The Alpaca “Shag.” #RDP

In what is sounding like a peaceful, ambient track in my head, I’m remembering my day in upstate New York at the Lazy Acres alpaca farm. The tour is one hour and starts with loads of facts about the raising of these lovely animals as well as a tour of the shearing areas and barns on the property. One such fact is the shearing of the alpacas once a year, to control their wooly shag, as it is much warmer in this climate than the climate of their ancestry.

Set in a green, hilly area of upstate New York, Lazy Acres alpaca farm is lovely, and the animals are quite peaceful. We explored the farm on a beautiful, 75 degree day that felt like Spring to me (a resident from Northern Florida). I’d been visiting an old friend that used to work with me in Rochester, and found out my cousin was in the area. So, we arranged to meet her at the alpaca farm as well as her son, his wife, and their family.

A muddy walkway covered by wooden planks led to green pastures. It had rained profusely the day before. However, the sun shone brightly on us, and the visit was worth the muddy shoes. Our tour guide, a young college girl, told us that alpaca are not as agressive as lamas or camels. I found this to be true. While feeding them, I felt the alpaca’s teeth graze my hand, but not even in a nibble; it was just accidental as their lower teeth are in an underbite.

Baby alpaca!

The children on the tour (I think you’d call them my third cousins) were quite engaged and interested. We grown-ups were charmed as well. The animals let us pet them as well as feed them. When the food ran out, they did, of course, lose interest. Not surprising, right? 🙂

I highly recommend such a tour for anyone who needs a brief escape from the worries of their life or just an escape from the rat race. Children who love animals will find it quite engaging as well! One of the alpacas had MIA on her tag, so I started calling her Mia. I assumed this alpaca was female, it answered to Mia anyway, and I could pet her after my food was gone. Though, maybe it was because my friend had some food left….

It makes me wonder what it would be like to only be concerned with only the most basic of needs: eating, digestion, shelter, family. The cares of the outside world, the ‘rat-race,’ cannot penetrate their peaceful exterior. My favorite alpaca, Mia, was actually quite a ham 🙂

Unbothered. 🙂

This was a perfect day!

*The Ragtag Daily prompt is given daily. You can find their site and today’s prompt at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/07/22/ragtag-daily-prompt-thursday-shag/

The alpacas were my first thought when I saw today’s word prompt: shag. 🙂

Morning Bliss. #poetry

Photo by WARREN BLAKE on Pexels.com

Poem by Pamela Schloesser Canepa, (c) 2021

~~~

The dog comes back in, pep in his step

dirt stuck to his back, paws gray.

I laugh at his small blissful rebellion

As he will be bathed today.

I hope he got the best from that moment!

~~~~~

The sun peaks in gently, not fierce

Where I’ve left the door open a crack…

I hear the birds as I breathe in the fresh air;

and though soon, oppressive summer will be back,

Today, it is still Spring.

~

Sun salutation!

Slow Down and Grow!

You may be thankful

For your large family,

Your time to eat and shop and watch football

You may move so quickly through the holiday that you stomp over me

But I have roots throughout this yard.

Some stop to smell the roses

Some crouch and marvel at the mushroom in a peaceful, silent moment

Gazing on its existence as a tiny, respectful, stubborn act of glorious, harmless rebellion–

It cannot be boxed in.

Be amazed that such a tiny thing exists, for whatever purpose it serves

Let it serve its purpose and grow wild…popping up where it wishes,

I cannot be boxed in.

Beach Meditation

No words to scream today,

But I am writing again, I have thoughts

As I meditate with each step, each noticing is my prayer of thanks:

For soreness in my legs, for water that reaches for my toes, for foamy surf that comes and goes

For soft sand caressing each step of my feet

A low radio playing a happy beat

For waves that invite and dare, crashing down every which way

And the slight trickle of sweat down my back as I turn when it’s time to walk away.

Weekend Coffee Share, Greetings from My Little Corner

 

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Morning, Day 14 of Social Distance Haiku by Pamela Schloesser Canepa, (c)2020

Morning birds sing out

Mankind has taken a pause

Breathing and waiting.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.

