Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sour Cherry Cobbler

We made a delicious sour cherry cobbler with our lovely gift of cherries. We finally found a recipe with ingredients that we already had at :

Rob and I made it after the kids went to bed. He added ginger to spice it up. It smelled wonderful and was a perfect before-bed snack.
Gloriously, we somehow had a can of forgotten whipped cream left over from strawberry time.
The girls had it for breakfast, but thought it was too spicy. The ginger really kicked in after sitting overnight. The cherry flavor was wonderful, how tasty to finally to understand the source of fake cherry flavoring.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Goofy kids

Georgia came home and put these winter items on. We keep telling her that her birthday is in the winter and she's tired of waiting. She emerged and said, "Is Santa coming in three days?"

Nice try.

It's hard to wait.


On the way to violin lessons in the car there must have been a rainshower just before we drove through. I said to Lily,
"It must have just rained; see the wet pavement?" and Lily's puzzled, but excited response was. "What caveman?"

It's everywhere!

So I thought I'd look it up. So many license plates are 88. I think it must be the most common one in the state. I snapped this on Main St Northampton today.

I looked it up in Dorene Virtue's book when I got home.
"Great abundance is yours. Prosperity is flowing to you in ever-increasing amounts. Feel grateful, and be sure to pass along the flow to others as you feel guided."

I did work a ton of overtime this weekend, but that's spent already....

We did pass some along to Sweeties when we got some potty-training reward candy for Georgia.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pennies on the Tracks

Rob and the girls put pennies on the railroad tracks while I worked a marathon shift at the hospital this weekend.

This morning we got a greasy diner breakfast and went down to the tracks to find the hopefully squished pennies.

We found them among the rocks, shiny and misshapen.

Mosquitoes swarmed and we bolted for the car. There were 15 buzzing inside the car when we all closed our doors.

We drove up to a mountain bike race in Putney VT, where it rained. We sat in the wet grass.

Lily whistled with a blade of grass for the first time, Shqueeeleeeeck!

We got home and our dear friend Miranda came over and brought a bucket of sour cherries! Eeek Gads they were so gorgeous it was unbelievable.

I am very proud of the above photo. I took many cherry portrait photos before I got the perfect one. I need to find a recipe online before they rot. They are still shiny and beautiful on the counter. Tasty, too.

We all went for a walk in the mushroom woods and Miranda snapped this picture of Georgia and me. Then we proceeded to get lost in really high weeds. Before that we did get a glimpse of a waddling porcupine and a pair of Indigo Buntings.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Some PMS reminders

Here's a little list for me to look when I'm about to get my period:
  • Don't buy the sour cream and onion chips, even if they are organic and on sale.
  • Your sudden desire to bake a chocolate molten cake or chocolate chip cookies is not random and quaint; it is purely hormonal driven.
  • Do not judge your loved ones. Try to keep your mouth shut when feeling fiercely foul. You will regret saying nasty things while you are in the throws of PMS. (And Rob might look at you sideways and say, "When are you getting your period?" and you won't really know, but you will be deeply insulted and then two days later you will get your period. (Keep this from him))
  • You are not depressed and your life is filled with meaning; you're even quite happy, just wait 24 hours and see.
  • No big decisions for the above mentioned 24 hours of PMS temper.
  • No onion rings, cheeseburgers or Lindt balls-they don't make you feel any better, just slightly nauseous and still rancid tempered.
  • Hang in there.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

First official tea party of summer!

Lily is out of school. Hooray!
We had a leisurely late morning snack outside.

They spilled so much milk, I finally yelled.

Georgia used so much sugar, her tea was a granular paste.

The ants came quickly, but mostly we had a good time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

When you get that feeling, believe in it

(This is Self heal, an unassuming weed growing in our yard and and all over the place, is a powerful healing herb. It" inspires motivation and a belief in your own inherent healing powers." Flower Power by Anne McIntyre)

Part of the motivation for writing this blog is to increase the magic in my life, to have a time and place where I process and feel what is going on in my life and respond to it.

