On Earth as it is in Heaven

Twenty-seven years ago today I stood in a church basement in Burlington, VT. My mind was dark as I walked through the door. I kept my head low and sat in the back of the room. I was the only female besides a motorcycle mamma. The men drank instant coffee from foam cups, and unlike in the bars, none of them looked at me as I sat down.  Even so I did my best NYC don’t **** with me face and looked at my feet.  I wanted the meeting to start so no one would try and talk to me.  It was noon. The meeting chairman knocked on the metal chair next to him to signal the beginning.

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I Live in a Bubble, Or, Living in the “Real World” vs Living in Reality

I received a message on my blog from a heckler who said that I “need to grow up” because I “live in a bubble”. I appreciate that they provided me with an excellent topic for a blog. So, the secret is out that yes, I do in fact live in a bubble, and I want to tell you all about it because it brings me great joy! For the sake of this post, I will define “bubble” to mean sheltered. I am totally sheltered and you can be, too!

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My Daily Bread: Home Comforts Made With Love

Baking whole grain gluten-free bread from scratch with my own hard-earned recipe made without the use of added artifice, starchy flours or gums is very rewarding. It’s also “time consuming” to do it almost every week instead of buying bread from a store or bakery. If I approach it as a chore or task it feels like a burden. When I’m aware of how fortunate I am to be healthy enough to do my own baking, can make the time, have a kitchen in which to bake, and beautiful vintage mixing bowls I bought for next to nothing while out picking, and actually enjoy eating the bread I make, it’s easy to love doing it. Instead of “gotta make the bread” I see it as a privilege and luxury.

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Out Picking: Happy Poppies Day! Free & Frugal Finds

Happy Father’s Day to all of the Dads and father figures! My father spent last weekend in Maine so we celebrated then. Yesterday one of Wayne’s daughters was in town and we met our grandson for the first time–he was born at the beginning of Covid. What a little cutie he is! I love that I’m a grandma. Before we met them for lunch I did a little picking at a rummage and yard sale, and came home with some sweet glass and artwork:

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Meditations with Summer Tomatoes

Since we first started an annual summer vegetable garden in 2016, I’ve experienced the deep healing that can occur from its creation, care and harvest. Last year I discovered that I really enjoy the task of tomato tying. Sometimes, maybe you can relate, my mind will get tangled up with worries. It never fails that when I go outside to tie the growing tomatoes to their stakes that I immediately relax and let go of it all. It’s a very simple task where I can show my appreciation for the plants and God. They leave a relaxing scent on my hands, too. I’m able to temporarily transcend my temporal concerns and feel connected to the real world of earth, sun and sustenance. It’s these “small” tasks that feed us.

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Coastal Maine is in Bloom!

So many Rhododendrons are in bloom, along with lilacs and not-known-to me flowers. Sunday morning we drove down to St. Anthony’s Franciscan Monastery in Kennebunk where chipmunks run freely and the scent of flowers is in the air. After our walk we were approached by a lady who gave us little works of original art!

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Our Two Acre Homestead is now a Certified Wildlife Habitat!

I’m thrilled to report that our land is now registered and certified by the National Wildlife Foundation as a wildlife habitat! Many of you know how hard I’ve worked over the past few years to embrace a natural lawn without the use of herbicides. I’ve fought to protect our vernal pool from abutting disturbances, turned down an offer from a local real estate broker who wanted to buy some of our land, and had our vernal pool documented by the Maine DEP to prevent improper development in the future once I’m no longer here to protect it. We also have a stream, woods, owls, fern garden, and lots of wildlife! Chipmunks, squirrels, peepers, voles, deer, wild turkeys and many other different species of birds live amongst us. We have all of the five essential elements needed to become certified, and one of them is controlling invasive species which includes keeping cats indoors if you have them. You don’t need to have a large backyard or acreage to become certified!

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PSA: Outdoor Cats Are NOT a Natural Part of the “Circle of Life”!

Hello everyone! I have been very busy with good things but needed to post this immediately. I hope you will consider what I’m sharing if you have outdoor cats. I know that I may be vilified for speaking my mind about this, I have been in the past when I shared on social media amongst “friends” who found it amusing that their cats were bringing them dead birds and chipmunks, but catering to the opinions of others when it goes against what I believe to be a moral issue isn’t something I’m good at, thankfully!

An Instagram “influencer” with a large following just shared that she is going to be adopting “barn cats” for “rodent control”. I left the following comment: “Very disappointed to see you promoting cats as ‘rodent control’. Please educate yourself about the impact of outdoor cats on wildlife. Cats are also not part of the natural ‘circle of life’, they are actually invasive and kill literally billions of birds every year!”

Even a shelter where I have adopted from here in Maine is advertising some of their cats as great “working cats” for rodent control. Yes I did call them to share my opinion. What about all the rest of wildlife? And why do rodents minding their own business in their natural habitat need to be “controlled” via killing?

A 2013 study estimated “free-ranging domestic cats kill between 1.3 and 4 billion birds – on top of between 6.2 and 22.3 billion mammals – every year in the United States alone, the majority by feral or unowned cats.” You can read more here. The Humane Society has an article on how to bring outside cats indoors. Another option is to buy or build an enclosed outdoor “catio.”

Update: Said influencer deleted my good faith comment and my account has been blocked by this “good vibes” influencer.

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Hedge Fund Investments: Divine Dividends

When most people think of a house as being an investment, it means they spend money on things that will contribute to financial gain when they sell it in a few years or more. We live in a culture of a “starter home” mentality where the belief is that one should always be buying something bigger and more expensive when able. When I bought my house my goal was for it to be my “forever” home, so one of my long-term investments for which I’m now enjoying the gains are my natural window treatments of the street-facing windows in my sunroom. A small investment in two potted perennials which have been nurtured for ten years have blossomed into the gorgeous privacy screen of my dreams!

What are some long-term investments you’ve made in your home simply for the joy it brings you and not because your ROI will be financial gain?

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