Friday, January 30, 2009

Organic Skin Care

I've had very oily skin for most of my life, and I mean very oily. A few years ago that changed & it is so nice not to have a grease slick on my face anymore. So now, I need to use a moisturizer in the winter. Never had to worry about that before. I discovered a few years back a great little home business called Greenridge Herbals. They make all organic skin care products. They have grown over the years & moved to Florida. I had been interested in trying some of her products & finally did last year. I ordered a "Pumpkin Face Cream" which I like. The only thing is living in a cold climate, in the winter it stays solid. So I just have to rub my fingers in it until some melts & I can rub it on my face. I then ordered her "Face Petals Brightening Scrub". This one I really love. It has tiny jojoba beads for the exfolient. A tiny bit goes a long way so this will last a long time. She has so many enticing products, I will be trying out more of them. If you are interested in checking them out, hop on over to Just thought I would share that.......

I made some peanut butter doggie treats last weekend. Odd thing......Ben liked them the day that I made them but ever since, he has no interest in them & won't even take it out of my hand. He takes a quick sniff, then snubs it and turns around and walks off. Sadie still loves them though.........and I used the crunchy peanut butter, too!!

Well, I have to go watch the second part of "Wuthering Heights" on PBS, Masterpiece Classics (the new 2009 version).....for the third time. I am so addicted to that movie!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Diary of a Snow Shoveler

December 8 - 6:00 PM
It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9
We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had! Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life!

December 12
The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment! My neighbor tells me not to worry- we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man, I'm glad he's our neighbor.

December 14
Snow, lovely snow! 8 inches last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish l wouldn't huff and puff so.

December 15
20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.

December 16
Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17
Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. God I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20
Electricity's back on, but had another 14 inches of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling! Took all day. The damn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.

December 22
Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white sh*t fell today, and it's so cold, it probably won't melt 'til August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again. I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter, but he says he's too busy. I think the *sshole is lying.

December 23
Only 2 inches of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What, is she nuts?!! Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she's lying.

December 24
6 inches - Snow packed so hard by snowplow, l broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son of a bitch who drives that snow plow, I'll drag him through the snow by his balls and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the damn snowplow.

December 25
Merry f---ing Christmas! 20 more inches of the damn slop tonight - Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. God, I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's a fricking idiot. If I have to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to stuff her into the microwave.

December 26
Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.

December 27
Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze; plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him, he only charged me $1,400 to replace all my pipes.

December 28
Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. The BITCH is driving me crazy!!!

December 29
10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30
Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver, and now he is suing me for a million dollars, not only the beating I gave him, but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up his *ss. The wife went home to her mother. Nine more inches predicted.

December 31
I set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8
Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stormy Sunday

Today we are getting 8-12" of snow. Lucky for me.....I was just starting to feel out of shape. Now I can go snowblow, shovel & roof rake all evening long & be too tired to get up in the morning. Hubby had to go do a magic show & got stuck trying to get out of the driveway so I had to go help. I think I pulled something trying to push him out. Kitty litter does the trick though, just as long as you aren't stingy with it & put plenty down. You might have to apply it at least twice or more.

So while I pass the time until I can go out & work my butt off, I made some raspberry scones this morning for breakfast. I love scones & I love making them. Yesterday morning I made blueberry ones. I wrap them individually & put them in the freezer. Then in the mornings I take one out & by time I get to work it's all thawed. I recycle & reuse the wrappings also. I'm big on recycling. The blueberries are wild & the raspberries are from my parent's huge raspberry patch. They are both picked by my Mom & Dad up in Northern Maine.


And I did some spinning. This is a blend of my Nevis' seconds & red merino. I thought I would try an odd color combo & see how it came out as Nevis is a tan alpaca. I'm not crazy over the color myself so after I spin it I'm going to overdye it but it is a joy to spin. It looks fine in the pictures, like a soft pink but in person it looks like a dirty pink.

Ben vomited some bile this afternoon so he had to have a bath. It gets on the hair around is mouth & holy cow does he stink! Sadie likes to try & lick the water coming out of the sprayer while I'm bathing him.

Boy if looks could kill.

