hey there, little wallflower…

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I see you.
I know, I know. You wonder if anyone does, really does. But I do. ‘Cause I’m in a corner, too. I can see you from across this crowded room, jam-packed with people, stuffed like sardines, and I stare at you.
In your face I see mine.
In your heartbeat I hear mine.
In that smile you wear…well, Miss Mirror of Myself, it’s mine.
I’d like to come over and say hi to my fellow wall-flower, but there’s a part of me perfectly content tugging on the strap of my purse, holding my glass of water in the other hand, silent, watching.
It’s times like these we wish we had an invisibility cloak, isn’t it? Not because we wish to hide our awkwardness, but because we would rather be invisible than anyone think we are feeling awkward.
But that’s more than I would ever say to you or you would ever say to me, isn’t it? I think I’ll stay here a while longer, watching, culling ‘research’ for my writing. You, too? See, I said we had a lot in common.
Oh, I saw that. I saw that girl walk by you and say hi. And I saw your mouth form the word and only a croak come out. So been there. Why is hi such a hard word to say? Why do our vocal chords rebel against us saying it? Any ideas? I’d love to hear ’em. You probably do know. You look like you have it all figured out.
You’d laugh at me if I told you that, wouldn’t you? But you do. It’s true. You look like you have it all figured out, as if the glass pearls have all been strung to the perfect pattern. You look poised and intelligent and all those things I feel inside (or not) but never seem to appear. And elegant. Oh-so-elegant you are, as if you are standing in the corner because you want to, as if you would rather (lovely word, rather) smile out at the crowd than join it.
Your hair is lovely and so’s your smile. Your smile almost says hi for you, doesn’t it? That word so full of potential and possibility and perhaps-we-shall-be-friends. Why do we fear it so, us girls in the corners? At least when it’s us saying it first…
I think it’s because everyone else says it so much better, so much more naturally. When you croaked hi…
yeah, that’s what I do, too.
Although I wonder, if every time half the people in this room say it, they hear a croak, too? They feel awkward, too?
And even if they don’t, perhaps, perhaps, they’ve all held the wall up before, stationed themselves in a corner before…
Hmmm…that thought just might…
Yes, yes, it does, it plants a tiny seed of courage in me and I think…
yes, I think…
I’m going to walk over to you now.
And say hi. 
 
(Please croak back.)
~*~*~*~
To all you pretty little wallflowers out there ::shy smile::

sweet banana nut bread

And, lo and behold, this girl made banana bread. For the first time.

Because, obviously, when life gives you bananas, you make banana bread. Or something.

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Sweet Banana Nut Bread

Sweet Banana Nut Bread

Anyways, I was working all day outside today, painting boards for our fence. Heck, I painted 70 boards this afternoon by myself. And I washed the car. And I took a break to watch an episode of Duck Dynasty. 🙂 Please watch that show. I swear there is something about it that’s good for your soul 😉 Yes. Improve your life with Duck Dynasty.

It’s just one of those days I wanted to whip up something to satisfy my sweet tooth but not spend til kingdom come on it. Except for the fact that I ate only six or seven spoonfuls of store-bought cookie dough today.

Only that.

This has no sugar in it. Only bananas and good quality maple syrup. I also added some flax seeds for an extra healthy punch. I would have ground up the flax seeds into a powder, but, alas, our beautiful Vitamix broke 😦 ::sigh:: Oh well. So I just added them in anyways. Next time, I’ll grind them up. And I also substituted half of the white flour for whole wheat flour (both I got from Bob’s Red Mill).

Sweet Banana-Cinnamon Bread

One 9×5 loaf

cast of characters

  • 3 very ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4- 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, chilled & cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 very ripe banana, for decor (opt)
  • chopped walnuts, for decor (opt)
  • peanut butter, for serving (opt) (not Jif. please? doesn’t matter how choosy your mom is.)

step by step

1) Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside.

2) In a large bowl, combine flax, flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, combine buttermilk, butter, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. In another separate bowl, peel the bananas ans smash them (I used a whisk).

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Add to the bowl with wet ingredients, and beat well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

3) In yet another small bowl, work butter and cinnamon into pea-sized pieces. Just like in Erica Lea’s Cinnamon Bread.

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Gently fold cinnamon butter into the batter. Pour into prepared loaf pan. You know why I say this? Because this creates little pockets of buttery cinnamon goodness. That way when you take a bite, you will bite into a buttery heaven. Ahhhhh….

If you want, top with the additional sliced banana and sprinkle some walnuts for total cuteness. Or because I told you to ;).

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4) Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (I had to bake mine for an additional 10 minutes or so. Mine was a *leetle* too moist). Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn bread out onto the rack and allow to cool.

5) Serve warm with some good peanut butter and some drizzled maple syrup & a nice hot cup of coffee. Mmm. Perfect for breakfast.

happy trails

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We went hiking for a school field trip. I couldn’t have had been any happier that day! 😀

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Loneliness. Defined by your finding a snail and naming him Freddie, and then carrying him around everywhere … and  maaaaybe talking to him as if he could understand you. And maybe he does. And maybe your mom told you to get rid of him.

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Yup, that’s me. A happy me. 🙂

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Freddie’s neighbor.

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Oregon … some of God’s most beautiful creation!! At least, in my humble opinion 🙂

a new favorite: “baklava tea”

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{photo credit}

{inspiration credit}

Unfortunately, as much as I love black coffee, I think my body has somehow become immune to it, and it no longer wakes me up like it used to 😦 So I have been on the lookout for other creative ways to gain a little energy in the mornings. After a bit of research, I have discovered an inexpensive, healthy, and very tasty alternative 🙂 I call it “baklava tea” because the flavors remind of one of my favorite Greek desserts. I’ve been drinking it at least once in the morning and once in the evening, before meals. I’ve noticed I’ve been sleeping way better, and my stomach ailments have improved, too. Can’t beat that! 😀

baklava tea

~ 2 tsp honey

~ 1 tsp cinnamon

~ 1 cup boiling water

~ opt: a little of clove, nutmeg, walnut, etc.

               Put the ingredients into your cup first, then pour boiling water over it. Mix as well as you can, because sometimes that darn cinnamon *just* doesn’t want to mix right!

               For some of the nutrition information on the benefits of this kind of tea, click on the second link above.

               Enjoy, m’dears! 😉