Shop Local

December 16, 2008










Just read a great article on powerfully reminding me of the fragility of our local small businesses at this time and the power of sharing the best shopping spots with our friends. Perhaps you can contribute to your neighborhood by spreading the word and supporting the local bookstore, clothing shop and gift boutique.

Twitter’s not so Bed

December 15, 2008


I may be complaining about Twitter but I have learned a lot this morning from all the interesting tweets and here is a wonderful site full of inventive beds., I am gathering, is the go-to site for creative options on and off the web. Check out the beds.

But my fav is a beauty from Okooko, a 3-month-old eco-friendly mattress and bedroom-furniture company from New Zealand. (US store in Philly. ) Their beds are made of wood from sustainable forests managed by the New Zealand government. This one is called Float ($25,000, including the mattress) by David Trubridge, a New Zealand designer. Okooko promises to plant a native tree in New Zealand for every bed sold. 

The photo: Chris Parker

This best tip is from Gaurav Sikka, in Mumbai, a creative artist and web strategist now working with Bollywood.

Using Twitter to Plan Dinner

December 14, 2008

images-1K, I watch Josh twitter day and night. Letting people know that now he is buying new shoes or boarding a plane or eating sushi. I think, “so, what, who cares besides his mom who always loves to know what her kids are up to?” Surprise, surprise. There are 1800 plus people who hang on every word he tweets and I can assure it isn’t rocket science that he’s writing about.

I mean, I truly want to know what’s in it for me to follow, be followed and post pithy clips of my brilliant daily life? So I’ve been reading and following some conversations that are interesting- mainly belonging to friends of Josh’s. He posted that I was “talking to myself” and encouraged a few friends to connect. Some did. Thanks, Josh. Haven’t yet figured out how to have a conversation but will do that.


But I have looked around and found some very interesting blogs and a great recipe for Sweet Potato Soup from the FeelGoodGuru! Check out her woowoo site. Silly me, I just blithely commented on the site that I’d be making this soup tonight- except I have yams not sweet potatoes and I’m going to use them instead.

So, here is what I did:  my adaptation of the recipe (which came out very nicely)- organic yams, 1/4 tsp salt while veggies sauteeing, and 2 tablespoons white miso blended in at the end. Tastes awesome. I added the miso and more salt because it’s the winter and I wanted to balance the cooling nature of the coconut and lime. Love the lime and ginger and coconut milk combo, very nourishing and fulfilling feeling. If someone didn’t have coconut milk I think it would be great with almond or soy milk, too. What do you think? Thanks, Moira!

Short Days and Dark Nights

December 14, 2008


Clearly a winter sunset. Not just the leafless tress but the sun is different, isn’t it?

Our earth rotates about its sun, spinning on its axis, which is also tilted. Because of this tilt, in the winter the Northern Hemisphere receives less direct sunlight (creating a cold season) while the Southern Hemisphere receives more direct sunlight (creating a warm season). The side of the earth that is angled closest to the sun changes as we traverse our orbit and the seasons change. The furthest we are from the sun marks the winter solstice and we experience the shortest day and the longest night. The sun never quite seems to rise high enough here on the east coast of the US. The word solstice comes from Latin- describing the seeming ” sun-stoppage” of the sun before the days begin to get longer and nights shorter.

Okay, that might not have been the best description. Ignite Learning! has a good visual animation and very clear explanation. 

All the world’s cultures celebrations of light are linked to this time when it seems to be darker and darker. Before people could explain the disappearing daylight, they created many stories and celebrations about the sun’s rebirth or return to explain the phenomenon. Trusting that the sun will return to us and that the light may miraculously grow warmer and sustain us is the other side of the scientific explanation. A modern day celebration tradition has been created by Paul Winter and Friends at the unique and wonderful Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York City.


December 13, 2008










After a strange week of unpredictable weather and huge power losses in the Northeast I think it’s important to consider our personal preparedness. Up in Maine, my brother’s family has been without power for over two days; trees and power lines are down and it sounds like an amazing feat that he made it into town to let us know they were okay. They are warming themselves by their drafty and inefficient  fireplace. Thank goodness they have food from the garden put by and a freezer full of food. My brother has always been one for prepared although I know he is thinking, longingly, of their home in warm Australia. I worry about people without fireplaces and food reserves. 

I have found an interesting tool offered by Better Life Goods. Sold as a bundle at 70% off and qualifying for a matching donation to the WorldCare relief organization, the triple gift pack includes the Dynamo (that means you crank it to charge it up) Emergency Tool with Radio, LED flashlight and cellphone charger, a separate pocket size dynamo cell phone charger and radio, and a separate dynamo power tool with exchangeable bits. 

Dontcha know that everyone I love will be receiving a set. So we can know that everyone is safe.


