Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oh, Alpacas!

Today the kids and I went to the alpaca farm. I should say, the kids and Richard and I, and Des and her 2 kids, and my BIL and niece Dana.

We were greeted by Max, the VERY old Great Pyrenees hound. He did his best to keep up as we went around the farm. Here he is being petted by grandbaby Jeremiah.
We got to see the Expecting Ladies (there are 23 in this pic!). Half of these are due soon, and half due in the Fall. It takes alpacas 11.5 months to have a baby. As things stand, I have spent 5 1/2 years of my life being pregnant. SOOOooo glad I am not an alpaca!

There was a pen for the nursing babies. One mom had been shorn for breeding, and her baby too. We have had warm weather, in the 70's! And now this week it has been COLD, in the 40s at night. Today was overcast and windy, in the mid-50s. We all needed sweatshirts. That mom and baby were shivering today!

There was also a pen for the weaned babies. She said she tries to halter break the babies before they wean, so they don't associate the halter with being deprived of Mama. ONE of the babies in this pen is not weaned, so its mama is in with it. But Sherry said Next Week, LoL! Better enjoy that last little bit of milk, baby!

She had 2 pens just for the "boys"... one for "teenagers," which are about 2 years old and of market age if she is of a mind to sell them. One pen just for Grownup boys... 4 years old, and she said actually a little old for selling. Good for breeding tho! And then there was a pen for her stud... a gorgeous all-black alpaca. He had 4 ladies in with him. She said they come into heat a few days after being put in his pen and get to stay about a month or so, to make sure the pregnancy takes. We didn't get pics of all the boys, sorry. I heard someone say he wished he were an alpaca! (No names here!)

Sherry let the kids all pet a couple babies. Just above on the Right you see Jeremiah, Josiah and Artemas petting a Huacaya baby, the youngest on the farm. They have a deep, downy, nappy coat like a sheep (only softer!). Here to the Left you see Diantha holding grandbaby Hannah down to pet a Suri baby. They have a stringy, slightly oily coat that is also incredibly soft. In the foreground is my niece Dana's head.

Not to be outdone, Beverly had to pet something too. Here I am holding her down to touch the Suri baby. (I am not kidding when I say my hair is colored purple, LoL!)

We had a good time talking to Sherry, and the older girls and I are invited back in a little while to spend some time spinning. We are looking forward to it! And then...

When we got back to the house, we had sandwiches that we had taken along for a picnic but TOO cold! Then we did some spinning and Des did some knitting on her shrug. For Christmas I bought her various batts of red Merino wool and others that had black in them, and bamboo, etc. She spun up a gorgeous set of yarn skeins and is knitting this without a pattern. When she is done, she is going to edge the neck/shoulder/back edge with handspun black Merino. Bravo, Des!

While all the kids were having fun, running around and discovering earthworms in the moist dirt, Veronica didn't feel very well. She endured the trip stoically, then went to bed at home. Where I went to lay with her and sing to her and fell flat out of her TALL antique-frame bed. She said I was funny. Sometimes I feel funny, all right. Downright Stinkin' Hilarious. I managed to make it through the song on the 2nd attempt, without gravity getting the best of me.

And one last, happy note. Remember my kidney stone attack from 2 months ago? And that I posted I have been in almost constant, dull pain from it? Well on Sunday the pain became acute. Today all that pain paid off. Yes folks, that is a 7 mm kidney stone. A .5 mm (that is half mm) stone would put most people in the hospital on IV pain meds. That pic on the left was taken on Sunday, with a house full of company and a stone stabbing me. Do I look like I can scarcely believe it? Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. You saw it here.


Kay said...

Ouch, ouch, and double ouch!!! I can't believe you weren't in the hospital for that stone. It is huge!!
In my 25 years in the nursing profession, I've seen many patients with stones A LOT smaller than this one in hospital on that IV pain med stuff. I'm so glad it passed safely and your pain is better.
Sounds like you all had a great time! Have fun when you go back to spin.

my7kids said...

Not only wasn't I in the hospital, I was entertaining company, running errands, and walking around a HUGE alpaca farm! LOL!

Richard says I am "sturdy stock."

Anonymous said...

That stone does not look like fun, but the farm does.

Lee Purdum Lehman said...

Is there some way that stone can wind up in your Etsy shop??? After all, who could argue that it isn't 100% woman-made!! Actually, a totem bag around your neck with the stone in it would be great to remind you of what real pain is, just when someone is being a pain in the buttocks! ;)

The High Plains Knitter said...

What a cool trip. We took trips with other homeschoolers, but nothing this cool.

Terri said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun at the alpaca farm. I look forward to seeing the yarn you spin when you go back. You must be made of steel to have gone through that with the kidney stone. Glad it is resolved now though.