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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

wander with me

this time of year is so very fleeting
and magical.
and in the very midst of these miracles,
there is also a profound sadness at the death and 
destruction in too many places in the world.
it's a challenge to live in between
the bliss and the despair.
so i take some cues from the sage...
...last to surrender in the winter, and first to
grow green from the deadwood in the spring.
and the hellebore...
...she blossoms under the snow 
and stands sturdy for weeks and weeks.

quiet inspiration.

and an affirmation.

to say yes to every day.

Friday, April 29, 2011

from garden to finished tea cozy

can you bear one more post about hyacinths?
here's wednesday's
and thursday's
and today, this tea cozy is in my etsy shop.

(and here's to fairy tales)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

stitched meditation

inspired by last 
evening's wanderings...
...this morning...french knots became
hyacinths on linen.

(happy birthday #29 to our stewart.
sending you love across the miles.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

grape hyacinths

when today's news of hubris,
power, money, lies and racism
started to eat at my innards...
i took a glass of wine and my camera outside
to see if i could calm myself down a bit.
it worked.
no prescription required.

how do you shake off the crazies?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

sometimes you find what you need in the middle of the driveway

oh dandelion,
your perseverance
and stubborn nature
has reminded me again 
about hope.
(and sturdiness.)
thank you.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

spring treat

the very first wild ramps,
snuggled up against the stone wall in VT, 
under the melting snow.
cleaned and tucked in the cooler and brought back to CT,
ready for the skillet.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

i am so confused

yesterday i posted some lovely earth day pictures
taken up here at our "bit of earth" in vermont.
we had been away for an unusually long five weeks
and were happy to see signs of spring around the place.
this is vermont, after all,
and so, this is the view we woke to this morning.
our courageous garlic plants in the foreground.

today might be good for reading by the fire,
cooking up a pot of black beans
and perhaps napping later on?


Friday, April 22, 2011

every day can be earth day

Because we all share this small planet Earth,
we have to learn to live in harmony and peace
with each other and with nature.
This is not just a dream, but a necessity.

-Dalai Lama in his acceptance speech
for the Nobel Peace Prize

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Most miracles. like everything else,
are firmly rooted in WHO we are.
-Iris Sangiuliano

Read this!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

candles for potts and jim, nestled in a bed of kidney beans.
  • blood donation? done.
  • candles lit? done.
  • sending hope and love to potts and her brother, jim? ongoing.
  • waiting to hear word from the hospital from from dave? still early.
breathe in, breathe out

9:30PM UPDATE...all went well, folks are sleeping!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

notecard giveaway winner

the winner of the "celebrating the ordinary" notecard set is
sara, of "the curriculum of love" blog.
please send me your snail mail address, so i can get 
the cards to you right away (my email address is in the sidebar).
if you didn't win today, do not despair.
there will be other giveaways down the road...
here's a sneak peek at a whimsical bag 
i'll be listing in my etsy shop tomorrow.
there IS a new set of napkins available... 

if you missed yesterday's post,
you might really like it.
it's about friendship and courage and love.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

so much love, you'll want your tissues

O.K. friends, I'm not even sure where to start with this story. 

But maybe this post about my friend, Potts, is a good place to begin. 

And then you need to know that like every single one of us, I have had some challenging times in my life. I've tried to make courageous and hope-filled choices, and I've usually been rewarded with enriching life experiences. 

But I've never screwed up the courage to do something as simple as donating blood. I'm not sure what that's about. In May, there will be another blood drive to honor our beloved Erin, but it's happening way out in Illinois. So, the other day, when I drove by our town's Rec Center and saw the sign announcing a blood drive, I felt called to donate in Erin's memory. 

I registered online, and sent the confirming e-mail to my dear friend Potts. I must confess, I was feeling a wee bit proud of myself.  Beware will smack you in the face every, single time. Potts wrote back to me, thanking me and telling me about her plans on that day. On the very same day that I am donating blood in Erin's memory, her mom, my friend, Potts is doing a very extraordinary thing. Read about it here.

I want more than anything to be by her side, to hold her hand, and tell her how much I love her. But  that is not possible.

Then I remembered something very wonderful that our youngest daughter, Gretta did for me when I went into the hospital to have my knees replaced (both knees, one month apart) when I was 50 years old. Gretta hand stitched a wonky little creature (right, above) for me to hold onto, complete with a wee heart stitched onto one knee. I hung onto that goofy charm in the darkest parts of the night, lying awake in the hospital, feeling so, so vulnerable. And what a comfort it was, to have that bit of love in my hand.

