Friday, September 28, 2012

Life as A Fiber Processor Part 2.... Enter in Cesar and Mastermind, our very first alpacas. Oh how much fun and nervous it was. I have always been around livestock but my husband hasn't. We just sat and watched them wander around the pasture. It was so beautiful to watch them, and exciting to see them both roll in the grass, and get up and run and kick up their heels. It was truly a wonderful moment....
That night we could hardly sleep, we were so excited to be alpaca owners and have these amazing critters on our farm. We talked about future plans, and laughed about just that we are farmers now. It must of been late before we both finally fell asleep. The next morning we both were like little school kids, hurry up and get outside to tend to the animals. The kids were quick in tow as well, so neat that this is going to be a family affair. Awesome!!!!!! Yay, until this moment happened which took our small kids a few steps backwards.... So It was kinda funny because we thought these pacas were going to be similar to other livestock. Well mostly me, so here I am thinking aghhhh these cute furry critters were gonna let me love on them regardless of what all the farmers had said. But it's interesting how you put all those to the waste side and you have to learn the hard way, at least I do I am afraid.... So Cesar was my favorite and Mastermind my husband's. Mastermind is always so curious like a big cat and always in your business. Were Cesar was kinda like, " Yeah your pretty cool, but on my own accord". So of course I knew how to read animals, I went to school for awhile learning animal behavior and what not, or did I, Hmmmmm BUT... Didn't pay attention this one day. I am taking hay out, no problem'o, tossed the hay all is good!. Went for the bucket of grain and instead of putting the grain into the feeders I thought. Ohhhhhh I am going to hand feed these boys. With my husband and Kids watching, I call the boys, they run over I slowly put my hand in the bucket, start to feed them and " WHAM, out of the blue Cesar, My favorite slammed me with spit, all over my face, shirt". I stood there in shock, Oh my goodness did this just happen to me. My husband busted out laughing and my kids, they were like " Deer in the headlights, with mouth open wide, jaw dropping to the floor kinda look". The smell got one of my kids, and he started to gag, Daughter took off to the house. Older son who is special needs. All he could say is " Ewwwww mom, that's just wrong". So what to do, bail the scene or just keep going, I can't stop now, I quickly fed the boys in their feed buckets and off I went to clean myself up. All I wanted to do was drop the bucket and run for the hills. This hurt me because I will do anything for animals, I mean I am the crazy chick that will run out in Major traffic to save a turtle while my Husband is screaming, " Your gonna get yourself killed"!.
In hindsight I wasn't upset at Cesar, I had read Marty McGee's book, Marty is Like the Alpaca/Llama whisper she is amazing, so I read the signs to look for and she really explains it in the animals point of view. So I truly wasn't upset at Cesar, what was going on here was My feelings were so hurt that he spit at me. He is my favorite!!!!!! Well after I cleaned myself up a bit, I knew that the reason he spit, it wasn't at me, it was because Mastermind was coming up next to him, going " Hey, I want some snacks too, and Cesar was like, Heck no buddy these snacks are all mine". This is what happens all the time, the alpacas or camelids use spit as a form of communication, and us farmers get into the cross fire... So after really puttng my feelings aside, they weren't hurt after all, because Cesar and I had this connection from the start. Later that same day, I was brave and took grain out to Cesar while he was alone and guess what no spit, we were best buds again. Mastermind was quite upset, but not for long either because my husband took snacks to him as well. It was a really cool moment for the both of us. Our kid's on the other hand, up at the house playing games, they needed to see it was safe. " Yeah, let Mom and Dad be the guinea pigs. We told the kids we were going to attempt to give snacks again, we were like you all wanna come down. Out of the mouth's of babe's way too funny actually our son said, Not right now Mom, not in the mood to get slimed like the dude in Ghostbusters... HA HA HA HA

Life As A Fiber Processor

I've been asked over and over how did your Fiber Journey begin. I thought it was time to start from the beginning so there will be a better understanding on who I am and the type of artist that I've become. So here it goes... In 2005 Our family moved to The beautiful rolling hills of Brooksville. We came from a beautiful riverfront home on The Peace River in Port Charlotte. We loved living in Port Charlotte, but after Hurricane Charley devastated much of the area and us having only two bridges to get to our home. That was a pivital moment for our family, our home was only 9 feet above sea level. We needed to move to higher ground that wouldn't flood. So fast forward, we sold our home and bought a older farm house on 4 acres. We were in Hog Heaven!!!!!!! We had all this land and at that time I was an exotic bird breeder for 14 years and had well over 250 birds. This was the perfect place to raise birds and run a great business.
On a beautiful Fall Sunday Morning, We noticed an article about Alpacas from a local farm. My husband said Hey want to go check it out. I of course was like " Heck yeah "!!!!. What is so funny is while we were living in Port Charlotte we had been getting The Farm and Ranch Guide and Alpaca Magazine from AOBA. We saw a television commercial and always thought that if we purchased land someday that this would bea neat thing to possibly raise. So with that being said, my husband made an appointment and just driving up to the farm. I knew I was smitten with these alpacas. The rest of the family fell in Love with these beautiful big eyed gentle furry critters. Our children were so excited so we came home decided this was the avenue we wanted to take. This was going to take alot of work on all of us. We visited more farms, got ideas and found our first two alpacas that we wanted. We bought our two Boys right on the spot. The journey home, that is when the reality of what we just did set in. " OH MY GOSH, we are now going to be alpaca farmers"!. The next few months were going to be intense, we had to take Woods, I mean thick woods and make a barn, pasture, run-in's and so much more. Plus attend seminars on Alpaca Farming, Finding a vet and Finding a farm that would mentor us. I can tell you that after those month's of hard work, Our family never, I mean never wanted to see another shovel or rake again. All that hardwork was so worth it, because looking back at that now. We did everything right, we wanted everything finished before they arrived. The excitement was building, because it was down to just a few weeks till our boys made the trip to our farm. Enter Cesar and Mastermind