Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lily's first day of 4th grade

Rob and Lily rode bikes.
Here's my annual before-school photo.

They are both getting so big!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene

I was heading to the grocery store to stock up in sort of a panic and Tire Warehouse calmed me right down. Love that.

I had to work the whole weekend at the hospital. It felt terrible to drive away from my family in such a tense situation, everyone just waiting to see how bad it would be.

Sunday afternoon the sun came out and there was a double rainbow at Poet's seat. We were all so relieved and happy!

Then people started calling in because they didn't know if they could make it in to work because of all the crazy flooding. The mood got somber and we waited for people to get off the elevator and give us updates.
Scary what water can do.

Oh Cookie

Here she is watching her chicken foes walk and cluck around the yard. Hours can go by...

Here Georgia is trying to get some attention, but Cookie is way too busy.

Rob just announced he doesn't think it's appropriate for the dog to be on the toy box.

Good luck with training her out of that habit!

Here she is about to pounce on Lily.


Dried for dream pillows and sleeping potions

Fresh and buzzing

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Well Hello Henny Hen Hen

We're down to these two stalwart and lucky chickens. They are so tame I have to resist letting them inside. Cookie is still obsessed with them, although she seems a bit frightened and jumpy when they are around and she is outside.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Mullien is blooming

I love their stalks that are like sparklers reaching high in the air with their bright yellow blossoms.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Harvesting Mint!

Blooming mint at Woolman Hill! I harvested the dense fluffy leaves into my sterile jar while Lily's camp had opening circle. I didn't want to embarrass her by lurking in the fields so I had to move fast and avoid all of the droning bees.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cambridge Shamanic Circle

Well, I finally made it. My intuition told me to come to the Cambridge Shamanic Circle 15 months ago and I took my time, but I made it!

I have been having a hard time since Susan, my friend, colleague and beloved midwife to my children, died of breast cancer a few weeks ago. Even though I knew she was dying. Even though I was lucky enough to go to Susan's house with my friend and give Susan Reiki for years, I still feel so angry that she is gone and so sad I didn't spend more time with her.

I have also been having a miserable time with my girls. Either they sense my deep sadness and rage at the world and are acting it out or it is a terribly timed coincidence that when I need some quiet processing time for myself, my children are behaving worse than they ever have and are making me crazy, wanting-to-hit-them crazy.

So, I asked the babysitter if she could come on Friday and she could. I took off to see the Harry Potter movie alone (Heaven) and then drove 2 hours to Cambridge. I felt a bit guilty. Rob had been incredulous, "Really? Cambridge? This Friday? What?" But I knew I needed to go. As I drove along the highway, getting excited I had actually made the leap, a huge Bald Eagle soared above me for a long while. I knew I was doing the right thing. I got to Cambridge in record time and found a perfect parking space right in front, even though the directions were spotty and I had to rely on my vague distant memories of the back streets around Harvard Square. After I parked, I saw this car with a 444 license plate and you know I love 444 (According to Doreen Virtue it means: "Thousands of angels surround you at this moment, loving and supporting you. You have a very strong and clear connection with the angelic realm, and are an Earth angel yourself. You have nothing to fear-all is well." ) Love that.
I was just far enough from home to then miss my family and wish they were here with me. (I hadn't felt that for a while. Getting away is good.)

I had delicious burrito at Chipotle and then walked down the evening streets to the Quaker meeting house where the circle was held.

It was marvelous. There were 8-9 people sitting on the floor. Three of us were new. All the people were kind and open. I told them my story about my intuition finding them in the magazine in a bathroom and the 15 months going by and the babysitter and the bald eagle and they clapped with joy that I had arrived. The circle itself was magical and healing. I have been on journeys before and read a few books about shamanism, and their website was nicely informative about what I needed to expect. I won't write too much about the actual journey because the website gives the instruction:

"The Other World of shamanism is an infinite source for receiving practical wisdom and healing power. In order to treat the sacred spirits with respect, it is important not to speak casually about your experiences in public."

I tend to speak casually about everything so I have to hold myself back, but it was a deeply healing experience. After it was complete, I felt much brighter; more connected and aware that the deep unknowingness of the mysteries of the world was OK. It was part of the magic.

One of the leaders came to me at the end and said, "Well I guess you've been part of the circle for a while, but it was nice to meet you!" and she gave me a warm hug. I felt so light as I walked out to the soft lawn, quiet voices around me and the full moon above.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

E.E. Cummings

(A poem I heard before I read it. The woman read it so slowly, it really sank in. Lovely.)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Farm magic

The girls were driving me nuts! I don't know if it was the adjustment of being home from Maine, too much time together, anxiety about approaching school but they have been fighting with each other and being rude and moody with me.

I am out of sorts. I feel more angry than usual, my patience is much thinner, so that could be alot (most?) of their off-kilterness.

