Be joyful even though you have considered all the facts...practice resurrection. -Wendell Berry

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014



who will you...
embrace
support
invite
befriend
forgive
comfort

where will you...
leap
explore
travel
shelter
rest
breathe

when will you...
risk
heal
reach out
let go
finish
inspire

what will you...
hope
try
learn
sing
discover
create

how will you...
honor
change
decide
celebrate
remember
love 

be?

(originally posted on January 1, 2010)

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Waiting...in the stillness of the darkest days...
for the hope and promise and light of the Winter Solstice. 
xo

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

in memoriam

snipping paper snowflakes and 
remembering erin, four years later.
xoxo

Sunday, December 8, 2013

pausing

As the days shorten and the light wanes, I'm feeling a pull from Mother Nature to pause and be still and burrow in.

This space will be quiet for a bit.

I wish you peace and grace amidst the celebratory days ahead, dear readers.
xo

Friday, December 6, 2013

the very best kind of powerful

Long way, long way, long walk to freedom.
Listen here.
Rest in peace, Nelson Mandela.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

gearing up


Lately...
Had such fun making an etsy treasury list .
Found some sweet little houses at the Purl Bee.
Intrigued by this "how to" for tiny bristle brush trees, via the fabulous Mister Finch.
Wearing out the pages of this book.
Just downloaded this pattern.
Spellbound by two magical photographers...one amazing teenager here and one enchanting woman here.
 
How about you?
What has enchanted you lately?

(It's December...don't forget to breathe!)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

our balsams

Bundled against the cold, a hearty group set forth...
to cut the first balsams of the season.
The sun shone, the sky was blue and 
there was much tromping about.
Our wee seedlings are coming along nicely,
and the sturdy old growth provide habitat for all sorts of critters.
The fresh snow showed tracks...
plenty of small rodents, coyotes, fox and deer.
There was some debate...maybe moose?
We're still not sure.
The trick is finding something in
between the seedlings and old growth.
The measuring pole is painted in one foot increments,
and is used to discern the real height of the trees
(as opposed to the perceived height, which can cause
surprise when the tree is actually unloaded at home!)
One of these trees is going to Brooklyn,
the other is already in Somerville.
And as per tradition, two monster trees are loaded in the pick up
 for delivery to Wooster School later this afternoon.
And so, the holiday season is officially launched.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

inspired by ted kooser's walks...






A few early mornings ago I watched as Orion perched himself on the spine of the mountains across the valley. Since then, the view has shape shifted itself through fog and snow and freezing rain and woodsmoke. The colors of "stick season" in Vermont are made all the richer by the dull skies. Gold, burnt umber, sienna, rust, evergreen, sumac red...the colors that wind down our calendar year with such grace. 

The house is clean, the pies are under construction and we await the safe arrival of a few more. The soft white tablecloth has been pulled out of its special drawer and the beeswax candles and gravy boat are sitting on the buffet. 

Wishing each of you a day of peace, comfort and gratitude.

"Gratitude is heaven itself" -William Blake

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

morning, noon and night

fairy lights inside and flurries outside...
a corner in our bedroom this morning.
"our" dirt road.
mixed greens, grated raw beets, chopped orange bell pepper,
scallions, sliced tangerine, fruit juice sweetened cranberries,
chopped walnuts, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
it was our contribution to a crafter's lunch, complemented by
fabulous chili, red hen bread and chocolate chip cookies.
and tea. lots of tea. 
birch hearts, linen hearts, embroidered dala horses and
a sweet bird (kristen's beautiful stitches!)
 are just some of the things we four worked on today in ellen's kitchen.
(it is so good to have gretta back with us, even for just a little bit).

to pick up our humanely raised turkey bird.  

fingers are crossed for safe travel conditions
for our special few (and for everyone else's beloveds)!

more kooser tomorrow...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

here.

back.
in the beauty of late autumn.
on our beloved land.

such a deep sense of place...
of grounding,
of home.

