Memorial Day, Remember why.


A day to remember those protect our nation and our freedom.
A day to connect with family as summer casts it’s golden spell on our country.
A day to enjoy company of friends and neighbors at the Village Parade.
A day to re-invent what all of this means…my youngest daughter, my son, my husband, my baby sister, her daughter, and my adorable neighbors were one family today…remembering, connecting, and enjoy all that the day had to offer here on our small farm. If you can’t be with all of your loved ones…remember them as you enjoy your re-invented family.
I love you all.
J.

as part of the Boston Holocaust Memorial, is a gathering of neatly placed cobbles…each one signifying a child”s lost life ~ when the Nazis murdered as many as one and a half million Jewish infants and children.

Boston statement - Copy
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 weekend, 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
Boston names
“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

Boston North side - Copy (2)…..
”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
Thank you all, who have given so much to preserve our Freedom and the Freedom’s of others.
God Bless America!
Pray for God’s blessing on America. Ask for God’s protection over all branches of our military
Be Well,
Jessica

You may need a weed. or dandelions, not just sunny face.


At the start of this years garden and yard cleaning season; I am thinking of all of the chemicals folks think they need. To have perfect lawn is not so perfect anymore, it come with its fair share of guilt. Doesn’t it? Round up, the most publicized weed killer, kills more than just the weeds, so we are finding out. It has been doing a number on bee populations as well. I was never one to use chemicals much anyway. Have you ever sat and watched your toddlers and young children frolicking on your freshly mowed lawn; only to have the sinking feeling come over you with a gust of hot air? Oh how lovely, look at my children rolling around in the poisons I just spread all over, is not a picture of parental bliss. Where was I going with this?

Oh, yeah, weeds. Some how we have the silly notion that nature has this all wrong, and we need to correct this mistake. . How dare Mother Nature throw weeds willy nilly all over our lawns! For crying out loud.

Weeds need love too and weeds can be beneficial; they can add fertilizer to your soil, increase moisture content, attract insects, and repel insects. Some are good to eat, some have medicinal benefits, some have both. Take the dandelion for instance, honey bees love them, they are a natural diuretic, and they can be eaten in salads or cooked. You can even use the to make dandelion wine, for goodness sake. THey help less hardy plants as well, their tough tap roots bring nutrients to the surface for neighboring plants to use.
images-8

Dandelion greens are packed with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, C, E, & K, and calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium & copper. Dandelion greens are also about 14% protein, which is MORE protein per serving than spinach, Popeye’s favorite muscle-building food. Dandelion greens are especially beneficial for the liver and aid in flushing out toxins and remineralizing the body. It’s high beta carotene and flavonoid content also benefits the immune system and cardiovascular system. Dandelion greens are also one of the richest sources of plant-based Vitamin K and Vitamin A . If you pick them from a back yard, just make sure they have not been sprayed with any pesticides and wash in cold water before using. The leaves can also be dried and later used as a medicinal tea. So, go ahead, add a few dandelion leaves to your soup, salad, green juice, or smoothie.
images-6

Or how about Purslane? I swear this stuff can grown in concrete! Purslane is eaten throughout much of Europe and Mexico. It contains more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable plant. It can be eaten in salad, stir-fried, or cooked like spinach. Widely used in traditional Chinese medicines to treat infections and topically to soothe and heal sores. A great companion plant for tomatoes and peppers. It breaks up hard soil and hardpan, brings nutrients and water up from deeper than crops can reach, provides healthy ground cover, stabilizing soil moisture.
PurslaneFeature

Alright, could someone please help me down form this soap box? I’m done, I’m done, I swear don’t leave me here…
0361.Soapbox(g).gif-610x0

Sunday, Sunday…


Sunday in our home town, is probably much like Sunday in your hometown. Church, followed by breakfast at your favorite spot. Home for some yard work or chores…Does anyone still have their traditional Sunday family dinner, I hope so. Now that we are at the Shoppe on Sundays, there is no time for a sit down Sunday dinner. Oh, I am not complaining, I love what I do, I love the people I have met, the friends I have made, and the atmosphere our family has created, a few people have commented, on this in particular; they thought it felt like an extension of their home, their dining room, kitchen or living room. This sounds just about perfect to me. Maybe we can’t have a sit down Sunday dinner here at Picasso’s but we are surrounded with family and friends, and that is almost as good. Don’t you think?

pansy and iris

Our Sunday Soup specials, Tuscan Sausage, with potato and kale (just as luscious as it sounds) and vegetable (loaded with veggie goodness)

Salad special Sunny citrus on mixed greens with red onion, cucumber herbs, served with our homemade honey lemon dressing. A bright spot in your day!

