Don’t bite off more than you can chew…Wordless Wednesday.


There’s nothing like biting off more than you can chew, and then chewing anyway.

Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s when you’ve had everything to do, and you’ve done it.
Be Well,
Jess

We owe them something…those boys and girls;


Freedom isn’t Free.
Each May, the United States celebrates a day called Memorial Day.
Does Memorial Day have meaning? I sure do hope so.

This morning, as my husband dresses in his Fire Fighter’s Uniform, dressed in their best, they ready to march in our town’s parade in honor of those who gave so much for OUR FREEDOM . Across the country children and their parents gather for their Town’s Memorial Day Parade ~ little ones will sit on the sidewalks and wave their flags as the band goes by. Later, maybe, they’ll have a BBQ or a picnic at the lake or beach. And that’s good, because today is a day to be with the family and to remember.


The celebration commemorated the sacrifices of our brave soldiers.


Memorial Day; a day of celebration to honor those who died in all America’s wars, Veterans and current members of the US military.


When PEACE fails and war begins…there is nothing our brave son’s and daughter’s wouldn’t do to protect this beautiful Country.


Please, participate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 pm. Pause and think upon the meaning of Memorial Day.


Pray for God’s blessing on America. Ask for God’s protection over all branches of our military


“And we owe them something, those boys. We owe them first a promise: That just as they did not forget their missing comrades, neither, ever, will we. And there are other promises. We must always remember that peace is a fragile thing that needs constant vigilance. We owe them a promise to look at the world with a steady gaze and, perhaps, a resigned toughness, knowing that we have adversaries in the world and challenges and the only way to meet them and maintain the peace is by staying strong.
…..We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does.
Ronald Reagan,40th President of the United States

…..”It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Abraham Lincoln,16th President of the United States ~ Gettysburg Address

Be Well.
Thank you all, who have given so much to preserve our Freedom and the Freedom’s of others.
God Bless America!
Jess

Better to have loved and lost; than never to have loved at all…


“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”
(James Herriot)

Every baby animal is unique and adorable, and there is no greater love than that between a mother and her young. It is the power of this love that explains why humans have always sought the company of young animals. anonymous

Maeve with Andy; you can read their story here..http://awinsomejourney.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/do-believe-animals-have-souls/


This is Andy now, a strong bond still intact with KatDoll.

Cats are connoisseurs of comfort

My old friend…Riley In a position he was often in; the dogs and everyone else would just have to walk around; he wasn’t about to have his nap interrupted.

The little furry buggers are just deep, deep wells you throw all your emotions into.
— Bruce Schimmel

My Finni, a birthday present from my husband; we drove to the Canadian border to pick him up. He snuggled with my girls all the way home; he was a round black bundle of fur…we carried him around stores in an LLBean canvas bag. Haha kinda big for that now! Still just as sweet. Josh Billings once said, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” If Finnegan is any indication, it must be true.

Emotional healing is a most amazing gift that’s bestowed by our furry friends … The choice to nurture a pet in our life can bring huge returns on our investment.
— Chelle Thompson

Malokai, perhaps the world’s sweets llama.

Living with animals can be a wonderful experience rich in valuable lessons,taught through their natural enthusiasm, grace, resourcefulness, affection and forgiveness. I wouldn’t give it up for all the riches in the world.
Be Well,
Jess

Wordless Wednesday


Warm weather in New England, a slide show.

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Be well,
Jess

Delightful! Isn’t it Delightful!


I have been gifted an award that is bestowed to blogs which have a quality that appeals to the heart or mind as well as to the eye.
They think “A Winsome Journey” is lovely; and I am just tickled pink!

Thank you so very much Genie http://geniespeaks.wordpress.com/

Also, a big thank you to http://faithrises.wordpress.com

Both of these girls have very inspiring blogs, one of which I have visited almost daily for a huge dose of faith inspired goodness, the other I have just recently discovered and I must say; I am a huge fan. Keep walking Genie! (but take good care).

