Kindness In

Today I’ve been thinking about kindness. Sure, the world catches holy heck for all the negativity, but I still have faith in all the glorious goodness out there.

For instance, today one of my friends asked for food to help some families out and let me tell you, people stepped up!!!

Even with groceries being incredibly high priced, many asked what was needed. I looked in our cupboards and will be making my donation tomorrow.

On a bit of a different note, I was also thinking about all the kindnesses extended to me during this weird year since I lost my momma. Initially, it was the cards, flowers, showing up, meals, etc.

But since then, my blogging friends have stepped up. Writing about loss is not easy and writing about parent loss is jaw-dropping hard. You all have been super supportive in offering your insights and support.

Another sort of kindness was given to me today that on the surface may not seem as profound as feeding someone who’s hungry or helping someone through loss, but I believe it’s monumental just the same.

You know I’ve been struggling with my bowling and I almost quit. It’s supposed to be fun, but it was stacking up to be annoying and frustrating…

In bowling and just in general, it seems like we can get a lot of advice about what we are doing wrong and sometimes it’s hard to feel good enough right where we are.

I am in touch with this. I get the last place score A LOT.

I’d seen online that there are bowling coaches. Like, that’s a thing. At a bowling alley about an hour and a half from here, I asked about coaching, then I went there today.

The beauty and the best part of the whole bowling coach experience was, I was being met where I am. The tips weren’t ‘change this, this, and this.’ In fact, it wasn’t any ‘change this.’

It was about adding to, not taking away. I love that on about a billion levels.

No one asks anyone to change in order to feed them and fill their fridges. No one asked me to change in order to support me in my momma loss. And, I didn’t have to take apart and put back together my bowling steps, throw, or swing.

These situations are not the same, of course, but the feeling of being able to stay authentic in any of them is pretty huge.

It’s like, judgment out, kindness in.

Love when that happens!

Hope you have a great night!

Jessica

at the river last week

©️COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS- ALL PHOTOS MINE- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Saying No Then Yes

For weeks, I’ve been trying to decide if I should do the Christmas craft show at a local church. Last year, I was sooooo excited to do it.

This year, something has been making me hesitate. I could not put my finger on it, but it was enough to make me want to pause.

So, just now, I made a decision.

Will I do the Christmas craft show????

No.

Why?

Well, I just saw a post on FB by a fellow artist who was invited to set up her booth/table in a memory care type home. RIGHT when I saw that, I KNEW what I’m supposed to do!!!

I’m going to skip making a bunch of stuff to try and sell and instead, make them as gifts for my Aunt Esther and her friends at her assisted living home in Iowa.

She’s 103 and spent her life making and giving gifts to others. So, I’m going to do this for her.

Honestly, with this being the first holiday season without my momma, I’ve been pretty sad about the upcoming holidays. But, this idea? It brings joy to my heart.

Gratitude:

  • gift giving
  • my Aunt Esther who will never expect a box full of gifts for her and all her resident friends
  • my momma who loved the holiday seasons

So, I’m going to use these:

vintage jewelry I’ll use

Plus these:

decoupage type papers I’ll use

Plus these:

trinket boxes I’ll use

All of those together will make some fun and unique gifts.

I think my momma would be pleased. She did like craft shows, of course, but she worked as a charge nurse in a nursing home for ten years. Her heart was with the elderly.

So here’s to saying no, then yes!!!

I’m going to start creating today!

Thanks for reading!

Jessica

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS-ALL PHOTOS ARE MINE-ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A Leap for Art

Today I took an art plunge. I set up my stuff in a local resale shop. I’ve never done anything like that before, so I was a bit nervous.

As soon as I started filling the shelves, I about fell over! One of my momma’s most favorite songs came on the radio in there! Followed by another one and another one. So, my gratitude today is about my momma and her love for music and that I’m proud of myself for not quitting art.

Gratitude:

  • CCR’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain”
  • The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”
  • CCR’s “Suzy Q”
  • me, taking a leap for art
my booth filled up and welcome note from the shop owner
one of my signs
some pieces I made
mine are the shelves under the window

It felt good to actually get it set up. To give my art and myself a chance. Will it be successful? Already is, it’s out there. It never even would’ve been seen in my basement. So, that feels like a win.

Thanks for being here and for all the kind comments yesterday. Means a lot!

Jessica

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS- ALL PHOTOGRAPHS ARE MINE- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Gutters and Art

Gratitude:

  • rethinking things
  • trusting myself
  • taking a leap when what I really want to do is run
  • encourage-rs who have my back
  • sticking things out, even when it’s hard
  • trusting myself some more

I’ve almost quit two things recently. Art and bowling.

Seriously. Twice at the bowling alley, I have said out loud, “I am going to quit!” The first time was a Saturday night when my son, husband, and I were practicing. I could not get anything right!

Gutter. Gutter. Gutter.

So frustrating.

Gutter. Gutter. Gutter.

The second time at bowling was sooooo embarrassing. I’d been practicing with my son’s ball and the finger and thumb holes are smaller. So, I get up there on my first throw of the night, brought my ball back and…

Dropped it.

