Random Catch-uppances

I’ve been more and more neglectful of this blog, it seems. Life continues to go on, and I make food, but there’s so much going on that I’ve not had time or motivation to spend much of my life blogging here about said food. I’ve been doing cookbook testing that I can’t talk about yet, for one, and music has been the centre of my life for two months straight. Priorities!

Here’s some of what I’ve been up to over the year.

  • One of the things I’ve been working through this year is continued growth in the mental/physical health arena. I was having a load of health problems earlier in the year – allergies causing sinus infections over and over again, on top of what I believe was spiritual oppression. I dealt with it for about 4 months, getting worse and worse. In July I hit a point where I could barely walk and then simply couldn’t get out of bed, because I was so exhausted, and then some things happened. First I was ordered back onto my antidepressants by my therapist, about the same time I also requested to be anointed at church. The anointing happened on a Sabbath after church, low-key and quiet in one of the elders’ offices at church, and I am happy to report by the time I got home afterwards that day, I was again able to walk and function like a normal person. It was such a drastic, immediate change after weeks of hardly being able to drag myself out of bed, and I revelled in it, praising the Lord, for several days before going to pick up the prescription that was waiting for me. So I’ve been back on the meds since July, and I have roughly 5 months to go now on this round of the medication before we decide if I try to go off it again. I don’t know where it will go from here, but I am doing so much better, and I’m thankful for friends who have more perception and wisdom than I do, who dragged me kicking and screaming through the fog to the light. It is so wonderful to have energy, to feel creative, to actually be sending out Christmas cards this year for the first time in years without being totally overwhelmed and shutting down.
  • Living in our house, unfinished as it may be, has been wonderful beyond words. If you’ve never spent over two years in a mouldy deathtrap of doom, you simply will not understand. I don’t even care that my house isn’t finished, I’m just so thankful to be in it. Little by little we’re working on it. But we have space, light, indoor plumbing, space, and heat. And space. This is far more than much of the world can hope for in their lifetimes. We are abundantly blessed.
  • I discovered I have Scottish blood in me and have been embracing this discovery with every drop of said blood. My ScottishSpam on Pinterest? I apologise for nothing.
  • I’ve been working on listing stuff in my Etsy shop. Take a look! All the money after fees and tithe from these sales are going towards paying off my harp loan.
  • The most important personal development of this year, by far, has been that I have held out my musician’s heart in trembling hands to the world. I have been mortally afraid of opening my past to my closest friends, let alone strangers, but I have now shared my story via another blog: The Harp in the Closet. It is raw, simple, emotional, my very soul spilled out in words: a side of me that has not ever been on this blog, and indeed few see even in real life. It has actually been published for about 6 months now, and gotten over 1000 hits, but I am only now getting the courage to share about it here with a wider audience rather than with just individuals. Consider taking a little time to read it from start to finish. If it resonates with you in any way, please share it with your friends.
  • Finally, here’s a picture of our pretty tree and a cute cat:

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 7.37.34 PMMerry Christmas (or whatever holiday you’re celebrating!) from all of us Pine Nuts.


Categories: holiday, Mrs Pine Nut, pumpkitten, sickness | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

2013: The Photoessay

Happy memories, things to be thankful for, and good friends.






















IMG_1360 1






Happy 2014! I hope you all have a good, safe, wonderful year. I don’t do resolutions; I think they’re silly. But, I do have some goals! Here is what I’m shooting for in 2014:

  • More zines
  • Putting out a digital recipe book
  • Getting out of this trailer and into my house
  • Adding lots of new lovelies to my Etsy shop – what would you like to see there? I’m open to considering all suggestions!


Categories: GooGoo, Lou Who, Mrs Pine Nut, pumpkitten, travel | Leave a comment

Exiles of the Snow

First, business: One of the winners of the giveaway has never responded to my email, so I’ve chosen a second winner via Random.org: Panda With Cookie! You should be getting an email from me shortly!


