Monday, December 28, 2015

Fallen Leaves

These photos are snapshots of contentment:
1. A little granddaughter with her lollipop
2. A siamese cat named Sophie soaking up attention
3. Leaves on the ground

 The first two are obvious reasons for contentment.

The third?  It may be in the eye of the beholder, as they say, but for me- knowing that two years ago we moved onto land that was simply a field of dirt with nary a tree or shrub to be found- leaves on the ground from our trees  is a good reason for contentedness. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Christmas...that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance.  It may weave a spell of nostalgia.  Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance...a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.  
~Augusta E. Rundell


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Baby Jesse

New arrival in our family- in the form of our grandson, Jesse.

A special Christmas delivery!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Planting Grandma's Flowers

 My little granddaughter and I planted some of Grandma's bulbs the other day.  
Tulips and other spring flowers that were in mesh bags at her she would have planted in her yard.   Mally and I added them to ours instead, along with daffodils I'd purchased this fall.  I think, if she could see us, she'd be pleased. 

 Mally and I talked about her and how next spring- close to Easter, these flowers will bloom where they're planted.   
One of those metaphors for life that I think about a lot.  
Bloom where you're planted. 
Good stuff.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November's Bounty

Purple onions, an English cucumber and Swiss chard picked fresh in mid-November.
The last of the garden's gifts for the year, although I may yet harvest more Swiss chard.

I love the earth and its jewels.

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Grateful Heart

Life is beautiful and strong; precious and fragile.

We are filled with gratitude all through the year and especially at Thanksgiving; but have even more reason than usual this November. 

Our beautiful, lovely girl- who recently went to her first homecoming dance- has come away from a severe car accident with a concussion, sore body and a fresh perspective on the fragileness of life. We know she was watched over, and for some reason our girl was saved from dangerous injuries or worse. 
Content copyright © 2015 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

It's hard to describe the humble gratitude we feel.  Our minds are still reeling from this experience and we are sober and quiet much of the time as we try to make sense of all we saw and have felt.
  Our depth of gratitude is great.

Life is precious- please drive safe.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Chicken Facts

Content copyright © 2015 by Jessa at Graceful Landing
*Chickens are omnivores- loving seeds, insects, vegetables, grains and even mice!

*Chickens live, on average, five to ten years.  (Unless, ahem, a fox gets too close.)

*The world's oldest chicken lived to be sixteen, according to most sources, but I've heard there is one named Muffy, who is twenty-two.   ("I don't know about you, but I'm feeling twenty-tw0".....I think her feelings about that may be different than Taylor Swift's. )

*A chicken's heart beats about 300 times per minute.
(Reminds me of Bill Cosby's 'Chicken Heart' routine and the spooky heartbeat sound he made- gave me chills up my spine as a kid)

* The fear of chickens is called Alektorophobia
 (My sister once brought her friend over and he jumped about two feet when he saw that a chicken was near him in the yard.  Apparently, he'd never seen one in real life.)

Content copyright © 2015 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

*Many hens have lost their natural broodiness (desire to lay eggs and hatch them) due to modern day practices.  However, Buff Orpingtons are one of the few breeds that still tend to have maternal instincts.   Interestingly, chicks that are hatched by a hen are likely to hatch their own eggs later.    (A big plug here for home-grown babies- human and otherwise!)

*Mama hens are fiercely protective of their chicks.  They puff up and dance around with serious warning sounds if anything comes near them.   They also 'talk' to their babies a lot and call them over when they spy something  yummy to eat.  They let their chicks eat first, while keeping close guard.  

In my opinion, chickens are one of the most versatile farm animals- providing eggs and/or meat, as well as cleaning up insects and spiders around the farm as they free-range.   They're happy to see you and get excited when you bring them things to eat.  Not to mention, they can be quite beautiful.  :)  

Friday, November 13, 2015

Stuffed Bellpeppers

After harvesting the last of the bellpeppers from the garden and with the cooler days inspiring my taste buds; I decided to make stuffed bellpeppers.

