Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Words of Wisdom ...

“I come from a hut, from a hut I went to the projects, from the projects I went to a mansion so you out there you have ABSOLUTLEY NO EXCUSE!” – Wyclef Jean


Monday, June 29, 2009

"Have a Look At This Little Beauty..."

Yesterday morning, as I went out to feed the chickens and goats, I found this lovely little snapping turtle laying her eggs in my garden. It was so exciting. I felt like Steve Irwin as I watched her ... "Have a look at this little Mum ... Isn't she goooorgeous?".

I watched her lay the eggs into a hole she must have been digging since sunrise, lay the little white eggs into the ground, then gently cover them back up with dirt using only her back legs. When she was through ... she unceremoniously turned and walked away. (See ya kids!)

However, all that reproduction stuff must have made her a bit dizzy ... as she thought she could take a shortcut back to our pond by tangling herself up in the goat fencing. I did my best to try to pull her away from the fencing (while also trying to keep all my digits) but she proved way too strong for me. I didn't want my goats to lose their noses with their insatiable curiousity ... so I had to spook her a bit back onto the right path.

She is now back in her pond and we have 100 days to wait until her little one-inch babes start crawling from out of the ground. Perhaps I will create my own little Crocodile Hunter episode on that day :) Meanwhile, I have already built a bit of a barrier around the eggs so that the dogs don't get them. The "Crocodile Hunter" would be so proud of me.

Looking forward to the birthday of about 2 dozen little finger biters ....



Friday, June 26, 2009

Insightful Compassion.

Imagine if we all had a friend like Deepak Chopra. An incredible man. A compassionate, unsettling, but insightful look into his friend Michael Jackson's life. Thank you for your candidness Deepak ... you teach us all just by being your authentic self.

~ Jodi

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I grew up on Michael Jackson --- as almost everyone my age did. As a grade schooler, Mom would allow me to fall asleep to my Jackson 5 cassette tape. I would cry to the lyrics of "Ben". I would groove to the sound of "Dancing Machine" (but not in bed).

Then as an adolescent, (during his Thriller period), I totally believed that he and I would one day marry. I wore replicas of his red leather "zipper" jacket, his diamond glove, and his dance pants. His pictures graced my every wall. I wrote him fan letters. I won tickets to his concert in Connecticut. I believed that every love song he ever wrote was about me. And I hated Billie Jean for wronging my man.

Later on ... as a teen, my infatuation with him faded some, but I was still such a fan of his work. I was so proud of his work on the "Bad" and "Dangerous" albums. I was particularly inspired by "Man in the Mirror" (still am), "Black or White", "Heal the World", etc.

As a young adult, I went from seeing him as a heart throb to admiring him as an inspirational humanitarian. His charity works gave me hope. His words gave me hope. And his love for me --- felt so good. I KNEW he loved me. He showed me ... and he told me. Over and over ... throughout my life ... just as Mister Rogers did. And I believed him ... and still do.

BUT, then came the speculation that something was seriously wrong with him ... that perhaps his love for children was not as innocent as we all believed ... and that his plastic surgery was getting out of control ... that his mental health was in serious question, etc. And I began to wonder. I still do. There is MUCH to wonder about. And no real answers.

I watched every documentary about his legal and psychological "troubles" (this one was especially revealing) ... and felt even more confused about him. But what I knew in my heart --- no matter what --- was that Michael Jackson was a troubled, wounded (but beautiful) soul. And I became sad for him. However, I was also sad for the two boys who accused him of molestation. And I was purely disgusted at the footage of Michael Jackson where - after being acquitted of his most recent child molestation charge - he was seen dancing for his fans on the top of his limo in jubilation over his acquittal. I could only imagine how his young accuser must have felt about this brazen victory display. To my mind ... even if Michael was innocent ... and this boy was forced to accuse him for the sake of making his parents some money (which does seem to be the case) ... then couldn't Michael have displayed some sympathy for the boy involved? .... some respect for the child he claims to love? Couldn't he have toned it down a bit? And lets not forget the droves of thugs from The Nation of Islam who provided crowd control for his trial. Any true knowledge of this group should leave one a bit horrified by their beliefs (as a Mother to a black son, I am enraged by them to no end). Apparently, Michael recently converted to this so-called religion during his trial. Gross.

Anyway --- it was after all this that I lost some *wide-eyed* affection for Michael ... and felt more sympathy for his lack of mental health than anything else.

Now he is gone. And I feel such mixed emotions. In a way - I am glad for him that he has left what he himself called a "very lonely" and painful life. Yet, I am also sad that he did not come to a point of self-love (at least as much as we can tell) ... and that he left this world without being able to see his babies grow into adulthood (my worst fear).

