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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Benefits of Vitamin F

say hello to my little friend

say hello to my little friend

I just recently read something about vitamin F – It caught my attention so I thought I’d write a quick little blog on the benefits of it. Vitamin F is probably the most awesome supplement out there! Realizing that there may be many people out there who are suffering from various ailments, life stressors, work, illness, finances, fragmented families, those who don’t have children, while others who have extremely challenging children. Benefits of Vitamin F may be very vital to your well being. That “F” supplement is “friends.”

You can read articles, even scientific studies or you may just be aware of the many benefits of friends. Some friends you make fast and some are slow to get to know. You may consider a good friend in human form and some may be four-legged, covered with feathers, fur or fleece. (gee I guess the human ones could be that too LOL) Really one of the most fascinating and fulfilling things on earth is what a true friend can do for your inner most being. Times that they offer comfort or support when times are tough. Those that help support either in action, word or just lending an ear. A lot of the times they just make you feel better by just being nearby. You may see some on a regular basis or might not see others for great lengths of time, but some how you can just pick up where you last left off. A friend you can trust, depend upon, a friend until the end. Let’s not forget about the friends that just have the gift of making us laugh. Being around them is true joy regardless of the activity. Yet even a good friend can deliver a kick in the butt if warranted. What are friends for? One who actually shared that embarrassing moment. Not to mention that ONE crazy friend... (My last picture choice could make me a contender)

Whether it be relationships formed through a common geographical location or interest. It is a gift to be treasured, not taken for granted but nurtured and sustained. I am increasingly aware and thankful for our growing number of friends in our alpaca community. Whether it be our connection through traveling to shows or ranch visits, the sale of an animal or connecting on social media. They all have an integral place. Especially those extra hands that come along when you are tired, struggling with an unruly animal or worse, the pain and suffering at the loss of one. Bearing one another’s burdens can make the stressors of life more bearable.

I encourage you to take a moment today to think about your friends. Maybe connect with one you haven’t talked to in a while, offer support to one that is struggling with life circumstances. Get to know a friend better or go out and make some new ones. Thank someone for being a friend.

National Alpaca Day is coming this weekend – we hope to recruit some friends as helpers, work isn’t really just work if you consider you are spending time with friends. Gather up a friend and attend. Hug a fleecy one!

Celebrate today and try adding more Vitamin F - it may even be okay with your doctor if you get an overdose of it!

p.s. It really isn't a sales tactic - Alpacas really need to be with other alpaca friends, their livelihood depends upon it.
friends you meet long the journey

friends you meet long the journey

friends bring you things you like to help make you happy

friends bring you things you like to help make you happy

friends sharing a pen & pregnancy

friends sharing a pen & pregnancy

close friends

close friends


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

All Things Anatolian

look a heart-shaped mud puddle

look a heart-shaped mud puddle

This is a dog's world. At least ours often seems to be dominated by dogs. Through the years we have suffered the loss of numerous pets and it never is easy, even though we are blessed to be surrounded by others. We have also been fortunate enough to witness the births of various breed types because our daughter actually runs a non-profit dog rescue. We attended dog shows in the past that also exposed us to a large variety of breeds but those were mostly in the non-sporting categories. The type and/or breed I am going to blog about is an invaluable, livestock guardian dog (LGD), the Anatolian Shepherd. Because we have not been involved with livestock for very long, this is a newer breed type for us. So, we are by no means an authority on the subject, but their importance as a livestock guardian on the ranch and our interaction with them deserves a noteworthy mention.