Monday, November 18, 2013

stitching with red

Here's a sneak peek...
I'm lending a hand to some friends on a little holiday project...
a Festival of Trees to benefit 
the Landscape and Horticulture Scholarship
at Vermont Technical College.

We are having fun--sometimes stitching together 
at Ellen's dining room table in VT
and sometimes stitching on our own, wherever we are. 
Next week, Gretta will join the group 
and there will be more hands busy with needle and thread.

I can't wait to see how it all comes together...
(how can it already be time for holiday prep?)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

techie tidbit bag

all of this...
fits into this.
(which i wrote about the first month i started this blog.
it's stood up well over the years!)
it's a grab-and-go bag for all my techie tidbits...
ready to go to a board meeting in indiana,
a quick trip to vermont, or just an afternoon at the library.
everything all in one place.
no searching all over the house for this charger or that.

one of my favorite people
 visited recently and left some of her own techie tidbits behind...
requiring a trip on my part to the post office for their 
safe return to said visitor. 
so, here's a newer version of the grab-and-go bag,
made with wool felt and an old scrap of liberty of london fabric.
it was a snap to make, with no lining or 
fussiness when putting the zipper in.
 it will arrive in a certain mailbox sometime today...
you know who you are.

xo

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

snow and frost...inside and outside

Nov 9. The sky hangs thin and wet on its clothesline.

Nov12. ...I sometimes take hold of the cold porcelain knob of the moon, and turn it...

Nov 13. A curled, brown leaf lies on its back, lifting its undistinguished edges into the glory of frost.

-All from Winter Morning Walks: one hundred postcards to Jim Harrison, by Ted Kooser

Some of us are reading along with the dated poems in this lovely work. Maybe these snippets will draw you in to join us. I love Kooser's words so much that I have to keep myself from reading ahead. Instead, I reread and savor each one several times a day.
inside
a few stitches
outside
It seems very fitting that the dated poems in Kooser's book began around the same time as our first snowfall here in CT. Serendipity. I like that.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Guest post by Lindsey...Fiddle Hell!

Group play-through of "Common Tunes" (a list of 52)
Scout Meetinghouse
Irish Jam, Scout Meetinghouse

Hello readers! And thanks to Mom for asking me to guest blog!

This past weekend (Friday-Sunday) I participated in Fiddle Hell, a huge get-together for fiddlers from all over the country (and farther) to teach, learn, jam, and enjoy each other's company in Concord, MA. I went in a little apprehensive and came out completely overflowing with tunes in my head!

A little history - when I was a small kid I was completely in love with classical violin, and Mom and Dad did an amazing job fostering my love of music and indulging my daily practicing. From fourth grade through high school, I participated in my school orchestra during the school year and my summer camp's "String Band" during the summers. But after I finished college, it was about ten years until I played again.

Here in Boston, there are great musicians all over the place, and I was longing for an instrument that was more "social" (my primary instrument has always been solo piano). I already had a violin, I was crushing on the old-time and folk music scene, and so last fall I gave myself the gift of lessons. I found a teacher who I had seen perform at Berklee and with her help (and accountability!) I have been taking fiddle lessons for a year now.

So back to the present - at Fiddle Hell this weekend, I got to hear and play with fiddlers from all traditions. Turns out there are a lot of different styles! From 9:30am til midnight, each 1.5 hours was a different workshop - from learning tunes, learning technique, to jamming on common tunes. I took workshops that focused on Irish jigs, Irish ornamentation, French-Canadian tunes, Swedish polkas, Oldtime tunes, and more.  It was amazing to see so many different teaching techniques, hear so many different individual playing styles, and overhear some really, really talented people all weekend. I felt completely saturated in a world I've only skirted the corners of - and now I want in!

Having the opportunity to be there exposed me to some really amazing musicians and helped me remember that people of all ages and of all experience levels (including none) can take on something new. Maybe someday Mom and I will be jamming together on the front porch in VT, eh?!

Here are a few photos of the wonderful people there this weekend. Let me know if you have questions - I'd recommend this experience to anyone!
Fiddle Concert, Saturday night
Scout Meetinghouse
Oldtime Jam, Colonial Inn