Kids’ Lit Quiz – Sport of Reading!

January 12th, 2018 § Comments Off on Kids’ Lit Quiz – Sport of Reading! § permalink

So excited to be joining Kevin Sands, Richard Scrimger and Kevin Sylvester as part of the author team at Kids’ Lit Quiz Sport of Reading in Toronto on February 5! Excited – and NERVOUS because there are 94 teams of brilliant kids entered in the event this year! The author team hasn’t got a chance – hahaha! Let the games begin!

Blog…? What blog?

February 22nd, 2011 § Comments Off on Blog…? What blog? § permalink

Yes, dear readers, I am alive. I know many of you have been wondering. But I assure you, I still breathe. Barely. It’s just…I’ve been insanely busy. No, no, not busy…I’ve been asked to participate in a test-flight to Mars…yes, that’s it… Okay, I have no excuse. My real problem is that my blog spot will no longer let me post photos with my blogs. Something to do with a glitch in the system. How can I be expected to get excited about a blog when there are no accompanying visuals? I just can’t. *sniff* Pity me!! Thank you. Okay, so…we just returned from the cabin. I brought my laptop because I was all gung-ho, convinced I could actually get some work done on our weekend away. Who was I kidding? No one. Not even myself. When we arrived at the cabin, I quickly realized I’d left my pen-drive on my desk. Hurray! I mean…Arrggh! Well, there was nothing to be done for it but read all weekend by the fire. I had no choice. I know most of you are fed up with the snow and ice and bitter cold. How could you not be? But believe me when I tell you that a warm cabin, some cognac and a good book can change the way you feel about winter – almost immediately. I felt benevolent as the flakes whirled outside my window. Back in the city. Where am I supposed to park my car?? And the house feels cold compared to the cabin. Find that hard to believe? Do the math: wood is free; gas is not. I have no problem throwing another log on the fire. It’s painless. But don’t let me catch you at the thermostat! You get the picture. So here I sit, blogging at 2 my cold-ish office, no fire to lull me to sleep. I guess I have no choice but to post this and crawl off to bed… G’night. Don’t let the bedbugs bite and all that. I promise to be more prolific with the blogs in the future…yeah… 😉

Natale’s Gluten-Free Gingerbread Boys

December 1st, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

When I first went gluten free I was heartbroken to abstain from all the lovely Christmas goodies. Not to be undone, I rolled up my sleeves and whipped up these beauties. I’m proud to say these gluten-free gingerbread cookies are every bit as wonderful as their egg and wheat counterparts. The addition of coconut flour makes the batter extra yum. It’s so good, in fact, you’ll be tempted to eat it right out of the bowl. It rolls beautifully and bakes up perfectly. Ramp up the goodness by using 100% organic ingredients. Happy baking!

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Boys

Step one:


1/2 cup of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of molasses
11/2 tablespoons of sour cream or yogurt.
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup water

Blend butter and sugar. Add rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.

Step two:


11/2 cups Sorghum flour
11/4 cups rice flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice or a teaspoon each of ginger, cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg and cloves

Mix dry ingredients well with a fork. Add in stages to the wet ingredients and blend until the dough is uniform and pulls away from the wall of the mixing bowl in a nice ball. Break the ball in two parts, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for two hours.

Lightly flour a rolling pin and board. Roll the dough to about 1/8 – 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and transfer to a parchment-line tray. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 10 minutes (a bit longer if you like your cookies hard). Ice when completely cool if desired.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Oh, the back door…

May 9th, 2008 § Comments Off on Oh, the back door… § permalink

So, while Brian worked on shingling the mudroom roof, I stripped an old pine door we found on the street (hey, one man’s garbage…), then used the circular saw to cut the proper opening in the barn board on the back of the cabin so I could install the newly-stripped door. We’ve been warehousing that door for years and it was intoxicating to think we were actually ready to hinge it up.

You wouldn’t believe a little door (and I ain’t kiddin’ when I say little – Brian looks like the friendly giant when he stands in front of it) would make a big difference but it does, oh, it does.

The window lets in so much light and having the door there instead of an old piece of chipboard makes the cabin look completely different. We’re absolutely giddy with possibilities. We have places to go, as my friend Akka once said. We can build a lovely screened room out back – maybe even an indoor privy!Brian wants to put plumbing and solar battery packs and foodstuffs and old coats, and mops and brooms back there. I just want a rocking chair and small table to rest my coffee cup…

We have babies!

July 18th, 2006 § Comments Off on We have babies! § permalink

Work on the cabin continues. We are getting so close we don’t want to slow down. In fact, we are so close to occupying the building that it was time to christen the cabin with a name.

I wasn’t actively thinking about it, really. I had backburnered the notion a while ago, put it on simmer. The naming of things is an activity that can’t be forced. So I was delighted when a name suddenly popped into my head one day while driving. “The Nest.”

My husband thought it was cute so the name has stuck. I don’t know where it came from. I choose not to cipher the origins of such things. But we couldn’t help being surprised when we arrived at the cabin the next weekend and discovered a beautiful, perfect little nest with three tiny white eggs in the rafters of the building. What an affirmation for us!

Unfortunately, the momma bird was very skittish and would dart away every time we stepped out of our tent. We treaded lightly, so as not to disturb her too much, but after four days of watching her darting and abandoning her nest, we had little hope that the eggs would actually hatch.

Imagine our joy when we arrived this weekend to find three screeching chicks crowded in the nest. A mere three weeks ago these tiny birds were even tinier eggs. Now they are bursting with life, with feathered wings and yellow mouths bigger than their own heads. We watched with admiration and wonder as the parents zipped back and forth, mere blurs in the sky, catching insects for their voracious offspring.

Needless to say, our building schedule has been put on hold until further notice. We hope the babies are careful around that roofing nail!

Of course the first thing we did when we got home was to indentify the species of bird. After much surfing on the net, we found our feathered friends: Eastern Phoebe, a type of flycatcher. We look forward to watching our little family grow!