Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Beauty and the Beast

And no, the beast isn't a llama. Took one of my granddaughters to see "Beauty and the Beast"

at the Muny in St. Louis. The Muny seats 12,000 people and is the largest continous outdoor theatre in the USA.
We were rained out on Sunday night -- but came back for more last evening.
Bree dressed in a "princess dress" for the special night. It was her first time at the Muny. She and Grammy posed for a photo. I'm the red-faced lady and Bree is the lily white little girl!
We've been fortunate enough to have season tickets at the Muny since 1993. At our farm, it wouldn't be summer without the Muny!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fiber for the Gulf

Llama and alpaca fiber is amazing stuff. It keeps the animal warm in winter. It can be washed, carded, made into roving, spun into yarn, knitted or crocheted into hats, gloves, socks and many other things.
And now it may just help save our ocean from disaster. It has amazing properties for skimming oil off of the surface of the water.
If you don't believe me, just go to www.afcna.org and click on the video.
There seems to be conflicting advice about the efficacy of the "booms" made from fleece, but I'm impressed with the visual of the oil clean up.
My summer helpers spent Tuesday working on gathering fiber for the Gulf oil spill.
There are Jayden and Rebecca wearing their Alpaca Fiber for the Gulf t-shirts; cheering after finishing their artwork on the mailing container; and Jayden is walking our "giraffe-like" girl, Pebbles.
Hopefully the oil spill will be contained sooner, rather than later. We are on day 67 now. Not good. Every little bit of fiber helps.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weekend filled with fun

Wow. Some kind of weekend so far -- and it's early on Sunday!

On Friday Jack and I headed to Clinton Manor -- a living center in New Baden. Our 30-year-old daughter lives there -- due to a bout with 43 seizures when she was 19. They treat her like family there and we are grateful for the excellent care she receives. Photo of the hands are Coreen and I -- she, who I often say is the whitest white girl in town -- and me -- brown and freckled from the sun.

Then it was home to load up 8 animals to deliver them to Dorsey, IL to the Greens -- to their new home. Wow. They moved to paradise those critters. Three llama girls and 5 alpacas went to live at Monday Morning Farm and Fiber. That's the photo of Keri waiting to trek up the "lama trail" to the barn. Awesome. Congrats to the Greens on their new adventure. And you made some fabulous "picks" from my herd, too!

Saturday morning was the spinning class at the farm. Tammy Duensing, master spinner, was kind enough to give us some of her time -- and teach novices how to spin. It was great. Of course, Keri -- new llamas/alpaca owner -- spun like a champ! I need more practice, apparently (lol).

Right after the class Jack had arranged a farm visit for a dear friend, Michelle and her niece, Grace -- who came all the way from Colorado to visit Aunt Michelle. They fed carrots to the critters and had a great time (even though the heat index was stifling) visiting with the animals in the pasture.

THEN -- it was off to pick up Ben and head to Centralia -- to our youngest son, Dominic's, band gig at Foster's Bar and Grill. He and his peeps (Vince, Phil and the drummer) rocked the joint with mostly original music. So talented, he is. He just needs that BIG BREAK in Nashville, where he lives. So -- if you have those connections -- please contact Dom Wier @ bookingdomwier@yahoo.com

And now today is Father's Day. The kids/grandkids will be over this afternoon for BBQ and swimming. What a great weekend.

Just wondering how much longer a 60-plus-year-old farm gal can keep up this pace? Aww -- who am I kidding -- 20 more years at least!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Bring a friend to work" day

Becca and Julie were at the farm today.

Becca has been volunteering at the farm for 3 years now.

Today she brought her friend, Julie, along. Julie has experience working with horses, but this was her first "hands on" with llamas and alpacas.

We dewormed some animals today -- fed hay and grain -- caught and haltered some animals.

Clementine and Punxsutawney, both young llama girls, got some halter training from Becca and Julie.

Clementine was very difficult to capture -- even closed up in the barn. We had several "near misses" -- where she squeaked by us.

We got her in a corner and when I went to snag her -- she bolted and knocked me into the barn door. I was unhappy about that. Especially since I broke my toe this week.

The odd thing about Clementine: once she was caught -- she walked great on lead. As though she had been doing it her whole life.

Llamas are puzzling sometimes.

And then there was Punxsutawney. I plan to take her to the IL State Fair in August -- so it's imperative that she walk on lead. She'll definitely need more practice.

I'm thankful for the extra hands that come to the farm in the summer.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Naomi, our beautiful alpaca girl

Sunday was the day that Naomi arrived at the farm.

She was born around 10:30 a.m. Her mama had been lurking around the barn for several days, going in and out, in and out.

