« February 2009 | Main | April 2009 »



Things are slowly but surely coming together here as far as the major room swap-a-roo is concerned. As you can see my sewing area has been seriously condensed, and to be perfectly honest, it's about time! Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

We are not ready to fully describe our space and give a final tour just yet... still a bit to be done. But we are slowly testing out our new digs. Late this afternoon I was busy in the kitchen roasting a chicken and making a pot of applesauce (I've been told there hasn't been enough meat around here lately). Emily and her friend were hanging out in this wide open, sun filled space... radio turned up, balloon volleyball playing, and poster making, Save The Trees! How Would You Like It If Someone Cut You Down!? Good point. It's going to be a great space.

Aren't those flowers so pretty? Every year on the first day of Spring, flowers arrive for Emily from my sister in Florida. The best part is we always seem to forget they are coming... so we are somehow truly surprised each year! Thanks Dawna!

On the technical front... my computer chord bit the dust (I'm borrowing a computer right now). A new one has been ordered so I will patiently wait it's arrival, until then my computer access is rather limited. Things will catch up soon.

Spring is in the Air


What a whirlwind it is around here this weekend, it must be Spring!! There are about 82 things I want to do around the house and only two days with which to get it all done. I think I'll need to let a few things go from the list. But the seasons are changing which means I am inspired by the shift of the sun and the desire for fresh and new. I want to swap out rooms and shake things up around the homestead a little. I'm ready to work.

This room. My goodness this room has been a lot of things. A yoga studio, a homeschool room, a sewing studio. It was built as an addition to the original house in the 1940's, old enough though to still have great character. I always say our pantry was the first reason we bought this house, this room would be the second. It's huge, has nine windows, and opens up to the deck. Lovely space indeed.

But as a sewing studio? What a mess! Sure, I have it in me to tidy it all up once in a  while, then I take a few breaths, sew a few stitches, look up... and somehow it looks like this again! I'm done. Time to cut back... waaaay back... on the fabric stash, the notions collection, the scrap baskets and works in progress bins. Not only am I room swapping, but there is some serious spring cleaning going on too.

Why is it that when you take a room apart weird debris surfaces? You know, like that Physical Graffiti cassette tape from 7th grade? Or the random extra wedding favor from your special day nearly 14 years ago? Someday I will have no stuff. No stuff. Someday. 023

For now I'll keep packing... and moving my stuff from one place to another (hopefully another place being outside of my home for much of it!), and I will transform this room once again. Any ideas what it will be? Well, I'll give you a hint; it's new function will not be one that it has seen before... were one or two of you thinking yoga studio? No, it's been that already. There will be a yoga studio in the house though as part of this grand room swap. It will be a cozy space, big enough for my little family to practice. So much to share when everything is done! 

I hope you are bursting with spring energy as well. Many of you requested my baked tofu recipe (thank you for such kind comments on my last post), I will gladly write that up for you this week.

I'm taking a little vacation from both of my shops for a bit. Mayberries Vintage will reopen by April 1st (with fresh goodies!) and my handmade shop, Beauty That Moves, will reopen by April 15th or so with a collection of beautiful prayer flag sets and perhaps some other things as well. Ahhh, Spring.

Enjoy tackling the projects in your life this weekend !

Planning Ahead, Feeling Prepared


It's been about 3 or 4 weeks now since I started my new job and it's been going very well. Everything about it is so sweet, adorable, creative, smart and fun. Just as working with 3-6 year old children should be!

I have found that careful planning and organization are key for a relaxed and happy household with so much of my time now spent outside of the house. This makes the Virgo in me a happy camper, but the creative free thinking wanderer in me a bit overwhelmed...

A new weekly ritual has emerged that I am enjoying immensely. Now, on Sunday afternoons, you can find me in the kitchen, making several recipes to stock our refrigerator. This makes lunch (and even breakfast) preparation a breeze for the week ahead.

The photo above is from a couple of Sundays ago. The rundown... starting from the upper left and moving clockwise; quinoa salad with radishes, raisins, cashews and a simple vinaigrette... baked tofu marinated with tamari, garlic, maple syrup, olive oil (this is great to slice on a sandwich with avocado, tomato and greens)... oatmeal, maple and chocolate chip cookies from Feeding the Whole Family... broccoli and cheddar quiche - i made this toward the end of the afternoon and had lost my pie crust making energy by then, so I just made it crustless and put it in a casserole dish instead, which was just fine! I actually made two, one is in the freezer... chicken breast pounded thin and sauteed in olive oil seasoned with garlic, cracked pepper and sea salt. These are great for Adam's lunch to slice on a sandwich or on top of a salad. Emily will sometimes want chicken diced up with a side of applesauce in her lunch as well... I think these were called Apple Pie Muffins and are from Vegan with a Vengeance. I am such a fan of that book.

