1. The new cria is nursing on his own as of late this afternoon. Dar has been out there feeding him every few hours since yesterday morning, because he just couldn't get the hang of it. They require sunlight (or strong direct light) to help them pinpoint where the milk bar is, and it's been gray and rainy since his birth. Late this afternoon the sun came out and voila!

2. We had the winter coats out again. I think the worst is over, but everyone has been remarking on how winter had made a comeback. We have our big shearing weekend in another ten days, and it would be nice if the denuded alpacas didn't freeze to death. Just sayin'.

3. I won't spoil anyone, and I'll try to expand on it later, but I was pleased overall with last night's Lost. "Every answer leads to another question," indeed. Still, it validated my beliefs about both Jacob and MIB, so I'm pretty happy about that.

4. There's a drifting satellite that may disrupt US cable service on or about May 23. This had better not interfere with the Lost finale. There would be world-wide hysteria, led by me. (Although, it would be kind of fitting given the subject matter.)

5. I cut my bangs this evening and actually stuck one of the blades in my eye. Happily it was the more blunt blade. I need a keeper. Or at least a hairdresser.
Yup. Three-and-a-half hours sleep last night. I'm so tired that I'm shaking. And can I fall asleep? Actually, we'll see :) I just finished looking over a piece that Dar wrote for Series.nu, which is a TV forum like TWoP back in the good ol' days. Dar has a weekly column and will be doing recaps for True Blood when it comes back on. (Big surprise, eh.) I think that we should hit the forums and make them our own. Saloon time! Actually, since it's a new site, the forums are kind of empty - we really could have our way. Nicely, of course.

In cria news, the baby (still unnamed) is doing well. She's up to a little over 20 lbs. as of this morning. I tried to feed her on my own early this afternoon and had, as the kids say, EPIC FAIL. She wasn't having any of that bottle, uh-uh, no way, get that freakin' thing out of my face. Foiled by a 20-lb cria. I'm so ashamed.

So now I take my ashamed self to bed. Where'd I put that hammer?
Dar huacayas_0087
Most afternoons, Dar makes a special mash to give to the alpacas
to keep their calorie count up in the winter and to help their
skin and fleece. They love it. A lot. Dar has to tell this
little one that no, there is no more left in the bucket.

Alpaca treats! )

The baby is starting to nurse on her own! She's getting more control of her legs, which is a big part of being stable enough to stand under her mom and nurse for minutes at a time. She used to just splay right out, legs flung out to the sides, but now she can get up and down with a good deal of control. All of this is thanks to Dar who was over at the Poots every 4 hours or so, hand-feeding the baby until she was strong enough to get her nourishment from Satine. She'll still be doing supplemental feedings, but the midnight runs to the Poots' place are over. She's a miracle worker.

Baby standing_0038, originally uploaded by maystone1.

She has a new coat. I think she looks good in blue.

Feeding time )

Baby A_0014, originally uploaded by maystone1.

Our friend greets Satine's new baby girl.

A few more baby pics )

The baby has very long legs, but because she' premature she's not really good at using them yet; they still need to firm up a little. Still, she does pretty well once you lift her up and leave her on her own.

I think she may be a Valentino baby rather than a Hannibal baby. She's a lot lighter than Hanni's other girls. We'll get her DNA tested for paternity (which you have to do to register them anyway.) She's not out of the woods yet, so think good healthy cria thoughts :)
1. The new cria has a name: Echo. She's nursing like a crazy little thing (at last) and has taken to fits of galloping as baby crias are wont to do. She's adorable. [livejournal.com profile] darlong has some very cute pictures of her taken today in her stylish purple cria coat, but I don't think she's posted them yet.

2. Cinnamon Girl still hasn't delivered although she's certainly ready. Dar thinks that one of the cria's legs isn't in position, and CG is trying to manipulate it so it's corrected. We're really hoping that tomorrow is the day.

