Monday, August 22, 2016

Shop Update

Based on the lines at the bakery, I'm pretty sure school starts this week. 

Work at our new shop is percolating right along. Ken has the POS installed on the new computer and the scanner, iPad and barcode printer are all hooked up and working! Here he is, back in his little office working happily away. 

The shop is partially staged and we hope to have it mostly done by Thursday so we know what to buy over the weekend. 

The inventory room works like a dream compared to our home set-up and soon we'll actually know exactly where everything is! 

I still can't believe all this stuff once lived in our house...

So relieved to have our home back and now back to work!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sitting on the front porch before the sun is up over the trees. It is unbelievably peaceful and belies the craziness of this week for sure.
 We're 95% moved into our new space on Meadow Street. Gotta get it all in an organized so we can ship from there tomorrow morning. Then the adventure really begins!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


We are just back from a sweet weekend away in the Berkshires. We stayed in Lenox, MA where I once spent several wonderful summers teaching at a small music camp just down the road from Tanglewood. 

I loved it there. Loved the rickety old shingled "cottage" with its numerous sleeping porches, slanting floors, ginormous kitchen and carriage house. As faculty we weren't much older than a lot of the campers. We saw them every day for lessons, trooped into town with them for laundry and pain au chocolat, delighted in their ridiculous pranks, skits and traditions and threw ourselves into music making like there was no tomorrow. It was heaven. Truly. The friendships I made there more than 30 years ago remain some of my closest today.

In the early 1980s the owner of the camp passed away and despite heroic efforts by some to keep it going, Merrywood closed its doors forever. The property soon fell into a state of disrepair and eventually was abandoned all together. 

 I'm so glad I got to pay it a visit. Grateful for the memories.

Sunday, June 26, 2016


Happy high summer from our little slice of heaven. 

Our morning coffee was accompanied by a serenade raucous bird song and the soft, soulful sound of wind chimes in the breeze. It's gonna be 90 degrees today and we're already conserving our energy.

After suffering through not one, but two severe hard freezes this spring I thought my beloved hydrangeas would keel over and die straight away. They are hardier than I thought. 
I'll take whatever I can get!

The oak leaf hydrangea we received as a wedding gift from J&J is another story all together.
It seems to thrive through the worst of times. A sweet metaphor of our lives together.

We've been tending to our humble little farmhouse much more this year. The paint's still peeling but the porch is cozy and the galvanized garden is happy. 

It's been a banner year for fireflies. 
 Attempts to capture the nightly fireworks show have failed so far.  
But that doesn't mean I won't keep trying.  

Ah, blissful, sweet summer.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Strawberry Moon

The asparagus is starting to wane and the strawberries are coming on. Welcome Summer Solstice.

If the stars are correct we're in for quite a ride. It is a heady time for us right now and hard to imagine the ride becoming rockier, but we're ready to embrace it for all it's worth.

May this season be a time of clarity. A time to look forward and hold tight to the possibilities in front of us. It's time again to be brave, act with courage and strength of conviction. I'm ready. Welcome Summer Solstice. Welcome Strawberry moon. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Happy Monday

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hudson Valley

We've just returned from the most wonderful weekend away in Rhinebeck, NY at the Country Living Fair. 

I love the Hudson valley and can't wait to get back and really explore. 

The CLF was inspiring and invigorating, and we returned with a head full of ideas for the show we're doing in September. 
The garden was busy while we were away.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

And suddenly it's Summer!

We've measured two, three and fours times now and I think we're finally ready to order locust wood for the new raised beds. Next up deciding on a color for the fancy schmancy pergola shade sail and finishing the up-cycled hanging candle light for over the patio table. Hoping to get a final coat of paint on the wardrobe that's taken up residence in the garage later today too. We are chomping through the to-do list.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Progress. We're making it. In the garden, in the house, in the garage. We're getting there slowly, but at least we're getting somewhere. 

It's been a tough slog since we got back from Philly. Truth is, we're still exhausted and incredibly heavyhearted.

And we're waiting. Waiting on new inventory ordered in January and still on back-order. Waiting on the health department to sign off on our building so we can break ground and waiting for our bodies to catch up and recover from February, March and April. 

Meanwhile, it's been the most beautiful, long and luxurious Spring we've seen in a long time. Grateful and content. That's what I choose to be today.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Birthday Day

It rained all night and the scent of lilacs is extraordinary this morning. 
It is K's birthday, so we celebrated by sleeping in,


and playing with toys.

 Next up brunch...

Happy Birthday, sweetie.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Lilacs, Lupine, Lilies
Columbine, Clematis, Chives

Forget-Me-Nots, Fern, Rhubarb
Hosta, Hummingbirds, Hydrangea

Peonies, Primrose, Parsley
Thyme, Trillium, Tulips

Solomon's Seal, Sweet Woodruff
Lily of the Valley, Jack-in-the-Pulpit 

Robin's Eggs, Wood Thrush Song, Owls

So many reasons to be happy. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

One year ago today I had my left foot cut open and finally fixed. 

The scar is healed and most of my strength is back. 

That single event set in motion a series of happenings we never imagined.

Now a year later I see that this gimpy foot may have been one of the best things ever to happen to a girl. 

So happy to be here now.

