Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Second Annual Running Of The Karaoke Diva

Well here it is again! The Waterloo Homecoming Parade and I'm on Route 3 Bar and Grill's karaoke float! Yeah! It was the most fun I have had in a long time.
There were about 150 floats in the parade this year and the theme was "Made In America". Local, small town parades are big in this part of the country. As you can tell by the pictures I took.
Soon after we got lined up in our spot, I think it was #51, we cranked up the music.

Here's a picture of Kenny, owner of Rt 3, in the orange shirt and to his right is Darrell and his left is Austin. My first selection was 'You Ain't Woman Enough To Take My Man'. Then a duet with John Fahey, "Jackson". It hard to get more "Made In America" than Loretta Lynn! lol Then I sang "Johnny and June" as the float went down the road.

One of the most fun things was that our karaoke DJ, Chad Ruehl, couldn't see the screen on his laptop because of the sunlight. So he took one of the beer boxes, turned it on its side and put his laptop in it! Well, he could see the screen then! Box-a-tronics!
About 20 people were on hand to pass out candy and beads to the kids (and some adults) and some dinner coupons. Its fun to see the kids lined up along the road with bags waving to you and hoping for candy.There were definitely some sugar highs going on!

After the official parade was over, we took the float on an 'unofficial' tour of town and the surrounding area advertising Rt 3 Bar And Grill and causing merriment wherever we went. The music continued, the karaoke continued and the good times rolled on for hours.

Yes, Waterloo likes her parades.

And so do I!

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Friday, August 26, 2011

If Looks Could Kill...

...I'd be a goner!! lol  As you can see, Venus doesn't like having cayenne rubbed on her nether regions! lol  I held up the camera while I did and got a great shot of her look. And its not the cayenne, it is touching her nether regions at all. I can scratch her neck, run my hand down her back as I walk by, but not the nether regions!  oh my, that stink eye is priceless.
I don't know if Vienna is done trying to nurse yet so I'll have to keep putting the cayenne of Venus for awhile just to be sure. I am taking my life into my own hands doing it, though!

Here's a new picture of Little John. And yes, I do believe he has turned out to be a fine looking rooster. He has two 'tells' about that. One is on the bottom edge of his neck feathers, he has a row starting that is black fringed with the caramel. Roosters have more plumage and variations of color at their neck. And the tail. His feathers are growing longer and starting to curl at the ends. A hen has shorter, straight feathers at the tail. Of course, the growing cockscomb is a dead givaway! Looking good, Little John!                                                       
Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Monday, August 22, 2011

How Could You Say No?

Look at this face!
How could you not love it? How could you say "no! don't do that." To this face?
You may remember Vienna being one of last year's crias. Her mom is Venus and she is pretty much what I call a 'minnie-me'. She looks like her mom. She will be a year old next month. The problem I'm having? Even though I weaned babies from moms for 2 months, I noticed last week that Vienna is nursing off her mom again! I guess Venus broke down and got tired of telling her 'no'. And yes, she is too big to still be nursing. Although I don't think she is getting anything because Venus doesn't have a milk bag. So what's the problem you ask? I think Venus is pregnant and due at the end of September with another cria. The problem is that Vienna will rob the new cria of its colostrum. The cria will probably fail to thrive because of it. And possibly die. So what do I do?
The first idea to mind is to re-wean Vienna from Venus. Although that will be stressful on her. Being separated from the girl herd. And the summer heat will make it worse. And she will need companions to go with her. Her companions can't be pregnant, so that means Georgie and Autumn or Alegra. Autumn and Alegra will wonder why they are being punished and separated into a totally different pasture and not allowed in the barn with everyone else. They didn't do anything wrong! They will be mad at me. And when the first crias are born, Georgie will stress about not being able to do what comes so naturally to her: guard the crias. Its just not fair to them.

Any other ideas? Well, one comes to mind. Something my grandma used to tell me to do for a child that wouldn't stop sucking his thumb. Putting cayenne pepper on it. Although nowadays, it will probably earn you your own folder in Child Protective Services. But in this situation it might work! The cayenne pepper wouldn't burn Venus and only if Vienna tries to nurse will she get a hot mouth. If Vienna is as smart as I think she is, it will only happen once or twice and she will figure it out.              
Well I guess I need to find a pair of rubber gloves.

Wish me luck, I'm going to need it!

I'll let you know how it works out.

She is just so darn cute! I'm sorry, Vienna!

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One Plus For Cat Ranching

I was outside today skirting fleece on a table so I could wash it and one of the adopted cats jumped up to "help me".

As I looked at her I realized I have a cat to match every color alpaca fleece I have! LOL

So, one plus for cat ranching is I have multiple photo opportunities that seem to find me.

Spin happy!

