jude hill spirit cloth

Just to be …

Good Morning...

The craziness here has not diminished.  Some new roof issues have prolonged the process.  And increased the cost. But hey, whatever gets done here will last a lifetime, especially ours, at this point.

My Impression of May is just as it can be. I do feel it is a Mothering on many levels.  It is comforting me.  Demanding nothing in return.  Instilling a sense of going that feels natural.  It is helping me understand order without feeling limited, it is birthing new ideas.

It can take forever and that is ok.  It has no secret purpose.

two digital drawings and some stitching

I know I will talk more in detail about how it is forming, and what I have learned, but I cannot do that right now.  Here, two digital drawings and a bit of stitching. More drawing than stitching is what can happen lately.  I am thinking they are much the same.

Huge thunderstorms are coming later,  the roofer folks race against the weather.  They seem to be in tune. This 80s house  was built like shit, like most 70s/80s constructions.  I am learning so much about that stuff.  I like knowing these things.  Construction is patchwork, in perspective. Mending is always an opportunity to know more about building.

I will send out a Forever Zone newsletter soon.  And I will be back to it all soon enough.

Meanwhile, in the last days, the jungle has returned... no  cutting, the lushness of it all, untouched, is delicious. The tree trimming that cleaned the branches from hitting and leaning into the roof yielded a mountain of woodchips.  I will use them to cover the paths, so there can be tick free walking  through that which grows as it will.  I need to just see.

just as it grows



  1. Victoria

    Yes, isn’t the peace after a lot of racketing going on wonderful. Especially so when the changes made are working as planned.

  2. Wendy

    What a beautiful luscious view! I imagine this view is so wonderful when you walk through the woods. Are the ticks bad in your area this year? I have been picking them off the dogs when we come in from our walks outside in our little it of woods here. Hope your evening is a restful one.

  3. My house is over 100 years old. Some times that really amazes me. It needs a little TLC, I need to figure that out. Everything is so so green right now, still cold though.

  4. Ingrid Johnson

    I keep dreaming of a vista such as yours. Doing my best to create my own inside the concrete suburban jungle………

  5. Pat Cooper

    Lovely picture of your woods. Thank you. In Northern NJ, where I grew up, that is what we called any patch of trees, the woods. Living in Southern Texas I think I miss spring the most. Great Idea using the wood chips, I did do that when we lived up north

    • jude

      I always call a patch of trees woods too.
      The chips are great. because there are so many.
      I spread them on the garden paths and now we are spreading them on all the paths we made through the forest earlier in the season. To discourage grow back but really effective on limiting tick travel. The birds love them too, plenty of insects. And of course it builds soil. And it is great exercise!

  6. i like this post. For some reason it feels like a Letter…
    like one that i would receive in the mailbox…post office box…
    black marks on envelope, stamp you would have licked the glue to
    seal it.

  7. It’s beautiful and green here in OR, practically no winter and a very long spring, but maybe because it’s “home,” when I see your verdant woods, I really miss NY State.

    Our house here was built in 1950, but very poorly “remodeled” for a flip in the late 70s. We’ve undone/redone what we can. Because it’ll mean resizing, we’ll most likely not be able to restore the original windows, though I hope we can eventually replace the aluminum monstrosities. And it would also be nice to replace the crappy vinyl siding job. But, basically it’s a solid, well built house with a bit of architectural interest.

    • jude

      New York is so beautiful, in it’s natural state, So much water and rock up here. I miss the coast but I had always been near it.
      Remodeling often ruins things when flipping is the goal. We got a guy who doesn’t take that kind of work. He really seems to want to restore functionality along with the “look”.
      This one, needs to be given some real love, integrity.
      These houses around here, many were just quick build summer homes.

  8. Jen

    Ours is a boring brick ranch style a la’ 1973, but we are slowly changing it and making it our own, your wooded haven is SO Green now! And a PINK dogwood! Wheeee ….

    I look at this cloth you are working on, I imagine it is soft, soft, soft ….like a mother’s worn apron, a comforting hug.
    (Hope they get the roofing done in time!! We had a crazy storm last night!!)

    • jude

      Our old place was a ranch style , I like them much better than the split level here, more solid somehow, and all these stairs are becoming a challenge…
      water tight. there was some crazy rain here but seems it has mostly passed.

  9. An old Victorian extended house also has it’s own challenges, and it is grand to have folk to help with them when they arise isn’t it? I like the thought that it is patchwork, it certainly looks that way on the old maps which show each change.
    Your lush green looks both peaceful and full of light, with life hiding in the margins

  10. Wendy Watson

    I’d like to move my 1920s solid home to the corner of your property . . . oh to see and hear trees out of every window!

  11. Liz

    “Mending is always an opportunity to know more about building.”
    Just this. I have written it at the top of today’s list of things that didn’t get done while I engage in “mending” my son, or rather helping him to mend himself. Beautiful words and very much needed today.

    • jude

      the words came as I needed them as well. Mending anything, it works for anything. It is a form of learning somehow.

  12. Your cloth makes me think of a mother’s arms- reaching and doing. It rained all day yesterday, by evening it seemed that the trees around us had grown by yards, stretching toward and surrounding the house.

  13. Kathy

    Hi Jude,

    I like your comment about mending being an opportunity to learn more about building. When I think about it, this applies to life in general.

  14. Helen Lee

    So beautiful….your cloth and your garden.
    I hope they win that race.
    I love your perspective on the fixing/mending. Thought I’d noticed them clearing the tiles from the house roof in one of your photos.

    • jude

      Yes, all demo has been done, building back, water tightness is the goal at the moment. Roof windows will happen a bit layer.

  15. Sally

    Constant repairing can be exhausting. Thank you for likening it to mending, which I love, I’ll go about it now with a new attitude. I live in the high desert of SW Texas, yes that exists, the intense sun, strong winds and drought assault my home, and my skin, daily. The sunsets and enormous vistas are worth it. Burying fabrics in this sandy, rocky soil has surprisingly glorious results. Dying in the intense year round sun requires no extra heat source. Using cacti, mesquite, acacia is so different and another surprise I’m learning. Colors are so different here.
    Back to joyfully mending my home. Thank you for this post.

  16. Luna

    Repair and construction as pat whorl in perspective…. I will have to think on that. I live in an old farmhouse that has literally been Pat Hera d repaired for more than a century. Not necessarily with great skill or care. It is never done. The undoneness … living with it is debilitating. Sometimes things need to be done to move forward.

      • Luna

        Yes, no need for fancy here either. It does help to step back and look at our continuing efforts to save and repair our old house and land as patchwork. It soothes.

  17. Nancy

    I know what you mean about olde homes…olde, but not olde, in perspective. We love our little 60s lake house…have improved it, “patched” it, to suit us, and we plan to stay here the rest of our lives if we can. Yoga on the back deck with the rising sun and awakening birds starts out this May morning in balance. Thank you, Jude, for sharing your creations and thoughts…

  18. Jana

    The lushness of summer is rich. The overgrown parts feel wild. Striking a balance of pruning, clearing, and allowing. Lovely landscape. Just thinking what a delight it will be to sit on soundly repurposed porch and look out at all the beauty and lushness.

  19. Velma Bolyard

    this galloping into spring or summer is so strange, i’m hoping the storming will slow it down some. also hoping your roofers take good care of you.

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