And so we begin

Another year has ended and a new one begins…  IMG_6522

As the light subtly begins it’s return, I find myself going even more deeply in, wishing almost that winter was just at it’s brink.  I finally feel like all is wrapped up, feasts and festivities, harvests and projects and all that completes an abundant year, filling me with such a deep gratitude I have hardly yet expressed.

So much awaits, so much to be excited about, so many directions to choose from for my busy hands and mind…but I hesitate looking around at the possible roads I could go down and knowing now, there is really only one place to go… and that place is in.


My second child is due in the end of February and though the new year calls out with possibility of new seeds to plant, new challenges, new opportunities and resolutions to take on, I know deeply that my real work is just to be better at what I am already, a present and patient mother.  Yes I will garden and make things and buzz around like a little bee, but I really wanted another baby and if having another is anything like the first,  I am in for a whole new birth of myself.


Maybe not as a mother, as that I am becoming more and more each day, I really don’t know what this birth will bring besides a baby, but I do know I can’t know and preparing for the not knowing is the work I must do right now.  How does one then prepare for the mysteries life will bring, how do we surrender to the deep unknown.  Our culture loves our resolutions and our intentions, leading us to believe that we are the masters of our own destiny…and maybe we are or at least the masters of our own minds…but how do we prepare for what we do not know, what we cannot see, contrive or control?IMG_0480

Well, I guess it is mostly becoming more and more present in each moment, especially those testy ones where things don’t go our way or as we had envisioned or planned.  Arrive to what is with a clear mind and open heart may be the best preparation one can do to birth, be birthed and really to live happily with what is.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a planner, even a manifester and woman of great will and vision, but right now most of that work is done…the seeds have been planted, the arrows aimed.  Now the softer, gentler, more accepting me must arrive and unpack, settle in and get comfy, because there is very little I can do besides be open and patient while waiting for baby, savoring every sweetness before thing change.


So here we sit, settling into a stillness yet trying to keep a good tempo, as we don’t want to get too still that a birth will rudely awaken us.  So awake and ready, open and calm, patent and accepting… lots of little mantras to hum along while this third trimester ripens my belly and my family into the best state of preparedness one can hope for as our new year blooms us along.

Sorting Seeds and Drying Leaves

IMG_6308Nothing quite like a frigid morning to inspire some garden action!!  Don’t get me wrong, I lingered long over a hot cup of tea this morning, but I have to admit the freezing breeze just nagged at me all the things I had left undone out in my autumn garden.  For one, I haven’t planted garlic yet! Yikes I MUST do it before the ground freezes, I will today, I must!!  I peeked under my row cover at all my little fall greens, and wow, I am happy to report all was well! Spinach, Chard, Lettuce, Cilantro, even a little dill perky as can be!IMG_6293 I harvested like crazy and tucked them back in.  If the snow does bless my yard this weekend I plan on laying a thin sheet of 4mil plastic over the whole 4 rows, it is not greenhouse plastic, but a painters drop cloth type plastic sheet I got last year, and it seemed to do the trick to just keep th snow off and it helps melt it fast when the sun does shine again, which we all know can be quite quick around here. I also scrambled around the yard gathering the last medicines I could find.  Mint, yarrow, Comfrey, Mallow were all doing just fine in the crispy air so I gathered those up eagerly and set them to dry in the extremely dry (heating with wood really sucks the humidity out of the air) cozy house. IMG_6334 All of these delicious leaves will be used in an upcoming workshop my Radical Homemaking conmadres are putting on called the Winter Apothecary- Stocking up for Seasonal Wellbeing.   We will be making teas, cough syrup, medicinal stock and all kinds of magical potions for the cold season ahead.  This is always the best part, when all my seasons efforts get mixed and brewed and put the finishing touches on and magically they transform from weeds to medicine ready to dose out to the sick and the weary. Ahh, so a brisk morning it was, but now I can at least enjoy another cup of tea, sort the garlicIMG_6524 And hope for another day before the ground deeply freezes (though usually it takes until about Christmas for that so I am not that worried!!)IMG_6329 And while I am sorting, the mail comes and delivers my first article in print!  Actually it was a nice season of press for this little gardener….I had a story about ‘Psyche and Her Seeds’ published in the Seed Broadcast, a very cool little free paper all ode to Seeds.  An article in this Seasons Edible Santa Fe (p.64) about the work we do to grow local food at Santa Fe Community College.  And lastly an article I wrote all about the planning and planting seasons of High Desert Homesteading in this seasons edition of the Permaculture Activist. IMG_6330 Oh and do you recognizes those cute little tomato holding hands!  Yep my photo made the cover, cool to have the love I put into my garden spread out and inspire beyond my yard, those are the seeds I wish to sow in the world.  So with the literature spread before me, and the leaves and the seeds, my table is full, my harvests are in and I am feeling like this year was indeed an abundant yield indeed.  Ok winter, now you may come on in and I will rest the best I can!!