We were at Picadilly Farm harvesting these gorgeous calendula blossoms for drying and I felt like I wanted to cry from overwhelm. I was saying to myself, "Angels, please help me. Angels please help me!" in a sort of desperate way that felt unfamiliar. (Like I said, I'm having a hard time. I had also acclimated to a certain amount of alone time with the girls in school and now I can't go into the other room without them following me, all the while bickering with each other! Also I'm still wrestling with the shitty reality of death)

Lily interrupted my reverie by coming up with a handful of a plant she had picked; Sticking it in my face, she asked, "What are these?"

I had a funny moment.
I looked at them like an old friend where you recognize their face but it takes a moment to gather all the back-story from your surprised brain.

It was Oatstraw.
Green and tall with a seed head that was still milky.
Must be a weed or cover crop from the flower garden.
I stopped and smiled.
I showed Lily how you can squeeze the pointy seed head and a milky juice spurts out, which is sweet and very soothing.
Oats are a deeply healing and nourishing plant that has been used forever to support the nervous system. It is amazing medicine for anxiety and despair.

I learned about it years ago by reading Susun Weed books. Here's a tidbit from her website.

It was perfect for harvesting. The seeds were plump and juicy.
I felt. No, I knew, that the angels I had been fervently praying to, had sent Lily over to stick this old friend in my face.
I am a women who needs Oatstraw tea and maybe tincture (stronger!) in the pantry. Lily had been pretty difficult lately, for me and herself, so I thought she might benefit, too. And maybe it would reduce Georgia's swearing, that has reached new highs (lows?).

I harvested a nice bunch and we made some tea when we got home. Lily and I really liked it. Georgia tolerated it once it had lots of honey. The afternoon went better. Probably party due to the Oat tea, but I also felt better. I had been reminded that I had allies in the world around me. Sometimes I forget about the plants I can use; I take for granted all of my knowledge and connection with the plant world, but right now I'll take all the help I can get.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The lushness of summer

condensed into jewels

summer fruit

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Sappho poem

I loved in college
has been stumbling
through the corridors
of my brain.

Luckily, My mother
throws nothing out-
so the slight orange book
was there,
calling for me
from a quiet distant shelf.

Here it is:

Some say an army of horsemen,
some of footsoldiers, some of ships,
is the fairest thing on the black earth,
but I say it is what one loves.


Monday, August 15, 2011


I was feeling sad and then I went to the farm.

The flowers were so bright on the gray day.

During Susan's memorial her daughter said that Susan always said she would come back as a butterfly....

There have been many sightings reported.

These beauties sat so still for me.
I was grateful.
I do feel like she is with me.
The other day, washing our hands at work, a friend and I both admitted that in a moment of crisis that day with our children we had both prayed imploringly, "Help me Susan!" to the air.
He calming yet no-nonsense presence is just what we both needed.

and here's a chubby little bee.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Roses for Susan

After Susan's funeral someone brought up these beautiful roses and a card with an angel on it up to the birthplace and they stayed on the counter for a long long time.

A week later we were amazed at how fresh and bright they still looked.

Here's the full moon rising up over Poet's Seat from the nursery window at work. It was a quiet night. We got to talk about what a wonderful midwife and friend Susan was to each of us. It is difficult to lose someone. I knew she was going to die, but I am surprised by the shock I feel that she is really gone and also some anger, rage even, that someone so important and special could be gone......

Friday, August 5, 2011

From the service

My friend Susan died the day after I came back from vacation. Her service was the next day and it was a gift from her. She had planned to whole thing: picked the speakers, the songs and the poems. It was very healing and filled with beauty. My co-worker chose to read this from Corinthians. I have never read the bible so I had never heard this all the way through and I was moved, it really struck me how it brings us back to love so firmly again and again.

1 Corinthians 13
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Chihuly exhibit at Museum of Fine Arts

(My sister, Georgia, and my mom - Lily was not photo-compliant)

What a day!
Long drive with the girls to Boston where there was a HUGE line for this glass exhibit my sister and mother had already seen and loved so they talked me into coming with the girls. They met us at the front of the museum and helped me manage the very squirmy girls as we waded through the dense crowd to get a look at all this beautiful colorful glass.

I took alot of pictures. I couldn't help myself.

a boat filled with squirmy bright glass

Wool Pendelton quilts hanging on one wall.

A stand of glass objects down the center of the room.

A ceiling filled with glass pieces, light shining from above.
So gorgeous. I had trouble choosing which photos to post, each one was so bright and magical.

One of the crazy "chandeliers" hanging at eye level.

The girls didn't really seem to like the crowds and they got so bored they were lying on the ground, but they did like the art and it feels like quite an adventure to trek into Boston.

I was glad to get home and really happy to lie down in bed that night.