The contents of the photo changes from week to week. This week I cooked no meat, but I did cook 3 pounds of tofu instead of one... my grain salad for the week is a brown rice, corn and avocado salad with dill pickles (sounds crazy, but it's a macrobiotic dream!)... cookies are peanut butter chocolate chip from Vegan with a Vengeance... a pasta salad... Bread! There is always homemade bread, I'm not sure why it didn't make it into the picture above. There is always bread... I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but you get the idea.


I was at a friends house recently, she had another friend over who brought a beautiful salad and she didn't seem to mind me interrogating her for the ingredient list. It turns out to be as simple as can be and beautiful too! Basically, you tear up a bunch of kale, add walnuts and chopped apple. Then make a vinaigrette with apple cider vinegar, oilve oil cracked black pepper and celtic sea salt. I added a splash of balsamic too because I can't seem to do anything without balsamic vinegar. This salad is so great, it keeps just fine for a day or two in the fridge. Kale is no wimpy, wilty green!003

Now this is my kind of fast food. Keeping baked tofu on hand is such a time saver (tonight we had it in fried rice). Simply cut some up into chunks, cut up an avocado and place both in a dish. Season the avocado with salt and pepper, and drizzle both with a little balsamic vinegar. Add a side of sliced pear and lunch is served.

I could talk and share about food for days, whole foods especially. Sometimes I feel like I do! My friend who told me about the kale salad? She and I are hosting a special evening in my home on May 9th. It is our donation to the auction at my daughter's school, I thought I'd share the details here, if any local folks are interested you can email me and I'll direct you to the online auction site and fill you in on tickets details.

Gathering of Nourishment 
May 9th  ~  6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
At the home of Heather B. 

Have you dreamed of "eating better" or preparing wholesome, economical, meals for your family that do not include the litany of unknown ingredients such as kukomungadisodiumcloggisheartispthalates?

Then join Sue and Heather for an extensive evening of delicious whole foods prepared with intention at Heather's home. We will take the mystery out of obtaining, preparing and enjoying nature's bounty.

We promise a very full experience with benefits that will ripple into your life beyond this single evening. Our guests will take home recipes, knowledge and encouragement, as well as a memory of wonderful company. One evening will add years to your life.

We are so excited to plan and host this Spring event! I will be sure to share photos and menus and such. Stay tuned!

I feel like I've talked your ear off long enough, I guess this is what happens when I can only pop in here a couple of times a week. Take care of yourselves, I'll be checking in soon!

Rough House


It is a privilege to watch the artistry of another person emerge and take hold; to manifest and become some thing(s), representing not only their imagination, but their deepest source of inspiration. 

To also watch as that person opens up the process, expanding the possibilities by inviting collaboration without the need for control. Instead, they trust in the other person, supporting whatever small detail they choose to contribute.     

And in the end they are both content. They sort of sit back, feeling a little shy and awkward because they are so pleased with what sits before them, the final result of not only working together, but supporting each other along the way. They hope that as it travels to it's new home by way of the auction at their daughter's school, that it will carry with it not just the obvious use of a play thing or a beautiful object, but that it carries the story of the process, and their deep connection to the natural world.

I hope the new owners will feel that this sort of object is not exactly designed by the artist, but is guided and revealed by the trees themselves. That it is one of a kind, and could never be mass produced. The hands that built this fairy house (or Rough House, as Adam calls them) were the tools, and the mind of the person connected to those hands remained open to the plans offered by the trees.

The truth is, I think he's on to something here. I also think he is very much looking forward to the next set of plans his beloved trees reveal to him.

Good Thing There's Tulips

I haven't been to yoga for two weeks due to one heck of a lingering sickness.

It's been one of those very slow to arrive (doing so in various stages), and slower to leave respiratory things. I don't get sick. Seriously, I have not been sick other than a random blah day for about eight years. I feel like a rookie here...

I'm neti-ing, emergenC-ing, fisherman's friend-ing, and consuming pot after pot of steaming hot tea. My voice is finally coming back, it's absence has been replaced by the most obnoxious out of control cough, which, if you were sitting next to me, might make you fear I was about to present you with my left lung. Or my right lung.You never know.

