These are the days in my life as an alpaca rancher. The ups and downs, the thoughts and musings done best when surrounded by furry companions and in the company of inquisitive crias. Humor is my silent, er, maybe not so silent, companion throughout life.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Freezing here today!! 2" of ice the last three nights, and snow yesterday, but just enough to dust the ground. No school for the kids yesterday.
Here's a picture of the road to our house in the spring- this was a particularly beautiful spring with just loads of wildflowers.
Here's a fun questionaire I found on the illustrious Quilldancer's site. She graciously sent it to me to use.
I like it because it is different from all those other "get to know you" lists. This one actually is fun!
The ones I have done are in bold, with comments of course because I have a twisted sense of humor :))
Let me know which you have done!
01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink (yup... many times)
02. Swam with wild dolphins (in Hawaii)
03. Climbed a mountain (define 'mountain')
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula (are you crazy??)
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said "I love you" and meant it
09. Hugged a tree (a lovely sweet smelling Jeffrey Pine)
10. Bungee jumped (yea.... right....)
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game(Go Dodgers!!!)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables(every year)
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper (too many times to count)
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon (again I ask,,, are you serious?? Queen of Acrophobia here))
22. Watched a meteor shower (each August we watch the Leonid)
23. Gotten drunk on champagne (is this a trick question?)
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (once while giving a business presentation..... yup)
27. Had a food fight (my aunt was finding tomato seeds for weeks)
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight (yes, but who won, that is the real question)
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can (um.,... I still do that on occasion)
32. Held a lamb (how about a baby alpaca??)
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day (I tried that once and almost got arrested)
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip (our family's favorite thing)
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach(this time I actually did get arrested...)
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland (oh, how I WISH!)
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love (coming soon to my blog)
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs (I can't even keep them in their cases.....)
57. Pretended to be a superhero (what, I'm the only one??)
58. Sung karaoke (um, I think this goes along with the champagne question....)
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving (Can't scuba, ears won't let me. Does snorkeling count?)
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud (every winter I slip and fall in the mud, then the kids ask me if I've been playing in the mud again when I come in the house....)
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater ( I can still remember going to see Pinnochio and having it be sold out as a kid. I miss the drive in- remember your station wagon??)
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites (some day I'm going to Macchu Picchu)
70. Taken a martial arts class ( I do Tai Chi, at home where no one can laugh at me)
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight (how about Final Fantasy??:))
72. Gotten married (twice)
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days (people do this??)
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River (um... does an innertube count?)
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason (note to hubby.... notice this one isn't bold?!!)
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music ( my kid's cd is almost done though!)
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date (sheepish grin)
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children (currently in the process... let you know how I do later)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds (only 70)
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart (oh yes, I was quite the heartbreaker in my younger days *eyelashes fluttering*)
111. Helped an animal give birth (lots of times)
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears (yuck!)
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (all three)
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild (that's a good way to end up saying yes to #119 IMHO)
118. Ridden a horse (owned a horse)
119. Had major surgery (4 times)
120. Had a snake as a pet (Smaug, how I miss him!)
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi (as often as I can... yum!!)
128. Had your picture in the newspaper(first time when I was a little girl for the P.O.W. bracelets my mom sold, and since then many times with my pacas)
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school (to study music, my passion)
132. Touched a cockroach (eww... not intentionally I assure you)
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions (oh yea)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream (of course, I always imagined my self filthy rich at that point, but hay, can't have everything!)
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts (I have enough trouble just figuring out my PC)
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair (on a regular basis honey)
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life (twice, both children, both drowning. Then someone else had to save my son when it happened to him)
I hope you enjoyed this, I sure did!
If anything catches your eye for a future topic, let me know!
But then again, am I? That is the question I think I have lived with all my life. Am I really here? Is this real? You may think it's strange, but for me... not so much.
I often find myself sitting somewhere suddenly overcome by the weirdest sensation of unreality, and I'm not just talking about when I fall flat on my face in public.
Long ago bad things happened to me. I was just a kid, and these things ultimately shaped my perceptions about myself. It was much easier for me to believe that life wasn't real. These feelings followed me my whole life, and at times I would be smacked full in the face with my very existence.
Weird huh?! Well, right now I am feeling a sense of unreality due to cold medicine..... :)) But a couple of nights ago I was at dinner with my family when I got that strange sensation that I was floating up away from the table and looking down at myself. A near death experience?? Who knows- that bratwurst was a little off..... All I know is I have to practically pinch myself to make me believe it's all real.
