Monday, December 21, 2009


Okay...not quite, but almost :)
After a bit of a trek through the back woods of Union Maine we found a tree that would "due." The sun was setting and he needed a tree.
Over streams,
down a couple of fairly steep embankments
and through some underbrush that had Finn second guessing whether or not it was doable he looked up and thought...that looks pretty good. Soooo, he sawed, and sawed and sawed I quietly wondered how the hell we would get that HUGE tree from the spot where it now lay back over the stream, up the embankment (did I mention they were snow covered??) and over all the tangled underbrush. The funny thing is, he didn't even think twice. Finn, I am sure, thought it a great adventure. I carried the saw.

The tree made it back, missing a couple more branches (which it really couldn't afford to lose) and was erected in the living room. I think it was ten feet tall. I think. I wish I had a picture to show you all. Maybe I will still take one. We decorated it with lights, antique ornaments, and oh, yeah, we thought it would be a great idea to string popcorn and cranberries. Wow, is that a project. Not quite as fun as it sounds and not one to be started at six in the evening when you really just wanted the tree decorated!

Anyway, it really did put me in the spirit of the holiday with the fire, the smell of pine, and yes, we even listened to Christmas songs (I can hear some of you groan...) it felt really nice sitting on the couch admiring the very tall, quite branchless masterpiece that we had just finished.
Happy Holidays and Happy Solstice hope everyone stays warm and cozy and celebrates with those you love!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

thoughts from 3 a.m.

It's been an hour and a half and I am still I rolled out of my cozy bed to find myself here, on my couch, wrapped in a down comforter thinking about my day. My yoga teacher training ended today (well, yesterday now). Yup, we graduated. Maybe that's why I can't sleep. Too much to think about. Boy I want to call Anna right now. Probably not up. It feels a bit like those early summer grey days in my brain right now, possibly because it is four in the morning my eyes are only half open but with the haze there is a stillness that feels just right. There is a warm bed waiting for me, I think I will crawl back in.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

early morning dreams....

this makes me think of the wee hours of the morning, curled up in the middle of the bed with the smell of coffee creeping into the bedroom.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


With a little help from:

the oldest sewing machine I have ever used...1960 something?? (seriously).. and successfully I might add.
yup....that's him
we finished:
this afternoon.

Sohum (meaning I am that I am), written in Sanskrit is one of a piece of eight that will be attached together as a prayer flag for our teachers at Shiva Shakti as a graduation gift for all of their love, support and knowledge. That's right.... it is finally time to graduate this weekend though all of a sudden I oddly feel as though I am not ready and this magic rug will be swiftly pulled out from underneath me. This training has been more enlightening and life altering than anything I have ever experienced or ever could have imagined and it has created such a solid foundation for so much future growth. As I sit and study for my final, I know this is only the beginning.
Yoga is everlasting and unbound by any rules, it is forever flowing within just waiting to be awakened, stimulated and practiced eternally! Oh it is limitless and exhilarating, inspiring and hopeful. There are four words that sum up my ENTIRE experience:

Jai Ma!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Imagine a woman...

One of the beautiful women in my yoga teacher training read this and took my breath away. This training has given me so many gifts and most of all a strong sense of who I am as a woman in the 20th century. I am forever grateful to all the women that stood beside me through the past eight months. Eternal OM SHANTI.

Imagine a woman...

Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good she is a woman.
A woman who honors her experience and tells her stories.
Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life.

Imagine a woman who trusts and respects herself.
A woman who listens to her needs and desires.
Who meets them with tenderness and grace.

Imagine a woman who acknowledges the past's influence on the present.
A woman who has walked through her past.
Who has healed into the present.

Imagine a woman who authors her own life.
A woman who exerts, initiates, and moves on her own behalf.
Who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and wisest voice.

Imagine a woman who names her own gods.
A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness.
Who designs a personal spirituality to inform her daily life.

Imagine a woman in love with her own body.
A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is.
Who celebrates its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.

