Thursday, November 19, 2009

Treasures and "Thank you"

Please take in the beauty of the Variegated Empress. this is a "sister" to the Empress in a previous post.  The book the flower is sitting one is wonderful.  The trinity cities of Savannah, GA, Beaufort and Charleston, SC are my favorites in the USA except in the summer and "no see 'um" season.  Once upon a time I took my husband to my beach, Destin, FL; he took me to see his beach in Beaufort and it had a strange smell.  It was the marsh.  He said this is the bread basket of the world's fishes.  Had a new appreciation for something that I thought had a "stink"; he looked at it as fertility.

Dr. M is standing by his Camellia sansanqua in full bloom.  Really am glad he puts up with me in his loving way.  An alpaca farm girl, as Katy Spears ( as sister) tagged herself, really needs an extra dose of love and support.  We have a lot that goes out with the care and concern; nice to have it replenished by great husbands!

Anna and Celeste are doing great thanks to all the great things that Mother Nature can do.   She has thousands of tiny kinky curls down in her blanket and that is "potential! She was running in the pasture this AM with the suri kids! Great moment!
Another member of the team CARODEL is Tom.  He is in control of the girl cats and makes sure all are on patrol and doing their job. He was commissioned with the sphynx, if you know what I mean.   As it is said around here, "everybody has a job"! His micron count is very low and for a guy that someone left off at our front gate; he has really developed into a great guard for the felines.
I have been thinking about the term "thank-you".  It is very nice to hear at the moment of delivery of something for another.  But, I think we might take this to another level.  Why not do something really neat for ones you are wanting to thank.  Do something that would please them and not necessarily you.  For instance, realize what  thing or activity that they do not like to do and do it for them.  This happened to me the other month when my husband took the grocery list and got the contents and I did not have to go into the monstrous store and walk the four football fields to get 10 items.  I was was so impressed that he did that without asking.  He said just wanted to do something to thank you for being you. Wow, does it get any better than that?  Kids could dust and vacuum their own rooms plus the general living area and watch how curfews get eased, trust gets enhanced and best kid on the block awards come out.  If a wife would clean out the sock drawer; match 'em up or toss 'em! Maybe just step in and clean out the refrigerator or glean the freezer over the holidays.  If it was not used in the last year, out it goes.  You do not even have to be there to judge that decision.  That would be a great thank-you that has no strings and would be appreciated.  All you have to do is seek out what matters and not expect anything back; that is a real thank-you!

This is Leandro John Rodriguez-Mixon, our grandson who is in his sophomore year in Engineering and Architecture at Eastern Carolina University.  Jamba!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Debutante and the Royal Alpaca Challenge

As we go further toward winter, the camellias are starting to open.  Patients can see the ones at the office through their big windows.  Takes the edge off ;as you are well aware some have "dentist phobias". Many patients wonder how Drs. Mixon and McGee can have roses in the winter!!
This medium size one is call a "Debutante"; is always pink.  It is one of the originals to hit this part of the world most of them being imported from the Orient in the late 1800s.  They started out as plants in the "le orangerie" of Philadelphia's finest homes.
Now they are outdoor plants in gardens in the southeastern USA..  There are only a few in this form called anemone, you will never see the stamens.  The flower from the last post has the stamens well exposed.  They are the same genus and species; strange how that can be with over 1000 different cultivars.  Beautiful!

On Friday many of us will venture to Conyers, GA to the Olympic Horse Park for the Royal Alpaca Challenge.  Tim Lavan and Amanda Vandenbosch are judges.  We will be having our first Georgia Alpaca Associaton AOBA approved halter competition. This is way too cool to see such beautiful animals on display.  Part of the jig is a silent auction.  This year  we have donated a felted alpaca hat that I purchased somewhere along the line for our product display area.  I kicked it up a couple of notches by adding feathers, an elephant broach and a porcupine needle from Namibia. my friend Emeril would say!
So those of you who are going, bid on this creation and wear with pride for it is a Southern Sisters addition to the world of fashion. Watch out Project Runway, we are after your attention!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Good breeding;bad seeds

