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Winter!

Hello!! 
We’ve been really enjoying the rain here, in L.A., after so much time.  I know to some of you that is a very humorous statement!  
We had a lovely Thanksgiving with mostly family, and my best friend and her family.  Only 14 people this year! I hope you were able to gather with friends and family, and that you had a feast!  I know some people cannot afford these luxuries, and I felt truly grateful to be surrounded by love and kindness, humor and laughter, and yes, plenty of food.  We sit around the table every year and say what we’re thankful for. This year, as I’ve said a lot recently, I feel incredibly blessed and lucky. I’m highly aware of how rare this is, and I’m embracing each day with appreciation.  
Over the long holiday weekend, I was in hermit mode, which I love, (lots of reading) but I had started two more songs a couple of weeks ago, and dove back in today. One of the songs is reminiscent of the song By 7:30, in the energy and groove (and chords, I just realized; lots of “4ths”).  I had been working on another song, and it exhausted me (!!!), so I sat down in “The Big Chair” and fell asleep for 10 minutes. When I awakened, I sat at the piano, and without looking started pounding out these unusual chords. I was still half asleep, so there is a different feel to the song. It’s called Red Light, Green Light.  Out of the blue. I like those!  
Also, I’m very much looking forward to touring again next year!  Hope to see you out there!  
I don’t remember if I’ve already given you the Pumpkin Cake recipe, but I’ll include it here, as it’s just a fabulous winter cake.  (There’s a great children’s book called Thunder Cake… so sweet! Check it out.)
I hope your Holiday Season is filled with Joy, Peace and Love.
Vonda 

Enjoy this extremely low-calorie cake!!  

Natalie’s Pumpkin Cake:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground clove (add a couple of shakes more if you like the spiciness of clove)
1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a Bundt pan. Set aside.

Cake:

Beat the butter with the electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in the sugars and the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.
In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, buttermilk, and vanilla.
In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, and clove.
Using a mixer, add flour mixture into the batter in thirds, alternating with pumpkin mixture, until smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan (or cupcake cups)
Cook for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Icing:
Using a mixer, blend 1 1/2 cups of SIFTED confectioners’ sugar with 3 Tablespoons of milk and 1/2 tsp. vanilla
I simply eyeball it and mix confectioners’ sugar and milk until the icing looks like a glaze that I can drizzle on the cake. You want it to look white still, not translucent. Lately, I’ve been adding a small sprinkle of cinnamon and clove to the icing.
Once the cake is cooled, drizzle icing on cake using a spoon in a zigzag pattern.

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