Butterflies and Ruby


Why do I associate Ruby with butterflies? I’m not real sure, to be honest.

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It may be that at the time she was born my beautiful niece Courtney was terribly ill. Butterflies and babies are hope. Oh, and she was a marvelous baby, with a sweet, spunky demeanor. A face you immediately fall in love with.

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I tend, as you do, to find beauty in things I love. Photographing these things is only natural; capturing the simple things in our lives, where we go and where we’ve been.

DSC_3864(Ruby loving on a friend.)

It may be that butterflies are a lesson of letting go, their beauty is only with us for a short time. As was our beautiful Courtney. Her beauty, deep within, touching every facet of our lives. She became our glue. She kept our hearts close, our spirits yearning for one more minute.

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Courtney, with butterfly’s wings will fly gracefully and beautifully; a gentle dance on the breeze, from flower to flower.

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“I like living, I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” ~ Agatha Christie

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Be well,

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

Way Back Wordless Wednesday


Well, actually it was just last year.  A beautiful mostly unspoiled place to be ~ St. Croix USVI.

St. Croix vacation. DSC_2886

 

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DSC_3088Fly away…

Fort in Frederiksted DSC_3113

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Buck Island

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Urban jungle…DSC_3170

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DSC_3253                                               Annalay Bay Tidal Pools, a pleasant hike along Trumball Trail.

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DSC_3124                                                     View from the top of Goat Hill, a one mile hike. 

 

Video compliments of Josh Cookfair. 

Be Well,

Jess

Blue and Gold


While I am not sad to see it go, (hopefully, it will go) snow does have its own beauty.

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The setting sun casts its long shadows across the crystalline field. I suppose we should appreciate these views, for mud season will soon be upon us.

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I think the animals can sense a change is near. Supper time now can happen in the light and my hands and feet are not quite frozen when the last one is watered and fed. I hope that we have seen the last of the negative temperatures, though morning before last was -17 at morning feed time.

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Revie, needs a good spring cleaning! I took her warming jacket off as its going to be in the high 30’s and 40’s this week. I haven’t seen her undressed since December.

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Revie’s Mom, never far from her first cria.
Looking at these photos, I get a bit excited thinking of shows and fairs.
Last year, we took KatDoll to a large national show in Iowa. A long haul for us; we live in Upstate New York. KatDoll seemed off, we thought it was just the trip. She hardly ever kushed (lied down) during the long the trailer ride, which was half way across the country. Weird right. She did ok at the fair, but she really wasn’t herself. We planned to board her at a friends farm, after the fair; to breed with her beautiful male. Off she went for her intimate vacation.

We were expecting a May baby of this year (2015).
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I really never gave it much more thought; until one morning before opening the shop, I went to the barn to collect eggs and to grain the animals. I looked though the open window at the girls. Looked back to the task at hand… suddenly it hit me. There is a baby in there! What? How can this be? The cria was standing almost under her Mom, so I knew whose baby it was instantly. I ran wildly back into the shop to tell Jenn. I think she thought I had finally lost it.

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A beautiful, baby she was. A young male had been precocious enough to set up a secret rendezvous. We knew who the cheeky suitor was. Though he wasn’t telling. Long story short; the reason KatDoll wasn’t herself, at the show was readily apparent; we had unknowingly trailered a her at 9 months pregnant half way across the country. Uggh. How awful. Luckily all was well.

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Be well, Enjoy the day.
Jess

A Handwritten Letter


When was the least time you wrote, received, or even thought about writing a letter to a friend or loved one? Not an e-mail, nor text, no, a real pen to paper letter.

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There are few things more cherished in my box of saves; collected moments of my life, held in my hand as only a written page sent can be. A tangible gift written with care, bringing back the day young lives intertwined not to be forgotten as lives moved on.

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This young love will remain as new as the first kiss, relived each time the note is unwrapped and aged eyes are set upon it.

Letter from a dear friend, sent to bring comfort on your saddest day.

I remember the days when they were penned and sent to our hand in celebration, passion, sorrow and hope ~ like photos of the past a moment of time is captured on the page.

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A thing of the past. Am I forced to accept this truth?

My Husband is half way across the globe for some weeks, I think I will pen him a note today. It will fly across the sea on ly to return home in his work weary hand.

Perhaps, I’ll write a note for you.

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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Pint Sized Gardening.


I was asked a few days back for ideas around children’s gardens and gardening with children. Do reserve a space for “their” garden, do they help with small parts of the whole shebang, or do they have specific tasks? time to pull

My children helped with the whole thing. they helped start the seeds, they helped plant; well until they got tired. or hot, or thirsty, or hungry, or a butterfly fluttered past. You get the way things worked, right?
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downMy eldest daughter adored sunflowers, many were planted at our home and in her Poppa’s garden. She could not wait to pose for a picture with the humongous flowers towering over her diminutive, but oh so coordinated person. She was all of about 26 pounds upon entering kindergarten. Tiny but make no mistake – there is not a person or thing she was afraid of and she had a patented mad-walk to prove it.I think she could have registered that, holeh.

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Justin loved the berries, luckily they grew wild, I could never have planted enough for him. WHen we went pay per pound berry picking at a nearby field, I always thought they should weigh him as he entered and disregard the basket he carried. The blue smile and belly clutching upon exiting was a tell tale sign.

garden carrots Jenn’s favorite was carrots, and we rarely had a carrot grow to maturity, she checked them so often to see if they were ready for her soup creations. These soups [and keep in mind at this point in time she was 4 – 5 years of age], contained any number of things, though not very much of anything, an underdeveloped string bean, a carrot the size of a pen cap, a few peas, some water, and maybe some lettuce. I always was granted a taste. You can only imagine the look of guarded enthusiasm as I partook of this culinary delight.

I think my point here is ,isn’t every garden a child’s garden if we let it be. If we let go of the controls for a bit, let them dig in, as little or as much as they wish. No your rows won’t be as straight, your harvest may not be the envy of the neighborhood; heck you may have tomatoes in your squash! Sometimes I stressed more than now I think prudent..with age comes wisdom so they say. I will be planting many raised beds her at the PIcasso’s , and I am yearning for those eager little hands to help. Childhood passes so quickly,but, I don’t wanna grow up!
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We did have some child-like structures in our gardens over the years, like sunflower forts, pole bean tee-pees, and plants to attract butterflies, there was one year this was particularly important. 097
Fairy gardens would be fun for little ones to create, I think. Or brightly painted tires, filled with salad or salsa fix ins; easy to weed and fun to do!

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I am eager to start spring specials, put the soup pots up to rest; fill our plates with spring’s fresh bright culinary delights. Peas anyone?