she’s gone where?

Sorry to desert you, my dear hard-working friends, but, I’m on VACATION, searching out some much needed sunshine.

Expect a full and glorious report on my return.

Until then,



One Day in the Life of, me, this winter, or, How I Will Survive

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn secretly wrote One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich during the Cold War, and now, decades later, during this unforgiving winter, I am warmed by the sense of dignity and hope he instills in his gulag-bound characters. Not to diminish the suffering of the 5,000,000 prisoners who endured cruelty and hardships under Stalin’s rule, but I too am feeling the burdens of this winter season. Crushing cold, violent storms, grey upon white, and a stretch of days ahead that screech more of the same. Survive? Well yes, I will, but I will certainly steal from the wisdom of Solzhenitsyn to make it through. After all, with day after day of sub-zero weather this winter, we can all feel Siberia in our very bones, right? And we need his words more than ever…

Thankfully my survival depends on my own constructs, and is not predicated on outsmarting corrupt guards in a work camp. I find small promises where I can, like sipping my Sunday morning tea in bed. Hot and black with frothed milk. And yes, snuggled under a down comforter. The raw day can wait…


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Finishing Touches

Getting dressed for your day can be a daunting task if you are feeding kids and packing lunches. Or even if you’re not. Getting your whole look together in the dark dawn can often mean pulling on that same old thing too many times. My daughter, once she reached 7th grade and decided what she wore to school defined her, began arranging her outfits the night before. She carried this habit into her adult life, especially when she has an important affair, she plots out her whole look beforehand, tries it on, fiddles with accessories, to works out the whole ensemble. Smart girl who grew to become a professional stylist. As of today, I rarely get that far with my wardrobe, but I do stop before I head out the door and view my whole self, then add a flourish here or there to make my look as signature as my spirit. I encourage you, tomorrow, reach for something new, switch up your hairstyle, don a neglected pair of earrings, a colorful bracelet, just play with your finishing touches.

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Care Package

Nine Cent Girl:

For my longtime readers, I hope you allow me the indulgence of reblogging this post from 2011; for my new readers here is another family-fun memory which I hope you enjoy!

Originally posted on Nine Cent Girl:

The twinge of fever hit mid-day, but it wasn’t until supper that I found myself unable to get warm. Banished to a guest room my first night into the underworld of the flu was a long and lonely one. However, as this is 2011, and our smart phones connect us through Facebook and Twitter and Email, my mother, a mere 1500 miles away, heard I was ill and called the following morning to get the story firsthand. As I was unable to talk, my mother quickly resorted to email, and shortly informed me a care package would be overnighted that very afternoon.

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transcendentalist? today, maybe

IMG_3513I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil–to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society. I wish to make an extreme statement, if so I may make an emphatic one, for there are enough champions of civilization: the minister and the school committee and every one of you will take care of that (“Walking” Henry David Thoreau).

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sleepless where ever

There is little dispute that sleep is too often hard to come by. Crazy busy schedules, out of control stresses, and troublesome future worries all keep a restful night’s sleep at bay. As a result chronic insomnia is not as isolated an experience as one might hope despite our finest pillow-top.       IMG_7643

 Insomnia Statistics

  • People today sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago.
  • More than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia.
  • One in three people suffer from some form of insomnia during their lifetime.
  • More than half of Americans lose sleep due to stress and/or anxiety.
  • Between 40% and 60% of people over the age of 60 suffer from insomnia.
  • Women are up to twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than men.
  • Approximately 35% of insomniacs have a family history of insomnia.
  • 90% of people who suffer from depression also experience insomnia.
  • Approximately 10 million people in the U.S. use prescription sleep aids.

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What’s for Supper?

Vermont is one of 27 landlocked states in the US but surprisingly wild saltwater fish is on the menu in most restaurants. It’s often on our home menu too. This is because in the Northeast, fresh fish is driven overnight from Boston harbor and arrives in our neighborhood seafood market the very next day. Next to the trout caught in any of our plentiful local waterways, this is as fresh as seafood gets, and it’s always lovely. Come mid-winter I often crave a meal that tastes like summer, light yet hearty, something with tomato, something with a bite, something like a fish stew. The following is a recipe concocted by my dearest chef, the Savvy Skillet and it’s guaranteed to satisfy everyone around your table.


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