Thursday, November 19, 2009

Treasures and "Thank you"

Please take in the beauty of the Variegated Empress. this is a "sister" to the Empress in a previous post.  The book the flower is sitting one is wonderful.  The trinity cities of Savannah, GA, Beaufort and Charleston, SC are my favorites in the USA except in the summer and "no see 'um" season.  Once upon a time I took my husband to my beach, Destin, FL; he took me to see his beach in Beaufort and it had a strange smell.  It was the marsh.  He said this is the bread basket of the world's fishes.  Had a new appreciation for something that I thought had a "stink"; he looked at it as fertility.

Dr. M is standing by his Camellia sansanqua in full bloom.  Really am glad he puts up with me in his loving way.  An alpaca farm girl, as Katy Spears ( as sister) tagged herself, really needs an extra dose of love and support.  We have a lot that goes out with the care and concern; nice to have it replenished by great husbands!

Anna and Celeste are doing great thanks to all the great things that Mother Nature can do.   She has thousands of tiny kinky curls down in her blanket and that is "potential! She was running in the pasture this AM with the suri kids! Great moment!
Another member of the team CARODEL is Tom.  He is in control of the girl cats and makes sure all are on patrol and doing their job. He was commissioned with the sphynx, if you know what I mean.   As it is said around here, "everybody has a job"! His micron count is very low and for a guy that someone left off at our front gate; he has really developed into a great guard for the felines.
I have been thinking about the term "thank-you".  It is very nice to hear at the moment of delivery of something for another.  But, I think we might take this to another level.  Why not do something really neat for ones you are wanting to thank.  Do something that would please them and not necessarily you.  For instance, realize what  thing or activity that they do not like to do and do it for them.  This happened to me the other month when my husband took the grocery list and got the contents and I did not have to go into the monstrous store and walk the four football fields to get 10 items.  I was was so impressed that he did that without asking.  He said just wanted to do something to thank you for being you. Wow, does it get any better than that?  Kids could dust and vacuum their own rooms plus the general living area and watch how curfews get eased, trust gets enhanced and best kid on the block awards come out.  If a wife would clean out the sock drawer; match 'em up or toss 'em! Maybe just step in and clean out the refrigerator or glean the freezer over the holidays.  If it was not used in the last year, out it goes.  You do not even have to be there to judge that decision.  That would be a great thank-you that has no strings and would be appreciated.  All you have to do is seek out what matters and not expect anything back; that is a real thank-you!

This is Leandro John Rodriguez-Mixon, our grandson who is in his sophomore year in Engineering and Architecture at Eastern Carolina University.  Jamba!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Debutante and the Royal Alpaca Challenge

As we go further toward winter, the camellias are starting to open.  Patients can see the ones at the office through their big windows.  Takes the edge off ;as you are well aware some have "dentist phobias". Many patients wonder how Drs. Mixon and McGee can have roses in the winter!!
This medium size one is call a "Debutante"; is always pink.  It is one of the originals to hit this part of the world most of them being imported from the Orient in the late 1800s.  They started out as plants in the "le orangerie" of Philadelphia's finest homes.
Now they are outdoor plants in gardens in the southeastern USA..  There are only a few in this form called anemone, you will never see the stamens.  The flower from the last post has the stamens well exposed.  They are the same genus and species; strange how that can be with over 1000 different cultivars.  Beautiful!

On Friday many of us will venture to Conyers, GA to the Olympic Horse Park for the Royal Alpaca Challenge.  Tim Lavan and Amanda Vandenbosch are judges.  We will be having our first Georgia Alpaca Associaton AOBA approved halter competition. This is way too cool to see such beautiful animals on display.  Part of the jig is a silent auction.  This year  we have donated a felted alpaca hat that I purchased somewhere along the line for our product display area.  I kicked it up a couple of notches by adding feathers, an elephant broach and a porcupine needle from Namibia. my friend Emeril would say!
So those of you who are going, bid on this creation and wear with pride for it is a Southern Sisters addition to the world of fashion. Watch out Project Runway, we are after your attention!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Good breeding;bad seeds

This is a book cover.  It caught my eye because of the subtitle of "good breeding,bad seeds".
In the alpaca breeding business it is paramount that you consider this phrase.  No one male has the power to overcome all the inadequacies of the mate.  They can complement one another but not totally override things like poor fiber character, luster, skeletal issues, attitude and the myriad of other characteristics in fine breeding progeny.
This post is mainly for those of my readers who are in the breeding business.
It starts now.  Here and in this place.  When the progeny hit the ground, part of the equation might be corrected.  Then with the next generation of breeding, you get it better and better.  It does not happen overnight.  It takes years for this to put the best on the ground.  So do not get disenhearted if your little treasure is not as good as the dam or the sire, but the betterment you get with further refined matches will filter out the undesirables. You cannot choose just any ole guy on the farm and expect that match to help the next generation unless you take a very objective look at what you have achieved.  Same goes for the dam.  You may have paid a king's ransom for her just to find out she does not have a great 50% of the genes to add.  It is livesotck.  It is not a perfect game.
My question to the experts is how do you realisitically "fix a female'?
Face up to the reality that you may have to change your game plan.  Face the fact that not all that glittered was gold when you purchased your breeding stock.  We all cannot have a crystal ball that will let us look into the future and make the best choices.  but I guess that is really what the EPD program is all about.
Gelding is not a bad choice in many cases!

