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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another deposit... the Bank of Good Karma.

The awesome guys at the local auto shop in VT
did some mud-season adjustments to one of our vehicles
and didn't charge us.
So I just put a box of Toll House cookies in the mail 
for all of them to share.

Three cheers for nice guys.
The world needs more of 'em.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I'm back in CT and finally sat down at my sewing machine for the first time in ages. Dang, it felt good. Here's a soft little flannel mouse pin cushion, just waiting for some stuffing. I found the pattern in this book.

Over the past few weeks I've found a bunch of fun things on the internet, and I thought I'd share them with you here. Don't you like finding new things to see and think about? Check them out.

-Wild foxes playing on a trampoline, via Emily (one of the goat weekend girls).
-A great (animated) piece about education in America, by Sir Ken Robinson, via my brother Doug. It's about 12 minutes long, and well worth a watch.
-A few Etsy treasuries I've put together, just for fun...
-A wonderful poem, especially for grapefruit lovers,via Hannah.

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

kids, part 2

Lindsey and four of her best buddies from Boston drove up to our "bit of earth" late last night, navigating the last half mile of muddy road with fingers crossed and breath held. After a sturdy breakfast this morning, we headed over to Fat Toad Farm to see their baby goats (not to be confused with these baby goats). Be sure to check out the amazing goat's milk caramel (available online) and fresh chevre.
We all took dozens of pictures, but few convey the bleating, the climbing skills, the gambolling and the utter irresistibly of these sweet animals. 
Lindsey took this photo of a kid, born earlier this morning. The kids usually weigh in at about 8-9 pounds at birth (much like Reed babies!)
Here's one, snuggled up with Lindsey. We could feel their little hearts beating in their tiny rib cages.
I held this one so long that it fell asleep in my arms. I love goats, but this morning,  it went to a new, more serious level. I think there's a growing consensus that goats may be part of the future at our "bit of earth".

I'm wishing that all of you could come by for some granny smith apples, dipped in goat's milk caramel, a mug of tea and a good chat by the wood stove (thank goodness it is no longer 79 degrees in Vermont!) I would thank you for your thoughtful comments about patience and dreaming big... 

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Oh eternal Mother, goddess of the earth, 
let me thank you 
for your blessings of comfort and peace today.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Henry and Gretta taking in the view 
and sharing a moment at our  "bit of earth"
this past weekend.

Spring break is over, Gretta has gone back to school.
I'm in Cincinnati, finishing up two days of interviews
for our search, (dressed up!) and full of ideas.
It's been great fun, and I love this work...
but I'm feeling very far away from our rural dream.

This living between two worlds... is so odd.
(A big blessing and a little curse.)
The plan keeps changing and adjusting to reality,
but I try to keep the compass pointing north.

I wonder, dear readers, what sage advice you might have for me.
How do you work at a dream and have patience, too?

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Today, we headed up to visit our friends at 
"spring fever" open house.
Gretta (above) offers her congratulations to the first mama goat to kid.
Her triplets were born last night, the first one was breached,
but all is fine now.
Another set of triplets was born early this morning and a few more 
mamas were ready to go later today.
Mari provides some encouragement and comfort...
...while Laura does a bit of lactation coaching at the other end.
It's hard to imagine how all three of these long legged siblings
were snug in their mama's womb just a few hours ago.
The hoop house is filled with young, spring greens.
We caught the sweet barn kitty taking a cat nap.

Spring fever, indeed.
(No inoculation required.)

Thursday, March 15, 2012


We tucked this pot into the car yesterday, and the sprouts have matured on the windowsill here in VT. They will brighten up our salads in the next few days.

We have tidied up the winter ravaged garden beds, cleared downed pine boughs from the lawn and gathered wind swept birch branches and stashed them in the kindling box in the woodshed. Some over-wintered mache was washed and dried in the lettuce spinner. There's been a bit of firewood splitting (missed you, Han) and some impatient chopping of ice in the driveway where we hope the sunshine will melt it away. 

Batman, standing on the edge of the hill, spreading his arms wide, said, "There is so much promise in the air".

