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

Saturday, December 31, 2011


I do not understand the mystery of grace--
only that it meets us where we are and 
does not leave us where it found us.
-Anne Lamott

Thursday, December 29, 2011

perched... the top of the toboggan run.

will she or won't she?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

early evening snapshot

the spotlight confirms what the howling wind is telling us.
sideways snow is racing over the clothesline and 
around the corner of the house.

the flames in the home comfort stove hum and crackle.  turkey soup simmers on the kitchen stove. the paperwhites have opened to their fullest and their light is reflected in the dark windows. laundry dries on the wooden racks downstairs. batman is stretched out in the "comfy chair" with a library book in hand. the cat dozes. gretta is curled up in her den, laptop spinning a disc of "west wing". there are still clementines and dark chocolate, signature treats, waiting for dessert. we listen for the shushing of the plow on the road. but we won't be going out tonight. we are snug and content and blessed, right where we are. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

some handmade holiday gifts

grocery totes
a yoga mat tote bag,
made with fabric purchased at nido .
lined with an old marimekko  bed sheet
(many thanks to stew and dawn, my greenie repurposers).
i used an extra long zipper.
{and used my own tote as a prototype...
measured and sketched out a pattern from it.}
a set of babushka napkins.

i also made some coffee cup sleeves,
but forgot to take pictures of them
before i sent them off. 
a gingko zippy tote.
and another dala horse zippy tote.
a chunky mohair cowl,
gifted along with a pair of turquoise, 
handknit muttons.

now that they have been opened, 
i am happy to show you some of the fun and simple gifts 
i've been sewing and knitting.

it's been snowing off and on again here on the hill.
so pretty.

have you recovered from the seasonal festivities?

Monday, December 26, 2011

girls' day out

Lindsey, Gretta and I went over to Fat Toad Farm today, to hang out with the goats and do a bit of shopping at the farm store. Gretta and I had never been, so we were pretty psyched.
All the sweeties perked up when they heard us come into the barn, and they were super friendly and attentive. They had great names like Willow, Patty, Scarlet, Bumble and Oreo. At least forty of them are expecting kids in March, so we may go back over early in the spring. It would be fun to go for a walk in the woods with the girlies, too. We bought some goat's milk caramel and some "olive lovers' chevre", which we will be enjoying this evening.
Do you think Gretta looks like she is smitten? She wants to be an organic farmer and goatherd when she grows up. We made her get back in the car without a goat or two hidden behind her back.
Then we zoomed up to Burlington and did a bit of fabric shopping at Nido. They are one of the few shops in the US that stock Ink and Spindle fabrics, so, of course we had to get a picture of Gretta with the display. I bought a little bundle of 7 different fabrics from Lotta Jansdotter's ECHO line, for fresh New Year's projects.

Check back tomorrow if you'd like to see pictures of some of this year's  handmade gifts.

Did you have a fab weekend?

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Peace on earth,
goodwill to all.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

what it's all about

wishing you could stop by for
tea, sugar cookies and clementines.
we could work on our last minute projects
here at the table.
we could share recipes and 
celebrate this special season together.
there are so many ways to celebrate...
lighting advent candles, the hanukkah menorah,
the yule log, solstice bonfires, 
sending loving kindness...

i am comforted to know that all of us who are held together by 
the web of this global and diverse online community
are illuminated by the universal light of hope and love.

wishing you peace, dear friends.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ancient hope

today the sun rose at 7:26 am
and the sun set at 4:16 pm.
 in between there was nothing more than
 eight hours and fifty minutes of
but really, it was grey fog, sleet and slushy drips from the eaves.

what's a person to do?

plug in the LED tree lights
and the string of starlight!
light the candelabras at the window!
light the chandelier over the table!
cook up a festive supper with friends and family!

hope you had a chance to pause in the middle of the darkest time 
and rejoice in the turning of the sun, 
toward light and hope and renewal.


Monday, December 19, 2011

late afternoon at our "bit of earth"

as the mid-afternoon light became thinner and grayer,
i bundled up and took a walk on the road.
the wind picked up and howled so, that my eyes teared
and my ears got cold.
i spotted this nest, abandoned for now,
and wondered how far south its maker has flown.
this beautiful fungus caught my eye
and as i took the picture, 
the clump of trees creaked against one another
in the wind.
hannah and gretta, my two lumberjills, are out 
splitting wood for the stove.
i've just freshened up the table for our supper.
i'm feeling a bit like we live in 
(remember when mr. edwards brought oranges for
laura and mary's christmas stockings?)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

sending love and comfort over 937.7 miles
(i googled it).

two years...

we will not forget.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

the altar of the present moment

henry, gretta and i drove to VT yesterday,
we  picked hannah up in burlington.
 batman cruised in late at night, amid the first few flakes of snow.
we woke up to beautiful, freshly falling snow.
hannah and i attended a most amazing memorial service (the brother of one of her colleagues).
the sadness was deep and profound, 
but i felt privileged to sit in the midst of that outpouring of  love and affirmation.
later, back at our "bit of earth" as the sun set, 
we went out into our 6 acres of balsams and found  just the right one.

the intermingling of love and hope and grief and celebration and tragedy remains 
one of life's deepest mysteries for me.

that intermingling helps me worship at the altar of the present moment.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

can you feel it?

the shortest days of the year...
the darkness nipping at our heels in the mid afternoon...
the energy dip...
the pull of the hibernating cave on our mammal hearts...
the craving for comfort food...
the twinge of sadness that haunts this festive season...

just another few days and we will turn the corner
and swing back into the hope and promise of 
light and love and renewal.

in the meantime,
let us move gently and tenderly in this world.
 (the greatest gift of all?) 

