My new friend, Rocky!

Rocky lives behind my house and began visiting shortly after Chippie passed away, likely because she could no longer chase him away from her deck. I chose his name after I saw an incredible feat he accomplished last week: The day after we had heavy downpours he did some admirable excavating from his burrow–there was a pile of dirt with large rocks mixed in, some of which were almost half his size! Can you hear the theme to Rocky playing right now? He and all the chipmunks have free rein. They are like the Queen’s corgis–they do as they please without any admonishment. The mounds of love and joy they bring us can’t compete with a little mess.

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Centering Prayer by the Sea

At our summer church in Kennebunkport a small group meets once a week in the rectory for Centering Prayer, a meditative practice founded in Massachusetts by three Trappist monks in the 1970s.  We meditate for twenty minutes by focusing on a sacred word of our own choosing, then watch a short teaching by Thomas Keating on DVD.

The first time I went last summer I was very intimidated by the prospect of a twenty minute meditation! Sitting in a quiet room alone listening to the “noise” in my head is old hat to me and I often mistake it for being productive. Making mental to-do lists, planning, lamenting the past, worrying about the future can happen in the most bucolic of settings. Sitting with a quiet mind? It’s a challenge, but meditation gives me moments of inner silence, the benefits of which are deep and lasting.

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October Storm Cleanup in June

We have a beautiful backyard once again! Last October 31st storm’s winds blew the top off of a large white pine tree in our backyard. Not long after that, a second gusty storm toppled another tree that landed on top of the tree that already had snapped. It was very difficult to find a company to remove the trees due to the fact that everyone was booked solid because of the widespread damage in the area. Then the snow came and mud season followed, so we needed to wait for the ground to get hard once again. We scheduled our cleanup about a month ago and finally it happened today!

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What will save you?

I have a genetic predisposition to being at higher risk for skin cancer, so I see a dermatologist for an annual skin exam. I had a mole on my arm that looked different from all of the others and my dermatologist had said we should keep an eye on it. About two weeks ago I noticed that it was changing: it was darker and starting to have uneven borders. What really frightened me was when I happened to notice in a photo of me from 2013 that it wasn’t even on my arm! It’s not normal to grow new moles when you’re over forty.  I called her office to be seen and she agreed that it should be biopsied. 

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A Farewell to Wishy and Chippie

God bless Wishy and Chippie, who have not surfaced in enough time for us to know that they have moved onward and upward. I loved them as my own pets/family. We miss them dearly. I made a memorial at Wishy’s burrow, and one on my deck where Chippie lived. I learned so much about myself and the nature of the world from my time with them. RIP dear little ones.

Royal Wedding Viewing Party (Updated!)

I’ve been busy baking scones and getting ready for early tomorrow morning when some lady friends will be joining me to watch the wedding. I’m so touched that Price Charles will be walking Meghan down the aisle! Also I’m feeling proud to be an Episcopalian knowing our first African American Bishop will be speaking! This is all so romantic and wonderful, plus it’s making me even more excited about my own wedding! Here’s how I’m setting up for tomorrow:

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Gluten-Free Lemon & Elderflower Royal Wedding Cake

Are you getting excited for the Royal wedding!!! (That wasn’t a question.) OK, so I know not everyone is into it, but I am completely. I wanted to create a gluten-free cake inspired by American(!) chef Claire Ptak’s revelation about what the cake will be:

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Chippie’s Big Reveal!

It’s been a while since I blogged in depth about Chippie since she is quite shy unlike Wishy. Earlier in the spring she was looking rather portly. I figured, like most of us, she’d want me to wait until she worked off her winter weight before I took pics to post online. The photo above is from this morning. She’s getting good exercise now that spring is here. Anyway, there have been some strange happenings that finally made sense this morning.

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