They are wild I tell ya! Wild.


I love cottage gardens (I suppose you know that by now); I love the over flowing, I could care less, throw caution to the wind spirit they evoke.

They are beautiful because they are. A bit like life really. It can be a bit messy at times, but it is always, always beautiful. After a long sometimes stressful day…there is nothing more comforting to me than to walk through the front garden gate of our cottage farm. A spray of wild roses scramble up a an ancient barbed wire fence, as berries twist their vines along side. Our cottage is cozy and chock full of flowers, herbs, and veggies; sunshine filtering through the huge maples creating a sense of insulation from chaos. It is not grand, perfect, it is our place to restore, refresh and just breathe. A sense of calm and a slower pace than some may prefer, yet I embrace the quiet, regal beauty of our llamas as they rest in the shade of the maples and oaks, captures my attention bringing me focus and contentment. I am home.

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You can’t have enough love or enough flowers – so filler up!
Be well.
Jess

As Life Changes, what have I woven into the lives of others? Class of 2012!


You’ve changed so much. I guess that’s what happens. I wish you knew how much you changed me. I wonder if I changed you, if your life is different because of me. Because mine’s different. My God, you taught me so much….

To my beautiful daughter, Jennifer.

Nicole, Meaghan, Emily, Alyssa and all of the Class of 2012.

Here is what I hope you leave with:

Give yourself permission: for everything. Permission to make mistakes. Permission to shine. Permission to look beautiful. Permission to accept (instead of correct or dismiss) praise. Permission to have bad days. Permission to get angry. Permission to cry, to laugh, to scream. Permission to take the day off. Permission to take a nap, go to sleep early. Permission to get a massage. Permission to do nothing. Permission to succeed. Life is about being here now, in all your full range of emotions, mood swings, wins and losses. Give yourself permission to live out loud!

There will always be others; others that may be more educated, skilled or talented in one or another area, but there is something magnificent and valuable about what you have to offer this world! Do not allow yourself or anyone else to diminish it.

To live your best possible life, you need to learn how to say no to the things that aren’t helping you. The best barometer to measure this by is: if it isn’t a “hell yeah” (yippee, so fun, can’t wait), then it is most probably a no. If you have to talk yourself into it, it’s a no. Once you get comfortable saying no, everything becomes a matter of choice. Living a life of choice is a living a life of freedom.

 Always remember; When you strip everything else away, your word is all you’ve got. Do what you say you’re going to do.By honoring your word, you honor yourself.And it doesn’t  feel good when you don’t. So, make it a habit. Value your integrity and keep your promises.

 You can do anything you choose to do ~ There is nothing you cannot be, do or have. So do not impose limitations on yourself. Instead of saying you can’t get there, ask “How can I get there?” Live in the affirmation of possibility rather than the declaration of negativity. There is always a way, and it is being presented consistently, but you have to live in the question to be on the lookout for the answer.

 “Even though we’ve changed and we’re all finding our own place in the world, we all know that when the tears fall or the smile spreads across our face, we’ll come to each other because no matter where this crazy world takes us, nothing will ever change so much to the point where we’re not all still friends.”

Own your opinion! No one has to agree with you in order for your opinion to matter. Stop waiting for consensus. YOU matter. Your opinion matters. Some people will agree with you and some people won’t. You will NEVER get consensus. So, stop looking for it. The only question you have to ask is, does your opinion matter to you? Claim it. Own it. And know that with new information, it could change tomorrow.

If things aren’t working out in your favor, take note and ask yourself what your part in it is. Being a victim is passé, boring. There is no power in blaming other people. Don’t wait for other people to change. When you change, your world will follow suit.

                                                                     Bloom where you are planted. Work from the inside out. Make the commitment to yourself and get started.


“Life is a hard hat zone, we’re always under construction.”

                  Love generously. Spread random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

Hatred is already rampant. We need to tip the scales the other way.

Love is a far more powerful emotion and has far reaching consequences.

Thoreau said, “If I am not I, who will be?”

Did you ever notice that the ones who are most successful are not the ones that follow the masses and trends, but the ones who stand in their own authentic expression and declare who they are? Regardless of who agrees with them?

Find your bliss and live your passion. Your Bliss? It’s time to find out! When your life has spun out of control and you are finding yourself in a tizzy, go back to what makes you happiest and do that. The more you follow this thread, the more you are leading with the heart. Discover it. Find it, claim it, express it, and live it.

 

Never give up on yourself. You are who you are. It’s time to honor that and make use of it. Stay the course.

Be Well,
Mom (Jess)

Some Late Spring Beauties and a “quick story”


Rural beauty and a dear friends garden.

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But hey, now that you’ve seen my lovely photos :)

Have you seen this! How much fun could this be? I know,like we don’t have enough social media frenzy. It just looks like too much fun to ignore.

