Events

Lansing Community Library Art Show

IMG_20180303_141310_580ABM_152070807320180303_140717ABM_152070803620180303_140458ABM_152070799720180303_140435ABM_152070794720180303_140419ABM_1520707888ABM_1520710197Jaime Hazard art show

Welcome to my first art show! It’s from now until the end of April at the Lansing Community Library. I had a lot of fun revisiting my past work for this show and also creating some new things. I hope people can see it in person but if you can’t, I’ve included images of everything on display. Plus, all prints are available in my online shop. The library had to reduce my long-winded artist’s bio so it fits onto their marketing materials so the following is the official bio that I wrote:

Jaime Hazard has been a wildlife enthusiast ever since she hatched with all the other tadpoles in her clutch. Paired with that was a love of all things arts and crafts. In high school she studied art, played in several bands, walked dogs at the SPCA and spent every free second at the zoo. When it came time to decide what to study in college she was torn between animals and art. Animals eventually won out and she went on to earn an associates degree in Veterinary Technology from SUNY Delhi and for a little while she actually worked at the zoo she’d practically lived in as a teenager. Being the lifelong learner she is, she went on to earn a bachelors degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a masters degree in Environmental Communication and Participatory Process from SUNY ESF. Jaime went on to work as a field biologist and biological technician in various locations all over the United States including Yellowstone National Park. And although her work focused mainly on threatened and endangered species of reptiles and amphibians, she’s not biased. She loves all animals equally (with the exception of crabs, of course).

Needless to say, art definitely became an afterthought until one day a friend commissioned her to create some recycled jewelry for her store. Wanting to put her own personal touch on things, Jaime decided to depict her own experiences working with animals into small jewelry-sized works of art. What she discovered through that process was that her once very precise technical style had turned into loose, haphazard scribbles and what would normally take her months of agonizing over every detail was a quick, extremely satisfying, worry-free process of creation. These works are on display here as well as many more that she’s done since.

When Jaime’s not drawing, she’s working at Cornell University where she helps diagnose parasitic infections in every imaginable creature that this universe has cooked up so they can live long, healthy lives. She also teaches private tai chi and qigong lessons, volunteers for Hospicare, is diligently writing a book on life and death care, takes every opportunity to dance with complete reckless abandon, is obsessed with all things paranormal, makes and sells soap, builds furniture (and is currently working on a teardrop camper), and happily cohabitates with her furry best friends. Jaime would also like to warmly invite you to visit her photography exhibit coming up in May at Hopshire Farm and Brewery which will showcase some of her favorite moments of being a field biologist.

 

Adventures, Travel

Lily Dale, New York

Lily Dale, New York
Angels on the hotel
Lily Dale, New York
Beautiful houses everywhere.

Lily Dale, New YorkLily Dale, New York

Lily Dale, New York
Lots to enjoy.
Lily Dale, New York
The library
Lily Dale, New York
This is the darkest squirrel I’ve ever seen!
Lily Dale, New York
A sitting area overlooking the lake.

Lily Dale, New YorkLily Dale, New York

Lily Dale, New York
Every house has something to offer.

As promised, here are the photos of Lily Dale, New York. This small community of mediums, psychics and spiritualists is actually the world’s largest center for the science, philosophy and religion of spiritualism. This 135-year-old community is located on Cassadaga Lake, just an hour south of Buffalo and about 35 minutes north of Interstate 86. Sadly, their open season is not until June 27th so I didn’t get a chance to partake in any of the workshops or talk to any mediums, however, the upside to going during the off-season is that I could walk around at my leisure and not have to pay the $12 gate fee. They’re totally cool with visitors no matter what the season so don’t be afraid to check it out any time. The gates are open year-round. I was certainly not the only one enjoying the grounds. Residents and visitors alike were walking around, meditating, taking photos and indulging their own creative endeavors. There’s a beach, campgrounds, a museum, a post office, a few hotels, a healing temple, a library, a bookstore & souvenir shop, several restaurants, a spiritual school, a pet cemetery, walking trails, an artisan guild and they even have their own fire department. Yup, they’re pretty hooked up.

As I walked around, I could see a lot of home repairs happening in anticipation for the open season. There’s pretty much a medium in every house in Lily Dale, each with a placard out front beckoning you to choose them. It’s was a lovely, surreal place to visit and I’d be more than willing to return when their season is in full swing. The good news is that their last day is August 31st so I may be able to swing by when I head back east.

