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April 2014

"Rough winds do shake ...

Magnolia on gray april day

... the darling buds of May ... "

A friendly reminder, my friends ~ tomorrow is May 1st! So don't forget your Rabbit, Rabbit when you wake! :)

And so, a new season begins ... Early Spring is put to bed, and Late Spring folders get moved to the front of the crate! There's so much to look forward over the next couple of months ...

May Day, Mary's Month, Mother's Day, lilacs, the Full Flower Moon, peonies, Little Bear's FIRST birthday, Ascension Day, butterflies, Pentecost, strawberriesthe Full Strawberry Moon, roses, Father's Day, Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi, light nights, the Summer Solstice, fireflies and Midsummer's Eve ... 

>-*-< ❤ >-*-<

But for now, a quiet gray day ... and a chill in the air, as the anticipation builds. I'll be off for a bit while I recover from wisdom tooth surgery (ouch!), but as always, I'll be back again very soon.

Enjoy your evening, my friends!

Kitchen Chat, Week Eight: Cookbooks!

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Good Monday morning, my friends!

Welcome to another week of Kitchen Chat! Please help yourself to the bread basket - a warm rhubarb scone, perhaps? - and pour yourself a hot cuppa something - tea or coffee, there's plenty of both. Let's settle in and talk about COOKBOOKS! From conversations I've had, and comments I've read - here and elsewhere - I think it's safe to say a great many of us have a bit of a cookbook obsession!

So to start, I have just a couple of "cookbook questions" for you all today ... so if you have the time and inclination, please leave your answers in the comments box below.


Where do you store/display your cookbooks?

What is (are) your favorite cookbook(s) - and why?



I also have several wonderful cookbook pictures to share and I must thank the lovely ladies - Michelle, Jo, Shirley, Carol and Mary - who sent me photos for this post! I think it adds such a fun element to these chats when we open our kitchens up to each other!

Cookbooks 5 

As for me, I store my cookbooks in a kitchen cabinet ... as of about five minutes ago, lol! They've been packed in boxes since we moved here last summer ... but this upcoming post gave me incentive to get them out of those boxes and into a cabinet! (And I'm still missing a few favorites, so there's got to be another box around here somewhere ... hmmm.)

Cookbooks 2

At the old house I kept my cookbooks on the counter to the right of the stove, but since I now have more cabinets to "play" with, I felt I could devote a shelf (maybe a shelf and half) to these books. I like how they look here - I can obviously see them through the glass, and it makes me smile to see them on display.

Cookbooks 6

I've been collecting cookbooks since I was a teen ... I loved looking through my mother's and grandmother's cookbooks - especially the really old ones, with the super-thin pages and personal notes in the margins. I would say my favorites to read through nowadays are The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook (currently, MIA) and Jamie at Home, shown above. I tend to enjoy books that reflect New England and British cuisine/lifestyle as well as those that feature baked goods and organic/seasonal recipes. I can read a cookbook like Pippa Middleton's Celebrate, front to back, just for the comfort and joy it inspires!

But that's enough from me ... now let's hear from some dear friends - regular readers, all - who are also sharing their own cookbooks today!

From Jo:

Cookbooks jo

"Here are some of my favorites in their home in our kitchen. Some of them are books that I just enjoy looking through. Others, like the Indian Vegetarian cookbook, are cherished ones that I use for inspiration regularly."

From Shirley:

Cookbooks shirley 1

Cookbooks shirley 2

Cookbooks shirley 3

"I have attached a few pics of my cookbooks. My favourite ones are falling apart! One of them is stored in a Ziplock bag to keep it all together. Of course the pages have splashes and stains - all evidence of being well used and well loved. I am lucky to have a very convenient little shelf in my main storage cupboard that holds all my cookbooks beautifully. I have not really added to the collection for years as the Internet is a wonderful free source of endless recipes."

