Tuesday, August 15, 2017

you threw us a curve ball.

on top of all the shit*y news in the world,
you took our beloved "abi tim".

i will never forgive you.

comforting myself amidst the simplest of things.
my dear father-in-law died early yesterday morning.
he had lost consciousness by the time batman got to his side.
hearing is often the last sense to go.
i hope he heard all the murmured, loving words. 
(can we ever say "i love you" too many times?)
rest in peace you gem of a man.

Monday, August 7, 2017

i'd forgotten how much energy is released by tidying up and organizing a workspace.
my sewing studio stands ready for a renewed commitment to making.

where are you in your creative journeys, dear readers?
how is the ebb and flow of your work these days?
what makes you hum...in the garden, the kitchen, your desk, your studio?

i'll be away from this space for a few days.
be well.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


This summer, Batman and I joined the 251 Club of Vermont. We had been meaning to do it for ages, and in our post wedding relaxation mode, we did a bit of research, sent in the application and now we are official members.

Here's the original idea...
I propose to organize a 251 Club to be made up of Vermonters and others who can show that they have visited, not merely driven through, the 251 towns in the state.
—Dr. Arthur Wallace Peach (1886-1956)

 You can read more about the club and its many members and their adventures on the website here.

Lately, Batman and I have been spending a bit of our Sundays exploring new territory in Vermont. Today, we drove up and over the Brandon Gap. Vermont's Long Trail winds its way through the mountains here, and crosses the road at the Gap. Photos above show Mt Horrid, where the trail goes up these cliffs. This is one of the few places in Vermont that provide habitat for Peregrin Falcons. In fact, many places to observe the birds are closed to protect the nesting birds. It was very windy and a chilly 57 degrees up at the Gap, and we were lucky to see a few from the road, wheeling on the breezes.
Another place we stopped along the way was Salisbury where we found this beautiful building. An honor roll is posted on the front of the building, listing the names of those who have fallen in service to the nation.
The Palladian windows surely are beautiful, but I'm really curious about the funky little peaks at the top of the building. I wonder if they are original...

Let me know if you'd like to see more snippets from our 251 ramblings. We sure are having fun finding places we have never been before.

Later today we pulled the garlic from the garden, Batman mowed the lawns and picked more blueberries and I finally finished doing a huge reorganization of my sewing studio. My "to do"list has been refreshed and I have a brand new iron. 

August...watch out!

I'll slay you yet.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

august light

i try to keep my word.
but i missed a few days of august loveliness.
maybe i let you down.
i didn't mean to...

i'll press onward.

tonight the light is gorgeous.

after a few toasty days, this morning we awoke to overcast
skies and a few showers.
now the breeze is cool and the sun is setting.

do you see those amber waves across the road?
yesterday i realized we've crossed over the peak of summer.
the sun is our shepherd,
guiding us through the seasons so faithfully.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

trouble with a capital "t"

hello again august.

in an effort to take some of the sting out of your 
reign this month,
i've decided not to take you too seriously.
i bought something today that will help distract me from your


 i've seen letter boards all over the internet lately.
(they must be "trendy"?)

letterfolk's IG feed is fun.
they sell very spiffy products, 
but i found this letter board on super sale at a big box store.
(not my usual shopping style)

i think batman and i are in proper trouble now... 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

wrestling (as usual) with august

Oh, August, here you are again...my least favorite month. At least you have arrived in a well-behaved manner...not too hot, not too humid. But I will keep an eye on you. 

In an effort to resist your usual effect on me (that would be a slothful mind and lazy body) I pledge to post summertime loveliness here at sew and sow life every day in August.  

I may take a few days off next week for something special, but otherwise I'll do my best to bring you, dear readers, a few ways to resist the summer blues. 

I'll start my August promise off with snail mail and a book.

Did you know that 2017 marks the centenary of the birth of Andrew Wyeth? These handsome postage stamps (above) were issued to mark the occasion. Wyeth is on my top ten list of favorite artists and so I have hoarded a few sheets of these beauties to use for special snail mail. (I'll be happy to send a bit of snail mail with a Wyeth stamp on the envelope to the first person to leave a comment below).

Our book club is reading A Piece of the World for discussion this month.  A novel inspired by Wyeth's painting Christina's World, and written by Christina Baker Kline, you can read about it here. 

"See" you tomorrow.


Friday, July 28, 2017

hello again...

after days and days filled with delightful guests and inspiring travels, i find myself here at "a bit of earth" with a few quiet moments to savor summer in vermont. here are some snapshots you may enjoy...

-fabric procured at gather here in cambridge, ma.
-my japanese indigo, soaking up the sun in the garden.
-freckled lettuce. from the garden to the salad bowl in minutes. freshest.
-the blueberries are ready!!!
-black-eyed-susans and some of her cousins, filling the meadow with their fragrance.
-"green and white is always right", complete with lingering wedding memories.
-an open window in the kitchen, lentils soaking under a bamboo mat, destined for lemony marinated lentils from at home in the whole food kitchen, by amy chaplin.
-tiny wooden spoons, stored in a miniature abenaki pack basket, (with a prosecco cork celebrating the baby news), set by the kitchen sink. brings a smile each time i see it.
-print by jennifer judd-mcgee, purchased at her shop, swallowfield on mt. desert, me. "always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder."   -e.b.white

As we continue to watch the nonsense in our nation's capital unfold, I have found myself seeking out beauty and loveliness with great intention. It has become my summer treasure hunt...to visit places and see things that defy the darkness. Keep an eye on this space in the next few weeks...I'll do my best to share some of the things that have sustained me. 

