Time


How much do you try to fit in those little shreds and patches of time between the usual things to be done.

DSC_7282

I tossed the laundry in to the basket, grabbed the bowl of pins. loaded up the washer with the next load then headed out to hang them in the sun and breeze.

Summer breeze

Summer breeze

 

Walking back from the clothes line out back near the far pasture; I notice some weeds in the garden. I stop to pull the few I noticed; as I pulled, I noticed more. The seeing, pulling, and shifting went on for some time. My back was sore, then I looked at the clock, I had been at it for 3/4 of an hour. I had missed the rinse cycle on the washer, no softener in this load.

DSC_7300

What continues to astonish me about a garden is that you can walk past it in a hurry to get to the next task at hand, see something wrong, stop to fix it, and emerge an hour or two later breathless, contented, and wondering what on earth happened.

DSC_7271

Do fill the cracks of time so tight you couldn’t slip paper between the minutes? Do you accomplish more when you think you don’t have enough time? 

DSC_7302

I have a list of things to be done a mile long. This list seems to the should haves, at the end of the day I wonder why I didn’t hem those pants (sorry Mike), why didn’t I trim the dog, (sorry Finn), why didn’t I trim his hair, (sorry honey).

DSC_7284

“What may be done at any time will be done at no time.”
– Scottish Proverb

I did however: weed the garden, hang the laundry, help Jenn with her knitting, do the dishes, make the beds, vacuum the rugs, feed the animals, throw the ball for Lexi, clean the chicken coupe, plan dinner, write this post, respond to emails, and its only noon! 

DSC_7280

“It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”
– Henry David Thoreau

I have much to learn.

Be well,

Jess

 

Walking


Walking and conversation seem to go hand in hand. Inspired conversation, thoughts from deep within, the longer the walk the deeper the conversation.

DSC_5112

I think I could write an interesting memoir of outstanding walks I have taken with others, during which togetherness was not only shared but settled tenderly into the landscape of memory.

DSC_5091

When I was a child, my sisters and I used to walk, from the busstops to home, through parks, across fields and up and down hills.

DSC_5086

We talked of many things, some meaningful (to very young children) and some completely outrageous, and quite a few very tall stories emerged on those walks.

DSC_5104

Whatever the content of the talking, those walks and those conversations remain important memories for me of my attachment to my family, and to nature.

DSC_5085

We used to stop along the way to look for Lady Slippers, a protected native orchid. We found a few. We found Poison Ivy more often.

DSC_5090

The content of these walks have become blurred, now they’re more a painting in my memory. There, As a whole, no particular parts.  Cherished.

DSC_5056

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Get out there, it’s good medicine.

I am the walkingist girl around, we (my husband or daughter and I) try to put in 6 miles a day, though we don’t always achieve this; weather has her own say in things.

Be well,

Jess

Between Rain and Setting


Life is balance.

We strive for balance yet  balance is all around us.

DSC_6602

We struggle between effort and rest, between night and day, between yes and no.

DSC_6615

What will work and what won’t.

DSC_6620

Do we need to have more quiet, more noise, more movement, more stillness?

DSC_6614

Do you find balance with travel?

DSC_6618

Do you remain grounded?

DSC_6607

What keeps you happy and healthy?

DSC_6613

Me? A Sunday night drive in the country. 

Be well,

Jess

Maundy Thursday.


In the Roman Catholic Church, Lent officially ends at sundown on Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday), with the beginning of the mass of the Lord’s Supper.

DSC_5448

The period of forty fast days and Sundays before Easter are known as Lent.  For penance this year I chose to give up Facebook. Sounds strange doesn’t it? Shouldn’t I have given up sweets, or beer ( i don’t drink beer, so that would be too easy). I chose not to forego desserts, I had fasted from them for 3 months, as I prayed for my niece’s health, healing and peace. I had become accustomed to being with out sugar. I thought I had better choose another vice, one that I spent far too much productive time viewing.

DSC_5447

It wasn’t easy at first. My thumb would find itself hovering over the icon on my phone, or iPad  far too easily almost instinctively. It was a hard habit to break.

DSC_0162

My (few and far between) twitter posts found their way to my page, as did my Pinterest activity. I saw the increasing number of posts waiting to be read; tempting just one quick click.

I did (I admit) check once or twice, on my Sister Gina’s post…just to be sure of her.