The cute little guy (pictured by the heart-shaped puddle) is under a year old, so he still has some growing to do. Because of his age, he rightfully so, is very puppy-like. Though I am told these dogs' of any age are known for playful antics, like running off with a whole pack of muffins, or shredding up a dog bed to the point it looked like it had snowed in summer time in California. The other day this pup happened to snag my cell phone that must have dropped off the fence post that I had placed it upon and he had begun "testing" my lifeproof cell phone case when he was intercepted. Hence, indirectly inspiring me to this blog. As a side note, if a company is going to advertise something as "life proof" how about testing them in the various walks of life such as on a ranch, where dropping them in a water bucket or getting exposed to excessive dirt, loose hay debris or worse yet even wet hay (aka alpaca projectile debris) Yes, there are many other dirty jobs out there. Back to the blog, despite their playful, sometimes destructive antics, these dogs really do work. If their booming bark doesn't stop you in your tracks, their stealth like speed in the darkest of night just might. They can run like the wind. Really open up the motor on a ranch vehicle some time and just watch how they can keep up. Meanwhile, the crias (baby alpacas) can race and freely pronk to their hearts delight and their mother's can stay calm and cushed in regards to coyotes, mostly due to these livestock guardian dogs' presence.

These LGDs truly are guardians, a treasure and prized asset that we have the privilege of enjoying companionship with. We salute all the LGDs for your courage and for all the nights you stay on high alert. We are so grateful for the protection and comfort you provide.
Good sit

Good sit

Ain't misbehaving

Ain't misbehaving

smiling in the shade on a warm sunny day

smiling in the shade on a warm sunny day

this is my waggy semi-uncurled tail..

this is my waggy semi-uncurled tail..


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Are We Having Fun Yet?

TOY

TOY

Happy New Year - Its a new dawn, it’s a new day, its a new year for me... and I'm feeling???

A new year can bring one a chance to reflect on events over the past year and while another digit in itself may not be overly significant, I think it is great to reflect and ponder some on past and plan some, always doing our best to look forward to the future.

In reflecting on 2014, I thought of quite a few of those in our alpaca community; There were those we got to know this past year that suffered the loss of their first born alpaca, a job loss, some with unexpected financial crisis, a divorce, a severe accident & another the loss of life of a beloved spouse. Reflecting on all of this when only knowing a small portion of each ones suffering, I often questioned some of the whys and what can I possibly do to help. In actuality I am not in much of a position to do anything that seems of much significance beyond prayers, words of encouragement offering grace or a helping hand here & there. Work and commuting over 12 hours a day, care for animals, life is busy, it’s a lot of work and in my own personal reflection, trying to recount the many blessings I also thought of how it just seems like a flurry of activity but, as “insignificant” as it sounds, last year I started crafting.

Yes, one of my most exciting memories of 2014 besides the wonderful birth of alpacas and our first "adorable" I might shamelessly add, grandson being born, came another kind of special delivery our
YARN. Yes I love Amazon and it's smiley face box on my porch. Go ahead poke fun at my segway because that in itself is where I am going with this bloggity blog. FUN – yes fun capitals and exclamations!!! I was just commenting watching some extreme snow skiing and the word recreation – broken down, re creation. I think it can be good for everyone. It doesn’t just happen, for some of us it is more work than others, sometimes we have to make a conscious effort and ask; Are we having fun yet?

While we can set goals, make plans, make resolutions, work harder, smarter, get more organized, choose healthier food & exercise, work on spiritual growth - All good , my message to you “insert, plan & put into action” that little tiny word, “FUN” with all the exclamation marks you possible can!!!!! I truly hope if you take the time to read through my rambling you get out and make 2015 more FUN! Be it crafting w yarn, play time with pets, people whatever you consider fun. I encourage you to do more of it. Invite someone along. Make more time for fun and heck make an effort to be more fun to be around. Eek when my obituary reads, there she lies, a wife, mother, grandmother, animal lover, co-worker, I hope it isn’t solemn and somber and all serious, I hope everyone knows I have been eternally released to have a whole lot of fun – yes Joy unspeakable joy!

The best things in life are free – sometimes the best things in life are fun. Doesn’t have to cost money, you can even make chores fun. A mindset - throw open the windows – turn on some music re-enact a favorite bit from a play or movie, stomp, dance, sing from a mountain top. Try to find a little fun in the work place – maybe it will become more contagious than the hum drum of the routine.
What do you do for fun ? Are you fun to be around? Is it more fun when you have others (who are fun to be around?

– starting this blog on my van pool at 6:00 am this morning – fun for me - may you find some fun in today

Sing, dance, golf, surf, ski, play a board game, ride a bike, camp, create a funny caption, watch a funny movie, and the list goes on... Dare to dream and by all means, Don't quit your day dream!

