Tag Archives: Alpacas


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Homer can really sing. He throws back his head and aMAzing sounds come forth.

His “warning cry” sounds like a cross between a gargle and a yodel. Think: Tarzan yell, if you remember what that sounded like on early Saturday morning television. Or if you’ve ever watched any of the Carol Burnett Variety Shows (1967-78) or caught them as “re-runs,” remember? She always had a request from someone in the audience to do the Tarzan yell and she always obliged.

Go ahead—try it yourself. Tilt your head back and let it fly.

Feels good, doesn’t it?

My barn/studio is in the pasture beside the alpaca shelter. I can sometimes tell what’s happening right outside my doorway just by listening, like I used to be able to do when my kids were younger. The sounds of tussle, tussle, thump, thump in an adjoining room would be followed by some kind of outburst from one of the kids. Then there would be the sounds of hurried footsteps as one child chased the other down the hall.

Alpacas do that, too. One animal gets too close to the hay that another animal was thinking about eating and it begins. Tussle, tussle, thump, thump, WARbling sounds and one is chasing the other through the pasture. I stop what I’m doing to watch–to pay attention–and listen. I give them a few minutes to sort it all out. They love cool water, so turning on the water hose is a good method of distraction. They crowd around me for a drink of fresh water. I hose down their legs and in a few minutes, all is forgotten. They roll around in the dirt together and soon they are eating grass in the pasture.

I smile. I remember. I laugh out loud. Something about all this seems familiar.

I smile because I have the privilege of watching my own three sons grow into fine young men. I remember days of trying to figure out positive encouragement as they learn skills to be able to navigate their own waters.

And I laugh out loud because, well, it feels good. Will you join me?



Filed under Life on the Farm, Writing

Creative Spaces


As a child, my favorite creative space was in a cardboard box.  I would select several books, art supplies, make a sandwich and grab a drink.  (How long did I expect to be IN there? I now wonder. ) With a Baby Ben alarm clock and four of my grandmother’s umbrellas for a roof,  I was ready to go.  It didn’t matter if it was raining or not.  If it was, I’d find a beach towel to put inside on the floor.  The real world and all that was in it could go by–I was in my own special place, and the stories or drawings I’d make surrounded me with creative ideas and inspirations.

Now I have a Grown-Up Creative Space.  With tin for my roof,  the Barn/Studio is just large enough in which to work, yet small enough to maintain without too much effort.   The alpaca in the pasture sometimes poke their head in the front door just to watch.  They ARE curious.  They “hum” in my direction.  Did you know alpaca hum when they’re curious or happy? Maybe I do, too.

Do you have your own Creative Space?



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