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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

living in between

this is one of my home altars, a little collage.
tea tag fortune:
let your heart guide you.
antique sugar pack:

and this quote from thoreau 
is beginning to feel like this year's challenge:
our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

Batman and I are working on pulling our dreams and our reality closer together. Some of this work is within our control, and some is not. I am trying to put my energies into the right camp. And it requires patience. I really did appreciate your comments and e-mails on that post!

I also loved reading all of your comments about internet access and doing without the web as well. I found this good read about a juxtaposition of technologies and thought you might enjoy it too. This is another example of why I love Vermont as much as I do. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

what do you think?

up here, at our "bit of earth" we do not have access to the internet.
if i want to get online, i have to drive down to town
 to use the wi-fi at the library.

for you, would this be a blessing or a curse?
(just wondering)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

noticing summer

henry and a daisy chain

A solstice snapshot, here at our "bit of earth"... 
  • fishing poles sticking out of the back of pick-up trucks driving on our dirt road.
  • inner tubes stashed in the back of pick-ups, too.
  • wildflowers, casually plunked in a ball jar, perched on the windowsill in the kitchen.
  • a solo dear, grazing way down in the meadow, illuminated in the last slants of the evening sun.
  • sun brewed tea, iced and spiked with mint from the gardens.
  • blueberries, still green and reddish, waiting to become sun-kissed blue.
  • hammock temptation.
  • hay...round bales scattered in the neighbor's fields...the scent...its dust filtering over the stone wall that marks our boundaries.
  • a stack of books, summer reading just waiting for the right moment.
  • local strawberries, rinsed and ready to eat. plain. 
  • supper at the picnic table, perched at the edge of heaven on earth.
  • dirt under my fingernails.
  • worn leather gloves and a straw hat, resting on the arm of the adirondack chair.
  • sitting up late, glass of wine in hand, waiting for the very last slip of light to drop over the green mountains.
What are you noticing today, as summer kicks into full swing?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

quiet stitching

last evening, i sat in the gathering dusk and watched 
the barn swallows swoop and listened to
their twittering.
the shy bluebirds, brilliant goldfinches, saucy robins,
haunting owls and fabulous crows
are my constant companions 
up here on the hill.

it seems quite fitting to have their company

the mental quiet of this simple stitching
allows the brain to both settle and wander.

may you have space in your weekend to 
settle and wander.

Friday, June 17, 2011

sew simple

i started with a yard and a quarter of this fabulous coleus fabric, 
trimmed the selvedges off, and then squared off the piece.

then i turned the edges under about a half and inch and pressed,
turned the edges under another half inch and pressed.

i hemmed around all four sides with a fun wavey stitch.
i popped it into the mail to my mumsie.
she has a lovely wardrobe of these simple tablecloths 
to cover the card table on her front porch.
she has her morning coffee out there
and corresponds with her many pen pals
as the world wakes up and the morning air is cool.

card tables are humble and multi purposed.

  • a card table at the end of a dining table can add a few more place settings.
  • how can you do a decent sized jigsaw puzzle without the added space a card table can provide?
  • displaying your wares at a yard sale is impossible without card tables.
  • a card table can become any kind of abode a rainy day requires...with blankets, it's a tent in the desert, a cabin in the woods, a castle with a moat...
  • i guess you could play cards at a card table.
how about you?
any clever card table ideas?

happy friday!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


dew spangled spider lace...
...could be fairy trampolines.

last night the meadow was sparkling with
lightning bugs.

mother nature is rehearsing for the summer solstice. 

pop on over to gretta's blog for some more fun. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


the power sanding has driven us out.
and we would not want wee henry footprints 
on the newly finished floors.
so gretta, henry and i have escaped
this handsome devil's paintbrush,
standing next to its neighbor,
has created beautiful drifts of color here in vermont.
we also saw spectacular masses of lupine in the rocky medians
of interstate 89.
 clusters of daisies and buttercups
are also in bloom.

what a relief!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


the squeal of the saw!
the pounding of the nail gun!
the thumping of tongue and groove coming together! 

gretta, henry and i can't think!
but the new floors are looking very promising, eh?

 it's very damp and wet outside...
i've dropped into the internet warrens, want to come along?

