Just One Tiny Seed…


Spring, opportunity, hope, I think these three words belong together. It all starts with one tiny seed, sown with hope, and if by magic, it becomes a towering sunflower, a a clambering vine of beans, a 40 pound pumpkin, or a sweet smelling sweet pea, isn’t that hard to believe?
garden peony

Yet, it happens; reminding us with hope, and determination anything is possible. Nurture your even the tiniest seed of a dream, and with work and perseverance it can be. I still have to pinch myself at times as I look around this Shoppe. It was a lot of work, and many, many hours of work; it still is, but, is worth it.
NYC bud
If a seed can burst into life in NYC, it can grown anywhere!

Following your dreams is not for the faint of heart, if your want it, really, really, want it. You must put in the work. Some folks, think if you dream hard enough, it will fall into your lap. Nope, that’s not how this works. [Well, I guess you can dream of winning the lottery. That's not much work..] But, you get what I’m saying right?
llama sky

Right now, I’m dreaming of making a really fresh sweet dessert. I noticed this morning there are lots of rhubarb stalks ready to be picked. So, I’m thinking Strawberry- Rhubarb Squares, a shortbread type of dough… I will work on the recipe today, pick the stalks tomorrow…and I am a little excited now. I will share photos tomorrow.

Be Well,
Jess

Pint Sized Gardening.


I was asked a few days back for ideas around children’s gardens and gardening with children. Do reserve a space for “their” garden, do they help with small parts of the whole shebang, or do they have specific tasks? time to pull

My children helped with the whole thing. they helped start the seeds, they helped plant; well until they got tired. or hot, or thirsty, or hungry, or a butterfly fluttered past. You get the way things worked, right?
072.1

downMy eldest daughter adored sunflowers, many were planted at our home and in her Poppa’s garden. She could not wait to pose for a picture with the humongous flowers towering over her diminutive, but oh so coordinated person. She was all of about 26 pounds upon entering kindergarten. Tiny but make no mistake – there is not a person or thing she was afraid of and she had a patented mad-walk to prove it.I think she could have registered that, holeh.

berrilicious
Justin loved the berries, luckily they grew wild, I could never have planted enough for him. WHen we went pay per pound berry picking at a nearby field, I always thought they should weigh him as he entered and disregard the basket he carried. The blue smile and belly clutching upon exiting was a tell tale sign.

garden carrots Jenn’s favorite was carrots, and we rarely had a carrot grow to maturity, she checked them so often to see if they were ready for her soup creations. These soups [and keep in mind at this point in time she was 4 - 5 years of age], contained any number of things, though not very much of anything, an underdeveloped string bean, a carrot the size of a pen cap, a few peas, some water, and maybe some lettuce. I always was granted a taste. You can only imagine the look of guarded enthusiasm as I partook of this culinary delight.

I think my point here is ,isn’t every garden a child’s garden if we let it be. If we let go of the controls for a bit, let them dig in, as little or as much as they wish. No your rows won’t be as straight, your harvest may not be the envy of the neighborhood; heck you may have tomatoes in your squash! Sometimes I stressed more than now I think prudent..with age comes wisdom so they say. I will be planting many raised beds her at the PIcasso’s , and I am yearning for those eager little hands to help. Childhood passes so quickly,but, I don’t wanna grow up!
Will

We did have some child-like structures in our gardens over the years, like sunflower forts, pole bean tee-pees, and plants to attract butterflies, there was one year this was particularly important. 097
Fairy gardens would be fun for little ones to create, I think. Or brightly painted tires, filled with salad or salsa fix ins; easy to weed and fun to do!

100.1

I am eager to start spring specials, put the soup pots up to rest; fill our plates with spring’s fresh bright culinary delights. Peas anyone?

Remember when….A Wordless Wednesday.


Common sense and good nature will do a lot to make the pilgrimage of life not too difficult”
– William Somerset Maugham

Sophie, you are not a duck...

Sophie, you are not a duck…

Andrew, my sweet, sweet little neighbor. Oh, and Claire.

Andrew, my sweet, sweet little neighbor. Oh, and Claire.

dogs,chickens, and llammas oh my 5

Andy today

remember when...

a song

remembering

lovins

duo

Breez

girls

jenni .3

Andys

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.”
– Robert Frost, Two Roads

Be Well,
Jess

Let It Snow-Man!


Things to love about winter…

Watching the snow fall covering everything with sparkling beauty.

The crunch of snow under my feet.

Sliding down the hill on a plastic or wooden sled, or even a piece of cardboard box.(Well, the card board thing didn’t really work out so well, I broke my leg in three places and was in the hospital for a week and a cast from my toes to my waist for 3 months, after i had the cast “reduced” to just the length of my leg, I fell down the stairs while racing my little brother Sean; broke the cast- and back to the hospital I went…. Yup, I was that child.)

The holiday lights that make the whole outside world look like a winter wonderland.