I wonder what it's like to have a normal life. Sometimes I wish I knew, and other times I wouldn't trade my life for anyones. I guess we all feel that way sometimes.
At times I am brought to think of my childhood as a trip through Alice's looking glass. A topsy-turvy, crazy ride. However, where in Alice's world, nothing would ever really harm her, here in my world nothing was quite as it seemed, and peril lay just around the corner, never to be correctly anticipated or foreseen.
What triggered my latest adventure into Unreality Land was a trip to my father's house. He recently moved back into the house I grew up in in Orange County. I lived there until I was 16, then I moved out to care for a quadraplegic woman- just to get out of that house. I never went back full time after that. That house is chock full o' memories, mostly of the not so good kind....
I don't want everyone thinking we lived in a pedophile neighborhood, but pretty much that's what it was all about for me growing up. People weren't open about things like they are now, and abuse (of any kind) that happened behind closed doors, stayed behind closed doors. I kind of think our street coined the phrase "dysfunctional". The whole block was that way, I am not kidding. It was too weird. I lived on a culdesac and out of the 16 houses on it, I only remember two that were not nutty.
When my stepmother insisted I go next door to see the neighbor lady I have known since childhood, heaven help me, all I could think of was her horrible husband and how hurtful he was to his children and I. I used to have dreams that he was a terrific great hairy black spider sitting on a web in his living room just waiting for unsuspecting kids to drop in. He was truly a dreadful person. So, I got lucky and saw the lady in her front yard, sparing me the trip into the spider's lair. But I was wiping off her perfume smell all the way home. See, she just turned her back on everything that was happening around her while we were growing up. And she had the nerve to tell my husband that she always made a point to invite "little Rachelle" to all her kid's birthday parties.... yea, I have tried to block all thosehappy memories for years, thanks for reminding me.
So here's where I share a little about my life growing up. My life has been very interesting. Ha!! I laugh at that understatement!! Woo-hoo!
I am really a miracle in the flesh. I was actually the victim of three, yup, three botched abduction attempts. All three times were by a man in a car who tried to get me to get in with him. The last time, the man actually followed me almost all the way home, me yelling at the top of my lungs at him the whole time. That was the first time I ever said a swear word. I told him I'd get in the car when Hell froze over. I was coming home from yet another trip to the pharmacy for my mother's headache medicine.
It scared me half to death. I remember the police coming out for this one, and asking me how my Basset Hound, Tixie was. Everyone knew everyone in the small town I grew up in, and back then, when your dog ran away you could call the police to help you look for it.
Nothing ever happened about that incident that I am aware, and I remember my mother not taking the whole thing very seriously, or at least I didn't think she did. I really have no idea if it was the same man every time.
I was terrified to go to the store after that. And that was a problem because I needed to go there about 5 times a week. Whenever my mom got a headache, I would try to spend as much time outside in my playhouse (mom hated spiders so I was safe out there for the most part) or hiding in my closet as I could, just so I wouldn't have to go to the pharmacy again. Come to think of it, I was in my room most of my childhood! LoL, mom couldn't handle kids too well.
I will share more as time goes on, perhaps some of it is too intense for most of you, but really, I am the person I am now because I survived so much as a child and young adult. I am truly blessed to have a family, children I was told I would never be able to have- I love them so much. A husband who loves me for who I am, and does not hurt me.
A loving relationship with my Father in Heaven. And friends I count dear.
Hi loyal readers, Today I tried to switch over to beta..... but it wouldn't let me. It said they were only switching a 'limited number' of users over to beta.
What am I, chopped liver??? LOL..... So, I will try again later.
Meantime, last night the kids and I went to see Happy Feet. What a riot!!! It was so darn cute, and really funny. I recommend it highly. Next is Santa Claus 3 (for my hubby, I didn't like the second one)
I am going to try and write every day, even if it is just a paragraph or two of life on the ranch.
Today we breed again..... that doesn't sound right huh? :)) Trying to get my girls all preggo before the 'window' closes and it gets too late in the season. One of them I think has a retained CL, which means the egg is stuck basically.... she thinks she is PG, and her body is producing the PG hormones, but she really isn't- it isn't a viable, fertilized egg.
So, off to the vet today to get some meds to make the egg drop and flush so she can get PG!!
