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 ,
and Renee, ~ 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.

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

Once Upon a Time, there was a tiny little cottage~that wanted to be a Farm

Dreaming up the happy ending… after all, some of its bones were made of trees (actual tree trunks).
Originally built in 1840, with balloon construction technique; a style of wood-house building that uses long, vertical studs for the exterior walls. These long “studs” extend uninterrupted, from the sill on top of the foundation, all the way up to the roof. It first came into use, well before the mid-nineteenth century, there certainly are many, many balloon-framed structures, between 75 and 175 years old, that haven’t floated away.( not very funny, huh?) Most balloon framed buildings were rather plain and simple. The original structure of our little cottage was a mere 800 square, only feet 18 feet wide. The family that lived here for the previous 50 years before us, raised 6 children here. The only addition they made was a small attached kitchen structure. We found out as we were re-modeling; the timbers for that portion of the house were tree trunks. We figure it must have been an old wood shed attached to the house for convenience in the winter months.

Although the tiny quarters posed many space and storage challenges, it has a very charming and warm feel to it. It was home. The pastures were perfect for llamas; though many outbuildings needed to be constructed and fences built. We installed a very inexpensive fence, as it had to go up rather quickly and with little money as we had so much reno work inside the house. Permanent and safer fencing is our next big project, but that is another story all together[ and a previous post]. We lived out behind the house in our 28′ travel trailer for the first spring and summer we were here; mind you there were still 5 of us living here, with a dog and a cat to boot. I remember, as summer of that year was coming to a close; my youngest daughter had a fair (and llama show) to attend. The usual course of events would have been to pack the camper with needed items, trailer the animals and head to the fair for the week….not this particular time, you see we were still “technically living in it”, so as it was, we packed up our home and went to the fair. How’s that for classy living? Long about the end of October we were finally installing the last wall of the addition, (Howie and I did the entire reno ourselves, with found items, recycled and reused materials). After relocating a stairway, bathroom , laundry room and building 2 new bedrooms ~the sky spitting snow, finally we could move into the house! It has been a long road, we still have projects to finish…
the cabinets(handmade by a local cabinet maker long,long ago) that I refinished, going on 6 six years ago are in need of touch ups, the living room was painted again this past month, old barn flooring was used for the stairs, and barn boards now cozy up a wall(all salvaged from a 200 year old barn, last summer…again a different post)…The “scenery” I change often…curtains, pillows, and re-arranged furnishings character-etched, and well loved, relaxed and worry free, we live here…and so do our-much too large -dogs. And that is just how I like it.

The outbuildings are a coming along…

So hey come let’s look around…a walk through the seasons, dismantled barns, [in no particular order] at Misty Maples: 52 weeks, 52 pictures…oops

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Be well. Enjoy your day. We are having extraordinary weather here in upstate NY near 60!

A month of thanksgiving ~ Day 15

November 15, 2011

I am grateful for finished projects

Earlier I wrote a blog post ~ Grateful for my home. I mentioned that when I found before pictures I would post them. I found some; they are poor quality – early cell phone pictures, so bare with me. It has been a long and arduous 6 years,(on the 23 of December) and we are still not completely finished. Though we are nearing the end. I want to build a kitchen island from the barn wood we are up-cycling, then screen in the porch between the kitchen and the deck. Speaking of barn wood, I will add a few pictures of the beams that we brought home from the NOW dismantled barn. That was a project. The property owner was awesome, he offered us an additional barn for the taking! This barn will be my studio. I am so excited!!! Did I mention I was grateful?!

ok, pictures…

before kitchen...oh boy...

ah yes, the "dining area" of the old kitchen

kitchen a couple of years ago...same cupboards; I sanded, painted and glazed them..I think they turned out ok.

kitchen with Riley ready to pounce into the chair. The venetain plaster was a has been fairly easy keep though..I did this about 5 years ago..

the old stair way...can you imagine? ....nice 50's paneling and wrought iron even...

The second floor of the old barn hat will eventually be my studio!

Outside view.

beams from one of the old barns...priceless.

My kitchen island...(model) , I think weathered wood will do nicely don't you? It will be about 8 feet long, and I hope to build in my microwave and wine chiller...

I do have to say this has been A LOT of work, but it has all been worth it. I am also grateful all of the mechanics of the house were relatively new and well maintained…the previous owner was meticulous about that.

Be well,

A month of thanksgiving ~ day 8

By consciously giving thanks each day you set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.
(not sure who originally said this)