Inner Light

The cutest Carolers you ever did see

The cutest carolers you ever did see

With all the darkness around us, our inner light shines ever brighter ever stronger.

Gathering us together around the home fires.


Going inward, unraveling old thoughts and re-routing


Letting the eastern dawn guide our way


Sharing our inner glow with our dearest


New paths unfold before us


New blooms unfurl


So we savor, we rest and we dream ahead.

Happy New Year, may you rest well and emerge in your own perfect way as the days grow before us.

Introducing Storymama

On this quiet, calm winter’s day I am feeling so full from the holiday cheer and so grateful to be able to just rest and soak it all in.

It is the perfect day for a little story telling around the fire, don’t you think?


To inspire, I would like to introduce you to my friend Brenna and her new Blog Storymama.  She has been a beckon of light to me on this journey of motherhood with her intentional ways and beautiful stories.  We have been collaborating on filming her beautiful puppet shows and here is the first of hopefully many.  She really has a gift for softly sharing magical tales that touch both young and old.  I am sure you will enjoy her gifts as much as I do.  

Solstice Greetings

At mid day, the suns southern rays reach half way into the house, the furthest point the sun will touch all year.


The little woolen angel basks in the afternoons glow


The divine mother cradles her babe in warmth & love


And a family of shepherds and their flock gather together on this cold winter day.IMG_3341

All is calm all is bright, happy return of the sacred light.

Making the Magic

I must admit, the older I get, the more I enjoy, or enjoy again, the holidays.  The glory kind of faded in my teens and twenties, when the consumerism and commercialism became so distasteful to me I simply couldn’t take it anymore.  I couldn’t tolerate much of this culture then, come to think of it!  A little older now and a bit less righteous, I feel myself softening into my being & the wonder of the world again.  I still am deeply annoyed at what our fine country let’s pass for Holy days, but I find my own way rather than trying to change everyone else’s.  Having a little creature to tend, who is not only magical himself, but completely and totally impressed with the whole world, helps the wonder seep into every moment.  IMG_2180

In creating our own family rituals, this season is starting to come alive again, I even look forward to it.  Re-claiming is always liberating but the deeper I look, the more I see the depth, symbolism and opportunity in what these winter holidays bring.  Laying things to rest, being still in the darkness, and of course bringing in light to illuminate all this darkness.


Sometimes the magic just happens, the world around turns white, sparkles so bright no one can resist the joy and delight of the season.


Other times, the ever magical world looks simply, full, overwhelming even bleak.  I am learning, with my little one watching closely, that it is in those moments most of all that we must create the magic ourselves.  Sledding, songs, even the simplest lighting of a candle can calm the heart and make the mundane perfectly magical.  So here’s to you and yours making and witnessing the magic that is the essence of this season.


Taking flight

It is migration season, the birds are heading south, seeking warmer weather to regroup, gather and connect…if you know what I mean.  Though I am not leaving town, I am doing the same, some sort of internal migration inwards.  The tomatoes are canned, the seeds saved and now I can look beyond what is right on front of me, screaming for my attention.   I see the more quiet, still sides of myself that haven’t gotten as much attention lately, my inner thoughts and processes.   My bird friends are here to remind me; rise high, seek the big picture and always keep moving.  Just this weekend I saw a beautiful golden eagle on a cross, a Western screech-owl on my lane as the full moon rose and a huge flock of Sandhill cranes heading south, dancing together in the sky above Ojo Caliente.  The birds always lift up my vision, help raise my focus and remind me, to not lose sight of myself in the busy mix of life.

Golden Eagle on a cross overlooking Chimayo, NM

Golden Eagle on a cross overlooking Chimayo, NM

As I do this settling in, there is a simultaneous kind of taking flight.  In this quiet, I have chosen to write more, in fact this post will be #100 on my blog since it’s inception 2 years ago.  It has been a humble effort, sporadic and random at times, but really a great creative outlet as a stay at home mom, gardener, maker and thinker.  I have reached a few folks and even gained a fan or two and just last week this little blog of mine got ‘picked up’.   Have you heard of Peggy O’Mara, she was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine based right here in little Santa Fe for 21 years!!  The very month I got pregnant Mothering published their last issue and went online to which Peggy founded.  Luckily and friend gave me her stack of well-loved issues and I devoured them throughout my pregnancy.  I still have them and hope I will read again sometime during my mothering journey. Recently Peggy started her own site called Peggy O’ which is a beautifully curated collection Family, Health and Justice articles from writers all over the country.  Recently a friend (thanks Kathleen) connected us and Peggy asked me to write for her sight!  It is a humble little step, but exciting to be connecting with a wider web of community.  Check out her site, it is well worth the trip, and Thanks Peggy!!