For many years there was no point in making such a delightful dinner as my children would balk at the idea of eating peppers.  (With the exception of my oldest two)  

So you see, there are some perks to having your children grow older.    Now they complain less about meals and are much more willing to try new things.   :)

These are pretty simple and here's the basic recipe:

Cook  1 and 3/4 cups of white rice (I use jasmine) with 2 cups of water and a drizzle of olive oil  (I use a simple rice cooker- but a pot with a tight-fitting lid works great, too)

While rice is cooking;
Brown 1 lb ground sausage til cooked through  (mild or hot)
When sausage is browning, add 1 smalled diced onion to the meat to cook along with.
Add to the cooked sausage/onions:
 -Two 15 oz cans diced italian tomatoes (I ran mine quickly through the food processor as some people don't care for tomatoes in my family- crazy people.)
-One tablespoon balsamic vinegar 
-One teaspoon granulated garlic or fresh, minced 
- 1/2 cup parmesan
-Salt and pepper to taste

In another small pot, bring to a simmer;
-Two cups marinara sauce (I make mine)
-1/2 cup beef broth

When rice is finished cooking,  grease or spray a 9x13 baking dish.  Pour about 3/4 cup of beef marinara  sauce into bottom of dish and spread around. 

 Arrange peppers (tops cut off, seeds and center cleaned out) in dish.

Add rice to the meat mixture- making sure you don't add too much, keeping the filling moist.
Stuff filling into the peppers almost to the rim.  
Pour rest of marinara sauce over the tops.  (They can overflow somewhat)
Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of each pepper.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes 


Monday, November 9, 2015


Content copyright © 2015 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

“Golden retrievers are not bred to be guard dogs, and considering the size of their hearts and their irrepressible joy in life, they are less likely to bite than to bark, less likely to bark than to lick a hand in greeting. In spite of their size, they think they are lap dogs, and in spite of being dogs, they think they are also human, and nearly every human they meet is judged to have the potential to be a boon companion who might, at many moment, cry, "Let's go!" and lead them on a great adventure.” 
 -Dean Koontz 

Content copyright © 2015 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

“The face of a golden retriever feels like home.”
― David Rosenfelt

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Seeing my grandbabies in their costumes and watching them trick-or-treat:  SO much fun! 

Monday, November 2, 2015


Final cutting of hay for the year; cut, baled and stacked.
  It's a beautiful thing.

Content copyright © 2015 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Content copyright © 2015 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Content copyright © 2015 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Thursday, October 29, 2015


We had a great time at the pumpkin patch....taking our little 'punkins' to choose their own.
(Hot chocolate after!)

October at its finest.

Content copyright © 2015 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Content copyright © 2015 by Jessa at Graceful Landing
Content copyright © 2015 by Jessa at Graceful Landing
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Marriages Last

Did you know that most marriages make it?  

Content copyright © 2015 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

We've long been told that the divorce rate in this country is 50%.  That HALF of all marriages won't make it.   Sobering, even disheartening statistics and headlines.

But it's not true, and never was.
In fact, according to a new study by Shaunti Feldhahn, the truth is that more than 75-80% of first marriages DO last.  And only about 30% of all marriages- including 2nd, 3rd and even 8th marriages have ended in divorce.  And get this- the new study also shows that most marriages are happy.  Not drudgery.  Not boring.  HAPPY.

This inspiring news comes from an in-depth study, eight years in the making.
Check out this article and the real statistics HERE and share the truth.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Grandbabies are the most wonderful little people.

I love being a mother and have soaked up so much goodness, joy and love from my babies.  It was and is such a privilege.

And so is being a grandma.

A few days ago, laying out in the yard on a blanket with my grands and playing games with them made my heart so full it hurt.
 My little granddaughter looked up at me with smiling eyes and for a second I felt I was looking into my eldest daughter's smiling eyes when she was four.   (Her mama) 

Moments like that make you want to laugh and cry and pray all at the same time.
They're simply too wonderful for words.

Memories made with grandbabies are precious.

 Experiencing the great outdoors through their new eyes....

Content copyright © 2015 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

 Playing with 'Wincoln Wogs'...
 Quiet mornings and late breakfasts with little guests...

Photogenic sweeties....

 Their own style of organization....
 Watching football with Papa

Bored by the concept of 'selfies'...

 Kissable, adorable babies!

 Summer days and popcicles.....

Content copyright © 2015 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

We are so blessed!

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