Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
So while the girls were here for Thanksgiving weekend we picked up these 10 week old puppies, and built them a spot in the shelter. Kelsey is holding Luke and Sara is hoding Asher (I think!)
I set up an additional camera so we could continue to see the entire girls pen (for baby watch) and keep an eye on the puppies too. So far all is well. The puppies and the alpacas have a respectful fear of each other still, but things are warming up.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Find the link to the Camera through our Web page at http://www.aardwolfalpacas.com.
In the meantime HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING. Hope everyone has plenty to be thankful for, I know I do!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Mike did come home last Thursday bringing our newest herd addition (Token) home, since the ranch we bought her from (in Boise) called last week to say they could bring her to Salt Lake. So since Thursday we have been watching the herd dynamics, which is pretty interesting. Token is a very nice looking animal with great genetics and she will fit right in with our other girls. So now when we look out of the window, there are five!
Soon we will have our barncam up and running. We have bought it and set it up, but it turns out we buried the wrong kind of cable (remember that 7' trench) so we re figuring that out now. Well let you know.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
1) MIKE FINISHED THE EXTERIOR OF OUR HOUSE. He finished the Garage and finished the porch and painted everything and replaced the roofing. I wanted to post a photo.
We also came up with the idea to change the shelter to open to the South. It was genius on Mike's part and he is almost done with that conversion. He is installing the garage doors he got off another house, then we have to figure out how to insulate and install the heater. Then we will be read for the new babies to come in the next month.
2) WE ENTERED JACK IN OUR FIRST ALPACA SHOW IN CASTLE ROCK, CO. That was last weekend. He didn't due exceptionally well, but we bought him and went to the show mainly for the experience anyway. He did get two second place ribbons, which will look good in the barn, until you look up and find out in both cases it was second out of two in that class... Of course he didn't HAVE to be awarded anything, the judge could have not awarded a second place if she didn't feel he was worthy, which she did in numerous occasions. It did confirm our suspitions that this is not our herdsire.
The biggest excitement was when Ko-chise, along as a companion (whom we didn't realize was quite so bonded to Jack) leapt out of the pen and was free in the barn searching for us in the showring. The neighbors said it was a thing of beauty, and that he didn't even touch the panel! Ko-chise proceeded to scold Jack not to leave him again, and Jack was a wreck the rest of the time.. Couldn't have helped his placing in the ring any.
A side benefit of going to the show was that it motivated us to finish our banner, flyers, web site etc. Check it out at http://www.aardwolfalpacas.com.
Anyhow, now we are learning/developing quaranteen proceedures. We took the opportunity while in Denver to visit our new cria, Quemado. Here's the new addition.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Saturday, September 23, 2006
He got help from our neighbor again with the use of his tractor with a backhoe on it. Well, both of these boys knew better than to dig without marking utilities, but didn't take the time to do that. Then, as I heard the discussion, there was talk about how deep was required, my vote was 4', like the footings. But someone said 5'. And in the end, because with the tractor it is so easy, we got 7'deep (in some areas) trenches.
This, in it self, is not big deal. However, they managed to cut the phone line, tear into the septic drain field line, and clip the main power, yanking the meter off the wall and knocking out the main power to our house and the neighbor's (not the one helping us) on a Sunday afternoon (the power guys LOVE that at double time).
This of course caused Mike a lot of extra work last week, but we finally got the job done and trench filled in, and even got in a wire for our not-yet purchased barn-cam.
Oh yeah, did I mention, also while I was in Albuquerque he painted our house, so it is no longer "the blue house"? I picked a color that I thought was a grey/tan color, matching one of our neighbors.. But when he painted it has most definately a pink hue! Now we live in "THE PINK HOUSE"
That was the fun last weekend... This weekend I am at the "Women in Faith" Conference in Denver, CO, with my mother and sister, Nancy. Which I might add, is turning out to be great fun, dispite the fact that me Gilbane contract has a big deadline delayed for two months until THIS weekend and so I am working until the wee hours.
