Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from Indiana….

It’s Christmas eve and it’s very quiet in the convent. The other two interns left on Friday to spend time with their families. Linda was hoping to come out here right after Christmas to spend some time with me but couldn’t find anyone to watch Boomer. It’s tough enough to be apart for the holidays but now she is sick with something that resembles the flu. She has body aches, a high temperature, and a sore throat but decided to go to her son’s house anyway so she can spend time with them over Christmas. It would really suck to be home for the first time in the seven years, that we’ve been on the road full-timing, and not be able to spend it with family. Should make her feel better.
I work with Ann in the morning, on alpaca duty, so it will help her get out of here sooner. I’m on alpaca close all week (takes me about an hour each afternoon at 3 p.m.) and watering the new seedlings in the greenhouse. Somehow all of these critters and plants don’t understand that it’s a holiday for people….they just know that they need to eat and be taken care of and those activities don’t take a day off. Tomorrow, after I do the close routine, I’ll go to Sister Maureen’s house to have dinner with her and Sister PB.
Last week we moved thirteen alpacas to their new home, about 30 minutes fromalpacas new home here. It wasn’t too bad to halter that many animals and load them up. Two of the thirteen were put in the mini van for the ride to their new home and the rest were loaded into a horse trailer. There is a large lake near their new pasture. When we got them into the new area, they took off for the fence and just stood there looking at the frozen lake. I don’t think they’ve ever seen a body of water like that before. I don’t know if it was either the smell or sight of it that intrigued them so much but they thought it was the coolest thing. There are several more crias to be moved but they won’t go until they’ve been weaned from their moms. Peanut is one of the crias that will go to a new owner. That will be a sad day….I’m hoping that it will be after I’ve left in February.
Yesterday I finished skirting the last blanket of fleeces from our alpacas. Wahoo ! Sister Mo thinks that this is the earliest that they’ve ever finished with the skirting. Now we will start in on some of the fiber that another alpaca farmer gave us from his farm. The goal always is to get each year’s fiber processed before it’s time to shear again. The fiber that has been skirted can now be shipped to the New England Alpaca Fiber Pool to get processed into hats, gloves, scarves, boot inserts, etc. for our store in the White Violet Center. I’m still hoping to learn how to spin and weave before I leave here in eight weeks. There are some workshops coming up in January and February that I should be able to take that will teach me those things.
I’m putting the finishing touches on my project for my internship. Each intern is required to do a project while they are here. My project is on how the dining units can benefit more from the produce raised in the gardens here as it ties into the land ethic that the sisters have created. It’s a twenty page report that I’ve been working on for the last three months so it will be great to see that done and turned in.
It was really cold here this morning. With the wind chill, it was –5 degrees. Oncefrozen ice the sun comes out, the temps in the greenhouse really heat up. When I went to water the seedlings at 3, it was 80 degrees in there. Everything is covered in the high tunnel….nice and comfy. The thing that we have to watch is that when the sun comes out, it can create a lot of condensation on the roof of the high tunnel.
high tunnel
If it gets too drippy in there, the plants will start to rot so that is when we need to open the sides or ends to ventilate it and get the condensation out of there. We haven’t had to do that in quite a while because it’s either been really cloudy or cold. We keep an eye on it though.
Guess that’s all that’s going on here. We’ve missed some of the recent snow and ice storms, which is fine by me. Hoping everyone has a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Until next year, be safe and have fun with friends and family this holiday season.

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