Friday, March 3, 2017

Our First Ten Years

   It was ten years ago this month that we purchased and closed the deal on our humble little farmette. We had spent weeks driving around at the peak of the housing bubble, viewing deserted teardown jobs with no certificate of occupancy priced at half a million. Oh, the things we saw! Bedrooms painted black and narrow, vertical staircases better described as ladders. I'll never forget the half-finished house with a set of Bilco outdoor basement doors that had been thoughtlessly installed inside of the house, in the main hall between the kitchen and living room. Even our realtor had to admit that we had seen some "stuff". 

   This house, too, had been a poorly executed renovation job and a woefully overpriced one at that. Our hearts softened by the surrounding view and spacious property, we bought it with all the optimism young love could muster. Our wedding less than two months away. We immediately tore out walls, carpeting that had tunnels suitable for prairie dogs, and some bizarre track lighting in the kitchen. We tore it out and rebuilt it, walls, floors, and all. If we knew then what we know now...I'm not sure what we could have done differently. 

   Back then, we thought our life would look much differently in ten years time. We weren't even certain we would still reside here. We didn't plan to stay all that long. If you had asked me then, I would have told you that we would be long gone by the ten-year mark. We'd be in a bigger castle, in a more interesting kingdom. The castle would have twice the arches and towers than this place. Also, the moat would be wider and deeper, with far more alligators. 

   Ten years later, I say, I can barely keep my one dungeon cleaned and organized and am thankful I do not have to manage two. Our two alligators eat too much already and one has monthly vet bills. If I had five or ten I would just throw myself in the moat. Also, we've planted a lovely forest that I don't have the inclination to dig up and relocate. Did I tell you about the new drawbridge? It's fantastic and I have the perfect color to paint it. 

   A decade ago I could not yet articulate, even as I lived it, the truth that you naturally invest in what you love, and your return on that investment will be a certain degree of satisfaction about how things turn out, a simple blessing of peace. You will invest on the good days when you walk along that horizon of the view that tempted you in the beginning. You will invest on days when the laundry accumulates and your purse is empty. On days when there were medical bills or unforeseen circumstances, we continued to invest because we loved. It turned out it was never about investing in a property but in those we love.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (1 John 4:8)

   Since our place is jokingly called The Compound, I guess you could say we earned compound interest on that investment. 

   Sometimes, I want something sweet and snacky but not an outright dessert to go with my mid-day coffee. Make that decaf coffee. I had to give up caffeine several months ago to help with a health issue, and while the decaf has done the trick, I sincerely miss my high-test formula. 

   This healthy and moist Honey Applesauce Snack Cake is easy to mix up, and stands on its own as a delicious after school treat or break time morsel for mom. If you want to make it more of a dessert, add the optional glaze for added sweetening. 

Honey Applesauce Snack Cake

1 cup whole wheat powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup honey
2 Tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 Tablespoon orange juice

Glaze (optional):
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

Heat oven to 350

Coat a 9'' round pan with baking spray.

Whisk together the first six ingredients in a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, applesauce, honey, melted butter or oil, vanilla, orange zest, and one Tablespoon of orange juice. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk gently until the mixture is uniform. Be careful not to over-mix. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until top is golden, about 25 minutes. 

If you want to add the optional glaze, whisk the sugar and orange juice together and drizzle over the cooled cake. 


  1. I love the description of your home/house.

  2. As the say goes, Home is where the heart is.......
    If your heart is there the number of alligators and color of the drawbridge is irrelevant.

  3. Congratulations on your almost 10 year anniversary! Making a home is an adventurous journey, isn't it? We never know how it will turn out, but, with a foundation of love, we can be sure it will come out right.

    1. Ha, thanks Megs! Yes, it is almost our wedding anniversary, too. :)


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