I was feeling a bit frustrated with the numbers, the dang numbers. I was seeing 333 everywhere and getting a bit tired of it. I started r
eminiscing about looking for connection to the divine at other times of my life.

Then Rob and Lily came home thrilled with seeing an enormous moth resting on a mailbox during their bike ride. We looked it up and it was a Luna Moth, which reminded me of the time 10 years ago at a Healing with Flowers conference where I did a journey. Elliot Cowan was beating the drum and leading us on a shamanic journey. I closed my eyes and laid on the wood floo
r along with everyone else and tried not to feel skeptical or fearful I wouldn't be able to perform. He beat the drum, gave us some guidance and I did have an interesting sort of waking dream that was long and involved. Most of it I forget, but I remember within the journey I was leaning against a tree when I looked up there was a Luna Moth resting on it.
I had never seen one in real life, but there was a lush green moth in my vision.

I came home from the conference and a few days later I was walking down the street and there, right in front of me, was a Luna Moth. It was outside a bar in Amherst. Big, fraying, resting on the side of a building. It made my heart stop and and I halted. There she was! I was frightened; didn't know what was expected of me. Didn't know what to do. My friend was curious but kept walking. There were people all around. We kept walking.

I spent alot of time thinking about that. Was I supposed to move the moth to a safer place? Was it a validation that the dream world was real and connected to this one? What did it mean?
I haven't seen another Luna Moth since.

I also remembered, even longer ago, m
aybe 15 years. We were camping on Grande Isle in Vermont for the solstice. It was a beautiful property of an acquaintance with woods and views of Lake Champlain. We drove out in the evening and slept in tents. I woke up early (I am not usually the type to do that!) and snuck out of the tent with my binoculars and watched the sky get brighter. The birds sounds were cacophonous, all around they were singing. I wanted to see a special magical bird, a lifer, to celebrate the summer solstice and to balance the nighttime thrill of hearing a screech owl through my muddled dreams.
I made it to the bottom of the hill and there, above the outhouse, was a scarlet tanager. It was lovely! And just the bird I was hoping for: flashy, sweet and something I'd never seen before. I felt welcomed into the outdoor world
, whole and unified. I was proud when I made it back to the tents and they were still sleeping. Like I'd snuck away and found treasure.

I haven't seen a Scarlet Tanager since.

So, a few days ago I was feeling frustration and wishing for more pleasant confirmation of connection to the deeper world than a dang number on my watch catching my eye. I wished for a bit of diversification in my messages......

Today I took a walk on the Mushroom path near home
and what was laying directly in my path? A Luna Moth.

I picked it up, shocked to find it intact and laying on the brown leaves. I could imagine it flying slowly through the night. What a sight that would be.

I kept walking and what should I see above my head, but a bright red bird. A Scarlet Tanager! You have got to be kidding me!

Here is the song he was humming to himself.


I stood there with him chirping over my head for about 15 minutes. What a sweet chunky beak, what beautiful brilliant feathers. He stayed so close and even moved down in the tree toward me;

I had a bit of trepidation, some fear, that he would fly down and land on my hand, like I was Snow White or Cinderella, but he didn't.

I felt so happy, even when he flew away; I wandered through the woods feeling visited and connected.

When I got to work, after report, I looked at my watch and it was 4:44, one of my favorite times. 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." I'm not sure what it all means but I love the reassurance that all is well.

Then I went to turn off a beeping IV pump and it had 444 cc's left in it. Then, 20 minutes later I went to get Thai food and bring it back for dinner. The license plate in front of the Thai place was 444. Weird, damnit!

Carolyn Myss has said, "Your ability to create is your ability to respond." To respond to all the small smoke signals from the divine.

I wondered how to respond. When I got back to work (it was a quiet night, can you tell?) I read this email from Heron Dance about canoeing through rapids.