Then Sunday my sister, Monica will drive back to Wyoming with me (for more information read HER blog at http://sunponyranch.blogspot.com/2006/09/so-brokeback.html). Then in two weeks Mike and I come back to Denver for an alpaca show.. More about that next time.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Seems three of the contracts I am working on now have deadlines in the next week, so work has been ver hectic for me. I am loving the new work situation, I just need to spead it out a little more too. Mike's work has slowed down a bit and he has made lots of progress on our house. We'll be ready to send photos soon.
Just two days before that we mailed the check out on another girl at a friends ranch in Boise, so we still have six alpaca. This is Token. She is nursing a little one and won't be coming home until Thanksgiving or so.
Friday, August 04, 2006
The next weekend Mike went to Alaska fishing. The trip turned out to be sort of a bust as most years the King Salmon limit on the Kenai river is 6 per day, but the run was so small this year that it was 3.. Then the day they arrived it went to 1, so twenty minutes later, when Mike caught his one.... Well, finally the next day they closed the season all together, so Mike got to catch one Salmon! The next few days they did some Deep Sea Halibut fishing, which Mike found interesting but requiring more muscle than skill. All in all he was not thrilled with the trip but it was beautiful and restful.
While he was Alaska, the girls went for a daylong trail ride on the horses while I sat in the car and worked. They had a great ride to Bailey Lake. That is beautiful too. Mike and I will have to go this fall.
In the last few days of July, I was not doing anything but work, the girls were sewing, sleeping, riding, and relaxing. If I was awake, I was trying to get billable hours in. But now it is August (the month starts fresh!).. I dropped the girls at the airport Thursday to go back to Albuquerque since school starts next week for them. Then I took off to work a few days in Boise (through the weekend.. again BILLABLE HOURS!) and next week I'm going to a conference in Las Vegas.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
While they were here we sheared the two girls. That was a big event, yet pretty straightforward. The whole thing took about 15 minutes per alpaca. The boys had already been sheared this year so they did not need it. The shearer came up from Salt Lake, Mike and I were his pawns. Mom and Dad took photos and video and Kelsey and Sara collected the fleece. Here are the before and after shots.
We were concerned about leaving the Alpacas while we went to Coeur D'Alene for a week, and a week before we left my sister, Nancy was telling me how her friend from Richland, WA, wanted to vacation in Yellowstone this summer but had no reservations yet, when we conceived of the idea that she could Alpaca sit for us while we were gone. Keep in mind this idea came less than a week before we left! So we presented it to her as a long shot, and 5 days later she jumped in her car with her two children and parents in tow, and drove 12 hours to our house for what to her was "A week at the ranch" within an hour of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was really a fabulous win-win situation.
So we headed out way early on the 3rd for Boise, where we picked up a friend of Kelsey's at the airport and dropped the two of them off at Girl Scout camp in McCall Idaho for a week. Then Sara, Mike, and I headed on for Coeur D'Alene to house hunt. We stayed in our camper in the yard of friends from Los Alamos days, (wonderful place they have there too), but beat the streets every day with a couple of realtors, one keeping us out for 14 hours on Thursday. We love living in Star Valley and would love to stay there, but simply cannot afford to buy the size place we need for the Alpaca business. So we have enlarged our search to include Boise, Denver, and Coeur D'Alene. We found out we are going to have trouble buying something in Coeur D'Alene too. Friday we ventured over to Washington, the Spokane area, and although that had not been our original plan, were pleased with what Spokane had to offer. That is where we found the only house we were interested in and although it was still over our limit, we made a low offer. In the end that didn't go anywhere but the trip was an eye opener, and now we need to re-evaluate.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Anyhow, after seeing Jack for the first time we were all suprised because he is TINY, especially next to Ko-Chise who seems to be on the extra large side. Of course it's hard to judge since the boys are sheared and the girls are not. At any rate, he is one of the sweetest, friendliest, easiest handlers we have met. We are thrilled with him.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Currently the girls and I are on our way home from Denver where we took our alpaca in for a follow-up to her surgery last month and cast removal. Although her toe is healing very nicely (good calcification at the joint, and even the floating chip had moved back toward the correct placement), for some reason they decided they needed to knock her out for the cast removal, which meant fasting, which meant she had to stay the night. This turned out to be OK since I had arranged a day of work for Washington Group in Denver and Kelsey and Sara got to hang out at my sister, Monica's, doggy day care Kennel all day. Crescendo got the cast off and a splint on and is back at the ranch she has been staying at to breed soon.
