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Turning Point

Vermont blog 3

We finally visited our land for the first time since becoming the proud owners. She is so pretty. Totally covered in snow (as of one week ago, maybe less so today), but beautiful. It was a little crazy to welcome Adam and Emily home from California, wash all the laundry and head back out the door within 48 hours, northbound to Vermont. All the while on my mind was on a workshop beginning the morning after we'd return. Stronger people can handle such things, I just kept paddling, trying to stay above water. And I did! The laundry was cleaned, my workshop launched, and somehow Adam and Emily adjusted not only to jet lag, but three distinct climate changes in a very short time.

As we left home, I felt a tug to stay put, realizing that April is probably the only month in the year where I'm more inclined to stay here in Connecticut than head north. After all, while they're still waiting for the snow to melt, I'm beginning the good work of getting into our garden down here. But once we were on the road it took me all of two seconds to let that silly notion of "staying home" go. Then I only felt incredibly excited about the idea of stepping foot on our piece of earth.  I even realized two miles into our trip that I left my camera card at home but felt no need to turn around and get it... so, phone photos it would be.

Vermont blog 1

We arrived late at night, greeted by Adam's grandmother's dog who strolls up and down the lane at his leisure, keeping track of things and making sure to visit Uncle Kurt's house in the morning for breakfast with his cousin dogs. Scout, of course, was pleased to have a dog to run around with.

We stayed for the weekend, then stopped at Brattleboro Coop for a few organic plant starts before crossing back into southern New England. As soon as we arrived home, with a couple hours of daylight to spare, Adam and I went into the garden and planted 60 feet of peas and the plants we had just picked up.

Vermont blog 2
In the end, we spent time up north walking the land and choosing our driveway and cabin site, and got into our garden down here as well. I'd call that a successful weekend, indeed.

Monday morning rolled around and Whole Food Kitchen began with a wonderful group of people. I'm settled deeply into that workshop now so my mind for writing over here is not exactly prolific. But today I felt the urge to dash out a few thoughts so here I am. The truth is, lately I've felt more inclined to censor myself when writing and I'm not feeling too good about that. Not that I'm a tell all type of blogger on an average day, but even from my normal place of writing, I'm drawing further inward. Self-censorship for a memoir/life blogger is a tough spot to be in. Maybe it's not censorship so much as it is seeking quiet and privacy. Not just for me, but for those around me. I'm not sure. Still trying to tease out an understanding of this because it certainly stifles the muse. Writing it down helps, actually. Maybe it's a turning point.


Spring is here in full swing and I've been getting my juice on. I love taking some time in the morning to prepare a rainbow of juice and have it ready and waiting for me in the fridge. What better tonic for early spring? Oh, I know! Ramps! They are a fine tonic, too. We may not have a single nettle on this property, but we have fields of ramps and I'm about to head out with my basket and knife. I recently read that ramps are one of the richest sources of a flavonoid (plant pigment) called quercetin. It is known for supporting respiratory and circulatory health, contributing to protection from seasonal allergies. Nature is so smart and practical like that. I'm fascinated and curious to learn more. Meanwhile, I'll be filling my freezer with ramp butter (using the green leaves), and the white onion parts will be frozen on their own for all kinds of future uses.

After we eat our weight in fresh ramps first, of course.

The Whims of Nature


Sugaring is complete! A little over five gallons of syrup in the end. Same yield as last year, with twice the taps. That about sums up the 2015 season for most sugarmakers.


This morning I woke to the soft pitter patter of rain. Not the raw, chill-you-to-the-bone kind of rain that we know so well in April. This rain was warm and healing, reminiscent of summer. I was surprised to hear the rain though. I don’t check the weather forecast too often and the last few days have been blue-skied and sunny, with t-shirt warm temperatures. A pattern I was getting used to and now here we are, warm rain. 

When I was preparing for bed last night a large moth had found its way into our room and was swirling around frantically. My family can attest to my dislike of moths or any flying insects in my bedroom, in the evening especially. I don’t find it particularly relaxing to drift off into sweet slumber as one flutters about near my ear, even landing on my head. We don’t appear to have any holes in our window screens, and yet somehow they work themselves in. Flying insects in my sleeping space marks the beginning of my summertime complaints. I really do try to refrain from being vocal about it, but it is true that summer is the least enjoyable time for me. Summer has its perks, don't get me wrong, but feeling one of its annoyances just two days into our glorious springlike weather was surprising. Usually you get a few weeks at least with nothing but sweet earthy smells and sunshine on your shoulders. But oh that moth had me pulling the covers over my head while I drifted off to sleep, thinking of the inevitable morning in the near future when I walk downstairs to brew a cup of coffee and discover ants running around on my kitchen counter. Ahh... summer!   


My family is in California right now. They’ve been gone since last Thursday and will return two days from now. Yesterday I reached the point where I'm officially missing the heck out of them and clamoring for their return. This trip will mark the longest period of time I’ve ever been away from either of them and I’m keenly aware, given Emily’s close to 18 years of age status, that it is indeed something I need to be familiar with. 

The reason for their trip was to attend the national debate tournament.  This is something Emily qualified for and was invited to, along with three other teens from her debate academy. They are having a wonderful time and doing really well! Adam went along to stay a few extra days and play tourist with Emily post-tournament. I had the chance to take Emily to California when she was five, so we decided he’d go this time around. 


We also thought it would be best for me to stay here and focus on a good amount of work that I have to do. For the first few days the ideas were not flowing and every little thought in my brain felt stifled and stagnant. So I did the reasonable thing and moved my entire office set-up from my desk to the dining room table. Front and center! Looking straight out to the back yard, which has always been a pretty view to me. I love that stonewall lined with shady hardwoods. When I need to shift the creative mojo, I always start with moving some chi around, providing a fresh perspective and renewed spirit. And wouldn’t you know it, work went pretty well for the rest of the day. I’m hoping for more of the same today and tomorrow. 

The rain has stopped and it seems like the sun mights try to peek out. I hope to get peas and a few other seeds in the ground later today. I can't recall a spring ever arriving so abruptly before. For weeks we couldn’t access our snow covered gardens to plant early seeds, and now, poof! SPRING! Suddenly it feels a little frantic and like we’re behind on many things. Such is the life of a gardener. Plans never quite work out according to our own human agenda, instead we must humbly act in service to the whims of nature.