Seventeen years ago, at the Kentucky State Fair, my life was forever changed when I came eye to eye with a tall fuzzy animal I had never seen before, an alpaca. Time stopped as I stood mesmerized. In front of me, in a stroller was my dozing son Will, only one at the time. I was 39, living in my hometown of Louisville. I was a breast cancer survivor, a cookbook author and a solo Mom.
That moment signaled the beginning of a journey that led us to the mountains of North Carolina to start an alpaca farm. From 3 female alpacas, we are now a family of over 100 animals that include llamas, angora goats, horses, ponies, chickens, dogs, cats, a pig and special human team that care for them. Beyond breeding and selling animals, we offer guided walking tours to educate and tell the story of Apple Hill Farm and our animals. Our farm store is filled with a wide array of soft, touchable yarn, socks and other products made from alpaca fiber.
Why the title “Be Present”? Because being present is a thread that runs through it all. I was present when I first locked eyes with an alpaca. I was present to the feelings of wanting to start over. I was present through each turning point along the way. Being present is the grit that got me here, through all the tough moments. Being present is how I learned to be a mother and a farmer. And all these years later it is the moments when I am present that I witness the beauty, awe and wonder of life on a farm.
So take a deep breath and relax in your body. Listen while I tell you stories of our animals, of mothering, of the power of alpacas and of family. I promise to leave you more present, engaged and inspired.
Come, be present with me,