Last night it was already freezing here at 9 pm. Then clouds moved in and it is 38 this morning. I dreamt about snow, and huge pastures, and my crias Heathertoes and Rosie Cotton getting out through a hole in the fence! I ran with them for a while, slipping my fingers through their soft fleece as we dashed along. Then I tricked them back into the pasture! It was very beautiful and peaceful.
Of late my dreams have been troubled. As I mentioned before, I dream very vividly to say the least. And the last few mornings I have awoken with my neck in knots from not relaxing during the night. How can one expect to be refreshed and vibrant when one has to save the world every night??
I know!! I need a costume! And.... a catchy heroish name!!! Any ideas? Slainte~ Rachelle
Hi everyone, I just got finished watching one of my favorite movies of all time- White Christmas. I want a dress like Rosemary Clooneys!! *sigh* what a great movie! Talent, talent, talent. In those days to be a great actor, you needed talent! You had to be able to sing, dance, and have great comedic timing. Oh, did I mention you actually had to know how to ACT??!!
Danny Kaye is my favorite actor in the world. If I could have met anyone, it would have been him. When life would get out of control, I would always watch a Danny Kaye movie and it never failed to make me smile and feel better. I wish I were that funny!!
Why don't they make movies like that anymore? Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire.... all the greats are gone now, and we lost so much with them.
I love old movies because they are innocent. Where now can we turn to for an hour and a half of pure entertainment without having to cringe from language, close our eyes at indecency, or fast forward through violence. Nowhere it seems.
when I watch a movie, I want to laugh, or cry. I want to have it sweep me off my feet, make me sing or dance.... I want to be moved- not disgusted.
Here are some of my favorite movies: Beauty and the Beast- Disney- what a beautiful movie! Up in Arms- Danny Kaye of course, I still bust a gut watching him on the deck of the ship improvising. Funny Girl- HA-HA!!!! I love this movie- everything about it is fantastic The Muppets Christmas Carol- yup, I love watching Michael Caine with the muppets, and the story is so well done! I cry every time The Lion King- Remember who you are....... cool beans It's a Wonderful Life- what can I say? Toy Story- come on, who didn't think their toys came to life when they left the room?? Hook- ta! What a great movie! Calamity Jane- Doris Day, I'll watch anything with her in it! I love the music. The Court Jester- Danny Kaye again- what a hoot! The Long Ride Home- Hallmark Movie here- a 2 kleenex box flick for sure. Oh my gosh... then I watched it when my son is 15.... WAAHHHAAA!!!! The Wizard of Oz- of course! Sleeping Beauty- the animation is just so beautiful. Cinderella- because I wanted so much as a girl to have someone sweep me off my feet and carry me away from my cruel home. The Nightmare Before Christmas- I LOVE Tim Burton- he is as sick and twisted as I am ...... in a good way of course :)) Any of the Bing Crosby- Bob Hope road movies The Lord of the Rings Trilogy- I was very pleased over all with what they did with my favorite books. The Paleface- Bob Hope, what a genius Willow- I do so like Warwick Davis The Sixth Sense- I love to be scared silly!! The Village- Cool! I wanna do that!!!! Finding Nemo- wow, what a beautiful film! The Incredibles- okay, so I'm a Disney girl! The Emperors New Groove- LOL!!! I still crack up during this one- and llamas and alpacas? Of course!
Okay... so there are just a few. I love movies- but I don't see rated R movies anymore. The last one I saw was one that I recommend to everyone. A very difficult movie to watch, but ever so important. Schindler's List- If we will only remember.... always.
Today we got one of our last females bred. Sheesh.... she was so picky! I brought in the male we wanted to breed her to (we'll call him #1), and neither was interested. Then I brought in our second choice, nope... then we brought in a "won't take no for an answer" male just to get her down, and left in #1 so he could "take over" after the other male got her down.... nope. #1 just bit the other male and tried to get him away from her, so I don't know, he could worship her from afar I guess..... Then I brought in someone we hadn't considered, and voila! She dropped like a rock and a successful breeding took place. So, this will be an interesting combo, I can't wait!
Okay, so Christmas is just around the corner!!! I am so excited!!!! *jumping up and down in her chair* I LOVE Christmas!!! I am going to set up my village this weekend, and of course the manger is out. You know, when I lived in Downey I had a teeny-weeny house and all this Christmas stuff. So when we bought this big house I thought; GREAT!! Room for all the Christmas stuff!! Nope..... still not enough room..... :)) I will put pictures up from the parade we take our pacas in next week- this year it will be at night, so we are looking for battery operated light strings to wrap them in so people can see them LOL. Till next time- have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving, and watch Something heartwarming for me, okay? Slainte~ Rachelle
Just wanted to let everyone know I am still here... just pretty sick. Last time I got this sick I got pneumonia, so keep your fingers and toes crossed for me. Great mental picture there..... YUCK!! I hate being sick!!! Here are a couple of pictures until I get well enough to type lengthy prose again LOL. A sunrise over the mountains last week, and winter last year on the ranch. I can't wait for snow!! Slainte~ Rachelle
Candelo- here with mom who was here for breeding- so shiny!
