Sunday, January 30, 2011

Our Lords splendor, and road trip

The past couple of nights when we have been out doing chores, the sunsets have been spectacular. I always think to myself, I wonder if Dennis would run into the house and get the camera, but we are both busy feeding animals, and they don't like to be kept waiting, so I don't bother. Well last night I remembered to bring my camera out with me, and here in all its splendor, is some of our Lord's work in progress. Of course the other sunsets were more spectacular, as there was more cloud cover.
amidst all the hustle and bustle, one just has to stop and watch the setting sun, behind the majestic snow covered Rocky Mountains, to smell the air, and just be in"the moment". I am not out early in the morning, and just watch the sunrise through the window, since I am only milking in the evening now, and just one goat at that. So Dennis and I have been lazy and are sleeping in, until the goats start kidding in April, anyway.
Some of the flock congregating before going into the chicken coop to roost for the night. The worst ones to get in at night are the guineas, they like to stay out and watch God's splendor also. Can't blame them for that I guess.
Tom just loves to show off!

We took a road trip to Bellvue,just northwest of Fort Collins in the foothills, to pick up another Quonset goat hut. I planned on taking pictures of the scenery, but was so enamored with this fellows Boer goat kids, that I completely forgot. The fellow said they get mountain lions, but as of this date, no livestock losses, but he sure lived in a hilly area, said it was really windy there.
But anyway, here are some of the pictures.

On our way home, we saw herds of antelope and they were pretty close to the road so I took this picture. This was a few miles from where we live. This is the scenery that we look at most of the winter. Brown, brown and more brown!
Bless the beasts and the children!
More later.....................................................................

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cabin fever? Not!.

It was 56 degrees today in Greeley Colorado. The same as at our place, and the sun was shining. We drove near the college in Greeley, on our way to do our shopping and noted that most of the college students were not wearing jackets. We pondered on this for awhile, recalling that when we grew up in Crookston, Mn, we were so happy when it hit 60 degrees outside, for then they would open up the swimming pool for the summer. I sheepishly lowered the zipper on my fleece jacket, and then we continued onward. Dennis had just called his parents this morning, and they said that this has been a very cold and snowy winter for them up in Crookston. They have a 9 foot snowbank in their front yard. Sure glad that we live in a milder climate. I don't think that I will go swimming just yet however.
I decided to take advantage of this beautiful day and skirted the 3 fleeces that I have waiting to be sent to Texas,to be made into rugs. Can't wait to see the finished product. This is a picture of my skirting table, that I made. Skirting is taking out the vegetable matter, and anything else undesirable that you would find in a fleece. There was some hay, but too small to get out.

If you want to see the rug making process from raw alpaca fiber you can google Ingrid's Handwoven Rugs, based in Texas. The color of my rugs will be white, fawn, and reddish brown.

My Koi fish were moving about today, we hope to get our pond set up this spring. Just too much to get done last fall, but they have survived nicely in the garage in a water tank. I use these galvanized troughs for livestock for raising chicks in the spring, and they have proved useful for my fish this winter. Always watching for a good deal on them. Only a few days has there been ice over their tank. You can see the 5 of them.
The turkeys, chickens and guineas are all out and about, strutting their stuff.

Here is little Tudie(short for Atitude, as she has such a good one) the fawn colored alpaca and the white little guy is Gitgo(since he was up and running from the gitgo). There Dennis, now you know the names of the two little alpacas.These are the only two alpaca babies that I had in 2010.
Their head shots as they sniff their daddy. You can also see Emma in the background.

None of my girls are pregnant, due to the economy, folks don't need luxury items like alpacas at this time. So I am focusing on the fleece, as it should be. Here is a braided rug that I have started, and hope to finish soon. I started out with roving seen here, roving is fiber that is in alignment, and then sometimes rolled into balls as seen here.
and braided it.
I need to put it in a pillow case, and then in the washing machine to felt it, then stitch it together. The felting makes it all the stronger. It should look like this when done, if it does not fall apart with the felting process.
A quilt that I finished for someone special for the end of February. His favorite colors are red and black.

More later...................................

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Aftermath

It snowed again Saturday and some on Sunday. Difficult to tell how many inches we received, as with the wind blowing it tends not to accumulate, unless in the tall grasses. For the night temps, they are predicting for tonight and tomorrow night -12. Takes me back to my days of living near Fargo ND and growing up. BUT, at least here in Colorado, it will get up in the 40's by the end of the week. This morning it is -3 and should get up to 13-16 degrees, the sun is out however, and appears to be no wind. The snow is crackling under my feet, an indication that it is COLD.
Here is a picture of me after milking, on Sunday looking toward the south. Coco is still in the milk stand.
Speaking of milking, I see at least 3 mice run back and forth under the hay bales as I milk, have for some time now. Mouse droppings can cause disease with humans and livestock. The last time we were in town, we bought one of those repeater traps, put a teaspoon of peanut butter in it(who can resist peanut butter) by the next morning there were 10 little furry friends in that trap.
It does not kill them, just traps them and they can be humanely relocated. I remember my grandfather used to use those traps and would put them on the combine after harvesting. They are metal and are really made well to stand up over time.

The chickens, turkeys and guineas keeping warm in the chicken coop.
I am down to 10 guineas, 3 turkeys and 7 chickens at this time. I had to sell off 1/2 of my hen chickens as we were getting too many eggs.

A picture of me coming back from feeding the chickens
and in the back of the barn

Allie and Oop checking me out with the camera.
Note the feeder that we made for the sheep, really saves on them wasting, and keeps the hay nice and dry. There is a hinged top to fill the hay. We made one of these feeders for the male goats. I see a few more of these in my future.

I have them tamed down nicely, that they will eat out of my hand, and Allie especially will let me pet her. We trimmed sheep hooves on Saturday, so that set us back some, but they are better today. With trimming hooves on sheep, you pick the sheep up and set them on their butts, and they dummy up so to speak. Easier to trim than goats, but still hard in the back as you need to kneel down as they are smaller animals. Wish I had taken a picture, but will get one next time.

Guess what Dennis and I received for Christmas???
No, not little Lily silly, but Snuggies. They have been wonderful and really keep us warm on these cold winter days, along with the fireplace. Lily sure enjoyed her first Christmas.

Remember a while ago I posted about the seismographic study for locating oil, natural gas in Weld county. Well they have come and gone. The only thing left is the huge tire tracks that they left all over the prairie, it must be quite a sight from satelite up above, the prairie all criss-crossed and scarred for years to come. Hopefully they won't come knocking on our door saying we are situated atop the "mother load". We don't own mineral rights, as very few people in Colorado do.

I start all my quilt classes again the middle of January. Will be good to be back creating and seeing old friends. I took my Saturday Sampler quilt in to be professionally quilted, it is the first time I have ever done this. The quilt measures 92X92 and would have been so hard on my shoulders to get it through my machine, I would have been aching for days. What a treat! I will post a picture of it when the gal is finished. Dennis says that it is his favorite quilt, as the colors remind him of Arizona.

Sunday I was riveted to the TV all day as the horror of the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson was on. Say a prayer for all the folks that were shot, killed and injured. It is a sad day for America, and the human race.

More later..........................................................