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

Friday, March 31, 2017

local hope

yesterday's sunrise,
looking up the driveway, across the road and 
into our neighbor's meadow.

We're in the midst of yet another snowstorm and more depressing news from Washington, DC. I can't be the only one feeling a bit fatigued, am I?

There are two proverbs that I am trying to keep front and center these days...

The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.  -Chinese proverb

One may go a long way after one is tired. -French proverb

In the midst of these challenging times, Batman and I are making an effort to find more kindred spirits. We have been lucky to spend a few evenings with local folks and come away feeling uplifted and energized and even a wee bit hopeful.

Perhaps reading about these experiences will inspire you to go in search of hope, or maybe you have encouraging stories of your own. Please be sure to share them in the comments, below. I would be ever so grateful.

There is a local not-for-profit group called BALE which is sponsoring a five part series titled Localize the Economy:Build Resilient Communities. The first gathering included the viewing of the film called The Economics of Happiness with a discussion afterwards with one of the filmmakers,  Steve Gorelick. Parts of the film were difficult to watch as it highlighted the role of big business in globalization and the destruction of traditional cultures and the environment. But it also called us to see the possibilities of a very different paradigm--an economic system based on localization. If you are able to view this film in the future, I encourage you to do it!

The next week (this past Wednesday), BALE organized Know Your Farmer, Feed Your Farmer. A local church donated their kitchen facilities and space to sit 100 people for an amazing, free dinner (donations welcomed, of course). Sarah Natvig, owner and chef of The Black Krim Tavern, cooked the entire meal, served family style, from local ingredients.  The crowd was delightfully intergenerational, and several of the younger farmers were invited to stand and share stories of how they got started. The gathering and honoring of these young folks was absolutely hope-filled and inspiring.

We look forward to attending the remaining events in this series.

Last week we also attended a gathering at our local public library dedicated to The Bill of Rights and You. Local attorney Kelly Green, who works in the state's Defender General's office walked the crowd through a fascinating two-hour discussion of past and present issues related to our rights. Entertaining and smart, Kelly kept the crowd energized and engaged. Kelly believes that, "the Bill of Rights is working as it should" in these tumultuous times. Our dog-eared copy of the Constitution has been sitting in plain sight since last fall, and we refer to it with renewed interest since Kelly's talk.

You may have noticed my new blog header. Inspired by an online e-course I took via Portland illustrator Lisa Congdon, I have a fun idea. I'll share with you tomorrow, as we change the calendar page to April. 

Because...spring has surely got to show up one of these days, right?

xo

gentle reminder...you will find answers to your comments in the reply section of the post where you left them. i do appreciate our conversations there. :-)

Monday, March 27, 2017

spring paint

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I do love winter.
But, really...

Freezing rain today. 
(Poor lilac buds!)
Two more snowfalls last week.
Huge snowplow piles at the end of the driveway.

Wedding prep lawn/yard work is on hold.

So?
We stripped wallpaper yesterday.
I'll fill holes and dings with spackling compound this afternoon.
It's a spare bedroom in the basement, off my sewing studio.

I'm thinking SPRING GREEN for the walls.
Or ROBIN'S EGG BLUE!

What's going on in your neighborhood?

Friday, March 24, 2017

happy birthday william morris

honeysuckle fabric
william morris design

I am going your way, so let us go hand in hand. You help me and I'll help you. We shall not be here very long ... so let us help one another while we may.

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

Simplicity of life, even the barest, is not a misery, but the very foundation of refinement.

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.

Beauty, which is what is meant by art, using the word in its widest sense, is, I contend, no mere accident to human life, which people can take or leave as they choose, but a positive necessity of life.

Creative genius extraordinaire William Morris was born 183 years ago today.  His gorgeous work is still reproduced today, in England. Take a peek here

His words above, remain true and inspiring today, yes?  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

apparently...


...it's time for me to go upstairs and turn the tea kettle on. 
there is nothing else i can do here at the moment.

sheesh.

xo

Monday, March 20, 2017

stella, bernie and persephone















































The storm did blow and blow and blow... Burlington got it's second biggest snowfall in history. We got 18-20" with drifts on top of that. Wilma, Batman and I sheltered in place and loved it. We got hooked on The Great British Bake Off, inspiring Batman to make English muffins from scratch on the Home Comfort stove, which was roaring hot for days (you can see the firebox, above).