I pray that his children are grow up in a safe, happy & healthy atmosphere. I pray that the world does not hound them throughout their lives. I pray that they love themselves in a way that their father seemed unable. I also pray for the boys who were swept into a whirlwind of painful controversy regarding their relationships with you. May they be in peace --- over whatever it is that did or did not happen.

And I say a hearty thanks to Michael. You inspired me greatly. In fact, I would say that you have made me a better person. You were such an important role model for me throughout childhood. You have now met your maker ... and only the two of you will know your trespasses. All that remains down here is speculation and sensationalism. No matter your "sins" or lack there of ... you were an incredible human being who did much good for so many. Your body of artistic work is absolutely phenomenal and could never be replicated. You are forever the King of Pop (by the way - please say hello to the first King for me). You will be greatly missed.

Rest in Peace.
~ Jodi

P.S. One of my fave songs: You are Not Alone.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Photography Site.

Just a quick reminder that I have been posting to my photography site: www.jlr-photography.blogspot.com. And if you'd like to learn a bit more about this photo:

take a peek over there.



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What Daddy Got For Father's Day:

A trip to Pennsylvania with all his "gun range buddies" ... to participate in the match of his dreams:

You're Welcome Daddy. We love you. And are so glad that you enjoyed your weekend.

Mommy & Isaac

Friday, June 19, 2009

This Handmade Supply.

Time to part with much of the crafting supplies that I have horded through the years ... as well as some vintage goodies that I can let go of in the name of making room for more vintage goodies :)

So ... introducing ... This Handmade Supply!

Please check back often for all sorts of crafting supplies and vintage materials. This is going to be fun!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Goat Meets Butterfly.

We are all a bit under the weather around here ... but I just had drop in for a moment to post this sweet photo of our goat, "Me" and her curious interlude with a butterfly in our yard:

Hope you all have a great Friday ...


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I am happy to announce that my shop, This Handmade Life, will be joining the "2nd Annual Etsy Yart Sale".

What is a Yart Sale, you say? A “Yart Sale” is an artistic spin on the traditional Yard Sale: Art + Yard Sale = “Yart Sale”.

Throughout the week I will be posting specials and sales on some of my goodies. I hope you will take a peek.

To find other participating shops simply use the search word YART in the Etsy search bar.

Happy Shopping!


Monday, June 8, 2009


I woke up this morning and figured it was time for a sale. I am creating way more of these upcycled Golden Book journals than I have room for (it is quite addicting!). So, I thought I would do a little summer cleaning ... and hold a sale: 3 journals for just $30 plus shipping (I even lowered the shipping fees).

So - time to stock up on these recycled books for those birthday parties, baby showers, vacations (can be used for travel diaries or autograph books), holidays, homeschooling journals, etc. These books have so many uses ... and they make for such a great way to hold onto a nostalgic piece of our past (I carry my Poky Little Puppy notebook everywhere).

And please remember, we also give part of our profits to charity, and this month's charity is Hearts With Haiti. Your purchases are good for you, the environment, creative economies, and for children in need. You can feel good about all of that!

The sale will run all week -- so please tell your friends. Thank you for your interest and your support.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

What I've Been Up to Lately:

1. Photographing lupines.

2. Anticipating this new Disney Movie: The Princess and the Frog ... the first Disney movie to feature a "black" princess and prince. WAY over due.

3. Thinking of ways to cut up these amazing vintage goodwill finds in order to make magnets and pins for my shop: (and maybe frame a few gorgeous illustrations) ...

4. Working on a photography project with my friend Tom Grogan. Very "hush-hush" right now, but I can't wait to begin telling folks. Very exciting stuff.

5. Trading goodies on Etsy with fellow artisans. Here are my latest scores:

needle felting starter kit by Moondog Farm

custom made ball field (Fenway shown) for imaginative play

6. Attending area open mike nights ... and enjoying all the local talent.

7. Getting together with friends for drinks, laughs and deep conversation.

8. Thrifting, thrifting, thrifting ...

9. Ignoring housework & enjoying the sun instead.

I hope you all are enjoying yourselves as well!

Lots of Love,


Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Way We Get By.

This film was created in the Bangor, Maine area (my hometown) ... and is so incredibly moving. Please check out the trailer.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Richness of Summer.

I am having such a hard time sitting down to this computer to write blog posts. I mean - there is plenty going on that is worth mentioning, discussing and sharing ... but man ... that sun ... the greenery ... the warm spring breezes ... and the bleating goats are constantly calling to me.

Summer is always way too short. Though I try to savor every moment, it is never enough. So much to enjoy ... thankfully.

So - I will get back to posting soon. But not today. The sun is out.