My Home Computer

My Home Computer


That’s me. I’ve been updating all my links and profiles and photos and hopes and dreams on multiple social networks. To what end? I dunno yet. I have reconnected with a few friends from the past. Dat’s nice. I have spent (wasted?) hours browsing around. My hope has been that I will connect with like-minded entrepreneurs and we will ride into the sunset together, masterminding, growing our businesses and sharing our successes. That has not happened. Don’t know when it will, or if it will. I have surely lost myself in the maze of profiles. Maybe someone will stumble upon my profile and think, “Yes, I want to know more about wellness and have been looking for exactly that business venture to join and Joan is just the person to contact”. For an introvert, playing on the computer may well suit. I think that in order to grow my business I will have to get out in the world with people and create relationship face-to-face. So hey, check out my twitteretting.


December 10, 2008

imagesLast night, dark, stormy, windy, I was chatting with Teresa and I said that I was home alone and had to go do something about dinner. She said that she was making soup, come over. Joy of joys, a spur-of-the-moment get-together. Not enough of that in my life. How about yours? I find that many people in my part of the country are so scheduled there is a lack of spontaneity in our lives. Every minute of the day is accounted for. I schedule in time for day-dreaming, wandering around the house and just reflecting. Yes, I do feel that time is speeding up. Yes, I also find that there are so many things I would like to do, that there is little time I leave for myself to simply be. I grew up where it wasn’t acceptable to do nothing. So for the past 15 years or so I have been learning to not-do all the time. My therapist once suggested I go out to the barn/studio and just lie on my back and look at the ceiling if I couldn’t write music. At first I simply couldn’t do it. 30 seconds and I was up and pacing. I have come to a place of comfort and non-judgement now and am very okay with non-doing. Out of that space have come ideas, music, visions and truths that never could have been revealed otherwise. Out of not scheduling have come wonderful encounters with loved ones. Try this not-scheduling on. You will be assaulted with all the to-do list. Observe how crucial all the stuff in that you think you need to do. Make some space and see what pops in spontaneously! You might have the pleasure of a bowl of soup and precious company with dear friends on a dark and stormy night.

Easy file sharing

December 7, 2008


Leave it to Josh to know a very way cool way to share files via his friend’s site: . So now, I can use this site to upload information for business or for friends and provides a place for retrieval for private viewing or you can even publish drops on your facebook page.

“Each drop is:

A private place for exchanging photos, video, audio, notes, docs, and more. Each is accessible only to those whom you tell exactly where to look.

No signup and no account. We don’t even ask for your email. Create as many drops as you want.”

Now no excuses for sharing music and photo’s from Thanksgiving, Micah!

Messy Mud Room

December 6, 2008

toon320I am the wife of a Feng Shui teacher. No one is perfect. We have clutter that builds up and is regularly cleared . I do not live in a museum and although my house is clean, I am not a crazed tidy-up queen. I have a life.

So, okay, it was acceptable when my kids were little – roller skates, skate boards, baseball mitts, shoes, boots cluttering up the mudroom. At that time it seemed that no amount of shelving, hooks, labels and pick-ups would ever keep up with the mess. Now the boys are out of the house and I still find it challenging to make order in the mud room. Is it me? Or is human nature?

Is it because there is too much stuff in there to begin with? Do I just delegate recycling, step stools, boxes, re-gifts, books and things to give away, shoes belonging to kids who don’t even live here, etc to the mud room because I don’t know where else these things could go? Most definitely. What really belongs in there? 

I have some favorite organizing support teams. Sadly Organizing Magazine , just awarded “Best Organizing Magazine 2008” at the Organizing Awards in LA has just gone out of business? Can you imagine? I mean how many organizing magazines can there be? A fun site is Clutter Control Freak, thanks to them for our cartoon and concise article about how much extra stress we create by having something hanging over ones head and putting off doing it….like cleaning the mud room.

You know I can really relate to that- it only take a few minutes to unload the dishwasher, and just a few to load it up, but you’d think it was the longest job in the world when I ask Micah to take the time to do that while his toast is toasting.

But I digress.

My all-time favorite clutter-caoch who can get me on track when I’m lost in the mudroom is The Flylady. Check out her tips for when to declutter, what you’ll need on hand, using a timer and her tips for how to figure out what goes and what stays:

  • Do I love this item?
  • Have I used it in the past year?
  • Is it really garbage?
  • Do I have another one that is better?
  • Should I really keep two?
  • Does it have sentimental value that causes me to love it?
  • Or does it give me guilt and make me sad when I see the item?

Cleanse this room of everything that does not make you SMILE. 

I’d like to add that there are probably lots of things I might not need in my mudroom that someone would really like and it behooves me to uncover those things and take them to the thrift shop asap.

Okay, so, hm, yeh, I’m going to wait for my husband to come home to do the mudroom (procrastination) and I’ll deal with under the sink today.

Song du Jour

December 3, 2008


Night School

From my art•i•facts CD available from CD Baby. Music to accompany our exquisite and mysterious night skies this week.