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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

fending off the forecast

the forecast keeps changing.
hoping these tulips on our dining room table 
will intimidate the n'or easter!
this multigrain wrap with white bean spread
and colorful raw veggies sure looks like spring.

The act of putting into your mouth
what the earth has grown is perhaps
your most direct interaction
with the earth.
-Frances Moore Lappe
i went rummaging into my "special" box of goodies
and decided it's time to pull out the chard ribbon.
stitched onto another tea towel.

it was inspired by a bumper sticker i saw this morning...
Love people, cook them tasty food.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

another walking pouch

last spring i made one of these.
yesterday i needed a small project
and came up with this red and green stitching on brown.
very different colors, but springy all the same.

are you working on any spring projects?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

caught up in the fullness of life

Live to the point of tears.
-Albert Camus

I have been to Earlham College and back, where our board of trustees had a special meeting to come to consensus in choosing our next president (details to follow when our choice becomes official). What an experience to be part of that work in support of a place I hold dear to my heart!  I am humbled, inspired and energized by sitting with so many fine people, who brought the best of themselves to the process. 

Good conversations with family and friends, feeling nourished by the vegan adventure Batman and I have been on, the promise of spring, being moved by podcasts of OnBeing, getting back into my sewing studio...even doing household chores with attention and devotion...

And, yes, knowing the darker places of our days...friends struggling with illness and grief, the concerning news from Japan, the strife in Libya and so many other places in our human family...

Sometimes I do feel that I live to the point of tears.

And isn't that a blessing? 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

grow anywhere

original art and some beans in a fabric pouch.

a blue pick up truck filled with broccoli?
what's not to love?

 elizabeth over at
little city big love
had a giveaway and i was a lucky winner.
elizabeth and her partner are trying to live
in an urban apartment complex, as sustainably as they can.

thanks, elizabeth!

now i am off on a secret 36 hour mission...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

join me?

tonight at 8:30.
imagine a ripple of darkness passing
over the globe,
time zone, by time zone...
reminding us of the precious resources we use.
paying attention.
always a good idea, eh?

Friday, March 25, 2011

a magical gift...

...from one of my favorite bloggers. watch this.

stitching spring

tea towel therapy.
good for what ails you.
this weekend may you find time to
breathe, stretch, rest, restore.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

box full of fun

my first order from moo arrived last week.
i'm making progress on one of my
"year 54" goals.
deadlines do motivate, eh?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

right now

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass you by in the quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
-Mary Jean Irion

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

vegan adventure-week two

Our fabulous friend Liz has joined us for a few vegan suppers. She does gorgeous flower arranging, and for fun, she created this "vegan centerpiece".  We have been eating it ever since!

Week two of the vegan adventure was filled with yet more delicious food. Things got a bit more complicated, as Gretta has been home from college, and we have been traveling to see friends and family. On Monday, Lindsey hosted a vegan friendly pot luck in Massachusetts, and we found a restaurant with a vegan option for lunch when we visited my Mumsie. Then we were back in our Connecticut kitchen for a few days, where we tried a few new recipes. It felt like old times, with Gretta sitting at the kitchen island, chopping and chatting and listening to NPR with me. Hannah, who works in Ohio, was in NYC this past weekend, and we took the train in to meet her on Friday night for dinner at Blossom, a wonderful vegan restaurant in the Chelsea neighborhood. Then on Saturday, we headed to Vermont to welcome spring. We had friends over for dinner, and they loved the maple chocolate chip cookies that Batman whipped up. (Especially because it was Maple Open House Weekend in Vermont.We went back to Turkey Hill Farm this year to stock up from our local producer.)

So, what am I noticing half way through this workshop? I like using unrefined sugars, because they seem to keep my energy more level. I've been reminded of how much I prefer making fruits and veggies the center of our meals. I'm not missing meat at all, and I have been able to detour around all the dairy I thought I'd miss. I had a few french fries on the run and thought, hmm, "don't need those". Cooking this way does take some planning and a bit of prep, but I like the sense of organization it gives my late afternoons. I've also come to see that's the time of day I am most prone to I am trying to be sure there are peeled, raw veggies available for a quick grab from the fridge.

Ready for week three...

