Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dear Walmart,

I hate you. I really do. Could you close your stupid greedy store for one day so people can be home with their families or at least have a day off. It's friggin' Thanksgiving, but the only people in your company who get to give thanks are the people in upper management who I am sure will have the day off but will benefit financially nonetheless from you 24 hour sales. You care nothing for your employees.

It is painfully obvious when you make people work on a day they deserve to have off. Yeah, I know all about your holiday pay and I know that is why most them will work on Thanksgiving (not that you give them a whole hell of a lot of choice.) You don't pay fairly to begin with or provide them with decent benefits, but you dangle money in front of them so your employees don't feel like they have a real choice but to work. Most of them are simply trying to make ends meet, pay bills, or save money. So they sacrifice a day in their lives, a day that it should be anathema to go Holiday shopping on anyway, so they can earn a little extra money to pay bills. Oh, but that would mean you gave a flying flip about people and ethics.

Basically, you suck and this is one of the several reasons why I do not shop at your greedy-don't-give-a-crap-about-anyone stores.

Sister of the single mom you are making work on Thanksgiving

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Monday, November 21, 2011

In Memory of My Cousin Joe

I just read on Facebook, my cousin Joe died. Helluva way to find out, but the truth is would not have known without the social network. It was how my cousin and I stayed in touch.

It wasn't always that way. There was a time when I would go to his father's store (OB"M) and sit and chat with him, alot. He would tell me of his many adventures meeting celebrities. They were all true by the way, as he had the pictures to prove it. He wasn't known as "El Paparazzi" for nothing. He met all kinds of famous folks from pop stars, athletes to Latino celebrities.

Joe and Will Smith

We talked about G-d. We talked about my mother who has passed when I was an infant. We talked about the day to day. He and I talked about so much, even vegetarianism...I don't recall that he was one but I remember his dad was and I've been a vegetarian for longer that I wasn't one.

It was just such a comfort to walk into the store and see his very sweet smile looking up from the small TV set there on the counter to greet me. He had been through so much in life. He was incredibly non judgmental and always supportive. I always remember how kind he was.

When I moved and left the area, I only stopped back in sporadically for a quick visit, and then eventually we lost touch. Time and distance do that. But not love.

Facebook put us back in touch, but for too little time. I had read that he was sick, I joined in on the prayers of the family, but to no avail apparently.

Joe is gone. Along with his smile, sweetness and camera.

But according to his brother not his spirit.

Yes, I suppose that can be true. Memories allow a person to live on.

So I guess for me Joe will never be gone, because no one can take from me that smile or sweetness...or the time he tried to set me up with one of his friends, "He's a great guy!"

:::very big smile:::

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Village Wise Woman Visits the Big City

I love working downtown, SO much! I get use public transportation and see all kinds of interesting folks. I am also noticing an awful lot grows there, which thrills me to no end. I decided I am going to try to take pictures of the green wonders I notice. Here are a few to start off with:

Philadelphia Fall Foliage
(Loves me some alliteration!)

Urban Sprawl or you can't hold a good tree back!

This green being was growing out of a building across from the El.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Inspired... Once Again

Part 1

I just got finished reading this post, Herbalism On the Edge by Kiva Rose. Her post proved once again to me, that although I have never had the privilege of actually meeting Kiva in person, (I do harbors hopes of doing so one day), I count her as a trusted friend and teacher on my path. Her post also has spurred me on to take a look at what is going on in my life, breathe a minute and reach out via this blog again.

I think one of the hardest thing regarding the evolution from Philly FarmGirl to Village WiseWoman was the life changes I was undergoing, and that reflected in my posts. No longer were my posts focused of the joy I found in mothering my three children and homeschooling. Now they were about trying to find my none too clear path and focus on who I was becoming. Then when it seemed I was finding my way, the need to earn an income seemed to consume me to the point I no longer had time for the magic of living. Even the names seem to reflect the becoming, from farm girl to wise woman.