Imagine a woman who honors the body of the Goddess in her changing body.
A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom.
Who refuses to use her life-energy disguising the changes in her body and life.

Imagine a woman who values the women in her life.
A woman who sits in circles of women.
Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.

Imagine yourself as this woman.

"imagine a woman" Patricia Lynn Reilly, 1995

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I am officially off to Mexico.
I will be spending my new year in a small fishing village in Mexico practicing yoga everyday.... twice (at least!). I will be graduating from my teacher training in December and I could think of no better way to begin a steady practice on my own than at a retreat. . . in sunny Mexico. It will be a fantastic eight days, I just can't get enough. I am also just finishing up my yoga for teens class at the high school and will start up again next semester. In the mean time I am looking into learning more about yoga for teens and possibly getting certified in yoga specifically for teenagers. They have been such a wonderful group to work with and I would love to open more classes for them. I also have an opportunity to help with a wellness workshop for high school girls teaching them yoga which I am so thrilled about and will start in January when I return. So many breathtaking events happening, I can't even begin to explain it all! Om Shanti!

Friday, November 6, 2009

candied apples
oranges with cloves making our cider yummy!

Sweets and Meats Market is as fall as it can get.  I have been able to play with caramelizing apples and making hot mulled apple cider.  There is always something new happening and we are already making plans for the holidays!  These past couple of months have flown by - Julia had her third annual Meatmus/Meat-a-palooza party (the table was graced with bear meat and venison ribs (?)), I am now teaching two teen yoga classes soon to be three this winter (with a possibility of using space at Shiva Shakti while my teachers are in India for six months).  All of this seems just right.  While Finn lays curled up next to me in our cozy cottage I am thankful once again for the path I am on. Om!  

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

word of the month: COZY

Have I mentioned I love fall?? Have I mentioned I love my home??  With the early setting of the sun and the cool evenings I have found comfort snugging in and reading two really great books:  Autobiography of a Yogi and Wheels of Life (a book on chakras).  There is nothing I want more in the world right now than to read good books, learn great things, and oh yeah, play with Finn!  Life is good on Spruce Head Island. OM and Namaste!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

up date

So, I foolishly assumed that once summer was over, my schedule would slow down just a bit, but with the onset of fall, my life has somehow gotten busier.  I am coming up on my fourth week of teaching the Yoga Club at Rockland High School and it couldn't be better, I have never done anything that felt so rewarding.  Having six girls walk in to my first class, shoulders up around their ears, chewing gum, chatting like crazy and having those same six girls walk out of my class completely relaxed and gooey eyed!  The yoga had worked it's magic.  I am now up to eight students and growing.  They are really taking to the class and bringing friends each time which is fantastic.  So, my landlord Jon (wonderful Jon!) helped me make some blocks to take to class to assist them in their poses (I told him I could probably do it myself if he just showed me how....he smiled at me (I think there was a laugh in there too) and said I could sand them down).  I am so grateful to Jon, I now have beautiful blocks to help the kids along!
I spent today sewing little lavender eye pillows to encourage relaxation during Sivasana (not that they need much more, I have one gal that just falls right into a deep slumber five minutes in!)  But these should help!
I am so in love with teaching yoga, seeing the change in the bodies and faces of these teens after 1 1/2 hours is just magical!  I will be starting a second Yoga for Teens class at a studio downtown Rockland next Wednesday open to teens from all over, I can't wait to begin! Om!  
Hope this finds everyone happy and healthy and enjoying the turning of leaves and the cool breezes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Happy Happy birthday to my mom!

I feel so lucky to have you as my mother, I thank you so much for being so forgiving, so loving, so supporting, so everything to me.  XOXO.  Have a very happy day! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

canning with mom

After a fall full of sunny days and warm breezes, Sunday brought a rainy gray day. . . a perfect day for canning.  As a child each fall we would go apple picking at a local orchard, we would bring friends and my parents would set us loose amongst the crooked apple trees to gather up as many as we could possibly hold...and more.  There was no limit that I can recall, which led to an abundance of apples, some that were eaten, some turned into apple grunt, pies, and crisps, some stored in newspaper lined bins for the winter, and the would make into applesauce and freeze for the winter.  So on any given night we could warm some up on the stove add a little extra cinnamon and sugar and have it as an evening snack.   It has been a long time since I had that applesauce.  

