Cabin Fever

As the staff goddesses departed for the weekend, we riffed about all the things we were going to do on the weekend- dancing, clubbing, movies, meals out, sky diving. When our laughter stopped, we had a moment of just being glad we were all healthy, but yes, there was still a fragrance of cabin fever in the air- both the usual winter in NH version and the unusual covid variation.

I decided to shake up the weekend as best I could to combat the north country’s particular type of cabin fever.  I would strive for innovative, outside the box adventure and a saucy attitude.

So how did it go? Let me share my exciting Saturday with you.

As Saturday morning dawned, temperatures were in the single digits. That and a significant wind chill factor made dressing for success vital. My solution was to layer with two winter coats, and that was while I was inside.

Jim needed to go to the dump with sheetrock scraps from the barn renovation. He got the interior of the truck smoking hot thus luring me into riding shotgun to town. This was a chance to have a date or as they say on The Bachelor TV show, “have significant one on one time”. We made the most of it by savoring the excitement of getting the truck weighed both before and after dumping our load.

Back at the farm, I decided to get our Animal Tracks book and go out and track the wanderings of the neighborhood bobcat. We’d seen him trot through the yard at dawn, so I knew where to look for his freshest tracks. This activity proved befuddling.

Humans may be staying home more during covid but the wild animals? Not so much.  About fifty feet into tracking the bobcat, I ran into a vast number of other tracks. As I wandered into the field next door following tracks, tracks and more tracks, I traveled up and down and all around the field, circling round and round in a futile attempt to sort out the deer, coyote, rabbit, turkey, skunk, squirrel, bobcat and dog traffic.

Because it was bitterly cold, I began to muse on the topic of “How much longer can it stay this cold out?” I recalled my first boss in NH who used to say that if you survived to double digits in February (ie Feburary 10th), you had made it through the worst of a NH winter.  As I was counting off how many days until that magic moment, I also recalled that this man jogged with his tie on.  The memory of watching him jog round the track in suit coat and tie got me laughing.  So there I was staring at the ground, walking in circles and laughing my head off. Could an evening out on the town be more fun? I don’t think so.

It was lunchtime by the time I threw in the towel on becoming a master tracker in one day. I knew nothing further about bobcat behavior but had clearly established myself to the neighbors as truly off my rocker. I could just hear them commenting, “An arctic wind blows and she’s wandering in circles in a hayfield for a very, very long time. And good golly, she appears to be laughing.”

Post lunch on the weekends is always a moment of excitement as I wonder how so few people can make so many dishes.

After the last dish was washed and before the afternoon snack dishes began to pile up, I sat down with granddaughter Grace to discuss important topics like, “Do mermaids have to wash their hair?” This chat entertained me as I ripped out a large chunk of stitches on the sweater I was knitting. Even though I JUST knit this same sweater for one grandbaby last week, I messed up on the directions for this sweater for another grandbaby. By the time we had solved our mermaid questions and I had ripped out what felt like most of the sweater, Henry was up from his nap and asking to have books read to him.

30 or 40 of them.  Sometimes more than once. The three adults in the household, Grandpa, Grandma (me) and Henry’s Mom, all pitched in.  All of us were either reading aloud or listening to someone read aloud all through the afternoon hours.  What can I say? Ferdinand wears well.

Dinner time and a new recipe tried. It was not good. Like a night at the casino, I had gambled and lost.

But it wasn’t a total wash. Grandpa had just enough voice left to croak out a chapter in the chapter book we’re reading, then Grace and I had half an hour of mermaid time. OMG! Serious mermaid drama as one of the mermaids goofed up a levitation spell!

As the evening wound down, I felt serious contentment with the day. I had not been anywhere exotic or eaten anything very good special or felt warm except when practically planted on the wood stove but there was still glorious life all around me, and it was good.

PS Here are what bobcat track’s look like.

PS 2 I will try and list some of the Flower Essences people have been leaning on for Covid Cabin Fever in the next couple of days.  In the meantime, there is always a meander in a hay field when its 4 degrees out with a wind whipping off the north pole.