Talk to you soon,


Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I know. Its not a catchy title for this blog. I just couldn't think of one. It happens sometimes. But these birds!
They are a few hundred yards from my house. Its where the flood waters have been for months as you can see from the picture. I believe these are Lesser Egrets. They are large birds, too. And are lined up this channel for about a half mile or so. Watching them fly in and swoop down is an awesome sight. They are hunting the fish trapped in the channel and probably crawdads, too. There has been alot of that going on around here this summer. Fishing and crawdad hunting, that is. We have had several boils at our house. I wonder how long the Egrets will stay around?.............

Well, back to washing wool!

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Thursday, August 11, 2011

WIP Is Now A FO, part 1

So here they are! My finished frilly cuffs. I had some down time each night at Guys and Dolls performances, so not only was I backstage 'shooting crap', I finished the cuffs, too. I plan to wear them with my leather jacket this fall to ward off the windy chill. It does seem strange to be planning on such a thing in August! But as Elizabeth Zimmerman said, "if you want winter mittens, start knitting them in May", or something close to that effect. So I've been trying to take her advice. As previously posted, they are made from an angora/merino blend yarn that I handspun. Handspun angora doesn't shed like commercially spun angora does. I love the look of angora but that was always a problem for me: the shedding of the fibers! They would get on everything. And look like dog or cat hair on your pants, skirts, etc. Well, then when I learned how to spin so many years ago, that was one of the first things I learned from my friend, Bonnie Ahrens.

         Check out the angora halo close up! Its just awesome!
I found the pattern on Ravelry. Its called "Frilly Cuffs". I only did one repeat of the lace pattern, though. It called for it all the way down the wrist but I changed it (as I usually do!) to a 1x1 ribbing (k1p1) as I felt it would hold onto my wrist and stay in place better. And they stay on nicely.
I'm very happy with the way they turned out. I would make another pair, too.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Fedora For Hubby

I've been very busy outside the home the past few weeks with my family doing a community theatre production of Guys and Dolls. My hubby played 'Big Jule' and really wanted a new hat for his part. So, after one felting failure (yes, I, too have failures!) my second try was rewarded with this awesome hat! It is made with 100% alpaca from Jett. Here is a pic of him. I am very happy with the end result. I used a silk ribbon for the hat band. And I finished it off with some feathers from our French Heritage chickens.

This is a fun picture of 'Big Jule' in his entire costume on the set. Did you notice the shoes? We had alot of fun with this show! I took an $11 wool suit from Goodwill and made it into a double breasted suit. And recut the pants so they fit him.

In the sun, you can really see the sheen alpaca has when felted. It also has a silky feel. Yes, I do like to felt alpaca! and now our son who played Brannigan in the show wants one so this week I will be making another hat for him. I'll post about that one when its done. I'll add a small picture of me in one of my costumes from the show. I had a fun hair-do. I played General Cartwright. More people should get involved in community theatre and help to keep the arts alive. If you don't want to be onstage that's ok. There are lots of jobs backstage. And you get to become part of a 'family'. And you get friendships that you keep for life!

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Surviving the Summer Heat

As a side note: Here's a picture of a couple of frogs I took yesterday. I neglected to have any frog pictures in my last blog and I do not want a reputation of discriminating against any species of amphibian. One frog is a nice lime green and one is dark green and I don't know why. I did see on MSN today that frogs are becoming endangered globally. Their numbers are down from the harvesting of them in the wild. I think they
need to visit my house. I digress....

The summer heat this year is getting to me. We have been in the 110+ heat index for weeks now. It was 101 degrees yesterday and I was outside for about 4 hours. I do 2 hours then take off a couple of hours then go back out. I know it seems like alot of hot work to have these animals and to the new person just getting interested in alpacas, this might deter them. So, this year I have started a conditioning regime for the alpacas to make them easier to care for, for a new owner with a day job. I am getting the alpacas wet then getting them in front of a fan to cool off. I have two water sources for them. One is for drinking and one is for getting into to. As you can see from the picture here. As long as an alpaca has shade, water to drink and water to get into and a fan, they will usually do fine in this heat. If I condition the animals to do this already, a new owner can get a handful of fiber animals and still be able to care for them if they have a day job that takes them away from home. That is my goal! And I'm doing this because I'm in the business of raising alpacas. Not just owning them. It does take a little
more to raise them. Like breeding females require more
time than fiber boys do. Not everybody wants breeding
females because of this.

You always worry about your pets in the heat. Whether it is dogs, cats, or alpacas. Providing for them is the best you can do. The joy the animals give me the rest of the year is worth a few weeks of putting up with the heat. Its like with raising children. I know people who complain so much about how much they cost or picking up toys after them that they loose sight of all the joy the same child brings into their life. I was out today and took the hose to the boys side to spray them off a little and a boy that usually does not let me pet him or touch him came up to me and while I was spraying off his chest he actually gave me two kissed on the cheek! I couldn't believe it! Alpacas are very smart animals and appreciate what you do for them. It rekindled my joy.........................(smile)

Talk to you soon,  Tammy