Sunday, September 28, 2008

Apples, Pumpkins, Alpacas

Today's activities were mostly outdoors, in spite of the sometimes damp weather. 

After a casual start to our day (Jim slept 'til 9 AM!), we were picking apples at Green Acres by 10 :30. Pick your own apples are the best-truly fresh-picked flavor, no bruises or blemishes and a great price (60 cents per pound).  We quickly filled our peck basket with ripe, red Macintosh apples and moved onto the pumpkin patch.
 We selected 2 medium-sized pumpkins from a field of hundreds. We made  stop into the store where we bought some apple cider and a white pumpkin. I bought a white pumpkin a few years ago, and like the looks of them so have tried to get one each year since. The rain took a break while we were doing our back-to-nature thing, but started misting shortly after we got back in the car. 

After lunch Pam B. and I went on a tour of 2 local alpaca farms.
We learned so much and enjoyed looking at the alpacas at the two places. At both farms, there was one cria, a baby alpaca. The alpacas looked like they were having a "bad hair" day because of the rain, but they were still cute! Here are some things we learned today:
1. Alpacas were imported from Peru from 1984-1994 to establish a US herd, but importation of these animals is no longer permitted. If you want an alpaca, you would buy it from a US farm. 
2. Alpacas come in 22 different colors or shades, from pure black to pure white with lots of shades of brown in between.
3. There is no lanolin in alpaca fiber like there is in sheep fiber.
4. Alpacas live on grains and hay (or grass).
5. The gestation period for a baby alpaca is 11.5 months.

We learned more, but you are probably bored by now. 

So, it was a good day. Plus the Bills won again and are now 4-0! Unbelievable!

I talked to my brother, Bob, last night, who called from the Chicago White Sox game. He was there with like 100 boys from his middle school boys chorus! Maybe the 100 included the parent chaperones too. I hope he had fun because if ever an occasion called for a beer it would be when one was surrounded by 100 middle school boys at a ball park, but because it was a school function, he was going to have to stick with warm Pepsi! Thanks for the call, Bob!

Jim is packed for Brussels-he leaves tomorrow afternoon. He has scoped out a place near his hotel where he can get his daily run.

Hope all is well.

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