Poor Sadie has had cabin fever as it has been too cold lately for her to stay out very long. She is good at entertaining herself & playing alone.

I caught some action photos of her. She would run around the other side of the barn & come flying back out again like some imaginary playmate was chasing her. She will get all that energy burned off this evening when she goes out with us to clear snow.

I was determined to get some goat milk soap made this weekend. I used fresh goat's milk this time instead of the canned I have always used in the past. That is why it is lemon yellow in color. No, it's not going to stay that color. This is a small batch of spearmint. I hope to get a batch made next weekend, too. I would have made a bigger batch but didn't have enough goat's milk.

Yesterday I went to see my friend Debbie at her shop in Limerick She made up a tea blend for me to see if it will help with my migraines. She told me that the Chinese believe that the liver is the cause of migraines. I found this very interesting & am going to research it. I am determined to find the cause of my migraines & put an end to them. If the liver is "out of balance" or overloaded with toxins or something that it can't filter & flush out properly, the result is a migraine. A liver detox may be in order. So anyone who suffers from migraines, I would recommend looking into this. What have you got to loose but your migraines?
Oh, and for anyone wondering, Chistopher is back to himself now, kicking up his heels at grain time. He is so funny.
Well, better go start on the snowblowing so hubby can get back in the driveway. TTFN.

Friday, January 16, 2009


-35F this morning at my house here in southern Maine. Frozen pipes, car sounds like it's going to blow a piston. (sigh) So, needless to say, I'm not making it into work this morning.

I took some video with my new camera & tried to upload it this morning while waiting for the pipes to thaw (which they haven't yet) & it was taking over an hour I think so I canceled it. I don't know if it's normal to take that long?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Christopher Update

Christopher is doing much better. He is not quite himself but I haven't seen him loose his balance since Monday night. I will continue to observe him. Hopefully he gets back to normal in a few days after the last of his meds are done.

I got a new camera which I just LOVE. It is a Canon Powershot A590IS. I wanted a smaller point & shoot camera of my own that I could take with me all the time so I found an article online from PC World on the Top 10 Point & Shoot Cameras. This one was at the top of the list. It was a great price for 8.0 megapixels and 4X zoom AND it was on sale at Sears! So I have been playing with it and I am very, very happy with it. Here are some playing around shots.

I love standing way back & looking into the barn at night. I love the cozy glow & watching the animals all content inside.


Sunday, January 11, 2009


We didn't go snow shoeing today as it was too cold & windy. It was 9 degrees when I did chores this morning. I took this picture at the end of the snow storm so it wasn't snowing very hard in this pic.

Christopher was doing better this morning, however, when he walked he kept his back legs apart. I think it is probably a combination of trying to stay balanced and a little of being stiff from the cold & getting so many shots in his hiny. This evening when I was getting their grain, I didn't see what happened because my back was turned dishing out grain but I think one of the other alpacas may have bumped him & he lost his balance and fell down. So he still has a good amount of recuperating to do. Poor guy.

One of Sadie's favorite spots. Right in front of the pellet stove.

I'm wiped out from snowblowing and shoveling all the snow away from the side of my barn.

Sick Alpaca

Saturday morning when I got up & came downstairs, when I looked out the window, Christopher Gold was laying right outside the doorway of the barn, right next to a manure pile. I instantly new something was wrong because they never lay there. After 5 seconds of watching him, I could see his head was shaking & bobbing around like he had no control over it & he kept lowering his head like he needed to lay it on the ground. I immediately called the vet & luckily she was already on her way to the town next door to me for another emergency call but could be here in an hour. I then called my good friend Marcia who is very knowledgable as she has an alpaca breeding farm. She always makes me feel better & helps calm me down.

When he stood up, it was like he was drunk. He was trembling in his limbs & appeared quite dizzy. He would loose his balance & fall.

When I fed everyone their grain while waiting for the vet, he managed his way over & as soon as he did the poor thing fell & hit his mouth on the pen panel. It looked like a blood waterfall coming out of his mouth. I know it was because it was combined with drool, but it looked terrible. In this picture he looked better as it was about 20 min. after he hit his mouth. I felt so bad for him. He tried so hard to make it to the feeder & when he did he couldn't even stay standing up.

