We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation and wildness.
David Orr from "Earth in Mind"

Apr 30, 2008

Where this road is leading us.

First I want to thank everyone who has sent good luck our way.

I know this blog has taken a turn towards the negative lately and that isn't really a fair representation of what most of these changes mean for us. Closing the shop was really a choice that I made because I really wanted to spend more time with Alder on his terms. He wasn't made to hangout all day in a shop. I also felt as if I was missing out on so much by being there.

I was right, the last month has been so powerful. I didn't realize how little time I spent focusing on him when I was with him before. Now we have hours to do things together so when there are errands to be run there isn't the feeling of choosing between doing Alder things or Mama things there is time for both. The changes in him were pretty immediate (although they might be coincidental) he's really talking a communicating a lot with new words every day. Also with all the time we have now we can slow down and he does a lot more for himself. Most importantly there are less tears from him and better sleeping.

There are other changes going on that are wonderful as well. Kevin's decision to refocus his practice into a Community Acupuncture clinic, makes sense both for the area we live in as well as our beliefs. Rather than charging 60+ dollars for a visit he will be charging 15-45 sliding scale. The difference in treatment is that the needling focuses on the arms, legs, ear and face. All points that can be accessed without removing clothing. Patients lay in recliners in a communal room where they are free to stay as long as they want. What is missing from these appointments is the 1/2 hr to hour long conversations. He will still have some slots when people can come for full treatments. The point of this sort of clinic is to make acupuncture accessible to more people regardless of what their insurance will cover.

here's a good article also.

So these changes in our life are scary sounding but they really are bringing us closer to what we value and believe in.

Apr 26, 2008

train of thought

We're back and life is no clearer than it was before. In the last week we have "tried on" at least eight different possibilities of lives. Instead, I'm sitting here in the coffee shop on the computer trying to figure it all out. What better way of doing that than by asking for ideas.

We are at the point where we realize that our business was not working at the speed that we thought it would. There are a lot of things that need to change in our business plan if we are going to stay here. The only other some-what viable option is to move to Albany, although this is seeming less likely at the moment. This leaves us in the position that we are going to take some time to regroup, get more financially stable, and reconfigure our business.

This all feels a little like defeat but I am trying to look at it more as a pause so that we can come back stronger. Of course the shop is closed for good, a wonderful woman has taken over our lease and is already opening her fabric shop. Because of the nature of the area we live in a regular acupuncture business won't work, people just don't have the money to pay for it. So we have been exploring the idea of opening a community acupuncture clinic, basically the treatments involve less talking and use needles on the arms, legs, and ears only, and the patient is treated in a community room with a bunch of recliners. The advantage is that you can treat up to five people an hour at a much less expensive rate (15- 40 sliding scale). I'll write more tomorrow or Monday about this.

Because of our work experience and our family situation we have decided that Kevin will look for the primary job while I look for something that I can do from home. I've started looking but there is an amazing amount of internet crap that shows up when you look for online jobs. If anyone has any ideas about legitimate resources I would love to hear about them.

Honestly, I really can't wait to feel stable again it is tiring trying to stay happy when you are worrying about how you are going to pay rent and bills. I'm done feeling sorry for myself and am ready to just push through and create our life from real things not just our imagination.

This has turned into much more of a journal entry than I was expecting I'll keep it up here anyway since I really would love any input.

Apr 18, 2008

Update part 2

After a very long week in New York with Alder I am happy to say that Kevin is getting here tomorrow in time for Passover dinner with the family. Most of this week was spent just Alder and I checking out different neighborhoods and their playgrounds. In fact until today we were doing two playgrounds a day plus a lot of walking. Today we spent the afternoon with my cousin "aunt Amanda" and she and I got hair cuts and had a nice stroll in Central Park.

Sunday we're heading out on our adventure north to Maine.

Many many pictures when we return.

Apr 14, 2008


A lot of changes are going on right now, the first is that we have sublet the shop and are closing. Between the economic crunch going on and our own personal feelings about materialism it was hard to really push our products on people. Second we are heading up to Maine next week for an interview with a woman who is starting a community acupuncture clinic in Belfast (Maine). Third we are hoping to stop and talk to another clinic looking for a subcontractor in Portsmouth NH. The two other options we've been working with are: staying in Bennington and getting other jobs while Kevin tries to build the practice, possibly becoming a community clinic, or there is a job in Glens Falls NY, except it's part time for not a lot of money.

If anyone has any input on any of these ideas please share.

Oh yeah I am writing this from my Dad's in New York City where Alder and I am for the week. This all started as a weekend with my aunt and it's turned into an almost three week trip.

Apr 10, 2008

A Note

If things seem a little sparse here it is because we are going through a lot right now. A long cold (for all of us), some possible changes, and a lot of need to spend time with Alder one my part. I've been feeling guilty about how much time I have spent trying to be by myself lately. In an effort to be more with my family and with the change in weather be outside I don't always get on the computer for days at a time. While the weather lasts I'll be out and about. Of course if real inspiration hits I'll share it here. Now all of you go out and enjoy the SPRING!!!

Listen to this!

Apr 8, 2008

On Running Away

On Sunday Alder and I went for a drive, it was meant to be only twenty minutes away. But then I got it in my head that we would visit my godparent's who were of course not there. By then we were only a half hour away from Northampton, and what better place to walk around aimlessly and possibly find this book. So we turned our twenty minute drive into an hour and a half.