Be a Santa

Be a Santa

create something & add a little bling

create something & add a little bling

Take a selfie

Take a selfie

play in the snow

play in the snow


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

If you can't beat the heat try & get creative at staying cool

Had a feeling it might be a long, hot summer in So Cal. Not only with on-going drought constantly in the news, it is becoming more evident everywhere you turn, no water in creek beds, dry looking brush and new wildfires breaking out. We are rolling into fall and have had temperatures of over 90 degrees for weeks straight – Ok, no humidity for those in other areas, but regardless too warm for too long.

Not 1 but 3, alpaca people lost their first born cria’s (alpaca babies) just last week and we were notified of two other separate people who lost alpacas week prior, very likely due to heat stress. As I contemplate this with a heavy heart, these people not only got these beautiful alpacas from us, but have become dear to us and it was truly heart breaking for them and I really feel at a loss for words. While the losses may not all have been directly heat-related, extra stress does not help a pregnant body full of fleece and may very well be a factor to an early delivery or complications. As a side note, newborn babies can’t regulate their body temperature, not off to a good start if they are born out in the direct sun. The poor females go through labor & physical stress, need extra fluids just to re coop, let alone produce milk. Suddenly, our big barn fan we bought and the summer pools for the alpacas hardly seem like enough, it has me seriously reconsidering timing of breeding, not only to try and plan for not delivery middle of hot summer but also not even for their 8 or 9 month mark where it is a common time to miscarry.

The two adult alpacas we were told passed away possibly would have been ok if they had been sheared last year but so no one is quick to cast stones, may I add, one owner has a terminal illness in and out of hospital and the other is still recovering from broken neck & back on top of job loss – they are doing what they can this stage in their lives, Unfortunately alpaca shearers aren't easy to come by. We actually still have an alpaca ourselves that did not get sheared - though I trimmed some underneath, me and scissors with a jumpy alpaca is probably more scary than 100 degree temps. Any how, with all this, I thought it worthy to write a blog on effects of heat on alpacas and us for that matter.

Fortunately farmer Don had heard me talking about other alpacas that died or almost died of intestinal obstruction recently, quite possibly heat-related, so he now fills our kiddie pools with cool water & installed additional auto waterers and takes time sweeping them out so they re-fill with cool water. I recalled hearing one of the vet talks at the Suri symposium emphasize to check their water, which includes temperature, if it is too warm they don’t really want to drink it, or too cold – so work on heating it. Eating a bulky hay diet and not drinking enough fluid, blockage or electrolyte imbalance is bound to have an effect. I have to say since he has been doing this in the afternoon, I am almost always greeted with wet, drippy alpaca smiles when I get home. Kind of like the food and the poop pile, it entices them to use it when they see you doing something with it.

How this all this leads into our weekend purchases which included buying a new oven range AND a spa, is a stretch, but for the record, they are “heat-related” matter of fact, too much heat! Our Viking stove that we had got from my mother-in-law had intermittently been having problems, burners not lighting or worse yet the flame was ridiculously high – long story short, we had been renewing our home warranty since we bought our house and the stove was covered – repairman fixed it numerous times. It was actually working great until about a month ago when it caught fire. I wasn't home but am told the flames were a few feet high, not going out with a wet towel. There was nothing cooking on the stove, food in oven was fine, but flames enough to crack glass in oven and fry up the electrical. After weeks of multiple inspections and a “heated” discussion between my husband & the warranty company and possibility of problem due to the fact that they didn’t send a Viking Certified repairman, they albeit begrudgingly, sent us a check for replacement of “equal” value stove.

Now we were faced with dilemma of either buying another Viking range at about four times the cost of your typical ranges or buying a GE that there is certainly nothing wrong with but if something went wrong with the new stove, the warranty company might not be too happy about it if we didn’t purchase the equivalent that Don had bartered for. I had basically summed up in my mind I would go for electrical instead of propane. our square footage of house with extremely high ceilings can totally break a bank - unless one likes spending over $1000 in propane in under 6 months time. Ghads, this is with no stove and certainly no heat running in the house – how much extra dryer time or water heater is used in the summer… We actually do sometimes get quite a few days in the 30s, possibly a hail storm or dusting of snow and I may like to turn on some heat or the oven for that matter.