If you’re looking for a place to camp nearby, definitely check out Woodside Campground. They have ample RV sites and three tent sites (which were super nice–you will have to drive through a field though). Plus, it’s just a few miles from Lily Dale. The cost for a tent site was $17, which is way more affordable than most campgrounds. They even have seasonal rates for around $775 so you can stay a while if you like. In fact, I think that’s what most of the RVers do in this campground. The best part–well, besides it doubling as a country music park–is that they have private, clean bathrooms with showers. A word to the wise though, don’t be deterred by lack of signage telling you where the heck to check in and such. Just stop by the white house on the right, that’s their office but there’s no sign telling you that. Like I said, most people are either seasonal residents or repeat customers so I don’t think they feel the need to explain much.

Making Crafty Magic

Hall & Oats-n-Honey

Today, I’m offering a peek into the creation of Hall & Oats-n-Honey Soap. This is the most gentle soap I make. It’s unscented and uses the most simple, basic ingredients one can find at a grocery store: organic coconut milk, oats, and honey (you could even use olive oil from the store as your soap base and call it a day). Coconut milk offers an assortment of vitamins and fats which actually help to clean your skin without stripping it. And we all know oats are soothing and fantastic for the skin…right? I just happen to prefer steel cut oats because they’re mildly exfoliating when added at trace. Honey has antimicrobial and anti-oxidant properties so it’s a fantastic healer. The only issue I have with it is that it’s a humectant so it absorbs and retains moisture which is great for the skin but it also makes for an oily feeling bar of soap. That’s no biggie but packaging sweaty bars can get a little tricky. Nevertheless, the results are worth it.

And without further ado, here are some soapy pics:

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In the process of making my most gentle, cold processed soap: Hall & Oats-n-Honey. Made with vegetable oils, organic coconut milk, and duh, oats and honey.
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The addition of the main ingredients. You don’t need a lot of either. Too much honey and your soap will feel very oily, even once it’s fully cured. Too many oats and the soap with crumble apart in your hands.
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This is what honey does once it’s added to your soap. Don’t panic. Just enjoy the cool color while you can because it will go away. Bummer.
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A soap with honey in it naturally needs a honeycomb texture so that’s where the bubble wrap comes in. Line the mold first, then lay down the bubble wrap layer so that it’s in direct contact with the soap. I’ve done this the opposite way and it sucked! I can’t go for that. No, nooooh. No can do!
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Unwrap 24 hours later and this is what you have. The dark spots are oily patches from the honey…nothing to worry about.
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Cut and cure, preferably for 4 to 6 weeks if you can manage it. I always cut off the raggedy ends and save them for myself. I have no problem using the thin ends after a week of curing. I enjoy getting first dibs.

My ponderings on honey…

First, let me preface this by saying that I am by no means a beekeeping or honey expert. I’m just passing along what I know and I freely admit that there’s much more to learn. Although I’m trying to go the vegan route in my products, I have no intention of giving up honey and beeswax. I have friends and acquaintances who are passionate, conscientious beekeepers. In fact, beekeeping hobbyists–along with organic farmers, scientists and apiculturists–are on the frontlines of preventing the total collapse of honey bee populations and I want to do what I can to support them. (Here’s a little factoid for yah: Seventy out of the top 100 human food crops, which supply about 90 percent of the world’s nutrition, are pollinated by bees.)

Always shop local and shop small, especially when it comes to honey (eating local honey helps with seasonal allergies). I recommend buying your honey at farmers markets and craft fairs. This way you can casually inquire about their harvesting practices. Certainly make sure they are harvesting just the surplus honey. Bees need honey too. It especially sustains them through the colder months. Yet, many beekeepers will take it all (usually in the Fall when their biological need for it begins to increase) and replace it with corn syrup. Corn syrup is definitely not the same thing. Honey has anti-oxidant and antimicrobial properties, corn syrup does not. This, among a zillion other issues, has led to starvation and disease among colonies. And while you’re talking, you may also want to inquire about any herbicides and insecticides being sprayed nearby that may inadvertently find its way into the colony and into your honey.

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Disclaimer: Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease or substitute care by a medical practitioner. All recommendations are believed to be effective, but since actual use of this product is beyond our control and can vary from individual to individual, no guarantee as to the effects of their use can be given nor liability taken.

Travel

A Hudson Valley Hamlet: Connelly, New York

I'm obsessed with this old firehouse.
I’m obsessed with this old firehouse.