Becoming and being who I truly am is challenging for me, as I well imagine it is for the rest of humanity who truly desires to live life fully and be their whole and wild selves. If I am to be completely honest here, you may not like what you see/read. Do I write for the readers or do I write for me? And if I write for the readers which readers do I write for, since I am a member of many tribes. So, here goes nothing. I am simply going to write about, well, everything! Everything and anything that I am interested whether it be spiritual, herbal, birth related, dance related fiber arts, whatever! Whatever flavor of the day it may be, I will write. Some days I may be the Wise Woman in all her wildly wonderful ways, other days I may simply be another seeker of truth and peace and still others I may simply post nonsense (yeah, nonsense is fun too). You will find posts filled with absolute faith and others that may be part of a dark night of the soul journey. Whatever the case I am going to treat this blog as I did in the very beginning of my blogging days, back in '05, like you are visiting with me in my home, sitting at my kitchen table enjoying a cup a tea/coffee. And if you like it, feel free to leave a comment and if not, comment too. Discussions are good too!

Part 2

Let me begin by telling you along with a new job, life changes and the absurdity of social networking, I have really been missing this blog.

So, what have I been up to.

Well, I am currently earning an income very happily, with a new group of little ones. They really are all quite delightful and I am pretty sure I work with children just so I will always have an excuse to play, explore and have an audience with which to hone my storytelling and song writing skills. (Oh yeah Raffi, I see you shaking in your boots over there)

I am also happily still teaching tribal belly dance. If you're in the Philly area you really should come dance with me. We have a lovely group of ladies that gather together and we have a whole lot of fun!

This past April I helped start a Red Tent Temple in the Philly area. That has been an amazing and transforming experience for me and many other ladies. I really cannot even begin to describe what is like other that it is very organic, safe and nurturing. I am honored and so blessed to be among some kick ass wise women every new moon. Again, if you are in the area you are very welcome to join us!

I have been realizing and becoming more comfortable with who I am and my own skin. Listen, it has taken a helluva long time to get here and I am planning to continue to learn and grow but it sure as hell feels good to finally not care (all that much) what folks think.

"Your acceptance, while it would thrill me, will not define me. My identity rests firmly and happily on one fact. I am my mother's daughter." ~Spanglish

I am still realizing what it means to be a Medicine Woman/Wise Woman and am joyfully accepting the mantle. I am realizing more and more that I am simply a teacher or guide. I am simply there to point out what may work or shine light on possibilities. Thus far it has meant I do more of what I have always done like counseling and mentoring. I have also discovered it means answering a lot of questions on
  • parenting
  • babies
  • birth
  • breastfeeding
  • sickness
  • herbs
  • marriage
Which lucky for me is also something I've done for quite a while and happens to be subjects I like to learn and talk about. Unfortunately it does not mean I have become an expert or have discovered all the answers which, quite honestly, sucks. Anyone who knows me, knows I would like to have the answer to cure every ill, solve every problem, and heal every wound. But it is simply not the case and even though it does suck, it is what it should be. It helps me to remember that it is not my responsibility to cure, solve and heal every ill, but that each person has a responsibility in their own healing process.

So, what have you been up to? What are you learning? Who are you becoming?

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dear Philly,

It's taken me some time, but I am learning to love this city. Well, it'd be nice and might not have taken so long if the inhabitants of the "City of Brotherly" love would try to be a bit more, er... lovable. Inspired by the billboards all over the city, I decided to create my own. I may even make a few more.

If you are having a hard time reading it, just click it and it will magically get bigger. °Ü°

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Once Upon a Time...again.


I have a tradition in my home, I relate the story of each of my children's birth to them on their birthday and I am quite sure they can give it over themselves quite well by now. Perhaps they can even recall an echo of memory, so often I have told them. Each time I tell it, it is as if I am birthing them again, I feel all the intensity of that love at first sight feeling. I did not intend this tradition, it simply came about, but over the years, I have realized why this was so very important to me to perform this ritual on their birthdays. It is because I do not know my own birth story. My birth mother left the planet when I was 5 months old. Because of this, I don't know much about my infancy or my childhood save for the mythology that has evolved over the years.

