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Moon Time on the Laundry Line

My friend Melissa Rosati hung this moon for me over on her Tumblr site.
Melissa interviewed me about Out of the Mouths of Babes last year on BlogTalk Radio.

Listen to internet radio with Melissa A Rosati on Blog Talk Radio

I hope this Friday evening has you tucked in and warm.
Winter has returned to the Berkshires after a very brief warm set of days in which my parsley greened up in just a few hours.

If the sun has faded where you are, hugs are the next best thing to warm you. Please help me welcome one of my IWWG Sisters and a bright light of inspiration, Carol Bluestein to the Out of the Mouths of Babes blog series.

Whether the sun, the moon or one round hug, may you feel the warmth of this day surround you.

Appreciations of My Mother and of Me. What about you?

Mixed Media Collage by SBB May 2012
Mixed Media Collage by SBB May 2012

It is an achingly beautiful day here in the Berkshires.
And, one that no matter what I do, I cannot soak up the sweetness enough…wake up early enough to do all I like to do before my family hops around me on one foot then the other, waiting for the fun to begin.

They have given me an hour of their time in the garden.
But first there is brunch.
And, then a performance at one.
So, the phlox a-thon will wait to three or so. (My garden is engulfed in phlox)

Today, I am listing things I love about my Mom.
And then some about me as a Mom.
Then, an invitation for you to do the same in the comment section here.
Tell me of a few moments when, like today, you could not scoop up all the goodness flowing in your life so it dribbled over like mango juice down your arm and in to your shirt sleeve.

Ten appreciations for my Mom, Joann Ruth Schauer Schmeling, who died on October 10, 2010.

1. I loved my Mom’s laugh.
2. I loved her hands, big and veined and strong.
3. I loved her gait. We walk the same way, fast and strong and long. We could wander too and lollygag…but same length of stride.
4. I love the baskets she made.
5. I love her slightly sharp singing voice singing hymns in church. She knew all the words.
6. I loved sitting with her in church as a little kid and playing the hand game with her, stacking our hands- hers, mine, hers, mine and pulling them out in order silently, waiting for the interminable sermon to be over and done with, Amen.
7. I love that she always wanted to say “ A-woman” instead, but only did that at home sometimes.
8. I love that she kept her paddle in the waters of her life, even when she was stymied, ill or upset.
9. I love that she found a great love in my stepfather later in her life.
10. I love that she took us out in to the woods often as little kids- picking berries or to find a beach or to get to the top of something.

This is from a camping trip my sister Becky and I took with Mom and Pa, our stepdad, in 1988.

Here are ten appreciations of me, as a Mom… that I embarked on 18 years ago.

1. I love that it was Jonathan and me that started this whole show.
2. I love that my pregnancies were easy.
3. I love that the miscarriages I had brought me to a deeper understanding of how rare and miraculous births are.
4. I love the voices of my kids calling to me in the house.
5. I love the sacred geometry of our bodies and the way then fit in to mine, even now.
6. I love watching them in plays or performances or out in public talking to other people…just a marvel to see them as people.
7. I love what they love about me which they are loath to admit now…I can’t imagine them making a gratitude list for me now, so steeped in detaching from me and all I am today. But one day, they will admit to the tiny things I notice that they do which tell me, we are of each other, no matter what.
8. I love hearing my girl whistle. We both love to whistle.
9. I love looking out over our backyard and having all the tracings of their feet running to and fro over that ground for 15 years in this place.
10. I love yearning for them to crawl in to bed with us in the morning like they used to do, just that sense of us all on the ship of life together, but feeling them building their own boats and really…we will likely never have that sense of tight togetherness in that way again. Our boat is bigger than our bed now…it has expanded to include the bigness of their lives and this…maybe this is why I keep dreaming about ocean liners, huge catamarans and other vessels that I never quite get to in my dreams, but am always moving towards?

Here is an interview I did with Jennifer Boire about Laundry Line Divine and mothering and my work.

Here is a link to a radio clip about mothering that I did with Melissa Rosati.

I am off to enjoy a salad-y brunch they are making for me.

I hope whatever your day brings, that you spend a moment appreciating your mom, either here on the Line or in your hearts.


With a little help from my friends

FeMail from Karen Arp-Sandel
FeMail from Karen Arp-Sandel

Goethe said ‘tell only a wise person or else keep silent.’ I say tell only your choir, those who believe deeply in you and fully support you in your journey. To tell anyone else anything of your heart is a waste of breath and of spirit.

Maria Sirois

Today’s post is a tribute to tributes.