Naomi has that "tuxedo look" that we all love so much here on the farm. She is vibrant and healthy and is already bouncing around the pasture with the other babies.

She has a history of show quality siblings. Her brother, Garrity, placed at the MOPACA show this spring. Her sister, Lumina, has received scads of ribbons -- for obstacle, halter and public relations. Her brother from last year, Nigel, is a handsome, handsome boy who will be strutting his stuff in the show ring later this year.

This little gal is a real looker. It makes my heart sing to see such beautiful "eye candy" in the pasture. Her name, Naomi, means "delight" in Hebrew. She is truly a delight.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rainbow on the ranch

Storms were rumbling through St. Louis this early evening. Lots of rain, lightning and thunder, not to mention the wind.
Briefly -- in between the first wave -- and the next to come -- I went out to check on the llamas and alpacas.
There it was. Such a beautiful rainbow -- and, of course, it "landed" on the barn. THAT'S what's at the end of the rainbow -- the multi-colors of my llamas and 'pacas. I KNEW it.
Behind me, in the western sky, was the sunset -- all yellow and glorious -- and stormy.
And then, of course, I snapped a photo of Sophie -- the alpaca girl I've been "stalking" all day -- waiting, so impatiently for her new baby to arrive.
She's HUGE -- with all sorts of movement -- knees, legs, whatever scrambling around inside her. She's miserable, too.
It was crazy hot today -- on the day of the largest Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure in STL. Over 70,000 people walked or ran. My friend, Denise, even dyed the topknot of her white alpaca girl pink -- and put the pink ribbon on her, too -- and took her to the race. Denise's sister is a survivor of breast cancer.
We had a surprise visit from an old friend, Jay. He has been dealt some trouble in his life -- but starts each day with a "If I were any better -- it would be illegal" sort of attitude. Such a good man.
Yesterday Bill and his boys, Blake and Carson, stopped in randomly because they "just had to see what those animals are." I gave them the abbreviated tour and they were grateful and excited. It made me happy to share my passion for these darlings with others.
Wow. What another wonderful weekend at the farm. Can you just imagine what tomorrow will bring?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Candi had her baby!

"Night Magic" was born on Tuesday. I was busy cleaning the barn with the Bobcat when Rebecca and Jayden (my helpers) came running into the barn excitedly.

"Candi had a baby! Candi had a baby!"

I shut off the Bobcat and headed out to the pasture where the baby was already up and walking.
He is solid black and is missing that trademark "headband" that she stamps on all of her babies.
Her cria from 08 is living happily at the St. Louis Zoo -- at the Emerson Children's Zoo. His name is Doc Freeman and he is a stunner. I've added his photo, too.
Candi is a Canadian female alpaca who has breathtaking babies. They are strong and healthy, and she is an excellent mama.
This is definitely the time of the year when babies are arriving. I have several more on the way -- and the excitement is new with each birth.
Stay tuned!
Be sure to check out the Zoo's site -- search under Emerson Children's Zoo for the video about my two alpaca boys -- Doc Freeman and Doc Andrus: www.stlzoo.com
And the new little guy is named after my son's Deejay company, Night Magic Entertainment. www.nightmagicentertainment.com

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Saturday fun at the farm

I hope my grandkids realize how lucky they are.

They get to come to the farm and experience so many wonderful things.

Yesterday I saw 6 of my 7 grandkids. We went to breakfast at the Waffle House, rode out on the golf car to the pasture, fed carrots to the llamas and alpacas, and even broke out the "train" for a quick ride in the front yard.

The "train" came from a garage sale. A man made each barrel for his own grandkids to take for a ride

We've taken the train into parades and had a grand old time.

The kids like to just ride and wave.

At top, Katey is helping Isabella "drive" the golf car; our son, Joe, is driving Amy, Drew and Jack around in the yard.

Jack is waving as Amy makes sure he doesn't fall out of the train.

And Drew is busy feeding carrots to Orenda.

Brianna is surrounded by hungry alpacas and llamas.
Making memories, folks, making memories.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New baby, new helper

Another darling new cria was born on our farm on Memorial Day 2010. He is a little red/white suri with great markings and lovely fiber.
My summer Tuesday helpers, Becca and Jayden enjoyed catching him and posing with the "new guy."
They also had a good time halter training some of the young'ns at the farm.
That's Jayden with Ralphie -- a sweet little huacaya alpaca. She also worked with Max, Nigel, and Rudolph.
Becca tried her hand at halter training Whispers (and he needs the lead training, that's for sure).
It sure is nice to have summer volunteers. Thanks so much for your help!