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

A Winsome Journey…Yours and Mine.


A series of Journeys ~ Life.

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You will love, you will lose, you will encounter many circumstances and experiences, you will meet people, you will see things. Some of these experiences and people you will always remember, some you won’t forget fast enough. Some of these will teach you, some just warm your heart and soul. Do these happen by accident; no,I don’t think they do.

>Finding beauty in flowers and life.

Some hurdles or blessings you will experience alone, some will be shared with family, or with friends. Some of the people we meet become so ingrained in your soul, they become part of you, or they become a close friend (family).

>Finding beauty in flowers and life.

In life and through our journeys, we are similar, you and I; we stumble, we fall, we grow, and from all those experiences we learn. We learn who we are, we learn of our strengths and weaknesses; we find ourselves. We follow our dreams.

>Finding beauty in flowers and life.

I trudge along on this adventure of mine, where ever it may lead…I appreciate the adventure of having, working for, and living my dream, and with a lot of courage, a little creativity… some stick-to-itiveness I will move in the direction of my dreams.

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I am glad you blog, and that you visit and comment on mine.
As I read and envelope myself in your blogs, your writings, and photographs; it is a vast source of motivation, reassurance, and inspiration. I do not travel this path alone. I take strength and peace from your gentle kindness, your sincerity, and your generosity.

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Though we are all different we are very much the same, we put our hearts, faith, and souls into our dreams. We stumble and fall, we pick ours selves up dust ourselves off and begin where we left off…No matter how easy some folks make their journey appear,at the end of the day , we all just put one foot in front of the other… time and time again. We move forward – together and alone.

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Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

Be Well,
Jess

Baby, it’s cold outside…


I Do Not Mind You, Winter Wind

(Jack Prelutsky)

I do not mind you, Winter Wind
when you come whirling by,
to tickle me with snowflakes
drifting softly from the sky.

I do not even mind you
when you nibble at my skin,
scrambling over all of me
attempting to get in.

But when you bowl me over
and I land on my behind,
then I must tell you, Winter Wind,
I mind . . . I really mind!

The wood furnace is dancing with flames, hardly struggling to keep our little cottage farmhouse warm. But boy, is it cold outside; it was -17 in the pre-dawn hours and up to a brisk -5 as I headed out to do morning chores, and check on the chicks and ducks, needed to be sure I didn’t have any “chooksicles”. All was as it should have been; animals in their nests of hay. It even looked as though Syria, our oldest llama had made her own nest of hay; though it was supposed to be her and everyone else’s breakfast..silly girl.

After the chores were done, both outside and in..I settled in to sip hot tea and knit. I am trying to finish a lacy patterned brushed suri, ear warming, head band for Jenn. Then a bit of spinning,I have finished a skein of llama/merino blend yarn(I am not sure what I am going to make that into).

Funny how each season sets it’s own rhythm on a farm. Nature eases you from one season to the next, each with it’s own flurry of activity. Reminding us to enjoy, if you wish, the comfort of home on a cold winter’s day, the refreshing nip of the wind in October, and the warmth of the sun’s rays in May. ( May plantings,oh shivers xoxox)

Time to warm the Earl Grey…

spinnings
A blend of llama and merino…

Chet
Chester, is grateful for his spring shearing…He would be way too hot in his fiberluscious coat all summer.

LLaLLa
Thank you for the fiber LLala..(Shangrala)

llama rovings
Llama rovings…

rovings
Merino rovings purchased at the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool festival.

kromski My Favorite wheel…a Kromski castle style single treadle.

my wheel 2
..such a pretty wheel,they make.

wheels 2
flyer, whorl, and maidens…

Kromski wheel 2.0
:)

lazy kate
The lazy kate…used when plying the fiber.

Be well, stay warm.
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

A Painted Chevy, and a challenge for you…


I am sure this is exactly what Howie had in mind when thinking of his Rat Rod….(Oh, right I keep forgetting about the Rat part of that description). Well, anyway; I thought it would be great to use the truck in the new design for our [Misty Maples Farm]farm banner. What do you think?

I would like to paint something into the little trailer, only I am not sure what? After working on the painting for 6 hours yesterday; my creativity must have been spent. I thought of the folks who read this little blog, aha, moment! You should choose.
So, I leave it up to you to choose what should be in the trailer. If you would?
If I choose your idea, I will send you a dozen (yet to be designed)Christmas cards featuring the painting. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!


Not sure if this will be of any assistance, but, we have chickens, ducks, dogs, llamas, and soon Angora Goats here on our farm. I spin fiber, knit, and attempt to crochet the fiber.

Be well,
Jess

Reader Appreciation Award ~ Gratitude creates a vision for tomorrow….


A few days ago I was given “Reader Appreciation Award” …can you believe it?
“Painted By The Sun” Thank you.
I do hope you can spare a moment to wander through her beautiful photographs. They are lovely.

A few of the blogs I follow that I think you may appreciate!
Tracie Louise Photography Gorgeous.
The Simple Life of a Country Man’s Wife Beautiful photos; this girl has spunk!
Life As I See It… Beautiful.
Bloom: KT,she like me, is obsessed with flowers and gardening…
This Little Light Cara, such a beautiful heart.
SKEDazzles Inspirational photographs with beautiful words…and travel!

To anyone, everyone who has spent time reading my blog or viewing my photos; I thank you so very much!
Johannes A. Gaertner once said,“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.”
Need I say more?


We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.


Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind.


Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.


“Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition.” Scottish Poet Alexander Smith


“Iris” you were here…


all of thee Boy’s photos were taken in the rain…
By ourselves we can enjoy life, but to really appreciate life …you need to share with others.


…counting my blessings.


Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.


…a word, a smile, a grateful heart…


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life…and beauty of tomorrow.

Enjoy the smallest, most humble of happy moments..love, the joy of breathing, walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air; stay mindful and grateful for every day, for family, your friends, your hopes, your dreams….
Be well,
Jess

The perfect time…for a winsome journey.


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.

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.

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

I have added to my list – Blog more consistently, take the time to share my thoughts, ideas, and creative endeavors with ~ you, the friends I have made through this blog. Yes, I do believe I can call some of you friends.
Celi ,http://thekitchensgarden.wordpress.com//
Shannon, http://dirtnkids.wordpress.com//
PW, http://prairiewisdom.wordpress.com//
and Renee, http://writingfeemail.wordpress.com// ~ to name a few. Relationships established in the blogosphere…I would love to sit around the kitchen table talking about this or that, sit on the front porch with a glass of tea..or wonder around the farm and gardens with any of these girls..I always look forward to reading about what is going on their lives.
As my life grows and changes I look forward to sharing with friends; friends I’ve made here on my blog, and friends I cherish close to home.

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.


Mali and Phantom enjoy their new pasture…they were in their new diggs all of 5 minutes before they challenged each other to a game of “King of the Hill”.


Jubilee, wondering what to eat first…


Mali,thinking he won the game.


Hay! In Moses Country; no, not that Moses…Gramma Moses. She lived and painted just around the bend in Eagle Bridge, New York.(Anna Mary Robertson Moses (September 7, 1860 – December 13, 1961), better known as “Grandma Moses”, was a renowned American folk artist. In 1938 a New York engineer and art collector, Louis J. Caldor, who was driving through Hoosick Falls, saw some of her paintings displayed in a drug store window. They were priced from $3 to $5, depending on size. He bought them all, drove to the artist’s home at Eagle Bridge and bought ten others she had there. The next year, three Grandma Moses paintings were included in “Contemporary Unknown American Painters” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.) Ok, now back to the post…:)


I think this is what llamas dream’s look like…


Sun setting after a hard days work…


Sunset over Moses Country.


I just sat and watched…


I sat quietly in the grass…waited, watched, not really wanting the sun to completely set, yet anticipation was building for a grand finally.


so soft, and vibrant..


Sometimes you find beauty by sorting through the weeds…

We are our thoughts, hopes,and dreams…
Relax,enjoy life and your time.
Jess

Babies are such a nice way to start people on showery days.


Showery day for a shower… it is good luck according to the old greek mythology. Good we are headed in the right direction then!

Such special memories that day. A Mom to be surrounded by friends and family that will love and support her and her baby boy through all life’s milestones. Her sister and Mom coordinated the bash. The decorations were adorable, the spirits were high. Cole got so many great things…I can’t wait to meet him.

So where did this shower thing come from?

Showers. The original intent was for women to share wisdom and lessons on the art of becoming a mother.There are gifts given to the expecting mother. It’s a very affectionate and fun-filled event for expecting mothers on the threshold of motherhood and entering a new life.

This description holds true, unless you are my [then] 5 year old daughter, a niece was having her first child, Drew. Jenni was excited to attend the shower, to see relatives and have cake. We were about 1/2 hour into the gift opening portion of the shower when Jenni leaned over and whispered in my ear, “When do we take a shower”? I barely stifled my laughter as I explained that the new Mom was being “showered” with gifts not water.

A family and friend reunion of sorts, with gifts for the new baby. She looked disappointed, and asked for cake.

I will leave you with this thought. Maybe she had a good point, why would baby needs a shower when it is in the middle of a 9 month long bath already. Wouldn’t it make more sense to give the baby a shower, you know when it’s born… when it is all messy? That’s when a baby could use a good shower.


I’d like to wish you, dear Cole…., to be kind, beautiful, clear of purpose and with lofty aims. Have a good life!


A baby is a gift not only to the parents but to the grandparents and close friends. I wish you to have as many gifts as possible, my friends


They say when you see a falling star it will bring you luck. I wish you, dear baby, a rain of falling stars.


Children are sun shines. Let the sun always shine for you and make you happy.

Shannon and Nick; just think of all the cool things that are coming in the future. First tattoo, first date, first day of school, first words, and first steps are all ahead of you. Well… hopefully not in that order though.

Be well, Let your life be sunny and bright!
Jess

motivation is the wolf at the door….


