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

Saturday, December 28, 2019

finishing up 2019

 here is my new life coach.
we are going to slay 2020 together.
but before we go there,
let's check in on 2019.

the word that chose me was 

here are some fun words that reminded me
 to stay focused...

make time for things that matter to you.

things get DONE much faster
when you DO THEM.

being happy is productive.
(yes, especially in these challenging times)

don't confuse being busy with being productive.
( sit with that one for a bit...)

it's not about having time,
it's about making time.
if it matters, you 
will make time.
-lewis howes

someday is made up of a thousand tiny nows.
-curly girl design

never mind tomorrow-
today is the day.

done is better than perfect.
(holy smokes, this one is key)

there are a few more things to get done by year's end,
but having this word *productive* front and center did seem to
move me along when i became
distracted from my goals.

did you chose a word for 2019?
how did it work out for you?
thinking about a new one for 2020?

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

some lovely links to cheer and inspire you

This morning, Wilma was sprawled out on a windowsill, Corazón was dozing in a sunny chair and Batman and I were tuned in to the live broadcast of Lessons and Carols, from King's College in England. Even simple folks like us enjoy a bit of sacred music at this time of year.

Earlier in the morning I listened to another holiday favorite, via Vermont Public Radio. If you love a good story about community, this one is for you.  Willem Lange's Favor Johnson.

Have you seen this photo? A group of students at Tulane's Medical School posed in front of former slave quarters. Powerful. And hopeful.

We watched a quirky and delightful movie recently, and thought some of you might enjoy it too. It got mixed critical reviews, but some of us take that with a grain of salt, am I right?  This Beautiful Fantastic can be found via several streaming options.

This time of year can be so complicated for some of us...if we have our eyes wide open we may be conflicted by the cheer of the season and the reality of the world we live in. I'm right there beside you, friend...looking for the Light, Love and Hope that is out there if we but see it, work for it and share it with others.


Saturday, December 21, 2019

solstice beauty

 Yesterday morning, on my way down the hill to the gym at dawn, I watched the most amazing "sundog". I had never seen one before and I've got to say, it felt almost apocalyptic! To read about how it forms, read this. Spotting it on the day before the solstice had me wondering if I had fallen back into ancient times.

Right on cue, my Christmas cactus has started to bloom. She has struggled a bit lately due to Cora's fascination with her droopy arms. But still she persists. You can read about her story here.
And if you have been poking around sewandsowlife for a while, you know how much I love to bring paper white narcissus bulbs into our living spaces in the winter.
These lovelies are perched on the kitchen windowsill. Not everyone appreciates their scent, but I'm one who loves to come down in the morning to fill the tea kettle and find a puddle of their smell waiting for me.
May this post remind you that in the midst of this time of year, there is calm to be found, peace to sink into and pleasure to be had in the simplest things. I invite you to set your boundaries with gentleness, but respect them. Take a break from the news. Get outside and walk, even if you have to bundle up to do it! Make a point to go see the stars at night. Sit with a friend who may have suffered a loss this year. Don't deny yourself some treats, but nourish yourself with whole foods most of the time. Listen to magical music, maybe sing a bit too. 

Embrace the Light, friends.


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

remembering "e"

Erin Elizabeth Potts

"e" reminds me 
in so many ways,
that life is not to be taken for granted,
that each morning that we wake up is a blessing,
and that love is what it's all about.

It's hard to believe it was ten years ago today
that Erin left this world.

We will never forget you Erin.


read more here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

sinking into the season

He said, "The universe is unfolding,
the center still is holding.
There's enough if we just share it,
now ya'll, don't forget to pass the basket
Blessed are the good hearted,
the poets and the dreamers
And all us crazy holy hungry ones
who still believe in something better."

Carrie Newcomer, from "Where you been" on The Geography of Light.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

tuscan tuesday::the women who caught my eye

 Madonna with Child
by Filippo Lippi
 Madonna and Child and Two Angels
by Filippo Lippi
 Pallas and the Centaur
by Alessandro Filipepi, detto BOTTICELLI
(the goddess of wisdom)
 From "Spring"
 Also from "Spring"
Also by Botticelli
"While mystery continues to shroud the composition's overall
significance, the painting is unquestionably a celebration
of love, peace and prosperity. There are 138 different
species of plant that have been identified, each of which Botticelli has
meticulously reproduced, possibly using an herbal."
Portrait of Elisabetta Gonzaga
by Raffaello Sazio

I'm still dreaming of Italy some nights, 
waking up and remembering all the magical
 bits and pieces of that adventure. 
The colors and softness of some of this work
feels like a treasure trove of inspiration.
I hope to make time this winter to sew a few bits
of cloth as a remembrance of those days.

I've been to Detroit and back, Thanksgiving has come and gone and now the warp speed of December is upon us. Batman has been crafting wreaths from our balsams, lists are being made and my Bernina has been getting a workout.

But I am trying to honor the quiet, reflective aspects of December as well. Cultivating coziness and appreciation of this place, transformed by the blanket of snow that has come to stay. Twinkle lights will be pulled out of boxes, the red and green linens will come out to play in the kitchen and the snowshoes are stashed by the backdoor. The birds are at the feeders, animal tracks traverse the frosty meadow and Orion is back on the horizon. The hoop house is dormant, waiting to sprout some greens in the very early spring, paper whites bloom in the dining room and the Meyer lemon is covered in blossoms. Hope. It is so dang persistent.