Oh what fun the farm can be! We had the llamas sheared and clipped today! Our Shearer, Felicia, drives over an hour just to spend time with 5 very un-happy large animals that hate the sight and sound of clippers! She is only 25 and braver than chad & I put together! She ran with us to catch Stormy (who we found out is gilded, so no babies) and she gave all of them a shot to make them happy & woozy! We had 4 very stoned llamas’ & an Alpaca! Once the drugs kicked in, they looked at us with peace signs floating in their eyes. I think they thought they were at Woodstock enjoying the rock and roll music of Jimi Hendrix playing in their ears, gazing at the pretty streaks that followed the trees and humans swirling around in rainbow colors as they moved! They let me pet them for the first time around their ears and face and I swear they grinned at me! After the shearing, they all laid down on command and let Felicia clip each toe nail as they snapped at imaginary objects floating by. They were so stoned! After each animal was finished, they carfefully got up on wobbly legs and staggered away like a drunken sailor! Stormy went around in circles chasing who knows what in his drugged up mind! Sweetie and Violet laid on the ground for a few minutes enjoying the fog and the other two boys walked into a corner and got stuck there not being able to back up or turn around because the drug told them they couldn’t function or think or problem solve or anything else that required movement!! Stormy did take advantage of poor Violet who was still laying on the ground that wouldn’t stop moving underneath her, to have some ‘couple time’ and tried to make a baby which he couldn’t seem to figure out how to do. The two other boys wobbled to the fence which made Stormy forget about his date and he got up a little too fast to chase the boys and fell…twice. he finally got on his feet and stumbled to the fence to spit at the boys who were feeling braver ‘under the influence’ and tried to pick a fight! So….I had 3 very high llamas trying to be tough guys as they swayed back and forth trying to nip at each other through the fence which they all thought was made of rubber cause they would run into the fence and bounce off it, again and again! Yes, I do have most of this fun time on film!!
To add to my misery today…all 4 dogs got out of the gate and ran! I found Tribble within 5 minutes…then I spotted Chippie way down the road standing in the middle of it. I had to stop a car as I ran towards him to scoop him up. Kyle and I drove the jeep up and down the road, around the subdivision looking for Bouncer & Biskapit. A couple of kids found them and were walking them around on a leash, going door to door trying to find the owners (Bouncers tag has an old number & Biskapits tags fell off tis morn-of course). All dogs got a bath and no treats! AAARRGGHHHHH
After a few months of being farmers and getting the llama experience, we or shall I say, me…decided it was time to add to our family of animals. You know us women, we all want a horse! It is every little girls dream to have a horse, white and powerful who eats carrots out of your hand and tramples deadly snakes to save your life! My dream horse was named Snowfire from a TV show back in the mid 1960s. So of course I wanted a white and majestic horse! I got on the internet one night after causally mentioning to Chad about “horses, farm, lots of fun, how about it”. Before he could answer, I already had 4 sheets printed out of who had horses and where within 500 miles! I narrowed it down to 10 miles and found a cute little place in the country called, Knapp Mini Horses. We visited Lisa and her prize horses. She had every size, shape and color! I saw my white horse off in the distance and bee lined to her. She wasn’t a ‘real’ horse, her head came just past my waist and she had a little grey mixed in. Also, her name was Sparky, there was and is a reason for that! I nuzzled her nose and made up my mind that Sparky was going to be mine! Now we needed another horse because according to the internet, they do better in pairs. We found laci off by herself eating, which is what she does best and allot, all the time, non-stop. She is brown with a golden mane and best of all…she is with foal! Two horses for the price of one! Laci reminds me a wal mart greeter so I thought she would be great with little kids while they pet her as she stands there eating. We went into dickering mode with the seller and agreed on a price. Of course I was a few hundred dollars short. Lisa offered to let us put them on ‘lay-a-way’. So, for two months, I paid on my horsy-lay-away and got our barn ready for the new family members. I had a talk with the llamas assuring them that the new horses were not as important as they are and that mommy will always love them the most! They heard me without listening, blinking as they stared into space as my Charlie brown teacher voice went over and around them. Soon the day came when my little girl dream became a reality! Lisa Knapp dropped off my horses and gave us a small booklet on, yes that’s right, the ‘do’s and don’ts for mini horses’! Like before, I scanned it, under lined the important stuff and handed it to Chad who once again frowned at me as he slowly shook his weary head. We introduced the animals and both llamas ran out of the barn into the pasture as the horses bee lined it to the fresh hay. Yep, it was going to work out nice! We had 2 llamas and 2 mini horses with a foal on the way! The four were easy to take care of and gave us hours of entertainment and enjoyment! Well, I was anyway. Chad now had barn duties that he didn’t count on, like mucking the barn, feeding animals in 20 below blizzards and chasing horses back into their side of the field or off the road after they knocked down the fence. What could be better? Maybe a goat? Or three dozen chickens? Why not add a few bunnies? And of course one has to have a barn kitty or three to keep out riff raff
Biskapit got to ride in a genuine Army truck!!
