Another Mary and Reed Adventure

I picked Reed up at 6 am this morning to drive to Rochester, MN. Kathy Hanson, a blog reader and frequent commenter, raises a small herd of llamas inside the city limits and I wanted to meet her and her llamas.

She’s a delightful gal and Reed and I learned so much about llamas and alpacas today. Here she is with Brownie.

I wanted to show you the size of animal that Kathy was controlling.

Read more.

And then Reed got to lead Brownie!

We also met Sunny, her new baby born a few weeks ago and still nursing. Did you know a baby llama is called a cria?

Look at those cute little ears! Kathy told us to just stand still and let the llamas sniff us – they don’t really like to be petted but they’re very curious animals.

This friendly girl is Apricot.

I was simply delighted to meet these gentle animals! I’m sure you can tell we had a great time making their acquaintance and the man who lives on the acreage has alpacas, a close relative to the llama. Kathy was so gracious to teach us about her llamas and she even presented Reed, Myra and Vera folders of info sheets and coloring pages.

After spending time with the llamas we went to Kathy’s home where we admired her husband’s flowers and gardens in their back yard.

Kathy, I am so happy to have met you -thank you for showing us around your little corner of the world!

Off we went to several thrift stores and then to one of my all time favorite stores – Collins Feed and Seed with antiques in the back. Oh my, what a selection! Why didn’t I take pictures???? Honestly I get so caught up in the “looking” that I forget about what I want to include in the blog! Duh! At least I had my purse along this time! Hahaha!

By this time it was lunchtime and off we went to Red Lobster where Reed had a small lobster tail and I had this fabulous Caesar salad with shrimp on top.

On the road again heading west to Owatonna with about 6 stops on the way at thrift stores and antiques – took us forever to get there but I wanted to go to the shop Urban Finds at Medford. When we arrived we were met by signs all over that the store is closing. How very sad but I have not been a steady customer and evidently others haven’t been either so there’s the handwriting on the wall, so to speak.

By the time we got home we were both exhausted! What a fun day! Hmmm…..where’s our next adventure going to take us?

I had an epiphany yesterday and pulled this fabric.

Wouldn’t we all like to have a new fall wallhanging that’s not too hard to make and doesn’t take lots of time to sew? I’m working on it now and hope to have it finished this weekend so I can show you.

If you’re a reader who doesn’t bother to read the comments, you’re missing out on a lot of fun! I just love the comments and feel like I’m conversing with a group of friends and hope you’ll all feel like you can comment any time. Closing the ads is always appreciated as well.

I finished another small wall quilt that uses only one size of fabric, 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″. Are you curious? Another post coming up!

I leave you with this comical pose!

65 thoughts on “Another Mary and Reed Adventure

  1. Felicia Hamlin

    My goodness, Mary! I wish I were Reed to enjoy all your adventures. Ha, ha. I don’t think I have your level of energy, though. Reed is such a mature boy, he is so poised and so polite. I really enjoyed meeting him and I feel lucky that I did. I have to start thinking about a trip to your house, I must wait until it cools off.

    Take care, I do read the comments.

  2. Jan B

    Hi Mary! Love the llamas. I have a friend who has a mini-farm & they, too, had llamas, along with chickens & cows, I think. Llamas are awesome animals. Glad you got to me some. Your adventures with Reed are so interesting. I’m sure he, too, learns a lot on these various trips! You are a great mentor!
    I was wondering if your familiar with The Gentle Barn Animal Sanctuary? They rescue farm animals of all kinds who may be injured or unwanted. The animals are brought to 1 of their 3 “Gentle Barns” in the US where live their forever life in a happy, caring environment. The story of how they “came to be” started in California & grew & grew. If/when you have the time, please check out their website, for much more information. I think you’ll love it! Ellie & Jay are the owners & are the nicest people you’ll ever meet!

      1. Jan B

        Oh, you need to find the time to visit one of them. Closest to you would probably be the one in MO. I want to go back sooooo bad! Some day, hopefully soon! Their newest one in the Nashville area (not really in Nashville but on tons of land about 30 minutes east & south) was so much fun to visit! Hope it’s on your bucket list! Maybe a bit of a longer educational trip for Reed & family! Wink, wink!

  3. Gramapama

    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts on this blog for quite a while. Your photos are beautiful, and your stories are so entertaining … thank you for sharing them. I look forward to reading each and every one. Reed is blessed to have you in his life, as you are to have him.


