Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An Extra Day

I had to write today. I won't get this chance again for four years. So I had to.

Fortunately, there seems to be something going on around here every day. Most times, it is a question of which one to write about. Not whether there is anything to write about.

The weather has been oh-so-nice this winter. I have already pulled the water tank heaters and wrapped up the extension cords. My son, and current farm manager, has been working on lead with several of the alpacas. Vienna is hands down his favorite paco. To the point that now he is trying to untrain her because with him she is too familiar. Yes, when he steps out the back door and calls her name she comes running from wherever she is in the pasture. She follows him around. (she always has) But she is borderline overhandled when it comes to him. So, he has been putting her on a lead and walking her around and it has helped alot. He has stopped petting all over her, too.

 Yes, she is a bit over handled. It has been a great lesson for him. And me. But as I explained to him, she is much more friendly with him. She listens to me and keeps her distance when I tell her to. And I keep an eye on her when we have visitors. She is so cute, its hard for visitors not to give her attention. She will come up to the fence and give paco kisses.  She will be just fine. And it seems she is another 'special needs' alpaca that will have to stay at our farm. Oh darn! That charcoal grey fine fiber will have to stay with us.

 How do not love a picture of an alpaca and her boy, walking into the sunset.

                                                                Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tiny Mitts For Busy Little Hands

I have a little grandson who at 2, loves to go outside despite the weather and 'work'. With mom, with dad, with whoever will take him outside. He is a boy that always has a mission.  So I decided to shrink a mitts pattern and make him some work gloves. These will keep his hands warm while allowing his fingers and thumb to work.

They are made out of an over-dyed grey alpaca yarn. I love the bluejeans color.

After I finished the first mitt, I was doing my 'inch' on The Nemesis yesterday morning while having a cup of coffee with my hubby. We were chatting about upcoming events, animals, the usual coffee chit-chat.  I had marked my daily starting point with a safety pin. I was humming along (I thought!) on my knitting and told my husband I must already have 2 inches on this baby today. I looked down at my K1P1. I wasn't doing a seed stitch! Yikes!! While I was knitting a K1P1, it was a ribbing like on the cuff of the little blue mitt! *^##**+*! What?? So what started out as a good Nemesis day, turned out to be another ripping out the rows day. It is a good exercise in patience. But I already thought my patience was pretty much streamlined.   It is not.

The next picture could be a poster. It shows Canela in her proud mother pose with baby Lincoln.

                                                         Talk to you soon,   Tammy

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I Get So Confused!

Here I am again with the dreaded Nemesis. I was knitting away on it and just happened to look down at it. Do you see it? OMG!

<--across here. Somehow I added a stitch. How in the world did I do that? (I ask myself) But there it is, just as plain as the nose on my face.

I contemplate for a minute. Can I live with it? I stand up and look at it. Its not that bad.   I can live with it. I take about three steps back. I'll try the 'ten foot rule'. If I can't see it or tell at ten feet away, its ok.  I look at it. And then it comes crashing in at me:

                                                                                 ITS GOTTA RIP!

                   and here I am now. Making more work for myself. But I have to be able to live with it. It is
                        going to have my name on it, and that is the way it is. Dad-gum-it!! Its right now.

Part Two:  Harry

For two weeks, we had a goat join our family named Harry. A very personable goat. He joined the cast of "Mr. Roberts" in Waterloo at the community theatre. My husband hauled him in a trailer every night and took him back to his house afterward. The cast had to arrange for someone to sit with Harry each night because when he was alone, well, all he did was bawl. Bawl so loud you could hear him in the theatre! He was quite a character! My son would lead him around to the front of the theatre, go inside the front door, walk him up the 40 or so steps and into the audience. My son's character stole the goat on shore leave and brought him back on board the boat. Well, the first weekend went smooth. Harry went through the audience and up the steps onto the stage like a champ. Didn't poop anywhere in house. The second weekend didn't go so smoothly! lol
I guess Harry was turning a little bit 'Diva'. He wouldn't go up on the steps on to the stage. He wanted to stay in the audience! It was quite funny!  Here is a couple of illegal pictures I took on Sunday of them.