As in backwards.

I heard someone say, “Oh Jessi” in a sort of ‘what in the world are you doing’ tone, then I turned around to see all these really great bowlers staring at me.

I could’ve crawled into a hole.

I almost walked out.

I mean, come on! I dropped the ball. I’ve gotten LAST place 25 out of 27 games. Everyone there knows I’m new. Hello. I’m sick of being last.

Enter art. I LOVE art. I make some pretty cool and unique things with vintage jewelry, but lately trying to figure out what to do with it after I make it has been wearing me out.

There are so many options and weighing the choices is simply exhausting. On top of of that, I’ve been trying to find my value in a world already jam packed with art.

Eeks.

All of that has got me to thinking about my momma and her art. She was an amazing artist. She never sold any of it, but she blissfully kept on creating it. I’ve been trying to figure out if that is my fate and purpose too, or if my pieces are meant to be with someone else.

Yesterday, I made a choice. I chose. I decided. That ever happen to you? Where simply deciding brings such peace and a joy that springs forth like a bloom?

With my art, I’m going to try something new. A new place, just to see how it goes.

I decided I’m not going to give up on bowling either! In fact, I got a new ball. I’ve been practicing my steps at home and in the yard and I’m going to work with a coach this week.

All those gutters and that dropped ball aside, I am getting better. My scores were in the 50’s, now they’re around 100. In only 9 weeks. Pretty darn good, even with the embarrassing ball drop.

My hunch is that losing my momma this year is at the root of all this indecision. Grief can really seem to pour on the doubt. But, I think my momma would be pulling for me in both bowling and art.

With that in mind, I believe I’ll keep right on going. Perhaps my art will find some homes and maybe I’ll even turn that lowest score of 25 out of 27 games into the highest score in 25 out of 27 games.

Anything is possible.

If you’d like to read my art post it’s called “I’m Going For It” and it’s on https://jeweledagainbyjessica.com.

Thanks for reading!

Jessica

Woo hoo!! 100!!

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS-ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

First Snow

Gratitude:

  • socks
  • a warm coat
  • enough camera battery to get some photos
  • our first snow

It usually snows here around February, so waking up to snow in November was a treat.

Hope you have a wonderful Saturday.

Jessica

bushes by our sidewalk
zinnia looking a bit chilled
curvy slide, curvy snow
vine by the barn
the reflections rest
tree stump by the barn
metal bird on the hose holder
those orange berries from ‘Around Home’ with snow

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS- ALL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Around Home

Gratitude:

  • a day of staying put
  • sunshine
  • hanging around at home
  • zinnias with and without color
  • bright berries
  • blue skies
  • driveway loops
  • swing set

Yesterday we stayed put. Four days a week at least, we are somewhere else besides home, so staying at home was a treat.

After walking twenty two driveway laps, I ventured around the yard in search of something to photograph. The zinnias we planted for my momma and a tree with bright orange berries seemed like a good place to be.

Even the swing set seemed to sing, with its dark green slide and seats. Most of our yard has taken on a tan-brown view because of endless droughts this year.

Other shots are somewhat random, but I like how they turned out. It’s funny what can make a great photograph sometimes.

red zinnia we planted for my momma
still beautiful while going to seed
close up of a garden stone
swings with a pop of green
bright orange berries
Squealer on the slide
sparkly rocks in the flower bed
EMPTY on purpose bird feeder
because we have cats who like birds

Today we are off again on grand adventures that include decorating a float for an upcoming Christmas parade. With cooler temperatures, I will be including long johns and a coat, ha ha.

Hope you have a wonderful Friday. Thanks for being here.

Jessica

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS, ALL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Some Favorite Photos

Gratitude:

  • forgetting our bag
  • visiting with new friends
  • favorite photos I’ve taken recently
  • naps
  • warm days

My son has a club on Wednesdays and I’m supposed to remember to take our bag with us. It contains the papers and pencils he needs and the notebook and pens I need to take notes to track the week’s story.

Yesterday, I forgot the bag.

So, instead of my normal note taking, I sat with the other moms. My goodness, it was divine! We talked, got to know each other better, swapped stories, and laughed. Maybe I’ll forget the bag more often!

Today I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos I’ve taken over the past couple weeks.

a nest at Alley Spring
a bench up close at Big Spring
a log across Slough Trail
double the scenery at Big Spring
some green at Big Spring
a mossy rock hillside on Black River Trail
a stunning tree at Clearwater Lake Beach
a heart with little tiny angel wings at Bluff View Beach

Today is our last warm day for awhile. We may stick around home and hang around outside or go to the river. Yesterday I took a nap! How glorious. I may even do that again, ha ha.

Thank you for being here! Hope you have a great Thursday.