November 8, 2011

My Home

There was a time in the not so distant past, where this statement was not so true…when we purchased this property 6 years ago on December 23rd; I moved in with a whimper..literally. The land was perfect for the animals; all open field…no clearing to be done (big bonus). The interior of this 1840’s farmhouse/ eyebrow colonial however left a lot to be desired..the kitchen had room for a small table (pushed up to the window), the appliances and the washer and dryer. The dining area was a 10 x 10 space with the only bathroom access and low, low ceilings. The only bathroom was so tiny your could sit on the toilet with your feet soaking in the tub, if you had such a strange desire. Walk forward 1 step you were in the living room (and I use this term loosely) It measured 8x 12 mostly because the family who lived her for the previous 50 years(and raised 6 children here) were now elderly and had transformed half of the living room into a bedroom, in their nineties, climbing stairs was out of the question. Upstairs was one long bedroom and a bedroom/bathroom(?). That was it! Oh and a 2 car attached garage. Let me just say here..I had not seen the interior of the home until we moved in…We were moving from New Hampshire, and as he was already working here..he looked at properties…that is all.
Our closing was 2 days before Christmas 2005. I am a HUGE Christmas fan, HUGE! Our trees, decorations and baking usually up just after Thanksgiving. My first mission was to get the tree up. This also proved to be my first problem; we had to remove the sofa from the cramped quarters to fit the tree in! Actually this was the second problem, the enclosed stair way up to the second floor was not wide enough to get our bedroom set upstairs…Hubby had to take a wall down (on Christmas Eve)…but, this is another story all together.
I took a look around and decided..this was never going to work as is. Hubby and I put pencil to paper, pulled our 28 ft camper around back…and tore in. literally. first we (just hubby and I)started on the kitchen…enlarging it to measure 20×24, took laundry appliances out (moved to the new laundry room), added a hearth for a wood-stove, new wood floors, and 3 windows. The kitchen cupboards were hand made by a local artisan, so we kept those. I sanded, painted them a nice warm vellum, then glazed them with burnt umber.
The bathroom had to be moved, not only was it small, off the dining area; it had the only interior cellar access. Why, I ask you? Sorry Hubby, you are about to lose your garage. I designed a new space, accessible from a new hallway off the living area. A new larger bath, and 2 bedrooms each 12 x 18. Much better. I should mention how grateful I am that hubby is so talented and handy to have around. We could now move out of the camper!!!!
Next we took the wall down that separated the living room into the two areas. It was now a respectable gathering space. The flooring we chose was brought through the entire lower level for continuity. New (I use the term loosely) woodwork and things were looking up.
Upstairs had to be gutted as well, we created a master bedroom, with a large walk in closet…and a creative space for me ( smiling really hard).
We were lucky enough and resourceful enough to be able to re-use and re-purpose most of the materials for the project. The new flooring, wiring, and new plumbing, and some lumber, was all the was purchased new. We even were lucky enough to obtain a 20x 18 deck for no money, well the sweat equity on the part of my husband was the cost.

Gratefulness for my home is an understatement.
I wish I had pictures of “before” , I can’t find them at the moment…but here are a few of the after and some in betweens.

Brandy new path to our little cottage!


sorry about the garage...hubby.

partial kitchen shot...

Venetian plaster..a labor of love???

This is a mid point photo…the wood work not complete..and such..

mid project living room..

I really need to find the before(s) and some afters…I will, I will. I am grateful for the quiet and solitude our home provides.

Be well,


So, beware…this post in not about my farm, my animals, my garden, my children, my husband nor beauty…it is about the shower deficit! Yes, you read correctly; there is in my estimation, a shower deficit. As women we have many things to look forward to…wouldn’t you agree?
Prom…we can buy beautiful dresses, go to the salon to get our hair and nails done…we have a real reason to buy shoes. Real tangible

Our Wedding…more guilt free shopping, and get this…you can register with stores so loved ones can purchase just what you want… and they decorate and bake and call all your friends to celebrate your wedding…oh, to be a bride!
Our first born; again our loved ones gather to shower us with love, food, good advice and gifts….

Now, here we are..middle age; our pots and pans,linens, kitchen appliances, all seen better days..our beautiful lingerie won’t go past our shoulders…towels…scratchy with ends that have been mended too many times. Not to mention, even as our wares are faltering, our hormones are bidding us adieu… (medically speaking) permanent cessation of the primary functions of the human ovaries ~ and signals the end of the fertile phase of a woman’s life…Menopause can then be officially declared…time for a Shower…right? It is after all a right of passage…just like the aforementioned..enjoy some pictures from the lovely shower that started me on this ~er..”journey”…My step-son’s bride – to – be.

…did I mention they bake for you…

..just for you…

..a moment with loved ones…

awe…and precious babies…

…just have to smile…

It is no fun being a cantankerous hell-on-wheels! Especially if you aren’t used to it! Well I knew something was wrong when my usual charming self found it okay to flip the bird to someone that ticked me off on the highway – thank goodness I don’t live in LA or NYC, I’d probably be dead! Or how’s about finding myself befuddled and not able to find common words or recent memory in day-to-day conversations, sure kicks those hot flashes up a notch! Simple to the point, menopause sucks, unless of course you look to the lighter side! what was I saying, oh yeah…Showers…

Now, gather your friends and throw a party for deserve it…you and your friends need new things…some chocolate and a glass of wine..sounds like a shower to me!

I was going to give you suggestions, but I can’t remember what they were….oh yeah, mood rings, do you all remember those…wear them now…they can alert any passers by …do they want to mess with you today? It’s not like you didn’t warn them.

Be well, and be sure to let me know how your showers turn out. Oh, hey send me some pictures! I am going to design some invitations for a mine!

>Farmer’s markets…a unique shopping experience


The atmosphere; casual, open air shopping …enticing; the goods: fresh…all in all, remarkable!
I love heading out to our local Farmer’s and Green Markets, to support and chat with local farmers and  artisans. Enjoy the sense of community. Soak up the entrepreneurial spirit, and  gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to bring their beautiful offerings to market. They’ll also offer information and inspiration on how to prepare, or use your fresh ingredients!  While you’re at it you’ll be reducing pollution, packaging, and pesticide use while encouraging diversification in farming and stimulating your local economy…yay!
Healthy , Entertaining, local, FUN!

Bring some sunshine to your table….

Most vendors are truly passionate about bringing their best, and each has  a unique story to tell…How much fun is this apron, if I were wearing this, I’d be dancing while I bake…just because!!!

Direct access to your local artisans…how cool is that!    Love, Love, Loved the blue pottery!
Simple! Beautiful! 
I hope you have time to spend at your local Farmer’s Market , the connections you’ll make are unlike any other, local , healthy, FUN!

I especially like the earth and pet friendly ,  pest remedies  ” By Erin”, Tick Flick’r…a great , effective, alternative solution for fleas and ticks than other noxious products we put on our pets…it smells nice too!!!!

Be Well, and maybe I’ll see you there!