    You and Reed have such a fun time. He will have alot to tell when he goes back to school. Paula in KY

  5. Connie Rademacher

    Love to read about your road trips! I especially love to see pictures of your thrift store finds so, hopefully you will take pictures on your next thrifting adventure.

  6. Linda Baker

    Wish I had a friend like you when I was growing up! Wonderful adventures you’ve shared with us again.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda Baker – you’re right, every kid should have an adult that gives him or her their full attention. You can’t know how much I enjoy going places with Reed!

  7. Teresa

    Always enjoy reading about your adventures, Mary. You are one busy lady! I love the fabrics you’ve chosen for your next project, eager to see the quilt you’re going to make.

  8. PJ Combs

    As always a wonderful blog!!!! You n Reed are making such amazing memories for you both n love your photos n did not know llamas did not like to be petted I have only seen them from afar! Beautiful animals!!! Thanks again for sharing your adventures n looking forward to the next!!!😊👍🏼😍

  9. Judith L.

    Wow! Reed is going to have so many writing topics when school starts! And they are definitely going to be unique topics!! How special!

  10. Sharon Lowy

    I visited an Alpaca farm in NJ several years ago and really enjoyed seeing how those animals lived together. They had one young male they had to keep separated from the rest because he was so aggressive. It was a very interesting experience. I was shocked at the price of one of those animals! Being a lifelong city girl my herd consists of rescued dogs and

  11. Susan

    Mary, your adventures remind me of Dr. Seuss’ book “OH THE PLACES YOU WILL GO.”

  12. Moe Baly

    Oh Mary, what a wonderful day! I volunteered at a Fiber Fair and they put me in a booth to sell llama and alpaca hair by the pound. I learned tons from those spinning people doing the buying, very interesting. Had to be a wonderful experience for you and Reed, would have loved all the stops too. Yes, the comments are always the best! Have a great weekend, cant wait to see what youve got cooked up.

  13. Kathy

    Thanks for sharing your fun adventure getting to know Llamas. I also did not know they hummed! These types of explorations are what more people should do today so children learn not to stare at a phone but have communication skills, how to recycle and not buy new all the time, as well as a very important fact that animals need to be cared for and treated well by decent humans. You Mary as well as his parents should be on every child care council in this country. You don’t go the easy way out but spend time , really spend time living with in your means and teaching basic principles that shape our futures.
    Does Reed or his sister scrapbook any of these gorgeous pictures you show us on your blog? I certainly love reading the comments too and feel we are shaing your days right along together.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy – I am passionate about animal welfare and wish I wish I could make an impact on adults as well. Animal abuse and neglect give me nightmares. Thanks for your comments.

      1. Mary Says Sew!


        Have you ever considered being a guest pastor or minister on the topic of animal stewardship? And taking on the responsibility of teaching others how to respect and care for animals, and/or teaching a young person like Reed?

        Every Mary E. needs a Reed, and every Reed needs a Mary E.!

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Mary Says Sew – I’d welcome the opportunity to talk about animal welfare. My pastor has instructions to speak on puppy mills and the cruelty those poor dogs endure for their entire lives at my funeral. I will finally have my friends’ and relatives’ full attention.

          1. Mary Says Sew!

            Maybe you don’t need to wait for your funeral to have that message given… …start now!

            Seriously, talk to your pastor about doing something now.

            And, you have the gift of music to compliment a talk.

            A neighbor quotes a passage of Scripture to me about the righteous person taking care his (her!) animals – sounds like animal welfare to me! And maybe a place to start.

          2. CountryThreads Post author

            Mary – I’m not sure I have the confidence- do you know what the scripture is?

          3. Mary Says Sew!

            it’s Proverbs 12:10, “The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.”

            If you search/Google for “the righteous cares for his animals”, you’ll find plenty of translations, references, and even commentary from Billy Graham.

            You do have the confidence – you just don’t know it. You play in church, and you have a pastor, probably a veterinarian and animal welfare groups, and Reed to help.

          4. CountryThreads Post author

            Mary – thanks for the vote of confidence – I live in an agricultural area and they won’t welcome my opinions. But I will think about where the opportunity might arise. Wish my sister was still teaching!

