My cucumbers are producing like gangbusters! Everyday, it seems, I fill my sink with new ones. I mean, how many cucumbers can a girl eat??
Soooooo…. I’ve started making pickles! What fun it is to see the jars stack up. Dill pickles, sweet pickles. There’s something so satisfying about filling jars with goodies to eat later when the season is long since gone.
Here it is, 4th of July again. I think of pickles and picnics and barbecues. I remember my father and uncle gleefully setting off fireworks in the back yard when I was little, and being afraid of sparklers and big booms. And it seems to me now that our world is in a bit of a pickle, with big booms and earthquakes and rumors and plagues.
In times like these, I am so thankful to be on the ranch. Somebody posted a meme to Facebook that went something like this: "If a world-wide plague happens and you find that your life doesn't change, you must be in the right place." I think they have a point!
This was the week to send in my fleeces for the AOA Fleece Show. It was wonderful to spend time going through my 5 fleeces and skirting them for the show. I have learned not to obsess on skirting. Now I discard the coarser fiber around the "skirt" of the fleece that represents the lower edge of the blanket, then pick as much vegetable matter out of it as possible. The last step is to roll the fleece back up in the same paper or plastic that it came in so the judge can see the logical layout of the alpaca's body when they runroll it. It makes it easier for them to judge when they can see where the neck and the tail used to be.
This fleece is Kalino's 3rd fleece. We've started breeding Kalina this year. Based on his show and fleece records, he should sire some really nice crias for next summer.
On Wednesday Dr. Patty Temple came to see us. Dr. Patty is my chiropractor, and she also works on animals. She is very adept at diagnosing the spinal and muscle problems the alpacas have. She has been out many times over the years for various alpacas. This time she came to see Archimedes,
a 2-year old suri who has had some issues with weight and parasites that we couldn't completely resolve, as well as a stiff hip/lower back. Since Dr. Patty treated him, Archimedes has been walking better and eating better. He is also getting a different medication for the parasites and some natural remedies as well. He looks brighter every day. She will be back to see him once more this weekend. Lucky guy!
Walking across the ranch today I noticed that Meadowlark was standing off by herself and appeared to be restless, maybe caught on the fence. When I got there I discovered the reason why-- she had pushed her head through the fence to reach what appeared to be a bowl full of fresh grass.