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Monday, April 30, 2012

Erin Murphy Does Sunday Set-Up™ With Kathy Kaehler

Most of my friends know that I love to cook. I also try to eat healthy with homegrown veggies & fresh eggs from our chickens. So when celebrity fitness trainer Kathy Kaehler contacted me to shoot a segment of Sunday Set-Up™, I literally jumped at the chance. You may recognize Kathy's name from the Today Show or seen her featured with one of her celebrity clients: Julia Roberts, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cindy Crawford, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Lopez, Denise Richards, Claudia Schiffer, and Kim Basinger. Now Kathy has turned some of her attention to diet & nutrition. Her program revolves around the idea of taking time once a week to prep veggies & foods: basically setting up your kitchen for a week of healthy eating. Once a week, she visits a different 'celebrity kitchen' & helps to create some delicious meals. Kathy & I had a blast & she's definitely an animal lover like I am! Look at the adorable promo that feature a few of our alpacas, chickens & baby goat. For more information on Kathy & her Sunday Set-Up™ & to see the full segment we shot, visit

Friday, April 27, 2012

Erin Murphy Knits: Spit Happens!

I thought I'd share my first post from my Erin Murphy Knits Blog:
One of the questions I get the most frequently about alpacas is "Do they spit?". The honest answer is..sometimes! Alpacas don't spit as often as llamas & they don't usually spit at people. You'll also get a few warnings before they spit: ears back, head back with neck arched. They do occasionally spit at each other when they squabble over hay. One of the times you definitely want to see an alpaca spit is when you perform a spit test, which is an alpaca pregnancy test that even a novice can perform. The alpacas' gestation period is 11.5 months and they don't really look pregnant till the end. you want to make sure that once you get your female pregnant that they maintain their pregnancy. Ultrasounds can be expensive and require a vet visit. Progesterone testing isn't always accurate. Right now I have four females that I'm hoping will maintain their pregnancies & provide me with cria (baby alpacas). Once every month, I bring one of my males into the female pasture on a lead & walk him amongst the pregnant girls. I have two maidens (females who haven't given birth before) & two proven moms. If the females are open (not pregnant) they'll typically cush (lay down) for breeding. If they are pregnant they'll either spit, kick or run away. These could also be symptoms of a retained CL (Corpeus Luteum); but that's probably more info than my casual blog readers are interested in. Today, I had four positive spit tests, so fingers crossed!
I've attached photos of the two beautiful studs we used this year: Canzelle's Mombasa & Canzelle's Swahili. If you're interested in alpacas, knitting or ME, here's the link to my other blog: Erin Murphy Knits: Spit Happens!:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

In Search of My Roots

I've always considered myself Irish. I'm sure it's because my name, Erin Margaret Murphy, is just about as Irish as a name can be. Recently, I've decided to find out more about my heritage and what a surprise! I'm 1/4 English, 1/4 Russian, 1/8 Irish, 1/8 French, 1/8 German & 1/8 Latvian. I guess I'm a perfect example of the great American melting pot. I'm looking forward to finding out more about my ancestors.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Survivor Mitzvah Project

Darren & I had the distinct honor of attending the Survivor Mitzvah Project at the Museum of Tolerance. It was an inspiring, heart wrenching evening with actors (including Ed Asner, Frances Fisher, Elliott Gould, Valerie Harper, Lainie Kazan & Alan Rosenberg) reading letters from Holocaust survivors. The organization was founded by the amazing Zane Buzby a television director & producer (Golden Girls, Newhart, Charles in Charge, Married...with Children). During one hiatus, she went on a trip in search of her roots & connected with several Holocaust survivors who were ill and living alone in poverty. She began writing & sending small amounts of money, that they used for the most basic necessities & medical treatment. As she recruited friends to help, she found more and more survivors & they began sharing their experiences before, during and after the Holocaust in a series of letters. I studied the Holocaust in school. I read The Diary of Anne Frank & watched Schindler's List; but I'm embarrassed to admit how little I knew about the actual plight of the survivors. I had falsely assumed that they were well taken care of, for the atrocities that they'd had to endure. it's been said that 'Ignorance is bliss', but sometimes it's just ignorance. My hope is not only that others help this forgotten group, but also that Ms. Buzby turns her story into a film to spread the word even further.
photo credit: Paul Archuleta/ Film Magic

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Do What You Can...

