The Joy of Coolness

A breezy 68 degrees this morning. Yes. In spite of last night's storm and the accompanying puddles and sticky footing, the first day of Autumn arrived on my doorstep like a long lost friend.

Yesterday, however, we still experienced the summer-like high 80's and the stickiness of the impending storm. Our friend, Terri posted on Facebook that she was standing out in the snow in a wool hat up in Colorado, while I was here sweating from farm chores.

During my usual feeding routine in the morning, I left the gate between the two alpaca pens ajar (as I often do) but the curious big boys pushed through to join the little guys in the front pen. In an attempt to put them back in their own spaces, I ended up getting the two groups of alpacas switched - big boys in the front and little boys in the back. The little guys were amazed at their vast new kingdom, and explored and played for hours. The Jacobs didn't impact their behavior much, but went about their own business.

The north sheep were ready for another day in the lush north lot, so I checked the fence, turned on the electricity, and sent them out to play. They spent most of the day working on the grass, poison ivy and tall weeds, until the heat drove them back to their own paddock and the shade of the trees.

Over the weekend, I got a gas walk-behind mower from my friend and egg customer, Alta. Ted and I had fired it up on Sunday and set the wheel height to a good level. My plan was to whack down the worst of the tall weeds before the rain hit yesterday. Unfortunately, we had used up all the gas that was in it the day before, so it wouldn't start for me. I didn't feel like running to the gas station for a gallon of gas, so that project awaits the next dry spell.

I ended up making two trips to the feed store in Wylie for hay - one in the morning, only to learn that they had completely sold out over the weekend, and a second trip in the afternoon when the hay man showed up with a trailer full from east Texas.

I love the feed store. I know everyone who works there and they know me--everybody's on a first name basis. This is my friend Ed, whose wife raises Boer goats to show. Ed's the senior employee and the one who knows the most about what's going on, next to the owner, Doug.

We talk about the weather (of course), wormers, mineral supplements, and the best equipment to get the farm jobs done. The guys think it's funny that I raise alpacas and sheep for fiber. Most critters raised around here are for eating. I explain that it wouldn't be prudent to eat alpacas. When I tell them about spinners who pay good money for the fiber we shear once a year, they just wag their heads slowly in amazement. Maybe they need handknit hats for this coming winter. It gets pretty cold loading feed sacks into pickup trucks in February.

Then they'd understand.


  1. Those boys look like they could be trained for alpaca racing....This little cool snap has got you doing some serious work, and blogging. Wow. I'm going to have to keep up every day! And I'm proud to know the gal who can hang with the guys at the feed store. If I go along, I'll try to be quiet.


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