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

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.

Spring ducklings

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

 

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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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?