Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Holidays 2010

With the holidays in Full Bloom we are happy to be down to 39 alpacas.  Suddenly chores are done in no time at all and it almost seems a shame to call them "chores"  they should be "delights"  ;-)  Of course "I" can say that, because I am not the one to do them regularly.  Mike does have that burden, and in the cool mornings and dark evenings I am very thankful for that too.

Speaking of thankful, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving at home.  We were planning to go to Salt Lake and visit Mikes family for the holiday, or as a secondary plan had been invited to a friend's house, but with all of our travels and goings lately, Mike and I looked at each other on the Thursday before Thanksgiving and said, "Gee wouldn't it be nice to stay home".  I thought there is no way we would not be spending the day alone at that late date, but started calling anyway, and low and behold found a bunch of people with no plans and we ended up with 14 at the table.  Wonderful!!

Since I have been home (1 month now), most of my time has been dedicated to the launch of a new product.  It is a legacy book, to track all your data from your life, bank accounts, insurance policies, monthly payments, family recipes, collections, etc.  The name is My Life's Info, and there is a spiral bound version and a database version.  It is a product that everyone needs.  Join our fanpage (mylifesinfo) on facebook or visit the website for more information.

Also since it is the holiday season, Send Out Cards has been picking up hot and furious!  I've also started a blog to support my team on that, since the team is growing and I want to assure that I can provide support to my downline.  (That blog is at and a fanpage on facebook called SendaRealCardFans).  If you have not decided to send cards the cheap and easy way (by becoming a customer or distributor of ours) keep in mind you can send an occasional Greeting card without any membership, at for $2.99 (which includes postage AND a custom photo), so a MUCH better deal than going to the grocery store.  I'd also love to introduce you to the complete system by helping you send out your Christmas Cards.. Believe me it will change the way you communicate!

OK, well enough on all that.. That is just where our head has been buried lately.  Can't breathe... and LOVING it!  We are also thankful to be spending Christmas at home.  The house is all decorated, and we are just waiting for Santa.  Kelsey and Sara are coming up for a week before Christmas and my parents are coming up for Christmas day.  Then they will go up to my sister, Monica's house for a few days and we may go with them for a day or two there.  But in general, we are staying close to home!  Yeah!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Month of Travels

The first of October found us in Salt Lake City for the Send Out Cards National Convention, and gave us the opportunity to visit Mike's family for a week.  It was great to see everyone and just made us wish we could visit more often.  We hadn't been back in over a year.  On the business side.. The convention was good.  This company has such huge potential and is on the verge of explosion!  Just the motivation we need to take this to the next level.  Read that blog if you want more info at

Returned home from Salt Lake just in time to collect my Mom from the Pueblo train station, and head off on a 3900 mile adventure with 12 alpacas.  Mostly driving, some visiting, but I don't think we ran out of things to talk about until about mile 3658.  Spent two days getting to Indiana where we dropped off the two bottle babies at their new home, and Escudero at his new home. 


At the second ranch we spent the night.  Day Three we drove to Spartanburg SC, and delivered the other 9 to their new home, before heading to my Uncle Charlie and Aunt Cordie's house in Fletcher, NC.  We visited them for two full days, and three nights...  Drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway, saw some great local art,  enjoyed some fabulous food, and played a few hands of Mah Jongg.  What a nice visit.. Also wish I could do that more often.  Only one mishap - if you could call it that, we blew out a trailer tire somewhere before Cookeville, Tennessee. Because of the double axle we did not even know it until we stopped form lunch, and there was nothing but shreds left of the tire.  Luckily on Sunday afternoon at 4:15 pm we found a tire store open and we replaced the tire (plus one on the other side) and were on our way.  We finished the trip with two nights in Waxahachie, TX, visiting my parents old stomping grounds and visiting lots of friends.  Dad flew to Dallas for those two days and drove home to Albuquerque with us.

