Sunday, April 19, 2009

Why I love living in the country

Our house is at the edge of a field that is at the base of a beautiful hill. We are really fortunate to witness some amazing sunrises. This photo was from Friday morning. Jeremy was out doing chores and yelled in to take a look at the sunrise.

Sunrises are really important to me. I call my Dad on the drive to work to comment on the really pretty ones. Dad is a notoriously early riser. He gets up early as a regular practice and also lives his life in a way that puts an emphasis on the little things - like a beautiful sunrise.

Shearing time

Ok, so everyone was curious about how the two new boys would look without all that fiber. Well, here they are!

All of our alpacas look skinny and gangly after shearning, but Wes and Magellan really look small. They came to us with several years' growth on their front and hindquarters. The fiber from both of these ends is not usable because of the hay and brambles. A farm visitor who grades fiber told us that if it is "crunchy" when you touch it, the cost of cleaning the fiber for processing would be too much. Next year, we will have lots of usable fiber from both of these boys. This year, just the blankets will be used.

We are really anxious to send all of the blankets to Phillipsburg for yarn and roving. New fiber fresh from the mill should be here in about 6-8 weeks.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Good neighbors

Jeremy and I are blessed to have the best neighbors! Today, they played Easter bunny and brought us the sweetest gift that was waiting in the garage after work.
A couple of weeks ago, we shared 18 eggs in an oversized carton. Today, our neighbors returned the carton with our bantam egg shells filled with pansies. Each egg cup had Easter grass and if the cup did not have an egg shell with a flower, it had a chocolate egg! What a sweet (and absolutely perfect) thing for them to do!
It reminds me of a story from several years back that my Grandpa Harsch told me. A young farmer and his wife moved down the road from his farm. (Grandpa lived in town, but still farmed and had his old farm house, equipment shed, a garden, and all the makings for a full-scale operation just outside of town.) The young farmer needed to borrow some equipment and my Grandpa gave the go ahead. When he returned the implement, the young farmer took out his checkbook and prepared to pay my Grandpa. My Grandpa refused and said, "Let's just be good neighbors."
I have carried that sentiment with me. It's simplicy speaks to the best of rural life. I love having that story as part of my legacy and we are so blessed to have neighbors share the same value.