Posts Tagged ‘Oklahoma’

Alpacas–Johnny and Cassandra

June 19, 2010

Jeepers! It’s HOT! With crias on the ground and the weather in the mid-nineties and the humidity way up, we are counting our blessings that we built where we did. There is an almost constant breeze, frequently a wind, that blows up the ridge from the trees and keeps the barn lovely and cool. The insulation under the apartment and in the overhangs doesn’t hurt either. There is another benefit to living in air-conditioning over the barn.

In the meantime, the crias are growing by leaps and bounds.

Johnny, over 30 pounds now, will be four weeks old tomorrow

Johnny is already 30 pounds and won’t be four weeks old until tomorrow. He already considers himself quite the macho guy. This is one fantastic young boy.

Cassandra is younger by far, but the two of them are starting to play under her mother’s watchful eye. Jenni doesn’t want Johnny to get too rough. She’s growing by about one-half pound every day, despite the heat. Jenni is a very good mother.

Cassandra is only a baby, after all. She looks like a little deer to me. She was born June 14.


Advertising Alpacas

May 7, 2010
The Cria Demand Their Grain

The Cria Demand Their Grain

We are working, trying to get our ranch set up for our June 10 Grand Opening. The Grove Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. and we will be officially classified as one of Grand Lake’s official attractions. There are not the same event, but both are part of the promotion of an alpaca ranch. We plan to have a little shop with fleece, yarn, alpaca bears, and finished alpaca products. Whew! So much to do. Eventually we hope that most of the things we sell will be made from our our renewable alpaca fiber. We are biting purposely biting off more than we can chew, I think–but watch us grow.

Here Kitty, Kitty–waiting for Godot Alpaca

May 2, 2010

April 14 came and went. It’s been blustery, cold, and snowy up in Utah and Kaatakilla (named for the Incan moon goddess) was just not ready. We are still awaiting the birth of her full-Accoyo suri cria. Every day I think to myself, “O. K., today’s the day.” Now it is May 2 and still nothing. The little entity moves around and kicks poor Kat from the inside but refuses to arrive no matter how hard we wait and we still don’t know what color the nursery should be.

April in Utah this year seems to have meant no spring at all. Our house is still on the market and we are trying to decide if a new realtor is the answer or if the one-two punch of bad economy and nasty weather is somehow not his fault. Spring is here in Oklahoma, but not in Utah.

I hear that alpacas can “hold off” a pregnancy and I think I’m believing that’s true about now. Please Kat, one healthy, beautiful cria at your earliest convenience–a boy or girl would be just fine.

Oh, and for those of you who thought this blog would be about cats, here’s Bristol…

Bristol samples alpaca drinking water. Is it better than cat water?

Bristol samples alpaca drinking water. Is it better than cat drinking water?

Another Dozen Alpacas

March 16, 2010

Sunday meant another dozen alpacas. Can you believe it? Friday we had our first ranch visitors, a lovely couple who brought their grandchildren and compared our house and property to a place they’d been in New Zealand–the green rolling meadows and the porches all around the house, I think, rather than Jay or Grove.

The dozen alpacas hit the ground and never looked back. Utah? Um, hmmm. I think I may have been there once.

This morning the girls headed for the field with wild ecstasy, like they were “strung together,” Tom said, wildly flinging themselves into the field with abandon. Go babies! If joy could be bottled, this was the place to bottle it!

It is wonderful to see them interacting as a herd and the first group did this to a degree, but this seems to be multiplied many times over with the arrival of the second group. I talked about family groups before and, for some of the alpacas this seems very important. Divinity, who is still nursing Zeke, sleeps with him and her daughter from the previous year, Demelza. Divinity’s mother Mindy May is here with her son Cruz. Mindy is our oldest girl and Cruz is currently the youngest.

Sonnet is here with her son SkyKing, but her daughters Madrigal and Cavatina are still in Utah. Since they are maidens, our mentor kept them in case they need assistance and so they can be rebred. I feel badly about this now because Sonnet seems to be looking for them.

While Tevilla’s mother, Dynasti is here, Tevilla appears to be on her own and chooses to spend time with Demelza during the day.

Tevilla, at the alert

Carmel Sundae has two of her three children here. Her son Agassi, the most recent, is in Utah and will be shown this spring. While Fantine and Shira are here, this family group seems to be simply three adults.