We arrived in Albuquerque an hour before I had to head to the airport to fly home because Mike and I were enrolled in a 3-day Rich Dad training on Stock Market investing...  Something else we might be interested.  We learned a ton, and learned that we have a ton to learn.  If we go that route, it will be something Mike is going to pursue.. I think I am tapped out.
After a day of rest I headed for Las Vegas.  I spent the week here (where I am currently awaiting my return flight) at the TRIRIGA international users Conference.  I hadn't been here in 3 years, and so it was like I was being resurrected from the dead for most people, who didn't know I was still actively pursuing TRIRIGA contract work.  It could prove to be a very important trip for me.  While in Vegas I stayed with our Boise friends who now live in Vegas, although the wife component was out of town for the week.  Her husband, Mike, and I caught up over dinner last night and today went out to the newly opened bypass bridge over Hoover Dam.  (  Mike has watched this construction every step of the way, so it was thrilling to be one of the first over the pedestrian bridge.  They did a nice job, and it is worth getting out to if you have the chance. 

Besides catching up with old TRIRIGA colleagues, I also spend a couple evenings visiting Dan London, one of my best friends in High School, whom I'd lost touch of some 25 years ago.. That was great!  Also had lunch with an old Weller Architects employee of mine, Lonnie Cumpton, whom I hadn't seen, nor spoken to in 15 years.. So interesting week.
Today I am heading to Albuquerque.  I'm spending the week decompressing and visiting the kids.  Sara has a Halloween project she needs some help on, and it will be nice to see Kelsey.  Both of the girls seem to be doing well this year.  Not much news to share, which sometimes is a good thing.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  It's just the beginning of the Holiday season!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Can't wait for Summer!

So a friend of mine pointed out that I haven't been blogging much.  Last April was my last post.  But hey, maybe when summer gets here I'll put up a new post.  What!  You say summer has come and gone!!!!  Ah yes, as I look at the calendar, only a few more days.  Unbelieveable.  I told another friend yesterday that I am still struggling with whether it's 2009, or 2010... then panic hits and I wonder if it's 2011.  She says she does the same thing.  Is it our age?  Does life keep getting faster and fast until there is no tracking of time anymore?  Or is it our lifestyle ***!  Even on the ranch, trying to slow down and enjoy life, we can't get enough time.  We did turn off our TV in June.  And cut the Netflix down to one at a time.  Guess I could shut off my internet access (heaven forbid), quit using electricity altogether.  Return to the simpler life.  (Yeah right, like not using my dishwasher, or washing machine would give me more time!).