I wanted to share with you some photos of where I live. In January of 2008, I was offered a dream job (turtle biologist!) in the Hudson Valley with the stipulation that I would start almost immediately. This was particularly challenging since I lived almost four hours away, I didn’t know the area very well, and it was the dead of winter–thus making it hard to just whizz on down there to look for suitable lodgings. Even worse, my sweet Petunia is a pit bull so most landlords won’t even consider us. My task seemed im-freakin-possible. However, my friend/supervisor ran into an acquaintance who was looking for a tenant. And as luck would have it, she was having an open house the next day. Petunia and I jumped in the car Dukes of Hazzard style, prayed for good weather, and made the slushy drive. Three and a half hours later, we found ourselves in perhaps the quirkiest place that this crazy state of New York has to offer. And that’s saying a lot! It has the claustrophobic street layout of New Orleans, the feral cat population of Key West and the diversity of New York City.

For simplicities sake, Connelly is three marinas in various states of shabbiness with a few adjoining streets. It’s on the Roudout Creek and is almost directly across from Kingston’s bustling Roudout-West Strand Historic District. Being that it’s only a few streets wide and a few streets long, it’s not on anyone’s radar. Some of its quirks include a dog poop station, a fix-it station, a community tomato garden, a memorial to residents who’ve passed, and a sketchy bait and tackle shop. Plus it has the amenities of a larger town such as its own post office (located in a house) and even its own fire department. I loved it as soon as we drove in, even in its snow-covered state. Petunia immediately won over the landlord, the apartment was perfect, and the rest is history…or so I thought. In 2009, the place I worked for nearly went under so I moved back upstate–leaving my sweet Connelly behind. Throughout the years, my landlord (who I would now consider a friend) would contact me to let me know that “my apartment” would soon be available and that the place isn’t the same without Petunia. I’ve been tempted many times to return but the timing just didn’t align until now. I’ve always told my friends that this place is magic and I definitely believe it. Just yesterday, Petunia and I took our early morning walk with an older lady who paints pet portraits for a living. The day before, my car-hoarding Jamaican neighbor threw butternuts at me and cracked up laughing because I couldn’t figure out where the heck they were coming from. There’s hijinx everywhere. Oh, it’s grand to be back!

This is where I live.
This is where I live.
This lovely abandoned building is actually the view from my porch.  The owner is hoping to make it into a creative space for makers.
This lovely abandoned building is actually the view from my porch. It was once an old school house.
A view from my street. That brick house is seemingly abandoned and it's a crying shame.
A view from my street. That brick house is one of my favorites. It was seemingly abandoned for a while but now a family has moved in.

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Our lovely park complete with playground equipment, a b-ball court and baseball field. Sadly, all underutilized.
Our lovely park complete with playground equipment, a b-ball court and baseball field. Sadly, all underutilized.
I adore the bright yellow house on the left.
I adore the bright yellow house on the left.
Tuna-butt!
Tuna-butt!

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Why the heck don't I have a boat? I clearly didn't get the memo.
Why the heck don’t I have a boat? I clearly didn’t get the memo.

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One of Connelly's wonderful quirks.
One of Connelly’s wonderful quirks.
It's all mine...as soon as it goes up for sale.
It’s all mine…as soon as it goes up for sale.
Standing at the four corners.
Standing at the four corners.
A memorial for resident who have passed.
A memorial for residents who have served our country.
Uncategorized

More market action to be had.

I will be at the Saugerties Farmers Market tomorrow for your shopping pleasure, from 10 am to 2 pm. My usual sales will be in full effect. In the meantime, enjoy some photos from last week’s Farm Animal Day. What a blast! The event was not short on humorously incongruous moments. For example, there was a petting zoo filled with wholesome families and then there was a hula hooping station right next to it that was blaring 50 Cent, Baby Got Back, rave music and other inappropriate tunes. It was perfectly delighful! The only downside was the chickens squished together in a cage. This I am not a fan of at all. One chicken in one cage, maybe, but not ten chickens in one cage. Me and some other vendors were making plans to free them but we were afraid we’d be banned from the market. So let me say this now for the record, if I see such foolishness next year, I’m putting on a disguise and springing them. Done deal.

Travel

From Yellowstone and back

004So it’s been several weeks since I’ve returned to my norm but before I bring us totally up-to-date, I thought I would fill you in on the happenings post-Yellowstone.

