Gracie is 1 of our 2 moscovi ducks we have here on the farm. They’re here for practical reasons. They eat a lot of ‘icky’ stuff that might end up making our alpacas sick. Think ticks, parasites, etc. So back to Gracie. I happened to look outside from our house (the dogs must have been barking at SOMETHING!). One of our neighbor’s dogs was up at the barn and decided to chase Gracie who opted to fly all the way down the hill and across the street in a different neighbors back yard (silly us, we thought we’d clipped her wings enough). Yard is really not the word for it. More like semi-controlled woods. So I’m walking fast across the street into the back yard in my flip flops, and worried that she’d be lost forever (this is the same duck that was stepped on, her leg broken,so we put a cast on it and kept her quiet for a couple of weeks). There I am, listening for any sound. Moscovi’s don’t quack so I wouldn’t be listening for that. However, I did here something moving, and low and behold, it was our little Gracie walking thru the woods!! Woohoo! Hmmmm. Now how do I get her back as I knew I wouldn’t ever be able to catch her with only flip flops on and in the semi wild woods. So, I just kept calling to her, and calling to her and she would walk towards me. Yep, she just walked. Apparently she only flies when she needs to. When she got to the street finally, she did decide to fly across. I was prepared to stop all traffic (there’s really no traffic on our road) but didn’t need to. It took about only 10 minutes in all, but felt much longer. Have you ever waited for a duck to walk back to your house?! It’s kinda slow going. So anyway, I finally got her back into the fenced in area where she joined her buddy Maya in the pond and probably said a great big, ‘Whew, what a day! Let me tell you about my great adventure!’
So it occurred to me that alpaca farmers all have quite a few things in common. Like, you know you’re an alpaca farmer if, you talk about poop a lot. Or you know the difference between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cut hay. You know what the word ‘noodling’ means. You think nothing of hanging out with 2 alpacas while they’re breeding and you even try to help it along (this part embarrasses teenagers). You start spitting back at them. The alpacas that is, not the teenagers. You check under the tail to see ‘how they’re hanging.’ You tell your family that you’ll be in the other room cushing for a while. You know what the word ‘pronking’ means. I could go on and on. Feel free to add your thoughts. Have fun and enjoy the pic of my cranky yankee bully alpha male Mikey.
Hi all. I want to tell you about a new friend of mine. Her name is Tricia and she lives just down the road. You want to know the really cool part?! She is a hand spinner and absolutely LOVES to spin wool and ALPACA fleece into yarn! Now the even cooler part is that we’re not exchanging any money!! What we’ve started doing is, I bring her fleece and she spins half of it the way I want it and keeps the other half for herself in payment! Very cool huh?! I got the idea from a facebook page called ‘Spin a Pound, Get a Pound,’ then found Tricia locally when she mentioned something at our small post office about spinning fleece. The postmaster then referred her to me. Yeah small towns! Tricia spins beautiful yarn and sells it on etsy. If you’re interested, you can reach her on facebook at ‘Spinning Wheel Studio.’ Her etsy shop is http://www.SpinningWheelStudio.etsy.com. She has great stuff. We have so many ideas and we’re only just beginning! I feel a song coming on. Have a great weekend all!
2 days of me away on a trip: done
warmer temps: done
snow melting: done
mud and alpaca poop mixing together: done
husband who helps you clean up with his tractor: priceless!
So today is Thanksgiving Day. Traditionally we have turkey, sweet potatoes, and watch our favorite football team play. For me that would be the New England Patriots. Here at Gilmanton Winery we’re serving Thanksgiving dinner to our customers then having our own later. I know it will be a great day. Pumpkin Martini’s don’t hurt either!