Anyhow, I digress. I should give you the highlights of the summer and move on.. So that I respect your time crunch as well!
  • 13 babies on the ranch this year - 10 of them female (ye-haw)! 
  • Made some significant sales, in fact am taking 12 alpacas East next month to deliver to new owners (double ye-haw!).  Looking forward to that road trip with my Mom through Indiana, and South Carolina, then visiting my Aunt and Uncle in North Carolina, and home with a stop to visit folks in Dallas.  Should be a great trip. (Mike's looking forward to staying home, and not feeding babies every three hours (more on that later))
  • Started Millionaire Mind training (Book by T. Harv Eker) in June.  Followed up the 3 day Millionaire Mind Intensive in Denver, with a 4 day Extreme Health Seminar in Los Angeles..  And in August went to New Jersey for the Ultimate Internet Boot Camp, where we learned about making money through the online Internet Business model.
  • While in LA the Mom of a 3 week old alpaca baby died, and another new baby was born.  Because of all the confusion oven the death, the new baby didn't get the attention she needed and ended up not bonding to her mother.  So we can home to 2 bottle babies!  Over the course of our Alpaca Career and 50 babies, these are the first two that have needed supplemental feeding.  So every 4 hours we are out at the barn... all summer long.  This has prevented much activity that takes us away from home... Even a trip to Costco can barely be done in 4 hours.  BUT by some weird connection in the universe, these two babies have found a new home in Indiana and will be going back with us on the transport next month.  The ranch in Indiana had their first cria die, and were looking for orphaned cria, and somehow found us!
  • Also while in LA, I tripped twice, once over a crack in the sidewalk and bruised up my shin, and the second time over a speed bump in the parking lot and broke my nose!  Quite an eventful 4 days.  I'm thinking there is a message there about health that I need to take seriously!
  • Two biggest take homes from Extreme Health, the Cellerciser, and David Wolfe, who promotes walking barefoot on the ground, or grounding yourself some other way.  Bought a Cellerciser and am now bouncing my way to Extreme Health! ;-)
  • Not too much new on the Job front, still unemployed.  In late July I was offered a good job, signed the contract, started making the life changes necessary to travel 50% of my life... then before they signed the contract they retracted the offer!  It was quite a blow and unethical as hell in my opinion.. but at this point glad I'm not working for that woman anyway!!  That and the fact that I'm too busy for a full time job!
  • Went to the Ultimate Internet Boot Camp in August and came home with a dutch oven cooking business!  Check out the site at  We are supposed to put in an hour a day on this site, once it's up and making money, so for now I am still in the learning curve and putting a few hours in everyday, plus trying to apply the knowledge to our alpaca website, our B&B website, working on a new product to launch in the next couple weeks, maybe I'll do a photo editing site..... is there more?  A few hours a day on each of those ought to keep me plenty busy.
  • Mike has been doing handyman work around town and keeping fairly busy.. probably busier than he would like.  But I notice he is still finding time to read a lot and go fishing some.  He went fishing last week to Badger Creek and caught 147 fish!  His most ever in one day.  He is out fishing this morning, while I am on the computer... We are both in heaven!
  • Our Send Out Cards business is still growing strong.  In June they released a major software upgrade and the cards are cooler than ever now,  AND you have to ability to send one card without signing up for a membership now by going to  Mike and I are going to the convention in Salt Lake next week and visiting family on the trip as well.  Still fully expect to support our lifestyle 100% with Send Out Cards within the next few years.
  • Around the ranch.. If you recall we did get Chickens this year and have 2 colonies of bees this year.  They are all doing fine, without much intervention from us.  The bees have been slow, and probably won't give us honey this year, but all is well and normal with them.  We only get out there once a month or so.  The Chickens have started laying and we are getting 7-9 eggs per day now.  Again not too much to say about them.  Mike built us a nice coop this summer, completely out of scraps of material on the property.  Mike has also done a great job with the garden this year and we have canned a bunch of beets, and are now swimming in Zuchini, Yellow Squash, and Grape Tomatoes.  The Spinach and Lettuce did great earlier in the summer and we've gotten a lot of Rainbow Chard all summer long, and that is really good!
Ok!  Is that enough stuff going on the past few months.  My sister Monica, said "Once you have Facebook and can update people quickly and regularly, it makes it hard to sit and write a blog post"  Ain't that the truth!

Hope you have a great Summer!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Carmel had her baby FINALLY!

Carmel was 3 weeks overdue.. Just at that stage where I ALWAYS start wondering if she is even pregnant!  In fact I spit tested her last Sunday.  She spit, but she is a pretty ornery girl, so I'm thinking she just might be spitting cause shes ornery!

But finally today she had her little girl, and what a gorgeous color she is.  Of course she had it while we were gone to meet and greet this morning!  This is going to be a good one.

The bees are doing well too.. I posted on the Bee blog.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


We got chicks at the ranch last week, well to be honest they are still in the house.... and a bit too close.  (Noisy, somewhat stinky) but darn cute!!  I don't know anything about chickens, so this has been fun.  They startle like babies..  They are also growing FAST.  They have been home since they were 1 day old.  Here's the one day old photos.. 
At the store ^

We got 10 Buff Orphingtons, 5 Rhode Island Reds, and 5 Golden Sex Link.  We wanted Barred Rock, but they were out of them.  We plan to keep at least 12 for eggs, and the others will find their way to the freezer.

