Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pediatric ER's an Emergency Case Themselves?

So Monday night (actually it was supposed to be in the afternoon but anywho) I had to take my daughter to the emergency room.  Yes, that should be where I am putting the exclamation point, right?  Wrong!  The ER I think is in more trouble than my daughter (thank goodness, so far, we are blessed again!!!!).

I have thought and thought how to write this post without sounding like a racist pig.  I am not one...a pig anyway, but I guess I have become a racist.  I know I was not raised one that is for sure.  I have never said the "N" word and don't believe that is ever, and I do mean ever, appropriate.  But I am damn sick of the illegals that are draining our system.
After years of dealing with my cart being bumped into when I was shopping and when I gave a smile and an excuse me (even though it was not my fault) I got a frown and a shake of the head (no habla English) I got darn sick of shopping in those areas.  I also got sick and tired of the screaming, out of control kids in those same out of control shopping carts.  As a matter of fact I learned the demographics of our state as well as I could, so when it came to choosing a Pediatric hospital, I took all of this into consideration; a sad state of affairs, I admit.

Let me paint you a picture of the waiting room at the ER.  A mid-twenties couple has their two young sons there; my daughter and I check in with my drivers license and insurance card and have a seat near this couple.  I notice that my daughter is staring at them and take a look, that is because they are busily making out while their sons uncontrollably climb on the furniture and the tables!  When the youngest starts feeling the pain of the obvious ear infection he is there for he goes crying to his Mama who has no blankey or favorite toy or anything and just continues to talk to the man; the child was pulling her hair to try to get her attention.  I was dying to grab a blanket and wrap the boy up and walk the halls like I used to do with my kids when they were ill.

Another family that entered even shocked the guy behind the desk.  The mom spoke no English so the oldest son was doing all of the talking.  One of the younger boys needed to be seen because his leg hurt.  What?  No injury, no fall, no bruise, no nothing.  The same gentleman that had been so sweet to my daughter, calling her "Sweetie" (and keep in mind he is of Spanish descent too), and gently placed the arm band on her; just tossed the arm band across the counter and said "put this on him and help your mom fill out this medicaid paperwork".  I mean the kid was already racing around the waiting room in his wheelchair!

This trip to the ER took us seven hours!  We got an ultrasound, blood work and some other various lab work done; nothing that should have taken seven hours.  When my daughter was finally cleared to eat I ran to the cafeteria to get us something to eat and the waiting room was three times as full as when we entered; and I didn't hear a word of English as I passed through.  The nurses said the wait time by then was four hours just to get in, we had been lucky.

As some of you commenters are going to point out, I have another none of my business point.  I was thinking when I was checking every piece of medicine they put into my daughters IV.  How could someone who doesn't speak English do this?  Really?  I checked everything.  If they brought a new bag of fluids in, I asked if it was a brand new bag and if they had added anything to it.  I asked questions of the Ultrasound tech.  At the end when it was determined that we'd try meds, I double checked those.  I don't know a young kid on this planet that knows medicine well enough that could translate that back to his Mama!

My last point goes back to my drivers license and insurance card that I had out before I even entered the hospital.  I had even had it out earlier in the day when I had taken her to her primary care physician too.  As a matter of fact, I have my drivers license out all the time.  If I get stopped by a cop, I get it, my insurance and my registration out before the officer even makes it to the window.  I get it out when I write a check too.... My point being that I have to prove who I am all the time, what is the big deal?  If you have nothing to hide, you should be proud of your paperwork I would think...The folks that we know that have gone through the arduous process of becoming nationalized citizens are damned proud of it!  And us, damned proud of them!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Montana Llama Rescue 2011!

Wow!  I have had one of the most amazing experiences in my life, really.  Even the big, bad, biker, Tom, said so.  And remember, he was my reluctant cohort in this rescue mission in the first place.  Well, not once he got there and met these wonderful folks:
The guy in the middle (the driver), looking at the ground, he too is a reluctant participant; because he is used to working with steers.  And until that trip, he thought llamas were sissy animals...I don't think he thinks that anymore; but he still didn't like his picture taken with a bunch of llama nuts!

