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December Fourteenth and Fifteenth

Agritourism Alpaca Alpacas Angora Goats Basement business plan Calendar Cards Chickens college Eggs Farm Fed Ex Fiber Goats Holidays presentations Rock and Minerals Magazine Southern Vermont College Vermont Weather

December Fourteenth

50 degrees in the a.m. Unseasonal weather.  I am afraid to say I like it because everyone is complaining about it.  But I am not complaining.  My life is so much easier without having frozen buckets to defrost and to fill and carry over and over again throughout the day.  And not to have to shovel where the gates open and shut.  And not to have to drag the hay over the snow and ice.  I am relishing the mild temps.  I am relishing it.  And I know that when it is Christmas, I know that it will feel like Christmas.  I am a California-gal, by birth, and I remember loving Christmas just as much when the family woke up, all together, and had a special breakfast.  And my brother and I would crank up Jingle Bells and other carols and dance around the living room in our jammies!  It’s not about the weather or the snow on the ground.  I can’t wait to be all together no matter what the weather.  I am not complaining.

I’ve been watching Thimble and seeing that often times she is scooting along quite strongly at the beginning of the day, and toward the end of the day she is less energetic.  I am starting to think that watching her is the only bad part of her disability.  It’s bad for me because I get overly anxious about her condition. She is smart as a whip, and she’s quite heavy, too, so that I know she’s growing.  Sometimes I pick her up and carry her into the little stall so that I can isolate her and check her all over and she weighs a ton.  Well, not really a ton.  But she weighs so much more than you would imagine.  Probably 50 pounds.  I’m waiting on an essential oil mixture that is being sent to me from a farm supporter.  Soon I think it will arrive.  I’ll start applying that, massaging it into her spine, hope it will help.  I give her Vitamin B supplements and she nibbles them from my hand.

I need to clean Peppy’s hut.  But my back is so sore lately.  I don’t know that the motion/activity of pitchforking out her hut is going to be bad for me and I’m a little worried to push the limit.  I moved about 15 bales of hay into the downstairs of the barn so I could use it for feeding the animals for a couple of days.  I’d done so much shoveling on the weekend that I think I should pace myself but I’m afraid the temps will change and I’ll miss the opportunity to clean Pep’s hut.

The chickens all get along now.  The new roo, AJ, likes to hang out with a small group of his own.

Mom came and we cleaned the basement where the freezers are and hauled out a ton of stuff for the dump and for the Goodwill. I scourged the place of baskets that were tired and parts from things that had long since disappeared or were not functional.  We spent about four hours working.  During our lunch break, Gail & Linda stopped to return my pie safe that they’d borrowed to use for an event they worked at a nearby barn.  The pictures they showed me were amazing.  The place is 800 acres in nearby White Creek, NY and the folks that own the property use Thyme Tables Catering to turn their barn into a gorgeous dining room with a bar, with all the amenities.  They used our pie safe for behind their bar.  They brought me a giant and gorgeous bouquet of roses to thank me for letting them use the safe.  It is stunning and I feel like royalty when it sits in my kitchen on the island.  I also can’t believe that Jim didn’t notice or even ask about it.  It’s funny how that is.  I would think he’d be curious why we have a giant, gorgeous bouquet of roses in the middle of our kitchen island.  I think he probably thinks that I put them together.

No one found my knitting at the Chapel at Mount Holyoke.  I’m so sad about losing it.  Meanwhile, Mom and I untangled and wound some skeins that Nessie had been “knitting” with in October.  We fixed about 5 skeins.  Mom taught me the pattern for her washcloths.  I’m practicing that.  And I’m casting on a new project with some of the Cotswold/Mohair that I’d dyed indigo last spring.  I’ll use that for the hat I was going to work on with the other yarn/needles that I lost.

I was not able to do much beside cleaning the basement and the regular chores. I worked at desk-work in the evening and almost forgot that tomorrow I was to attend the presentation at Southern Vermont College.

December Fifteenth

Rained last night, cooler this morning, low 40s.  The dogs were so happy to go outside and stay out.  We ran around and did chores zippy quick, I made coffee when I came in but didn’t have time to drink it and took it to go.  I was sorry to leave the dogs first thing.  I went to Southern Vermont College where the group that was presenting a business plan for Wing & A Prayer Farm was transitioning/preparing to share.  I greeted Jeb and he directed me to where I could sit. I sat down in the front of the theater and waited.  It was so cool to see an image and the name of our farm on giant screen in the theater!

The group that had been working on presenting the plan for our farm was looking for me.  There was a delay beginning the presentation because they didn’t know I was there yet.  Ooops.  I was a little unclear that I was to have introduced myself or anything.  It was a little thing.  I felt really sheepish.  Once it was established that I was there, the students finished texting each other that “She’s here!” and came together, commencing with the plan.  They were spot on with their analysis and recommendations.  It was great.  They gave me a hard copy of the plan – there were a few questions and clarifications, a lot of discussion.  I stayed on for 2 more presentations from other groups and connected with a woman who has a hotel that is trying to find a venue for art-events.  So we may work together in the future.  Her name was Pam and she is at the Harwood Motel, which she is trying to come up with a new name for, and she is turning it into an art-event place as well as offering really good accommodations.  I hope she does well.  I slipped out as soon as it was convenient and stopped in town to pick up some ink for my printer.

