Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Most like it, some don't!
Moses.......I really want my friend.
Why do we re-arrange the barn? We did this to accommodate everyone so when we need to, we can close some doors to keep the cold, blowing wind, rain and anticipated snow out of the barn...makes it a little bit more bearable for us as well since we're in the barn every morning and every night totaling about 4 hours each day. We do have a small heater inside the farm store and we use it when we have to warm up our fingers and toes frequently.
How did we re-arrange the barn? Dear hubby moved the stack of hay basically to the middle of the barn so we could make another stall area for the yearling boys whose old stall now increased the size of the girl's and babies (crias) stall size. He moved Moses and Good Buddy out of our 2 year old boys and put them into the larger stall with the herdsires, leaving behind Little Blackfoot. Moses and Little Blackfoot are not liking it one bit...both standing in the corner area talking to each other day and night. They have been together since birth, always concerned when we'd take one out to weigh or walk them. Even though they had a love/hate relationship as "siblings/friends" do, (they're not related). It reminds me of weaning time.........this too shall pass, I hope!
We also put all the girls and their babies together, makes me nervous for all the little guys but I know all will be fine.
I know this may all sounds strange to you, especially if you have never been to our farm before but we have now gone from 5 separate areas to 3 larger areas. Everyone now can come inside the barn during inclement weather for more protection from the blowing winds.
Little Blackfoot & Moses
Monday, October 28, 2013
Labor Day weekend, every year locally there's a little Festival. We had never attended until this year. Okay, to be fair, we have only lived "locally" for 4 years. This year, we decided to have a date night so we got the alpacas & barn chores finished early and took a drive only about 5 miles away from home. It started with a barbecue chicken dinner at the local Volunteer Fire Department. Our dinner included half a barbecued chicken, cooked by the firemen themselves. It came with cole slaw, roll & dessert. It was very tasty. After dinner, we walked around the town. I am not sure of the population of Hayden, but it is a very small burg.......maybe 100 people in town....and that may be stretching it somewhat. Lots of folks have garage/yard sales that day but by dinner time, they had closed since they had an earlier downpour, we didn't get rain at home before we left and were surprised the roads were all wet when we got there.
Hayden Labor Day Weekend
Anyway, we got to visit theHayden Historical Museum, we also saw an antique gas station (also part of the museum) and we saw a blue grass concert in their new pavillion. It was quite the happening spot that night and I'm quite sure we'll do date night there again. On our drive home, remember, we're within 5 miles, my romantic husband drove me past something he had seen earlier in the day. He wouldn't tell me where we were going, but when I saw it I knew..........it was a beautiful sunflower patch up on a hill at our friend Joe's house. We'd never noticed them before but that day they were sure showing off for me. What a romantic he can be.
Moving on down to the next item on the agenda.....How do you drink your water? I prefer mine in a glass with good melty ice. Not fresh ice, but ice that has sat in water for at least an hour. It's the best! Today though in the barn for morning chores I got a picture of our barn cat, Clancy with the Fancy Pants and Big Feet, drinking water. He was sitting on the side of a water bucket that we have in the alpaca's stalls. He has his own water that gets refreshed each and every day as well but for some reason, he loves to drink while sitting perched on top of their water bucket. One day, he's gonna gt all wet!
Next is a picture of Mojolica, and her baby....he's sporting his cria coat. We put coats on the young ones when it's cold out. We'd rather them put their energy into growing and not into keeping warm. Seems to help. As the day warms up, I'll take the coats off of them and then re-coat them at night when we leave the barn. They also have straw on the ground to help keep their bellies warm.
Last, just a picture of a "tea" bag of GREEN BEANS that you'll find when you visit us. We have several of these burlap bags with the cute painted on alpaca. These are meant to be dunked into a bucket of water and then you can water your plants with the "tea". If you prefer you can use the bag of beans that are inside the burlap bag in a bucket of water, then just fill your burlap tea bag with stuffing and sit on a shelf somewhere....it's all about perspective isn't it? Until next time!
