Back in the Saddle

The farming fun never takes a vacation here at Jacob's Reward. As soon as I got back from the Wildflower Fiber Retreat, we had to drive down to Corsicana to pick up two lambs who need bottle feeding for a couple of months. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Wildflower was a great retreat this year - the cold, wet weather kept everyone in the mood for working with wool! The theme this year was the Northern Lights, and all things northern and arctic. We learned a jewelry-making technique called Viking Knitting - which is really more like weaving with wire, we learned about Icelandic and Shetland sheep, we knitted with a Lopi-type yarn to make a miniature sweater with colorwork, some folks worked on an Aurora Borealis needlepoint pattern, and we ate Swedish meatballs and caviar. I tell you, it was fantastic. I loved connecting again with old friends, and making a few new ones as well. Lots of spinners took home Jacob's Reward alpaca fiber to spin from our vendor booth, and we got rave reviews from the ladies who couldn't wait to get home and spun their fiber right then and there! Reporters came out from the local newspaper to see what all the fuss was about. Their article is here. I was under orders from the gals who couldn't go to take lots of pictures. Turns out my camera's batteries were on their last legs and I had neglected to pack extras. The photos I DID get are here.

Then yesterday, as I said, I met Kim Travis in Corsicana to pick up two of the lambs who were orphaned in that horrible dog attack. Itzhak and Mary will live at Jacob's Reward Farm until they are weaned and then Mary will go back down to Bedias. (She is for sale, however, and Kim reminded me that if anyone wanted her up in this area, she could live up here in the DFW area instead!) At weaning time, our other three boys will come up here to join Itzhak and become the Gulf Coast Native wether flock. Perhaps they'll become part of the little flock made up of Shadrach, Zacchaeus and Lucy right now. I don't think I trust them in with the horned Jacobs. It just isn't a level playing field.

Mary and Itzhak couldn't be more different in their eating styles: Mary sucks down her bottle as fast as she can, making milky foam at the corners of her mouth and wriggling her "happy tail" to beat the band. Itzhak, on the other hand, has to chew the nipple of the bottle, and is very lazy about getting his meal down. He's just not in a hurry and won't be rushed. He's a snuggle bug and would just as soon cuddle with his head on your chest. It will be tough to be subjected to all that fuzzy cuteness four times a day for the next few weeks.

And speaking of fuzzy cuteness - remember that this Saturday, March 21st, is our next Herd Health Day, beginning at 10 AM. The plan is to try to get the alpacas weighed, toenails trimmed and give them more halter practice. If I get it together, I'll give the boys their CD&T shots, and save myself the effort on shearing day, which is already hectic enough.

I hope you're enjoying our Return of Spring Weather. The rain was desperately needed, but I have to admit to being thankful for better walking surfaces as the soppy clay dries. It's time to make hay while the sun shines.

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