Sunday, December 12, 2010


Do you have friends, who just out of the blue, who just randomly do nice things for you? Ruth Tice decided I needed some flowers. Reason? Just to be nice. Aren't these beautiful? They have the most wonderful fragrance, too. What can you do for a friend today? Call them up and tell them how much you value their friendship...hand write them a card and drop it in the mail...or send them some flowers. Spread a little sunshine around in your little area of the world today and let someone know how much you care. Thank you, Ruth! You are one in a million and I value your friendship immensely!

Fun in Farmersville

I cannot begin to tell you how much fun we have when we head to Diane's shop, Fiber Circle, in Farmersville. Our Thursday, fiber day, ladies try to make a trip up to Diane's shop once per month.

Diane has been knitting and crocheting since she was three. She has published multiple magazines on knitting, machine knitting and crocheting. The best part? Diane is wonderful about sharing her knowledge with others. When our group makes our monthly trek up to Diane's yarn shop, we pick out a project to knit. Diane sits down and teaches each of us something new.

Here, Anna shows off a scarf Diane helped us make. This pattern is called "Pom Pom Frenzy". I've since made about eight of these scarves for gifts.

Tatsuko and Kazuko show off their "Pom Pom Frenzy" scarves, too. There are many variations of this scarf, with each of them being Fun! Fun! Fun!

Lois and Evelyn are experienced knitters. Evelyn machine knits some incredible fantastic suits, shawls, skirts, pants, etc. If you have a machine knitting question, Evelyn is a "go to" person. Lois is equally skilled. We are blessed to have them in our little group. They are a joy to be around.

Iris spends her time hunting down the most incredible yarns in the shop. She "teases and tempts" us with her finds. Iris knits around the clock, so she doesn't hardly sit down at the yarn shop to knit, but instead spends her time finding yarns to work with for the remainder of the month. Iris teaches a knitting class at her church and is always on the lookout for new and excited yarns to use. Diane's shop always has plenty to choose from.

In this picture, Anna is showing off the scarf I finished that day. This pattern is called, "Diane's Favorite Scarf". It involves increases and dropping stitches that makes the knitting go even faster. This scarf is made out of alpaca yarn with some fun ribbon yarn.

Lastly, Diane sent us each home with some homemade fudge. Oooooeeeee! This is some of the most delicious fudge EVER! Chocolate pecan and Peanut Butter fudge were two of the flavors I came home with. They are SCRUMPTIOUS! This would make a wonderful gift for someone this Christmas. So, make the short trip to Farmersville this Christmas. You won't be sorry!

Kid 'N Ewe and Lamas, Too!

This was my first year to attend the annual Kid 'N Ewe and Lamas, Too event in Boerne, TX. I coordinated the Spin-off Competition for the State of Texas Alpaca Ranchers. It was a huge success with 111 entries. Whoo hoo!

Joyce Jackson helped me setup my booth. We had everything from raw alpaca fiber, to scarves, shawls, teddy bears, bags, aprons, etc.

Sales were pretty good. I paid for my expenses, plus a little. I had the most wonderful time enjoying the company of old friends and meeting new friends, too! Cindy Telisak, of Jacob's Reward Farm, a good friend of mine, situated her booth next to mine. We left the partitions open between us and setup an area for spinners to drop by and spin with us. Our group of spinners became so large we had to "move them" to the center aisle.

I met a wonderful new friend, Mary Bensel, aka Grandma TuTu. Mary makes some amazing things. She has a delightful personality and was a joy to spend the weekend with!

If you get the chance, you need to make the trip down to Boerne next year in November. It's a craft person's delight!

Another visit at the farm...

Iris Arias, a close neighbor of mine, invited the women from her church and knitting group, out to visit our ranch. The objective: to learn how yarn is "created". Ah...I love this kind of field trip. The trip began by showing everyone the animals. Everyone gets a kick out of feeding the alpacas and being surrounded by faces looking up at you exclaiming, "feed ME! Feed ME!".