This is from Dr. M's garden.  It is an incredibly beautiful camellia named The Empress.  One thing I have learned from the study of Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) is that the oriental culture likes to see the plant also after the petals have dropped to the ground to make a skirt of color.  When this happens I will show you how beautiful the grounds can be even as the flower comes apart.

Do you have corporate gifts to give this year?  We are getting George and Judy to fix up specially roasted coffee packages for us; sidebar has contact info.  The Alpaca Bean Coffee Co. matriarch is a lovely lady named Pinkie Speth.  She is 95!, is Judy's mother and owns Pinkie's Alpacas.  Can you believe it? She may hold  the record for an alpaca breeder's personal longevity. Now she is a real "sister" and we love her.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Heaven is richer today.....

You never know when one of the living creatures in your charge will not be with you.  Charm had a very tough delivery last week.  Anyone in the alpaca breeding business knows that the females are usually very considerate not to have their crias after 3 PM and not when it is raining.  Guess what, all those theories went out the window this year.  Last Tuesday was one of the days we caught the rains from Hurricane Ida.  The dam was due in another 2-3 weeks but labor was in full force.  Dr. Frost was there within 30 minutes and went to work.  He retrieved a little male whom we named "Rainman".  Yesterday things looked like all would be getting better from his low birth weight and agalactia of the mom.  We even got a photo of him with Dr. Frost's children during the afternoon.  But, I guess that Heaven wanted him more and he went in his sleep last evening. I share this with you for things like this sober you.  Makes one look around and not be remiss in telling  loved ones how much you do care for them; for in the bat of an eye, it can change.
I had lots of time to snuggle this little fellow and thank him for the few days we had to enjoy his antics.

Your family is much more important.  Do not assume that you will have the luxury of waiting to say those special words, giving gestures of love and bridging gaps.
I think I will wait until tomorrow to write more, this is a sad day at Carodel Farms.
Charm seems to be fine ....she was a very attentive mama and did try.

On a good note Alabama won, Georgia won and Ted is a wee bit older!!tee hee Pup

Friday, November 13, 2009

Meet Lance and Freckles

Want you to meet Lance.  He is  the little peep that was under his surrogate mother's wing in a photo posted back in the spirng.  He is now all grown up and has such incredible plummage.   I guess you can tell, he is a rooster.  He is bigger than any other chicken on the farm but came from the smallest parents. We thought he was a she until he crowed last week, dead give away, girls do not do that.   I guess it is the "free-range" living and cracked corn.

My husband loves to propogate the Camellia japonica.  They start blooming this time of year in the southeastern USA and California. Among the first to bloom is the variegated one in the photo.  It is called Governor Mouton (past governor of Alabama).  It is lovely.  I like to cut them and float in a crystal bowl.  They are rather fragile and do not last but a day or so.  We must have 60 different varieties here on this farm and at the office.  Will share with you as they bloom.
One of our natural beauties on the farm is a suri alpaca named Freckles.  She is medium rose gray with white spots . Her fiber makes up into silky heather gray and should make a lovely shawl.  Hope to have this done sometime this year.  Freckles is being bred to CPharoh, a true black suri and is for sale.  If you would like to add her to your alpaca breeding program, give me a response.

Mother Nature is incredible.  Many times we try to interject ourselves into the management of a species when the mama can do a much better job if we will just get out of the way.  Such is the case with a new cria.  Try as I may, I had very little success with getting him to my benchmarks. When I gave him back to his mama, she went to the far end of the pasture, nursed him and he is still standing. 

Sometimes "love" kills....

Today I just saw another ultrasound of my grandson who is due in April. 
As his dad says, " if he looks like his mama, he is probably a hotty".....
(I have no clue what that means.)

Have a great weekend; it is gorgeous here in Georgia..

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

..only dead fish go with the flow!

