Sunday, April 29, 2007


It is a beautiful, sunny day and I am seeing signs of summer all around. It makes me smile. I LOVE to be warm and it seems like warm weather has been a long time coming!! But it is here now and I hope to stay!

Quick update on backs, surgeries etc.. Aaron had his second surgery and is doing much much better this time around. In fact, we took him back to school yesterday where he is hoping to take one of his finals this week and touch base with his other professors to make a plan for completing his other courses soon. So many thanks for all your prayers and concern for him. In the meantime, Steve's dad ended up in the hospital for most of last week as well and ended up having a defibrillator put in. (All while Steve was still in San Diego....) But he is home now and doing well. Yes, I think things are looking up!!

As soon as it starts to head into warmer weather we start thinking 'shearing'. Yep...Llamas need to be sheared so they can handle the heat of our Iowa summers. If we had the time, it would be nice to clean them all up so we could save the wool. (Which we have done in some years past.) But now it is just a matter of getting the wool off the animals to make them comfortable. The animals don't like it at first, but once they settle down, MOST of them do quite well.

This is Squire. He was one of the first llamas to be sheared
this year. I know that it HAS to feel good to have all that wool off of you once the heat sets in!

This is Sebastian. He is Kirstin's first llama that she owned. His dark wool is especially important to get off. His large midsection suggests he had a bit too much grain this past winter!! On real hot days we put out sprinklers for them and hose them down on occasion.

Another way that they cool themselves off is to roll in a dirt pit. It's not long after you set a llama into a pasture that they start making a dirt pit. This one is in our paddock, not too far from the barn. It holds one large adult llama which can create quite the dust storm when they are rolling around in it!! Never tried it myself. Can't say I've even been tempted!

Another sign of summer is Steve standing at his grill. Love that about this time of year....Easy meal time.

Of course, Sumo is never far from the grill, licking his lips and hoping for a hand-out!!

Getting the hammock out is another ritual. I love the time spent sitting in the hammock. A group of Ryan's friends stopped by yesterday and piled on! (Yes, it was dangerously low to the ground!!)

But who cares????

Ryan's best friend got married yesterday. A beautiful day for a wedding. I have to say, it was strange seeing Ryan up front in a tux. It won't be long and he will be the groom. I feel as tho we are being slowly drawn into the next season of life. Empty nest; children getting married; grandchildren. How can this possibly be happening??? I feel far too young.....

But I am very excited. I think it will be another fun 'season'!!

Jello. Yes, summer means jello. So, for our Sunday night group I made our favorite jello 'salad'. (Yes, around these parts anything with jello and fruit is called a salad.....). I know, I know that jello is gross and made up of gross things. But it still tastes good once in a while.
So here is my recipe for anyone who wants it! And feel free to treat it as a dessert if you'd like!

Yummy Strawberry Jello

1 pkg (3 oz) strawberry jello
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup ice cubes
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries (or 5 oz. frozen)

1 pkg (3 oz) strawberry jello
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup ice cubes
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries (or 5 oz. frozen)
2 cups cool whip (whipped cream)

1. Dissolve 1st pkg. of jello in 3/4 cup water
2. Add ice cubes
3. Stir 3 minutes, until gelatin is slightly thick, remove ice.
4. Stir in fruit. Pour in mold or 8X8 glass dish
5. Place in refrigerator
6. Repeat steps 1-3 with 2nd pkg of jello
7. Stir in fruit and whipped cream.
8. Pour in mold on top of other jello
9. Refrigerate at least one hour.

(A double recipe fits a 9X13 glass pan)

I also made a pan of Caramel Rice Krispie Treats. (Been craving them for some reason). But as if they are not sweet enough already, I dipped them in chocolate. I don't know why I do these things. But they are yummy and I have high hopes the kids will finish them off tonight so that I won't!!

Time to start my walking routine!! (First thing tomorrow!)

Until next time.....


kirstin said...

one word: horsehooves.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to hear that everyone at your house is on the mend!! We are enjoying spring here too, though not with jello salad, yum!
p.s. Are the llamas pets? I assumed you were harvesting the wool.

Sheri at The Loopy Ewe said...

Grilling? Jello? Rice Krispy Treats? Sunshine? We're on our way up......

Janice said...

Everybody come!!! We'll have a 'Welcome Summer' party!!!

Kristin...yes, the llamas are 'pets'. We should harvest the wool... Someday I will learn to spin!!

Caroline said...

Those Rice Krispy Treats look sinfully good, and the jello...well, I treat it the same way I treat hotdogs. I just block out what I know about their ingredients, and I'm happy to indulge....every once in a while

Heidi said...

So glad Aaron is doing better this time. Yummy pics there, cute llamas, and you are too young for the next season of life....that's a good thing!

monica said...

Isn't spring wonderful. It was so pretty here yesterday and today. Those rice krispy treats look yummy. If I had llama's I would have to take a spinning class, not the bike kind either...although I need that one more.

hakucho said...

Glad things are looking up for you all. :) Thanks for the Llama introductions. They look like they have interesting personalities ;)
You HAVE to start spinning their wool!!! :)

Bonnie D. said...

Glad to hear Aaron is on the mend and that he's able to work out his classes.

We also had a fabulous weekend - weatherwise!!! Isn't it just awesome?!

Now you have me craving rice krispie treats!

zippiknits said...

Thank you for posting the carmel rice crispy and jello recipes. I can't eat wheat, so long for just such treats as these from time to time.

I am glad to hear that Aaron is doing much better. Wow you had some hospital visits this month, wowzer! Soon it will all be behind you. Hugs!

rohanknitter said...

Sebastian looks like quite the fellow! My middle son has a thing for llamas. One of our "neighbors" has a couple llamas as sheep guardians. We need to be shearing our sheep for the summer too - just one more project to do! Keeping my fingers crossed for Aaron!

Deborah said...

Your blog always makes me hungry for yarn, food and the outdoors!

Jknits said...

I got to see a Llama being shorn at a festival over the weekend. He didn't look to happy about it - but I'm not sure I'd like getting a hair cut with all those onlookers either!

Glad to hear your son is on the mend. Best of luck with his classes.

Carrie said...

Ooo, a wedding, what fun! Spinning is fun. I use a spindle, very affordable and manageable. I'm having a great time doing it. I've signed you up for the dishcloth contest - thanks for playing!