On Friday I was delighted to hear Bernie Sanders speak at Vermont Technical College. The man brought me to tears more than once. The deeper we are mired in political BS these days, the more I miss the thought of Bernie's (stolen) presidency. He is still our senator though, and he continues to speak truth to power and for that I am grateful.

The snow buntings are on the ridge, fluttering in clouds of wings. The snow is still thick on the ground, but the sun is bright and the temperature is rising. The first day of spring is being celebrated here with a string of domestic prayer flags, dancing in the bright light. Ah, the holiness of a clothesline! To mark Persephone's return, we have brought pruned branches from the pear trees into the house. Set in a vase of water and tucked on a sunny windowsill, we hope for shoots of green leaves soon. The very last of the vegetables grown here at a bit of earth last summer have come up from the root cellar and remind us of warmer days. 

Wedding planning has gone up a notch, with long-distance "to do" lists and fun text messages and collaborating boards on Pinterest. 

The energy around here seems to be rising. How is it with you, friends? What are you up to these days? 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

everything is white outside


This blizzard will melt into spring soon enough. 

For now, there is the light of a gathering of candles, the warmth of the Home Comfort's fire, the smell of dinner in the oven and the whoosh of the snowplow on the road.

The wind has picked up and we can hear the snow clatter on the windows. At least a foot out there already...

Oatmeal for brekkies tomorrow, I think. And a mug (or two) of steaming tea. 

The very simplest of things...warmth, shelter and food...feel like enormous blessings tonight. xo

Monday, March 13, 2017

good bye honeybee

Thank you Honeybee,
for keeping my Mumsie company for all those years.

I'm not sure you fully embraced life here in Vermont,
but I do know you loved watching the chipmunks
and birds from all the sunny windowsills
here at our "bit of earth".

I'm glad you found some warmth, comfort and sanctuary 
in the basket tucked behind the Home Comfort cookstove
these last few weeks.

May you rest in peace dear Honeybee.
xo

Saturday, March 11, 2017

"strong people do"


Yesterday afternoon the snow squalls came racing across the valley and the freezing temperatures have returned. We are in the grip of grey skies and yellow/brown grass and a bit of gloom.  Both the weather and the news feel much like the fog of Harry Potter's dementors...the iciness that comes as the soul is sucked out of the dementors' prey.

Jottings in my planner--things that are resonating with me these days...
"mass psychosis" (Joanna Macy, via for the wild, here)
"the politics of fear" (AFSC, here)

Inertia and defeat...I smell them.  I can feel them nipping at my heels. Like I did a bit ago. I try to stay ahead of them...

In upper case letters, I am jotting RESIST AND PERSIST. Because it's the only way forward.

So I also jot...
"action and transformations" (TED Talk by Kimberle Crenshaw, here).
"we exist, we resist, we rise" (the water protectors, here)

And last night, we braved the cold, wind and snow and drove to Burlington with friends to see Ladysmith Black Mambazo, an all-male South African a cappella singing group. Oh...the sold out show was just what the audience needed...a venue filled with joy and hope and resistance.

"Tough times never last forever, strong people do..." Listen here.

Strong people do.

Let's keep trying, friends.

xo

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

today

My Mumsie and my three daughters...just the tip of the iceberg of the fabulous women in this world. Let's all resist and persist, on International Women's Day and every day. xo

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

poignant


"If the spirit of liberty should vanish in other parts of the Union, and support of our institutions should languish, it could all be replenished from the generous store held by the people of this brave little state of Vermont." -Calvin Coolidge

Today is Town Meeting Day. Direct democracy is alive and well in the Green Mountain State. Thank goodness.

xo

Sunday, March 5, 2017




happy birthday gretta!
(you are the nasturtium queen, after all)
keep on rockin' in the free world!
thank you for your activism in the world,
for your sassiness and your spunk.
(we love you as high as the green mountains).
xo

homemade napkins made with

Saturday, March 4, 2017

thank you, buds



zero degrees, high winds and snow this morning.
five degrees, breezy and sunny just before sunset.

and still, the windowsills are filled with beauty and hope.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

mending knees and spirits

much like india flint,
i find shelter from tough times in mending,

and the quiet meditation it makes room for.
xoxo