Monday, March 17, 2008

top o' the morning

st. patrick's day dawns sunny and bright! I must confess I'm in a bit of a daze this morning after a weekend - or rather week - that was jammed packed. I'm really excited that in just a few days spring will officially arrive! even though there's still snow on the ground, there are plenty of signs about that it won't be long till we see the greening of the land and trees.

the theme for saturday seemed to be community health. saturday afternoon was the forum on birth options and it was wildly successful with almost a standing room only crowd. after the talks, film and panel the attendees took part in a lively discussion - a most excellent sign of a successful educational event. judy norsigian from our bodies ourselves was a special guest. I met judy years ago when she was the keynote speaker for a conference on women, health and technology that we held at the university of connecticut. the conference was the catalyst for a book that came out a couple years later. I was very fortunate to have collaborated on an article with judy for the book. judy is an amazing woman and a tireless advocate for women's and children's health issues. since I had a previous connection with judy, the organizers for saturday's forum took me up on my offer to pick judy up at the airport and chauffeur her to the event. I haven't seen judy in almost twenty years, it was wonderful to catch up and learn from someone who is on the front line of women's health advocacy about what she believes are today's hot topics. despite all the activism and progress over the last forty years on women's health, it's sobering to realize how much work is still needed. thank goodness there are people like judy and groups like OBOS and NFP that are out there helping improve the lives and health of women.

saturday evening's community health event was the annual fundraiser for FEDOPO, an organization in the dominican republic that has been fighting to improve the health and opportunities for people who live in a very impoverished area outside of santo domingo. for the last six years we have been throwing a carribean themed house party in order to raise money to help the clinic in guaricano. for the last three years I've contributed a quilt for the raffle that we hold during the party. this year I confess, I didn't plan far enough ahead and was down to the wire in terms of getting the quilt done in time. but in true mouse fashion, it got done when it got done and not a moment before. there's something very gratifying to hear the buzz from folks who bought raffle tickets expressing a desire to win the quilt. coincidentally, the winner of the quilt is a friend who has commissioned a few mouse quilts in the past for special family events. he was so motivated to win the quilt he bought as many tickets as was possible - even to the point of scraping together change to get one more ticket!

sunday we had a most delightful day. in the morning we headed down to hale farm and village for their sugar maple festival pancake breakfast. after filling up on pancakes we toured the grounds. this living museum is most certainly a treasure as it attempts to recreate life circa 1810-1870. after our visit to hale farm we went up to another farm park - here instead of experiencing maple sugaring and transporting ourselves back in time, we checked out the quilt show and baby animals (it's lambing time and I was in cute heaven!). I wonder if one can have a couple sheep in the city - sure would be a good way to keep the lawn mowed and we heard they are looking for new homes for most of the lambs....

along with march 17th being the feast day for st. patrick, march 17th is also the feast day for st. gertrude of nivelles (626-659). st. gertrude holds a special place in the heart of this mouse seeing that she is the patron saint of cats, the recently diseased, gardeners, travelers, the mentally ill, and people with a morbid fear of mice and rats.

photos: top - detail of first settlement log house (circa 1814) hale farm & village; bottom - sheep in a heap, lake metroparks -farmpark ~ 16 march 2008


Gig said...

Love the way you caught the spring sky in the window...the sweet lambs...and great to connect with Judy...and to have the quilt go to a fan...wonderful weekend all around!

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

sounds like a great and energy filled weekend. The lambs are cuteness personnified. And a patron saint of cats, mice and rats? I'll have to unravel the mysteries of that one - talk of a Mission Impossible :-)

zquilts said...

Loved your Peace Quilt and love this post ! How Do you do it all?!

lettuce said...

a friend who works at a local city farm was saying they are frequently called out, this time of year, to pick up abandoned lambs.... which have been stolen from farms to be pets, then abandoned because they are hard work

what a busy and fab weekend you've had!

ACey said...

Hi - just wanted to let you know that I responded to your question about power surges over at Bayou Quilts. It's in the comments section of Jen's post about her new Sidewinder.

Michael Rawluk said...

And Happy World Maritime Day!

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

Wow, spring is coming and the Mouse is getting busy! Loved those shots - one for it's cute factor and the other because it's just so evocative.
Trees are turning golden here and leaves are starting to flitter through the air - I feel the need to hibernate coming on! ;-) Ha, no such luck!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

gig - I have you to thank for turning me on to st. gertrude. I don't know if you remember a few years ago you sent me a card that had an image of her on it with the caption that she was the patron saint of cat lovers.

lee - ah, nothing is impossible.

z- thanks. it's not much in the big picture.

let - aw, that is heartbreaking to hear - I've heard similar stories about chickens and ducks - as some parents give chicks or ducklings as spring/easter gifts - the animals grow up and then the cuteness fades and the work begins.

acey - THANKS!

av - perhaps you can just get in some extra cuddling time. happy autumn!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

p.s. michael - smooth sailing to you always ;)