I am thankful that I am less of a compulsive planner than I used to be. The flexibility required at White Violet Center would have driven me crazier when I was younger. The plan on the calendar had me doing alpaca chores in the morning and decorating White Violet Center at an unspecified time. I finished the alpaca chores and began to head down the hallway toward White Violet Center.

With a dramatic outflung hand, Ann points at me and says, “Come with me.” Given that Ann works in the garden, cooks and occasionally helps with the fiber arts, my new job could be almost anything. Today it meant learning the arcane art of needle felting.

Last week, “come with me” meant holding a chicken in my lap so Dave didn’t have to drive the big white pick-up truck and hold the chicken at the same time. I’m fairly sure he was joking. I hope.

Many hands are involved in creating the needle-felted nativity scenes sold at Linden Leaf Gifts and the Farm Store at White Violet Center.

Returning to the thread of my story, needle felting is poking sharp needles through alpaca fiber and into a green floral foam base. Stabbing my fingers is either a form of penance, self- flagellation or indicates a need for more coffee. I worked on the base of a nativity scene until lunchtime.

After lunch, I figure it’s time to deck the halls of White Violet Center. Wrong again. Dave says, “Come with me” and we’re off to the alpaca pasture. It’s time for the alpacas annual CDT shot and they are about as excited about shots as small children are. When alpacas get nervous they hum. My job was catching each individual alpaca by name. It felt like a pop quiz.

Onyx, one of the few black ones, is easy to spot. Sorting out the white ones is a bit trickier. They do have unique characteristics like pinker eyes or freckles on her nose or a fawn colored top knot, but of course, they don’t hold still as I try to catch each one. Once I caught an alpaca, I held her still long enough for Dave to give the injection. I counted it a not so minor victory that I wasn’t kicked or spit upon. That day, at least.

After a change of boots (so I don’t grind mud into the Christmas decorations) I end my day by fluffing out a Christmas tree at the White Violet Center.

If my day sounds like fun, I encourage you to come and see if an internship is right for you.