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Come with me

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.

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Crystal Hart

Crystal Hart

Crystal was a 2017-2018 White Violet Center intern from Canon City, Colorado. She has a bachelor's degree in anthropology and a certificate in massage from Boulder College of Massage Therapy. She is particularly interested in alpaca husbandry.

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  1. Avatar S. mary Ann Phelan on January 5, 2018 at 6:51 am

    What a great blog. it makes me so happy to know we have such wonderful interns at WVC. I hope many will consider coming to WVC after reading your enjoyable and informative blog. SMAP

  2. Avatar Rita Clare Gerardot on January 5, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Crystal, it sounds like you’re ready to take on anything that comes your way in a day at WVC.
    Thanks for your flexibility, adaptability and whatever else it takes to meet the many daily needs at WVC! We are grateful for all YOU and the other interns do to meet the many daily challenges at WVC. Blessings and joys for 2018!

    S. Rita Clare

  3. Avatar Linda Miller on January 11, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Learning to go where the river flows, so to speak, rather then trying to control it or portage when you don’t have to, makes for a day with less stress and more peace. Your blog clearly shows some of the joys of giving up the control and just going where you are needed. That’s not to say that planning and scheduling isn’t important, but in reality it’s more of a guideline. What a wonderful variety of activities for one day!

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