It didn't take much convincing to get mom to come over to help make the applesauce that I remembered and can it for the winter.  She showed up, spices in hand, ready to boil, strain, and process the apples.  Of course, as usual, we had many apples and what went from a couple hour project, finally wrapped up at 7:30 in the evening for me making apple butter with the last batch of apples.  The cottage windows steamed up, the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg wafted through the small kitchen, Lulu came over, we looked at old pictures of The Barnacle and Uncle Phil (who was the original owner of the cottage), had hot apple cider, laughed, laughed more, and just enjoyed the afternoon.  

Thanks mom (and Lulu) for another great memory!
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Thursday, September 24, 2009


Feeling peaceful and happy.  Coming into fall with all the changes and a very full schedule life seems to be flowing like the tides.  In and out.  A gentle spirit has entered the cottage and we have found our rhythm here.  Yoga is a daily practice now, I have begun teaching yoga for teens once a week which will turn into twice a week by the end of the month.  Life is full.  Life feels good.  Sohum.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

early morning walks...

With all the summer craziness quieting down there has been one steady thing in my life, the 5:30a.m. walks and it is the time of year when the sun rises a bit later which means 1. we had to break out the "bear bell" for Finn and 2. I am blessed with seeing the colors of the world in the sky that just take my breath away every morning.  These photos don't do it justice of course, but you can just imagine this amplified and with the cool fall morning and the stillness that occurs just before the sun emerges from the ocean....oh what a beautiful morning!  I wish everyone could be here to experience it with me...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Finn, "swimming"

early morning hours at Neeson's

Thursday, August 20, 2009

sad sad sad day

Yup, Anna was on a bus this morning heading back down away from me (so really, who cares where she was going?!! Just kidding momma Clay!)... but what an AMAZING time we had it went by so fast all the cooking, working, hiking, playing, driving, beers at the beach, yoga, chatting, movies, and the list goes on!  She will be sorely missed by not only me but the beast as travels!!  We will see each other soon!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

oh boy....

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy....yes, I have noticed it has been almost exactly a month since I posted last, yes I realize that some of you have been checking to see what's up....and yes, I am so so so sorry it has taken this long, but look! There is soooo much to share!  First, the job.  Sweets & Meats Market is off and running.  I am baking five days a week...often six for our ever expanding (and sometimes demanding) clientele.  We are constantly expanding our gluten free line of goodies, which keeps me on my toes, learning new flour substitutes and as of late have had some sugar free recommendations.  There is a lot more to come I have a feeling.    Next, Anna and I attended The Kneading Conference which was a three day bread festival basically where we learned about grains:

beautiful shaping techniques:
and a lot about wood-fired ovens (including how to heat and maintain heat, how to build. . . cobb ovens that is, how to get the most out of your oven fire, how to bake everything from pastries to sourdough loaves, and much, much more!)
We also had an opportunity to FINALLY toast the beginning of summer with our first margaritas!! Ohhhhh and were they good!
And let's not forget a good road trip!
It has been busy and in between all the busy - ness, there has been yoga, yoga, and more yoga, also a lot of reading, playing with Finn, walks to the beach and oh, exhaustion...that's been happening on the occasion.  Not much time for anything else at the moment.  But I must say, there has been growth and happiness and there is room for more!  

Hope this little note finds everyone happy and healthy, I would love to hear from you all!
xoxo and om shanti.