This is a book cover.  It caught my eye because of the subtitle of "good breeding,bad seeds".
In the alpaca breeding business it is paramount that you consider this phrase.  No one male has the power to overcome all the inadequacies of the mate.  They can complement one another but not totally override things like poor fiber character, luster, skeletal issues, attitude and the myriad of other characteristics in fine breeding progeny.
This post is mainly for those of my readers who are in the breeding business.
It starts now.  Here and in this place.  When the progeny hit the ground, part of the equation might be corrected.  Then with the next generation of breeding, you get it better and better.  It does not happen overnight.  It takes years for this to put the best on the ground.  So do not get disenhearted if your little treasure is not as good as the dam or the sire, but the betterment you get with further refined matches will filter out the undesirables. You cannot choose just any ole guy on the farm and expect that match to help the next generation unless you take a very objective look at what you have achieved.  Same goes for the dam.  You may have paid a king's ransom for her just to find out she does not have a great 50% of the genes to add.  It is livesotck.  It is not a perfect game.
My question to the experts is how do you realisitically "fix a female'?
Face up to the reality that you may have to change your game plan.  Face the fact that not all that glittered was gold when you purchased your breeding stock.  We all cannot have a crystal ball that will let us look into the future and make the best choices.  but I guess that is really what the EPD program is all about.
Gelding is not a bad choice in many cases!

This is from Dr. M's garden.  It is an incredibly beautiful camellia named The Empress.  One thing I have learned from the study of Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) is that the oriental culture likes to see the plant also after the petals have dropped to the ground to make a skirt of color.  When this happens I will show you how beautiful the grounds can be even as the flower comes apart.

Do you have corporate gifts to give this year?  We are getting George and Judy to fix up specially roasted coffee packages for us; sidebar has contact info.  The Alpaca Bean Coffee Co. matriarch is a lovely lady named Pinkie Speth.  She is 95!, is Judy's mother and owns Pinkie's Alpacas.  Can you believe it? She may hold  the record for an alpaca breeder's personal longevity. Now she is a real "sister" and we love her.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Heaven is richer today.....

You never know when one of the living creatures in your charge will not be with you.  Charm had a very tough delivery last week.  Anyone in the alpaca breeding business knows that the females are usually very considerate not to have their crias after 3 PM and not when it is raining.  Guess what, all those theories went out the window this year.  Last Tuesday was one of the days we caught the rains from Hurricane Ida.  The dam was due in another 2-3 weeks but labor was in full force.  Dr. Frost was there within 30 minutes and went to work.  He retrieved a little male whom we named "Rainman".  Yesterday things looked like all would be getting better from his low birth weight and agalactia of the mom.  We even got a photo of him with Dr. Frost's children during the afternoon.  But, I guess that Heaven wanted him more and he went in his sleep last evening. I share this with you for things like this sober you.  Makes one look around and not be remiss in telling  loved ones how much you do care for them; for in the bat of an eye, it can change.
I had lots of time to snuggle this little fellow and thank him for the few days we had to enjoy his antics.

Your family is much more important.  Do not assume that you will have the luxury of waiting to say those special words, giving gestures of love and bridging gaps.
I think I will wait until tomorrow to write more, this is a sad day at Carodel Farms.
Charm seems to be fine ....she was a very attentive mama and did try.

On a good note Alabama won, Georgia won and Ted is a wee bit older!!tee hee Pup

Friday, November 13, 2009

Meet Lance and Freckles

Want you to meet Lance.  He is  the little peep that was under his surrogate mother's wing in a photo posted back in the spirng.  He is now all grown up and has such incredible plummage.   I guess you can tell, he is a rooster.  He is bigger than any other chicken on the farm but came from the smallest parents. We thought he was a she until he crowed last week, dead give away, girls do not do that.   I guess it is the "free-range" living and cracked corn.

My husband loves to propogate the Camellia japonica.  They start blooming this time of year in the southeastern USA and California. Among the first to bloom is the variegated one in the photo.  It is called Governor Mouton (past governor of Alabama).  It is lovely.  I like to cut them and float in a crystal bowl.  They are rather fragile and do not last but a day or so.  We must have 60 different varieties here on this farm and at the office.  Will share with you as they bloom.
One of our natural beauties on the farm is a suri alpaca named Freckles.  She is medium rose gray with white spots . Her fiber makes up into silky heather gray and should make a lovely shawl.  Hope to have this done sometime this year.  Freckles is being bred to CPharoh, a true black suri and is for sale.  If you would like to add her to your alpaca breeding program, give me a response.

Mother Nature is incredible.  Many times we try to interject ourselves into the management of a species when the mama can do a much better job if we will just get out of the way.  Such is the case with a new cria.  Try as I may, I had very little success with getting him to my benchmarks. When I gave him back to his mama, she went to the far end of the pasture, nursed him and he is still standing. 

Sometimes "love" kills....

Today I just saw another ultrasound of my grandson who is due in April. 
As his dad says, " if he looks like his mama, he is probably a hotty".....
(I have no clue what that means.)

