the spotlight confirms what the howling wind is telling us.
sideways snow is racing over the clothesline and
around the corner of the house.
the flames in the home comfort stove hum and crackle. turkey soup simmers on the kitchen stove. the paperwhites have opened to their fullest and their light is reflected in the dark windows. laundry dries on the wooden racks downstairs. batman is stretched out in the "comfy chair" with a library book in hand. the cat dozes. gretta is curled up in her den, laptop spinning a disc of "west wing". there are still clementines and dark chocolate, signature treats, waiting for dessert. we listen for the shushing of the plow on the road. but we won't be going out tonight. we are snug and content and blessed, right where we are.
Lindsey, Gretta and I went over to Fat Toad Farm today, to hang out with the goats and do a bit of shopping at the farm store. Gretta and I had never been, so we were pretty psyched.
All the sweeties perked up when they heard us come into the barn, and they were super friendly and attentive. They had great names like Willow, Patty, Scarlet, Bumble and Oreo. At least forty of them are expecting kids in March, so we may go back over early in the spring. It would be fun to go for a walk in the woods with the girlies, too. We bought some goat's milk caramel and some "olive lovers' chevre", which we will be enjoying this evening.
Do you think Gretta looks like she is smitten? She wants to be an organic farmer and goatherd when she grows up. We made her get back in the car without a goat or two hidden behind her back.
Then we zoomed up to Burlington and did a bit of fabric shopping at Nido. They are one of the few shops in the US that stock Ink and Spindle fabrics, so, of course we had to get a picture of Gretta with the display. I bought a little bundle of 7 different fabrics from Lotta Jansdotter's ECHO line, for fresh New Year's projects.
Check back tomorrow if you'd like to see pictures of some of this year's handmade gifts.
As we cruise into the shortest, darkest days of the year, I have been thinking about how to stay grounded and healthy. The holiday season can be filled with excesses...consumerism, rich foods, rushed and careless drivers, too much to do in too little time, expectations that may not be met...the list goes on. I've been collecting some intentions for myself, some very simple practices to support my immune system and my spirit. There is nothing here that takes too long, and each can be sprinkled in through the day, whenever it fits. I thought I'd share the list here with you. I may even go so far as to make a chart to check off my progress EVERY DAY.
Brush my teeth and floss. Simple, I know, but I'm still working on making flossing a habit.
Take specific vitamins and herbal supplements. Another no brainer, but sometimes I forget.
Stretch. Best case? Every muscle, with care. Worst case? Hands over head and down to the floor whenever I can catch a minute to do it.
Eat to nourish. Period.
Get outside and walk in rain, sun or snow. The longer the better. But I'll take what I can get, even if it's just from the farthest parking space to the door of the destination.
Make time to sit down and read a poem. Some of my favorite poets? Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver, Marge Piercy, Danna Faulds, Richard Wilbur. Cries of the Spirit , a fabulous anthology of women's poetry, edited by Marilyn Sewell.
Meditate. Set aside the time to sit or catch a bit of time between commitments. But breathe deeply, relax and empty out the monkey chatter.
Hydrate. Morning, noon and night.
Send at least one piece of snail mail "just because".
I would love to know what you might add to this list. What are some of the things you do to take good care of yourself? (Because, really, we are no good to others if we're grouchy, tired and run down).
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