Wednesday, December 31, 2008


May there be inspiration

The fulfillment of dreams

And much rejoicing

In 2009!

Happy, Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

thus commences a week in milwaukee

just a quick note to let you all know we are safe and snug in milwaukee, wisconsin. we drove the whole way on saturday, though we had originally planned to stop for the night. it was a great drive until we hit a huge rain storm north of indianapolis. it sort of went downhill from there, but we managed, and we arrived, oh so late though it was.

we hit the ground running on sunday, with a gift exchange and lunch at nanna & grandpa's, ice skating in downtown milwaukee (i watched from the very crowded starbuck's), and a gathering of the tribe for a delicious lasagne dinner at dan's sister barb's house.

today the flurry of activity will continue, but i am enjoying a restful morning uploading photos and catching up on blogland. not sure how often i will post this week, but i will continue to upload to my flickr set.

may it be wonderful!

Friday, December 26, 2008

merry tired

i hope you all had a wonderful christmas. ours was quite nice.

thankfully, we awoke at the extremely sane hour of 8am (not like one year when tashi came to call at 4:30am). this, followed by tashi wanting to have breakfast before opening presents, made for a relaxed morning that wasn't marred by hunger and fatigue. our neighbor had gifted us with a lovely loaf of christmas bread and a couple of grapefruits, which made for an excellent and expedient meal.

the gift session followed, and there were many splendors. tashi received the top two items on her list, a ukulele and the american girl doll, julie. dan generously gifted me with a photo printer! and for dan, a hard case for his new acoustic bass. all this and much more to touch, smell, try on for size and adore.

one of the most relaxed moments of the day followed the gift extravaganza when we all sat down together and quietly leafed through our new books. soon dan was asleep on the couch, tashi was giggling at her new calvin and hobbes collection, and i was jumping up to prepare the sacrificial leg of lamb. the feast was quite delicious, indeed.

luna decided to claim tashi's new bean bag chair as her own.

loki decided to enjoy the beautiful mild weather.

later in the day we went for a walk, where i came upon these sites.

a cicada shell:

milkweed in sunlight:

a favorite house:

horse friend at sunset:

and the sunset, oh the glorious sunset:

we also visited a cemetary where there were some very old gravestones and lots of old, decrepit plastic flowers. i'll share those photos another time.

tomorrow we drive to wisconsin and a week long visit to dan's family. dan is loading the car now, as i make this post before packing away the laptop. i am very tired from christmas preparations leading into roadtrip preparations, but i suppose i will have a lot of time to relax in the car. surely i will find a way to pop in from the land of snow and cheese. in the mean time, have a wonderful weekend! i leave you with this photo of my belly, in its 23rd week.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

elf luv

inspired by gwnendomama's post, our family of elves had to join in the fun! have a jolly week ya'll!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

the choices of our president elect

this was in my email box this morning. i am trying to be patient and maintain hope, but for each good choice barack obama seems to make for his cabinet, there seem to be several bad choices. he did say he was going to reach across the aisle, but i am beginning to think that in reaching across the aisle, he is abandoning the other side, the side that got him into office. i find his choice of rick warren as pastor for the invocation at his inauguration a serious spit in the left eye. the least he can do, in something as symbolic and "non political" as an invocation, is pick someone whose opinions are less publicly known, someone inclusive and all-affirming. obama should not be alienating his voters with choices that are symbolic. anyway, the below is yet another installation to a cabinet whose road to "change" is beginning to look less about change and more about same. please do sign the petition below; if we want to hold obama to our expectations, we have to make our voices heard.


In spite of 20,000 e-mails from organic consumers and, in apparent contradiction to his announcement that he wants an organic garden at the White House, Obama has chosen Tom Vilsack, a strong bio-tech proponent supporting genetically engineered crops, cloned animals, etc., to run the Department of Agriculture. As you will see below, Vilsack is truly Monsanto's boy. He pre-empted the local votes of towns and counties who had voted to disallow GE seeds!

It's still possible to block Vilsack's confirmation with a massive support of the petition drafted by the Organic Consumer Association. It's easy to sign on at this link.

or from the Organic Consumer Association website. Your email will be sent to your Senators and the President-Elect's office.

The article below gives further details.