  • i put together another etsy treasury, wandering into the woods.
  • i am now the happy owner of a mushroom from my blog friend, maribeth.
  • jane is offering her fabulous class again. check it out here.
  • i've started a flickr account, and i'm finding my way around in there. it's a fun way to play with photos and share them.
  • gretta and i have been addicted to downton abbey, a masterpiece classic, available on netflix instant watch. it's a country version of upstairs, downstairs. i found myself noticing the soft, muted grays, greens and taupes of the kitchens and hallways. taking notes for the bedrooms upstairs here in ct.
  • gretta's got me humming along with mumford and sons.
  • i love this quilt !
how about you? any internet gems to share? or are your feet squarely planted in the real world?

Monday, June 13, 2011

daughter love

she arrived early and quickly,
and i've been trying to keep up with her ever since!

happy birthday #27, dear lindsey.

 you are becoming a more remarkable
young women every day.


Saturday, June 11, 2011


4 bedrooms and closets are empty.
there are bags of trash, bags for the local thrift shop 
and bags for the goodwill drop-off.

there are still piles of stuff in the living room
to sort another day.

but, heck, what progress we have made.
weary, sore, but satisfied for now.

and we will be sleeping on mattresses on the floor 
for a while. (henry is intrigued by the situation.)

many thanks to gretta,
i'm not sure batman and i could have managed 
all of this on our own.

jeeves and wooster on dvd tonight!

Friday, June 10, 2011

searching for calm

The dumpster was delivered this afternoon. Tomorrow the entire upstairs will be emptied out. We may push our dressers into the bathroom, but otherwise the contents of the bedrooms and closets must find their way downstairs. We will certainly take advantage of the opportunity to send things on to the thrift shop. On Monday the old carpets will be removed, on Tuesday the hardwood floors will start to go down. 

I really hate to send anything off to the landfill, adding my contribution to the world's trash. But the carpet was here when we bought the house 15 years ago and now we are finally sending it off to the happy hunting ground. I am looking forward to enjoying the new floors, cool and smooth on bare feet, and sweeping them clean instead of using a noisy and energy-sucking vacuum. 

The spare, simple and clean aesthetic of some traditions really appeal to me. Japanese and Shaker come to mind tonight. As we clear out the trappings of a house where four active kids were raised, I long for a more pared down look. This seems a fine opportunity to make a first pass at things. 

How about you? Are you lured by the desire to de-clutter and purge? Do you have any strategies you'd be willing to share? 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

in honor of becky and batman

becky johnson,
i don't know where life has taken you since 
our college days. 
i am sorry we lost touch.
i just want to thank you for introducing me to batman,
in november of 1974.

today we are enjoying our 32nd
wedding anniversary.

i am hugely blessed to have this man by my side
as we navigate life together.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

on a very warm evening

We all have three essential places:
the place we live,
the place we work,
the place we gather for conviviality.
-Ray Oldenburg

Monday, June 6, 2011

back in connecticut

Batman and I are safely back from our road trip to Earlham College.  We attended lots of meetings and helped to celebrate Doug Bennett's 14 years of leadership as President of the college. We also welcomed David Dawson who will soon become Earlham's 17th President. I am not sure there is anything more inspiring than looking backward and forward all at once!

On the way home, we stopped in Ohio to see Hannah and meet our grandkitty, Javier.
isn't he handsome?

Hannah hosted a delicious Sunday brunch and we had a chance to meet some of her colleagues. Batman had not seen the school where she's teaching, so we had a tour before we hopped back in the truck and drove the rest of the way home.

Gretta (who made it safely home from her sophomore year of college, despite rocky weather last week) and Henry had taken very good care of things while we were away. I found this beautiful bunch of goodies waiting for me...winnings from the sew, mama, sew giveaway...from the gracious Pomona in England. (Thank you!)
lavender sachets, fabrics to make a few more, buttons,
notecards, some very pretty fat quarters and bits of ribbon.

I also have a link to share with you. Remember the amazingly talented Sara Argue?  Well, she organized a community art project and our Lindsey pitched in to help. You can read about the project here and see fun photos as well.

Today I was reunited with my beloved sewing machine. I hope to spend some time with her tomorrow.

It was fun to read of all your favorite colors in the comments on my last post. :-)

That's all for this Monday. Bye for now.