Butterflies and Ruby


Why do I associate Ruby with butterflies? I’m not real sure, to be honest.

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It may be that at the time she was born my beautiful niece Courtney was terribly ill. Butterflies and babies are hope. Oh, and she was a marvelous baby, with a sweet, spunky demeanor. A face you immediately fall in love with.

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I tend, as you do, to find beauty in things I love. Photographing these things is only natural; capturing the simple things in our lives, where we go and where we’ve been.

DSC_3864(Ruby loving on a friend.)

It may be that butterflies are a lesson of letting go, their beauty is only with us for a short time. As was our beautiful Courtney. Her beauty, deep within, touching every facet of our lives. She became our glue. She kept our hearts close, our spirits yearning for one more minute.

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Courtney, with butterfly’s wings will fly gracefully and beautifully; a gentle dance on the breeze, from flower to flower.

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“I like living, I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” ~ Agatha Christie

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Be well,

Jess

Going…going…will it be gone?


Winter. Just another of life’s adventures; fraught  with roller coaster temperatures and seemingly insurmountable layers of snow and ice. A journey that forced us inside, inside ourselves to ponder our dreams and the roads we have already traveled. To navigate our paths, or wander serendipitously, our minds open to what could be. DSC_6138

Something about the near hibernation plummets me into retrospect, a desire to reroute my intended destination; to find joy in my journey, succumb to the stillness.    Be. DSC_6142 It has faded , winter; I struggle to rectify the inside with the out. I listen to melody of my past, believing the best is yet to come. Fresh beginnings, new goals, bright dreams; they are all there in the song. A song of sweet nothings. DSC_6140 I delight in the sweet nothings now, the season slowed me enough to recognize contentment in the ordinary. The sunrise, the sunset, skyping with my husband 10 thousand miles away, puppy kisses, baby giggles, or a llama’s whiffle; these are gifts that could slip by without being noticed, aren’t they? Keep your eyes and your heart open lest you miss life’s beauty. DSC_6129 Some of the best moments are the simplest. Be well, catch the moments and hold on tight. Jess

Barns of the mid-west at 55 mph…


“I have found out that there ain’t any surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain

I know good team work when I see it.

In the future, I may need to make it a point to embark, with friends on a trip to test our compatibility. Because if you can make it on the road dealing with logistic snafus, idiosyncratic nuances, digestive challenges, utilizing your Travel IQ, overcoming car breath (ya, know, the I have been in this car for 24 hours with no tooth-brush breath) and physical dissimulation, well, you can deal with the more mundane daily issues of life. And I firmly believe that. But, no, there was no test drive, so, let’s just do this!

We (8) were heading to Iowa from NH, Connecticut and the Capital Region of New York. The logistics of that alone may be staggering to some, hold on though, we had llamas in tow, they all had to get to Dakota Ridge Farm, then they had to fit in one trailer. One trailer, at one farm, so that we could leave at one time! They arrived in vans, well 2 vans, and a trailer; The Trailer. The one and only trailer. Do you see a problem yet?, Nope, me neither.

Load’em up

We’ve all arrived at DRF, everyone with their llamas, showing paraphernalia, clothing, water bowls, llamas, hay, coolers, blow-dryers, tents, health certifications (the llamas, not ours), muck boots, llamas, show boots…pillows, don’t forget the pillows. Yes, all of this has to go in one trailer. No worries, I know a good team when I see one. Paul and Todd have the spatial relations to configure a viable traveling equipment formation – did you get all that? Of course, we were to leave by 8:00, it is now 10:00, but what are a few hours spent in the company of friends.

And Head ‘em out

This travel adventure takes extraordinary determination, chutzpah, daring, grit, and even some intestinal fortitude… Are you up for it? Well come along as we hit the road.

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What a wonderful trip, last June, with wonderful friends. We hope to do it again this year!

Jenn with her favorite girl(Llama) at the Iowa fair-grounds. (a very, very pregnant girl)
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Be well,
Jess

And Just Like That…


And just like that, it’s mud season. Grab your muck boots and lets dive right in. You’d think with all of the snow and ice we have been driving in, we’d be happy to be rid of it, and you are right, mostly.
Winter’s opinion of our driving skills matters very little now. Should we fancy ourself worthy of praise? We made it through, we survived relatively unscathed, free of this foreboding stretch of time. Now it is giving way to the promise of spring, but getting from one to the other required passing through an ominous complication called, mud season, or pot hole season, call it what you will.
The problem with this season? No, it is not merely the gobs of the gooey, sloppy, boot sucking glop carried in your boots or paws. No, it is far more sinister than that.
The problem?
Driving.

This, this makes your road a mighty opponent, a duel between you (your vehicle)and the mud-rutted road. It separates the men from the boys; the wheat from the chaff.

First,logistics come into play; you must figure out where to direct your wheels. The decisions come fast and furious, vigilance indispensable, lest you take too long to decide, even a moment of indecision can slow your momentum. Do you ride on the high part or the low part to stay out of the ditch? You follow the tire ruts that came before you, don’t even think about forging your own path? You must abandon your instincts, and drive like hell. Bottoming out is a fatal blow in an area that is mostly uphill and down and mostly dirt roads. If you are venturing out in New England this weekend, don’t leave your gumption at home.

