Friday, January 28, 2011

A Breath of Heaven

And Winter
Slumbering in the open air
Wears on its smiling face
A dream of Spring.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Let my doing nothing when I have nothing to do become untroubled in its depth of peace
like the evening in the seashore when the water is silent.

Rabindranath Tagore

from our tour of the fjords in Western Norway

Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.

+ Hans Margolius

+   +   +
There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity,
a silence that is a fountain of action and joy.
It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me
from unseen roots of all created being.

Thomas Merton

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter Whites

Yippee! It's clean-slate time!
A new year begins with white sale month and
 a desire for starting fresh, tossing out the old, gray, and frayed
and bringing on the snowy white, pure, and clean...
I'm a sucker for it every year.

I've torn apart my linen closets
 and indulged in a sensuous tumble of textures...
 new towels, sheets, duvets, duvet covers, and rugs.
While I'm reorganizing, redesigning, and recycling,
Mr. Softie's in the garage sorting through his tools.
It's a good thing--Martha would be proud.

We've explored sleeping in beds with European duvets for years...
and like it better than blankets and quilts.

While in Bergen, Norway,
we slept on a bed fitted with TWO duvets, one for each sleeper.
 It was the most divine rest I've ever had...
my sleeping partner couldn't steal the covers.
I planned to try it at home.

So here I go--tossing out the old king-size duvet
and going for a couple twin-size duvets and covers.

Choosing a duvet
The ideal duvet, a down- or feather-filled comforter, measures at least 18 inches wider than the bed and provides lightweight, self-adjusting warmth. When buying a duvet, note the fill power (number of cubic inches an ounce of down occupies). The higher the fill power (300 to 700) the more ability the comforter has to trap air and provide greater warmth. Also, note the quality of the fill.The best natural filling is white goose or duck down. A label reading "down and feather" indicates a lesser filling--feathers mixed with a larger amount of down. A "feathers and down" label means more feathers than down.

Thread count of the cover fabric determines how well the fill is contained. A higher thread count and tight stitching keeps the cover from leaking feathers or down. Choose from tight or loose cover construction. Baffle covers contain the fill in tightly walled squares, keeping the loft high and balanced. Channel construction or ring stitching allows you to shift the duvet contents and vary the concentration of warmth. While not as warm or natural, non-allergenic down alternatives are available. Synthetic, wool and cotton downs weigh more, but have the advantage of washability.
 Silk-filled comforters are more expensive, warm and lightweight.

I love the simplicity of making the bed with a duvet.
A duvet can be used without a cover, but a cover protects it from body oils.
 Usually made from sheetlike fabric, the duvet cover is washable
and replaces the top sheet and bedspread. The mattress pad is covered with a fitted sheet.
To re-make the bed, I just plump up the pillows,
 fluff the duvet in the air and lay it loosely over the bed.
Now I'll fold each twin duvet and lay it across the bed as the Norwegians in Bergen do.

what's your sleep or bedmaking style?
I'd really love to know!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bread of Life

There are people in the world so hungry
 that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.
Mahatma Gandhi
If thou tastest a crust of bread,
 thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.
Robert Browning