Saturday, May 31, 2014

"Just Start Writing!"

"Just start writing! Say anything." The quotations marks are intentional because for almost 20 years that's what I told seventh graders almost every day when they whined that they didn't know what to write. That's how writers combat writer's block and that's what I have had for the past two weeks. So today, I write.

The weather has been so lovely after the unusually severe winter and late spring that we in Ohio (and almost everyone in the country) have experienced this year. When we released the alpaca mamas and little boys
from their confinement in the barnyard and out into the bigger grassy pasture they were almost ecstatic. They paused only slightly, gazing in wonder at green expanse before them and then set forth into the pasture proceeding to do what they do best, eating! It made me smile to see them so obviously happy.

Rich has been working on a short fence line to divide this larger pasture into two sections. This will enable us to move them from one side to another in order to allow the grass to recover a bit. It prevents "overgrazing" which can ruin a pasture for the season. He enjoys being out in the sunny pasture about as much as the animals do, even though it means physical labor. Rich is a bit of a workaholic (understatement) and has difficulty just sitting in the sun, like I do,  in order to enjoy it. I used to feel a bit guilty watching him work so hard until I realized that he enjoys it. So now, I just sit back and photograph him working while the animals play. It's always interesting, however, to see just what a "fashion icon" my husband can be when he is working...

At least his hat and shirt match and none of the colors clash. Not exactly sexy, but manly.

Last evening we were able to sit on the deck and sip some wine for the first time this season. Not exactly the most exciting way to spend a Friday night but certainly very relaxing; this is one of my guilty pleasures in life.

Rich, Callie, our dog, and I can frequently be found relaxing out there on summer evenings and his brother, Dan, often joins us when he has nothing else on his schedule. For some reason, watching alpacas play and graze in the field has a calming influence and just makes me smile.

Last week, the yarn from last year's fleece harvest was finally returned from the mill. I sent this to a mill, that shall remain nameless, because it was recommended by an alpaca breeder we met at a show last year. Her yarns looked lovely so on that basis I chose this particular mill. It took over nine months to receive our product. This year I decided to take my fleece to Morning Star Fiber Mill and did so on May 5th. Dave, from Morning Star e-mailed me with an invoice last week and when I talked to him on the phone he promised to have my yarns by the second week in June! Both are small, family-run businesses of the kind that we like to support whenever possible. I am so pleased with the service and frequent communications from Morning Star and am looking forward to picking up my yarns. It is worth a day trip to their mill store just to see the lovely types and colors of yarns, rovings and dyes that they have for sale. I am planning on dragging my friends along with me again since it also offers an opportunity to have lunch with my bff's and talk about solving all of the problems in the world today!

Lovely rug yarn made from Took and Firenze's second cuts.

Creamy, white and super soft, sport weight yarn made from Mango's baby fleece.

Super fine and silky soft, natural dark brown DK weight made from Leezza's second year fleece.

I have the yarns priced out and photographed. All that remains is to write the descriptions and post the yarns on my Etsy store, Buckeye Star Alpacas in order to begin making sales. All that's holding me back is that darn writer's block. 

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