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

……can you whistle?


Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ come
Watching the ships roll in
And then I watch ‘em roll away again, yeah

this just about sums up our life…notice that he is wearing his boots…on a boat!

I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

……Sittin’ here resting my bones

……Watching the tide roll away
,Oooo-wee,
sittin’ on the dock of the bay,
Wastin’ time

Okay, now …whistle!

My all time favorite summer song…as sang by Otis Redding.
I only wish I could whistle!
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

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

Oops, I spilled the beans..(a re-post from last summer)


(a re-post from last summer) Hope you enjoy.
What a beautiful morning,cool,a mist on the pasture, grass wet from dew; I am starting my morning chores a bit later than usual…Howie let me sleep in; he fed the chicks, ducks,dogs,Riley the cat and llamas. All I needed to do was clean the barn and put fresh bedding down (extra snuggle and photo time) or so I thought.

I took my time, taking to the “girls” as I worked; everyone does that right? Well anyway, I got every thing clean and fresh as a daisy (no, really). Still talking and puttering about, I start to drag the now nearly full barrel to the “poop pile”; walking backwards and pulling the barrel by the handle…then, like a slow motion film, I am falling ~ the handle on the barrel just gave way ~ no, I’m not falling onto a nice grassy pasture floor ~ I am falling into the “poop pile” … not only am I now on my hiney, hands, and what ever other part of me could possibly be… is in a pile of poop, the barrel that I just spent all this time and energy filling is now spilling out of the barrel around me. My first reaction, being cool and all, is to look around to see if anyone saw what just took place; no one around, but, I swear the llamas chuckled…(see photos below, there is a definite twinkle in Syria’s eye).

As I was gathering what was left of my dignity, and re-scooping poop,(can you think of anything more glamorous), the llamas sent out a “danger call”; if you have never heard that sound…it’s an alarm sound they make in times of distress, to warn the herd of intruders or potentially dangerous situations; sounds sorta like a rooster-ish/horse-ish whinny. Anyway, they all ran down to the fence line to investigate; I grabbed my camera, don’t want to miss all this excitement. Chester, KatDoll, Breezy, and little Andy(tucked in beside KatDoll), are looking toward the woods, that border a swampy pond… the high grass is rustling, as whatever it is makes it’s way toward the small tool shed. All eyes are fixed, and the calls continue…out pops Finnegan (so much for excitement) he must have gone for a stinky,yucky,smelly swim…the llamas aren’t used to anyone entering the pasture from that direction, as soon as Finnegan’s head erupted from the hedgerow, he ducked back in, he saw all of the llamas, standing making THAT noise at him. Of course, I could have put the camera down,and gone to get him, but what fun would that have been.There may be a dog gone good lesson to learn here (forgive the pun), after all, Finnegan should not be in the stinky, smelly pond. After, what seemed like an eternity, but was really only a few seconds, Finnegan, came out slowly, keeping, close to the ground, slinking across the yard past the llama’s admonishing chatter; as soon as he felt safe he all out sprinted to the safety of the front porch…Oh, Finni the amusement you provide.

Well, now that Howie is off the roof of the old barn we are dismantling, to re-purpose; I should go down there to help him…heights and I don’t get along very well.


A field full of sunshine…


The girls, waiting for me to clean their home…maid service is here!


Uggh, I spilled the beans.


These are my beautiful tools of the trade; beauty is in the eye of the beholder, ok?!


Syria, post chuckle..


Syria is Maeve’s Mom…hugs to her.


What is that over there??


Watching for the “intruder”…or Finni, as it turned out.


Here’s Finnigan, just so you have an idea of who caused all of the commotion.


Keep your eye on him!


Since Maeve’s passing, these two have been inseparable; I think she made a promise Maeve.


Never more than a step behind…


Turn your face to the sun…

Storms headed our way today…
Be well, enjoy your day.