"Life can sometimes be a wrestling match between love and fear. We can CHOOSE which to embrace. Every day. On my "to do" list? Breathe, hope, notice, invite, love, create, wonder, celebrate. "
-monday, january 19th, 2009...my very first day of blogging.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017


someone is arriving this evening for a visit.
i brought a bit of the meadow to her bedside.

The summer seems to be evaporating. 
In a good, life is filled-to-the-brim kind of way.
So many exciting changes in our family...two moves and a grandbaby on the way, too.
A grandbaby.
Our first.


It moves along even when you wish you could capture it and slow it down.

So I am noticing.

Little things.
Like the slant of the light at all different times of the day.
The stars in the pitch dark sky of the night.
The warmth of a smile.
The coyotes' call and response in the dark.
The freshest of vegetables, prepared as simply as possible.
The hum of the ceiling fan, and sleeping under just a cotton sheet.
The tang of icy cold lemonade.

It's a practice, this noticing.
A spiritual practice.
Being fully present.

As the summer slips into the dog days, what are you noticing friends?

Monday, July 10, 2017

the three season room

sorry i've been absent.

we've been recovering.

from all the wedding prep,
and all the wedding excitement,
and all the wedding clean-up.

finished up just days before the festivities began,
we transformed the three season porch
from dark and dingy
to fresh and inviting.

(most of our home is decorated in
peaceful and muted tones,
but we went with bright and whimsical 
for the three season room).

now one can step from the dining room 
into the three season room,
then out onto the deck
and then out into the yard. 

summer living.

reading, napping, dining,
sewing, knitting, chatting, 
jigsaw puzzling, card playing,
letter writing....

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

lindsey and scott's wedding

the tent went up on wednesday,
along with an infusion of love in the air.
wednesday night brought local strawberries, local whipped cream
and shortbread made by the bride.
batman and i hosted dinner at "a bit of earth"
for the bride, groom and scott's parents.
buckets of flowers from stitchdown farm,
a local place the next town south.
the bride, minutes before she headed to the meetinghouse
just down the road, to get hitched.
the bride and her bouquet.
(with a few flowers from batman's "peony crescent").
she and her groom left the ceremony perched on a straw bale
 in the back of our pickup.
they threw chocolate coins to the crowd
(a la sense and sensibility).
my toast may have made the bride tear up,
and her groom crack up.
sorry, not sorry.

the reception food from our favorite local eatery,
 the black krim tavern was fabulous.

the beer drinkers loved the brews from bent hill brewery
(our neighbors...if you look carefully between the hops
on their webpage, you can barely see our falu red house up the hill!)

just trying to keep everything local!
the lonesome jukebox helped us "dance the night away".
the bride, having some fun at the end of the day.
hannah and lindsey, still celebrating on sunday morning.
the bride and her big brother,
cooking birthday breakfast for batman
in our vermont kitchen on tuesday.

we also celebrated the tenth anniversary of
finding our "bit of earth" yesterday too.

there was so much love and joy and happiness
floating around here, it's really hard to describe.

sometimes that's the way the most sacred things turn out to be.
hard to describe, but easy to feel.

(with thanks to berissima on instagram
and the bride's sister hannah
for a few of these photos, the rest are mine)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017

to sit and breathe

-sweet wilma, waiting out the heat.
-the mountain ash, (or rowan tree), filled with blossoms.

our rainbow flag is flying proudly this month, and today i'm thinking about pulse in orlando. "he who shall not be named" continues in his downward spiral. there is much to distract us.

and yet, here on braintree hill, june has crept in with birdsong, breezes from the west and steamy afternoons...far from the rumbles of the clanging world.

even as wedding preparations continue, there are moments of respite. 

-a tall glass of water with a lemon slice floating amongst the ice cubes.
-a bowl of pickled radishes, a weck's jar of marinated golden beets, a bag of washed greens from our csa, and a jar of sliced carrots...all waiting in the fridge ready to add to relaxed meals.
-a "something blue" project, on the cutting mat in the cooler basement sewing studio.
- the refuge of meditation, and the availability of the present moment to bring calm and peace to a busy mind.

and happy 88th birthday to anne frank, wherever you are, dearest one.
Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

mother of the bride ponderings

lately, i've been thinking a lot about dumbledore's army.
there's a handcrafted nimbus 2000 hanging in the breezeway, 
just in case.

this morning while listening to vermont public radio,
i heard a kindred spirit, madeleine m. kunin.
listen to her here.

there are others too.
mayors, governors, academics and so many good hearted souls
who are pledging to uphold the 
paris climate agreement.

“It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight, 
and fight again, and keep fighting, 
for only then could evil be kept at bay, 
though never quite eradicated. . . .”

as i wash windows, put up screens,
inventory the bed linens, plan meals,
paint, weed, spread mulch
and watch the wedding countdown
slip away...

i'm reminded that when a couple says 
"i do"
a leap of faith happens and the light of
hope and love
beams into the darkness.


Monday, June 5, 2017

june 5th

how to carry on?
after one man's decision impacts the future of the world?

i have been stuck here for days,

i've been reading poetry.
especially mary and wendell

wandering the road,
looking up at the sky,

i am glad i made room for the mourning.

but now the lupines in the meadow are beginning to open.

and the persistence must be tenfold.

 (and london, too...)


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

triptych 39

june will be all about...

something old,
something new,
something borrowed,
something blue.

i invite you to follow along here
at sow and sew life
as i find shelter during a very busy month.

-blue and whites found at the annual vintage linen sale
at the gifford medical center auxiliary thrift shop.
(some are destined for the next indigo dye pot.)
-blueberry blossoms
it just might be happening...


Sunday, May 28, 2017

heaven scent

my grandmother's ewer
and some vermont lilacs.