Monday, April 27, 2009

Ah, shearing is behind us for another year. It didn’t happen without its share of drama, our clippers decided to quit working after the first animal was done. I did two more with hand shears before deciding that wasn’t going to fly. So now armed with a new set of clippers, the twelve animals I had to do look, well, funny looking. Though I think they are slightly less odd looking than the two we had done professionally, since I tend to leave the fleece a bit longer on the neck than the pros do. I still have to use hand shears on leg and neck fleece since our clippers wont handle fleece that dense (we’re already asking them to do more than they are technically designed to do, hence the repair job on the first set.) and it can be a bit nerve racking trying to fine where fleece ends and alpaca begins, so I just stay a little further off the neck.
The ones that are done by the pros are taken right down on the neck, so they look like they have these little skinny necks and great big bobble heads to me.

Now to decide what to do with all this fleece. Just when we got use to having a little extra space from sending out last year’s clip. It never ends. Oh well, I do it because I love it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The latest Open House

Wow! We had an Open House at Linda’s (Mesquite Valley Alpacas) this weekend. It started out a bit slow as it was raining pretty hard, but around 11:00 the rain stopped, the sun broke out and it was a beautiful day! People started showing up and kept us hopping right up until four. I think everyone really enjoyed meeting the alpacas and I know they had fun matching up the yarns and rovings to the animals it came from. I brought my camera, but never actually managed to get it out of its case. Oppsie.
Monday, we’ll be back at Linda’s for shearing. We have over 100 alpacas to get done that day. I’ll have Aries, O, and Heilo there. Plus I’m bringing Dante back (Tyche tells me she is tired of his companionship and he can leave now) and I’ll have Linda’s Spirit. Dante will stay behind, but Spirit will come back with my boys.
Fajita and Posie will be leaving as well. Fajita has found a new home and Linda has room now for Posie. I think I’ll miss those two, I got kind of use to having them around, though I’m sure the girls will be just as happy to not have the compitition for hay and fan space this summer.
I started shearing my guys here and got the younger boys done. This week I’ll be working on the girls and maybe Jacko and Sunny.
Jack and Sunny are growing like weeds. Jack has finally discovered the joys of sweet feed and scarfs down his cup full morning and evening. Sunny still has no interest in the feed but where Jack goes, he goes, so he’s got his nose right down there checking out what Jacks eating. Interestingly, Sunny is extremely friendly for a cria. He likes to have his neck scratched and doesn’t seem to mind being touched while he eats. I wonder if it’s because Jack is so tame. Being bottled fed and handled so much while he was sick has made Jack a very friendly alpaca. I wonder if because Jack doesn’t run or get upset when we hold him, Sunny figures why should he? These are pretty intelligent animals, but can they reason like that?
We’ve started halter training Jack. Because of the extensive handling, we started earlier than we normally do. I want it firmly entrenched in Jacko’s head that we are bigger than him and we are in control, not him, before he is actually bigger than me. He tried to chest butt me once, and I put a quick end to that. He is doing pretty good so far and seems to enjoy looking around as we walk around the yard.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Stand By Me video

There are moments in this life that bring powerful emotions to the fore front; moments when we believe anything is possible; moments when we know we are all part of a greater vision. This morning I had one of these moments. Maybe it was a result of not being fully awake, maybe it’s just “that time of the month” and maybe I’m just a little more aware this morning, but when a co-worker started playing a video on his computer, it stuck a cord in me.
The video is produced by a group called Playing for Change. It showed a street performer in CA playing his guitar and singing “Stand By Me”. As the song progressed, the film producers added in more performers. They traveled the globe layering more and more artist into this film, each adding his or her own unique voice. Then end result is amazing. I’ve heard “Stand By Me” before, it’s a pleasant song, I enjoy it, but I’ve never felt it like this before.
Watch the video yourself, if you’re not moved the way I was, well, then see the opening paragraph and call me in a week; I’m obviously not myself right now!