Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow, Snow, Snow

Well, last Friday night we had a big snowstorm & yesterday we had another even bigger one, one of our famous "Nor' Easters". I think I'm having de'javue.........wasn't it just last winter that we had a snow storm every couple of days, literally, all winter long? Call me paranoid, but I think this winter is off to a good start of following last winter's storm pattern. I think we have enough now. We don't need any more at our house. If someone delivers more to our house, I'm going to return it. Don't get me wrong, I like winter...... but....... snowblowing, shoveling & roof raking every couple of days is dang tiring!

The 'pacas were all snug in their barn.

We were snug in the house with all our beautiful Christmas decorations.

Then when the first storm was over, Dreamy was the first to venture out & check out the new blanket of snow.

Then Christopher had a roll in the fresh white stuff, then back in side for a taste of hay.

.......and we have 2 more baby doves from the same pair that just had a baby. The white dove feeding the babes is the father. The gray one on the left is their sibling that I posted baby pics of a few posts back. Yup, that's him/her......all growed up! Two days ago, I peeked in on them. My husband had taken the father on a magic show. The mother (who is gray) needed to eat & drink but Papa was not home. So older brother/sister actually babysat while Mama got off them to replenish herself! I couldn't believe it! It was so cool to watch!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Mish Mosh Monday

I almost forgot to take pictures of my handwoven waffle weave towels after they were all finished & bundled with a bar of my handmade soap, all ready for sale. I had already sold 3 so these are the other 5. I am anxious to get more done over the next year for the next holiday season's craft fairs. They make wonderful gifts. All handmade & made in Maine.

Here is a current pic of the baby dove. They grow unbelievable fast. It is about 2 weeks old here I think. It is already sitting up on the edge of the nest box & the parents aren't sitting on him/her so much even though it's been REALLY cold here lately. We don't know how to tell male from female doves. We just wait & see if they lay eggs or not. :o)

We got my BIG bunny hutch moved in the new barn this weekend. I was so glad to get that done. I was having to hold a flashlight & try to pour grain & change water & it was just a big pain in the a$$.

I keep thinking about what I would like to do when my job ends next March. I really would like to start my own business but man that's scary when you've always had a steady paycheck & benefits. I just don't know. At least I've got some time to think about it.

We went to LL Bean this weekend so I could get some new shoes. I ended up not buying anything & hubby who was just along for the ride ended up buying shoes. It was kinda funny, I made the special trip to LL Bean with the intention of buying their closed back clogs because they were cheaper than the Dansko & I figured just as good. As I was walking around in them to see how they felt, this woman jumped up from trying on her shoes & wispered in my ear, "Don't buy those, buy the Dansko." I was kinda on the fence about the Bean ones because there was a piece that was hard & kinda hurt my foot. So I decided to spend the extra & get the Dansko ones. Luckily, JL Coombs was down the street so I went home very happy with my new Dansko closed back clogs.

Sadie & Oreo are making sure that Ben eats all of his supper & they won't have to clean up after him. Oreo will stick his head in every now & then & steal a kibble. Sadie will wait (she' been trained well) & wash the bowl when Ben is all done. Sadie's a good dish washer.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bad News

Well, last week I missed a few days of work because of a migraine. Monday morning when I returned to work I found out that I missed a very important meeting Friday. All of our accounting department is being moved to Tampa, FL. I was in shock the whole day. I was perfectly happy where I was & don't want to have to start all over again someplace else,....low man on the totem pole, too. But, since there is nothing I can do about it, I'll have to look at it as maybe it will be a good thing. I might have to go into another field if I can't find a job doing the same thing. The catch is, I have until the end of March 2009 (some have only until December 31, 2008) & if I don't stay until they no longer need me, I loose my serverance pay. I want that severance! I've been there almost 10 years & I feel I deserve it. (and I was about to get 4 weeks of vacation!) Well, nothing I can do about it. I just hope I find a job I will like & be just as happy in & that it comes along the beginning of April! It's scary to think of going without medical coverage. COBRA cost an arm & a leg & Dirigo Health is closed to new clients. Of course, my husband is self employed so the weight is on me to provide health insureance. Great economy to be losing your job in.

Well, enough of that. Casey says "Aw, don't worry about it, just kick back & take life easy like I do. Worrying won't fix it."

We have a new baby dove. My husband wants white babies but this one is going to be Gray. It's about a week old here.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Apple Picking & a Finished Barn (almost)

My parents came to visit & we went apple picking. We went to two different orchards this year. We bought apples & cider & cider donuts & pears. It was a beautiful day.

Dad using an apple picker.

They had a live blue grass band & a strolling puppeteer.

The foliage was at it's peak.

So. The barn is just about finished. It is usable but just needs some finishing work done. This is not the final doorway. It will be bigger when we tuck it in around the door frame; then I can use the overhead steel door. It's really big!

We were able to go get pen panels & install them to separate the hay. The installation was perfect because we had left over hardware from the barn that worked perfectly to attach the panels to the hoops. Hopefully we can move the hay in this Sunday. Yahoo!!! No more messing with that pain in the butt hay tarp! Although it has served its purpose, it didn't do it's job so well last year. The water leaked through a lot.

We were surprised how light it was inside on an overcast day. The skylight really does let plenty of light in. We moved the alpacas hay feeder inside & tonight we moved one of the bunny hutches in. The big HEAVY bunny hutch will have to wait for another day. We've got to figure out how to attach the alpaca grain dishes to the pen panel. So soon, everything & everyone will be inside.

I've been bringing in totes of maple leaves for the alpacas to eat. They like them. I dumped several totes full on the floor tonight so they could lay & roll in them. They love that since they rarely have any tall grass to roll in which they also love.