The anniversary of my own arrival is tomorrow and, perhaps because of the time of my life I am in, I feel very sad that no one will give over my story to me. No one will look into my eyes, tears welling up from the memory, heart overflowing with joy at the recollection of the happiness I brought them...or will they. As I meditated on this while writing my morning pages, I became overwhelmed with my own story. My story, told by me and a metaphor that like the Labyrinth, continually brings me back to myself.

The Womb.

It is dark but the darkness does not frighten me. I have been quite comfortable until now. Nourishment has been provided for me along with a steady, soothing heartbeat to lull me to sleep.

But now, now it seems I have outgrown my space.

I can barely move my arms or stretch my legs fully. Gone are the days I somersaulted in my watery home. It has gotten quite tight in here but I am content...until today.

Today the squeezing began. At first I did not mind it much, my home tightening it's walls around me, but I soon realized these were it's farewell embraces to me. Tighter and tighter they become and closer and more urgent they grow.

The descent begins and I feel myself spiraling downward, slowly at first. My head is being squeezed and my face is pressed and mushed. I feel uncomfortable and am not enjoying this dark journey. Time moves slowly and finally I begin to descend deeper still continuing down the spiral path into a tunnel impossible for me fit through. The intensity grows and I feel as if I may be finally crushed until I feel a coolness at the top of my head.

I wonder at the feeling, this unfamiliar sensation and have a moments rest to absorb what is happening. The tunnel tightens around me once again, feeling like a shove, a push urging me to leave my once comfortable home and forcing me down The Path. One more turn down the spiral and I emerge from the dark tunnel into blinding light!

After what feels like an eternity of flailing about in the confusion of the Light, warm arms hold me tightly and press me close. I listen closely and I hear a familiar drumming, a steady and comforting beat. I know this song although now it seems further away and I must strain to hear it. I take breaths and I begin to breathe in a scent that intoxicates me. My eyes struggle to focus but finally I see.

She is holding me and her smile assures me I right where I am supposed to me.

She is beautiful beyond compare.

She is Divine.

She is Mother.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Following the Wise Woman

I have been following the Wise Woman all of my life in the many forms she has manifested herself to me. Young girl, nomadic gypsy, devil may care 20something, abused wife, horny teenager, cranky old woman and many more. Each time she has taken me on a new path. Each time, I've been hesitant to go. There is not much light it seems at first. Maybe just a candles worth, simply lighting the step directly in front of me.

"That is all that is necessary to move forward." she assures me.

Strangely enough, in spite of my fear, I follow her. I must, I believe I have no choice, for to remain where I am is to die a death of the spirit.

As I follow her there are times I struggle to keep up. Her knowledge of The Path allows her the agility of an erudite and reassures me. Occasionally I notice fear peeks from behind the trees reminding me that he is there. I linger not at his sight, moving on and marveling at her confidence, praying one day that will be me.

Finally, we come to a door. Always there is a door, sometimes great and foreboding, sometimes small and ridiculous. Several times, the door has been covered with thorns and I have had to hack my way through. Most times in the past I have simply followed her in, but this time is different. This time she tells me I must go in alone.

I feel paralyzed.

"You shall find me again," she urges me on. "I will be waiting for you, wise eyes will reveal me no matter what my concealment."

She sees the tears welling in my eyes and takes me in her arms. I am in no hurry to be released from her embrace. At last, I am comforted and she hands me small photo. "Look for her." Her smile seems to reveal that she has known a great secret all along and soon I shall too.

I gaze at the photo in my hands. Wiping the tears from my eyes I begin to understand. I will know her, the Wise Woman and peculiarly she shall look very much like me.

In fact she always has.
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Monday, May 23, 2011

So I stopped by for a visit at...

The Passionate Wise Woman for her "In Your Skin Monday" post. It is such a honor to be asked to write for another blog, not to mention a lot of fun. Go over and see what I wrote, and see what this lovely lady has to offer! I think you'll have a great time over there!

