Some things are just worth re-visiting ~ Don’t you think?


Live your life so that the fear of death can never enter your heart. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light. Give thanks for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. And if perchance you see no reason for giving thanks, rest assured the fault is in yourself.

Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Indian Chief

November 20, 2011

Sundays

I do believe, I have little writing to do this day…Craig Morgan’s song “That’s What I Love about Sunday” says everything…I love about Sundays.

Raymond’s in his Sunday best,
He’s usually up to his chest in oil an’ grease.
There’s the Martin’s walkin’ in,
With that mean little freckle-faced kid,
Who broke a window last week.
Sweet Miss Betty likes to sing off key in the pew behind me.

That’s what I love about Sunday:
Sing along as the choir sways;
Every verse of Amazin’ Grace,
An’ then we shake the Preacher’s hand.
Go home, into your blue jeans;
Have some chicken an’ some baked beans.
Pick a back yard football team,
Not do much of anything:
That’s what I love about Sunday.

I stroll to the end of the drive,
Pick up the Sunday Times, grab my coffee cup.
It looks like Sally an’ Ron, finally tied the knot,
Well, it’s about time.
It’s 35 cents off a ground round,
Baby, cut that coupon out!

That’s what I love about Sunday:
Cat-napping on the porch swing;
You curled up next to me,
The smell of jasmine wakes us up.
Take a walk down a back road,
Tackle box and a cane pole;
Carve our names in that white oak,
steal a kiss as the sun fades,
That’s what I love about Sunday,
Oh, yeah.

Ooh, new believers gettin’ baptized,
Momma’s hands raised up high,
Havin’ a Hallelujah good time
A smile on everybody’s face.
That’s what I love about Sunday,
Oh, yeah.

That’s what I love about Sunday,
Oh, yeah.

“Joy is the feeling of grinning inside.”

“Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” -Mother Teresa

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” -Henri Nouwen

“This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.” -George Bernard Shaw This my friends is the ~ rare, and elusive ~ idle Hubby…you may never have the opportunity to see him in a sitting position again, please enjoy.

To get joy, we must give it, and to keep joy, we must scatter it. -John Templeton My Girls! <3

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” -Thich Nhat Hanh The Boys.

“Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.” -Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

“And Joy is Everywhere; It is in the Earth’s green covering of grass; In the blue serenity of the Sky; In the reckless exuberance of Spring; In the severe abstinence of gray Winter; In the Living flesh that animates our bodily frame; In the perfect poise of the Human figure, noble and upright; In Living; In the exercise of all our powers; In the acquisition of Knowledge; in fighting evils…Joy is there Everywhere” -Rabindranath Tagore

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

There may be no joy like lazing around on a Sunday afternoon, doing nothing in particular,…Enjoy your Sunday!

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

I can see the light through the woods…


I feel as though, I am falling behind; Behind what? I am not sure…a feeling caused by holiday commercialism I suppose. I know Christmas is 39 days, 15 hours and 14 minutes away – yet I feel as though I missed something. Maybe I missed setting out my Holiday decor in October, or I missed a big shopping deadline. Oh, maybe my Christmas cards should have been sent weeks ago…

Sometimes,I feel as though Holiday Commercialism is being jammed down our throats – sideways. It’s the same every year. As soon as Halloween hits it’s much like opening the starting gate of the Travers in Saratoga. We’re off for the Christmas race – there is shopping, baking, wrapping, mailing…baking…buying, baking… By the time thew holiday arrives, all we are left with is an exhausted spirit, frayed nerves, and a worn out body. Is the mad dash to the Christmas finish line really worth it? Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, peace and goodwill!

Now don’t get me wrong, I adore (yes,adore) the Holidays. I wait with great anticipation for family and friends to arrive on Thanksgiving. I prep myself weeks in advance for our annual football game (well, I ran once- that counts). I write my lists, being sure not to forget anything, (like figgy pudding or fruitcake) ’cause those items would be easy to forget, wouldn’t they.
I live for the day we head out in search of the perfect Christmas trees; Christmas cookie baking day, and caroling. These are the “things” I love; the traditions, time spent with family and loved ones.

I think I will just turn off the television, thus turning off the noise and the pressure. I will turn on the radio- to an all Christmas all the time station – the day after Thanksgiving as I don our home in in holiday greens and candles. I will feel content in my slow, but orderly countdown to the holidays…I will. There is a light in the woods.

Be well, and feel free to slow down…
Jess

Forsythia. Short. Sweet.


Forsythia is pure joy. There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of sadness or even knowledge in forsythia. Pure, undiluted, untouched joy.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Busy day here on the farm.
Enjoy the weekend & Be well.
Jess

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

A month of thanksgiving ~ Day 23


November 23, 2011

antibiotics..

