Monday, 15 February 2016

A little running around

We'll be good, honest! At least I hope so.
I'm looking after the alpacas this week as Ian is in hospital. Ian went in for his scheduled surgery today and had four bladder stones removed. He had been expecting major surgery as he was told keyhole surgery was not an option and he would be under general anaesthetic. Instead they did not make any incisions at all and it was done with an epidural. Hopefully if all goes well, he will be home by Wednesday.
Narnia struck again!

I'm not going out in that!
He was expecting to be in a week and he wasn't sure if that was a seven day week or a work day week, so only two days is a bonus. I had to leave him at the hospital this morning as they wouldn't allow me in while they prepped him for surgery. I did get a text to say when his surgery was going to be and was rather surprised to get another one from him in the afternoon. I was expecting the hospital to ring, as I was still expecting him to have a general. So why the change? I have no idea and will probably find out more later on in the week.
Half alpaca, half mountain goat. None of
the others do this. 

It might be a nuisance, but snow does make for nice pictures
At least this does mean that the six-eight weeks I was planning on being home to see to the alpacas might not be necessary. It was funny to see the alpacas today, they obviously sussed that I was not in treatment mode, but there to look after them, as they weren't running away at all when I arrived with the bucket and shovel to clean out their alpaca houses. In fact I had a hard job trying to clean out the girls shed, because they kept getting in my way and coming to see what I was doing. At one point Agnese nearly poked me in the eye with a straw she had in her mouth because she was being so nosy. The sheep also decided I was their best friend and I ended up getting soaked because they kept brushing up against me when I was giving them some feed (their fleece is obviously holding a lot of water at the moment). One of them let me scratch her on the nose too.
The pond near our apartment building

The pond out on the land
This last week though has been a sorting out week with lots of running around trying to get all the pre-op tests done. First Ian had to go and get a blood test taken, then the following day an ECG and an x-ray - fortunately these were all done at the local village hospital. After that we had to take a drive to the big town to see an anaesthetist. It is all rather different to the UK system, or at least the way we remember it. There was a bit of an issue with a few of the results not being available when we saw the anaesthetist but fortunately they had them at the big hospital. He was warned that if all the results were not there he would be sent home, a trip of nearly two hours, because the regional hospital where he would have the operation was even further away. The distance is one reason why I won't be visiting until it is time to pick him up. It is too far and too costly to drive there and back and not really an option with animals to see to.
I was good and cleared around the barn as
instructed by Ian. The problem apparently is
that when it melts it leaks straight into the
barn, so needs clearing to keep the barn dry

Herkules looking more perky now
The regional hospital was half way between us and our Estonian alpaca friends, so we decided to call in there first and get some of the new feed, they have developed with an Estonian feed merchant, to see if Herkules continues to improve on it. His skin seems to be looking much better and beginning to get hair on his legs and ears again, He lost a lot of hair in those places due to a mite problem. He also looks brighter in Ian's opinion. As Ian had to be in hospital at 7:30am we also decided to stay overnight in a hotel nearby to the hospital. It is the first time in my life we have spent Valentine's day in a hotel. The hotel was lovely and the evening meal was delicious but not exactly a romantic weekend away.
A moody sky this afternoon before putting away time

The boys like to be out in the snow even if the girls don't.
Well when I say snow, they don't mind being out in the snow,
just not when it is snowing - sensible types. Sometimes!
As a side note, the meal had potatoes with it, three large ones and I thought I was going to have a high sugar reading in the morning. I didn't! In fact I had one of the lowest I have had for a while. Either I have to go back to the drawing board to work out how that happened or put it down to the fact we missed lunch, albeit a piece of fruit cake due to our travels. Working out what makes my blood sugar levels high or low is a nightmare. I wish it was simple.

Prepping for early seed time. I put black
bags on these today to melt the snow,
because it still hasn't melted completely
after two days. We will grow hardy
greens, peas and broad beans to get an
early start on fresh veg.
The other major news this week is we made it onto Facebook. Or rather Griez─źtes alpakas has made it onto Facebook (you can see it and like our page here - link). That was nearly more traumatic than the thought of surgery. Ian will be running that mainly, because he can upload pictures on a regular basis. Ian is not a fan of Facebook and so trying to explain how it works and also trying to work out what a page does and does not do myself has been well...... trying at times. Little by little we will get the information out there about what we are doing and hope to do, as well as getting to grips with what we can achieve with having a Facebook page. We have a few ideas that we are hoping to organise over the summer, so keep in touch, especially if you are in Latvia.


  1. I enjoyed reading this. What an interesting life you have. A bit hard for my "soft" nature, but I don´t mind reading about it, ha ha. Seriously, thank you for sharing.

    1. Oh it's not that bad. I had my coat off today just four layers instead of five. The worst part is the slushy snow, rather than the nice light, dry, fluffy stuff you get at colder temperatures.

  2. Wishing Ian a speedy recovery

    1. Thank you Gina. He is doing well and may even be home later on today


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