Wind Chilly

…gulls on the ice…

It seems that this winter has been a harsher one than average, a monotony of record low temperatures and record high amounts of snow. March came in like a lion. It must be a potent combination of cabin fever and mourning, but I still feel like I’m staggering around in a daze. Maybe it will go out like a lamb and things will settle down for a time.

Grief distracts is strange ways. There’s the usual opening of the refrigerator to get something out of the microwave, but then there’s the trying to deposit a check stub when I meant to deposit the check itself. Cracking an egg into the sink instead of the bowl. I’m starting to wonder if I’m permanently altered. If adorable Zoë wasn’t waking me up each morning for her breakfast of trout and eggs, I wonder if I’d even bother getting out of bed.

For the life of me I cannot figure out why we decided to go to a cemetery to take pictures last weekend. We just had to get out of the house and it was the only thing we could think of doing outside. Elm Grove Cemetery borders the Mystic River and the wind off the river was biting and icy. My fingers weren’t cooperating they felt so raw.

But I noticed a theme as I got in and out of the car to warm up. I was looking up at the sky and the trees and the way they framed some of the tall monuments. Breathtaking beauty. There was another theme, too, but that will be for another post…

There were a couple of poignant scenes close to the ground, too. Perhaps this flag has been weathering the winter since Veterans Day.

Beloved Mum…

Wedding in the Woods


15 June 2013, Orange, Connecticut
Camp Cedarcrest, by the Wepawaug River

…Dima waiting patiently…

…Grandma Nina and Vladimir, father of the groom, waiting patiently…


…Larisa and Tim…
(photo by Susan Kwan)

…Larisa reading her vows…

…Dima reading his vows…

…a kiss…

…matron and maid of honor, Alyssa and Alicia…

…Larisa & Dima…Tim & Barbara…

…our dear friends from Macedonia, Bojan and his sister Ana…



…Larisa made the dress with help from her friend, Brit…

…Svetlana, mother of the groom…

…tradition is that the person getting the bigger bite “controls” the marriage…

…best man, Dave…

…Tim, father of the bride…

…Vlad, father of the groom…

…Aunt Delorma, who has been a mother to both Tim and me,
and a very special grandaunt to Larisa…

…the lights of my life, Nate, Larisa and Jon…

…cousins Erica, Larisa and Erin…

…cousins Nate, Jon, Larisa, David, Erica and Erin…

…Larisa and me…

…Tim and Larisa…

…Nate and Larisa…

…Nate, Tim, Dima, Larisa, Barbara and Jon…

…Larisa and Eliza…

…Toby and Larisa…

…Drew, Janet and Tim…

…my favorite picture!…

Shea helped me out with a lot of the picture-taking, and Svetlana made all the lovely decorations.  Dima & Larisa created an amazing wedding and reception, in a perfect setting, and we could not have asked for better weather.  A very special day for all of us to remember forever.

An interesting side note – all of the women in the bridal party and the mothers and grandmothers and grandaunt have names that end with an “a.”  Larisa; her attendants, Alyssa, Alicia, Erica and Lisa; the mothers, Barbara and Svetlana; Dima’s grandmothers, Nina and Anna; and Larisa’s grandaunt, Delorma.

Drifters’ Cove

Drifters’ Cove created by Marvin Haltzer
photos by Barbara Rodgers

Ebb & Flo, a brother/sister faerie team live in this riverside home made of driftwood.  These faeries control the tide waters of the Lieutenant River.  Every six hours, Ebb is busy pulling the salty waters into the marsh and then it’s Flo’s turn to push them back out into the Sound again.  This keeps the water always in motion and the marsh a dynamic and beautiful ecosystem for birds, fish, insects, and more.  The many shades of green keep the painters busy mixing their vibrant and sunny hues.
(Wee Faerie Village: Land of Picture Making)

Today I baked spaghetti squash for the first time, and served it with a grass-fed ground beef marinara sauce. Mr. Logic thought it tasted good, and so did I! And so the paleo culinary adventure continues…

Zoë and Scarby, sweet little carnivores, are on a grain-free diet, too, and seem pleased with it for the most part, as pleased as cats will allow themselves to admit.

Scarby is still giving Zoë a wide berth, and hissing occasionally to remind Zoë about how things stand between them. She spends her evenings close to Tim on the couch, purring loudly. We’re being patient and encouraging with her.

Zoë provides us with morning entertainment – playing with and pouncing on pony-tail elastics, preferring them to all other toys. And she talks to us all the time.  :)  My little shadow.

