Monday, June 30, 2014



This bush always blooms the week of Independence Day. It reminds of fireworks.

It's hard for me to believe that this day is the end of June. Summer is marching away and there is still so much to be done. More swimming in the lake, more cruising in the boat, more lazy days at the park. Mix in there plans for a patio out the back door, rearranging the perennials which are overgrown and crowded, preparing fresh salads, building shelves on our front porch area. The season is busy and I'm already feeling like there is too much to get done in a few short warm months. But I couldn't ever give up living in Minnesota because I love the seasons.

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some more seedheads


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stalks of seed


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Friday, June 27, 2014

from suns into moons

“Most of the dandelions had changed from suns into moons.”
― Vladimir Nabokov

I kept a yellow dandelion,
For I liked to watch it grow,
And I could never understand
Why people hate them so!
I cared for my dandelion
Until he was old and gray,
And along came a puff of wind
And blew his hair away.
-- author unknown

The rain, weed-wed,
gray haired flakeheads
and now 

dandelion seeds float in the air..
by the Bubble Blower sent aloft..
which ones will mystically touchdown..
to root in our hearts? 

Not in chaotic shards
do dandelion seeds
burst from their ball.
Each part as perfect
as the whole.
Each each contains
the all. 
-- author unknown

There was a dandelion,
With lovely, fluffy hair,
That glistened in the sunshine,
And in the summer air.
And oh! This pretty dandelion
Soon grew old and grey,
And, sad to tell! Her charming hair,
Blew many miles away.  
-- author unknown

I tend to think of spring as the season to plant seeds. My limited vision neglected the fact that seeds are planted in every season. If seed planting is intentional in the spring, the dispersal of seeds in summer is all about random flow.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

attitude of gratitude - everything


It's been a while since I've done one of these "attitude of gratitude" posts. I think it's because life is good right now, so good that I am constantly expressing gratitude for the abundance in my life, for the love I feel around me. At times the gratitude is expressed out loud, other times it's felt from my toes up through the top of my head. In others words, right now I don't need daily prompts to remember my moments of gratitude.

I've hit the path in this motherhood journey where I can lead the way and she will follow. I have so much to share with her, more than mother's milk and cuddles. The things I have to share with her expands her understanding of how everything and everyone is connected to this earth. I like this part of the journey. It is scenic and lyrical. And it involves biology, geology, physics, art, literature, poetry, music and all those things that make my heart soar. This part of the journey is less about discipline and more about respect and gratitude. I've come so far from how I was feeling last year.

Sometimes the love I feel for her makes me hurt, I feel pain in my heart like it is about burst out of my chest, I resist and clench up. But then the emotion breaks through and spills out and I realize that what I am feeling is my heart expanding and taking flight. It is so much more than anything I've ever felt in my life for anyone including my husband who is my best friend. The love goes so much more beyond friendship and safety and security....and I have to stop now because words can't capture the emotion. I almost feel that trying to describe it sullies the magnitude of how I feel.

I am grateful for June. It is my birth month and the birth of all that is glorious about summer. Summer is at its best when the night is lit up by fireflies. On Saturday, on the night of the Solstice I walk out onto the dirt road that leads to our woodland property with my head at such an angle to see the trees framing a sky filled with stars. A star-lit sky not overpowered with moonlight. I get to the road and am somewhat overwhelmed by the stars. The night is still. The silence is humid and heavy, knowing that the next day will bring summer thunderstorms. The stars stretch all across the sky and reach down through the trees. The immersion is made complete by the fireflies. I was totally surrounded by sparkling points of light. That is June in its essence and glory.

Tsuneaki Hiramatsu comes close to digitally capturing that total immersion.

My experience at the conference in Madison introduced me to kombucha. Kombucha mixers, kombucha cocktails and even, kombucha disco parties! I can't wait to try it in my own cocktails.

I reveled in the rise of the strawberry moon and now am grounding myself in the mercury retrograde. This the mildest retrograde cycle for me in years. It's not a crash, but rather reflection and caution and learning.

