Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Five years and no new cancer!

With days of falling quiet, 
we are deep in winter here.
The lines and edges softened
under feet of bliss disappear.

Cold.  Bone shakin' cold.
Layered in pillows of sparkle and white.
 I find myself outside of five years
with bones still clear and bright.

I sigh in peaceful reflection,
and easily let the air slide out.
I'm aware of its departure,
and gratefully let go of the doubt.

I'm still here, deep in winter,
days filled with wonder and delight.
My eyes closed in comfort,
as I sleep the entire night.

                                                  DHL 2015

Saturday, October 27, 2012

In the summer time when the weather is fine...

Reflections of a yesterday....

The summer was hot and dry.  Our drilled well almost ran dry in late July.
It was the driest summer yet.

My field crops suffered in the heat of the summer, we waited for rain.

It started out dreamy, but then the weeds came, the varmints followed.
I think I bit off more than I could chew. 
So I chewed, and I chewed...

We pickled peppers.

We made grape jelly.

We went to farmer's markets.




at life!


I think to myself...

What a

Wonderful World!!!

Within these reflections
I dared to peer around the corner of myself, 
to get a glimpse of what I could be.

The light reflected off of  
a truth so beautifully revealed
I forgave myself for existing. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My latest creation...

I took apart two old pillow cases and a purse to make this "new" swing bag. I have never created such a structured purse before, and I am very happy with the results. I didn't follow a pattern, I dreamt it up one day. Not that it is oh so original, but it felt good to think up the construction method myself.

The fabric is from vintage Indian pieces patched together. The previous purse was just too baggy for me and I rarely used it.

I LOVE the fabric and thought I would create a more updated look with a vintage feel.

What fun.
My two girlfriends cheered me on via Skype
from distant shores and here it is....

I used a deep red liner with a magnetic closure, new for me. I also added a pocket for my glasses, one for my keys, cell phone, and a small skinny one for my pens.

Finishing up half done projects and dreaming up new ones?
What a way to start the new year!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A month later - Hoping for a Winter Harvest

The high tunnel has been planted for the winter garden. My son and I did some soil tests before we planted and recorded our data. Once we harvest we will test again. We found some old French doors at a salvage place for $5 each and the old wooden trimmed sliding glass, double-paned door for free at the dump. We don't lose too much light on that side of the tunnel. This is a view of the western exposure. The rolled up side is south facing.

Looking west from the eastern door. In the fore ground, center row you can see the Tatsoi, next the Chinese Cabbage, parsley, leeks, and finally our onion sets.

Our young farmer.
The Chinese Cabbage, or Wong Bok, is doing great. Everything has been getting thinned and replanted. We have had a pretty warm November.

My son and I filled the barrels with water to hopefully increase humidity and increase heat at night. ? We are planning on getting some thermometers to monitor temperature variation.

He likes to come up with ideas to test, a scientist in the making!

Salad greens, Claytonia, Parsley, Easter Egg Radish... I have also planted Bok Choy, Bull's Blood Beets, Feldsalat or Mache, Mustard Greens, Daikon Radish, tons of varieties of spinach, Choy Pac, and transplanted Kale and Chard from the garden. I still have Celeriac growing too.

We still have to cover the crops with a secondary row cover, but that won't be until next month. Tune in for more later... but meanwhile,
our salad greens in all of their crisp, autumn yumminess....
We are grateful and happy.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Two entire seasons have passed....

So much has happened, so much has changed.

One of our new projects was our high tunnel.
We built it to extend our growing season here in zone 5A,

and to grow winter greens.

We toured as many local hoop houses as we could find in our quest to learn,
and we read every book we could find.

Eliot Coleman's books were our major inspiration...

The first year was filled with lessons.

I planted the house full of tomatoes, various peppers, summer squash, tomatillo's, watermelon, cantaloupe, and pickling cucumbers.

We pickled so many cucumbers. The tomatoes over grew everything, and we are still getting hot and sweet peppers in October, not to mention the best watermelons I have had since I was kid. They just don't grow these melons for market anymore.

What a delight.

This summer was hot, humid, and rainy...
unusual for our climate here.

Most of our best food came from the house. I think if it hadn't been for our hoop house I would have been extremely disappointed with a lot of our food production this year. The heavy spring rains caused moldy strawberries, lots of summer rain led to bouts of late blight on the tomatoes and potatoes in the field...
and then there were the deer, my poor pea crop disappeared.

We have had a few hard frosts already. All of the remaining Brassica are doing great in the field. In the hoop house, all is well. The cantaloupe and cucumbers are wilted but the peppers and tomatoes are doing fine, and still producing.

Early on in the season we tied up all of the vining plants. It worked out great. Next year I will prune back the tomatoes and grow fewer of them! I am still making my roasted tomato sauce now... I have been making it for over 4 weeks. I didn't get many tomatoes in the field at all this year and it seemed to take them so long to ripen. My window sill is full of green field tomatoes.

