Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a nice weekend. Kelsey and Sara were up for the weekend. We started with a nice quiet Turkey Day with just the 4 of us, lots of food, games, football, movies, Animals, and plenty to be thankful for! The celebrations continued when we had the neighbors (with their 5 kids from 17 months to 17 years old) over for brunch the next day. It was good to get to know them a little better and good for my kids to meet their kids, and summer already seems more fun.

Then, Friday afternoon the REAL adventure begins, as we drove up to Denver. Monica and David were taking Kelsey and Sara to a "Fall out boys" concert including 3 other bands Mike and I did not know (is there supposed to be a generation gap between you and your sister?).. Ok for those who might know, it was "Plain White T's", "Gym Class Heros" and "Cute is what we aim for". Ha! did that help?! Anyhow the adventure started long before we got there as the snow started falling early that morning. The roads between Colorado Springs and Castle Rock were hazardous to say the least. We had the added challenge of driving the truck pulling the trailer, because while the kids were at the concert, Mike and I were heading up to an Clearview Alpacas, way up on top of the mountain west of Golden, to pick up a Mom and cria that were there for breeding. But when we almost slid the whole rig into a small hatchback while driving up I-25 (luckily going 15 mph, but envision our size difference) we decided not to try to drive up the mountain, and not to try to drive home at midnight that night, so when we dropped the girls at the concert we got a hotel room. I still am in awe (not for the first time) of Mike's driving abilities. I honestly cannot believe he didn't hit the car, nor slam the trailer into the concrete barrier on the shoulder. Just another thing to be thankful of!

SO Saturday morning we still had to go up to Clearview and get Athena and Alpine, before heading home. We got home around 2pm, putting a serious cramp in our plan of decorating for the holidays and cookie baking. We had a friend also coming by to pick up the Subaru, which she bought from us.. another story another day. As we put Athena and Alpine into the barn we were greeted by a new cria! I had actually put it out of my mind that Sophia was due any day now. She had a little beige girl, and absolutely no problems. She was about 2 hours old, and pretty cold, but already standing, eating, and curious as heck. She is going to be a strong nice girl! We have named her Vail.


The girls have gone home now, the house is quiet and I am finishing the decorating the tree and baking cookies. Ahhh, life is good.

Hope your Thanksgiving was just as satisfying!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We sold our house

Sorry I've been incommunicado for so many days, but I was holding my breathe, didn't want to do anything to jinx it.. But today we closed, and the house in Wyoming is sold! Yee-haw! Life was starting to get kind of scary, so this didn't come any too soon.

What else has happened since I last wrote? Well it seems like long, long ago, but we did participate in National Alpaca Ranch days Sept 29th and 30th. Surprisingly we had visitors continually both days. And of those we had a very good mix of those curious, neighbors, and people genuinely interested in the business. Next year we're cooking burgers!

Balloon Fiesta found me in Albuquerque, and though every year I say this is the last time, I always find some excuse to get me up again at 4am and sit in traffic for half an hour and freeze my toes off waiting to see if the weather will cooperate! It's tradition. This year Kelsey decided to have her birthday party go and my sister Monica was down with husband and 2 friends. My parents went and my sister, Nancy's family joined us with her sister-in-law and her family.. So we were quite the crowd. And this year for the first time since I remember the weather was great all 9 days of the fiesta! The day was perfect, except all Kelsey's friends were too tired to enjoy it!

Toward the end of October we went to an alpaca show in Topeka, Kansas. We car pooled with another breeder in Golden. We took 5 animals and brought home 4 ribbons - 3-firsts and 1-fifth place. We felt really good about that. Two weeks later (this last weekend) we went to our local affiliates fall show up near Ft Collins, at a brand new facility there and stayed with Monica (didn't however "see" her after the first evening when we went to dinner, both our schedules kept us hopping). Actually, I came straight from Albuquerque and left Mike to check in the animals and get our booth set up. Luckily Monica had a plane arriving at the same time, so she gave me a ride from the airport instead of Mike having to come down and pick me up, so that worked out super! At this show we brought 6 animals and although none got a blue ribbon, all of them did get a ribbon (3-seconds, 1-Third, 1-Fourth, and 1-sixth) so we were extremely pleased with this weekend too.

A few anomalies though that threw up for a loop.. Carmel DID get a first, but later they figured out they had done some math wrong so she got down graded to a second. Bummer! Another misfortune, we had entered 3 entries in the spin-off. This is a competition where you send in 2 -oz of fiber and they spin it and judge it on it's "spinability". Well there was a notice on the entry form in bold letters "DO NOT SEND MORE THAN 2 OZ OF FIBER" so I tried to send exactly 2 ounces of fiber. The show scale however was slightly different than mine and it recorded in at 1.9 ounces. I was docked 25 points on each entry and got 2-fourths and a fifth place. These easily would have been first places if they had the other 25 points.. More Bummer. And finally our little boy, Phoenix, that had done so well in Kansas, did not catch the judges eye at this show, she commented he was too thin. I'm thinking this is why she didn't like him. Well, we'll have to work on that.

On the bright side, it looks like all our animals escaped getting the highly contagious virus that is going around and terrorizing the alpaca community.

The same weekend of the Kansas show Sara's choir went to New York to sing in honor of 911. It was a great honor and a fun trip. It was great for her and they saw all the main sight. Maybe I'll have her post an entry.

Kelsey had a big event this month too as she went to Homecoming, her first HS dance. She went with a few girlfriends and they had a blast.

Mike is finishing Monica's basement this week so he'll be "home for the holidays" we are both looking forward to that! Then he'll go back in the New Year to complete "phase 2", the kitchenette, dining, living, 1/2 bath, office and guest bed. Wow that sounds like a lot!

We've still been alternating our time at the ranch, but one of those weeks his son Jed came to visit and do a little fishing, so he's getting in some fun too. No new water issue, oh except our washer wasn't reconnected correctly after the softener went in, so the pump burned out on that. Monica and Dave had a spare we are using now though.