|Olivia, 8 years old|
|Olivia, almost 18 years old|
This week my intelligent and beautiful granddaughter, Olivia, graduated from high school and the whole family was there to celebrate. We are all so proud of her. I had trouble holding back the tears as I snapped the pictures of Olivia marching out, all smiles, onto the Schottenstein Arena floor with all of the other graduates.
That was back in June and here it is late August and Olivia has been away at college for a week and by all accounts that I see on Instagram, she is having a good time and getting along with all three of her roommates. I am going to miss her spontaneous calls with requests to come up for the weekend to bake or make jam with me. In recent years she has driven herself up, often bringing along a girlfriend to stay overnight. It was always a joy for me to hear the girls chattering and giggling into the night; a sound that took me back to the days when her mother and aunt were that age. However, I am so proud to see the confidence and eagerness with which she headed off to the next stage of her life.
Out here at Buckeye Star Alpacas the corn is as high as the proverbial "elephant's eye" and after a bit of a dry spell in July and early August, it has rained enough that the corn, the pastures, the tomato plants and the lawn are a lovely, lush emerald.
|How high is an "elephant's eye" anyway?|
I don't get to see my little granddaughter, Zaidee, often enough and each time I do I am amazed at how much she has grown and how lovely she is. I use the word little very loosely only because, at almost 12 years old, she is my youngest grandchild. She towers over me at a very poised 5' 8" tall. Zaidee also has a smile that lights up the room and I am tremendously proud of her.
|"Little" Zaidee and Olivia|
|Ramen Noodles at the noodle place|
|Loaded 'Tater Tots at the ramen place|
|Burritos at the local Mexican restaurant|
|Susie in the Rose Garden|
|Olivia and the Roses|
The whole time was spent in sight seeing, eating delicious food, hours of enjoyable conversation and mugging for selfies with Zaidee and Olivia. Sometimes doing two or three of these activities at a time!
|Mugging for the camera at the Mexican restaurant|
|Amy and Olivia with Mt. Hood in the distance|
|Giordano's in Chicago|
I received a message from my friend, Rhonda, at Grass Run Alpacas while I was out in Portland. Attached was a picture of a fluffy, white, female cria named, Merri who was our herdsire, Nikko's, first progeny of the season. Nikko, if you'll remember, became so aggressive that we had to put him down after shearing. It's nice that a little bit of him lives on.
Then about a week and a half ago, our friends on the next road over, the Wurm family, were so excited when their first cria was born. She is a little female that they named Agnes, Aggie for short and was born to their Dora. Aggie is a light fawn color like her mother.
|Amadora and Aggie|
Our three females, Leezza, Mango and Took, are due at the end of September and the beginning of October. Since September begins this Thursday, I'll begin to spend more and more time close to home on "cria watch." This will be Leezza's first and she may be late; but Mango delivered Dionysus two weeks early last year so I'll be watching her carefully. All three have bulging sides so we are hopeful that soon we'll have little ones romping in the pasture.