Thursday, July 13, 2006

Visit from Mom & Dad, Shearing Day, and House Hunting

Boy, haven't written much lately due to extreme back-to-back action around here. Mom and Dad came up for a visit on the weekend before the 4th. We had Shearing Day scheduled for July 1 but nothing else much was going on so we spent a day in Jackson, which totally wore us out, and so spent the rest of the weekend around home. I guess since we move so often the parents felt the need to see our place before we go. So it was great they could come and combine it with a trip through my sister, Monica's, place in Denver coming and going and enjoy the 4th there.

While they were here we sheared the two girls. That was a big event, yet pretty straightforward. The whole thing took about 15 minutes per alpaca. The boys had already been sheared this year so they did not need it. The shearer came up from Salt Lake, Mike and I were his pawns. Mom and Dad took photos and video and Kelsey and Sara collected the fleece. Here are the before and after shots.

We were concerned about leaving the Alpacas while we went to Coeur D'Alene for a week, and a week before we left my sister, Nancy was telling me how her friend from Richland, WA, wanted to vacation in Yellowstone this summer but had no reservations yet, when we conceived of the idea that she could Alpaca sit for us while we were gone. Keep in mind this idea came less than a week before we left! So we presented it to her as a long shot, and 5 days later she jumped in her car with her two children and parents in tow, and drove 12 hours to our house for what to her was "A week at the ranch" within an hour of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was really a fabulous win-win situation.

So we headed out way early on the 3rd for Boise, where we picked up a friend of Kelsey's at the airport and dropped the two of them off at Girl Scout camp in McCall Idaho for a week. Then Sara, Mike, and I headed on for Coeur D'Alene to house hunt. We stayed in our camper in the yard of friends from Los Alamos days, (wonderful place they have there too), but beat the streets every day with a couple of realtors, one keeping us out for 14 hours on Thursday. We love living in Star Valley and would love to stay there, but simply cannot afford to buy the size place we need for the Alpaca business. So we have enlarged our search to include Boise, Denver, and Coeur D'Alene. We found out we are going to have trouble buying something in Coeur D'Alene too. Friday we ventured over to Washington, the Spokane area, and although that had not been our original plan, were pleased with what Spokane had to offer. That is where we found the only house we were interested in and although it was still over our limit, we made a low offer. In the end that didn't go anywhere but the trip was an eye opener, and now we need to re-evaluate.