"But the true art of running rivers, and of life I think, involves tapping into the transformative force, that element that comes from slowness, calmness, reflection and from the deeper recesses of the mind and soul. The conscious mind takes you only so far. Making your way through the rapids is intuitive. It’s preverbal. You can’t put it into words fast enough to avoid the rocks. You need a sense, a vision. When you get that feeling, believe in it."
Rod MacIver

I loved the last sentence. It is so easy to discount or ignore that transformative force. I'll try to take his advice. We'll see what happens.

Loathsome Bills

Sweet piglet from Picadilly Farm, our local CSA.


She doesn't deserve to represent my current unpleasant mood, doing bills, but she's all I could find this evening.

The plan was to do bills for an hour and then watch an In Treatment, the great HBO series about a therapist and his patients that Rob and I are watching on netflix. Instead I've been spending hours going through receipts and figuring out what order I should pay things in. Oh, I hate it!

Here's a nice melancholy song to accompany me that I actually just discovered by Sibylle Baier which I really love.


OK back to bills.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day and Happy Solstice!

Happy Father's Day!

Rob and I went for coffee at Mocha Joe's in Brattleboro and he got to read the Sunday NY Times, which is one of his very favorite things. The children were home with my mom and dad.

Then we did a bit of window shopping at Dragonfly Dry Goods (so beautiful in there I get dizzy and greedy)

We came home to a new puppet stage from grandma and some crazy kids selling tickets and doing a finger puppet and littlest pet shop play about a zoo.

Grandma's B-day party with a cake and a helper to blow out the candles.

After we said goodbye to the Grandparents we went outside to see the sun in the sky on this longest day. Our peaches are growing nicely in the sun and rain, lots of rain.

We lit sparklers, even though it was still light out. Lily ran around the house hooting.
Happy summer!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Everyone's eating....

Rob had the day off for Bunker Hill Day so in the morning we went up to Brattleboro and had lunch at Amy's Bakery Cafe with Georgia. It was Lily's last full day of first grade so she wasn't with us. It's always sad to have adventures when she's away at school but I tell myself she's having a good time at school and she is.

After lunch we went to Lily's ice cream party at school to help scoop. Here's a photo of her getting whipped cream from her wonderful teacher Ms. Pierce. Lily had a wonderful year. Her teachers were the perfect combination of supportive and hands off. Lily has become brave enough to sing songs by herself at circle time and remember her lines in a play (She was so nervous beforehand she begged me to let her get out of the play, but ultimately under the skilled guidance of her teachers she had a great time playing a little pig)
Anyway, it was a marvelous year and I'm sad to see it go. Having a second grader seems different, older and more independent, which of course I want for her, but it pains me to see her growing so tall and mature.

I'm going to eat her up when I have her home with me this summer. Lots of swimming, camping and sleeping in.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Glazed Strawberry Pie

I made a Glazed Strawberry Pie this morning and photographed the best part of the process.
The corn starch, sugar, water and crushed strawberries have been over medium heat, being stirred and suddenly they thicken up and the mixture goes from cloudy to clear.

I didn't bake much, growing up and I was astonished the first time I made this pie a few years ago.

There is an alchemical process where the ingredients combine to become something new!
It was very satisfying and still makes me proud.

This next step is stirring in the butter and lemon, which is a wonderful sweet glassy moment.

I gave Georgia a cooled taste on a spoon and she hollered for more. That's how I feel, too.

Here is the recipe I use.

Prebake a pie shell
Gently wash and hull
6 cups fresh strawberries
Using the smalles berries, rush enough to make
1 cup crushed strawberries
Cover and set aside the remaining berries
In a heavy saucepan stir together
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Stir into the cornstarch mixture in this order
1/2 cup water
Crushed strawberries
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and is clear. Remove from the heat. Add, stirring until the butter is melted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Cool to room temperature. Fold cut up reserved berries into cooled glaze.
Spoon into pie shell and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Whipped cream, of course.

Strawberry Season

Strawberry picking at Upingill today! We picked 11.5 pounds in an hour. It was easy picking with lots of sweet red berries.