*And here I must add that I agree with Shirley - I used to buy cookbooks quite often, but these days I find most of my recipes online or in magazines. That said, I would buy another Barefoot Contessa or Jamie Oliver cookbook in a heartbeat - just on sheer principle. ;)

From Michelle:

Cookbooks michelle 1

Cookbooks michelle 3

"My cookbooks are special to me because most of them have been given to me as gifts. My family and friends know how much I enjoy cooking and baking so I am always excited when I receive new recipes to try. In the modern age of technology it is easy to find recipes online but I like to sit down with my cookbooks and thumb through the pages. I just like the feel of the book in my hands, the smell of the pages, and being able to write things down in them.  Hopefully they will be passed on and cherished by my future daughter in laws or even my boys. They like to cook also. Some of my favorite cookbooks are ones I received as wedding gifts over 23 years ago. I am also fond of the Southern Living (circa 1970'S) cookbooks that my 
grandmother gave to me. I display my cookbooks in my kitchen on shelves that are below my kitchen cabinets, but I also have several binders that contain printed recipes stored inside my kitchen cabinets. And last but not least, sitting on my kitchen countertop is my tried and true recipe box holder. It contains handwritten recipes that I have used for years and years."
From Carol:

Cookbooks carol 1

Cookbooks carol 2

 "Here at Chestnut Hill I have cookbooks in many places. I have this Shaker Shelf in the kitchen between the large wood cook Stove and the Electric stove. I keep every day cookbooks, and anything that will fit on the shelves. Then in the living room I have some stacks of overflow or of cookbooks that I do not want regularly exposed to grease and wood stove dander. I would love to have a Library or at least nice built in shelves, but our home is almost 200 years old and neither are possible. Favorite Cookbooks . .  tough . . .

 College Cooking by Megan and Jill Carle 

Motherhood and Apple Pie by Junior Leaque Rochester NY

Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman
From Mary:

Cookbooks mary 1

Cookbooks mary 2

Cookbooks mary 3

Cookbooks mary 4

Cookbooks mary 5

Cookbooks mary 6

Cookbooks mary 7

Cookbooks mary 8

Cookbooks mary 9

Cookbooks mary 10

(Note: Mary told me I could share whichever pictures I wanted but I had to include them all - there are so many wonderful titles to peruse!)

"I've included assorted pictures of my cookbooks. I have over 1,000! My mother was a collector and passed that gene on to me. :-) Together, we have amassed quite the collection over the years. In my home, our dining room also functions as our library.  In addition to the "library", I also stash my cookbooks into every available nook and cranny I can find! I once read that Nigella Lawson brought in a librarian to catalog all her cookbooks ... what a dream that would be! :-)"

From Theresa:

Cookbooks theresa 1

Cookbooks theresa 2

From Elizabeth:

Cookbooks elizabeth

"My husband put together a couple of bookcases for me over the weekend to put in my breakfast area to hold my cookbooks. I recently weeded out my cookbooks because our eating style has changed. I am starting a new collection to match the way we eat now.
Each month I get a few more with my book money."


Well, my friends, I hope you've enjoyed our cookbook photos and comments. I would love to hear about yours ... so if you can, please take a few moments and leave a comment answering this week's questions (shown near the top of the post). And if you want to send me a photo, please don't hesitate - I can always update this post with more submissions.

I'm thinking for next week ... how about "kids in the kitchen?" I'll post more on that idea, but in the meantime, if you have a suggestion, please let me know! 

Have a wonderful Monday, everyone ... I'll see you back here again very soon!

Eleven months - already?

Yes, it's true - Little Bear is 11 months old today! And while today is a rather raw and rainy April day, yesterday - oh, yesterday was just beautiful! Sunny and mild, breezy and bright ... and Little Bear had his first swing on the swingset - on his Mama's lap, of course - and he just loved it! He was grinning and squealing and just enjoying it so much, I whipped out my phone and took a few "selfies." :)

O and mama swinging 1

O and mama swinging 2

O and mama swinging 3

O and mama selfie swinging

It's so important to remember these days ... goodness knows, they fly by!


Hope you're all enjoying your weekend ... see you here again very soon!

Poetry Friday: Trees

Spring memories 2

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; 

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair; 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree. 

Joyce Kilmer
Happy Arbor Day, my friends!
I hope you enjoy your Friday.

