Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Short Update and Opinions Needed

Well, I've calmed down...  The dog fiasco has become less of a worry, and the llamas are settling in nicely.  They've finally explored the entire pasture, and are working on picking up every burr out there!

Bluff also left for her new home today.  It was a bittersweet moment...I'll definitely miss her, but she's going to a FABULOUS home and I couldn't be happier!  I can't wait to see what she gets to do with her new family!

A much fuzzier Bluff...this picture is about 5 years old!

And now for the opinions I need!  I've finally started my first Rhinebeck project!  I'm making a felted bag, which gets flowers and leaves sewn onto the front (they aren't felted).  I bought yarn from Knit Picks, but ended up not getting enough of the main color for the bag, so I "borrowed" some from my mother-in-law.  I love how the bag looks now (it is a lot more colorful), but my original yarn for the flowers now doesn't work!  So I need something new.  I searched through the yarn stash again today, looking for options...  I need to knit flowers AND a vine with leaves, so the pictures show two colors (green and something else) that I would use.

#1 (blue).  Probably my favorite option.

#2 (white), and #3 (yellow).

#4 (dark pink).

#5 (light pink).

#6 (light blue/grey).
So...which color do you think I should use?  Technically I could use two colors, if you think more color on the bag would look better!  I appreciate the help!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Llamas Are HERE!!

As I started thinking about writing this blog post last night and early this morning, it was with a feeling of pure that feeling has turned to pure terror.  The llama/dog introductions did NOT go well this morning, and I learned that I have a lot of work to do on the fence and barn pen, but hopefully we can come up with a way to keep two of the dogs out of the enclosure.

Going back to the beginning...

After receiving a phone call about two weeks ago that the llamas could be coming SOON, I kicked into high gear for the remainder of the fence building and barn cleaning chores.

It took about 4 days to clean out the barn, which consisted of wetting down the hay in the bottom of the barn, shoveling it out, and then hosing down the remaining organic matter.  I also went through and "disinfected" with a strong solution of PineSol and water.  It is such an improvement!  I only cleaned about 60% of the barn, as the other 40% is still going to be filthy as my in-laws kill chickens this fall, but I plan to clean out the rest after they're done harvesting the last batch.

A dark, but clean barn!

We also finished attaching the fence and hung the gate and cattle panels.  Unfortunately, one of the dogs found a way to get under the fence, so I have more work to do reinforcing the bottom of the fence (with dirt or rocks), and possibly running a strand of electric wire along the bottom.

Finished fence!

I also set up a temporary fence to block off a muddy area that I need to dump dirt on and reseed.

Temporary plastic posts and flag tape.

The other big step was building the pens in the barn.  It took another few days, but we got the cattle panels stapled in place, the new support beam installed, and the wood trim screwed in.  It looks pretty good if I say so myself, but apparently the dogs can get through the manure troughs (which they couldn't before the llamas got here!), so we have more work to do...

Building the pens and gates.
Finished (and filled) pens!

And finally, the llamas got in about 11:30 last night!  Unloading was a little rough, since we had to work our way through the maze of a barn, but they managed to get through unscathed.  They settled in nicely though.

This morning was another story...I went out with Abby first thing in the morning.  The llamas were happily grazing in the pasture.  Abby went wild barking for about a minute, but then quieted down.  We then (a bit hastily I will admit) let the other two dogs out an hour or so later.  The Pyr managed to crawl through the manure trough and get into the barn pen, where I luckily caught him and hauled him out.  The Bull Terrior got under the fence somehow, but for some reason didn't go after the animals.  A few minutes later they were both trying to get through the fence into the pasture, and in all the excitement got into a huge fight.  Everyone is okay, but the fence definitely needs some adjustments!

Enjoying the grass.

Comical Ralph!

Beautiful Kara.  She is huge!

My tack "room".

Hay!  Hopefully the llamas like it...its a bit stemmy but should do the trick.