>Farm chores somehow form our rhythm of life …now, rest and be thankful…


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Anyone who grew up on a farm will tell you that the rural life can have pleasures aplenty. The wonders of nature are close at hand. The clean air and exhausting but exhilarating work  outdoors become treasured memories as farm kids grow older; I hope that my children as well as my little neighbors enjoy those memories as time goes by…I believe there are lessons to be learned and values created in living a farm life.
Our family has developed a routine of living, I call it a rhythm… chores  to do… done daily: hauling water, filling feed bags with fresh hay, cleaning duck pools, chicken houses, (soon) gathering eggs, tending the garden with Finnegan(a Berni-doodle) and Lexi (a lab) close by heels..not to mention animal maintenance; shearing, brushing, matt clipping, toe nail trimmings, and worming… suppertime  in the summer can sometimes be 9pm…whew….it’s almost bedtime. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Oh, did I mention my need to add sheep to this mix?
Children have a natural affinity towards nature. Dirt, water, plants, and small animals attract and hold children’s attention for hours, days, even a lifetime

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
-  Robert Brault

“A life without love is like a year without summer.”

-   Swedish Proverb

“I pray that the life of this spring and summer may ever lie fair in my memory.”-  Henry David Thoreau

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing…

Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur
of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.” 
-   John Lubbock

Contemplation?…..a child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement…

Ralph Waldo Emerson “To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – this is to have succeeded.”

If you have “followed” or left a comment that I have not responded to; it is not for lack of want ~ I simply am not receiving them…hopefully a temporary glitch; thank you for visiting…smiles!


Be Well!

>Bygone Days…and Flea Markets


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It was all about being drenched in nostalgia; looking forward through the window of the past…to become inspired, perhaps a little dreamy about what could be from what has been.

 Finding an old piece of cloth and doing something creative with it.

Maybe it’s just a moment to reflect on by gone days; your Grandmother’s quilt or afghan…knitted or crocheted while she sat by the radio listening to Amos and Andy or the Eddie Arnold Show; or on the front porch as the frogs peeped and fireflies flickered in the summer sky…

A beautiful old bureau or linen press; was this a beloved item of a new bride just setting up her home?

 Don’t you wish flea market items came with more than just a price tag; a chronicle or memoir would be nicer. 

I was mesmerized by the intricate stitches on these bed linens and tablecloths…

this would make a sweet pillow for my porch rocker…

History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days.  ~Winston Churchill

ohh, just my size…

keeping sentry for the gardens…?

Gardens are so much more than a pretty space…

 No generation has a lock on what is beautiful or innovative

so, I believe the best understanding, the best design, the most satisfying garden places, have something of both past and present, now and then….love these dainty Swedish sap buckets.
Now that I have found the perfect spot for these treasures within my little farm house ~ I am off to bask in the afternoon sun ~ while I weed the gardens.

A garden fairy that I thought was perfect for my rock waterfall…

I forgot to mention; I found the most perfect egg basket …more  on  the chickens and ducks later….Oh the Joy!

Be Well!

P.S. ~ don’t forget to follow (in the right hand column at  the top of the page)

>something pretty…when your blue


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Why do graduations make me weepy, this is a joyous occasion a right of passage in young lives, but on this night of  our local high school graduation…I feel blue…My sorrow is mild, though,it is sort of an off-kilter one… I have another year to prepare for my youngest child’s departure to the collegiate realm…I have another year to share experiences and share in her  life and cherish the memories.      
 Find the beauty.

There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world; it’s the beginning of a new life.

…a time to remember, a time to dream

….a time to look back and a time to reach forward,
a time for songs of laughter and a time for tears of joy,
 discovering hopes and dreams
a time to say good-bye to yesterday and a time to greet tomorrow with courage…

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep…(R.frost)

Be Well.



P.S. ~ don’t forget to follow (in the right hand column at  the top of the page)

>progress…or perspective


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We all have those moments in our lives when we look back and say, “What was I thinking?”   This  state  of mind is how I started out our second day of dismantling the Old ~ New Barn….it felt difficult….I needed Perspective!
I realized then, I was looking for  a simplicity when I work, but that I should not expect it to become easy. When I am faced with a seemingly daunting task, it can be discouraging. I don’t want to wait.    I want to feel the progress being made.  I am beginning to realize….hoping for things to get easier gets in the way of recognizing progress.
The work ahead may be simple ~ but not easy…as I stand back and look at the progress we made over the past days….I am happy….tired , but happy!
I believe life is a journey; sometimes difficult…

but, when we think about it we have all the right tools ..

to be successful and find the beauty in simple things.