It’s a beautiful morning, and it’s poetry month, so I thought I’d share a haiku reflecting some thoughts on nature (and mankind’s place in it).  I took a nice walk twice around the block in 83 degree weather this morning, sun shining and nature in all of its glory.  There were a good number of people out, most on their own.  A man with his child in a stroller waved at me.  A boy on a bike was riding me way but then turned around in a circle.  Good move, I thought.  Socially distance yourself.  A woman was walking my way, talking on the phone.  She seemed oblivious to me.  So I moved to the sidewalk on the other side of the road.   Still, it was nice to be out in this wonderful day.

I feel a little cut off from this community, since I have been trying to get a grip on the online teaching requirements and methods our county is using.  Still, I have to tell you, it has been overall positive for me! The students are so polite online, and I’ve received several e-mails from parents expressing appreciation.  I wrote a post on Medium here, this is a link which does not require membership:

A Day in the Life: Teaching in the Coronavirus Era 

I am learning a whole lot from this experience, and while we owe the doctors and nurses of our world a debt of gratitude, I am pleased to feel as if I have a purpose in this whole situation.  It is good for my mind.  I am also trying to exercise regularly; I take yoga or pilates online a few times a week. The outdoor walks are also helpful, providing my Vitamin D and a feeling of well-being.  Hearing the news does not help.  I only turn on Netflix and try not to look at any news reports more than once a day.  The stress and anxiety do not help me sleep, you know.  I started The Witcher earlier as I love to watch Henry Cavill, and my son and I sometimes watch Money Heist together, though he is way ahead of me!

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, and I will be viewing my church service online.  Maybe I will wear a dress, just to get a sense of normalcy.  When I have to go to the store this week, I will wear a mask and gloves.  The mask was bought for me last year when the flu virus seemed bad; I work in a germ factory being a middle school teacher, but there has not ever been a germ like this.

My manuscript, Malachi, should be ready for release in 2-3 weeks.  My formatter got it formatted, and I need to check those files and get the paperback cover done.  It’s happening!!! I am excited.  We all need something to read right now.  Please stay tuned….

MalachiFacebookPostWIPSpring is here!

Malachi is a college drop-out who just lucked out and fell into an unusual job, once that promises excitement, a good rate of pay, and the chance to put his acting skills to work.  Will Malachi do anything for a dollar?

I am still sort of working on the description and bi-lines for this book.  Malachi is sneaky, a great actor, and really good at lying.  He also needs a good meal.  The book is somewhat of a young adult/new adult book, appropriate for those 16 and up.  Malachi gets a chance to find out who he really is.

I hope you all have a great weekend with family or loved ones, practicing your social distancing and staying away and safe from coronavirus.

 

 

Sky meets ground. #poetry

Photo via Pixabay

“Sky Meets Ground, ” (c) 2019 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

I am here

With my fingers in the dirt

That feels so cool and smells like earth.

I open my mouth and taste the dew like manna from heaven.

No one shows up ’til later, baking on a new tan,

But I’d rather hang out with my one and only friend.

The dew descended from the clouds for a party, until the sun says it’s his turn,

Uses its power to burn the moisture up,

Chases it back to the sky.

Now it’s just myself and I,

No one understands.

I will leave before the hour is at hand with all those strangers who feel cool because they look like each other

Because they act like each other, and they don’t need to know I was here.

Still, I return for what I can’t see

Another weirdo in the haze of a.m., feeling outside of them, just like me.

Thank you for reading! View other responses to today’s word prompt here: Ragtag Daily Prompt

Wrapped up in Silence. #Flashfiction #FFfAW

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Akshata Ram.

Mitzy’s over-active imagination was in hyper-drive.  What would happen if she had to scream for help out here?

Would it be amplified, carried to the closest town?  Or would it be absorbed by the snowy tree-tops?  Would it perhaps cause an avalanche?

Mindy had other thoughts.  “It’s so peaceful out here.  Quiet for a playground!  I hope Mom and Dad don’t find out we went so far.”

“It’s too quiet,” Mitzy announced.  She kicked the mound of snow that Mindy had just formed.  Quiet wrapped around them like a false comfort.

“Don’t ruin it all,” Mindy scorned.