April showers bring ...

O in rain slicker 2

... Baby's 1st rain slicker!

O in rain slicker 6

Just like his big brothers' ... only tiny and yellow.

O in rain slicker 4


Well, enjoy your Thursday, my friends ... and remember! We're talking about COOKBOOKS for Monday's Kitchen Chat and I'd love to see where you store/display/hide yours! If you have a moment, please snap a picture of your collection and send it to me at ...

bysunandcandle AT comcast DOT net

And speaking of cookbooks, did you hear Ina Garten's next book, due in October is all about making food ahead? I can't wait to see that!

Have a great day, everyone ... thanks so much for stopping by!

Easter, 2014 ~ Light, Love, Joy!

 Well, good Wednesday morning, my friends ... long time no see!

So I took my little Easter "break," and then right when I was ready to jump back in and start blogging again - Typepad crashed! And boy did it crash hard. Hoping they have it all worked out now ... so fingers crossed, everyone!

But enough with techy first-world problems, I hope you all had a nice weekend and a lovely Easter Sunday. Ours was wonderful - so good to spend time with family and friends - and as usual, I took a ridiculous amount of pictures so I'd like to share them here if I may. 


Easter sunday 25

"Hot cross buns" for Good Friday. One of these years I'll make them from scratch ...

Easter sunday 14

Baskets at the ready ...

Easter sunday 15 

Hard-boiled eggs cooling ...

Easter sunday 23 

Jelly beans soaking in vodka ... (more on that later).

Easter sunday 20

Just like magic, every year! 

Easter sunday 21

The baskets were hung by the chimney with care ...

Easter sunday 26

 Next morning, Earlybird was the first to the spoils (natch) ...

Easter sunday 27

 A few of my fellas ...

Easter sunday 31

Note the cats behind Little Bear ~ they were after that pink crinkly stuff! 

Easter sunday 32

 "Yay! My biggest brothers are awake!" 

Easter sunday 36

Easter egg hunt #1 ... a bit chilly that morning.

Easter sunday 37


Easter sunday 105

 Palm crosses in pansy pots ...

Easter sunday 17

My grandmother's first set of china, so lovely on a pink cloth ...

Easter sunday 43

Our forsythia wreath hung indoors - one of my favorite spring decorations.

Easter sunday 19

It's just not a party without punch ... :)

Easter sunday 64

 Love these orange-hued flowers ...

Easter sunday 47

 Preparing our "signature" cocktail for Easter, 2014 ~ the Jelly Bean Martini!

  Easter sunday 56

Pretty pink tulips ... photo by Crackerjack. :)

Easter sunday 61

Pansies on the patio (also by CJ) ...

Easter sunday 59

The colored sugar rims really made these drinks pop!

Easter sunday 66

(We ran out of lemons, so we used clementine wedges as well.)

Easter sunday 18 

Signs of life all over the yard ...

Easter sunday 70

 Dinner is served! Ham *and* turkey for our group of 25!

Easter sunday 78 

What's Easter without a baby in smocking? :)

Easter sunday 79 

My Uncle Karl's Pineapple Upside Down Cake. As good as it looks, and them some.

Easter sunday 80

 My mum's "peep" cake for her grandboys!

Easter sunday 81

My Peter Rabbit cupcakes. :)

Easter sunday 83

 Egg Hunt #2 ... this time with cousins!

Easter sunday 84 

Little Bear gets a smooch from his Daddy ... :)

Easter sunday 92

Peace be with you ...

Easter sunday 88

"You go this way, I'll go that way!"

Easter sunday 6

Little Finnegan found one!

Easter sunday 89

The bigger boys (my brother included) had fun with bats, balls and frisbees.

Easter sunday 90

 It was such a nice day - sunny and almost warm (about 55). Perfect for sitting outside!

Easter sunday 52

Me and my Little Bear ... 

Easter sunday 98

 Sunlight on pretty china, crystal and flowers ...

Easter sunday 99

 One last egg remained hidden ...

Easter sunday 95

Happy Easter from my family to yours! Thank you for sharing in our joy!