Once Upon a Time, there was a tiny little cottage~that wanted to be a Farm


Dreaming up the happy ending… after all, some of its bones were made of trees (actual tree trunks).
Originally built in 1840, with balloon construction technique; a style of wood-house building that uses long, vertical studs for the exterior walls. These long “studs” extend uninterrupted, from the sill on top of the foundation, all the way up to the roof. It first came into use, well before the mid-nineteenth century, there certainly are many, many balloon-framed structures, between 75 and 175 years old, that haven’t floated away.( not very funny, huh?) Most balloon framed buildings were rather plain and simple. The original structure of our little cottage was a mere 800 square, only feet 18 feet wide. The family that lived here for the previous 50 years before us, raised 6 children here. The only addition they made was a small attached kitchen structure. We found out as we were re-modeling; the timbers for that portion of the house were tree trunks. We figure it must have been an old wood shed attached to the house for convenience in the winter months.

Although the tiny quarters posed many space and storage challenges, it has a very charming and warm feel to it. It was home. The pastures were perfect for llamas; though many outbuildings needed to be constructed and fences built. We installed a very inexpensive fence, as it had to go up rather quickly and with little money as we had so much reno work inside the house. Permanent and safer fencing is our next big project, but that is another story all together[ and a previous post]. We lived out behind the house in our 28′ travel trailer for the first spring and summer we were here; mind you there were still 5 of us living here, with a dog and a cat to boot. I remember, as summer of that year was coming to a close; my youngest daughter had a fair (and llama show) to attend. The usual course of events would have been to pack the camper with needed items, trailer the animals and head to the fair for the week….not this particular time, you see we were still “technically living in it”, so as it was, we packed up our home and went to the fair. How’s that for classy living? Long about the end of October we were finally installing the last wall of the addition, (Howie and I did the entire reno ourselves, with found items, recycled and reused materials). After relocating a stairway, bathroom , laundry room and building 2 new bedrooms ~the sky spitting snow, finally we could move into the house! It has been a long road, we still have projects to finish…
the cabinets(handmade by a local cabinet maker long,long ago) that I refinished, going on 6 six years ago are in need of touch ups, the living room was painted again this past month, old barn flooring was used for the stairs, and barn boards now cozy up a wall(all salvaged from a 200 year old barn, last summer…again a different post)…The “scenery” I change often…curtains, pillows, and re-arranged furnishings character-etched, and well loved, relaxed and worry free, we live here…and so do our-much too large -dogs. And that is just how I like it.

The outbuildings are a coming along…

So hey come let’s look around…a walk through the seasons, dismantled barns, [in no particular order] at Misty Maples: 52 weeks, 52 pictures…oops

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Be well. Enjoy your day. We are having extraordinary weather here in upstate NY near 60!
Yipee.
Jess

I write like I talk…


It is raining here while I am sharing my thoughts about about rain. I love rain. Its so refreshing..I love how the animals seem to look out into it from their cozy and dry hay beds; I love listening to it especially at night while I’m all warm and cosy in my bed…

This beautiful rainy night brings back so many thoughts and emotions. Of my childhood, of my children, of my siblings. Rain is grace.

summer rain drops…tears of joy are my sunbeams….
It is a proven fact, no really, if you go camping with young children it will rain, it will pour, the sky will crackle and the air will rumble. There will then be puddles, muddy, muddy puddles. Sopping wet sneakers and leaky tents. There will be 20 mile road trips to the nearest laundromat to dry sleeping bags, sneakers, jeans, and t-shirts; while the little ones sit wrapped in the only dry bath towels eating Happy Meals and half frozen Popsicles. There will be cozy story time, read by lantern while snuggled into our newly laundered sleeping bags. The smell of freshly scrubbed toddlers, zipped into their footy pajamas, tired from the lakeside air and the days activity.

Sitting on the front porches of childhood; still and contemplative as the rains came down. Sometimes it was calmer outside in the damp air, it was a refuge, a soggy blanket of solace. There was peace to be found out there alone in the dark, rain…singing it’s comforting lullaby; leaving the messy mud inside. I loved walking in the rain, no one knew I was crying. Healing rain. My brothers, sisters and I walked in the rain, with sacred tears, together we were messengers of overwhelming strength…and unspeakable love. Still.

Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.
Roger Miller

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

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“Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain”

A September Day…


Life can get pretty hectic at times; sometimes I need to pause to consider our blessed and full life…a combination of stress, excitement, and love.
We all lead far too hectic, busy lives. We have great intentions toward simplicity, looking for moments in our day to just be! Enjoy the sweet moments with those we cherish, before the moments pass…maybe, we don’t need to be so cognizant of these moments, perhaps they just happen,we enjoy them , and carry on with our day ~ only to look back and remember; the I love you, Mom with a hug good bye, the tender squeeze of my hand from a friend as my daughter makes a play, my older daughter’s voice on the phone, my husband’s sweet smile as he come home at the end of the day…I did stop long enough to enjoy these things, even without intention.
Even with; a College search, fair season, field hockey, homecoming dress shopping, vet health certification appointments, and house renos, I have decided to get my Real Estate license and home staging certification…somehow squeezing in class time (oh, but I am excited). Still,as each day goes by, I find that one project leads to another, and another, until, by days end, I feel that I haven’t even so much as sat down with my now cold cup of Earl Grey… some how, I have captured some of these moments with my camera…to be cherished later…

Here are some pictures from a typical day…of animals chores, home, and family.

Riley adorning the kitchen...

pre-game pep talk

...and she swings

Jenni...attack mode

ut oh...another corner

...defense mode

"Hey, can we go to a game?"

sittin' pretty

I have taken to just dusting around Riley…he seldom moves anyway…
Be well,
Jessica

as summer winds down…


Seasons seem to pass so much faster than they did when I was young. Perhaps, I can no longer fit so much into each day…because, I remember endless summer days spent swimming, riding bikes (with no helmets) wind in my hair…staying outside playing until well after dark…hide and seek at night was the best(we called it bear)the fireflies were always there waiting for the nightly game; and my abiding love of purple Popsicles. Every moment was cherished, without conscious effort. As children we were never bored, though with so many of us there was no money for extras…it never stopped us; we were so busy having fun we didn’t know we were missing anything. We moved around a lot so it seemed almost every summer was spent with a different bunch of kids, each neighborhood having it’s own brand of fun. This is not to say life was perfect, we simply made the best of what we had. I’ll never forget those summers.

As adults, some perspective is altered, we spend more time thinking about what we are going to do, how we are going to spend our time…we never really get lost in the moment…just being mindlessly involved in the game, the conversation, the book, the precious moments…as children there is no worry about what’s next when you’re totally immersed in a kick ball game, you simply enjoy the game. I wanna think like a kid again! I wanna slow things down, enjoy every moment.

The last of my summer vegetables ready to be harvested, llamas in need of grooming in preparation for the Eastern States Exposition(more on this in an upcoming post),pumpkins turning a warm shade of orange…fall is upon us whether we are ready or not.
I do love a brisk, breezy, sunny Fall day. It’s my favorite time of year. The sky seems bluer, the air fresher. And as the leaves change upstate New York, and New England have to be the most beautiful places on earth! Besides all that, I adore sweaters…all cozy soft and warm.
One of my favorite cool weather pass-times is enjoying the warmth, while sharing a cup of tea and moment with a friend or family in front of the kitchen’s fire…anticipating dinner as the smell of a hearty stew simmering, and wheat rolls baking fills the room. Oh, and apple picking.

This morning there was a heavy dew, the early morning sun made everything sparkle…so I snapped a couple photos of flowers in the veggie garden…

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose

We do not remember days; we remember moments. ~Cesare Pavese, The Burning Brand

It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life. ~P.D. James

The faintest waft is sometimes enough to induce feelings of hunger or anticipation, or to transport you back through time and space to a long-forgotten moment in your childhood. It can overwhelm you in an instant or simply tease you, creeping into your consciousness slowly and evaporating almost the moment it is detected. ~Stephen Lacey, Scent in Your Garden, 1991

t's surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.

God gave us memories that we might have roses in December. ~J.M. Barrie, Courage, 1922

Hmmm, how to “can a day?” You know, those days that seem just perfect you want access to them whenever the need arises.

What are some your best summer memories?
Be well,
Jessica