A COLLABORATIVE STORY WRITING EXPERIENCE: http://www.qwikstory.com/

How Qwikstory.com Works
Qwikstory.com is a new social media site where people come together to create and write a story about a particular topic (or no topic at all). Here’s the catch – once you start a story, you have only 1,000 characters to tell your part of the story and you can’t continue the story…Cool right?
My children and I do this with songs sometimes…always silly, sometimes funny!

Let me know what you think! Please.

Blow outs and pedicures…


Part of caring for and sharing your life with animals involves some rather, well, distasteful chores..other than the obvious scooping of the poop(we’ve already talked about that,haven’t we) We must also, trim the llamas nails. Yup, nails; they don’t have hoofs, camelids ( llamas, alpacas,vicunas, camels) have two toes and soft pads ~ as you’ll see in the photos to follow. My husband is quite expeditious in completing this chore…3 snips per foot; once across each side, then one last clip across the top of the nail. Voila llama pedicure; do you think the girl llamas would look cute with pink polish? Me too! Though, I don’t think they would enjoy that much.

On our farm we shear once (at least) each year. We try to give them a good shampooing the day before, the fiber is cleaner for harvesting, and it’s easier on the clippers. Less grime and grit. To obtain the best fiber, your llama should be as clean as you can possibly get them.

Blow outs! Ah yes, first we blow the llama out. They have so much dirt and hay particles in there! You see llamas LOVE to roll in the sand or just plain old dirt; they think it adds to their beauty. Then I brush them out a bit while using a de-tangling spray. The brushing sometimes takes hours to days depending on the animal and density of the fiber. The llama in my last photo “Bandit” took several days to complete.

After all of this, at long last, it’s time to shampoo! I try to pick a warm sunny day. A quick blow out and a good scrub. Any type of shampoo will work, though there are “special” shampoos just for llamas. For my white llamas I use a whitening shampoo (with blueing). For most others I use a conditioning shampoo (the inexpensive kind). Next step, I apply a conditioner and just sort of rake it through the fiber…rinse! (thoroughly rinse -not always as easier as it sounds) Almost done (unless there is a show) they are set free to dry naturally in the sun.

Oh Yes, one more thing….they will immediately upon returning to the pasture, seek out their favorite place to roll; look up at me, bat their long lashes and smile…as if to say, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”

No worries, all the newly deposited dirt comes out fairly easily.

If the animal is fairly light wooled and depending on the temps, sun, and time of day…you can clip them the same day.
Most of the time, we wait until the next day.
Wow, I’m tuckered; good thing this only happens once a year!


Little Andy showing off his lustrous waves. :)


My Kromsky Minstel Wheel…((love))


Bea-u-ti-ful!


trimmings…


Camille won’t mind if I show you her un-manicured feet…( I hope)


A little snip here, a little snip there..


Andrew…Why? “Jecasa”


He is just too sweet for words…really, I have none.


Ah, Andrew…because; that’s why.


Here is the first llama , I delivered…he was such a big cria…his Mom is the “foot model” above. :)

Are you as tired as I am? Ok, let’s do this again next year, shall we?
Be Well,
Jess

Semi-Wordless Wednesday.


Do you ever have any “if only” moments? You know, I would do this, I could do this, I want to do this…“if only” I were here, or there, or I had this, or that?
To that I say…”Forget all that nonsense and Bloom Where You Are Planted!” I am not certain who coined the phrase, whomever it was; Thank You. I like it.

Get busy living.

I need to be thankful for what I have rather than frustrated about what I don’t have

I am strong because I’m weak. I am beautiful because I know my flaws. I am fearless because I’ve been afraid. I can laugh because I’ve known sadness

I know who I am: I am me. I know what I am: I am strong. I know where I am going. I have great friends beside me, and wonderful family behind me, a bright future before me. The possibilities are endless!
Be Well
Jess

Wishin’ on Dandelions and Feathers


Even though I am not a child any longer, I still wish on dandelions, please remember, you must blow all of the fluffy, seedy, down into the wind with one breathe… as you wish your wish.
My how the wishes have changed, things seems so simple then…a wish for a new pair of green “Chuck Taylor’s” (sneakers), or an ice cream at the dairy bar, a kiss from a dreamy rich prince; frivolous perhaps, even flimsy some may say… but, I still believe these kind of wishes are about enjoying life’s little pleasures, don’t you think?

Finding the serendipitous white feather on your path…Did you ever hear this saying as a child? Feathers Appear When Angels Are Near. Sister Helen would tell me this as a way to console me when saddened as a child, “Your Angels leave feathers as signs of their love. When you find a feather in your path, know that your Angels are with you.” {or something like that}

What do you wish for as the fluffy dandelion seeds float away on your exhaled breath?
Or perhaps, you wish on the first star of the evening, twinkling in the darkening sky.

