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

Let that little light of yours shine, shine, shine…


I have just one wish, or maybe we should call it a my hope; to matter, to make a difference.

You know what’s interesting? We all seem to be chasing something, don’t we? At this time of year,”The Holiday Season”; so many families are scrambling for the perfect gift. Maybe you have deep pockets; buying for the guy/girl who has everything. Maybe you have nothing, trying to bring a gift home for the child who has little to nothing, knowing you still have to feed her. I am willing t bet you the little girl who receives just one gift will cherish that gift more than the fella who has everything. I know, I was that girl.

I am searching; searching for the perfect gift for just such a child…I will buy two; one for a girl, and one for a boy. The Local Fire Department (my husband is a volunteer fire fighter)has an annual event; they use money collected from fundraisers, such as middle school dances to purchase new and lightly used toys for children…then they invite families(parents, to shop – for FREE! they can choose gifts they hope their little ones will love; even though they have no funds to purchase these. How awesome is that!

… I’m sure of only one thing. If you leave this world, this life; having touched just one person’s life, you have made a difference!

Live like you mean it.

dynamic duo
Andy and Dolly…always together…as I went out this morning to begin chores, this is how I saw them. He, my little Andy, Loves her endlessly.

Miels
Camille, one of my older girls, past her breeding age, so she just lolls about looking pretty.

LaLa
Shangrala, I call her LaLa…always regal in appearance…always.

duo and princess
Andy and Dolly, think they are missing something…racing up the hill; Princess seems to be hinking…Oh, no…here they come!

duo on the run
Kick up your heels!

optical illusion
This shot of Phantom is an optical illusion, this is really 2 llamas…Jubilee is just behind Phantom ( he is brown and cream)

Gio
Gio…aah, Gio.

Life won’t work out exactly as we had planned, it just won’t. How did you envision your life when you were a child? No where in my childhood fantasy’s did I see myself on Llama farm in Upstate NY. Life does not work out the way you expect. But sometimes it works out even better.
So SHINE, Don’t stand in the light of your convictions? Shine?….it just means to go for what you believe in with all that you have…
Own it, be it, do it and then, when it is your time to exit — depart knowing that you truly lived and boy , did you Shine!

Be well,
Jess

Some things are just worth revisiting…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.

<a href=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/044.jpg”><img class=”size-full wp-image-1364″ title=”044″ alt=”” src=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/044.jpg&#8221; height=”332″ width=”500″ /></a> “Joy is the feeling of grinning inside.” <a href=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/024.jpg”><img class=”size-full wp-image-1363″ title=”024″ alt=”” src=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/024.jpg&#8221; height=”752″ width=”500″ /></a> “Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” -Mother Teresa <a href=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/julis-bday-weekend-11-139.jpg”><img class=”size-full wp-image-1369″ title=”Juli’s Bday weekend 11 139″ alt=”” src=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/julis-bday-weekend-11-139.jpg&#8221; height=”332″ width=”500″ /></a> “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” -Henri Nouwen <a href=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/julis-bday-weekend-11-087.jpg”><img class=”size-full wp-image-1368″ title=”Juli’s Bday weekend 11 087″ alt=”” src=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/julis-bday-weekend-11-087.jpg&#8221; height=”332″ width=”500″ /></a> “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. <a href=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/my-girls.jpg”><img class=”size-full wp-image-1370″ title=”MY GIRLS” alt=”” src=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/my-girls.jpg&#8221; height=”410″ width=”500″ /></a> To get joy, we must give it, and to keep joy, we must scatter it. -John Templeton My Girls! &lt;3 <a href=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/oh-boy.jpg”><img class=”size-full wp-image-1371″ title=”oh, boy” alt=”” src=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/oh-boy.jpg&#8221; height=”355″ width=”500″ /></a> “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. <a href=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/common-lets-go-for-a-walk-andrew-and-miss-maeve1.jpg”><img class=”size-full wp-image-1366″ title=”common’ let’s go for a walk…Andrew and Miss Maeve…” alt=”” src=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/common-lets-go-for-a-walk-andrew-and-miss-maeve1.jpg&#8221; height=”420″ width=”451″ /></a> “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 <a href=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/down-a-country-road-046.jpg”><img class=”size-full wp-image-1358″ title=”down a country road 046″ alt=”” src=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/down-a-country-road-046.jpg&#8221; height=”332″ width=”500″ /></a> “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 <a href=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/saturday-afternoon-river-clouds1.jpg”><img class=”size-full wp-image-1361″ title=”saturday afternoon river clouds” alt=”” src=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/saturday-afternoon-river-clouds1.jpg&#8221; height=”752″ width=”500″ /></a> “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 <a href=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/saturday-afternoon-setting-glow1.jpg”><img class=”size-full wp-image-1362″ title=”Sunday afternoon setting glow” alt=”” src=”http://awinsomejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/saturday-afternoon-setting-glow1.jpg&#8221; height=”297″ width=”500″ /></a> There may be no joy like lazing around on a Sunday afternoon, doing nothing in particular,…Enjoy your Sunday!

Be Well,
Jess

A New Day…


The real beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance.
Isn’t it nice to think that today is a new day – a blank slate lying ready for you,
perfect, and unspoiled. Fill it with Joy, wonder, adventure, and love. Live as if you had never wasted a single moment in all your life.
Enjoy the ride…Don’t waste a single moment.
Every moment is another chance to love, to dream, to be…

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
― Emily Dickinson

Please continue to hold my niece Courtney in your prayers. She is still at Mt Sinai Hospital.