One or two alpacas seem to be appointed to watch while the rest eat peacefully. Rhapsody notices a lot even though she is not one of the primary lookouts. When she is in the paddock and we are looking out the windows, she watches us right back. So I guess she watches us watching her watching us…

The boys had one new addition, Ozzy, a gelding. Cantu and Marti, below, express their opinions at his arrival. Everyone, boys and girls, seems to be adjusting fairly well.

So how was your day?

Alpacas LOVE Oklahoma

February 27, 2010

Great news! The camera cord has been found and the first shipment of alpacas has been here in Zena for a week. We have opened a pasture for the girls and another for the boys. It is truly a joy watching them run.

Allegiance, our award-winning, mostly accoyo, suri herdsire and alpha male truly enjoys the new field as he leads the way. Marti (white) and Cantu (brown) follow. Allegiance brings together the Starbuck and Bruxo/Macgyver lines. Mom is the beautiful Cassini.

Martillo (Marti) brings together the Torbio and Brigadier/Sergeant Major Jax lines and his mom is our true black beauty Laguna.

Cantu is a Macgyver grandson, son of Fox Run’s Peruvian Nomar and Peruvian Mindy May whose offspring include champions in every generation.

Breeding to our boys begin this year and we’re breeding for the best fleece AND conformation.

OK, since you’ve stuck with me this far, you get another photo.

The girls and cria Zeke get last minute instructions from Don Llewellyn of Fox Run Suri Alpacas who transported them from Utah to Oklahoma and Tom before being released to pursue their own interests. Pay attention Jesse, there will be a quiz.

Alpaca Limbo

November 1, 2009

I certainly would like to take a load of things down to Oklahoma. I’ve been packing and packing and there are boxes just about everywhere. You don’t even want to see this it’s so depressing. The moving company that brought, named for a crimson, round child’s toy packed and shipped so poorly that I have boxes of broken things.It was such a nightmare that I would rather personally drive trucks to Oklahoma. I had insurance, but the fight to get them to pay even minimally almost destroyed my already somewhat precarious health.

They did give me $30 to fix the $900 clock that cost $300 to repair–the one they packed under cast iron garden ornaments with no packing material whatever. I could go on and on but I won’t. Hundreds of very nice things were damaged or outright smashed. Ugh! Let’s move on here.

Fantine and me

Fantine and I trying to get to Carnegie Hall--practice, practice, practice

Why does Fantine always look so gorgeous, even down to the toes when I look like I just woke up? Maybe once I can spend more time with her I’ll learn her secret. She’s been beautiful from the moment she was born.

We are taking three of our alpacas to Fall Festival in Loveland, Colorado this upcoming weekend, Fantine, Cavatina, and Cantu. So in the midst of packing there’s this jaunt. It would have made sense to take a load of things and continue on to Oklahoma. But there has been a lot of rain and the new house and barn are still not habitable. In a few weeks, just not now, I’m told. Sigh.

Guess I’ll pack a few more boxes today.

Tomorrow, more alpaca walking and I pick up my spinning wheel! Will I get packed or will that have to wait until everything in the house is spun?

Richmond Reprieve, then back to OK

October 2, 2009

This appears to be our month of mooching off friends and relatives. I think once we get back to Utah and packing there will be a bit of relief. As those of you who have been following know, Tom went to Oregon to be with his aunt and her family when she died. I made the trip to Oklahoma with the first load of our possessions, driving the Highlander with a 14-foot U-Haul in tow. Takes about 20 hours of driving.

Our trusty Cocker Spaniel Spot rode shotgun. The move from a tiny room-sized backyard to 78 acres has him thinking he died and went to heaven. I hate to take him back, but he is a glue-dog (likes to stick close to me or Tom) and I think the sepatation would be too stressful.


We walked with Spot to the south of the property–not quite there yet, but a nice view of the house and barn. The construction looks different every day since they are about to put the sides on the barn and roof the porch and house so it is “in the dry.” Once it can’t get wet inside, the plumber, electrician, drywaller and such will do their magic. In this photo, the roofed¬† porch, which goes around three sides of the house has not yet been added.

Tom and I are now in Virginia. Saturday night we will see what acting has done to our son. He is playing the lead in the play Psycho Beach Party and we have been warned that: He is playing a girl and there are mature themes and we should be prepared to be shocked. Just what parents dream of for their only son. Next week he auditions for Grapes of Wrath at the Barksdale Theatre. We are pulling for a male role with no mature themes. He is thin enough to play a starving Okie/Arkie from the Dust Bowl years, another theme we don’t want to hear about just now.