Have a great weekend; it is gorgeous here in Georgia..

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

..only dead fish go with the flow!

There is no stronger force than the pull of the moon on the tide of the ocean.  This is a definite flow.  Every 6 hours and 23 minutes, the tide will change. Fishermen gauge their fishing cycles with the tides, bridges are timed with the height of the tide and attitudes of wildlife change with the tides.  With all that force of an eight foot tide at the above site, it would  take a very strong, healthy and determined fish to handle that flow.  If he went with the flow, he would leave the brackish waters of the Pocotaligo River and enter the salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean in short order. Not good unless you are a salt water dweller.  The marsh in this photo is in its winter colors and is  just up the Broad River from the boot of Hilton Head Island, SC.  Anyone been there? Gorgeous.  But, the pull and the flow of the tide at this juncture is not for the weak and mamby pamby.  I saw a blip on the TV this AM and this slogan pulled across the screen about only dead fish going with the flow and I believe it.  So if someone says, " ah shucks, just go with the flow", think what they are asking you to do.  It may be bad waters ahead if you cave to the request.

Want you to meet Pierre.  He is a gray short hair domestic that belongs to Heather, our daughter.  Pierre is named for the "father of dentistry"-Pierre Fauchard.  There was a UTube photo of a cat dunking his head under the faucet and drinking water.  I thought, "Pierre, when did you become a movie star?"  It looked just like him.  I will share our "UShot" of this comical cat drinking water from the faucet. ( I love his eye markings, very Egyptian looking.  Maybe he was there when they commissioned the sphynx!). By the way, he is one of those cats that loves to sit on the keyboard of the laptop, it's warmer there! ....and locks you out if he steps in a certain sequence!
If you look closely at the picture below, you will see the cotton is ready for picking.  My husband said, "kinda late"..but, with the new varieties being grown in SC, there are two pickings.  The fields are full of long train car shaped bales covered with blue tarps.  Quite a harvest this year for them, which is good in the town of Estill, SC.  I have some boles to pull and try to felt to blend with the alpaca for the veil base.  It is pure white and very soft.  It is Egyptian cotton, long staple and perfect for a blend.

Rainy here, crias not on steady foot yet. Pray for their well being.  Thank you, CMx

Monday, November 9, 2009

Meet Roger Isaac

Went to South Carolina this weekend for a hunt with Chartres, the Boykin Spaniel.  She did super at retrieving pheasants and wowed all with her obedience and super personality. I think I have all in her first litter spoken for and she has not even gotten married!

On the trip we stopped at Beech Island, SC to get fuel; this was the home of James Brown
( "I feel good... etc").
While there, this little 3 year old Roger Isaac, was with his grandmother getting an after pre-school snack.  They had made hats that day and decorated with crayon colored leaves.  He was so cute and wanted his picture taken.  All chuckled when the clerk said, "I  like your feather hat"; he shyly retorted that they were leaves, not feathers, couldn't he tell the difference? Of course.  How could adults be so mistaken? Was quite obvious.  This is the hat of the week.

My husband was stationed at Ft. Hood in the 50's.  His heart is heavy for the loved ones who are left.
I am getting recordings of his recollections of those times in the U.S. Army as a young Captain, his days at Clemson as a member of the Cadet Corps, and his days as a youngster in the early 40's in South Carolina.  The stories are hilarious.  I share this with you for there are ones in your midst that you would be remiss if you did not record their stories.  Take the time and do it.  It is priceless!

This is Chartres. Great dog!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mourning Veils

Mourning veils have an interesting history.  During the War Between the States, a lot of men were lost.  The South seemed to have a greater share of widows than the North.  There was a time after 1865 that all the women were in dark drab outfits .  The Govenor of Texas started to "outlaw" mourning wear for it was depressing too many people. They could not seem to get over their losses and kept progress from coming to heal the wounds because the women were still grieving.  Men have a short patience gift when it comes to visible mourning.  It seems that that part of our species can hide it better.  I know that men hurt, but they do not wear it in obvious places like women.
The women in this vintage photo are wearing the typical late 19th century designs.  The neckline is high, the dress length shows no ankles.  The jewelry is even black.  It is called "jet". Kind of like a black amber.
It is very shiny and looks like glass. Does any one out there have a piece from an ancestor? Take a photo and send so we can see what it looks like.
The role model in  late 1890-1910 was Queen Victoria of England.  She lost King Albert and for many, many years never wore nothing but black.  So, all the subjects of the realm and in the USA followed her lead in proper mourning attire.  The only rule of thumb we are recommended to follow these days from "Emily Post" is "do not wear red to a funeral".