As temperatures dip, and the long nights take hold,(they are now on the upswing) Enjoy some of the things that only winter weather can bring. Without cold weather there would be no snow, no ice, no backyard skating rinks, no sledding, no snow forts to build,(my children used to paint their’s with spray bottles full of food color and water) and certainly no snow boarding! So, as long as it’s winter time, get out and have some fun,put on an extra layer, and head outside.
I have always wanted to build a skating rink in my yard, I will try this year; it’s going to be cold for the next couple of weeks.

snow man
Building a snowman, or watching a small child build one…

Drew boy
I think there must be an art to sledding…

snow fun

the walk
Do you remember the walk back up the hill…worth it every time.

Finni fun
Zooom…(uhm, not so much) putt,putt was more like it.

Andrew
Winter fun, never goes out of style.

waiting
Waiting for their turn…to shine.

home
I love the snow;with winter I feel close to home. We have our rituals and family dinners. And as I reflect, I smile at the nostalgia of my life.
Be well,
Jess

Ya Know What They Say; When in Rome…


If it feels like spring outside, I thought I would make it feel more like Spring inside as well, and for $2.99, how could I go wrong.

rome

Nothing says Spring like pink tulips.

spring

Some time ago, in a post or two I referenced an old barn and a kitchen island…here is the result, whaddaya think?

kitchen isl

This true color, I added a green to the last photo, you know – (fake)Spring thing and all…
Island

My sauce is simmering downstairs..gotta run.

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

If You Want To Make G-D Laugh; Just Tell Him YOUR Plans.


Perfect time; is there ever a perfect time? Perfect time to start a family? Perfect time to buy a house? Perfect time to start a business? There is no perfect time, is there? If you wait for all things to come in line; you may be waiting for a very long time. That’s just how life is, a bit messy,a bit unpredictable, life just has a tendency of getting in the way of even the best laid plans.

salmon sky

I may have never been the type to be a rigid planner; much to my husband’s shagrin…though, I tend to be a list maker…and they tend to be long! Pages long! They never seem to become any shorter..where to find the time? Time to be Mom, wife, sister, neighbor; time to become a better photographer,(painter)illustrator, fiber artist, decorator, gardener, farmer, friend.

soft

Time. A fleeting commodity.

laugh

I resolved this past year to make time to enjoy, take in a beautiful and fleeting sunset, the first breath of a new cria, the downy fluff on a days old duckling… I resolve to do to a lot of things.(yet, another list..do you notice a trend here)

let love in

Sometimes you find beauty by sorting through the weeds…

sort through the weeds

A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps’ (Pro 16:9)

Cambridge Valley 2

We are our thoughts, hopes,and dreams…

clouds 10

Keep it simple. I need to remind myself of this often; as my list of to-do’s grows exponentially with each day’s addition. I will strive to be in the moment, feel the moment,embrace the moment and collect inspiration along the way.
Relax,enjoy life and 
your time.
Jess

Less Wordy Wednesday…


Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour. (Bosworth)

“Have you ever noticed a tree standing naked against the sky,
How beautiful it is?
All its branches are outlined, and in its nakedness
There is a poem, there is a song.
Every leaf is gone and it is waiting for the spring.
When the spring comes, it again fills the tree with
The music of many leaves,
Which in due season fall and are blown away.
And this is the way of life.”
– Krishnamurti

In a way Winter is the real Spring – the time when the inner things happen, the resurgence of nature

The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.”
– Gertrude S. Wister

Winter is the time for comfort – it is the time for home…
Be well,
Jess

Do you ever wonder…?


Do you ever wonder?

The morning’s hustle and bustle has come and gone, leaving the house quiet and warm. Warmth brought not only by the wood fire crackling but by the love shared, dreams chased, full with beautiful moments that make up our life.

Snow was falling, as the dogs and I set out for our morning ramble about this small farm…it is a wet snow and wont last long; just long enough to coat the llamas in a sparkling frosty icing. The snow is giving this grey gloomy November day just the boost it needed, I think.
Do you ever wonder what is really valuable to you, what is beautiful, what inspires you? What keeps you going?
I think, this question is why I blog..it helps me sort things out, to reminisce, to smile about the days, weeks, or even years past’s misadventures and sweet moments.

I look at my life differently, ordinary things take on a new meaning when looked at through the lens of my camera or the words of my blog. Snippets of life brought into focus more thoroughly enjoyed, moments not lost in the flurry of our lives, moments we can now go back to. Moments to smile, laugh, or let the tears fall.

It seems as though I have my camera in my hand no matter where I go; capturing moments, moments in nature, moments in our lives, moments of simple beauty.

I wonder… now, how I could have passed by so much inspiration, so much beauty and not capture it to be shared and enjoyed later, later, when we thought we had forgotten. Blogging affords me an outlet, a community of sharing – if you will – a wonderful place to connect with others. Others, from distant lands, different cultures, with different languages and different time.

Blogs.
Our visual journals, our creative outlets; joys shared, sorrows softened, inspiration found…feelings validated and kindness received; a beginning of something new and exciting. My blog, a place where I open up more than I ever thought possible.

I wonder.
I wonder where this journey will take me and where your journey will take you?
My blog has led me, with your compassion and support to reach for dreams that once felt impossible.

I wonder; I wonder what tomorrow will bring.
Courtney is home; she and her Mom are staying with us, getting stronger and enjoying family while she awaits her transplant.
Be well,
Jess