inhale...exhale...relax your shoulders...repeat as often as needed

Monday, June 28, 2010

wondrous fluttering and slithering

 there is magic all around our place in vermont.
here are two night time beauties out by the porch light!
sometimes they dance, sometimes they rest.
and, OH! the fireflies!
henry keeps me up at night, 
chattering as he watches them from the windowsill.
our friendly garter snake shed this amazing skin out in the grass.
imagine moulting your former self by sliding
yourself out through your mouth,
leaving behind this beautiful skin
complete with scales, eyes and nostrils!

happy birthday to batman yesterday, and  on the very same day, happy third anniversary of our discovery of our "bit of earth".

on friday, i went to the vermont quilt festival for the first time ever. quilts, vendors, demos galore. and i met my blogging friend paula, of quiltcat's mewsings, who is as sweet in person as she is online. she was one of my very first followers, and now we have plans to meet again next year. 

are you finding magic in your days?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

we interrupt this afternoon for some good news

This morning I was delighted to find this post at secret notebooks/wild pages.

Melanie has inspired me to post a few more links. Because, really, there are fun, thoughtful and hopeful things going on in the world, even if we have to dig around to find them. Here's some that are worth a peek...

Tomorrow, I am headed up to our "bit of earth" for most of July. There is no internet, tv or cell phone reception (which may explain my recent rash of internet prowling). I may post from the library or occasional coffee shop, but I am looking forward to being more technology free for a bit.

In the meantime, I hope all of you find time to do what you love best. And don't forget your sunscreen!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

the power of intention, commitment and patience

i took our VTF jar to the coin counting machine
 at our local bank today.

$57.00 in paper bills+$155.47 in coins=$212.47
to be deposited later this week in our savings account in a bank in vermont.
this is how our "bit of earth" got started years and years ago.
and how we are saving for a tractor now.

always bend over and pick up those coins,
check the cushions in the sofa,
stash the occasional birthday check,
return those bottles for the deposit money...


Monday, June 21, 2010


Henry and I are not big fans of the summer.
Fall is the best, we do like the winter, and spring is lovely.
But summer with its heat and humidity...
we say yuck to all that. 
So as Henry zones out,
I am thinking about ways to embrace the summer.
  • enjoy our time at our "bit of earth"(we are so blessed and lucky to have it).
  • visit the State of Craft exhibit in Bennington.
  • read some books that have long been on my list.
  • sew, sew, sew.
  • weed, water and eat from the garden.
  • write snail mail.
  • grocery shop at Hunger Mountain Co-op.
  • sip wine on the deck and watch the mountains fade into dusk (watch fireflies).
  • attend our niece's wedding in Madison, WI in August.
  • revisit Bread and Puppet.
  • go with Gretta to the Merck Forest sheepdog trials
  • listen to the night noises through open windows.
  • eat local tomatoes, corn on the cob and other summer delights.
  • host family and friends in the guest room, the three season porch and tents!
  • stroll on the road, camera in hand.
  • listen to VPR, morning, noon and night (especially "an eye on the sky").
So maybe summer will be OK,
after all.

What are you looking forward to this summer?
It would be such fun to hear from you...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

it's a scorcha, yes it is!

On Wednesday, as the carpet guy rolled out the new wall to wall he said, "This is one of our best values". I answered, "Well, ya, I have lots of other things I'd rather spend my money on than carpet!" In any case, Henry has given it his seal of approval.  And now the bookcases have been moved into my new studio, and I've got all my books exactly where I want them. The rest comes later...

Batman and I have been ripping through our weekend list of things to do. The weather here has been hot and humid, just in time for summer. We finally slowed down mid-afternoon. We are now under the ceiling fan, while Batman channel surfs between the World Cup/ baseball/the US (golf) Open. It is Father's Day, after all. I am enjoying a concoction of ice, a splash of white wine and a few glugs of sparkling water...

So here are some links I've been meaning to share...just a bit of internet wanderings.

I first "met" Bobbi last fall, when we were doing the Art Every Day Challenge. Lately, she has been writing a series on herbs, my favorite has been her post on lavender. Bobbi posts often about the art she's working on. She's an inspiration.

Judy has just returned from a trip, and look at her beautiful work, inspired by the landscapes in Italy. She's also adopting two kittens this week, I'll bet there will be some cute pictures ...

When the oil mess in the gulf begins to overwhelm me, I head over to Lovely World, where there are beautiful things to look at. And more. And something to do, if you are able to be near the sea on June 26th.

And I invite you to go on over to my dear friend Mary's blog, to read about something you can do to help fight the ugly beast of cancer. It's quick and easy. (I have a handful of friends with cancer, who I am keeping in my thoughts. Maybe you do too).

Do you have any good links to share?

Friday, June 18, 2010

a very quick round trip

I had a morning full of meetings yesterday.
When I got home, Gretta and I hopped in the car and drove to
our "bit of earth"in Vermont.
We had a light supper and then wandered the place 
before bedtime.
These days that are close to the solstice are so long and gentle.
We admired la luna.
Here she is, high in the sky at dusk.
Our pear trees have baby pears!
And we got up early, to put the wire cages and 
netting over the blueberry bushes.
Then we closed things up, hopped in the car again,
and I dropped Gretta at camp where she'll be working this summer.
A mere 28 hours after I left home, I am back in CT. *sigh*
Batman and I will undertake a "work weekend" here in Connecticut
before I retreat to our "bit of earth" for the month of July.
Looks like tomorrow's going to be "a scorcha"as we say at our house.

What's on your to do list this weekend?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


The greatest prayer is patience.
-Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the fox plot thickens...

we think there may actually be two.
and we think this is their den,
just a few short yards from our screened porch.
we've seen him/them every day for a week.
i spent the afternoon out on the porch with two friends.
sometimes just listening is the best thing one can do for a friend.
we saw the fox/es twice.
they are cheeky beasts.
and wicked cute.

Monday, June 14, 2010

tea cozy

I made a tea cozy for Lindsey for her birthday.

Here's a detail of the quilted "steam" coming out of the spout.
I incorporated one of my grandmother's hankies.
The back of the tea cozy is cut from a tea towel.
I'm glad she likes blue and white, too. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

can you guess...

...where we went with the birthday girl*?
(Hannah, *Lindsey, Gretta)

"Go thou my incense upward from this hearth."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

los arboles

birches, at our "bit of earth"
vermont, winter 2010

Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.
-Rabindranath Tagore

(S)he who plants a tree, plants a hope.
-Lucy Larcom

Both quotes from this gorgeous book that I gave Batman for our anniversary.

Friday, June 11, 2010

just catching up a bit

wild indigo
Thought I'd give a quick update... 

Hannah and I had a most fun-filled road trip out to Indiana and back. My board meetings were full, rigorous and productive. I am truly honored to do this good work with fine people. Had some fun catching up with old friends, and attended Meeting on Sunday morning. My friends Nancy and Rich were my warm hearted hosts once again, and I always love being called "Auntie Karen" by their kitties. Hannah spent time with buddies who are still on campus, doing summer research and working. On Sunday afternoon we drove east to Ohio and spent Monday morning at the boarding school where she'll be teaching in the fall. I was happy to see the campus, and we got a peek at what will become her small apartment in the girl's dorm. We had a L-O-N-G drive home, getting in around 10:30PM.

Meanwhile, Gretta flew back East from her first year in college in IL,(we waved to her in the sky!). She and Batman had projects here in CT that they were busy with. Check out the chipper over at her blog.

Early on Tuesday morning, I took Gretta to the oral surgeon to have 3 wisdom teeth pulled. Hannah and I have been spoiling her with milkshakes and grilled cheese sandwiches on squishy white bread (ew!). A few of her friends from high school came over yesterday to cheer her up, and I think they helped her turn the corner. She's a lot more perky and back to herself today.

Hannah is sorting through her life's belongings, trying to cull stuff for Goodwill and recycling. She's sanded a dresser from "the Reed childhood collection" and is painting it a sassy purple/raspberry color. She's having fun envisioning her new, very own digs.

Lindsey just got word that in July, she'll be traveling with a delegation from work to Guatemala! She is very psyched. And she'll be turning 26 on Sunday. Of course, this has me stunned. I don't mind getting a few years older, but it blows me away when it happens to my kids.

Stew and Dawn are plugging away out in Oregon. Stew started a wonderful google document that we are all adding to...the hopes and dreams we have about a possible shared future in Vermont, someday.
Very cool stuff.

Batman and I were tickled to find this bottle of wine on the kitchen counter when we came home from our anniversary dinner Wednesday night. Hannah and Gretta are just so sweet.

The carpet for the new studio will be installed next week. I am beyond exasperated with this slow moving project, but I have let my expectations go, I've been taking deep breaths, and it will be done when it gets done, right? And I will love it! 

I stewed some rhubarb from the CT gardens yesterday, I've got some sun tea brewing and I'll be making a big batch of granola this afternoon. And this morning our handsome young fox was back. For better or worse, I love catching sight of his cute face.

Well, that's a bit more than I usually share about my family.  I just love them, and I feel so blessed to have the two youngest with us for a bit. I don't like to take anything for granted. That's when life gets downright dangerous.

Happy Friday! Any good plans for the weekend?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

our backyard visitor

taken through the screened window on the porch, 
the photos are a bit fuzzy. 
look who stopped by our connecticut backyard!
he's been here the last few mornings.
i think he's a youngster, 
there's no white tip at the end of his tail.

i have always loved red foxes.
isn't he cute and handsome at the same time?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

4 colored pencils and half an hour

my brain is filled with horizons and images of the intersections of
blue sky, white clouds and green, green, green.

hannah and i waved to the wind turbines,
zoomed through the tunnels of the pennsylvania turnpike
and did a lot of critiquing of driving styles.
theses are a few quick, rough sketches i did
this morning, to help me remember this road trip.

p.s. happy 31st anniversary, batman.
who knew we could get this close to our dream?
just a few more years...and it will all be really real.
(work is love made visible)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

flowers for kiffer

Hannah and I are safely home from our mid west road trip, but I'll share stories about that later.

Today I want to say just a little bit about the blogging world, and how it helps us make connections.

I follow a lot of blogs, of many varieties. Sewing, knitting, art quilting, gardening, parenting, indy crafting, education, greening, spirituality. I love the inspiration, camaraderie and fun that these blogs add to my life. I see and learn things that expand my world and give me hope. I try not to have favorites, because, after all, every blog has something to add to the online conversations of life. 

But there is one that I simply adore.  Jackie Morris, (a children's book illustrator) ghost writes a most lovely blog about the life of her cats and dogs on the coast of Wales. The photographs are spectacular, and the pastoral wanderings they take together are simply delightful. We three, ginger cats tales is worth a look for anyone wanting a break from the ordinary world.

Recently, their dear Kiffer died in his sleep. I'm guessing he was my Henry's favorite, because they shared a paleness of ginger fur. We will dearly miss reading of Kiffer's prowling, and yes, we have sent our condolences off to our friends in Wales. Kiffer's passing reminds us of how dear pets can be to us, and of how even in cyber space, we can all come to appreciate that our journeys on this planet can be shared in heartfelt ways.

Rest in peace, dearest Kiffer the Pale.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

life in the fast lane

oh merciful heavens.
i took this picture with my i-phone,
(a mocha milk shake..."half price happy hour" at steak and shake) 
e-mailed it to myself, 
downloaded it to a computer in the library,
and posted it to the blog!
i am amazed at my techno-dinosaur self!
i guess you really can teach an old dog new tricks.

hannah and i have had a fun and adventure-filled drive out to indiana.
including a tow by AAA out of a drainage ditch at the edge of a parking lot.
in the midst of a severe thunderstorm.

that experience will make our board proceedings look like a picnic.

what have you been up to lately?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

i really like this...

Life is the school.
Love is the lesson.
-a bumper sticker

(those hands are from a very old, unfinished project
that's now at the very top of my summer  "to do" list.) 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

open studios and family fun

lobelia, planted in
 a La Grange, IL yard sale find.
hanging on the porch at
our "bit of earth" in Vermont.

When I am away from the internet (at our "bit of earth" in Vermont), I have to make do with occasional and quick posting at the curbside in front of the library, where there's Wi-Fi. Someday I may be ticketed for loitering! I have missed being in touch with many of your blogs, and hope to catch up soon.

Today I am back in CT, but will hit the road again tomorrow for board meetings at Earlham. My laundry is spinning as I write! (And Gretta and I will be passing one another in the midwest, in opposite directions!)

So much fun we had in Vermont...with Hannah and Lindsey with us for assorted bits of the weekend. There was a camp fire and some inappropriate fireworks (Batman....), eating at both ends of the food spectrum (local, healthy produce and chips and s'mores), weeding and planting and watering. The recent crazy, hot weather and lack of rain scorched a few of the newly planted of the risks of trying to live between two places at once.

Armed with the Studio Tour Guide, we navigated the back roads of Vermont and saw a field filled with lambs, herds of beautiful Jersey cows and lots of farmers out haying. Open Studio Weekend in Vermont is one of my favorite weekends of the year. Here's a peek at my favorites from this year. (Click here to see the studios I visited last year.)

On Saturday, I drove north of Burlington to see Carol E. S. MacDonald, whose studio is perched on the edge of the Winooski River. She does monoprints, limited editions, and I have long loved her work (especially her crows!). Lately she has been working with images of skeins of yarn, knitting needles and knitted yarn. She was very generous with her time, demoed her printing press, chatted about inspiration, time management and the development of her ideas. I came out of her studio into the sunshine and realized we had been talking for ages. I'm grateful for her generosity of spirit!

On Sunday, Hannah and Batman joined me. After breakfast at Eaton's, we stopped by the studios of Michael Barsanti and Anne Mapplebeck in South Royalton. They are artists and activists, working to challenge us to pay attention to what's happening in the world.  I loved Anne's textile work. Her flags, made of old clothing, incorporate into the stripes the names of soldiers killed in Afganistan and Iraq. Her current work with men's buttondown oxford shirts is very evocative. We had a great conversation with the two artists about public art projects and how they can draw folks into current world issues.

We also stopped by the studio of Sabra Field. It was the first time in the 18 years of the Open Studio tradition that Sabra has opened her doors to the public. We are big fans of her work, and enjoyed seeing how her pieces come together.

Late on Sunday, Lindsey joined me in a visit to our local White River Craft Center where our friend Susan Rockwell talked about her hand weaving. Her stunning shawls are amazingly beautiful and soft. Susan will be teaching at Fletcher Farm this summer...weaving does have an allure...but I really don't need any more distractions!


Hope you all had fun, long weekends!

P.S. Thanks for all the dandelion love! :-)