Monday, September 28, 2009

The good, the bad, and the ugly

Yep, that's what living on a farm can be. I love sitting outside and watching my chickens peck at the ground. I love watching new cria pronking around in the pasture when they've first discovered their new legs. I love watching my horses as they gallop around with their tails in the air as they see an unfamiliar sight. However, there are some bad days. A couple of days ago, Cotton Mandy, one of our alpacas, miscarried her baby, only two months away from her due date. The cria (baby alpaca) was beautiful. It was a mahogany brown male. We don't know what happened. We came out to the barn in the evening to find that she was delivering the placenta. The vet came out and determined that the baby was stuck inside. It had already passed. We cry tears for the missed opportunity to share time with the new little one, but we praise God that He has a bigger plan. We are so thankful for the ones that are born healthy. We look forward to new births in December.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday, Fiber day

Every Thursday I host a "fiber day" for women who either raise sheep, goats, alpacas, or some other fiber animal, or anyone who enjoys working with animal fleece, crocheting, or knitting. We have a few machine knitters and quite a few hand knitters. It's quite fun!

Last week, we had a record turnout. Cindy Telisak was here with her spinning wheel, Donna, Joyce, Iris, Linda, Marlene, and Peggy were handknitting, and I was machine knitting. So, I was anxious to see how many people would drop by today.

Today, I decided to make a cake for my guests. However, the crowd was rather small today, consisting of Donna, Iris and myself. We had a wonderful time! We had more cake to share, too!

I have had many problems learning to hand knit left handed. Too many friends trying to assist, to many conversion problems from right to left handed knitting, and too many varieties of hand knitting! Whew! It's exhausting! So, a friend mentioned that I should just get on YouTube and search for left handed knitting instructions. I did. I picked up a washcloth that I had started when all of the instruction problems began and decided to just keep working on it. I didn't rip out what I had already done. It was so easy and I am quite pleased with the results. You will notice that I cut off the left side of the washcloth in the picture. That is the "ratty" section from before. I just wanted to show the beautiful section from today. Isn't it neat? I'm so excited! I only did a garter stitch, but am getting my tension down. Now, I'm ready to purl! Yeehaw! I'm learning to hand knit!

Summer garden still growing!

I am amazed at how well the garden has done this year! I am getting a lot of green bell peppers, chili peppers, banana peppers, and squash still. The zucchini has slowed way down. The tomatoes are almost not existent anymore. One of my green bell peppers even began turning yellow. Can anyone tell me about that?

This has been so much fun this year! The raised beds have truly made it easier. The compost from the manure has been doing wonders, too. Amazing...simply amazing. I'm already making plans for what I'm going to plant next year.

We only got two watermelons off of our watermelon patch. The rabbits beat us to all of the rest of the melons. So, the chickens got some wonderful treats! The strawberry plants never produced anything but lots of foliage. The banana peppers win with the most produced. As fun as it was, I am looking forward to the cooler weather. Aren't you?

Hope you are having a bountiful end of summer!