Linda and I met when we were 12 or 13. The story goes that Linda's father and my mother were arranged to be married in the Lithuanian community just prior to 1940. They liked each other but weren't in love, so they decided to forego the arrangement and marry others. We like to joke that we could have been sisters! Once we were old enough we would visit each other by riding the bus from our respective suburban communities to downtown Seattle. We would spend our babysitting money, eat lunch at the Woolworth's counter and then ride the bus back home.
First I got a tour of their vegetable garden. I was struck by the Zinnias up front - Mr. Squash's favorite annual - they were nearly 3 feet tall and full of color!
Check out the beans! I made the remark to Linda and Alan that they had enough vegetables to sell them in their farm store! They've done quite a bit of canning and freezing already this summer and have a lot to go!
Next came a visit with some of the alpacas. They keep the males and females separated. The males were out back, and since the ground was wet and muddy from the recent rains, we stayed up front with some of the females and their new babies. I don't remember this lovely gals name, but she sure is pretty!
Linda comes up with the cutest names for the new babies. This one is appropriately called Pippi Longstockings and her mother is Betsy Ross. Apparently, Pippi's coloring is quite unusual in the alpaca world.
Here is another mama and her baby. All the babies were born within a few weeks of each other. It's a lot of work - 7 days a week! I'm always impressed at how hard Linda and Alan work - and we're not getting any younger!
This curious lady was standing next to the barn. I think she's saying: "Hullo, would you happen to have a marshmallow?" They are particular creatures who don't often allow you to get very close (at least not to me), so I was happy to get so close to this one.
Alan's sister, JoAnne, was visiting from Montana. I hadn't seen her for over 20 years! Before we three headed off for a fun day of quilt and antique shops in Lynden, Linda wanted to show us what she is entering in the country fair next week. Click on the photo for a better view. She dyed the yarn herself, then needle felted this depiction of an alpaca, one of their ancient apple trees, the field in the distance and her wonderful flower gardens. I definitely think it's a winner!
They have a small farm store where they sell alpaca products along with Linda's hand-dyed and hand-spun alpaca yarn. I was struck by another needle felted project above the door to Linda's studio! How fun is this!
I'm doing some more pattern testing this week. I can't show you finished products just yet, but will have a sneak peek or two in a few days! In case anyone is wondering, real estate is still slow, slow, slow in our neck of the woods. I've noticed more and more homes going up for sale on my daily walks - but I don't see any of them selling, either. So we're trying to stay positive and just go with the flow!