Monday, February 25, 2013

Raise The Roof! Help Make This Dream a Reality....

Mitigating climate change, sustainability, community building, bringing healthy food to urbanites are all part of the vision of John Stoddard and Courtney Hennessy for Higher Ground Farm, Boston's first rooftop farm set to begin operation in Spring of this year. But they need your help!

From Higher Ground Farm's Vision Statement:

Imagine a farm in the city. Tomatoes, greens, herbs, and other fruits and vegetables abound. Bees are buzzing and chickens are clucking, all in view of the Boston skyline – because this farm is on a rooftop.

Imagine a space where community members can learn about agriculture, sustainable urban planning, and green building design all in one place – and without ever leaving the city.

Imagine a unique event space, host to farm fresh meals, in the most literal sense of the word, and a venue where the Boston-area’s culinary experts teach cooking, growing, and preservation classes.

Now imagine a network of roof farms throughout the metropolitan area. A portion of the city’s needs for produce, eggs, fish, and honey is being met within its bounds. The food that is produced is consumed at its peak of freshness, and provides a measure of local food security.

This encompasses the vision of Higher Ground Farm. We will produce and market the freshest of foods, while simultaneously providing environmental benefits to the community by increasing green, permeable space in the city, and reducing carbon emissions.

We look forward to being your community farm. See you on the roof!

Higher Ground Farm was recently featured on MSNBC and has been featured in the Boston Globe, Design New England, Boston Metro, Charlestown Patch, Sustainable Business Network, and New England Home Magazine.

Please consider making a donation today to help them reach their Kickstarter goal of $20,000 by Sunday.

Visit Let's Raise the Roof (Farm)! on Kickstarter and help to kickstart this amazing venture!

From my heart to yours
With total love and deepest gratitude,

Friday, February 22, 2013

Rewriting The Story

On Wednesday, I returned to Marathon Sports Brookline where, five years ago just around this time, Spencer Aston fitted me for my first pair of running shoes - I mean my first pair of running shoes - ever - in my lifetime. Spencer just happened to be working at the store on Wednesday. He is a wonderful musician so only works part time at Marathon Sports. What were the chances he'd be working on the day I decided to get fitted for my first pair of Vibrams.

As soon as I put on the Vibrams, I knew they were right for me. It's like having a glove on your foot. What a contrast to big, bulky shoes with braces and orthotics that I wore for years after contracting paralytic polio. What a contrast to what I was wearing five years ago

until I was fitted with my first pair of running shoes.

The Vibrams are a symbol of my transformation. Being able to wear them a manifestation of my healing journey.

This journey is not just about me though. I ran the 2009 Boston Marathon for several reasons which are now clear to me four years later. I felt a call - a stirring in my Spirit in every fiber of my being that I was meant to run Boston not just for me but for people who were given a diagnosis and told they can't or shouldn't with the subliminal message to not live life to the full for fear of the body's deterioration. I ran Boston to raise awareness of "post polio syndrome," which I now know is multi factorial in its nature, can be healed, and my quality of life dramatically improved with nutrition, body work, meditation and reconnecting with my sacred earthly home. As painful as the journey may be - it is incredibly joyous, liberating and life giving. And last but certainly not least, I wanted to say thank you to Spaulding Rehab Hospital for helping me to "find my strength" and take the first steps on my healing journey. We raised $10,535 for Spaulding Rehab and I had the experience of a lifetime.

I am rewriting the story of my childhood fraught with chronic illness and violence ..... And I know that in so many ways, this story has a happy ending ....

Marathon Metamorphosis - May 7, 2008 from Songs of Freedom:Poems From a Healing Odyssey Volume III:Celebration of Life to be released at the end of 2013. Volume I:Elements of Healing is now available on Amazon.

Pounding pavement, feeling strength the journey now begun
training for the race of my life a 26.2 mile run.
Feeling God in every step in every beat of my heart
I undertake this challenge as a new chapter of my life I start.

I ran around in circles carrying baggage by the ton,
destination was survival hardened shell let in no one.
Fear and worry doubts prevailed, adrenaline in my veins
a headless horseman running wild no one to take the reins.

Stopping in my tracks I froze no longer could I move -
clawing, fighting had to cease nothing more to prove.
God's grace like a magic wand, a softness and a glow
emerging from a troubled past my blood began to flow.

Loving teachers lit the way their love a healing balm -
focusing on who I am now brings a sense of calm.
Stretching every muscle feeling God in every cell
wholeness now a blessing out of prison - no more hell.

The race is still a year away each day my dream I see
mind, body, spirit tuning turning toward the Voice of Thee.
Flexing what had once been stiff to brace against the pain
old habits die and I'm reborn to write a new refrain.

And when the starting gun goes off poised with strength and grace
the thunder of the running feet will help me set my pace.
But the starting line's the finish my race already won
achieving the impossible preparing for this run.

The healing power of self love and faith to spark the flame
transformed me from a victim who was filled with so much shame.
Unearth my buried treasures my inheritance I find
connected to my Loving God in my heart and mind.

And when I cross the finish line the greatest cheer of all
has been this magnificent journey of answering God's call.

From my heart to yours
With total love and deepest gratitude,


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Where Were You 35 Years Ago Today?

Anyone who was in Boston in 1978 over the age of 5 probably remembers the Blizzard of '78 known as the Storm of the Century. Why do I have such a keen memory of the storm? It was the day that I was supposed to have my bridal shower. I know odd to have it on a Monday but that was the time when everyone could be in Boston.

The ship that my husband and I had reserved for our wedding reception sunk during the Blizzard

The Peter Stuyvesant -- once a famed Hudson River riverboat that was restored and made part of the Pier 4 restaurant on Boston's harbor front -- was flooded by surging tide waters and left leaning and partially submerged. The vessel later was demolished and her remains removed from the pier area.

Photo from

Fortunately our marriage did not and we are getting ready to celebrate 35 wonderful years together on 3/4.

But as I reflect on that day, I realize how there were angels at every turn watching over us.

There were no cell phones. I was working at the Boston University Counseling Center in Kenmore Square. I called my mother who was at our apartment setting up for the shower and told her to get a cab back to her hotel. It was 3 pm and the storm was hitting hard. Miraculously she got a cab back to her hotel. It would not have been a pretty sight had we all been snowed in together in our tiny apartment in Allston. Somehow Tom and I were able to make our way home on public transportation.

When we were finally able to get out of our apartment, it was a surreal experience. No cars. No public transportation. People on cross country skis on Commonwealth Avenue

Parking meters and cars were buried:

Photos from The Blizzard of 78 in Boston

We were blessed to be able to walk to a grocery store. There was no meat - Yes we ate meat back then - so we ate eggplant for days. We did not lose our electricity but my mother's hotel did. The staff at the hotel handled the emergency situation with great expertise and she and the other guests were well cared for. Needless to say, my bridal shower had to be rescheduled. The National Guard were the only vehicles allowed on the streets. There was an incredible sense of camaraderie as people shared their sense of awe and wonder at what Mother Nature had wrought upon our city bringing the usual pace of life to a screeching halt for a week. We had no choice but to surrender and allow ourselves to experience a different way of being. There was something mystical about the experience.

So where were you 35 years ago today if you were in Boston and old enough to remember the Storm of the Century...I'd love to hear your memories.

From my heart to yours
With total love and deepest gratitude,