Monday, July 25, 2011

our new felting machine

I have long wanted a felting machine. I like felting, but I am at heart, a very lazy person and standing there rolling a wad of fiber around for thirty minutes just doesn't sound like a good time to me. So I showed my FIL a photo of one and said: "can you build it?". Well his version is up and running! Now comes all the experimenting and playing to find out just what we can and can't get away with. I think this will work really well with nuno felting, but only time will tell. I haven't really spent a lot of time with it yet, it's still pretty darn hot out in the shop. Heck, only two, three more months until cool weather is back again. By then I should know how to work this beasty.

the REALLY dog days of summer

sometimes a photo just says it all....

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Four weeks to the day after we took Jack off medication he went back down. I put him back on penicillin immediately and his fever didn't get as high or last as long as it has in the past. This is so frustrating, as next month it will be a full year that we've battled this infection on and off. The plan now is to put him back on Draxxin and leave him on for as long as we can. Now we face a situation like we do with alpacas that have reoccurring valley fever: the medication will control the infection, but it can also cause damage to liver and kidneys. Hopefully we will finally win out over this infection and we can safely remove him from medication eventually. For now we keep on and keep hoping.

Monday, July 11, 2011

dog days of summer

Ah summer. So far w have survived a record 118 degree day, (I wasn't in AZ for the all time record of 122 degrees) one of the largest monsoon dust storm the state has ever seen and a rise in humidity that makes the swamp coolers no more effective than big fans. The critters are taking it all in stride. One or two are still out sun bathing every afternoon.

We went north for 4th of July at Charlie Clark's again this year. We had a great time, as always. Yarn was the big seller this year. Which is a good thing as I've been doing a lot of spinning lately and have a good supply.

We're still waiting for our socks back from the mill. We should start getting the yarn sometime next month. The socks will arrive after the yarn, if our last two orders are any indication. I have to admit, I'm getting a bit antsy to see what we get. It's kind of like Christmas. I have a rough idea of what each color will be, but you never really know for sure until all the fibers are blended.

The veggie garden is more or less dormant right now. Except for the Armenian cucumbers and watermelons. The cucumbers just keep on churning along and the watermelons are still growing on the vine. I'm going to start fixing some of the beds this weekend for the next crop. We should be able to get another batch of corn. We left the first crop too long, since we had never grown corn before and weren't sure what to look for, and the corn got tough. But this time we know what to expect and will pull it off sooner. I think I'll also plant some pole beans in amongst the corn and see what happens. Some companion planting advocates also say to plant squash in among the corn as well. The summer squash didn't do a lot and I continually had an issue with end rot. I started tossing the small, stunted fruit over the fence and Niska became a big fan. Now when he sees me at the garden, he comes running over, waiting for his treat.

Jack is off medication again. We ended up keeping him on the Draxxin for 11 weeks. He's been off for almost three weeks. I won't relax until he's been off three months! At this point, we know we can control his staph infection, if we can't knock it out completely. If it does come back, I'll have to find out what health issues we need to be concerned about if we keep Jack on meds for even more extended periods of time. As of last night he was feeling well, since he was having a grand time neck wrestling with Cartigan.

Flynn and Belle are registered now. I didn't realize until I got Belle's certificate that she and Jack are related. They both have Royal Fawn as their great grand sire. Both Flynn and Belle (and George)are growing well. I think we'll be bring the whole gang to the Southwest show in March.

So now it's back to cleaning up from the dust storm. yippee.