It’s tough to be human these days but let me tell you, its seriously tough to be a mermaid.

How did eight year old granddaughter Grace and I find this out?

Winters are long, cold and dark in New Hampshire with the emphasis on cold. Grace lives with us, and for that I am eternally grateful because, among other things, she likes crafting as much as I do.  

Much of our after school/ after sledding time together is spent crafting to our heart’s content. However at a certain point in the evening, we need to put down the Elmer’s glue and do something else.  Sometimes we wrangle Grandpa into reading aloud to us.  As a sixth grade teacher, he is practically a professional reader. Grace’s mom also reads aloud wonderfully well.  We love listening to her too.  But sometimes we need to go somewhere warm with different problems than masks or not getting to see cousins and friends right now except from a distance.

How fortunate that we stumbled on a tv show about teenage Mermaids on the gold coast of Australia.

Nothing takes your mind off your problems like learning how challenging it is to have a tail that sprouts whenever you get wet.

Oh the mishaps mermaids have!

The teenage mermaids on this show are hidden in plain sight. Some have always been mermaids and some became mermaids by accident.  They sport legs when they are on dry land, but whenever they get even slightly damp, they have only ten seconds before their tails return. During this ten seconds they either need to get back to the sea or hide from all the humans.

For a mermaid, if

You grab a bottle of water with condensation on the outside? You get a tail.

Someone spills a cup of tea on you? You get a tail.

A hose gets pointed in the wrong direction? You get a tail

Kids on the beach accidently spray you with a squirt gun? You get a tail.

Someone knocks you into a swimming pool? You get a tail.

A rainy day and you forgot your umbrella? You get a tail.

This particular pod of mermaids hangs out at a juice bar- A JUICE BAR! Heaven forbid, because let’s face it, all that juice considerably ups the ante for getting accidently splashed by an errant mango smoothie.

All in all, it’s a tough gig to be a mermaid.

Consider the difficulties of being a mermaid but not having your parents know.

How do you explain to your mom or dad why you can no longer do the dishes?

Or why you can’t help install that new sprinkler system in the yard?

Or how come you run away when the dog shakes himself?

Or why you never go swimming with the family anymore even though you live on the ocean?

Or why you wear gloves when you go fishing?

Or why you won’t go camping on a rainy day?

Or how come you quit your job as a lifeguard?

And what about how weird you act during full moons? I mean, we all know how challenging full moons are for mermaids, but to have to come up with some plausible human reasons for your moon lunacy to your parents?  It’s a serious challenge.

Then there is the issue of your dietary choices. How do you explain the fact that you now eat nothing but seafood? Plus you have to remember that regular humans don’t eat lobster shells. Nor do they crack open oysters with their teeth. Mermaid table manners are very different than human ones.

And when you sing? It’s a dangerous thing because some mermaid songs are siren songs, and they make everyone fall in love with the wrong people. This leads to another whole other arena for mermaid disasters- the world at large.

Out in the world, say at school or at your after school job at the water park, challenges sprout like mushrooms after a storm.

For example, how do you let people know what is wrong with the sick dolphin without telling people you speak dolphin?

And how big of a disaster is it when your ice cream stand breaks down and the ice cream starts melting everywhere?

And what about the other special powers you have like water shape shifting and the ability to freeze or boil water at will? These would seem to be assets, but…… Oh No! These mostly seem to get you in trouble, especially in science class.

These are the kind of pressing problems that mermaids face. They remind me and Grace that it’s not so bad to be human. Though right about now, deep into winter, we might not mind a week or two with a tail, if it meant we were in a juice bar in a warm climate.

Eye on the Prize, Hand on the Plow

For a farmer like me, I was interested to learn that the lyric “Keep Your Eye on the Prize” is a variation of the song “Keep Your Hand on the Plow” by civil rights activist Alice Wine. The new lyrics were first sung at the Newport Jazz festival in 1958 when Mahalia Jackson and Duke Ellington performed the song.

The phrase “Keep Your Eye on the Prize” is defined as, “To remain focused on achieving a positive end result, without being distracted by problems or setbacks.”