The view from the living room window of our friends' house

The view from the living room window of our friends’ house during the cold snap of doom

Now, on to other things. We had a cold, cold cold snap. Our woes began when the trickle of water we left running wasn’t enough of a trickle and our trailer pipes froze on GooGoo’s birthday. This wasn’t as bad as it might have been, since we do have a water storage tank in the trailer that we can fall back on. The problem with that is that when it’s empty and the trailer hose is frozen, refilling it involves a 5-gallon bucket being toted from the house where water *was* still running, a funnel, and four hands.

Spiders are creepy, but their webs are awesome.

Spiders are creepy, but their webs are awesome.

With the weather forecast ominously predicting lows in the teens, we became exiles from our own abode on Friday the 6th. We headed with girls and cat in tow for the booming metropolis of Shedd where we found refuge with good friends until the snap passed.

We had all kinds of adventures with the their cat hating our cat and our cat being all passive-aggressive to their cat, a treacherous trip to Corvallis because Train Boy was going to just PERISH if he had to use Nucoa instead of Smart Balance just one more meal, and hearing Greensleeves practised a few times over the course of the week. I got quite a few felt ornaments made, though, and got in some music practise myself.

The girls being entertained by The Engineer

The girls being entertained by The Engineer

Well, the weather didn’t warm up on Tuesday as they had predicted. It was Friday before everything was sufficiently melted and our pipes were thawed out. So we ended up being away from home for eight days.

Pumpkitten knows there's a heater right beneath him

Pumpkitten knows there’s a heater right beneath him

We’re still getting things back in order around here and I have been afflicted with ridiculous fatigue I can’t explain. I have been lazing around hoping to regain my energy. I predict I’ll be back to normal tomorrow, but we’ll see.


Bonus! Three photos of GooGoo’s birthday. How is she four already?

The tiger cake!

The tiger cake!

The pathetic picture of the inside of the birthday cake.

The pathetic picture of the inside of the birthday cake.

The sweet birthday girl. I love you, GooGoo!

The sweet birthday girl. I love you, GooGoo!




Categories: birthdays, GooGoo, Lou Who, Mrs Pine Nut, pumpkitten | Tags: | Leave a comment

Journey to Éiden: Day 1

I anticipated running around like a beheaded barnyard fowl on Sabbath morning, the 26th. And I did.

I was up early and traipsing between house and car, trailer and car, shed and car, armed with a flashlight and laden with Stuff. But after a nice game of Tetris Packing the Car, all got loaded and I managed to still cut a fine dash for church in some new-to-me thrift store treasures (red silky shirt and silver/black striped tie) AND get on the road to church by 8.

Sabbath school went well. We left church about 12.30. I read a 96 page book (Taught by a Tiger) and then we stopped around 1.30 at a rest area along I-5 to eat lunch, because I was starving.

Cuddling the annoyed-looking beast while I ate my lunch.

Cuddling the annoyed-looking beast while I ate my lunch.

We had bulgur burgers (or, as a friend once humourously referred to them, Bildeberger bulgur burgers) and hummus on rye chapatis, kale chips, carrot sticks, and cowgirl cookies (well, my version was cocoanut, walnuts and cranberries). I told Mr Pine Nut that I’m pretty sure these are the cookies I’ve been waiting for all my life. “Well, I’m glad you finally met,” he said dryly, “so you can get married.”

We were vastly entertained peoplewatching at the rest stop. There was a young boy striking dramatic poses by trees for his mom to take pictures, and the couple in the SUV nearest us spent close to 20 minutes messing around adjusting their back seat and then shutting themselves into the back of the car from the inside. Um.

We dropped off the Pumpkitten at our friend K’s, who graciously opened her home to him despite his inability to get along with her cats on previous visits. We visited a while with her, met her husband and baby and stepdaughter, and were off on our way again at 4.20. Mr Pine Nut got mixed up and thought we needed to get back on I-5 and 45 minutes later I realised what had happened after we’d inched along for like ever in traffic. We were supposed to get on 84, actually.

So he crossed back into Oregon on 205, got on 84, and all was well again. We stopped at rest stop to eat parfaits and pee. I drove the rest of the way to Yakistan and we arrived at my dad’s at 9.

Sunset reflecting on the eastern mists along the Columbia Gorge

Sunset reflecting on the eastern mists along the Columbia Gorge

The girls were very energetic after having been asleep in the car. GooGoo helped grandpa make cookies. He asked, “Whole wheat flour or regular flour?”

