Saturday, June 11, 2016

May 16th my life changed, Farm Visits, New Deals and more

On May 16th my life changed forever when I found my brother. He was gone and he took a big part of my broken heart.
It was a day I’ll never forget. It has been a long and scary road with my brother. He was 32 years old. His name is Anthony and I really wish you could have all gotten to know him. He was planning to work on my youtube channel, he helped shear all the alpacas this year and we were looking forward to a Summer of farm visits together. We had plans and dreams and now they are gone. Facing life without him is really scary. I know the grief all too well, losing my mom 10 years ago was and is still hard to accept. Now this on top of that.. its tough. 
He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a few years ago. He was not happy with his wife so he left home to come to the farm. After a couple of weeks (maybe less?) my dad and I called 911 and had him picked up. At the time we were terrified cause I had never in my life seen him so off. He was emotional – all emotions were intense and he didn’t handle them well. He wasn’t himself and we were relieved to have him in the hospital under the care of psychiatrist and nurses cause having him in our home was literally frightening. 
I loved him so much and seeing him like that was heartbreaking. He was diagnosed and put on a round of different meds, committed, released, came out of the Mania stage and went into the depressive stage. He attempted suicide which landed him back in the hospital. They did brain shocks to him numerous times which worked to get him out of the depression except he was left with NO memories of about a 2 year span. He lost so much time with his daughter that he couldn’t even recall for a second without feeling ill. His daughter is 7 and step son is 18. 
For a couple of years leading up to this and on and off for the past 3 years him and his wife didn’t see eye to eye much and threats of leaving eachother happened a lot. He did leave her multiple times but each time he did it broke his heart. He lived with us for the Fall and Winter 2014 and left in March of 2015. It was a terrible time with him, we all fought a lot. I would try to get him to take his meds and it would lead to a fight. I was so fed up and so was he and dad. Poor Kayla witnessed so much bad from all of us. We were relieved when he decided to go home. He went back to his wife and kids and they tried once again. I talked to him daily and our relationship was instantly good again. But he still fought with his wife and By Summer he was so manic, so fed up with life that he packed some things in his truck and lived downtown. He hung out with criminals, drug addicts and slept in his truck. Alone and afraid without a job or a dime to his name. He resisted help from everyone and refused to go back to the hospital or anyone. He later talked with me in great depths about the recent manic episode in January this year when we reconnected and I noticed he was completely back to his regular normal self!! After Thanksgiving his wife and kids left the home they had in Lethbridge (in his name) and he moved back in and at least had a home to be in. It was good, but mentally he was so far gone. He completely demolished the house they worked so hard to fix up. Holes you could walk through, and windows you couldn’t see out of because he had spray painted them. He lost touch with reality and for some time wasn’t even wanting to see the kids because he knew deep down it wasn’t good for them. So he stayed away. 
In March he was evicted from his home (that looks to be abandoned and possibly condemned) and came home with me! I was excited, Dad was excited, Kayla was excited and so was he!! We have TONS of amazing memories from March and April! I am so grateful for them!!
After reaching out to his step son and wife and got the responses he feared he would, he realized things were never going to go back to the way they were. He suffered from mental and physical pain and believed he couldn’t work full time. He had debt piled up from years of senseless spending, on top of the manic spending and a new fence.. the list went on and the toll free numbers haunted him. We got MANY calls everyday. Things here with Kayla haven’t been easy due to reconnecting with her father, and hard times at school. That broke his heart and for the last two weeks we talked often and he wasn’t shy about talking about his sadness and grief. He was mourning the loss of everything, he had no hope for a positive future. He was broken. I hate that he is gone, I hate that he was THAT sad, and I hate that I couldn’t save him... 
But what I love is that I have my farm, alpacas, and YOU! People who care, about us! I am so grateful to everyone who has reached out, I haven’t returned everyone’s messages but I will someday. Right now I am needing to get back into the swing of things because I’ve only had 2 sales since Anthony passed and dad is getting on my case to make some money! Lol 
So I’m going to make it simple, permanent and oh so tempting! 
Natural Yarn (200 gram skeins) 20 options to choose from!!
Buy 1 $50
Buy 2 for $85
Or pick 3 for $100!
And $30 for each additional 
Hand Dyed One of a Kind Skeins (About 200 grams, price can be adjusted if above or below)
Buy 1 $58
Buy 2 for $100
Or pick 3 for $140!
And $38 for each additional
Everyday or Ankle Styles
1st Pair $30
Buy 2 $50
1 Pair - $38
2 Pairs - $60

Farm Visits!
We had a big day planned for July 12th with The Crochet Crowd!! But unfortunately that has been postponed until next year due to Dan’s heart attack. I’m sad about this, but hope all is well with them and can’t wait to meet them next year!
I had a ton of tours last year and while it was fun it kind of got out of control with stop ins almost daily. Right now with all that I’m dealing with I’d like to set 3 dates and have an open house style where you can come alone or with a group of friends (the ones who like to buy soft yarn lol) and bring a lunch if you want. I will open my home and store to the public from 9AM till 2PM. The alpacas will be roaming the yard and if you come early you are more likely to catch a birth or two  They birth from 9 till about 1! 
We have 65 babies so far and are expecting about 30 more!! Its been fun and adventurous this year! I am currently bottle feeding every few hours two that were orphaned. The curls on this years cria is so phenomenal, its exciting to see our efforts pay off with great quality alpacas  Makes me proud! 
Please join me on Instagram and my new Facebook Page called “Friends of A to Z Alpacas” ask to join,  thats where I will be focussing on posting to most. Also my girl Kayla is awesome at photography and started her own account too. – Follow us both! @atozalpacas and @alpaca_girl122 

I will write again soon and include photos of the babies and products. Until then please let me know if I can help you with yarn, rovings or socks. 

Oh and I just remembered I was going to go back and do the draws for the giveaways I promised and then completely forgot about. So get your entries in because the winners will be in my next newsletter!

Thank-you all!
XO Leslie 

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