DSC_0187

Here I am, facing the end of Lent and hoping I don’t fall back into the pattern of wasted time.

Be well, Take the light of the Lord with you wherever you go.

Jess

It’s April, who’s Fooling whom?


This is what April [usually] looks like on our little cottage farm. Do you suppose Mother Nature plays April fools jokes? I’d like to think she has a sense of humor.

beautiful April morning 001 beautiful April morning 003 beautiful April morning 004 beautiful April morning 005 beautiful April morning 012 beautiful April morning 017 beautiful April morning 024

How this place we call home looks today?

IMG_0050

They are too discomfited to allow for company. You do understand, don’t you?

Perhaps the chooks will let us visit?

IMG_0458

Uhm, guess not, they choose to not even show their faces.

The goats are happy go-lucky, let’s ask Shelby for a visit.

DSC_4598

Oh, Okay. We get the message, we’ll visit another day.

Be well, and take the light of the Lord with you wherever you go.

Jess

Heady with the aroma of growth


A simple bit of earth has the impressive power of evoking grand dreams. The magic begins with the arrival of winter’s dispersal of seed catalogs.

Boston heritage roses

If you garden and are anything like me you dream, and plan you scratch lines in the soil with the toe of your boot, you carve and through grassy strips creating new beds and expanding the old. You move this here and that there, in hope of better growth. Maybe this next to that would be better…you have illusions of a grand garden (or perhaps delusions).

apple

Notions gleaming with possibility and loosely tangled treasure bounce through your noggin, like spring peepers on your pond.

 DSC_4524

Ideas flash like a a photographer’s bulb, if only they were as easily created as they are imagined.

JOSHUA REVEAL 044

I imagine more garden paths, lined with pea stone beckoning you to enter herb gardens filled with basils, thyme, rosemary, and sage, or a bench tucked away in a secret cutting garden.

DSC_5030

Fields of french lavender lending their fragrance to dawn’s solitude.

DSC_5506

You feel the moss under your bare feet that cling to the damp slate slabs in an outdoor dining area. You sit, senses drenched with wisteria draping from the pergola overhead. Birds, bees, and butterflies going about the daily task of pollination (no chemicals to harm them in sight).

busy

It’s still much too cold here to get out and work the soil, so I sit sipping Earl Grey whilst I bide my time, content to plan and dream.

Spring 2011 070

“My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as  the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.” Abram L. Urban

DSC_4674

Be well, dream, and do.

Jess

Going…going…will it be gone?


Winter. Just another of life’s adventures; fraught  with roller coaster temperatures and seemingly insurmountable layers of snow and ice. A journey that forced us inside, inside ourselves to ponder our dreams and the roads we have already traveled. To navigate our paths, or wander serendipitously, our minds open to what could be. DSC_6138

Something about the near hibernation plummets me into retrospect, a desire to reroute my intended destination; to find joy in my journey, succumb to the stillness.    Be. DSC_6142 It has faded , winter; I struggle to rectify the inside with the out. I listen to melody of my past, believing the best is yet to come. Fresh beginnings, new goals, bright dreams; they are all there in the song. A song of sweet nothings. DSC_6140 I delight in the sweet nothings now, the season slowed me enough to recognize contentment in the ordinary. The sunrise, the sunset, skyping with my husband 10 thousand miles away, puppy kisses, baby giggles, or a llama’s whiffle; these are gifts that could slip by without being noticed, aren’t they? Keep your eyes and your heart open lest you miss life’s beauty. DSC_6129 Some of the best moments are the simplest. Be well, catch the moments and hold on tight. Jess

No action shots here folks, we’re waiting it out.


 

 

 

 

I guess, there really is no sense in complaining, we are all in the same boat. The weather has the upper hand. Mother nature must be hung up somewhere else and forgot we are stuck in winter. It’s like an old record that skips, the tune moves ahead just bit only to be bounced to where it began.

DSC_6088

So we sit and we wait, we prepare, we hope. DSC_6092

 

We take advantage, although somewhat reluctantly, of the quiet days. Soon the pace will pick up. They’ll be gardens to till and beds to prepare. The peas are ready to go in, along with the spinach, chard and other hearty greens.DSC_6102

 

There will be goats and llamas to be sheared. Barns to be spring cleaned.  The chickens will pick up their pace. I miss their eggs.DSC_6084

 

The grapes could use some love; with all that has been going on in the past years they have been sorely neglected. I am excited to be planting more this spring, along with more blueberry bushes.DSC_6108

We all need things to look forward to, don’t we. Human nature certainly. How sad must it be to have no hope, or faith in the future. DSC_6110

 

I keep telling myself to be patient, enjoy the here and now; rest while you can. There will be busier days ahead.