My sister-in-law turned me on to a great recipe.
I roast sliced, whole tomatoes (skin, seeds, and all) with garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a 425 degree oven for about 35 minutes. I drain some of the water from the tomatoes and let them cool. Freeze them flat, put them into a freezer bag, and store them in a stack in the freezer. I add other ingredients like basil or peppers too.

Very delicious and always so yummy in January.

I hope your summer was wonderful and

Friday, April 1, 2011

Women for Women

A simple little thing like having an amount equivalent to $1 day taken out of your credit card account can help turn another woman and her family's life around.

Imagine living in a war torn country, caring for your children, trying to run a household while the infrastructure is in ruins, and all you dream about is changing the course of your life.... where do you turn? Women for Women International creates a vehicle for you to directly affect the life of an individual, one distinct woman, your sister. You can literally reach across the planet and give her a hand, a shoulder to lean on, a heart that cares for her, and change the course of her life. It feels impossible to leave your home and go to Bosnia & Herzegovin, Sudan, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Kosovo, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but you can, you can help by enabling other strong women around the world to help them by funding their work in these remote countries where women need us more than ever. It costs as much as one dinner out in a restaurant.... the equivalent of one dinner and you could change the course of an entire family's life! We have the power.

I often find myself feeling overwhelmed with my responsibilities at home and my work, and then I think what it must be like to live in a country that has been destroyed by war. It can take generations to overcome the trauma and financial loss. My mother was raised in Munich during the war and even now at 72 years old she is still haunted by the memories of war, hunger, loss, death, destruction, and fear.

We can help change that future for other women right now, without leaving our homes. You can sponsor a sister in war torn countries through Women to Women. When you do they send you a packet with her picture, her story, her background, and pictures of her children. You write to each other, share your stories from across the world. It is very personal and I have to say that it feels so good to be a part of her story. When she "graduates" from the year long program Women for Women International sends you the update of her journey. They make it such an easy thing to do, and yet it is such a huge thing to share! Go to their website...

What is Sponsorship?

Our sponsorship program supports women survivors of war and conflicts as they progress through a one-year program that helps them rebuild their lives.

Your sponsorship funds are used to help women receive job-skills training, business and money management basics and rights awareness education.

A woman cannot be enrolled in the WfWI program until she has a sponsor; so a sponsor's influence on her life could not be more important.

A Financial Lifeline to a Woman Survivor of War

After an initial enrollment fee of $30, we ask sponsors to make monthly, tax-deductible donations of $27. The money your sponsored sister receives provides her with a stipend that she can use as she chooses; to pay for basic necessities such as food and shelter, cover school fees or invest in income-generating activities.

A survey of WfWI participants showed that funds went toward helping themselves, their children and their future.

  • 25% of their funds went toward tuition for their children,
  • 20% for clothing,
  • 20% for savings,
  • 20% for income-generation activities and
  • 15% for food.

The remainder of your sponsorship donations supports the tools and resources a sister receives as she progresses through the program, such as job-skills trainers, equipment and other vital staff members.

Once your sponsored sister has completed her one-year program, you are automatically matched with a new sister in need of your help.

We'll Keep You Informed of Your Sister's Progress

You'll receive periodic updates on the status of your sister along with stories from other women survivors and sponsorship community. Many sponsors exchange letters with their sisters.

The letter-exchange component of the sponsorship program serves as a source of emotional support and encouragement to the women in WfWI programs. For many women, knowing that someone they have never met is interested in their life and future and willing to provide them support gives them motivation to complete the one-year program.

As a sponsor, you'll also receive:

  • A Welcome Kit that tells you everything you need to know about sponsorship;
  • A newsletter, with quarterly updates on our programs in the field;
  • A sponsor log-in account for a portal where you can obtain updates on your sister and send letters electronically.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A New Life Emerging.... Yes!

Spring is coming.
We are still locked in the grips of a very cold March. Icy, little mud, not too much sunshine, and cold nights. The cold nights are good for maple sugaring but the cold days aren't helping the sap flow. Lots of people are having a good year though. My neighbor put these old school sap buckets on our trees. Yummy, sweet sap. I find it so amazing, the gifts given by these majestic trees. Drawing from the earth, sharing her sweetness. I love the sound of the sap dripping in the buckets, tip, tip, tip... I can hear it across the field.

We walked our land for hours yesterday. Look at all that snow. We found some lone moose tracks and followed them out onto the road. You can tell so much about an animal by following the tracks for a good distance. How fast they were walking, what they nibbled on, how many times they went this way or that. I wondered when the tracks were made? They weren't fresh and the snow has been melting a little every day. I think this beauty must be big, but I don't have a lot of experience with moose, so can't say for sure. The actual foot print was 7" plus around and the scat was big and there was a lot of it!