Wednesday, May 30, 2007

4300 Miles & 10 alpacas later

Just home last Saturday from our trip East to Kentucky for the National Alpaca Conference, with stops in GA, VA, and OH to pick up animals. We snuck in a wonderfully restful 2-day visit to my Aunt Cordie & Uncle Charlie's place in Asheville, NC. We learned a lot at the conference, and met a lot of people. Definately worth the trip. At the Auction we ended up buying three animals, including one Suri alpaca (Another kind of alpaca that has ringlets like dreadlocks in their fleece).
Meanwhile back in Idaho, where Token was enjoying her maternity leave, we had a new baby boy born, Fletcher (named after the town my Aunt & Uncle's address is).

We finished up the trip (be thinking $100 of gas every 3 hours for a week and a half) with a 28-hour marathon drive, with 10 alpacas in the trailer, straight through from Ohio in 3 hour shifts. Which actually, while we were dreading it, it was actually just fine.

Mike dropped me off in Denver to pick up Valeria, a foreign-exchange student that lived with my family for a year in high school. Meanwhile he went home and made dinner for us. We spent the night, and morning, experiencing the ranch, then she and I went to Albuquerque to visit with my parents. Memorial day found us by the pool with friends of the family Valeria had not seen in the 27 years since she lived at our house. Then Tuesday she and I went up to visit Los Alamos, peek in the windows of the house, wander around the high school and look up a couple of friends we could find. This morning I dropped her off at the airport and she left again for Brazil. She is really just like a sister to me and the visit was absolutley perfect. So sad to see her off again!Saturday the girls come home for the summer. We are having a pool party for their friends before heading up to Colorado. Mike is already home and making great progress on the daunting projects that await at the Aardwolf Ranch.... Life is good.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Another busy month

In attempt to be brief (ha!) here's the highlights:

April 20 - Rented the big truck and moved all our household to the new ranch. We stopped at Monica's for the night and they came down with us the next day to help unload. Thank goodness, couldn't have done it without them.

April 25 - Pepperfire (the girl in VA) had a baby boy. Phoenix is his name. Our first of 9 babies due in 2007.April 27 - Alpaca show in Coeur D'Alene. One of my BBQ buddies, Londa Palmer (willow River Ranch) went on the roadtrip with us, nearly 10 hour drive. She brought 2 boys, we had 4. Her alpacas did well. Our not so well, except Ramon, the boy we got with the ranch. Because of his heritage we can't use him as a herdsire, but he's looking like he'll be the best alpaca on the ranch! While in Coeur D'Alene we had dinner with longtime family friends Joy & Ken Crandall and they visited the show and learned a bit about alpacas.
May 1 - Moved the animals and the last of our belongings to Canon City. We left Jack and Ko-chise to the people who bought our house in Wyoming. They had wanted alpacas for a long time, these two make great pets and a good introduction into the business.

May 3 - Took 3 boys up to the show in Denver. This show is huge, second only to Nationals, so it's great to go be involved in that. 1200 alpacas were in attendance. Londa and her husband joined us again but we all felt like we were running the entire weekend. Kelsey and Sara came up to join us too, Kelsey took Ramon into the showring. And they both showed in a performance class to test handling skills and that was good experience. As far as the animals went it was an exact repeat performance of the prior week.
May 5 - Our girl Serena who was boarding at a ranch for breeding died. She had a parasite that is difficult to diagnose (E-mac, a coccidia like parasite). At least that's what "I" think she had. The vet's found nothing. By the time we figured on E-mac and were treating it, it was too late and she died a week later. By that time she was losing 3 pounds per day and losing the will to live. Luckily she was insured and had given us Olympia, a beautiful little girl. Just could have used two more just like that.
May 6 - Drove the girls back to Albuquerque after the show. Because they hadn't been there we took a detour by the ranch. We were glad we did because we found a pipe had burst sometime that weekend and two the utility room/office and garage were flooded with 3/4 inch of water. And of course much of what we owned was in cardboard boxes sitting in that water. We cleaned up the best we could but when Mike got home Monday evening he had to tear out the flooring and gyp board up the walls. Since we plan on remodelling that area anyway, perhaps it is not devestating, but just didn't need the extra activity right now. While we were at the house in one of the barns, we found a nest of Mice, so we had another delay "saving" the mice. (we need some cats!) The girls decided the ranch is "full of adventure"!

May 7 - While we went to NM, Mike stayed behind at the show for another day. He took a shearing clinic the next day in the neighborhood. The entent was to get exposure to shearing not to learn to shear our own animals. He sheared two of our animals and got lots of practice. In the end he really enjoyed it, and might consider shearing our animals.. very interesting!

So this week I'm in Albuquerque, trying to work. Mike's at home, fixing the house after the flood! We are both trying to recover a bit before heading out on the next adventure next week. We are driving out to Kentucky for the National convention and then going to North Carolina to visit my Aunt Cordie and Uncle Charlie, then to Georgia to pick up some animals, to Virginia to visit the ranch we have that girl at there, and to Ohio to pick up more animals, then home by June 1... Oh, actually just in time to pick up my Foreign exchange student from Brazil (Valeria) who will be visiting for a few days...

Then June is going to be BORING! (we hope).