Friday, January 28, 2011

Smith greenhouse on another snow day

So amazing to be in a warm airy space with dripping tropical plants when it is sleeting outside.

Blooming orchids and who knows what?

This is Fragrant Olive which smells delightful; fruity and tropical. All of New Orleans smelled like blooming Fragrant Olive when Rob and I went down there to elope many years ago on Valentine's Day. Love to smell their sweet dense fragrance in chilly Massachusetts.

Cotton!! I've never seen cotton!

Rob and Lily pulling a Homer/Bart move. The girls spend alot of time watching The Simpsons when I'm at work. Oh well....

Imagine the bug or moth this was made for!!

Achingly beautiful Camellias.

I love these and stole a moment with them in their temperate hallway before the greenhouse closed.

We felt refreshed after our little visit to a warmer climate.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tessa the chicken

is a bit of a renegade. She waddles up the snowy path up to the house from the chicken coop and hangs out under the bird feeder. Then she lays her eggs in the back of the garage. Then in the evening she struts back to her house and settles in with her four sisters who haven't left the coop all day!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Frozen bubbles

at 22 below zero this morning.
I got an email from a friend telling us that even bubbles freeze when it gets this cold and she was right!

They looked otherworldly as they floated away.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

More gifts to share

I realize I am documenting and celebrating my gifts to make the blessings and good wishes concrete; something I can look to in days to come.

The birthday was a turning point. I asked for what I needed and asked to be celebrated without wincing and apologizing for taking up to much space. The most important gifts were the love, support and beautiful words, sweet cards and poems I received as well as the presence of my friends around me, but the physical gifts are meaningful and I love to see them in here, one by one before they settle into their new places around the house.

Such a candle! It smells strongly of rich honey.

Oak leaf and sage bundle to represent the power of the plants.

A butterfly clip for sparkle and a wish for ADVENTURE!

Paper whites in a decorated bowl. I love how they grow up from rocks; their roots grabbing for stability.

A piece of bright artwork.

Lovely candles to welcome the 4 directions

Minerva, the Roman version of Athena, who is a symbol of women's power and transformation.

A poem from Mary Oliver

The Sunflowers -- by Mary Oliver

Come with me
into the field of sunflowers.
Their faces are burnished disks,
their dry spines

creak like ship masts,
their green leaves,
so heavy and many,
fill all day with the sticky

sugars of the sun.
Come with me
to visit the sunflowers,
they are shy

but want to be friends;
they have wonderful stories
of when they were young -
the important weather,

the wandering crows.
Don't be afraid
to ask them questions!
Their bright faces,

which follow the sun,
will listen, and all
those rows of seeds -
each one a new life!

hope for a deeper acquaintance;
each of them, though it stands
in a crowd of many,
like a separate universe,

is lonely, the long work
of turning their lives
into a celebration
is not easy. Come

and let us talk with those modest faces,
the simple garments of leaves,
the coarse roots in the earth
so uprightly burning.

A joyful book about yellow
"And suddenly, the clouds parted and she realized what she had been following. She saw it there in the distance like a house with wings and a candle burning in every window: her Heart. So, of course, She had to enter. Once you follow your heart, and then find it, you must open the door........"

The book I had read about the power of women's circles with an incredible quote at its finish.

"You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the power of the world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round...The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball and so are the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours...Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves."
Black Elk,
Oglala Sioux Holy Man

And a crazy sky blue rock, Hemimorphite to assist in self-transformation and personal evolution while also bringing in joy and creativity.

Crow in the backyard

sat so still for so long, I finally took a photo.

Black iridescent feathers against the bright blue sky.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter at Picadilly farm

Spring seems deep under the piles of white snow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blessings for our Cakie

We shared things we loved and remembered about Cakie, our dear pet rat who died on Monday, lighting little candles in the snow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Another snow day!

Georgia eating a mango!
Sticky and sneaky while the rest of us were outside sledding.

She was dancing in the kitchen and when I walked in she told me, "My name is Stanley!!" as she danced around with her juicy fruit.
Shoes on the wrong feet.

Silly girl.

Lily, Rob and I sled for a bit after the sun had set.

