Friday, December 5, 2014

December already? Oh my!

Why is is that everyone I talk to says they are too busy?  Why do we do this to ourselves?  I say that, because most of the things I do are because of personal choices that I make.  I volunteer to help out in organizations my children are involved in. I serve at church because I want to give back some of what I have openly received myself.  I am involved in outreach because I want to share the love of Christ with others.  And, I organize retreats with a friend of mine, because I want to have fun and... Heck!  We couldn't get anyone else to do it!  Sure, there are other craft retreats out there, but they cost too much for my wimpy budget.  So, a friend and I got together and started planning retreats for our friends that wouldn't break the budget.  If you are interested, check out "Chix Packin' Stix" on Facebook or simply give me a call.  I can give you the low down.

Here's a little re-cap of what has been going on at our farm over the last few months.  My daughter had applied for a competition in FFA for "Small Animal Management Proficiency".  This was regarding her work here on our ranch with the alpacas.  She won our area competition, went on to the district level, and then state. She won at state!  Pretty big deal, to our family!  Then, we received word that she was in the top four at the national level and would need to make a trip to Louisville, KY to interview for the final selection process.


Hailey did very well.  Here is a picture of her receiving her plaque for her outstanding work on her proficiency, along with the current FFA President.  She didn't win, but we were so very, very proud of her!!!  To make it into the top four at the National level is incredible.  Her FFA Advisor, Karen Buechman was a HUGE help in getting all of the photos together, reading the proficiency probably 50 times, and helping with the editing.  Thank you, Mrs. Buechman!!!  Thanks to our friends who watched the event unfold on television or through the internet.  We received a lot of encouragement and support from you!

On a sad note, two of our kitties are gone.  Meow-salini was hit by a car out in front of our neighbors house.  We were devastated.  And, just a few short days later, Fidel-catsro disappeared, never to return.  Usually, that means a coyote got them.  Pretty heart breaking for us.  It is part of living out on property and owning "barn" cats.  It's also part of raising chickens and owning any kind of animal.  Death comes and it is painful.  But better to have loved and have lost, then never to have loved at all.  Still, it really, really hurts.

Then, we received our chicks for our annual FFA competition at the Collin County Show in January.  FIFTY little buggers are in our barn eating and pooping up a storm!  It's hard to believe that in eight short weeks these chicks will weigh on average 10 pounds each!  We are raising them on a Texas natural feed that is Non-GMO and Non-Soy.  Wish us luck!

Last, but not least, we STILL have many alpacas living here with our own alpacas because their owner passed away.  The wife hasn't been out to see them since her husband passed.  We really need to find homes for them.  Another gentleman has called me trying to find homes for his four alpacas, too.  If you know of anyone interested in owning one of these wonderful creatures (their fleece is incredible to have turned into yarn!), please contact me., WE ARE SELLING RAFFLE TICKETS to support ALL of the Plano FFA kids who have projects competing at the Collin County Junior Livestock Show in January!  Please help us support our Plano ISD FFA students!  Check out this link for more information and give us a call.  We'd LOVE to sell you a ticket!

That's it!  I hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather!  I know I am!  In fact, I need to make a trip back out to the barn to work some more on the chick coop.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Likes and Dislikes of the ranch

Likes and Dislikes of living on a ranch

I love living on a small ranch.  However, like any other kind of job, there are likes and dislikes about it.  Here's a list of my likes and dislikes.

First of all, I love my daughter's heifer.  I love watching her eat, drink, and play.  She greets me every morning when I head out to feed the chickens and let's me know she is not really happy that my daughter feeds way after I do.  LOL!  This is a LIKE.

I hate refilling the fly catchers!  YUK!  They stink, are filled with fly guts, and are just all around gross.  You would be amazed at how many flies these things catch.  They work like a charm, but I can't stand emptying and refilling these things.  Definite DISLIKE!

I love my alpacas!  I love watching them pronk around the pasture, graze peacefully, and just hang out by the fence.  I have a few of them that will give me kisses!  They are some of the sweetest animals on the planet and I feel so very blessed to have so many!  Definite LIKE!

 Manure piles... yep, we've got them.  With so many animals, there is plenty of manure to go around!  I really hate cleaning up the manure piles.  At least the alpacas go in a communal pile, so there are a few large piles, rather than a ton of little ones.  However, the horse and heifer don't seem to get that concept.  Definite DISLIKE.

My kids convinced me to get a couple of ducks at Tractor Supply this past spring.  I absolutely LOVE our ducks!  They are so funny when they waddle around and are constantly quacking about everything.  DEFINITE LIKE!
Along with those LIKE ducks, comes the DISLIKE of cleaning out their pool.  They love to play and splash around in the pool, but immediately upon entry into this pool, they relieve themselves.  Yuk!  I have to clean the thing out every other day.  DISLIKE!

Every now and then, a stray hen gets away and lays her eggs somewhere that you can't find them.  Then, she disappears for awhile while she hatches the eggs.  Sometimes, you wind up with a lot of chicks and sometimes you wind up with only one.  This was the case this past week.  So, I caught the hen and her newborn chick and placed them in this cute little hen house that a friend gave to me.  There is a little ramp that goes from the top layer, where the water and nesting box are, to the lower level, where they can get some grass.  I sprinkle a little hen scratch down every morning and watch them go at it.  They are so adorable!  I love watching new chicks.  Definite LIKE!

This is our alpaca and horse watering trough.  Yes, it is an old bathtub and it works great!  However, one of our boarder's alpacas has decided to climb up in the water trough to cool herself down, thus discarding all of the dirt from her body into the water trough.  Remember the duck pool?  Most of the alpacas use the pool to cool themselves off in.  This rebel refuses and instead, continues to make my life more difficult by using the water trough.  DISLIKE.

 I love feeding the chickens and collecting their eggs.  I don't really know why, but I love it.  The egg collecting is kind of like Easter every day!  Chickens are eye candy.  Just ask anyone who owns them.  LIKE.

Here are some added bonus' to my life.  I love to garden.  I'm not very good at it, but I sure do enjoy it!  This is a muskamelon plant that is going crazy in my backyard.  I'm going to have enough melons for the whole neighborhood!  LIKE.

And how could I forget my two, sweet, playful kitties?  I love them so much!  They provide TONS of entertainment.  Here they are on the back porch cleaning one another.  I love watching that.  They have quite a love for one another.  So sweet!  LIKE!
I just finished mowing today. I like doing that, too.  I like when the grass is all cut and it looks so nice and neat.  I dug up some nasty thorn bushes today from the pasture.  I don't like doing that.  Overall, there are so many more likes than dislikes.  I'll take living on property with animals any day over living in the city with more humans.  The animals are so much nicer!  Ha ha!
Anyway, I'll bet there are things you like and dislike about your place, too.  What are they?


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Okay! Get ready! Next Saturday, April 5th, is our 2014 

shearing day at Paca D'Lites Alpaca Ranch! What does that 

mean? It means prepping (cleaning) the alpacas, shearing, 

skirting, and bagging all of that beautiful fleece! It also 

means the alpacas will get some relief from wearing their 

winter coats around in this 80+ degree weather! A few  

dogs may get a good clipping too...