Tag Archives: alpacas

Celebrate National Pet Day?


This is how Spec Ops Cat trained for National Pet Day. This was grueling training on March 31st. Full on nap maneuvers. Very impressive skill level.

by Kimberly A. Cook

I’m behind in my writing duties since I was waiting on Spec Ops Cat hand and paw for yesterday’s National Pet Day. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Part of his present included me spending a long lunch with family having chai tea, chicken cranberry walnut salad on a croissant and a huge cookie.

Such sacrifice on my part. Leaving home so he could nap in silence was really his gift. (I write fiction for a reason.)

He celebrated his special day by waking me up with a 5:20 a.m. hairball. Always providing me with gifts. Such a giver. But he is my roommate, buddy and vice president of security operations, so he earns his keep.

Did you celebrate your pet yesterday? Feel free to do it today and every day. Make sure to ration those treats; no matter how much they beg.

Spec Ops Cat thinks he has a magic food bowl. Since he will chow down his wet gravy food too fast, I give him a tablespoon at a time in the morning to slow his gobbling. Works great.

But he tries to use “bowl patrol” during the rest of the day before dinner. If he stares at the bowl long enough, then looks at me, maybe more food will appear out of the heavens.

Know that feeling when you’re watching tv and you feel target lock? Turn my head into the kitchen and yup, bowl patrol. He’s giving me “the look.” He has plenty of dry food, but he’s a gravy guy.

Hug your pets and treasure them while you can. I’ve had four friends lose their loving buddies in the past five months.  Heart breaking. I’ve informed Spec Ops Cat he is not to go along with that crowd. As usual, he wasn’t listening to me, but napping in a sun spot.

Hug your fur babies today and every day!

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Have You Hugged An Easter Alpaca?


How cute are these two? Still in the paper bag when they arrived home. I’m keeping the pastel one and have named her Rainbow. She has moved into my office. Easter alpacas on sale. Is this a great country or what?

by Kimberly A. Cook

Bought two alpacas yesterday. Don’t freak, they were stuffed toys. Gotcha! The last thing I need is something else to take care of, as cute as alpacas may be. I like having the excuse to drive up the Columbia River Gorge or over to Sisters to make personal alpaca visits.

They were a complete impulse buy. I was on a mission for potting soil and ended up with these two cuties as well. One is a gift, one is for writing inspiration. Seems the next fiction book in my Vintage Vets series involves alpacas. Animals just keep showing up in my writing. I am not in charge.

But first I feel I should apologize to the USA residents in the East. Sorry about all the stupid snow. It was 69 degrees here yesterday, a fluke and we loved it, hence the potting soil trip. Rain again today, so back to our regularly scheduled weather.

When you live on the West coast, for me everything past Montana is back East. I have been told by Midwesterners that is not correct, but it works for us out here. Imagine that is why in Hawaii we are all “the mainland” because the rest of the country is East to them, except for Alaska which is North and East.

Potting soil bags does mean Spring is on its way. I’m downing the allergy pills to prove it. The two toys were on sale as Easter alpacas. Never heard of Easter alpacas, but I fell for it. Sometimes you just need an Easter alpaca.

What Spring rituals are you looking forward to?


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Heaven In Hood River?

by Kimberly A. Cook                               (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Last month I took off on a day adventure with my family to celebrate my birthday. One of those decade birthdays and I’m not telling which one. Now this trip came about because the two special places I wanted to go for lunch only served dinner. Drat it all. After trying other ideas, I asked myself what I really wanted to do; road trip to Hood River was the answer.

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Packer Orchard and Bakery pre-made pie fillings. Seriously, the easy button for pie bakers. 


Born and raised in Oregon, sometimes it’s easy to take our amazing state for granted. A quick trip up Interstate 84 and I feel miles from Portland. It’s a short trip unless it’s winter, then it can be a skating rink for semi trucks. Which is why Troutdale has a big truck stop for the gazillion truck drivers who need to sleepover when the Gorge highway closes to all rigs.

This summer day was perfect with fabulous sun, a great view of the Columbia River, waterfalls on our right and excellent company. Ever the operations officer/sergeant, my mission op was in place; first stop Packer Orchards and Bakery, at 3900 Highway 35, on the road up to Mt. Hood.


North View from the Packard Orchard and Bakery parking lot. They have picnic tables you can use in the orchard. The view is Mt. Adams in Washington state.   


