Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Know When to Fold 'Em

Last night we arrived home from a quick vacation to Holden Beach.  It would probably make a much more fun story, had I taken pictures.  I was more consumed with the fishing, swimming, meals of seafood, wine, scotch, and planning a joint birthday celebration for my father-in-law and myself (which is themed around my current favorite food, a cuban sandwich).   I have no evidence other than some broken sand-dollar shells, some freckles, a life-long enemy in what I can only imagine is a 20 pound flounder, and this darling .gif.

We returned to a sick dog who puked until 5:30 in the morning, and then work-life.  Following an short day for students (lucky me), I had faculty meetings (less fortunate), I had to leave my productive late hours because of a power-outage (not sure how to count this one, as I was powering through a to-do list).

What this all brings me to is the break-down of space and time we create for ourselves.  Mine was so disrupted today that I don't know how to treat myself.  It brings me to the question of where do we stop planning and doing, and where do we start actually spending quiet time in our minds.

Many other things continued to disrupt the planned order of our day, and in that moment where I'm trying to bring it altogether, I needed to ask where it needs to stop.

I left work with a check-list for teaching and a list of chores for home.  Neither worked as the store lost power as well.  I navigated the in-between space, but ultimately I needed to stop.  My husband is unexpectedly working late, I'm cooking on a grill that was started too soon, and I had to stop doing work for the night.  Ben won't have cooked the dinner he planned, good meat will be cooked wrong, check-lists will be left undone.  And ultimately, none of it matters.

I am asking no sympathy for our plight.  I know people work and work and work, and work harder than me with so many fewer resources.  Tonight all I did was stop and go outside with a glass of wine and grill while I waited for my partner.

I'm just trying to navigate where we choose to stop, ask our brains to stop all of it's multi-tasking, ask our hearts to stop carrying our work.  Where do you take the time to just be at home?

Friday, May 30, 2014



There is a certain slow restlessness in the south

It’s a subtle thing.
Stirring in the belly and chest
as if You were rich dirt inside
and, in the dark,
something is starting to take root.

Little tiny white roots
crawling and pushing their way
Your stomach
and into Your chest
and up into Your throat
and down
through Your guts
and into Your thighs.

It comes
when the weather starts,
getting warm, and
everything begins,
waking up around You. 

You stretch and
You breathe deeply and
You move always.

It is not
or tight
or electric
or constricting
like other sensations. 

It is slow
and serpentine.

Taking root and working outwards.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


The blueberries won’t give fruit this year--
they are young, and just transplanted.

I was surprised when the hellebores bloomed.
I didn’t recognize their leaves.

How can I measure myself
in the years of a garden?

Dirt-poor, red-clay, these are the things
I am made of.

I amend, rotate, rip-up, let go,
and separate, yet

I wonder when that yield will
be mine.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

For the sake of posting...

I want to give you pictures and stories and conversation.  I am caught up in the busy-ness of life.  I'll leave you a poem.  It has no name, so feel free to advise.

Who isn’t the admirer of life, leaning,
Cap-cocked, lowing, crowing,
over latent mysteries?

Who hasn’t held a hand over fire?
Heart-quaking, hand-steady,
Knowing it’s not a feat.

Rhyme and time are natural,
we keep them tongue in cheek.
To our heatbeats rhythm running
Keeping ourselves stunned in
Our quiet.

I do not write.
I have felt a child and
felt it go.

I have felt beauty
And held on,
And let go.

This winter is long.
I’ve known the first sunburn,
And still it freezes.

I am grateful for
everything I did not plant
that I can put in the dirt
next week.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


On August 16th, 2002, I got my first two tattoos.  In my own handwriting, create and action were tattooed on the back of my legs.  While reading and journaling and planning in these dark days of the transitioning years, I am following suit of writers around the internet and choosing my word for the year:  action.

This is already taking literal shape in my life.  Ben and I have been taking our dogs for long walks every morning.  Even in the below-freezing weather of this morning, we bundled the pups up and took them for a four mile walk around our neighborhood.  It's a great way to both move the blood and spend quality time with my husband.  He started doing this a few months ago, but I've loved joining in and look forward to this time every day.

Other plans focus mainly on Tin & Twine.  I want to launch the etsy shop, and move into more retail space.  Carving out time for this is my largest obstacle.  Acting on these long-held plans will help me reach a major goal I've had for a few years.

In general I hope to extend this word to all of the year--to quit putting things off, laying plans to the side, or thinking there are things I can't do.  Here's to a year of taking action!

p.s.  It took me 6 days to post this.  It didn't have pictures.  It still doesn't, but I'm pressing publish.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

the noise

I've been trying to filter the noise. 

The noise that is my job. 

The noise that electronically resonates from my job. 

The noise of my ego and my pride that make my job my priority. 

The noise of my heart that makes my job my priority.  

The noise of my home that always needs tending (which my husband does a wonderful job of tending to).

The noise of the life outside mixing with the traffic outside.

The noise of the music I want and the music in my head.

The noise of my body that wants to be outside but doesn't want the weather.

The noise of life.

Today I'm not finding my filter.  I know every day that I am privileged to live a life I love, but sometimes it is filled with mosquitoes and noise. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I bought this plant in June last year, along with a motherwort.  I can rarely walk into a farmer's market or a home and garden store without leaving with a new plant or two.  I plopped them into my perennial bed, read a bit about their uses, and mostly forgot about them (I even forgot which was which for a while).

Come this spring, the feverfew aggressively reminded me it was there.  It grew to almost four feet tall with prolific sprays of tiny daisy-like flowers that hadn't appeared the year before.  They have graced vases in my home and have been one of my favorite blooms so far this year.

The feverfew also stands as a marker of my changing relationship with plants.  It began blooming at a time when I finally found myself ready to begin infusing and tincturing, putting into practice all the beneficial uses these plants have.  While the feverfew is not quite ready for harvest, it will soon join my growing apothecary that is crowding out my spice cabinet, tinctured for quick use, and dried for teas.

A year ago I bought this plant on a whim, aware of its medicinal properties, but not ready to utilize it.  This year, it has brought much happiness with it's physical presence, and later it will also provide healing when we need it.  I am grateful for my crazy giant feverfew and how it is helping to change my relationship with all of my plants.