Any way have you ever gone shopping and been thankful for small mercies in disguise? We headed over to a store that has basically every range under the sun on display – Sales guy, fully knowledgeable, helpful, not pressuring, very pleasant, gives us his opinion on how he hates cooking on electric – the hubby is weighing in because he remembered our last alpaca delivery people saying same thing. I’m stating propane cost is killing us, I really think at this house electric is cost-effective. Somewhere in conversation it is mentioned the repair/installation guy is currently on premises so we decide to get the cost of converting a gas range to propane and in speaking with him, first thing he says, you are on propane, you really need to go electric -propane cost will kill you. Then he says I don’t know the cost difference of Viking to the others but there is NO comparison, I am a certified Viking trainer and I personally would only make money off of you converting a GE or other model gas to propane, so this is an unbiased opinion of someone who has not only installed ranges but taught repair training classes for many years – hands down go Viking. So, farmer Don, the master negotiator, got the floor model, electric Viking cost down to almost half of what we received check from the warranty company for – Woot score number one on the weekend.

The next day, trying to decide with the family what to do to stay cool (other than stay in and eat) - our daughter says have you seen the inflatable Jacuzzi tubs? A quick google - a trip to Target, a few hundred dollars later, our son-in-law and their friend have it all filled and the bubbles are on. Despite the fact it only heats up 2 degrees per hour, it was 100 degrees out earlier in the day, so I am going in! Here we sat, myself, our daughter & a six year old (just about maximum capacity) who is subjecting us to a game of bubble gum, bubble gum in a dish – we are laughing over shear silliness, our daughter’s case of the giggles brings to my mind a memory of my own mother’s laughter – a distant memory faded with years gone by, life struggles and her passing from terminal illness that had suppressed my memory of her laugh – here it is 14 years later, in my own daughter, who is now enjoying her new motherhood – Needless to say that impulse purchase of inflatable hot tub has now become truly priceless – almost making me forget all about the heat. Now hoping to be continued just enough so little grand baby can test it out before it gets too cold. Then again, the inflatable tub comes with a handy carrying case – I wonder if the locking inflatable lid would keep the alpacas out when not occupied ? Rub a dub alpacas in a tub...

We will make them stick to their plastic pools and I will try to add photos of pacas in the pool if possible later. Though we sold all our pool hog alpacas and this herd of girls despite the heat don't seem to be interested in getting anything other than their feet wet. Maybe they don't want to mess the hair style - alpaca bathing caps?

An added note; recommend to hose only legs and under tummy for huacaya alpacas unless they are fresh shorn. OK to hose a suri alpaca
& a pool is not recommended for pregnant females until 60 days after breeding and before delivery to avoid possible uterine infection...

A video from over a year ago - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S58z-pHcpU&feature=youtu.be
news article last summer
http://www.sgvtribune.com/general-news/20130628/heat-wave-continues-this-weekend-in-southern-california


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Alpaca A.D.D. what a tangled mess I weave...

cat helping with scarf

cat helping with scarf

Warning, you may have Alpaca ADD, a version of Attention Deficit Disorder if you love too many things about alpacas to count, have multiple projects going simultaneously, are equally enthused about each one and would prefer to let other tasks such as eating and sleeping go LOL.

I thought I could write a little bit about creative alpaca uses. Personally, I am not a crafter. My mother on the other-hand, she sewed, knitted, crocheted, took cake-decorating classes, painted ceramics... It all looked like torture to me. In fact stepping on a knitting needle is exactly that, I believe I may have a scar to prove it. While standing still for measurements and being pinned for home-made clothing articles was torture enough, actually reading a knitting pattern or worse yet, pulling out a pattern, cutting and sewing, NO way! Would rather trade for a speech class, drama, singing, dancing, soccer ball, basketball or run with a baton or walk the dog. I even said to her one time, teach my daughter to crochet or knit and when I get old and think it looks interesting she can teach me.