Easter Blessings, One and All!

Easter greeting 2

Happy (Holy) Thursday, my friends!

I am popping in this morning to wish you all a lovely Easter weekend ... and to let you know I'm going to take a short break from blogging for the next several days. I'll be back next week of course, and I am sure we'll have plenty to talk about. :) 

Just a quick "editioral" note though - I'll not be running Kitchen Chat on Monday - we'll pick back up on Monday, April 28th with the theme of, "Cookbooks." And if you are interested, please consider sending me a photo of your cookbook collection when you have a moment ...

Thank you ever so much. :)

Keeping you all in my prayers, and wishing sweet Easter joy to all.


Where is Your Nature Shelf?

Nature sill

My friends, it's been a long, long winter ... and seeing tiny blossoms and greening grass in our yard makes my heart so happy I can hardly express it! Yesterday, it was quite warm here - over 70, I think - and the wind was gusting so wildly ... I imagined it sweeping all the winter dust and debris away.

I still have yet to establish a permanent nature shelf in our new house ... I can't seem to make up my mind where I want it to be. For now - now that we have "treasures" to add to it - I have set up a make-shift nature shelf on the kitchen windowsill where the cats generally don't tread. I used tiny cordial glasses to hold these early spring blossoms - scillia, dandelion, crocus, snowdrop, pussy willow, daffodil and something I can't identify but which is growing all over the yard (to the left of the daffodil).

Eventually I'd like it to be somewhere more child-accessible and friendly, especially once Little Bear gets old enough to participate in the gathering and appreciating of nature's bits and bobs. But for the time being, this works quite nicely. :)

Do you keep a nature shelf with your children? (Or perhaps for yourself?) And if so, where do you keep it? I'd love to hear about your nature collections and displays ... so if you have a moment, please leave me a comment below ...

For now though, I'll wish you all a "good day" and hope you each have a great Tuesday ... see you here again very soon!

p.s. Did anyone catch the full "blood moon" lunar eclipse last night? Little Bear had us up at 3 a.m. but it was too cloudy to see anything!

Kitchen Chat, Week Seven: Easter!

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Good Monday morning, my friends!

Now, with this being Holy Week, I would love to talk about Easter this week ... so my questions today will center on this simple question: How do you celebrate Easter in your home?

I'm a bit under the weather this morning, so let me get right to those questions!


Where do you celebrate the holiday? Do you host a dinner (or brunch)?

What special activities do you look forward to most?

What foods mean Easter to you? Are they connected with fond memories from childhood?

And how about we wander into the next room for a moment, what is your Easter table like? Are there any special dishes or linens you like to use? 


I could say a LOT about Easter entertaining but if I may, could I direct you to my Easter archive for a rather thorough look at my family's Easter celebrations. (Party recap posts are scattered throughout the archive.) We host the holiday dinner here at our house every year ... and this will be our first Easter in our new home! I am very excited about this! And this year we are expecting 20 guests for dinner, so we will be spread out, with tables set in the dining room (10) and the sunroom (6, 4 and 4).

(That will seat 24 in all + a high chair!)

At Eastertime, I always look forward to ...

The sleepy smiles on my boys' faces as they find their goody baskets.

A chilly morning egg hunt. Colorful orbs nestled in dull grass.

Our church overflowing with fragrant lillies.

Bright light streaming through stained glass.

White chocolate. :)

Wine glasses sparkling in the sunlight.

Our Lenten cross suddenly filled with fresh flowers on Easter morning.

A long, leisurely day with my family.


We almost always have a baked ham on Easter but I remember my grandmother serving lamb on some years ... with mint jelly ... not my favorite, lol, but a holiday tradition. She also made lots of desserts, but I fondly remember homemade tapioca pudding with freshly whipped cream. She always made this at my "humble" request. :) 

Our tables are always set with pretty pastel linens and my cream-colored china, as well as quite often, my mother's blue-and-white china, too. Flowers include lots of sunny daffodils and bright tulips and there are small tealights scattered about. I will have pictures of this year's tables next week I'm sure!


Well my friends, I can't wait to hear about your own Easter highlights and memories! And please know, if you don't celebrate Easter, I'd be thrilled to hear about any other Spring celebrations you enjoy with your family. This is a wonderful season for bringing light and life into our homes ... pussy willows on the windowsill, pebbles and twigs set upon the nature shelf, spring sounds and smells are so lovely at this time of year.

I particularly enjoy my open kitchen window, looking out over my sink as I work on the evening dishes ... listening to the peepers in the woods, seeing all the daffodils popping up through the yard, smelling that fresh air with perhaps a hint of dirt and woodsmoke. After a winter of closed windows and doors, it feels so good to open our homes up again!

So I look forward to hearing from you! But for now I'll say goodbye, and wish you all a bright and blessed day!

See you here again very soon ...

Checking in, Saying Thanks ...

 Bluebell like plants 1

Well my friends, it's a slow, sunny Saturday here in New England ... a wonderfully quiet day for us after yesterday's trip into Boston for Earlybird's neurologist appointment. Thank you all so much for your prayers and good thoughts - it humbles me, truly, that whenever I ask this of you - for your prayers and support - you give so generously. To those who left comments, as well as those who said a quiet prayer in your heart, thank you ....

EB did ... ok. We got thought it, he got through it. We arrived early for our 4 p.m. appointment ... and they took us late (as many of you with special needs kids know, this is a recipe for disaster). And it did make things more challenging, but with all hands on deck, we got EB through it. All of the brothers were with us (we picked Bookworm up at BC on the way in) and my mum was with us as well. Plenty of helpful hands, caring hearts and extra eyes surrounded us, giving Bill and I a much needed boost and the time we needed to meet with the doctors.

Bottom line - Earlybird's MRI was fine and his EEG was mostly normal. He does have what they called, "spikes" indicating/validating the need in his situation for medication (to keep the seizures at bay). No real explanation for why he has seizures however, all his structures were normal and healthy. And Thank God for that, really.

As for his medication, they adjusted his dosage a bit and added more vitamin B6 to help with the side effects. We left with some good information and a game plan, and that's enough for now. We'll see how things go from here and return for another appointment (Heaven help us, lol) in August.


Now, a quick word about Monday's Kitchen Chat  - I apologize that I kind of dropped the ball on KC this week. I was going to do "Cookbooks" next, and ask for your pictures (where you store them, ones you love) but obviously it's too late now. How about next week, instead? Start sending those pictures in, if you have them (bysunandcandlelight AT comcast DOT net) and we'll dive in on Easter Monday (4/21). 

Then how about for this Monday we talk about "Easter in the Kitchen?" Holiday entertaining, preparing foods, coloring eggs, creating special treats for our families ... childhood favorites and fond memories, etc. And if you don't celebrate Easter I'd still love to hear about your Springtime celebrations just the same - it's a wonderful time of year to freshen our kitchens and celebrate the return of light and life to the heart of our home!

(And more apologies for those of you missing Masterpiece Monday ... I have not yet caught up with Call the Midwife, so I can't start discussing it just yet. Once I do I'm sure I'll be raring to chat!)

Well I will let you all go my friends, but thanks, as always, for stopping by. It's so breezy and balmy here, I'm going to sit by an open window tonight and listen to the peepers singing in the woods ...

Ahhh, Spring. There's just nothing like it. :)

Blessings on your evening, my friends .... see you here again very soon!

p.s. Anyone know what kind of flower that is above? They're popping up all over our front yard!

Poetry Friday: Christina Rossetti

Violets in jar

O wind, where have you been,
That you blow so sweet?
Among the violets
Which blossom at your feet.

The honeysuckle waits
For Summer and for heat
But violets in the chilly Spring
Make the turf so sweet.

(From Sing Song, by Christina Rossetti)


Good Friday morning, one and all - another week come and gone!

I wanted to pop in quickly this morning and share that pretty bit of verse. I spotted some violets growing beside our church last Sunday, quivering in the shade outside the west door. And oh, how I love violets! They're so tiny and unassuming but when you look at them up close, they are just exquisite ...

