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.)

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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.

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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.)

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(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.

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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.

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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?)

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Be well,

Jess

Heady with the aroma of growth


A simple bit of earth has the impressive power of evoking grand dreams. The magic begins with the arrival of winter’s dispersal of seed catalogs.

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If you garden and are anything like me you dream, and plan you scratch lines in the soil with the toe of your boot, you carve and through grassy strips creating new beds and expanding the old. You move this here and that there, in hope of better growth. Maybe this next to that would be better…you have illusions of a grand garden (or perhaps delusions).

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Notions gleaming with possibility and loosely tangled treasure bounce through your noggin, like spring peepers on your pond.

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Ideas flash like a a photographer’s bulb, if only they were as easily created as they are imagined.

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I imagine more garden paths, lined with pea stone beckoning you to enter herb gardens filled with basils, thyme, rosemary, and sage, or a bench tucked away in a secret cutting garden.

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Fields of french lavender lending their fragrance to dawn’s solitude.

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You feel the moss under your bare feet that cling to the damp slate slabs in an outdoor dining area. You sit, senses drenched with wisteria draping from the pergola overhead. Birds, bees, and butterflies going about the daily task of pollination (no chemicals to harm them in sight).

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It’s still much too cold here to get out and work the soil, so I sit sipping Earl Grey whilst I bide my time, content to plan and dream.

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“My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as  the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.” Abram L. Urban

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Be well, dream, and do.

Jess

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.

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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

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

Break out the Inspiration Box


Break out the inspiration box; I’m looking for Spring.

It has to be here somewhere, it just does. No matter that thermometer out side my door reads 7 degrees. Look away.

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It is Spring tomorrow, the calendar said so.

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I hear birds singing their chilly songs.

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There are animals who are waiting to awaken; the sun’s warmth waiting to tell them it’s time.

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Be gone with you Old Man Winter, how can we miss you if you never leave. Don’t worry you won’t soon be forgotten.

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We have seeds to start and gardens to sow.

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There are babies to be born and eggs to be laid.

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My crocus’ are desperate to break from the frozen depths.

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Where is Spring? If you have seen her, could you please tell she is missed.

Be well,

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