My vet said she hadn't seen anything quite like it. The symptoms didn't quite fit any known problem as he was lacking certain symptoms that should be present for certain illnesses. He would seem a little better & in a few minutes he would get worse with a dizzy spell. You could see it coming on. It came in waves every few minutes.

These were the possible causes we were thinking:

1. Thiamine deficiency - This fit the best but he didn't appear to be blinded. With thiamine deficiency, it blinds them. I am thinking though, maybe that just hadn't set in yet. When my vet did the light test on his eyes, there wasn't any reaction from his pupils.

2. Meningeal Worm - But this didn't quite fit because of the shaking & bobbing of the head. With meningeal worm, he wouldn't have this and he was able get up fine from a cushing position. Also, when we put food or water in front of him, sometimes he had a little interest, sometime none at all. With meningeal worm, he would still want to eat. This also didn't fit well because I have been giving them their wormer right up until a month an a half ago.

3. Bacterial Infection.

4. Rabies - Rabies infected animals are afraid of water. But no animals get inside the pasture so I really didn't think this was an issue. This seemed a remote possibility.

She mentioned a few others but they were kind of remote possibilities also.

When she left at 2:00, he didn't seem any better. I had some lunch & went back out to check on him. I had to make him get up every so often so his temp wouldn't go down too low & so his joints wouldn't get stiff (he didn't have a fever & his gum color was good). I also needed to keep offering him food & water & observe his progress. So, when I went back out after having some lunch, he was a little better. BIG sigh of relief! He ate 1 cup of grain & then went over & had some small bites of hay out of the feeder. The drunkenness appeared to be lessened also & I didn't witness another "wave". By supper time he had improved even more. Even less drunkenness, although he still got dizzy & lost his balance sometimes when he turned his head. He went right over to the grain buckets for supper & ate a good supper, then went to the hay feeder & was taking larger mouthfuls of hay. He was also acting more normal, like he was feeling better.

So my vet called me later in the evening to check up on him. We are thinking it's probably the thiamine deficiency. It's not known why this happens. He'll get a thiamine shot & a penicillin shot twice a day for the next 3 days. BIG sigh of relief. I have not been out yet this morning. I am expecting he is doing even better. I hope. I drug my hubby out at 9:00 last night to hold him so I could give him his shots. (This spring we'll get my chute moved inside the barn so I won't need someone to hold them for shots & toenails.)

Boy, it is so stressful to see them like that. You don't know what's wrong, you don't know if they're going to die before the vet gets there. You just want to fix it & make it stop. It is so calming though when your vet calls you right back & then when you know they are on their way & when they are already close by.....even better. She lives, I dont' know, like an hour and a half away probably? So, it was calming that she was already nearby.

I will probably post again this evening to give his progress. Also, we are getting a snow storm right now & we wanted to go snowshoeing today so I will take some pics.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christmas gifts, Bunnies in hayfeeders

Well, now I can show what I was working on before Christmas. I made 5 pair of alpaca/merino socks for Christmas gifts. One pair was for myself. They are nice & toasy warm. I have mine on right now. I like making socks, I think it's fun. I hope everyone that got a pair likes them.

I got my hubby snow shoes from LL Bean for Christmas. I already had a pair so we went snowshoeing last Sunday & of course I forgot to take the camera. We saw lots of tracks. Mostly fox & rabbit. We took Sadie with us, she loved it. We are planning of going again this weekend so I will be sure to take the camera this time.

Sunday afternoon I let the dogs come out into the big pasture. Sadie wanted Ben to play.

Ben thought she was irritating.
So he tried to ignore her.

The alpacas kept an eye on them.

Sometimes I like to put one of the bunnies in the alpaca's hayfeeder. Tonight was Gus' turn.

Here he is arranging pieces of hay the way he thinks they should be. Hay has a special way it is to be arranged you know. You take one piece at a time until you have a little bundle in your mouth......and then you go put it in the other corner. And if someone should move any of it or mess it up in any way, then you hop right over and act all disgusted & put it back the way it was. That's the way you arrange hay (according to Gus).

Casey says TTFN.