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

A Meandering, Winding Path


Where will life take us? Or is the question where will we take our life?

Chilly morning

It’s a question I have been pondering as of late. You see, one of my long time dreams was to open a cafe; not just any cafe, but a cafe with healthy choices and welcoming homey vibe.

I did!

I worked as hard at it as humanly possible, and used every cent I had. I loved being there and loved our regular customers. I met wonderful people from all walks of life.

As much as folks and patrons loved it, and spoke of our delicious food; it couldn’t sustain itself. The Community could not support it, and we were not on a road traveled by tourists, nothing in town to pull them off the main road and into our quaint village.(well, that will be another post, another time)

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Grateful, for having the chance to try my wings and live that dream; to try, to step out in faith.

I am left with the question, what now? This question weighs heavy. Surely, I am not alone in questioning life’s path.

What is my plan B? Or C-Z for that matter? Is this a mid-life crisis, e-gad! Surely not. 50(ish) is the new twenty,right?

Everyone I meet now is at least ten years younger than me. I feel like Rip van Winkle with breasts!

Now to find where I left that path of mine…or should I let it find me?

Cambridge Valley 2

Be Well,
Jess

Some things are just worth re-visiting ~ Don’t you think?


Live your life so that the fear of death can never enter your heart. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light. Give thanks for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. And if perchance you see no reason for giving thanks, rest assured the fault is in yourself.

Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Indian Chief

November 20, 2011

Sundays

I do believe, I have little writing to do this day…Craig Morgan’s song “That’s What I Love about Sunday” says everything…I love about Sundays.

Raymond’s in his Sunday best,
He’s usually up to his chest in oil an’ grease.
There’s the Martin’s walkin’ in,
With that mean little freckle-faced kid,
Who broke a window last week.
Sweet Miss Betty likes to sing off key in the pew behind me.

That’s what I love about Sunday:
Sing along as the choir sways;
Every verse of Amazin’ Grace,
An’ then we shake the Preacher’s hand.
Go home, into your blue jeans;
Have some chicken an’ some baked beans.
Pick a back yard football team,
Not do much of anything:
That’s what I love about Sunday.

I stroll to the end of the drive,
Pick up the Sunday Times, grab my coffee cup.
It looks like Sally an’ Ron, finally tied the knot,
Well, it’s about time.
It’s 35 cents off a ground round,
Baby, cut that coupon out!

That’s what I love about Sunday:
Cat-napping on the porch swing;
You curled up next to me,
The smell of jasmine wakes us up.
Take a walk down a back road,
Tackle box and a cane pole;
Carve our names in that white oak,
steal a kiss as the sun fades,
That’s what I love about Sunday,
Oh, yeah.

Ooh, new believers gettin’ baptized,
Momma’s hands raised up high,
Havin’ a Hallelujah good time
A smile on everybody’s face.
That’s what I love about Sunday,
Oh, yeah.

That’s what I love about Sunday,
Oh, yeah.

“Joy is the feeling of grinning inside.”

“Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” -Mother Teresa

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” -Henri Nouwen

“This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.” -George Bernard Shaw This my friends is the ~ rare, and elusive ~ idle Hubby…you may never have the opportunity to see him in a sitting position again, please enjoy.

To get joy, we must give it, and to keep joy, we must scatter it. -John Templeton My Girls! <3

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” -Thich Nhat Hanh The Boys.

“Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.” -Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

“And Joy is Everywhere; It is in the Earth’s green covering of grass; In the blue serenity of the Sky; In the reckless exuberance of Spring; In the severe abstinence of gray Winter; In the Living flesh that animates our bodily frame; In the perfect poise of the Human figure, noble and upright; In Living; In the exercise of all our powers; In the acquisition of Knowledge; in fighting evils…Joy is there Everywhere” -Rabindranath Tagore

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

There may be no joy like lazing around on a Sunday afternoon, doing nothing in particular,…Enjoy your Sunday!

Be Well,
Jess

I Saw Old Autumn in the Misty Morn…


As I went out walking this Fall afternoon, dogs and camera in tow. I heard a whispering, a quiet gentle whispering, the dogs were just ahead of me; yet when I stopped still in my tracks..they stopped and turned. Had they heard it too..almost to soft and gentle a sound to distinguish. A little rustle in the leaves just into the thicket…a young deer, this year’s fawn and a doe were quietly nibbling acorns from the old oak trees. I kept still for a moment, though I quickly decided to move up the hill with Lexi and Finn, as they were headed to me. To stay any longer would encourage a visit, no time to snap a shot today. They will have scampered off before we come back through…

The sky was just clearing after several days of rain, a heavy mist hung over the pastures. I might get a few snaps of the camera before the sun completely fades.

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“O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.”
– Robert Frost, October

Thank you for all of the wonderful, creative ideas…I will talk with my daughters to narrow or choice…stay tuned.
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

Why do they they do it….for love.


Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: “Love. They must do it for love.” Farmers farm for the love of farming.


They love to watch and nurture the growth of plants.


