TORNADOES IN GRASS VALLEY??! WHODA THUNK?! And how NOT to chase a llama.

Well, modern conveniences have been compromised around the ranch today…

Electricity.  Heat.  Internet.  Hot water.  Water.  Refrigeration.  Showers…

Yup.  Mother Winter has finally approached, but she came this year at an odd angle.

You see, we had 90 degree weather two days ago – and today we are somewhere in the 50s.

On top of that, she sent punishing rain, hail, wind and a… wait for it… a few TORNADOS here in Grass Valley.


We’ve never, ever had a tornado in Grass Valley.

Hubby told me not to worry because we have too many hills around us.  However, I was trying to figure out how to dig a storm cellar that would fit us all, 12 horses plus Princess llamallamallama – to no avail.

Anyway, part of my plan was to put PrincessLlamaLlamaLlama in the barn.

I had no photos of our llama excursion so I’m showing you pics of the puppies in Uncle Shiva’s camping gear. Atticus has on a raincoat and Scout is wearing Shiva’s parka. (They have a very light haircoat and they were shivering when they went outside…)


OMG.  I hate to laugh but today our quest to get PLLL to the barn was h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s!

Don’t tell Hubby that I’m telling you this…  ;)

You see, with a tornado warning,  I wanted to put PLLL in the barn… Not that the barn would have saved her.  Heck, I remember how Toto was swirling around with the barn and the Grandma in the rocking chair!  Nothing is safe in a Tornado.

But, somehow, having her in the barn would have made me feel better.

So, that was what I was going to do.

PLLL didn’t care.  She was fine.  Yes, her fiber was wet, but her underbelly was dry. She had lots of trees to shelter her up there.

But I wanted her in the warm, dry barn.

Sounds nice, right?

Except… I had let my haltering lessons fall a bit behind.  PLLL wasn’t really ready to just put her nose into the halter when the winds were at gale force and we were being pummeled by hail.

Hmmmm.  Not surprising, actually.  I didn’t blame her.

But, I needed her to come with me.

So, I had the bright idea (not) to have her simply follow me to the barn behind my happily shaking grain can.

Heck, it works for horses.

So, guess what I did….  Oy.

Scout and Atticus walking to the barn on the very blustery day!


Yup.  I opened the gate and believed that PLLL would follow me amid the rattling tree branches, flapping leaves and screeching birds to an unknown building which was surrounded by blowing horses.

Well, she didn’t.

She kinda ran around in a fright, me trying to keep in front of her, all the while shaking the stoopid can.

PLLL was on sensory overload.  She had never been beyond her paddock since the day she arrived in the van.  The poor thing was excited and totally freaked at the same time – Partly wanting to explore and partly frightening herself.  She’d find leaves she wanted to eat but then those leaves were flapping near horses she hadn’t met who started to blow and slippy slide in the new mud – which made PLLL erupt in Llamaexplosions that I thought were rather graceful in their awkwardness…

As an aside, part of me knew this would never work.  Part of me was watching all of this unfold and tsktsking myself for being so blockheaded while another part of me was amused by it all.

Anyway, I couldn’t get her to follow me and we were both becoming frustrated.  I was drenched.

So, I called Hubby out to help corral her.

Another Bad idea.

(I wish I had my camera… and so will you.)

Of course, he came out in his slippers and pajama pants.

“How hard can this be?”, he asked.  “It is just a llama.”

–Uh oh.  Now you’ve done it.  You’ve jinxed us.


Eating dinner in the warm stall.


At that point, PLLL burst past Hubby at a full run (like I had never seen before) – straight for Bodhi’s pasture on the other side of the ranch.

She made it there and stood rock solid.

Well, we couldn’t have her in that pasture with Bodhi because it had no shelter for her.

So, Hubby stood behind her, waving his arms.

She looked at him and didn’t budge.

Hubby was upset that she wouldn’t move as he waved his arms.

The nerve!

In frustration, he started jumping and running at her.

She stood there until the last moment and then she ducked left and RAN.

Hubby was surprised, he lost his footing and he and his pajama pants and slippers took an unexpected slipslide sail down a muddy slope on his keester – arms flailing.

I went from tears to giggle spasms.  OMG.  Thank goodness he couldn’t see my face from that distance.

PLLL ran up to her paddock and circled.  She was trying to tag home.  Safe!

Breathless and not wanting to admit defeat, Hubby ran full force up to PLL.  I followed, supporting my man.

I opened the gate to her favorite part of the paddock and she followed me in.

Hubby, covered in mud, closed the gate behind her.

Aha!  We had won!

Sort of.

She was exactly back where we started.

So be it.

No Llama in the barn.

I guess if the llama is fine, don’t mess with her…

(See, I told you you’d wish I had had my camera!)


Happy puppies, led by Uncle Shiva, meander to the barn, chatting about how silly the two-leggers were with that huge llama!…



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Only one comment so far...

  1. Kellie

    I was shocked to hear about the tornado warnings myself! Having grown up in Placerville, and having been in Grass Valley the last 5+ years, I have never heard of a tornado that high in the foothills. Too many trees and hills. But the hail accumulation on the roads made for a slippery drive home last night.

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