Conversations Amid Confict

I used to share my opinions freely. I didn’t mind talking to strangers or disagreeing friends about the thoughts that weighed on me. According to them, my thoughts and plans were radical then, but not concerning. My ideas haven’t really changed – though some of my language has – but now I worry people. [I…

Coffee Talk

I don’t really go to coffee shops anymore. Between mask mandates and my own growing introversion, the appeal is slowly fading. Instead, I make pot after pot of hot coffee or tea at home, clear a table, and sit down to write or talk to the friends who visit my woodland. But I still miss…

Ash Wednesday

Lent always looks a little bit different; every year there’s something new. Each Ash Wednesday though, starts with the same feeling. I wake up, and suddenly I’m standing at the edge of the desert, everything in front of me is bright with potential. There on the sand is a future full of hope and holiness….

Saturday Snapshot

The beaver pond is a perfect place for ice-skating. Recently, on Sundays after Mass, the kids have been spending afternoons skating with friends while the dogs harass each other and the adults huddle around the fire. This week, after two bouts of snow, the pond is covered, and we’re debating whether to go shovel it…

My Favorite Teas for the New Year

January is fast fading away. Our winter weather has finally returned in full force, with deep freezes at night and bright, cold days. I’d love another snow storm to cover all the ice, but for now, we’re enjoying the starry nights and sunny days. Yesterday, we took the kids ice skating on our beaver pond….

So I Finally Ditched My Smartphone

It’s weird to think of off-grid life with a smartphone, isn’t it? When we first moved to our land, in July of 2010 smartphones seemed like just another annoying fad. We drove to local cafes when we wanted to check something online. I wasn’t freelancing, Seth wasn’t selling his art, and only about 20% of…

Wintertime Puppy

Yesterday, friends from Ohio brought us a puppy. Actually, they brought up two puppies. One for us, one for a friend. Puppies are expensive around here. Too many people paying too much for faux-kids maybe? Whatever the cause, finding an affordable puppy that will fit in well with our life was a challenge. But in…

January Books

Last January, I started a reading challenge that took me from Sigrid Undset’s disappointing Kristen Lavrensdatter to Jean-Claude Schmitt’s fascinatingly dismissive “Ghosts in the Middle Ages” before the insanity of Spring: 2020 had me curled up by the fire with Tolstoy, Rilke, and the letters of Dostoyevsky. It took me a few months crawl out…

The Virtue of Revolt

I have a tall church-candle burning on my alter and Epiphany water from 2020 warming on the stove, with which to wash the walls. There is a thrilling pile of books on my bedside stand.. Life goes on as usual, with cozy mornings, slow evenings, and the eternal joy of my towering trees; but in the webby nooks and crannies of my life, there’s a disquiet.

Nourished Health

Last night, I sat up late with my books and papers all around. My husband was camping in the January snow, the kids were tucked into the big bed – sleeping cozily; while I was making charts and lists and filling my mind with images of a peaceful, abundant 2021. As I was planning, I…