Friday, March 18, 2011

a day filled with intention

I loved the idea of a day of silence for Japan when I first read about it. It is a powerful idea, and almost irresistible for someone like me. But I have been rethinking my participation in a day of silence for Japan, and for several reasons I have decided to stand aside. Instead, today I will do a bit of online research at Guidestar and Charity Navigator to figure out how best to make a small difference in the lives of those suffering under the shadow of so much tragedy.

And I will make time to be silent today. To meditate, to send hopeful and loving energy to Japan.

And I will try to be compassionate in my thoughts and actions as I go about my day here in Connecticut. For we are not in the midst of the suffering in Japan, but many of us, too, are heartsick and anxious.

And I will be looking for hope and wonder...the antidotes for fear and helplessness...the sunshine, the melting snow, the budding trees, the birdsong. I will open the door to the screened porch and wear a sweater agains the slight but delicious and fresh chill. I will listen to fun tunes, I will cook good food, I will smile at strangers and I'll do my best to carry on...

What are some of your intentions for the day?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

linking to hope and action

from my indigo collection

doing good things.
thinking good thoughts.
link love for japan at poppytalk.
geninne's loveliness.

where are you finding comfort?
please share...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

overwhelming world events

There is one common flow,
one common breathing,
all things are in sympathy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

supper's main course

gretta and i drove to boston,
fetched lindsey from a half day at work
and had a wonderful afternoon, 
bopping around a warm and sunny
and giddy-for-spring city.

then we enjoyed a pot luck supper with the posse.

hanging out with young adults
helps one see hope for the world.

may i please have seconds?

Monday, March 14, 2011

after a long day

and an epic journey,
gretta is finally back in the house.

just like old times.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

vegan adventure-week one

This week's distressing news has reminded me that I sometimes find sanctuary in my kitchen. Thanks to the  cookbooks written by Buddhist  monk, Edward Espe Brown, I learned in my young adulthood that preparing food with love and attention is a devotional act. Being fully present to the task and appreciating the colors, textures and possibilities in the ingredients can bring a simple peace to work in the kitchen. Preparing food with intention for those who have gathered around my table is a way I can fill every bite with love.

Of course, in the fray of everyday life, sometimes I forget this. But this week, I found myself relaxing back into an energizing rhythm of thoughtful food preparation. Because I put great stock in coincidences I doubt it was random chance that Heather's 30 Day Vegan Workshop began this week. Heather's fabulous, simple recipes and gentle encouragement have been a salve for the rawness that this week has brought. The thread of comments on the workshop's blog have built a community of fellow travelers. This is just what I have needed.

I have become re-aquainted with the grain family and our fridge has been filled with gorgeous fruits and vegetables, even a brand new one, daikon. By Thursday, I finally screwed up the courage to try a green smoothie for breakfast...raw kale, fruits and a dash of maple syrup, whirled in the blender. Surprisingly delicious. I was reluctant to give up yogurt on my granola, but almond milk is a delightful substitute. I had never used coconut oil before, nor gomasio as a seasoning. I have an ever-ready pitcher of water in our fridge, with a few slices of lemon floating at the top (something I have done in the past, but lost track of...). My treat out in the world was a soy latte, another lovely taste surprise.

I have not had any cravings, altho Batman has confessed to missing his afternoon cookie break at work. We are loving the tastiness of the food, and the few dropped pounds (after just one week!).  So far, so good.

Both cooking and eating mindfully have been true blessings this week. And we continue our practice of holding hands and sharing a moment of silence, filled with gratitude, before we pick up our forks. It seems even more important right now.

And so, the journey is unfolding...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

1:58 pm

most of the snow has melted so quickly that these 
wee snowdrops were caught by surprise...
their yellow stems have not yet gotten 
used to the sunshine. 
after i climbed over snow piles,
(still) left by the plow,
i hung out the first batch of laundry,
fluttering in celebration of soft, gentle air.
these denim bags just keep hopping off
my sewing table!
love these curves of sweetness.

(check back tomorrow if you're curious about the vegan adventure...)

Friday, March 11, 2011

reminded again

the eerie footage from japan
has unravelled my day.
distracted, heartsick and haunted.

and i am reminded
that we never know what might happen.

and so, each and every moment is sacred.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

everyday prayer

breathing in...
...breathing out.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

another guest post from lindsey

Our daughter Lindsey works in Boston and has a wonderful posse of friends, who get together often for potluck suppers. Here she shares a recent crafty project...

