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Showing posts from May, 2016

Like messages in a bottle, only slips of spirits past tucked away in books

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One of the many treats of collecting old books is that they sometimes contain pleasant surprises in between the pages. The above 1930s advertising card is was likely a bookmark used by the original owner.

I can't read German, but seeking and keeping a four leaf clover for good luck seems to be universal. Usually I find pressed antique flowers so this was a first.

My oldest books, in particular those of a spiritual nature from Victorian Era, offer me comfort during difficult times. Some years ago I was devastated after one of my guinea pigs passed away due to complications from his bladder stone surgery. My tears kept escaping despite me trying to keep a "stiff upper lip." Then I saw an old hankie between the pages with the initial "A" on it. I got a chill and a thrill all at once. Supernatural comfort from beyond!

The above post-it is was inside a 1977 copy of "The Big Book" by Alcoholics Anonymous I had picked up at a yard sale.  As I shared on In…

Tiny Tim's little raised bed vegetable garden

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Tiny Tim, aka Timmy, loves floor time with my housemate, Wayne. In this photo you may notice that Timmy's eye looks dull; this is the side where he was blinded when abused by his original owners. He's a grateful little guinea pig who appreciates the good things. He is always squeaking and doing tricks for fresh veggies, so we promised him he would have his own little garden this summer provided he shares some of it with with us.
There's no better way to "eat retro" than to grow your own food!

Wayne first needed to construct the framework for the raised bed that we decided to situate behind the deck where there is plenty of sunlight (and bare spots of grass to hide!) My office/third bedroom window overlooks it so it'll be fun to peek at it during the day.

Here's another view of the backyard in relation to the garden. Those two gigantic pine trees along with the deciduous trees, when their foliage is fully open, create a lot of shade which isn't great …

Mini-Makeover: Moving my mid-century bedroom from the glam early 60s to the groovy, organic early 70s

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The above is the "before" of my bedroom with the shag rug, turquoise Princess rotary phone (yes it works), "Hollywood Regency" style gold bedspread and sheer turquoise and brown drapes.


I had a stack of vintage suitcase that was also used for storage. There were a few girly things on my faux vanity (it's really a sewing table!) and a 1960s Paris oil painting.

The sheer curtains are pretty but not very practical during the cold Maine winters. I have heavy shades I can pull down behind them (and a working furnace!), but curtains without insulation means heat loss (and more money). I do need to be more budget-conscious these days.

I wanted to give my bedroom an "updated" look. (But not like this. I'm sure you've noticed the all-white decorating trend. I like color. And the past.) Updated in this case for me means the earthy organic style of the early 70s. I also wanted less clutter. To accomplish this I made a number of changes, but my 60s blond…

How I let go of the things that I thought offered me comfort

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Many of you reading my blog right now are here becauseyou want to lose weight. And I mean you really want to do it! You know the positives that go along with a healthier lifestyle and diet. Maybe you have another habit or addiction that you are wondering if it's too much to give up. These are things I had to do when I put down my last drink, had my last smoke and my last compulsive bite that led to junk-fueled binges:

I admitted defeat.
I gave up the struggle. I lost all interest in trying to manage my drinking, smoking and self-destructive eating. Because even if I was somehow managing to regulate my intake, I was obsessing over it, counting down to my next drink, smoke or whoopie pie (it's a Maine thing). I acknowledged that alcohol/cigarettes/junk food wasn't just kicking my ass, but owned me and that there was no hope of having a healthy relationship with those substances ever. It was a pleasure to let go. I freed my thoughts, energy, and attention to focus on the thi…

One Person, Many Dimensions

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Some people talk about not taking personal freedoms for granted, in particular, freedom of speech. It's possible to appreciate something in spirit but still neglect it in practice. 
My ex-husband is a former United States Marine, and I spent three years living in the south while he was stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC and in Louisville, Kentucky while he was on recruiting duty. It was then that I deeply considered the true meaning of the First Amendment and how many sacrificed and gave their lives to defend it. I came to recognize that living in a "free country" didn't liberate my mind and personal decisions. That was my war to wage against the inner saboteurs known as shame, self-doubt and low self-esteem. It was very powerful once I really got it, because to this day that lesson has become integrated into my entire being. Yet, that doesn't mean it's not a struggle or ongoing practice, because it truly is.
Had I not had that experience, I may h…

The Biggest Bull

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The comment I left under the NY Times article, After The Biggest Loser, Their Bodies Fought To Regain Weight:

Thrifty Vintage Gluten-Free Recipes Is Now Published!

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After months of laboring in my kitchen, tweaking, testing and tasting recipes until they became triumphs, my Kindle book Thrifty Vintage Gluten-Free Recipes is now ready for purchase on Amazon Kindle! You don't need a Kindle to read it! Amazon Kindle books can be read on your phone or iPad (so you can bring it into your kitchen) or your desktop.

I just peeked at my book and I was so excited to see THIS (updated at 12:42 p.m.):



I put a lot into this delicious project so I hope you will enjoy new-to-you dishes! 

And now, to announce the randomly selected winner of a free copy! Congratulations  Stephanie K! Please contact me using the contact form on my blog by May 5th to claim your gift copy.

Thank you to everyone else who entered the contest or commented on my posts along the way. It feels great to see people excited about the recipes. If you purchase my book it helps support my blog. Thank you.