Thursday, June 14, 2007

what day is this??

Mike often asks me that. He-of-Long-Sight-and-Great-Vision often forgets what day of the week it is. Our house is a circus of contractors and noise and phone calls and logistics. Folks are not meant to live this way for extended periods of time!

But all of this hub-bub is getting us closer to our alpaca farm. We are 'between nests' right now. As we sort and toss and pack, gift family members with furniture they can use and Craig's List readers or thrift stores with the rest, we are lightening our load, and getting ready to load the truck.

Meanwhile we' have had 2 new crias born, and another is due any day now. Since we board them 30 minutes away, I'm poised to hear 'Summer's in labor' so I can dash up there, hopefully to witness the miracle of birth. Cordova, one of our recent boys, is romping through the pasture; the other we had to make the difficult choice to euthanize when only a few hours old. He was born with a neurological disorder that could not be 'fixed,' and so with tears we let him go. Such is life, and death, with livestock.

A few days later I was at another ranch just in time to see a newborn, to observe his struggle to stand, his search for the milk counter. It renewed my faith that Mother Nature knows what she's doing. Each struggle is really a way of strengthening and preparing for the next phase.

Likewise, we're getting ready to say Good-bye to this house that we love, to go to another one that we'll love differently. This time another alpaca friend is making the trip with me. We're volunteering at the Alpaca Marketplace Fleece Show one morning, and attending Black Sheep Gathering. I expect to be wowed by many fiber and spinning goodies, playing on my addiction to handcrafting. I have a short shopping list: a fleece carder, and perhaps a new drop spindle. So much to learn and do!

Alas, I have not been able to podcast, even though session ideas are percolating in the back of my brain while roofers pound and painters spray. The process that I'd intended to share has been overtaken by its own noise. And once I am safely at the peaceful farm, there is too much to do to want to dive into technology for a time. The fact that I'm writing about it tells me that it will come together soon!

This month since my last trip has been busy with shearing on three different ranches. Probably 200 animals, total. I simply assist with readying the alpacas, or with gathering the harvest of fleece as it flows under the shearer's blades. Lots of work, and quite dusty and dirty. It's a good tiredness at day's end. Some of our pacas will be released from their coats this weekend, now that they've had their babies. Timing is tricky. So what else is new?!