Friday, November 27, 2009

Fiber Arts Friday - Black Friday Edition

Check out the Fiber Arts Friday Posts over at Alpaca Farm Girl today.  If you're interested in hand-spun or home-made gifts or supplies, this is a great place to start.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


On January 1st of this year I posted about Resolutions

I've never really been a New Year's Resolutions kind of girl.  I am however, very goal oriented and am happy to see that my current aspirations are in line with what I stated earlier this year.

I also find it interesting that the only goal I wrote will be achieved before this year is finished.  It was first on my list.

The others are more of a process.  A continual stride for improvment.  Things I always feel a need to work on.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Thank a Farmer this Thanksgiving.  I think it's a great idea.

You can participate on Twitter and Facebook.  Here's how.

Hat tip to Katy Spears for filling me in.

Things that Work - Rubber Pants

It's mud season in Northern Colorado.

Mud and wheelchairs do not go together very well.

Since Hubba uses a chair to get around and we are on the verge of being full-time alpaca ranchers, we needed to find a solution.  STAT.

Hubba set up one of his old chairs to be the outdoor chair. The outdoor chair keeps the mud and snow from being tracked into the house, but does not keep it off his clothes.

So when we were at a feed store this past weekend looking for fencing supplies, I found a rack of rubber pants. At $20 a pair, we decided to give it a try.

I am happy to say that after 6 hours of fence repair on Sunday, the pants work.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Dog We Should Have Named Houdini

We have a dog who is an escape artist. 

He can get out of almost anything.  He prefers to dig under the fence and take our other dog out for an adventure.  Fortunately, he loves Hubba more than anything on earth so he is happy to come home and hasn't gotten into any real trouble (so far). 

Hubba leashed him to a fence post.  Houdini ate the leash.

Hubba changed the leash to a cable.  Houdini found a way out of his collar.

Hubba changed the collar to a harness, tied the collar to the harness and even put two harnesses on his dog at the same time.  Houdini found a way out of all of them.

Sometimes Houdini would get out of the harness or collar and stay in the yard.  I think just to make a point. 

This dog has been able to get out of every collar and harness hubba tried, save one.

When he could no longer go on his unsupervised adventure by going under the fence and losing his collar, he went through the fence.

We don't like the idea of leashing our dog when he's in our yard, so this weekend we improved the fence on the dog corral.

We took fencing and layed it on the ground against the vertical fencing.  Lashed it together and secured with landscape pins.  Houdini wasn't very excited about the work we were doing.

We will bring in some fill dirt to bury the horizontal fencing and straw to make it comfortable.

Hopefully this battle of wills is over.  But only time will tell.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Alpaca Loafing Sheds - 50% complete

Today, the alpaca loafing sheds are just over half way done. 

Our most recent snow has not melted very quickly which is making the pasture and corral area extremely muddy.  Our carpenter's truck got stuck in the mud, so we will have to re-seed some in the spring.

Boys' sheds framed out.

Our carpenter used hurricane ties as part of the contstruction. 
I think is a good idea since we can have 90 mile per hour gusts here sometimes.

Mom and cria shed with the roof installed.

All three sheds have the roof and tar paper installed and the shingles and sides should be complete in a couple of weeks.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I saw an Eclipse

I spent close to eight years working on a dream. It was Vern Raburn's dream and I bought it hook, line and sinker.

Our mission was to change the way people travel. Many said it couldn't be done. However, a lot of us spent most of our waking hours making it happen.

Eclipse Aviation's Type Certificate and Production Certificate were history making.  The 500 is the quietest and most fuel-efficient jet ever produced.  Even with the final price being more than twice the original, at $2.7M it is still the least expensive new jet on the market.

In the end, Eclipse Aviation filed for CH7 Bankruptcy and was sold to a group of customers for a small fortune. The new company is called Eclipse Aerospace. They are servicing the existing 500 fleet and have plans to restart production in the future.

I write this post because I saw an Eclipse 500 as I was leaving the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport yesterday.

It was the first time I had seen one since I left Eclipse and Albuquerque earlier this year. I couldn't help but smile. I loved the plane and the company, I learned much while there and I greatly admire the drive and belief of my fellow Eclipsers.

The pictures below are of production #13. It was my first and only ride on the aircraft I dedicated 8 years to. It was an honor to work on this product and it will always have a special place in my heart.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Legos and Alpacas

Well actually, Nano Blocks and Alpacas; but to me, Legos are like Band-Aids and Kleenex... way more than a brand. 

As a kid I loved legos.  As an adult, I still love putting things together and of course, I love alpacas.  So this is two loves coming together, from a country that I also love.

A friend from work took a trip to Japan recently and brought home an Alpaca Nano Block kit.

Aside from the name, everything is in Japanese, which I am unable to read.

Fortunately, the instructions also came with pictures.

Yes, I'm a recovering engineer.  All of my pieces must be sorted before I can start.

My prized lego alpaca on the shelf of honor.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

We are Blessed

Twelve years ago we said, "I do."

Today?  We still do.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Loafing Sheds - In Progress

Last week we finally started work on our loafing sheds and corrals.  This week, the sheds are nearly framed out.

For the moms and crias.

Two seperate corrals and sheds for the big boys and little boys.

Since one of our herd sires can be aggressive when there are open females around, we decided to seperate the boys and girls with the hay barn.

The girl's corral is also closest to the house so we can keep an eye on any near term mothers when the time is right.  Though, our next cria aren't due in September 2010.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Broken Ground

We have (finally) started work on our alpaca loafing sheds and corrals.

Before we started.

Our neighbor has a bobcat with an auger.

22 holes in one hour.

Setting the posts.

Installing gates.

Two gates and all posts set by afternoon.

The framing of the loafing sheds will begin this week.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October Blizzard 2009

Today, we've been in our house one Month.

It's been an exciting month with the flu, a broken sewer line, international travel and a blizzard. The good news is we are healthy, the plumbing is working and the sun is shining.

The day before the blizzard started our plumber removed the rest of the culprit apple tree and trimmed the sewer clean-out.

The two-day snow storm yielded close to 14 inches. Hubba was concerned that he would be stuck in the house most of the winter, but the sun has come out and most of the snow has melted.

Next up is to (finally) start building our corrals and loafing sheds so we can move the alpaca herd up from New Mexico.