Great light pours into our world. Meanwhile problems and setbacks surround us- so much so that we can drown in the daily problems and setbacks.  I like this song’s reminder to keep our eye on the prize. And what is this prize, this positive result?

I’m still thinking big when it comes to the prize. World Peace. Tolerance. A Healed Earth. All sentient beings loved and cared for. I’m in the mindset that radical change for the better can and will happen.  I’m firm in my belief that the incoming light is helping humanity give birth to a new more loving version of itself. 

About this incoming light, I like it when I hear astronomers speak of Earth moving to a new part of the galaxy, a place of greater light. However, my experience of this incoming light is first and foremost a felt one, and therefore this is the main reason I believe positive change is coming.

I don’t mean to suggest this incoming light is what’s saving us. To clarify, since we are one with everything and nothing is separate, the incoming light and us receiving the light is like us shaking our own hand. We can say that a part of us is ready to receive the light and a part of us ready to bring the light, but there really are no different parts.

Because this greater light is pouring in 24/7, we can experience it at any moment. Sometimes this happens to me, say when I am pausing to look at the clouds.  It does seem that right now I need to be quiet and still to feel this light clearly.  This means it is mostly in the quiet of the night that I feel this energy pouring in.

Each night I welcome this light, first by asking for help from Angels, Elementals and Ascended Masters to release all that needs to be released from within me, all the shadow bits that are taking up space that could be filled with this light.  I ask for the support of these higher aspects of oneness because they know how to integrate the light into lower vibrations. The Ascended Masters in particular have done it for themselves. Then I try and open to receive this light into my energy system. I ask for it to be grounded into the grid of Green Hope Farm too. How amazing to be here now, for it seems we need only settle down and close our eyes and there it is, this generous loving light.

This light is for everyone, no exceptions. Do we have to ask for guidance or open to receive it or even notice it in order for it to fill us? I don’t think so, but I like working with it in this way. I believe our willingness to receive the light helps it fill our world and that helps all creation.

One of you asked that I keep on trying to share my understanding of things in 3D and 5D terms. So here I would say I break my request into two pieces; a request to release 3D patterns that keep me vibrating in the illusion of separation (things like judgement, anger, hatred, fear) and a request to welcome into my energy system this light with its gift of 5D and higher vibrations of love and healing.

 As I experience the light coming in, I find it impossible to imagine that this light energy doesn’t reflect a big shift underway.  I am glad for tools like Flower Essences that help smooth the integration of this energy. I am also grateful for Flower Essences’ support with releasing the old as well as welcoming in the light. This light is a big deal, and I am grateful for all the support we are getting to remember it is part of us.

 In the quiet of the night when I sit with this light, it’s easy to have my eye on the prize because it feels so close.  I don’t know exactly what shapes the prize will take in our world or exactly how the old will give up the ghost and the new will be born. But it’s like transition in labor. The part of us that has been submerged in the pain doubts a birth will ever happen, let alone soon, but the body knows, the baby knows and the midwives know. Yup, this baby is coming.

So yes, I am aware that we haven’t gotten to the birth yet, We’re still in the pain and suffering. No doubt there will still be bloody towels to clean up even as the baby takes its first victorious breath. But this moment of new life is upon us.

This is such an enormous paradigm shift that I don’t think we can even imagine all that is being born right now, but I do think we will know more soon. The blissful quality of this incoming light informs me that the baby born will be worth the mess.  These glimpses of the light, thrilling and astounding, keeps me going with my hand on the plow. 

I return to the earlier lyric “Hand on the Plow” because we have to keep going through this turmoil not with hand wringing or by washing our hands of the whole mess or by handing off the problems to another but by keeping our hand on the plow.  For me this is cooking the meals, doing the dishes, reading books to grandchildren, knitting for babies, packing your orders and writing you notes, walking the dog, planning the gardens, dreaming of Flowers, trying to make the best of difficult birth canal moments, digging deep to find morsels of humor, trying to work through the problems and confusions of this time- just keeping going in the most ordinary way in a most extraordinary time.

And I know from your notes that you are peaceful warriors too, doing what needs doing, a dishtowel in one hand and eyes crinkling to reflect a reassuring smile underneath the mask. It’s a privilege to be with you in this time.

