Friday, January 30, 2009

Spring is Here

While most of the US is still in the throws of winter, both economically and weather-wise; here is the southwest, spring has arrived.

Today I noticed the daffodils have broken the surface.
Yesterday I noticed some weeds growing next to my house.
Earlier this week, I saw the first robin of the season.
And, the trees started to bud about a week ago.

The switch to spring is always my favorite time of the year. It's a time of tremendous hope and promise. A time of renewal. A time where I know, anything can happen.

With a new administration in the White House, the weather changing and the rate of existing home sales actually increasing...

I know that spring is here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A little good news

I meant to post this on Sunday. But, the gas prices seem to be stabilizing.

On January 16th I paid $1.98.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Chris Brogan is a guy I came across after I've started using Twitter. He's a well connected, high energy guy who seems to be an idea factory.

I've never heard of noodling before. But apparently it's a Southern American method for catching catfish. It turns out it's a great strategy for business too.

1. Get in the water.
2. Get a giant catfish to eat your arm.
3. Get your friends to help drag your prize out of the water.

Read about it here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Alpaca Song

This video is worth 2 minutes of your time.

Multiple Personalities

I have had multiple avatars online.

Not multiple personalities... Well who knows, maybe I do. Perhaps that's why I've chosen different pictures for different tools.

I've noticed some of the people I follow use the same avatar across tools. It helps me recognize them, which I like. I've also seen people change their avatar which I find strangely unsettling.

I have condensed my avatars over the last couple of weeks. I'm down to 2.

I think I'll leave it at that. At least for now.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Products I Love - Soap

There are a few products that I love. Just a few that I will recommend whole heartily. Here's a couple of my favorite soaps.

Sandia Soap: lovely, luxurious olive oil based soap. Made here in Albuquerque. Jemez Morning is my favorite flavor.

Milagro Moon Fine Soaps: This is goat milk soap like I've never experienced. Made in the mountains, east of Albuquerque. Tropical lavender with a touch of lime is divine

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Results are now posted

The wheelchair race results are now posted for Sunday's Rock 'n Roll Arizona Marathon.

Thank you for your support.

Credit Due

The Rock 'n Roll Arizona Marathon results were posted on line Monday. The Wheelchair results are still not there.

If you had just raced 26.2 miles, wouldn't you at least want your name in print with everyone else?

I talked a little about our experience at this race this year in How would you feel?

Does this bother you? If so, please let them know here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Photo of 2009 Inauguration Day

Check out this amazing photo from

Inaguration Day

The awe of this day is amazing to me.

Two weeks ago was the Epiphany. Today is also an epiphany. An epiphany for this country and this world. Today we begin a new path.

Monday, January 19, 2009

When Newspapers are gone, what will you miss?

A few days ago Seth Godin published a blog post about newspapers.

Actually he often writes about how he thinks newspapers are obsolete. With so many of them filing for bankruptcy protection or just going out of business, it's hard to argue with him.

We cancelled our daily subscription a couple of months ago because of many reasons Seth suggests. But I do miss our daily paper because I miss the quite time with my husband when we would share the paper over a cup of coffee, music and sometimes a fire in the fire place.

Being online is just not the same.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How would you feel?

The Rock 'n' Roll Race Organization puts on several annual marathon and half-marathon events in the US with huge able-bodied participation.

We have been working with them for some time to increase wheelchair participation. After today though, we're not sure why.

First a little history:

My husband, Bradley Ray, is a top US Wheelchair Marathoner. A marathon is 26.2 miles, regardless of how you do it.

He has finished in the top 10 of most big US marathons. He competes well internationally. He was the top American in Boston in 2008 and the 3rd American at the 2008 US Paralympic Marathon trials. He has completed over 30 marathons and I support him in these endeavors.

As a general rule, race organizers collect participants' belongings at the start, keep them safe and deliver them to the finish. Some organizations do this very well. And some, well here's what happened today...


Today, my husband won the wheelchair division of the Rock'nRoll Arizona Marathon by 8 minutes. After being congratulated for wining the race, he asked where his chair and bag were so he could get out of his sweaty clothes and call his wife.

They could not find it.

Finally, a contractor said he saw the chair and bag of personal effects at the start about an hour after they had packed up and moved everything to the finish, but he left it there.

Somehow a race staff member learned the chair was at a homeless shelter and told Brad to go get it. Brad politely told her it was their mistake and they should fetch the chair because it had been left in their care. This was their opportunity to correct the situation.

The race organization refused.

The race organization refused to collect my husbands everyday chair and bag of personal effects which they already admitted to leaving behind!

There's was a fair amount of discussion and voices being raised. Finally, the police agreed to pick it up and deliver the chair to Brad's hotel.

In the meantime, we learn the bag of personal effects is not with the chair. So working from home in New Mexico, I cancel our credit card and cell phone. Learning that with the holidays it could be a week before these are replaced... but I digress.

A Ranger finally came with the chair. The Ranger was very upset to be waisting her time delivering wheelchairs to paraplegics. I don't disagree with her, it was RnR's mistake.