From Yellowstone, I drove seemingly forever to Fort Collins, Colorado to stay with one of my best buds for a few days. I’d never been to Fort Collins before so this was a real treat. It’s a fantastic town and I can see why my friend raves (non-stop) about it! I was operating under the misguided notion that Fort Collins was just some crappy suburb of Denver but I was quickly schooled. During my visit we enjoyed some beers at New Belgium (Wow! That place is huge and busy!) and enjoyed two flights at Equinox Brewing. Their Darth Ryder Dunkelweizen is the stuff of dreams! We ate at Lucile’s Creole Cafe which was freakin’ delicious! It’s affordable, tasty, and the servings are enormous. Plus, it made me miss New Orleans (oh my sweet NOLA…). And although the focus of this leg along my American tour was mostly devoted to eating and drinking, I managed to slip in some exercise and nature. We hiked the Arthur’s Rock Trail at Lory State Park which overlooked the city and the Horsetooth Reservoir bustling with boats. It was a relatively short hike compared to what I was used to and it rained on us, but the views were well worth it.

After a few days in Fort Collins, my friend and I were off on a long, tedious journey to the east coast. He was going to his sister’s in DC and I was headed to my brother’s in Ocean City, MD. I was so thankful to have him along for the ride because I abhor driving and it was great to actually have some company for once. On a recommendation from my brother we listened to the audiobook of Pete Townshend’s Who Am I for most of the first day. It was interesting to say the least but we both got sick of Pete whining about how no one understood or wanted to back his Lifehouse Project (it’s basically how one musical note can unify the world). Sorry Pete but I happen to believe that life is way too complicated to be fixed by just one note. Our first night was spent in the creepiest campground known to man! I’m not even joking, exaggerating, or putting anything mildly. I believe we were somewhere in Missouri and the “campground” was a field alongside Interstate 70 yet it was completely abandoned apart from us and the owners who lived in a camper. Since my insomnia was acting up and I was a little freaked by my surroundings, I swung on the swing set for most of the night until the coyotes started howling. Then I was beyond freaked and proceeded to run into the tent to hide. The next night we stayed at a super nice KOH campground not too far from Morgantown, West Virginia. There I finally was able to sleep. Then before you knew it, we were just outside of DC and I was bidding my travel companion farewell. After being completely spoiled, I was left to my own devices to brave the DC traffic on my own. Apart from being terrified, I did remarkably well and I was at the Arlington Trader Joe’s (my brother insisted that I stop there to procure a wide assortment of cheap nuts) and then my brother’s in no time. Admittedly, I cried a little (or a lot) on my drive there. It was the first time I’d been alone since I left Yellowstone and I missed it all. I missed the beauty, the animals, the air, the barracks, the danger, my field partner, my friends, and now one of my best friends was gone too. It all felt so overwhelmingly terrible yet it was a welcomed release.

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I stayed with my brother for only a few days–despite his begging that I move in with him and start a family business. My first day there we went on a kick-ass brewery tour and had the best time. You wouldn’t believe how many microbreweries are popping up in Maryland and Delaware. It’s like I died and went to hop heaven. Overall, we hit two states and six breweries: 16 Mile, 3rd Wave, Evolution, Burley Oak, Tale Tales, and of course Dogfish Head. Hazards don’t mess around when it comes to beer. We’re going on brew tour #2 next time I’m down there so Ling Ling can be the designated driver. Having to restrain ourselves was cramping our style. On my second day we went to Rehoboth Beach to eat and drink at Dogfish Head. This is our mecca. Oh my poor liver…but the rest of me was in heaven! We spent our nights watching movies and catching up. He’s truly one-of-a-kind and I’m lucky to have him as my brother. I’m so proud of what he’s accomplished in the past year. The day I left he was devastated that I wasn’t going to live with him. I think he was operating under the assumption that I was for some reason. As I was packing, he gave me the talk about how I was at a crossroads in my life, this is my pivotal turning point, and living with him was the best move. It’s nice to feel wanted and appreciated like that, especially by a family member, however, I already made commitments in the Hudson Valley so I left–with a delicious crab cake in hand– feeling a tad down. The 6.5 hour drive to my mother’s house in Cortland, New York was filled with non-stop rain, sometimes blinding torrential downpours, and bumper-to-bumper traffic. Needless to say, it took me nine, painful, hours to get there. That night I spent about two hours soaking in her bathtub, mindlessly reading her gossip magazines. I never wanted to drive again. All I wanted to do was sleep forever, hide from the world, and just be blue.

I spent a week at my mother’s trying to get back to some sort of normal life. Detoxing from the grandeur of nature and trying to learn how to be social again. Even now, weeks later, I’m still feeling a little more socially awkward than usual–and that’s saying a lot. I went to the Chemung county fair with my best friend, her parents, and her little daughter Sophia. It was sooooo nice to be with them and feel like I was part of their family. I can’t tell you how guilty it makes me feel to not be a regular part of their lives. We walked around all of the barns and it was neat to see how comfortable Sophia is with animals. On the downside, a mischievous donkey came up and bit me in the crotch. The creature munched me so hard that it left a bruise. I handled it like a champ though because I didn’t want Sophia to think of her Auntie Jaime as being a total wimp. The next day I learned that another friend just had her second baby while I was away so I made it a point to visit her and the rest of the fam. Here’s what a crappy friend I am: I didn’t even know she was pregnant! There are no words to describe how this makes me feel other than that it became blatantly obvious that I had dropped the ball on the best part of life: enjoying family and friends and just being social. I’m vowing to change this but I’m finding that being a hermit is a hard habit to break. And one of the sweetest things happened while I was home visiting: I attended my parents’ class reunion with both my mother, father and my step-sister. I love going to their reunions because their classmates tell me naughty stories about them. Hah! My dad was a handsome, heartbreaking, bad-boy!  I’m not kidding. The guy could have been an actor or male model. Even though my father and sister only stayed for two days, the four of us enjoyed dinner at an Italian restaurant, had breakfast at their hotel, and did some catching up at the house. The visit was short but we made it count. I will always be glad that my parents divorced because even to a young kid it’s obvious when people aren’t happy, but I’m blessed that they still enjoy and genuinely care for one another. Plus, I got a great step-sis out of the deal so I can’t complain.2013-08-03 19.07.052013-08-03 17.50.372013-08-03 16.28.082013-08-01 19.38.30

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Then it was time to move back to the Hudson Valley. This go around, instead of living with housemates in the barn, I would be moving back into my old apartment in Connelly. I always loved that apartment but I had to give it up when my biologist job hit the skids and we were all not getting paid. Now that I’m a little better off, I can hopefully afford to live there again. My fingers are crossed. So Ling Ling and her boyfriend Craig caravaned with me across the state to move me out of my expertly packed storage unit and into my new/old apartment. The move, shockingly enough, was smoother than silk. A better moving experience has never been had; I should totally hire them out! Just like my favorite line from Dumb and Dumber states: “Senior citizens, although slow and dangerous behind the wheel, can still serve a purpose.” Horrible, I know! Hilarious but awful at the same time. That brings us almost to today but not quite…2013-08-10 12.55.45

Travel

A Hudson Valley Hike: Mohonk

capture_01-1Here are some photos of the hike I took at Mohonk with my friend Ami. It’s days like this that I realize just how good I have it. The Mohonk Preserve is a fantastic place to hike and boulder (or do just about any other outdoor activity you can think of…from rock climbing to boating to tennis and everything in between). The views alone are worth all the huffing and puffing. Plus, the Mountain House is an incredible sight to behold and the inside is open to overnight AND day guests so anyone is welcome to walk around and enjoy (there is a day use fee). They have a museum, a gift shop, a spa, a greenhouse, a restaurant… The list of amenities is too long to post here but you get the idea. Bottom line: it’s an awesome place! They even have an outdoor ice skating rink with an enormous fire pit at one end (kind of defeats the purpose in my mind but it’s still neat).

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Uncategorized

It’s almost time for CNC’s Maple Festival! Yay!

A pic of my table last year.
A pic of my table last year.

Please join me and some of my favorite people (and animals) for a fun-filled weekend at the Cayuga Nature Center’s Maple Festival. This has to be my #1 favorite event of the year. It’s just around the corner on Saturday, March 23rd and Sunday, March 24th starting at 9 am each day. There will be a delicious pancake breakfast, music, animal programs, games & crafts, self-guided tours along the Sugarbush Trail and wonderfully talented craft vendors. And hopefully my best buddy from Cayuga Lake Creamery will be there to completely destroy my diet. To learn more and to order tickets click here. I will have my usual soaps (including home brewed beer soap!), jewelry, scarves, bags and whatever else I can think of to stuff on one table.