“Regular flour,” said GooGoo.

“Regular flour, regular flour,” singsonged my dad as he got out the regular flour. When he opened a new bag of brown sugar he sniffed it “to make sure it wasn’t tainted with hashish.”

That’s my dad’s sense of humour for you.


It was 11.30 before we were finally in bed.

I also got the news that I had a new nephew, and K messaged us that Spot was being a ferocious furball, hissing and having to be lured into their room with treats because he would Not Allow Them to Pick Him Up. Oh joy. Poor K.

One thing I took to my dad on this trip was the plum conserve I made for him back in September. It’s from the mother of my best friend Edda and goes way back. What is a conserve, you ask? It’s a combination of fruit, dried fruit, and nuts, and you spread it on bread. My batch came out super thick and didn’t spread very well, but Edda’s mom says that’s not too abnormal. So.

Plum Conserve
4 lbs. plums (about 8 cups cut up)
4 T lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 c raisins
4 1/2 – 6 c sugar
1 c walnuts

Wash and pit your plums. Chop nuts. Combine all ingredients in a pot except nuts and cook until thick. This may take a while and you will want to be stirring very often. When the mixture is thick enough, remove from heat and stir in nuts.

To process, pour into sterilised jars to within 1/2″ of top. Put on a lid and a ring firmly and process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. This recipe yields 3 pints.


Categories: canning, cookies, Food Preservation, GooGoo, jams jellies and the like, Mrs Pine Nut, pumpkitten, recipes, travel | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Caturday Post #4: The Well-Read Cat


Does this really need any caption? No. No, it does not.


Categories: pumpkitten | 1 Comment

Caturday Post #3




Categories: pumpkitten, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013 | 1 Comment

Photo of the Day #19

The blanket is progressing! I'm about 1/3 done. Cat had to get in on the action.

The blanket is progressing! I’m about 1/3 done. Cat had to get in on the action.


Categories: crafty crafts, pumpkitten | Leave a comment

Caturday Post #2: A Photoessay













The end.

Categories: pumpkitten | Leave a comment

Caturday Post #1: Lou Who and Me

With absolutely no apologies to A A Milne, I, the Pine Nut Cat, present the following to you.


Wherever I am, there’s always Lou,
There’s always Lou Who and Me.
Whatever I do, she wants to do,
“Where are you sleeping today?” says Lou:
“Well, that’s very odd ‘cos I was too.
Let’s nap together,” says Lou, says she.
“Let’s nap together,” says Lou.

“What’s up with your blanket?” I said to Lou.
(“What about it?” said Lou to Me.)
“I think rainbow striped zebras are few.”
“Just what I think myself,” said Lou.
“So few that none died for my blanket too,
And that makes me glad,” said Lou, said she.
“That makes me glad,” said Lou.

“I’ll guard you from dragons,” I said to Lou.
“Oh thank you,” said Lou to Me.
She fell asleep, and I did too,
We dreamed of dragons that flamed and flew,
But even while sleeping I was ready too.
In case real ones showed up to chase Lou and me.
That’s why I’m here, sweet Lou.

“What is that roaring?” I said to Lou.
“I’m scared,” said Lou to Me.
“I’m not afraid,” I said to Lou,
And I held my paw and I shouted “Shoo!
Silly old dragons!”- and off they flew.
“I wasn’t afraid,” said Lou, said she,
“I’m never afraid with you.”

So wherever I am, there’s always Lou,
There’s always Lou and Me.
“What would I do?” I said to Lou,
“If it wasn’t for you,” and Lou said: “True,
It isn’t much fun for One, but Two,
Can stick together,” says Lou, says she.
“That’s how it is,” says Lou.

Note from Mrs Pine Nut: I’m not sure what it is with this cat and Lou Who, but he was always very cuddly with me even while she was still in the womb, and all through her infancy they slept together almost every day. I’m curious to see if this resumes when the weather turns cold again. He was always a paw’s length away from GooGoo: doesn’t dislike her, but neither does he appear to love her.

Categories: Lou Who, pumpkitten, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013 | Leave a comment

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