Now gaining quite a few pounds and approaching grandmother-hood may have had something to do with my shifting of the tides, but mostly it is the other talented alpaca owners that have inspired me to channel my inner creative side.

I was invited to go to a "fiber retreat" by mostly other alpaca owners and initially declined. In fact I declined more than once figuring I was doing a room full of women spinning wheels, knitting and felting a huge favor than to put up with a distraction of me trying to learn something useful over the weekend. I'm not one to sit quiet and the thought of being holed up in a room, at a convent no less, certainly was stretching --- my comfort zone. However, I eventually gave in and just before heading to wine country for fiber retreat googled a couple menial craft ideas and came up with felting soap -- at least that was clean fun right? Really we went to wine country for the weekend and literally did not have enough time to enjoy all of our crafting projects, let alone go around the corner to a winery. I barely snuck in a swim in the pool between delightful meals. That wasn't the main point of the retreat.

I could share on this blog pictures of some of the awesome things others made, but I should probably get permission first and people may be trying to sell their products so it could get complicated. I will try and describe these items to you in a nutshell. I saw a really amazing Nano felted scarf, a beautiful woven shawl, loads of yarn spun, felted vests trimmed with luminous suri locks to the making of felted sculptured arts in all kinds of unbelievable figurines, jewelry & practical dryer balls. Oh the woven things including the rugs were my favorite. You really do want to think about putting your feet on an alpaca woven rug. So there I was with my silly soap. I at least was smart enough to just get Dove soap in bulk and it least gave me something to do. I tried to watch a you-tube video on my tiny iphone on how to use the little loom someone had given me also. At least after multiple times rewind and pause, I got a start to a scarf. When I got home I thought you put that down and you will forget it and never get back to it.

So, 5 scarfs, a dozen alpaca dryer balls, dog & cat toys later. I have pictures and a blog LOL. I am sure my dearly departed mother would be so proud. I am now receiving texts from a talented friend who is sewing dog beds to stuff with our discard-type alpaca fleece and we are researching creative decals or patches to decorate with. I can hardly decide whether to finish a baby blanket or a scarf that I am doing on 2 of 2 looms and I also want to get back to dryer ball making, but darn it I had to clean the house on Labor day weekend instead - though my bunco buddies will appreciate that.

Meanwhile, enjoying the kudos & encouragement for my posted pictures of loom scarves that any amateur could do (take my word on that one). Not only seeing is believing. You really want to touch whatever is made of alpaca. Even if you aren't a tactile learner, you will very likely appreciate it. Who knows one day I may find old speech and drama skills could come in handy giving a demonstration somewhere. With me at least it is bound to be entertaining. Next thing on my bucket list is alpaca fleece/rug stomping (with or without wine) you decide how entertained or serious you would like to be.

Hence try something out and see if you have Alpaca ADD. Go Alpaca! I mean run alpacas, because next I'm coming out there to give you a hug. Guaranteed I will see something shiny when I get out there...

p.s. Note; Hobby Lobby carries an alpaca yarn 30% alpaca the rest synthetic. Michaels had 0 alpaca and a little specialty yarn shop that carried 100% alpaca from Peru does not feel very nice. We need to do something about that. All alpacas and yarns are not created equal. Uh oh, I feel another blog coming on.
finished product after tangle mess

finished product after tangle mess

felted dog & cat toys

felted dog & cat toys

attempt at baby blanket & scarf simutaneously lol

attempt at baby blanket & scarf simutaneously lol

alpaca stuffed dog beds- in process

alpaca stuffed dog beds- in process


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Keep Calm and Start an Alpaca Farm

Here I go again (I am thinking if I re-read blog guidelines, I am at minimum doing a dis-service to alpaca blogging) writing not useful, alpaca information, but here I go, once again giving example of what not to do. Sharing our inept ways, in hopes you will find humor in the day to day, excuse pun, hum drums of our alpaca adventure.