Total time without mobility today = 5 hours and 45 minutes.


As for continuing to work with this organization, I don't think we will. There is a laundry list that needs to be addressed, but basic customer service is basic. Clearly increasing wheelchair participation in not a priority.

Honestly! How would you feel if your legs had been stolen for nearly 6 hours?

picture credit: Brad after the 2008 Oita International Wheelchair Marathon, Kathryn Ray

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Serendipity or LOA?

I am so excited!

My copy of the Alpaca Field Manual arrived today. It arrived just as I made the decision to stay the course.

This book is considered the premier resource for alpaca husbandry and has been out of print for some time. I have been trying to obtain a copy for 2 years.

I'm just so excited to finally have this book. I can't wait to read it.


I'm just learning about Alexis Martin Neely, the Intrepid Mompreneur. She has a very thoughtful post today about tests and purpose.

For me, this post is exactly on queue. For I am on a bridge. I am travelling from what I do for a living to what I want to do for a living.

What I do for a living is SAP Security Administration. I like it, but I don't have a passion for it. It supports my need for organization, process, growth and problem solving. It also supports my desire to have a nice, warm house in a nice neighborhood.

What I want to do for a living is raise alpacas and manufacture textiles. I have been interested in green farming and ranching for most of my life. I have been an alpaca breeder for nearly 18 months. I have become a weaver, spinner, knitter and alpaca shearer. I have discovered that I have talent and these activities are energizing for me.

Last summer, I traded my job as a program manager for this one as a security administrator because it would allow me to work remotely, eventually. Thus allowing no commute, flexibility and more daylight hours on the ranch.

So here's my test: I learned this week that with a little more experience I could be earning 3x my current rate if I went on my own and I am beginning a project that will provide that necessary experience.

Here's my dilemma:
One side: 3x is nothing to sneeze at. 3x would allow the acquisition of a better place for the ranch and mill. 3x would allow my husband to continue pursuing his passion. 3x would require me to find my own clients when I should be working on my own passion. 3x does not allow more time on my passion. I continue this dual life.
The other side: 3x could allow me to work 2/3 fewer hours for someone else and the rest on my passion. Ranch and Mill opportunity remains the same. Still need to find own clients while building my passion. I continue this dual life.
A third side: Stop doing what I'm doing. No ability to acquire ranch and mill. Squat in a tent on someone else's ranch and hope they don't notice the new alpaca herd over yonder. Singular life.
One more side: I'm on the right path and this is new information, not a test. Continue doing what I'm doing. Lead the project and gain the experience. Continue search for ranch and mill. Continue plan to relocate in spring and work remotely. New project should be done by then. Continue building networks for SAP security administration and alpaca products and services. I continue this dual life. Re-evaluate the sides once we have settled in our new location.
My decision is one more side. I hope I pass the test.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Should Have Filled Up Yesterday

Yesterday, premium gas was still $1.88 per gallon as mentioned last week in Gas Prices Going Up. Today, it's 10 cents more.
That is a 30 cent increase in 2 weeks.

Monday, January 12, 2009


It's been a while since we've gone to the movies at an actual theatre. Normally we rent from Netflix. However we went a couple of times over the Christmas Holiday.

I was surprised to find that tickets are now $10 each. There are no employees behind the the snack counter. The popcorn is already popped and bagged and not hot.

If the movies weren't considered the best of the year, I would have been really disappointed.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gas Prices Going Up

It seems the reprieve from gas prices is swiftly going away. It was about 20 cents less last week.

Halter Training

Yesterday I spent some time halter training the fall crias. This was the 3rd time for each to wear a halter in their 4 months. The plan was to spend 10 minutes each and have them get used to wearing the halter and realize it won't hurt them. I have 2 crias with 2 very different reactions...

Alpacamundo's Augustus: Fought a bit then calmed down, stood still and followed the lead around the corral a couple of times. When I removed the halter he hung around a bit then went to the hay bin next to his mother.

Alpacamundo's Daisy (aka The Drama Queen): Bucked, reared, repeatedly threw herself on the ground and finally cushed for a few minutes. When I removed her halter she went directly to her mom and started nursing.

I'm pleased with their progress, but know we will spend most visits this winter working with the halters

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Having Fun

Went to the ranch yesterday. Had a great time. I wish I could do this every day.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Alpaca Moving Day

A few days ago, we moved our herd to Santa Fe. My brother and sister-in-law helped out.
I seem to be making a tradition of having visitors help with farm chores. They always say it's fun, but I wonder if their just being polite.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions. Don't get me wrong. I am a long way from perfect. I just I think we should try to live life better each and every day.

Generally, I tend to be more introspective around my birthday which is in the spring. This year though, has been a year of changes. This year I am feeling more introspective. This year is a time for new opportunities. So today, I thought I would list a few of the goals I have for the foreseeable future...

1. Relocate to a farm in Colorado
2. Nurture Alpacamundo to the point of regular income
3. Practice Yoga more often
4. Read more
5. Blog more
6. Be more present