Wishin’


I have dreams, I have hopes, and I have aspirations.

Can I wait around for some fairy Godmother to to tap me with her wand?

Nah, probably not; I’ve got things to do, time is awastin’, and I’m not getting any younger.

Because I don’t speak of these things much, (until I am ready to share); it may appear to others that I just jump into things, willy-nilly. This could not be further from the truth, I research ad-nauseam. Make a plan, then research some more.  (Are you nauseous yet?) I am almost ready!  We’ve spoken to our local LDC and are set for our second meeting.

The Llamas are excited. Really they are.

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The goats delirious. Can’t you just see the excitement in their eyes?

Seriously? What?!

Seriously? What?!

No? Look deeper.

I thought we talked about this behavior.

I thought we talked about this behavior.

…and the dogs, well, the  dogs could give a hoot.

Don't worry, Finn; I've got your back.

Don’t worry, Finn; I’ve got your back.

There are no balls, bones, or games involved, so they just choose to ignore the happenings around here.

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They pretend they can’t see the yarn wrapped around their paws, in their water dish, and atop their heads. They lie on top of fabric scraps; try to take freshly stitched sweaters for their own, try to wear cowls, and make chew toys of thread spools. 

Try to temper the excitement Finn, really.

Try to temper the excitement Finn, really.

It is going to be lots of work, lots of fun!

Diesel,

Diesel, “I swear I never saw anything.”

And the best part; I get to do it all in our freshly(to be) built barn.

I know, I know, Lexi…you slept through it all. Right?

I know, I know, Lexi…you slept through it all. Right?

The dogs really do like that part. 

Do I look like I would cause any trouble?  Diesel did it.

Do I look like I would cause any trouble? Diesel did it.

Alright then, let’s get to work.

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Hello…

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Hey?!

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Uhmm, where are you all going? We’ve got work to do.

Ah, well.  There must be something in self-reliance.

“If you are a dreamer come in If you are a dreamer a wisher a liar A hoper a pray-er a magic-bean-buyer If you’re a pretender com sit by my fire For we have some flax golden tales to spin Come in! Come in!” ― Shel Silverstein

Be well, Jess

Time


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

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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.

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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.

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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? 

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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).

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“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! 

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“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

 

Rocket Surgery


Do you ever say things, but they didn’t come out exactly as you had planned? One of my daughters, Jenn (actually both) did often as a child, she mixed 2 sayings into one – often. Rocket surgery was but one; still makes me chuckle.

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Usually used when I was helping with math homework. “It’s not rocket surgery, Momma”;. Immediately followed by, “When will Daddy be home”?

 

My other daughter, Juli; well,  if she didn’t know the words, she would just make up her own.  Once she officiated a marriage, she “married” my husband and I, at age 4. Complete with a gown she hand crafted, a very creative soul she is.

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It went something like this:

Howie, do you take Jessica to be your awfully bledded wife? As long as she lives.

Precious she was. (still is)

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When our youngest was born, she was certain we should watch her “extension cord” carefully. Always the caring sister.

Juli & Jenn

Juli & Jenn

As I was driving home from the dental hygiene clinic today (Jenn is a student hygienist), I was thinking how fast she has grown; and how funny she was as a child, though she was sure she wasn’t funny at all. She would try to memorize jokes, from the elephant joke book bought at the school book sale, in  an effort to be as funny as her older siblings.

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Juli was a natural princess actress and wasn’t about to lose her crown, she didn’t find Jenn amusing most days…on the other hand, Juli’s rendition of Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President ‘ was a hard act to follow.

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Aah, the memories they provided.

Be well,

Jess

 

 

It’s a Grey Day…


A grey day with a beautiful soft rain, a day to be productive ~ indoors. Reluctantly.

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Today’s rain is the perfect kind, tiny fine droplets, causing everything it touches to be canopied with gossamer mist.

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Earlier in the morning, I stood filling the coffee pot , gazing out at the garden. A chubby robin sat perched upon the grape arbor. He shook himself to be free of the moisture and he was surrounded by droplets larger than were falling from the sky. I wish I had my camera in hand.

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The peas are in the garden*; it’s a perfectly timed rain.

I’ll add more Chard and Spinach this afternoon, and the lettuces tomorrow, they like the cooler weather.

*If the thunder-storm in the early hours of the morning didn’t wash them away, that is.

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The dogs are sleeping in the kitchen, soaking in the silence.