I'm fine with letting my body ride it out, but I need to get back to work! Yesterday there was no school, we had staff development meetings instead so there weren't any small children around to be scared of me and my horrible sounding voice and cough. Today it was best I stayed home, tomorrow I'd really like to go to work. Does your grandmother have a secret cold remedy I should know about? What's that one where you put vick's on your feet than cover with wool socks and go to bed, is that for coughing?

So, while I wait to get back to yoga and work, I've been watching the hours go by from the couch... blanket stitching some little wool felty things for Adam's tree house, and watching countless episodes of Lost on the computer. Then Melissa (hope you are all better Melissa!) mentioned that she watched Karate Kid on hulu, and that sounded like a good idea, so I did that too. And I persuaded my family to join me. Then I served them egg sandwiches with cheddar cheese and caramelized onions on bagels because that was about the most interesting thing I could come up with and preparing them required only a very brief period off of the couch. There was also a big plate of fresh fruit, and seltzer. I have no idea why I'm telling all this... I'm housebound, but you could probably tell that already.

And I'm sick of being sick.

But those tulips that I bought at the end of last week have been making me smile everyday. Good thing there's tulips.

The Man Loves Trees


Do you see that wooden blur in the back of this photo? He's at it again. It's more amazing than the last one, wait until you see. I'm blown away. The details, the stories behind various pieces of wood used... the man loves trees.

Me: "This ladder is really beautiful. What kind of wood is it?"

Him: "Fir. I brought it back from a fly fishing trip in northern Maine. It was a really cool stick I found near a beaver pond... the staircase over there is cherry... it came from a downed tree on your parent's property... it smells incredible when you're working with it... "

This tree house is heading to my daughter's school auction later this month. There is a tiny bit of accessorizing left to do this evening (I am lucky to have a supporting role in that department). I can't wait to show this to you, completed,  in a day or so. For now, I'm off to make some miniature patchwork pillows...

For a Friend


My newest creative love has been the making of prayer flags, there is (like the mantra quilts) so much of me in these. This set is for a friend who just had a beautiful new baby. I hope she loves them and imagine they will grow with her babe over the next several years... maybe hanging over the changing area in the beginning... perhaps move to a window in a few months... decorating the play area in a year or so... all the while reminding the little one (and the mama) that so much of this human journey is made better by our ability to surrender into the moment, to allow, to let it be. picnikfile_Kr8ZsU



Birthday Wishes

About a month ago my mom bought a one way ticket to Florida (my sister lives there), I recall her saying something like "call me when it's warm" and off she went! Considering the foot of snow that fell last night into today...

... I'd say she made the right call. Today is her birthday, it's a big one!Guaranteed she is having a happier day where it is 85 degrees and sunny... as we shovel ourselves out, again. She will look at these snowy pictures and think the best gift she could receive on this big birthday is to simply be as far away from the cold and white stuff as possible. Well, she'd like to have Emily there with her also, I know she'd like that too.

My mom would be pretty upset with me if I spent too much moolah on her gift, given the times and all. She is the queen of "don't spend what you don't have." I knew I would make her something... but then how would I give it to her? She is there and I am here, it seemed silly to ship her gift to Florida when she will be returning (soon?) to her home just a few miles from my own. So, I'm sharing it here. And I bet she's already started to get teary looking at the first few photos... the words, the dragonfly, both are deeply special to her.

I wonder if she knows what this (her gift) is yet. Can anyone guess?

Prayer flags, mantra flags, they are whatever you see them to be... I hope my mom sees them as beautiful.

Way too Fast

She set off yesterday afternoon with girlfriends (plus the grandmother of one of the girls) to the big city for a play. There were backstage passes, a meeting with the actors and an author, there was dinner out afterward. Her outfit was carefully put together and her hair fixed just so. She turned down my offer to help with both of these things. I watched as she stood beside her Kit Kiterage poster and her Nerf dart gun and thought, it's all happening way too fast, this business of growing up. Can someone slow this ride down... just a bit... please? Then I felt grateful for having the presence to be still and watch the subtle shifts as time passes and a young lady begins to emerge.

An afternoon at the theater with girlfriends seems so grown up, doesn't it? 

Even so, I think her very grown up little self appreciated the fact that I slipped my cell phone into her purse to take along. You know, just in case she needed to ask me a question or something...


ps ~ I'm over at Simple Green Frugal Co-op as well, come on over!