Do you think I can train the pups to leave their boots at the door.
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The goats won’t muck up the kitchen with mud. They are more polite and mind their manners. (except when the eat the pocket right from the apron I’m wearing)
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Mud-season, a battle of two, a season of indeterminate duration when spring and winter struggle for dominance. A season you won’t find on your calendar, a season all its own; none of spring’s lovely flowers, or Autumn’s showy colors, none of winter’s white billows of snow, nor summer’s freshly cut green grass, just serious mud.

Winter has yet to yield its grip, the snow is still feet thick near the hedgerow, it’s best it melts slowly. A flooded basement, streams, and rivers would not be a better option.

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Girl, you need a haircut!

Be well,
Jess

Blue and Gold


While I am not sad to see it go, (hopefully, it will go) snow does have its own beauty.

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The setting sun casts its long shadows across the crystalline field. I suppose we should appreciate these views, for mud season will soon be upon us.

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I think the animals can sense a change is near. Supper time now can happen in the light and my hands and feet are not quite frozen when the last one is watered and fed. I hope that we have seen the last of the negative temperatures, though morning before last was -17 at morning feed time.

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Revie, needs a good spring cleaning! I took her warming jacket off as its going to be in the high 30’s and 40’s this week. I haven’t seen her undressed since December.

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Revie’s Mom, never far from her first cria.
Looking at these photos, I get a bit excited thinking of shows and fairs.
Last year, we took KatDoll to a large national show in Iowa. A long haul for us; we live in Upstate New York. KatDoll seemed off, we thought it was just the trip. She hardly ever kushed (lied down) during the long the trailer ride, which was half way across the country. Weird right. She did ok at the fair, but she really wasn’t herself. We planned to board her at a friends farm, after the fair; to breed with her beautiful male. Off she went for her intimate vacation.

We were expecting a May baby of this year (2015).
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I really never gave it much more thought; until one morning before opening the shop, I went to the barn to collect eggs and to grain the animals. I looked though the open window at the girls. Looked back to the task at hand… suddenly it hit me. There is a baby in there! What? How can this be? The cria was standing almost under her Mom, so I knew whose baby it was instantly. I ran wildly back into the shop to tell Jenn. I think she thought I had finally lost it.

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A beautiful, baby she was. A young male had been precocious enough to set up a secret rendezvous. We knew who the cheeky suitor was. Though he wasn’t telling. Long story short; the reason KatDoll wasn’t herself, at the show was readily apparent; we had unknowingly trailered a her at 9 months pregnant half way across the country. Uggh. How awful. Luckily all was well.

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Be well, Enjoy the day.
Jess

Remember when….A Wordless Wednesday.


Common sense and good nature will do a lot to make the pilgrimage of life not too difficult”
– William Somerset Maugham

Sophie, you are not a duck...

Sophie, you are not a duck…

Andrew, my sweet, sweet little neighbor. Oh, and Claire.

Andrew, my sweet, sweet little neighbor. Oh, and Claire.

dogs,chickens, and llammas oh my 5

Andy today

remember when...

a song

remembering

lovins

duo

Breez

girls

jenni .3

Andys

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.”
– Robert Frost, Two Roads

Be Well,
Jess

In Winter’s Cold Shadow…There is Gold.


I find that I am not as patient as I once was; sometimes, I feel as though I am attempting to strain the mud puddle rather than patiently waiting for the mud to settle and the water to clear….Do you ever feel as though you are treading water, when you should be swimming?
Feeling over whelmed, me? “Why”, I ask myself. I know there is no easy road, no magic bullet. I am well aware the frustration I feel is of my own making. . . yet as I concentrate so much energy on my objectives, my world, …stumbling through endless lists.
I have always had lists. That can’t be it; am I just getting older and grumpier? Is this what mid-life, what 50 feels like? If it is I don’t like it one bit. Is it just the solitude that winter brings? Could it be I just need to idle my motor, wait for things to happen as they should, when they should?
Or maybe, just maybe; I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these that let me savor a bad mood….until the afternoon sun turns it to gold.

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Mercedes’ shadow cast on the barn wall.

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Intent on supper…”oh, are you still there?”

Mercedes

Mercedes, always so graceful , never in the front, never pushy, or needing to be the first…always patient and full of grace. I want to be like her.

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Andy, is so frail; he did not have the benefit of his mother’s milk and nutrients pat the age of 2 months. I worry about him in the cold; he is wearing 2 polar fleece vest, a goose down vest, and a rain jacket with the arms cut off, ( all zipped up across his back) to protect him from the frigid temperatures. He sleeps, always, between KatDoll and Camille…they keep him warm.
I am going to have him gelded, so that he never has to leave them.

the crew
Even the chickens head to the llama barn for warmth and protection.

The winter blues. How do you deal with this issue? Or is it not an issue for you? Where do you find your patience?

Be Well,
Jess