I had been lamenting the lack of cloth napkins in my apartment and thought that each of these wild fabrics (all fat quarters) would suit one of my friends - that way returning guests can easily identify "their" napkin and reuse it when they're over for supper. This was a really fun, easy, and useful project for a Sunday afternoon!

I started by reviewing an excellent tutorial online and decided to start with 15" squares. Ironing the edges and pinning the corners on the first napkin was a good test for my patience (which isn't saying much because I have quite a reputation as an impatient seamstress), but by the third one I felt like a pro. Now that I've got them down, I'm considering adding some embroidery, making sets to give away, or modeling some after Mom's.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

three cheers on tuesday!

after several permutations, i am done and happy with this bag.
my own pattern...
made from recycled denim jeans and a lovely echino fabric.
a peek at pockets and key fob inside.
i bought this button at a quilt show,
years ago, knowing that i would 
find a use for it someday.

Today, International Women's Day is 100 years old! Hooray for our sisterhood, all over the planet!  And congratulations to our friend, Juana, who became "Abuelita Juanita" yesterday, when her daughter, Katherine safely delivered "Charlotte Rose".

Here's a cheeky take on the day, which I read on a sign years ago, 
Women who seek to be equal to men lack ambition.

Despite the mountains of snow that still haunt our yard,
and all the crazy flooding we have in SW CT,
I know spring is on its way, because I went outside today and 
smelled spring.
Skunk cabbage.

What are you cheering about today?

Monday, March 7, 2011

look at this local food.
fresh pea shoots in our dining room,
filled with goodness!
here's a sweet little notebook,
where i plan to keep track of my vegan adventure.
i am curious about the story it will tell over 
the next 30 days.
no expectations or judgement,
just an unfolding.

the fridge is full of fruits, veggies and grains.
a few new things are in the cupboard.

my day is full, and since our supper for tonight was simmered
yesterday afternoon, i hope we might enjoy
a gentle first evening.

how is your monday looking?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

i need your help with this, please.

(edited post)
I had posted a photo here, 
of the ingredients needed for a recipe.
Via e-mail and here in the comments, 
I had a few requests for the recipe.
As you will see below, in the comments,
I referred people to the workshop creator,
Overnight, I received an e-mail from another workshop
participant suggesting that posting a photo
of the ingredients is nearly the same as 
posting the recipe.
I have removed the photo.
This copyright stuff has fine lines,
and I want to be very careful to respect
other people's work.

Your thoughts?

all the fixin's for 
quinoa and black bean chili

cooking preparation for a busy tomorrow.
30 day vegan workshop, here we come...
woo hoo!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

a birthday (and the end of an era)

Batman and I have been raising teenagers for 16 years. (Call us crazy, but we love teenagers!) Late this afternoon, that chapter in our parenting adventure will close, when our youngest of four turns twenty.
to our college girl/organic farmer wanna be,

We miss you and send our love across the miles!

(Batman had such fun making this card with a little, blank poster he picked up at the NOFA-VT conference.) 

Friday, March 4, 2011

friday greens

batman planted peas in recycled plastic lettuce clamshells,
 so that we'll have fresh-cut pea shoots in the kitchen.
now we just have to be patient 'til they grow a few inches.
more spring napkins in the works.
(there's a possible addiction happening here).
rethinking a project.

Apple tree pruning with Lindsey and her posse at our "bit of earth" was on the calendar, but the forecast for pouring rain has us all "staying put". Goodness knows, there's plenty on the "to do" list around here. What do you have planned for the weekend? Hope you all can be productive and have fun at the same time! (Reminder to self, crank up the tunes).

Thursday, March 3, 2011

love vs. hate, one more time...

Because I believe in our constitution and I trust the Supreme Court (most of the time), I agree with their recent ruling.

But I think the haters are all wrong.  At the Bank of Good Karma, where every transaction works itself out, those very same haters are bankrupt.

For in truth, in this world, hatred is not appeased by hatred. Hatred is appeased by love alone. This is the eternal law.     -Dhammapada

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

spring napkins

Iron-on adhesive on favorite scraps,
then cut into 1 1/2 inch squares,
then stitched on a random grid.
Do you remember this linen/cotton fabric?
Already hemmed on two edges, it's great for quick projects.
*I went back and bought a bolt*
(You'll be seeing it again).

The breeze smelled like spring this afternoon.
How about at your house?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011