Bikes, Bears, and Beauty, oh my!

July 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last week I decided to ride my bike to work. This isn’t really unusual for me, but it had been a while.

When I lived in Georgia, there was a period of time I rode my bike to work on a regular basis. City commuting on a bike is stressful to say the least. Crossing exit and on ramps, close encounters with college kids on their iPhones, people that could care less how close their SUV gets to you on your bike, oh and the broken glass….beer bottles everywhere.

But to ride a bike to work in Vermont is like living on a different planet all together.

I live on a mountain, it’s gorgeous, but it’s a mountain, which means riding down a mountain for half of my ride to work. Sounds kind of ideal, right? Cruising for most of the ride…well, flying down a gravel road at 7am is kind of intense, you build up a lot of momentum which can make it hard to stop, but man oh man are the views spectacular. It’s a special stretch of road, there are points you can see clear across to the Adirondacks in New York, never any other cars, and just me and the mountain….surrounded by forest and wildlife.

The second half of my ride is just as beautiful. One thing to note about Vermont is that there are no billboards, none, I haven’t seen one in my entire time here. It’s amazing to be outside and just be outside, and not be inundated with advertising. But, I digress on one of my ‘why I love Vermont’ tangents….

Here’s the view from where the mountain meets the road, the end of my downhill journey and onto mostly flat valley.

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This is how I know I am halfway between work and home, when I reach the mountain shaped like a turtle shell.

The rest of the ride into town is simple, and rural. Old farm houses and barns dot the landscape with the spaces in between filled with corn fields and baby Christmas trees.

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While there isn’t a lot of car traffic to worry about, this stretch is apparently notorious for bears. I’ve been told bears like to cross the roads to munch on the corn in the fields. The corn here is just starting to tassle so I don’t know that bears will be venturing down just yet, but on this ride, I kept imagining bears meandering down the mountain on my left to shuffle through the growing corn to my right.

I’m a lucky gal if I do say so myself.

I’m looking forward to my next bike ride into town. It’s quite different from the time we lived on a different mountain and I hiked 2 hours to work one morning when it was 17 degrees outside.🙂

Hey, in Vermont, you’re crazy if you aren’t outside any chance you get.

Still here

May 14, 2012 § 1 Comment

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Life’s been insanely busy recently. Isn’t it always I suppose? Perhaps our perception at any given moment makes it feel more or less so.

You know that saying, the only thing constant is change? Well that’s been the story of my life for the last few months.

It’s been a bit of a crash course in adaptation and a re-defining of self care.

With spring just beginning to emerge, taking photographs on long walks through the Vermont mountains has been something I’ve been leaning into as a way to support myself in the midst of non-stop transition. My 3 year old loves telling me what to take a picture of and she wants to see how it’s turned out…it’s the creative process we are sharing and I absolutely LOVE it!

Below are various photos over the last couple of weeks…

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Morning

April 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today started with one of those mornings that was so clear you could see for miles.

As the sun continued to rise higher and higher, strands of mountains appeared. To the west… New York, the Adirondacks. To the east, layers and layers of the Green Mountains, my home.

What an incredible sight to begin the day with…the sun rising to greet these grand peaks that stretch up in beauty, gratitude and strength.

Ode to Vermont

March 23, 2012 § 2 Comments

I love Vermont. It’s totally my kinda scene, we suit each other really well and from the first time I came here, my body knew it was home.

Vermont is a foodie’s dream. Amazing organic food at every corner, fresh apples that are so crisp and tasty, yummy cheeses, locally brewed brews, and of course, maple syrup.

I live on a mountain in a town that has no traffic lights, and the town I work in only has one. You know it is rush hour when you sit at a stop sign for almost 60 seconds.

And here’s one of the most amazing things….

This is how the entire town’s recycling is picked up every week.

Every Friday people put their recycling on the curb and a horse and buggy team pick it up, rain or shine, snow or summer.

This makes me so happy down to the center of my being.

We’ve been having an unseasonably warm spell…sunny and 70’s all week. I’m not going to miss summers in the south and Vermont, I think we are going to have a fabulous time together this summer.

Your rivers are calling me to sink into you and your mountains are pulling me to come explore.

I lovermont.

Friday Photography

March 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Some Fridays I’ve simply posted photographs (see Miksang on this blog). Soulemama posts a picture every Friday with no words, just a photo that captures a moment from her week and I love the simplicity of it.

Here is a picture that I love from my week.

the family bed…”papa with very long arms.”

calendula oil

March 13, 2012 § 1 Comment

We’ve been having the most gorgeous, warm weather the past few days here in Vermont. I’ve been feeling the pull of spring, the earth calling to be loved, tended and planted with a bounty of seeds.  I’ve been told that Vermonters don’t put anything in the ground until Memorial Day weekend….Memorial Day weekend folks! That’s at the end of May. I come from Georgia where you can grow year round without really needing a greenhouse. Since we don’t have a greenhouse here and we have to find a new house in May, there’s not much we can do to get a garden ready for now.

So we’ve been working with plants in a different way until we find our dream spot and can put up a greenhouse and get to the gardening!  Papa and little O have started lettuces, and other herbs inside since we have huge sunny windows by the woodstove, so our little seedlings won’t get cold. They’ve also been growing lots of wheatgrass and sprouts.

This weekend we started some calendula oil.

First we sanitized the jars in boiling water.

Then we set them in the oven to dry. When making herbal oils, it’s important to not have any water in the jars to prevent molding.

Then we gathered our supplies.

Then we stuffed the jars to the top full of dried calendula flowers and then filled them with olive oil.

Here’s a birds eye view.

Time for lids.

The jars will sit out for a few weeks. Every so often we’ll give them a shake and then we’ll strain them and keep the oil. We’ll bottle the oil and use it as is for topical cuts, scrapes, etc. Some of it I’ll use for salves and lotion bars. Calendula is so good for the skin! And as we transition out of winter and into spring, we are in need of some yummy oil for our dry skin.

Calendula is really easy to grow in your garden or in containers. Since we moved across the country and didn’t take our garden with us, we bought a big bag of calendula flowers for very little money and hardly put a dent in it for this project.

Getting Crafty

March 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

March is National Craft Month, or so I’ve been told.

work is CRAZY busy and I’ve been itching for some crafty time lately…

as I sit at my desk today, day dreaming of all of the craft projects that are on my list I look down and see this.


my basket that I take everywhere filled with past knitting projects that I now enjoy daily.

2 hats, because I might need 2 at some point…it’s cold here in Vermont.🙂, arm warmers, and a scarf from my mama.

I know that even though I’m not crafting at the moment, I breathe in and feel comfort and inspiration having all of this knitted goodness next to me.

I’m almost finished with O’s waldorf doll…so stay tuned for that posting this week!

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