I Smile At This Bright Blue Weather.


Is the sky ever more blue? I love October.

Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons….

But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face…..

I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed,
And what have I then? ( A partial R. Frost poem)

I meant to include a photo of KatDoll and Andy after we groomed and readied them for the fair, alas the inches of rain that fell just after put an end to that idea… These (resting on the hill in an above pic) are the two llamas we are taking to the Ductchess County Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend. They must go together, where KatDoll goes so must Andy; by now you know that story

I will be sure to take as many pictures as I can.
Be Well,
Jess

You’ve got the cutest little baby face…well some of you.


It that time of year again, County Fairs, State Fairs and animals on parade. We always head straight to the animal barns, then to the produce displays, followed by Howie’s need to see every piece of machinery known to man…while we were looking about at antique water pumps, wood splitters and steam engines; I came across these honey extractors and thought of Miss C . Wonder if she could use this?

It looks pretty deep, and with her many gallons of honey it may make short work of the extraction process.

I could oogle over these baby faces all day.

This little Jersey calf was born 1 day before the fair…wonder what she thinks of the world?

Some kids, have their own idea of comfort.

While other are just too sleepy to care….shhh…look at those lashes.

I have heard of folks dressing up for the fair; but this is ridiculous! Wonder who his hair dresser is?

Well hello there big guy! He looks too proud to be in jail…(I think I am funny, just smile and nod)

This white peacock is stunning, I think. It was difficult to get a good vantage point, he might have been camera shy.

She’s got legs…I am certain her Mamma thinks she’s cute.

Do you think I could fit this little girl in the back of a Volvo wagon? Well, I could try…but, she probably wouldn’t like me very much after. I guess I have to wait for a Jersey calf, and some cashmere goats, and a few Wensleydale sheep, and, and, and….Might be time to go home.

I will be back at the fair today, spinning with my new friends ( just met Lisa yesterday – smiling really hard.)
Be well.
Jess

Lessons learned…you little baby face


Did you ever just sit and watch a young animal or child interact with the world around them ~ going about their day unguarded by self imposed restraint? Restraint and self control will come; but now is the time to test limits. We had a young cria, Foncie; who tested every thing and everyone in the pasture with him…at times he would come into the barn for the evening..with whole side of his head covered with spit(this is how llamas establish and maintain a pecking order and acceptable llama behavior), he was always pushing the envelope, putting his nose where it didn’t belong.

Frankie, the visiting pup, from a few blogs ago..he is still testing his limits with Lexi..and in no uncertain terms, she lets him know…”My butt is my butt ~ not yours to sniff, this is my Mom and my ball, everything else is ok…you can even have my food”! They establish their own limits for young ones, to make life peaceful.
Andy, (our orphaned llama) lost his Mom early, lots of things he would have learned from her have to be learned from others, haphazardly ~ it seems. He is finding his own limits, different limits, with various members of the herd, there are some who will tolerate more from him, because of his circumstances, KatDoll even let him attempt to nurse, even though she is a maiden, and this behavior is almost never tolerated; He then pushed the envelope, tried to nurse from Shangrala, the herd’s Alpha..this didn’t go as he had planned, not only did he get a stern spitting, he got a bit of run down. Mind you, he will never make that mistake gain..lesson learned. Others are more gentle with the discipline..Penelope simply nudges him away…he then runs back to KatDoll or Breezy for what he thinks may be protection. He sleeps between Breezy and KatDoll at night..it is very, very sweet. Always the same nightly configuration…KatDoll, Andy, Breezy, then her Mom…Shangrala. Shangrala, is not the eldest, not the largest, not the flashiest llama, she is the boss, none the less, and that is hard work to maintain…just ask her. Princess is always challenging her, always ending the same way, Shangrala positions herself perpendicularly to princess head held in a very up right – chin pointed to the sky fashion…and it is over; Princess accepts defeat for now. You see, llamas do not like physical conflicts, therefore, it is usually all about spit and posturing (body language). If it does become physical …watch out! You have never heard such a sound…this is usually left to the boys. I am fascinated by their familial characteristics on a daily basis…with out fail.
Perhaps, we as parents could learn a thing or two… about establishing boundaries.

Some faces of youth…

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Be well,
Jess

The value of friendship??


We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find those whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it friendship…I am blessed, I have beautiful, wonderful, thoughtful, generous, friends; I may not always see them, but I know they are there. You know the kind of friend I am talking about…you may go some time between visits, yet when you are together ~ it is as though you were never apart. These friends you laugh and cry with, are an inspiration, and you inspire, hold on tight, I believe more and more, true connected-ness (is that a word?) is harder to find…our lives move at a much faster (electronic and temporary) pace…computer screen connections taking the place of genuine friendly hugs.

Friends are a unique blend of affection, love, trust and loads of fun…sharing similar interests, mutual respect are what friends share between each other. Friendship is a feeling of comfort a sort of safety with a person… It is when you do not have to weigh your thoughts and measure words. It is when someone knows you better than yourself and assures to be your side in moments of crisis, big or small. Friendship is being together and sharing good moments, and perhaps, your worst moments. Friendship is eternal…memories of a true friendship will last forever.

Someone who shares a smile, someone who brightens up your day.

What makes a person a friend?

"What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. They are but trifles, to be sure but, scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable."

It is a sweet thing, friendship...

My friend is the man who knows all about me, and still likes me...

Life is partly what we make it, and partly what is made by the friends whom we choose.

Friends are born, not made.

All you can do is smile back....

Here's to you ~ My friends.

Friends are those who norish the spirit

Scatter seeds of kindness everywhere you go; Scatter bits of courtesy-------- watch them grow and grow. Gather buds of friendship; Keep them till full-blown; You will find more happiness than you have ever known

How lucky I am to have known so many, so many people I can call friends. I love you all.

Friendships are not about who we’ve known the longest, they are about who cam and never left you side…
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

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