I am restless, I suppose everyone is at this time of the year [in the North East of USA].DSC_6122

 

Yes, Lexi, they’ll be time to play. But today we wait and plan, plot, and prepare.

Pups:

Richard the Yorkishire Terrier/Papillon mix (2 yrs)

Diezel the Treeing Walker Hound (3mos)

Finnegan the Bernese Mountain Dog/Poodle aka Bernedoodle (7yrs)

Lexi the Black Labrador Retriever (6yrs)

Enjoy the wait.

Be well,

Jess

 

Feather your nest


The first day of spring is a perfect time to build your home; at least this couple thinks so.

Just outside my living-room window a sparrow family is building their nest in the Forsythia just swelling with buds.

DSC_6034

It’s not a terribly pleasant day for building. The sun is struggling to be seen through the clouds and we expect snow to fall.

DSC_6037

She is dressed rather plainly today, you wouldn’t want to muss your best finery would you. I don’t think she expected visitors.

DSC_6038

She simply won’t be seen this way in public and takes her leave. Thank you very much.

DSC_6043

Or perhaps she has stepped out for a few items of decoration to enhance the new abode.

DSC_6048

I think he’s decided to use this time to tidy up his appearance. I do believe she’ll appreciate his efforts. (or perhaps he has an itch)

DSC_6049

Where did she get off to; she can’t think I can do this alone.

DSC_6051

Oh, there she is.

DSC_6054

Do like how things are coming along? No? Oh well, it’s just the foundation.

DSC_6055

Maybe she doesn’t know I’m here…

DSC_6056

I believe she can see me now.

DSC_6063

Let me show off my chest a little; she’ll like that.

DSC_6068

How embarrassing, she didn’t even notice.

DSC_6069

Perhaps I should get back to work, she might like that more…I have to impress her somehow.

Enjoy your day.

Be Well,

Jess

And Just Like That…


And just like that, it’s mud season. Grab your muck boots and lets dive right in. You’d think with all of the snow and ice we have been driving in, we’d be happy to be rid of it, and you are right, mostly.
Winter’s opinion of our driving skills matters very little now. Should we fancy ourself worthy of praise? We made it through, we survived relatively unscathed, free of this foreboding stretch of time. Now it is giving way to the promise of spring, but getting from one to the other required passing through an ominous complication called, mud season, or pot hole season, call it what you will.
The problem with this season? No, it is not merely the gobs of the gooey, sloppy, boot sucking glop carried in your boots or paws. No, it is far more sinister than that.
The problem?
Driving.

This, this makes your road a mighty opponent, a duel between you (your vehicle)and the mud-rutted road. It separates the men from the boys; the wheat from the chaff.

First,logistics come into play; you must figure out where to direct your wheels. The decisions come fast and furious, vigilance indispensable, lest you take too long to decide, even a moment of indecision can slow your momentum. Do you ride on the high part or the low part to stay out of the ditch? You follow the tire ruts that came before you, don’t even think about forging your own path? You must abandon your instincts, and drive like hell. Bottoming out is a fatal blow in an area that is mostly uphill and down and mostly dirt roads. If you are venturing out in New England this weekend, don’t leave your gumption at home.

Do you think I can train the pups to leave their boots at the door.
DSC_5465

The goats won’t muck up the kitchen with mud. They are more polite and mind their manners. (except when the eat the pocket right from the apron I’m wearing)
DSC_4580

Mud-season, a battle of two, a season of indeterminate duration when spring and winter struggle for dominance. A season you won’t find on your calendar, a season all its own; none of spring’s lovely flowers, or Autumn’s showy colors, none of winter’s white billows of snow, nor summer’s freshly cut green grass, just serious mud.

Winter has yet to yield its grip, the snow is still feet thick near the hedgerow, it’s best it melts slowly. A flooded basement, streams, and rivers would not be a better option.

DSC_4629
Girl, you need a haircut!

Be well,
Jess