I love the way the house looks in the snowy moonlight. Rob is talking to Georgia in the window. Lily is eating a mitten full of snow.

Snowy evening walk with Lily

Sun setting.
It's cold out as the sun goes down.

Moon rising!

over the barn at the golf course

Lily learning to ski. She was pretty patient with all the falling and getting back up.

Moon higher and higher.

Some of my beautiful party gifts

A glorious box lined with glitter covered in soft felt pieces that look like rose petals!

and a blessing poem.....

for Josie

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

~ John O'Donohue ~
(Echoes of Memory)

An imperfect shell to remind me of the vast soothing ocean and the beauty in imperfection.

A pineapple as a symbol of the welcome and the support of our amazing group of women that will catch us if we fall down.

A feather (a crow feather??!!) from Nepal! Nepal.

and another perfect poem
What Can I Say
What can I say that I have not said before?
So I'll say it again.
The leaf has a song in it.
Stone is the face of patience.
Inside the river there is an unfinishable story
and you are somewhere in it
and it will never end until all ends.
Take your busy heart to the art museum and the
chamber of commerce
but take it also to the forest.
The song you heard singing in the leaf when you
were a child
is singing still.
I am of years lived, so far, seventy-four,
and the leaf is singing still.
~ Mary Oliver ~

A delightful sand dollar: beauty, amazement and dollars!

More later.....

Monday, January 17, 2011

Our dear rat Cakie died.

So sad.
She was so sweet and loving.
She never bit anyone, ever!
She snuggled so much with her sister Jewel.

She was getting skinnier and having more trouble breathing.
Yesterday Rob and I told Lily and Georgia that they should spend some time with her because she was getting really weak.
Lily did not want to hear it. Who can blame her? I've been saying that on and off for months.
But this time Cakie seemed a bit sprawled and quiet.
The girls did hold her and spend a little time.

I had the rat cage in our bedroom for the party and moved it into the study for the night. The study was filled with magical energy from all the psychic readings that were done in the room during my party. My Reiki grid was charged and pink roses were giving off their scent. I hope it was a nice place for Cakie to have her last hours.

Lily came to us at 7am and with a horror filled voice. "Mama! Mama! I don't think Cakie is breathing!!' and she wasn't. She was still warm. Georgia had brought her out to Lily in bed and Lily had held her for a moment before she died.

We all lay in our bed and said goodbye to Cakie.
We made sure her sister knew she was gone.
Her little body got cold and stiff.
We felt so sad.
I cried and cried. I was quite attached to her. The others seemed a bit shocked. I think we're still grieving our sweet chicken Moon's death last month.
Cakie was a very sweet presence in the house. Her sister is a little more rowdy and moody. Cakie was always gentle.

Some notes from Lily
"Cakie was sweet.
She was polite
She loved all foods."
She was one of the ends of the 10 rainbow"

The girls settled her in a shoebox with a bit of cake, roses, glitter and lots of other little gifts.

From Georgia
"Cakie was sweet"

More from Lily:
She had a big heart
She was the best rat in the rat unaverse
Wonderful in every way."

We finally got Georgia to school and received a phone call moments later to say she's just thrown up at school.

Hard day,
especially after such a glorious party the night before.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Belated 40th B-day for ME!

12 dear women friends came to my home and we had a sacred circle for my birthday, in celebration of me and them.

I had wanted to have a ritual, a rite of passage, but it felt a bit silly or greedy or awkward to ask, but I asked.

And they said yes! And then came and celebrated me and us and this wonderful time in our lives.

I felt held and loved.

It was really amazing.

I am so thankful. Lucky me to have so many wonderful women in my life.

I had candles lit on every flat surface and luminaria glowing up the driveway.

(My dear family went to our friend's house and watched TV and ate pizza.)

And left me and my friends to have a momentous magical night.

We let draining things go and called in nourishing marvelous things to grow.

I gave everyone a beautiful jar of honey from Uppingill Farm with a red wax seal. They symbolize the magic of everyday and the sweetness we find in daily enjoyment of life. We charged them with energy and they looked lovely glowing in the candlelight.

A fairy and an owl Lily placed on the piano were transfixed by the experience.

The candles melded together as the night passed. Our collective wishes joining and burning in the dark night.