Friends, Then and Now.

Having and making friends as an adult is different. As a child, it seems to happen naturally, almost organically, wouldn’t you say?  As children we’re thrown together in heap, and left to sort ourselves out.  “You like gymnastics?”  “Me too!” Instant friends.


I have been blessed with a few very good friends over the years, for that I am grateful.  But, I found myself sitting and wondering,  why was I was sitting alone on a beautiful saturday afternoon. I soon came to the conclusion, I only had myself to blame for that one.  I have chosen a life that requires me to be near home all if not most of the time, There are animals to care for, gardens to tend, stories to write and paintings to be painted.



These are not things you can do anywhere. Granted, I could slip away from time to time. (I will work on that, maybe)


I still feel the warmth of friendship, though I may not see them as often; lives change and family and responsibility lead us in different directions.  I suppose you could say we have grown apart. Grown separately, maybe. Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.


As Jane Austin once said, “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”

My life is full, and I have no complaints, I enjoy my company.


Time and commitment, now…this, this is truly my dilemma.

Be well,




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.


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.


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, “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.






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


Walking and conversation seem to go hand in hand. Inspired conversation, thoughts from deep within, the longer the walk the deeper the conversation.


I think I could write an interesting memoir of outstanding walks I have taken with others, during which togetherness was not only shared but settled tenderly into the landscape of memory.


When I was a child, my sisters and I used to walk, from the busstops to home, through parks, across fields and up and down hills.


We talked of many things, some meaningful (to very young children) and some completely outrageous, and quite a few very tall stories emerged on those walks.


Whatever the content of the talking, those walks and those conversations remain important memories for me of my attachment to my family, and to nature.


We used to stop along the way to look for Lady Slippers, a protected native orchid. We found a few. We found Poison Ivy more often.


The content of these walks have become blurred, now they’re more a painting in my memory. There, As a whole, no particular parts.  Cherished.


“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Get out there, it’s good medicine.

I am the walkingist girl around, we (my husband or daughter and I) try to put in 6 miles a day, though we don’t always achieve this; weather has her own say in things.

Be well,


It’s a Grey Day…

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


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


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.


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.


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


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


Be well, enjoy your day.




New Furry Babes and One of Cast Iron.

With the arrival of warm weather brings with it fluffy babes of gold.

babes 2


Buff Orpington chicks.  They are so sweet and docile, and after our experience with Mr. Nasty, ( one time he jumped up, thrust his feet forward – right into my husband’s…yup. Right there.)

So, I did a bit of research; I wanted a more docile friendly breed. I thinks these will do just fine.

We were also lucky enough to add this beautiful girl to our pasture.



She is a half sister to Our Phantom of the Opera; a  big boned, heavenly fine, lustrous fiber. Delicious. Would you just look at that face. ( Go ahead, I’ll wait.)

Last fall she had a haircut, a full body haircut. I can’t wait to see her fiber when it has grown out a bit more. (insert little girl squeal here).


When I put her in the pasture with the other girls it was clear I’d need to move the Angora goats girls to another pasture; she had no clue what they were and she was not eager to be friends.


So, they ate my dress. Well, not all of it, just a nibble; but it was an ancient cotton dress and tore easily. I was a little embarrassed to be walking about the pasture with my bottom wobbling in plain daylight. They didn’t care, they gave a look back, stuck out their tongues and walked away.

Do you think that could be a goats version of pants-ing someone? Let’s move on. No need to give them much attention for bad moves.


We get a little giddy around here when new animals arrive, but I have to say I was over the moon with this arrival.  A vintage 1970’s era, cast iron, work horse of a tiller.


Troy built. Please dry out this week, garden, please. I wanna till.


Isn’t she lovely.

Be well,


It’s Spring, Let’s clean.

The gardens of course. You didn’t think I was dusting, did you? ( I clean a bit every day, so no big spring clean for me.)


Back to the task at hand. The gardens. (How quickly I am diverted). March weather was so fickle and was terribly miserable here in Upstate, NY. Not much could be done to tidy the garden, really it was mostly covered in snow until the last week end in March. No telling what havoc Old Man Winter has wreaked ’til the snow is gone.


I have to resist, there is temptation to pull back the mulch protecting fragile plantings, eager to see any sign of new growth. The mulch, the protector, I so carefully lay before the frost, gives shelter from sudden changes of temperature and chilling winds, keeping cozy this fragile growth. It’s still winter here, essentially. The ground was white this morning. (If I quietly turn away, maybe it will take its leave.)


(I thought of finding a more attractive picture, but this is really how it looks – ugly. Let’s keep it real)

Tempering myself, I’ll slowly remove the mulch as the days and weeks become steadily warmer,
I tell myself, it is much better to remove the mulch a little later than to remove it to early. I try to hurry Mother Nature, to no avail. I love Spring anyway.


Don’t forget to clean out your birdhouses early before the birds begin nesting again. I haven’t seen the bluebirds yet, but others have.

While it will be awhile before the season of blooms arrive, my garden list is readied for season.  I can’t plant  during this early spring, (I haven’t even been able to get peas in the ground); I bide my time.

Maybe this weekend there will be enough of a thaw.


Finn Remembers.

The frost line was very deep this year. Even inhibiting maple production) there are some chores I’ll do to get it in shape before the real gardening begins.

Give my old clay pots a wash; a good scrub using a solution of baking soda and water.
I’ll clean around and map out the area for new garden beds. (that may be a good job for the girls, they live for this sort of thing. Don’t you Simone?)


Don’t let this photo fool you, they really wanna help.


This is how they work, great team aren’t they?

While I’m at it, I should try to remember where I planted spring bulbs. Do you remember? You were there, weren’t you? If you remember, please share; I wouldn’t want to dig them up.


I don’t think they were paying attention. Chickens can be like that you know.

Alternating thawing and freezing can tear plant roots and even force the plant right out of the ground. If I notice any plants that have heaved, I push them back right back where they belong – into the soil, and pack the soil lightly with my foot.


Ooh we can’t wait for green, Revie and I. Of course, she’ll be more interested in nibbling than helping. But, who can blame her.

As soon as I see new growth,  I’ll divide and transplant summer blooming perennials and fertilize (with llama beans) the plants in there forever beds.

Is there a forever in gardens, nah, let’s just move on.


Spinach, Chard, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and other hardy vegetables will be started from seed late in the month. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.


Well, come on girls, we have work to do.  Hey, wait; where are you going? Girls? Girls?

Be well,