Monday, December 28, 2009

My baby boy, Dominic

The holidays were awesome, as usual in our family. Two new babies shared their "first Christmas" at the farm. Jack Dean and Isabella dressed in snowsuits, literally.

My baby boy, Dominic, was home from Nashville, TN for Christmas. He moved to Nashville several years ago, and is working hard at his craft: writing and producing and performing original music.

He played at Friday's South in Belleville, IL while here. He's really, really talented and his music is wonderful to hear. Check him out on If you're in Nashville, check out one of his local shows.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

St. Nicholas parade

One of my favorite parades for walking llamas

and alpacas is the annual St. Nicholas Parade in Millstadt. It is about 6 blocks long -- the weather is cold and crisp -- it's nearly perfect.

This year I was ambitious and loaded up 9 animals to walk in the parade. After all -- I had lined up plenty of help. Yeah, right.

Due to circumstances, most of the folks who said they would lend a hand, were unable to be there.

So here we are at the parade -- Amanda, Rebecca, Ben and I -- with NINE llamas and alpacas to walk. Yikes! What to do? No worries. There was a lovely Girl Scout Troop (Millstadt Troop 299) standing ready to lend a hand.

I asked for their assistance and they jumped right in. So all was well.

I'm including some more pix of the scouts w/critters. Thank you to the Girl Scouts.

Cotton crocheted caps

Sunday we celebrated the arrival of Santa Claus at Clinton Manor Living Center, New Baden. Our daughter, Coreen lives there.

They had a ladies quartet to entertain us; delicious appetizers for all; and good company. My 88-year-old mom is there temporarily -- recuperating from a fall -- and a broken arm.

I purchased these wonderful cotton crocheted caps from Patty Bearth of Bearkamp Farm. Patty did a super duper job of crocheting them in a variety of colors. And they look so "Romeo and Juliette-esque" on such beautiful young girls (with their perfect skin and unwrinkled faces).

At far right are three of my nieces -- Sophia, Mariah and Natalie.

And then there's Sophia with our granddaughter, Brianna.

Could they BE any cuter? I don't think so. Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A team holiday photo

I have several "metal alpacas" in the yard. They came from Joe Stock, of PTL Manufacturing. In the summer they stand in front of a cart or surrey-type contraption.

But it's Christmas time.

So now they are pulling a sleigh over the grass. The A-team: Alex, Ashley, Amy, Andrew (our grandkids) posed yelling "yeeeeeeee - hawwwwww!"

What fun to pretend to be raising across the sky with Santa's reindeer. Oh to be a kid again.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

St. Nicholas parade

Today was the Millstadt St. Nicholas Parade. What fun!

I took 9 llamas and alpacas to the parade -- but there were only four of us -- so we had a problem. Luckily Millstadt Girl Scout Troop 299 came to the rescue.

The girls were more than willing to pass out candy and out fiber bags -- plus some of them even walked an animal. Very, very helpful.

Ben was a big helper, as usual, walking his favorite llama, Amanda. She is a treasure on our farm -- and will be 20 later in 2010. What a great girl.
And a big thanks to Rebecca and Amanda -- my "standard" volunteers -- who are anything but "standard."

Here are a few more pix from the event.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bella's alpaca blanket

Isabella Garrity Riesing came into the world on Nov. 28th at 5:01 a.m. at St. John's Mercy Hospital in St. Louis.

I have been working on an alpaca throw since February 2009. I finally finished it and took it off of the tri-loom yesterday. A little slow, wouldn't you say?

Nevertheless -- Bella was wrapped in the alpaca blanket and slept "like a baby." It is a lovely grey and white creation -- courtesy of our Tonka, a silver grey male alpaca; and Maggie O'Brien, a white female alpaca. Both "donated" their fiber for the throw.

I say "thanks" to the folks who spun the fiber into yarn for me in exchange for free fiber of their own. Great job.