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

Monday, March 30, 2020

from last night

In the night kitchen, where we are starving fear and feeding love. Pasta primavera in our supper bowls. Zoomed with all four of our kids as a group, texted with both brothers, chatted with a bff from college as he walked along Lake Michigan, email from one of our kids' beloved middle school teachers. Norah Jones, the Lumineers and Neil Young tunes as I stitched. And now, a spring thunder storm with hail bouncing off the ground. So many silver linings in spite of the heaviness.

Suspended animation. Hours evaporating into one another. Work being done remotely and learning new skills around that. Making do with what we have. 

Talking about the "what ifs" but not dwelling there.

Readjusting expectations. Letting go. Sinking into the spaciousness.

Breathing in.

Breathing out.

Sending comfort, hope, love.

We can do hard things.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

more distractions for you

there is not much social distancing going on in this box.

Here are some more distractions for you, dearest readers...

A.) Via @diaryofaquilter over on Instagram:

Everyone should be taught to sew, not merely for the sake of making something, but as an accomplishment which may prove a stabilizer in time of perplexity or distress. Many a time when I need to hold myself firmly, I have taken up a needle--a sewing needle, some knitting needles, or a crochet hook. Whatever its form or purpose, it often proved to be as the needle of a compass, keeping me to the course.
-First Lady Grace Coolidge (a Vermonter)

B.) Did you know that the Monterey Bay Aquarium hosts 10 different live cams that you can watch on their website? Sea otters, kelp forest and sharks, oh my! Look here for the link. (This tip from Gretta, who is teaching Middle School science, remotely from her apartment, where Maggie is her teaching assistant.)

C.) Another Instagram feed that is filled with delight is @atlasobscura, where you can "discover the world's strange and wondrous side".

D.) One of my favorite little real life shops is tucked away in Northeast Harbor, Maine, run by artist jennifer judd-mcgee. Today she has posted a free, printable coloring page on her website. You can find it here. 

E.) My friend Anne Butera of My Giant Strawberry, wrote a post about blogging, listing her favorites here. Blogging seem to have gone out of fashion, but some still offer a peek into inspiration and creativity. Check them out.
Anne also left a comment in my last post, reminding me of a Kaffe Fassett exhibit video. You may find it here.

E.) There is a lot of free sharing going on all over the internet...quiltalongs, knitting patterns, celebrities reading kids' books aloud, food recipes for hunkering down, meditations, fitness classes. It's quite heartwarming to see how ordinary folks are pulling together in these rough times.  If you are restless, take a poke around the internet for ideas.

F.) You can also take a virtual tour of many of our National Parks. Check out this link, sent by one of my college buddies.

I share these links with you as entertaining distractions, for these are unprecedented times.  But at the same time,  I am holding thoughts of so many folks close to my heart...the first responders, medical workers, grocery clerks, transit workers, and all the other folks who still out there, working. And the folks who are no longer working, who are not being paid, who are not sure how they will continue to carry on.

So, friends...breathe, nourish, rest, stay home (if you are able). I am here and you are there, but we are all in this together.


Saturday, March 14, 2020

an offering for you

Last week we had a flock of bluebirds arrive! They were busy checking out the bluebird houses, flitting from one to another. Cedar waxwings came by to eat the very last of the shriveled crab apples, melting into the ground under the trees. The roads are MUDDY and the sap is running and the syrup is boiling all over the neighborhood. Spinach is sprouting in the hoop house and pea shoots are growing on our windowsills. The bulbs that Batman tucked into the root cellar in the fall are still coming up to brighten our home. The snow is melting in between new flurries and today we can see our raised beds, emerging from their winter rest. The madder and garlic were covered in straw to protect them from the deep freeze of January and February in Vermont.

Batman and I have been doing what good work we can with his in the Legislature (he is on the Healthcare Committee) and mine on the board at a community action group...looking out for folks who already live in the margins.

Our pantry is in good shape and we have scaled way back on our news consumption. 

Reminders to self (and maybe you, too?)
  • hydrate
  • eat to nourish
  • rest and sleep, nap (with cats)
  • meditate
  • get outdoors
  • stay in touch with friends and family
  • stretch
  • listen to favorite music
  • sew/knit/craft/collage/bead/etc
  • send snail mail
  • read poetry
  • BREATHE and find peace in the present moment
  • if so moved, explore ways to help others in the neighborhood, who may be struggling
  • brew tea in a pot and have a digestive biscuit alongside, enjoy the ritual
  • if you are still going out and about, support small businesses with generous tips 
  • if your favorite small businesses are closed and offer online shopping, patronize them and/or buy their gift cards
Here are a few lovely resources for the days and weeks ahead...

Insight Timer, an app with thousands of free meditations.

A Listening Care Package for Uncertain Times, via On Being.

Today is National Pi Day! Check out King Arthur Flour and Sister Pie for inspiration.

The Poetry Foundation, a treasure trove of poetry.

If you are a fan of Beatrix Potter, you may enjoy a wander around this website. For those of us yearning for spring, it's a lovely distraction.

Maybe you are curious about how Vermont maple syrup is made. Look here to find out!

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite the darkness"
-Desmond Tutu.

Keeping thoughts of you, dearest readers, close to my heart. xo

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

and a brand new quilt, too

 This quilt was such fun to put together! Made for Lindsey and Scott's spring baby, the bits of yellow match the yellow of the freshly painted nursery walls.

 I've long admired the quilts of Gee's Bend, and this little crib quilt was inspired by the women who stitched beauty from worn clothing.
 When Batman was getting ready for his new job, we culled some of his old dress shirts from the closet. I grabbed them and stashed them in my sewing studio, knowing I would have several uses for them. The swatches (above) ended up in this quilt.
 Sewn together with bits of calico, the dress shirt fabric helped create the look I was going for...wonky, improv piecing with a modern and vintage look at the same time.
 This little bit of blue floral is leftover from the quilt I made for Batman when we were college sweeties back in the early 1970's. I bought it while shopping in Harvard Square during a school break. I still remember that day so well. :-)
 This lovely "cotton for quilting" came from the Liberty of London collection. I used it for the quilt  backing.

 We had a wonderful gathering in Detroit this past weekend, and I was so very happy to be with all four of my grown kids. Friends and family "showered" Lindsey and Scott with thoughtful gifts, wisdom and hope. The food was fabulous and the games and crafty projects were fun. 

Now, back in Vermont, the snow is melting off the rooftops, the sap is running from the maple taps and it's Town Meeting Day and Super Tuesday. Spring can't be too far behind!