Versatile Blogger Award…quite an honor. (One More Try)


I was so suprised and happy to open my e-mail this morning to find a note from http://writingfeemail.wordpress.com; A Versatile Blogger Award for me! I couldn’t be smiling any harder. I started blogging about 6 months ago. My life has not always been easy, but I try to find beauty in everything; so, I figured I’d share my journey with you ~ through photos and stories. It has been a blast. I always have a notebook with me to jot down ideas for my next post, and my camera by my side, as I get most inspiration from photographs (my true love).

The participating rules for the Versatile Blogger are as follows:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
Thank you so much, Renee. I find her writings inspiring. If you haven’t already (and I can’t imagine you haven’t) checked out her blog, head on over there for some well written fascinating reads.

2. Reveal 7 things about yourself.
Hmmm…

1. I have 14 llamas. Do you have a moment? OK? Let me tell you how this adventure began.
A 4-H project for my daughter Jenn…her friend was in the llama 4-H program and she was smitten. We lived right smack dab in the center of New London, NH…she would have to lease an animal (the llama stays on the farm it is leased from). All was going well; she would be showing in her first fair.
After arriving at the fair, settling in, and enjoying the first day’s activities..llama pens cleaned, animals fed and watered;we headed into our camper to get a good night’s sleep before Jenn’s first competition. It was barely dawn, I heard a light knocking at the door. It was the 4-H leader..her face was red, her eyes puffy; I could tell she had been crying. “What happened?” …more sobbing… “Jenni’s llama died during the night!” (insert look of horror here) followed by more sobbing, this time from behind me. Jenn had been awoken…and was silently listening to the conversation. We had a very sad 7 year old on our hands. After lots of consoling..we found ourselves searching for Jenni’s very own llamas. We heard of a nice farm in Vermont and on a sunny Sunday morning, set off in search of the perfect llama. The farmer was so kind and soft spoken, we walked Jenni around looking at all of his llamas and talked with her about each animal and llamas in general. He gave her pointers and tips around camelid care. Finally he pronounced,”I have the perfect llama for you”. “She is calm, sweet,all you could ask for, and the price is right for a 4-H animal”. “We’ll take her”, I proclaimed!
…..the conversation came to a screeching halt. “Ma’am, you can’t have just one, they are herd animals. you need at least 2”. (reminder we live in the center of town). “oh, Ok”, I reply. At least, I am fairly certain I relied affirmatively…I must have, yeah. Anyway, he then continued with his herd animals spiel, “You can take Camille, with her sister Lilea, they have been together their whole lives, and i’d hate to split them up now”. More talking..I am now in a llama induced stupor, I continue to nod in the affirmative. He adds, “They are both bred and Camille comes with a cria (baby in llama speak) by her side. I am now, sweating profusely, can’t feel my fingers, and my knees are jello. “We’ll take them”. I heard this response, was someone throwing my voice, mocking me, committing to the ownership of 5 rather large animals? “We can deliver them” or you can pick them up in a few days”. I then realize we have no trailer. “Yes, could you deliver them please”? To where? uhmm, uhmm..think quick., Jessica. Think quick. There is a paddock down the road, perhaps we could board there. “I’ll get back to you tomorrow, we can set up a delivery”, I told the nice man. The drive home,(did I drive home) was filled with chatter and beaming smiles from the passenger side of the car. We were able to board our animals at the neighboring paddock, and the rest is history.

2. I am a paralegal , who worked in Domestic Violence Court Development.

3. I have 8 brothers and sisters.

4. Hello, my name is Jessica, I am a choco-holic.

5. My favorites color is green-blue-pink.

6. My eldest child and I are the same age. I will soon be younger than he.

7. I love Winnie the Pooh.

Finally, I am privileged to nominate……

3. Nominate and link to 15 bloggers.

1. http://writingfeemail.wordpress.com; , all that I mentioned earlier…and more.

2. http://thekitchensgarden.wordpress.com ~ She is an inspiration. I also passed on the Liebster award to her.

3. http://sweetridgesisters.wordpress.com , a family affair..they all add to the blog with their own special personalities…I love it.

3. http://arindammohapatra.wordpress.com ~ I think you will enjoy this one.

4. Teri Conroy at http://blog.timesunion.com/farmlife ~ Always refreshing, and she shares my love of animals.

5. http://nevittphotographyblog.wordpress.com ~ a new one for me…

6. http://asoftplace.net ~ I am certain Kimba doesn’t need my accolades, but this is the first blog I subscribed to and I still love it…though I
don’t know where she has been?

7. I am a self admitted francophile… to that end: http://fabulouslyfrench.blogspot.com

8. I started out life wanting to be an interior designer…http://myfrenchcountryhome.blogspot.com

9. http://ourredhouse.blogspot.com ~ musings, ideas, projects..you name it!

10. http://shedreamsbig.blogspot.com..cute, fun, creative

11. http://country-life.blogspot.com ~ sweet.

12. http://www.theemptynestmom.com ~ She should be further up on this list…I love reading her blog..love, love, love.

13. http://backroadjournal.wordpress.com ~ best recipes ever….

14. http://prairiewisdom.wordpress.com ~ One of my favorites…I will give her every award..OK?

15. http://gogreygirl.wordpress.com”> “A Lighter Shade of Grey” ~ I am a relatively new follower…amazing, just amazing photography.

**not sure what was happening with my codes…I hope you can access these sights now!!!

Well, there you have it.
Some random photos from the last six months…

It is going to be a good day!
Be well,
Jessica

I’m bringing in some back up…in search of the elusive “perfect” gift.


I am, still in search of my husband’s Christmas gift…today I am going to brave the crowds and head to a Mall..Ah shopping we will go….oh geeze. The very idea sends shiver up my spine…now, don’t get me wrong; I love to shop! I just don’t enjoy hand to hand combat. A time when shopping is a mission and manners are optional. I will however enjoy a Latte or 2, maybe a celebratory cinnamon bun…a manicure, a pedicure…I kid, I kid (at least about the latter two indulgences).
I’m not doing this alone, and you can’t make me…I am bring in the heavy hitters…my shop-a-holic offspring! Yes, they know how to spend, where to spend, and how to dress whilst doing it..I have been hemorrhaging $$$ for years as proof.

There is mall shopping and then there is SHOPPING, next weekend, we head to The Big Apple for our annual shopping trip, this is a no pressure, “it’s not just about buying” trip…Nothing beats Christmas shopping in New York; it comes down to the entire holiday spirit in the air. SoHo area is the place we will be.. it is packed with niche apparel shops, unique vintage stuff, honestly, it’s just cool. Over to Little Italy for lunch…then uptown to take in all of the decorated store fronts, ending at Rockefeller Center. Now, there is a shopping trip I look forward to!

Ah well, ‘tis the season.

Alright, focus…I can do this!

I am going no where dressed like this!

Julianne and Mr. Naldo ~ in deep contemplation..." What is the perfect gift, what would he like"?

Hmmm...Julianne and Jennifer, wondering...where would we go to search for this perfect gift?

Why..that way....of course!

Maybe if I look through here...I can see more clearly...

Okay Mom we are ready to begin this quest...

Dear Santa, I have been good most of the year…please help me survive!
Thank you, that is all.
Jessica

3 of my favorite things…one of them is a herd.


I was reading http://thesimplecountrylife.com where she was talking about her favorite things and the beautiful photos of them; so, I got to thinking…
What are my favorite things and can I choose just three? hmmm…probably not!

Let’s see…my very most favorite thing is my collection of photo albums…some from when my ancestors were babies, then children, soldiers in the civil war and others, first time parents, then Grand parents, only 2 photos of me as a child)…my children and their friends, and activities through out their lives. I don’t know how they could ever be replaced. I should really have them copied and saved on my hard drive.

Then probably an old ( very old) Bible, this is from the 1600’s with baptisms, marriages, children born, illnesses and deaths all recorded. The first recording, Deaem John Birdseye, born in Reading,Berkshire, England in 1616. Funny thing about this..there are 10 Katherine Jennette’s …Birdseye, Ledger, Burr, and McHale (my Gramma)…them my Mother was the last. I could read the entries for hours, there are notes written on “promises of material goods ~ written in the late 1700’s…and an insurance company letter head from the 1800’s. From what I can discern, they came to Connecticut in the late 1600..very Early settlers. Thaddeus Burr, was Aaron Burr’s Uncle, we won’t go into his sorted past.

My 3rd~ish most favorite thing is my collection of animals, 14 llamas ( not to be confused with alpacas) 2 dogs, Riley cat, and a flock of 10 birds ( 4 ducks, 6 chickens).

And finally, tea… can’t live with out it. Earl Grey please, and often. It soothes my soul, smooths out bumps in the road, warmed my children’s rumbly tumblies , they often had a cup of tea after school and it is their go to beverage of choice to this day. (Well, Justin might be an exception).

My favorite movie, just in case you were wondering..Sound of Music. I saw it 3 times at the Theater in Manchester, NH in early 1966 I think.

A Few of my Favorite Things
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

Through the years...

Gramma ( Katherine Jennette Burr - McHale) and her childhood dog Trixie

Kindergarten Picture..oh boy, Gramma and I shared a love of Robert Frost and Auburn hair.

Burr Family Bible

A hand written note remnant

The first page...with repairs

one of the entries...

Riley cat

Lexington..sweetest girl ever...and biggest bed hog


She now weighs in at 100+ lbs. Still just as cute.

Finn, need I say more.

Llamas…a few.

Little Andy with Jenn

Malokai such a love.

Phantom of the opera...

Andrew joining the girls for lunch.

one of my favorite photos.

and other farm critters.

2 of the ducks...

A silkie chicken, how's that for a hair style?

Sophie, a Rhode Island Red.

I call him Mr. Nasty...this could be an entire blog. Let's just say he makes egg gathering an adventure.

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

What are your top 3 favorite things?

PS, I am still on the search for my husband’s Perfect gift; heading to Upland Outfitters, perhaps some sheepskin seat covers? To keep his toushy nice and warm…toasty buns!

Be Well,
Jess