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

No action shots here folks, we’re waiting it out.


 

 

 

 

I guess, there really is no sense in complaining, we are all in the same boat. The weather has the upper hand. Mother nature must be hung up somewhere else and forgot we are stuck in winter. It’s like an old record that skips, the tune moves ahead just bit only to be bounced to where it began.

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So we sit and we wait, we prepare, we hope. DSC_6092

 

We take advantage, although somewhat reluctantly, of the quiet days. Soon the pace will pick up. They’ll be gardens to till and beds to prepare. The peas are ready to go in, along with the spinach, chard and other hearty greens.DSC_6102

 

There will be goats and llamas to be sheared. Barns to be spring cleaned.  The chickens will pick up their pace. I miss their eggs.DSC_6084

 

The grapes could use some love; with all that has been going on in the past years they have been sorely neglected. I am excited to be planting more this spring, along with more blueberry bushes.DSC_6108

We all need things to look forward to, don’t we. Human nature certainly. How sad must it be to have no hope, or faith in the future. DSC_6110

 

I keep telling myself to be patient, enjoy the here and now; rest while you can. There will be busier days ahead.

I am restless, I suppose everyone is at this time of the year [in the North East of USA].DSC_6122

 

Yes, Lexi, they’ll be time to play. But today we wait and plan, plot, and prepare.

Pups:

Richard the Yorkishire Terrier/Papillon mix (2 yrs)

Diezel the Treeing Walker Hound (3mos)

Finnegan the Bernese Mountain Dog/Poodle aka Bernedoodle (7yrs)

Lexi the Black Labrador Retriever (6yrs)

Enjoy the wait.

Be well,

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

It’s almost March…It’s almost warmish (almost)


Although the shortest of days have gone by and whatever nastiness of weather we have before us; the month of February passes.

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March is near, and each day we ebb out a few more cherished moments of sunlight.

Minute by minute, the days lengthen out, almost imperceptible, even as the growth of a child. All at once the moment comes as if by epiphany; we notice we are out of doors in twilight for another quarter of a precious hour.

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The air is still bitingly cold.

The sun shines strong enough to cause icicles to drip, that is hope.

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My fingers ache to dig in the garden’s soil. To feel the warmth of the sun’s rays on my neck.

I think I will spend some time today sorting and gathering seeds saved, seeds bought, clay potting pots, and all of the thingamajigs, and whatchamacallits a gardening crazy girl could wish for.

I wonder how many seedlings will survive a Walker Hound 3 month old pup? Maybe I should hold off on that.

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Be well,

Jess

Just One Tiny Seed…


Spring, opportunity, hope, I think these three words belong together. It all starts with one tiny seed, sown with hope, and if by magic, it becomes a towering sunflower, a a clambering vine of beans, a 40 pound pumpkin, or a sweet smelling sweet pea, isn’t that hard to believe?
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Yet, it happens; reminding us with hope, and determination anything is possible. Nurture your even the tiniest seed of a dream, and with work and perseverance it can be. I still have to pinch myself at times as I look around this Shoppe. It was a lot of work, and many, many hours of work; it still is, but, is worth it.
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If a seed can burst into life in NYC, it can grown anywhere!

Following your dreams is not for the faint of heart, if your want it, really, really, want it. You must put in the work. Some folks, think if you dream hard enough, it will fall into your lap. Nope, that’s not how this works. [Well, I guess you can dream of winning the lottery. That’s not much work..] But, you get what I’m saying right?
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Right now, I’m dreaming of making a really fresh sweet dessert. I noticed this morning there are lots of rhubarb stalks ready to be picked. So, I’m thinking Strawberry- Rhubarb Squares, a shortbread type of dough… I will work on the recipe today, pick the stalks tomorrow…and I am a little excited now. I will share photos tomorrow.

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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