Category Archives: Farming

Projects around the farm

More changes

I knew the blog has been very much neglected lately, but when I see the last post and date, it almost makes me nauseous!
As I mentioned earlier a lot has happened, and there has been much to digest and get used to. Looking at when I started writing this post, well, let’s just say it’s awhile ago.
The last year and a half has been filled with difficult decisions and agony. It all started when my bucks had to go. I don’t want to go into details, other than to say it was a gut wrenching time, and of course things happened in the middle of the breeding season. Unfortunately some people ended up in less than fortunate situation, but believe it or not, circumstances considered, I got to know some really special folks, with hearts of gold! So as always; no matter how bad things seem, it’s always good for something.

Towards the end of last year, early fall really, I had to realize some health issues has to be taken care of, during which time it will be difficult to do much physical hard work. That meant, after many sleepless nights trying to figure out ways to work around things, I had to let go of my gorgeous Argentinian mini-llamas. But again, something good came out of that as well. They are currently residing at Fort Lucas Farm in Colrain MA, where they have many buddies to rump around with. I believe they have around 35-40 llamas, and also around 30 Nigerian Dwarf goats. Ellen is a doll, and very experienced. We share a lot of the same husbandry philosophies, and that goes a long way in keeping me content, not having to worry about how they are doing.
The integration with the new male herd went exceptionally smooth, with no issues whatsoever. I know they’re loving it, with a bigger herd and more buddies to hang around with. Not to mention at least Amore for sure, will get to run with the girls come spring. He will be in heaven!
Be well my sweet, gorgeous boys. It was an honor spending time with you the precious time we had together….

santi_winter15_13 amore_winter15_08

In short, what lead to this unfortunate situation, is apparently I have joints like an 80-year old, that’s done hard physical work his whole life. The right elbow surgery I had late summer last year was not a complete success. It took care of some issues, but there are still things that needs to be taken care of surgically. Most likely we’re talking radial nerve release in several spots. Before doing that, we found it prudent to do another MRI of the neck, to see how things stand there, as I’ve had previous issues and several epidural steroid injections. It wasn’t a big surprise when the results came back, that things had progressed and gotten quite a bit worse; reversal of the normal cervical lordosis, disc bulge and spondylitic ridge with spinal stenosis, bilateral foraminal narrowing, and of course the standard progressive degenerative changes and uncovertebral osteoarthritis blah blah blah. I’ve had one epidural steroid injection for both diagnostic purpose and also it’s helping with some of the neck/general upper extremeties issues. However the elbow issues still persists, so…..
To top it off, I was working in the craft room just before new year, and low and behold managed to rip up an old left thumb injury, that was surgically fixed probably 30 years ago. I was ripping some fabric, but it wasn’t the fabric that ripped…. That was splinted for 3 weeks, and have been doing some exercises for it, but it’s certainly not getting much better. So another thing in the works. My bet is they’ll have to go in a fix the ligaments again.

Needless to say I probably haven’t been easy to be around lately, with my extreme restlessness and not quite knowing what to do with myself, not to mention the feeling of complete defeat…. thankfully my dearest has been very supportive and patient. Lesson half way learned: stubbornness can only take you so far… although I don’t think I’ve given up on that quite yet. 🙂
What the future holds animal wise, I’m not sure. Once I have all this stuff over and done with we’ll see.
I still have my craft room, and fiber left from the boys, among many other things, so I don’t think I’ll be in lack of things to do. Then there’s the old clunker truck… maybe put some sweat and tears into it and see how good it gets. 🙂

Work is very busy, but hopefully there will be more time for computer stuff (yeah right, it’s always at the bottom of the list). I’ll probably still keep some of the info I have available, and might even put up some more stuff I have that might be useful in regards to animal husbandry etc.

Friggjasetr is going all stud

After much contemplating, heartache and realizing I’m not a super human (boy does it suck having to admit that), I’ve decided to go “all stud”, and put the main focus back on fiber again.
This is why I’ve been missing in action, just trying to sort all this out mentally and practically. It’s been a mix of extreme sadness, extreme joy, and everything in between. I have realized this kidding season, that I get too attached to the kids. No matter how much I’ve tried to prepare, and tell myself not to get too attached, I just can’t help myself. Having to let them go just tears me apart.
Add that to the new longer commute, and not having much time for milking and using the milk the way I had planned, the decision just had to be made.
Once the decision was finalized, it was just a matter of finding new homes, and finding the fiber animals I want.

I have to say I have been extremely lucky finding very good new homes for the girls. They’re all very well taken care of and loved, and local, so I get to visit and see them grow. Trinity and Tryggur ended up going with their girls, which was great. They have been gone for awhile now, and it’s only Smiley and her girls left with the boys. I also sold Gjallar, as I had two beautiful sons from him that I will keep.
As a breeder, I would say it’s crazy having sold them, as they’re all top notch animals in every way. Be that as it may, I will still have my boys. For someone that started out with plans of not keeping any bucks, has now turned into that’s all I’ll have.  One thing is selling the girls, but the boys… oh the boys there is no way I’m giving up. I’m not quite sure what the attraction is. They’re stinky and filthy during the rut, but I don’t mind. They are my buddies in a different way than the girls. They’re also not high maintenance like the girls are. That’s not to say they’re not taken well care of. They get the same care as the girls, but they’re not in “nagging heat” once a month, and there is no “special care and feeding for pregnancy” to worry about. I will for sure miss that too, as that whole process is extremely fascinating. I’ve caught myself several times already thinking of who will be bred to who.

Smiley and the girls are going on a long trip end of next week. They will get a great new home in Virginia. I’ve been getting ready for and planning this trip for awhile now. Truck needed to be updated and fixed to be safe for trailering, trailer is booked, so the last bit is just making sure I have everything on my lists checked off.

When in Virginia, I’ll bring back some amazing mini llamas, 2 beautiful intact males, one Argentinian and one half Argentinian, both with very good bloodlines. More on this later, once the trip is over and done with.

I’m hoping for an uneventful trip, without any mishaps with the “old clunker”. I’m hoping it will show it’s Ford Tough! Planning on taking off Friday early morning or late night, depending on the weather.

More later, stay tuned….