A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

November 27, 2008

Taking It Easy On Thanksgiving Day

Jack Takes It Easy

Jack Takes It Easy



When you run a farm you don’t get many (if any) days off.  There is always something that needs attending whether it be livestock to feed or fields and crops to tend.   The payoff for the lack of days off is the life style that you lead, for farming has a life style and benefits all of it’s own, whether it be seeing a brilliant sunrise in the morning or watching a new life come into the world.  Those benefits are not what you would find in most employee benefit packages, but then again they are benefits that cannot be bought.


For our Thanksgiving Day we will be taking things a little easy.  Of course chores will have to be done, after all, how could one enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with 70 pair of large brown eyes looking at you wondering where their feed is!  I know that the alpacas would not let us get away with forgetting to do chores for a day!


Once chores are done though we will be putting away the bookwork, farm repairs, fleece skirting and other tasks to instead enjoy the day cooking and eating our Thanksgiving meal, visiting with the neighbors and spending time together.  I am sure we will receive our fair share of “kisses” from the alpacas; especially the crias who love to come up and sniff us, checking out our hair and clothing.  The fall crias are at a fun age now where they are really starting to explore and test things.  Yesterday as I was raking up poop piles Nazca (the youngest of the crias) was fascinated with the rake, sniffing it, watching it and then racing away from it when I moved it.  He was having a great game with me and I wasn’t getting too much poop raked up!


The alpacas and llamas will receive their Thanksgiving treat too, some pumpkin to nibble on and maybe even a carrot or two.  Our neighbors and friends have been bringing us their Halloween pumpkins to feed to the alpacas and llamas, and the herd has been enjoying the fall treat.  Our horses however are not so enchanted with a pumpkin feast and so for them carrots alone will have to be enough.


Evening chores will come around just in time to give us some much needed activity after dinner, once the chores are complete we will be able to settle in for the night and perhaps watch a movie or play a board game (Ric is convinced he will be able to beat me at Scrabble).


Throughout out easy day though we will remember that it is a day to give thanks, and that we will do, thanks for each other, thanks for our family, thanks for our friends (both furry and not) and thanks for this wonderful lifestyle that we are so fortunate to enjoy.




December 20, 2007

Christmas? Next Tuesday? I’d better get busy!

Snuggler and Six ToesDuring a conversation with Ric yesterday he mentioned a function we will be attending this Saturday.  I was surprised that the function was coming so soon as in my mind I thought it was the following Saturday, even more surprising to me was that if Saturday December 22 is this Saturday that means Christmas Day is Tuesday! 

So yesterday was spent shopping for groceries so that the evening could be spent doing our holiday baking.  Fortunately I had already planned what I was going to bake and had most of the supplies on hand.  Some of the treats we are making need to be refrigerated overnight before the next stage of baking and so later today we will be having fun cutting out and decorating alpaca shaped ginger bread cookies, llama shaped Christmas cookies (we use the same cookie cutter but just change the shape of the ears and the position of the tail) and probably some dog, cat and horse shaped cookies to represent the rest of our furry family.

The previous night young Snuggler, the barn cat who now lives inside, had almost driven me to distraction with his high spirits and energy.  During the course of the evening he tried to steal my dinner, batted the Christmas tree branches, tried using the wooden alpaca as a scratching post and then resorted to launching himself onto me with all claws extended during my Pilates session.  Needless to say he is probably short of a life or two now!

I really didn’t want to have to battle a young cat whilst baking and was trying to figure out how to keep him calm when I remembered that the dogs will usually all fall asleep if I put the right music on the CD player, so I looked out a Christmas CD and bingo that was the end of Snuggler’s high jinx for the night as he curled up next to Six Toes for a good long nap.

While the baking we did yesterday and today is for humans, I think it only right that the animals get a treat too, so the dogs will be getting some peanut butter treats which include all sorts of good things such as flax seed meal and the alpacas ………. well I have yet to find a good recipe for alpaca treats but I know there is one out there somewhere.  Most likely I can adapt a horse treat recipe (and then kill two birds with one stone as I will have treats for the horses too).  Of course if worse comes to worse the alpacas, llamas and horses will probably be content with some chopped carrots and apples.  They have finished the last of their pumpkins and so will be ready for something new to nibble on.

Once the baking is finished then I suppose I should get on with some Christmas gift wrapping and I can pretty much bet a certain young cat will be wanting to lend a hand and probably will be losing another of those nine lives in the process!


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