Daily Reflections From My Window

January 16, 2021 Saturday

“Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.”

Arthur C. Clarke.

I’ve been interested in Arthur Clarke lately because we’ve been watching Star Trek each night. On my 11th birthday, July 20, 1969, the men first walked on the moon and I grew up in the time when space travel was so exciting. It’s no wonder I still find it fascinating. If you didn’t know, Clarke wrote 2001, a Space Odyssey and adapted the screenplay. I’ve been reading about him and sifting through his quotes. He’s a man of complete science but not faith it seems. Sad. He’s pretty smart otherwise!

Faith is too important to me. Every day I pray in some way. It’s much easier for me to wash my hands to the Our Father than the happy Birthday song. Plus I get in a prayer many times a day. I pray in other ways too. Mostly privately.

It looks like we are back to winter again. It started to snow yesterday and must have continued through the night. I’m not sure how I feel about winter this year. One thing I do love is my Rose Cardamom latte with macadamia nut milk prepared by the amazing barista Madison at the Mill House. It was delicious and we had it with a breakfast burrito topped with avocado salsa. I hear that more breakfasts are coming and Jay and I have decided to make it a date to go a few times a week. We’ll get to see our favorite girl!

The alpacas could tell that a change was in the air with the weather. After I did my barn chores and fed them, they huddled near the barn, not too excited to start chomping on their hay. They know and soon the snow started.

Here are Kapi (looking up) and Hammy (eating).

Boy do I need to get organized. I had someone ask what kind of yarns I had available and had to take random photos. Crazy thing is that I have lots of nice photos…in some folder on my phone…somewhere.

I did get this great stand-when a pet store went out of business in Latrobe. It will be perfect for Fort Ligonier days and other festivals, which seem to be getting back on track. You knew everything would clear up and open up after January 20th, right?

I just got a notice that the wonderful Raggz Fiber Affair will be happening and it makes me so happy to have something to plan for!

Last night we also watched “Where the Red Fern Grows” and it was another excellent pick by Jay. I just wish I could cry. I’m back to not crying. Know any fail proof tear jerkers? I need a few. He’s doing his best and I see him tearing up and I just watch. Send any suggestions our way.

Remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home but if you MUST go out, wear a mask and keep the length of a full grown llama (which is bigger than an alpaca) between you and the next person.

Have a blessed day!

Daily Reflections From My Window

January 11, 2021 Monday

“Don’t give so much of yourself to others that you begin to disappear from your own story.”

Stacie Bloomfield, from “Give Yourself Margin, A Guide to Rediscovering and Reconnecting with Your Creative Self”

I’m really enjoying this book^ mentioned above. Amy gave it to me the other day as a gift. She knows I’m struggling with what to do next and has always thought of me as a creative being, even when I didn’t, and thought this book would get me some clarity. I read a few pages a day and think about what it means and even though it’s only been a few days, I’ve made some big decisions.

I’ve decided to let go of publishing Macaroni Kid for my area at the end of this month. This was a big one. I’ve been publishing for almost 11 years. I learned so much, made so many wonderful friends, and really felt that it helped our community. I hope it continues. I have little say about who takes over. It was truly my passion project, but it’s time for me to get back to my roots of creating things and that part of me has been buried under learning how apps work, or website design…I need to feel things in a tactile way, so that’s part of why I made this decision. To get back to fiber. Maybe even sewing again. Did you know that I am a trained dressmaker and tailor and had my own custom clothing business way back when? I loved it and met every project as a puzzle. But I needed a change from that for a while and now I am woefully out of practice.

And then there’s the herd. I’ve got a lot of fiber to go through, get to where it needs to go to be made into incredible products. I can’t do it all myself, but have been fortunate to find fellow alpaca folks who share their resources freely and I now have a few leads for what I want to do.

Today is looking bright. It may not be as sunny as it has been, but it’s bright with the snow. It’s about 18*. Brrrr. Yes, we are still covered.

I have to head to Tractor Supply today for some alpaca food and other items. It’s good to have a goal for the day.

Remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home but if you MUST go out, wear a mask and keep the length of a full grown llama (which is bigger than an alpaca) between you and the next person.