Sounds like an ominous thing to be grateful for at Thanksgiving doesn’t it…it’s not. Medical research in general, should really be my main topic. I think any one of us who lost a loved one to disease would agree.

I started thinking about today’s blog as I sat in the waiting room of our hometown Doctor’s office. My grown son had been feeling ill, not quuite himself, and with a nagging cough…he had also pulled many ticks off of himself and thought it might be Lyme. I went to the visit with him. We checked in with the receptionist, and took our seat. Justin looked up and through the window, saw our neighbors, Andrew, Ryan, and their Grand-mother, Pat heading into the office. Justin and Andrew are good buddies; when ever they meet, he calls my Justin..”Justin Bieber” (pronounced BEEBA). Justin in turn calls him Andrew Bieber, yes, this had to take place even in the doctor’s office. Even if a bit too loudly…Justin headed into his exam…Andrew waited, and fidgeted (the appointment for his older brother). He brought me some books to read to him…fidgeted some more, then climbed up on my lap for a long comforting squeeze; as I cradled his head while I held him..I felt a little something..I asked him to turn his head so that I could see,,he had a tick burrowed into the base of his head…I guess he was in the right place.

Well, as it turns out; Justin has pneumonia, Ryan has strep, Andrew is being treated for Lyme disease(precautionary, as the tick was deeply embedded). What a day on Brady Lane.
All can be treated with antibiotics. Generations ago, the outcome would be much different.

The holidays bring back memories, naturally. Memories of childhood, of family, of friends..I am thankful for all in my life. I intend to enjoy every moment I have with loved ones this holiday season; as I know all too well, how quickly life can change. I pray, for a cure for all and any disease, and I pray for health and happiness for you and your loved ones. I’m thankful right now to be surrounded by those whose lives touch me more than they’ll ever possibly know.
Happy Thanksgiving.

The light is what guides you home, the warmth is what keeps you there. ~Ellie Rodriguez

Every house where love abides And friendship is a guest, Is surely home, and home sweet home For there the heart can rest. ~Henry Van Dyke

And thank you for a house full of people I love. Amen.

So wherever you find yourself this holiday season, remember to pause and give thanks.
Be well,
Jess

A month of thanksgiving ~ Day 22


November 22, 2011

Babies and Sunrises ~ beginnings

This is the precious present, regardless of what yesterday was like, regardless of what tomorrow may bring.

Watching the sunrise, a fresh start to a brand new day;breathing in the crisp November morning air; I stood in bare feet to capture a moment on film knowing if I waited a second longer the moment would be lost…nature waits for no one. I scurried back into my wood warmed kitchen and stood watching the salmon colored sky fade…sipping my first cup of steaming hot tea. What to do today? It’s too early to worry and yet I need to begin, but sometimes…I just have to see ~ before it gets too busy to look. I just need to feel the serenity of it all as the world awakens like a new-born child. Watching the sunrise reminds me …that with each dawn we can all start anew each day, forgetting whatever troubled us the day or the night before, looking forward to what ever this new day will bring…. A new beginning, something so close to heaven, such as it is with babies…such a beautiful beginning.

I am grateful to have been able to capture this morning’s sunrise, and, I was lucky enough to spend part my day with my niece and nephew who were visiting from Canada, I snapped a few photos as Phenix explored..and Jurney knitted.

Climb up on some hill at sunrise. Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you'll find it there. ~Robb Sagendorph

A new baby is like the beginning of all things-wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities. -- Eda J. Le Shan

I'll tell you how the sun rose a ribbon at a time. ~Emily Dickinson

Babies are such a nice way to start people. -- Don Herrold

Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise. ~George Washington Carver

It is the nature of babies to be in bliss. -- Deepak Chopra

Nature is the art of God. ~Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, 1635

A wee child toddling in a wonder world.... I prefer to their dogma my excursions into the natural gardens where the voice of the Great Spirit is heard in the twittering of birds, the rippling of mighty waters, and the sweet breathing of flowers. ...~Zitkala-Sa

Every child is a deliberate, passionate creation of God. If you doubt that, just look into their eyes. You will find a gentle little spirit who hungers for life - and for your love. (Gary Holland)

One visit with a child can supply us with enough creativity dust to last for a lifetime... Visit with children like you're the child you ought to be more often. Jurney ..doing good work...