Ice Princess- one of those who left yesterday. I miss you already honey
Okay, sometimes I think I need two blogs. One for some stuff, and one for other stuff. I mean people are always saying you shouldn't talk about politics or religion on your blog if you want people to read it. Well, I don't buy it. Since my goal in blogging was to share my life with all of you, ignoring something that is a huge part of my life would make my blog a sham. It would be trying to make me something I'm not. Like taking my life and putting into neat little compartments before deciding what to share. Sheesh, anyone who knows me knows that I am not neat about anything.... So, here we go- but hey! No politics!! :))
This has been a happy/sad week. Yesterday 8 alpacas left my ranch. They were all boarders, and some of them will be greatly missed. Sad. On the other hand 8 less alpacas means much less work for me, and more time to work with my own alpacas. It brings my total here on the ranch to a manageable level of 14 alpacas and 2 llamas. Happy. Loss of the boarding income is a downside. Sad. Peace of mind that I only have my own alpacas to worry about on a daily basis. Happy.
Then today, I got released from my calling at church as Primary president. Sad. ........ okay, I am still looking for the happy side of this. I LOVE those kids! I have been doing this for almost 4 years now, and I can't imagine doing anything else. I'm GOOD at this job!
I know this is the Lord's will, but sometimes I wish I could have a face to face with Him- just so I know what's going on! However, that could very well turn into a 20 questions sort of thing, which explains the whole gotta-wait-till-your-dead-to-get-a-face-to-face interview thing. I mean who has time to answer all of my questions? Certainly not God, he's too busy laughing at my life!! KIDDING!! But seriously, have you seen my life these days?? Sometimes I wonder. I like the plaque that reads: We plan. God Laughs.
I have been in many different places in my church callings. Teaching adults, compassionate services, working with the youth, and of course- with the children. All of these callings have been great. Some have taken me out of my comfort zone... way out..... Take my calling to be the young women's camp director. Okay, sure... My teenage years were insane. There was so much abuse and craziness going on in my life that I spent every waking moment trying to numb myself so I didn't have to feel anything. Um, suffice it to say that I didn't spend a whole lotta time at church. It wasn't until I was 25 that I turned into the whole and fabulous woman that I am now. How in the world was I going to lead a bunch of teenage girls in the most spiritual week of the year at camp?? I spent a lot of time with my bishop trying to talk him into the idea that he had made a mistake. He had called the wrong person. He just smiled and said the Lord knew what he was doing, I was in the right place. Well, he was right... doggone it. The two years I spent as camp director were filled with growth for me. Those girls taught me more about compassion, service, and unconditional love than I had ever known. I even learned that I could be a giggly teenager all over again, for the first time. I never would have had that personal growth without that calling. When I was released, I cried. And then I got called into Primary.
You know, it all comes down to this. I don't like change. Change is scary. It means I am not in control of anything, and I don't like it. Why can't I ever be in control?? It's not fair!! Uh-oh, I feel a tantrum coming on. See!! Primary has gotten me in touch with my inner child!! That's a good thing, right??!!
I also know that another calling is coming to a theater near me very soon. I have been told one is in the works right now. Well, what if I don't like it? What if I'm not good at it?! What if I totally suck at it?!?! --sigh-- Yup, change sucks like a vacuum on steroids.
My life recently has seemed like a roller coaster. Oh, I know you've heard that one before. But this roller coaster has no brakes and the tracks come to an abrupt end somewhere in the not too distant future. So I know the end of the line is coming, just not when. No control again, see?
This calling was the one constant in my life. The one thing I was certain wouldn't change. Like I said, we plan, God laughs.
Oh well, time for me to go hug a paca and get over myself. I am as certain as I can be that I will survive this change like I have all the others in my life. At least I know I never have to go back to my childhood and youth. I have a wonderful supportive husband, and two beautiful children. And you. Take good care of yourselves and I will let you know which hat I will be wearing at church from now on as soon as I do. Here's hoping it isn't den mother..... Slainte~ Rachelle