Seed Orders and High Vibrations

The kitchen table is covered in wooden boxes of seeds and a pile of seed catalogs. My idea of bliss. Most seeds stay viable longer than a year so I save leftover seeds from season to season. The Kitchen Garden seed catalog notes how long different flower and vegetable seeds stay viable, so I keep this catalog close at hand as I sort through my old seeds.

I like this catalog for its illustrations by Bobbi Angell.

She also illustrated one of my most beloved plant identification books, Flora of St John, US Virgin Islands.

During the years when my family camped at the now gone Maho Bay Campground, I would check out the campground’s copy of this book every afternoon to identify Flowers I had found during the day. This seemed to irritate the activity desk folk, because while no one else wanted the book, I was clearly hogging it. Finally I bought myself a copy, and I would lug it back and forth to St John from home. It remains one of my favorite books (and also one of my heaviest). What a wonderful adventure it must have been for Bobbi Angell to live on St John for a year and draw all the Flowers that botanists found for her.

I also like this catalog because Kitchen Garden carries seeds for extremely delicious varieties of vegetables. They really ARE thinking about the kitchen.

The catalogs I lean on are Seed Savers Exchange, Baker’s Creek Seeds and Johnny’s Selected Seeds, but I get seeds from a lot of companies including Burpees who carry things that no one else does. Mehera Marigolds for example.

Fifty years ago, Burpees sponsored a contest asking home gardeners to hybridize a White Marigold. When someone succeeded, many seed houses joined the bandwagon to offer these seeds. Now that the dust has settled on this creation, most seed houses have lost interest in White Marigolds. Not me and fortunately not Burpees. I can’t imagine our gardens without this Flower or our collection without Mehera Flower Essence.

Seed discontinuation is a frustration. Today’s mid afternoon rabbit hole happened when I discovered that Baker’s Creek Seeds no longer offers Kikinda Squash seeds. This was a bad moment. Not only is Kikinda Squash a gorgeous presence in the garden, it is a mainstay in our collection of Flower Essences for fertility concerns.

I found a company in Serbia and also one in the Ukraine offering seeds, but some dodgy things were going on with payment on their sites (Webmaster Ben blocks ALL Ukrainian traffic from our website because Ukranians have crashed our site many times. He would not have been pleased if I had opened that doorway in any way- and even naive me got the feeling all was not well on this site). Anyways, I was relieved to find a little old lady in Florida who had the seeds. I will do a better job of saving these seeds this year, so this doesn’t happen again.

I was also surprised to see that Baker’s Creek had temporarily shut down its website to cope with too many orders. They do wonderful work offering non hybrid, non GMO seed varieties so I shouldn’t be surprised they are already swamped….. but it is only January 5th!

I don’t actually know what I will need for seeds until after the Winter Solstice each year. This is when the designs for the year’s gardens are ready for me to receive from the Angels and Elementals. I’m reminded that not everyone is operating on our particular co-creative model of Angelic and Elemental input and get on with their garden plans earlier than me.

After the Solstice, I spend time in the dormant gardens, tuning into what the Angels have planned for each garden this season and drawing mandalas and other directions in a note book. The Venus Garden for 2021 was the first design they explained to me. Among other things the garden has a lot of verticality thanks to vines like Scarlet Runner Bean. There is also a beautiful spiral which includes a lot of Zinnias. In the wake of 2020, I relish a Venus Garden offering energies of Joy (Zinnias) and Fearlessness (Scarlet Runner Bean). We should even be able to plant in the ground this year as the construction that impacted the garden last year should be over by spring.

As I wander the vaguely snow covered gardens of the farm, I try not to freak out at how much work I have ahead of me come spring. Staffing in the office was limited in the key gardening months of 2020, so I was mostly inside looking out the windows at the weeds proliferating with abandon. I didn’t have time to reign them in (or Netflix binge), but hopefully this spring will be different.

The Angels and Elementals reassure me that the most important thing is that the vibration in the gardens is in good shape and that together we will come up with solutions for bringing the garden spots that didn’t get weeded back into the fold.