Below are the photos from this week.... When I look at the photos they don't look all that different, but they are significantly bigger!
(Trying out the new Wings!)

We have yet to start the coop (busy building beehives you know.. check out my new post on the bee blog), but we are full of ideas where the coop is concerned!  If you have any unique suggestions for how to build a better chicken coop, please share ;-)

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Shadow of Death in the Winter of 2010

Well it seems my goal to post once a week this year went right out the window, as has my aspirations of doing a podcast... It's still on the agenda, so sometime it will happen.

In the meantime we are already well into spring, even considering the weekly snow we are still getting, interspersed with 60 degree days.  I know this because the wind is here with a vengeance, and because we are getting baby chicks today and our bees should FINALLY be here next week!

But the topic for the day is the death that took precedence on the ranch the first 3 months of 2010. Starting with Weston, one of our very promising little boys.  We noticed on Jan 2 that he was laying down a lot and lethargic.  He was also very thin.  We loaded him up on parasite treatments, and propped up his system for a few days, and he appeared to be improving.  But a week later or so started declining again.  The vet determined that he had a heart murmur, and that there was no treatment.  He basically was born with a weak heart and when he grew to a size that his heart could no longer support, he started to decline.  He died in late January.

Followed next by stillborn twins from one of the boarding alpacas.  Twins are very rare in alpacas, due to the ratio of baby size to Mom size.  They just frankly can't carry them.  To be fair there are a few sets of twins born in the US that get the care they need to survive, but most of the concieved twins either get one absorbed early on in the pregnancy of both aborted later in the pregnancy.  This was a girl the boarders had no idea was pregnant, but the twins were out there one day, two girls, one dark brown one white.. I have photos, but perhaps I'll spare you.  I also still have the fetus's in my freezer waiting for a trip to CSU. (Makes me think of Jackie's rabbit.. she knows).  The boarders also had a male that was just dead when we got out to do chores.  Don't know what happened to him.  Think he got kicked.  Their alpacas are older and have much more compromised health, due to their history and age.

We lost one of our great pyranees, Asher, when the two Anatolian Shepherds (from what we could tell), beat him up so bad we had to put him down.  We think Simba was just exerting his dominance (he is an intact male... gotta take care of that!).  Kipper, Simba's sister, I'm sure joined in on the fun.  We were out of town (of course) and the neighbor taking care of the animals called to report that they had been fighting and Asher's "insides were outside".  We called another neighbor to come evaluate who after a closer look said it was just fur and blood and matted mess, and that the wounds were bad but all topical.  So we had him spray some wound spray on it and we would take care of it when we got home.  Well, when we got home and got out there with a pail of soapy water, we found out that the hair/blood/mat was not connected to the muscle.  Asher had been skinned, from his waist to his rear legs.  He was oozing with infection, and hadn't eaten for three days.  We had to put him down.

That same day, someone hit a deer in the neighborhood, and left it crippled trying to scoot away.  It got caught up in the fence and Mike had to shoot it too.  The same thing happened with another deer a couple weeks later!  Odd, if nothing else.  But I'm sure with some sort of Native American significance, Asher was able to be buried with a deer companion, to help guide him or some such poetic thing.  I did think that was nice.  Sara said "I hope you killed him Humanely!"  Meaning a lethal injection at the vet, but there could have been no more humane way to go..  Looking up for help from his loving owner, he never saw death coming.

One of our two friendly Kittens seems to have disappeared.  Not sure if death is involved but the other sister is still here and the two were inseparable!  So that is sad also.  And we had another little boy, Rocky, 6 months old, die.  We were weaning him, and we are not sure what happened to him, except we noticed one day that he was REALLY thin.  We put him back in with his mom, but I guess it was already too late, he had shut down.  Perhaps we just didn't watch close enough, perhaps the stress of weaning got him, and/or he didn't eat enough.   But he should have been old enough and fine.  At any rate he died quickly and none of the other kids are showing any ill effects.

