Monday, August 19, 2013

Mama and Baby Screech Owl
 Days on the farm can vary tremendously from days filled with the  most amazing surprises, to others filled with anger and sadness.

As many of you know, I work the farm mostly on Monday's processing fiber to sell, weave into rugs or to spin into beautiful yarns. This is the day that the alpacas know I will come visit with them and check on their well being. This includes weights, fecals and checking on their pastures.

My last day at the farm office, I was mostly watching one of our girls who has yet to have her baby. She keeps us on pins and needles because she is now, in our minds, overdue. Alpacas gestation period is generally 11 - 11 1/2 months. We just call it 340 days. Some have gone on to 365....and so our concerns continue. Will keep you posted.

Between my inspections, I did manage to snag some really cool pictures. For the past 4 years, Mama Screech Owl has been blessing us with her presence. George built these nesting boxes and placed them in various places. It took a year, but Mama found her favorite one. This day, Baby was not cooperating with my photo session (I thought). The morning light was shinning brightly on him, but the barn cast a shadow over Mama. It wasn't until I loaded the pictures on the computer, that I realized I had captured Mama as well. I enhanced the brightness and what a delightful surprise. I have not seen them since that morning, so it was Mama teaching Baby, "it's time to go". Safe travels and hope to see you next year!

Just before leaving, I was picking Basil leaves to make some Pesto sauce for dinner. I was greeted by another special surprise. Tree frogs nestled in the leaves. Days like this are special. 

Unfortunately, I do have some sad news to share....while we were gone to our special place outside of Cruso, we received a call from the caretaker at the farm. One of our Macho's had decided it was time to play Master Herdsire. Unfortunately, the old cliche boys will be boys does hold true. So, with great weight on my heart I share, Frango managed to injure and kill Oli (Oliver). There was nothing we could have done to help with his injuries. We will need to find another paddock to keep Frango in as he continuous to be aggressive. 

I cannot leave on a total sad note, so I have an update on the bananas....still doing their ripening thing....


And...this is my outside farm office....and the only one that is usually neat. I LOVE being organized, but as of late, it just doesn't seem to be me. I totally dislike it, but I don't seem capable of getting organized. One day.....

I still LOVE what I do and those that surround me! Life on the farm seems to give you a different perspective on life. Catch up soon and for all those teachers out there - A BIG THANK YOU - another year has just begun.  ~ Alicia

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Our Home Off The Grid Venture..

Sitting patiently is not one of my strengths and doing absolutely nothing is not relaxing! Saying that, I have learned that while sitting in the woods in North Carolina with just the sounds from nature to be very relaxing. This is about the only place that I have patience to wait and wait. I have sat hours waiting for the owl to show his or her face. I know it is there because it announced it's presence. So relaxing, I fell asleep until awaken, not by an animal, but my glass of wine spilling onto my lap.

We have found an amazing 23 acres in Haywood County, NC. The house is entirely off the grid - we have solar, but no battery banks. We have wind, but it is locked 80 feet high. We have beautiful springs that fill our streams, but not our toilets. The house has been left open to Mother Nature for the past 10 years or so. So here starts our new adventure.

 There was a yurt located down from the house filled with goat soap making supplies. It took George and myself more than two days to clean and take apart. We now make trips into town to drop off trash and recycling - and they know we are coming!

 This is the road to our barn. You pass the solar panels on the way. These are not up and running yet. They were once upon a time.
Solar Panels Just Waiting to get to Work
Wind Power Ready to Blow

 This is the barn that originally housed the goats. We won't have goats, but hope one day to have our alpacas there. It would be so amazing to have horses. There are so many beautiful old logging trails that meander in and out of the property. Oh, the beauty of the Pisgah National Forest. To think my childhood was spent here and so eager to get away. Now, all I want is to get back home. Like James Taylor sings..."In my mind I'm going to Carolina...."

So, this fantastic team that we have assembled will be responsible for getting this house prepped for many years of fun to come. Funny, because right now I don't hear country music, I hear Joe Satriani's Always With Me, Always With You.
Team Leader (because he holds the machete)
Fabulous Team Members 
Picture Fall Colors
So, I have immersed myself into yet another journey. I think this will be another happy one. I am always grateful for what my life has brought me and what paths I have taken. So many wonderful things....and the little one's that weren't...thank you anyways.