Smoothie: Mango tango (oh, yes, I just made that up) Mango, orange juice, pom juice, and vanilla yogurt! Shine on!

Special: Angel hair pasta with tomato pesto and topped with fresh grilled chicken! Served with a side salad or not!

Have a wondrous day, enjoy your friends and family!

Wow, that’s a lot of exclamation points! hee her.
Be well.

Gold, pure Gold.

Gold, pure Gold.

And All is Berry and Bright…


Feb 2013 Gio
Gio.

I will enjoy the snow fall we about to be “blessed” with, up to 24″. I find it refreshing, well, a refreshing change from grey days, and brown fields…blanketing everything in white; plays so beautifully against the deep blue of the winter skies(on a sunny day).

POO
Phantom of the Opera.

Yet I yearn for Spring, to dig my fingers into the earth…see precious livestock being born…feeling the warm rays of sun on my face! There’s nothing quite like the smells of the earth on a warm Spring day. Daffodil, crocus, tulips,and apple blossoms…mmmmm. When many trees and shrubs look as if they are most certainly dead but then slowly begin to show signs of life. Why wouldn’t we yearn for Spring?

berrilicious
some berries for dinner tonight…nom,nom..

We live for the rhythm and beauty of our day-to-day lives, yet, we start our Spring watch in early February.[don't we] Did the groundhog sees his shadow; if he does, he will be frightened back into his den and we will experience yet another six weeks of winter.No impostors allow, this seasonal predication relies squarely on the shoulders of, no other than Puxatoney Phil. So, we hold our collective breath…and,…and,…Phil did not see his Shadow! An early Spring?!

Feb 2013
The yard will look like a totally different landscape by this time tomorrow.

Of course, depending on where we live…this could mean many things… As Henry Van Dyke said, “The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.” I usually can’t do much planting until May…but, a bit of color pops up here and there as early as the end of March depending on snow cover. Perhaps that is why we yearn for Spring; could it be that we all long for a peaceful, delicious garden?

Feb 2013 Mali
OOPs, Mali. :)

For now, I will dust of the toboggan, gather some neighborhood kids…and WHEEEEE…enjoy this Old New England winter

Be well,
Jess

How did I get here from there?


Yesterday morning after feeding llamas, dogs, chooks, and ducks; it was time to head out to stock up on feed. We use a local (local being a relative term around here)farm’s mix; a sweet mix developed by a llama farmer in Southern Vermont,Lars Garrison; a man known as an icon and all around good guy in the llama community. This horse farm/feed supplier, Wirtes Farm, prepared it exactly as he envisioned it should be; a perfect llama feed. We travel to this farm in the Berkshires of northeastern Massachusetts to purchase our feed supplies. It just so happens that the farm store is on the road that leads to Mount Greylock’s trails and viewing areas; many times I have said to myself – “Why didn’t I bring my camera, I could just head on up there after buying this grain”? Well, yesterday, I did remember my camera, and of course it was grey and gloomy, a bit drizzly even. I hesitated for a moment, should I waste my time, I probably won’t get any good shots in this cloud cover…I persevered, after all I had remembered my camera!