Jessica

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ ALL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Slough Trail

Gratitude:

  • afternoon hikes
  • natural areas
  • reflections
  • noticing details
  • Burr Oak acorns
  • fall days

Monday when we were at Big Spring, we hiked the Slough Trail. It parallels the park area near the spring and ends at the road coming into the park.

trail sign at Big Spring near Van Buren, Missouri
Slough Trail
steps to somewhere on Slough Trail- we didn’t try them
reflections on Slough Trail
looking up on Slough Trail

When we reached the road, we crossed over towards the campground area that brought us to swings, a pavilion, stone steps, and a river view.

stone steps and pavilion
river view
love this sign
Burr Oak acorns

When we walked back to our truck, I saw this reflection on my truck window. Is that beautiful or what?

reflection on my truck window at Big Spring

We had a wonderful time. So glad we got to go.

Thanks for being here.

Jessica

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS

©️ ALL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Big Spring on a Monday

Gratitude:

  • living near Ozark National Scenic Riverways
  • errands that put us near beautiful places
  • noticing different angles
  • natural springs

Yesterday we had an errand that landed us by a natural spring and hiking trail! How cool is that???

I’ve written about Big Spring before, so this time I thought I’d share photos of different view points. The spring itself gets tons of attention, and rightly so. It pumps out over 276+ million gallons of water a day!

Whoa! I can’t even get my mind around how much water that is!

Hope you have a great day!

Jessica

stone wall on the path to Big Spring
bench with a view of Big Spring
small cave and rocks above the spring
mossy rocks and the spring

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS

©️ ALL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Persimmons

While driving around the campground by Bluff View Marina on Saturday, we topped a hill and I saw the most glorious things on the ground!

Persimmons.

I’d never heard of persimmons until I moved to southern Missouri. They are a fruit that’s small and sweet. It takes about a million of them to make a pie, but my goodness, so delicious.

I only gathered a few, maybe enough pudding or muffins, but seeing them was such a joy. I actually considered getting some for the wild deer that come to our pond. A sweet treat! Seeing them reminded me of why I love the Ozarks SO much.

Who’s grateful for persimmons?

Me!

Thanks for reading!

Jessica

persimmons on the ground, under those trees
persimmons
persimmon tree
I wasn’t the only one excited to see the fruit!
such a pretty orange color

©️COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS

©️ALL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Two Beaches

Gratitude:

  • Saturdays
  • hiking
  • time with my son
  • Missouri beaches
  • adventures on untraveled roads
  • small towns
  • Clearwater Lake
  • nature time

Yesterday my husband had a bowling tournament, so my son and I dropped him off at the bowling alley where we have our league on Tuesday nights.

Because the bowling alley is 55 miles from home, that opened us up for some new nature adventures.

Some new-to-us highways, streets, and gravel roads filled our afternoon with lake views, hiking trails, the dam spillway, and two beaches.

My, how I love Missouri. The backroads lead to some amazing sights, but so do the ones made of pavement.

I just love nature, don’t you?

Jessica

beach number one, Bluff View
the first beach we saw, Bluff View
a trail sign
trail sign by where we went in
the spillway by the trails
saw these picnic tables at the spillway
a stone table in a campsite
the trail bridge was closed for a hunting event, next time we can see where it goes
nice view
beach number two
second beach of the day

©️COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS

©️ ALL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Bookcase

Gratitude:

  • a warm day
  • working outside
  • reflections on the window
  • my parents’ old bookcase they gave me long ago
  • unboxing wonderful things

I’m standing in my dining room, looking out the window. It’s night and the way the kitchen light is angled, I can see things on the counter, even with my back to the kitchen. The cookie jar, bananas, apples, and chicken art are visible from here.

This afternoon, the front porch rails, bannisters, and I became friends. Some green muck tends to grow on them, creating layers of crusty looking junk. It may be caused by summer’s humidity, I suppose. Well, after walking by them for about the billionth time, I went inside and got a sponge.

An hour later, I had done some good work. My friend tells me that her gramma had a saying about work, that hard work is good work.

It sure is.

My other bit of good, hard work came from me moving a big, wooden bookcase from the garage to the dining room. It took up residence in the garage after we unloaded it from the moving truck four years ago. For whatever reason, it stayed there.

But, suddenly, in April, I wanted it in here! My momma passed away out of the blue on the last Sunday in March. I wanted it in here so I could see it every day and fill it with all the things she’s given me and my collectibles through the years.

That was seven months ago and never got moved inside…

Until now.

My momma was a “get things done-er.” My dad worked a lot of hours supporting a family of six, so if she wanted/needed things done, She did it. If she didn’t know how, she learned.

Ditto.

Like my dad, my husband works a lot of hours supporting our family of three. I could’ve waited until he got home, but I thought I could do it myself.

I didn’t quite know how to get the bookcase in the house, so I just started. With a little ingenuity and some luck, that beautiful treasure holder is now in my dining room.

I spent the evening unpacking glassware, vases, Depression glass, leaves and acorns my boy gave me when he was five, and gifts from my momma.

Those things?

They’ve been packed up in tubs for four years, too.

What a joy it is to see them again.

Thanks for being here.

Jessica

treasures in my bookcase
love this vase from my momma
my bookcase

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS

©️ ALL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED