Wow, this has been a really busy week. On Tuesday night we went to Robyn’s house to learn how to butcher (is that a nicer word than slaughter ?) two chickens. When you buy baby chicks, you don’t necessarily know what their sex is. There are actually professional “sex-ers” that can tell what the sex is of the little ones but apparently Robyn didn’t have that done to hers cause three of what she thought were hens were roosters. Darcy’s life was spared and came to live at White Violet Center and is doing wonderfully with his new harem. Since Robyn lives in the city, the other two roosters needed to take a trip to her freezer. She had sent us video links that we were required to watch before coming to her house. I did that and it all seemed to make sense but the actual killing didn’t go as smoothly as we all would have liked. I thanked each rooster for his service on earth before she took their lives and some valuable lessons were learned. First and foremost, your knives should be really sharp. I won’t go into any of the gory details on the whole process. If you want any specifics cause you have chicken butchering on this week’s to-do list, shoot me an e-mail. It was an educational day for sure.
Wednesday was CSA day (just one more week to go !) and my turn to hand out the bags to customers as they stopped in. Everything went super smooth and I was done an hour early. Wahoo !
Thursday night was our staff Christmas party. We started off with a number of different games. We played the card game “Blink” in groups of three and the winner from each group played each other in the playoff game to crown the champion. What a hoot that was ! It’s such a fast paced game and we were all hooting and hollering at the last three people…..I think they were all holding their breath trying to discard all of the cards in their hand. After all of the games and frivolity, we ate lots of yummy food. Sister Ruth brought apple pies, made from White Violet apples…so yummy ! Then we had the gift exchange and I got a beautiful piece of pottery made by a local artist. It was a super fun night with all of the White Violet staff.
On Friday I worked all day, wet felting bars of soap for orders that have come in. Sister Mo has been doing some awesome marketing of our wares cause she took orders for a total of 43 bars of soap. Holy Cow ! One lady wanted regular soap and home-made soap so I made a trip Thursday afternoon to pick up some Earth Drop soap, which is made in Bloomington, IN (I think). They make some amazing scents like Minty Swirl, Gently Rosemary, Sweet Olive, etc. We work in natural colors because they don’t dye any of the fiber here but when you mix different fibers, you get some beautiful combinations. I don’t consider myself a very artsy person, nor am I crafty but I can do this really well and I enjoy it. I started in at 9 Friday morning and worked till 3 (took time off for lunch) but didn’t get everything done. So I went in this morning and finished up. When I looked outside this morning I thought the weatherman goofed again with his prediction for 5-7 inches of snow but once I got outside, I could see that we had gotten a lot of snow. I tromped over to the center and got done with my project. I put the bars on a sweater drying rack so the air can get under the bars to get them dry. Sister Mo will wrap them in pretty ribbon and get them ready to be picked up. Another woman ordered 12 of the nesting cages, which are the suet cake holders packed full of alpaca fiber for the birds to use in building their nests. So cute and an inexpensive gift for someone !
This is my little work area, near the big sink in the back of White Violet Center. After two days of felting soap, I have the cleanest hands in Terre Haute (and have also used the most hand lotion in Terra Haute).
While I worked away out back, the annual Christmas open house was going on out front, in the center. It was just like Santa’s workshop…working behind the scenes. I have close to 50 bars done so Sister Mo can pack the order. She’s going to pick up some more soap and some more suet cages, cause there’s still 10 days till Christmas ! We have really gotten wiped out of a lot of things in the store. It’s been a busy Christmas season for alpaca items.
Oh, I forgot to tell you about going with Tracy to pick up a new alpaca last Sunday. She and I took the center’s mini van and drove to Effingham, Illinois to meet an alpaca owner at a Cracker Barrel. The deal went down in the RV parking area of Cracker Barrel. There were multiple alpaca farms there with horse trailers to pick up or trade animals with this woman. I bet customers were surprised to see alpacas all over the place in that end of the parking lot when they pulled in for blueberry pancakes that morning. Probably had to do a double take.
White Violet traded a couple of breedings from their sires for a young female alpaca, named Esperanza. Oh, what a cutie she is ! She is so sweet. She rode the whole way home, standing up (usually they cush (sit) while riding) but she was curious and looked out the window, poked her head up through the barrier to say hello to Tracy, etc. Once we arrived and she saw the horses, at the equestrian center, she started humming….she was excited to see other animals. Then we got her out and introduced her to the herd, through the fence. Everyone came over to sniff her and say hello. Then Tracy took her into the pasture and let her loose.
Within 15 minutes she was eating hay with everyone and was fitting right in. Yesterday Bree put a halter on her and she came up to the center to greet the guests coming to the open house. They all loved her and she was photographed and filmed for the 6:00 news. What a sweetie she is and a nice addition to the herd.
So that brings us to today….I finished up the soap and have been relaxing since then and enjoying the beauty of the snow. It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas around here…
Until next week….May the peace of the season fill your hearts with joy !