Cue happy dance.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

We are in Philly and staying in Kathy's apartment for the very last time. It is a quiet, peaceful space but so very sad and empty too. Most of her belongings are gone and so is her spirit. She didn't linger long after she passed. I imagine her flying as high and fast and she could when finally freed from her body. Hightailing it outta here and off to her next grand adventure. 
We miss her so.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Sunday, April 10, 2016


Today is the day. 

It is K's last official day in the employment of AD. 

We're writing a whole new story and it looks nothing like the old one. 

We know if we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting forever. 

It's time to jump!

Friday, April 8, 2016


Thank God I'm Finally (Feeling Human Again)

We received the most unwelcome of welcome home presents in the form of the latest god awful, butt kickin', I've-been-hit-by-a-train stomach flu that's making the rounds in our neck of the woods. It's not for the faint of heart. It struck on Monday evening just after a delicious dinner of pizza and kale salad and kept us bed ridden for three days. Today for the first time we awoke feeling somewhat human again. Let the grand game of catch up begin.
Ever grateful for our devoted corp of kitty nurses who kept us warm and well snuggled.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Passion Flower

Well, we finally made it to Florida. Third time was a charm. Seeing my brother was as healing as I thought it would be. He is strong, thoughtful and and focused. Tending to every detail after mom's death without complaint. Holding up until he couldn't, then dissolving into tears. 

It is so odd being an orphan. Who will I ask about our checkered family history? Who really knows that details of my mom's running away from NYC to Florida? What was grandma Fini's real name? Perhaps this is why folks of a certain age seem to be fascinated by genealogy.  

On Sunday, April 3rd we drove to Hobe Sound to see if we could find my folks' former apartment and my mom's little secret garden. I think of it as secret for two reasons. First, she was not supposed to garden there. They had a professional landscape crew and they had it under control. Secondly, her potting table, soil, fertilizer and tools were stashed away in a little thicket of woods right next to their unit. I'm pretty sure mom bossed the landscape crew around so much that they just gave up and let her do her own thing. She missed gardening so much after they sold the place in Lake Park. In Hobe Sound she pruned and weeded, and every now and then she would dig up a newly planted shrub and relocate it to a "better" spot (only the days she knew the crew wouldn't be there of course). She pretty much ignored the rules and did her own thing.

By some happy accident, whether divine or maternal, we not only found mom and dad's former apartment but also her secret garden spot. The hanging orchids were long gone, but the red passion flowers she was so proud of were still twining around the pine trees and they were in full bloom. Sneaking into the thicket, we scattered some of her ashes on a bed of thick ferns. I know she will be happy there.

Our next stop was Sandsprit Park. 
This was mom and dad's favorite hangout after afternoon coffee. They had such delightful daily rituals. Coffee on the porch. Wiping the dew off of the car. Swimming in the pool. Lunch out. Afternoon coffee with friends. Watching the sunset at Sandsprit park. 

It was incredibly windy when we were there and I knew if I opened the bag containing her ashes they'd blow inland and directly into the crowds of people enjoying the breeze. So I lowered myself down a set of stairs and poured them directly into the water. I sat and watched while they billowed up and floated away on the current. She and dad were so in love with the sea and now they are together there at last.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


If major life events come in groups of three then we are due to be done with them for a while. My mom had a stroke on the 17th, I rushed Ken to the ER with a raging fever and abdominal pain on the 20th, lost my mom on the 25th and have spent the last several days at the bedside of my dying sister in law. If one more person reminds me not to be surprised by all of this because it's that stage of my life right now, I think I'll slap them. I mean, really. WTF. Is that supposed to make me feel better?

I am home now for a few days to regroup and tend to our business. Man oh man oh man, are my solo driving skills ever rusty. Gone are the days of making 20 hour drives with two or three potty breaks. I just barely pulled off a four hour stint. We're talking stops every 30 or 40 minutes and full out, lie down, stretch out, use the bag of dirty clothes as your pillow naps in the back of the van now. 

I am so relieved to be home and a certain creamsicle cat has been very happy to welcome me back.

Monday, March 14, 2016


K knows that any sudden appeal to stop the car and turn around means one of two things...a pile of stuff by the side of the road with a free sign in front of it or a fabulous photo op worth turning around for, no matter how heavy the traffic. 

And so it was the other day. A perfectly mundane kind of day. Packing in the morning, trips into town to ship, gassing up the car and checking the air pressure in the tires. I saw it immediately, lying there on the ground next to the air machine. A large, gnarly crab apple limb, recently broken off in the previous night's wind storm. I was sure it could be saved. I'll force it, you'll see

Trying to look excited, K cast a slight eye roll my way and muttered something that sounded an awful like anything for you, dear. Then he dutifully got back out of the car, retrieved the roadkill and placed it carefully in the back of the van. 

It's been two weeks since that day. Two long weeks of no action, unless you count the many times the cats knocked it over trying to drink out of the pitcher. And then suddenly this morning those buds weren't just slightly swollen, they were green, and by day's end it was easy to see that we'd soon have blossoms indoors.
It's been a very mild winter but that hasn't softened my desire for it to finally be Spring. Force it, I say. Make it happen indoors if you have to. Every now and then Mother Nature needs a little help.