We then went into the breezeway for a quick (very quick) lesson in picking, washing, carding, and spinning fiber. I think it was an eye opener for everyone to realize just how much work is involved in making yarn. So, the next time you pull out some yarn to use in your projects, remember what all is involved to get it to that point. :o)

As the group began to leave, a few remained to check out what was left of my vegetable garden. We cleared off most of the remaining peppers and some cherry tomatoes. Aurora Diaz left with a bounty of vegetables to enjoy. She loves her garden and is looking forward to getting some compost to add to her garden next spring.

We ended the visit with the kids getting to hold some of our chicks. What is it about kids and chickens? Every visit we seem to have out here, the children say the chickens were their favorite part of the trip. Go figure...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rest in Peace, my dear sweet friend...

A little over a week ago, I went out to the barn to find blood all over the ground. After inspecting all of the alpacas, then my mare, Belle, I finally found the culprit. My old barrel racing horse, Squirt. He looked to have cut his self and was bleeding. I called the vet and he came out that afternoon.

Dr. Wallis checked out Squirt and showed me what appeared to be a very large tumor inside his pelvic area. He let me know that it didn't look good. Because of the location, Squirt would need a specialist to go in and see if the tumor could be removed. The location is around a lot of blood vessels, and it isn't something my vet hospital felt comfortable doing. Due to Squirt's age, surgery didn't sound like a very good option either. We didn't know how long the tumor had been there, so we didn't know how fast it was growing. Dr. Wallis gave me some antibiotics to give Squirt and gave instructions to "clean" out the area once per week.

After a week had passed, I again came out to the barn to find lots and lots of blood. The tumor had torn again. The tumor must have been painful, because Squirt was actually biting at it and flicking it with his tail. Dr. Wallis gave me the horrible news. It was time for me to let Squirt go. I could prolong his time in this world with pain killers, but that would be selfish.

You see, I purchased Squirt 18 years ago, before I had kids. I had only been married a year and had moved out onto our property recently. It was a "no brainer" for me to get a horse. I had already gotten a sweet mare that I had been trail riding on.

I had a female boss at the time who ran in the National Barrel Racing Association (NBRA). She encouraged me to get involved and ride with her. Out we went on the hunt for a barrel horse for me. A friend of hers contacted her to let her know that her daughter was heading off to college and needed money. She was selling her gelding she had raised from birth. She had already been riding him on the barrel racing circuit and had been doing quite well. He was only five years old and was quick as a bullet. When we went out to visit, it was the typical horse owner situation. The horses had an absolutely gorgeous barn to live in, while the owners lived in a run down trailer home. Horsey people usually put all of their money into their animals. Sound familiar? Well, it was love at first sight. I tried out Squirt on the barrels and he was a natural. So, I plopped down my money and my heart. I was in love.

Squirt and I rode in a few competitions and did very well. I met all kinds of friends through my horse buddy. I met many people in the area who were looking for friends to ride with. All of the area around Southfork Ranch was farm land and open pastures. We would meet up and run through the pastures as fast as our horses would take us. Squirt was SCARY fast! In an arena, I knew he was fast on barrels, but hadn't experienced his speed until we got in an open space. He made my heart race and I felt exhilaration when we rode together. It felt as if we were "one" body. We were connected. He knew what I wanted and I knew what he was thinking. We were best friends. Only animal lovers can understand that.

Years passed. I remember my last barrel race out at the Collin County Youth park. Squirt ran so fast, he almost dropped me out of the saddle! Because of my own stupidity, I stopped him early before he crossed the time barrier. We still got second place. It was days later that I found out I was six weeks pregnant. My racing days came to an end. That didn't stop me from riding, though. When I was only weeks from my due date, my husband and I went on a cattle drive through Parker. Mr. Donihoo, a long time resident of Parker, needed some cattle moved and called upon the Parker residents. My vet informed me that if I went into labor, he would NOT assist in the delivery. After all, he is an animal vet, not an OBGYN. Tee hee!

As years passed, I met more friends through my beloved Squirt. My good friend, Cindy Martin, brought her horses over to my barn to stay for years. It was then that I added my third horse to the mix, Fancy. Fancy was a Rocky Mountain horse and had a smooth, even gate. Squirt got a rest as I spent my days training this horse. We began breeding horses at that time and then added Belle to the herd. Horses came and went from the property, but Squirt would remain. He was special. There are just some animals that you never let go of. Squirt was one of them.