3. I saw the first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes of Supernatural. Obviously I've missed some important stuff in the middle. I hope to catch the rerun this weekend. Or I can just glean it all from what I assume are going to be the squeeing posts on my flist tomorrow :)

4. And speaking of TV, did you know that that wacky Fox TV network is going to go out on a limb and finance a new show that's - get this - a mix of Western and scifi? Who'd ever watch something like that? They must be crazy! God, I still hate. them. so. much.

5. And more TV, but this is very cool. Next year there's going to be an auction of Lost memorabilia. Sawyer's glasses! (I figure [livejournal.com profile] sparky77 will be all over that.) Hurley's winning lottery ticket! Passports. Dharma uniforms worn by the guys back in time! The freakin' hatch!! I'm not a collector, but babies, some of that stuff makes me drool with greed and envy.

6. I watched Obama's speech last night, and if nothing else, I have to say that damn, he is one eloquent speaker. I was very, very pleased to see that he was promoting a public option as part of the package, but I still think that he's giving too much to the insurance carriers. And what can one say about the Republican response? Churlish is one word that comes to mind. (Oh, many others come to mind, too, but I'm trying to keep my anger under control since I want to go to sleep after I post this.)

7. Too late. Now I'm pissed again. I should take the advice of Terry on True Blood: "I can't listen to politicians no more. My head explodes."

8. I will end on an up note. I will! Ummmmmmm. OK - Chloe was chasing a frog across the back yard. He was hopping and dodging to save his life (literally), getting some real air time with those jumps. I distracted her long enough for the frog to escape, but I have to admit that it looked very, very funny. I have the feeling that the frog was not as amused, but he lives to hop another day.
He had a very traumatic birth. He was upside down in the womb, and his legs were folded back and blocking his passage. Both Dar and Andrew (the vet) had to manipulate and pull the baby out. It was long and very hard on them and especially on Delilah, and of course it was hard on the baby, too. Q and I held Delilah still while they worked on getting the baby out, with Delilah screaming almost constantly. As Q said, "I am never ever having children." But he's out, and he was very strong and active. There's a problem with his eyes; Andrew said it looks as if the pupils haven't opened. He said there's nothing we can do about it, and maybe it will correct itself. The boy doesn't appear to be blind, though, so that's a good thing. He still hasn't nursed, and that's a concern, but Delilah is still recovering from that brutal birth. Also, being a first-time mom, she really doesn't know what's going on. We're hoping that instinct takes over, but of course we're helping it along. No name yet, although because of his blood-tinted face I'm partial to Erik the Red. He's definitely an Adama baby, and that makes him the last of that line.

Cria pics here. )
Not one of our better days by half.

1. Tasha, our 2-week-old cria, died late this afternoon. Her body temp was so low that it didn't even register. Dar rushed her into the house, and we started to work on her and continued for what seemed a long while. Her heart started and she made some noises, but she'd lost her reflexes by then. More vigorous rubbing, and heated blankets, and shots, and oxygen, but it was just too much for her little body to overcome.

2. Right near the end Dar was going to give the cria a shot of epinephrine to the heart, but she was distracted and ended up injecting it into her hand. We had called the emergency vet at the start of all this, he walks in the house just after Dar got the injection, pronounces the cria dead, and tells Dar to get to the ER. She and Mark take off.

3. Dar's heart rate regulated back to normal about five minutes later, so she didn't even bother with the Er and went to Dairy Queen instead. Wise choice.

4. Earlier in the day, unbeknownst to me, a full bottle of water had upended in my leather purse. Again. This time it took out my passport and my work visa. I have it drying on my desk. So far, so good.

5. I blew out my knee and my back while helping to work on the cria. Ow. I'm taking pain meds and heading to bed.

6. It's going to snow tomorrow.
[livejournal.com profile] darlong has a picture of the new baby up on her LJ. Check her out.

No name yet. I'll thinking it's something that has an "l" sound in the middle. No harsh consonants anway. We're taking suggestions, so have at it.

