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.

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

In Winter’s Cold Shadow…There is Gold.


I find that I am not as patient as I once was; sometimes, I feel as though I am attempting to strain the mud puddle rather than patiently waiting for the mud to settle and the water to clear….Do you ever feel as though you are treading water, when you should be swimming?
Feeling over whelmed, me? “Why”, I ask myself. I know there is no easy road, no magic bullet. I am well aware the frustration I feel is of my own making. . . yet as I concentrate so much energy on my objectives, my world, …stumbling through endless lists.
I have always had lists. That can’t be it; am I just getting older and grumpier? Is this what mid-life, what 50 feels like? If it is I don’t like it one bit. Is it just the solitude that winter brings? Could it be I just need to idle my motor, wait for things to happen as they should, when they should?
Or maybe, just maybe; I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these that let me savor a bad mood….until the afternoon sun turns it to gold.

shadow
Mercedes’ shadow cast on the barn wall.

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Intent on supper…”oh, are you still there?”

Mercedes

Mercedes, always so graceful , never in the front, never pushy, or needing to be the first…always patient and full of grace. I want to be like her.

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Andy, is so frail; he did not have the benefit of his mother’s milk and nutrients pat the age of 2 months. I worry about him in the cold; he is wearing 2 polar fleece vest, a goose down vest, and a rain jacket with the arms cut off, ( all zipped up across his back) to protect him from the frigid temperatures. He sleeps, always, between KatDoll and Camille…they keep him warm.
I am going to have him gelded, so that he never has to leave them.

the crew
Even the chickens head to the llama barn for warmth and protection.

The winter blues. How do you deal with this issue? Or is it not an issue for you? Where do you find your patience?

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.

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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.

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Time. A fleeting commodity.

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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)

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We are our thoughts, hopes,and dreams…

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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

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

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

You don’t get an award for the Most Beautiful Things in Life; Your Heart Simply Swells to Six Times It’s Size.


The Big E, a favorite Llama Show of many held at the Eastern States Exposition venue in Massachusetts. We have attended since Jenni started showing her animals, I think she was in second grade; she is now a college freshman.

We have forged lifelong bonds, respect, and simply an awe of others abilities and gifts. The beautiful lady who wrote the following (for her blog); is one of those of which, I am in awe….I think you may be too…

……..The Big E Llama Show is one of my very favorite things. I was around llama people and llamas for almost four whole days! I loved seeing old friends and making new ones. I loved talking llama all day with the public and getting on my knees with little children to help them pet the llamas. And this year it was fun to have some of my llama lockspun yarn to show people and let them touch a tangible product and see the animals it came from.
On Friday, my buddy, Bruce, from Living Resources came to the show. Bruce and others in the day program have been coming to the farm for over two years to help with some farm chores and work with the llamas. I had told him if he came to the BIG E for a day, he could help me – he was excited for weeks prior! His father brought him early and he helped with some sweeping and with a little assistance, he did some wonderful PR (answering questions from the public). I am so proud of him!

But….the best part – and this is important because it defines me and my llamas….I took my llama, Lisel, (the best public relations llama EVER – even if we flunked the PR class), into her halter class – there was only one other llama in it. Lisel did her muppet bounce walk, didn’t hold her neck up, and confirmed for me that this would be her last show because it’s not her thing. I wasn’t upset, mostly I felt guilty for putting her through it. The saving grace – Bruce was waiting for us when we walked out. I clipped the big shiny Second Place red ribbon on his jacket and handed him the lead rope. He pet her and complimented her, and Lisel’s neck straightened right up and she walked at his side easily and smoothly. With him…she walked with PRESENCE and meaning. Bruce’s smile was so big, I got a lump in my throat and had to blink back…well, you know. He walked her back to her pen, obviously tickled to walk by dozens of people oohing and aahing over her (those swaying suri locks, you know). I watched Bruce walk tall and proud. He knew to stop and let children pet Lisel. ”STAND, Lisel,” he would say. ”Pet her neck, not her face,” he told people. Back at the pen, he unbuckled her halter without any help from me, and told her she was wonderful and a good girl….and rubbed her neck. THAT few moments, my friends, was better than any first place ribbon for anything…ever!…


If you were teary, don’t worry, I was too.
If you are intrigued, her is my blog post from last year’s show
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