Using the saying "keep calm & start an alpaca farm" to seguay into a funny story. Let's for sake of embarrassment say an undisclosed person in household was home sick from work this week & was cooking, & sets off fire alarm. Another person in household was busy at work so didn't answer cell phone call & the alarm company dispatched the fire dept. The fire chief that responds to call, chats and stays awhile & eventually says "my wife & I have been wanting to buy alpacas do you have a business card" lol

One wonders what would happen if we intentionally tried to come up with creative ways to promote alpaca.
Our daughter who has a dog rescue, because dozens of dogs always seem to find her, inspired me to buy a her license frame that says "mutt magnet." We may have to put some thought into a catchy phrase to promote alpaca. Especially considering one time in transport, in our vehicle and trailer with no advertisement whatsoever, people waved us down so we'd pull over on freeway & they ended up buying the trailer full of alpacas. Need some ideas, something short and to the point, a long the lines of alpaca aholics but one that may entice someone to join the fiber fun, not promote the addiction aspect. Hmm, Brings to mind the saying that herd is different than hoard..



Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dream a Little Drone for Me

Although my pile of paper work and time spent in front of a computer sometimes seems to drone on and on -with some of the drone talk coupled with our capabilities of a science lab on Mars, I got thinking about what it would be like to have a drone or remote control activated devices with cameras. If/when they become affordable for use on a farm. Hence the title, Dream a Little Drone for Me...

A drone/robot type device with camera could zoom in check feed & waterers - see if an alpaca is in labor, see if milk is being produced, follow up on an eye or other type of injury.

Then science part could, take water & soil samples and analyze, gather samples; a fecal, a fleece, a blood sample & then analyze it. Maybe even take an alpaca temperature (little stretch here) Send all the info on to us, or even the pharmacy, the feed store... Any how, I have only begun to imagine the possiblities. Raking & disposing, shearing & sorting all my unmatched socks LOL. Just some random thoughts - At some point when things become more feasible, maybe others could provide feedback with ideas you would like or find the most useful.

For the creative design people - what would yours look like? Mine may be a miniature alpaca covered with real fleece maybe a rare appaloosa - female of course - oh and powered by cell phone...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What's in a hum ?

Grace & Hope = beautiful, HMM?

Grace & Hope = beautiful, HMM?

If you have ever spent any time near an alpaca and happen to be like myself, one of the first things you may be intrigued by is the sound they make. Not an overly boisterous noise, like a bleeting goat or sheep, more a simple, soul-soothing hum.

There are a few definititions of the word hum ranging from; to emit a continuous low sound - a blend of sounds (like traffic or a swarm of insects) which lends to definition of state of busy activity, as in traffic is just humming along, or to produce a tune without opening mouth - sometimes what I do when I forget the words to a song. So a hum isn't always a pleasant sound, if you suffer from a hum in your ear or hear a swarm of bees, or an abnormal hum from something mechanical it may be a warning sign. Likewise a hum in an alpaca herd they may be similar meanings. Yet, there is nothing quite like a happy little hum.

Alpaca crias just about come out humming. The little newborn cria makes the cutest little hum and typically it's mother seems to hum right back. This is thought to be comforting, one of the ways they identify and communicate with each other in a herd. Alpacas seem to hum when they are content, hum when they are curious, stressed, bored (ho-hum, just for the hum of it)

I recently visited an alpaca farm where they were talking about a certain mom who just must have the best milk in town because throughout her motherhood, everyone around from newborn to orphan, to even a weaned, 1-year-old wants to nurse off of her. My mind wonders if maybe the hum got out?

Maybe one day I will be able to capture an image of two of my favorite things, an alpaca and a hummingbird - that could be a hum-dinger !

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

All things learned

Short disclaimer there are first attempts at many things in life. This is my first attempt at a blog and I wrote it, in my vanpool on my iphone, yes typed it with my thumb---

At risk of sounding like complete imbeciles I thought I would offer up a few alpaca adventure stories for the main purpose of not necessarily sharing topics of educational information, more or less just sharing a laugh at our lessons learned. In doing this, was thinking that I may need to revisit some James Herriot classics like All things Wise & Wonderful, a title came quick to me that I hope it's not already in print somewhere. Here goes, "All Things Unwise & Uncanny".