So very, very tired. I need to take a lay down. Back at ya later, guys.
This afternoon at 12:55 Satine gave birth to a beautiful white girl. It was a textbook birth, and it only took five minutes from the time we saw the nose protruding until the little girl was on the ground. I admit that I usually think white crias - in fact most white animals - are pretty ugly when they're first born, but she is just gorgeous. She hasn't nursed yet, but she was up and walking around, so that's great. It took a few hours to get her temperature up to an acceptable level, but so far so good. I didn't have my camera on me, but Dar got some pics. I hope to post them later.

Oh, for those who care, this is an Adama baby through and through. Pink skin and white, soft fleece, but she has Satine's beautiful eyes. Adama met the baby across the fence line, sniffed her all over, and then he raced up to where his paddock meets Hannibal's and he puffed up his chest and stuck up his tail and got. in. Hannibal's. face. Ha! It was very funny :) This is Adama's second progeny; the first was poor, sweet Finn. This girl is very vigorous, and we have high hopes for her.

More later. I just wanted to spread the news.
Hi. You might remember me from such LJ classics as "little blue men are running around my keyboard" and "I have an autoimmune disease; wah." It's been weeks since I've posted anything more than a picture or a meme. I plead insanity. I'm only partly kidding.

Long. Possibly overwrought. )
1. Jane went in for surgery today. The vet put her under, took full-body x-rays which showed no fractures other than her jaw. Tried to repair the jaw, but it would have only make it worse to put a wire in, so withdrew the wire. It's a little wobbly but is already healing on its own, so she decided it was best to leave it alone after all. Jane's tongue is healing on its own, which is rather miraculous. No need for stitches there, then. The vet felt terrible for putting her through all of that and then basically doing nothing constructive. But she had to try to see if it would work, and we we understand. Jane is home with a fentanyl patch on her leg and stoned out of her mind. Hyper stoned. Joy.

2. I heard from the nephrologist this afternoon. I'm assuming that she just got my blood work results because she made an appointment for next week. I take it the news is not . . . neutral. Still, I'm glad to be going down another path towards an answer.

3. I looked up the neurologist that Dr. Pope wants me to see. She specializes in neuroimmunology or the intersection of neurology and autoimmune disease. Just the perfect person to help find a diagnosis. It makes me sad that I probably won't get in to see her.

4. Dar was sick with a trigeminal headache. Q had an infection on her leg drained this morning. They're both over at Deb's farm helping with yet another hypothermic newborn cria. The vet is there, too. I have no idea when they'll be back. I didn't even know they were going. I was out the door to pick up Jane when the phone rang; got the phone, told Deb to call a vet and that Dar was sick. Handed the phone to Dar.

5. I don't know what to think about the winner of American Idol.

6. If those fucking cats don't stop fighting I'm going to throw them all fucking outside to the fucking coyotes.

7. I'm not in the best of moods.
Crazy busy all week. Crazy all week. Really, operative word here: crazy.

The alpaca cooperative did their big shearing course this weekend. I didn't make it to any of the actual shearing, but I spent a good part of yesterday running back and forth from our place to the mill where the shearing was going on and back again, ferrying various foodstuffs, some of which I prepared with these two wrinkly trembling hands. The chocolate trifle came out particularly well, I think.

But yesterday wasn't all fun and games. Remember the cria I posted about a few days? The fluffy little newborn who had the rough start. Dar, and Diane, and I ended up rushing him to the emergency vet, with Dar giving him animal CPR all the way there. Dar lost his heartbeat as the vet pulled up to the building, and there was nothing else that could save him. She was devastated. It was a senseless death brought about by human error and inaction. None of it malicious, but most of it was avoidable. Poor baby alpaca.

I'll let Dar fill you in on all the details of the disastrous first day of shearing. I'll just say that when she walked into my room after getting home later that night, I gasped because her jacket was splattered with blood. None of it hers, thankfully. I hear that today's shearing went much more smoothly, but then I think it would have had to.