Today as I entered the Post Office on one of the busiest days of the year (tax day). I saw a woman with two small children holding a sign asking for help. While I waited inside, my mind wandered to someone I love, who was an amazing advocate for the homeless: Dick York. In his later years, even though he was stricken by emphysema & constantly hooked to an oxygen tank, he was completely selfless, making calls to get items donated to homeless shelters. In one of our last conversations, he told me that one of the kindest things you can do for someone who is homeless is to give them something to eat. Instead of handing out money, he chose to hand out sandwiches. When I walked outside, I went to my car & grabbed 3 bananas from a grocery bag in the back. I gave them to the lady along with a few dollars. Then I reached into my purse & took out two small toys that we'd gotten at a Japanese restaurant last night (a slinky & a small car) & handed them to the kids. The little boy looked at me, smiled & hugged my leg. The mom thanked me profusely. As I drove away they were all eating the bananas. I agree with Dick York (my beloved Darrin-Daddy) about giving people food, but I think you should also give them 'hope' & let them know that someone cares.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sprinkles Cupcake ATM

I thought I'd share my visit to one of the happiest places on Earth: the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM! I am a longtime fan of Sprinkles' Red Velvet Cupcakes (mmmm cream cheese frosting) & I love the idea of being able to get one anytime I want. I'm sure my hubby is happy that this wasn't around when I was pregnant, since I'm sure I would have sent him on some midnight cupcake runs! For now, the ATM line is about the same length as the line to go inside, but the ATM line is a little slower, because every single person takes a photo. A few annoying people even take video (that would be me). Watch as I make a withdrawal..SO COOL!!!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Drive-Thru Zoo!

When I was a kid, we used to go to Lion Country Safari in Irvine, California. You would drive your car amongst all sorts of wildlife; lions, zebras, giraffes, etc. They would give each car a tape recorder device that would say things like 'We are now entering Africa...'.They had a petting zoo at Lion Country Safari where you could have your photo taken with Frazier, the Lion. He was rather old, had no teeth & his tongue hung several inches out of his closed mouth. I didn't care, I thought he was great! It turns out that despite his advanced age, Frazier was put in with the female lions after several young males were ignored. Turns out Frazier was quite the Casanova & he soon had all the girls pregnant. They even made a film about him titled, 'Frazier, the Sensuous Lion'. Another childhood memory involves Lion Couhtry Safari's hippo, Bubbles. She escaped the park under a fence & went to live in a local pond. She refused to get out. Finally she emerged & due to some sort of tranquilizer issue, she died. I took it very hard,since I had been closely following the story & even had a gold "Bubbles" necklace. Her autopsy showed that she was expecting a baby. Lion Country Safari went out of business in California many years ago. On our Easter visit to Texas, we found something very similar: Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. The added bonus here, is that you can feed the animals from your car! If you've never fed a giraffe before, I'd highly recommend it!

Monday, April 02, 2012

And the Winner is...

Hey Guys! I fit more into this weekend than I fit into some weeks: Kids Choice & Teen Choice Gifting Suites & Events, Presented 5 awards at a film festival, halter trained a couple alpacas, spent some great quality time with the family & finally read The Hunger Games (which was a super quick read). Did you catch the Bewitched references on last nights' episode of Mad Men? In the photos above, I'm pictured with Moneyball actor/ baseball player Casey Bond & the absolutely adorable Maggie Elizabeth Jones from We Bought a Zoo.