collective hope is more useful and powerful than collective fear. -insight timer

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

sunrise this morning at our "bit of earth"

“it is a serious thing
 just to be alive 
on this fresh morning
in this broken world.”

-Mary Oliver, Red Bird

Tuesday, April 7, 2020



as we all hunker in, i've spruced things up a bit
around sewandsowlife.

there's a new header, a photo of a sweet abandoned nest.
it sits perched on a shelf with some family artwork.
and there's a new quote up there, too,
under the header.

"collective hope is more useful and powerful than collective fear"
from the meditation app,
insight timer.

call it spring cleaning,

there's a lot happening out in the world.

and so, i think for now, i'll keep things
especially gentle around here.

i want to be sure you feel safe coming here
and i hope you will find some small comfort here.

april is national poetry month,
vermont is waking up from her winter slumber,
there are sewing projects* in the works,
so there are many things to share here.

and maybe you'll have a few things to add...

(be sure to catch a peek at the "pink super full moon" tonight as it rises
around 7:30ish EST.
we are going to venture out to the ridge
line to watch the moon rise over the valley just south of us).

*yes, i have sewn masks, i'll leave it at that.
there are tutorials for this good work all over the internet. 

Sunday, April 5, 2020

the stones over which we stumble

"So let us pick up the stones over which we stumble,
friends, and build altars..."

from this On Being podcast,
A New Imagination of Prayer
with Pádraig O Tuama and Marilyn Nelson
original air date September 6, 2018

Saturday, April 4, 2020

keeping things local

Beautiful eggs from the flock down the road at our friends' Laura and Nora, spinach from Farmer Chip at Pebble Brook Farm, butter from Vermont Creamery, raw milk sharp cheddar from Neighborly Farms of Vermont, onion and fingerlings from our 2019 garden via our root cellar. LOCAL spinach frittata for breakfast earlier this week. In 2007 when we found our “bit of earth” I sensed it would be our sanctuary and that it would help sustain our dreams. Premonition? Sometimes I wonder. xo

Hope you are staying well and centered.



Monday, March 30, 2020

from last night

In the night kitchen, where we are starving fear and feeding love. Pasta primavera in our supper bowls. Zoomed with all four of our kids as a group, texted with both brothers, chatted with a bff from college as he walked along Lake Michigan, email from one of our kids' beloved middle school teachers. Norah Jones, the Lumineers and Neil Young tunes as I stitched. And now, a spring thunder storm with hail bouncing off the ground. So many silver linings in spite of the heaviness.

Suspended animation. Hours evaporating into one another. Work being done remotely and learning new skills around that. Making do with what we have. 

Talking about the "what ifs" but not dwelling there.

Readjusting expectations. Letting go. Sinking into the spaciousness.

Breathing in.

Breathing out.

Sending comfort, hope, love.

We can do hard things.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

more distractions for you

there is not much social distancing going on in this box.

Here are some more distractions for you, dearest readers...

A.) Via @diaryofaquilter over on Instagram:

Everyone should be taught to sew, not merely for the sake of making something, but as an accomplishment which may prove a stabilizer in time of perplexity or distress. Many a time when I need to hold myself firmly, I have taken up a needle--a sewing needle, some knitting needles, or a crochet hook. Whatever its form or purpose, it often proved to be as the needle of a compass, keeping me to the course.
-First Lady Grace Coolidge (a Vermonter)

B.) Did you know that the Monterey Bay Aquarium hosts 10 different live cams that you can watch on their website? Sea otters, kelp forest and sharks, oh my! Look here for the link. (This tip from Gretta, who is teaching Middle School science, remotely from her apartment, where Maggie is her teaching assistant.)

C.) Another Instagram feed that is filled with delight is @atlasobscura, where you can "discover the world's strange and wondrous side".

D.) One of my favorite little real life shops is tucked away in Northeast Harbor, Maine, run by artist jennifer judd-mcgee. Today she has posted a free, printable coloring page on her website. You can find it here. 

E.) My friend Anne Butera of My Giant Strawberry, wrote a post about blogging, listing her favorites here. Blogging seem to have gone out of fashion, but some still offer a peek into inspiration and creativity. Check them out.
Anne also left a comment in my last post, reminding me of a Kaffe Fassett exhibit video. You may find it here.

E.) There is a lot of free sharing going on all over the internet...quiltalongs, knitting patterns, celebrities reading kids' books aloud, food recipes for hunkering down, meditations, fitness classes. It's quite heartwarming to see how ordinary folks are pulling together in these rough times.  If you are restless, take a poke around the internet for ideas.

F.) You can also take a virtual tour of many of our National Parks. Check out this link, sent by one of my college buddies.

I share these links with you as entertaining distractions, for these are unprecedented times.  But at the same time,  I am holding thoughts of so many folks close to my heart...the first responders, medical workers, grocery clerks, transit workers, and all the other folks who still out there, working. And the folks who are no longer working, who are not being paid, who are not sure how they will continue to carry on.

So, friends...breathe, nourish, rest, stay home (if you are able). I am here and you are there, but we are all in this together.


Saturday, March 14, 2020

an offering for you

Last week we had a flock of bluebirds arrive! They were busy checking out the bluebird houses, flitting from one to another. Cedar waxwings came by to eat the very last of the shriveled crab apples, melting into the ground under the trees. The roads are MUDDY and the sap is running and the syrup is boiling all over the neighborhood. Spinach is sprouting in the hoop house and pea shoots are growing on our windowsills. The bulbs that Batman tucked into the root cellar in the fall are still coming up to brighten our home. The snow is melting in between new flurries and today we can see our raised beds, emerging from their winter rest. The madder and garlic were covered in straw to protect them from the deep freeze of January and February in Vermont.

Batman and I have been doing what good work we can with his in the Legislature (he is on the Healthcare Committee) and mine on the board at a community action group...looking out for folks who already live in the margins.

Our pantry is in good shape and we have scaled way back on our news consumption. 

Reminders to self (and maybe you, too?)
  • hydrate
  • eat to nourish
  • rest and sleep, nap (with cats)
  • meditate
  • get outdoors
  • stay in touch with friends and family
  • stretch
  • listen to favorite music
  • sew/knit/craft/collage/bead/etc
  • send snail mail
  • read poetry
  • BREATHE and find peace in the present moment
  • if so moved, explore ways to help others in the neighborhood, who may be struggling
  • brew tea in a pot and have a digestive biscuit alongside, enjoy the ritual
  • if you are still going out and about, support small businesses with generous tips 
  • if your favorite small businesses are closed and offer online shopping, patronize them and/or buy their gift cards
Here are a few lovely resources for the days and weeks ahead...

Insight Timer, an app with thousands of free meditations.

A Listening Care Package for Uncertain Times, via On Being.

Today is National Pi Day! Check out King Arthur Flour and Sister Pie for inspiration.

The Poetry Foundation, a treasure trove of poetry.

If you are a fan of Beatrix Potter, you may enjoy a wander around this website. For those of us yearning for spring, it's a lovely distraction.

Maybe you are curious about how Vermont maple syrup is made. Look here to find out!

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite the darkness"
-Desmond Tutu.

Keeping thoughts of you, dearest readers, close to my heart. xo