Homemade Heirloom Marinara Sauce Recipe

Here’s my first of many batches of homemade sauce using a variety of tomatoes from our garden. There’s something somewhat controversial and extra healthy about it, however: I don’t remove the tomato skins! Most if not all recipes will tell you to remove them, but they break down as they cook so they blend right in with the sauce. More importantly, your body will appreciate it because the skins contain a high concentration of carotenoids and flavonols, both of which are antioxidants.

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The Spiritual Lessons of Abuse and Overcoming

(This is a repost from my old blog. Our guinea pig Tiny Tim aka Timmy passed away in January but I still miss him daily and draw inspiration from him. His lessons were so powerful that I wish to share them with you here.)

Prompted by a “calling” that came without any explanation, I picked up the phone and dialed (literally since I still use vintage rotaries) the local shelter early in December 2013. I asked if they had any elderly or hard luck guinea pigs. I’ve adopted and rescued guinea pigs since I was ten years old.

“As a matter of fact I have just the pig for you.” He was in need of a foster home, she explained. His background, quoted directly from his intake papers:

“G. Pig surrendered in last 24 hours with history of child in home rough-housing with animal.”

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Our Organic Backyard Tomato Garden in Pictures

It’s been a challenging season for growing tomatoes in Maine due to the long, cold rainy spring we had. For a while looked like we might not have any tomatoes at all, and some of our plants were dying, but now we are enjoying a beautiful bounty! I thought it would be fun to show the progress from start to finish:

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Home Sweet Home

I took the pic above yesterday after Wayne cut the grass and I trimmed the shrubs. Today has been rainy with intermittent rumbles of thunder. I’m definitely a “homebody” and am enjoying this time to relax indoors after a very full and wonderful summer. Here’s how my day looked:

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Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: My Reflections and Conversation with Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane, Bishop of Maine

I’m often asked what gave me the idea to do a tour of Maine’s summer Episcopal chapels. The truth is that it just came to me, the same way the idea for my blog Serene New England did during Easter Sunday while sitting in church at St. Mary’s. I love to explore new-to-me places and meet new people. The theme of renewal and strengthening my relationship with God while appreciating unique places of worship in beautiful coastal Maine settings felt like it would be Episcopal Summer Camp. And in many ways, I was right!

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Dinner Party at The Colony Hotel, Kennebunkport

Yesterday evening Wayne and I enjoyed a beautiful dinner at The Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport to enjoy fellowship with members of St. Ann’s Episcopal church. All proceeds benefit St. Ann’s community outreach. The time flew by and almost three hours had passed when they began to close our room down!

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Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour (Bonus): All Saints Chapel, Orr’s Island

Wayne and I didn’t attend services here but we passed All Saints on Orr’s Island on the way to Bailey Island this week. We were hoping maybe someone would be around to let us in but all was quiet. I took some photos of the outside that I hope you will enjoy!

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Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: St. Martin’s in the Field, Biddeford Pool

Wayne and I visited St. Martin’s in the Field in Biddeford Pool for the 11:00 a.m. service. Although we have never been to the chapel I have been to the area many times before because it’s in the same neighborhood as The Marie Joseph Spiritual Center. The church is literally in a field (which is a golf course on one side) as the name denotes. Like all of the others we have visited, it is charming, welcoming and has beautiful stained glass that you MUST see! The sermon by Rev. Dina van Klaveren (pictured above) was very inspiring. Continue reading “Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: St. Martin’s in the Field, Biddeford Pool”

Resolution: Victorian-Era Advice Worth Following

I acquired this little Victorian-era birthday greeting in a box with other small antique booklets and cards at an auction house in the early 2000s. It had a very powerful impact on me when I read it, but at some point it got placed in storage and so did the words that speak the resolve to be true to ourselves. (I’ve learned over the years that authentic people are the only people that really matter to me.) Recently I rediscovered this and hope to never put it out of my mind and heart. Perhaps it will speak to you, too. Continue reading “Resolution: Victorian-Era Advice Worth Following”