I have been to a lot of funerals, most of the souls being celebrated have had a full life.  But, it does not seem that swollen eyes and tears are being camouflaged by veiling. Maybe that is what large sunglasses are for!  That is why we are creating an alternative for those who are mourning and need a bit of privacy behind a veil.  The photo of the fashion hat with veil above is an interesting study. Do any of you have a felted hat that is similar to this one that you would like to donate to the design phase? We will try to duplicate with felted ALPACA  We have the thin silk veiling with the satin edging. Become a sister with us on this project, would love to have you.

Speaking of becoming a sister, we invite guys too.  Sister can denote kinship not always gender, specifically.  that includes George! He definitely is a "soul brother".

If you will, click on the link to be a follower and you will get each Enjoy! installment.

One of the most famous of black veils was a waist length veil worn in 1963 during the processional of her husband.  Can anyone identify this lady in this shoulder length veil that is over a tam? Her sorrow is still felt to this date, at least those of us who were around in November of 1963.  Where were you?

Will keep you posted as we launch this initiative and leverage our creative resources to meet the needs of the saddened.  Mourning has always been a spectator sport for some. Our veils will lend privacy and dignity to these hours of black........
(LM  introduced me to the word leverage; means a lot of things. I like "sway" as a definition, seems less threatening and mutual gain might be an outcome.)
Congratulations to Patricio Mujica on the arrival of 'Celeste" (that is what we call her).She is a lovely beige and white huacaya alpaca cria

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Holy Pumpkin and Christina

This is the last pumpkin story of the year.  We have had a blast with our two perfect specimens from the harvest.  Last year we bought a pumpkin and let it sit on an old stool, an antique from Hampton, SC, until after Thanksgiving.
We then put it by the power pole in the camellia garden and it slowly collapsed with the freeze and thaw cycle.  When it collapsed, it formed a perfect little incubator and protection for the seeds.  To our surprise the seeds sprouted and vines formed in the spring and it produced two successful orange globes to play with.  In the above photo, Dr. Del carved a cross for All Saints Day and we had it lit at our dinner hour after the wonderful blessing of the two new crias earlier in the day. The cross section that my husband carved out was put into some boiling water and when soft, sprinkled with brown sugar as a harvest treat. It was really good. I have only had pumpkin pie and never the fresh flesh.  It is a lot like acorn squash, just not as sweet.  but I took care of that small issue! The webbing that holds the seeds reminds you of a veil, how strange.

I would like to share with you another member of the Mixon family.  This photo was taken several years ago when we were visiting her in Venezuela.  This is  Christina Rodriguez.  She is our granddaughter on my husband's side of the family.  She is most talented.  She plays violin and is a budding artitst.  She can paint and also is a super photographer.  She can catch the moment. Maybe she will create a piece of her work to share with you who "Enjoy!" this site.
And,may I add she is quite the fashionista!  She can have a pile of stuff in her suitcase and come out looking like a mini-Vogue model.
This photo is of her in her flamenco dress.  She took us to a recital in a big mall.  Her class did exceptionally well.  It is amazing how many more joints these kids have that we older pups have long ago lost. She lives in SC now and blazing a trail.  She will always be my heroine.  She actually caressed and talked a female alpaca into getting over heat stress.  That is another story.

Hugs from Georgia to Christina!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tiarra-Queen and Anchor

Several years ago we made a purchase of an alpaca breeding female that has again had another wonderful cria for us.   She became the anchor of our breeding program and the Queen of the pasture.  I have retained
most of her offspring for our program.  We  have found an outstanding male that matches with her perfectly.  All in all she has given us six females and two males. I think she has earning a bit of a vacation......
Her daughters have added another six granddaughters and great granddaughters.
Above is a photo of Candeaux's Saint John.  He was born on All Saints Day, November 1, 2009; that was Sunday.  We were making morning rounds and were counting heads and Voila! another set of legs.  Tiarra had this little man and the placenta had presented and  was beginning to search for nourishment.
We were elated.  She was huge;built a bit like a tank in the latter days.
But wait... as we were leaving the pasture we saw Celestial Anna laying on her side and acting agitated.  She was not due until next Sunday. But we went ahead and called Dr. Frost after about an hour; and 45 mintues later, we had a gorgeous beige/white little female on the ground.  We are calling her Celeste!
God really blessed us with great breedings and a wonderful veterinarian who saw things through to success.

Was a super day to have new life on the farm to have fun with Choice and Adam.  will get photos of all playing as soon as the mamas are integrated back. Two in one day has only happened three times here! Charmed.....