Friday, July 10, 2009

a weekend in paradise

Since Anna arrived, there has been no time to just chill, nope, not a single day... well, the day came to just chill on the fourth of July.  Julia (our boss and Sweets & Meats) gave us THREE days off to go and do as we pleased...there was no other option for me.  We packed up the car, loaded Finn and off we went to Deer Isle and OHHHHH, how beautiful it was.  We borrowed Josh's pop up camper, backed 'er in to my mom and dad's spot down there (right on the beach) and just enjoyed!  We had a such a great time following the newest addition to the Shepard family, Norah, around the beach, watching her eat lobster, and mingle with our rowdy crew.  She held her own!
I spent a bit of time on the beach reading (while Finn found the biggest stick possible that would fit in his mouth to be a nuisance with)....
but most of all....the best part was just chillin' with Anna (oh and Jack...he joined the party as well!)
Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend as much as we did!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A new spin on the original...

Just a little reminder that I haven't forgotten about baking, in fact, I have been baking more than ever lately. . . things at Sweets & Meats Market are really getting into full swing from 6:30 on I do not stop creating fun treats for people to purchase at the store.  It's such a great space.  Anyone in the area that hasn't been in, it's a must!  I have been often finding myself quite content with my work.  Finding a little balance to life.  Hope you all had a happy and wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It has been a bit grey here....

However, walks to the beach have not stopped...the weather doesn't seem to be bothering Finn in the is all play as usual!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

oooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, life is soooooooooooooooooo unpredictable

Along with the opening of Sweets & Meats Market on Thursday, Anna (who should need no introduction) arrived two weeks ago.  That being said, there has been little time to breathe, eat, or sleep...(now, drinking, we have found a little bit of time for...and a lot of time for some good laughs).  Finn...oh poor Finn, has been such a trooper to the new schedule which consisted of 10-14 hour days last week (one minor incident aside).  But, I think we have found our feet and a good schedule that works with my new life (sole responsibility of a dog is MUCH more than I had ever anticipated...I guess it was in the cards).  

As much as I hate to say it Squash Blossom Bakery is on a temporary hold.  There is absolutely NO way I can balance my full plus time job, my yoga teacher training program, and my lovely pooch (who is up at 5am for a walk now and full of energy when I roll in the driveway in the evening).  I hope once I figure things out I can start it all up again, but until then my baked goods can be found at Sweets & Meats Market on the South end of Rockland including pies, cakes, cookies, tarts, gluten free goods, biscotti and anything else I can dream up!  I do hope you stop by.  Until then, I will keep you updated here on how things are and anything new I am trying in the bakery.  Hope everyone is well!  

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Rhubarb madness

Rhubarb is coming up everywhere!  Jon told me it would grow faster than I could pick it so use as much as I want (I've sorta taken this as a challenge...just how many Strawberry Rhubarb pies can I bake?!).  Not only do I have it growing in my back yard, but being the resident baker on this isle has led people to just drop it off on my stoop in bundles (which is kinda sweet to come home to a stack of rhubarb on my cottage porch).  There have been no complaints at The Sea Store when I bring in hot pies out of the oven and they are scooped up quickly.  Just so everyone knows...this is only the beginning of pie season so hold onto your hats!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

ahhhh spring...

That's right, spring (remember, I am in Maine right now). The sun is shining, birds are singing, there are lady slippers everywhere, and the cool ocean breeze is coming in through my porch windows into the little cottage. Finn has permanently planted himself on the old antique couch on the glassed in porch where he can observe every single person that comes on and off of the island. Barking when he feels it's necessary of course.

My garden is really coming along, my wonderful landlord Jon has created a mini greenhouse for all my little plants to stay warm on the cool evenings and provide a haven for them to grow as quickly as possible. I will have lettuce ready to pick soon believe it or not!