A good spot for watching the girlsThis is one of many ideal views of the barn from the house. Note the 14-foot U-Haul I pulled from Utah.

The house started out at about 1600 square feet. If entirely finished it should be about 3300 square feet. Our contractor said it wasn’t that much more to raise the roof and he added gables to the back of the house. A nice touch since it gives cross ventilation and there is a lovely pond down the hill away from the house. The room above the garage wasn’t in the original plans and neither was that huge garage come to think of it. I think we could put a bowling alley in that room.

I think we could run a small hotel once we are done.

I will blog about the play soon–assuming Tom and I haven’t died from embarrassment.

Oklahoma! Alpacas! Us!

September 18, 2009

I arrived in Oklahoma this afternoon after driving about 1300 miles in in 48 hours, stopping two nights. My faithful dog Spot is with me and Tom will fly in tomorrow. Tonight I am exhausted–hauling a trailer is not the easiest thign in the world, come to think of it there are many harder things though.

Tonight I’m going to sleep. Tomorrow I am going to post pictures, pictures , pictures. We haven’t seen the house and barn except through photos since each was only four stakes in the ground. Tune in tomorrow for my shock or delight.

OMG–2 Weeks Later. Look at Barn and House!

September 9, 2009

I wrote yesterday about how well construction is going on the Oklahoma property that will be Zena Suri Alpacas and promised

This began as a 1600 square house with no garage in June.

This began as a 1600 square house with no garage in June.

new pictures soon. Here they are. The quality of the photos is iffy since the camera was a hand-held cell phone. We are wondering if we are totally¬† insane or some of life’s lucky people.

I think we may have to nickname it “The Taj Mahal at Zena” or the “Winchester Mystery House II.” Maybe we should have a house naming contest? What would you name the house at Zena Suri Alpacas?

If they ever came, we could probably fit most of Zena's citizens in our barn

If they ever came, we could probably fit most of Zena's citizens in our barn

Zena is the name of the tiny town where our 78 acre property sits. Roughly 123 people live there in 82 housing units. Fewer than one-third of the families have children under age 18. The post office closed January 31, 1956. The median age is 42.

We hope to bring several jobs to Zena and/or Delaware County where it is located and are hopeful that taxes on our agricultural venture won’t be too high, so we can try a few additional ideas that will bring money into the area.

Right now, we are terrified by what we have done. Quick, send moral support!

Long-awaited House and Barn Pics

September 8, 2009
The cut-out section will be two stories tall

The cut-out section will be two stories tall

Tom always wanted a house with lots of windows that somehow looked like a cabin, you know

Bay Window on North Side of House

Bay Window on North Side of House

something like the A-frames you see at ski resorts yet somehow snug and cozy like the mountaineers’ cabins you stumble across unexpectedly in the hollows of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Throw in a little Ahwanee or Old Faithful Lodge and you get the idea, wood and rustic if the Rockefellers got hold of it.

I always wanted a house that looked like a home, but with enough space so I could somehow leave my 63 ongoing projects out so I could work on each as the inspiration struck. I need 63 projects because I need to keep moving around. I need to keep moving around because I have a bad back and CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, also known as RSD, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.) I’ll write more on this in a later blog, let’s just say at this point I have it but it doesn’t have me.

Our Salt Lake house is picturesque, well-located, historic, and small with 10 or 12 foot ceilings. You can’t use the dining table because I always have a project in the middle of it and you can’t use the garage because it is full of more projects. My father sold clocks and there are dozens of them in the house and in boxes in the garage. Some day I’ll sell some of them.

Our previous house was enormous, the one I figured I’d live in until I died, on one acre in Richmond, VA, with a wall of windows in the back, two attics and a large, windowed “work room” in the basement. It even had an elevator (tiny lift.) Finicky business that broadcasting is, it shook itself and we had to move on. Sigh.

Anyway, back to the Oklahoma ranch. Since these photos were taken, I’m told the barn has had its siding put on–white with deep red trim–and the rafters are going up on the second floor of the house

Photo taken of the back of the house before second story is added.

Photo taken of the back of the house before second story is added.

Once I get updated photos, or take them myself, I’ll add them to the blog.