Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere

Pumpkins out on the lawn, set up next to fall mums and corn stalks, on steps, porches and along railingsfall pumpkin and mums is one of those sure signs that October is here! Fall is my favorite season in New England and nothing makes it better than some pumpkins – for decoration or for eating! Who knew that this squash would become such an icon in America? Thought to have originated in America, the pumpkin has been eaten as a winter squash since colonial times. They were much smaller, more the size if a pie pumpkin and used primarily for cooking.

The tradition of the Jack O’Lantern or carved pumpkin began not in America but over in Ireland. The history began, like many do, with a folktale. This one was about a man named Stingy Jack who was a cheapskate that tricked the Devil several times. When Jack finally died, God didn’t want him and the Devil didn’t either so the Devil cast him back to the mortals with only a lump of burning coal to light his way in the dark. Jack put the piece of coal inside a Read More…

Sour Cream and Walnut Banana Cake

We always have bananas on our kitchen counter as they are the perfect snack for on-the-go. Dependingfinished banana cake on the season and weather, sometimes they last longer and sometimes I swear they ripen overnight. When we find some that have gone past the pleasant eating stage, I peel them, put them in a zip-lock freezer bag, and toss them into the freezer. Then, when the extra ripe bananas fill the bag (I use quart size so about 4 bananas fit) it is ready to bake banana bread, banana muffins, or – our family favorite, banana cake!
When you are ready to bake, take your bag of frozen ripe bananas out of the freezer and as they thaw
you can mash them up a bit right in the bag to make the perfect consistency. Then, simply add the bananas to your recipe.

frozen ripe bananas

Banana cake is really just a denser and I think gooier banana bread recipe that you put in cake form as it is extra moist and thus good for slicing and serving. I have baked this cake lots of different ways Read More…

Parmesan Rice with Lemon Pepper Shrimp

It’s like the New England version of shrimp and grits! So simple it is perfect for a weeknight dinner yetParmesan Rice and Lemon Pepper Shrimp so tasty it seems like you must have been cooking all day!

We came up with this household favorite quite by accident. We had gone to a potluck and brought our super flavorful parmesan rice. Making a triple batch as we weren’t sure how much to make, we wound up taking about Read More…

Land Line? The End of an Era…

I was reading a local newspaper that had a short article on how certain things have really been lost on babysitters club booksthe next generation of kids and yet how some iconic and out-of-fashion items will remain forever. The two items in the discussion were the spinning wheel and the land line. The article considered two things from the past and explained how each would have such a different outcome for the future. The spinning wheel in their opinion was most likely to be part of several more future generations due to how it is a part of our children’s learning culture from things like the story Sleeping Beauty and other fairy tales that have this item as a key element.

Yet something more a part of every-day life not that long ago, such as the land line, is becoming obsolete. Future kids will only hear of this “thing” used “back then” through old books or films but will tend to only glance over that item, not really understand what it is or be able to visualize the item as with the spinning wheel.

For those that may remember them, I, like so many others, grew up reading and was a huge fan of the book series, The Babysitters Club. I was also one of those rare kids that not only enjoyed the books but received my own phone in my room during my Read More…

Photos From Maine – September

Local crab on our beach

Local crab on our beach

Just wanted to share some photos from life in Maine thus far! They are in no particular order or of a certain subject other than places we’ve been, food we’ve eaten, and of course the beach where we have Read More…

Smiles on the Beach

I don’t know if it is the ocean waves crashing up on to the shore, the sand between your toes, or the Finding sea glass on the beachsmells and sounds of being next to the water, or perhaps its got something to do with the sea creatures, shells and seagulls nearby, but there is something about being on the ocean shoreline that makes people smile.

Once people have that beach smile something else happens. They become more human. As in, they say hello as you walk by. Then because you have made that initial contact, most often, a conversation begins as phrases like “how are you, nice day, beautiful weather today” pop out from folks. Some end there and you move along with that contented smile on your face. Interestingly, we find that those opening phrases do more and before you know it, you find out where folks are from, wind up learning about the area and or the specific shells or items they are searching for and now of course you want to find that as well, or you even might learn the best place for a lobster roll or bowl of chowda (chowder for those of us not from around the area).  Read More…

Easy Caramel Popcorn – Warning: This is Addicting!

I love popcorn. Any kind of popcorn. I will eat it any day, or every day – anywhere and anytime! I seem to

Homemade caramel popcorn in our hand-colored bags

Homemade caramel popcorn in our hand-colored bags

be the only one in the family with that kind of popcorn dedication, though my dad does eat his share. Over the years I’ve found fun ways to make popcorn and enjoy mixing up the flavors and spices I use to create unique and yummy batches for my snacking cravings.

While I love the truly homemade brown paper bag method (see bottom of this post), for this recipe I do tend to use Read More…

Vermonter On The Move

Well, it all happened so fast I’m still digesting what is happening. One minute I’m working my job but welcome-to-mainethinking of something new – then I dreamily apply for a job in Maine on a whim, and the next thing I know, I’ve accepted, resigned from my job and have a week to pack and move to Maine. What just happened?

So yup. This Vermonter is on the move and heading to Maine in just a week. I’ve always loved the ocean and to me, Maine is kind of like Vermont but with a coastline….and Read More…

Collecting and Using Flower Frogs

While at a local flea market with some friends, as we always do, we let each other know what items we were searching for so we could all keep a look antique flower frogsout for each other’s collection hunts. Vintage clothing was for one, anything fitting for a country kitchen was for another and for me it was flower frogs.  Everyone seemed accepting of these items and so we set off it was clear to me quite quickly that my friends had no idea what flower frogs really were when the two of them got excited about a huge green ceramic garden frog statue.

Flower frogs were made primarily in the 1930s through the 1950s (although earlier ones exist) to be used Read More…

Another Day at the Antique Fair

I grew up around what most people call Antique fair collage“junk.” My husband says my family is a bunch of hoarders (not quite that bad as seen on television….I can actually see my flooring). Not hoarders, I tell him, collectors. Big difference. So what was so amazing about asking my husband what he wanted to do for his birthday weekend? His answer of “well, that antique fair you always like to go to is Read More…

WinAhead's Backyard

Where DSS Professionals Come to Learn from One Another

The Cottonwood Tree

Exploring the Life, Times and Literature of Laura Ingalls Wilder


The ramblings of a not so holier than thou, God fearing country gal. Who spends her days chasing children, a great vintage find, animals and her husband.