They love to live in the presence of animals.


They love to work outdoors.


They love the weather, maybe even when it is making them miserable.


They love to live where they work and to work where they live.


If the scale of their farming is small enough, they like to work in the company of their children and with the help of their children. They love the measure of independence that farm life can still provide. I have an idea that a lot of farmers have gone to a lot of trouble merely to be self-employed to live at least a part of their lives without a boss.


“The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago.

Until then, where was all the food?


Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.” Joel Salatin, Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World.


‎A farm is a manipulative creature. There is no such thing as finished.


Work comes in a stream and has no end. There are only the things that must be done now and things that can be done later. The threat the farm has got on you, the one that keeps you running from can until can’t, is this: do it now, or some living thing will wilt or suffer or die. Its blackmail, really.

A farmer friend of mine told me recently about a busload of middle school children who came to his farm for a tour. The first two boys off the bus asked, “Where is the salsa tree?” They thought they could go pick salsa, like apples and peaches. Oh my. What do they put on SAT tests to measure this? Does anybody care? How little can a person know about food and still make educated decisions about it? Is this knowledge going to change before they enter the voting booth? Now that’s a scary thought!


Commercial farming as I see it…but a temporary blip until the land is used up, the water polluted, the neighbors nauseated, and the air unbreathable. The farmhouse, the concrete, the machinery, and outbuildings become relics of a bygone vibrancy when another family farm moves to the city financial centers for relief…


Commercial agriculture can survive within pluralistic American society, as we know it – if the farm is rebuilt on some of the values with which it is popularly associated: conservation, independence, self-reliance, family, and community. To sustain itself, commercial agriculture will have to reorganize its social and economic structure as well as its technological base and production methods in a way that reinforces these values…


Alright, I will come down off the soapbox now…it seems a long time between posts lately; but with tomatoes and squash coming out of my ears and our youngest to get off to college, days have seemed too short. As I harvest the vegetables, I can’t help but think about something I read awhile ago. A writing by Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution. In this he wrote,” If each person were given one quarter-acre, that is 1 1/4 acres to a family of five, that would be more than enough land to support the family for the whole year. If natural farming were practiced, a farmer would also have plenty of time for leisure and social activities within the village community. I think this is the most direct path toward making this country a happy, pleasant land.” I can’t help but agree.

Be well,
Jess

Hope is sweet-minded and sweet-eyed….


Hope. It draws pictures; it weaves fancies; it fills the future with delight. Our perceptions are always colored by what we hope, what we fear, what we love. We do the best we can. I did the best I could.
Here on our farm we have been faced with choices; life and death choices on a few occasions within a week. These kinds of choices are never easy, never to be taken lightly. What is best? For the animal? For you? For society? Questions and answers to be weighed heavily with love. With hope. With faith. Am I doing the right thing? right for whom? Does the decision have to be the right one for everyone?
These questions in life; these types of decisions…the answers can only be found deep in your heart,your soul really. you dig deep, sleep on it, then dig some more.
Lost in oblivion, dark and silent and complete, I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom. When left with a sense of despair- perhaps you have your answer. There is no hope. Not now. Not for them. It is time to let them go,to me, to hold on…would be holding on for me; for reasons purely selfish. Loss of quality of life, end suffering was our answer. The right answer some would say, wrong others with argue. to those who disagree with decisions made in moments of despair; I say, “You can’t lose hope when it’s hopeless. You gotta hope more, then put your fingers in your ears and go: “Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah!” I Hope and I pray they found peace. freedom from pain, freedom from torment. You see,beginnings can be scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. So Live! As we live, we learn, you’ll have your heart broken and you’ll break others’ hearts. You’ll fight with your best friend or maybe even fall in love with them, and you’ll cry because time is flying by. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you’ll never be hurt. Love freely. love completely. Life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, no second chances. you just have to live life to the fullest, tell someone what they mean to you and tell someone off, speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someone’s hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up late, be a flirt, and smile until your face hurts. Don’t be afraid to take chances or fall in love and most of all, live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you can never get back.

I told myself; after days of agonizing contemplation don’t be afraid to make a choice… everyone will have their opinion of what is right, what is wrong…there is no “one size fits all: answer. Jessica, do your best with what you have been given.” I hope I did.


Enjoy the present, each moment as it comes, because you’ll never get another one quite like it. And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over. Retrace your steps and go back to the purest place in your heart, where your hope lives. You’ll find your way again.


If you have a dream, live it. If you have a hope, chase it.


It’s true that we don’t know what we’ve got until we lose
it, but it’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been
missing until it arrives.


Dream what you want to dream, go where you want to go,
be what you want to be. Because you have only one life and
one chance to do all the things you want to do.


The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best
of everything they just make the most of everything that comes
along their way


Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss…


walk with friends.


We see hope in children….


…love like you’ve never been hurt and dance like no one is watching.


When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.


In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away
– shing xiong

Rest peacefully; Riley and Sweet Phantom. You are loved, always.

Be well,
Jessica