Monday, February 27, 2012

Spring is coming!

The girls and I went to NMH farm in Gill where we fed the beautiful huge draft horses.

and saw the smoke rising from the sugar shack

The fire is HOT!

turning the sap to steam and syrup.

This sweet pair of twin calves were cavorting around in their pen.
A sure sign of spring on its way!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Two links for meditation timers and great teachers

Both of the above links are to sites with timers where you can set the time and duration of a gong to remind you to stay on track with whatever you are doing.
It's very soothing compared to some squawking alarm clock.

Two people I really like, recommend using a timer to help you break down tasks and keep on top of breaks, which makes you more efficient.

Stephanie McWilliams
who writes about feng shui and helps women make money and change the world

Samantha Bennett from The Organized Artist Company

who advises folks to breaks down tasks into 15 minute blocks to make them manageable (I've got one of the timers on right now to make sure I have enough time to walk the dog before work)

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I have really increased my use of essential oils since my class in December. It is wonderful to have such enjoyable homework! My teacher (Kathy Duffy teaching RJ Buckle's program) recommends using oils in the bath, putting them in a small amount of whole milk. This disperses them so you don't sit on a big drop of peppermint oil and burn your skin. The milk is nice for the skin and is a great dispersant.

She said, "If it's good enough for Cleopatra; it's good enough for me." Cleopatra is said to have taken baths in milk, honey, lavender and roses. Mmmmmmm.

I loved hearing about the history of aromatherapy, the Egyptians used oils and herbs for embalming but also put cones of beeswax with plant oils on their heads and let them melt on in the heat.

I don't do that.
Instead I am using this nice diffuser in a few rooms of the house.

And I invested in some nice books so I can integrate the aromatherapy into the nursing work I do.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Georgia and the Flu

Poor Georgia was sick the whole week before school vacation and still recovering over vacation. I was going to be home alone that first week (my teaching job had vacation) and I was going to de- clutter the entire kitchen and pantry. I was so excited for cleanup week and a date with Rob on Wednesday (dinner, a hot tub in a crystal filled room and a movie!), but instead Georgia had a fever, once getting up to 104.4!! so she sat in my lap and we snuggled for days.

I got so cooped up I finally drove her to get some milk at Upingill Farm in nearby Gill
and reveled in the beauty of their candies shining in the sun. (It had been a long sequestered week with not much visual stimulation!)

Georgia was roused from her stupor to see the sap buckets! Hooray!
Georgia loves sap and couldn't wait to tell everyone she knew that the buckets were up.
We believe it has medicinal healing properties, especially for a tired feverish girl, so we got her a cup full and she drank it in the car.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Moon through plum branches

Evening time is getting later and later as spring comes closer.

The chickens go into their henhouse to roost at sunset so we are very aware when dusk hits.

It gets dark about 6pm now, which seems springy and late compared to the 4:30pm chicken bedtime from just a couple months ago.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


This is Winifred. I took these pictures in a roadside cemetery in Brattleboro last summer after my friend and midwife Susan died.

I had finally stopped to meet this lovely girl that I passed every week on my way to work and violin lessons .

I love her feet, her hair, her patience as she sits there year after year. All the people who knew and loved her long dead, and here she sits in the summer sun.

I sat with her for a while and wondered about her life, who loved her enough to make such a statue and what she was like when she was alive. No one knows anymore.

Last week on a gray winter's day that was threatening snow, I drove by and saw someone had left her flowers.

oh, Winny or Fred or whatever those who loved you called you; someone still leaves you flowers!

It reminded me that I had saved this quote from Karly Pitman about grief that soothed me last year when I was taken down by the ghastly and permanent loss that death brings.

"How much of life is grieving? My wise friend Deidre says 50%. This is not the message you get from our culture, the media, and even from many of our spiritual teachers. It’s also not the message we tend to give each other either, as grieving means being vulnerable. For these reasons, grieving can feel lonely – which is why I write about its importance over and over again, to normalize this very human, very mature, very healing process.

We grieve so we can release this idea that we’re flawed, that we’re sabotaging ourselves, that we’re not controlling life “well.” (If you figure out the answer to that one, let me know!) We grieve so that we can find our wholeness again."

by Karly Randolph Pitman

I was feeling dreadful that my friend had died, that I wasn't going to have another baby like I had always thought I would, that my children were growing older and I didn't feel present enough in each and every moment. I was DOWN and disappointed.