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Medicine Woman I want to be

The Village Wise Woman

The words of Wisdom are on her tongue
The law of Kindness flows from her mouth
Dressed in her finery, clothed in the past
Eyes turned to the future, her heart ever present in the here and now
She walks between the worlds.
Calico apron draped across her tie dyed skirts
Lace handkerchief tucked up her tunic sleeve
Her head is wrapped in a cotton crown, leather sandals on her feet
Close to the earth, she listens
Close to the heavens, she soars!
Lavender and dandelion speak of their magic
Yarrow and plantain teach her of love
Owl and chickadee are her friends
Hawk and crow her guides
Butterfly her comfort
Dancing through hoops, spinning with fire, living beneath the cottonwood trees
She weaves her crystal ball through the loom of her life
And though she walks in harmony with all
Her sword is in it's sheath, her hand upon it's hilt
Warrior she is, when it is necessary.

By: The Village Wise woman's not so distant manifestation

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Celebrating Passover, Dreaming of Freedom, Starting the Revolution

I have finally begun to enjoy my Pesach/Passover celebrations. Prior to this enjoyment I was an angry, resentful, and none to eager participant in the preparation let alone the celebration. All ofthe preparations and cleaning and turning upside down one's home to search for chometz has been working my nerves for the past couple of years, and even more so this year. Now mind you, we are not near as "in depth" as many people, following a more letter of the law practice than all the extra chumras that some of my Tribe take on, but feeling the time constraints and attention to detail that this holiday demands was, nonetheless, beginning to wear at me.

Finally, with the couldn't-been-done-without-her daughter doing cleaning over the week, we finished on Sunday and were actually ready for the holiday the earliest we have ever been. I had decided earlier, since I only have one child at home and wasn't sure who actually would be present, to make plans to celebrate the seders in other peoples homes. I must say, they did much to flip my attitude. The first seder was quiet and meaningful with people we dearly care for. The food quite delicious and proof that the simplest of foods, without extra spices or whatnot, make for delicious and warm meals. Love truly is the most needful ingredient. The second seder was happily spent with extended family and my son so needless to say, my mother's heart was overjoyed! We enjoyed other meals out with two of my students families and they were equally wonderful.
Of course the point of all these mealtime celebrations, is freedom, particularly freedom from slavery. We use cushions, lean to the left, drinks lots of wine to remind us we are a free people. This really has gotten me thinking about what slavery and freedom really means. What exactly is freedom? Lack of ownership? Lack of restraints? Absence of boundaries? Absence of limitations? Opportunities? Choices?

"Emancipate yourself from Mental Slavery. None but ourselves can free our mind."~Bob Marley

With all this thoughtfulness I decided that now would be an appropriate time to make resolutions to myself. Resolutions focused on being Free.

I want to free myself to be who I truly am. I cannot even explain what that means, as I am in constant discovery of who I am, but simply put, I want to be free to be that person at each moment, without apology to myself or others.

I want to be free to choose healthy foods and not be enslaved to what my emotions want to eat. I want to nourish my body without then becoming a slave to a particular diet or food program. I want to enjoy the food I eat and simply eat to live.

Worry is slavery.
Fear is slavery.
Lack of control is slavery.

I want to be free from all these things. I want to love and experience each moment as it comes. I want to feel great emotion and not chastise myself for it afterwards. I want to truly understand that there is a real difference between lack of control and passionate living! I want to live Passionately!

I want to be free of obligation. That is a mouthful coming from me, I know. But I am beginning to believe their is a huge difference between obligation and response-ability.


1. An act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.
2. The condition of being morally or legally bound to do something.

    1.The state or fact of being accountable.
    2.The opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization.
    3.A moral obligation to behave correctly toward or in respect of.

    Mind you, I picked those particular definitions to suit me, but they better explained my point. Response-ability, the ability and desire to respond to a person, situation, cause etc. is freedom! I take upon myself responsibility, and I respond happily in a healthy manner. I am not obliged to do this or that, but am living my life and responding to it. I admit, I could be performing word gymnastics here, but I suppose that is how all revolutions start, with a word or a catch phrase
    to hold on to and inspire.

    "You tell me it's the institution, well you know, you better free your mind instead." ~John Lennon

    Speaking of the Revolution, I realize that the revolution had to start within myself and my mind. Here I am thinking I am starting a revolution, but truly I need to revolt within myself first. I think this is the most challenging. To change and free my own mind!