Saw an interesting ad.  The gist was that the periodic table that chemist and scientists use displays all the known elements that make up our planet as we know it.  They have, in the ad ,added one more element, Hu for the Human element.  Think about it.....

Want you to meet Gloria and Joe Williams.  They are two of the nicest people you would  ever want to meet.  They share the bounty of their harvest with us each year.  We get a jar of honey, some pickles that are knock your socks off perfect and this year we get to buy some of their great hay...
She is a dedicataed sister and he is one of the alpaca whisperers of this world.  They live in Townville, SC and would love for you to visit their farm and see what they have put together.  Alejandro, a full Accoyo herd sire is on their farm.  He has done some great stuff!!

Check out their jeans, the crease is perfect and I love that.  Looks so neat but I must concess that I am too lazy to make sure our jeans are so perfect for stepping out....
Now that i think about it, I do not remember where I put the iron, humm. did I put it in the yard sale stuff?

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Remember the pumpkin from the previous post that we grew here on the farm?
Well, here she is in her new life.  We took one of the bridal veils and she looked happier than ever.  The fascinator is an alpaca felted piece with a silk magnolia and white coque feathers.  The lady pumpkin to her left is the flower girl.  She is wearing the "Empress" camellia from my husband's garden.  Looks like this model waited too late to go to the periodontist!
Sergio's boys were here this morning, so we gave them the jack'o lantern.

Wanted you to see the foliage here in north Georgia.  Folks come from miles around to "leaf peep" every year.  The footlhills of the Appalachian Trail is ablaze.  This tree is a Sugar Maple over at my mother's retirement condo in Jefferson, GA.  It has such beautiful seasonal foliage that I could not resist this one for your enjoyment.

Ruthie, the R&D sister and I are talking about doing a series of Mourning Veils.  I have seen in some old movies, also Jacqueline Kennedy, and others wear a veil that covers their face during a funeral.  This type of veil serves many purposes which I will cover in the next post.  I will be enlisting the help of other alpaca sisters in suggestions and designs.  Let me know if you want to be in on this collaboration of designs and ideas.  The reason I am coming to this topic is that tomorrow is All Saints Day.  In the Episcopal church we remember and acknowledge those who have died and gone on in the last year.  All their names are called out in every church, quite a solemn moment. 
Do you remember the cantor singing out every saint's name during the processional from the Pope's section of the  Vatican as the coffin made its way to the piazza of St. Peter's Basilica?  That chant was eerie and mystifying, it had tonality that stirred your soul. Does anyone know this chant?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Considerate Done!

Tomorrow is Hallowe'en.  Watch for the transformation of our homegrown pumpkin!
On top is a fascinator made of alpaca felting, velvet, peacock feathers and precious stones.  Maybe this will be a girl pumpkin

Dr. Del and I picked up a biscuit at our local "southern eating establishment" and saw a pickup truck with a magnetic sign on it.  It was a handyman who did odd jobs and his company name was "Considerate Done".
I got to looking at that and wondered if it was a grammatical error, a play on words or real meaning to the two words rather than the usual  "consider it done" ! This is a phrase that lends itself to accepting confidence in someone else.  Sometimes I ask that a certain thing be done here on the farm that I cannot do or do not have the time and I try to delegate.  When the recipient of the request responds back "Consider it done", I absolutely relax and take it off my mental plate.  Only can you do this when trust is at the core of the ones involved in the discourse.
However, in this case of "Considerate Done", I would like to think that the task would be done with expertise, certainty, correctly, carefully, on time and within expectations, yet, far better than I imagined. It would be quite a promise to name your company in that fashion.  But, maybe that gentleman is one of those rarities in life.  Sorry I did not get his contact information.

Want you to meet another working member of the farm.  His name is Luke and is the main rooster.
He is a bantam and has feathers on his feet.  He has several progeny and has only been mature enough since April.  Anyhow, the other little roosters are bigger and more colorful, but he still maintains the run of the "girls". It is so funny to see him running to gather up his "harem" when they wander off.  A guy just can never rest in that job! He keeps them working all day.  if they are not laying eggs, they are eating bugs, slugs, worms and snails.  Like I said, everyone has a job to do here.  I guess he could walk off if he did not like it here. Cannot imagine why .......
Ruthie sent a white alpaca felted pillbox.  It is similar to the Jacqueline Kennedy style of the 60's.  I have taken some white and silver feathers from the Aracaunas and a pearl and marcosite silver broach that my mother gave me for the fascinator.  I think we need to put a wire in the top to keep the shape, but the prototype might be a keeper.

