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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

encouragement for today

We are finally getting some much needed rain here in Vermont. I hope it has come in time to rescue the foliage season, or at least jazz it up a bit.

The gloom and chill seem a bit oppressive after days and days of sunshine, so I thought I'd share two encouraging links here.
  • The 2015 MacArthur Fellows were announced yesterday. You can read about them here. I love to see philanthropy and great ideas collide. If only these folks were in the headline news every day, instead of the steady stream of gloom and doom that mainstream media chucks at us!
  • This wonderful piece by Parker Palmer is also worth a read. He quotes Gregory Ellison ll, "You can't change the world, but at every moment, you can change what's happening within three feet of you". In this commentary, Parker offers us a list of 5 ways we can "heal a wounded body politic".
What would you add? Do you have a little something encouraging to add here? Every little bit helps. :-)

Monday, September 28, 2015

triptych 24

  • Sweet texture. Bag by Bookhou, library basket by my buddy Franny.
  • Onion blossom bouquet from the garden.
  • Three birch sisters and their wee balsam cousins.

Friday, September 25, 2015

it's all coming together, this dream of ours

Last night I climbed the ladder and took a peek into the second story. This is a shot taken through one of the guest room windows, looking to the northwest, up the valley. As I write, the windows are being unloaded in the driveway. I can barely contain my excitement. (eeeeeek!)

There's another update over on our reno blog.
We are working with a local cabinetmaker (his quote was more affordable than the stock cabinets offered by the local lumberyard our contractor works with). Glen is from Scotland and learned his trade through the apprenticeship program. His workshop looks like a museum. He has helped us source local wood for the cupboards. We've chosen red BIRCH for the cupboards and I had my eye on soapstone for the counters. After budget crunching, research on different options and lots of compromise, we decided to go with a manufactured solid surface. We both fell in love with this grey/black/speckled sample and when we turned it over to find the name we gasped. It's called "meteor shower".  SOLD! 
One of our young pear trees had a lovely bunch of fruit this year. One day I went out to check on the pears and they were gone. Every one. I think it may have been the black bear who swiped them. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, last night Batman picked these Liberties and Honeycrisps. 

Life has been so, so busy these days that I only took a few minutes to notice that we are now in the midst of my favorite season. This bowl of apples is a reminder to me to stop and soak in the delights of autumn. It's been so dry here in Vermont for the last month or so that many leaves are drying up before they turn bright with color. It may be a disappointing foliage season here this year...but the slanting and rich sunlight, the rustle of leaves underfoot and the annual turning inward will happen anyway. 

Here is a terrific listen if you have a spare two and a half minutes. I heard it on the radio yesterday while I was puttering in my makeshift kitchen.  I thought of all of you, dear readers, when I heard it, and of how we all need respite from the world now and then. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

triptych 23

At the Tunbridge World's Fair on Sunday

  • dill in the harvest exhibition hall.
  • antique tractor pull, where (according to a bystander) this badass young lady bested her boyfriend's pull.
  • senator sanders scarecrow, honored with a very showy ribbon. (his crochet-haired opponent won a special mention for "scariest")

Friday, September 18, 2015

dreams really can come true

yesterday may have been one of the top ten best days of my life. 

welcome to our new kitchen/living/dining room.

for details,
pop on over to our reno blog.

Monday, September 14, 2015

life's fullness

  • beets...steamed, marinated and ready for salads.
  • beets...both golden and red, and carrots, set into builder's buckets, filled with play sand and put away in the root cellar for later on.
  • leeks, onions and squash, still waiting in the garden, for harvest soon.
  • a series of amazing sunsets, one of the few perks of a hot and humid week.
  • just a bit more demo (the pros arrived this morning, it's getting serious around here...there is panelling flying out of windows upstairs!!!)
  • cherry tomatoes, slowly roasted with fresh herbs and put away in the freezer.
  • keeping an eye out for the handsome black bear that I saw loping across the road not far from our house.
  • an evening with the capitol steps.
  • breakfast at king arthur flour and then some time at the norwich farmer's market and on to concord, nh to shop for faucets and sinks and such.
  • another fun mqg gathering at nido in burlington.
  • a friend just had a baby girl last week, i'm stitching a wee jacket for her. the little one is lucky to have two big brothers at home. 
  • a fine shift in temperature, which makes everything even better! it's finally feeling like FALL.
how about you, what have you been up to these days? stitching? gardening? dreaming? reading? working?   painting?

Friday, September 11, 2015

remembering and being reminded...

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. 
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

scattering kindness

Every year we plant sunflowers in our garden here in Vermont. We plant them in celebration of the life of Erin Elizabeth Potts. Sunflowers have become a reflection and symbol of the radiance of Erin's life.

You may read about why the memory of this dear girl is so important to us here.

It is no coincidence that our sunflowers tower over the rest of our crops in the month of September, for it is Childhood Cancer awareness Month. 

I have just sent a donation to Scatter Kindness, a memorial fund set up to honor Erin's life, to help ease the challenges of those battling cancer. 

It is one thing I can do to help make some small difference in this world. 


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Having fun...

...wish you were here!

Friday, September 4, 2015

hello friends...

Melissa Wastney over at Tiny Happy wrote a very thoughtful post today. She has written about the struggles she finds at the intersection of  the injustices in the world and the comfortable lives so many of us are blessed with. She speaks my mind.

The small spaces here on the internet that are filled with peace, calm and beauty are a welcome oasis from the clatter and horror that is so highlighted in the media. 

Balancing our desire for a centered and lovely life with a calling to help our broken world takes mindfulness and courage. Truth be told, I struggle there so often.

Here are some places I have found hope lately...
-An episode of On Being, The Inner Landscape of Beauty, with John O'Donohue.
-The Good Lie, a based-on-real-events movie about the lost boys of Sudan.
-Of course, just sitting in meditation is my "go to" place for solace.

And here are two pieces I'll be looking at this weekend, with the intention of expanding my understanding of our complicated world...
-Another episode of On Being, a conversation with Mike Rose, a research professor at UCLA
-Ta-Nehisi Coates' new book, Between the World and Me. 

I plan to make some time to sit here in one of these weathered Adirondack chairs. I'll fill up my spirit with both calm and discomfort. Wish you could come by, we'd pull up another chair and dig deeply into life's greatest challenge...choosing love over fear. 

What would you add to my list? Where are you finding inspiration and challenge these days?


p.s. I loved and appreciated all of your thoughtful comments over here.