This was my new little sugar maple tree about a week or more ago. I am so happy with it, it turned beautiful shades of orange which gave a nice splash of color to our back yard. I will enjoy watching it grow.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A little more progress.....

I took today off to get more work done on the barn. We're getting rain tomorrow, all day Saturday & half of Sunday. I was hoping to work on it all day Sunday & be ready to put the tarps on Tuesday as my hubby is working pretty much all weekend every weekend now so I am getting anxious now we are running out of time. It's going to have to be weekdays now, I'll just have to take more days off to get it done. We're supposed to be getting work done on the house before winter, too! We worked on the end walls today. The front wall is now ready for the canvas & hopefully Sunday we can get the other end wall done & ready for the canvas, too. Then the main canvas can go on.

I have some Christmas towels on my loom now. I just started so I have to get busy to get them done before my holiday craft shows in November.

Oh, I forgot to write a few weeks ago about going to see Cirque du Soleil in Boston. The show was called "Kooza" & it was awesome. If you have never seen a Cirque du Soleil show, I highly recommend it. This is my third show. I saw "Mystere" in Las Vegas and "Corteo" in Boston. They are top of the line entertainment. Click on the link below to see the trailer for the show.

Ahhhh, fall is here. I love fall. It is my favorite time of year. It's nice & cool, the flies are gone, the leaves turn color, soups & baking are on the menu & the festive holiday season is coming. I just love it. It could have something to do with the fact that I was born in late September so I kinda thinks it's "my" season. ;o)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

An Old Fashioned Barn Raising......

So here is the beginning of the raising of my "barn", after hubby & I leveled the ground which was a LOT of work even though it was pretty level to being with. We got the boards down & level. My brother & two nephews came to help. Here we are working on putting up the hoops.

Two more hoops to go!

And the final hoop is done.
We were all exhausted. We had boiled dinner for supper that I had in the crock pots all day & coconut cream pie. Poor hubby had to go work until 11:00ish! The rest of us went to bed.

My brother & hubby were up and outside at 6:30am the next morning to get the door up before my brother had to leave.

And it's up!

Now, it will be a little slower going to finish it since it will be me & hubby only working on it now. The most part is done so the rest will go quicker than it did thus far since this part took a lot of level & measurement checking. We will need to recruit some help though to put on the main tarp. My brother doesn't live locally so he probably won't be able to help finish it. But, it's almost there! I am so happy & appreciative of every one's help.

Dreamy here is in the hay feeder per usual.

Here is the new look for my soaps. I had to redo my packaging as my supplier for the mulberry paper went out of business & I have not been able to find it anywhere else, not even on line. It was too expensive & very time consuming to wrap anyways, even though it did look really good & I got tons of compliments on the packaging. I like having it easier & more economical, especially now that cost of the ingredients are sky rocketing. Essential oils have gone through the roof! But anyways, here's the new packaging, I hope everyone likes it.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Preparing for Winter

Well, I got my winter's hay delivered. Nine monster bales that weigh almost 1000lbs. each. It took three of us & we could barely roll one of them. I ended up calling my neighbor & he came over with his little John Deere tractor & pushed them into place for us. We still had to roll them off the truck. Wayne, my poor hay deliverer, he probably won't want to deliver hay to me again! :o) I won't be rolling these around when I need to get a new one out. need for me to worry about that anymore!...........

I am sooooooo excited........I am getting a new "barn". It's actually a storage tent but it is very big, 26'X12'X48' and sturdy & that's what it's going to be is my barn so that's what I'm calling it. As my brother said, it's the "New Age" barn. You can have it much quicker than building a structure, it's much cheaper and you don't have to get the town's approval or pay taxes on it.......because it's a tent. This is going to make everything sooooo much easier for me, especially in the winter. I will have enough room to store all of my hay and plenty of room for the alpacas, their hay feeder, my chute, bunny hutches & still have extra room. It should be here & set up in two weeks. My wonderful brother is going to come down from a couple of hours north & help us put it together. I am just so excited! I tried to post a picture from the website but it didn't work. I will be posting pics when it's here & assembled anyways.

This is Gus. I put him inside the fencing around my new maple tree so he could run around. Sadie wanted to play with him.

This guinea hen was roosting on the top of the aviary which has slippery plastic roofing. Didn't look very comfortable to me, but he stayed there for quite a while.

Sadie with her collar on for when she's a naughty girl & chases the ducks & guinea hens. She was eyeing Gus hopping around the maple tree. She knew she couldn't have him, but ooohhh, mama if I could just play with him for a little while, I promise I'll go easy. Yeah, right.

That adorable face doesn't fool me.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Sun!!!!!

Wholly crap, the sun came out! It's actually summer again! The boys were loving it as you can see. They all headed out to the back pasture.



Christopher enjoying a good roll.

I'm almost done the kitchen hand towels that are on my loom. I'm currently doing waffle weave. I have probably enough warp to do two more towels. I am anxious to get them done, off the loom & finished to see how they look. I did a two color stripe pattern at both ends of each towel.

I got some peaches today from a very generous friend's tree. I was so excited, this is the first year I've ever gotten local peaches. I made some jam today, also the first time I've made peach jam. I like that you don't really need to use any sugar because they are naturally so sweet. These still needed to ripen just a tad more so I did add a little sugar. It came out wonderfully! It was a very small batch so I will make a double batch tomorrow night after work. I just need to get some more jars. Don't they look delicious!

I also made Rosemary-Mint goat's milk soap today. I love the beautiful creamy tan color that goat's milk turns. I like to watch it as it sets up. My regular non milk soaps have to be covered up with a wool blanket so I don't get to watch to process with that kind. Goat's milk soap is soooo creamy.

Casey, my creampoint himalayan says goodnight. We are exhausted & I have to get up at 4:45am.