This year is all about pesto. I'm new to pesto and I don't particularly enjoy the ones with basil. A good friend encouraged me to try other greens and nuts and now I'm off into the world of pesto! Here's a great recipe for pea vine pesto pasta salad. The flavors are so bright and fresh. I swear that I can feel the nutrients coursing through my body with each bite.

An Open Letter to the Songwriters of "Let It Go." I'm not quite there yet but close. The letter reminded me of this.

Every since I discovered this man who saved Star Wars I've been excited to share the movies with my little lotus bud. This trailer gets me even more excited.

OK. Now I need to return to some house cleaning and meal preparation and agenda planning. Feeling grateful that I can do all of those things in my life - that I GET to do all those things in my life.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

solstice flowers


This flower captures the spirit of the Solstice for me. All bright and glowing from the sun shining at the end of the longest day of the year.

I'm starting to learn about the cycle of wildflowers near our Wisconsin property. No cultivation, no planned intent expect for the natural rhythms of summer.

These might be described as weedy but only to the unenlightened mind.

To me they are all that represents the fleeting, breathtaking glory of summer.

Glory. Glorious. I've been using those words a lot. I can't help myself.

Here are some synonyms for glorious: delightful, pleasant, splendid, grand, magnificent.

Nope. None of those other words seem to fit. So I will stick with glorious as the only fitting word to describe the splendor of this fleeting season.

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silly goose


We are so lucky to have all the greenery and lakes here in Minnesota. And I am so lucky to have a daughter that now draws me outdoors in the city to enjoy all of that surrounds me and has been around me for decades. I guess that's one very bright development of having a child so late in life. I get to experience the city all again through her eyes.

I'm drawn to the water lately. I've always been drawn to the water but now it is with my lens. Which by the way is scratched. The first time in my life I've scratched my lens. It's not a problem so far but it makes me sad because it still feels new yet now it is marred.

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the niobe clematis


Every year I forget about this clematis. There are very few blooms that show up but when they do they are glorious. Then I am reminded of the very thing for which we named our daughter.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

sunday after the solstice

Oh, wait! Did I just say I couldn't think of any better way to celebrate the Solstice than how we did it on Saturday? I was wrong.


On Sunday we decided to extend our stay by getting out on the boat. Ordinarily we would just head back to the city but the river called. And it was a great decision because we had the sandy spot to ourselves.

A little bit of floating, a little bit of swimming, fishing, cruising. This is how summer should always be!

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Solstice, indoors in the outdoors

We had heard that the mosquitoes were going to be bad but we were prepared. We couldn't have another weekend that wasn't spent in the woods!


So up went the screen tent that kept the flying critters out. It provided a great space to do spend outdoors but away from the mosquitoes. We ate all our meals in the tent yet still outside. It was a great solution!

But the screened tent did not keep all the critters out. We found a surprising number of inchworms and hungry little caterpillars.

I bet it was the smell of these strawberries that brought them in.

The fields and the sides of the road were filled with daisies. The morning was spent in town reconnecting with the farmers at the local market and picking up supplies at the hardware store. The afternoon and evening in the screened tent and the nighttime out by the fire.

I can't think of any better way to celebrate the Solstice!

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Friday, June 20, 2014

summer in full bloom


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girls just wanna have fun

with the sun hot

and the river high

making minnow swimming pools

and finding movie stars

the girls just wanna have fun*


*on the drive home, cyndi lauper came on, so the window got rolled down and the tune got turned up. i feel on top of the world, soaring and grateful for each moment!

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014


In the abundance of water/the fool is thirsty
                                                                -Rat Race, Bob Marley


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Tuesday, June 17, 2014



The last full day of the conference had a delayed start so that we could walk around the Madison's enormous farmer's market. The treat for me was that I got to visit my CSA's market stand (Harmony Valley). Cut peonies scented the air, music flowed from all corners of the capital square and I got a little bit of time to get to know my co-op's colleagues.

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saturday night party view


The party on the last night of the conference was at the Children's Museum. When I walked in I didn't like it at all! It was my last child-free night. I pouted and sucked down kombucha cocktails until someone mentioned there were chickens on the roof. Turns out there were chickens, a guitar player (who played tons of Bob Marley), bacon-wrapped jalapenos, lively conversation, and a great view of the capital.

