The members of the Home Culture Club met on September 21 at the Felt home of Deanna Francis. Her home was gaily decorated with fall accents.
Deanna had the lesson on alpacas. Deanna related she had become interested in alpacas when she had taken a trip to Colorado with her mother, daughter, and granddaughters earlier in the summer. A woman from Laveta , CO had brought some of her alpacas to show local campers. Alpacas are domesticated, camel-like animals that originated in Peru where they have been raised for thousands of years for the fiber of their coats and their meat. They were also exported to Europe as well as later to the United States , mainly for the fiber of their coats in making blankets, ponchos, etc. Alpacas are sheered like sheep, and their fiber is combed, spun, and woven like wool fibers. There are two kinds of alpaca fibers: one is dense and kinky, used primarily by those who spin the fiber, and one is silky. The fibers have no lanolin and are hypoallergenic.
The alpaca is classified as an ungulate, which has toes, not hooves. It has a long neck, is taller than a sheep, and grazes. The coat of an alpaca can be one of twenty-two natural colors with white being the pre-dominant color. Black and gray seem to be the preferred colors in the U.S.
The alpaca, which is a social animal, can be crossbred with camels and makes a gentle pet. It is intelligent and cautious. It does not like to be touched on its legs. It can project regurgitated stomach material when threatened and also can kick, although its soft foot pads produce little injury. It makes a sound like mmm that varies in frequency according to its moods. An alpaca's gestation time is eleven to eleven and a half months. It has been reported that an alpaca can live 29 years.
Club members gave committee reports. Faye Smith, fine arts, told of Guymon's community theater production of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”, which was to run the coming weekend. Carolyn Shryock, education, shared that astronomers had ruled there are only eight planets now in our solar system since Pluto has been downgraded. It has also been found that Saturn's moon has lakes - not of water, however. She also shared that the space shuttles were to be retired within four years. Wanda Powell, community improvement, shared it would be nice to have new street signs; however, they were reported to cost $1000 per sign to have the city put them up. The club briefly discussed where the city was in getting dumpsters painted. Wanda also brought up the new Centennial Song, with words by Jimmy Webb and music by Vince Gill. Faye Pitzer, conservation, gave each club member a copy of a handout by the Extension Service detailing broadleaf weed control for home lawns. Deanna, home life, reported she had just returned from a wonderful trip to Branson. Elizabeth Hinderliter, public and international affairs, talked about Walmart now selling generic prescriptions for $4 each with pilot projects going on in Florida. She shared that Walmart is also doing away with their layaway service.
There was no old business. New business included payment of dues at the next meeting. Also brought up was the need for bowling scorekeepers at the Special Olympic bowling matches on October 5. For further information, members were directed to Ginger Odell.
Roll call on naming a woolbearing animal was answered by Faye Pitzer, Faye Smith, Mildred Cox, Elizabeth Hinderliter, Linda Gray, Dorothy Sechler, Wanda Powell, Susie Odell, Carolyn Shryock, and Nancy Roberts. Delicious refreshments were fresh veggies with dip and cheese and crackers. The next meeting will be on October 5 at the home of Faye Smith and will include a presentation from Rotarian Paul Harris.
Boise City News