But violets in the chilly Spring make the turf so sweet ...

My friends, Earlybird has an appointment with his neurologist today and we're hoping to get some answers regarding his EEG results, medication, etc. These visits are alway a bit of a trial - between getting us all into the city (and home again) and easing EB through the anxiety of it all - it's a stressful situation on a lot of levels. So I would especially appreciate your prayers and good thoughts today ... I am working on finding my center of "peace" this morning, so that I can be a source of peace for my boy, too ... I know he'll need it.

Thanks so much, everyone ... I'll see you here again very soon.


Spring Cleaning Thoughts

Vintage house clipart

open the windows, let in fresh air

clean the floors, vacuum the rugs

wipe the woodwork, wash the windows

change the linens, turn the mattresses

sweep the doorstep and entryway

rake the yard, 

scrub and shine the sinks

plan and plant the garden


Spring cleaning chores sound so nice on paper, don't they? In reality though, they're darn hard work, and take time we don't often have readily available. Every year I hope to get our spring cleaning done by Easter but that almost never happens. Still, a little a day goes a long way ...

Do you have any spring cleaning plans this year? How do you fit those extra chores into an already busy day/week/month?

Enjoy your Tuesday, my friends ... it's rainy here at the moment, but there's a promise of sun and 60 degrees later today! Maybe I'll get those windows open and let in some cleansing fresh air ... :)

See you here again very soon!

Kitchen Chat, Week Six: Food Storage

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Happy Monday, my friends! I hope you are all feeling refreshed and ready for a new week. :)

Welcome to another Kitchen Chat! I hope you'll pull up a counter stool and join me for a hot cup of brew and something warm and buttery from the oven - how do blueberry scones sound this morning?

This week we're chatting about food storage ... where you keep food and how you keep it, and what you have on hand. Below I have my questions for you all, I hope you'll take a moment to leave your thoughts! I have some visuals to share as well ... with sincere thanks to Elizabeth, Mary and Tanya for sharing their own food storage photos!


But before I get to the pictures, first let me ask you my questions:

Name 10 things in your pantry right now.

10 things in your fridge?

How about 10 things in your freezer?

Please describe the area(s) where you keep food. Are you happy with your current food storage space(s)? What would you change if you could?

Do you preserve food in any way - canning or drying, perhaps?

Do you ever shop in bulk?


 Noq, I'm going to work backwards in answering myself ...

Do I shop in bulk? Not really, no. But it's not for lack of interest - I just don't really have the time/energy to get organized on that front. I love the idea, though ...

I do not currently can or dry foods in any way (except for the occasional year when I make picalilli). I would love to do this someday, however. I'm forever collecting articles and even books on the topic of preserving food. :)

And I am quite happy with my food storage space at the moment (we have much more space than we did at the old house), though I would love to add a separate freezer - chest or upright, not sure? - downstairs. We have a set of cabinets in our kitchen which are really well sized for dry good storage. 

10 Things in My Freezer:


chicken nuggets * french fries/alphatots * frozen waffles * kernel corn * ice cream & sorbet * frozen tortellini * fish sticks * frozen juice * frozen fruit (raspberries, in particilar) * meatballs

10 Things in My Fridge:


yogurt * milk (1% for drinking, whole for tea and the baby) * half-and-half * butter * eggs * pizza dough * leftovers * hummus * chicken * pasta sauce

10 Things in My Pantry:

Pantry open 1

 Take your pick, lol!

 macaroni & cheese * pasta * sauces * baby food * cereal * cookies * crackers * baking needs (flour/sugar/spices/etc.) * canned soups  * tea


Clearly, there's a lot more on those shelves than just those 10 items! But the ones I mentioned are real stalwarts of our family meals. And I must confess, I did clean those pantry cabinets before taking pictures ... I really had not done too much with them since we moved. I purged a lot of out-of-date foods and tried to organize the three main areas by food types. It could be much better organized certainly, but it's a start. :)

(The fridge and freezer are hopeless at the moment, in dire need of a pruning, scouring and sorting. But I wanted to show you what I'm working with, and well ... that's it!)