Be Well,
Jess

A month of thanksgiving ~ Day 21


November 21, 2011

The Internet

Now, I am at point in the this month of thanksgiving and gratitude, where I believe I have expressed most of the gratitude for truly cherished people, life affirming activities, and joyful experiences I have or had. So, where does that leave me; am I grateful for things? Really? That feels a bit materialistic to my sensibilities. Or is it? As I thought about it longer; I found many “things” I was grateful for, including my car, sewing machine, oven, camera…and the I thought of the internet. An aha moment. If it were not for the capabilities of an internet search, I wouldn’t be able to ponder others opinions, or smile at their musings, admire their photographs, in fact to see (in video, and photos) everyday life in every part of the world. I could not have fathomed this…could you? I can find any recipe I will ever need, how- to on virtually any subject, find (err, search) for employment opportunities, shop for clothes or anything else you could possibly want to buy. I can show the world what I’ve have made, designed, or grown. I can look up old friends, advertise our farm, share pictures with far away family, and find any help I may need for my animals on facebook. I can share every random thought I have on twitter.
And, I can write a blog, to potentially connect with other like – minded people…to express myself, and to share. For this I am grateful. For as I have mentioned in earlier posts; I feel through our personal connections we can really know ourselves and enhance our existence; and despite the separation or lack of physical proximity, through social media and the internet we are able to build on the power of human connection, don’t you think? I have built friendships some as strong as, friendships cultivated by close physical contact. I have new relationships I would not give up for anything and I have met smart, intelligent, fascinating, creative, authentic, successful and beautiful people; folks I may never ever have met in person. I have and still believed that meeting people in person is essentially the most authentic connection; person to person physical relationships, friendships and interaction, cannot be replaced by social media. But, I sure do appreciate the genius’ who created the internet and social media sites that enable us to interact with the whole of the world (if we want to).


he most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.
– Rachel Naomi Remen


And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
– Marianne Williamson


Each contact is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.

We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone … and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.

Be well,
Jess

A month of thanksgiving ~ Day 20


Live your life so that the fear of death can never enter your heart. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light. Give thanks for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. And if perchance you see no reason for giving thanks, rest assured the fault is in yourself.

Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Indian Chief

November 20, 2011

Sundays

I do believe, I have little writing to do this day…Craig Morgan’s song “That’s What I Love about Sunday” says everything…I love about Sundays.

Raymond’s in his Sunday best,
He’s usually up to his chest in oil an’ grease.
There’s the Martin’s walkin’ in,
With that mean little freckle-faced kid,
Who broke a window last week.
Sweet Miss Betty likes to sing off key in the pew behind me.

That’s what I love about Sunday:
Sing along as the choir sways;
Every verse of Amazin’ Grace,
An’ then we shake the Preacher’s hand.
Go home, into your blue jeans;
Have some chicken an’ some baked beans.
Pick a back yard football team,
Not do much of anything:
That’s what I love about Sunday.

I stroll to the end of the drive,
Pick up the Sunday Times, grab my coffee cup.
It looks like Sally an’ Ron, finally tied the knot,
Well, it’s about time.
It’s 35 cents off a ground round,
Baby, cut that coupon out!

That’s what I love about Sunday:
Cat-napping on the porch swing;
You curled up next to me,
The smell of jasmine wakes us up.
Take a walk down a back road,
Tackle box and a cane pole;
Carve our names in that white oak,
steal a kiss as the sun fades,
That’s what I love about Sunday,
Oh, yeah.

Ooh, new believers gettin’ baptized,
Momma’s hands raised up high,
Havin’ a Hallelujah good time
A smile on everybody’s face.
That’s what I love about Sunday,
Oh, yeah.

That’s what I love about Sunday,
Oh, yeah.

"Joy is the feeling of grinning inside."

"Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls." -Mother Teresa

"Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day." -Henri Nouwen

"This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one." -George Bernard Shaw This my friends is the ~ rare, and elusive ~ idle Hubby...you may never have the opportunity to see him in a sitting position again, please enjoy.

To get joy, we must give it, and to keep joy, we must scatter it. -John Templeton My Girls! <3

"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." -Thich Nhat Hanh The Boys.

"Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness." -Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

"And Joy is Everywhere; It is in the Earth's green covering of grass; In the blue serenity of the Sky; In the reckless exuberance of Spring; In the severe abstinence of gray Winter; In the Living flesh that animates our bodily frame; In the perfect poise of the Human figure, noble and upright; In Living; In the exercise of all our powers; In the acquisition of Knowledge; in fighting evils...Joy is there Everywhere" -Rabindranath Tagore

"Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give." -Eleanor Roosevelt

There may be no joy like lazing around on a Sunday afternoon, doing nothing in particular,...Enjoy your Sunday!

Be Well,
Jess