Friday, April 30, 2010


Georgia made a friend, Hudson, in the Brattleboro Co-op. We saw his perky head sticking out of a shoulder bag and were startled in the grocery line. A dog! In a bag! We got to pet him outside and Georgia was thrilled. She loves animals so much. They really take up most of her thoughts in a day.
Lily just gave her some tips on how to draw puppies and Georgia just took off.

She is intense, curling over her work like a shrimp. The lines are dark and heavy with the focused pressure from her little hand. When she's done, she sits up and looks proud.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dump Adventure

Some Coltsfoot blooming by the dump. It likes disturbed areas by the side of the road and it's one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring. It looks like a dandelion but it's got these sweet little leaves that come up later than the bloom. They supposedly look like a colt's hoofprint. It is good for coughs and you can actually smoke it. I tried rolling it up and smoking it at a young woman because it's recommended if you are trying to quit smoking but it was hideous and unsatisfying, but I still like seeing the plant in the spring.

An odd find in the dark forest that is actually (really) named Satan's Kingdom really.
We stopped the car and I got scared the battery might die and we'd be stuck there (The battery had already died once last week after I let the girls listen to music in the parked car at home) But I kept it running and we got out of there. Lily felt like it was magical and there were lots of trees like this that looked like fairies or gnomes lived there.

The great find that we were searching for on our post-dump adventure. A great Blue Heron's nest in the marshy swamps. She flew away when we stopped , but I love to imagine her big white eggs and her damp stick legs sitting on them. We'll head back next week and check on the family again. There were two on the nest when we first pulled up. There wingspan is so huge and their flight is slow and strong.



Alive with bees!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another perfect quote from Martha Beck.

"Today, remember that what you perceive as prudent social caution is probably limiting your life to about half its natural capacity; that if you did everything you long to do twice as often, twice as boldly, twice as openly, you wouldn’t attract a shred more social pressure than you already think you’re getting.—Martha Beck, O Magazine, July 2007

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lily's Art

Here's some of Lily's favorite animals. She wanted me to post them in here.
I love her drawings and her creative spelling.

She bends over her work very seriously.

Now the peach is blooming!

Spring is so early this year.
Three weeks ahead is what I've been hearing.
Trying to enjoy it and not fret about a cold-snap or global warming.....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Four Leaf Clover

the local diner, for breakfast, was one of Lily's vacation requests. We slept in and made it just in time for breakfast.

We all remembered when we used to come and eat while keeping an eye on Azalea in the car through the window

Lily looked out, what was blooming? An Azalea!

Georgia has a new bear she's obsessed with. It was a present last Christmas but it's arm fell off. Grandma fixed it and brought it with her this weekend but quickly the other arm fell off and I had to fix it, then it sprung a leak. I'm not sure about Scarfie, hopefully she can hold up to Georgia's adoration.

Here Lily took a shot of us.
Breakfast was good.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April vacation!

Starts with bath night and watching The Simpsons on Papa's lap.

Liza's retirement party!

Here's Liza Ramlow one of the wonderful midwives I work with. She is heading to Africa to work with Doctors without Borders in two weeks. We had a huge retirement/send off party on Saturday and thinking about it, helping in skits and learning the songs has taken up all of my (and everyone else I work with) free time over the last week.

We laughed so hard at the skits that it hurt. Two different people told me they almost threw up from laughing so hard. It was a very special night with humor, love, tears and the necessary serious speeches.

I was the Emcee which was quite an honor for me. I didn't feel too nervous, but as the night grew closer I grew more and more excited for the event to be over. I worked the overnight the night before and spent some of my free time alone practicing my speech with a flashlight for a microphone.

Once I got to the party, though, I realized it was just a big group of people that I knew well and that I didn't need a written speech. I also was thankful for the lectures I've given to the nursing students over these past few years. The students can be a pretty rowdy and chatty audience so I felt ready for the 90+ members of the crowd that night. The night flowed really well and everyone did an amazing job. We were so elated afterward we couldn't go home so we invaded someone's house and imposed upon her pajama-clad family, staying up until 1am.

The next day my family was a bit annoyed with me. I had been running around so much, they felt like they hadn't seen me at all and when I had been physically there, I had been thinking about the party, the three skits, the three songs and the food.
I still had so much energy the next day I wanted to chat, sing and process at a high pitched rate, but I made myself slow down and hang out with them, then I got this email and tried to listen to its words.

Life feels stressful when we run from one thing to another without pause. It’s unnatural and unkind to our bodies to live at this pace. Neither does it honor our need to celebrate our accomplishments, to survey our work and call it good. After you’re done folding the laundry, take 2 minutes to sit and admire your handiwork. Feel gratitude for your family, particularly your children, as you fold the tiny socks and t-shirts. When you unload the groceries, pause and say a prayer of thanks for a pantry full of food. Instead of running from errand to errand, give yourself time to stop at a coffee house and enjoy a cup of tea. Kindness during these transitions from one activity to another gives our days a gentle rhythm.

