Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Naked Girls Gone Wild

We got a phone call around dinnertime the other night that there were naked girls running around everywhere up the road... naked (freshly-shorn) alpaca girls, that is! Someone left a gate open, and there were about 45 loose alpacas running to and fro having the time of their lives. On Monday night we finished the shearing of 112 alpacas at 9:30 PM, phew! (I'm trying to update the farm site with more details). The animals always seem to feel great after losing 4-10 pounds of fleece, and they took full advantage of their freedom. Normally, they stay fairly close as a herd but this time they split into about 4 groups- one stayed and flirted with the boys, one went gallavanting across an open, unfenced field, and another walked down to check out the other barn. Our farm is very open and stretched out, so we were just grateful that someone noticed before they wandered up the road!
hat do we do when such a thing happens? Fortunately, there were three of us to herd them up. It usually just takes a few good shakes of the feed bucket and calls from the barn and they come running, so we had them all back in place in less than 10 minutes. We all need a little bit of excitement from time to time, right?
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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Springtime Harvest

Before

I've been busy preparing for the arrival of our alpaca shearing crew- for details, check it out on my other blog, http://www.seldomscenefarm.blogspot.com/ .

After

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fun Son and Darling Daughter!

Forgive my recent lack of blogging, I don't know where the time has been going lately!!! I'm in a completely different mode now that it's spring, a good mode, but really busy. Paul has been in China, which has meant lots of running/taxiing for me. We're all missing him and will be SOOO glad when he's back here at Seldom Scene.

I've enjoyed the extra car time I've had with Robert, who normally dashes in and out of the house during the week now that he has lacrosse after school. It's fun to rediscover how great your kids are from time to time, and he is a REALLY good one (very fun, too!) We stopped for ice cream at my favorite haunt, Wallace Station, the other day.
video
After that, he played a little bit of, "look at me, Mom, take my picture, Mom", while on his dirt bike. Motorcycles aren't something that I was raised around (my mom still abhors them to this day), but I think there's some benefit in it for young country boys, especially. (This is only about a 4 second video- take a look! I made it with my tiny Flip Mino video camera).
I've found a bit more time to sew, and my new hobby is coming right along! I made these purses (Lazy Girl Runaround Bag pattern), the pink and brown one for Mirian and the blue for myself. Rather proud of myself, I am!
The pocket on Mirian's ended up on the front rather than the back, but she likes it that way- sometimes mistakes happen for a reason, ya know? I even learned how to put in a zipper, a very easy skill which I wish I'd learned a long time ago! Wow, pretty and bright fabric, where have you been all my life?
(Fabric on the bottom of the left purse is from Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks line).
Even better, I got Mirian started on using our simple little sewing machine. Just showing her the basics was perfect, as she used her own imagination and crafted a tiny "purse" and a bootie for our cat, Sushi! She is one creative girl!
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring has sprung!





I love this time of year, and have been a bit busy for much blogging! We had our first show of the weekend in Columbus- it was a big success for us and a lot of fun as well! As always, I came home really, really tired am just now getting back on track. It's an A+++ day outside and I'm getting ready to go ride, so here are a few quick pictures:
Big Brown and Jenny by our farm display.




The blush of green that absolutely nourishes my soul this time of year!

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So many things were swirling around in my mind yesterday as I thought about my late brother Mike on the 2 year anniversary of his accident. It was an emotional day, but better than last year, and I was able to feel a little more serendipity and less sorrow this time.

Because Mike was so much in the forefront of my thoughts, everything I heard or experienced seemed to be tied to him.... a discussion on the radio with this quote from scripture, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." True. Our new farm manager's recent suggestion that we name an especially lively cria "Carpe Diem" (Seize the Day), which was the name of my brother's farm and one of his mottoes. (It was also mentioned in the end of a great book I just finished yesterday, ironically).

My Mom and I talked about how Mike loved nature, and it was easy to feel him close on such a beautiful, warm day. He could catch a snake or turtle like no other when he was young, and he loved all animals. Last year on this day we had an alpaca cria born through a very tough, vet-assisted breech birth. The cria wasn't breathing at first, and I swear I felt the presence of my brother breathe life back into that baby.

