Tuesday, July 18, 2017

noticing

someone is arriving this evening for a visit.
i brought a bit of the meadow to her bedside.

The summer seems to be evaporating. 
In a good, life is filled-to-the-brim kind of way.
So many exciting changes in our family...two moves and a grandbaby on the way, too.
A grandbaby.
Our first.

Life.

It moves along even when you wish you could capture it and slow it down.

So I am noticing.

Little things.
Like the slant of the light at all different times of the day.
The stars in the pitch dark sky of the night.
The warmth of a smile.
The coyotes' call and response in the dark.
The freshest of vegetables, prepared as simply as possible.
The hum of the ceiling fan, and sleeping under just a cotton sheet.
The tang of icy cold lemonade.

It's a practice, this noticing.
A spiritual practice.
Being fully present.

As the summer slips into the dog days, what are you noticing friends?

Monday, July 10, 2017

the three season room






hi.
sorry i've been absent.

we've been recovering.

recovering
from all the wedding prep,
and all the wedding excitement,
and all the wedding clean-up.

finished up just days before the festivities began,
we transformed the three season porch
from dark and dingy
to fresh and inviting.

(most of our home is decorated in
peaceful and muted tones,
but we went with bright and whimsical 
for the three season room).

now one can step from the dining room 
into the three season room,
then out onto the deck
and then out into the yard. 

summer living.

reading, napping, dining,
sewing, knitting, chatting, 
jigsaw puzzling, card playing,
letter writing....

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

lindsey and scott's wedding

the tent went up on wednesday,
along with an infusion of love in the air.
wednesday night brought local strawberries, local whipped cream
and shortbread made by the bride.
batman and i hosted dinner at "a bit of earth"
for the bride, groom and scott's parents.
buckets of flowers from stitchdown farm,
a local place the next town south.
the bride, minutes before she headed to the meetinghouse
just down the road, to get hitched.
the bride and her bouquet.
(with a few flowers from batman's "peony crescent").
she and her groom left the ceremony perched on a straw bale
 in the back of our pickup.
they threw chocolate coins to the crowd
(a la sense and sensibility).
my toast may have made the bride tear up,
and her groom crack up.
sorry, not sorry.

the reception food from our favorite local eatery,
 the black krim tavern was fabulous.

the beer drinkers loved the brews from bent hill brewery
(our neighbors...if you look carefully between the hops
on their webpage, you can barely see our falu red house up the hill!)

just trying to keep everything local!
the lonesome jukebox helped us "dance the night away".
the bride, having some fun at the end of the day.
hannah and lindsey, still celebrating on sunday morning.
the bride and her big brother,
cooking birthday breakfast for batman
in our vermont kitchen on tuesday.

we also celebrated the tenth anniversary of
finding our "bit of earth" yesterday too.

there was so much love and joy and happiness
floating around here, it's really hard to describe.

sometimes that's the way the most sacred things turn out to be.
hard to describe, but easy to feel.
xoxoxoxoxoxox

(with thanks to berissima on instagram
and the bride's sister hannah
for a few of these photos, the rest are mine)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017

to sit and breathe




-sweet wilma, waiting out the heat.
-the mountain ash, (or rowan tree), filled with blossoms.

our rainbow flag is flying proudly this month, and today i'm thinking about pulse in orlando. "he who shall not be named" continues in his downward spiral. there is much to distract us.

and yet, here on braintree hill, june has crept in with birdsong, breezes from the west and steamy afternoons...far from the rumbles of the clanging world.

even as wedding preparations continue, there are moments of respite. 

-a tall glass of water with a lemon slice floating amongst the ice cubes.
-a bowl of pickled radishes, a weck's jar of marinated golden beets, a bag of washed greens from our csa, and a jar of sliced carrots...all waiting in the fridge ready to add to relaxed meals.
-a "something blue" project, on the cutting mat in the cooler basement sewing studio.
- the refuge of meditation, and the availability of the present moment to bring calm and peace to a busy mind.

and happy 88th birthday to anne frank, wherever you are, dearest one.
Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.

xo


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

mother of the bride ponderings

lately, i've been thinking a lot about dumbledore's army.
there's a handcrafted nimbus 2000 hanging in the breezeway, 
just in case.

this morning while listening to vermont public radio,
i heard a kindred spirit, madeleine m. kunin.
listen to her here.

there are others too.
mayors, governors, academics and so many good hearted souls
who are pledging to uphold the 
paris climate agreement.