Have a blessed day!

Daily Reflections From My Window

November 24, 2020 Tuesday

There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. There are not more than five primary colours, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen. There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavours than can ever be tasted.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Good Morning! I’m off to a late start. I apparently changed the format of my posting when I added the “start earning” button on my website the other day. Someone texted me and asked if they could subscribe to my website posts without going through FB. I said that there should be an option at the bottom of each post that allows you to sign up for emails. Helps to look at your site as a visitor once in a while because I went on my site as a visitor and had to scroll and scroll before I came to that option. I decided to tweak a few things and made a mess of it, but didn’t have time to fix it and still haven’t so I am writing this from my computer instead of in my soft seating on my phone. I really love my soft seating first thing in the morning!

Love my soft seating or My “Prayer Chair”

I find it harder to think when using my computer, but my spelling is better and my fat fingers have more room to type. I didn’t post yesterday because we had a very early start, but I did intend to, and then hit a road block with the changes I made and didn’t have enough time to investigate, so here is what we woke up to yesterday. It was beautiful but I’m glad it’s gone. I’m not ready yet.

Too soon!

We had to go to Pgh and meet with our lawyer to update our wills. Always fun! I have in mine that Jay has to check with three different doctors before he can pull the plug on me. You have to have a little humor in these things because it does get heavy. A few weeks ago, we were watching an episode of Seinfeld and Kramer was drafting a living will in case he ever needed it. He was following a story about a woman who had been in a coma for a very long time and no one would disconnect her, so he was looking for someone who would pull his plug. Of course that wasn’t Jerry, who couldn’t even get rid of an old tennis racquet, so he settled on Elaine, who as the series progresses is getting meaner. Of course, the woman miraculously comes out of the coma so he has to rewrite the whole thing. We laughed so hard at that one. I love Seinfeld for the fact that it was the kind of humor that wasn’t smutty, but real. They said it was a show about nothing, but the nothings add up to our lives. At least they make up mine-looking out my window, scooping poop daily, looking for the peace in things and God. That’s a whole lotta nothing.

Anywho, I love our lawyer and in the spirit of this month of telling people how thankful I am to have them in my life, told him that and started to blubber like an idiot. We have a LOT in common. He and Jay went to the same law school. We found that out just yesterday after YEARS of knowing him. I asked how we didn’t know that?? I look at the certificates that EVERYONE puts up on their walls. HOW did we miss that? He grew up near me in Mt. Lebanon. I was in Scott Twp. And many many more private things. So interesting. We call those Godwinks and these are HUGE ones! He and Jay had a lot more in common and laughed as they shared law school stories of triumph and tragedy. He laughed as he said the the town was so small that it said “Welcome to Aida Ohio” on both sides. They went to Ohio Northern Law. He has a daughter who served in the JAG Corps and Jay was going to serve but they assigned him to Fort Hood Texas so he declined. Now, Dale’s daughter is carrying on the business. Right now she is in criminal law but is inching her way over to wills and trusts. We want to introduce Jack to them because some day he will need a will. They are good people. How did we find him? I think through Jay’s sister Wendy. Who knows? God put us together. He’s very down to Earth-not real lawyery. He and Jay patiently translate for me.

He took us to lunch at a little Italian restaurant below his office and I had scrod. I’ve never had scrod but it was delicious and very light. Perfect. Then we did a drive-by visit to see John and Edyce before he starts his chemo tomorrow. We stepped inside for 5 minutes and talked from 10 feet away with masks on. He looks good and I know God will be with him. He’s a wonderful man and I am so glad that he is my friend. You may remember the cupcakes he made for me one birthday. I’ll try to find that picture. It was a few phones ago! Jay calls him a Renaissance man. He’s a businessman, artist, baker, painter. He does it all without fear. I want to be like him when I grow up! So John, we are with you in spirit if not in person to cheer you on and will wear our bracelets! I’m working on a mask and will tag it with #CancerHasNoBizWithRiz . Love that hashtag Margo, his daughter (who works at Twitter) came up with!

I love this picture of John and grand daughter Emerson.

