I am a planner, plain and simple, and I like a schedule. I usually have my days planned to the minute and Lord help you if you interrupt my schedule. You know where there really isn’t a schedule? The ranch. You may think that your day is going to be spent in the garden pulling weeds, mowing, and weed whacking, but wait, what is that over there? Why is my yearling, Gus Gus, standing so close to the fence line, not really moving? Why does it look like he is only standing on three legs? Oh, I see, he got tangled in the fence. How in the world…? Turns out the day is going to look a little different with fence cutting, repairing fences, treatments to a cut leg, and of course lots and lots of love to Gus Gus because well, he’s had a rough day.
This past Saturday was definitely one of those “the ranch is in charge type of days.” I planned on working on the computer, making a batch of soap, and finishing the day with house chores. I was working in my office and one of my German Shepherd’s, Pheboe, was barking her head off in her run that is directly outside my office. Now, she barks because the sky is blue so it isn’t unusual that she goes for five minutes straight without taking a breath (good thing we don’t have neighbors), so I didn’t pay much attention to it. When 15 minutes passed and she still hadn’t stopped, I simply opened my office window, screamed “QUIET”, like a lady, and sat back down at the computer and continued working. Usually, this tactical yelling works, but not this time. She just kept going and I started contemplating a bark collar. Something caught my eye and I looked up and what do you know? My alpacas were standing right along the dirt road, not in their pasture, not even fenced in!
WHAT?! The alpacas live in one of the pastures with my mares, which was not even close to where they were standing. One of two things happened. 1. They busted through the fence, (highly unlikely, alpacas respect fencing) or 2. One of the gates was left open. I ran downstairs, grabbed my hat and boots and saw that one of the gates was open. I ran as fast I could to shut the gate while looking around frantically because now I was worried that I possibly had four mares running around Matheson.
I caught up with the alpacas standing in front of our shop. They looked at me like “hey, what are you doing over here?” I took a deep breath and thought, “this is going to be fun.”
Now, I don’t know if you have ever tried herding alpacas, by yourself, on foot, but let me tell you; if you want them to go right, they will go left, you want them to stay in a group, one will always split and book it the other way. When we had the alpacas sheared, it took my entire family to herd them into the barn! That was seven people! Now here I am, alone, needing to push them back into their pasture.
There is a type of ally way on the south side of my house in between one of my pastures and our fenced backyard where the dogs are. My plan was to push them down that ally because the gate that leads into their pasture is at the end of that ally. All they needed to do was make a slight left turn and they would be home free! If they made a right then well, I would be back at square one. I slowly, started pushing them and it was working! They were going! YAHOO!!!! Oh wait… I CLOSED THE GATE!!!! All of them veered to the right and booked it back to where we started. Ugh, try again, this time with the gate OPEN!
It took three or four more times of this for them to realize they needed to go left, but I finally got them back in their pasture. Once they were in, I immediately went looking for my mares. Luckily, they are good girls and were in one of their pastures enjoying the morning.
It is funny because this lack of being on a schedule is what was the hardest for me to get used to out here, but it has become the thing I love the most about our new life. Mark and I wake up thinking that we will be doing one thing and the ranch has totally different plans. We have learned to roll with it and to be honest, it has taught us how to live a simple life with no expectations and to be thankful for the projects that we are able to get completed. Lets just hope next time, when the ranch has plans of me chasing animals around, Mark is home to help.