A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

April 14, 2008

Time to Get Busy


Having arrived in England it’s time to get busy with preparing my mother for her move on Thursday.  There is a lot to do!  Yesterday was spent trying to assess what is going to go to the new flat, what is going to be given away or donated to charity and what is going to be disposed of.  We made some progress but there seems to be an endless amount of things to go through.


My trip over to England went smoothly even though my first flight was delayed by 30 minutes.  I always allow a lot of connection time between my flights when flying overseas as it seems that the airlines love to land you in one terminal and then challenge you to get to the terminal furthest away collecting your luggage and clearing customs on the way.  I would rather spend a few hours sitting in the airport than doing the airport dash!  I was a little disappointed that in my hurry to leave the house and get to the airport I forgot to grab my alpaca energy mat, the flight just was not the same without it.


My friend Linda was at the airport to meet me and drive me to my mothers, the journey on the M25 to Heathrow is a little better than the journey to Gatwick, but the M25 still had an enormous amount of traffic on it, especially compared to the traffic we get in Clovis, New Mexico.  Linda and I took the opportunity to stop and have a cup of coffee together, catching up on our latest news including hearing about Linda’s recent radio interview on Three Counties Radio, a local radio station.


Back at home Ric has been busy too, doing some substitute teaching and keeping up with chores.   The visiting girls were ready for behaviour testing following their breedings.  Celeste was pretty definite that she did not want to see any male alpacas, but Marti and Cariad were a little less certain.  With Marti being a maiden she may be confused about the signals her body is sending her, it is not unusual for a maiden alpaca to be a little difficult to read when it comes to behaviour testing.  Cariad though has been bred before, so her behaviour might be telling us that she has ovulated but has not conceived a pregnancy.  The next behaviour test will give us a better idea of which girls could be pregnant and which will need rebreeding.


The next few days are going to be very busy here in England, the removal van is booked for April 17th and once everything earmarked for the new flat has been moved we will have to finish clearing out whatever has been left at the old house, but once the job is done it will be a good feeling.


Ric has told me that he has a blog entry to upload in the next day or two, so hopefully I will get a chance to talk him through the new control panel on WordPress that was installed just a few days before I left for England.  The new control panel is, to me, less simple to follow and it might take Ric a few attempts to get his blog entry loaded.  So keep checking back to see if Ric is successful in loading his blog entry and what he has to tell us about “A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas” during my absence.




April 12, 2008

It’s That Time of the Year Again

Filed under: alpaca, Alpacas, camelids, Crias, Family, General — Tags: , , , , , , — alpacalady @ 7:12 am

Velvet and Blast


For today I head off to the airport to catch a plane to England.  I usually go back to visit my homeland every spring, but this year I am going a little earlier than usual.


My mother has sold her house and is moving, it’s been a while since she last moved house (about 44 years or so) and in the meantime she has acquired just one or two (or many more!) things.  So my brother Chris from Italy and I will are both flying over to help with the move.  My other brother John, who lives in Massachusetts, will be flying over to visit my mother after she has moved, giving my mother something else to look forward to once the house move is behind her.


It was a difficult decision for my mother to sell her house.  The house was designed by one of my uncles and built by my parents using direct labor.  It is the house where my brothers and I grew up and naturally has many happy family memories attached to it.  But circumstances change and with them bring other changes, my father is now in a nursing home, my mother is not getting any younger and the house has is a lot to manage.  It is a large house with a large garden and beautiful though the house and garden are they create a lot of work for one person.  So after much thought my mother has bought herself a new, efficient retirement flat.  The flat is smaller than the house and will be easier to maintain, which will hopefully make life a lot easier for my mother and give her more free time to visit my father and enjoy life in general.


It is always good to go back to England and visit my family and friends, although this year will be much more of a working holiday as there is a lot to do for the house move.   Still I will also get to spend some time with my dear friends Linda and Val and I am sure the laughter will be flowing freely among us.


Of course there is another reason for visiting England too, I get to see baby Aida and her parents Laura and Ren – Ric is so jealous that I will get to meet Aida in person before he does, but he will be traveling over later in the year to meet the latest addition to the family.


Leaving the farm is always hard, it is such a big part of my life and the animals are my other “family”.  It takes a while to prepare to be away from a business for this length of time and set everything up to run smoothly in my absence.  Ric will of course be here to take care of everyone and I have had a word with all of the animals and asked them to behave while I am away, whether they listened though is anyone’s guess!  In particular I had a word with the pregnant girls and asked them to hold on to their crias until my return, Ric will have enough to do without delivering crias too!


I am told that the weather in England will be in the 50’s and the chance of rain is good.  As cool of a spring as we are having I don’t know that I will notice the difference in the temperature, but seeing some rain will be nice and I doubt that the wind will be as severe as it has been here recently.  This last Thursday was horrifically windy with sustained winds of 40 mph and gusts around 60 mph, accompanied by one of the worst dust storms I have ever seen.  Let’s hope that is the last we see of that sort of weather for a while!


During my trip I will update the blog when I can and Ric has promised to write an entry or two.  I am not certain as to what sort of Internet access I will have, but I will have my laptop with me and I am sure I will be able to upload posts from time to time.


I will be returning to the US in early May, just in time for the girls to have their crias and shearing season to commence – after which I will probably need a vacation!



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