This is the mother ship for big cookies and the fabulous cookie bar. In addition, there are pie fillings you can buy, jams and jellies and even pickled asparagus and white honey to name just a few treats. Since I’d bought a bargain tiara before the trip I’d decided to wear it only in the car, but upon a few glances from other patrons I realized it was still on my head. Every woman should wear a tiara into a fruit stand at least once in her life.

After loading up on jams and cookies, piled back into the car and headed for? Foothills Yarn & Fiber, 4207 Sylvester Drive, my favorite alpaca yarn store that comes complete with alpacas. The herd had been shorn for the summer and they were quite happy to bound toward us to get the feed we purchased from the former quarter candy machine.

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Sunny day, shorn alpaca, daisies. Be still my heart.


After playing with the alpaca kids and the greeter dog, bounced into the store and bought more yarn I don’t need for my collection. It was my birthday so I could buy yarn; it’s the law.

Next it was off to the Sixth Street Bistro and Loft, 509 Cascade Avenue, for my favorite salad of all time and a grilled cheese sandwich where cheese goes to die. The 6th street pear and walnut salad with maple vinaigrette is the closest I’ve come licking a dish in public, every time.


Local pears, sugar coated walnuts, dried cranberries, gorgonzola cheese, maple vinaigrette, sourdough bread, three cheeses; my life is complete.


Went for the gusto and finished off the meal with the chocolate mousse, which I hope is served in heaven or I’m not going. Amazing dessert. Almost licked the glass too.

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Local chocolate mousse!


All in all a wonderful day with family, food and laughs; life doesn’t get much better when you throw in sun and alpacas too.

I’ll let you in on a little secret about the Hood River area; it’s the setting for both fiction series I’m writing. More about them in the months to come.

Also explains why more Hood River road trips are necessary to eat and soak up the ambiance with a chocolate mousse chaser. I LOVE research!

Got a favorite summer place? Hit the road and explore!


P.S. Working on combining my web site and blog, moving domains and a web page redesign. If everything disappears it’s not my fault.  Heading off to get a dump truck load of Dove Dark Chocolate to make this happen in the coming weeks. Pray for me, send chocolate or tech help. Preferably all three…….


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House Alpaca Cody Shows Small Is Special Too

by Kimberly A. Cook                        (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

From bunnies to alpacas, how can you lose? Came across this darling story about Cody the Colorado house alpaca and wanted to share it. She even has a book out.

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!


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Ready For Any Sun Break?

by Kimberly A. Cook              (Twitter@    WarriorTales)

It’s March. It’s still raining. In buckets. There’ve been some limited reports of seeing sun breaks, but they are few, like leprechaun sightings. Gray is the current outside color. So besides buying bright spring color clothes I can’t wear due to the cold and wet, thought we might all like to be reminded of what the sun looks like.


Sun on Suttle Lake.


There is also a request from my gardenia bush. I moved it into the garage to protect it from the cold for about a month, then finally put it back outside. It’s requesting to go back in the garage; it’s accusing me of waterboarding. Not me, Mother Nature!


How cute is this sleeping baby alpaca in the sun? Cuddles!

So to give us all a perk up, here are a few favorite past photos which actually contain sun. Try to identify it!


Heading out on the road again to the thunderegg beds! Luckily I’d just put new tires on Subie. Gorgeous scenery.

Sun in Eastern Oregon above, outside of Madras. They are under a Winter Storm warning right now. Sigh.

And last but not least!


Sugar Beach, Maui, Hawaii. A vacation favorite.

Sun on my favorite beach in Maui. I checked and they have sun right now. With showers. But it’s 81 degrees! Let’s go to Maui. If only in our minds.

Might be time to start looking for some green beer. St. Patrick’s Day isn’t far away! Happy almost Spring?


Filed under Photography

Baby Alpacas, Socks And Pink Bears?

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

It seems I’ve developed a serious alpaca addiction. While on our girls road trip a couple of weekends ago we drove by a herd of alpacas we hadn’t seen before and I almost slammed on the brakes. This would have happened if we hadn’t had an appointment with some thundereggs and had traffic up my tailpipe.

How cute is this sleeping baby alpaca in the sun? Cuddles!

How cute is this sleeping baby alpaca in the sun? Cuddles!

I looked the ranch up online and found out they were open seven days a week and had the Alpaca Boutique so there was no stopping us from shopping.