Be well,
Jess

Courtney update…


I haven’t forgotten all of you…


“If I can see pain in your eyes then share with me your tears. If I can see joy in your eyes then share with me your smile.”
― Santosh Kalwar


Courtney
had a good night, she woke up this morning, wanting to eat (she has lost 44 lbs) She ate her breakfast; and kept it down. My sister,Gina is going to venture out to find Courtney some cream of tomato soup…which she woke up wanting this morning. Her chest tube is still in place, as is her IV. Waiting for conclusive test results, and the possibility of a liver transplant.

Keep her in your thoughts and prayers please.

I’m uncertain about what the day may hold as the hospital took on more patients from Bellevue Hospital (it was evacuated) yesterday. If anything changes, I will let you all know.

God is our comforter. In times of trial, anxiety, and struggles He is our comfort. May our hearts be open to comfort the sick, their family, the caregivers, those affected by Sandy, the defeated, the frustrated and those who need his LOVE.

The God of all comfort comes to us as we pray and seek Him with all of our heart. He is there.

The Comforter has come. “Praise be to G-d and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God”

Be well,
Jess

Of all the best that can come true….


“How can you get very far,
If you don’t know who you are?
How can you do what you ought,
If you don’t know what you’ve got?
And if you don’t know which to do
Of all the things in front of you,
Then what you’ll have when you are through
Is just a mess without a clue
Of all the best that can come true
If you know What and Which and Who.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh


Lexi was such a cute pup, she’s still cute just 120lbs. bigger. She would really rather be outside chasing her ball, but it is a rainy, rainy day here on the farm…


rainy days…


Soggy llamas…silly girls go in the dry shelter…


This is how I will spend the day..spinning with tea near by…perfect for a damp cool September day.
Then, maybe I will bake a Quiche or apple pie for tonight, then, maybe…design a new farm display banner..the resonating silence in the house is deafening some days – like today it is louder than others. Yet, I am filled to the brim pride and joy in watching my children make their way in this fast changing world, and the relief I feel in seeing their successes. I am so in love with them!
Happiness is: someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to…I am adjusting to my new normal.

***for some reason, though I have not changed any settings, my photos and text are not aligning; any suggestions on how to correct this?
Be Well,
Jessica

life is delicately balanced, but the scales never evenly hung…


Have you ever been so busy, you had to remember to breathe…(or blog?)

On a messy childhood. Stay focused on staying busy. Courage, determination, pride…that’s what little girls are made of.
I survive as I always have…I survived by keeping my emotions in check – by maintaining my composure and tucking it all away. I managed to stay under the radar, skating through without anyone truly remembering I was here….oh, to stand out would have been unthinkable. Life in my world, was designed to stay busy, less time to dwell…You can’t control what you, as a child are not responsible for…so you carry on, life carries on. I guess you just don’t pay attention. I think you’re too busy attempting to fade…until one day, you realize; I don’t need to hide, I don’t need to keep my head down. I have survived! My husband and children are awesome; my life full of hope and love. Our family has been blessed with a beautifully perfect baby girl; my Step-Son and his beautiful wife are all doing fantastic. A new baby is like the beginning of all things-wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.

Sometimes”, said Pooh, “the smallest things take up the most room in your heart”

Our hearts are full, perhaps with whatever we choose to put in them…I choose joy!
Be Well,
Jess

Andrew’s moon


Sometimes you can give children all of the instructions you want; and they will do exactly what they think you want.


I asked Andrew, to sit and hold the moon, explaining that if he holds his hands like a cup, I can take a picture looking like he is “holding the moon”. He promptly sat his little self down, crossed his legs and held up the tennis ball ~ his moon!


now, just where did I put that tripod? Could have used it here…


We even had our own fireworks last night ~ in the garden.


It was too beautiful an evening to go back into the house. Long after the animals were fed and the chicks and ducks put to bed…we lingered wandering about the pastures and fields. Sometimes you just need to eek out every second of bliss you can.


I am doggy sitting for my daughter this week, so at times I have been charged with 5 dogs…the weeds in my garden are having a field day and the plum tomatoes are waiting to be plucked off the vine; the sauerkraut is wanting to be skimmed, and the pool is now green as the grass…the pups, the llamas, the chicks, and ducks are all content…life is good.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change


Si, looking out the window on a rainy day

Last year, when Naldo and Si were visiting, we had a hurricanes! You can read about it here and Here…if you ‘d like.

Be well,
Enjoy the last of the summer or whatever season it is where you live!
Jess

Just had to post this!!


Courtney meets Darius Rucker on her Make- A- Wish trip to Nashville.   AWESOME!
If you are new to my blog, read this entry to see why I am so excited. Courtney

I am smiling so hard right now!
Jess

I saw God riding a bike today!


I just had to share a little story with you this morning.

My neighbor ( you may have seen him in photos through out my blog) attends Sunday Mass with his Grammy. As they were leaving the service one Sunday Morning, being one of the last to leave, Father Tom jokingly quipped, “Hey, “Grammy” you have me blocked in ~ you know I like to head outta here as fast as possible”.

As “Grammy” buckled Andrew into his car seat , he was quietly thinking. “Grammy” settled herself into the car, buckled her belt, started the engine, as Andrew began to talk…”Hey, ‘Grammy’, was that God?”
With a warm smile and (silent giggles), Grammy answered; “No, Andrew, that’s Father Tom, he runs the church”.
“Oh” was all he said in reply.

Later in the week, Grammy was asked to gather Andrew from his babysitter. The two chatted for a few moments before announcing, “Hey, Grammy, I saw God riding his bike today!”

Aah, Andrew! I am blessed to know you.

Be well,
Jess