Friday, July 29, 2022

7 Quick Takes about Fuzzy Friends, Packing at the Last Minute, and Adventures in Tie Dye

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


Who else toured an alpaca farm over the weekend? This place has been on my radar for a while but we just haven't gotten around to booking a tour, but we finally made it happen.

The tour guide took us right inside the alpaca pen and we got to pet them. They are so soft. Unfortunately, alpacas don't really enjoy being petted, they just tolerate it briefly until they walk away. 

Although they do like it when you give them treats.

Alpacas are the most bizarre-looking animals up close. Their necks are so pencil-thin and flexible, it looks like you put the head of a mammal on a snake. And the ridiculous haircuts they get don't help.

I informally named this one "SeƱor Muttonchops."

They also had a baby alpaca at the farm, about three months old. It was simultaneously cute and unnerving how skinny and spindly it was.

My 16-year-old came home with a stuffed animal alpaca made with alpaca wool from the gift shop, polled her friends, and named him Linus.


This week is youth camp week at church for my teenagers. For the first half of the week, the girls from our congregation and a number of surrounding congregations went to a rustic camp and spent several days doing archery, rifles, sunrise kayaking, making bracelets, staying up WAY too late, doing skits and silly camp songs, reading their scriptures, and meeting for spiritual devotionals.

My 10-year-old, who will be old enough to go to camp next year, wouldn't stop grilling them when they got home and can't stop talking about it now.


The girls were at the camp for the first part of the week, and they traded places with the boys halfway through the week. They're not back yet so I have no idea how it went. Hopefully fine.

The boys' packing list was prefaced by the specific reminder that there was to be "absolutely no climbing on roofs" so that's reassuring. 

It hadn't been necessary to say that on the girls' packing list.


The night before he left for camp, my son had a busy day and was super-tired so I told him to wash his clothes and he could pack in the morning before he left.

I meant that he should pack first thing in the morning when he woke up, but he took it to mean "10 minutes before leaving." I guess I should've been more specific.

His clothes were still wet, because the heat in the dryer had gone out,  and they were just tumbling around in cool air for a while when he ran the dryer the night before. We quickly grabbed out a few things and hung them in front of a box fan to get them at least mostly dry, threw them in a suitcase, and he was off to camp.

Best case scenario, he will have remembered my extremely-patient-and-not-angry-at-all advice to hang the clothes up when he gets to camp to dry the rest of the way. Worst case scenario, he'll forget and be stuck wearing smelly clothes for three days and learn from experience not to leave packing until the last possible second next time. 

Either way, it works out, I guess.


For weeks, my 6-year-old's swim teacher has been trying to get him to swim in the deep end, but we might as well be asking him to walk over a bed of hot coals. He flatly refuses to go anywhere he can't touch the bottom, and no force on earth could convince him to do otherwise.

But at his last lesson, his older siblings came along and were messing around on the other side of the pool, and that changed everything. 

The 6-year-old got curious and wandered over to watch them after his lesson, and by the time we left he was literally diving headfirst through a floatie tube in the deep end and telling me how fun it was.

And that's the power of older siblings. I really enjoy having kids in a variety of ages and stages, because they're all uniquely positioned to help each other in ways that I just can't, and I think that's a beautiful thing.


My 10-year-old recently tie-dyed a shirt at a church activity, and she wanted to make an extra for her 8-year-old brother. (She probably just wanted to make a second one, but she explained to me it was because the 6-year-old has a tie-dyed shirt already and now that she made one for herself she didn't want the 8-year-old to feel left out.)

My 8-year-old loves his new shirt because "it looks like an explosion in space."

Unfortunately, they'd run out of gloves by the time she decided she wanted to make a second shirt so she just did it with her bare hands, and came home looking like Veruca Salt up to her wrists. In retrospect, I wish I'd gotten a picture but I was too busy shoving her toward the bathroom sink, terrified she would touch anything in the house and ruin it forever.


In other news that's not really news, I've killed some more plants. I often remind myself of this meme I once saw of a smiling lady buying plants at a nursery, with an added speech bubble that says "Hey baby, want to come back to my place and die?"

This time, I acquired some free cilantro seeds and decided to try planting them didn't get my hopes up. When I started to see some little green sprouts in the dirt I was thrilled: I'd done it! The next day, though, they withered up and basically disappeared. Maybe I didn't water them enough, maybe I should have brought them inside. Maybe it was too hot, or too sunny, or not hot and sunny enough. Who knows. 

I still have some more seeds, so I think I'll try again but indoors. I'm always encouraged by my friend Valerie. I always think of as an amazing plant lady, but when I mentioned to her once how I can't grow anything she immediately empathized "Oh yeah, I kill so many plants. I just don't know when to quit, though." So maybe that's the secret.

Click to Share:
Unremarkable Files

No comments: