This Moment

In an effort to write better, write more, capture more, be more honest, I give you this.

My four-year-old daughter, my sweet, sassy little girl, just marched downstairs and straight into the kitchen. She had changed into a bathing suit for no apparent reason (because that, apparently, is what 4-year-old girls do) and was petting a cicada exoskeleton, cooing, “Oooh, you’re such a good boy. Yes, you are are. What a good little guy.”

She wants to bring him to Babci & Dziadziu’s this weekend. Mom… I hope you’re ready! 😉


And you mean to tell me that something like this is not a regular occurrence at your house? Well, then…


A few months ago I bought a 50mm lens for my camera, thanks to our tax refund. And I’ve really been enjoying using it. In fact, it’s re-ignited my interest in photography. Not since the early days of Flickr have I taken so many photos! So when It learned about a site that is just for local photography, well it didn’t take much convincing to get me to join.

Coincidentally, they currently have a 50mm challenge going on right now! I thought I’d share the photos I’ve entered so far.

The Very Hungry (Thirsty?) Caterpillar by Carol Bancroft on Capture Mid-Hudson Valley

The Very Hungry (Thirsty?) Caterpillar by Carol Bancroft

Azalea by Carol Bancroft on Capture Mid-Hudson Valley

Azalea by Carol Bancroft

Memorial Day Fun by Carol Bancroft on Capture Mid-Hudson Valley

Memorial Day Fun by Carol Bancroft

Vintage treasure by Carol Bancroft on Capture Mid-Hudson Valley

Vintage treasure by Carol Bancroft

It’s a start!

Another Songrogram! But Not the Exciting Kind

So I debated whether or not to blog about this and figured… why not. I’d tell you in person, and who knows, maybe it will make someone feel better. Remember when ultrasounds were exciting? I remember that very first sonogram when I was pregnant with Jake. This tiny little blip, a pulsing heartbeat. Oh, it was just the best! Three kids’ worth of ultrasounds and I loved each one of them.

Then I had my thyroid issues. And let me tell you: a ‘roid ultrasound is nowhere near as fun or exciting as a prenatal ultrasound. And now I get to have them annually, to check my nodules and ensure nothing suspicious is going on. 

Well, now I have another body part requiring follow-up sonographic proof of healthiness. A little over a month ago, I noticed pain in one of my breasts. It didn’t go away after a week and the area where I had the pain felt… different. Not quite so soft as the other side. So I made a doctor’s appointment. I swear to you, my boobs have never seen so much action as the week in between that phone call and my appointment. I was constantly comparing, constantly trying to figure out if it was “anything.” 

Naturally, even if it was (long story short: it wasn’t), how on earth would I know? Anyone who took Anatomy with me in high school would attest to the fact that while I was strong in many subjects, the sciences were not topping the list.

So, the day of my appointment came. My doctor (actually a midwife, who is so incredibly great that I will cry if she ever leaves this practice) performed her examination, asked me a bunch of questions, and told me that she was relatively certain it was just a cyst but that we should do the sonogram just to be sure.

Fast-forward two weeks, and there I was, back in Imaging. Yay! A third body part gets to be checked out! I will tell you this, though: there’s one great thing about having a sono on your boob. Remember how cold that gel was when they squirted it on your belly (or throat as well, in my case)? Yeah, well when you have a sonogram on your breast, the gel is warm! Kind of weird, because that’s not what I was expecting, but definitely not a bad thing.

The tech didn’t immediately see anything so I had to do a little show & tell. The whole thing took maybe 10 minutes. I waited while the radiologist read the results and while at that point I didn’t get a ton of information, I was told that it was “nothing to be concerned about.”

Good! Yes! Thank you! That’s what I wanted to hear!

My doctor’s office called this week with a little more info, and basically it’s a small cyst and probably not a concern. I was urged to have a follow-up in 6 months, though. And of course I will. 

But the moral of the story is: if you’re worried about something — just get it checked out! The waiting will be tough, but it’s going to be better than the potential months of worry. Or worse.  So just do it, okay? Okay.

Vlog: Lulu’s Pals


Hey guys, it’s Wednesday, so again I’m linking up with MamaKat who does a weekly Vlogging Workshop. I’m having kind of a grouchy week, so I decided to choose a cute prompt: what your child sleeps with. Laura has no shortage of stuffed animals and dolls, and there is a nightly rotation (usually). She always wants to get in on my videos, so this was her big chance!