    "But the multitude among them began to have strong cravings. Then even the children of Israel once again began to cry, and they said, "Who will feed us meat? We remember the fish that we ate in Egypt free of charge, the cucumbers, the watermelons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic." ~Bamidbar/Numbers 11:4-5

    We, all of us, are still very much slaves. Slaves to systems, ideologies, past experiences etc., that keep us tame and sedated. The sedation, I think we can shake off, but once we are fully awake then what? What happens then? We are free and awake but to what? How do we shake off the 'slave mentality'? As we see above, the Torah clearly relates the stories of the children of Israel and their continued desire for their 'comforts of slavery'. Is this simply our nature now? Have we forgotten or have we even ever known what it is to free and response-able? Once freed from any given situation or person will we naturally seek to enslave ourselves to another system, emotion, belief?
    If I would unfetter myself and become my authentic wild self, who will I be? What will it mean to relinquish the bondages that I have accumulated along the way and to start the revolution within myself and to allow anarchy within my own being.To honestly be response-able to myself, others and the world around me? What will it mean to live a life fully awake and live each and every moment wild and free?

    It is all at once, indeed, frightening and exciting. But to be wild is to grow and become all what one should be. The wild expensiveness of the Universe is all too awesome to try to understand. The beauty of a wild countryside, mountain range etc., is more than the soul can even consume. The earth as it was and in places still is.

    It's not too late, you know. Land is constantly being set free, re-wilded, maybe people can be too.

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    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Penny Pak Ponderings

    Yesterday my youngest daughter and I went for a long overdue walk into Penny Pak Park. I have now officially seen each season in the park. This past winter was my first snowy sojourn into the park. I realized yesterday though, that it is necessary to my good health to be a much more frequent visitor to the Park, particularly since it is truly the largest natural haven here in my neighborhood. There is so much happening there right now I was slightly overwhelmed by it all. I discovered cottonwood trees with their soft buds poking up. I saw young patches of nettle and violets. There were also many other plants, but sadly I only knew a small handful by name. Those that I could identify, I joyfully shared with my daughter. Another realization I had was, I needed to become the teacher I want. Therefore the bits of knowledge that I do have, I must share or they will become lost. So I showed her the cottonwood buds and invited her to touch and feel their softness. Instructed to stay clear of the nettle patches, pointed out shepherd's purse with their adorable heart shaped seedpods. We talked of violets and pansies and all the food that was growing there in the park.

    Finally we sat for a bit and watched a beetle as it ambled down the macadam pathway. She (yes, we decided she was surely feminine) has us a bit worried as she was on her way since there were many dangers on her route of choice. Walkers, joggers, bikers to name a few. We struggled with whether or not we should move her out of the way, or if it was better to let her go her own way. We watched and were very curious to discover that as slowly as she traveled and in a seemingly indecisive manner, she made it. Her slowness of gait enabled the few observant humans walking by to stop and admire her a bit. She had quite a few near misses which caused us to look away and flinch a bit. (yes, we actually cared about the outcome of this beetle) In fact, in spite of all the near misses she made it and without any of our assistance.

    All this beetle watching spawned the inevitable spiritual discussion between us. Did she think that this is how G-d is with us? Are we simply like this beetle travelling along the path? Does the Universe simply allow us to go our way as indecisively as Miss Beetle? When and/or does the the Universe intervene? Should the Creator intervene at all?

    We came to no conclusions and had no answers. We believe Miss Beetle came to teach us to observe and to ask questions. She was quite captivating and in the end, she made it safely to the other side.
    As I hope and pray, we all will too.

    There are no pictures as it was a holiday, but I am committing myself to getting to Penny Pak more often and documenting my findings and perhaps, if I am able, do a little wildcrafting.