Hot date (those are sunflowers)
Clancy drinking water
Mojo & her baby
Thursday, October 24, 2013
This is just a little skein of art yarn I made last week.
New Art Yarn
I started by carding fiber from one of our own alpacas, and blending it with some beautiful dyed locks. I used my Fancy Kitty Little Tom Drum Carder and instead of pulling it off as normal into a batt, I pulled it off into 3 Rolags and then spun from the end of the Rolag. This particular skein (still on the niddy noddy) is from 2 of the Rolags.
I wanted to try something different so I spun it onto a wooly yarn (called core spinning). It has a few bumps on purpose. I liked it as it was, just being a 1 ply corespun yarn but I took it one step further, and plied it again using just a polyester type sewing thread which then created a boucle style yarn. It is fantabulous. I only hope I can spin the last Rolag into something very similar and perhaps, we'll be making a hat & scarf from them. They'll be beautiful I am sure.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Our last cria finally arrived at 10:38am on Friday, October 18th. Hubby and I had planned a date a month prior contingent of course, if Mojo had her baby before that date. We had planned on going to a big fiber show in Corydon, Indiana. We've always heard that it was a great show and wanted to go. He had gone to his day job but took a half day vacation, and we wanted to get on the road around 10:30. Well, as luck would have it, he worked an extra 12 minutes so his getting home time was a little later. As I walked up the stairs, I looked out the window at the "maternity ward" and there it was....legs and a head. We had a change of plans. We were staying home to get our newest addition dry and coated and making sure all the parts worked right.
At the Day Spa getting my hair done!
Our last cria, was a BOY! We've had 13 babies born here since we began our journey in 2009. 12 of them have been BOYS! We have sort of nicknamed this boy Baker!
We've got one girl, we'd love to have more girls and hopefully that will be the case next year. We've got 7 of the girls bred for fall next year and will be breeding 5 more in the Spring next year for babies the following year. It's so exciting, you never know what you'll be getting until it's here. This little guy's mom Mojolica, is dark brown and his dad Padre Pio, is beige but looks nearly white and the newby is probably a very light fawn He is beautiful.
My new milk bar, YUM!
Me & my big brother Martin
I can run really fast already! I'm only 45 minutes old here.
My new family; My sister on the left, and mom in the middle.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Now that I get to stay home and work with all the fibery goodness that our herd of alpacas provides I don't go anywhere except for some groceries, church & TSC.
Today, I ventured out to town to pick up a couple of bolts so hubby could fix my little Cub Cadet tractor, you know how they say most accidents happen very close to home? It was almost the case this morning. You see, the road we live on sits 2 miles off US 31. I was at that intersection patiently waiting on 3 cars going North to pass so I could pull out. There was an extended cab pick-up truck coming over the hill that was .2 miles from me. Nothing going South, so I pulled out! Much to my surprise, there was a little car in my lane coming at me trying to pass that big truck. I was stopped in my lane, hoping that car could pass the truck, needless to say, it finally did but not until I was trying to figure out if I should just get off the road. You could hear the truck revving the engine, and believe it or not they were honking. Were they playing chicken, were they going to a fire? Where did that little car come from? No clue, didn't see it and it came directly from about a 1/2 mile "no passing zone" just before it went up over that hill a mere .2 miles from my road. Maybe I should have waited but it wasn't anything out of the ordinary since there is a hill crest, and you pace yourself, knowing it's okay. Hope the car got where it was going in one piece, so glad I'm home.
Now, just waiting on Mojo to deliver our last Fall Cria
Thursday, October 10, 2013
First, can't believe it's October. Where, oh where did the year go?
We are still waiting on our last cria of 2013. Any day now, she looks miserable.
will be the mom, bred to
Last year Mojo gave us the first and only girl we've had here on the farm, sweet little Frenchie
I just know she will be heart broken when her mom has another baby.....