My day ended yesterday with trying to get that huge freakin' horse (Jester) out of our neighbors' pasture - two pastures over from ours. Without a lead rope. Yeah, that was fun. Took a while to get Jester moving, and really why should he want to? He's stuck in a mud paddock and all around him is lush pasture grass. I'd have broken out, too. But not our property, eh. Mark finally found the lead rope and got it around him; I'd managed to get him fairly close to our property with a bucket of grain and some veggies. When we finally got him back in our paddock . . . he knocked me to the ground. Just hip checked me and sent me flying. Nice horse. And I was looking at an awful lot of big heavy hooves while I was down there, too. I didn't get banged up too much, and if it weren't for this stupid AI whateverthehellitis, I'd have bounced right back. But my joints are all screaming at me today, so the score is Jester:1 Mays:0

I went back out to his paddock and used some bungee cords to fasten the gates to his paddock more tightly. Mark used his lead rope to fasten the other gate into there, too. I felt like we were taking him prisoner, and it wasn't a good feeling, but he can't keep breaking out like that. As I said, not that I blame him.

So today was spent driving Dar back to the mill for today's shearing and then cleaning up in the morning a bit for the arrival of Q's dad and his girlfriend, both of whom are wonderfully warm and in Miriam's case especially wonderfully dressed. Seriously, I wanted to walk off with everything she had on (uh, that I could see, anyway *g*) right down to earrings and purse. It's been a long time since I've been around an urban woman my age; I forgot how much I liked clothes until I saw her. OK, I'll stop spooging over her wardrobe now :)

The lupus flare that was threatening hit this afternoon, and I keep falling asleep. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. Or not complaining, too much. It's the soreness, mostly. Eh, I'm old and cranky.

And Dar just got back, so I'm going to say hello to my sweetie pie.

Newborn huacaya_0410, originally uploaded by maystone1.

So we stopped by our friends' place just to pick up some dishes that had been left there. Then one of their huacayas went into labor. "Oh, neat," I said. "We'll get to see an easy birth for a change."

Uh, no. This little guy was being held in place in the birth canal by his shoulder. Dar had to pull like crazy to get him out, and then the mom wasn't passing the placenta, and the baby kept crashing because he wasn't nursing . . . and several hours later he's on goat colostrum, we're home for a bit, but we're heading back to check on him.

Dar to the rescue! (Me? I had to take frequent naps on the couch. Freakin' lupus.) Oh btw, the red tint is from the heat lamp we have him sitting under. It was windy, cold, and drizzly when he was born. And yes, that's Neo's styling cria coat the new boy is sporting.

ETA: The poor little boy died of septic shock on May 16. We rushed him to the emergency vet; Dar did everything she could to save him, but he was too far gone.
He's nibbling and licking at just about anything and everything in his path.

Oooh, what's that? Can I eat it? )
How perfect is that icon, huh? For those of you who don't know my kitty cats, I have a boy tabby whom I named Mao, which is Chinese for (among other things) cat. And is also the noise he makes when he meows.

Baby cria is nursing like a milk-a-holic on a weekend bender. We try to supplement with the formula every now and then, but the last two times he really didn't want all that much of it. Fine by us. It's great to see (and hear) him being so successful at nursing from his mom. I think she's pretty relieved, too.

Dar has been in touch with other breeders about Baby's leg, and it appears that it's not uncommon for crias to dislocate various joints early in life, and that they will work their way back into place. We hope that's the case here, and he certainly is having no problems getting around. I was watching from the window as he was gallumping around with the bigger boy crias and simultaneously giving his mom a nervous breakdown. He's gonna be a scamp, that one.

Dar is paying for the last four days of near sleeplessness. She was down for the count most of the day today, but I'm hoping that she'll start feeling better tomorrow. That was a hell of a strain on her system, and I think that she did an astounding job of taking care of the cria through those long four days and nights. But then she's a pretty astounding woman overall :)

Chloe gets her stitches out tomorrow morning, and then it's the outdoor life for her and Jane. They both love being outdoors, and I had to force Janie to come in tonight. I just want to be sure to have things set up for them in their little shelter before they spend the night outside. It still dips below freezing around here once the sun goes down, and I want my kitties to have a warm place to curl up. I was going to work on that today, but I was simply too tired. I had to run some errands this morning, and it almost became more than I could handle. Thank the FSM (and his noodley appendages) for sparsely traveled back country roads.