    Note: as a fan of alliteration I could very well have added the words "Peaceful Pesach/Passover" to the above title but refrained from doing so. Much like my friends who adore puns, the tendency to go overboard is always tempting and restraint is mostly appreciated. °Ü°

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    Sunday, February 27, 2011

    How to Have a Great Day

    1. When you wake up, thank the Universe for a new day. The Jewish Prayer of "modeh/ah ani" is a good one to say.

    מודה אני לפניך מלך חי וקים שהחזרת בי נשמתי בחמלה, רבה אמונתך.
    Modeh ani lifanekha melekh ḥai v'kayam sheheḥezarta bi nishmahti b'ḥemlah, rabah emunatekha.
    I offer thanks before you, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great.

    2. Enjoy a cup of your favorite warm beverage. My choice, coffee.

    3. Meet beloved people for more coffee and tea biscuits. (On the way, have an argument on the phone that upsets your tummy and then promise yourself not to do THAT again. Makes the hug greeting of your beloved people even sweeter and remind you of the great day you are having.)

    4. Have many REAL conversations with long time friends, family and your children.

    5. Dance, ALOT!

    6. Hug more friends and your daughter, ALOT!

    7. Forgive yourself and the other person involved in above argument.

    8. Go shopping with beloved people for lovely red fabric for the New Moon party you are planning. (Extra special treat: dear friend passing through Philly and has only 45 minutes to spare, joins you on your excursion and wow, you feel so much love!)

    9. Sing real loud and dance with beloved people to Janis, Otis, and Gerry.

    10. Blog about it and feel the gratitude and blessing of a wonderful day.

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    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    To Do List for a Snow Day

    Well, Philadelphia has been hit with 16" of snow and that means a SNOW DAY for me! Hooray!

    I happened to start my day off quite pleasantly with three hours of my morning spent talking on the phone with my two sisters and my newly married daughter. How lovely it was to just chat on the phone instead of through text, email or some other electronic medium or network. I haven't done that in quite some time, so even though I am not really a phone person, it was a fun change of pace.

    I really do love snowy days and have no objections to winter spreading her white mantle upon the earth, I mean, it is winter after all. If I didn't like the seasons I would be planning my move to the southern states. No, the biggest challenge is to spend my day wisely and not fritter it away online. This has become terribly easy for me during the past few years and I have to say, I don't like it.

    What I have decided is the best thing to do, is to compose "To do" lists. I did this the last time I had a snow day and I got quite a bit accomplished including putting up more tinctures and writing on my blog.

    So today's list of things to accomplish are:

    ~Set up the large triangle loom and start shawl
    ~Finish one of my wrist warmers
    ~Create my herbal journal for my herbal ally, Lavender.

    I will let you know later how that turned out so stay tuned for further updates!

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    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    Herbal Ally Challenge

    So, I discovered this over at Dancing In a Field of Tansy and decided it would be a great way of really learning and discovering more about herbs and focusing on one in particular.

    The steps she has listed so far are as follows:

    After reading the first two links she has posted regarding having and finding an herbal ally, it has become a bit hard to choose. There have been several plants that have spoken to me in my life, dandelion, lemon balm, lavender, yarrow and plantain. They seem to be the ones I am most drawn to. But I suppose if I had to choose just one, I would have to go with lavender since I can never resist brushing my hands past a lavender plant when I am going by. There has also been some tremendous emotional moments in my life when it comes to lavender.

    I became obsessed with the scent of Lavender when I lived in Maryland and discovered Crabtree and Evelyn had wonderfully scented lavender soaps. Soon after, I discovered English Lavender and found and bought fragrances that made me swoon. The love affair was sealed as such and I fell completely and utterly in love. I first planted lavender back when I lived in Lancaster and I so dearly loved it. I got the courage to plant it because of one of my favorite scenes in the Jane Austen BBC (2007 with Kate Beckinsale) movie adaptation of Emma where Emma is walking through a courtyard filled with lavender and she is brushing her hands over it. Mr. Knightley is about to arrive and propose and the whole scene made my heart skip a beat I tell you.

