Monday, April 26, 2010

Shearing is over for another year

The Alpacazona alpacas are naked once more. Brian and I finished shearing the last of the big boys yesterday. Now I can turn my attention to sorting, skirting and washing fleece. Oh, and I can return to the war against the weeds in the yard. They’ve gotten ahead of us as we’ve been spending most of our free time denuding alpacas.
Plus I won’t feel so guilty when I sit down and work and a project here and there. There’s yarn to be spun, plied and dyed, roving to label, scarves to weave, baskets to shape. The list just goes on and on. At least I’m never bored.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Summer begins

Things are slowly heating up. Literally. We had our first 90 degree day this week. It’s supposed to cool back into the eighties after this weekend, but it’s a temporary reprieve at best. We’ve been busy getting things ready for the long hot summer. The fans have all been cleaned and oiled, the swamp coolers have been checked and reconditioned, and the alpacas are, well, I’m working on getting them sheared. I do my own so it takes a while to get them all done. I’ve got two more girls to go and I did most of Legend. I hope to get the girls finished this weekend and start in on the rest of the boys. Legend will either have to go back to Kathleen looking kind of stupid (I couldn’t get any of his neck or head done) or wait until I either have a team of people to hold him down or a lot of drugs to calm him down. And possibly some drugs to calm me down as well….
Mean while, I’m taking advantage of the rising temps to get back into some solar dying. I did about ten skeins this past weekend. Brian and I took some vacation time and spent the first day and a half just hanging around the house doing chores and generally goofing off. Then we headed up for a couple of nights in the camper. A last little get away before the big shearing push.

Miss B is doing well. She usually spends the twilight hour racing around the fields trying to get Cartigan to play with her. Cartigan seems willing; he just can’t seem to get the rules. Though he spend a great deal of time following her around.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New alpaca fleece rugs

Our rugs have arrived! Whoooohooo!!!
They actually arrived a couple of weeks before I thought they would. The mill had been telling customers the turn around time was 14-16 weeks. So when we brought O out to TX in December, I figured I had until the end of April until I would see the rugs.
I was so excited when I got called from the front office to say I had five HUGE boxes waiting for me. The poor UPS guy looked so crest fallen when I told him I needed them in my van which was around back. In order to ease his aching back, I told him just to get them back to the truck and I would drive over to meet him. It worked out well until I got home and realized I had to get the boxes back out of the van…
Not to be thwarted, I just opened the boxes up and carried the rugs in around ten at a time. Only took me eight trips. Now I have a stack of alpaca rugs (from ours and Linda’s alpacas) three feet high in my loom room. Each rug is unique, no two the same, though some are similar. The mill did an amazing job with styles and colors and I have to say I am very pleased.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Our Easter earthquake Or "Why is our house rocking?"

We got to experience our first, and hopefully only, earthquake Sunday. Brian and I were hanging out at home, relaxing, and watching a movie. Our dog, Molly was sleeping on the floor next to me, when I felt the chair kind of rocking. I assumed Molly was stretching or scratching and hitting the chair. It went on long enough that I finally sat up to see what the heck she was doing only to see she was still sound asleep and not touching the chair at all. Then I noticed Brian was looking at me kind of strange and says, “Why is our house rocking?” The chandlers where rocking, the rod for the blinds where tapping the windows, it was kind of surreal. We thought the wind may have picked up, but it was still outside.
Of course we went next door to see if they felt anything and called a couple of friends. Everybody thought we where nuts.
I knew we had felt something, so, being a good geologist, I logged on to the U.S. Geological Survey website and started poking around. Sure enough, there had been a quake down in Baja California. At that time they said it had a 6.2 magnitude, which is big, but there had been bigger, closer earthquakes that we hadn’t noticed in the past. So I poked around some more.
The epicenter was 32km deep. Ah, there it is, that’s why the waves traveled so far. That’s a pretty deep earthquake and the deeper they are, the farther they tend to travel.
So I guess I get to cross this off the bucket list, not that experience any kind of earthquake was really high on my list of things to do.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A new baby!

The herd has grown by one! Tyche finally had her cria yesterday (361 days of gestation). A little girl weighing in an22.3 lbs. We were expecting white and at first we thought she was white, but after we got her dried off and cleaned some of the mud off of her, we noticed there was a hint of gold to her fleece. You can really see it at her tail. So maybe we’ve got a beige or a really light, light fawn. Brian came up with her name: Alpacazona’s Miss B. Haven.
Little B is doing well and testing out those very, very long legs by racing around her pen while poor Tyche waddles along behind.