Shine on!

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson


Night Serenade

We've been house-sitting for my mother a lot over the last 6 months, and so our cats have been over there almost full time... In the meantime, some rats have noticed our chicken feed and lack of resident predators, and decided the woodpile near the coop is a great place to build a burrow. Ugh. After I found a rat dropping in my basement, I decided it was time to take serious action. Three nights later, still waiting for my awesome rat zapper trap to arrive from amazon, found me sitting on my porch watching the wood pile with an air rifle in hand. Of course, NOW the little vermin decide to be shy. Every other day they've been quite brave in the early evening, at least enough so we've seen one or two each day... Or wait. Are they shy? Or is something else picking them off? 

Behold, the eastern screech owl. I knew they were around because I see and hear them a couple times every year. I even found a red morph last winter frozen in the snow on the dirt road by my house -- a hit-and-run victim. 

So last night there I am on the porch when something light swoops down in front of me at lightning speed and grabs something from near the wood-pile. A minute later, and more times throughout the evening, I heard this noise in the pine above the woodpile:

Why yes, that is a screech owl song, one of it's lesser known sounds. Eerie and beautiful.

And hooray -- they do hunt rats, even though they're practically the same size! Oh, I am so happy to have you as my neighbor, Mr & Mrs Screech Owl. Feel free to invite some of your friends over to dinner anytime ;)

Timeless Inspiration


It's amazing...

I love my home. I love my life. Since we have returned from vacation there have been storms and floods and power outtages, and yet life has seemed so easy, so full, so quiet and good. My son started Kindergarten last week and he loves it. My daughter's speech is developing rapidly and she is astounding me every day with something new she has learned at 19 months. Everything we are wanting is coming to us easily and in a nice flow of appreciation and abundance.

To show my own appreciation for this time of harvest, I've been putting up all kinds of foods: dried tomatoes, tomato sauce, frozen peaches, canned peaches in a light syrup with Cointreau and orange mint leaves, red pepper jam, canned nectarines and nectarine jam.

Life is good!


2 Weeks in France: A Photostream

Waiting for the plane at JFK

The view from our Paris apt in the Bastille. Yes, that's Notre Dame Cathedral on the left (lit up) and the Eiffel Tower on the right.

More view from the apt our first night. No effects added!

Notre Dame, our fave cathedral de la monde.

Learning Chess
The home we stayed at in Angers

Some of the (very) fine wines we enjoyed on our trip

Learning to play Boules

The largest slugs I have ever seen -- these were four-five inches long!! Found on our nature walks in the woods...

The chateau of Angers

Le Mans -- the 24 hour race track!

Cute cars that have won at the track

My favorite car. So pretty!


The Chateau of Plessis Bouris, where the elderly tour guide is hard of hearing and exceedingly rude. And no,  I do not think French people in general are rude. I find them very friendly and helpful usually, whether they believe you are french or not. But oh. That man. He was SO rude. We opted out of the tour.

The dolmen "Pierre Cesee" new Briollay. Wonderful inside. I adore neolithic sites like this.


Books I Read on Vacation

We had a wonderful trip to France to see my father and extended family this August. I loaded up my Kindle before we left, and also found some good books in my father's house. I won't list them all here (I read at least a book a day) but here are the best ones across several genres:

My Year of Meat. The author of this book, Ruth Ozeki, is a friend of my dad's and he's been trying to get me to read it for a couple years. When we got to his house there was a copy on my dresser, along with other English books he's been saving for me. Wow -- this is a great book. Fast paced, well written, slightly activistic and environmental, but mostly about Japanese and American lifestyles, it was a very interesting read. It's a book suitable for both vegetarians and meat-eaters. I'm looking forward to more books from this woman!

Where the Hell is Matt? Matt Harding has great dance (I use this term loosely, as does he) videos of him around the world posted on Youtube.com that bring a smile to everyone's face. This book chronicles his journey from accidental tourist to paid dancer and world-traveler. his insights are both humble and inspirational. The writing is basic, almost blog-style writing but in the end he has a decent message. His writing, like his dancing, will make you smile.

Today We are Rich. This is a great book that I got on the Kindle for free. It has tips for how to become a more fulfilled, "richer" person both spiritual and through work. It's a very nice read, with mentions of God and prayer without being preachy or denominational. Much of this motivational speaker's advice comes from his grandmother, whom I would love to meet someday.

The Golden Acorn. A nice youth fiction book, wonderful for any child that is feeling a little "but I can't do that" or "I'm not worthy."

Living Off the Grid: A Simple Guide... This was another free Kindle book that I am almost finished with. It is much better written than most books of its genre: even the parts about electrical engineering are written so well that I can stand to read them. I'm really enjoying this one (as is my husband whenever he can wrest the kindle from my grasp.)