Friday, May 27, 2011

A whole lotta eggs

There were 7 dozen eggs in my refrigerator this morning:

That's 84 eggs:

Not bad for 3 year old hens, right?

Skippy, my White Leghorn, likes to gives me eggs with little surprises every now and again:

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I really love these eggs. I have been having a 3-year love affair with the eggs my hens lay me. I count them. I weigh them. I pay attention to differences and subtle changes. These below are all from Thumper, my Welsummer hen:

Each one of her eggs has a slightly different shade variation and spotted pattern. They are literally small works of art:

I carefully packaged up 5 dozen of these babies today and gave them to Jim to sell at work. Some of the people that buy them like to hear the names of my hens who laid them. Seems like people are appreciating more and more knowing where their food comes from:

Here's Honey from this afternoon. She came to the kitchen door today to announce the creation of Another Perfect Egg. As you can see, George and Clyde weren't terribly impressed:

I was, though:

I always am.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Full stop

My fortune from last week's Chinese take-out meal:

(Let me just tell you, I didn't have one bit of fun this last weekend and it's definitely affecting my productivity this week.)

Well, hello there.
It's me, Danni, returning to the Land of the Living. I have been sick for the last week and I'm kind of grouchy. A full week of my life - poof - gone...dedicated to the worst cold I can remember having. And it's still not gone, but at least I am upright again, which I see as a really huge step in the right direction.

You see, the majority of the last week has been spent either in bed or in a reclining position somewhere around my house. This, as you can imagine, made for rather limited photo opportunities. And I really like to take photos.

But habits die hard and I found myself trying to make due with my limited mobility and my phone camera.

For example, here's my dog, Roxy, sleeping:

Oh, and here's my dog, Roxy. Still sleeping:

I did try to vary my subject matter. For instance, here's the incredible meal that my wonderful mom hand-delivered to us (and then Jim served me in bed):

And here's the small, German dessert treat my mom stuck in with our meal. I love these:

And this little chicken? That was a small surprise my step dad put in our food basket to make me smile:

I am very lucky to have such wonderful people in my life who are always there to take care of me. Even Honey dropped by frequently to see why I wasn't coming out to play:

See everything a phone camera can capture when the need is there?!

Except for when I went out to feed, it was a very strange feeling to be inside that much, watching my beloved outside-world almost exclusively through the various windows of my house.

Everyone seemed to do just fine without me, though. Honey took full advantage of the two incredibly sunny and beautiful days we had by leaning up against the door and sunning herself:

Now, the real reason for this post is because I know I've promised a number of you some Kai llama fiber to play with - I want you to know that I haven't forgotten you! I've been sitting on my front porch today, packing it up.

And to the sweet person (Cathy!!) who has been waiting so patiently for some vegetable seeds from Critter Farm...they are actually in an envelope - all addressed and everything - I just need to stagger out to the post office to get them off to you.

Colds. Yuck.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The first radish

It was a milestone moment:

I pulled my first radish of the season:

So what if I was thinning my radish bed at the time and this guy was one of the ones that "got thinned"...barely a tenth the size of a normal radish:

I see it as an optimistic sign of beautiful radishes to come!

Monday, May 16, 2011

I had no idea it would be so pretty

I just wanted to show you some of the beauty that I have in this recycled feed bag:

Fiber, fleece, fur... whatever you want to call it, I've got quite a lot of it. This is about a third of what's in the bag:

Pretty, huh?:

The color is lovely:

The texture is soft and light:

I never would have guessed that underneath all that straw, twigs, and dried pellet bedding:

...that this gloriously soft fur would be waiting:

Clairz at The Zees Go West and Denny1600 at Fun in the Desert each have plans to do something cool with some. Anybody else want to experiment with a bit?:

I've clearly got plenty:

And Kai won't mind a bit:

She will, however, want to see what you do with it:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I can't access my Blogger Dashboard

After the recent Blogger debacle, Blogger is now saying that "all is well" and that everything has been returned to its original state. However, I am no longer able to access my Blogger dashboard. This is an important thing because, without access to my dashboard, I am unable to moderate my comments, save drafts, edit drafts and access/edit previously published posts.

By going to the URL:, this is the error that I receive:

Is anyone else getting this error? There are a couple of online message forums that are also citing this error message and wondering what is going on, but Google/Blogger is not responding.