I know I’m biased, but I think she’s pretty cute, even when she starts to get a little bit diva on me 😉

Psst! And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

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Rain, Wind, and a Chill in the Air


I’ve got to say, I do not ever remember a Memorial Day weekend that was ever this cold. I’m currently wearing jeans, a long-sleeved tee, and I’m considering throwing on a cardigan, too. Nevertheless, we’ve been having fun!

Yesterday morning we headed down to the Creek Meeting House where the Clinton Historical Society was holding a tag sale. Despite the cold rain, it seemed like they had quite a few people coming through! Not one of us left empty-handed! Jake found a brand-new Wii skateboard and Tony Hawk game, Noah was smitten with a Strolling Bowling game, Laura found a little bear to “adopt,” Drew scored on a pile of books and CDs, and I found just a couple vintage treasures.


love enamelware, but I never find it at a good price. This small pot was only 50 cents! I really liked the braided place mat and thought they looked nice together. And, of course, I couldn’t leave without buying a mini-loaf of my friend’s homemade rhubarb coffee cake!

After the sale we decided to head to the diner for an early lunch. We weren’t home for long before the power started blinking. The wind was whipping, so when we lost power… well, no one was really surprised. It wasn’t a big deal, really. We all made the best of it.

We played some music.



We built a fort.


We read a bit.


But when 4 o’clock rolled around and power still wasn’t back on, we decided on a dinner plan — pizza & PJs! After picking up pizza and soda, everyone changed into their pyjamas. I moved the coffee table over to the side and got the kids cozy. Drew built a fire. And we put a movie on my (fully-charged, thankfully!) laptop.


Power-outage pizza has no calories, you know 😉


Maybe 10 minutes into the movie I suddenly heard our fridge alarm beeping (it beeps when power returns after an outage), so we decided to watch the movie on the TV, but otherwise we continued with our plan. In fact, the kids still chose to camp out in the living room last night!


This morning I made myself a nice cup of coffee and slathered cream cheese on that delicious rhubarb bread, and we all decided to take the canoe out even though the morning was still quite cold and a little drizzly. 

The kids had a great time and now, finally, the sun is shining — yay! Although I want to just be lazy this afternoon and crochet, I should probably finish up the laundry so we can relax tomorrow after the parade. Hope you’re having a great weekend, too!

{Vlog} 32 Questions

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It’s Wednesday, so again I’m linking up with MamaKat who does a weekly Vlogging Workshop. I missed last week due to the fact that I was just plain busy, so I hope you weren’t crying because there wasn’t one 😉 Anyway, I’m back on track this week and answering 32 random questions. I chose this prompt because I reminded me of when we all did these sorts of blog memes. Fun!

A few notes:

– As I mentioned, I was pulled over for speeding two times. Once, the cop had pulled over several people in a line and I just pulled over because I wasn’t sure. I don’t think he really was either because he just let me go. The second time was after our old Jeep had been hit and I was driving this awful rental car. It was red and it had NJ licence plates. I am convinced that made me a target! I probably was driving faster than the speed limit, but certainly with traffic. For whatever reason he just gave me a seatbelt violation (I always wear my seatbelt, but I think I unlatched it to look for paperwork in the glovebox.) Luckily that’s been it!

– I talked about Cordelia’s Dad. They are awesome. Drew’s band toured with them in college. You should totally check them out.

– Finally, if you are a regular reader, you know that I’m a happy hooker (ha!). If you’re new to the blog, you can check out some of my crochet-related posts if you’re interested.

Thanks for reading and pretty, pretty please subscribe to my YouTube channel. Thanks!


Happy Monday, everyone! I’m getting back in gear after a very busy week/weekend. We had lots of school event going on, including Jake’s final elementary school concert. It seemed that there was something every day and so much driving around it was making me edgy.

Noah made his First Holy Communion on Saturday and it was a very busy time — preparing, celebrating, cleaning… It was lovely, though, and so great to share it with our family.

Last night I finally felt relaxed. With little to do this week, I didn’t need to make lists or keep track of anything. We put on a mindless movie (Tommy Boy, which I haven’t watched in years) and I browsed Pinterest.

Today I’m just focussed on getting things in order: menu planning (lots of leftovers that require I get creative), culling paperwork (no more show choir for Jake or CCD for the boys — well, until next year), and reorganizing some things. They day just flew by! The little ones are currently in bed and Drew and Jake are playing one last game of Magic.

As for myself, I’m going to get ready to wind down too. Hope to be back with photos later this week!

Quiet Evening


I hope everyone enjoyed a nice Mother’s Day on Sunday! I certainly did. The kids lavished me with sweet, homemade gifts and we all enjoyed a nice day together. Drew’s mom and aunt came up for a visit, so it was all very laid back and relaxing.

Laura went home with the ladies for a sleepover, which gave me time to not only grocery shop and run about a million errands by myself, but I was able to hit the thrift shop this morning, too! You can see that I found a few little treasures.

The tray caught my eye as soon as I walked into the shop. And though it’s really nothing special (complete with “made in China” sticker on the back, it’s still pretty and fills up an empty space above my kitchen cupboards. It’ll also be useful for serving, too. Then there’s the little prim tin candle holder. I just love these kinds of things! So cute.

And of course, that old lunch pail (which immediately caught my dad’s eye when he saw a pic on Facebook). Dad and I had just been talking about a similar lunch pail he had in the 70s when he started working. This one is actually a reproduction by a company called Burning Lotus. There was no Thermos in it, but it was so cheap I grabbed it as an impulse purchase.


Then, I found a bundle of 10 cloth napkins. I washed and hung them out to dry, hoping the sun would bleach them but I think I need to do a little more work on them, as there’s still some yellow spots.


This old measuring cup is my favorite item of the lot, though! I think it was like 50 cents and this one is definitely vintage. I think it will look so sweet with some flowers stuck inside. I came out spending less than $10 for all of it, so I was pretty happy.


I managed to get a lot of other things done today, too, so I feel totally justified with my lazy girl plan for the night… tea, crochet, and TV. I’m not working on anything much… just a dishcloth. Mindless enough to work on while watching a show, yet I still feel like I’m doing something.


Well, time to get my water boiling. Hope your week is off to a good start!

Can It, Bake It, Grow It, Swap It!!!

Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Last week when I was talking about my carrot cake jam, I mentioned that I was making it for a food swap our library was hosting. I knew that there would be some tasty treats there (we have a large population of excellent cooks in our community), and the results did not disappoint!

So… what is a food swap and how does it work? Well, basically you bake, can, grow, forage, or otherwise bring something to the proverbial (and literal) table. You taste. You talk. You trade. It was so fun, and a great way to engage with our neighbors! We had many curious patrons who expressed interest in participating in our next go-around. And I hope they do! What a fun way to try new things.

Here’s what we had today…

Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Ginger-chocolate mini scones:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

(My) carrot cake jam:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Fresh honey nut butter:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Local eggs from happy chickens:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Sriracha (better than anything with a rooster on it — trust me!):::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Handcrafted vanilla extract:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Spicy Guinness Mustard:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

We shall eat well, indeed! I feel a little bit spoiled, and a lot bit lucky to be part of this.

I am already thinking ahead and deciding what to make for our next one. Perhaps some fermented sauerkraut or spicy pickled vegetables? I definitely think it will be something fresh and vinegary. But homemade hot fudge could be fun too… So many delicious possibilities!

{Recipe} Masala Chili


I don’t even know how I came up with this recipe. I guess I was thinking of both my favorite chicken curry recipe, but also Indian-spiced chicken meatballs and somehow this happened. And I’m glad it did because it was easy and delicious. And quick. And perfect for this rainy day. Basically, I just started throwing things into a pot and tasting and at some point I decided “OK, this is actually good!”

Although we really enjoyed this recipe as written here, I feel like it’s missing something. Maybe some spinach? Maybe coconut milk instead of the yogurt? I don’t know… But it’s a starting point and I hope you play around with it. Let me know what adjustments you make and how you improve upon it!

Masala Chili
An Indian-spiced take on traditional chili.
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2 Tbsp. coconut oil or ghee
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 c. diced onion
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1-2 chile peppers, diced (I used jalapenos because that’s what I had)
1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, shredded on a microplane
1 Tbsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. tumeric
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. ground chicken
1 15-oz. can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1.5 c. tomato sauce
1/2 c. water
1 5 oz. container of plain yogurt
Cilantro (for garnish)
In a stock pot, melt the coconut butter or ghee and add the cumin seeds. When they start sizzling, add the onions, garlic, ginger, and peppers. Cook until soft and then add the coriander, tumeric, cumin, chili powder, curry powder, and salt.
Add ground chicken and cook through. Add chick peas, tomato sauce, and water. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until flavors have all combined.
Remove from heat. Stir in yogurt. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve with rice or naan. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
A side salad of freshly sliced cucumbers and onions with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is an excellent accompaniment to this dish.


Linking up with: Cooking Thursday