See, our alpaca adventure basically started with just a simple "pet"purchase as alpacas showed up one day at an auction my husband frequently attends. I thought maybe an over-sized standard poodle showed up in his arms later that day at our house. Absolutely adorable, but I knew nothing about alpacas other than what I read on a very basic care sheet. In our quest to find a companion for "Annabelle Alpaca" we were informed of not only the importance of not having a "lone" alpaca but the unique compatibility issues of opposite sex (another blog possibility forming)

Fast forward to our first trailer delivery of moms & crias (baby alpacas). In my defense, may I point out this is essentially my first time handling anything larger than a Labrador. The quick learner that I am, I noted after first alpaca came hopping out of trailer onto Tracy's toes, that it might be beneficial to stand a wee bit to the side for the following. By this point in the unloading process, I have gotten over the oh my gosh look how cute this brown cria is, how cute this black cria with the white spot is and lost track of names but am fairly certain it was an alpaca we have named "Windfall " that equated to my fall that not quite knocked wind out of me, because I think when it happened something punny like that went through my brain. Any how, unloading her looked something like, Windfall Alpaca scared to jump "oh no! Not my turn to get out of trailer, after other alpacas did. That is a great big scary foot-high jump down out of trailer, how frightening. I can't jump I'm too scared" I, Tracy smart pants have this. Step to the side first (see not right in front, remember the toes) then coax said alpaca from trailer, "come on you can do it" direct eye contact is almost the last thing I am sure of. Windfall instantaneously "okay catch meeeeeeeeee!" Some what like a toddler jumping from pool deck into pool to be caught by the adult. However I haven't quite painted the scenario, 1) rocky, dirt lot, instead of pool, and 2) Windfall weighs 175 pounds unshorn (no she doesn't have a hundred pounds of fleece to cushion my catch). Hold on, this isn't the humorous part I am trying to point out yet. Though being instantaneously flattened by an alpaca might give at least a chuckle to the casual observer, I am not sure how to capture that mental picture on paper. Lets just say after the failed catch, I didn't quite bounce up, didn't quite stagger to my feet. I recall that I got up and was still holding alpaca on lead - touché - Alpaca may have taken me by suprise but I didn't let you get away. So, I dusted myself off a little, felt back of head to make sure it was still with me & thought surprisingly nothing hurt, no blood, broken bones, not even a real surge of adrenaline so carry on - and that I did.

Flash forward a few more months. We have now sold quite a few mom & cria sets as was the plan and honestly have to say nearly every prospective purchaser that asked about buying Annabelle was aswered with "No she is not for sale" All the while thinking she was our very first little sweetheart. Her name had special significance to me and I featured her on our Christmas Card with a simple "Fleece Navidad" that year. Meanwhile my business head was saying, she isn't the quality or pedigree in our limited space I should be keeping and just because she is sweet and cute doesn't mean we should keep her. Those of you that can relate to that heart, head dilemma where common sense and sentimental value don't always match up.

Well how quickly things can change. Sometime after shearing (shoot another blog possibility that would look something like me splattered witha bit of green) On a bit of a glum day since my dear grandmother of 97 passed away, I had come home early for the day. Feeling like I needed time to think, I went out to the alpaca pen for peaceful therapy. As I am sitting there somewhat sniffling, I notice Annabelle has something underneath her. Just what is that? Are my eyes deceiving me? could it be? Oh my - Annabelle is really Anna Balls! Sorry for the unexpected shift in this predominantly PG blog, but that is what came to my mind. Are you kidding me? All these months of strictly moms and babies as our focus because we got companion for our "girl" alpaca without a close look under all that beautiful extremely fluffy fleece, was really a boy's anatomy. Oh my! How my husband had been taken at that auction... Moral of story, don't just go by what someone trying to sell something tells you when making a purchase. You may want to take a closer look becuase things are not always as they seem.

If this blog was amusing to you, feel free to let me know and maybe I could take some writing courses in the near future and keep them coming. Trust me, the stories are there and if you can't laugh at yourself, I think you may be letting the trials of this life get the best of you.