Sunday, November 5, 2017


how beautiful it would be
to spend the rest of Thanksgiving weekend
thankfully enjoying the company of family and friends 
instead of shopping

Sunday, July 2, 2017

shearing alpacas

We shear alpacas to harvest the fleece or fiber. 
We were busy all day helping to shear alpacas. 
There are many jobs involved in the process.

The head holder works closely with the shearer
getting the alpaca in the position it needs to be
as well as keeping the alpaca from flailing around.
It slows down the process of shearing significantly (the shearing, I mean).
The cleanup crew sweeps up the discarded fiber
during and after each alpaca is shorn 
and resets the rope that holds the halpaca for shearing. 
The putter downers are the guys in the background of this picture. 
They hold the alpaca while the ropes are put on its feet. 
Sometimes they practically have to pick the animal up!

            We all work well together, and get the job done. 
Even though the alpacas resist, kick, and spit they're happy in the end. 
They're so much cooler for the summer  and it only happens once a year. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Local Woman Becomes Alpaca Shearer

    The following post appeared in our local community newsletter, the Jay Community News, edited by Seth and Trudy Rosenblum: 
       " The art of shearing alpacas is difficult and requires a skill set not often found on traditional resumes. First and foremost one has to have confidence.
     Beyond that one needs: strength, artistic vision, experience and equipment. One has to know how to clip the fleece without cutting the animal. The "blanket" or all the fleece around the back and sides, has to come off in one piece. One slip with the shears and the animal can be cut. 
 One has to be able to fashion attractive top knots and tails, give shots, cut nails, stitch or glue wounds, evaluate skin conditions and calm a nervous animal. 
     Maria Goulet has developed a real talent for the discipline. She is shown here shearing a cria (a baby alpaca) with her sister Catherine assisting and Seth Rosenblum looking on. 
Thank you Seth and Trudy!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

hot, cold, planting

hearty cold framed strawberry plants 
remained undaunted 
as high winds 
swiftly transformed 
sweltering eighty degree temperatures 
into cold freezing nights

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Very Hopeful

...that we've seen the last snow storm of the season.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Butter Recipe

See the Little House Cookbook
by Barbara M. Walker
butter recipe: page 166

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Fresh Baked Bread

     Our family is very blessed to have a resident bread baker. We are often awakened by the warm aroma of freshly baked bread. While we are still sleeping, this is what is happening...
The beginning of another beautiful day!