On our way home we took a detour to make sure we had to drive by and stop at the Alpaca Boutique at the Crescent Moon Ranch Alpacas in Terrebonne, Oregon.

The babies close by the shop were enjoying a fabulous sunny Sunday afternoon doing what we all wish, dozing in the sun. Such cuties!

Seems they had around 600 alpacas, then downsized and moved the herd to this location with around 175 or so alpacas.

One of the reasons I had to come visit, besides all the alpacas, was a picture online of the fabulous sock wall. Now, I love my alpaca socks, but I’d never seen so many different alpaca socks in my life.

Alpaca sock wall of my dreams!

Alpaca sock wall of my dreams!

When I noticed the pink ones on their web site, you can bet I bagged two pair at the shop.

Not only were we met by one farm cat who was trying to get into the boutique, but upon entering we were greeted by Cash the wonderdog. Obviously his domain is inside since the cats had to stay outside. Some sort of détente arrangement I guess.

Outside farm cat trying to figure out how to break into the boutique.
Outside farm cat trying to break in.

The boutique has a wide selection of clothing from Peru, alpaca wool and socks plus even fabulous stuffed toys like the baby alpacas and the pink teddy bear. So soft and cuddly.

These little alpacas can fit in your apartment. Really.  No feed required.

These little alpacas can fit in your apartment. Really. No feed required.

There was also alpaca feed, so of course I had to buy some and feed my first alpacas. Soft noses, very polite manners and efficient food hoovering.

Feeding Elite his alpaca snacks. A true import from Peru, he is a major award winner and all around star at the ranch. He has excellent manners and a very soft nose.
Feeding Elite his alpaca snacks. A true import from Peru, he is a major award winner and all around star at the ranch. He has excellent manners and a very soft nose.

If you’re out by Bend, Oregon, don’t hesitate to stop at the Crescent Moon Ranch run by Debbie and Scott Miller.

Part of the Alpaca Boutique at the Crescent Moon Ranch in Terrebonne, Oregon
Part of the Alpaca Boutique at the Crescent Moon Ranch in Terrebonne, Oregon

They also have an online store to shop.


Now all I have to do is convince Gate Girl to get an alpaca to keep me in yarn. Cross your fingers!

Got alpacas?

Seriously, doesn't everyone need a pink alpaca teddy bear?

Seriously, doesn’t everyone need a pink alpaca teddy bear?


Filed under Travel

On September, Pears And Alpacas

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

On this first day of September it’s fun to look forward to the fruits of Fall. That’s what I do to distract myself from the coming shorter days when the sun retreats to Bermuda and we get longer nights and shorter light. That rhymes!

Alpacas, sun and a pasture with a view. What more could you ask for?

Alpacas, sun and a pasture with a view. What more could you ask for?

Part of this ritual included escaping the storm we had over the weekend and venturing off to Hood River last Sunday. The promise of sun peeking out after the wind and rain squalls had us driving out-of-town up the Columbia River Gorge, one of my favorite spots in Oregon.

First was lunch at the Sixth Avenue Bistro for the famous Walnut and Pear Salad; which I have threatened to lick the plate to get all the maple vinaigrette. Then on to Packer Orchards and Bakery to the Cookie Bar and picking up some pears and jams and a cookie, of course.

Then the highlight, baby alpacas and yarn at Foothills Yarn & Fiber! Since getting to the alpacas is quite easy with a right turn right after the Cookie Bar, it’s the perfect expedition. The baby alpacas were four to six weeks old and had already been shorn of their coats.

We watched the babies lie in the sun, chase squirrels and chew grass.

Summertime and the liv'in is easy. I'm sure this little guy is singing that song in the sun.
Summertime and the liv’in is easy. I’m sure this little guy is singing that song in the sun.

A fabulous outing! A thorough recon of the yarn shop turned up two skeins of alpaca yarn I had to have, plus a backup pair of my favorite cold weather alpaca boot socks. I use them as slippers. Toasty toes this winter.

Pear a palooza! Are these ripe and ready or what?

Pear a palooza! Are these ripe and ready or what?

On the trek back down to Highway 35 I stopped to take some quick photos of the laden pear trees ready to drop their beautiful bounty.

September is pear month and harvest time in Hood River, so we might have to come back. There are some new hard ciders I need to try to support the local economy. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I’m telling you, this harvest season shopping is a great way to enjoy Fall! It might become my new fav season yet. Fresh pears anyone?

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