I do have rules to follow, but first, an apology is in order. I was gifted the Sunshine Award early in the spring…thank you, thank you…http://makebelieveboutique.com/2012/03/23/sunshine-award-4/ and Steph, at Lost Up Above: http://wp.me/p1ZC80-JM.

Ok now to follow the rules.

7 things you’ll know about me.

1. I love James Taylor (well, his music anyway)
2. My favorite color is greenpinkblue. (yes it is!)
3. I have been working very hard to start a creative business on a shoestring…I mean dental floss thin…:)
4. I think I am more funny than I probably am (Lucille Ball, kinda silly)
5. I can usually be found in the pature or the garden on a nice day.
6. On a day of foul weather, I am either painting, editing photos, or quilting.
7. I don’t like ice cream, mayonnaise or onions…blech.

Now….drum roll please…the nominations.
Don’t feel green, maybe I just don’t know you yet! :)

A green fellow…A lil tree frog saved by my sister from the chlorine of the pool…he climbed up her neck then hopped on the dog’s head..wish I could have captured that on camera, but I was laughing too hard! Ok back to the nominations.

1. ah, I am stuck, I love you all, how can I choose? Some of you share incredibly touching stories,some share family adventures, the excitement of living with small children, garden tips and beauty, farm visits, visiting with you; I am able to view photos from around the world. Photos from different perspectives, beautiful photos taken by children in beautiful gardens. I get gardening tips and inspiration from folks approaching it from like minded organic, sustainable manner.

So, don’t be blue:

Check out these sites, I hope you enjoy them!
http://dirtnkids.wordpress.com/
http://prairiewisdom.wordpress.com/
http://thislittlelight516.wordpress.com/
http://writingfeemail.wordpress.com/
http://thekitchensgarden.wordpress.com/
http://ktbloom.wordpress.com/
http://anyluckypeny.wordpress.com/
http://reposed-ny-blog.com/
I am never certain how to create links..so if these are not direct links, please go the extra mile and paste these URL’s you won’t be disappointed.
I am certain, I am omitting some very dear blogs…I appreciate all the work, care, and joy that blogging brings to you all!

Be Well,
Jess

You need a strong foundation, and back, and arms, and a hammer.


The important thing is that you have a strong foundation…

I have always wanted a Arbor covered with sweet juicy grapes in my garden.
This past weekend we made it happen. Of course us being us; we used only up-cycled materials. The posts we purchased for a dollar a piece from a sheep farmer nearby, the bolts and such were salvaged from earlier dismantling projects, the top braces were with the fencing we picked up for a song… I love these types of projects; not very time consuming, nearly instant gratification, and every one likes to get involved. Well, except for Lexi, as you will see from the photos.

I planted Concord, and Niagra ( a white grape). Niagra grapes were created by cross breeding Concord grapes with a white grape the Cassidy variety; in the 1800’s. A sweet -tart, think Welch’s grape juice taste…mmmm mmmm I can hardly wait.

Concord grapes remind me of grapes picked as a child to be made into grape jelly.
The Concord grape is a robust and aromatic grape whose ancestors were wild native species found growing in the rugged New Hampshire soil. Being born in NH, something these grapes and I have in common. (just thought you’d wanna know)
Developed on a farm outside Concord,NH…down the road from the Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne and Alcott homesteads, can you ask for better company?
Early ripening, to escape the killing northern frosts, but with a rich, full-bodied flavor, the hardy Concord grape thrives where European cuttings had failed to survive. I am so happy they did!
Experts found that the antioxidants present in the skin and juice of the Concord grapes have brain boosting powers that helps in improving memory. Perhaps, if I eat enough of them I will remember what I am doing from one room to the next. Did you ever have one of “those” moments; you walk upstairs, or into the kitchen to retrieve something., then have absolutely no idea why you went there!? Grapes, I will eat many, many grapes.


Concord grapes…:)


NY Niagra Grapes…hopefully my Arbor will resemble this!

I tried to capture the steps we took in creating our Arbor…certainly their are many shapes and sizes of structures to be considered if you are to ever plant grapes. I wanted an arbor that would act as an entrance to the garden; i think it will do nicely.


The Arbor.