Dream your dreams.
Jess

Reader Appreciation Award ~ Gratitude creates a vision for tomorrow….


A few days ago I was given “Reader Appreciation Award” …can you believe it?
“Painted By The Sun” Thank you.
I do hope you can spare a moment to wander through her beautiful photographs. They are lovely.

A few of the blogs I follow that I think you may appreciate!
Tracie Louise Photography Gorgeous.
The Simple Life of a Country Man’s Wife Beautiful photos; this girl has spunk!
Life As I See It… Beautiful.
Bloom: KT,she like me, is obsessed with flowers and gardening…
This Little Light Cara, such a beautiful heart.
SKEDazzles Inspirational photographs with beautiful words…and travel!

To anyone, everyone who has spent time reading my blog or viewing my photos; I thank you so very much!
Johannes A. Gaertner once said,“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.”
Need I say more?


We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.


Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind.


Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.


“Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition.” Scottish Poet Alexander Smith


“Iris” you were here…


all of thee Boy’s photos were taken in the rain…
By ourselves we can enjoy life, but to really appreciate life …you need to share with others.


…counting my blessings.


Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.


…a word, a smile, a grateful heart…


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life…and beauty of tomorrow.

Enjoy the smallest, most humble of happy moments..love, the joy of breathing, walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air; stay mindful and grateful for every day, for family, your friends, your hopes, your dreams….
Be well,
Jess

The perfect time…for a winsome journey.


Perfect time; is there ever a perfect time? Perfect time to start a family? Perfect time to buy a house? Perfect time to start a business? There is no perfect time, is there? If you wait for all things to come in line; you may be waiting for a very long time. That’s just how life is, a bit messy,a bit unpredictable, life just has a tendency of getting in the way of even the best laid plans.

I may have never been the type to be a rigid planner; much to my husband’s shagrin…though, I tend to be a list maker…and they tend to be long! Pages long! They never seem to become any shorter..where to find the time? Time to be Mom, wife, sister, neighbor; time to become a better photographer,(painter)illustrator, fiber artist, decorator, gardener, farmer, friend.

Time. A fleeting commodity.
I resolved this past year to make time time to enjoy, take in a beautiful and fleeting sunset, the first breathe of a new cria, the downy fluff on a days old duckling… I resolve to do to a lot of things.(do you notice a trend)

I have added to my list – Blog more consistently, take the time to share my thoughts, ideas, and creative endeavors with ~ you, the friends I have made through this blog. Yes, I do believe I can call some of you friends.
Celi ,http://thekitchensgarden.wordpress.com//
Shannon, http://dirtnkids.wordpress.com//
PW, http://prairiewisdom.wordpress.com//
and Renee, http://writingfeemail.wordpress.com// ~ to name a few. Relationships established in the blogosphere…I would love to sit around the kitchen table talking about this or that, sit on the front porch with a glass of tea..or wonder around the farm and gardens with any of these girls..I always look forward to reading about what is going on their lives.
As my life grows and changes I look forward to sharing with friends; friends I’ve made here on my blog, and friends I cherish close to home.

Keep it simple. I need to remind myself of this often; as my list of to-do’s grows exponentially with each day’s addition. I will strive to be in the moment, feel the moment,embrace the moment and collect inspiration along the way.


Mali and Phantom enjoy their new pasture…they were in their new diggs all of 5 minutes before they challenged each other to a game of “King of the Hill”.


Jubilee, wondering what to eat first…


Mali,thinking he won the game.


Hay! In Moses Country; no, not that Moses…Gramma Moses. She lived and painted just around the bend in Eagle Bridge, New York.(Anna Mary Robertson Moses (September 7, 1860 – December 13, 1961), better known as “Grandma Moses”, was a renowned American folk artist. In 1938 a New York engineer and art collector, Louis J. Caldor, who was driving through Hoosick Falls, saw some of her paintings displayed in a drug store window. They were priced from $3 to $5, depending on size. He bought them all, drove to the artist’s home at Eagle Bridge and bought ten others she had there. The next year, three Grandma Moses paintings were included in “Contemporary Unknown American Painters” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.) Ok, now back to the post…:)


I think this is what llamas dream’s look like…


Sun setting after a hard days work…


Sunset over Moses Country.


I just sat and watched…


I sat quietly in the grass…waited, watched, not really wanting the sun to completely set, yet anticipation was building for a grand finally.


so soft, and vibrant..


Sometimes you find beauty by sorting through the weeds…

We are our thoughts, hopes,and dreams…
Relax,enjoy life and your time.
Jess