I drove not even 5 minutes up the road; here is what I saw.
Mountain view

Grelock shine

Greylock sun

mt view

windview

“I wonder where we are going,” I said.
“Wherever the way is going,” Exi replied calmly.
“But where do you suppose the way is going?”
“Wherever we go.”
“That doesn’t really make sense, does it?”
“Oh, yes. Quite good sense.”
“Why?”
“Do you know any method by which you can go way and your path another? Not the path, but your path?”
“Well-” I hesitated. “Well, if you put it that way, I guess not. But what about crossroads? Couldn’t you choose the wrong one?”
“I suppose you could. However, if it was the wrong way you chose, it would still be your way, wouldn’t it?”
“Yes,” I answered, “yes, it probably would.”
― Sheila Moon, Knee Deep In Thunder

You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing.
Be well,
Jess

Roots give you something to stand on…


Why Traditions? Because I said so that’s why! No, really ..traditions reinforce; tradition works.

Have you ever been a bystander, a guest of another family – viewing a family tradition? Kinda lonely right? Tradition reinforces who we are; who our families are…it doesn’t matter who you ARE individually, you’re family…

….the hilarious uncle, odd cousins, senile grandparents, or eccentric Aunt, when a reason arises for the a family get together; we are all welcomed back into the fold despite past disagreements, Thanksgiving is such a time.

Generation after generation has gathered together to celebrate and gives thanks…a tradition that has been around for a LONG time (well, in relative terms; this is a young Country after-all).

Roots give you something to stand on. They give you an identity that you can be proud of.

Traditions are tried and true…with the onslaught of commercialism; and “gotta’ have it mentality so prevalent at the holidays it’s easy to lose track of the reason they exist. It is about family and friends. Without family, all the material and money in the world wouldn’t mean much.

Getting together as family during holidays, celebrations, and life’s milestones is second-nature, a custom, a way of life…a tradition, and traditions evoke a deep seated emotional response, a connection to our past and our present. This is why tradition works.

Tradition is about creating a refuge, a comfortable haven, away from the world. It’s all about putting some meaning behind life’s steps. No matter how much you’ve done in your life, how many miles are on your frequent flyer account, how rich you are, or how powerful, tradition will always be bigger than you are.

Be well,
Jess

Tagged, dodged, now I am it…and the winner is?


The Tag Blogathon

Carolyn, over at the ABC of Spirit Talk tagged me a few weeks back..time stops for no-one…

Listed Below Are The Rules Of Said “Tag Blogathon”…
1. Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves.
2. They must also answer the 11 questions the ‘tagger’ has set for them.
3. They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.
4. They must then choose 11 bloggers and tag them in their post.
5. These lucky bloggers must then be told.
6. There are no tag backs.

11 things about me…?

1. I re-arrange my house almost monthly (so, don’t come in, in the dark thinking you know where to walk)
2. I doodle…. when I am bored, at a stop light, at restaurants…well, when I am waiting for anything really, and my doodles are almost always trees and flowers…
3. I can’t imagine a life without animals.
4.I love windy days…the kind of days that make the autumn leaves swirl about our feet.
5.I wish I had more than one lens…I struggle to capture all of life through a 50mm lens ( Oh, wait this is not a wish list is it?) Ah, well.
6. I could not live in a city.(I just returned from 2 days in NYC)
7. I adore hot apple cider.
8. I have a gigantic sweet tooth.
9. My family and I have 16 llamas, 2 dogs, 2 ducks, 5 chickens…I wish for a larger farm
10. I am afraid of heights.
11. I need a bigger barn. (right, that’s another wish, isn’t it?)

Carolyn’s 11 questions for me to answer: I will ask you to answer these as well, I found them intriguing.

1. What is your most favourite thing to do on weekends..!?!
Catch up with my husband.
2. How many days does it take to complete your Christmas shopping..?
Too many and not enough, I love, love Christmas, dislike commercialism; I love to buy presents for loved ones…
3. If you were an animal what would you be, and why?
A llama, oh, to be so calm and wise…
4. Were you to have your druthers (choice), what would your days be like?
To fill my days with sharing, I dream of opening a shop…a general store sort of shop, you know, the kind that
sells baked, goods, and yarns, and animal care needs, right along side beautiful things…a place to recharge and
step back in time..
5. If money grew on trees, what type of trees would you grow?
Maple Money trees…
6. Who is your favourite historical person?
Mary Harris Jones. Known as “Mother” an Irish immigrant who lost her family to yellow fever and became the self-
proclaimed mother and “hell-raiser” for the downtrodden American laborer, especially children.
7. What is your fave food, and why?
A good grilled cheese sandwich with creamy tomato soup…satisfies my hunger and soothes my soul
8. Jazz, Blues or Rock ‘n Roll, and favourite artist?
Ella Fitzgerald; a poor and homeless girl had a big heart and an even bigger dream…I may be able to relate to
some of that]…Billie Holiday , a close second
9. Do you miss your youth? If yes, why?
Yes, and no…my youth was full of struggles, and survival..I miss the idea of youth I guess.
10. Snow or Beach?
snow. Nothing is a magical as a sunrise over freshly fallen snow…
11. What is your all time great movie?
Sound of Music. Hands down.

