Friday, January 29, 2010


When you think of language, one thinks of a mouth and a tongue wagging, singing, praying, preaching ,et al ,as the area where one can hear and interpret what a person is telling you.  Now do not get me wrong, I am not meddling here, but life is totally about relationships.  This was the main topic Jesus taught ; how to get along with and appreciate your fellowman. I have decided that there is another clear way to get "the message" .  It takes a bit of discernment. You have to know what is "normal".  Their body can tell it all.  I mean the other parts of the body, not the mouth.
For you see, the alpaca, my pasture buddies, cannot speak in a verbal language.  Their bodies tell me everything, most of the time.  I can tell by their ears, their gait, their body posture if  they are glad to see me, or when they are hungry or want that flake of alfalfa in the barn, when they are in labor, and when they are getting that wonderful bond going with their new crias. There is a whole litany of body speakings.
One however that I have come to recognize is pain.  We all understand that the alpaca is an animal of prey.  They always are on guard. We have discovered if they are in pain, they become very stoic and can be far down a tube of illness and you would never have known it.  Unless, you were looking for their body language.
The photo of this little fellow is telling me volumns.  I know he has had some intervention from the human a few days ago with getting his teeth trimmed, his nails clipped and his monthly de-wormer.  He is a very sensitive boy.  I personally think I weaned him too early from his dam, but that is not something I cannot  undo at this point. I may be reaping those aftershocks now.  He is celebrating his first birthday and should be romping with his buddies; but his rolled up back tells me he is in pain.  He does not run  this week. He just stands as if moving hurts.  The vet has checked everything that we can from a gross level.  I have given him Albon in case the results come back that he has picked up a particular parasite in the Coccidia family.  The standing still, humped up back and general malaise gets corrected with a dosing of this yummy yellow liquid.
Glad we caught this for that issue can take your livestock down in a hurry.
The next photo is after treatment, notice the head set is better and the back is not rolled. bet you have seen this before, too.

This message is to watch for the signs that are not audible, often times they tell you more than if they could talk!  Same with the folks around you, they may say one thing with their lips but their body language will reek volumnes and will tell you differently.
Vulnerability comes to mind.  The alpaca does not want to become a victim, so he stands still, very still.
I am thinking we are not so far up that chain that the human might protect themselves  in the same manner. Cannot let anyone get too close; they may discover my weakness, insecurity or frailty in a certain area.  There are some very loud body language tips that will give one away.  Where are the arms; crossed, hanging down, up around face?  Where are hands: in a grip on each other, in pockets, messing with hair or face? Where are the eyes: looking aglance, straight forward, or hard and straight at you?
My daughter does not have to say a word, but I can watch the corners of her mouth when she is wanting to be private.  The corners of her eyes are a dead give away.  If you are concerned that your body is saying one thing and you mean another, study yourself.  Look for the nuances that the profilers use to ascertain truth. I know that I, for one, will look for truth and honesty.  I do business with those that are honest with me.  I truly try to return the favor, hope my body language tells you that also!
Your privacy is your own business but sometimes a discerning, sensitive friend is  welcomed when you cannot "speak" of it.
Til next time......

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


My mother named me Mary Caroline.  Her first name is Mary.  I named my daughter Mary Heather.  So the name Mary has a special meaning on many fronts.  I guess because they did not want confusion in our household, I was called by my middle name.  But, I really, really liked my first name.  So this is my opportunity to introduce myself  to you as MARY, but inside I am Caroline!
How is that for a beginning paragraph?
I tried writing a blog last fall.  Kept up with several postings. but then, birthing season of our alpaca herd began and I found myself flipping from joy to grief over the results of some of the births. Did not want to depress you if I was not on top of the world, so to speak.....
I had an occasion once to read a post on a chat site of a farmer who lost her cria to a pack of dogs because her fencing was inadequate.  When I noted the time of day her cria was devoured, she was posting a "how to about something" on that chat site.  Now, if she had been doing what she was supposed to be doing, she would have been out at her barn and noticed her cria being curious and ultimately in danger.  That tragedy could have been avoided.  Since then never did I want to be found guilty of being remiss!
All of my readers who are farmers will get bits and pieces of this past season Thusly, I have been about my business of being on "cria watch" since last September. Staying focused on what matters, at least what I thought was primary,  backfired.
The joy of the season left for I forgot what really was primary.  My health waffled, my husband noticed the concern, even the passing of four months without remembering what day it was affected my whole psyche.
Thank goodness I woke up.  But you know, it did not happen til the last cria appeared. It was not until that was off my plate that I realized I was in the grips of  "fear of failure".
If I took my mind for one day off the goings on in the pasture I could not have lived with the guilt if I failed to be watchful of signs of mishap in these little creatures.

 Even with all my due diligence, Mother Nature was much more powerful than I could ever be.  I did all humanly possible to provide a safe environment and total wonderful environment for a pregnant dam. But to no avail, we still had a tough season with lots of issues.  Some good, some not so good.  I think that God has a master plan for us all.  I would hate to think that bad things happen just so that MARY can help others but maybe that is the purpose of such a challenging season.

There is  a web site for the alpaca business that my husband and I operate.  The search engines will give you access to Carodel Alpacas; but you can find us at

What shows up here will hopefully be fodder for you and insight into how to be successful in your livestock ventures.  These ideas might help us all have a more satisfying life and find the real focus.
Be sure to share this with others who might want to follow along.  Send me a comment if you feel inclined.
BTW: that is Kaya and her new cria, Cinca das Navidad.. Not sure about this , but she was born on the fifth day of Christmas. Probably not good translation but it works for the moment.

Til next time .......

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Starting Over

I love new beginnings.  One gets to put to rest a segment of  efforts at living.  Evaluating the successes and not so great moments is a part of tying a ribbon on that part that is over.
I now tie the ribbon on 2009.  Moving forward trying to concentrate on what really matters.
My husband was on a hunting trip at Cabin Bluff last weekend and I missed him.  I reflected on what would my life be like if he were not coming home. My daughter was accomodating, but I found an excuse to get back home and wait on him.
I was really glad when he flew into our little airport in Gainesville all safe and sound!
Got to get healthier, pass the alpaca baton to other farmers, and share so that others can be successful in finding true meaning to life's purpose.
Pray for Jack Castle.  He is a really nice man that has a bad diagnosis.
The photo above is my brother, Ted and his son ,Wynn. First time either of them had gotten up close and personal with a cria, baby alpaca.
Til next time........