The trip turned into something more important. Life has been very hectic for the last six months and Alder has really gotten lost in the chaos (more on this and the changes being made soon). So for this day I let him lead. We spent almost and hour in this toy store, basically it's like walking into a Nova Naturals catalog. Then we walked around the Main Street twice until settling on Paul and Elizabeth's for lunch. I hadn't been there since lunch on the day I got married, and not almost five years later I was sitting there with my son.

A few hours and one warm chocolate chip cookie later we ended up at home to a delicious and good looking meal that Kevin created, involving pasta, sundried tomatoes, eggplant, sunflower seeds and some other goodies.

Noodles and broth
The Last Bite
Heading Back Home
Greeted with this

Apr 3, 2008

Thoughts on Reading and Writing, a review of Francine Prose's Reading Like a Writer

Until recently I did not really understand how to read and see what great writing was. I either was infected with the habits of a student, determined to find the meaning in every pieces of fiction or read things on such a visceral level that the story flowed into me more than being consciously read. This was also how I would approach my own writing. First I would write from the soul feeling as if I was channeling someone else's tale. Then as I rewrote I first attack the grammar and then try to match and place the meanings I wanted to get across, a messy and ineffectual process. I would be happy when I would create a good sentence but I saw it as a random and special occurrence rather than a goal.

Last week I read Francine Prose's Reading Like a Writer. She starts the book focusing on words and works outwards through sentences and paragraphs and onto gestures, narration and further. Prose's main point is that great writers really do work to create great sentences, leave out whatever is unneeded and focus on the whole of what is presented. And, that readers today, especially in academia focus too much on meaning and not enough on the art of the writing. This does not mean that we should not search for meaning in the stories, only that it can be found through thorough reading not through a hunting.

Inspired by this and Molly, I picked up my copy of Fidelity by Wendell Berry. Choosing a story that I had not made notes in I read it for the words and feelings. I was left silent at the end.

This morning I picked up the same book and read another story, again for the words and feelings and was actually left with tears in my eyes by the end. Now I am beginning to understand what it means to write; and how much more than storytelling it is.

Afterwards, to amuse myself, I looked through one of the stories that I had marked up (thankfully in pencil) for an independent course on the importance of place I had taken a few years ago. First, I realized that I had no memory of the story. Then, seeing what I had underlined, it was obvious that my reading had been cursory, only reading for story line and 'relevant' phrases. Even in terms of the course I was taking this was unsuccessful, since much of the importance of place is found deeper not just in the sentences that mentioned place. There was so much more to the story than what I had seen during that first reading.

I realize now that so much of my distaste of certain books, most read for classes, was not because of the books themselves. Rather it was the method that we were trained to read them. My high school English courses resembled biology more than art. I remember specifically an entire quarter of ninth grade that was dedicated to Jane Eyre. This included two weeks spent on one chapter where we were given the task of dissecting and sourcing every single paragraph for meaning. At the end of the two weeks we took a test which we could bring notes to. My partner and I had ten typed pages of references and translations (and we were not 'smart' kids).

For what reason? I am sure at fifteen all I gained from the class was a distaste for anything written before 1950. This lasted until only a few years ago.

For those of you invested in your children's learning, especially at home, I suggest you read Prose's book. In someways it is a great form of parental deschooling. For that matter anyone who reads for pleasure should read it to see a new facet of any short story or novel. I think this is a book that I will pick up every few years as a reminder.

Apr 2, 2008


In an effort to start anew in all of our creative activities in our family I decided that part of the process would be to make room for more of our own goods so our shop will be having a sale on all kids toys and clothing this weekend 30% off.

Also everything in my
etsy shop is 20% off!!!!

Here's to cohesiveness and beauty!!

Apr 1, 2008

The Rainy Day- in the life of

Please note there is a guilty admission at the end of this post. Don't think any lesser of me for it ;)

2 am a small warm body creeps his way into bed and nestles down for another five hours of sleep.

7am I am awakened by kisses, pats on the head and finally a few tugs of my hair.

7:30 am a family breakfast of corn porridge (we are beginning to think that Alder has a thing for condiments, any condiment)

8 am Mama heads out for the Post Office and the shop to check email.

9:30 Alder and Mama tackle the living room and entrance way...and sweeping.

11am yogurt snack and an attempt at a nap for A (a mama can dream can't she?)

12:30 out for a rainy day walk around town (stop by to see Papa)

1pm spontaneous play date with 5 other kids, all sorts of ages. (Patti I'll give Kim's email she has more Nova news), a bunch of Mama's hanging out playing with babes and buttons (my friend is the button source)

4:30 pm home for brief melting child, then naked child, then child hurling fork and eggplant at Mama's head.

5:30 pm join Papa at the shop to hangout while a friend has an appointment.

5:30- 7:30 pm happy Alder, naked Alder, more happy naked Alder, not so happy Alder.

7:30 pm Alder (dressed) and Papa go home I'm having a little down time.

8pm- 5:30 am Mama gets totally sucked in and stuck. Sucked into Heroes and watching the second 2/3s on Netflix. Stuck because there are lots of banging on the nearby doors, and the guys who live in this building are rough.

5:30- 9:45 sleep...nap.

So once a year or so I get sucked into watching some TV series on disk all the way through, an unintentional marathon. This is the real reason we don't have a TV, Mama get way too sucked in. I do have to say that if you at all like graphic novels then you'll probably like Heroes, it isn't art but it's fun. Of course since I don't have a TV it is possible that everyone on the planet has already heard of Heroes.