Yes, Harry is now a veteran of the stage! Thanks to the Jones' family for sharing him with us. We all had a great time.

Talk to you soon,   Tammy

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'm Not Sure Exactly When......

.......she got herself into this.

But I am pretty sure I know why.

And I am pretty sure I know how.

And pretty sure she felt silly walking around like that.

And after we quit laughing long enough to pick ourselves up off the ground, the bag was taken off her head.

Can you guess who it is?

We have settled on the name, Lincoln, for the new little guy. Thank you, bloggers! Here he is today at the poop pile. Isn't he cute? And a total mini-me for Canela. again.

                               You will have to  look close to see him 'bucking' around the pasture!

                                                                     And starting to run.

                                                                            And run!

                                                               And leap into the air!

         And run some more! He was wearing me out by just watching him! I think he will be just fine!!

                                                              Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Sunday, February 12, 2012


This afternoon, I let the baby out of the barn, under momma's watchful eye. Look at those ears laid back! Green goo was definitely spit about. I think his eyesight is improving. He still has a crooked leg, though. Probably caused from being cramped in Canela's fat stomach. I went into the barn to start the feeding routine. And I was so glad the cold wind had laid down. It was brutal yesterday!

 The girls started coming in the barn to eat and when I turned around to take out some hay I saw this:


                                                    Extra bonus points for the little guy! 

                                          With a sigh of relief, I'll talk to you soon,  Tammy

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

And that is what this one was worth this morning when I looked in on him! Up and alert and walking himself around. It was worth the night feedings to see this. I took him out to the barn for some quality time with mom. I hope he's nursing when I go out there. I really need some sleep.

                                                            Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chronicles Of A Feb Cria

Or: Why you really don't want to have winter babies.

My son went out to do the feeding on the coldest morning of the season this morning at about 11:00am. He quickly came running back in the house telling me to "suit up and come outside!" He said that Georgie came up to him in the barn. That Georgie never does that. She looked at him square in the face with her ears straight up and her tail erect and gave a couple of small snorts. Then she took off out of the barn into the pasture so he followed her. There in the middle of the pasture was a cria! Canela was humming and clicking over him. (it did turn out to be a him) He said the baby's wool is frozen on his body. So, I suited up and ran out there and sure enough there was a cria! And next to the cria was the afterbirth, so I knew he had been out here for a while. We wrapped a towel around him and brought him in the house. My son is a little frantic now muttering "what do we do?"

If you raise animals this is a situation you must be ready for. Not exactly Canela's problems, but unexpected births. You see, Canela has a documented 9 1/2 month, full term cria. And her second was 10 1/2 months. When an alpaca's normal gestation is 11 1/2 months, that is quite a difference! I had a couple Houdini breakouts last April and dummy me didn't put it together that Canela would birth in Feb. Not when she was sitting at the fence for the boys in December. Not normal behavior but she has always been 'Abbynormal". Now, back to the story:

I have read everything I have ever been able to get my hands on about birthing animals. Mohair goats, sheep.
I knew this little guy was way past just bringing in the house and warming up. He was already laying in the 'death pose'. Laying on his side, his legs back  and his neck and head distorted back as far as it would bend. Not good. And his eyes were half way cloudy. You couldn't tell between the pupil and iris and they looked white. So, upstairs to the bathtub we went. I soaked him in a warm bath for about 20 minutes and then dried him off with a blow dryer and gave him 2 oz of milk replacer. I didn't take any photos before the bath because they would have been quite shocking. In the bathtub he started moving his legs around, which is a good sign. He swallowed the milk but no sucking reflex.

If you look at his right eye, you can see that it doesn't look 'right'. My biggest fear was that his organs had started to shut down. With all he had going against him, he had something going for him in a big, big way. He was a Canela baby. For all of her problems, ie. breech births, early births, she has the strongest babies that I have ever seen. And she milks like a heifer cow! She can put out some milk now. And this little guy does appear to be full term. No breathing problems. I am far from giving up on him.

And then I started blow drying him off. He was still shivering violently.

 I think I spent 30 minutes up there drying him. I started breathing a sigh of relief when he started responding but he was still a ways to go to get out of the woods.

Here he is starting to hold his own head up!

 And here he is about 10 minutes later sitting in a cushed position on the bathroom floor. With his head up although still a little wobbly. A cushed position is their natural position. That's great! I tried feeding him some more mild replacer and he sucked down another couple of ounces. This is good!

Here he is a couple of hours later in a downstairs extra bedroom. He isn't shivering anymore. He is sucking down milk. I think I'll put a cria coat on him and take him out to the barn for an hour or so before it gets dark. Its for his mom more than for him. She has been sitting in the pasture where she gave birth all day. Waiting. I know she will stress when I bring him back in but it is too cold out tonight here (13 degrees F) for him. He trying to stand but is still a bit wobbly.  I'll milk out Canela while I'm out there and feed it to him later. I'll be up a couple of times tonight to bottle feed him and hopefully tomorrow he goes out to stay with his mom. Keep your fingers crossed!

Any ideas for a name for him? I'm feeling good enough about him to name him now. 

The miracle milk replacer! The cats love it so you know it must taste alright! lol

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Resistance Is Futile

Not a good picture, I admit, but I couldn't resist taking one of myself last night. I checked in to a sleep center because my doctor thinks I might have apnia. I was hooked up to so many sensors and probes that I felt a bit cyborg. Then they tell you to lay down and go to sleep. Yeah-right! I was visited by the nurse at 5:30 this morning to get myself un-hooked to everything and then drive an hour home. I have not been operating within normal parameters today. I did get my inch + on The Nemesis done and some sort of food fixed for the guys for dinner before they headed out with Harry the Goat in tow. More about Harry later. The moral today? Sometimes life catches up to you. Just go with it. Don't fight it. Resistance is futile! 

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

 This is a quilt I made for my grandson's birthday last month that I forgot to show you.

And a hat I finished with yarn I dyed a couple of weeks ago. All done during The Nemesis.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Long And Knitted Road

Yes, my knitted road. The Nemesis is coming along. I'm staying on task and working on it every day. As you can see, it is getting quite long. I can't even give myself the luxury of guesstimating on its completion. It may never be done. I could keep adding balls of yarn and going on forever. Yes, this project is turning into a Melodrama. Its a part of me now and I can't go anywhere without it. It causes me anxiety when I do. So I don't.

Its tech week in my house. The guys are in "Mr. Roberts" in Waterloo. Tech week can also be called 'hell week' for an actor. Every night at the theatre to run the play with all the bells and whistles and in this particular case, goats. My main job this week is making sure the guys have something ready to eat when they are ready to eat it and some snacks and drinks thrown in. It is nice to have one family member home during this time. Its extra hard when we are all in a show at the same time. But this time, I can help out when one of them calls ' I can't find my so-and-so! I was supposed to be on the road 5 minutes ago!' 3 months of rehearsals leading the way up to tonight and the 'I can't find my script anywhere' panic attack. (You'd think that after this long that they wouldn't need it anymore!) Ahhh, the storm. And then when they leave it is so quiet! So, so quiet. Just me and The Nemesis. I think I'll get in a few extra rows on him today. And maybe start something else tonight.

                                                       Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Friday, February 3, 2012

Having A Hey Day

Maybe I made typo. It should be "Hay Day". With the mild temps we have been having, it has made getting hay almost enjoyable. That smiling, farmer-guy is my hubby. It is hard for him to get the hay put away because as you can see, the girls are swarming him and getting a sample of it. It seems to pass their inspection!

I'm still working on my 'nemesis'. Every day, I work a little
on it before I start on anything else. I keep telling myself
how gorgeous it will be when completed. This is a close-up of the knitting to show you how small it is. I know I'm getting a little whiny about it, but --what is that? 6 rows to an inch?!! I'm thinking about making it into just a neck warmer instead of a scarf. The k1p1 is getting tedious on that pair of toothpicks. In the past week, I have finished two hats and two scarves in the same time frame I completed 8 inches on the nemesis. I wonder what I'll get done this next week? hmmm.............I need to put some mitts in the quilt shop. hmmm...................................

Talk to you soon,