And now for some wonderful thoughts and photos from my dear friends, Elizabeth, Mary and Tanya ... thank you, ladies for taking the time to put your submissions together!

From Elizabeth:

Pantries 1

Pantries 2

 "As you can see I don't keep much in the pantry. We eat mostly fresh foods. I keep mostly ingredients on hand for baking and cooking from scratch. The bottom picture is my new refrigerator. Which I love. It has a bottom freezer and double top doors."

From Mary:

Pantries 3

Pantries 4

Pantries 5

Pantries 6

"For storing food, I use my pantry, and my refrigerators - one in the kitchen, the other in the laundry room.

The first picture is of my kitchen fridge. It's a french-door top fridge I found on sale at Home Depot ... and I love it! (It replaced a 20+ year old fridge!) You can't see the doors on either side but there is a special place to store milk, butter, etc. which is nice, as it gives me more room in the main part of the fridge where I like to use plastic bins to help organize things. In the second picture is the freezer. It's on the bottom and has multiple "draws" that slide back and forth to make searching for things easier. It's not very organized at this moment...more of work in progress! ;-)

The third and fourth pictures are of my pantry. It's packed! The fourth picture is of the deep side of the pantry that goes rather far back. It's even hard to take a picture! This is where, I will confess, things get lost! ;-) I try using some tiered shelving and wire baskets that pull in and out to help corral the teas, herbs, and spices, but everything else is sort of in an "every man for himself" state of affairs!  LOL!! ;-)"

From Tanya:

Pantries 7

"These show two areas of our kitchen storage that I'm still quite happy with over a year after we moved in. When we started unpacking, I tried to create some stations within my kitchen to make everyday tasks easier and more efficient. The picture on the left is my tea and coffee cupboard. It's situated right above the alcove where the coffee maker and electric kettle are.

On the right, the two photos are the top and bottom cupboards of my baking station. The top cupboard holds sugar/baking necessities/chocolate chips etc. The bottom cupboard holds our flours and oils. Gluten free flours on the top shelf and wheat flours on the bottom one. The drawer you can just see above the bottom shelf holds our mixing utensils, measuring cups and spoons.

I've really loved having these stations set up in our kitchen ~ I find baking and other tasks so much easier since I have everything I need within reach!"


Well, I would be so happy to hear from you on the subject of food storage - if you have thoughts to share and the time to share them, please do so below. (And please feel free to answer one, two or all of the questions!) I think it's such fun to hear about how other people make these household areas work best for them ... to compare notes, challenges and strategies, etc.!

So I do hope to hear from you ...  but in any account, I will say goodbye for now and wish you all a good day ... take care of yourselves and your loved ones ... and I will see you here again very soon!

Pretty in Purple ... and a Gentle Reminder :)

Good afternoon, my friends! And Happy Weekend to all ...

I just came back from a little shopping trip - Crackerjack was in need of some supplies for an art project he's working on - and while we were out, Bill surprised me with a text of this picture ...

Crocus lavender

Some lovely little crocuses blooming in our yard! 

This is our first spring in our new home so it will be fun to see what pops up where. I'm itching to get out there and plant! Or I should really drop the t and say plan ... I do the garden planning, Bill's the one with the green thumbs, lol. Oh, and that reminds me! What about a gardening series once we've exhausted Kitchen Chat ... a little Garden Gab, perhaps? ;)

In the meantime though, before I go, I'd just like to remind you all about Monday's Kitchen Chat topic: Food Storage (more details can be found here). If you have pictures to share of your food storage , please email them to me at your earliest convenience, but preferably by Sunday evening (roundabouts 7 p.m. EST). I have a couple of submissions already and I will of course add a few of my own ... I'm ready to bare the chaos that is my pantry cabinets!


So any emails (photos and a description I can include) please send them to:

bysunandcandlelight AT comcast DOT net

Thanks so much, and enjoy the rest of your weekend! See you here again very soon ...

Flashback Friday: Mother & Son

Dawn class photo 7th gradeJack @ owen's baptism

Since it's been mentioned a time or two that Crackerjack looks like me, I thought I'd share my 7th grade class picture ... alongside a picture of CJ from last summer.