The topic of Zinnias and joyful vibrations reminds me of a quantum physics article Lizzie brought to my attention recently. It explained how those of us working to hold higher vibrations offset those vibrating at a lower rate not in a one to one ratio but in a surprising big way. One person vibrating a love and reverence vibration counterbalances 750,000 individuals in a lower ego frequency. One individual in the bliss vibration counterbalances 10 million people in a lower ego frequency and one enlightened God realized individual counterbalances 70 million in a lower ego frequency. Sometimes when I’ve let myself be pulled into a lower vibration fight and I’m trying to recover and “go high” as Michelle Obama calls it, I can feel like it’s a one to one ratio and my efforts no matter how successful or unsuccessful don’t make THAT much difference.

I found these actual ratios a wonderful reminder why working to raise our vibrations and keep them high really matters. Just as one candle can illuminate a pitch black room, our love, our reverence, our bliss helps us all. There is nothing selfish about trying to raise our vibrations and stay in a place of love, generosity, gratitude, happiness and joy. Your efforts to do so truly matter to us all and I thank you.

Laughing Lessons 2020

How are you Dear Ones?

I hope you are well. I also hope you are finding a few laughs in all the “learning lessons” 2020 brought us.

As this year grinds to a close, I cling to humor as to a life raft. As big a life raft as possible because the weight of some of our collective and personal learning lessons would sink an ocean liner.

My children have mastered the art of embedding memes and funny tiktoks in group text chains ( okay, so that is a sentence I never thought I would write). I love these and BEG FOR MORE. Yes, I know, it’s annoying to receive the text, “It’s your mother and she wants another meme.” Could be worse.

Maybe in 2021 I will learn how to find and post these too. Not likely.

In the meantime, I want to applaud all of you out there who slogged through this year because, let’s face it, if you did, you had to learn a lot, hopefully sometimes with a smile under the mask.

Here are a few things that I learned or relearned in 2020:

#1 Dogs are great conversationalists. As one of the few friends that can sit up close to me, Sheba is my “Go to” for chats. My conversations with her have gotten a lot more interesting and snappy in 2020, if I do say so myself. And I need to say so myself because the cat certainly wouldn’t say anything nice like this. She remains indifferent to my verbal repartee. In fact, she sniffs at my wit and wisdom.

Thank goodness for Sheba’s lower standards.

#2 It is possible to concoct delicious tempting edible meals from strange supplies. Yes, things are fairly routine at the grocery stores again, but there was a stretch back in the spring when capers were the miracle food improving every weird casserole I made from “things I found in the pantry.” I bet you have a miracle ingredient too. Are you a bit tired of this miracle ingredient? Like never want to eat it again? Will 2020 end with a symbolic burning of said ingredient?

# 3 There is always more to learn about mask fashion and construction.

First, the topic of mask construction. I made a lot ( I mean A LOT) of masks this year. I imagine many of you did. My early ones were basically squares with tucks. Then I found a pattern with padded pipe cleaners sewn inside for that swoosh up and over the nose. Friends and family asking for masks enjoyed giving me “feedback”. I began to use different patterns for different people. I began a notebook to keep track of their exact specifications. Who could have known quite how particular people would be about the tightness or materials used for their ear straps ( yet another sentence I never imagined I would write).

For every mask that granddaughter Grace liked for school, there were four that needed to be reworked or sat unused. Who knew that unicorns could suddenly be passe? Grace’s favorite material showed smiling cups of cocoa. Picking up on this cue, I made several masks for her with this same material. This proved to be a problem because she is expected to wear a fresh mask every day, yet it looks like this isn’t the case with my five repeats. So many unexpected mask issues, so much sewing….

With adults, I found that some liked to wear their heart on their sleeves masks and enjoyed my choices of “hobby” pattern materials. Frankly I went a little crazy in the fabric store. It was so thrilling to be out on a legitimate errand and there were just so many FUN options for mask material.

