Those Jersey Girls…

One of the absolute BEST things we did last year was purchase a CSA share from our local raw dairy farm Deerfield Farm.  Every Wednesday we would argue over who would get to go pick up our milk, yogurt and soft cheese.  Mainly because we loved to hang out with cows.

IMG_20140723_154318These girls are real special.  They are loved, have a clean place to live, and see all that green behind them? They get to eat that ALLLL day!

So that means we get to bring home delicious raw milk that has an amazing cream line.

And we get all the health benefits of raw milk, plus the peace that comes with getting fresh air, listening to cows low and watch them frolic and play in the sunshine. It doesn’t get much better than that.

I cannot wait until it is milk CSA time again. It is coming up soon!






The Garden of Gethsemane

This is my favorite time of the Ecumenical year.  I love the real, scared and tender Jesus we see and hear in the garden of Gethsemane.  His questioning of “Why me?” is a familiar one to us as humans.  In this season I am reminded of this very personal question.  Not only am I reminded, but I find the gratitude and the humility in the question “Why me?” jesus-in-gethsemane1 Why did God choose this yoga ministry for me?  This is a ministry of helping people keep the temple of their body strong and sacred, and to keep clear and pure the offerings of love and devotion at the altar of our hearts.

As Jesus takes his human-ness, fear and reluctance to God in the Garden of Gethsemane, so too, will we take our journey into our hearts and onto our mats to discover “Why me?” What is our duty in this life? As a Christian am I keeping up with who God created in me? What is our calling?  We all share in this very human moment that Jesus had in the hours before his ultimate offering of love.

Jesus meditating

By searching our hearts and bodies through the practice of yoga we find the Lord’s answers coming straight from our hearts. I am so honored to share this with the members of First Church of Christ, Congregational UCC in Middletown, CT.  This is my love offering to the God in you.  Join me in this quiet all levels yoga class to find the edge of God’s purpose for you.

I will be offering this class for six weeks on Sunday evenings beginning February 22 at 6:00pm – 7:30.  All levels are welcome and encouraged.  Wear modest, loose, comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat and a towel. The class will be 90 minutes of a Classical Hatha Yoga Practice; deep breathing, sun salutations and asana (postures) followed at the end by a deep relaxation practice called Yoga Nidra. Bring a blanket, sweatshirt and warm socks for deep relaxation.

Please go to our Calendar page to find out dates and times.

Family roots

James in front of a field of cotton. Cotton as far as the eye could see.

James in front of a field of cotton. Cotton as far as the eye could see.

We had the extraordinary opportunity to take a small family vacation this year to my Mother’s home town of Tiptonville Tennessee.  We visited the first weekend in October for the huge annual craft fair weekend.  It is an unofficial family reunion.  This year we were so grateful to be have spent time with my grandmother Helen, my Mother’s mother.  This was the first time James had spent time with her.  My Aunt Pat and Uncle Roger were there with a slew of cousins too!

James didn't dare check his fishing poles. Those were carry on only,

James didn’t dare check his fishing poles. Those were carry on only,

I was able to show James where my mother grew up, the land they farmed (and still farm!) and our family cemetery where my Mother Susan is buried and all of our ancestors were buried as well. James is getting to the age in which he wants connection. We understand from NVC that we all have a need for connection, and James was soaking up all this rich family heritage.

We soaked up some good food too!!! We had frog legs, chicken livers, catfish, hush puppies, fried okra…the list goes on!

And of course James did plenty of fishing!! Reelfoot Lake is the home of some of the best lake fishing in the region. We were blessed to stay right on the lake. We cannot wait to go back soon!

James begged us to try BBQ Bologna. I couldn't do it.

James begged us to try BBQ Bologna. I couldn’t do it.

down the drain

Over the years – and especially when we were sailing – our family has done a LOT to curb our local impact on Mother Earth’s water supply. In Connecticut the storm drains all run into the Connecticut River and that runs into Long Island Sound – which will be a dead body of water of we don’t wake up soon and start changing some little habits!

Here is a quick list of a few of the things we have done:

We stopped using our disposal almost completely (and yes I have stuck my hand down there to pull out food that has slipped by) and started composting. The high nitrogen levels produced when decaying food mixes with the sewer is very harmful for the rivers and waterways.  The overgrowth of algae will starve a body of water of sunlight and oxygen.  Our sewers and storm drains wash into the river then right into Long Island Sound.

We certainly DO NOT “treat” our lawn to any chemicals – all of this washes into the river and the same result happens. We have beautiful green grass in May and part of June and then it turns tannish green – LIKE IT IS SUPPOSED TO! This is our lawn in November but this is pretty much what it looks like in July August September October – then it gets covered in snow.


We stopped using paper towels completely and now use cloth towels to clean up spills and wipe counters. And we have traditional cloth napkins at the table. They are such a waste of paper – and the paper processing plants use so much water and chemicals.  It is really harmful to those local areas. Instead we use wet towels like these Handi Wipes


We don’t use dryer sheets – they take a VERY long time to biodegrade, we use dryer balls instead. And we have the occasional static cling but nothing major.  Certainly nothing I would want a dryer sheet in a landfill for thirty years for!!!

dryer balls

I am hoping my cousin  Laura can make me some of these felted wool dryer balls


So one of the last places where I just thought I couldn’t find a solution for was my clogged shower drains…

My husband and I both use Dr. Bronner’s Soap.  Which if you are a fan you know is very thick and can cause a little build-up in the pipes.  Well after two or three days of standing in scummy shower water I reach for the (flinching here folks)…Drano… I KNOW! I KNOW!!! I am embarrassed to even write it! But what kind of person would I be if I did not confess my home-making sins and share the VICTORY I found it two very simple ingredients:


Baking soda and white vinegar. Now to my husbands defense – he has been saying for years – “Try baking soda and vinegar” But have I done that? No.

It’s OK – enough beating myself up. Because yesterday I put a cup of baking soda on top of the little drain cover, then poured over about a half gallon of vinegar and ten bubbly fizzy minutes later I had a clear drain and a clear conscience!!!


So don’t overwhelm yourself with having to do ten things differently! Take it easy! One thing at a time!  Some of the changes we have made in our life have taken years to become habits. Just start living small with one little change. Maybe you are ready to switch to cloth Handi-wipes and ditch the paper towels? Or maybe add a small compost bucket to your countertop?  Every little change makes a difference.