Sunday, March 28, 2010

Balancing Act

Often times alpaca farming means doing a good job of balancing different aspects of life. Some farms are able to do alpaca farming as their full time job, and that would require a lot less juggling. But I'd say most alpaca farmers count on some form of stable consistent income from a regular day job. J and I both hold a job outside of the home. We also have 2 children, ages 7 and 10. Before we had our alpaca farm, even with our normal life of work and kids, I actually found there were a lot of times I was bored. That was one of the reasons we became alpaca farmers. We do like the alpaca lifestyle, so many aspects of it work well for us. For the most part I think we do a good job of balancing things. We meet our farm needs, but also our family's needs. Like for the last 12 weeks the kids have been taking swimming lessons. Well, those 2 hours I'm at the pool each Saturday morning watching their lessons, makes a great time to get some knitting done.

I've been working on knitting these baby booties out of yarn I spun from Sommerfield and Shelby (the white is Sommer's and the variation is a twist of Shelby and Sommer). I started knitting these on our trip to a show a couple weeks ago. I wasn't able to finish them on our trip, so I brought them to the kids' swimming lessons last week. I finished knitting them at swimming lessons last week; however, I didn't quite like how they turned out. This week when I was looking at them, I realized instantly how I needed to change them. I was able to finish them this week during the kids swimming lessons.

Baby Booties:

I think they turned out pretty neat! I tweaked the pattern so much it isn't even like the original, so that is even better. My own home spun yarn, my own knitting, and my own pattern creation.

I started making a matching baby hat:

At home this weekend I started spinning some of Victoria's fiber:

Since we started our farm about 2.5 years ago, I think the one thing that I have let slip a bit is exercising. I used to run a lot. Since we started our farm, I've had times I tried to keep up with my running, but it's been very inconsistent. I know I do a lot of work on the farm, that is exercise. I've often argued that in the olden days we did not need to exercise, life kept us busy enough that people were healthy. But, I've been starting to worry that I'm not getting enough of a cardio workout. So on Sunday I set out to jog. I was sad that my constant running companion, Dottie, has gotten too old to go running with me. Her back hips are really bad (due to a car accident when she was young). She is now 12 years old, and not doing well. I felt bad leaving her at home, but it would have been painful for her to go. Quinn was more than willing to run with me. I usually run up and down our driveway:

It's 1/3 of a mile if you go down the private drive to the main road and back, so 3 laps = 1 mile. The main road is off in the distance on that picture (down that last hill), past where you can see. Several laps makes for a good workout. I like it because I'm outside, but still close enough to the house if the kids need me. I was worried I was quite out of shape and this might be a miserable thing to do. I've had some problems with one of my knees and wondered if I should even try to exercise on it. But I was feeling good, so I gave it a go. While I admit I am a bit out of shape, and I've gotten more flabby than I'd like, it wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be. Turns out hauling water and hay and scooping poop really does keep one in decent shape. This was a great workout. I'm going to make a point to start running regularly again.

While passing in front of our house I noticed one of my favorite things about spring:

Poor Spot looked like he wanted to join me (doesn't he look so sweet and small here?):

I've read that you aren't supposed to take guardian dogs out of their area because that will confuse them on what they are supposed to do. So I haven't take Spot running with me. I would be curious to hear other people's experience on this.

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