I checked out at the store but didn’t have my credit card.  No worries, I had cash.  They were kind and offered to hold my packages until I could find my credit card.  But I actually had no idea where it was.  So I found enough cash to pay.  I went home and skipped the trip to the grain store since I didn’t have any money.  When I got to my mailbox, I pulled over to grab the mail and saw John, my neighbor.  We chatted a tiny bit.  Got a note to pick up a package at the post office and just decided to drive there and do that while I was already out.

Arrived at Post Office and there was Rose!  Hello Rose!  She is the pleasantest lady I know.  She is talented in art and gardening, her husband taught geology for years at the high school and he also taught geology to our kids when we homeschooled.  Rose recently divided all of her cacti and repotted them into multiple pots, then posted and emailed to friends about the babies for re-homing.  Right away I’d replied to her that I’d be interested.  So when I saw her at the Post Office, I asked if I might follow her home to pick up the new cactus plants.  I went inside and picked up my package that was from Thailand.  Mike, the Post Master, noted the package’s origin and I said that it must be from my Thai-exchange-daughter.  Mike asked, “That was your mom that stopped and mailed that package yesterday, wasn’t it? She said something about wool and cookies?”  It’s funny in a small town how you talk about little and big things and everyone is sort of your family.

Rose’s neighbor was getting out of the car and heading back to her home and Rose was unloading and unlocking.  We went inside and chattered nonstop.  Her home is beautiful.  She asked me to excuse the mess, which I said would only make me feel better about my own messy home.  I stopped short at the entry into her sunroom because I saw the pile of glossy magazines that Ken’s article is published in.  “Rock and Minerals Magazine” has an article about an old, closed, mine in northern Vermont where some spectacular garnets were found and he and some colleagues’ purpose was to preserve the history and specimens.  I asked if I could get three copies to gift to my children, and would he sign them?  And he obliged and I was so thrilled I’d come upon them in that manner.  Rose had only a few cacti left and I selected two pots.  I got to hear about how she’d acquired some of them and also see photos of the gorgeous blooms.  We’re going to talk more in the future about her sharing her photo scrapbooking/chronicling with a workshop.  She has such an eye for detail, she is such a good human being. I really love spending time with her.

By the time I finally did get home, it’d felt like I’d been gone all day, when actually I’d just been gone half the day.  The dogs were so happy to see me. Jackie was doing laps, which is not usually her style.  We played outside for awhile and then we all went inside and filled the water bowls and fed the cats.  Again.  And the Muppets were running around in their pasture.  What was in the air?

I was trying to put the dishes away and heat up a cup of coffee and find something to eat when the Fed Ex guy came.  He had two heavy boxes of the calendars and cards I was waiting for and brought them all the way inside to set down on the table.  Then he got his phone out and scrolled through to show me all of the pictures of their chickens and their eggs they’re getting now, and their eggs cracked into a bowl so I could see how beautiful the yolks and whites were.  And then we discussed the chickens and their habits and their different personalities.  Yes.  We did talk about chickens for probably 20 minutes.

A little part of me was wondering if someone else was going to be missing out on an urgent shipment because we were talking about chickens.

It was going on 3:00 and I was scrambling to attempt to make the listings for the calendars publish on the website.  I am cursed when it comes to that sort of thing.  It was taking so long to load photos and they were upside down or sideways and I’d try to edit and correct them and they wouldn’t be corrected or they’d be upside down in another post.  I feel more frustrated trying to work on that sort of thing than on mucking the stalls.  I was getting anxious because I knew I needed to get out to the barn soon, to check everyone’s waters and feed them because I’d been away all morning.

A farmer has been inquiring about buying Lincoln.  Their farm is in Wilton, Connecticut.  It sounds like it would be a good home for Linc.

Night had one of his horn’s stuck in the fence between he and the alpacas.  Night is the wariest goat we own.  His nature is to back away or move away from us when we need to be with the goats.  I usually give him plenty of room.  But I was very careful about handling him by the fencing so that he wouldn’t move suddenly.  His horns are very big and curved and sharp all along the edge like a knife.  So if he moved quickly and I didn’t anticipate the direction, I could get hurt.  I straddled his back to have leverage and held his chin with my hand while guiding his horn out of the fencing.  It was like threading a needle.  All he would have had to do was to bolt or struggle just a little and I would’ve lost the advantage I had of quickly releasing him from his snair.  I exhaled.  He was out and I released him slowly and gently so that he wouldn’t feel like there was any tension in the air.  As many times as I handle him, I try to hold him so he won’t feel tension, so that he will trust me more.  He is not very trusting.  I know that he was handled well at his previous home, but it is just his nature to be nervous, I guess, with people.

The alpacas are so weird.  They (Wilbur and Fluffhead) get all spitty at dinnertime.  This time I was in their range.  I complained at them.  They are sort of clueless.  But I watch TB and Hayden and Jessie and they are not clueless.  They look as if they’re saying “grow up!” at Wilbur and Fluffhead.

Billy joined Jim and I for dinner.  He was just back from having driven to Dartmouth and back with his mom.  It was good to catch up with him.  He brought his boat down for Jim to store for the winter.  We will try to catch up next week when Jody is home.

I packed orders all night for the calendars and cards that are for sale.

How much is that alpaca in the window?How much is that alpaca in the window?
IMG_5646
Presentation at Southern Vermont College
organizing basement/inventory
organizing basement/inventory
posted calendars and cards
posted calendars and cards


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