    (if you want to see the scene click here and wait until 1:48)

    When I moved to Philly, I was sad to have to leave my beloved lavender behind but soon bought new plants. I really did not know much about caring for them and they became leggy and woody and so one winter I decided to prune them back. Too late, I discovered my grave mistake. spring came and my lavender did not bud. I looked up all kinds of reasons as to why this might have happened and discovered my folly had cost my lavender its life. As dramatic as this may seem I sobbed as if I had lost my best friend. I was truly heartbroken and could not believe I had been so careless. I promised myself to be more conscious of my herbs in the future and now have several lavender plants growing quite well.

    That same year I reaped a lovely bounty of lavender from and obliging neighbor who was quite eager to have her three large bushes trimmed. Let me tell you that was quite a joyous time for me!
    Whenever I want to gift something to friend I often snip some lavender and wrap it in ribbon to bless them and just this past year, my dear friend Angelique gifted me with yet another lavender plant. I imagine myself sometimes being Miss Rumphius, the Lupine lady, but with lavender planting it every where I go.

    Well, after all this writing I have done I am quite settled that my ally for this year will be lavender. I will be posting all that I discover and learn about Lady Lavender. I will be creating a journal to record my discoveries and musings in. I will do my research and record my findings. I will write about her, poetry and prose. I will create with her, edible, medicinal and decorative goodies. Most of all though I will let her teach me all that she can and find how this gentle, small yet stately plant speaks into my life.

    You are welcome to come along with me on my journey or better yet find your own and share your adventure with me!

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    Saturday, January 22, 2011

    Free Printable Owl Calendar

    I found this lovely link via Dancing in a Field of Tansy, so cute! Being a lover of raptors and owls in particular of late, I was delighted to stumble upon this. I am sure you will be too!

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    Sunday, January 9, 2011

    Snowy Day Wanderings

    Today I woke to snowy shabbat. By nine o'clock the snow was falling consistently and had beautifully cloaked the city in a white mantle. By 9:30 am I began to get restless and started to debate whether or not a walk in the snow would be helpful. The child that I can be and who loves to play convinced me that it would be criminal to not avail myself of this winter wonderland and I quickly got dressed for the occasion. Once I had assured myself I would not freeze to death I began my trek. I stood outside on the patio for a few minutes taking it all in. It was cold and the snow felt lovely as it fell on me. I was amazed at how very quiet it was, very few cars out and about on this snowy morning, it all felt so surreal. Not even the juncos I had noticed earlier in the bush in front of my home were tittering about.

    I started my walk not exactly sure where I was going then quickly deciding I desperately needed to see the woods on a snowy day. It occurred to me that I have never been there in winter and so off I went. The one mile walk seemed so much longer in the snow but I enjoyed every minute of it. The sound of the snow crunching under my boots made me smile and the silent city soothed my mind.

    When I finally arrived at the Park I stopped myself. I wanted to really take it all in, soak up the seaonal change and observe all I could. Immediately I heard the titters and chips of birds. I looked up to try and spu them all out. I spotted cardinals, and black capped chickadees busily hopping from brancn to branch. Then I began to hear the tap, tap, tap of what I recongnized as some kind of woddpecker searching for food. I looked in the distance searching in vain for the wood pecker. Suddenly a sentence from the latest Charles deLint novel popped into my head that went something like "folks are always looking down when a whole world is happening right above them". Inspired by that thought I simply truened my eyes to right above me and, as if by magic, I saw the lovely red bellied woodpecker. It was hopping and pecking away at the tree in from of me. Then suddendly I was rewarded further by seeing several red headed woodpeckers! That was really a thrill for me and I was tremendously happy that I had ventured out into the snow.
    Photo from

    I decided to continue with my walk and observed the creek still flowing slowly and frozen a bit in parts. I meditated on the ice and the water flowing freely beneath it. How often my own heart has felt this way. I leaned on a nearby tree and in fact embraced it to keep me stable on the snow. As I stood there I began to feel a sense of love, deep love that seemed to warm me from the inside out. Can't really explain it, other than that is simply what I felt.

