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.

Finding Nemo…


Well, he never found us. He found every town around us…but not us. Funny how nature works, isn’t it. I was a little excited for the storm to arrive.

snowy morning in December 024

A big storm ~ one that needs preparation. Flash lights, kerosene lamps, water; you know provisions.
The type of storms that forces card games,board games, and allows for guilt free lazing about.

2013 snow 2

I filled the barns with a heavy bed of fluffy hay; filled waters to the tippy top (if the power goes out, so goes the pump), grained with copious amounts to help the animals generate their own warmth.

2013 snowy farm
(a farm on my morning journey)

The chickens and ducks tucked themselves in among the llamas. Everyone was settled in; cozy and warm.

2013 snow 4

And we waited for Nemo.

and we waited….

2013 snow cornfield

and waited…

We got about 3″…

2013 snowwolf cloud

Many parts of New England and New York were not spared; I do hope everyone was able to be somewhere safe and warm.

Be well,
Jessica

Have you noticed?


The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer. Minute by minute they lengthen out. It takes some weeks before we become aware of the change. It is imperceptible even as the growth of a child, as you watch it day by day, until the moment comes when with a start of delighted surprise we realize that we can stay out of doors in a twilight lasting for another quarter of a precious hour.

snowy morning in December 13

snowy morning in December 14

snowy morning in December 9

Fiini in the snow
Finnigan? “Where does your white go when it melts?”

Sipping tea,the my toes and nose begin to thaw….seed catalogs in hand.
Be well,
Jess

Sharing a cup of comfort…


Do you feel it? The warmth of Christmas in the air; in your heart? It is in the chatter of children, as the excitement of gifts under the tree builds, it’s in the sweet smell of pine that fills the living room, it’s in mankind’s generosity, it’s in taste of a peppermint candy cane stirring your hot cocoa…yes, it is every where if you just take a moment to notice.

JOY 12

It’s in the faith and hope that inspires us throughout the year. It’s in the shared Joy. A shared meal. or a meal given…We were on our way to NYC to bring Courtney to an appointment at the children’s transplant center at Mount Sinai Hospital. A trip interrupted; appointment was cancelled en route. (a clerical error, I won’t go into that, let it suffice to say, I was not happy, and her Momma?…well, you can imagine) We made the best of the day, driving to Rockefeller Center to see the festive windows, Christmas tree, and happy skaters (Courtney’s favorite part of the day). We ate our lunch at the Brooklyn Diner, She ordered a hot dog, when it arrived at the table we all had a good laugh. She ate about 2 bites of it, she wasn’t feeling too well.
hotdog

As we walked back to the car we passed a homeless young man with his dog, who donned a grey sweatshirt; sleeves rolled up over his paws, sitting on the side-walk, back to a tall NY, cold, stone building. As we passed, I overheard a bit of a conversation between this (boy really) and a concerned caring woman. “Have you eaten today?”, was all that I heard, I did not hear the answer. We looked at each other; Gina ( Courtney’s Mom, wondered if it would be ok to offer him Courtney’s uneaten Hotdog. We agreed, at least we could offer. Courtney and I walked over to the boy and his dog, and the girl awaiting a transplant to sustain her life; quietly handed the lonely boy her meal. She softly patted the massive dog’s head and walked back to her waiting Momma, not a word spoken; none needed.
NYC courtney

Have you felt the warmth of Christmas?

warm light

The warmth of Christmas is felt in every act of kindness. I love Christmas.

NYC creche

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

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

Hope…I wish you enough.


LIFE IS HUGE! Life is not one horrible moment. It is not.
It is a glorious privilege to live, to know, to act, to listen, to behold, to love. To look up at the blue summer sky; to see the sun sink slowly beyond the line of the horizon; to watch the worlds come twinkling into view, first one by one, and the myriads that no man can count, and lo!
the universe is white with them; and you and I are here.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.

My prayers go out to the families of the victims of the empire state building shooting. There is no place for this in humanity.
“The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people goin’ by
I see friends shaking hands saying, “How do you do”
They’re really saying “I love you.”
I hear babies cry, I watch then grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know;
And I think to myself, What a wonderful world;
Yes, I think to myself, What a wonderful world.
Oh yeah!”
- Louis Armstrong

Be well,
Jess
PS Josh fixed my computer wows :) Love him.