I'm not entirely convinced that this post is even going to show up when I hit "publish", but I'm going to give it a shot.

Hoping this gets fixed and I can post again soon....


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Please...won't somebody

...throw the stick for poor Beau?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Welcoming a new farrier

Excitement was in the air this morning:

Chester was excited because I put his halter on and he thought I was taking him to graze on the back lawn:

Kai was excited because the donkeys were locked in the barn, allowing her to eat her breakfast without any d.d.d.'s (doofy donkey disturbances):

George and Honey were excited because 1) George had just filled his belly with some delicious kibble and 2) Honey was finding some enormous, juicy worms right outside the barn door:

Beau, who hadn't been paying any attention, was wondering why everyone was so excited:

And I...well, I was excited because I was finally able to find a new farrier (who just happens to have his own donkeys) to replace my other farrier who quit very unexpectedly on me:

Honey positioned herself as close to us as possible without actually being in the stall with us:

Justin-the-farrier was absolutely amazing with my boys. He insisted on "introducing" himself to the donkeys first, talking with them and giving them pats. He even brought his own bag of baby carrots.

Beau and Chester were in the same stall when he got there and, when I went to move Chester out so he could work on Beau. he said, "Aw, leave him. He'll be fine." And you know what? The donkeys LOVED being together for their trims. This was easily the most mellow hoof trimming experience since I have had Beau and Chester:

Granted, I've spent more than a year working with Beau to have him comfortable with foot work, but Beau was so incredibly relaxed the entire time. Justin clearly had an air about him that the boys felt very safe with. Another noteworthy point is that Beau didn't need me to stand and comfort him. I was on the other side of the stall pretty much for the duration - a milestone:

I have to say, if I gauged the atmosphere correctly in that 12x12 stall, I might go so far as to say the boys enjoyed today's pampering:

And look at these good-looking feet!
Beau's front feet:

Back feet:

Before Justin left, he pulled out his calendar book and scheduled our next appointment. He was calm, he was kind, he was knowledgeable, and he was organized. Yay for new farriers who have all the right stuff!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Llama Shearing Day: Before and After

This is what two years of llama fiber growth looks like:

In climates that are hot and humid, it's important that a llama is sheared annually every spring, but here in the cool Pacific Northwest, unless you have a show llama, every two years is pretty routine:

I'm glad that we kept Kai's coat for as long as we did. We've had a very cold and very wet winter and it didn't phase her a bit. This coat kept her toasty and dry. I was the only one to suffer with the condition of her coat, it just looked *so* bad:

Saturday was the much anticipated shearing day. Pete and Reggie were on-hand to help entice Kai back to the barn. It worked like a charm:

Kai insisted on one, last roll in the stall bedding before we began:

My trimmer is a person I met at the Camelid Herd Health Conference that I attended in early March. Adrienne has been trimming llamas for over 15 years:

It looks bad in this photo, but Adrienne told me that Kai has beautiful fiber. Considering how many llamas she sees and trims each season, my heart swelled a little bit when she said this. A mama's pride, you know...:

Chester and Beau were never more than a few feet away from Kai throughout the entire ordeal:

Such devotion:

Once the clippers started going, though, Beau and Chester gave Kai a few, final, whispered words of support...:

and then retreated - just a bit - to a safer distance:

Underneath that crusty top layer, her fiber looked just like soft cotton:

Chester would check in, every now and again, just to make sure all was in order. It really was a fascinating process to watch. Kai's fiber basically came off like a rug - in one long, heavy piece:

A few times, Kai became less than cooperative:

And attempted a number of complicated poses to keep Adrienne from touching her:


I thought it was really interesting how Chester and Beau stayed so close the whole time. My handsome boys:

With the right side complete, the left side "rug" came off:

A pedicure was part of the shearing package. Now her toes are as pretty as the rest of her:

I think everyone was really happy when Adrienne packed away her buzzy tool and life at the barn could return to normal:

Now I have a feed bag-full of llama fiber:

Any fiber fanatics out there want some of this to play with :-) :

...What's that?
Oh, you want to see Kai?
Before (taken Saturday morning):
After (taken Saturday afternoon):
Isn't she lovely?

She looks like a baby to me now! (The "clipper tracks" on her sides should disappear in a few days):

She has the skinniest, little, pointy-bottom now:

You're not laughing, right, Chester? Because guess who's getting his feet done tomorrow?: