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

Sunday, October 31, 2010


The Pumpkin Tide

I saw thousands of pumpkins last night
come floating in on the tide,
bumping up against the rocks and
rolling up on the beaches;
it must be Halloween in the sea.

-Richard Brautigan
see here

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

living the good life

this was the view from our "bit of earth" this morning.
i was imagining setting out on a barge into the mists of avalon...
and down the road a piece, if you looked toward the east,
this magical view could drive you to distraction.
batman has been building new garden beds.
he treated them with linseed oil,
 and installed them yesterday.
this morning we drove the truck up to montpelier,
and bought a square yard of soil from
we came home and laid layers of newspaper down on the lawn
in the new beds, hosed them down with water,
and shoveled and raked the mulched soil into the beds.
this is a modified "lasagna" gardening method.
by spring planting, we hope the turf will have died back,
allowing us to plant crops with shallow roots.
we've essentially doubled our planting space!

supper last night...
fresh butternut and pumpkin ravioli
topped with onions and fresh sage sizzled in olive oil.
broiled baby bok choy, drizzled with olive oil
 and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
big green salad.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

soaking in more of the best season

there's been a rustle, rustle in the neighborhood.
my birch friends, all quiet and autumnal.
here's a bunch of happy nubians.
we met them at trevin farms b&b,
where we took a goat cheese making workshop this morning
(thanks to lindsey's holiday gift).
kevin walked us through the process and convinced
us that raw milk is the way to go...
and had us thinking that maybe gretta IS right...
maybe we really DO need goats someday...

our rural "tool box" grows!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


the robins are flocking and feasting on the last of the crabapples.
the landscape is full...
of edges and layers,
 of stark patterns and muted hues 
and the play of light and weather.
the foggy air is so full that it glistens on the boughs.
the orange tipped plow markers have been installed along the road
and the last of the corn stalks are being harvested.
it is oddly warm.
folks are saying, "snow, come friday"...

Monday, October 25, 2010

hushed and...


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

guest post by lindsey

Our oldest daughter, Lindsey and a posse of her friends from Boston, retreated to our "bit of earth" a while ago. A large white pine, out in the meadow had been struck by lightning last summer, and we were happy to have some help in sending it on to it's next incarnation. Here's the story, in her courtesy of Lindsey and friend Eric M.
This project got started last summer, when Dave and some campers cut the first notch into this dying White Pine.
The weekend crew started hacking in from the other side with our unique "spiral cut".
We started backing away when the tree reached "beaver" level - axed in from all sides so there was only about 8 inches holding the whole thing upright. Good timing too, because before we knew it, Lauren dealt the death blow and it was time to yell a victorious "TIMBER!"
There's nothing like taking a huge tree down with 100% human power!
The Posse!

(Note from The Mom, some of these folks are seasoned outdoors people, 
with wilderness first aid certification, and lots of camping and forestry experience.
 Some of this may look scary to you,
but they knew what they were up to.)

and please scroll down to the previous post for a quick message...


i'll be wearing purple tomorrow.
will you?

and i'll be taking a small blogosphere break for the next few days.
be well.

Monday, October 18, 2010

celebratory stitching

years ago, judy worked with my brother nelson,
and then became friends with my mumsie.
now, thanks to judy's blog, and recent meet ups,
we have become friends.
i am so grateful for her friendship.
this spring, we took jane's online class together,
and we decided to be "lab partners",
sharing feedback with one another, and comparing notes.
judy's perspective really helped me grow and stretch.
linen, cotton fabric, embroidery floss, vintage buttons, 
frayed selvedges, cotton thread

when she stitched me a beautiful portrait of henry for my birthday,
i started thinking of what i could do for her.
her recent sewing room rehab inspired the color palate,
and i had these vintage buttons, just waiting for a project...
so i made her this wee wall hanging.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

walking at weir farm

i spent most of the weekend cleaning the house and 
doing some dense reading for an upcoming board meeting at earlham.
at around three this afternoon, 
i realized i was looking out the window at the 
blue sky and changing leaves, more than i was reading...
so i put on my walking shoes and headed down to weir farm
for a hike around the pond.
read about this magical place here.
inspired by m. heart, i took a reflection picture.
this was one of our favorite family walks,
when all four kids were still home.
the woods are full of beautiful beech and oak trees,
mountain laurel and meandering stone walls.
no fancy shmancy masons here!
early farmers just hauled the rocks out of the ground and 
stacked them up. some with care, some just flung.

 i was feeling the spirit of my gram yesterday,
and my dad's presence was with me in "the church in the woods" today.

i've loved reading your artist lists.
i have so many new artists to explore.
many thanks for playing along!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

still connected

it's a bit early for
dia de los muertos celebrations...
but this time of year always grabs me by the heart
and makes me miss the folks who have gone on without me.
here is an eerie, old polaroid of my
grammie lowry, standing next to my wedding cake
thirty one years ago.
her birthday is october 19, 1901
and she died on october 12, 1992
just shy of her 91st birthday.
i have been longing for her company ever since. 

the veil between our world and theirs 
really does feel so, so thin at this time of year.
i can almost feel the steam rising from our tea cups,
while sitting at her kitchen table.

Friday, October 15, 2010


moaning wind
whirlpools of bright leaves
pelting rain
thumps of wind against the house
rushing stream
peace and calm
gratitude and surrender

Thursday, October 14, 2010

sneak peek... the very first project to come out of the new studio.

(no artist lists out there?)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

just for fun

making the rounds on the internet 
is a fun "quiz" asking us to name our
15 favorite artists in 15 minutes or less.
in other words, no researching/agonizing...
just a quick, from the gut list.
here's mine 
(it's a bit more, shall we say, eclectic than the ones i've seen).

beatrix potter
the wyeths (i know, that's cheating!)
carl and karin larsson (that too!)
andy goldsworthy
william morris
leonardo da vinci
mary azarian
sabra field
william b. hoyt
ansel adams
trina schart hyman
yann arthus-bertrand
m c escher
frank lloyd wright
and my favorite,
mother nature

who's on your list?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

sewing/storage island

the island!
henry, the snoopervisor.
late afternoon sunshine, plus brooding clouds,
plus amazing blaze of maples.
photos do not do them justice.
i am changed by the magic. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

just be who you are...

...and let others do the same.

happy national coming out day!

a day when gay, lesbian, bisexual, 
transgendered and questioning
folks can step out into the world, authentic and proud...
and their straight allies can hold their hands
and give 'em a hug.

love vs. fear.
let love win.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


last march i wrote:
"my disorganization keeps me from...
+actualizing my dreams
+living into my values of simplicity and good stewardship
+staying focused
+having a lovely space  in which to create"

 i have made huge progress in getting better organized 
and i'm living in better alignment with my values.
and my, oh, my does it feel good.

sometimes the most obvious  truths  take so long to sink in
and manifest  as  action.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

what is batman ironing?

his new favorite product...
veneer edging!
i LOVE this work island, but we have decided to modify it a bit.
  • we are creating a storage cube, without the knee opening, thus making maximum use of space for storage. 
  • we are using 8" legs under the cupboards, 'cause i'm a tall girl.
  • we are topping the island with a nice grade of 3/4" plywood, edged with veneer edging. (the glass idea was cool, but we worried a bit about the weight of it, the fragile nature of glass, and the expense). we will paint the plywood "stone harbor", just like the cupboards.
i hope to be moving the last of my supplies in to the island
(bigger stuff, like batting, my light table and bins of old clothes for repurposing)
by tomorrow evening.

this whole taking-forever-new-studio-project is almost done!

what are you working on this weekend?

    Friday, October 8, 2010


    It is only when we are aware of the earth 
    as poetry that we truly live.

    -Henry Beston

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    for my mumsie's!

    on monday, i popped by my mumsie's house for a cup of tea 
    (on my way home from doug and ra's).
    i brought her a little bag of goodies for an early birthday surprise.
    here's the pillow i made for her.
    the back is made with another repurposed button placket, 
    and a bit of leftover fabric from a dress i made for hannah
    when she was a little girl.
    (yes, my fabric stash is quite amazing.
    the dress had an eyelet collar, and i think it might be in 
    the "treasure box" in the attic).
    i thought my mom might like a pillow 
    that echoes the colors in my new studio.

    happy birthday mumsie!

    see other pillows here, here and here. here's another and another.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    if you're searching for hope...

    the first one, via m. heart over at  secret notebooks, wild pages.
    the second one, via my brother, doug.
    thank you, kindred spirits!

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    cranberry goodness

    after the sunday afternoon merriment,
    in the morning, ra and i took a walk around one of the cranberry bogs.
     to see pictures of last year's harvest, look here.
    as usual, doug and ra sent me home with a 
    generously sized bag full of berries.
    some will be baked into cranberry bread this week,
    some will go into the freezer for later.

    cranberries are part of my heart's calendar.
    (the things that i look forward to and
    that comfort me and reassure me.)

    Some things will never change.
    Some things will always be the same.
    Lean down your ear upon the earth, and listen.
    -Thomas Wolfe 

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    lonesome jukebox

    years ago, my brother doug, two of our cousins,
    (nate and a.j.) and a bunch of their buddies formed a 
    rockabilly band, and practiced in basements and barns.
    now they're part of the music scene on the south shore of boston,
    playing in bars, festivals, and opening for bigger names.
    yesterday i drove up to see them in action at
    t-bones roadhouse in downtown plymouth.
    lindsey drove down from boston, too
    and we all had a rockin' good time.
    there was LOTS of dancin'
    a bit of drinkin',
    and some wild and crazy singin'!

    what fun it was to hang out with family, old friends (and new)
    and just have a plain old wicked good time.

    maybe that's what the world needs... 
    ...a bit more dancin' and singin'.

    check out lonesome jukebox music here.

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    exquisite poetry

    julie is a fellow earlhamite, 
    and although our time at earlham overlapped,
    i did not know her.
    on the writer's almanac a while back,
    and i recently ordered her book.
    i was stunned by her work.
    it took my breath away.
    she and her college sweetie were married for 23 years
    before she lost him to multiple myeloma.
    her writing is full of grace and beauty.
    here's a sample.

    sometimes poetry is my spirit salve.

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    studio pics, despite the rain!

    here are some of the old cupboards that batman and i wrestled out 
    onto the lawn on saturday.
    we peeled old wallpaper, sanded and scrubbed them.
    hauled them up onto the porch and painted them, 2 coats.
    last night we set the rehabbed cupboards up in 
    my new studio space and did a little happy dance!
    i'm still not sure about the aqua curtains, am waiting 
    for a sunny day to decide if i really love them or not.
    ugly plastic bins are hiding behind door number one.
    i used bits of the very special fabric from ink and spindle 
    as an applique accent.
    this little birdy lives down in the corner, by my sewing machine,
    on the curtain helping to protect my thread rack from dust and sunlight.
    dedicated bookshelves for sewing/quilting/knitting only.

    next week there will be a studio art tour,
    and if we're lucky, a peek at the island?