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

So happy 100 posts to Seeds and Stones and a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have read my words and supported me along the way.  Now that I have a moment to pause, where or where to begin with my huge pile of ideas?  Who knows, but so glad to have your company along the way.

Swapping the Sweetness

Yesterday we swapped, today we ate…homemade sourdough bread, fresh goat cheese, pear ginger butter, and homemade cultured butter…yep, all in one bite!!  Image

I know, I should save all these goodies and slowly dool them out over the year, but hey, it feels like time to celebrate.  Not just the food, but the efforts, the thought, the attention that when into all this bounty.  Everyone one who came this year put so much time into their offerings, and some serious creativity.  Image

I am talking tinctures that have been steeping for months made from wild crafted herbs, cheese made from Almonds, Mushrooms gathered from the mountains, Mustard made and labeled by homeschooled hands, homemade, frozen and indivdiually wrapped cinnamon buns that just need to be heated up on that special Sunday morning!!!  I mean really, this was above and beyond anything I ever dreamed of when I was staring at my pile of green tomatoes wondering who, oh who might be willing to trade for something, anything!!


OK, I admit, I do have some amazing friends, but it is not just that.  What amazed me the most is that all of the swappers stepped off the hamster wheel of consumer culture, stepped into their creative capacity, whipped up some magic and yes, gave it away!!  All in the name of sharing.  To give and receive comes so naturally to us human beings, we work so hard with our children on these fundamental human skills, and yet when I look around in most of the messages our culture is sending us, I see very little authentic generousity.  It’s mostly ‘ get yours’ ‘every man for himself’ and ‘you gotta look out for your own’ which all negate all that we learn in kindergarden about ‘doing unto others as you would have them do unto you’.  There are many days that is feels hard parenting a child to share in a world that may later tell him otherwise.  But yesterday, It felt so good to see reciprocity in action and to know that at least for today, we are setting a good example.


I just want to say Thanks to these folks who came out on Sunday morning with their arms full of their precious handmade and home grown to share.  We all left with boxes full as well, all mixed up with herbs, spices, seeds and fruits of other peoples labors of love.  I am starting to see a tiny glimmer of new economies, new possibilities, new options.  Sorry Whole Foods, I don’t see hand rendered Beef tallow on your shelves!


After some of the sampling I had a brilliant idea…. to make a Santa Fe Harvest Swap Cook Book, but then I quickly realized, no I don’t want Lisa’s Mustard recipe, I want Lisa to make my Mustard, and Sarah to make my pepper jelly and Kyce to make my medicine and Becca my butter!!  I want us to nourish each other deeply and truly like we did yesterday.  I want that for all of everyone and all of our children.  I will do whatever it takes to make that happen, weather it put on more swaps, weave more webs, or construct more soap boxes….I see now my true passion is bringing our gifts, our talents, and our hearts together, because all this goodness needs to be shared and spread, onto a piece of Ty’s homemade bread!!  If you are up for more learning, sharing and co-creating, make sure to check out what else we are up to here.


Ode to October

This glorious golden light, I receive you with open arms


As you ripen every last fruit, you ripen me too from the inside outImage

and I am so grateful you are here.


These are the days we have been waiting all year for, the seeds planted so carefully now in full bloom.Image

There is no loss to be spoken of in this all this abundance, all struggle forgotten in these glorious days.Image

The canning pot still boiling over into cool evenings and crisp air.


And though rest may evade me, I ride this wave of generosity, may it last inside me till the end of the year.

Spring Morning

It is that time of year where the sun streams in from the East just as we rise, illuminating everything just so, that I must grab the camera before I put the kettle on and make breakfast.


The prunings from the Apricot and Peach are pushing blooms in our window sill


Everyone is sprouting up beautifully in the greenhouse.


Jaengy and I are spending a good portion of each morning now playing in the dirt and water & seeds.  Feeling so lucky to have such a playroom for us both.IMG_0265

Struck so deeply by the light of morning, the calm, the beauty… I seek the words but only find pictures to share this glory….But then of course I turn to this and I simply must share.

Morning Poem

Every morning

the world

is created.

Under the orange

Sticks of the sun

the heaped

ashes of the night

turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches-

and the ponds appear

like black cloth

on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.

If it is your nature

to be happy

you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination



And if your spirit

carries within it

the thorn

that is heavier than lead-

if it’s all you can do

to keep on trudging-

there is still

somewhere deep within you

a beast shouting that the earth is exactly what it wanted-

each pond with its blazing lilies

is a prayer heard and answered

lavishly, every morning,

whether or not

you have ever dared to be happy,

whether or not

you have ever dared to pray.

-Mary Oliver