I know the tag-a-thon asks me to nominate 11 bloggers, yet, I wish to hear from all of you…even if you wish to answer one of these questions, or a few. Have fun with it, I did.

I haven’t written a blog in a bit, life can be full sometimes…I have been contemplating all of the ideas and thoughts around the Farm banner design and Christmas card give-away…
I have chosen a winner…I love the simple yet, effective thought of filling the truck with hay, and having it blowing in the breeze, creating movement as he said…Josh Cookfair! Thank you all for sending me all of your wonderfully creative ideas, some of which I will incorporate into my Christmas cards, if not the farm banner itself.

Be well,
Jess

I Saw Old Autumn in the Misty Morn…


As I went out walking this Fall afternoon, dogs and camera in tow. I heard a whispering, a quiet gentle whispering, the dogs were just ahead of me; yet when I stopped still in my tracks..they stopped and turned. Had they heard it too..almost to soft and gentle a sound to distinguish. A little rustle in the leaves just into the thicket…a young deer, this year’s fawn and a doe were quietly nibbling acorns from the old oak trees. I kept still for a moment, though I quickly decided to move up the hill with Lexi and Finn, as they were headed to me. To stay any longer would encourage a visit, no time to snap a shot today. They will have scampered off before we come back through…

The sky was just clearing after several days of rain, a heavy mist hung over the pastures. I might get a few snaps of the camera before the sun completely fades.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.”
– Robert Frost, October

Thank you for all of the wonderful, creative ideas…I will talk with my daughters to narrow or choice…stay tuned.
Be Well,
Jess

Remember…that’s all


They gave…

they gave

We have Freedom.

I took this photo last year in Boston, on the south side of the Old North Church stands a small area set aside to commemorate the soldiers lost in the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. Hundreds of dog tags representing the fallen soldiers from these conflicts hang closely together. When the wind blows one can hear the distinctive metal chimes as they clang together to make their eery music.

Be well,
Jess

You’ve got the cutest little baby face…well some of you.


It that time of year again, County Fairs, State Fairs and animals on parade. We always head straight to the animal barns, then to the produce displays, followed by Howie’s need to see every piece of machinery known to man…while we were looking about at antique water pumps, wood splitters and steam engines; I came across these honey extractors and thought of Miss C . Wonder if she could use this?

It looks pretty deep, and with her many gallons of honey it may make short work of the extraction process.

I could oogle over these baby faces all day.

This little Jersey calf was born 1 day before the fair…wonder what she thinks of the world?

Some kids, have their own idea of comfort.

While other are just too sleepy to care….shhh…look at those lashes.

I have heard of folks dressing up for the fair; but this is ridiculous! Wonder who his hair dresser is?

Well hello there big guy! He looks too proud to be in jail…(I think I am funny, just smile and nod)

This white peacock is stunning, I think. It was difficult to get a good vantage point, he might have been camera shy.

She’s got legs…I am certain her Mamma thinks she’s cute.

Do you think I could fit this little girl in the back of a Volvo wagon? Well, I could try…but, she probably wouldn’t like me very much after. I guess I have to wait for a Jersey calf, and some cashmere goats, and a few Wensleydale sheep, and, and, and….Might be time to go home.

I will be back at the fair today, spinning with my new friends ( just met Lisa yesterday – smiling really hard.)
Be well.
Jess