Nothing in life can take the place of persistence…

I know that small steps, repeated, will lead to completion  (yes, even this one)

I believe the way to get the most out of life is to look at it as an adventure!

…follow your bliss….
An end to day 2, we are down to the hay loft level, the roof and its supports are down…
Wednesday,  move the hay, transport the tin and planks to our farm to be sorted…and remove the hay loft floor.  

A day well spent brings happy sleep….as the lights go out here on our small farm , I wish you all  Peace  and  Adventure!

Be well.
J.

>Our New ~ Old Barn…well, eventually…


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We need a barn, plain and simple. Although, as you may know, if you live on a farm money can be a scarce commodity… We were lucky enough to come across a couple of old 2 story barns; in various states of disrepair. I am not quite sure we aren’t crazy…but, we are dismantling, moving, redesigning, and then rebuilding the barns here at Misty Maples Farm…all by ourselves (we are even going to use the old tin).
Our new barn from reclaimed materials… I have to admit, I am a little excited!
 I am also a little apprehensive about the amount of work involved…now, we aren’t new to the idea of re-purposing; our farmhouse (circa 1860) was nearly an entire redo in which we took advantage of  reclaimed materials.
 I have so many ideas, I hope the barn is big enough to hold them all.  

Day one…the fallen barn

just look at all of that tin…here goes nothin’

a little more than half the tin is off…this is just before I fell through..one of the  boards gave way…I was lucky ; a  few bruises and scratches…

tin’s off..now to start removing some of the boards

I wonder how much wood will be salvageable….’cause I have plans!

enough for one afternoon.

oh, the possibilities..

patina, only mother nature and  real age can give….

I love this…

wondering…who looked out at the rolling hills from this window…?
I can almost see one of our llamas looking out over the pasture, gardens, and our family at Misty Maples Farm; soon….soon.
Enjoy your day, Be well.
J.

>A flood of sunshine on a cloudy day…


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This week has been a lesson in ups and downs; It all began with a beautiful wedding full with family and joy…a day later; a cherished and much loved  llama , who  had  just given birth to a tremendous cria not 4 weeks ago ~ came down with an illness that has the potential to cripple her and or take her life if not caught in the early stages of its manifestation. With a fairly rigorous treatment underway…here is HOPE!  2 days later; my mother was hospitalized, (she is stable) kept for observation and diagnostics…There is HOPE…and the sweet fragrance of FAITH.
I am grateful for the refuge I find on our small farm; a place where I can recharge in  the tranquil, unruffled  landscape of my vegetable and flower gardens.

The gardens provide more than fresh bountiful flowers and veggies…
I find spirituality in my garden, like a flood of sunshine on a cloudy  day…

I don’t know how, or when it happens….

But,yet again, I wouldn’t want it another way….

Although, I don’t have to tell you, if you are a gardener…

In every childhood, there should be a garden, an enchanted place, the air softer and more  fragrant than ever again ~~
I think the little ones in the neighborhood will enjoy this tepee when it is fully covered in bean foliage.

The unmulched garden looks to me like some naked thing which for one reason or another would be better off with a few clothes on.

Weed’em and reap!
I guess, every good gardener always started as a good weeder….

Where flowers bloom so does HOPE!

The best is yet to be…(Browning)

Garden is weeded, pruned , and thinned;
Now, I think I’ll stay awhile, sip my tea, and wiggle my toes in the cool grass.
Enjoy YOUR Day!
J.

>A day of never ending dreams….


>There is something about a country wedding ~  incredibly charming ~ Rain drops, sunflowers, violins,
an antique pick up truck, and cowboy boots…a joyfully romantic,  playful, happy day!

It was a day born of hope and never ending dreams ~ dreams built on happiness and promises of the future.

The day began with raindrops….beautiful and refreshing.

 To love and to be loved, is to feel the sun from both sides.

       

 A joyous celebration….anticipation of the bride.
   

