Sheepshearing Festival

You know it’s going to be a good day when you go to a sheepshearing festival (in Waltham, Mass.), and the first animal you see is a goat. Huh? Later, in a pen with a bunch of sheep who were either waiting their turn to be sheared, or who had already gotten the treatment was a very large ram, with horns that curled around 2 1/2 times. A bystander said, “Look, that sheep has horns!” Someone near her said, “Yes, it’s a ram.” She said, “So, it’s not a sheep?” I get it: we’re not all country folk. It was still funny, though!


We started with a lace-making demonstration.



Followed by a sheep herding demonstration.



Then we got to the main event. Old-fashioned (non-electronic) shearing.

Mateo vs. the Chucha

There’s a little dog at the villa where we’re staying in Cali. He belongs to the caretakers, and his name’s Mateo. Mateo likes to sit around a lot and he sleeps much of the day. There’s a larger dog named Lucas who has similar interests (but more questionable ownership). They will occasionally drink out of the pool.

Monday evening, as people were wandering off to bed, I heard from outside the unmistakable sound of a dog in pain. My first reflex was to run out and help, but then I realized I had no idea what was happening, and whether I’d be safe, so I decided against leaving the villa. The next morning, we noticed that Mateo had an obvious injury on his forehead, so we asked Adrianna, the caretaker, what had happened to him. She said he had been bitten by a chucha. Please do not Google chucha, unless you enjoy looking at pornography. If that is the case, then by all means, help yourself, as soon as you’re done commenting nicely on this post.

I wanted to include a link to information about the chucha, but all the sites I’ve found are in Spanish, so they won’t do anyone any good, particularly me. The chucha is a nocturnal marsupial that likes to attack unsuspecting dogs, people, and whatever else crosses its path. Our professor has been coming here for four years (since Mateo was a wee pup), and has been warned against leaving doors and windows open, or going outside at night. She thought the chucha was a chupacabra-like myth, until poor little Mateo. The good news is, the wound isn’t infected, and Mateo is regaining some of his vigor (though he hates taking his medication).


This picture is not of the chucha that attacked Mateo – it is an image I stole from the internet (thanks, internet!) of a chucha that was seen somewhere else, at a different time. On the right is sad Mateo, with his head wound, the morning after. I apologize if the photo is too graphic. I tried to be good!

St. Patrick’s Day in Southie

Hubby and I spent several hours in South Boston today, waiting for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. We were near the end of the route, and 90 minutes after the parade should have started, nothing had happened. We enjoyed the people watching, but we decided to get out of the cold and head home, since there was no indication of when the parade might reach us. So, I’ve got pictures of some of the faces to share, but none of the parade that wasn’t.


Larry Bird made a surprise appearance.


Mohawk and a jack-in-the-box leprechaun hat.


This cutie got my vote for best-dressed.


A close-up.


The dog does not appear to be amused by his person’s clothing choices.