Gerhard Bedding


Original Content at

December 18, 2008

Vilsack is not just totally pro-biotech, he is committedly anti-democracy By Linn Cohen-Cole
Excerpts from this article, chosen by Gerhard Bedding:

Vilsack, according to The Organic Consumer's Association, was named Governor of the Year by Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the biggest pro-genetic engineering lobby in existence. Why? Not for nothing. Because he'd championed local transgenic R&D corporations like Trans Ova, which clones cows. Vilsack was also the founder and former chair of the Governor's Biotechnology Partnership. Vilsack speaks for biotech. He is the man who helped wipe out the local votes of many towns and counties who had voted not to allow genetically engineered seeds

OCA names six reasons Vilsack was a terrible choice:

* Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack's support of genetically engineered pharmaceutical crops, especially pharmaceutical corn:

* The biggest biotechnology industry group, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, named Vilsack Governor of the Year. He was also the founder and former chair of the Governor's Biotechnology Partnership.

* When Vilsack created the Iowa Values Fund, his first poster child of economic development potential was Trans Ova and their pursuit of cloning dairy cows.

* Vilsack was the origin of the seed pre-emption bill in 2005, which many people here in Iowa fought because it took away local government's possibility of ever having a regulation on seeds- where GE would be grown, having GE-free buffers, banning pharma corn locally, etc. Representative Sandy Greiner, the Republican sponsor of the bill, bragged on the House Floor that Vilsack put her up to it right after his state of the state address.

* Vilsack has a glowing reputation as being a schill for agribusiness biotech giants like Monsanto. Sustainable ag advocated across the country were spreading the word of Vilsack's history as he was attempting to appeal to voters in his presidential bid. An activist from the west coast even made this youtube animation about Vilsack
The airplane in this animation is a referral to the controversy that Vilsack often traveled in Monsanto's jet.

*Vilsack is an ardent support of corn and soy based biofuels, which use as much or more fossil energy to produce them as they generate, while driving up world food prices and literally starving the poor.

"Vilsack lobbied hard to get seed pre-emption bills into state legislative bodies, beginning in 2005. These bills seek to control the use of seeds on the state level, and thus deny local communities (and small farmers, and even backyard farmers) the power to establish their own regulations for protection from genetically engineered seeds. If seed pre-emption bills become law, citizens will not be able to regulate where genetically engineered crops are grown, the creation of GE buffer zones, or the banning of pharmaceutical crops, among other things. The use of seeds becomes entirely regulated by government, and opens the door to human and plant exposure to every adverse effect of genetically engineered crops. --And simultaneously ruins biodiversity, because once transgenic seeds prevail, there's no going back. Seed pre-emption bills have been introduced in sixteen states, and the battle is ongoing. But Vilsack has been one of the chief architects of looming biodiversity disaster, and there's no reason to believe he'd halt his love affair with genetic engineering and Big Ag just because he's working for Obama."

Philip F. Incao, MD
Steiner Holistic Medicine
P.O. Box 894
276 North Spruce St.
Crestone, CO 81131-0894
Phone/Fax: 719-256-5647

Monday, December 22, 2008

the other side of solstice

it was a lovely weekend, the gloomy weather breaking into sunshine on solstice sunday.

saturday was very busy leading up to our party, and then people arrived with dishes of delicious food, bottles of ever tempting wine and beer, beautiful smelling soaps & candles. as is usual when one is hosting a gathering, i felt like i didn't talk with nearly enough people or for long enough.

i really enjoyed it when an acoustic jam of sorts broke out, adding to the festive vibe. eventually it lead to the amps being plugged in and the volume reaching its limit for one whose sensitivities are somewhat heightened in pregnancy. no one else seemed to mind (including the neighbors), which is all that really counts i suppose. the kids were having a blast skidding around in their socks, and little 15 month old evie was no longer frightened of dan once he had a bass in his hands.

i think this was the first time we've hosted a party where there was food left over. dan, tashi and i had a lunch buffet on sunday of salsa, guacamole, chips, sliced baguette, summer sausage, cheese spread, clementines and a multitude of desserts.

john and molly, who hadn't been feeling well the day of the party, joined us on sunday for a dinner buffet of more left overs: roasted root veggies, delicious pasta salad, petite tuna sandwiches, brie, bread dipped in gourmet olive oil, and more chips, salsa, guacamole. followed by cookies of course, and fudge, and chocolate cake. tonight we'll be having left over dal, rice and coriander chutney. and i will continue to have to battle the urge to drink that frothy, dark bell's stout tucked in the frig!

on solstice sunday we took a small walk in the brittle afternoon and fed our horse friend some banana muffins.

and before bed we lit our floating candles, a tradition for us on solstice. we cast our wishes, some silently, some out loud, and included a candle for the baby.

i suppose i should have followed tradition and stayed up all night on solstice. as it was, i woke at about 4:30am and couldn't get back to sleep. so i came into the living room and spent some time by the tree, until my vision blurred and i fell back to sleep on the couch, with the cats nearby.

as our days brighten, so may the prospect of peace, prosperity and planetary healing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

a few things

just thought i would check in, though i don't have much to report. here is a list of random snippets.