There is no stronger force than the pull of the moon on the tide of the ocean.  This is a definite flow.  Every 6 hours and 23 minutes, the tide will change. Fishermen gauge their fishing cycles with the tides, bridges are timed with the height of the tide and attitudes of wildlife change with the tides.  With all that force of an eight foot tide at the above site, it would  take a very strong, healthy and determined fish to handle that flow.  If he went with the flow, he would leave the brackish waters of the Pocotaligo River and enter the salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean in short order. Not good unless you are a salt water dweller.  The marsh in this photo is in its winter colors and is  just up the Broad River from the boot of Hilton Head Island, SC.  Anyone been there? Gorgeous.  But, the pull and the flow of the tide at this juncture is not for the weak and mamby pamby.  I saw a blip on the TV this AM and this slogan pulled across the screen about only dead fish going with the flow and I believe it.  So if someone says, " ah shucks, just go with the flow", think what they are asking you to do.  It may be bad waters ahead if you cave to the request.

Want you to meet Pierre.  He is a gray short hair domestic that belongs to Heather, our daughter.  Pierre is named for the "father of dentistry"-Pierre Fauchard.  There was a UTube photo of a cat dunking his head under the faucet and drinking water.  I thought, "Pierre, when did you become a movie star?"  It looked just like him.  I will share our "UShot" of this comical cat drinking water from the faucet. ( I love his eye markings, very Egyptian looking.  Maybe he was there when they commissioned the sphynx!). By the way, he is one of those cats that loves to sit on the keyboard of the laptop, it's warmer there! ....and locks you out if he steps in a certain sequence!
If you look closely at the picture below, you will see the cotton is ready for picking.  My husband said, "kinda late"..but, with the new varieties being grown in SC, there are two pickings.  The fields are full of long train car shaped bales covered with blue tarps.  Quite a harvest this year for them, which is good in the town of Estill, SC.  I have some boles to pull and try to felt to blend with the alpaca for the veil base.  It is pure white and very soft.  It is Egyptian cotton, long staple and perfect for a blend.

Rainy here, crias not on steady foot yet. Pray for their well being.  Thank you, CMx

Monday, November 9, 2009

Meet Roger Isaac

Went to South Carolina this weekend for a hunt with Chartres, the Boykin Spaniel.  She did super at retrieving pheasants and wowed all with her obedience and super personality. I think I have all in her first litter spoken for and she has not even gotten married!

On the trip we stopped at Beech Island, SC to get fuel; this was the home of James Brown
( "I feel good... etc").
While there, this little 3 year old Roger Isaac, was with his grandmother getting an after pre-school snack.  They had made hats that day and decorated with crayon colored leaves.  He was so cute and wanted his picture taken.  All chuckled when the clerk said, "I  like your feather hat"; he shyly retorted that they were leaves, not feathers, couldn't he tell the difference? Of course.  How could adults be so mistaken? Was quite obvious.  This is the hat of the week.

My husband was stationed at Ft. Hood in the 50's.  His heart is heavy for the loved ones who are left.
I am getting recordings of his recollections of those times in the U.S. Army as a young Captain, his days at Clemson as a member of the Cadet Corps, and his days as a youngster in the early 40's in South Carolina.  The stories are hilarious.  I share this with you for there are ones in your midst that you would be remiss if you did not record their stories.  Take the time and do it.  It is priceless!

This is Chartres. Great dog!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mourning Veils

Mourning veils have an interesting history.  During the War Between the States, a lot of men were lost.  The South seemed to have a greater share of widows than the North.  There was a time after 1865 that all the women were in dark drab outfits .  The Govenor of Texas started to "outlaw" mourning wear for it was depressing too many people. They could not seem to get over their losses and kept progress from coming to heal the wounds because the women were still grieving.  Men have a short patience gift when it comes to visible mourning.  It seems that that part of our species can hide it better.  I know that men hurt, but they do not wear it in obvious places like women.
The women in this vintage photo are wearing the typical late 19th century designs.  The neckline is high, the dress length shows no ankles.  The jewelry is even black.  It is called "jet". Kind of like a black amber.
It is very shiny and looks like glass. Does any one out there have a piece from an ancestor? Take a photo and send so we can see what it looks like.
The role model in  late 1890-1910 was Queen Victoria of England.  She lost King Albert and for many, many years never wore nothing but black.  So, all the subjects of the realm and in the USA followed her lead in proper mourning attire.  The only rule of thumb we are recommended to follow these days from "Emily Post" is "do not wear red to a funeral".

I have been to a lot of funerals, most of the souls being celebrated have had a full life.  But, it does not seem that swollen eyes and tears are being camouflaged by veiling. Maybe that is what large sunglasses are for!  That is why we are creating an alternative for those who are mourning and need a bit of privacy behind a veil.  The photo of the fashion hat with veil above is an interesting study. Do any of you have a felted hat that is similar to this one that you would like to donate to the design phase? We will try to duplicate with felted ALPACA  We have the thin silk veiling with the satin edging. Become a sister with us on this project, would love to have you.

Speaking of becoming a sister, we invite guys too.  Sister can denote kinship not always gender, specifically.  that includes George! He definitely is a "soul brother".

If you will, click on the link to be a follower and you will get each Enjoy! installment.

One of the most famous of black veils was a waist length veil worn in 1963 during the processional of her husband.  Can anyone identify this lady in this shoulder length veil that is over a tam? Her sorrow is still felt to this date, at least those of us who were around in November of 1963.  Where were you?

Will keep you posted as we launch this initiative and leverage our creative resources to meet the needs of the saddened.  Mourning has always been a spectator sport for some. Our veils will lend privacy and dignity to these hours of black........
(LM  introduced me to the word leverage; means a lot of things. I like "sway" as a definition, seems less threatening and mutual gain might be an outcome.)
Congratulations to Patricio Mujica on the arrival of 'Celeste" (that is what we call her).She is a lovely beige and white huacaya alpaca cria

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Holy Pumpkin and Christina

This is the last pumpkin story of the year.  We have had a blast with our two perfect specimens from the harvest.  Last year we bought a pumpkin and let it sit on an old stool, an antique from Hampton, SC, until after Thanksgiving.
We then put it by the power pole in the camellia garden and it slowly collapsed with the freeze and thaw cycle.  When it collapsed, it formed a perfect little incubator and protection for the seeds.  To our surprise the seeds sprouted and vines formed in the spring and it produced two successful orange globes to play with.  In the above photo, Dr. Del carved a cross for All Saints Day and we had it lit at our dinner hour after the wonderful blessing of the two new crias earlier in the day. The cross section that my husband carved out was put into some boiling water and when soft, sprinkled with brown sugar as a harvest treat. It was really good. I have only had pumpkin pie and never the fresh flesh.  It is a lot like acorn squash, just not as sweet.  but I took care of that small issue! The webbing that holds the seeds reminds you of a veil, how strange.

I would like to share with you another member of the Mixon family.  This photo was taken several years ago when we were visiting her in Venezuela.  This is  Christina Rodriguez.  She is our granddaughter on my husband's side of the family.  She is most talented.  She plays violin and is a budding artitst.  She can paint and also is a super photographer.  She can catch the moment. Maybe she will create a piece of her work to share with you who "Enjoy!" this site.
And,may I add she is quite the fashionista!  She can have a pile of stuff in her suitcase and come out looking like a mini-Vogue model.
This photo is of her in her flamenco dress.  She took us to a recital in a big mall.  Her class did exceptionally well.  It is amazing how many more joints these kids have that we older pups have long ago lost. She lives in SC now and blazing a trail.  She will always be my heroine.  She actually caressed and talked a female alpaca into getting over heat stress.  That is another story.

Hugs from Georgia to Christina!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tiarra-Queen and Anchor

Several years ago we made a purchase of an alpaca breeding female that has again had another wonderful cria for us.   She became the anchor of our breeding program and the Queen of the pasture.  I have retained
most of her offspring for our program.  We  have found an outstanding male that matches with her perfectly.  All in all she has given us six females and two males. I think she has earning a bit of a vacation......
Her daughters have added another six granddaughters and great granddaughters.
Above is a photo of Candeaux's Saint John.  He was born on All Saints Day, November 1, 2009; that was Sunday.  We were making morning rounds and were counting heads and Voila! another set of legs.  Tiarra had this little man and the placenta had presented and  was beginning to search for nourishment.
We were elated.  She was huge;built a bit like a tank in the latter days.
But wait... as we were leaving the pasture we saw Celestial Anna laying on her side and acting agitated.  She was not due until next Sunday. But we went ahead and called Dr. Frost after about an hour; and 45 mintues later, we had a gorgeous beige/white little female on the ground.  We are calling her Celeste!
God really blessed us with great breedings and a wonderful veterinarian who saw things through to success.

Was a super day to have new life on the farm to have fun with Choice and Adam.  will get photos of all playing as soon as the mamas are integrated back. Two in one day has only happened three times here! Charmed.....

Saw an interesting ad.  The gist was that the periodic table that chemist and scientists use displays all the known elements that make up our planet as we know it.  They have, in the ad ,added one more element, Hu for the Human element.  Think about it.....

Want you to meet Gloria and Joe Williams.  They are two of the nicest people you would  ever want to meet.  They share the bounty of their harvest with us each year.  We get a jar of honey, some pickles that are knock your socks off perfect and this year we get to buy some of their great hay...
She is a dedicataed sister and he is one of the alpaca whisperers of this world.  They live in Townville, SC and would love for you to visit their farm and see what they have put together.  Alejandro, a full Accoyo herd sire is on their farm.  He has done some great stuff!!

Check out their jeans, the crease is perfect and I love that.  Looks so neat but I must concess that I am too lazy to make sure our jeans are so perfect for stepping out....
Now that i think about it, I do not remember where I put the iron, humm. did I put it in the yard sale stuff?