Finding Nemo…


Well, he never found us. He found every town around us…but not us. Funny how nature works, isn’t it. I was a little excited for the storm to arrive.

snowy morning in December 024

A big storm ~ one that needs preparation. Flash lights, kerosene lamps, water; you know provisions.
The type of storms that forces card games,board games, and allows for guilt free lazing about.

2013 snow 2

I filled the barns with a heavy bed of fluffy hay; filled waters to the tippy top (if the power goes out, so goes the pump), grained with copious amounts to help the animals generate their own warmth.

2013 snowy farm
(a farm on my morning journey)

The chickens and ducks tucked themselves in among the llamas. Everyone was settled in; cozy and warm.

2013 snow 4

And we waited for Nemo.

and we waited….

2013 snow cornfield

and waited…

We got about 3″…

2013 snowwolf cloud

Many parts of New England and New York were not spared; I do hope everyone was able to be somewhere safe and warm.

Be well,
Jessica

And All is Berry and Bright…


Feb 2013 Gio
Gio.

I will enjoy the snow fall we about to be “blessed” with, up to 24″. I find it refreshing, well, a refreshing change from grey days, and brown fields…blanketing everything in white; plays so beautifully against the deep blue of the winter skies(on a sunny day).

POO
Phantom of the Opera.

Yet I yearn for Spring, to dig my fingers into the earth…see precious livestock being born…feeling the warm rays of sun on my face! There’s nothing quite like the smells of the earth on a warm Spring day. Daffodil, crocus, tulips,and apple blossoms…mmmmm. When many trees and shrubs look as if they are most certainly dead but then slowly begin to show signs of life. Why wouldn’t we yearn for Spring?

berrilicious
some berries for dinner tonight…nom,nom..

We live for the rhythm and beauty of our day-to-day lives, yet, we start our Spring watch in early February.[don't we] Did the groundhog sees his shadow; if he does, he will be frightened back into his den and we will experience yet another six weeks of winter.No impostors allow, this seasonal predication relies squarely on the shoulders of, no other than Puxatoney Phil. So, we hold our collective breath…and,…and,…Phil did not see his Shadow! An early Spring?!

Feb 2013
The yard will look like a totally different landscape by this time tomorrow.

Of course, depending on where we live…this could mean many things… As Henry Van Dyke said, “The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.” I usually can’t do much planting until May…but, a bit of color pops up here and there as early as the end of March depending on snow cover. Perhaps that is why we yearn for Spring; could it be that we all long for a peaceful, delicious garden?

Feb 2013 Mali
OOPs, Mali. :)

For now, I will dust of the toboggan, gather some neighborhood kids…and WHEEEEE…enjoy this Old New England winter

Be well,
Jess

Baby, it’s cold outside…


I Do Not Mind You, Winter Wind

(Jack Prelutsky)

I do not mind you, Winter Wind
when you come whirling by,
to tickle me with snowflakes
drifting softly from the sky.

I do not even mind you
when you nibble at my skin,
scrambling over all of me
attempting to get in.

But when you bowl me over
and I land on my behind,
then I must tell you, Winter Wind,
I mind . . . I really mind!

The wood furnace is dancing with flames, hardly struggling to keep our little cottage farmhouse warm. But boy, is it cold outside; it was -17 in the pre-dawn hours and up to a brisk -5 as I headed out to do morning chores, and check on the chicks and ducks, needed to be sure I didn’t have any “chooksicles”. All was as it should have been; animals in their nests of hay. It even looked as though Syria, our oldest llama had made her own nest of hay; though it was supposed to be her and everyone else’s breakfast..silly girl.

After the chores were done, both outside and in..I settled in to sip hot tea and knit. I am trying to finish a lacy patterned brushed suri, ear warming, head band for Jenn. Then a bit of spinning,I have finished a skein of llama/merino blend yarn(I am not sure what I am going to make that into).

Funny how each season sets it’s own rhythm on a farm. Nature eases you from one season to the next, each with it’s own flurry of activity. Reminding us to enjoy, if you wish, the comfort of home on a cold winter’s day, the refreshing nip of the wind in October, and the warmth of the sun’s rays in May. ( May plantings,oh shivers xoxox)

Time to warm the Earl Grey…

spinnings
A blend of llama and merino…

Chet
Chester, is grateful for his spring shearing…He would be way too hot in his fiberluscious coat all summer.

LLaLLa
Thank you for the fiber LLala..(Shangrala)

llama rovings
Llama rovings…

rovings
Merino rovings purchased at the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool festival.

kromski My Favorite wheel…a Kromski castle style single treadle.

my wheel 2
..such a pretty wheel,they make.

wheels 2
flyer, whorl, and maidens…

Kromski wheel 2.0
:)

lazy kate
The lazy kate…used when plying the fiber.

Be well, stay warm.
Jess

How did I get here from there?