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I better be moving on, I have dresses to be altered and pants to be hemmed.

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Be well, enjoy your day.

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

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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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)

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

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Oh, there she is.

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

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Maybe she doesn’t know I’m here…

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I believe she can see me now.

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

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How embarrassing, she didn’t even notice.

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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.
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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)
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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.

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Girl, you need a haircut!

Be well,
Jess

You may need a weed. or dandelions, not just sunny face.


At the start of this years garden and yard cleaning season; I am thinking of all of the chemicals folks think they need. To have perfect lawn is not so perfect anymore, it come with its fair share of guilt. Doesn’t it? Round up, the most publicized weed killer, kills more than just the weeds, so we are finding out. It has been doing a number on bee populations as well. I was never one to use chemicals much anyway. Have you ever sat and watched your toddlers and young children frolicking on your freshly mowed lawn; only to have the sinking feeling come over you with a gust of hot air? Oh how lovely, look at my children rolling around in the poisons I just spread all over, is not a picture of parental bliss. Where was I going with this?

Oh, yeah, weeds. Some how we have the silly notion that nature has this all wrong, and we need to correct this mistake. . How dare Mother Nature throw weeds willy nilly all over our lawns! For crying out loud.

Weeds need love too and weeds can be beneficial; they can add fertilizer to your soil, increase moisture content, attract insects, and repel insects. Some are good to eat, some have medicinal benefits, some have both. Take the dandelion for instance, honey bees love them, they are a natural diuretic, and they can be eaten in salads or cooked. You can even use the to make dandelion wine, for goodness sake. THey help less hardy plants as well, their tough tap roots bring nutrients to the surface for neighboring plants to use.
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Dandelion greens are packed with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, C, E, & K, and calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium & copper. Dandelion greens are also about 14% protein, which is MORE protein per serving than spinach, Popeye’s favorite muscle-building food. Dandelion greens are especially beneficial for the liver and aid in flushing out toxins and remineralizing the body. It’s high beta carotene and flavonoid content also benefits the immune system and cardiovascular system. Dandelion greens are also one of the richest sources of plant-based Vitamin K and Vitamin A . If you pick them from a back yard, just make sure they have not been sprayed with any pesticides and wash in cold water before using. The leaves can also be dried and later used as a medicinal tea. So, go ahead, add a few dandelion leaves to your soup, salad, green juice, or smoothie.
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Or how about Purslane? I swear this stuff can grown in concrete! Purslane is eaten throughout much of Europe and Mexico. It contains more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable plant. It can be eaten in salad, stir-fried, or cooked like spinach. Widely used in traditional Chinese medicines to treat infections and topically to soothe and heal sores. A great companion plant for tomatoes and peppers. It breaks up hard soil and hardpan, brings nutrients and water up from deeper than crops can reach, provides healthy ground cover, stabilizing soil moisture.
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Alright, could someone please help me down form this soap box? I’m done, I’m done, I swear don’t leave me here…
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Remember when….A Wordless Wednesday.


Common sense and good nature will do a lot to make the pilgrimage of life not too difficult”
– William Somerset Maugham

Sophie, you are not a duck...

Sophie, you are not a duck…

Andrew, my sweet, sweet little neighbor. Oh, and Claire.

Andrew, my sweet, sweet little neighbor. Oh, and Claire.

dogs,chickens, and llammas oh my 5

Andy today

remember when...

a song

remembering

lovins

duo

Breez

girls

jenni .3

Andys

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.”
– Robert Frost, Two Roads

Be Well,
Jess

Finding Nemo…


Well, he never found us. He found every town around us…but not us. Funny how nature works, isn’t it. I was a little excited for the storm to arrive.

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A big storm ~ one that needs preparation. Flash lights, kerosene lamps, water; you know provisions.
The type of storms that forces card games,board games, and allows for guilt free lazing about.

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I filled the barns with a heavy bed of fluffy hay; filled waters to the tippy top (if the power goes out, so goes the pump), grained with copious amounts to help the animals generate their own warmth.

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(a farm on my morning journey)

The chickens and ducks tucked themselves in among the llamas. Everyone was settled in; cozy and warm.

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And we waited for Nemo.

and we waited….

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and waited…

We got about 3″…

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Many parts of New England and New York were not spared; I do hope everyone was able to be somewhere safe and warm.

Be well,
Jessica