This quote helped me because it made me realize that a healthy whole life is filled with grieving and loss, letting it pass through and over you and back to wholeness, that's all. Just grief. Let it come. Then go. Then come again.

This spring I will leave some daffodils for Winifred.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Magical Readings

The author Doreen Virtue gives a weekly angel card reading each Monday about the coming week, which I love to look at.
I get an email from Spirit Library reminding me to check it out every Monday and it is nice to take a few minutes and get ready for the coming week.

Is her spirit library link with her readings if you scroll down a bit. I have a few decks of her cards and I enjoy her kind loving manner.

Last week her reading said to "seek expert advice" toward the end of the week which struck me. What expert? Hmmm? Expert in what? What would that look like?

It can be fun how things just unfold.

The next day or so I got an email from the Barefoot Doctor a funny Taoist doctor from England who sends interesting emails with bursts on energy and thoughts about the state of the world. He ended his email with this testimonial:

"Before I go let me tell you about my friend Juliette, one of the
most supportive ethically aligned people I know. She's a superb
psychic who shuns publicity for herself. I'm pretty clued in on the
psychic level myself, but I take a reading from her regularly
because I love her angle and wisdom, so have prevailed upon her to
let me give her a shout in case you want to take a reading online
too. Highly recommended if so - she's at and definitely has the power to turn
your life around in the most angelic way."

So I clicked on Juliette's website and peeked at her animal totems and really enjoyed reading about the crow/raven.
(From her site:
The Raven/Crow

If the Crow has hopped along to say hello, expect to see magic in your life. If you're not already seeing it, look a little bit harder, it exists everywhere..... He will remind you of the magic that is occurring in your life, even if you can't see it, trust it to bring you joy, understanding and inner fulfillment no matter what the present circumstances appear to be.

Believe in magic and you can't help but see it, magic lives within the belief itself and if the crow comes to you today this may be a time where coincidence and divine synchronicity bring all kinds of different elements together.

It felt so synchronous with my feeling about crows as bringers of magic, everyday common magic that I was pleased.

Then I stepped out my door and looked up and there were 4 ravens circling above me, talking and croaking loudly! They just flew around above the driveway while I stood there dumbstruck. Ravens are not very common around here. Some nest in a nearby town where they like sheer cliffs for nesting.

So I walked back in the house and signed up for a reading and sending her a long email about mostly career issues and my desire to break out of my nursing jobs that take up 4-5 shifts a week and leave me drained and instead do more healing work and writing.

I paid 40 dollars by paypal (don't tell Rob) and she gave me the most marvelous reading, 3-4 pages of Just-What-I-Needed-To-Hear advice and guidance. It was very gentle and subtle but also really deeply encouraging of exactly where I am right now, reminding me to be present and enjoy the wonderful things in my life instead of always looking ahead. She also gave really practical reminders to do things like clear my energy field daily and to spend as much time as I can in nature.

I keep re-reading it and getting new insights. It was really great and I wanted to put her website out there in case anyone was wanting to try it themselves.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!!

May hearts find you wherever you are!

Friday, February 10, 2012

The bells were ringing!

for noon through the cloudy sky when I found these pine cones swinging in the breeze...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy Imbolc!

We had a sweet celebration of Imbolc, the half-way point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The ancients used this festival (also known as Brigid or Candlemass) to celebrate the tiny signs of spring in the dead cold of winter. The days are getting noticeably longer and the sheep have birthed their little lambs and their milk is running (the word Imbolc comes from "ewe's milk" in gaelic). This winter here has been warm and lacking in snow, so the sun was shining and the fields had a hint of green.

When the sun set we lit candles and sat in a circle with our friends and our children around a fire which people have been doing as long as there have been people.

We quietly (as quietly as you can with fifteen children) walked through the dark fields into the woods and tried to hoot so an owl would hoot back (February is when they are claiming their territory and nesting area so there is a better chance they might actually hoot back!)

Nobody hooted back, but it was nice to be out in the dark on a clear bright night.
Happy Imbolc!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just what I needed to hear:

"It does little good to say you want
something and then, "Just in case,"
prepare to do without.

Burn your bridges."