Over the years and with the addition of three children total, Squirt would teach each of my children how to ride. Hailey really loved Squirt. He was so good with her. He didn't know what the children were asking when they rode him. He was leg pressure trained. Each of the kids took their turn learning to figure out how to express to him what they wanted. All the while, he remained calm and patient. My youngest, now six, has been riding Squirt ever since he was little. I believe he started riding Squirt when he was two. Hailey's friends came over and rode him, Harrison's friends, the stream of kids never stopped.

Squirt spent his life loving the ride. He always perked up when we would load up the trailer. What exciting adventure would we experience together on that particular day? Would it be Lake Ray Roberts? Lake Lavon? A day with friends out on the trail.

The bible doesn't tell us where our beloved pets go after death. A recent article from Focus on the Family was titled, "Do All Pets Go to Heaven?". In the article it says, "A man once asked Dr. Billy Graham whether his dog would go to heaven. The great evangelist answered: 'God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there.'...The book of Isaiah (11:6-9) offers a stirring image of what Heaven will be like, and it does suggest there will be animals, all living in beautiful and peaceful coexistence." I choose to believe my beloved Squirt will be in heaven when I get there (ask me how I know I'm going to heaven and who my Savior is). I know he is running through the pastures of heaven in a new, healthy body.

So, as painful as it is to be living without my dear sweet friend, I say, "Happy trails, my beloved friend. Until we meet again one day. Happy trails..."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Culprits caught!

In the past month, we have caught and released three different possums.
In the nineteen years we've lived here, we've only seen one other. This past month, THREE! The new developments seem to be bringing more and more animals out of their natural homes and into our "yards". I don't mind the possums here except that they eat the chicken eggs and some of them carry a disease called EPM that is devastating to horses. So, we use a large animal trap to hold the possum until we can get it to a new home. We take them far away and release them back into a wooded, creek area. Hopefully, our chicken egg counts will begin to go back up. Only time will tell...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Basket making day

Saturday, we got my daughter off to a speech tournament, my oldest son off to a baseball game, watched my youngest son's soccer game, and THEN I finally got to head off to my basket making class. Whew! I almost bailed, but am so glad I didn't.

When I got to Nancy's house, Faye, Joyce, and Marie were already 'in action' getting their baskets started. Ooh! It looked like fun and the weather was FANTASTIC! (Thank you, dear Lord God in heaven!)

So, I rolled up my sleeves and got right in. Nancy's niece, a delightful 13 year old named Katherine, was eager to assist me.

We cut reed in various lengths to get the bottom of our baskets started. After we had the base completed, we soaked the basket in water to make it more flexible. Then, we began working our way up the sides.

Ok, remember how I said I was late getting to this class? I was two hours late. Thank you, MaryAnn for making me not the only one who was late! MaryAnn didn't bail out either, but showed up and got to work. She looks miserable, doesn't she? Tee hee!

We worked until we got to the top of the basket. We are heading back for the second part of the class on another day when we add a taller section to one side of the basket. I'm really looking forward to it. This was really, really fun. I think my daughter would really enjoy this craft, as well. Oh boy! ANOTHER craft for us to do! It's just so darned much fun! :o)

I'll post the completed basket after class number two. And then, we'll begin a pie basket that Katherine told us about...and then a chicken basket... and then an egg basket.....oh my!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday's Road Trip!

If you didn't make it to this week's fiber day, then you missed one heck of a trip! We met at 9:00 am at my house.

We loaded up and headed for Farmersville, Texas, home of Fiber Circle Publishing (now yarn shop). Wow! If you haven't made a trip up to Diane's yarn shop in awhile, you are in for a treat!

Walls and walls of yarn are to be found EVERYWHERE! There is a second story with a balcony that is loaded with great things.

Everyone was enamored with a certain "pom pom ball yarn". Diane immediately began giving us an impromptu lesson on a scarf design. We had a blast!

Diane's shop is filled with yarn, knitted scarves, hats, sweaters, vests, shawls, etc. You name it, she's got it! Diane is an avid knitter and crocheter and published magazines on both for many years. She designs her own patterns and is very willing to share with others. Also included in her shop is a decadent fudge, some yummy jellies, jams, smoked jalapenos, and many dip mixes. You just can't go wrong with this place.

