Friday, May 30, 2014

60 Years Young

A certain guy is 60 today!!!!!

That scary looking bearded man in the jeans, polo shirt and cowboy hat? 
Yup. That's him. That's my dad :) 
He turns 60 today and no better way to say Happy Birthday than with a blog post all for him!!!!! 
Oh, and it's Friday. Now you know what day of the week it is, Dad.

Thank you for being the best dad in the whole world, a Grandpop that makes his grandsons smile and laugh, a teacher of all things, and most importantly, for loving our mom and showing us what life and love is all about. You're the best and I hope you have a great birthday.

We'll raise the flag tonight while we raise our red cups and celebrate.
Garrett has his trumpet ready to go!
p.s. You really do wear the same thing every day!!!! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yarn Along

Howdy! It's Wednesday...time to share what I'm knitting and reading this week.

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr.  ~

 I went to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival earlier this month and picked up these two fun colored skeins of yarn by MarigoldJen. Her booth is in her daughter's tent and I was attracted to the logo. It was at the end of the day that I found her and I was still looking for the perfect yarn that wanted to come home with me. These two skeins made me happy, reminded me of summer and after this long cold winter, it was just what I needed.

Without a plan in mind for a project, I scouted out Ravelry. I came across the Pendulum shawl by Amy Miller and knew I found a life for this yarn.
In colorways Wildflowers and Burning Embers, I'm calling this Strawberry Fields.

Ravelry Link: Strawberry Fields

Thank you for the book suggestions last week. But as it usually happens, I had already read them all.
That's what happens. ALL THE TIME. I'm always looking for the next great read.
I had bought The Owl & Moon Cafe at our library sale a few months ago so I picked this up.
I love a good book. A real book. A great story line, well written and smart.
This book? Is none of that but I LOVE IT!!!!!!!! It's silly, predictable, quirky, romantic, sad, happy, cute and totally cheesy. I think it's just what I needed. It's one of those books that you could read in one sitting at the beach. So I'll keep my eyes and ears out for the next "good read" but for now, the ladies of The Owl & Moon Cafe have my attention.

As some of you may know by now, I teach knitting lessons at my parent's alpaca farm in Wall, NJ.
It's a joy to teach and it brings such happiness to me to see people learning and enjoying themselves.

"Purple Debbie" took my most recent class and blogged about it.
I thought I would share her experience from a different point of view. Hop on over there if you have a minute to read what she wrote. And she also takes a ton of gorgeous photographs of our area!

Have a great week! Happy Knitting All :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Haircuts for ALL!!!

This past week was shearing day(s) here at Arrow Acres Farm.
This used to be just one day but now that the herd has grown tremendously and the rain was on it's way, the shearers arrived after dinner and they started their jobs early.

Haircuts for all...
Why we do it, how we do it, and anything I else I can think of to share.

Why do the alpacas get sheared?
 1- Their health. That fleece is HOT!!!!! That's a good thing for the horrible cold winter we had here at the Jersey Shore, but not good for the hot steamy nights that are on their way.
If we left all that fleece on the animals, they could over heat, have heat strokes and get the idea. Not a good outcome.

 Reason #2:
YARN!!!!!! That gorgeous fleece will be cleaned, carded and turned into luxurious yarn and roving that we use and sell at the farm. Heaven I tell you!!! Hypoallergenic, soft, beatiful colors, warm and perfect.

Who does the shearing?
I'm sure you could do this yourself, but we call in the pros.
These guys are awesome. They work their butts off, work efficiently, do a great job and tell great stories all at the same time. They spend a few months out of the year on the road traveling from farm to farm shearing animals. Lucky for us, they arrived the night before our scheduled shearing day and got a jump start before the rain came.

How do the animals get sheared and do they like it?
For the safety of all involved (animals and humans) they alpacas are tethered around their legs,
spread out on the ground and as quickly as humanly possible, are sheared with electric clippers.
They also get their toenails clipped, teeth trimmed if needed, shots if needed at the same time.
The whole process takes 10 minutes or less. All hands are on deck, fleece is bagged, labeled, cleaned up and onto the next one before you know it.
Do they like it? Ummm....yes and no. Some don't seem to care. Some scream, holler, spit and pee. Yeah, good times. But once they're sheared, let loose they are soooo happy.

Even the little guys like to see what's going on...

Everyone helps around here. Even the littlest guys if they can.

What do they look like under all that fleece?
See for yourself.... (picture by my sister, Andee)

 Funny looking!!!!!!! That's what I think!

So it was a successful 2 days. Exhausting all around.
I personally was on kid duty. I did not do the physical labor in the barns. But the little boys wore me out! Shearing Day brings the whole family together. We all join together to help if we can.
I don't know what other farms are like, but we all try to help as much as we can as a family.
My  mom and dad own the farm, my two sisters and I all help out and between the three girls, we have 7 sons that chip in too.

While we were waiting for the shearing crew to arrive on Wednesday night, I took a bunch of pictures of the family hanging out. The calm before the storm....


That's the crew and everyone's new haircuts!

Our farm will be OPEN Saturday May 24th from 11-4. Come on by to see these critters for yourself!
And our store will be open. We have a lot of new spring/summer merchandise in.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Today is Wednesday

Today is Wednesday :)

Joining up with the weekly yarn along to share what I'm knitting and reading this week.
And of course I throw in a few extra....

Most of my knitting lately has been mindless. It's the only thing I can knit while sitting at the baseball fields (which I feel like I do nearly every day!) I prepped for my group knitting lessons I'm teaching and I knitted a few more rows on my Stole shawl.
So, not much to report or show on the knitting front this week.

So I'll make up for it in cute animal and kid pics :)

 Onto the kid and animal pics...
A sunshine filled day and some fun in the sand.

We chopped Garrett's hair. I love it. He's still mad at us. This photo was taken on the way to his 4th grade band concert. He did awesome. So proud of him. He has been playing the trumpet for less than a year and was able to stand up in front of everyone and play America the Beautiful with a few other of the select students. So proud!

This is my baby sister and her babies.

And look who's smiling :) Baby Grant, 6 weeks old and cute as can be.
Here is the little baby alpaca. He's waiting for his new friends to be born. Any day now!!!
Hair cuts tomorrow for the herd. Hope it doesn't rain all day!!!!

Happy knitting and reading (oh yeah...forgot about that. I need a book. Any suggestions?)