Monday, December 30, 2013

tis the season #11

vintage steiff

looking back and looking ahead,
 may your treasured memories
always involve being together.

Joyful New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

tis the season #10

my cousin's replica of our oma's christmas cookies

remember those who are no longer here this season.

in so many ways, they are surely still with us.

Friday, December 20, 2013

tis the season #9

wilson and tina                           solomon and judy

equine therapy continues.

christmas photo shoot at the boarding barn.

giddy up jingle horse!

{mr. wilson, shire/thoroughbred cross, recently joined tina
in mending her heart over the loss of mr. chance. they're a good, good match.}

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

tis the season #8

today is my personal christmas. today is a triumph and blessing. today i took the day off to make my mother's stollen recipe. and it worked. it worked!! this is a yeast bread i have made alongside my mother and last year, alone, i failed in my attempt. but not this year.

this year, i altered the recipe (how daring, considering my very green culinary skills). i eliminated the candied cherries (that dye must be toxic) and substituted dried ones instead. i only made 1/2 the recipe (who has room for 6 loaves in the freezer??) i added more spices. generously. and i will forgo the white frosting on top. melted butter and sprinkles of cinnamon and sugar are what this rustic triumph calls for.

my home smells amazing while they cool. even if the insides aren't as well done as i imagine, they are perfectly perfect for me. finally my mother is here again.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

tis the season #7

here in mayberry, usa, we think nothing of sitting on hay bales
 in sub zero weather at night to witness the reenactment of the christmas story.

me, i went to see the sheep.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

tis the season #6~ of red aprons and spirit

It was an apron that helped me define it. Red, with snowmen clustered on the front, hung from a hook in the hall closet. It was my mother's. She wore it 2 Decembers ago as we baked for the holiday in her kitchen. It was our last time baking together.

This December I rescued the limp apron from its hook and took it home. It was a recent grey day when I put it on. It was then I realized it was my grandmother's apron because it carried the faint scent of her house. My mother had worn her mother's apron for the 2 Christmases she spent without her. (They died less than 2 years apart.) Now, I wear it, infused with the energy and glad enthusiasm of the 2 women who made my holidays magical.

On a recent grey day in a red apron, standing at my own kitchen sink I could define another undertow in the slow process of grief. I am missing and mourning the loss of the deep feminine spirit in my life. That spirit was held and richly shared by 2 German immigrants who insisted on linen tablecloths, full-course exceptional meals and candles on Christmas trees. They held standards and shared them freely through their feminine wiles not only at Christmas, but all through the year. Without them there is so much less heart and warmth. So much less magic.

It is mine now to bring forth that heart, apron-clad and candles burning. Not just for December, but for every moment of every year I feel capable of bringing my essence and ideas to the fore. The red apron made clear to me the troubles of the earth itself, of this life we all live. We, as a collective, are missing the benefits and safety of the deep feminine spirit. Where ever the feminine strengths are lost or shut out, grief, and even insanity, ensues.

Women of all ages, but particularly women of the age of knowing, mid-life and beyond, bring forth your spirit. Bring forth your warmth and compassion and enveloping ways. Share openly your wiles and ideas that usher us back to safety and love and all that we crave at our core. Be the deep feminine spirit. In aprons, in overalls, in business suits, in glitter. However you evoke magic and meaning in this life, bring it.

Bring it strong and without apology.

We are the sustaining spirit of this earth. 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

tis the season #4

there is no one more beautiful than a december bride.
~red roses, hypericum berrries, white freesia, douglas fir tips, frosted cones~

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Monday, December 02, 2013

tis the season #1

milkweed and snow

it is in the so-called fallow season that we open most profoundly to ourselves.
dearth without bears fruit within.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

steadfast moonlight

I drove into the full moon on my way home and I remembered when the orb held me in such awe, when I would sit in the backyard as a child, staring and knowing for certain it and my soul were connected; knowing there was magic in moonlight.

I felt none of that driving home.

She asked me the other day if there was a time I had ever felt very happy. My lips were silent while my brain raced around decades, attempting to pull out the period of time I was happy for more than mere moments or days. I said I would have to think about it.

The question, a revelation due to my lack of instant response, was a puzzle I gnawed at. Not wishing for a life revue to come up with something, anything, I remembered 19. Being 19 and being loved and being part of a team with dreams and plans until there was no longer a team and then it was back to me.

It has continued to be me even when it wasn't and the sudden knowing of not knowing how to reclaim the freshness and exuberance of being 19, and the vision of magic in moonlight.

Now, the Crone is tapping my door. So many things have ended. She tells me not everyone has lived their greatest happiness before she comes to call. She speaks of magic, but now it is practical. What was exuberance outside is now waiting to be seen and known as residing within. Residing within, she repeats.