Another kind of death is the death of our boarding contract, that we had been living on for the past year since I was laid off.  The boarders lost their income as well (laid off from Northrup Grumman) and quit paying in late December.  We have been trying to work with them, but our situation is not such that we can keep them for free, so we have been looking for placement for their 48 alpacas.  So far we have homes and are down to 12 of them.  They will be all gone soon enough.  Mike is quite enjoying the lightening of the workload, but we will miss the income, especially as there has not been anything else steady in our employment efforts.

And finally on a different scale, my Aunt Winnie died on February 14.  I happened to be in Albuquerque, and weather happened to prevent me from going home, so I went to Indiana for the funeral, and was glad to have the opportunity to do that, support my parents, and see my cousins and their families.  My Aunt was my father's only sister and was just short of 88.  She had been having some health struggles the last year or two, but generally was alert and ambulatory until two days before her death (she was doing crossword puzzles on Tuesday).  She had a long, adventure filled life, and is survived by her five kids and 13 grandkids (don't quote me on that) so no better way to go, but she will be missed by many.  Aside from her husband who died more than 20 years ago, She is the first of my parents generation (siblings) to die.  So I have had a lot of self introspection this month around that event!

So, that is A LOT of death, even for a ranch with livestock.  I will remember this past season with that shadow.  But now spring has sprung, we are planting the garden, getting chickens (today), bees next week, babies from the alpacas any day now (11 due before the end of June), and Mike's Daughter, Sara, welcomed his 5th grandson into the world last night.  I am looking forward to leaving the Shadow of death behind!

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Year - New Focus

Well we are kicking off the new year with some solid business and personal planning, after all, without a map we won't know where we are going or when we get there!  My big goal is to keep life in balance.  This means between personal, Alpacas, Consulting and Send Out Cards.  One thing I have to learn how to do is to reach out more with my website, blogs, networking sites, etc.  This means one goal in place is to add some web content at least once a week.  This can be in the form of a blog entry, video, or even a significant website modification.  So what this means for you it I "should" be more regular in my blogging.  I have kept a topics list for things to blog about but topics get so old, I don't think I can go back.

Another thing we are researching is to do a weekly (bi-monthly?) podcast.  The content for this podcast would be very similar to my blog, meaning everything that is going on in life.  But I'd be sure to include a useful tidbit every week for alpaca enthusiasts.  I'd keep it under 30 minutes a week.. Any comments?

In other activity around the ranch, we attended the second annual Alpaca Show at the National Western Stock show last weekend.  For those who don't know, the stock show is a BIG deal.  In Colorado it gets more attention than the state fair.  No rides, but turkey legs and funnel cakes.  Also it is worth noting that it is a National show, so daily there are exhibitors and visitors from all over the country.  The show has been going on for 110 years.  Two years ago Alpacas were designated as livestock (previously classified as exotics), and as such are now allowed to show at the Stock Show.  The show was smaller than most of the shows we participate in and was not AOBA (our national breed association) certified, so some of the rules were different, but we took two animals and brought home two ribbons, so no complaints there.  Ultimately though the show was a fantastic marketing event and we did get a number of marketing leads.  We don't usually get those at a regular show.  Now to follow up!

So here is some of that old news I was talking about.  We went to a "Sales Conference" in December.  It was a day and a half, and fantastic!  I never really realized that I have never been trained in "sales" since I've never been in a direct selling job before.  Mike knew more of the content, but we both came away with a sense that we need to do a better job of keeping those strategies in front of us (following up being one).  2009 was a year of learning.  2010 will be a year of implementing, staying focused on our goals, pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone and building strong healthy businesses!

Now... how to add that podcast....

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Business Owners Meet&Greet this morning. Aardwolf Alpacas presenting. Warm up for the National Western Stock Show in Denver this weekend.