Later, we headed down to the 'Sugar Hill Restaurant' for a delicious lunch. For $7.95, you get an all you can eat buffet of wonderful hot food, many cold salads (tuna salad, chicken salad, broccoli salad, pasta salad, green salad, etc.) and soup. The food was wonderful. Give it a try when you are in town.

We finished up our road trip with filled bags of goodies, anxious for our next visit. This is a fantastic yarn shop. We had so much fun! Don't worry Diane. We'll be back! We're HOOKED! :o)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A new home

Thanks to my dear, sweet friend, Peggy, I found out about a place called the CC Young Retirement Community. There had been a number of women living in this retirement community that loved to weave. However, as the years went on and the ladies began to pass, the looms became unused. In comes Hinke from the Dallas Weaving Guild. She had been mentoring these ladies on the looms for awhile. Hinka was to find new homes for the looms. I was blessed to have received one of these 4 harness looms. My daughter and I were so excited, we could hardly contain ourselves!

My dear husband drove me down to the retirement community and began figuring how exactly we were going to get this thing through the doors. We got it out and loaded into the back of our truck. Down Central Expressway we went with our loom in the back. I can just imagine what many people must have been thinking!

My daughter began immediately working on the loom to make a scarf. Harrison was quickly behind her to try his hand at this age old craft. They've already woven quite a bit and are still enjoying the thrill. I can't wait until I get a turn!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's raining, it's pouring!

Wow! We sure did experience a lot of rain today! It began in the middle of the night and continued for most of the day. That didn't dampen the spirits of Del and her daughter, Carissa. They had been planning a trip to our place for awhile. So, we made out way out into the rain to check on the animals.

Tysin, our LGD was thrilled to meet our visitors. He loves a good scratch on his chin.

We then made our way over to the chicken coop to check out all of the chickens. They had already laid seven eggs by 10:30 am. Carissa was thrilled to get the opportunity to collect them for us! We then proceeded over to the alpaca area, where our guests fed the alpacas a little brunch snack. They were still a little full from breakfast, but were happy to take a nibble or two from the offerings.

The chicks were a big hit. These chicks are living in our backyard until they are big enough to fend themselves from the snakes that appear in the barn every now and then. We've learned our lesson from taking them out too early. The snakes just love the chicks!

It just wouldn't be the same without a kiss goodbye. Lucy decided to give Carissa a little kiss. You could almost imagine her saying, "Thanks for the snack!".

What did you do on this rainy day?


We have a plant that is some sort of magnet for caterpillars.
We pulled approximately 42 caterpillars off of the plant and added them to my smallest child's bug house. He kept them in his room, periodically adding leaves so they had enough to eat. Eventually, the caterpillars went into cocoons.

Today, we noticed five of the cocoons had opened and five beautiful butterflies had emerged! It was raining hard that day, but my littlest decided it was best to let them out to spread their wings. It was a beautiful sight to see! We still have another 37 to go!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Would you help?

I'm trying to get together 140 blankets (lap blankets) for the residents at Collinwood Nursing Home in Plano, TX. I discussed this with my Thursday group of fiber enthusiasts. They've agreed to help out. I then went to the DFW Machine Knitters Guild meeting on Saturday. They are going to help, too! Are you interested in donating a blanket to this cause?

Psalm 112:5-9 Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Paca D'Lites Ranch hits the NASCAR race track!

The North Texas Power Truck Association got together to help out charity. Each member brought their trucks out to the Texas Motor Speedway to take some laps around the track...FAST!

Here we are on the entrance ramp to the speedway. There was a pace car at the front and another car at the rear. Everyone had to make sure and keep up or they would be escorted off of the track. We reached speeds of anywhere between 85 and 100 mph!

Honestly, I didn't think it would be much fun, until we actually DID it! Whew! What a BLAST! The whole family was in the truck. My husband drove and each of the three kids was in the back seat. We all got to experience the ride together.

The best part was, all of this went to charity!

At the end, they tempt you with, "You wanna do this again?" Ha ha! If you get the chance, check this out next year. There were all kinds of car clubs out there, too. Have fun!