Not that he's all that thrilled to hear he looks like his mother - I've assured him he looks "all boy" even so! - but we just can't get over the resemblance!

It's kind of neat for me because having all boys there's so much more that Bill relates to (from his childhood) than I do. Things he did or liked to do ... and the other three boys really do look so much like him. So in my heart I'm going to treasure this little connection between me and CJ ... even if it does embarrass him just a little! 

That's what mothers are for, right?


Do any of your children look like you, or do they favor your husband? I find familiy resemblances so interesting ... especially when looking at old family pictures.

Ok, that's all for today! Hope you're all enjoying your Friday ...

See you here again very soon!

Poetry (Flashback) Friday: The Swing


How do you like to go up in a swing,
   Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
   Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
   Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
   Over the countryside—
Till I look down on the garden green,
   Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
   Up in the air and down!
(Robert Louis Stevenson)
Remembering all those wonderful, warm days swinging at my grandparents' house when I was just a little girl ...
Such sweet, simple times.
Happy Friday, my friends!

Peekin' in the Pantry ...

Good Thursday morning, my friends! I hope your week's going well. I wanted to let you all know, officially, what our next Kitchen Chat topic will be ...

O in pantry 1

O in pantry 2

Let's talk food storage - pantries, fridges and freezers!

I thought we could discuss how we manage food storage in general, where we keep things and what we keep ... what methods we use (freezing, preserving/canning, drying, etc.) and perhaps reveal what we have in storage on an average day. I.e. Name 10 things in your freezer right now ... something like that. :)

As you can see, Little Bear has taken a great interest in food storage lately, namely the pantry. Little fingers have figured out how to open cabinet doors! I sit with him as he does this, because some of the items he pulls off the shelf (like the vegetable oil above) are quite heavy! He's also aquired a "partner in crime" ... 

O in pantry 3

Archie is hoping LB will make it down to the third cabinet on the right ... that's where the catnip is kept. ;)

As you can also see, my pantry is not AT ALL well organized, so maybe we can talk about that, too ... ahem.

So meet me on Monday for a little "shop talk" ... and if anyone has pictures to share regarding their food storage (pantry, preserves, freezers, etc.) please send them along! I'd love to include them ...

bysunandcandlelight AT comcast DOT net

In the meantime, a quick note about our most recent Kitchen Chat - I've had one more submission so I've updated the post with a few more (beautiful!) pictures from Lorelei - please take a look!

Thanks so much for stopping by, everyone - have yourselves a good Thursday! I will see you here again very soon ...

Autism Awareness ... & Appreciation

Dear friends, I'm sure many of you know that April 2nd is is Autism Awareness Day - perhaps you've seen signs, or heard about it on tv, or maybe you know of a relative or neighbor with autism ... Or maybe you, like me, live with "autism awareness" every day of the year, because one of your precious children is autistic ...

Well today, as I pray for my Earlybird and for all people with ASD, I'm also thinking about the siblings of autistics ... for they too have a lot on their young shoulders. At an early age they must show patience in ways most other kids do not. They develop a sensitivity to "differences" because they see them in someone they love. They settle for taking life's side roads at times, and they learn what it means to love someone even when that's sometimes a challenge.

Earlybird is our third son of four, and Bill and I are truly grateful for our older boys, Bookworm and Crackerjack ~ for all their help and understanding through the years. They've had to make allowances and adjustments, and have been such a good example for their little brother ...

Our boys 5

Earlybird could not ask for better big brothers. He's a very lucky boy, indeed!


My friends ... I hope you'll join me today in praying for all those living with autism - that they receive the love and support they so need and deserve. I pray also that with growing "awareness" comes more understanding and support - not just around the world, but in our very own communities as well. The importance of community cannot be overstated, because the world for some autistic people must begin (and sometimes remain) very small. Every gesture of support (family, community and society) makes such a difference and is so deeply appreciated.

Well my friends, thanks so much for stopping by today and listening ... and as always, for your prayers and support. I'll see you here again very soon ...