Wednesday, January 28, 2009

January Fun

Well it always seems I wait too long to blog and then I have too much to say so I'd better get this blog out now, before more stuff happens!

We had a busy month in January. After Mike and I spent Christmas week in Albuquerque visiting my girls, my parents, Mike's son and various friends (Oh yeah, Mike got a few chores done at my Mom's house too), we had two very nice trips in January. So much for staying home and enjoying the ranch!! But actually both trips were VERY fun and the bottom line is we were together!

First trip was to Las Vegas for 4 days for the Alpacas of America auction. AOA is the largest ranch in the country (1000+ alpacas), and they host an auction each year to sell 80 or so female alpacas. We went last year, and had so much fun that we decided before we got home that we would go again this year. It's a great cheap vacation since they pay for your rooms and much of your food, and we can fly Southwest. This year most of our buddies from Wyoming joined us there, so it was like old home week. So great to see our friends, Great to preview and discuss the animals, and great educational seminars as well. We also unexpectedly got quite an education on auctions when we figured out the floor guys signals to each other, and were surprised that lots of alpacas did not sell even if they made you think they did. Not suprising in this economy, suprising that they felt they needed to be dis-honest about it. The good news is that Alpacas of America were not going to sell too low, indicating their faith in the alpaca industry to sustain itself through the recession.

The Wydaho (Wyoming & Idaho) Gang - together again

4 Days in Vegas and LaNae is the only one of us who won cash-- 8 dollars off the rest of us in the pool we had going.

As a bonus some ex-Boise neighbors moved to Las Vegas last summer so we spent a day and an evening with them, just chatting and catching up, and they took us out to Hoover Dam to see the new highway bridge being built there, an engineering marvel to be sure.

This picture cracks me up... but because of the sun none (apparent here) none of the bridge photos turned out too good. See the official website ( for better photos and more information.

The other vacation we had this month was this past weekend when we joined my sister Monica and her husband David at their business partner's (Ginger's) condo in Winter Park. We got up there Friday evening just as the snow was beginning to seriously inpact the driving, and it snowed like crazy all night Friday and all day and night Saturday. Saturday we headed out for some shopping, but didn't venture far and ended up staying close to home and played some games, read, relaxed in our winter wonderland! There were supposed to be some festivities going on in town that day, but they were so disorganized that it was a bust! We did see a very short parade in the evening and had a good prime rib dinner though.. No complaints here.

We plannind to ski Sunday but only if the weather looked enjoyable. At $92/day we wanted to be comfortable... even if we did have a half price coupon. So when we got up Sunday it was sunny and nice and we headed for the slopes. The snow could not have been better!! We skied until about 1:30 when the storm had returned, and we decided we'd had enough and headed for home. For more detail on the trip you can see more photos and read Monica's blog at

Also January in Colorado means the National Western Stock Show. This is the first year they have had an alpaca show associated to the stock show and the local organization (Alpaca Breeders of the Rockies - or ABR) was all buzzed up about that! ABR has had an educational booth for the past few years and since last year has had a product sales booth. We volunteered to man the booths one day, and when they were short of volunteers we ended up volunteering for two other days. So three days driving up to Denver and helping out for a few hours and a 3 hour drive back, about rounded out the month. While at the stock show we saw and got interested in Yaks, but that is a story for another day ;-)

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Happy New Year to everyone! I for one an very optimistic about the change of the year. 2008 was not one of our better years, personally, professionally, financially, for our family nor for our country. But I'm drawing a line in the sand and 2009 is going to be great! I've decided! Even if I cannot do anything about the economy, or direction our country is heading, I plan to manage the things I do control in a proactive manner to insure improvement of my little world in 2009.

With that in mind, lots of you have asked for more information on how our nutritional/health goals have been progressing and I think that is the perfect topic for this blog. Mike is a reformed man. When I last blogged about it he had just finished his detox and I was just starting mine. When we started on this path, the practitioner that has been guiding our process did extensive blood work on each of us. We both then did a 21 day detox, that included severely limited diet, and supplements to encourage the organs to release toxins, as well as supplements to address problems our blood work indicated.

Mike had a lot of physical problems that caused noticeable side effects. These side effects were in fact the motivation for finding the chiropractor. His blood work showed some issues, but indicated no arthritis, which we had thought he was suffering from. He found immediate relief in his joint pains with the supplements and although the first week of detox made him feel sick (nauseous like he had the flu) after a week he was feeling great and by now he is feeling better than he has for years. My blood work showed quite a lot more problems than Mike had, but mine had no side effects and therefore I felt fine. Through the detox I continued to feel fine, and still feel fine! My follow up blood work showed dramatic improvements on all of my issues, my blood pressure is down, my iron is back in line, my thyroid is better, my adrenal glands are working better. So although I don't feel any better and it's harder to stay motivated, I know it is a good process we've gone through and we need to keep it up.

After the detox we added back one food a week until we were back to eating normally. Mike discovered allergies to Milk, Ice Cream, Nitrates (found in grocery store pork and other cured meats) and peanut butter. We are both trying to eat organically and avoiding processed foods as much as practical. I have given up all sodas and all artificial sweeteners, and both of us are way down on our refined sugars. Because of doing this Mike has found his headaches to be controllable. He has had a headache once a week or so for his entire life, and now only has them when he eats something on his allergy list.. talk about motivation to eat right. He feels like a new guy! I'm continuing to exercise daily and now that the holidays are over going to try to focus a more on getting off the last of the weight I want to loose.

Overall we are extremely pleased with our progress and we are hungrily researching to be healthier on our own. We are investigating red light therapy, tapping techniques (EFT), and trying our hand at muscle testing. It's all fascinating stuff and we feel that there is value in these holistic approaches that our society has lost in the name of modern medicine. We are reading labels and shopping in the natural grocers. Wow, bizarre!

So, our new year's resolutions?? Boy, so much has changed in 2008 for us. My resolution is to maintain this path and not backtrack on our progress to being the best people we can be! This path we are on is very exciting to both of us. Hope you have something in 2009 to add inspiration to your lives.