I do advocate women are strong. I raise my daughter to be strong and competent, and kind.  I believe a balance amongst these three traits is essential. I will also agree, during times of necessity, one trait should be displayed more than others due to the given situation. Wouldn’t you agree? 

I would like to bet Kate Chopin might concede with me, at least I would like to think she would. In 1899, she published The Awakening, a scandalous book (deemed so in the 19th Century) that portrays the life of Edna Pontellier who test the boundaries of womanhood in accordance to a misogynistic society.  I am thankful for Kate Chopin and her advocacies in The Awakening.  And I am also thankful for the bond that women hold amongst each other as well as…

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Since the New Year usually brings to all of us resolutions for new undertakings, particularly in the areas of exercise and fitness, I thought the story of Grandma Gatewood would help to inspire all of us and keep our resolve alive.

Grandma Gatewood survived domestic violence to walk the Appalachian Trail alone at 67

By Diana Reese January 5, 2015, Washington Post

Emma Rowena Caldwell was born in 1887 on an Ohio farm, one of 15 children, the daughter of a disabled Civil War veteran. She traded the hard life of the farm for marriage at age 19 to Percy Gatewood, but life didn’t get any easier.
For more than 30 years, “she put up with being married to a stubborn, ignorant, hard-fisted man who beat her over and over again,” Montgomery said.

Then one night he broke her teeth and cracked a rib, nearly killing her. A sheriff’s deputy arrived at the house, and arrested Emma, not Percy. She spent a night in jail until the mayor of the small West Virginia town where they lived intervened when he saw her blackened eyes and bloodied face.

She managed to get a divorce — unheard of in those days — and raised her last three children alone.

Sometime in the 1950s she saw a “National Geographic” magazine article about the Appalachian Trail. Her daughter, Lucy Gatewood Seeds, has said in interviews she believes the fact that no woman had yet hiked the trail presented a challenge to her mother. An obituary quoted daughter Rowena saying her mother stated, “If those men can do it, I can do it.”

Gatewood attempted the trail in 1954, starting in Maine, but broke her glasses and gave up, determined to try again. She did the following spring.

Grandma Gatewood, as she became known, was the first woman to hike the entire 2,050 miles of the Appalachian Trail by herself in 1955. She was 67 years old at the time, a mother of 11 and grandmother of 23.

Gatewood hiked the trail carrying a homemade knapsack and wearing ordinary sneakers — she wore out six pairs of them in 146 days from May to September. She brought a blanket and a plastic shower curtain to protect her from the elements, but she didn’t bother with a sleeping bag, a tent, a compass or even a map, instead relying on the hospitality of strangers along the way and her own independent resourcefulness. She’d sleep in a front porch swing, under a picnic table or on a bed of leaves when necessary, and she ate canned Vienna sausages, raisins and peanuts plus greens she found on the trail and meals offered by strangers.
“I would never have started this trip if I had known how tough it was, but I couldn’t and I wouldn’t quit,” Gatewood told a reporter from “Sports Illustrated” magazine. Media coverage of her hike led to repairs and restoration of the trail and may, indeed, have saved the trail from falling into ruin. It also inspired a new crop of hikers.


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Cite & Insight Invite – 12th January

Stevie Turner, Indie Author.

I first saw this quote by Mark Haddon when author D.G Kaye shared Mary Jaksch’s blog containing 50 authors’ tips on becoming a good writer:  http://writetodone.com/become-a-good-writer/

“I don’t remember deciding to become a writer. You decide to become a dentist or a postman. For me, writing is like being gay. You finally admit that this is who you are, you come out and hope that no one runs away.”

Mark Haddon is an English novelist, best known for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003). He won the Whitbread Award, Guardian Prize, and a Commonwealth Writers Prize for his work.

I had to laugh at this quote, as I’ve not yet ‘come out’ to my family and friends.  I’ve been writing for 4 years now, and still none of my relatives and extended family have even an inkling of what I do all day.  According to them I’m retired and look…

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Bernadette at http://www.HaddonMusings.com

Jacqueline at http://www.Acookingpotandtwistedtales.com

Joan at http://www.familyparentingandbeyoned.wordpress.com

This is Joan’s first week as host and has presented a wonderful quote from James Baldwin:

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

This quote reminded me of the following song lyrics written by Oscar Hammerstein for South Pacific.  When I was raising my children I always referred back to them.

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

Rogers and Hammerstein

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This is Joan’s inaugural week and she has a great quote and challenge for us. Please join in on the fun.

Family ,Parenting and beyond


Jacqueline (http://www.HaddonMusings.com), Bernadette (http://www.Acookingpotandtwistedtales.com) and I invite you to join in on our blogging event called The Writer’s Quote Challenge.

Here is my offering for this week:

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
James Baldwin

Looking at my children, I find myself guilty of setting rules yet never following them. The other day, my daughter asked me why I was standing while drinking water yet I categorically tell them to sit down. Ouch, it hurt but humbled me and got me thinking about how I am raising them.

Rule upon rule,
she ruled her domain,
remainder notes tucked everywhere,
it was her way to raise upright children.

Looking back,
she wonders where she went wrong,
“Why did none turn out right?”
she wonders

After a while,
all comes back like a flood,
while she ordered,

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