Life out here on the island is quiet and good. There is a peace. . . a stillness out here. My early morning walks have turned into a perfect meditation whether the sun is shining or the mist from the ocean is so thick I can't see past the shore line. . .the beach has become such a part of me. I am content for now and growing and learning. So thankful for spring and space to breathe. So blessed to have the life I have.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

my morning walk... I will let the pictures do the talking.

for real....could the day have started any better??!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

a day fit for a queen

My grandmother turned 85 yesterday.  That's right, the lady to the left... 85, never would have guessed.  I must say I have loved being able to celebrate these moments with family since I have been back in Maine.  It has been many years since I have actually been around for my grandmothers birthday, or anyone else's for that matter and I realize how lucky I am to have a grandmother that is 85 and how blessed I am to be able to share a portion of that day with her.  She went out to lunch, she ate lobster for dinner (and some really fabulous rolls I was informed!), and I made her a chocolate butter cake with peanut butter cream cheese frosting - decorated with tempered chocolate cigarettes (made by hand believe it or not) and chocolate boarder.  She was treated like a queen, well.... as close as we could all get, and I can only hope that on my 85th birthday I am surrounded by people that love and care for me as much as we all love and care for her.  We are lucky to have her with us and hope she had a fantastic day.  

Happy Birthday Nanny Jane, you are loved by many!

nan's birthday cake

Friday, May 29, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

mud season

Oh man is spring beautiful in Maine, everything goes from the neutral brown that winter had left in it's wake to beautiful bright greens, purples, and yellows of blooming and budding flowers.  I walk the beast every morning around 6am and we almost always run into my neighbors walking their little pup Ebony...they were kind enough to point out to me a few patches of Lady Slippers that were poking their little heads up.  Well on my walk yesterday morning, I spotted some new-in-complete-bloom-Lady Slippers! Oh and are they beautiful!!!  My neighbors informed me that they are of the orchid family and from seed to bloom is seven years, which has made every discovery of a new one even more exciting... 

However...with the blooms comes the mud and each day I have the pleasure of encountering the beast AFTER a romp in the woods and each day, I get this look:
Thankfully, he cleans up well and each day has been a new adventure with more laughs.  Looking forward to warmer dryer days!  

Monday, May 18, 2009

One down.

This past weekend was my first weekend of Yoga Teacher Training, so I have been busy bending my body and my mind in ways I thought impossible.  I left stuffed full of information and today (Monday) I am attempting to process.  More later I promise.  Hope this finds everyone happy and healthy.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

and then there were two...

well, he's off.....
leaving just the beast and I in our cozy little cottage.
safe travels and we'll see him in the fall!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

om shanti
Beginning May 15th I will be immersing myself into my yoga practice like never before.  I have signed up to get my yoga teacher training certification at Shiva Shakti  School of Yoga.  I have been taking yoga classes at this school since February and lately I have never felt so good...I have never been so moved by a yoga class before.  The style of these classes really fit well with the way my body wants to experience yoga, I feel like this school is a perfect fit.  I will surely keep you all updated as I go along.  Graduation is in December!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

a little bit of fougasse

Oh boy does Dave Mac love fougasse, so much in fact that I called him after work yesterday and told him if he picked up some cheese I would make him some.  He came home with a few different kinds...sooooo, we had fougasse for lunch today...and snack.  I had borrowed "Baking With Julia (Childs)" from Julia (my boss) to try out some of her recipes, there are so many great recipes in there it was hard to choose what to do first, well, until I saw the fougasse that is.  And Dave is making Indian Dahl with punjabi chhole (chickpeas with potatoes and onions) for dinner tonight and what would be more perfect with Indian food than Naan?  Lo and behold Julia had a recipe for that as well!   So, the Naan is on our porch rising so it will be ready in time for dinner.  Mmmmmm, boy are we stoked!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

"bub's" birthday

If you know my brother you know he loves three things...(well, four including girls): whisky, a good time, and all things fast.  Well, I figured for his birthday I could at least help him indulge in the first one.  I had seen a recipe for Chocolate Stout cupcakes with an Irish Whisky ganache and a Baileys Irish Cream frosting.  Ummm, if I could have personally created a dessert that would be more fitting for Josh, I am not quite sure how much closer I could have gotten.  You can find the recipe on Smitten Kitchen if you are interested in duplicating this fun dessert.  Hope they are a hit and Happy Happy Birthday Josh!
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