After a full year ~ yesterday; searching for suitable employment, I have come to the decision ( actually I have been toying with this for some time now)to pave my own way. It is time to create a job and start to do it, make myself indispensible for said job, and then I will inevitably start to get paid for that job. This is essentially how my last term of employment began, with no job description…I found their plan, only after 18 months into it…and still managed to make it a viable success(but that is another story all together and not one one worth revisiting).

What I’m getting at, is if you have a passion, a place you want to get to, something you want to learn, then make a sacrifice or two, it’ll pay off in the end if you’re persistent… for me it is all about getting out of my own way. It is time to listen to my heart…and letting go of fear. Fear is the only thing holding me back. Funny thing, fear ~ it’s imagined. Nothing bad has ever happened just going for something I wanted to do. It’s when I pretend I don’t want something, burying it as only I can, the unfortunate situations form…I end up doing something that doesn’t align with my values, and then I begin again the search to find something else.

I tell myself, all it takes is hard work and a lot of heart. I can do this.
It is in my nature to continually juggle many things, it seems I must have a number of balls in the air at one time to maintain my attention. I enjoy many different things: photography, writing, illustration(watercolors),research, knitting, felting, working on my spinning skills…and gardening, baking and other creative endeavors. I care for and nurture many animals, so I know precisely w.hat the farm needs to sustain its self… A farm store/studio should fit the bill, don’t you agree? A collaborative community effort to some extent. Sell Local,Buy Local.

I’m not a big fan of should. I’ve always been one of those people who asked “why”. If someone told me I had to do something, and I thought it was foolish, I’d tell them so. At 50 years old, many folks would tell me, and they have, what I should be doing, and starting a new venture was not one of them. I have never been conventional, so I figure; why start now! Tomorrow will come no matter what I am doing…what that looks like is up to me.

But no matter what I’m doing, I try to bring beauty to what ever I do and to whom ever I meet.

Some zing for spring:

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Follow your bliss, what does that mean for you?
Be well,Jess

Everything Old Is New Again.


When my husband and I first set out to reclaim old barns I never thought it would become a staircase and focal wall.

But, then again, does anything follow the exact route intended? Think back,did you intend to be where you are? Are you doing what you truly wish to be doing, or what you feel you must do now…to care for family, and the responsibilities associated? Do you ever question your calling? Some folks are lucky, I suppose; to be so sure, so early in their lives…but, it took a long time become me. I thought that studying to become a nurse was the right thing to do with my life, despite the fact that I’m too thin-skinned for the work. Later, I attained a degree in legal studies..again not the best fit. (desks and I don’t get along)
I found a position with some creative and independent latitude; and it focused on a worthwhile cause..Domestic Violence. I believed this work would really matter; if I could just reach, or find justice for one child, one woman.
For 4 years, I forged ahead…a grass roots type initiative. I heard many say, it can’t be done, it doesn’t work…those with whom this project clashed throwing obstacles in my way…this only firmed my resolve. In the end, I was proud of what the was created, from nearly nothing. I learned early on, water flowed in the direction of least resistance; and connected with the “right” people…(with a fairly progressive,forward thinking Judge forging this new road), this new way of adjudicating cases was showing promise; recidivism was lower. The State was looking to use this as a model for the Judicial System. Yet, I was still fighting the same battles, to make it work, bucking the status-quo…change was not easy for this unit (court). I grew weary and had little fight left in me…there were too many wrongs to make right. It was good work, I was glad to have helped and perhaps eased the pain and burden of some…it was time for me to go. To refill my glass, I had lost myself along the way. I had given so much of myself, for something I believed in (and still do).

Knowing specifically what you want is much different than knowing what you don’t want; I know, now, what I don’t want. Knowing specifically what I want is much different than knowing what I don’t want. Reality is complicated, isn’t it? But, for me, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I am not out to become wealthy, if that was my only goal, that would have been an easier path, I think. I definitely wouldn’t have made me happy.
But, then again, maybe life isn’t a race, and maybe the most interesting people follow a path all their own..and perhaps, now..I am right where I need to be.

As we were clearing the back pasture, for the new/old fence..a maple tree fell into their pasture..sweet nibbles in January, a treat.

Barn boards, stairs,and critters to be fenced..

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A poem of sorts…from “Free to Be Me and You”… Marlo Thomas

When we grow up, will I be pretty?
Will you be big and strong?
Will I wear dresses that show off my knees?
Will you wear trousers twice as long?
Well, I don’t care if I’m pretty at all.
And I don’t care if you never get tall.
I like what I look like, and you’re nice small.
We don’t have to change at all.

Hey!
When we grow up, will I be a lady?
Will you be an engineer?
Will I have to wear things like perfume and gloves?
I can still pull the whistle while you steer.
Well, I don’t care if I’m pretty at all.
And I don’t care if you never get tall.
I like what I look like, and you’re nice small.
We don’t have to change at all.

When I grow up, I’m gonna be happy and do what I like to do,
Like making noise and making faces and making friends like you.
And when we grow up, do you think we’ll see
That I’m still like you and you’re still like me?
I might be pretty; you might grow tall.
But we don’t have to change at all.

I don’t want to change, see, ’cause I still want to be your friend, forever and ever and ever and ever and ever.

Be well,
Jess