Do you love the moment when you open that birthday card and there is a small ode to you, written by someone who loves you enough to find the perfect card, assemble postage, write in the perfect pen color and spread some sparkles in the envelope, just so you can feel the magnitude of love coming your way?.

Valentine from my dear friend Jan Lawry
Valentine from my dear friend Jan Lawry

I have gotten some great mail in the last weeks, from some of my dearest correspondents. And, I have received a tribute or two on friends’ websites where they so generously dollop on the sparkles to share about ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ and with a touch about me.

Here is my friend Joanne Tombrakos, a guest blogger in the ‘Out’ series.

Here is Janet, posting a hilarious photo of me with a very sweet tribute. I guarantee you if you go to her site, you will be hungry and cooking within minutes.

And here is Jennifer Gandin Le, who after posting the most hilariously perfect recipe for a green smoothie in approximately 49 steps including one in which she is fishing her husband’s watch out of the toilet, photographing it and putting a new outfit on her nearly one year old, took the time to write this sweet thing about ‘Out’ and me.

Love Love Love

If you are new here and wondering what I am referring to in ‘Out’, read here. Next week, Friday March 2, my husband’s birthday, I am producing an event for the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. It all began with the book I am writing and seeking opportunities to read my work in public. The event is blossoming and you can keep track of it here on the Laundry Line. If you subscribe to this site in the little box above and to the right, you will get demure notices with cyber sparkles in it when I post new things here.

Today would not be complete without a tribute to the next guest blogger in the ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ blog series. Maria Sirois is a walking tribute to the value and power of love. She pays attention and speaks about it in ways that catch your breath. Maria is a soul supporter of the finest sort and I am thrilled to have her here on the Laundry Line. Below is Maria offering some jet fuel for your soul via Poet Laureate, Stanley Kunitz.

I am striped with the hours today, peeling one after the other off and my list just gets longer with every passage of 60 precious and beautiful minutes. Over lunch today, most of which was made by Catherine except for the quick Mojo sauce that Janet inspired me to make, we sat here on this snowy afternoon panting like long distance runners. I am doing my best to promote and write and connect while engaging my kids, feeding them and ignoring the laundry because it is snowy and who needs to hang wash today, not me!

Thank you for all your love and support to me and of my writing. One week from today 5 authors and I will take the stage at Blodgett Hall on the campus of Simon’s Rock College of Bard to premiere ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others’.

I am hooked on this app ‘Wordle’ This is what I did with some of your comments here on the Laundry Line.
I am hooked on this app ‘Wordle’ This is what I did with some of your comments here on the Laundry Line.

I am buoyed by your readership here, by your love notes that come in the mail or in your comments. Thank you for taking this in to your heart and letting this Laundry Line have an impact on your living.


Meet my pal Matt Tannenbaum

Here is a jewel of a man
Here is a jewel of a man

Have you noticed the excitement heating up here on the Laundry Line?

I am steeped in a new project to bring my writing to the world that sprouted as a result of my work with Stephanie Gunning on my book proposal and with Melissa Rosati, who I met at the International Women’s Writing Guild at Yale last summer.

I have birthed ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes: An evening of mothers reading to others’, an event that is part of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers on March 2, 2012. Is that crazy? I am planning an event that is for me, one opportunity to read my work to an audience, but even better, I have invited 6 friends to share their writing too. And, we will have bedtime snacks. And, if you want, you can wear your jammies.

I am not sure, but maybe Matt Tannenbaum will wear his jammies. Matt and I will lead a discussion after the reading on March 2 about mothering and creativity. Matt runs one of the best bookstores on the planet, The Bookstore in Lenox, Massachusetts. You walk in there and all you want to do is sit and read, or, if you are fortunate, Matt or Jane will peer in to your eyes and recite passages from their favorite books. To an author, lovers of the written word like Matt are a cherished species. How could I not involve Matt in ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’? He has a story to tell about his journey with mothering. I will let him do that.

You are welcomed to hop over to the new ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ page here on the Line. Nestled there is my first blog post about the event and the upcoming guest bloggers. Women from across the globe are joining us here to discuss, share, upride and uplift the terrain of mothering and creativity. Matt will be one of the few men to pitch in his voice. I hope if you are a man, reading this, and feel compelled to participate, that you will contact me at

Once you are on ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ page, you can then read on.
I am the first blog poster, because, well, no one else is ready yet.
I have shared a piece about my life with my daughter Catherine that I wrote a few years ago. It will be included in my upcoming book
“Laundry Line Divine: A Wild Soul Book for Mothers”.

Do you have a cup of tea made yet?
Better do that, and then return to read and relish this blossoming reality of ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’.

With love, and always sincerely,

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