Daisy, taking in all of the happenings from a distance; she is healing quite nicely form her traumatic encounter with a predator…you can read about that here: http://awinsomejourney.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/tragedy-and-triumph/ ( hope I linked that correctly)


Does Andrew measure up? You betcha.


William, our neighbor giving my husband a hand…


Lexi calls it quits!

After completing the arbor,late on an 85 degree Sunday afternoon, my tireless husband turned to me and asked, “Are you ready to shear a few llamas?”
Me, “nope”.
I am ready for a nice glass of wine. ;)

Be well,
Jess

I dream in technicolor…


Grey, drippy, rainy, windy days. Days when I relax cozily snuggled up in a blanket and dream…dream of warm sunshine and lush gardens. Yes, I dream in Technicolor. Vibrant, vivid images that gladden my heart and sooth my soul.
On rainy, sloshy days, I plan and I design, everything from garden gates to furniture. I’ve drawn and re-drawn gazebos, arbors (for my new grapes) and barns for my husband to build, so far, he has yet to take my pencil from my unyielding grip.
On misty days,I wander through memories, memories past, mine, my children’s, my friend’s…sometimes I smile, sometimes I laugh out loud.
I don’t allow sad thoughts in on rainy days; they are banished and put out with the remains of altered designs.
I dream of summers to come; summers past. Spring plantings, autumn’s wealth.
I dream in technicolor.


summers of innocence, summers of abandon


gather summers gifts


Summers by a NH lake… for just a day picnic or a decade.
This photo reminds me of one of my sons..he fished in his canoe before school (we had to retrieve him), he fished after school, he still fishes every chance he gets.


My husband and I always love an evening stroll.


Bliss, just lying in the grass watching the clouds drift by.

Be well,
Jess

It’s The Little Things…


The  weather is warming and the garden beckons. Dream this day…with me.  Come, settle in for a moment  of simplicity and comfort…you may not want to leave.

When every corner of the farm speaks of  ideas, possibility, and hope; I know I am home!

All the flowers of tomorrow are the seeds of yesterday.

There is something about the garden just as the sun begins to fade from the spring sky.

As we renovated both the farmhouse, pastures, barns, and the garden, this flag was a constant.

” A soft day, isn’t it?”    Sunlight softly falling.

Walk with me slowly down the lane; lined with bleeding hearts, hosta and fern

 When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
– William Butler Yeats

Bring me Sunshine, Bring me Peace..lead me to the Garden.

Relax and enjoy.

Make a wish and blow!


 

Make a wish..if you make a wish immediately before blowing on dandelion, your wish just might come true.

 I have heard that blowing the seeds off of a fluffy white dandelion carries off your thoughts and dreams to your loved one.  Are you separated from the object of your love? carefully pluck one of the feathery heads, lend your wish, thoughts, hope or dreams to each of the tiny feathers ~ composing it with a tender thought..turn now in the direction of your loved ones…blow! The seeds will carry your message faithfully.

Is your wish to know if your loved one is thinking of you?  Go ahead, blow again. If there is but a single aigrette. Take this as proof your are not forgotten.

For me they are a symbol of hope, summer and childhood.  

Bleeding Hearts…

I remember someone telling me a story as she took apart a flower from the bleeding Heart plant. Here is one “active”  rendition perfect for a fairy tale loving child.

To begin narration of the story, hold a heart blossom in the palm of your hand.

Long ago there lived a noble prince who tried in vain to win the heart of a very beautiful princess. The prince had brought the princess wonderful gifts from his travels far and wide. Yet she had taken no notice of him. One day the prince returned from a long journey with very special gifts to surely win the love of the princess. First he presented her with two magical pink bunnies.

Peel off the two outer petals and set them on their sides to display two little pink bunnies.

The princess only sighed and barely looked at the little bunnies. The hopeful prince had one more gift saved for last – he presented a pair of beautiful enchanted earrings.

Remove the two long white petals and hold them next to your ears.

Again, the princess hardly noticed the prince’s gift. Now the poor prince was utterly heartbroken. He could try no more to win the heart of the princess. He rose up, pulled a dagger from his sheath and stabbed himself in the heart.