Oh…and later on today, I will tell about the girl Llamas and Stormy in the back pasture and how we chased them….Stormy was a bad boy! Poor Dr Smith…I think every time he pulls up into our driveway, he makes the sign of the Cross and says a desperate prayer…it’s the Addie farm again.
Also…when we were trying to corner Sammy & Lincoln (out in the open field) they kept running towards the fence where Stormy was pacing, which made him very upset! Stormy pushed against the fence spitting in our direction yelling out his war cry toward the boys. He then jumped up and tried to get over the fence which made Lincoln nervous since he is usually the target for Stormy’s aggression. So….3 humans, 2 llamas and 1 scared Alpaca running in circles yelling, spitting and a few choice sailor words from the guys! We finally got them cornered and did a free-for-all grab…Lincoln got caught, Sammie slipped through 6 arms and galloped to the farthest part of the pasture that he could possibly get with Kyle running after him. My camera….I needed my camera!! Youth….Kyle chased that Llama in a wide circle (as Stormy spit) back towards The Doc and I who were still hanging onto a squirmy Lincoln. Sammie ran for the gate and got caught by a salty old Vet who has learned all the sneak, grab and hold tricks from the past 40 years! Job done! Ten upset animals and three humans doing high fives along with yells of YIPPEE!!!
I didn’t mention how we corned the goats…..that story is for later!
My horses and Dunkay are not happy with me at the moment. They saw the ‘hoof doctor’ today. Poor Mike, he had to chase Sparky all around the field until he cornered her inside the barn. Even then she wiggled and squirmed until he got her tied up as close to the fence as possible to keep her from moving. Took him an hour to do 3 animals. Now the musketeers are glaring at me….hey, I didn’t give you sore feet…Mike did
I was sitting on the back porch gazing at the dusk colors of burnt orange and gold the other evening. It was a beautiful spring night, the trees are just beginning to bud, white and yellow daffodils are in full bloom and my animals are fighting each other for the tiny sprouts of green grass trying to find life and sunshine.
As I’m watching the horses and dunkay shove each other away from the struggling blades of green, my mind floated back to 5 years ago when Chad (super farmer) and I thought it would be fun to start a little farm, with no experience and deceiving thoughts of “I’m sure it will be easy, how hard could it be”??!!
We found a cute, already established farm and started off with two Llamas (FREE), Sweetie and Violet. We had seen llamas before and even got close to one once. Therefore we had enough experience to begin with two huge animals who don’t like to be touched, are shy around humans and keep a good distance between you and them
Sweetie and Violet were ‘mini llamas’ so instead of being 6 feet tall, they were only 5 ½’. Piece of cake! Our two full grown Llamas came with ‘royalty’ papers and a guide book that was close to an inch thick, filled with the do’s and don’ts of raising your own llamas for fun or profit. I read the book in 20 minutes and absorbed nothing! I wasn’t familiar with farm language yet and didn’t know anything about shearing every summer and clipping feet every 5 to 6 months so I underlined all that important farm stuff and handed it over to my soon to be named, Super Farmer, husband. He frowned at me as he flipped though pages of all my underling and pink high lights as I pointed to all the important stuff like ‘They Must be Sheared’ and No Dogs Should Ever Be Allowed Near Them’…which worried me since we have a small pack of hounds.
Chad and I learned quickly what llamas liked and what they hated, which is almost everything. We gained the trust of Sweetie who now gives kisses and have come to be experts on our girls. We enjoy Sweetie and Violet and are expecting our first set of ‘llama babies’ to be born late this summer! I’m glad we started this adventure together with Llamas! We have learned allot about farming and a new kind of commitment to animals and to each other as we do ‘rock-paper-scissors’ to see who is going out in the middle of a blizzard to feed, water and chase! Being a farmer is fun and satisfying! Especially when I can relax on my antique wicker rocking chair with a frosty glass of raspberry tea, shouting to Super Farmer who is out in the pasture with more animals than he can count on his fingers and toes, that Sparky is chasing the goat again, “GO SAVE HER!
Rain = mud…Mud = dirty animals…Dirty animals = unhappy animals…Unhappy animals = a very unhappy me….A very unhappy me = thoughts on how many animals can I get rid of and how soon.
Just as I place my hand on the cell phone to call someone, anyone while standing in a poopy mud puddle, to pick up a grumpy horse or goat or llama (for free), the sunshine returns along with happy thoughts and smiles, as joyful animals prance along side me reminding me why I chose them in the first place!
Poor Biskapit (our new puppy)…he ran after me into the field where the horses and Dunkay were grazing. I was trying to grab him to get him out of there. Sparky galloped full speed to him, then back kicked him so hard he bounced into the fence and laid there yipping in that high pitched puppy voice. I was worried the neighbors would think I was beating him! I picked him up and carried him to the house where I looked him over good…no broken bones, no blood. He snuggled under my chin and wouldn’t leave for about ten minutes. Within a half hour he was back to chewing on poor Cody our 17 year old Retriever. Well, I guess he won’t be demanding to play with the horses anymore!! The farm can be dangerous at times, I never let my guard down when I’m with animals that out weigh me by 200+ pounds!!!