Well, I figured, if I can't be with my friend Potts on the day that she becomes my personal hero, yet again,  I can send her a goofy charm (left, above), just like Gretta made for me. (Please notice the kidney bean, stitched onto the charm). I hope it will bring her some small comfort as she navigates her newest adventure.

Please, dear readers, hold my brave and grace-filled friend, Potts close to your heart on Tuesday. Thank you so, so much.

Friday, April 15, 2011


dairy free chocolate mousse pie
(some of you were concerned about my birthday cake?)
enjoyed at paul and elizabeth's in northampton, ma.

batman and i went to northampton, massachusetts yesterday.
we got there mid-afternoon and enjoyed bancha tea and desserts.
then we bopped around town ('cause that's what you do
in northampton, you "bop").
then we wandered over to the iron horse music hall,
a very cool coffee house style venue for listening to live music.

chuck e. costa opened the evening.
(who knew he is the connecticut state troubadour?)
loved him.
then carrie newcomer took the stage.
i have loved her voice and lyrics ever since
our hannah introduced her music to me about a year ago.
carrie sparkled last night.

i was reminded of how music can
take us out of time and place and let us just

it was a long drive home,
and much of the world along the highway was asleep.

thank you, batman, for a very special birthday.

AND i would be remiss if i did not thank all of you for the
 bloggy love you showered on me yesterday.
i even had some sales over at my etsy shop!
you guys spoil me.

i am deeply grateful for your kindness and love.

(p.s. there's still time to add your name for the giveaway over here)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

etsy launch/55th birthday bash/giveaway

evolution of a project:
did you read this page about my new studio?
remember this post about confluence?
and this one about a box filled with fun, too?

each year, on my birthday, i set aside some time to look both backwards and forwards. i like to review the past year and take stock of where i've been. i also like to look forward to create new intentions for my life.

one of the things i wanted to do in my 54th year was open an etsy shop. well, today i am officially launching my brand spankin' new shop. it's still a bit rough around the edges, but i knew if i waited for it to be perfect, it might never happen. i'll be adding to it bit by bit. (i have LOTS of ideas).

many thanks to my friends, dearest family and a few of you out there for encouraging me and supporting me while i gathered up the courage to give this a try.

pop on over to the shop, then leave a comment here, or send me an e-mail. i'll choose a name at random and send the winner a pack of "sew and sow life" notecards. comments will close at noon on sunday.

i'm up for constructive comments and criticisms about the shop, so let me know what you think. i'm always lookin' to improve, ok?

batman is taking the day off, and we will go on an adventure later today. xo

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

april showers

bring lovely flowers

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

quick vegan follow-up and pitch for real food

There were a few questions left in the comments and via e-mail after I posted the 30 day vegan wrap-up. 
  • I appreciate the question about B6 and folate. An important part of making any dietary change is learning about the consequences. I'm reading up on supplements, and learning more as I explore the options.
  • Chocolate cake? Hmmm...the vegan version was OK, but later this week, I may have to find a wee slice of the real thing. Just for special occasions...
  • Did we eat bread? Yes, but not much. We did enjoy multi-grain wraps and rice crackers.
  • Was there anything we missed or didn't like?  We tried two different versions of breakfast muffins that were a little disappointing. I do love the way buttermilk lightens muffins, and that might be the first place dairy would sneak back into my life. 
  • Were there any difficulties? We managed to find most of the foods we needed, and I'm happy that finding local, fresh and organic fruits and veggies will get easier as we move into the growing season here in New England.  
I'm trying to trust my intuition about what my body needs, to eat most things in moderation and to be gentle with myself as I make changes in what I eat.

If you are looking for ways to educate and/or inspire your food choices, I would recommend Super Natural Cooking, by Heidi Swanson. Have you ever had a book recommended to you by several people, and seen it reviewed or caught its cover out of the corner of your eye at the bookstore...all in a week's time? Well, that's what happened to me with this book. So, I listened to the universe and bought it.
It's a treasure trove of beautiful photos, wonderful and practical information about whole foods and tempting vegetarian recipes. The subtitle is five ways to incorporate whole and natural ingredients into your cooking. Her pantry tips alone are worth the purchase! 

