Hidden Bend Retreat, Romney West Virginia

Romney, WV

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Dolores, Donna, and Paul with sparklers last night for the 4th of July.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hay Barn

We decided we wanted to get some additional hay storage so we can bring in a larger supply for the alpacas. We have 9 animals now and like to buy hay when it's readily available in the summer. Because our barn/pasture is behind the main house and we can only use a small tractor or skid steer to drive there, we can only move 6 or 8 bales of hay down there at a time and just seemed like a big process to make 2 trips (90 minute round trip each) to pick up 100 bales of hay, then have to move them down to the barn where we have covered storage in another 12 or more short trips with the hay on the tractor.

The new barn should store 175 or more bales and we can drive the trailer right up to the doors and unload a lot more quickly to get the hay out of the elements. We'll still have plenty of storage at the barn but can load there at a more leisurely pace, we are retired after all!

We decided to buy a barn already constructed, this one is 10'x20', double doors at each end so we can load/unload easily and get to the hay we've had on site longest at any time without moving bales. We purchased the barn from Placka Buildings (Placka), they are a local business who we've used before and would recommend them if you need a barn. This one is from a new supplier and is a post and beam construction with board and batten siding to match our other buildings.

You can see from the pictures the barn is sited north of the solar panels we installed but still easy to reach with the truck/trailer and other vehicles. We modified the original building to add some additional ventilation since we are storing hay.

Enjoy the pictures.

New Resident

A few weeks ago, this young cat arrived at our place and has decided to
stay. Not sure where she came from, maybe was dropped off by someone but
she is one of the most friendly cats we've ever been around.

We're feeding her but also hoping she'll remain an outside cat that we
can teach to hunt mice in the alpaca barn- we'll see if that works out
or she just becomes another mouth to feed. Donna calls her Little Miss
and I've been calling her Miss Squeaky since her meow is really high
pitched, don't know where we'll end up.

She loves to follow us around when we're outside, if you get down on the
ground to weed or work on a tractor, etc., she'll be on your lap.Spends a lot of her day on the front porch just outside the door.

Enjoy the pictures.


Donna and I put in a garden this year for the first time in quite a
while. Only about 6X12 but we're getting a lot of production so far. We
have tomatoes, green beans, eggplant, red peppers, cucumbers, and some
dwarf carrots.

We basically just used some of our composted alpaca manure on top of the ground, set the plants, added water and stayed out of the way. Picture
shows the first crop of green beans- we roasted these in the oven in a ginger/garlic/honey recipe we both really like and they were great.

Second picture shows a small garden plot we put up by the guest cabin. Donna's dad, sister and her sister's husband are staying with us this summer so they put out a few plants as well.

Next year, maybe we'll be a bit more ambitious and put in a larger plot.

Red Winged Blackbird

We have a new visitor to our bird feeders this year. A Red Winged
Red Winged Blackbird
Blackbird. We've seen these in the area before but haven't ever seen any
up at our place until now. Just go this one shot where you can just make out some of the markings on the wing.

Arthur and Aries Have Arrived

Can't believe it has been so long since I posted! A few weeks ago, we brought two new alpacas to the farm. Aries and Arthur. These two are half brothers (same father) and have been together for so long that they never go far from each other. They are both well over a year old but on the small side which we like. Arthur is super friendly, will walk right up to you for a kiss- Aries is shy but does fine once you get hold of him, lol.

More of these two later.