So anyway, I have this friend who has some serious health problems. A few of them in fact. She has always had such a positive outlook, and even humorous outlook, on her life. Thanks to Facebook we’ve reconnected. Yesterday she mentioned she was having a hard time finding something happy or positive. That’s pretty serious with her. She did manage, however, to point out a young girl who also had some health problems, which my friend thought was worse than hers. So all of this made me think that no matter what we’re going thru, it could be worse. I don’t mean to minimize anyone’s suffering but really, it could be worse. What if you had those same health problems in Haiti? Or what if you were a woman, a smart woman, who lived in a Shi’ite controlled country? With health problems? I’ve probably just inserted both feet in my mouth but I just wanted everyone here who happens to read my blog, to feel grateful today. Just for one day. And if you want to feel even better, do something for someone else. When you bless someone else, you bless yourself. So have a great day today and enjoy your family and friends. I will!! Thanks for reading.
No kidding. And no, I don’t mean Hillary Clinton’s book. I’m talking, well writing, about our little village here every Friday night and every Sunday morning. In order for myself, Marshall, and Ellie to make everyone comfortable and well fed it takes many people. To begin with, we need Marshall for his tasty wine, his smile, his stories, and his incredible work ethic. The man almost never sits still! Then there’s myself, Sunny. I do a lot of the behind the scenes stuff like moving the tables around, washing towels for the kitchen, cleaning, decorating,raising the alpacas, cleaning up after them (it’s a dirty job, but you know the rest), making the soy candles, knitting a few things to sell, and soon I’ll be making soap from our wine. I also have another full time job that provides us income to grow. And sometimes I even order Marshall to sit down and relax! Next we have Ellie. Our fabulous chef. Executive Chef. Great friend. I swear, her food is what keeps bringing people back. If you haven’t had the chance to try her food you really need to pop on over. But it’s not just her food, it’s her smile and her OCD-ness about her food. She’s also a musician. She not only sings (sometimes just after serving the entree Friday nights), she also composes. She composed and sang our jingle that you may have heard on the radio. After Ellie, I need to bring up my sister Karen. You might not always see her when you’re here but if you’ve called to make a reservation you’ve talked to her. It’s awesome that Marshall and I can just ignore the phone ringing since we’re usually doing other things. Karen also takes care of washing all of our napkins, then folding and rolling the silverware, and setting the tables. The 4 of us also live together here and really enjoy each others company. Well, so maybe Marshall gets a little tired of all the females. Oh well. It doesn’t have to be a happy village all the time right? Then we have Christina England who is Ellie’s fabulous assistant. She always has a bright smile on her face and loves to learn the ropes from Ellie. On to Michael Murphy. Yep, That would be Ellie’s son. He’s 15 and he’s a hard worker and always seems to know what his mom needs. His younger brother, Nick, can tell you anything you want to know about my alpacas! And he’s only 10! And we can’t work without our wait staff and dishwashers. Nancy Hamilton is relatively new to us and is such a hard worker, quick waitress, and friend. Mickey Sharon is our newest waitress who’s a quick learner and comes in to clean up after all of us. Nancy’s son, Monty, and Erin, a friend of Ellie’s, are our dishwashers. We LOVE it when they’re here. That means we get done a lot earlier. Then we have quite a few friends, like Eric and his daughter Staci, who help just to help, expecting nothing in return. Well, maybe a free meal or bottle of wine.
That is actually a facebook page. The whole name is ‘Spin a Pound, Get a Pound.’ What it does is pull together the fiber producers (that’s me) and handspinners. It’s my new favorite thing. I have 3 spinners who will be taking 1 fleece at a time and spinning it for me. Say I send them 2 lbs. of fleece. They spin both lbs. but only send back 1 lb. We both get something we want w/o having to exchange money! I love it! I’ll have to post when I get the yarn back. So the past 2 days (I’m not that quick at skirting a fleece) I skirted, or cleaned, 2 fleece. One belongs to Merlin and the other Skye. Merlin is a rose gray and I can’t wait to see how she spins it. It will have a much more personal, and I believe, prettier, appearance than if a mill had done it. Skye is a bay black, black that tips out brown, and his should end up a shiny charcoal gray. Can’t wait!! The third fleece will go to a fiber friend who has spun and dyed for me before. I’ll probably send him a white fleece. He always does a fantastic job and knows what I like. So, when I get them back I’ll post a pic. Have a great summer day!