What I did was to put a crease in the top and it took on a new life as that of a Nehru style.  The bride I have in mind has a going away outfit for this December that has a standup, mandarin style collar, plain light gray alpaca/silk blend fabric with off center hidden buttons to close the top coat which has side slits, over slacks that are full leg matched with 3 inch high leather boots.  This hat will tie together the bride look in a travel ensemble to the Chateau leFrontenac in Quebec City, Quebec.  Sounds like a winter wonderland?
Be safe and remember the Hallowe'en stuff is for kids!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


When you are in the livestock breeding business, you enjoy today what was planned for many months ago. 
The little guy on the right, sitting with his mama, is five month old Cosmopolitan of Crowne.  His being here was planned many months ago.  His sire, Crowne Wellington, succumbed last month and this little guy is a hope of passing on his legacy.  Who would have guessed when Cosmo's mama, who is via Peruvian Mr. President,  born in  2002 that Presidential Charisma would be the mama of this little guy? This breeding was planned in early 2008 and this is the results of the waiting.  My message is that patience and planning are those gifts one prays for.  I knew that the probability of this little guy being stellar came from the expected progeny difference that comes with his  particular sire and dam.
It is so wonderful to predict something and it comes out better than you ever imagined.  The theology here is that you make the best decision with what you have to work with.  You start with the best core available and hope that Mother Nature agrees with the myriad of combinations that are possible.  If you have  an opportunity to blend two great lines or ideas, the probability is good that the extraneous variables are eliminated and success will be yours.
True in life.  If you scrimp on your investment, that is what you will reap.  If you save up and make strong valid choices, the outcome should be better than if you tried to get by on the cheap.  Far better to wait for the right choice than to force an issue into being and pretend that it is quality.  In breeding stock,  you should  use good rules to choose breeding pairs, otherwise, you may have more surprises that do not meet the breed optimums.
Choose well, be well, live well.

P.S.  Got a package from the R&D sister, Ruthie. Hope I have some good templates for our Veils using alpaca felting.  Looks like we might have something neat to develop.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


On Saturday 10/24, Dr. Walter Bravo came to CARODEL FARMS and held a seminar on the management of the alpaca cria.  The group in the photo  is Sergio holding Divine's head in a gentle ear old, with Dr. Walter Bravo teaching Dr. Ken Cato along with Dr. J. D. Mixon the techniques of removing retained incisors. While he was here, he examined several of our females to ascertain pregnancy.  Those who were not, he gave his opinion as to why.  Since productivity is the name of the game, he was very helpful in helping us to assess the herd mix and male retention (or not).
When he presented the seminar, these were his research results that came from LaRayo, Peru.  Each year he goes to this research center east of Cuzco, Peru to draw blood and assay on a herd of about 1500 breeding females. Plus he has discovered how to spin down blood, in large quantities, and give the plasma to the newborns thus helping the village to decrease the mortality.
A lot can be learned when you have a  population of that many, in one place, and limited variables.
What we learned more than anything is that if you are going to help a species do better, thrive and have ultimate production, you must mimic what Mother Nature would do.
To share with you the results of his research, I will give it to you in increments.

Lesson I:   The first day of the cria's life there is a pattern to its feeding.  Dr. Bravo found that the cria nurses every thirty minutes for the first four hours for approximately three-four minutes each visit to the milk bar.  Then, the cria goes to once per hour for the next few hours, in subsequent days they suckle 10 times per day, with very little nursing done after nightfall.
Now that is important information.  If the cria is having a tough time getting started or the mama is not up to the task right away, the human has to intervene and to mimic the pattern.  This research gives us clear marching orders as to frequency and some indication of quantity of colostrum to administer by mouth.
If there is an issue with the cria and it does not suckle, or has a personal issue, trying to stay close to its natural habit will be useful. Make sure the dam is milked out according to that schedule also.  If the cria is orphaned, that is another issue.
The pattern is what matters and requires the mimic. 
Now that is a cool word, agree?
The group, George and Judy Dick, Joe and Gloria Williams, Penny Millar and Nicole Taylor are thanked profusely for the great lunch content, homemade desserts and bread.  Thanks to ChesterFried from Publix for the entree!

Going to go have pizza with my mother this evening at her apartment.  If you can, call your mom.  If you cannot, think of her and  thank her for her sacrifices.......

