Alpacas. Are. Adorable. I recently had the opportunity to visit our neighbor, Pronking Acres Alpaca Farm. First of all, YES! We have an Alpaca Farm right down the road from us--how fun is that??? And second of all: YES! We have some gorgeous Alpaca products including socks, Nesting Balls (more about that later) hats, mittens, gloves, Infinity Scarves (yes--we are that fashionable here), bags, and some pretty sweet hats. Some of the items we carry are hand-made by Penelope Brooks, founder, owner and operator of Pronking Acres. They are outrageously expensive and worth every dang penny as you will see when you come in to admire them. They are sooo soft, and impeccably hand-knit. You will LOVE them, you will see the price and sit with it a bit, and then you will splurge because they are just one of those things you will really love. We also have some very affordably priced stuff that is made by a co-operative that Penelope is a part of--family farms sell their fiber to the cooperative--the cooperative combines the family farm fiber and makes things out of it--and then the farmers can buy the products that are made from the cooperative. Pretty cool. Also pretty cool is Penelope's story. Penelope had a high-powered job in Washington DC (OK, I made up the high powered part, I really have no idea--she worked in Washington for the Government in IT and Security, I think, so in my book, I call that high powered...I mean, have you ever worked for the government?). When her husband retired, she decided to seek a different path from the 9-5. She kind of liked Alpacas, so with no background in farming or alpacas, she decided to start an Alpaca farm. She researched great places to live (and raise Alpacas), found Richland, MI (well...I think technically, she's in Augusta), bought a property, started learning about Alpacas, and two years later, she is on the Alpaca Farming Board of Michigan (something like that...) and she really knows her friggin Alpacas. It is pretty amazing what she knows about Alpacas--you really would think she has been doing this all her life. I love someone who is brave enough to take a leap and get something DONE, and I am really inspired by her story, and I must say, Alpacas are the cutest animals on the face of the earth, besides dogs. And (I will add for my niece who has recently gotten a new pet), rats (sorry, Alpacas...I know, I know). If you have a chance to visit Pronking Acres, I highly recommend it. Penelope will be inviting the public to visit for the annual Shearing of the Alpacas (they only get sheared once a year--so anything you buy that is made with Alpaca fiber: it took a year to grow that beautiful, soft, warm and water-resistant yarn!), which will be happening in May--I will confirm the date and let you know. OK, last but not least, what on earth is a Nesting Ball? Have you heard of them? I am in love with this idea: it's a ball made of grape vines, and filled with Alpaca fleece. They are gorgeous, you hang them up outside, and then the birds use them to build nests!!! How beautiful and wonderful and nurturing is that??? I will let you know when we get them in, they will be arriving any day and I can't wait to buy one!!!