Autumnal Fortress

Autumnal Fortress created by Kristen Thornton
photos by Barbara Rodgers

Faellan is the faerie for colorful autumn foliage.  His name comes from Old English and means an abundance of leaves, aka the fall!  The many colors and textures of the leaves inspire the painters in so many ways.  As the leaves turn from green to gold, they capture the creative imaginations at several stages.  Whether held aloft in the tree top, dancing fancifully through the autumn air, or carpeting the ground below, Faellan’s leaves are the season’s showstoppers.
(Wee Faerie Village: Land of Picture Making)

Blind folk see the fairies,
Oh, better far than we,
Who miss the shining of their wings
Because our eyes are filled with things
We do not wish to see.
They need not seek enchantment
From solemn, printed books,
For all about them as they go
The fairies flutter to and fro
With smiling, friendly looks.
~ Rose Fyleman
(White Magic)

Deaf folk hear the fairies
However soft their song;
‘Tis we who lose the honey sound
Amid the clamor all around
That beats the whole day long.
But they with gentle faces
Sit quietly apart;
What room have they for sorrowing
While fairy minstrels sit and sing
Close to their listening heart?
~ Rose Fyleman
(White Magic)

The fairies have never a penny to spend,
They haven’t a thing put by,
But theirs is the dower of bird and of flower
And theirs are the earth and the sky.
And though you should live in a palace of gold
Or sleep in a dried-up ditch,
You could never be as poor as the fairies are,
And never as rich.
~ Rose Fyleman
(Fairies & Chimneys)

Marsh Light Manor

Marsh Light Manor at Lookout Hollow created by Lori & Edward Lenz
photo by Barbara Rodgers

Luka built this manor house for his wife Inza and their family of light fareies at the base of this tree from the river rocks and marsh grasses. He created porches and windows to view and capture the light as it dances across the water. Mirrors and magic help Luka and his wife to “bottle” the light. Each of the children take turns delivering a month of special light to the plein-air artists who capture its distinct glow in paint.
(Wee Faerie Village: Land of Picture Making)

Now that some of the excitement has passed by, at least for us, I hope to share a few more fairy house posts in the coming days…

Auntie was transferred to a rehab center last week, a day or two after the storm. She’s able to walk a little and is making some progress in physical therapy there. We finally got up to see her yesterday and were grateful to know that she had some visitors in the hospital and at the rehab center.

Dad is on antibiotics now for bronchitis and we stopped by to see him, too, and showed him our storm pictures on the TV screen. He was somewhat impressed, but decided that the 1938 hurricane he survived when he 16 was far more destructive. He wasn’t feeling too well, but it was good to visit with him anyway.

We are overflowing with gratefulness for the gift of a wonderful young woman named Chelsea, who was hired to help out with Dad and Auntie’s care in September. What an awesome blessing she has been to our family! She has sat with Auntie in the hospital and at the rehab center, and darted back and forth between those places and the house, to give attention to both of the ancient ones. She has been a cheerful, hard-working, kind, calming and pleasant presence to have around and has gotten us through this difficult stretch, even coming in the evening and on the weekends. Thank you so much, Chelsea!!!

Mihashirano’s Tea House

Mihashirano’s Tea House created by Anita Walsh
photos by Barbara Rodgers

Mihashirano, the faerie goddess of green-growing things, works hard alongside her mom, Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess, to help things grow along the river. The plants work hard purifying the air and water as well as supplying food and shelter for many creatures. Their work also benefits the artists in many of the same ways, including natural beauty that inspires their paintings. The location for Mihashirano’s tea house was chosen by a bird.
(Wee Faerie Village: Land of Picture Making)

Janet, all bundled up to brave the elements, located the mystical bird and Mihashirano’s sailboat at the tea house out on the water by using binoculars provided by the fairies on the shore. It was a very wet, raw and windy day especially down by the river.

We didn’t feel anything here in southern Connecticut, but last night at 7:12 pm there was an earthquake centered in Maine, 4.6 on the Richter scale, which was strong enough to shake homes as far south as northern Connecticut. Auntie is supposed to come home from the hospital today – I wonder if they felt the tremor up north there last night… And today would have been my mother’s 81st birthday – Happy Birthday, Mom!

Summer Nights

“The Mystery of a Summer Night” by Edvard Munch

Whichever road I follow, I walk in the land of many gods, and they love and eat one another.  Walking, I am listening to a deeper way.  Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me.  Be still, they say.  Watch and listen.  You are the result of the love of thousands.
~ Linda Hogan
(Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World)

A friend posted part of the above quote on Facebook this morning and I couldn’t get it out of my mind.  I put the book it comes from on my “to-read” list.  Perhaps I will have more time for reading this winter.

My ancestors have been calling to me strongly since May and most of my time since then has been spent doing online research, and planning a research trip in the fall.  It’s actually one of Tim’s ancestors who is calling the loudest and most persistently – I have discovered a clue that might lead me to her parents, who I have been looking for, off and on, for thirty-seven years!

It’s a struggle for me to balance research, blogging, gardening, housework, preparing healthy meals, de-cluttering, visiting my dad, enjoying the summer…  Summer days are so long and mostly hot and humid, although we have had a few wonderful days here and there to enjoy onshore breezes and open windows.  I quickly grow weary of the drone from the necessary air-conditioning…

But summer evenings are the best!  Going to plays (Shakespeare-in-the-Park) and concerts (Dave Matthews Band) outside, seeing sunsets and starlight and the moonrise - the stuff memories are made of…

This past Sunday evening we went to Summer Music Sundays at Mystic Seaport for the first time.  We dined and had drinks under a huge maple tree outside of Schaefer’s Spouter Tavern (named for the tavern in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick), with a view of tall ships moored to the dock on the Mystic River, and smaller boats sailing by while the sun set across the river.  We thoroughly enjoyed the music, guitar-playing singer Bruce Foulke, who treated us to some covers of old favorites by James Taylor, Carole King, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton…  It was a lovely, perfect evening!

What do you love best about summer?