Friday, October 23, 2009

My favorite icon

In Russia, all the symbols created in silver, paintings, statues that are of Mary (The Mother of God) and the baby Jesus , are called icons.  The photo above is of an oil painting, lacquered with repousse silver cover.  I bought it at the St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg, Russia many years ago.  What is so mystifying is that the faces and the hands are openings in the silver.  When the light hits on it, you get a different perspective at all times during the day.
This is how life is. Depends on the light in which you view things that reveals the object of focus. If you are in darkness, nothing is seen, in low light the shadows do a dance, and in full brightness, all colors and textures are very evident.
So maybe we need to get out in the Son!

Dr. Bravo is on his way here to hold a seminar on Saturday for the alpaca breeder friends of ours.  We have had some birthing issues that he will shed light on for us.  We want to get this down to a fine blending of the science and the art of it all.
Will fill you in on the revelations from this great Cria-Don!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sincerely,word for the day.....

Have you read "The Lost Symbol"? It is jam packed with some of those secrets of  the Free Mason brotherhood.  My father was a Free Mason and a Shriner (33rd degree).
I have been taken by a section of the book that talked about being truthful and genuine. When a sculptor has a less than perfect piece of raw material, or lacks the skill to recognize the talent needed, or if the craftsman tries to cover up a flaw, stone dust is applied and then wax is adhered to the surface and painted or glossed over. The flaw is not always revealed or it would loose its value.  Sine in Latin means= without. Cere is the base word for wax= without wax. Sincere is derived from the two Latin words "sine" and "cere"-meaning without wax. It appears that sneakiness and fraud have been with us a long time. The ancient myth tells us that Roman sculptors were not as good at using the strength of stone as their Greek counterparts. Greek statuary was often graceful, but the Romans (who were trying to imitate this art form) carved figures in stone that were not strong enough to support their own weight. Consequently, many of the Roman sculptures cracked. Some sculptors filled these cracks with wax to make their statues appear to be complete and perfect.

Because this practice came to be widespread, the legend "sine cere" (without wax) became a mark of excellence because the statues had no cracks. Hence, we have the word sincere, which has come to mean genuine-without pretension or hidden flaw. (by Marc Maurer)

  Thusly, as an author if one  crafted a message to the reader is truthful and genuine, and you have no flaws hidden from view, covered up, then you have nothing to disclose and the message is genuine.  In your own letters of correspondence, how many times have you signed at the bottom, Sincerely.  You are saying  that in the letter  there are  no falsehoods and is genuinely true. (Just as a failsafe, I use Regards, Caroline: i always know that is safe!)
The symbol in the cartoon above is a characiature  of the one seen on the back of the US One dollar bill.  that pyramid is much more refined but the elements are similar.  The pyramid is of course laid stone by stone and the capstone which is a pyramid itself finishes the design.  The all-seeing eye is another day!
....your word for the day; meaning it's everywhere!

On the base of the aluminum capstone of this obelisk, theWashington Monument in D.C., on the east side is engraved Laus Deo, which in Latin means Praise be to God.  I had no clue that was there, but the documentation is there; that is is not a myth.  Isn't that a great thought that each morning, as day is breaking in the east, the once tallest building in the world is up to the heavens and greets God on our behalf with a statement of praise?  What is also such a great thought that this is to God, whatever form your belief takes you.  My father who was born in 1911 in Mississippi may give you visions of a certain type of white man, but when it came to his Free Mason work, men were men, and worthy of respect.. We would all do well to seek out the ancient mysteries. The foremost:  "Praise God" ; the second  "Love others as you do yourself ". I figure that if you are doing these two things, you are doing the right thing!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Life needs frosting

This is the box top to a cinnamon roll. We had intended this for a breakfast treat.  As I looked at this box on the counter I realize a profound message that was there.  "Life needs frosting".  What a great thought.  However, any of you who know the nature of frosting, there is an art to its application.
There are different kinds of frosting.  As with life, the basics are great and needed but what a treat to have a bit of frosting.  So think about things, add a bit and see how much better things are.

A friend of ours, Frank, Norton, Jr , is an artist who once was a doodler.  He would draw cartoon- like characters and messages for his children on their lunch bags.
He  is now showing his art in Atlanta and SoHo with chickens personified.  This is my portrait; always with a hat!. Not quite the ballgown or low cut little black dress, but speaks volumns.  I guess that the animals in my life qualify for the Mrs. Doolittle title. I love this old gal. She is hanging in my kitchen and she greets me everyday that I fix coffee.  She reminds me of what I need to be focused on and not to be remiss in my purpose in the care of my livestock.
My favorite icon, however, that is near our bed, is an art piece I will share with you on another post. You will love it.

Stay focused..........

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Blue, yes indeed!!