Apparently I was not alone in getting 1/4 yard of 17 materials. The patient clerk cutting my pieces told me mine was a modest group compared to many. Anyways, there were dogs for dog lovers, bugs for bug lovers, flowers for flower lovers, Japanese umbrellas for Japanese umbrella lovers. You get the picture. Some for example my husband wearied of wearing a literal face mask news blitz. Maybe it was tiresome to explain why the day’s mask showed the cross section of a dragonfruit. Maybe a mask with a sloth on it didn’t set the right tone as the teacher of sixth graders who were supposed to be paying attention despite the distractions of a global pandemic. Some for example my husband asked for plain material, blue to be exact. I drew the line with black masks. Why the attraction to black masks? Batman? This leads to the auxilliary topic of…

Mask Fashion. In the office, staff goddess Hannah set the bar for mask fashion. Every day a gorgeous mask compliments her outfit in the most wonderful way. Hannah and the masks she sources remind me that #4 Art happens in the most unlikely ways.

Don’t you like our cute aprons? This is so we only use our own pen and scissors when we pack. I mean really there is only so many times a day one can ENJOYABLY douse one’s hands with hand sanitizer.

#5 On the topic of arts and entertainment…… I learned that entertainment standards can be lowered and then lowered again. Who knew that riding shotgun on the school drop off could be that much fun? I have become Homer Simpson, “Look! A red car!”

#6 The miracle of recycling begins at home. 2020 didn’t get me examining my navel so much as examining every overstuffed closet in the house. Apologies to you Marie Kondo. Your book went to a thrift shop along with a ton of deeply cherished items much loved items items I couldn’t live without specialty items items I’ll need for those special projects I’m going to get to soon all of the items above and more junk. You inspired and then I retired (your book).

#7 Outdoor socially distanced masked gatherings in the summer are more fun than in the winter. Gone are the relatively normal except for the masks, the social distancing and the not touching gatherings of summer when we lingered in the warmth of the sun and each other’s hidden smiles. It is COLD to meet outside in winter. We tried a bonfire last week for an outside birthday party. A brisk wind off the arctic kept blowing smoke in our faces. Babies cried. Dogs shivered. We valiantly celebrated for a good hour before retreating to our separate (warm) houses. Another recent socially distanced walk with a visiting toddler also abruptly ended when frostbite threatened. More arctic winds combined with 5 degree temperatures made grandbaby Etta’s cheeks a bit too red.

#8 Restaurant meals…… I can live without them, but I would rather not.

#9 Nothing says anachronism like “current” TV shows.

#10 I am not an introvert. I thought I had become more of one with the years, but I was misinformed. Just ask my neighbors. When Sheba alerts me that someone anyone is walking by the farm, we race out together to stand at a safe distance and bark shout inquire what’s new.

#11 Garlic can be eaten with impunity when you wear a mask all the time.

#12 You can play charades via zoom, just don’t expect to hear or see exactly what your teammate in another state is doing.

#13 You can teach any dog, young or old, new tricks. In the spring we had to create all kinds of new systems for getting your orders out. Some systems evolved when I was the only person here (GULP). Later we created safe ways to have people return to work (THANK GOODNESS).

Yesterday three feet of snow fell in the night. No staff could get here except intrepid Vicki who snowshoed the mile from her house to the farm. Together we resuscitated our earlier no staff systems and managed to get all the orders off.

We even got them to the post office. No dog sled necessary! Just a couple hours of shoveling out the truck! Thanks Jim!

In any case, I am pretty sure that if you weren’t in a coma in 2020 you too came up with creative adaptations for arising problems. I am really proud of all of us for rolling with the punches.

#14 This has been a time which will give us a lot of stories to share in the coming years. I like stories. I look forward to hearing them in person. As Thomas Moore said, “Enchantment is the willingness to live in a bungalow of stories rather than a warehouse of facts.”

So yes, stories! I can’t wait to be gathered round, too close, admiring everyones’ smiles and listening to tales from 2020. In the meantime, hang in there. I know you can do it because you are doing it! Take precious care and keep telling the dog your stories until you can share them with the rest of us!

As a community of Flowers, Angels, Nature Spirits, Dogs, Cats and even some People, Green Hope Farm can be a funny place……and I love telling you all about it!