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Monday, June 30, 2008

Black Pearl


Here's our newest addition to the Split Rock Ranch llama herd. Born May 20, 2008. A black male that we named Black Pearl (his mom is Minnie Pearl). Photos of Black Pearl right after birth and at one month. He's such a curious and friendly little guy. I actually got pics of the entire birth but don't want to post those here - they're pretty graphic! Hopefully Tia will have a cria soon so BP has someone to play with.

Wildfire 100% contained

The Nash Ranch wildfire is now 100% contained (rain Saturday night helped tremendously) and all homeowners have been allowed to return to their homes in Bear Trap Ranch. No structures lost. Crews will be onsite for a couple of weeks to mop up and keep an eye on hot spots. Total acreage burned = 1,115 acres. Kudos to the fire fighters!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Wildfire Near Us

Yesterday, Thursday June 26, 2008, a wildfire started in an area about 5 to 6 miles south of us. I took some photos of the fire from our front yard (see photo immediate left). I also took photos of the big helicopter that was pulling water from Wright's Reservoir right across the road behind our house (photos at top of blog entry). After Jim got home from work, we drove past the fire to an area called 4 Mile Ranch and drove about half way up Witcher Mountain to take more photos (middle photos - wide range view and closeup views). We watched with binoculars and took photos for about a half hour or so then headed home to check the status of the fire on-line. The fire grew to 400 acres by 9 PM last night and by this morning it has grown to 1,000 acres. Bear Trap Ranch subdivision has been evacuated. We were just in Bear Trap Ranch one evening this week, looking for property for sale. The fire burned in the exact area we drove to! I will keep everyone updated on the status of the fire. We should be safe here, unless the winds change and things get out of control. Prayers for the safety of the firefighters, volunteers, evacuated home owners are greatly appreciated. And, while you're at it, please pray for RAIN!!!! This fire was started by dry lightning. This is the second fire in the past 4 days. The first fire was about 3 miles southeast of us and only burned about 25 acres. I guess it was a good practice run for this fire.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Little Precious - Kitten that is...

We volunteer as a foster family for our local no kill shelter. We take in small kittens until they are old enough or big enough to be spayed or neutered and then adopted. After Tango's sudden death right before Christmas, I needed something to help heal my heart and decided to call the shelter to see if they had any kittens that needed a foster home. They told me they had just gotten in two little calico kittens if I was interested. Woo hoo! I have always adored calico cats and jumped at the chance to foster these little girls. Kit Kat and Angel came to live with us on January 6th and I was immediately attracted to little Kit Kat but decided to rename her Precious. Precious and I bonded and when the time came to have them spayed and adopted, I could not let Precious go. Jim told me he would love for me to adopt Precious - happy Valentine's Day! So, we had Precious spayed and I immediately adopted her. Angel was adopted immediately, as well. Lots of people have asked me how I could possibly take these kittens into my home and care for them for weeks and then let them go. I tell them that I love being around kittens, I love helping to socialize them for their new homes and usually I'm ready for them to go to their new adoptive homes because I know that another litter of needy kittens will be at the shelter soon enough. I took a break from fostering after Precious and Angel due to Jackie's senior year schedule and my health issues. Now that I have retired from my job and am working from home full time on the ranch and my fiber business I have plenty of time for a couple of foster kittens. I called the shelter today to see if they had a couple of kittens for me and they will call me back when they have things sorted out. They have some sick kitties in the shelter right now and are trying to determine what it is before placing kittens in our home that might infect my other cats. I'll share pics of new fosters when I get them. I would like to encourage everyone to volunteer as a foster home for a needy agency in your area. Meanwhile, here's Precious in my fiber basket.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I'm back in the saddle again!

After a long cold winter with plenty of slips and slides, bumps and turns, I'm back in the saddle again!

After Tango's death right before Christmas, my heart just wasn't in it any longer. Plus, we were so busy with all of Jackie's school activities (who knew the senior year was soooo busy?!) there just wasn't enough time nor energy to devote to blogging.

So, here's the scoop: since Jackie has moved to Florida to attend the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, I have "retired" from my "real job" as Office Manager at a home builder's office in town and I am doing the ranch and my fiber business full time! I am having some trouble getting into the groove - I feel like I'm chasing my tail most days - so many things I want to do and I don't know where to start sometimes!

I found a gorgeous heavy all wood easel (for $20!!!) that my wooden triangle loom fits perfectly on so I started a triangle shawl using some of my earliest handspuns in purples, greens and blues. Of course, that got set aside until another day but at least I know how to work the loom now and will be able to pick it back up when I'm ready. I set up the easel in the great room and turned on my VCR tape from Carol Leigh at Hillcreek Studios, then paused the tape as I managed to do what she was demonstrating, then just started to cruise. Now I'll need to watch the part on the tape where you do fringe and get it off the loom... but that's for another day.

Yesterday I tried a new handpainting technique on some beautiful yarns and they turned out beautifully! They're called "Peacock" - turquoise, teal and violet - on 100% llama yarn (2 skeins) and 50% Cashmere/50% Silk handspun. OMG did these turn out gorgeous! My photos do not do this yarn justice! I need to get some photos taken where they are not in full sunlight. All the luster in the yarn reflects the light and dulls the colors. They are far more rich in color than these photos show! These yarns are listed in my etsy store:

Today I hand painted some silk hankies in the Peacock colorway, along with a 4 oz hank of merino roving. More pics to follow!
It is good to be back - I promise to blog more often!