Thursday, March 26, 2015


it is a cold and grey day here in vermont.
(rain! for the first time in months, it is not snow!)

it's a perfect afternoon to grab a bit of time at the desk...
such comfort in a cup of fennel tea and a bit of correspondence.

a postcard headed to russia via postcrossing,
one to australia to a long time internet friend,
a letter to arizona to my best buddy from college days 
and an annual donation to my beloved earlham college.

the way a wee little stamp can transport sentiment is simply magical,
don't you think?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

what a difference a zero makes!

when we woke up yesterday, the temperature was 4 degrees.
this afternoon it has risen to 40!
at long last,
the winter is loosening her grip on us.
the snow is receding from the edges...
of roads, fields and our garden boxes.
soon it will be time to tidy up the place,
including branches that batman pruned
from our apple trees last month.

rubber boots, gardening gloves and maybe a sweatshirt.
oh, what a delightful day that will be!

Monday, March 23, 2015

woolen yarn and storied yarns

It was only 5 degrees when we woke up this morning, so I am casting on some wool, in preparation for tonight's knitting group. It snowed on Saturday and a little on Sunday, and it really is hard to imagine spring arriving anytime soon. I'm knitting up a quick hat in black Peace Fleece, and I love supporting this company (we're all about multiple bottom lines around here). Now that my patient Batman is off at work, I use a director's chair to help me wind a skein of wool into a ball.

Sometimes when I try to be a well-informed citizen of the world, I can become overwhelmed by the negativity that's out there. Balancing "current events" with some carefully selected "human interest" stories can rescue my heart.  Here are a few worthwhile links you might enjoy...
  • My brother Doug recommended this documentary to us. We hosted a movie night up here last night and really loved the film. We got it as a DVD from Netflix.
  • Do you know of StoryCorps? I heard this one a few weeks ago and loved it. I heard this one last week and had tears in my eyes as I emptied the dish drainer. 
  • The Moth Radio Hour is another wonderful place to hear first person stories. I listened to this episode twice I was so moved by it.
Let me know if you listen to any of these links and how you like them. And please, share any stories that you have enjoyed here in the comments. Thanks, friends! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

will this help or will this hinder?

lately i'm asking myself "will this help or will this hinder?"
i'm asking this about many of the choices i make during the day.
what i eat, how i use my time, how i engage in conversations...

will this help or will this hinder
a well lived life?

*recipe for forbidden black rice salad here
*recipe for roasted broccoli salad here

so good.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

a week has flown by

It has been snowing all day long here in Vermont. Cold, windy and grey, it has been a good day to stay inside and get caught up on so many things, including my sewandsowlife. 

Last week I went to Massachusetts, to kidnap my Mumsie and get her out of her snowbound house. Visiting family and doing errands and eating good food filled our time. Then it was back to Vermont for me, and two of our kids and a beau tumbled into the house the next day. Hannah donned her newly finished leg warmers (she politely said she had forgotten all about them and was delighted to have them). We adventured on muddy roads over to Fat Toad Farm to play with the sweetest baby goats and Icelandic sheepdog puppies (love). On Sunday morning we all tried to do this, and ended up laughing a lot and pledging to do some practicing.

You might remember that Batman retired from the corporate world last fall. Then he rested his weary soul for four months. A few weeks ago, he started working at a new job, one that we used to talk about when we were dreaming our Vermont dreams. The Bank of Good Karma dropped it in his lap, and he is having so much fun. Our lazy days of late breakfasts and "what do you want to do today" conversations are gone, but new routines have formed and we are back to sharing stories of our days at suppertime.  

Today, phase one of our renovation project officially began, as evidenced by the photo above. This old gem sat in a corner of the basement, next to the washing machine, not far from the furnace. The throne room indeed. We'll get a post up on the rehab blog soon, as the project gains momentum. Getting-so-excited.

Oh, life, you are rarely dull. Thank you for that.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

sometimes this happens

A confident knitter I am not. As long as everything goes along as required I'm just fine. But sometimes I realize I've knit when I should have purled. A few rows ago. Oh, how I do panic. And I just loose my nerve and set the project down. I go back to have another look at it once or twice, and finding nothing but mystery, I begin to avoid the project. And then I feel a bit haunted by it. There is clearly no progress and I feel badly.

These gorgeous and very simple leg warmers fell into a deep hibernation this winter. (Pattern here.) They were supposed to go to Hannah for Christmas (I told you the hibernation was deep!). I really don't know how the ribbing got off track, but it did, and they languished in a basket under the coffee table for months. (She hangs her head in embarrassment). 

A very wonderful and very Vermont thing came to my rescue. Did you hear this story on NPR about Front Porch Forum? An online group for neighbors, Front Porch Forum allows users to post a variety of needs/wants/trades/info. I finally posted a wish for a knitting guru. Within minutes, my inbox was filled with offers of help, and very kind invitations. A group of knitters gathers at our local library every Monday evening to knit and chat and wouldn't I like to come and join them? 

Oh, I did feel a flood of relief. Each person's response was warm and genuine and each offer of help made me feel more hopeful about my leg warmers. Several very stormy Monday evenings came and went and I stayed home. But last night, encouraged by the warm temperatures and extended daylight, I made my way down the hill and into the circle of women. Teachers, grandmas, farmers, old, young and in between (such fabulous knitters they are!)...I fell right in with them. My knitting snafu was solved and I have been knitting up a storm since. 

Sometimes we just need to ask for help. This is something I am working on. 

I am so glad I did. I have moved past the glitch in my knitting project and I have found another layer of connection in my new life...women gathered by creativity, craft and community.

These knitters, along with the quilters I have found in the VTMQG are starting to feel like my tribe.

How about you? Do you have a tribe? How did you create it?

Sunday, March 8, 2015


At Nido this morning.
Our monthly VTMQG meeting.

Women have been stitching the world together 
since the beginning of time.

Happy International Women's Day!