It started out at 24* and is supposed to go up to 48*. I hope so. Madison’s Nan is on her way from Georgia today to spend Thanksgiving-no worries, everyone is Covid tested! It will be nice to meet her in person. It’s really interesting to hear all of the different views on this. Illnesses besides Covid are still happening. I just thought of one side affect. Elective procedures aren’t happening. Maybe we’ll start to love ourselves again if so much plastic surgery isn’t an option. I’ve always loved to look at people with interesting faces. Not perfect faces. Just a thought.

I’m still thinking about this election. You know that I LOVE Tucker Carlson but haven’t watched for a while because we’ve been just over done with news. I watched last night and oh my gosh can that guy lay it out. Instead of me trying to tell you, watch yourself.


Or this one where he talks to a Democrat who said this is what he has been warning about for a very long time and even though it went his way, he thinks it is fraud and that big tech bought the election. How will this affect every election from this point forward? Scares the heck out of me.


Now on to more pleasant things. I’m headed outside to do my chores and then will be headed to get a rapid Covid test and then to the Bottle Works to set up my Small business Saturday table. I’m so discombobulated we’ll see how that goes!

I’ve got some things to plant and have to get moving! Jay wants to move our manure trailer this morning.

Some Amaryllis
Think I have enough celery going? There is more outside. It seems to love the cold weather.
One of my favorite gadgets. I love Egg McMuffins and now can make our own!

Remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home but if you MUST go out, wear a mask and keep the length of a full grown llama (which is bigger than an alpaca) between you and the next person.
Have a blessed day!

Skirting alpaca fiber.
Skirting alpaca fiber.
Daily Reflections From My Window

November 9, 2020 Monday


“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”


So, we wake up this AM and the market is up over 5 %. Over 1000 points. news of a vaccine that works spurs the idea that life will return to normal. Cruise lines up a LOT. That industry has been decimated. Places where people gather in enclosed spaces haven’t fared well. Will you take it?

A reminder of my amazing hair do!

I have moved this morning post off of FB and downloaded all of my content so I will systematically add it here. Thanks for all of your kind words of support. the thing that strikes me as funny is the amount of comments on my hair. I’ve posted 2 photos of my hair over the years and they are the all time winners for post likes! The latest one is over 100. I guess people like to see people. And faces! Thank you to my friend Kathy for the verse this morning. I was blank until she sent it to me.

Beautiful alpaca fiber!

Yesterday was magnificent! I spent the day sorting and blowing the dust out of my fiber and getting it ready to be sent to be made into yarn so that I can make it into something else, or sell the yarn. Or the raw fiber. As we like to say, everything is for sale at Laurel Highlands Alpacas. Funny how on the day of shearing I make a judgement about the good the bad and the ugly but with a little bit of distance and a little bit of cleanup, I realize that my animals grow pretty decent fiber. It always surprises me though after I blow out the dust, second cuts and pick out the straight fibers how much is left. With Hammy, because his fiber is so fine, it was one and a half pounds while Rebel, Gennie, Kapi and the bigger ones yield 3 pounds. Good old Dovis (Hammy’s Mom) yielded a pound and a half too.

It’s a challenge to take great fiber photos and show how white they are.

There has been a study going on with alpaca antibodies, first as a cure for Mers and SARS, and now for Covid. Who knows? Maybe the fiber IS just the biproduct and not the prize. I say to Jay that we could be sitting on a gold mine! Wouldn’t that be something?

Read more about it HERE.

With the vaccine on the horizon, looks like TP runs will be over. Phizer is a trusted company so it’s not a fly by night developer. Amazing how the news just came out. I’m still not sold on the veracity of the election results. The news I read was that Pelosi owns the company that makes ballot reading machines used in Nevada. The Pa gov broke many constitutional laws by his ruling. Could change things if it goes to the Supreme Court. But we all knew that the second Trump was defeated (seemingly, but stay tuned) that the coronavirus would be cured in a second. I guess those celebration events with thousands of people they’ve been attending all week were fine. I just want to go back to church as normal. Or to a movie theater. Oh well, now that Uncle Joe is back at the junction, it will “be OK.”

Remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home but if you MUST go out, wear a mask and keep the length of a full grown llama (which is bigger than an alpaca) between you and the next person.

Have a blessed day!