We also took the opportunity while in Denver to visit Monica and David and look at some properties to buy. Didn't see anything too exciting but got some food for thought. Kind of a new experience. As I type this, Kelsey is driving us home!
Saturday, May 27, 2006
So this was a great winter job for Mike and a pretty big job for him to do by himself, but all in all it was perfect. Last week was the deadline. The Guy was coming to town on Friday and going to lay eyes on his finished house for the first time. This was pretty stressful, especially to pick out all finishes and colors by ourselves. And truthfully Mike could use another 2 weeks. When I was in Albuquerque I could tell Mike was stressing out pretty bad so when I returned last Wed, Thurs, and Fri, I put all else aside and we both cranked on the house.
We got it reasonably done and cleaned about 1/2 hour before Lee showed up with the moving van. Lee was thrilled. Mike still has finish up work, which unfortuately includes gyp.boarding the garage, which will be difficult to do around all the stuff. But did I mention Lee was thrilled?
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Monday, May 08, 2006
many events have gone by since my last post. In the last month we went to Oregon/Washington for Alpaca training and Tulip viewing (visiting seven ranches, some of the most successful Alpaca ranches in the country); we went to Missoula to see Mike's son, Dan, in a Lumberman competition (unfortunately he came down with the stomach flu and could not compete); and I took a business trip to Rhode Island (where I have never been before). I'd love to tell you more about those trips, but I'd rather talk about the trip to the big Alpaca Show in Denver.
We were invited to help a ranch near Denver that we are working them show their alpaca at the Great Western Alpaca Show, one of the largest shows in the country. We were also taking the opportunity to take home our alpacas from this show. While the first of April still found 3+ feet of snow in our yard, April brought the summer. Last weekend we persuaded a neighbor to clear all the horse manure out of the corral and shelter, and then we put up our fences for the Alpaca yards. Wednesday night after work we headed for Monica's house getting there about midnight.
At the beginning of April we had an alpaca shipped from GA to Denver to await our transport home, unfortunately she lost her pregnancy on the trip, AND broke her toe getting out of the transporter's truck. The break was at a joint and had a large chip broken out. (Click on the photo to enlarge.) The chip was the part of the bone that all the ligaments connect to and so things were bad enough that the vet (and the five other vets I consulted) thought surgery was necessary. Thursday morning we ferried one of our alpaca from the hotel the couple who brought her from Albuquerque were staying at to the Tapply ranch for safekeeping during the show. Then we took Crescendo to the veterinarian hospital for her Surgery. The rest of the day was helping the Tapply's load up, transport to the show, vet check all the animals, color check the animals and get checked into the show. Then we went to the evening seminar on Fleece, which included dinner.
Saturday morning we picked up Crescendo from the hospital and took her back to Tapply's ranch where she will stay until she is healed and perhaps until she is re-bred. She is apparently doing great. The surgery will protect her from excessive pain as she gets older, and hopefully prevent her from becoming barren (yes, from a broken toe), a possibility without the surgery that we could not afford.
Friday and Saturday were show days. We met a lot of contacts, went to a few educational seminars, shopped for alpaca products and needs, and watched some of the show ring. We thought we might help take an animal into the ring, and so were prepared but the opportunity didn't really come up. The Tapply's had a great show with a fourth place, a third place, and two first places on their animals and a first place on their fleece entry. It was great seeing many of our other new friends doing well in the show also.
Loved the opportunity to visit with Monica and David as well and to see the operation of their new Dog Boarding Kennel first hand. Sunday we had breakfast with Monica and Dave before going to the Tapply's to load of two of our females and head for home. The boys (Cracker Jack whom we bought in March (see previous post), and Ko-Chise, a companion gelding for Jack that we bought at the show) will be delivered to the ranch later in May. Pepper Fire will stay in VA for the rest of the year and Crescendo will stay at Tapply's until October or so.
Now that I've passed out a lot of business cards at the show with our web address on it, guess I'd better get my Webpage live soon. Maybe in Albuquerque when I go there this week!