“It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight, 
and fight again, and keep fighting, 
for only then could evil be kept at bay, 
though never quite eradicated. . . .”

as i wash windows, put up screens,
inventory the bed linens, plan meals,
paint, weed, spread mulch
and watch the wedding countdown
slip away...

i'm reminded that when a couple says 
"i do"
a leap of faith happens and the light of
hope and love
beams into the darkness.

xo

Monday, June 5, 2017

june 5th

how to carry on?
after one man's decision impacts the future of the world?

i have been stuck here for days,
bereft.

i've been reading poetry.
especially mary and wendell

wandering the road,
looking up at the sky,
exhaling.

i am glad i made room for the mourning.

but now the lupines in the meadow are beginning to open.

and the persistence must be tenfold.

 (and london, too...)

xo

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

triptych 39




june will be all about...

something old,
something new,
something borrowed,
something blue.

i invite you to follow along here
at sow and sew life
as i find shelter during a very busy month.

-blue and whites found at the annual vintage linen sale
at the gifford medical center auxiliary thrift shop.
(some are destined for the next indigo dye pot.)
-blueberry blossoms
it just might be happening...

xo

Sunday, May 28, 2017

heaven scent



my grandmother's ewer
and some vermont lilacs.

Friday, May 26, 2017

still learning...


On Monday I attended the Vermont Ethics Network's spring gathering in Fairlee, VT. Perspectives at End-of-Life:Suffering, Consciousness and the Power of a Patient's Narrative included plenary sessions, an interfaith panel discussion and breakout sessions. 

Two of the speakers were outstanding.

Pulitzer Prizer Winner and Director of Narrative Medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Michael Vitez , had us spellbound with his passion for storytelling.

Koshin Paley Ellison, co-founder of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, the first Zen-based organization to offer fully accredited ACPE clinical chaplaincy training in America literally had me at hello. He transformed a room full of health care professionals (and at least one volunteer chaplain) into a quiet, pensive group of listeners. I have ordered his book, Awake at the Bedside, because I know I have much more to learn from this kind man.

One of Koshin Paley Ellison's questions to the gathering on Monday was, "Do you have 5 people in your life that you know would drop everything to be with you if you needed them?" 

And, "How do we practice kindness as a way of life?"

I'm still thinking about all that I heard and experienced on Monday...

How about you, dear readers...what are you "still learning" about?


Thursday, May 25, 2017

still catching up...




Early on Sunday my Mumsie and brother Doug arrived from Massachusetts for a quick, 24 hour visit. After thick slabs of coffee cake, Batman and Doug started work on the deck railings and my Mumsie and I headed out to buy some Japanese Indigo seedlings here. I made a little balsam sachet for Jennifer (I do love to make tokens of appreciation!) made from cloth I dyed with indigo plants I bought there last year. The new seedlings are planted here at our "bit of earth" and are being drenched (which they love) by a steady rain this afternoon. Safely railed, the deck feels ready for boisterous conversation, small supper gatherings, afternoon tea parties and quiet reflection. A few pots of flowers and we'll be good to go. Hauling old cedar siding out from under the crawl space, Doug whipped up an impromptu lattice screen to hide said crawl space. Later in the afternoon, we painted more coats on the walls in the three season porch and put up trim around the ceiling. Doug has just one speed and it's full steam ahead. I so appreciate that he has showered us with his skill and loving attention here at our "bit of earth".  And having my Mumsie on site, supervising the many projects was an added bonus. 

In the meantime, everything has popped into flower...the crab apples, the lilacs, the pear trees, the forget-me-nots, the grape hyacinths and the daffodils. The dandelions are having a banner year, with fields swathed in their cheerful yellow carpets.

