Monday, May 7, 2012

Goodbye Betty Ford 8n

She came into my life about 12 years ago.  That scruffy little gal named Betty Ford -- the 1950 Ford 8n tractor.  Nevermind that she was an "old gal."  She could still cut that pasture with the best of them. 
Once the cutting deck was installed I spent many happy hours driving lazily back and forth across the pasture.  The birds would swoop down in front of me -- in anticipation of the bugs, including grasshoppers, that would be hearing the ground shake and moving out of the way.
The llamas and alpacas would look up -- and sometimes not even move away -- because they didn't see Betty as any kind of threat.  She was just another farm helper -- making their grazing more delicious.
I readily admit that I baby-ed that tractor.  If she got too hot -- I shut her down.  If she had some labored breathing while climbing the rolling hills in the pasture -- I let her "set a bit" until she could catch her breath.  Sort of like me.
On Saturday, May 5, 2012, she took her last breath.
I started her up in the covered garage -- and she blew a piston.  Her guts literally blew out of the trtactor.  I spent Saturday -- and most of Sunday -- crying.  My life will never be the same.
Some people would say that it is silly to cry over a tractor.  I'm not one of those people. 
Goodbye Betty Ford.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 71 of the "hat a day" challenge

So after not blogging for ages -- here I am with two blogs in the same day!

This is about day 71 of the "hat a day" challenge. So far so good -- I'd like to report. I have managed to make a hat or headwarmer every day since Nov. 14, 2011. The variety of my hats amazes even me.

Some are ski style; some have flowers; some are two or three colors; some are made from alpaca; some are made from llama; some are acrylic or wool.

Sizes have included infant to children's to adult size hats. It's been an adventure so far. I've even added a couple of scarves to the mix -- with both crocheted scarves and tube-knitted scarves (on the loom).

My grandkids remain delighted to come over and pick out hats when they need something new. It's great.

My youngest grandson, Lincoln, is now wearing the hat I made for his older brother -- a soft, black and white alpaca cap. It is adorable on him. My granddaughter, Isabella, is wearing a blue hat -- that brings out the color of her eyes (if they were open).

So I'm excited, still, about this adventure into hat making. Let's see how I feel about it on Nov. 14, 2012!

New animals

I recently traded 314 pounds of fleece for some animals. The "trader" was generous with the animals that no longer fit into her breeding program, so I was delighted with two gorgeous suri female llamas -- Sumertime Santana and Silvia Rose. They are straight, correct llamas and look like show girls at the IL State Fair to me. I can't wait.

I also came across some wonderful alpacas -- both suri and huacaya. There's Amber, Bess and her boy Indie, Lucy (a part llama/part alpaca crossbred), and several others. It is really nice to add new bloodlines to my herd through trading. No money is involved -- and that is good for both of us.

The new animals are settling in nicely -- and they will soon be officially welcomed into the girl herd. They now can roam on 33 acres of pasture and are pretty happy about that. I saw them bouncing around a couple of evenings ago and the joy in their leaps was evident.

I'm a sucker for these wonderful camelids. I can't help myself.