Remaining in the flower is a heart shape with the stamen, appearing as a dark green line down the center. Hold the heart up, carefully remove the dagger-like line, and plunge the dagger through the heart.

The princess was overcome by the dedication of the dying prince and his unending love for her. She realized too late that she loved him also. “Alas,” she cried out. “I have done wrong, my own heart is broken also. I shall bleed for my prince forever more!” And her heart bleeds to this very day.

There are many blossoms on a Bleeding Heart in full bloom, so next time you pass such a delightful array, perhaps you’ll have permission to pick a heart and discover the mysteries within.

Be well, Be hopeful,

Jess

Tragedy and Triumph


Last night certainly had its ups and downs…

My youngest sister stopped by the farm early in the evening to share  her daughter’s joy and pride.  Special Olympic Medals. Courtney was born with a chromosomal disorder.  Trisomy 10p,  about 90 percent of children do not survive , passing away before or during birth and those that do live past birth suffer serious symptoms. Most children with Trisomy 10p die in the first three months of life, and only 10 to 20 percent survive past the first year. It is extremely rare.

Courtney was beaming as she showed me her Silver and Bronze medals; won in the Special Olympic  sports of softball and running. So, to say this is a triumph is an understatement. I was so proud, we shared an ice cream to celebrate!

Later in the evening , when the farm animals are usually putting themselves to bed…(the ducks and chickens waddle and cluck their way into the small barn) I go out at dusk to be sure the barn doors are secure and all gates are closed, waters full.

Last night, started out with Mr. Nasty throwing his weight around…bullying the ducks from their beds.

The ducks retreated into the llama pasture for safety. I walked behind them encouraging them to waddle into the back barn, where there is a sleeping area with  a little exit door….Here you see Malokai thinking he should sleep in there…

Mali, you are not a chicken or a duck…

You didn’t fit, did you….?

I was satisfied they would be safe inside; I checked waters and llama gates, then headed into the house. Put on my pink flannel jammies and set about to put my feet up with a big mug of chamomile tea…

…my moment of relaxation didn’t last long…what a ruckus!  My son Justin and I ran out back  to see what in tarnation was happening!   2 ducks were near their swimming pool ~ quacking to beat the band.  Wait ~ “2” ducks?  Justin one of my ducks is gone?  Don’t panic Jessica, remain calm…too late!  JUSTIN!!!!!! MY DUCK IS MISSING!!!!

He runs to get the lantern as I try to find my way around in the dark…Jenni is just coming home…she meets Jus on the porch as he is running out back with the  light…Jenn joins in the search…

I hear the fence snapping…so I head there, “duck feathers”!..broken fence…frantic llamas!  Justin follows the trail of feathers…to the edge of the woods….”QUACK”   “Mom, she’s in here…”  “MOM!” ” She’s in here with a coyote!”  He begins hollering and yelling…the predator drops the duck…..”Mom, she’s hurt”.  “I can’t believe I was 4feet from a coyote with no gun! I can’t believe we found her!” I can’t believe she’s alive!”    “I can’t believe I was 4 feet from a coyote with NO gun!”     I hurried into the brush to gather up a bleeding and scared little duck.

Justin fixed the fence, Jenni put the other 2 chickens in the small barn…Mr. Nasty be damned, and I brought daisy into the house to clean her off and assess her injuries…a few puncture wounds and probably a bit of shock.  Becky, my neighbor and I applied an antibiotic ointment to the wounds and placed her in bed of dry straw in a dog crate with water and food. I will keep her in the house for the night.

Not too much sleep last night…with every quack my dogs jumped and so did I.  We all ran downstairs at about 2am she was making a racket…though she was in some terrible pain or something. She laid an egg.   Let’s go back to bed dogs!

I let her out as the sun was rising this morning; she found her friends, then set about searching for delicious bugs for breakfast!  I hope she recovers well, I think I will clean her again tonight.

Did I tell you my husband is away…why does everything happen when my husband is away?

Be Well,

Jess