A September Day…


Life can get pretty hectic at times; sometimes I need to pause to consider our blessed and full life…a combination of stress, excitement, and love.
We all lead far too hectic, busy lives. We have great intentions toward simplicity, looking for moments in our day to just be! Enjoy the sweet moments with those we cherish, before the moments pass…maybe, we don’t need to be so cognizant of these moments, perhaps they just happen,we enjoy them , and carry on with our day ~ only to look back and remember; the I love you, Mom with a hug good bye, the tender squeeze of my hand from a friend as my daughter makes a play, my older daughter’s voice on the phone, my husband’s sweet smile as he come home at the end of the day…I did stop long enough to enjoy these things, even without intention.
Even with; a College search, fair season, field hockey, homecoming dress shopping, vet health certification appointments, and house renos, I have decided to get my Real Estate license and home staging certification…somehow squeezing in class time (oh, but I am excited). Still,as each day goes by, I find that one project leads to another, and another, until, by days end, I feel that I haven’t even so much as sat down with my now cold cup of Earl Grey… some how, I have captured some of these moments with my camera…to be cherished later…

Here are some pictures from a typical day…of animals chores, home, and family.

Riley adorning the kitchen...

pre-game pep talk

...and she swings

Jenni...attack mode

ut oh...another corner

...defense mode

"Hey, can we go to a game?"

sittin' pretty

I have taken to just dusting around Riley…he seldom moves anyway…
Be well,
Jessica

Changing Seasons…


I recently wrote about summer coming to an end, I think it may be a good segue now…my youngest child is now a senior in high school. I’m not sure where the time went…somewhere between, can we get llamas Mom?, and can I borrow the car?…she has grown into an amazing young woman. As I was shooting some photos of her ~ this fact hit me like a ton of bricks! Andrew ( our neighbor) was sitting watching our photo shoot; what a juxtaposition. He will just be beginning his school years, entering pre-k; this will be the last year of high school for Jenni. Where did the time go…? Softball games, field hockey practice, swimming competitions, County fair llama shows… shopping trips to NYC, emergency room visits with broken arms, proms, and homecoming games…
As we visit colleges, and prepare applications; I will be finding comfort in these memories.

I’ll be keeping the llamas; who are now feasting on hay…protected by a shed Howie built using the reclaimed wood of the old barn [we are still disassembling]. We think it looks a bit like a covered bridge; what do you think?

from old barn to hay shed...

Lala...doesn't leave the hay often, as you may be able to tell...she's a bit deep in the groceries.

Andy and KatDoll resting nearby; KatDoll brought Andy to her side when his Mom passed a month ago ~ they haven't separated since...who ever said animals don't recognize death and parting...have never met these two.

Andy and Jenni; this is how our llama adventure began.

Jenni <3

Andrew's "pre-k" photo...what a sweet little man.

Be well, and enjoy every moment of every day!
Jessica

as summer winds down…


Seasons seem to pass so much faster than they did when I was young. Perhaps, I can no longer fit so much into each day…because, I remember endless summer days spent swimming, riding bikes (with no helmets) wind in my hair…staying outside playing until well after dark…hide and seek at night was the best(we called it bear)the fireflies were always there waiting for the nightly game; and my abiding love of purple Popsicles. Every moment was cherished, without conscious effort. As children we were never bored, though with so many of us there was no money for extras…it never stopped us; we were so busy having fun we didn’t know we were missing anything. We moved around a lot so it seemed almost every summer was spent with a different bunch of kids, each neighborhood having it’s own brand of fun. This is not to say life was perfect, we simply made the best of what we had. I’ll never forget those summers.

As adults, some perspective is altered, we spend more time thinking about what we are going to do, how we are going to spend our time…we never really get lost in the moment…just being mindlessly involved in the game, the conversation, the book, the precious moments…as children there is no worry about what’s next when you’re totally immersed in a kick ball game, you simply enjoy the game. I wanna think like a kid again! I wanna slow things down, enjoy every moment.

The last of my summer vegetables ready to be harvested, llamas in need of grooming in preparation for the Eastern States Exposition(more on this in an upcoming post),pumpkins turning a warm shade of orange…fall is upon us whether we are ready or not.
I do love a brisk, breezy, sunny Fall day. It’s my favorite time of year. The sky seems bluer, the air fresher. And as the leaves change upstate New York, and New England have to be the most beautiful places on earth! Besides all that, I adore sweaters…all cozy soft and warm.
One of my favorite cool weather pass-times is enjoying the warmth, while sharing a cup of tea and moment with a friend or family in front of the kitchen’s fire…anticipating dinner as the smell of a hearty stew simmering, and wheat rolls baking fills the room. Oh, and apple picking.

This morning there was a heavy dew, the early morning sun made everything sparkle…so I snapped a couple photos of flowers in the veggie garden…

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose

We do not remember days; we remember moments. ~Cesare Pavese, The Burning Brand

It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life. ~P.D. James

The faintest waft is sometimes enough to induce feelings of hunger or anticipation, or to transport you back through time and space to a long-forgotten moment in your childhood. It can overwhelm you in an instant or simply tease you, creeping into your consciousness slowly and evaporating almost the moment it is detected. ~Stephen Lacey, Scent in Your Garden, 1991

t's surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.

God gave us memories that we might have roses in December. ~J.M. Barrie, Courage, 1922

Hmmm, how to “can a day?” You know, those days that seem just perfect you want access to them whenever the need arises.

What are some your best summer memories?
Be well,
Jessica

Did you ever have one of those days…


I hesitated writing this blog, not knowing what to write, not knowing where to begin; So,I guess the beginning is best.