I handed in my jug o' urine this morning. Damn, I'm glad that's over and done with. I didn't have any major disasters, but it wasn't what I would call an arid experience. If you get my drift. I don't know, maybe I've got screwy plumbing, because it really shouldn't have been that difficult.

Moving on. We have crocuses ready to bloom! The petals are up, but they haven't opened yet. Tomorrow for sure. We still have snow in the yard, btw, but it's greatly reduced. I guess this means that we can take the snow fencing down, huh. It's also time for me to start obsessing about dealing with the sun and warm temperatures. I've got to go through my clothes to see what still fits (and I'm guessing that will be damn little. Frakking prednisone) and what has long sleeves. Someone else with lupus pointed me to a laundry additive that will give SPF 40 protection to clothing, so I've got to track down some of that. It's like preparing for a siege, I swear. I may just decide to go all dorky and carry a parasol around with me everywhere. Yeah, the alpacas will love that :)

Okey-dokey. I really need to get some sleep somehow. Q keeps offering to hit me over the head, because that's just the kind of thoughtful friend she is. I may just take her up on it. Oh, QQQQQQQQQQQ!
1. [livejournal.com profile] cajoje is on her way back to Albert after a not-so-relaxing stay. She pitched right in to help with all of the blow-back from the new cria's scary entrance into the world, and she did it at the expense of getting some other things accomplished that were important to her. That? Is the definition of friend.

2. Cria boy is doing well today. I got to try my hand at feeding him this morning, and let's just say that it's not exactly in my skill set yet. I'll get better at it, but we're all really hoping that he'll get the hang of nursing on his own so I won't have to learn how to wield that bottle.

3. I, at least, am calling him Jack.

4. Poor Pixel kitty has been suffering from constipation, and I didn't really catch on until very late last night. I suck as a kitty mom. So today, we all got together to enjoy the experience of giving her 1) an enema (it didn't work) and b) a suppository (which did.) Dar did all of the hands-on, so to speak, while Mark and/or I held her. The yowling could be heard throughout the county. And that wasn't counting the noises Pixel was making.

5. Speaking of bodily functions, I got the latest blood work back from my PCP. I have protein in my urine which points to kidney problems but is most probably because I'm lacking in B12 this month. The upshot is that I have to take the dreaded (by me) 24-hour urine collection. I hate giving urine samples. Hate. I'd rather give blood. I have terrible aim and lousy motor control. I once ended up spraying the entire bathroom because the urine apparently bounced off the side of the cup and went all Bellagio Fountains over the room. Followed by much cursing and ripping of paper towels and more cursing. Jack Bauer should have such a 24 hours as I'm going to have.

6. We didn't make it to the big alpaca show today, but our alpacas did thanks to our friends. And . . .
The Winners Are )

7. BSG continues to rock in glorious ways. I have to rewatch it because I was very distracted toward the end because of Pixel, and I was also dead tired. I hit the wall, as they say, about 5PM standing in Zehr's waiting for the pharmacy to fill a prescription. "Just another few minutes" turned out to be 35 minutes, and it just pushed me over the edge of the amount of fatigue I could deal with. I know it sounds wimpy, but trust me, fatigue isn't the same as being tired. Anyway, BSG. I have no frakking idea what's going to happen from episode to episode, and I love that about this show. So well-written and acted.
Thanks for all the well wishes, guys. He's still among us, getting stronger little by little, but he still hasn't nursed. He's come close - very close - but no real contact with the nipple yet. Dar tracked down some cow colostrum and some goats milk, both of which are reliable substitutes for mom's milk, except for the vital immune complexes which he'll be lacking. Satine did let Dar milk a little colostrum from her (miracle!) and she gave the little guy some of that. She's going to try again in a few hours.

He took a little walk this afternoon while Q and I were on babysitting/feeding shift. He's so adorable! I'm sorry that I don't have new pictures, but it's been busy and crazy and we're all very, very tired. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get a better chance.

Bed now. Thank you again for the cria vibes. You're all fairy godparents to the new little one!

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