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
It has been so busy here on the farm with all the gardening, sewing, working, weeding, company coming, canning produce, having babies, getting ready for our 3rd Annual Fall Open House........................there is where it all went. So busy, so much to do, so little time to gitterdone! But, we survived and it was all enjoyable.
This is our favorite picture. It is of Phuzzy Boy Phloyd last year. He was only about 3 months old and it was time to come to the barn. He refused! I had to chase him around a bit before I finally caught him all the while he was saying "you can't make me come in". He was just being so funny. Now, he's over a year old and just as sweet as he was then. My hair is about 8 inches longer but not much else has changed....
The garden is winding down now, the Open House is over and won't see anymore company until at least Thanksgiving. Time to make some yarns now.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
What gold? Alpaca Gold of course! We've got plenty and we do sell it, just call ahead since the farmer would be the one to use the tractor to scoop it and dump it into your truck bed....you would not want me to attempt that.
During the winter months when we have snow on the ground, we dump the gold, about 8 buckets full each day, into my garden....when Spring comes, it gets tilled in and makes our garden very luscious. The tomatoes have been slow this year but it takes longer to grow them big apparently. In this picture, is a head of cabbage which we didn't weigh, but the tomato directly under it is a Mister Stripey and weighed over 2 pounds; the tomato above right was over 1 pound; the red tomato was a normal size and the little yellow dot is a yellow jelly belly that I love to just pick and eat right out of the garden. So, I say go for the Gold, it'll make your garden grow really well. What's in your garden?
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
It's just a normal day here on the farm, going about my morning barn duties as usual. I was nearly finished, three stalls were all cleaned and alpacas were fed and as I was closing the gate on the 4th stall (was finished in there too) I leaned into the gate on stall #3 where Bon Qui Qui was standing. She was seeming very nice today, especially NICE! I let her sniff my forehead and hair which she seemed to love. All of a sudden, she blew spit into my hair TWICE! So, when anyone asks us from now on "Do they spit?" I will reply "YES"! We have two that "do not like me" and yet "they will eat out of hubby's lips if he chooses to put a treat between his lips". I think they are jealous!
Bon Qui Qui looking so innocent just chewing her cud with Franqlin right behind her.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
I'm sure you've heard people say that they could never live in the country, it's so boring, nothing to do...yadda, yadda.......
Franqlin & mom
My husband and I had never lived on a farm until 4 years ago and now we would find it hard to move back to town (although upkeep on in town property would take a lot less of our time and that would be inviting). There's always something to do out here and we have no lack of anything to do...we only have to look around us.
Yesterday, I skirted 2 pounds of beautiful black suri alpaca fiber to get all the vegetation out of it so I could start the washing process. I have now got the first batch on the drying rack in the sunshine and the 2nd batch is in the sink soaking in it's last rinse cycle (yes, in the sink, it felts if you put it in the washer). I will get the 2nd batch in the sun in the next half hour.
This morning, I began another beautiful nuno felted silk scarf that will take several hours in my rolling felting machine but that machine allows me to do something else. I have several hats that I wear here on the farm (sewing hat, queen pooper scooper hat, garden hat, canning hat just to name a few). So I have my day planned, and it is full of sewing, some fibery things and the kitchen sink now holds some okra and cucumbers for the freezer and pickle making.
The barn duty this morning......among the normal chores, I got to break up a fight, move one of our herd sires Padre Pio, from in front of the dog door so our LGD could leave his pen. I took away a fly catcher because another of our girls thought it would/could be a great chew toy; I caught one of our new cria, Franqlin in the cria creep eating hay and then saw both cria, Hayburner & Franqlin, nursing off Bon Qui Qui and finally, I broke up a fight between our soon to be yearling males Amos and Jimi who I had a heart to heart talk with and told them they need to just get along better....I am sure they listened! Now, the hay farmer is mowing our alfalfa field....does this sound like I'm bored? Far from it. I love the country life.
Yearlings, Jimi & Amos