- from the First Ourselves Joyful Living newsletter

We had a great days off on Sunday and Monday. Rob wouldn't let me make a list and plan the day, we just flowed from one thing to another. It was really fun, grounding and a great hitting of the re-set button.

But we didn't go grocery shopping and we had no milk, eggs or butter this morning.
But that's OK, it was fun to live list-less for a day or two.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Kellie read this Mary Oliver poem in yoga class.

Some kind of relaxed and beautiful thing
kept flickering in with the tide
and looking around.
Black as a fisherman's boot,
with a white belly.

If you asked for a picture I would have to draw a smile
under the perfectly round eyes and above the chin,
which was rough
as a thousand sharpened nails.

And you know
what a smile means,
don't you?


I wanted the past to go away, I wanted
to leave it, like another country; I wanted
my life to close, and open
like a hinge, like a wing, like the part of the song
where it falls
down over the rocks: an explosion, a discovery;
I wanted
to hurry into the work of my life; I wanted to know,

whoever I was, I was

for a little while.


It was evening, and no longer summer.
Three small fish, I don't know what they were,
huddled in the highest ripples
as it came swimming in again, effortless, the whole body
one gesture, one black sleeve
that could fit easily around
the bodies of three small fish.


Also I wanted
to be able to love. And we all know
how that one goes,
don't we?



the dogfish tore open the soft basins of water.


You don't want to hear the story
of my life, and anyway
I don't want to tell it, I want to listen

to the enormous waterfalls of the sun.

And anyway it's the same old story - - -
a few people just trying,
one way or another,
to survive.

Mostly, I want to be kind.
And nobody, of course, is kind,
or mean,
for a simple reason.

And nobody gets out of it, having to
swim through the fires to stay in
this world.


And look! look! look! I think those little fish
better wake up and dash themselves away
from the hopeless future that is
bulging toward them.


And probably,
if they don't waste time
looking for an easier world,

they can do it.

Those last lines......

if they don't waste time looking for an easier world,

stayed with me all day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Walk

A quick walk in the woods before Lily's bus screeched to a stop.

Bloodroot growing in the neighbor's yard! This has many medicinal and magical purposes, but is endangered and can be toxic so I'll just admire it. The root has a red sap that has been used to paint and dye bodies and fiber. The leaves are beautiful and wrap around the flower as it emerges.

Fiddle-heads looking a little hairy and alien.

A young horsetail emerging fresh, pointy and bright green.

I miss having Azalea to walk in the woods, she was a good companion and she motivated me to get outside.

I feel like I stayed inside most of the winter, the wood stove was so tempting and cozy it was hard to leave the house.

I'm hoping to be outside more now that it's warmer and the stove is done for the year. I've been walking with a friend 6-7am two mornings a week and that is lovely. The birds are singing like mad then and the sun rises earlier every morning.

Here's to spring and to green things shooting up and out!
And to sweet clear brooks that babble. (press play!)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Home alone organizing

I miss the family.
This Monday is a day spent trying to catch up on two years of disorganized photo taking and erratic downloading.
For years, I've been fantasizing about having this quiet focused time, and, while I'm glad to feel movement away from total chaos, I'm surprised to find myself a bit lonely.

Seeing Georgia's precious stash of chicks waiting on the table makes me pine for her ruckus company.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Plum Tree in bloom

Yikes! That was almost overnight!

There were buds and then BOOM! there was a tree covered in blossoms and swarming with flying bugs. It made the yard smell heavy and sweet like powder. Bugs must have smelled it from miles away.
Hopefully we'll get a few plums this year.

By afternoon it felt like summer with a tea party and bathing suits.
Then we heard Wrennie singing! Hooray! Maybe it's the same pair and they'll nest with us again!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


We went to my parent's house and spent Saturday dying eggs and playing outside.
75 degrees and sunny!

We stayed overnight and woke up Easter morning! Lily was up at 6:15am but Rob held her off for an hour. Then she came to wake up Georgia and me, who sleep downstairs in the basement. Rob and Lily sleep upstairs in my old room, which Lily now calls her room. I think this arrangement started because of Rob's mold allergy and the basement making him wheeze all the next day, but us not wanting to have the children sleep alone in the basement. I love the opportunity to sleep next to Georgia. I love sleeping with my children, hearing them sigh and breathe and lying there nose to nose. ahhhhhh.

Candy Candy Candy is the big tradition in my family!
peeps, mini eggs, jelly beans and chocolate bunnies.

Rob's Puritanical holiday background (socks, underwear and a smidgen of candy at major holidays) motivated him to put a time limit on the candy. No more after 12 noon! Interestingly, the girls didn't fight the moratorium when it came.

Then we went and played in my childhood playground. The neighborhood swamp.

We found 3 frogs, some blooming skunk cabbage, maple blossoms and 2 red backed salamanders,

And some dense fairy moss, cool and moist on hot bare feet.

Then they both got sleepy and dreamy.
Georgia snuck another peep on Grandma's lap.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mixing colors with Georgia

We made orange green and purple.

I should have gone into work but I didn't want to.

Such a beautiful sunny day outside.