Author Archives: mrsustick

signs of spring

Living in Boston, which certainly qualifies as a urban environment, I recognized spring by weather, leaves, and all the early flowers. While these are all clear signs, I am enjoying living in a more rural environment and experiencing signs that don’t really exist when concrete is the norm.

There are so many, but the two that jump out at me are 1) birds and 2) frogs. While there are birds around throughout the winter, the first morning that some migratory species arrived (I can’t tell a bird by its call, or else Id tell you who it was) and was chatting away and pecking at the softening ground (another sign, you can dig in the garden). Day by day the chorus grows, and now my mornings include at least five different calls, (I have seen robins, jays, morning doves and sparrows)

Tonight, as I was walking home from a wonderful 3rd birthday party for my nephew (we got him a kite, but the lack of wind made flying it running around laughing with a few near misses) I noticed the chirping of frogs from the mill river. While it is likely that they have been out for a few days building their ranks and noise making ability, I had not heard them, and quickly we went from silence, to what sounds like hundreds calling (for a mate?) as if someone flicked the frog ‘on’ switch.

I am looking forward to more signs, and have the good fortune of spending time outdoors tomorrow in both our community garden plot, and Good Fields Farm in Williamsburg where I can help a friend with her farm.

hasta pronto



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Our Nauna

212 words that summed up my Grandmother’s life:

Copyright Boston Herald Library Mar 25, 2002

Louise M. (Mutti) “Nauna” Lodie of Melrose, a nurse, died at her home Saturday after a lengthy bout with cancer. She was 87.

Born and raised in Westboro, Mrs. Lodie graduated from St. Vincent School of Nursing in 1936. Following her marriage in 1942, she moved to Melrose.

During her years of nursing, Mrs. Lodie was known as a family, neighborhood and community nurse. She was the night supervisor at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital before retiring after 26 years of service.

She was committed to HIV/AIDS advocacy and as captain of “Team Lodie,” she participated in the annual Boston AIDS Walk for 15 years. She was a devoted parishioner of St. Joseph’s Church in Malden and a member of the Catholic Daughters of America for many years.

Wife of the late Charles B., Mrs. Lodie is survived by three sons, Robert C. of Los Angeles, Calif., Peter M. of Ashfield, and Paul B. of Stratton Mountain, Vt.; three daughters, Maryann A. Hollis and Lisa M. O’Loughlin, both of Melrose, and Elizabeth G. Sustick of Northampton; 16 grandchildren, two great- grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated tomorrow at 10 a.m. in St. Joseph’s Church in Malden.

Burial will be in Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose.

Arrangements by Robinson Funeral Home, Melrose.

Ill bet she smiles down everyday.

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A wonderful gift

It seems odd to flaunt a christmas gift on a blog, but when it is something as special and relevant to this blog as my sister (who I now know has a blog with her photos and some poems) gave me well, it would be darn silly not to share.

You may recognize the poem as the one we got our URL from and runs along the side bar of this page. It is Wendell Berry’s

The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Thanks Em, and a Healthy and Ripe 2011 to all!

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Home sweet (and cold) home

Wow, its been a while since I have updated, due to lack of internet (or even electricity) and the crazy madness that was the last few weeks in Mexico. You see, I took a Permaculture Design Course which was two solid weeks away from BioSana and all the comforts of the tent (we downgraded to a smaller tent).

Anyway, what I am here to say is that after having our bags checked multiple times (that we know of) going through security (twice) Passport control, customs, having a small blizzard in Chicago (we were lucky, many sobbing/angry folks at the airport that were spending the night there…) and using more disposable cups/plates than I have in 3 months combined I am safely in Boston’s North End, enjoying a morning with Joe and sharing stories of a life that almost seems unreal already.

While I could deal with a overnight low of 60 and daily highs of 80, as opposed to however f-ing cold it is here, but it is good to be back home.

Today I have lunch with the Liza and her fam, followed by a bus ride home where the family awaits…Norah here I come!

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Three sisters update

The three sisters are jumping out of the ground! See my previous post here.

When the corn was about 4 inches (nearly two weeks from seed) we thinned it out to every foot (mas o menos) and surrounded them with a mix of different pole beans. A few days later we put in the squash. Some of the large corn is up to 2 ft now, while the beans are 6 inches, and the squash is starting to get its first true leaves. Next we will move out some of the beans so there are 2-3 per corn plant (dont want to overwhelm the corn with heavy climbers!)

Here are a couple of recent shots.


For some reason in the close up I took a shot of one of the worst corn plants…Opps. Trust me, they are big!

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