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Monday, October 5, 2015

Plans for Shifting with the Season

Yesterday was a pretty typical Sunday at the studio. I puttered in my art journal, worked on some new mini journals and managed my modest inventory of items-for-sale. I enjoyed a few visits and visitors too. But what was less than typical was visiting this space you see here. I wandered quietly around the room, hearing the echoes bounce around the naked room, I held the space to feel the vacant vibration... and to feel the verve that I will soon be making manifest there.

Yes, I'm moving. I'll still be at the fab, historic building that is Whiting Mills in my little town of sunny Winsted, Connecticut, but I'll be moving from one studio space to another this month.

This new space affords me, my students, clients and visitors some added wiggle room for classes, workshops, consultations, healing work, creating, as well as comfy spaces for sitting, sipping, strategizing and assorted heart-to-hearts. It offers wiggle room that inspires consideration to enhancing my retail offerings as well, which is certainly a motivating consideration!

Plus, I'll be easier (much easier) to find in this beautiful puzzle of a building. And I'm sure my fellow tenants who have had to explain countless times to visitors over the past two years how to find me will appreciate this shift as well.

So my plan is to get all moved out of 336 and and settled into 310 after our 3rd Sunday event in October, during the early part of the week of the 19th. But, ya know, plans are fluid things and if it can happen faster, it will.
But for today I continue my garden, kitchen and preserving tasks. And that is where my focus is rooted this week.


Friday, October 2, 2015

October's Tenacious Rite and Ritual

Welcome October.

For me it is a month of frantic stillness. It is a month for vibrant tenacity, as the last of the lingering Hypericum perforatum blooms remind me. It's the month that ushers in the gifts of melancholy too. My planned activities are slim in October, though my objectives are many. There's still Food and Medicine harvests to collect and put by, there's craft and art projects to complete and make ready for sale, and there's the quiet "just for me" time to carve into each and every day.

This may be redundant, but October is, for me, a ritual month for rooting, reflecting and projecting. Holistically. I dive deep into my personal, interpersonal, social, business, global and universal choices and challenges, all the while doing my best to stay rooted in The Moment, in my realm of Gaia/Creation/Spirit. And I do my best to make time and space for daily meditation, journeying, and a daily "just for me" activity.

Every. Single. Day.

In this annual ceremony I glean lessons, or reinforce the mysteries that tug for more attention ~ nuggets of wisdom, one and all ~ and in doing so I am able to plan my coming year with at least some degree of conscious awareness. Holistically.

October is a month of tenacity for me, and one that, when I am true to the verve, consistently yields positive potential and outcomes, in mind, will, heart, body and spirit.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ready for the Stretch of Urgency

Autumn has arrived in my little corner of the world and I welcome it with open arms. It marks the time of adding an extra blanket on the bed, of sleeves and socks and shoes, and it marks the final seasonal stretch of extreme urgency. 
I've been harvesting greens for drying, canning, fermenting. And cooking for meals, almost daily.
Tomatoes are still coming and I'm still drying and canning those too. I must ferment some, too, for a delicious tomato juice that makes a very special Bloody Mary. ::nods::

I still have beans and peppers, beets and squash, sweet potatoes and eggplant, lemon grass and parsley, calendula and nasturtium, kohlrabi and leeks, carrots and surely others I'm forgetting that will need my attention as the weather waxes frosty. As one who grows most of her own food, I put a lot of pressure on myself as October approaches. When it feels like "too much" I recall my sighs of delight and pleasure when "shopping" in my own pantry in the dark of winter. 
I've been fermenting all manner of harvests too, among them the better known cabbage ferments: Sauerkraut, kimchi, cortido, as well as variations on those themes. I have apple cider vinegar started too, from all the skins and cores from the apples I dried and canned as sauce.
I've been planning and plotting simple mini-workshops, like making your own vanilla and other culinary herbal extracts.
And I've been doing my best to make time to smell the flowers, as they say. Some days it's a real challenge, but I force myself. :)

I'm looking forward to October, when this season of harvest-urgency begins to calm. I look forward to it, too, because it is my month for diving deep, a month for reflection and projection, a month of endings and beginnings, a month of eternal moments with no past or future, a month of mysteries... a month Just for Me.

