Sunday, October 13, 2013

Skirting and washing sheep's wool

Ok, so I looked on Youtibe and jumped right in. I cannot seem to get someone to actually LET ME do anything with wool. Like carding or spinning. They want me to just watch. And I need to DO it. So I watched some videos and got the general idea.

I still have some fleeces from last spring. Plus 3 from this spring. So I took Lucinda's wool from the grain sack and started cleaning all the crap out of it. It wasn't too bad.

And got Adele's from this spring and cleaned all the crap I could find out of it.

Then washed Lucinda's wool. I don't have much room yet to dry. So just used my 2 picnic tables. Which worked great. It was a beautiful sunny day with a light breeze. So most of it's dry now.

To all you who do this all the time, how does this wool look to you? This is Lucinda's wool. She is full Finn. She's my ewe who died last year. I love her wool.

                                                            This is it on the table after skirting it.

                                         This is Adele's all spread out on the table to be skirted.

Adele is mostly Finn. Her wool was really long. First ever shearing for her, as a yearling.

Here is Lucinda's wool, washing. I still have a little bit to wash tomorrow. I used Dawn.


                                                And all spread out on the drying tables.

I need to go get it now. The sun is going down. But would really love some input. What do you think? Will it spin into nice yarn? That's next, after carding. Which I can do, but can't seem to get the hang of getting it off the carder in one nice piece to roll up. Practice,  practice, practice, right?

Let me know what you think please. I can take it. Really, I can. Being my very first time doing this, with no one to tell me if it's good wool or not, I think it looks good. I need to practice doing all this anyway.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Doing what vultures do.

I've been driving by this dead deer all week. Then started seeing vultures. So Friday, I had to turn back around and go back to take pictures. I think this is fascinating. Just watching  the food chain working, it's amazing. I know some people might think this is gross and they don't want to see it. But this is life. And death. And the way things are supposed to happen. And vultures are about the best clean-up crew around. If we didn't have these huge birds, there would be nasty, stinky corpses all over the roads. It would take weeks for the flesh and skin to rot. But these birds, they come in and in just a few days, it's like it never happened.

                                             I got closer and closer. They started walking away.

                                   Then they started opening those huge wings and flying away...


to this tree. Can you see them all? They are just amazing creatures. Ugly as crap, but amazing creatures.

On the way back home, the vultures were nowhere to be seen. The deer was half eaten. It was hot. So maybe they were taking an afternoon siesta. Waiting for dinner later.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Another one?

I just called Susan, who I got the 2 Alpacas from. I was wondering if they should still be making the pitiful whining noises. And it looks like they are always looking around for the rest of their herd. So she's going to talk to the people who are supposed to get the others and see if I can have one more. If they need to have a bigger herd to be happy, I can handle one more. She's going to be talking to them tomorrow, so I'll know something pretty fast. I just love them and want them to be happy and content here. And safe. And if they feel safer with more, than more they shall have!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Wow, look at these pigs! They are huge. I haven't seen them in a few months and I am amazed how big they have gotten. And they're so piggy! Their snouts are really long too.

I love pig snouts. I brought them some of the pressed apples from the cider making yesterday. They love it. And a lot of bread too. Nothing like bread and apples for dinner on such a beautiful fall afternoon.

I can't believe how much they've changed, so fast. But they are pigs. And pigs tend to grow fast. I wish I had kept them now. That's a lot of bacon and sausage!

I love how the shadows from the fence is on the pigs here. And the old barn with the trees in the background is so pretty. These pigs are lucky to live in such a beautiful peaceful place. Kind of makes me want a few more pigs.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Apple cider

 Apple cider time! Some friends and I went to Ann and Lynn B's to get all our apples turned into cider today. It was a perfect day to do it. In the low 70's. Beautiful blue sky. Lots of apples and some good people. It took about 2 1/2 hours to do all our apples. We got about 15 gallons. I love this old cider press. Lynn put a motor on it after a few years of hand cranking it. It gets the job done fast now. These are apples from my trees. Yates and Granny Smith.

This is Lynn and Ann. Lynn called Ann earlier to bring him his rifle. He had seen a snake down the hill. That's why he's standing there with a rifle. He's really a good guy! And the snake got away, for all you snake lovers.

My cider, doing its thing in the fridge a few days before freezing it. It's so good. I love apple cider. Not bad for free apples! Anyone else making cider? I took some of the apple peels and cooked them down for juice to make jelly. I'll do that tomorrow.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

They are here!

Susan called this morning, wanting to know if I was ready for the boys. I said as ready as I would ever be. So she and 2 of her grand kids loaded them up and brought them over. I love this little trailer especially made for little Alpacas.

                                    Here's Stella and Bubba welcoming them to their new home.

They are just so cute. I would love to be able to just hug them. But they really aren't that lovable. I know it'll take them a long time to get to know me and their new home here.

They stand like this a lot. I love their faces. So full of expression. They make such sad little noises though. They are so used to a lot of other Alpacas and they are the only ones here. They can see the sheep. And they're used to chickens.

We found out they are half brothers with the same father. Both born in Sept. 2010. So just turned 3. Their mothers are sisters too.

This is Pecan Lane's Sugar Baby. I will call him Gandalf, I think. I just don't know yet. Sugar baby though?

And Baryshnikov, the Russian ballet dancer. He's beautiful. They both are, but I am just drawn to him. I love color and can't wait to get that wool. But, he is a kicker. Must be the dancer in him!

                                                 Such handsome Alpacas, don't you think?

Friday, October 4, 2013

My new boys

 These are my 2 Alpacas. Aren't they amazing! The white one is Pecan Lane's Sugar Baby. But he will be called Gandalf, the White Wizard. And the red one is Baryshnikov. The Russian ballet dancer. He looks like a dancer to me. I love them!

Just look at those faces! And that wool! Oh, I am in love! Seriously in love with these 2 guys. For now anyway. While they're still at Susan's farm. We'll see how I feel next week. She's delivering them here Sunday. I may change my mind and send them back. Who knows?  We shall see. But right now, at this moment, looking at their pictures, I am in love with them. Total Alpaca love.

This morning, I was at the Alpaca farm, ready to help with the gelding. She had 8 to do. The vet was supposed to be there at 11. Huh! Was he? No. Not til about 12:30. We had already gotten al 8 boys in a small pen so we could get halters on them. We did the 2 white Suri's first. Then my white one was going to be next, til the vet saw he only had 1 testicle. It's either not come down yet, or because of the stress, went UP, or some other reason. So we decided to leave him that way. since we'd geld the red one. Then when we shear them, the shearer can cut his fighting teeth.

Then it was Baryshnikov's turn. He went on down and they did their thing. But I noticed he was bleeding a bit more than I thought he should be. So the vet put some gauze inside the wound. After he got up, his legs were really bloody. So the vet just did some sutures. I hope he'll be ok. He's so sweet.

I can't wait til Sunday now. I took tons of pictures of course. I'll post more later. Have a great weekend!