When I was walking down to the garden last night, I pondered about how Mike has shown himself to me a few times since his death, once when I saw him walking in to my Dad's 80th birthday party and another time through our dog Munchie when he was playing especially fiercely. I know, that's really weird but it made me laugh at the time, which I think was his point! I kid you not, at just that moment when I was reminiscing, a tree that had been hanging precariously since the ice storm fell loudly and startled both the horses and myself. Yeah, Mike, we know you're there! (Mike had a quiet, gentle side, but as a second degree blackbelt he also had those passionate bursts of energy and a great sense of humor!)

Although I have only "seen" Mike a few times since he left us, I have felt his presence with me on countless occasions. As I planted seeds last night, I felt him watching over my shoulder. I thought about how my Dad's mother's grave had a plaque that with this poem,



The kiss of the sun for pardon,

the song of the birds for mirth

One is nearer God's heart in a garden

than anywhere else on earth.
I know that Mike is with God, and God is with me, so we are still together. I feel him especially strongly when I'm with my sweet niece, Lauren, or anytime our family is gathered together.
I thought of Mike when I read a recent letter to our congregation from our minister. In talking about current times, he asked that people "strive to be kinder than necessary. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle." Grieving the sudden loss of a family member was one of the hardest things I've experienced, yet everyday I probably cross paths with someone who is going through that or something else equally as difficult. I need to work on being more kind.
This has been a hodge-podge of my thoughts, I shall now move on, count my many blessings and Seize the Day!
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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Like a bee to a bloom?

I have been drawn to bright colors lately, the same way the honeybees were in a frenzy around the crocuses that had popped up in our yard. (Can you see the pollen on the one bee's back- I wonder how far the hive is to which he'll carry it?). We all seem to need a little extra color this time of year. The brightness of the purple against brown soil and dull leaves truly warmed the cockles of my heart, and it soared even higher when I spotted a few daffodils actually blooming this morning! One of the best investments I ever made in time (and money) was planting hundreds of daffodil bulbs around our property, beginning many years ago. They spread a little every year, and give me immeasurable joy.
The crocuses were planted by a woman who lived here and "nannied" for Robert for a short while about 14 years ago, when he was a baby (I couldn't handle that for long, and finally found a way to quit work and stay at home with Robert). She put out just a few bulbs one fall, and every spring I am reminded of her as the crocuses have spread to completely new areas of the yard. I always imagine that many decades will pass and someone may wonder about who planted my daffodils? Hopefully, someone will still be enjoying them into the next century! Perhaps it will even be grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Whomever it may be, I hope that they treasure this piece of heaven as much as we do!
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Thursday, March 5, 2009

What is my medium?

I have become obsessed and sidelined with yet another new hobby... sewing and the bright and lovely fabrics that go along with it (a few of my first feeble projects are shown here). But before I get further into that, I have been musing about something else. Just what IS my medium?
I know that to some, it appears that I flit from one thing to the next (this loco blog certainly isn't about any one thing!) At times, I'm cranking out the handknits (though I have big boxes of unfinished objects- UFO's). Then I'm talking about mixed media art, raising alpacas, digital scrapbooking, gardening, motherhood, felting, cooking, and now... sewing? Am I simply one of those craft-supply and book collectors? (Well, I am but I really DO use things, she says to justify it!) And how, you might ask, do I have time to run a farm, do all this crafting and be a parent and wife?
Becoming part of the "blogging community" has led me to reading about so many interesting people making and doing beautiful things, that I can't help but be inspired. It's only natural that reading about dynamic and creative people doing a variety of things would stimulate my own desire to learn those skills as well. Feeling inspired gives me the energy to do the things that are the major part of my life... having a family and running a farm.

So, I'm perfectly justified in wanting to be a sewer now since I have Anna Maria Horner's book, Seams to Me and Alicia Paulson's book, Stitched in Time. ... right? I was telling Mirian about how my mom tried so hard to get me to sew when I was young and even bought me a very nice used sewing machine, but I just wasn't interested (the same goes for cooking). As I encourage Miran, she now reminds me of that and says, "I'll do it when I'm ready, Mom", and I know she's right.

Being a mom is number one on my list, but there is just too much personal stuff there to write much about here. On the other hand, I can gush about my other passions and I appreciate you coming along with me. I guess I don't have A medium- I am rediscovering just how good any kind of creating makes me feel.
(P.S. This is my $50 Janome "Sew Mini" machine- it works great, has several decent options, and paid for itself immediately when I bought it a few years ago to make curtains for the skylights in Mirian's room). Pin It Now!