I didn't take many photos because I wanted to be totally immersed in the conference but now I regret that decision (just a little bit). At least I captured some highlights.

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yummy gluten


The roll I bought was stuffed with brat slices, sweet onion and swiss. Perfect treat to soak up a bump of local whiskey.

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madison pig


Sign in front of a restaurant named "Pig in Fur Coat."
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tell me, hanuman


Three thoughts about the conference:

1. The conference was amazing and transformative!

2. I'm so glad I went out for breakfast before the conference started because the food sucked, especially breakfast. Kind of ironic because it was so much of the focus was on food co-ops.

3. I love how when you deeply immersed in something, ideas for totally unrelated projects come to mind. I'm thinking about my novel again and images of Hindu deities are popping up everywhere and it's got my mind spinning with great leads!

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Iron Craft - Tickets to a Good Life

I used this Iron Craft challenge to make something for the daddy in our family. I blended this IC challenge with my quest to do every book project in Making Hand Made Books. I am pleased with the results and I totally surprised the Big D.

This book is similar to the first book project with the addition of pockets which required an extra bit of folding.

I organized each pockets with the following labels: Love, Sleep, Rubs, Sex, Food, and Love again.

In each pocket I put in a related ticket. Love included family and Lotus Bud hugs. Sleep included a ticket to "sleep in all weekend" and a ticket to "sleep in til noon." Rubs had neck rub and back rub. I'm sure the Sex pocket is self-explanatory.

Food include blueberry muffins and a ticket for whatever food item he wants. And Love again because no one can ever have too much of it.

I tried to think of all those things that bring peace, joy and relaxation into his life. For the man who has everything a focus on those things that can't be bought was the perfect gift.

He has yet to redeem a ticket although he already has gotten many of those things (wink, wink!).

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Madison campus


UW Madison has got the best college campus I've ever seen. Its not like I've seen all that many, maybe it is just the fact that it suits every part of me. It is a great public space. The student union is right on the lake and the shores of that lake is lined with steps. There is plenty of dock space to go lie down and feel the waves rippling underneath, moon shining high. Beer is served just steps away and live music from the band shell.

The conference hotel is on the opposite end of the street from the union where the state capital sits. And that was fine because I got to walk past all the excellent restaurants to get to the lake. Peruvian for a late, late dinner. Arroz con pollo - the rice was simmered in cilantro puree.

All that happened today makes me very excited for all that could happen tomorrow.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

clematis blooms


One of the goals on my Lotus List is to throw a clematis bloom party. This is the just the first to come into bloom and she (Josephine) lasts a long while, usually a month. Hopefully she'll be around when the others bloom.

I'm off to Madison, Wisconsin today for the annual co-op conference. I'll be gone for 5 days. I feel strange and exhilarated to be leaving the family for so long!

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a day of fun in the sun and water


Yesterday was one those glorious days of mild, breezy summer. No humidity, no bugs, just full of wonderful things and wonderful people.

What a great gathering of dark-haired girls. When I look at this photo, I wish that all the girls were mine. I feel blessed to be able to interact with them all. Oh, the pleasure of being around growing girls!

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Monday, June 9, 2014

lessons from a child


I used to be such a fuddy-duddy-stick-in-the-mud about the flowers that grow in my garden. I had this idea that I wanted to enjoy them in their natural setting. Then I would be sad at the end of their lives or when one got plucked or if one got overly large and weighted down. Enjoying flowers on their stems is virtually impossible with a little girl around who just wants to touch and rip and grab all beautiful things.

Now I'm glad when one is yanked prematurely or if many fall over from their magnificence. I gather up what I can and put them in a vase. No doubt this isn't new to anyone aside from myself. My family never had flowers growing out in the  yard when I was a child. They only had a practical, albeit very large garden full of vegetables. So while I like to grow flowers, for years I had no idea what to do with them.

My daughter teaches me something new everyday.

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