So today, I make ready for this final seasonal stretch.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Good Medicine - All of It

September has somehow evolved into the double-digit phase. How did that happen? Where did the time fly? And from what magic are those wings made?
Yet, I've managed to get many harvests put by, as they say, for the many meals that lie ahead. I've been drying and canning and freezing and fermenting. Not to mention infusing oils and tincturing with delightfully fresh herbal harvests. It's Good Medicine. All of it.
I've tried something new this year, thanks to a online friend and preserving enthusiast. I make quarts (and more quarts, and pints too) of tomato purĂ©e and have historically added the "waste" (skins and seeds) to the compost. This year, I've been dehydrating it and blending it into a powder to be added to soups, stews, sauces and who-knows-what-else? It's a new experience for me and I can dig it.
I've canned collard greens and beets too... and have more still to harvest and process. And then some.
I still have dried broccoli from last year, so I've been harvesting and freezing packages for winter enjoyment. Carrots, squash, parsley and leeks are also in the mix of preserves, in their many forms.
And I've been heART journaling on a more regular basis, not daily, but every other day 'r' so. Keeping it simple has been key to this renewed practice. Isn't that always the way? Now... if only keeping things simple were... simple.

That's a taste of what I've been up since the calendar flip. As for today, I have studio time, dispensary time, weather-dependent garden time, kitchen time and then more studio time planned. Wish me well!


Friday, August 28, 2015

Brisk Mystery that Sustains

August. It's almost over. Its pace was brisk. It served to keep me focused... on the mystery... and on the ordinary. Every day I've been harvesting and preserving ~ from the gardens and from Life experiences ~ and with still much to come in the gardens I already have countless jars in my pantry selves to sustain me through the literal and figurative months ahead. And now, if history can be trusted, the pace will continue to quicken over the next two months. The season of Urgency approaches. And I welcome it. For rest follows it. Year after year.

And even as the days grow shorter, I find myself moving deeper into the warming rays of Life's light. And, as one who has a long history of embracing the loving shadows of Life, I find the experience both perplexing and welcomed. In my world, the flow of time isn't linear. Like sunrises and sunsets, moon waxings and wanings, it's an intriguing spiral of familiar mystery that comforts me. This journal spread is a silly expression of these things and I share it with you and my creative communities at Mix It Monthly, Paint Party Friday and Art Journal Journey.

So on these final days of August I'll do my best to keep up with the quickening pace of Life and Living, and make time to quietly enJOY the sunny blooms of the season.



Friday, August 7, 2015

Playful Gratitude for those Clowns we call Drama

It has been a strange and wonderful week in my little realm. A week filled to overflow with drama of the welcomed and less-than-welcomed variety. The skies have offered dramatic views; with passing storms, sunrises and sunsets that inspire gasps and sighs. And then some. These are moments of drama that I welcome, savor... and invite. Yet other silly and less welcomed moments offered me distinct reminders of life lessons and Wisdom born of experience. I embrace them all. The extremes and the subtle moments, too. And offer gratitude. For all of them.

So today I place a few finishing touches on this week's heART journal spread and I share it with you and my creative friends at Paint Party Friday (who I've missed, by the way).

With that I offer you this: Get out there. Do something. Anything. Go. Now. Do.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

An August Verve

Hard Neck Garlic
Merry August and welcome to the last full month of summer!
Ripening Tomatoes
The tempo of the season is picking up pace on my little acre and I know that in August things will start revving up like mad, with the kinds of daily tasks that can not be rescheduled. As July came to a close, summer garden harvests began to find their stride.   We harvested our garlic harvest and new seeds were planted for late summer and autumn harvests (and that continues). 
Buckets of Beans
But now, August ushers in daily pickin's of beans, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, various herbs, and other gentler harvests that only demand attention every other day or so. As a grower of my own Food and Medicine it's not only a busy time, it's an exciting time. And for those of you who receive my newsletter, this is redundant, but it's true: The cycles of the seasons never cease to amaze and inspire me.
Cilantro, Daikon and a Wee Carrot
I project that August will be a challenging month for me, with classes, workshops, consultations, demonstrations, art and craft creating, and the tasks that fill my pantry... and I'm up for it!


Thursday, July 23, 2015


I prepare my mind, will, heart, body and spirit.
I collect and prepare offerings of meaning and value.
I make manifest.