Let happiness be felt in new ways. It will suddenly be sustainable. All I have learned and striven to understand of magic and things unseen live within my cells. If it all feels less shiny now, less wondrous, it is because it is too close to home. Rather, it is home. In mindfulness, in silence, in wearing my mother's ring.

Content is the new happy, she says. Self possession is the new happy. The world is within and now known to be such.

I am the steadfast moonlight.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

this is the life #10

at the Royal Winter Fair, Ontario, Canada
~Ames Percherons, at rest~

at the Royal
~Wilson Farms Percheron, at rest~

at the Royal

at the Royal
~Wilderness Ridge Belgians, show time preparations~

at the Royal
~Lor Rob Farm Belgians, here we go~

at the Royal
~Ames and Wilson Farm Percherons, heading to the show ring~

to be so close = dream.come.true.

at the Royal
~Percheron 4 horse hitch~
so few people came

at the Royal
~horse wash after the show~

Monday, November 04, 2013

this is the life #9

mr. solomon~ my continuing therapy and gateway to all things equine
~freshly groomed and back out to the mud lot~

members of the mud lot herd

my first ever grooming set
~a gift today from mr solomon's mama~

Thursday, October 31, 2013

this is the life #7

deep appreciation for the glory of autumn

orange orb obsession

happy halloween!!
~pumpkin/floral designs by, my friend, tina rainville

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

this is the life #6

6 pies for thankschristmas

the yellow lady of honor
~yellow callas, yellow roses, green mini hydrangea, hypericum, billy balls~

jack o'tractor

Monday, October 28, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

this is the life #4

"bear", with lisa
~wheel horse for the donnell belgian 6 hitch~

the bride's collection
~ broach bouquet~

"bear" and company in the 6 hitch ring

Thursday, October 24, 2013

this is the life #3

here she comes!
~david austen "juliet" roses, hypericum, pink freesia, pale pink roses~

skyline farm percherons

3rd story garden~ brooklyn, ny

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

this is the life #2

for the lady of honor~
mango callas, orange roses, mini gerbs and billy balls

paper white birch

grooming renaldo

Sunday, October 20, 2013

this is the life #1

the jersey girls

she found love again. at last.

simon blue~ the lesson cat.
 he found me. he claimed me. i fell head over heels. 
and then he was gone.
i'm crushed.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

apples along the way

super~cute, fully groomed mr. solomon

While Tina grieves and slowly processes the terrible loss of her horse, Chance, I will be giving some love and attention to Chance's companion, Solly. Equine therapy continues. I put on my boots, cut up some apples, dug up some courage and went to the barn by myself for the very first time. As luck and the Universe would have it, Renaldo's mom was there to give me confidence and help me with the cross ties. 

We did well together, Mr. Solly and I. A calm and thorough grooming was followed by walking in the arena. I learned what his voice sounds like, although I have yet to understand what he's talking about, and I also learned he likes to role on the ground in the arena. Next time, we will reverse the order of things with walking first and grooming second, so as to preserve my fur-beautifying skills for more than 15 minutes. We rounded out the day with grazing on grass and a successful return to his stall. There were many apples along the way. 

Sunday, August 04, 2013

last chance

Chance~ July 29, 2013
*looking handsome after I groomed him*

And just like that, my mentor in getting over my fear of horses is gone.

Chance colic-ed and died last night.

His rescuer, human Mom, best friend and herd leader, Tina, was
with him as he passed. Her heartbreak is miles deep because as much as she saved Chance,
Chance has saved her. He was loved by many, including me. The first time I sat on him, I cried.
6 days ago he allowed me to feel confident and empowered.

God bless your fabulous soul, Mr. Chance. Thank you for everything.
And thank you, Tina, for sharing your boy with me.

Monday, July 29, 2013

equine therapy

mr. solly ~ groomed and ready

getting more acquainted (photo by, tina)

losing my fears by the minute (photo by, tina)

lunging with mr. chance (photo by, tina)

and...the muppet of my dreams~ renaldo!
(he is fond of my bag of apples)

it is said that everyone grieves differently. that grief is a process. that it will catch you off guard over and over again. my process has felt like falling down a well, causing me to feel un~well and reclusive. not being one to easily ask for help, it has taken some time to devise a plan of how to climb back out.

i began with the simplest of silent prayers to no one in particular~ "please help me." i asked this over and over for days and weeks.

along with my prayers, i knew instinctively the way out of the well included horses. but the lift up and out would require losing my baseless fear of them. overcoming one fear to soothe another.

so, i asked for help.

and miss tina answered with generosity and compassion and her 2 rescued horses. this is my second week of meeting her at the big barn with 11 apples split into bites. i've learned to put a harness on both her horses, to walk beside them, to groom them and shift with them when they fidget. today we worked the lunge line. 

already, i can feel a change. more courage, more calm, more willingness to speak up. i am beginning to see the light.