Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


T R O U B L E I can finally post about this (I hope) without sobbing and getting so upset that I just stop. Our dear friend, trusted sheep guarder, and mischievous llama, Merlin, died. In a way, and I know this sounds awful but just bear with me, I am relieved. We took the llamas from a neighbor who simply told us she couldn't take care of them anymore. Upon getting them home, we noticed that they had really bad lice and one of them was very thin. We spent hours, days, lots of money, and many tears trying to get them in tip-top shape only to lose Simba, sadly, this winter. Merlin has been in fine health, though, and was just running around in my salad garden on Sunday (tricky guy figured out how to lift the latch on the gate and let himself in - I let him alone because he was kind enough to only eat the weeds around the border and stay clear of the lettuce). Monday morning, we let them all out to pasture and noticed that he was slower going out (he usually leads the way). Hmmm. We watched. He started showing signs of stomach pain and I called the vet right away. He was gone before they could make it here - colic. It was awful, hard to watch him suffer, and even harder to do all the things we had to do to try to save him. Llamas hold their dignity until the very end and the fact that we had to give him enemas and walk him alot really didn't please him. We will miss him more than I can clearly express. The sheep keep looking for him, and the things and I find ourselves scanning the field in disbelief at least a few times a day. We loved him well. Having said that, I don't think I will ever be a caretaker for a llama, again. I love them and they are great animals - but I've never had this happen before and I don't wish to repeat it. We've cared for horses, cows, sheep, pigs, birds of all kinds - you name it, really, and have on some occasions, lost an animal or suffered a harrowing illness and recovery period. Farming, husbandry, etc. doesn't come without its price. But, never, in the years we've been keeping animals, have we had a seemingly healthy, vibrant adult animal just go from perfectly happy to tragically ill or dead within hours. It is very disturbing. Since the first llama died this winter, I was basically in a panic every day for months. I checked the llamas so much that Merlin started to hiss at me whenever I walked around to his back. 'ger off me', he seemed to say, 'leemee alone'. The vet says don't take it so hard but that is so easier said than done. I'm not saying sheep don't die, I'm just saying that I seem to understand them more clearly and I like thinking I have a bond that alerts me to something being wrong with my animal friends.

attitudeOn a much more ridiculous and (forgive me being blunt here) frustrating note, I have to say that I am kinda regretting the Mystery Stole 3 knitalong. First, meet my friends (this may help you understand my mind and my problem with the knitalong). Yeah, they are Styrofoam. But, they are always nice. Take the chic on the left. Okay, she kinda looks pouty but that's only because I accidentally kicked her head over three times trying to step over them. She felt much happier when I gifted her with the silk tam. I'm not a group person, generally. I don't think I'm better than anyone else nor do I hate people in general (okay, sometimes I do) - I just tend to get frustrated with the things that go on when a large group forms - it kinda smacks of the days in high school where pressure to fit in was more traumatic for some than others. Still, I fight my anti-social nature from time to time and join the masses because (1) I like people MOST of the time and (2) I think it is good to get out of your comfort zone at times and GROW YOURSELF. I've been mightily disappointed with the way this KAL has gone in the past few days and I'd be lying if I didn't confess that it has greatly diminished my enjoyment of knitting the stole. That's too bad because I think that many great things have come from this experiment. I've learned ALOT about lace knitting. I'm finding myself moderately competent at it and, I like the idea of it being a surprise. I have a slightly different approach to knitting this stole (though I am sure many are doing just what I'm doing and I just don't know it) in that I don't feel like I need it to be PERFECT. Accurate is good, beautiful is a must, but perfect isn't my style. I read about others ripping out loads of their work to fix something and, while I fully support their right to do so and knit a perfect design if they need to, I think - not me. I've fixed some blatant errors and I've cheated some to make something else work. That's my lace knitting style. I now have a lace knitting style. My style also seems to have (inadvertently, I promise) included my reclusive and lacking in respect for authority ways. I didn't use the color of yarn recommended, I went ahead and started out breaking a 'rule' (really only a suggestion) by using a hand-dyed. I love the way it looks.stole
I have, however, avoided the checking of the many, many posts on the group site. Then, I get a few fiery messages from the head honchos about an issue that highlights for me the very reason I like to be alone - ALOT! Someone mentions something in a joking and, frankly, I don't get the offense part, way. Still, everyone has the right to their views and one person was very concerned and then it would seem that everyone got their panties in a wad and before you know it, a line has been formed in the sand and everyone and their pet toad are pronouncing religious intolerance, deceptions, and so on. Then, the messages from the powers that be informing everyone to shut up or be branded just kinda made me sad that this still happens when people of like interests try to form a community of sharing those interests. Still, it seems, the politics seep through in the end. I know they had to say something but, well, see my issues with authority voiced in previous posts. Freedom means just that....freedom. Freedom to be misunderstood. Freedom to be passionate. Freedom to make a joke, hurt someones feelings, and say you're sorry or to voice your frustrations. But, just a dash of religion and common socialization seems to go to a far more personal and unforgiving place. I'm abstaining from reading the whole Harry Potter book at once because it is still quite a feat for my littlest reader so he still prefers me to read it out loud to him. Since his siblings finished it within two days, I am pacing myself so he has someone to talk to about the story that won't give future details away. Perhaps it has been the chaos, the pain, and the slow pace of the whole ministry silliness combined with this ....this incident that have just made me feel like putting the darn thing in a box and getting on with it. Very surreal.

I don't care what religion anyone practices and I appreciate that they keep their personal beliefs to themselves. I'm hard-pressed, though, to see how this could be fun after this. Who can say anything, now, without a frenzy of fury? Everyone is different and I am still waiting for that to be in fashion. Perhaps then I will have a sizzling social life. Should I have another cup of coffee? Me thinks, yes....