1. i've baked two kinds of cookies in excess: orange chocolate chip cookies (pure bliss) and molasses spice cookies (sensational). i still have to make the peppermint stick fudge and the butterballs (no one likes the butterballs but me * sigh *).

2. yesterday i went to marshall's and picked up a pile of gifts. the cashier bagged my stuff as i handed it to her, and after taking my check she simply disappeared. my check was still sitting on the register and she hadn't given me my receipt yet. i waited for some time and then called to the neighboring cashier who completed my transaction. when i told dan about it, he said, "was your cashier kristin wiig?" this made me cry with laughter. you will know why if you've seen the saturday night live target lady skits. not the best example, but watch. when i got home two of my items were not in the bag. i had to go back there today, where luckily they had them at the customer service desk.

3. for two days in a row the garbage company that said they would pick up our trash, has not. you have to make special arrangements out here in the countryside. we are also still waiting for them to deliver our dumpster. totally annoying. our new neighbors probably hate us for leaving a pile of bags on the side of the road, and any time now, the bears are going to come. if not the bears, then hershey, our neighbor dog.

4. we are having a solstice gathering and i have soooooo much to do yet.

5. we are going to spend the week after christmas in wisconsin.

6. after feeling so horribly fragile for months, i'm finally getting into an exercise routine, doing yoga every evening, and walking more.

7. i made a string tree. tashi's is better but i only have a photo of mine right now. check out the crafty crow for awesome holiday crafts.

8. i'm feeling my baby move, a lot. yippee.

9. i really like classical and choral music at this time of year, even if they are singing about jesus and i'm a buddhist pagan hindu mish mosh.

10. to me, the son is the sun.

i hope you are having a calmish week of sorts.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

how it is

today has been one of those days.

first i ran a laundry cycle in its entirety but forgot to put the clothes in.

then tashi woke up and proceeded to be upset because dan had left without waking her (he is gone for just one night in dc).

she was further aggravated when, after asking for an omelet, i accidentally made her scrambled eggs.

now she is in a real temper because she's got a book report due tomorrow, but of course waited until the last minute to do it, despite our urgings and reminders.

so it is grumpy around here and i feel the weight of the book report deadline just as heavily as she does.

i think we will go out soon to visit our horse friend up the road. in the mean time, here are some highlights from our week.

tashi really wanted a small tree in her room, so for the sake of instant gratification, i encouraged her to assemble a tinker tree

i am still spending great spans of time moving objects from one part of the house to another, trying to get things set up just so. i had the pleasure of hanging some pictures this week, though i've got many more to go (and several to frame. oh for those special pictures that have been sitting unframed in tubes for months, even years).

we worked at the holiday market yesterday, selling handmade things that parents and children of the waldorf school fifth grade created. there were beeswax luminaries, marbleized cards, beaded bracelets, daffodil bags, knitting needle holders, cloth gift wrap, kite paper stars and lace ornaments. i could definitely see enjoying a life of craft fairs. it was a slow day though, and we were situated in the shadow of the transit building, which meant no sun and numb extremities.

we are eagerly anticipating solstice. and you?

Monday, December 08, 2008

finding our tree

we went to a tree farm yesterday to cut down the sacrificial yule tree. this was a different farm than the one we'd visited the past couple of years, but it was closer to our new residence. it was a lovely drive on a bitterly cold day.

the trees were either short and fat, short and spindly or tall with limp branches. but we found a scotch pine that seemed to speak to all three of us.

so dan chopped the poor fellow down and we spent some time with its severed stump before he heaved it off to get it "shrink wrapped."

there were some farm animals to visit, including this pregnant sheep named stella.

and then we drove off into the great virginia countryside.

when we got home we struggled with getting the tree to fit into the stand. it had several low branches that when removed left some gaping holes in the tree. but we managed, and then we dressed it up in its finery. dan suffered a terrible headache during it all; i thought that perhaps the tree was having its revenge.

but i think it's getting used to being dressed up, and having cats bat at its spangles.

and i am loving the lights, the green, the ornaments that, as tashi said, are almost as fun to unwrap as christmas presents.

hold onto the light in these darkening days. it is where hope is born.