Sunday, April 25, 2010

The definition of cute -- and boys will be helpers

Okay. I HAD to show off my Eagle Eye, little alpaca female.
She is the very definition of cute. That face is to die for, isn't it? She is sweet as pie and such a darling. Alas, I will be selling her this spring to some lucky folks. Interested?

And I'm also showing off two of my sons, who helped move Mighty Impressive (llama boy) and Rocket (one-eyed alpaca gelding) to a new pasture. Ben is the one with the red scoop -- enticing Rocket to move along.

Dominic was in from Nashville, TN doing some local "gigs" (yes, he's a musician) and he stopped in to help -- much to his surprise.

He mentioned that "you can't come to the farm without getting dirty, can you?" He was right. His shoes and jeans had issues after helping out for a few minutes.

It was nice to see him and get some muscle to help out.

Good times at the farm.

Friday, April 23, 2010

After glow of NYC

Still feeling it. The afterglow of a wonderful trip to New York City. It was a storybook fun two days. Back to reality is a harsh place to be, isn't it?

That being said -- my animals have been happy to see me.

Pulled into the driveway from the airport and there was someone waiting -- to buy my Hayrite Hay Elevator. Trekked up to the attic of the garage and showed it off. She's a beauty, that hay elevator. She's sold. They're coming to get her tomorrow.

Someone coming today to buy my big round bale feeder for horses. Bought it for llamas and they really don't eat that way -- standing around in a circle. They like to eat kushed on the ground -- next to each other. Mostly munching away the day.

I'm bumming about the thistles in my pastures. Anyone have any surefire ideas that don't require crazy hard work?

I guess two days of doing nothing made me realize how much WORK there is at a farm -- every single day.

So -- all is good at the farm. Miss you New York.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On to meet Dr. Oz

Arrived in NYC yesterday afternoon to be on the "Dr. Oz Show" with my husband. Met a cool person in baggage claim who just returned from St. Louis where she was shooting a music video for Nelly and the St. Lunatics. What a great job!

Spent the evening in Times Square -- eating at Famous Dave's BBQ. Soooo delicious.

Finished an alpaca hat for Dr. Oz -- which I hope Jack will give him today. Maybe even a photo opportunity?

The producers work their buns off preparing everything. Wow -- what a job that must be.

Got two phone calls from folks about alpacas/llamas. Doing business even while dressed up in "fancy clothes" here in NYC. Thinking a lot about the animals at home -- being cared for by our youngest Nashville son, Dominic (the country music wannabe). His site is Be sure to check out his latest video -- Medicine. It rocks.

A "car" will pick us up soon and we'll head to the studio for the taping. I'll let y'all know when it airs. Ahhhhh -- who knew the country mouse would head to the city?

Monday, April 19, 2010

A "Tree-mendous" event

So early tomorrow morning we head to the airport -- to fly to NYC -- to be on the Dr. Oz show. Wow.

The country bumpkins go to the city.

A last minute "shout out" via email reminded us "be sure to bring the tree!" Say what? Since when are people allowed to carry on a 3 1/2 foot, 7 inch diameter tree on an airplane?

Shot a photo of our youngest, Dominic, holding the tree. It's amazing to realize that it was IN Jack - all the way back to his spinal column. It's a complete miracle that he's alive.

I thought of putting it in a bag that usually holds a fold-up chair. So that's how the tree will head to NY for the Dr. Oz show.

I'll let y'all know how we fare in the city. Hope it's not a re-creation of "The Out-of-Towners" experience. lol

Dominic will care for the critters and hold down the fort while we're gone.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hmmmm? Dr. Oz? Just another day at the farm

What does Dr. Mehmet Oz have to do with this blog site? Well -- three years ago my husband was injured in a terrible, terrible accident. He was moving tree debris into a berm of dirt -- when a 17-foot tree (with no branches) popped up under the roll bar of the Bobcat and impaled him in the abdomen.

That means it went into his body -- all the way back to his spinal column.

It was quite a day.

He was helicoptered out of the pasture to St. Louis University Hospital -- where a team of surgeons and support staff removed the tree and continued the process of saving Jack's life.

The miracles that day came by the dozens:

The only phone signal that came out of the woods and ravine that day -- was Jack's call to me to say, "Call 911 and tell them to bring a chainsaw. There's a tree on me." Not a tree IN me, mind you.

None of the firefighters or EMT could get signals on their walkie talkies, phones without hiking up to the top of the hill to get a "signal."

Jack tried to back up the Bobcat when he realized the tree was in him. He couldn't back it up. The next day my son-in-law, Ron and I went down to get the Bobcat and it backed right out of there. If Jack had been able to back it up it would have pulled the tree out and most certainly he would have bled to death.

The list of miracles is long. We are so thankful and blessed.

That brings me to two days ago when a producer from the Dr. Oz TV show called wanting us to come on the show. Looks like we tape next Tuesday. Should be interesting. I'll let you all know when it airs.

Just another day at the farm

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sheep & Craft festival

Rolled out of bed at 5:00 a.m., woefully regretting my decision to be a vendor AND bring animals to the annual Southern IL Sheep and Craft Festival.
"What was I thinking?"
But -- it was an awesome day with lots of fun and surprises.
There were the wonderful sheep dog trials -- where the herding dogs are given the task of containing 4 sheep and herding them into a small pen. It is a thing of beauty to watch these dogs "do their thing."
Amanda and I sold plenty of hats, purses and yarn -- and it was so exciting to see kids running around with our "creations" on their heads.
Becca was helpful in unloading, talking with customers and especially in describing the animals to visitors to the pen.
Krista was helpful at our booth and was also the inspiration for the hat looms in the first place.
Vision, the llama; Mason, Punchau, Temujin - huacaya alpacas; and Gabriel, the suri alpaca; were all awesome in their calm demeanors during the event.
Some excitement for the future: THREE spinners took advantage of my "spin a bag, get a bag" of alpaca fiber. Can't wait to see the results of their work.
The sheep owners next to us got to see Vision strut his "guardian llama" behavior. Everytime anyone walked by with a dog -- he would stand up -- make himself as tall as possible -- and walk along the fenceline until the dog retreated. Pretty impressive.
The sheep folks talked to me about a guardian llama. It was wonderful to share the information about how valuable a llama can be in a herd of sheep.
I'm sure I'll be there next year.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Amanda, the Magnificent

Amanda is the sort of llama that comes along once in a lifetime. Perhaps that's why she was just awarded a "lifetime achievement" award by the International Lama Registry in Kalispell, MT.
She has been to dozens of public events -- and has rocked the house at each and every one of them.
The photos tell part of the story: Amanda at Webster School in Collinsville at the "kiss a llama" event; Amanda with Jessica when she got her senior pictures taken; Amanda with Ben at the Walk a thon for the National Alliance on Mental Illness; Amanda with Nora and Ellen, co-chairs of the Missouri Botanical Gardens Best of Missouri Market.
The girl doesn't take a bad photo, does she? She is 20 years old -- and still going strong. She has brought so very much joy into the lives of those she meets -- and into my life as well.
Our son Ben always says, "Amanda is my favorite llama."
She's EVERYONE's favorite, Ben.