    I took my leave of my new friend tree and walked deeper into the woods. Following the creek I felt so alone and at peace with the woods. I found a place to stand and look and tried to take in every aspect of the woods I could. I had never been there in the winter so the experience was so new and wondrous to me. The silent beauty evoked the same emotions that I feel when I am in Maine. That surprised me a bit, as I was certain I would never feel that way outside of Tsfat or the cabin in Maine. I found another accommodating tree and found myself hugging this one too. Only this time I *felt* the tree and *knew* it. I breathed in the green smell of it's bark and what I had always know logically became heart knowledge. I felt deep love yet once again. The tree was ALIVE! In spite of the snow covered branches, the absence of leaves and the emptiness of the woods, the tree, all of them were very much alive. The woods were sleeping beneath the blanket of snow and this was simply a season. Spring would sooner than I realize make her return and the trees would wake up again.

    A season, just like the seasons of my own life. Tears began to fall and prayers began to well up in my heart. I cried out to the Universe, to the Holy One and felt my prayers were being heard. It had been awhile since I felt so free and close to the Divine. It was a blessing indeed!

    I found a nearby bench and sat for bit watching the snow fall and thinking to myself. Suddenly the desire to make a snow angel came over me. Silly, I know, and as I debated the wisdom of doing such, I finally gave into my childlike desire and plopped myself in a nearby snow bank. I laughed inwardly and swished my arms and legs back and forth to create my angel. Finally I carefully rose up and admired my creation. Brushing the snow off my coat and clothing, I laughed and tears of joy came again! In the distance I heard children playing and I knew it was time to go home. My heart filled with gratitude I made my way out through the snow and out of the woods.

    It is my plan to continue.

    "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" ~Kohelet Ch.3 v1

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    Monday, January 3, 2011

    The Leaky B@@b: A Fairytale

    Here is a link from The Leaky Book Blogsite telling her story. After you read it and if you are on facebook, go like the new support page.

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    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    Another Word on Feeding Nurslings in Public

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    Facebook and Twisted Sensitivities

    This morning I read this article which states that four nursing students, who posted pictures on Facebook of a human placenta, have been kicked out of nursing school.

    I then learned that Facebook deleted the page titled: "The Leaky B@@b" as it was considered offensive.
    Uh, yeah. This coming from a Social Network that has a plethora of hate groups and pages devoted to prejudice. (obviously not devoting a link to any of them)

    They have time and time again removed nursing babies photos, birth and placenta pictures but that wide array of drunken ass photos, not too worry, they are still proudly up.

    Apparently stupidity and ignorance is not deemed offensive.

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    File Under: Strange but True Labrador Adventures

    This morning I was making my healthy low calorie breakfast, (why yes, I am on the eat well/lose weight New Year's bandwagon) and getting quite excited about it! New year, new beginning blah, blah, blah. I was even planning to enjoy a bagel because I have decided to stop demonizing carbs and simply learn to eat like a person and not two. So, there I was happily cooking away when suddenly from the back room I hear my daughter cry out, "Oh my g*d!" I leave my stove top and quickly run over to the hall where I ask her what happened.

    Daughter: "The Dog!"
    Me: "What?!"
    Daughter: "The Dog got into the fridge and ate the bagels."
    Me: "WHAT?!?!"
    Daughter:"He got into the fridge and ATE the bagels!"

    I simply cannot believe it! Even as she is bringing me the empty bagel package I still can't believe it. Ah, but there is indeed the rub, because you see I should have believed it. We had recently just began to store the bagels in the fridge because my clever pooch had figured out a way to open the bread box drawer (don't ask me how) and steal them from there!

    I took the empty offending package and stuck in my dog's face demanding, "WHY?!?!"

    He just looked and me apologetically, as if he had really done me some kind of favor, all sad eyed and sweet and I gave up trying to understand.

    So here are my options:

    1. Try sticking the bagels on TOP of the fridge and see if that works. Unless of course the Cat is in cahoots with the Dog, which in that case it's hopeless.

    2. Give up on carbs completely because they are actually demonic delicacies that will only continue to ravage and ruin my body.

    3. Eat bagels out.

    4. Install hidden video cameras.

    My stealthy ninja dog. Don't let that grey haired face fool you. This Old Man apparently still has some tricks up his sleeve er...paw.

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