If you don't think our nation's health is in distress, just spend a few minutes at the "food" court at your nearest mall. 

Simply eating less processed food is perhaps one of the best ways for all of us (vegan, vegetarian and omnivore alike) to move in a healthier direction. 

If you have used Heidi's book, or made any changes in your eating I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

stunned by sentiment

one of my favorite memories of growing up next door to my
paternal grandparents is the sunday night ritual i had with
my grandmother.
we watched masterpiece theatre together on PBS.
one of our favorites was
upstairs downstairs.
imagine my delight when i learned that a sequel was in the works!

 as i sat down to watch the first episode last night,
and heard the opening music
(which was the same as the original),
i burst into tears.
serious tears.
blubbering tears.

my grandmother died in 1992,
nineteen years ago.

the tenderness of the heart is a powerful thing.

sometimes i open the box full of her hankies
(she always had one tucked under the cuff of her blouse)
and the faintest bit of scent still lingers in the fabric.
i feel like she's still somewhere near to me.

not haunted, just present in a different way.
i sure do miss her.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

it's really messy...

but this is what progress looks like!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

sowing and link fun

we are growing hops in pots,
until we can replant them at
our "bit of earth".
our second harvest of local pea sprouts,
ready for a veggie wrap at lunchtime.

i have fallen down the rabbit hole of curiosities
over at Etsy.
this reminded me of my brother nelson.
and this of my brother doug.
stewart sent me a link to this.
i love this whimsy.

then there's you tube fun...
two dogs dining.

and fabric temptation over at
golly bard.

a good reason to turn on the t.v. here.

and something fascinating about bees,
(that has me thinking)
via m. heart,
one of my favorite bloggers.

now i will climb out of the virtual world
and get outside!

have a great weekend friends.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


some of my favorite sacred music

joan baez, finlandia
eric whitacre's virtual choir, "lux aurumque"
carrie newcomer, if not now
red horse, sanctuary

how about you?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

30 day vegan workshop wrap-up

This is what I have noticed, slowly, over the last 30 days...
  • we stuck to the plan nearly 100%. 30 days x 3 meals = 90 meals. i was pure vegan for 88 of those meals. 
  • almost no cravings.
  • didn't miss my beloved dairy. at all.
  • slept much better...deeper and with fewer wakeful, restless spells.
  • loved the colors and textures and flavors of the food.
  • ate out very little, which had financial savings as the silver lining. we also knew exactly what we were eating.
  • less refined sugars kept my energy level more steady.
  • joints are feeling a bit better (this from a gal who had her knees replaced at the tender age of 50).
  • lost 7 pounds. (!)
  • discovered new ingredients that i'll keep on using.
  • didn't snack as much. (!)
  • enjoyed reconnecting with familiar rhythms in our kitchen that had fallen away due to...what?
This is what I am still wondering about...
  • how do we reconcile the use of things like citrus, fresh ginger, coconut products, quinoa, rices and other ingredients as we try to embrace the local food movement?
  • will i reintroduce chicken and beef into my diet, even if it's locally sourced, grass fed/free ranging? not so sure...maybe eggs?
  • not so sure i'll go back to dairy either. 
  • and i'm still not sure about the role of soy in my diet. this nutritional discussion is very complicated.
  • i want to learn more about the anti-inflammatory diet.
I am grateful to Batman, who surprised me by coming along for the ride. (Indeed, an empty nest is full of possibilities). And thanks, too, to Heather for her wonderful workshop, filled with great recipes, encouragement, life changing information and inspiration.

Nourishing and clean food can create better health. This is something I know, and now I need to remember and live this as I step out into the weeks and months and years ahead.

Namaste to Heather and all my fellow travelers on the journey. Here's to our health!

Monday, April 4, 2011

poetry in april, especially

J reminded me that April is National Poetry Month,
and they're reading a poem every night at dinner over at their house.

Here's a stack of my favorite books of poetry.
Some are very well worn,
some I am still getting to know.

Here's a beauty of a poem for a brisk, spring afternoon...
Love Calls Us to the Things of This World
by Richard Wilbur

Do you have a favorite poet?

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Seeing the work that is to be done,
who can help wanting to be the one to do it?
-Wendell Berry

Friday, April 1, 2011

for gretta

i had promised gretta a new bag for her birthday.
she picked out the fabrics when she was home for spring break.
i used this pattern.

it'll be in the mail this afternoon, gretta.
(no foolin')