Mitzy opened her mouth and let out a piercing scream.  A bird fluttered from a tree.  No other response was made, but Mindy reacted in kind.

“Stop it, stop it!  There’s something wrong with you!”

Quietly, Mitzy answered.  “It was just an experiment.  See, it’s over.  Now I know what would happen.”

*A 149 word story.  A weekly photo prompt is provided at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers and bloggers are challenged to response with a brief, flash-fiction story.  It’s a lot of fun seeing how drastically different some of the responses can be.  The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Thanks for stopping by and reading my flash piece!

 

Vacation Wind-down. #poetry

Sunset at Middletown, Easton Beach, R.I.

A haiku

A sunset completes the circle,

Dusk til dawn, beginning to end.

All so the journey can start again.

(c) Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2018

In and Out of Sync. #FFfAW #FlashFiction

Photo credit @wildverbs

Jody would not take his young eyes off of the sky.  Birds were flying in perfect sync.

“Birds are very intelligent,” Jody said, squinting.  He was quite a prodigy himself.  “I don’t know how they learn to fly so perfectly in sync with each other.”

“Amazing, huh?”  I chuckled.

Just then, one of them squawked.  Severals others called back.  “They’re talking to each other,” Jody cried excitedly.

Speechless, I stared at the sky.

“He said there’s a fire.  The leader, he said….”

From the east there appeared a dark column of smoke.  Did Jody actually see that before me, or was he right about these darn birds?

“We have to go back, Jody.  The birds will be alright.”

“I know,” he replied with his head down, turning with me to head home.

~131 words

Visit Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers for more responses and to view the rules for the weekly writing challenge!

Taking in Nature’s Beauty. #writephoto

Photo credit, Sue Vincent.

“Taking in Nature’s Beauty,”  a short story.

(c) 2018 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

“You have the words to describe it; I struggle with this.  It’s beautiful, though.”  Matt sounded unsure of himself and felt like a heel, remembering she couldn’t describe what she couldn’t see.  Or could she?

They sat on a log, and Pauline felt the breeze change.  Yes, they were in the presence of great beauty.  Only, Pauline could not see it.  Matt didn’t know how to describe it.  She fought against frustration at him, confident she could coax the words out of him.  Asking questions usually got her some clear answers.

“There are mountains,”  Matt began.

“How many Matt?  Two?”

“No, More.”  A man of few words, he was more at home in the world of numbers.

“Are they connected?”

“Yes.  Some of them could be as one, but with more behind them.  The two in fronted are separate, almost as if to let you see the ones beyond them.”

Pauline was forming a picture in her head.  “Is the sun shining at all?”

“Yes, there are a few rays of light, but clouds, too.”

“The sun only shines through in one spot?”

“Oh, no, there are several patches in the clouds letting in light, though they are thick and gray to one side.  It’s lovely.”

“Yes, I felt the clouds, the coolness, coming on.”

“There is a stream, and some trees,” Matt went on.

“What sort of stream?”  she asked.

“Um, just, a stream, no, a lake.”  Matt stopped there.

“Yes, it’s sounds quite lovely.  It feels so lovely,” Pauline mused.  In her head was the most wonderful picture of the scene that she sensed with her being.  It was void of color, for she had never seen color and only imagined it as variations of shading, as on a person’s skin, for she’d had such things described.  Color, to her, was an emotion, such as being on a rollercoaster, tasting a spicy food, or getting a cut on her foot as she had that one time.  It was all so frustrating to her as a child, but she developed an imagination that would fill in the gaps.  When people described beauty, she imagined how it would look, and it pleased her.

“Anything else, Matt?”

“Oh, I don’t know.  It just feels good being here.”  He grabbed her hand.

“Yes, it does.”  She held his hand tighter, needing no more explanation.  They’d gone way ahead of the other members in their group and had a few minutes to sit still and enjoy the scenery, each in their own way.  A hawk flew over, and his call resounded through the valley, carrying another breeze toward them.

~The end~

The #writephoto challenge is a weekly writing challenge based on a new photograph presented at https://scvincent.com and you may visit this week’s challenge at Write Photo Thursday Prompt

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