Life is brimming and full...and there's so much more ahead...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

a folkwear baby jacket



On Friday I hit the road early in the morning. I drove west, up and over both the Warren Mountain Road and the Lincoln Gap. Everything was sparkling with the raindrops that had fallen overnight, caught by the early morning sunlight. From both summits, the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont spread out in front of me, dappled with shadows caused by the light clouds floating in the bluest of skies. I pulled over more than once to sigh. Contented sighs are the best, aren't they?

When I arrived at Basin Harbor Resort, an eight foot long table and chair was waiting for me. Our Vermont Modern Quilt Guild was in the midst of our four day spring retreat! (Batman and I try to reserve weekends for the wedding prep "to do" list, and so I was delighted that I was able to be a "day retreater"). 

How much fun is it to hang out with kindred spirits, sharing quilting and sewing tips, doing "show and tell" with projects and enjoying food we did not have to prepare or clean up??? Super fun!

I was able to get this little jacket nearly finished. Started almost a month ago, it has had soooo much love stitched into it, both by hand and by machine. 

I used up lots of scraps of both fabric and batting while sewing this project. I did purchase new fabric for the lining and the binding. The jacket is quite sturdy and thick...good for the chilly winters in Sweden. Sewn up in a size two, it will be something the new babe (due in June) will grow in to.

Patchwork, sewing and quilting.

After listening to the news, sometimes I feel like I am trying to stitch the whole world back together again. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

place holder


will post more tomorrow.
i promise.
xo

Saturday, May 20, 2017

still here


the wedding countdown/"to do" list is getting a bit crazy!
priming some trim for the three season porch today.
a chore, yes, but that view...not too shabby.

up to my eyeballs in so many things. 
will update on tuesday.

how about you, dear readers?
what have you been up to in may?
xo

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

beauty


"Beauty will save the world"
-Feodor Dostoevski

#persist

Saturday, May 13, 2017

my annual mother's day post



Mother's Day Proclamation

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!

Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by
irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking
with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be
taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach
them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another
country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From
the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance
of justice."

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons
of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a
great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women,
to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the
means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each
bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a
general congress of women without limit of nationality may be
appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at
the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the
alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement
of international questions, the great and general interests of
peace.

Julia Ward Howe
Boston
1870

(Written in response to the carnage of the Civil War. The original intention of Mother's Day, a call for peace)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

measuring

this week i've been measuring my time
by bobbins used and
steps taken. 

:-)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

light from afar


from my beloved earlham college.
a baccalaureate address that brought me to tears.
brew some tea and look here.
The Labor of the Lost Cause.

the Light. 

always, the Light.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

flurries




flurries in these "higher elevations" for two days in a row.
i was chatting with a friend and told her this must be the rent we pay for our view!
and ugh. the sliminess in d.c. just gets slimier by the day.
what's a girl to do?
pull out a bag of last summer's pumpkin puree from the freezer,
bake a nice loaf of pumpkin bread and then close myself into my sewing studio with my best friend.
the wee jacket is coming along, bit by bit (the back, above).

escapism in the kitchen and the sewing studio.
who's with me?

Monday, May 8, 2017

tiny treasures

i just came in from a little ramble around the yard.
it looked like rain, so i hurried along.
i was wrong.
it's a snow squall that chased me in.
it swept across the valley and is swirling 
around the corners of the house.

scilla and hyacinth,
a bit of birch...
tucked gently into my pocket.

a fossil,
some small rocks...
from my treasure trove
of tiny things.

maybe i'm channeling the collectors of long ago,
like beatrix potter (did you know she was a botanist?)
and charles darwin
and some funky and quaint museums, too.

do you have treasures from the natural world
tucked into your home?


Saturday, May 6, 2017

three years

 our very own ramps.
a vermont delicacy.
read about foraging etiquette here.
 ferns down by the vernal stream...
bubbling over the stone wall.
 unfurling in the misty, wet, soggy conditions.
 trout lilies, budded but not yet blooming.
 tiny leaves and lichen.
 daffodils from opening day at the 
and the rainy, misty, foggy days on end.

celebrating three years as full time vermonters this week.

xo