Friday, September 11, 2015

Update Needed

Wow!  I have not been here in a while.  There have been changes as expected over the past year.  Sold a lot of lambs so now down to 20 sheep.  Also down to about 20 alpacas since they and I are aging.  I am so blessed that I am able to have Sam and Chelsey helping with animal feeding and care. Now with working less I should be able to do more and will increase my physical activity over time.  The rabbits have not reproduced yet.  I was told that it was too hot.  Well they were mated again about two weeks ago and we will see if new bunnies arrive.  Old man is still around.  I am so surprised that he is still alive and each time I enter the rabbitry I gird myself to the possibility of seeing a stiff cold body.  But he surprises me.  Also observing that Bear is getting older.  He is moving more slowly and appears to have some arthritis.

Eventually I hope that my writing will become smoother and more expressive.  The memories and experiences are so valuable to me and I am wishing to adequately describe them to others.

Hopefully I will continue writing and post again prior to 2016.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

2015 Shearing is Done!

A total of 57 fiber animals are now shorn but the work has just started.  First my body has to recuperate.  The muscles need to stop aching and the joints not stiffen up out of fear of further work.  Each fleece will need to be sorted and graded and a determination made of what it will be turned into.  Will it be sent to the NFP co-op to be blended with fiber from the rest of the US to be made into rovings, yarns, finished items? Or will it be sent to a local mini-mill to be made into rovings and/or yarns for outerwear items (items not worn next to the skin)?  No matter what over the next few months my fingers will be in fiber heaven.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


It snowed this morning so naturally lambing started.  After work went around to check on everyone.  Watered the puppies and the rabbits and went under the lean to since saw something not exactly right and there they were, a ewe with three lambs!  One white, one brown and one black, two girls and one boy.  More to come.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday of leisure

Yesterday attended the women in agriculture conference where I realize that I have to be very serious and deliberate about writing a business plan and really defining future plans for the animals and fiber.  Today sorting fiber is at the top of the list.  Off I go.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Regular Sunday

Well the tractor is sitting unable to move at the hay barn again.  Will have to call my "vehicle go to guy" and see if he can figure out what is going on.  Will also have to get some screws to attach the separated sheep wall back to the sheep enclosure. For now baling twine is keeping the boards to the studs.  The wall fell during the rain, snow, wind, flood and street wash out storm last week.

I returned sorted fleece to  a client and had discussion of what can be produced from coarser fiber since we are not mating our animals to get new fine cria fleeces.  Outerwear, carpets, wall hangings, mulch were some of the projects mentioned but we need more.  The fun of creativity.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Wrong place

My alpacas decided that they should not stay near the hay barn or the three sided lean to but instead hopped the fence and went to a field where they should not be.  I think they were trying to cure the alpaca version of cabin fever.  As I went to my vehicle to go to work, I saw them running to an entrance that would return them to where they should have been with the sheep.  The problem was that I would have to travel over there to open the gate.  Well, I didn't.  They will just have to wait until tomorrow and enjoy the sparse vegetation and the puddles made from the rain and melting snow.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Snowy day

It snowed very steadily today with an accumulation of over one foot.  I watched while Windy (a llama/alpaca mix) watched my friend plowed out my driveway since the diesel in my tractor gelled with the low temperatures.  I kept busy by satisfying my tactile senses with sorting fiber into length, micron width, grade and color.  Some of the fleeces were fine and felt really good.   After I finish this client's fiber harvest I plan on working on sorting sheep fleeces to become a certified wool sorter.  I love natural animal fiber.