Tuesday, July 22, 2014



I don't know what this is. Is it a fungus? Is it a flower? Is it a fungus flower?

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turtle eggs?


These are right out of my nightmares. I imagine alien critters that bite and swallow us in our sleep. It wasn't until I came home and did some research on the internet, that I found these could be turtle eggs. So I'm going with that. Turtle eggs! I wish now that I had brought them home to get a better, closer look at them.

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a collection of mid-July wildflowers


The wildflowers are in such bright colors these days. Huge swatches of yellow and giant pokes of purple. Combine all these with the tops of grasses and you get all the glory of July. I love grass seed heads, a rare sight in the city.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

river goodness


Late last night, D and I decided to head to the river. This morning he got the time off and I rescheduled my meetings. I had a brief moment of stress thinking of all that needs to get done before heading out of town. Then I saw this photo which reminded me of all the good things that await us in the woods and on the river Flambeau.

Off we go!!!

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little toad


This little guy jumped on my leg. I didn't freak out. Yay me! Instead I grabbed D's phone and looked up the meaning of frog medicine. Never mind that this is a toad and not a frog, the symbolism is the same for me. It was all about cleansing.

Tiny little toad reminded me to cleanse my spirit. I decided I needed to bathe in the river and so I did the very next day. With thunder rolling in, I resisted the distraction and replaced the muddy thoughts in my mind with clear energy.

It was exactly the sort of ritual I needed to prepare myself for the challenges of the week. I thought of it as self-care, intentional and holy.

As a cultural orphan I reserve the right to claim all the world's spiritualisms as my own. Not being grounded in any one truth, I seek and explore aspects of spirituality that have to do with renewal, kindness and compassion. And I need a constant reminder to be kind and compassionate towards myself.

I've found that experiences like this are one the greatest things of having a woodland retreat. There are so many spontaneous opportunity to take cues from nature and apply them to my own life. Things that would not otherwise pass through my radar with all the distractions of the city. This woodland life is simple and yet overfull with reminders that not everything can be known and controlled but that everything can be filled sacred meaning.

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after the rain


Last weekend we returned early from our trailer retreat because a huge line of thunderstorms came through. On the one hand, I was happy to be home in order to prepare for the board meeting. On the other hand, I think we missed an opportunity to experience the woods after a rain storm. We could have gone for muddy, splashy Jeep drive. We could have gone for pizza in town. Both are things we make no time for when the weather is sunny and hot. Instead we picked up a pizza in the city and I got harrassed by one of the owners. And then we spent the evening watching a bad movie.

There is a lot of talk lately on the internet about cat-calling. But what happens when the cat-calling is happening in a place of business with a guy holding a hot pizza hostage? This is what I did: I kept my calm until I got my pizza then vowed to never order a pizza from there again.

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feeding a four year old


When my girl was a baby she would eat anything and everything. As she grew older I think she realized that food was the one thing she had absolute control over and so she became picky. And I became insane with getting her to eat a variety of foods. She always ate healthy but not much of a variety. This girl of mine does not like mac and cheese or white bread or hot dogs - all those things that kids tend to eat, but she would eat hummus and quiche and brown bread. My therapist helped me realize that I was part of the problem, actually that I was THE problem. So I let go of it but I did continue to manipulate. No treat if you don't eat your dinner. I stuck with that and she started eating more things.

Now it's CSA season and there's tons of farmers markets and lots of things growing in the yard. I've got her cutting beans and choosing her potatoes. We've started sword fights with asparagus. We begin dinner by giving thanks for family, food and the river. Dinner time has become a lot more fun!

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

bath or soup


The little girl has turned the bird bath into a vessel for flower petal soup.

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