Yesterday morning after feeding llamas, dogs, chooks, and ducks; it was time to head out to stock up on feed. We use a local (local being a relative term around here)farm’s mix; a sweet mix developed by a llama farmer in Southern Vermont,Lars Garrison; a man known as an icon and all around good guy in the llama community. This horse farm/feed supplier, Wirtes Farm, prepared it exactly as he envisioned it should be; a perfect llama feed. We travel to this farm in the Berkshires of northeastern Massachusetts to purchase our feed supplies. It just so happens that the farm store is on the road that leads to Mount Greylock’s trails and viewing areas; many times I have said to myself – “Why didn’t I bring my camera, I could just head on up there after buying this grain”? Well, yesterday, I did remember my camera, and of course it was grey and gloomy, a bit drizzly even. I hesitated for a moment, should I waste my time, I probably won’t get any good shots in this cloud cover…I persevered, after all I had remembered my camera!

I drove not even 5 minutes up the road; here is what I saw.
Mountain view

Grelock shine

Greylock sun

mt view

windview

“I wonder where we are going,” I said.
“Wherever the way is going,” Exi replied calmly.
“But where do you suppose the way is going?”
“Wherever we go.”
“That doesn’t really make sense, does it?”
“Oh, yes. Quite good sense.”
“Why?”
“Do you know any method by which you can go way and your path another? Not the path, but your path?”
“Well-” I hesitated. “Well, if you put it that way, I guess not. But what about crossroads? Couldn’t you choose the wrong one?”
“I suppose you could. However, if it was the wrong way you chose, it would still be your way, wouldn’t it?”
“Yes,” I answered, “yes, it probably would.”
― Sheila Moon, Knee Deep In Thunder

You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing.
Be well,
Jess

I can see the light through the woods…


I feel as though, I am falling behind; Behind what? I am not sure…a feeling caused by holiday commercialism I suppose. I know Christmas is 39 days, 15 hours and 14 minutes away – yet I feel as though I missed something. Maybe I missed setting out my Holiday decor in October, or I missed a big shopping deadline. Oh, maybe my Christmas cards should have been sent weeks ago…

Sometimes,I feel as though Holiday Commercialism is being jammed down our throats – sideways. It’s the same every year. As soon as Halloween hits it’s much like opening the starting gate of the Travers in Saratoga. We’re off for the Christmas race – there is shopping, baking, wrapping, mailing…baking…buying, baking… By the time thew holiday arrives, all we are left with is an exhausted spirit, frayed nerves, and a worn out body. Is the mad dash to the Christmas finish line really worth it? Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, peace and goodwill!

Now don’t get me wrong, I adore (yes,adore) the Holidays. I wait with great anticipation for family and friends to arrive on Thanksgiving. I prep myself weeks in advance for our annual football game (well, I ran once- that counts). I write my lists, being sure not to forget anything, (like figgy pudding or fruitcake) ’cause those items would be easy to forget, wouldn’t they.
I live for the day we head out in search of the perfect Christmas trees; Christmas cookie baking day, and caroling. These are the “things” I love; the traditions, time spent with family and loved ones.

I think I will just turn off the television, thus turning off the noise and the pressure. I will turn on the radio- to an all Christmas all the time station – the day after Thanksgiving as I don our home in in holiday greens and candles. I will feel content in my slow, but orderly countdown to the holidays…I will. There is a light in the woods.

Be well, and feel free to slow down…
Jess

Rhinebeck in Pictures


To say this fairgrounds is gorgeous is an understatement.

I had a blast! I met so many nice people. People who genuinely care about animals and where the products (think fiber, lots of fiber and yarn) the adore come from. People from the city, the country, farms, wonderful people from; Great Britain, Austria, Germany, Canada, France, Switzerland…my gosh, I was smiling so hard.

Andy did so well I was so proud of him, with KatDoll looking after him every moment, she literally didn’t want him out of her sight. She is the sweetest.

Rather than blather on…a slide show just for you.

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Hang on…I’ll tell you the “real”(and why it took me this long to post pictures) story tomorrow.

Be Well,
Jess

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

“What day is it?” Wordless (sorta) Wednesday


“What day is it?”
“It’s Wednesday, and the sky is blue,
and I have nothing else to do,
I sometimes wonder if it’s true
That who is what and what is who.”
– Winnie-the-Pooh” (sorta)
― A.A. Milne

“How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet
“You don’t spell it…you feel it.” – Pooh”
― A.A. Milne

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”

“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.

“His dress told her nothing, but his face told her things which she was glad to know.”

Quotations are handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business…clearly. Oh, but I do love Pooh.
Be well, Jess

I Saw Old Autumn in the Misty Morn…


As I went out walking this Fall afternoon, dogs and camera in tow. I heard a whispering, a quiet gentle whispering, the dogs were just ahead of me; yet when I stopped still in my tracks..they stopped and turned. Had they heard it too..almost to soft and gentle a sound to distinguish. A little rustle in the leaves just into the thicket…a young deer, this year’s fawn and a doe were quietly nibbling acorns from the old oak trees. I kept still for a moment, though I quickly decided to move up the hill with Lexi and Finn, as they were headed to me. To stay any longer would encourage a visit, no time to snap a shot today. They will have scampered off before we come back through…

The sky was just clearing after several days of rain, a heavy mist hung over the pastures. I might get a few snaps of the camera before the sun completely fades.

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“O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.”
– Robert Frost, October

Thank you for all of the wonderful, creative ideas…I will talk with my daughters to narrow or choice…stay tuned.
Be Well,
Jess