Thursday, October 9, 2014

Introspective Revelations of the Season

It's about time I dropped in to say merry October, eh?

Every year I forget how busy autumn is for me. And how solitary. And this year many aspects of the "growing season" (as they say) are extending deep into October. So still, every day, I have harvests and preserves to consider. I mean, I'm still harvesting tomatoes, basil and other tender produce! I am both grateful and suspicious of this extended "garden season." I mean, our summer was so cool, and many of the "summer crops" were lagging behind. This strange October is allowing these lagging crops to offer me "more," and for that I am so very grateful. Yet this occurrence also conjures my observations of Nature over the past 20 years or so, and the odd shifts that I've witnessed.

First, the robins showing up in February, all those years ago. And now, for the past several years, I see them all winter long.

These observations inspire my evolving dedication to the choices I make in this life. I know that my choices, my behavior, my actions have an impact not only on my own life, but also on yours, and on the generations that have come before us, and on those that follow us. Make no mistake.

October is, historically, a very hermit-like and introspective month for me. And this month, so far, is yielding what seems to be profound clarity surrounding my life's passions.

With that, I have tomatoes to pick, basil to harvest, eggplants to check ... and - more in tune with my historical rhythms - horseradish to dig. Sacred acts, one and all, imbued with quiet introspection as I pick, harvest, check, dig and do.


Sunday, September 28, 2014


Today I made three quarts of Kabees, a simple, middle eastern preserve of turnips and beets. Where are the beets, you ask? The only late beets I planted are golden ones. They are gorgeous and delicious and will imbue a warm, golden tone to these quart jars as they age.

Here's how I made them (today):


3 turnips, peeled and cut into matchsticks
3 beets, peeled and cut into matchsticks
9 cloves garlic, sliced
hot pepper flakes (I didn't have any fresh hot peppers)
2 ½ cups vinegar (approximately) - I used an herb-infused apple cider vinegar
2 ½ cups water (approximately)
5 teaspoons salt (sea or kosher)

In a bowl, combine the vinegar, water and salt and stir until the salt is dissolved and dispersed.
Fill each quart jar with the beets and turnip pieces in layers with the garlic and pepper flakes.
Fill each jar with the vinegar-water-salt blend and cap.

I did add some sweet pepper to one of the jars to fill the jar and because I had them. That's how I roll.

I label these and put them in my basement pantry where it's both relatively cool and very dark. I like to let them sit for at least one month before using, and can say they get better as they sit throughout the winter.

I love these on our hand-ground wholewheat bread, sandwich-style and understand that they're a great addition to sandwiches in general. I also love them tossed into a salad (hot or cold), as a side-dish, alone or with other vegetables, and even on pizza.

So, yeah, that's what I made today. Peace.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Spirit Pouches

Alongside harvesting and preserving, September has been about developing and planning activities (classes and such) for 2015. This is the sort of activity that, for me anyway, engages the full spectrum of the brain. It involves a lot of free thinking and creative play, as well as plotting and planning, which is a fabulous, holistic endeavor. Yet I find that by the end of the day any attempt to engage linear thought or intuition is for naught, and I Know that it's time to refill my well. Know what I mean?

So I ground and center myself to engage in the meditative practice of creating my Spirit Pouches.

I consider the creation of these little Spirit Pouches to be a sacred, healing act. The stitches of the pouch are "counted" with a series of mantras. The straps are miniature Spirit Cords that are, likewise, spun in a sacred manner using mantras of healing, divine intention and love.

And, odd as it may sound, I feel an honor to mama Gaia, the Earth, when using the old vintage buttons to finish off these sweet little pouches. As I often say, "I have a distaste for waste," so I tend to save things, and when their reuse is revealed to me, I feel such elation and gratitude.

The act of creating these Spirit Pouches is such Good Medicine for me. It allows me to disconnect from this earthly plane, to connect to spirit, to refill my well, and create something of meaning, of Medicine, that I may share with others.

So yeah, that's what I made today … have been making all month … and will continue to make. Because making Good Medicine is Good Medicine.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Tomato Love in Jars

First I'd like to offer a big, big dose of gratitude to all the creatives who participated in August heART! I would have expressed this sooner if it weren't for the summer plague that my spouse brought into our little hut. But I had great fun creating art most every day August and visiting the many blogs of those who joined the party. I bow to you all.

As for today ... well, you can see what I've made so far. Now, I'm heading out to the gardens to harvest and prep more sustenance for the dehydrators.

Ciao for now!


Sunday, August 31, 2014

August heART - Peace in Process

Today's August heART is a yet-to-finished meditation in peace. It's a blend of watercolor, gel medium,  pen and acrylics. More pen is yet to come.

With the idea of peace well rooted, I'd like to thank all the creative heARTs who paused to share their work with us this month and hope that their creative expressions bring them healing, evolution, joy and that special brand of chaos that yields more and more creative expression!

On this, the final day of August heART, I offer gratitude.

Be sure to visit our August heARTs and leave them some comments of gratitude. Peace.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

August heART - A Little Corner of Paradise

Got home from a sweetly energetic day at the Watertown Farmer's Market, let the dog out, un-penned the chooks, kicked off my shoes, heated up a cup of coffee left over from the morning (I'm not proud), and relaxed on the deck and banged out this sketch of a corner of my beloved deck in order to keep my commitment for these final days of August heART.

Now, to knock off the coffee, and get to processing tomatoes.

I hope you'll visit (if you haven't already) the links (below) of all the gracious creatives who've shared their work with us. They appreciate your comments as much as I do, so be sure to leave them some love.

See you tomorrow for the final day of August heART.


Friday, August 29, 2014

August heART - Corner Space

Last night, after the pharmacology class and before I headed home, I banged out this sketch of a corner space in my studio for August heART. I see now a line that is missing.

I'm confident that I'll make time to add that missing line today, even though I'm already running behind schedule. Yes, I have all my tasks and errands scheduled today. It's that kind of day. And even though it's a hair past 10:00 a.m. as I type, and even though I'm falling behind, I'm still dazzled at my accomplishment thus far.

I've jarred and labeled three quarts of dried veggies, prepped three trays, each, of tomatoes and beans for the dehydrators, cooked up a batch of wonderberry preserves (with lemon peel and rosehips), cooked green beans for a cold dinner salad, strained the chicken stock, and harvested more lemon squash which is next on my list to process. And even with honoring my efforts thus far, I've got to rev up my engines if I'm to accomplish all that must (musts: dislike) get accomplished today.

Wish me well!

And be sure to visit the August heART links below and leave some motivating words of gratitude for our blog party participants. And if you make art and have something you'd like to share, please add your link and join the party!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

August heART - After the Gather

These past few days have been filled to overflow and subsequently have flown by in such a way that I missed a few days of creating art for my own August heART. That's life. And I'm cool with it.

The next few days, likewise, will be overflowing with lists, doings, events, happenings of many varieties. And I'm cool with that, too. And I've committed myself to not missing a single day of these last few days of this blog party.

With that, today's August heART was a quick sketch that I scribbled in one of my journals after a gather (you might say meeting) that I hosted last night. This morning I plugged in some color and added an expression in word-form that came to me after the gather dispersed.

It was, more than anything, a reminder of the vital value in witnessing ... of listening and hearing, rather than be heard, and the choices we make from such experiences.

Now I must get on with these lists and activities, but not before inviting you to join us on these final days of our August blog party and to share some art of yours ... and to visit the heARTful inspirations found in the participating links below ... and to leave some love.