  14. Bobbie Woodruff

    Mary, l love your blog, you find such interesting things to do with Reed and his family. It’s wonderful he loves thrift shops and gardens, antiques and making things with his hands. Most boys today don’t do all these wonderful things. Reed is going to be a amazing young man. Kids today have a phone as a extension of there hand. When my grandkids come they live on there phone. I just love seeing all the thing available to do if you only look for them. Enjoy the rest of your summer it ends to soon for me.
    My husband is building me a small building for a longarm he bought me. I try not to get to excited as he isn’t a fast builder. But he has the foundation almost finished. Then the floor and walls. It’s getting there.
    Keep blogging we love to read them.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Bobbie – a building devoted to your longarm machine – how wonderful is that?

  15. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    What a lovely day you had! I think Apricot the llama looks beautiful. My grandmother had a couple of llamas on her farm when I was small, she kept them for the fibre (and for the fun) and they were always very protective of the sheep in the paddock when they were with them. I remember them humming when they were a bit concerned about something.

  16. Colleen

    Llamas but no drama, I couldn’t help it. My cousin raises Alpaca and boards alpaca for people. We visited with the grandchildren and we had a good time and learned that an alpaca will produce fiber that is of less quality if it is fed too rich of a diet. They are smaller than llamas and don’t spit.
    It is a real treat to see and touch and learn first hand about animals that we only see in pictures such gentle elegant animals.

  17. Michele

    What a fun adventure you and Reed had today! We raised llamas for over 35 years. Our four children showed them for 4-H. Such gentle, intelligent, wonderful companions. I miss their calm manner and curious hums. Looking forward to your new fall wall hanging .

  18. Vickie

    A friend of mine once had a llama. She would put him in the back of her mini van and drive him to the vet. He hummed the whole way there. Can you imagine going down the freeway and seeing the head of a llama sticking up in the back of a minivan.

  19. Starrla Opferman

    What a fun day. What a great relationship you have with Reed and his siblings. The llamas are beautiful .We have people in our area who raise alpacas and at Christmas time they sell items made by their cottage industry. Their wool is gorgeous.

  20. Beth T.

    We adopted a lovely old llama from our neighbor, and he was just a gem. Having him was like having the most regal, mannerly gentleman as a part of our family. He looked out for our miniature horses; he considered that his job and was quite diligent about it. He was patient with our dogs and sweet with us. When he passed away the vet estimated he must have been around 30 years old; we were glad to have been a happy home for his “golden years”. Oh, how we miss him.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beth T – what a lovely and wonderful story about rescue and the love of a senior animal! Thank you for your kindness.

  21. Janie B Lang

    The llama pictures are wonderful. Love the name Apricot. She’s adorable! Reed must be getting ready for school soon. Where did summer go? I’m sewing autumn and Christmas things for a sale my cousin and I have.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Janie – wish I could be more inspired to sew fall – I don’t really want summer to end! Good luck with your sale – connie and I used to do this many years ago.

  22. Kay Schleusner

    Mary love seeing all the things you do with Reed your making wonderful memories.

    Where is the Feed store located?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kay – right off Broadway and Civic Center Drive – you will love it!! Just a couple blocks west of Broadway.

  23. Patricia

    Oh, what an adventure -as usual. What a fun summer Reed must be having. He’s had so many experiences as your side-kick. The llamas are interesting animals. A small group of quilters in our guild recently visited a couple who decided to raise some alpacas and process their fiber in their retirement. Man what a job.. They showed us their garage and went through all their processes, which were many to produce usable fiber for yarn and batting. I have a new appreciation for the high cost of wool and other natural fibers. There is so much work involved – unbelievable. You have so much energy Mary and you never stop moving. God bless you. You certainly are an inspiration. By the way, how are your pumpkins doing? I love pumpkins and all those luscious colors of Fall.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Patricia – the pumpkin vines are so thick we can’t really tell how many pumpkins are actually there – it will be a surprise!

  24. Carolyn Boutilier

    Mary, Thank you for sharing your adventures day with Reed and the Llamas. Here in our valley we have quite a few Llamas and only drive a few miles to see them in the pastures. Looking forward to the wall hanging . Our county fair is next week and I will be entering some hooked pieces. Some of us hookers, punchneedle persons and quilters will be demonstrating for 1 whole day at the fair in the home makers exhibit hall. This will be a fun day meeting people. In the evening my husband will be antique tractor pulling. I will be in the stadium watching the pullers. have a good weekend sewing.
    Carolyn B Shenandoah Valley VA

  25. Paula

    What a Wonderful Day for Both of you! Thank you for sharing Kathy’s Llamas and her husband’s beautiful flowers!

