Monthly Archives: November 2012

Remembering Helen

Helen Butters, 1920–2006

“When our eyes see our hands doing the work of our hearts, the circle of creation is completed inside us, the doors of our souls fly open, and love steps forth to heal everything in sight.”
— Michael Bridge

To gather my thoughts for composing what I would say at my mother’s memorial, I needed to create a space where I could work from my heart. Unbelievably blessed at birth—Helen Butters for a mother—I learned by her example how to find that place long before I was old enough to know what she was teaching me.

Before yoga and meditation and …

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Remembering Allen

Allen J. Butters, 1918-2003

With permission from Judy, Scott, Kent and Rex, my sister and brothers, I was honored to represent them at my father’s funeral and sketch the life of Allen Butters, our dear, sweet, playful, amazing father. I’d like to enlarge my father’s circle of friends and share his life map with you — my readers.

Thirty-four years ago, when I was pregnant with my daughter Megan and living on a remote ranch in Idaho, Dad and Mom came up to help out. During the first two days of their five-day stay, Dad got busy and oiled my sewing machine, my bike, really anything that had moving metal parts, mended garden hoses, dug potatoes AND carved his name in several discreet places for me to discover later on. Mom sewed baby clothes, mopped floors, did some canning, and helped me make cheese and butter with the milk from my cow. Underneath all my busyness, I was troubled and uncertain.

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Declining Food

This can be a tough one, sisters …

Picture it:

You’re in the throes of Thanksgiving.

Much to your delight, someone else has done all of the cooking.

(A girl can dream, can’t she?)

So, you’re sitting pretty before a plate that is courteously clean …

nary a smudge of gravy left behind.

You’ve tried the turkey,

sampled the stuffing,

reveled in roasted veggies,

nibbled, noshed,

sipped, and sampled—

and, lo and behold,

you’re finished!

Now, here comes the hard part:

Your hostess,

beaming with benevolence,

says you must eat more, a little taste of this, oh, and you haven’t tried that.

Perhaps she’s already bearing down on you …

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Little House Thanksgiving

If I say

Laura Ingalls Wilder

and your heart skips a beat,

we’re on the same page.

Now, I have a question for you:

Do you remember Laura mentioning Thanksgiving in any of the Little House books?

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Wolf attack!

If I had a hammer …

or …

an axe?


I just heard a news brief from the far reaches of Russia that rivals any fairytale those Grimm guys ever concocted …

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Hair of the Dog

My big, bad, keeps-wolves-away, soft-hearted Tulip. I now have four skeins of spun yarn from her fur and Saphira’s, a Siberian Husky. I’m thinking perhaps a vest or a hat? No, silly, not for Tulip, but for me.