As my husband and I were attending a wedding earlier in the summer(Sarah & Andrew’s); we were asked to help at a friend’s daughter’s wedding. We were bar-tending, if you know us, you know how hysterical this really is.
My husband decided to go over to the reception venue early to try to gain some perspective(believe me when I say we needed some); he returned with a sullen expression, not what I was expecting….he had bad news, I just knew it. The Father of the Bride’s brother had just(in the past hour) died of a heart attack, he was to attend the wedding with his family. The wedding ceremony was commencing as we spoke. The Bride’s father, nor the family knew the news…I couldn’t even imagine the scenario that was about to play out.
We drove to the where the reception was to be; prepared for guests, the hall looked adorable; a country/outdoors-man theme. Just as we were about to sit a and relax for a moment before guests arrived; an elderly woman entered, and called my husband over…she did not feel well. He motioned for me to come over. I approached the woman with a smile; she responded with a grimace ~ She was having chest pain! I sent my husband to call the rescue squad, sat her down, put her feet up…took vitals, basic information…wiped her tears,called her dear friend…she was in her 90’s and here for the wedding. (found out later she was doing ok)…All of this before the newly married couple even arrived for the reception! Talk about mixed emotions!
The wedding party arrived, did they know yet?, do the guests know? I had no idea how to respond. OK, put a smile on your face and forge ahead,I told myself…focus on the blessing of the day, I said…trying to force the elephant in the room from my thoughts.

I am still unsure how the family made it through the day (they were told ), I admire their strength, courage, and Love.
I was all to happy to snuggle into my cozy bed on our little farm that night…and the reception was very, very sweet. Here are some pictures, I hope you enjoy them.

Kearsten & Eric

Head table

the cute couple

first dance

Father ~ Daughter dance...

...not a dry eye in the house.

Bride and her Mom

dancing the night away...

...with the love of friends

My wish for them ...Happily ever after

Be well,
Enjoy life, live fully every day…just never know what each day may bring.

Hometown Football…and a Remembering 9/11


High School Football in America…it hasn’t really changed much over the years, just like those thrilling Friday nights of yesteryear; the players “will to win” is palpable! The smell of early fall and the snack bar with hamburgers,hot dogs filled the air…There’s a reason why the Friday night tradition continues to be played out across America, year after year after year…The American spirit is epitomized in high school football. Honor, commitment, fair play, hard work, and accomplishment always produce a successful team… and country. Coaches,students, parents, and our small community all pull together to make this football program happen. Without hard work, dedication, commitment, and accomplishment there is no high school football. Prosperity occurs when people volunteer. The prosperity ingrained in high school football cannot possibly exist in some countries.The courage, prosperity, and promise characterized by high school football is a metaphor for what we call the American Way.
So, even on a beautiful Friday night in Upstate NY, there is more to life than football, Last night, our small town, remembered those that lost their lives on 9/11 ten years ago. Some lost their lives in the initial explosions, some in an attempt to save others, some in the fight to keep us free from Terrorism. All of those, then and now, who fight to keep our Country free and safe; we remembered last night in a touching, patriotic pre-game and half time show.

The High School chorus, cheer leaders, local talent, and Bagpipes, all came together to offer their talents in a touching remembrance to the victims and families of 9/11/01.


Beautiful night for a Home Game.


Under the lights.


One of many to come!


Representatives of Our Hometown First Responders…


High School choir, and Jazz Band, with First Responders…


Shari sang “Proud to be an American” to rousing applause.

Do you attend Friday Night Football Games?
Be well,
Jessica

County Fairs…a celebration of agriculture…


All summer, I look forward to fair season. Llama shows! Fair food! Barns full of, sheep, cows, chickens, horses, and goats! 4H displays; works of art proudly displaying the 4Her’s hard work and agricultural interests…the 4H animal competitions are a favorite…the kids are so proud, excited,and anxious to see how there hard work may pay off in ribbons, trophies, and premiums.

As a kid, I never had enough ride tickets, now just looking at the rides spinning makes me dizzy. So, I don’t spend much tome in the Midway…though, I do like the pretty lights on the ferris wheel….

At the fair, I look forward to reconnecting with friends who share a common interest, and in my case, a shared love of llamas and fiber art. I always wish for more time with these friends. Maybe this is what makes fair time so special to me…friends and human connection. Gosh, I’m sappy!

County fairs; historically were established to promote agriculture, education and science through exhibitions, displays, live stock judging competitions and demonstrations…Fairs quickly became highly anticipated events across the country. Many farm families adjusted their work schedules as far as a month in advance of the big events in order to earn a few work-free days at the fair.
Farmers came to share their farming techniques. Rural families went to view the very best in agricultural products and livestock, and to experience programs and events that they will not experience anywhere except at the fair; games, racing, horse demonstrations, crafts, a variety of foods and special programs for Mothers, Fathers, and kids.
For many people, the fair would mark the first time they saw electric lights and airplanes! My husband,s favorite parts of the fair are the new equipment (think.. tractors) and the antique engines on display.
Even today, I think fairgoers attend to celebrate agricultural, exhibitions, food, the midway’s carnival rides, entertainment, competitions, and the always popular concerts.


How could anyone resist that face?


Fair buddies.


Such a cute goat face!


Best in show…(wondering if his owner has to arm himself/herself when collecting eggs from the hens)


Miss Lily’s ribbons…a years hard work pays off!


Polled Hereford…


Lily and her Hereford.


Lights of the ferris wheel!

I hope you get to visit a County Fair near you. If you do go; what do you like to see?
Be Well,
Jessica