Monday, December 12, 2011

raspberry magic

a little bit of forethought in august,
some patience and an occasional, gentle swirl in the fall...
produced seven bottles of raspberry cordial!
holiday cheer to give and to tuck away as well.

(ho, ho, ho indeed!)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

two buddhas in vermont

may you find peace and spaciousness of spirit
in the midst of your december days.

Friday, December 9, 2011

a sampler of hope, love and wonder

in the firebox of our antique home comfort stove,
taking off the chill at our "bit of earth"...
a weekend of friends, tree cutting and holiday cheer is on the agenda.

and here's a few links to loveliness on the internet, 
filled with hope, love and wonder.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

homeward bound

alas, i cannot show you pictures of all the sewing and knitting 
that's been going on around here.
it's been such fun to work on gifts and then stash them away.

but i digress.

there are beets simmering on the stove,
there's cranberry juice in the fridge,
the santa whirligig has come up from the basement,
the table is set for three...

batman has fetched gretta from jfk airport 
and they are on their way home.

i cannot wait to hug my youngest
(and squeeze her little guts out).

she will be time-zone-challenged...
having left brisbane nearly a day ago,
and we'll let her find her own way through the next few days.

(but i really am dying to see what she will pull
out of her backpack!)


we are now addicted to tim tam slams.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

today's meditation

mother nature's incandescence,
lighting up a foggy december windowsill.

still emerging from the translucent green bud.
scenting the air with magic.

Monday, December 5, 2011

oh tannenbaum, oh tannenbaum...

our favorite lumberjack is still in australia,
i was attending a board meeting here in CT.

batman enjoyed a weekend in VT where he singlehandedly 
cut, hauled and loaded the trees this year.
i had the fun pleasure of making the delivery
this morning.

to see where these beauties ended up,
click here.

i get to do such fun things.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

sewing studio secrets

something soft and chunky
a matching set
a little something zippy

easing into the holiday season.

how about you?

Friday, December 2, 2011

setting intentions for this season

As we cruise into the shortest, darkest days of the year, I have been thinking about how to stay grounded and healthy. The holiday season can be filled with excesses...consumerism, rich foods, rushed and careless drivers, too much to do in too little time, expectations that may not be met...the list goes on. I've been collecting some intentions for myself, some very simple practices to support my immune system and my spirit. There is nothing here that takes too long, and each can be sprinkled in through the day, whenever it fits. I thought I'd share the list here with you. I may even go so far as to make a chart to check off my progress EVERY DAY. 
  1. Brush my teeth and floss. Simple, I know, but I'm still working on making flossing a habit.
  2. Take specific vitamins and herbal supplements. Another no brainer, but sometimes I forget.
  3. Stretch. Best case? Every muscle, with care. Worst case? Hands over head and down to the floor whenever I can catch a minute to do it.
  4. Eat to nourish. Period.
  5. Get outside and walk in rain, sun or snow. The longer the better. But I'll take what I can get, even if it's just from the farthest parking space to the door of the destination.
  6. Make time to sit down and read a poem. Some of my favorite poets? Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver, Marge Piercy, Danna Faulds, Richard Wilbur.  Cries of the Spirit , a fabulous anthology of women's poetry, edited by Marilyn Sewell.
  7. Meditate. Set aside the time to sit or catch a bit of time between commitments. But breathe deeply, relax and empty out the monkey chatter.
  8. Hydrate. Morning, noon and night.
  9. Send at least one piece of snail mail "just because".
  10. Recommit to my ritual of evening gratitude.
I would love to know what you might add to this list. What are some of the things you do to take good care of yourself? (Because, really, we are no good to others if we're grouchy, tired and run down).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

still remembering

today i am remembering all the young men
 i worked with and lost in the mid 1980's.

today i am hopeful about the progress that has been made
in the fight against AIDS.

today i am sobered to know that AIDS and many other
deadly diseases still prowl the world.

today i am reminded to 
cherish each day and to be fully present.
today i am reminded to 
do what i can with my one life.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

a sweater and a quilt on two different sides of the world

my knitting guru friend franny has been here in CT for a few days.
she talked me through the next steps on my cardigan.
the decreasing has begun,
making way for the shawl collar.

read all about gretta's adventures in
australia here.

she made a quilt top with fabric she designed and screened
while interning at ink and spindle.

here's a huge shout out of gratitude
to lara and teigs
for tucking gretta into their studio
and filling her head with wonderful, inspiring ideas!

Monday, November 28, 2011

before the next season swallows us up...

finding sage under a foot of snow
having my snow tires put on the day before the foot of snow arrived
ukulele and guitar duets
intergenerational, raucous laughter
taboo and bananagrams
lots of help in the kitchen
walks in the woods and on the road
family from near and FAR
a fabulous turkey from the Green Mountain Girls Farm
wood fired pizza baked in the Home Comfort
a shooting star against the blackest sky
watching Orion set at dawn
Batman setting off fireworks
the flash of coyotes at the edges of the headlights
lunch at Tiny Thai in Winooski
DVD's and Che-Ha (Chex mix)
hot, spiced cider
conversations and planning and reminiscing
the sweet little airport in Burlington
and underneath it all...
deep gratitude.

and now we are all scattered back in the "real" world.

did you do some "gratitude accounting"?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

gathered and gone

the quiet reflection that comes with an empty house
feels like the other side of 
the energized anticipation of their arrival.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

around the table

Gratitude is heaven itself.
-William Blake

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


could there be a better day to bake pies?
granny smith apple and 
from-the-garden pumpkin

forks, anyone?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

missing some...

-the Head and the Heart
for stew and dawn and nelson in oregon
gretta in melbourne.

there's always a place at the table for you guys.
even in spirit.