RIP Jinx 5/1998 – 3/30/17


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Today we reluctantly let go of our patriarch of the Johnson catdom.  Jinx was approaching 19 years of age.  He had nine more lives than your average cat.  He was steadfast and true.  Even when he had his health issues over the last few years he tried to be a conscientious cat.

Deciding when to let him go was the hardest thing we’ve done with any of our pets.  He wasn’t on his deathbed sick.  He frequently had good days, though recently his bad days started to outnumber his good.  He was down to just skin and bones but still had a healthy appetite.  He could still jump up on our bed (with the help of a stool), still spent the evenings sitting in my lap and still occasionally appeared downstairs, negotiating a full flight of stairs.  In his younger days he used to like to play fetch.  We acquired him from the Auburn Hills Animal Shelter within weeks of our marriage and the move into our home in Troy.  He was the the true friend and companion of Gabe the cat until Gabe’s death.  He has been with us the whole length of our marriage!

We will miss you Jinxy!!

Pacas, Pacas and more Pacas!

I’ve been earnestly working at all things alpaca related, especially in the media department.  As winter winds down (yesterday was the 1st day of spring!) I’m working hard at getting this website in shape before all my outdoor chores overwhelm me.  I want visitors to be able to click on my WordPress link and be able to have information on our farm from alpacas to alpaca products.  I ask for your patience as I fill in the pages over the course of the next couple of months.

In the meantime, here are some paca pictures and videos.

June Bug looking grown up.
Bug again.  Looking  regal.  She gets that from her Mama.  She is acting like an independent tweenage alpaca.  Frequently wandering away from Mom (and the rest of the herd) to explore and get into trouble!

Daisy and Linus’ friendship continues to grow.  Linus isn’t afraid to be on the ground with Daisy.  I guess he feels comfortable enough with her to know that she isn’t going to trample him.  Daisy is the only alpaca he trusts to be this vulnerable with.  The babies are curious but a little too spastic for him.

And finally…

A chilly sunrise this morning.  A little golden light to go with that frost, please.

March Thaw, Freeze, Repeat ?

I am exploring a new site for my blog.  WordPress will allow me to have more than one page so I can show off my alpacas and shop offerings on the same site.  I would appreciate any feedback!  Currently the site is a work in progress and I hope to fill in missing pages in the coming months.  My previous blogs are still available at

March has provided us with a rollercoaster weather pattern.  Last week  with our unusually warm weather the alpacas  (and chickens) were enjoying the freedom to graze and forage in the pastures.  Our snow rapidly melted exposing brown grass and mud.  No mind, the critters were content!

Dolores working hard.

The chickens are back to egg laying, with a vengeance.  They are averaging 3-4 eggs a day.  The only one not laying so far is Phobe.  She molted later in mid-Feburary and perhaps is still recuperating?  I’ve been feeding the chickens a mash of chicken crumbles mixed with water and warmed up in the microwave.  I started doing this because they weren’t interested in eating the new bag of chicken feed I had invested twenty something dollars in.  I couldn’t let it go to waste so I started this bad habit and now have created chicken mash eaters!

The chunky monkey, Sting Ray!

The crias are growing and will soon be weaned.  I’m thinking the end of this month or the first part of April.  Their fleece is gorgeous!  I have decisions to make and I’ve been wrestling with the best course of action.  I’ve requested a first part of May shearing date.  I have to decide if I want the babies to be sheared or just have a belly cut.  I’m considering showing the three of them come fall and don’t know if showing them “full-fleece” or sheared is the best choice.  I will have histograms done on each of the if I shear them.  A histogram will give me important data on the quality of their fiber.  A small section of their fleece (a 4″x 4″ sample) is sent off to a lab to be analyzed.  I have not had an opportunity so far to keep an alpaca in  full-fleece.  To see their fleece almost touching the ground is breath-taking, however, I worry that the summer heat will be hard on them in full-fleece.  To be determined.

With our snow melted and sunshine the alpacas have been stretching their legs, so to speak.  Daisy and Andraya took the blustery wind as encouragement to have a romp.

Finally another of our striking sunrises.  Looking forward to no new snow and the first day of spring!