  26. Jo

    Wow, I didn’t know they hummed. I would think cleaning their pens would be entertaining!
    The pictures are just wonderful, you should frame some of them.
    Our county fair is going on now, many great quilts. Fleece from llamas, alpaca and sheep too. Tomorrow we will see cakes, pies and tractors.

    How is Rick doing?

  27. Kathy Hanson

    Thank you, Mary – and Reed too! I so enjoyed sharing my “kids” with you and a glad that you enjoyed it too.
    It was so very nice to meet you both. I hope the children enjoy their llama information and have fun coloring the cria pictures. Looking forward to trying your hot dog relish!

  28. Gloria B.

    It must be llama day! Chicago quilt shop Quilters Trunk just happened to email this today. “Inspirational” Thought for the Day: How did the llama get its name?
    One theory is that a Spanish conquistador in Peru asked an Andean what the name of this exotic animal was – “Como se llama?” in Spanish. The Andean, who spoke Quechua, not Spanish, replied, “Llama?” and that is what the conquistador recorded for posterity. This may or may not be true, but why let the facts get in the way of a good story?

    Just had to pass it on. Go Llamas!

  29. Kathy Hanson

    Llamas only spit if they feel threatened – ours do not spit at us! They may spit at each other if one comes over to eat another’s food! Otherwise they are very sweet and gentle.
    I do have the fiber processed, have knitted a couple of shawls and recently had rugs made from their fiber.

  30. Launa

    Thanks for sharing this latest Mary n Reed adventure! It’s always fun to learn something new about people’s pets. Llamas are known to spit, but Kathy’s must be well behaved. Does Kathy do anything with their fur like spin and knit?

    I finished Connie’s 36 blocks from last September today…the orange and black stars. I wonder if your 1 1/2” X 3 1/2” fall fabrics are going to be leaves,or flying geese?

    We are getting smoke n polluted air from the Idaho forest fires 🔥. Things are pretty dry.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Launa – maybe Kathy will answer your question because I don’t know. Nobody did any spitting while we visited but I loved hearing them hum!

  31. Carol

    Hi Mary, I’ve been so enjoying your posts over many years now, but haven’t been responding lately… some days I’m lucky to have time to read… but I sure do love your relationship with Reed and his family, and your love of animals… your posts often light up some very tough days for me. Thank you got sharing…I especially enjoy the photos! Who doesn’t love a llama with his pearly whites showing!
    If you’re sharing a new fall quilt there, maybe I can join in this time, or make the pattern purchase. I missed out on Cobblestone, my own fault, you had it listed long enough, I just did not get my act together.
    Working on shaping up, getting my mojo back!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carol- want to email me? Would love to listen to why you’re having some very tough days.

      1. Carol

        Tonight I was thinking, why haven’t been going back to read your replies to people who post, I know sometimes you do. And here’s a reply to me! I checked my contacts for your email and cannot find it, although I’ve seen you post it periodically. Should I look in your thread somewhere?

  32. Agatha

    Love all your pictures and you have such fun adventures. Even nicer that you have some one to share with. Thank you

  33. Ellie

    Love the pictures of the llamas! Thanks! Heard if they don’t like you they spit which is really nasty!

    1. Carol

      I’ve experienced that, that can be mean. But who’d spit on the likes of Mary and Reed??? They are too special!

    2. Kathy Hanson

      Llamas only spit if they feel threatened so they are not easily likely to spit. They spit at each other if one of them wants to eat their food but that is about it. Mine have never spit at us!!

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Kathy – I really had no idea! I fell in love with your llamas!

  34. Diane

    Awww. Kissed by a llama–way cool!! They are gorgeous. What a fun day!! Did you buy the dog metal sign at Collins Weed and Feed? You and Reed must have slept well. How far is it to Rochester?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane – actually it wasn’t for sale – it truly was advertising. Rochester is about 2 hrs. 15 minutes of very easy driving.

    2. Steffi Smith

      Your adventures are always a great read no matter what is happening. Both you are Reed are fortunate to share an inquisitive nature. I am amazed at his maturity and willingness to explore and the excitement you share as a mentor!

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