Now I just got home from work at 12:50am and I'm going to clean and freeze some of them. Tomorrow is busy and I don't want them to mold on the counter. (I think that's what happened last year..)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Water from Heaven

The Lady's Mantle this morning. The dew was so magical.

I looked it up in Flower Power by Anne McIntyre where she wrote:

"Medieval alchemists collected the pearly drops that form and sparkle on the leaves of the lady's mantle, which they called "Water from Heaven." The dew drops, which are actually exuded from the plant itself, were thought to extract subtle and healing magical virtues from the leaf and were used in many an alchemist potion."

Wow. Maybe I ought to do something with it tomorrow morning.......

(This photo is just a little reminder of what happens when I take a quick moment to write a post while Georgia is in the other room, saying, "I can put on my sunscreen, Mama.")

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Belle Isis

Here are some photos of my Belle Isis. It's an incredibly fragrant rose I bought from Pickering Nurseries at


three years ago. I wanted it to climb up the side of the house, but it did nothing. Really, it looked like a brown stick with thorns for two summers. At least twice I was going to rip it out, but I would go to look for gloves and never find them and then finally get distracted and do something else; forgetting to murder my dying rose. I went out last week to check on the nearby peas and what do I see? Maybe 50 buds on this sprawling rose with bright green leaves. I was thrilled! I bought the Belle Isis because the catalog described them as strongly fragrant and I finally got a chance to smell them today. They are opening up all over the chives and peas. I gave away two jelly jar vases full today and have them spread all over the house. It smells wonderful.
I just placed one flower in a tiny vase at each of the girl's bedsides. Sweet dreams.

Part of why I am so excited is because of something my friend said. She inspired me to create a vision board last year and she keeps coming to work with success stories, "I got the part in the play!" or "It was so weird I bought this bag and then I went home and it was on my board! I had totally forgotten about it!"
She points out the little things that are happening from my vision board (a great yoga class, pilates, maybe chickens in the yard next year) and tries to soothe my frustrations with the bigger things taking more time.

Here's a photo of my vision board and a link to Martha Beck's blog with information about making a vision board.


Anyway, two days ago when I saw my friend she said, "I think mine is working because I just put it up there and forget about it. I really just let it go!"

So I was thinking maybe I could try that just as I went out and found my forgotten rose. Talk about "Let it go!" My now gorgeous rose had been completely written-off; now it is filling my whole yard with its scent. (It's been around since 1854 when they used to breed roses more for fragrance than long blooming season) So I am going to try to relax and stop fixating on the things I want (Money to do more than just pay bills, more time with my family, a fulfilling creative life, another child, more flowers and neighbors without constantly barking dogs. Ahhhh) OK time to let all that go to thrive in the neglected side yard of wherever these things go.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


We went to see UP! this weekend at the Northfield Drive-In. As we were packing up the car with chairs and sleeping bags to go the the movie, it started to rain. We almost bailed on going. Quickly, we checked the weather channel and the local forecast predicted heavy rain. Lily started to sob. She and Georgia had been looking forward to going to the drive-in with their friends for weeks. So, we went in the rain and had a good time.

There were severe thunderstorms predicted at one time during the movie, but we got away with showers and lightening and thunder in the distance. Lily stayed up and saw the whole thing eating twizzlers, popcorn and lemonade in the back of our friend's station wagon. Georgia came to sit in my lap once it got dark and quickly fell asleep. It was a good night, an adventure for the start of summer. Once we got home and carried the kids up to bed it was 11:30! Rob said we deserved a medal. We did get to sleep in a bit in the morning.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Don't Want to Live on the Moon

We've been playing this alot lately.


I love Aaron Neville sitting there in his dolphin shirt and dangling earring hitting the high notes with Ernie.

I've been having travel urges lately and wondering when I'll go wandering again.
This song helps ground me in the joy of just visiting somewhere and then coming home.
Now I just have to get the funds and the focus to actually go somewhere.
Here's to it!