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

I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.


I am not complaining, I love my little farm, and all of its critters…yet, there are mornings I would rather not venture out quite so early. Like this morning all damp, and cold. Once I step out of the kitchen door, everything seems as it should and I relax in to the morning’s flow of activity ~ happily ~ if not admittedly a  skosh weary.

October snowfall 1

Mind you this is not a glamorous undertaking.
This is how I usually go about my chores:

Farm Fashion, or early chore attire

By the time I get out the sun is usually cresting just above the east hills; the roosters are crowing, the ducks are squawking; and the llamas are chewing their cud quietly greeting the new day. They all know the routine; the girls (llamas) line up at the fence line. The Chickens and ducks come running full steam ahead to greet me raucously at the fence gate; ducks scurrying past the Roosters so as not get pecked.

I call him Mr. Nasty...this could be an entire blog. Let's just say he makes egg gathering an adventure.

I call him Mr. Nasty…this could be an entire blog. Let’s just say he makes egg gathering an adventure.

We use large round bales, and have a covered shed for the girls to munch at their leisure, just outside of their barn. This morning it was empty, wiped clean…guess that is where I will start this mornings chores… The farm truck is at work with Howie, so I’ll cut the twine surrounding the huge bales, then pull down the hay that peels off in fragrant sheets, layer by layer; fill the wheelbarrow and head up the hill to the girls shed – repeated as necessary. Gym membership, who needs a gym membership? My blood pressure is 112/60, my pulse is 62! Who ever would like to save their membership fees…come on over.
snowy morning in December 7
Morning goes something like this…
smooch big dogs
feed big dogs
love
start tea water (and/or have a cuppa coffee)
fill water buckets
fill dog and cat waters
lay out 14 feed bowls
measure out sweet mix for all llamas
measure out beet pulp for all llamas
fill bucket with layer pellets
make tea..(if I haven’t had coffee)
let dogs out
Andy Claus
carry 12 of the bowls to the girls pasture
carry 4 bowls to stud pasture
fill poultry grain feeder
gather eggs as I defend my legs against Mr. Nasty (bantam rooster with king sized attitude) – no eggs today :(
carry water bucket to replenish girls water
carry water bucket to replenish studs water
carry water bucket to replenish poultry water
bring hay to the girls
pick up all bowls
pick water buckets
dogs and I head in…In that moment – animals fed and watered,on this damp cold morning, the smell of hay and the sound of llamas chewing contentedly,dogs frolicking in the yard… I am at peace. Maybe mornings aren’t so dreadful after all.

good morning

Note to self…remember to enjoy tea!

care
Have a blessed day,
Be well
Jess

Say YES!


Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes’.
Stephen Colbert

Be Well,
Jess

Oh! do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch


“I seem to have spent a good part of my life – probably too much – in just standing and staring.”
― James Herriot

I believe I have read and re-read every book this man published…oh, for the love of Herriot.
Be Well, and enjoy this Sunday
Jessica

The “Constant” Factor.


My constant companions…comfort and warmth at my feet.

Whenever I come within 100 feet of a puppy, I just can’t help myself. I gush, and smoosh, and snuggle like I’ve never seen such cuteness before. Puppy breathe, it smells like…well, it smells like hope!

One of my Pups (now 3); she looks older than her years..We had a dog named Seamus, who took care (literally) of Finnegan and Lexi when they were pups, he groomed them, let them snuggle into his big fluffy tail. Finnegan, when he was a tiny (use that term loosely when you speak of a 130 lb dog) pup, pulled almost every last hair out of Seamus’ beautiful tail; he preened and preened that tail as he fell asleep; Seamus never budged.

Seamus died at 5 years old from complications associated with Epilepsy. He had over 20 seizures in one weekend; his heart couldn’t take it. When He passed; Lexi’s muzzled turned gray within a week.

Seamus with Finnegan…

Seamus with Finn as a pup…he was always so gentle and patient with all the pups

Finnegan!

Finnegan.

Lexi might have the Monday blues…or she thinks I might want her pillow?

I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent, devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source

Seamus!

This was our boy Seamus…dearly missed.

Lexi Lou..

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.

Be well,
Jess

Andrew’s moon


Sometimes you can give children all of the instructions you want; and they will do exactly what they think you want.


I asked Andrew, to sit and hold the moon, explaining that if he holds his hands like a cup, I can take a picture looking like he is “holding the moon”. He promptly sat his little self down, crossed his legs and held up the tennis ball ~ his moon!


now, just where did I put that tripod? Could have used it here…


We even had our own fireworks last night ~ in the garden.


It was too beautiful an evening to go back into the house. Long after the animals were fed and the chicks and ducks put to bed…we lingered wandering about the pastures and fields. Sometimes you just need to eek out every second of bliss you can.


I am doggy sitting for my daughter this week, so at times I have been charged with 5 dogs…the weeds in my garden are having a field day and the plum tomatoes are waiting to be plucked off the vine; the sauerkraut is wanting to be skimmed, and the pool is now green as the grass…the pups, the llamas, the chicks, and ducks are all content…life is good.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change


Si, looking out the window on a rainy day

Last year, when Naldo and Si were visiting, we had a hurricanes! You can read about it here and Here…if you ‘d like.

Be well,
Enjoy the last of the summer or whatever season it is where you live!
Jess