I had one of those rare points in one's life yesterday.  I went with my only child, my daughter, to her doctor's appointment and you guessed it!   A nursery is being set up and it will be decked out in macho colors! If you all know us, UGA is tops ( next to the Tide) so red and black may be the theme, so that makes me think of Mickey Mouse.
What a very special time to see that little being on the ultrasound crossing his legs, waving, and showing off his perfect spine.  Beach boy! Yikes!  I think I am already nervous about his antics!

Speaking of antics, the little crias, Choice and Adam are the pair! Running like the wind and already making plans.  He is nibbling on her fiber at her neck, great place my man, and making plans for future dates.  That would be an awesome blend of the Peruvian Inca and  Tuscano of PVA gene pool.  The lustre in these two little suri alpacas is already flash point!

Those of you who guessed at the orange object in the photo of the last post, only one got it right! It is a persimmon. My new friend at MonteSano Alpacas in Huntsville, AL will get a really cool package next week.  Hope all of you are enjoying your coffee that guessed correctly on the lady in profile; Princess Diana.

We are having Dr. Walter Bravo, who lives in Ohio, but is from the "Andes", to be with us and some fellow farmers on Saturday 10/24 here at Carodel Alpaca Farm.
Can anyone name the lady on his right? This photo was taken in July at our meeting at UT when he spoke to the alpaca breeders. (This correct answer is worth some of Annie's Soap Barn goatmilk soap.)
It is interesting getting ready for one of these scientific seminars.  So much information is needed and so little is really known specifically "on label" for the alpaca.  This veterinarian has a project that he contributes himself to in his native Peru.  He goes high into the mountains and has provided the alpaca farmers with a way to get plasma, spun from whole blood, orally into the new crias.  If the dams do not have enough colostrum, or passive transfer does not happen, a cria's life is compromised and many times cut short.  We have a very low mortality rate here in the USA, quite the contrar in Peru.  This is their livelihood and Dr. Bravo is providing them with a way to preserve their livestock and inventory for breeding and fiber harvesting.  He is such a kind gentleman and we look forward to his coming.

I love blue........

Taking flight and the Frost effect

                                                   Remember that egret from a few posts ago? Here he is again taking flight. Such a piece of artistry and mechanics in motion. Seeing him take off made me wonder if I would ever see him again. But you know, I did not worry too long about that for I had a few moments of that day enjoying his antics, gather his brunch, his balancing talents and beauty. So how much less are your family and friends? Your acquaintances? All have some beauty, talent or memory to leave with you. What you need to do is to focus on the positive parts. I know that is hard to do in many instances, but try. You will be amazed at how your attitude will change when you enjoy whatever few moments you have with someone. Take nothing for granted that it will always be there. I really miss my Daddy.....wish I could just hear his voice one more time. I remember when he took me to the University of Alabama for the first time. He said "well, sister , ( a favorite word in our family) time for you to take off!". I have tried more to follow what he said when I graduated, "well, sister, it is time for you to serve!". What? No more worship for her highness any longer? I had kinda liked that position as the only girl among four......
I took flight. Had some bumpy air pockets to dodge, but for the most part, the duration of the flight has been a pretty good one. One fledging and a mate for life, i think I am a swan.

How much stimulation can a cria have? Rare to see a mama licking! But a pasture mate checking out the other end is very common.  How else do you recognize?

Had a super visit  with the Design majors from Brenau Univeresity,  There were 15 of them along with their professor Dr. Lori Gann-Smith.  These young women, from all over the world, are entering the design competition among hundreds of colleges and universities to get the winner's place in the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association Student Design Competition.  Ruth, the sister, is the chair of this event  and it is bigger than ever.  The students came here to get inspired by the lovely alpaca, their fiber being the focus of their designs. Some are focusing on children's wear and baby layettes. We even showed them how to dress the man in exquisite fabric for suiting.  Of particular interest was the 90% suri alpaca and 10% silk dinner jacket.  This fabric was purchased from Alpaca Jack's Suri Farm,one of our mentors. You saw that jacket in a previous post. will let you know as the girls proceed on their quest for the "runway-worthy" design of the year.

Then, on that same date,  my brother Ted and my mother had a visit here at the farm.  While he was here he got to see blue eggs and help me with a macho that needed the veterinarian.  When Dr. Frost got here and he saw him in action he commented, " I have never seen such compassion as I saw him". That is norm for Dr.
Frost. He is truly a friend of the species! We appreciate him beyond what he may realize.......

Another cute angle; Dr. Frost's office is on Christmas Street, in Bethlehem, GA. His veterinary hospital is open for business and we love it!