       

A Dream, your Dream: and a Father’s Dream of his daughter’s happiness is now here.
There is a lot of love in the world, but there is nothing like a sister’s love.


   

Love Plain and Simple

     

 


Raindrops and flowers

…shining through the clouds

Love resonates; though tears and smiles…

                                                 
                                                 

A sister will always be around….

                                                  

it is all the inside jokes, the remember whens….
friends, puilled together by laugh, tears, and should have been theres….
and in the end it was all in the detail
A love etched in time….a combination of sister and friend

                                   

As she walks down the aisle ~ Her mother remembers the journey

                                   

“Loved you yesterday, love you still, Always have and always will”.

All followed by some serious boot stompin’
A country wedding , family friends, and a wedding ~ Love plain and simple.
              A love built on happiness….may you see nothing but happiness from this day forward.

                       

 Love to all!
J
                                 

>Finding beauty in flowers and life.


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 If you are anything like me, you never tire of flowers, planting them , tending them,nurturing and enjoying them; perhaps it’s because they are only with us for such a short time in the Northeast. Their beauty is fleeting and precious, much like life.  We need to cherish every moment . I always carve out time from the hectic pace we keep here on our small farm to be certain there are as many blooms as possible.

I know that in life beauty passes all too soon,
my beloved Grandmother
will have been gone from this world for
six month on the fourth of July;
such beauty could never be be gone however…
her beauty lies within our family forever.

I think she’d like this single red rose…

                                         

 Always take time to enjoy the little treasures
 along the way.

I am grateful for the little things.


Some things just scream summer time!

Gardening, somehow gives hope for the future.

Iris’ were the first flowers I ever drew…

Because in particular moments, in the dusk of a late May evening, when everything glows, when green seems greener than you’ve ever seen it before, and the roses you planted are beginning to flower, future tasks don’t matter, neither do past worries -  because you witness a perfect moment of soul-restoring beauty

Where flowers bloom ~ so does hope ( Lady Bird Johnson), I am always inspired by my youngest sisters’ love of gardening, and the beauty she creates. Where ever she goes beauty follows. I am blessed.

  

Simplicity sometimes holds the most beauty.



When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not. - Georgia O’Keeffe  

>Balloons, June, and Small Town Life..


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“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.”
A local balloon festival, local events and small town living….

Small town living ~ It just feels good.

 Just go in, take a seat, you know them and they know you. 

Life here is peaceful and the way God must have wanted it to be.

breathe in fresh air…

my home… in my town … is my refuge.

Green is good, and it’s my favorite color. I do not like the color of concrete.

when the kid’s get married and come back with grand kids… they’ll need a place to “get away”.

Although we are not all farmers we live amongst them and can tell you that they are the salt of the earth. 

There’s a sense of belonging, of people caring and knowing each other, even if just a little bit.

To be honest, I admit I would not choose this little place if I were driving across country seeking a town into which to move. It’s beauty is more evident in the eyes of those who live here.

I have seen and experienced it many times ~ that warm-hearted hospitality, loyal friendship and deep sympathy of this small town.

After all, it is contact and familiarity that help endear people and places to us.

As I write, I have only to glance outside my window to know this is home.

And there you are…

If this June night could talk….what would it tell the neighbors?

>Celebrate Family…The Real heart of the Home


>Let’s celebrate what it means to be a Family…for they hold the real stories of our lives. 
Sharing secrets between sisters, a little bit of childhood that can never be lost…a sister smiles at your story as only a sister can ~ I wonder, how does anyone go through life without one?  I spent last Sunday with my baby sister; sharing secrets, thoughts, and worries…sisters functioning as safety nets in this chaotic world, just by being there for each other. I can only hope my daughters feel the same, it is a gift.

I most love times with them that are real and not perfect.

 I fell in Love…the first time I saw you.

A heart magnet ~

 Care free as a breeze ~

Spring breezes, butterflies…bees buzzing by……

 Harry, Arnold, and Howard…happy days are here again!

It’s the little things in life that are the best ~

….think happy thoughts…

As with all family…we don’t always see eye to eye….

…aware of the neighborhood noises, children playing…

 there’s no place like home….

 After a long day spent with family…a nap is always in order…

The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.

- Thomas Jefferson