Daily Reflections From My Window

November 11, 2020 Wednesday: Veterans Day


“The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.”


Today is Veterans Day. I want to thank all of the Veterans who have fought to protect our country. You are the bravest of the brave. You walk the walk. You live it. Thank you for all that you (and your families) do! Normally there is a parade downtown, but I can’t find anything out about it. But then, the day is still young. Our son and his scout group used to march in it and one of the highlights was carrying the massive American Flag from atop the Inclined Plane that flies on the Mound. It is one of the largest (if not THE largest) flags in the country. It is so WIDE that it takes up the width of the whole street and needed the whole group of scouts to safely carry the LENGTH without it touching the ground. What a wonderful honor. We’ll see if it is happening today. I wish I could find a picture.

The leaves are still falling and hopefully the rain today will help get the stubborn ones to let go. Seems still outside though. No wind. Which is good because I have a pile of branches to burn.

I want to apologize to any of you that I have been short with. You’ve reached out with concern and suggestions and one of you in particular I have been not so nice to. I’m sorry. I’m just not myself. I hope to be back to that person soon. I REALLY appreciate the ideas and links though! Keep ‘em coming! How else do we learn beyond our little bubble.

Here is my joy! Worms composting the alpaca manure! I wanted to show this to the Girl Scouts the other day but was so discombobulated that I forgot. I just love to put my shovel in and turn it over to see so many worms! They are hard at work and though alpaca manure can be used raw, it’s always nice to have this extra step. These worms are called Red Wigglers and they each lay something like a thousand eggs a day. They multiply quickly. I take a clump and put them where I need them periodically. They make quick work of manure.

Composting Manure.

Here’s a copy of the info about the heavy metal challenge. Anyone done this? It should be interesting. My friend Laura, who is very well educated in integrative medicine told me that there is a hair test that can do the same thing and doesn’t stir up the already existing metals into your blood stream and leech more into your brain. Oy! I’m trusting that this doctor wouldn’t recommend this if it were going to do more harm.

Heavy Metal Challenge info.

Because this is my alpaca blog, I wanted to end with some amazing news!

Our beautiful fiber.


I’ve been waiting for this and am so glad that the AOA Fiber Committee is pursuing it because lots of up until now unverified fiber claims have been made but this is INCREDIBLE NEWS! I’m copying and pasting right from the email for you so you get the correct wording:

“Alpaca fiber testing for properties that we often promote when discussing fiber products such as “warmer than,” “insulating” and “antimicrobial” have been on AOA’s Fiber and Fiber Products Committee agenda for some time. In 2009 heat loss testing was completed on woven suri and huacaya samples and in 2019 a pilot antimicrobial test was performed on both huacaya and suri fiber. In 2020 additional antimicrobial and heat loss testing was completed with very positive results!

Antimicrobial Activity Testing

Testing was performed in adherence with ASTM Standard E2149-13a on both suri and huacaya fiber samples. E. coli was introduced to both samples and after one hour the huacaya sample saw an ~65% reduction of viable bacterial cells and the suri sample saw an ~79% reduction.

Thermal Conductivity Testing

Testing was performed in adherence with ASTM Standard 1868 on both suri and huacaya fabric samples. Both knit fabric and felt were tested to expand the 2009 evaluation of woven fabrics. It is important to keep in mind that the values can, and will change, depending upon the thickness and construction (weave, knit, or felted) of the fabrics tested. A measurement called the Clo Value, which is widely used in the clothing industry and represents the heat comfort/insulation value of a given fabric, was determined. Values for permeability, which represents the heat retention value (breathability of the fabric) and Total Heat Loss, which represents the amount of metabolic heat generation that can be exerted without comfort loss, were also determined. The results generated from the analysis can be used to positively and appropriately position alpaca fiber textiles in the marketplace.

Alpaca Fleece Claims

These test results give alpaca owners specific scientifically supportable data for claims we make about alpaca fiber. Alpaca fiber is indeed antimicrobial (65–79% bacterial load reduction) and the insulating value while maintaining comfort levels during activity is also high (dependent upon thickness of fabric and porosity) when compared to published metabolic rates for different activities. A special thank you to Ruth Fuqua and Wini Labrecque for interpreting and presenting the results.”

So this is amazing news and combined with the fact that alpaca antibodies are being studied as a cure for Covid, MERS and SARS, just emphasizes what special animals alpacas are.

Dovis, Rebel and Pippa

Remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home but if you MUST go out, wear a mask and keep the length of a full grown llama (which is bigger than an alpaca) between you and the next person. Have a blessed day!