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

Thursday, July 28, 2011

reluctant... leave this little patch of heaven.
batman and i are off to a family wedding in st. paul.
airports, hotels, dress-up clothes...

lindsey and friends will come up to vt 
to keep henry company while we're away.

next week, i'll let you know about batman's mystery vacation,
a "jelly roll" project  and a little shrine project.

in the meanwhile,
breathe, hope and love.
(today i was reminded once again that
life is not to be taken for granted.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

goldthread...sowing, not sewing

gretta harvested these garlic on saturday,
hannah helped me clean them yesterday
and this morning, i trimmed and braided them.
they are now hanging in the woodshed to dry.
i repurposed a net lemon bag to hold a few stray bulbs.
they will be shipped off to the kitchens of my beloveds...
in oregon, massachusetts and ohio.
gretta will be in studying in australia in the fall!
no shipping for her :-(
and i'll keep some for us.

i love cooking with local foods, 
and i love knowing that some of them are really 
good for us.

The older I get, the more I realize that we really are what we eat. During our vegan adventure, I became even more convinced. I am paying closer attention to how I feel. I'm learning ways to support my mood, health and wellness with what I choose to eat, and what I choose to avoid. It's a work in progress!

In the past, we have chased away ear infections with herbal ear drops and we've brewed cold busting tea made with freshly chopped ginger, lemon juice and local honey. We've used aloe to soothe an occasional sunburn,  and settled an upset stomach with mint tea. 

One of my favorite bloggers, m. heart, has been on an amazing spiritual journey and has been very generous in bringing her readers along. Recently, she has been studying at Goldthread Herb Farm and has launched a blog for them. Their purpose is very intriguing.

Goldthread is a medicinal herb farm, apothecary, distillery, and education center the beautiful hills of Western Massachusetts. Our goal is to provide a source for medicinal plant preparations of the highest quality, crafted with the greatest care and attention to detail, and to educate the community about their proper use as the foundation of a sustainable grassroots home health care system. 

A sustainable grassroots home health care system. WOW! 

Goldthread is offering a Community Herbalist Course, which will be held on eight weekends throughout the year. A weeklong intensive in August 2012 will finish up the program. To learn more, click here. The beautiful photos alone are worth the click! I'm not in a position to take this course yet, but as I continue to explore the many ways we can support our own health, this may become more compelling. (There's also a fun giveaway being offered, too).

Do you use any herbal remedies or home cures?

(p. s. I have benefitted from conventional medicine many a time, including several surgeries. I believe we are fortunate to have access to many and varied ways to support our health.)

Saturday, July 23, 2011


lately, we have been gathering breakfast.
this morning, gretta harvested the garlic 
and thinned the carrots.
some of us have been dreaming of jack o' lanterns.

sometimes it's good to turn off the news, get off the highways of life
and just soak in the most essential and restorative parts of being alive.

we have a houseful of three daughters, a beau, a friend,
and maja, from sweden.

laughing, teasing, talking and listening 
around the dining table...
a guitar and three sister voices, harmonizing on the porch...
the kitchen, abuzz with cooking and cleaning up...
the foxes, yipping in the dark of the night...
the wind, sighing in the pines...

...wishing we could sow these blessings into the wider world.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


i went shopping at the co-op this morning and found 
these gorgeous oriental lilies on special. 
since we are having a houseful of visitors this weekend,
i splurged and bought a bunch of them.
they are from von trapp flowers .

the heat wave has finally found its way into the green mountains,
and if it weren't for a huge, gusting wind coming up the hill,
i would be weeping!

 while i am melting, 
the lilies are filling our home with 
a most intoxicating scent, which is intensified by the heat. 

silver linings...we just have to look for them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

batman on vacation

batman is finishing up a two week adventure.
he has not shaved, he has lost weight, he looks ten years younger.

(i have visited him twice, he has visited me once).

he has been weaving dreams, intentions and hard work together.

can you guess where he is
and what he might be up to?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

summer reading

Inside the big world that you cannot control,
you have a small world that you can control.
In that small world, if you look,
you can see whether to go this way toward good, 
or the other way toward bad.

from Breakfast With Buddha
a novel by Roland Merullo

a delightful summer read,
i recommend it to you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

wicked lucky

do you think maybe my color choices 
are being influenced by my surroundings?

i'm just sewing and sowing here in vermont...
this is the life.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

it's summertime and i'm finally getting around to some things

i finally painted this sweet shelf that batman made for me
a few years ago and decided where to put it 
(in a corner of our VT bedroom).
please do notice the little balsam tree cutouts!
i finally baked a loaf of buttermilk rye bread,
using the recipe from 
super natural every day,
by heidi swanson.
there had been a bookmark on this page for ages.
(next time i will be more careful with my measuring.)
and i finally sat down at my sewing machine for the 
first time in a week or so.

(i also enjoyed attending a meeting of the local garden club,
complete with a program on edible flowers.
i've never seen a prettier salad.
and how about day lilies stuffed with chicken salad?)

what, dear readers, have you finally gotten to this summer?

p.s. i appreciated all of your sweet comments about caleb's celebration. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

a celebration

Caleb wanted us to have a party to celebrate his life, so on Friday friends and family gathered from many corners of the world. We chatted on the lawn and porch of the beautiful summer home he built with his own two hands. Perched on the shore of a cove on Mount Desert Island, ME, it is one of my favorite places on earth. It was hard for us to be there without him.

There was a very sweet service, where many a story was told. Caleb was an emergency room doctor, an outdoorsman, an athlete, a sailor...but he was remembered most for the way scooped people up into his zest for life and infected everyone with his enthusiasm and sense of fun. There were memories shared and poems, too. There was a song, written and sung, "Great Uncle Caleb", by his two "great nieces".
There was silence at the end, with plenty of time for people to let it all sink in. The pines sighed, the gulls  cawed, the waves slapped the sides of the boats moored in the cove. Caleb was there, too, I am sure of it.
Then, as instructed, there was a party! A neighbor brought flowers from her garden, and everyone enjoyed a pot luck picnic of Caleb's favorites...corn on the cob, baked beans, "red hot dogs" (a Maine specialty???), and of course, tapioca.
Caleb's grandchildren led the braver folks in some hill rolling...
Lots of family pictures were taken...
And the perfect benediction to the day...a few hearty souls went waterskiing in the still waters of the cove (Caleb's early evening ritual).

Thank you Caleb, for scooping me up and folding me into your wondrous life. So, so many of us will miss your laughter, your grin and your generosity of spirit. Rest in peace.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

orange x 2

a sliver of an orange moonrise.
a burst of marigold to fend off the garden pests.

oranges both far and near.
just noticing...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

family ties

as of last week
batman is "great uncle pete" and
i'm "great aunt karen".
(i kinda like the idea.)

our niece, emily, delivered a healthy baby girl.
this baby ball will go into the mail after the holiday
to welcome little zaira.

this weekend
lindsey is backpacking in the white mountains,
hannah is brides-maiding in kentucky,
stewart, in oregon, is enjoying some time to be creative and crafty
and gretta is spending her day off with us
at our "bit of earth", where we are
painting, mowing, cooking,
sewing, gardening (fresh lettuce, anyone?),
 resting, hanging laundry on the line
and watching the clouds scud across the
bright blue sky.

what are you up to?