Then, and Now
Here’s a photo of Chachi then.
Annie, who reads this blog and lives nearby AND knows how to shear llamas, introduced herself in an email and volunteered to shear our llamas. We took her up on her generous offer.
It was quite a complicated day involving a neighbor, a radio interview, and two llamas.
Annie, sole caregiver for her mother– who has Alzheimer’s– drove her mom to our neighbor’s house. (Jaycee, a nurse, graciously volunteered to watch Annie’s mom for a few hours.)
Annie’s mom is quiet, with an occasional delightful twinkle in her eye, and tends to walk around the house picking up things and putting them in her pocket. It’s kind of cute, but it does make Annie’s life difficult.
Melissa and Annie went up to the barn and began shearing. I drove our car to the end of our driveway so no one could come in and set our three dogs barking because I was going to be interviewed on the radio, and needed the house quiet. The dogs stayed quiet, the interview went well.
In the afternoon I took over watching Annie’s mom while Melissa and Annie sheared the second llama. Annie’s mom mostly slept, patted our border collie, and didn’t put anything in her pockets.
When the day was done, I was amazed at how small our llamas look without all that hair. Annie came back to the house tired, sweaty, and dirty, but grinning. The day had been a welcome break from caring for her mother. I’ve never been a caregiver, but if a day spent shearing two reluctant, 300-pound llamas is an easy day….Heavens….
A few weeks later Melissa felt confident enough to shear the third llama herself, so two hours later, Chachi was many pounds lighter.
How do you shear a llama? By tying him in this little holding set-up Melissa made years ago. The 2x4s along the side keep the llama from moving too much, but he can still dance from side to side and backwards and forwards. Melissa just danced with him and kept shearing.
Looks like the llama exploded, doesn’t it?!
We are so grateful to Annie for coming. She writes a wonderful blog about caring for her mother at maplecorners.blogspot.com. Annie, we thank you. Our llamas thank you!
More Then, and Now….
Those little baby chicks are now half-grown hens. Unfortunately there are only six now, not eight, since two disappeared. A few weeks ago Mother Hen said “I’m done,” and started sleeping in the chicken house, leaving the babies on their own in the shed. After a week, they, too, drifted into the barn and began perching on the tool pegs!
More Then, and Now…
The interesting thing about a farm is that it’s always changing. People often ask me, “Anything new on the farm?” There’s always something new, but it’s just part of the same cycle…animals being born, and growing…hair growing long, being shorn, then growing long again. Thanks to Annie, we’re better able to deal with one part of that cycle.