Each day bring more wonders, more laughter and more surprises...


Trish and Neil recently acquired these two pink cockatoos, a mating pair, from a elderly couple who's health is failing. This pair is living in a chained link cage on the grounds with lots of space and plenty of food.  To get this photo, I placed the new camera, touching the closely woven chain link cage.  Our old camera would never have been able to capture this photo through the wire.  More photos of these gorgeous birds will follow on sunnier days.
In an attempt not to think too far ahead, I've avoided checking how much time until we leave New Zealand.  Why do we ever count the days?  Often, we have necessary steps in the process of moving to a new location that require advance planning.

Also, when we're in a location which we won't be disappointed to leave, counting down the days seems to make the transition and remaining time easier.  Its never that we want LIFE itself to move along more quickly. 

We treasure each day in its content and length, both arising early and staying up until sleepiness overtakes us; me, always before Tom.  We never lie down or nap during the days, never wanting to miss a moment.

The alpacas sleep in this tree lined area of the paddock at night.  We took this photo very early this morning. As the day warms, they move close to our house, where we can observe them all day.
Living in this glorious location, the alpaca farm in the Taranaki Region of New Zealand, leaves me a feeling a little sad over the prospect of its eventual end. 
In an attempt to stay in touch with reality, today for the first time since our arrival, I checked this "date to date" calculator to see how much time we actually have left here, although we both had a good idea in our minds.

When the calculator indicated only 41 days until we depart on April 15th, my heart sank.  Only 41 days left on this farm.  It will be hard to leave. Plus, from what little we've seen of New Zealand, this amazing country has wrapped its arms around us making us feeling welcomed and included.

Sorry, readers.  We haven't traveled much to share endless scenery and tourist attractions.  In essence, we're all chasing joy however it may come our way.  We've found it right here.  And, if staying close to New Plymouth has given us joy, we don't question it for a moment.

From time to time a family member mentions, perhaps even criticizes that we don't travel about enough.  Maybe that's what "they" would do in our circumstances.  

Yesterday, we walked down the road to visit the cows at the adjacent farm.  This mating pair were "necking."
With our goals of "living" throughout the world, we find ourselves living exactly as we'd like, as the locals, in their environment and in their world of simple pleasures surrounded by the treasures they appreciate each and every day.

The difference for us is that eventually we have to leave behind that which we've come to embrace, the beauty of this simple life with few responsibilities other than life's daily maintenance of a healthy existence and a warm and loving environment with one another, with our surroundings and with nature. 

Its a simple prescription for happiness by our standards, one we don't question, one we find works for us.  Even Trish and Neil who have the daily responsibility of managing this 35 acre farm and over 100 alpacas who require daily tasks and attention in order to maintain their good health and well being, are fulfilled and happy in their lives.

Another cria born in the "pregnant moms" paddock.  We missed the birth of this one!  The mom and cria were located in the far rear of this paddock.  With out old camera, I wouldn't have been able to get this distant shot.
With outside jobs and coming home nightly to many tasks, they never complain and seem to relish in every aspect of this monumental responsibility.  The easily dismiss the amount of work to choose happiness instead, to embrace the quality of life they've chosen with grace and dignity.

Many throughout the world talk of feeling "overwhelmed" a word we frequently hear as common in the harried lives of those in the US and other countries.  In our old lives while we were working, at times, we felt as if it was "too much," too much stuff, too much responsibility, too much obligation.

We sent this photo to Trish indicating something they'd never seen, two cria nursing from one mom simultaneously, which may determine why the smaller of the two isn't thriving as it should.  Today, she thanked us for keeping an eye out to bring such an anomaly to their attention which may result in separating the mom and baby from the others.
Now, we are free of those feelings, never feeling overwhelmed.  Well, maybe once...when we first arrived and the newly born cria, Mont Blanc, had escaped the confines of the fence and couldn't get back to his mother while both cried loudly.  We didn't know what to do. Now, we'd pick him up and place him on the other side with his mother. 

Life is good.  No complaining here.
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Photo from one year ago today, March 5, 2015:


Our old camera took good photos in Kauai one year ago.  We think it was the high humidity after four months in Fiji that finally caused the issue.  For more photos, please click here.

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