Spiritual sustenance, naturally.

This gallery contains 12 photos.

“Perhaps what moves us in winter is some reminiscence of far off summer … The cold is merely superficial; it is summer still at the core, far, far within.” – H. D. Thoreau         Photos by K. Houk and S. Rockmuller.

It has been some time since I posted here. As some of you may know from my earlier posts, my health has been challenged in a big way for the past five years. Actually, it began before that, about twenty years ago, but doctors couldn’t determine what was wrong for fifteen of those years. By the time I was diagnosed, I was at Stage 3 out of 4. The autoimmune condition (Primary Biliary Cholangitis with Autoimmune Hepatitis overlap) is incurable, but a liver transplant can prolong life.

On November 23rd, 2015, I was finally transplanted, at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Miraculously, an anonymous living donor had come forward. This person is unknown to me. He or she had intended to donate to another person, and went through the health workups and evaluation, but the transplant did not happen. I do not know why not. The donor decided to go ahead anyway, donating a piece of his/her liver to a stranger in need. Because of my poor quality of life, my blood type and my relatively small size, I was chosen. I received the left lobe of the donor’s liver, and the pieces grew back to almost full size very quickly for us both. My new liver grew to almost full size by eight weeks post-surgery!

K with plush liver - Version 3

At six months after the surgery I will be allowed to (anonymously) contact the donor through the clinic to express my gratitude. If all goes well, years will be added to my life. Transplantation is not a cure, for the problem does recur in some cases, but already the new organ has made a huge difference in my quality of life and well being.

Now I am recovering from the surgery. The most dangerous time, regarding rejection of the transplant, is in the first three to four months post-surgery. I have made it past that point with no rejection episodes. Hurrah! Full healing will take at least a year. But today, to celebrate Easter and enjoy this fine early Spring day, I walked in the woods with my husband, looking for signs of seasonal renewal.

Easter 2016, Renewal!

This was my worship today, because being immuno-compromised by anti-rejection drugs, I am still avoiding groups of people in close quarters. This year especially, Easter is very meaningful to me, as I experience life anew, with energy, gratitude, and hope for the future.

PS – Share Life! Be an organ donor!

Sewing box


My daughter’s birthday was a couple of months ago. Because the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree, she is a “maker,” like her Mom, so I decided to decorate a box in which she can keep all those little things. I am unable to use my sewing machine now, so I’ve been finding projects I can do while resting.

The plain box below was for sale for $14.95.

Plain Sewing Box


I used paint and objects I found around the house.

Sewing box, right top drawer

Above:  Open right drawer of box. Includes a rose packet of vintage needles.



Sewing box, right side open


Above:  The other level, open, on the right side of the box. I used a vintage pattern, and gave her some bling.



Sewing box, front drawer open


Above: An image of the girl herself  is in the front top center drawer.



Sewing box, back

Above: a portion of the back of the box.



Sewing box left side

Above: the left side of the box.



Sewing Box Front

Above: Sewing box front.



This project was fun!



norns sign 11:13

Tomorrow, this sign will hang in a store window at 12 Main Street in Chatham, NY. My two daughters and I will be selling our handmade goods, from 11 am to 4 pm. I have been able to work slowly on some small items for the sale.

Below are some more tiny worlds, small living terrariums, which will be for sale. I also will show some woolen goods, ornaments, and some jewelry. Stop by if you are in Chatham!


Terr. Heart

Woman in heart terrarium.

Woman in heart terrarium.

Reindeer in terrarium.

Reindeer in terrarium.

Eagle in terrarium.

Eagle in terrarium.

Close-up of eagle.

Close-up of eagle.

This link is via Ann, and the blog Exopermaculture. Renate Hiller on “Handwork” caught my attention because one of the activities I’ve loved doing lately is working with fibers. This video expresses it beautifully.



By the door of the studio, clematis is producing many flowers after the rain. Today the sun was bright, and I could almost see the flowers opening before my eyes.



The flowers look like a creature’s maw when they open.

Clematis opening

The centers are amazing!

Clematis center


Such beauty.

Clematis group



Variable Spring

First the snowdrops and a couple of crocuses appeared.


Then more snow.


Now the snow has melted, and the flowers have reemerged.



And there are more to come.