Wherever you are, can you feel it?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

spring break

What do you do after you've driven 4 1/2 hours?
(With the last 15 minutes in 4 wheel drive, 
navigating a dirt road in Mud Season in VT?)
You unload the car, empty the cooler and pull on your boots!
We walked along the edge of the meadow 
in the quiet of the late afternoon.
The many little rivulets were rushing downhill.
We found interesting scat, 
and walked along the edge of the balsam orchard,
where there was still snow tucked between the rows.
Most of the wee seedlings made it through their 
first winter at our "bit of earth".
Our gorgeous sunflowers have been picked clean
by the birds, and now they are headed for the compost.
There are flurries in tonight's forecast, so Gretta
has built a fire in the Home Comfort.
We'll make a goat cheese omelette for supper,
with toast and a salad.
She has not yet read Wildwood, so we are
reading it aloud (and thinking of you, Uncle Nelson).

And there will be no alarm clocks going off tomorrow morning,
thank you very much.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

hellebore intoxication

worldly concerns...
...please stand aside.
i am wrapped up in the present moment.

Monday, March 12, 2012


I wonder how many times I have made this birthday cake.

It's the official Reed family birthday cake 
(but some of us prefer it with Vanilla Butter Frosting).
It'll be belated, but yummy just the same.

The girl is in the house, we have spring break plans to hatch
and later this week we have a concert to go to.
Gretta says Batman and I will be the oldest people in the crowd.
Hannah, who saw them on Saturday night in Ohio
says we might not be the only grey hairs in the crowd.
Bring it on.

Woo hoo!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

pea shoots on the windowsill


to read about their amazing nutritional value, click here.
to see last year's batch, click here.
to find a great sprouting resource, click here.
we have never ordered from them, but i've bookmarked their site!

you really can't get any more local than this,
and these sprouts are the perfect prelude to spring planting.

seeds and dreams.

how about you?
are you getting ready?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

open windows

the debris of winter melts into...
...the wonder of spring.

early? yes. concerning? yes.
but lovely in any case.

reminding me of my favorite greek goddess,

the thermostat is turned back and 
our windows are open to the breezes today
as we welcome her return. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Apple branches, pruned from our trees in Vermont,
awaiting blossoms here in our dining room in Connecticut.

Patience, Grasshopper, patience.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


After living in this house since 1996, we are getting it ready to put on the market late next winter. We are working hard at moving our dreams of living in Vermont closer to reality. 

You may recall that we had the ratty carpeting pulled up last June and these lovely hardwood floors installed. All of the bedrooms need to be repainted, and this was the first we tackled. The sweat equity is really challenging, but it's just got to happen. We are trying to find neutral but interesting colors, which we hope will appeal to prospective buyers.  A while back, one of my blogging friends, Uma, suggested Timber Wolf Gray, and we settled on its lighter cousin, Pebble Beach (the golfing connection was not lost on Batman). I took this photo early this morning, and as with many paint colors, it changes as the day goes on.
I really like the way it brings out the foggy mist in this watercolor of a rocky shore painted by my late Dad.

One of the things I love about serving on the boards that I do is the opportunity to dig into issues in education. Right now, I am serving on a search committee and I'm up to my eyeballs in a stack of fascinating resumes, with a three hour conference call scheduled for later today. Changing demographics, a challenging economy and the pluses and minuses of technology all come in to play when planning and hiring for the future. My brain is getting a workout. :-)

I look forward to catching up with your comments and blog posts tomorrow, when I am able to climb out from under this paperwork. Until then, shine on, friends.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Gretta is 21!

Happy 21st Birthday Gretta!
We love you and send you hugs across the miles,
and can't wait to see you next week!

(Take it easy on the Woodchucks, OK?
hee hee)
Batman and I are now parents of four adult 
children. Yikes. How did that happen so quickly?

(LOVED all your comments on the last post. Will post a photo of the finished project here tomorrow.)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

if you are a do-it-your-selfer...

Do you paint the trim first,
or do you paint the walls first?

Please discuss...

Friday, March 2, 2012


Do you remember this quilt top? Today I found a bright solid lime green and a funky print, "Babble", for the borders. This will be my February funk recovery quilt! My Monday project will be cutting and stitching the borders in place.

I got lost in the world of Etsy and created this rural spring treasury, inspired by Vermont dreams. :-)

This morning, I met my lovely friend Marianne for coffee (soy latte) and she reminded me of this reassuring quote...

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
-Albert Schweitzer

Thank goodness for friends, especially those with sparks. xo (And thanks for all of your recent and sweet comments here).

I was just getting some tech help on the phone with someone at Earlham. Our conversation was interrupted by a tornado siren.* I am now watching the news and am sending hope and good energy to anyone in the path of these bizarre storms.

*(I just spoke with Lynn at the help desk in the computing center, she reports that all is well on campus).

Love with enthusiasm, count your blessings and share your spark, OK?