This is the rig that he drove clear across Montana and Wyoming(in very bad weather, I might add) to deliver our boys to us:
Twenty llamas arrived on this trailer.  It took them two days to get to La Porte, CO.  Which is where we met them at our very wonderful host ranch.  Four foster homes met up to pick up their allotment of rescue llamas, a few various wonderful llama lovers, and rescue friends to lend a hand and a small crew from CSU Veterinary School was on hand.

None of us had ever met before, face to face; but we had been preparing for the big arrival via e-mail for a few we greeted each other as old friends would, with hugs all around (that poor cattle driver never knew what hit him...)!  All was well...

Until we saw this!!!!

This poor guy was down in the trailer, getting trampled by the other llamas as they unloaded.  We all held our breath...Was he alive?  He tried to stand up, fell back down, stumbled out of the trailer and then fell again....  The group, collectively, had not taken a breath yet!  He finally stood up triumphantly, and we all just stood there for a second in absolute shock!  None of us had ever seen anything like it.  His legs were so tangled up in his own wool, it had caused him injuries.  We didn't know whether to cheer for him or cry for him.

After our initial moment of horror wore off, we all knew what needed to be done.  An in field, on site shearing party it was.  With scissors no less...the poor guy got one hell of a bad hair cut, but I'm sure he feels A TON lighter!  After the shearing was done, we got down to separating the boys and figuring out who was going where.  Tom and I had to laugh later that all of us had bonded with Big Guy (the one with the bad haircut), so when the straws were drawn, and yes, we used actual straw, or maybe it was hay...We all wanted Big Guy!

But, as you can see, there were plenty of great llamas that needed care and love.  It was decided that Big Guy (his official name I heard via e-mail last night-ha!) stay near CSU because he has some very specific medical needs that I really don't want to take on.  I have five gelded (meaning fixed, neutered, castrated, whatever) males from this herd at The Royal Ranch, and it has been an adventure getting them home and settled.
As you can see from the pics below, they are settling in.  They don't like dogs...that is for sure!  But, as my youngest son pointed out, in Montana they've probably seen wolves and a canine scent is a canine scent!  When they see our Great Pyrenees, Tia, the big white one does the alarm call to warn the others of danger!
 Big Whitey (so far)~ this guy must have been one of the herd leaders (Wow! out of 800 llamas!) because he scored 4 (on a body scale of 1-9), which is quite good, so he was getting most of the food.  We also think there is a chance that this guy was at some point in time a herdsire, meaning that he was someone's top breeder.  See the tag in his ear?  That could mean that he is an import from Chile or Peru.

We got home well after dark on Sunday, and thanks to a good friend and neighbor's headlights, we got the trailer all ready to unload them, thinking they were just dying to be out after two days of traveling....and NOTHING!  They were comfortably bedded down for the night and that was that.  So we tied the gate of the trailer to the gate of their "Quarantine" area and left them be.
 This is Jose and Shadow, Shadow is our most critical patient (scoring only a 1-2).

 This is Mellow (so far) because he is Caramel colored and very mellow as you can see from this picture.  He is also the only one that willingly got haltered and loaded into the trailer!

 A better shot of Jose, if SWLR accepts us, we may adopt this rebellious boy, he pulled a muscle in the big, bad, bikers back putting him in the trailer, and he was the smallest of all!  Leave it to me, to like the roughest one of the bunch!
A group (or butt) shot of the boys checking out their small outdoor yard.  I wanted it small on purpose.  I don't need these boys getting a ton of exercise and fighting right now.  This is a resting and healing zone.  On the other hand, they do however have a huge covered area that gets a ton of sunshine and fresh air, just what the doctor ordered.  Maybe not the photographer though!
And this dear Rebels, is your llama.  I thought it would be fun for you all to get involved with the naming game!  I am sorry about the light with this picture, but he is a spectacular boy, because he goes from a cream color to a caramel color that gradates into a dark brownish rust.  And then as you can see, he has some white socks too.  Once we get this nasty batch of wool off of him, the wool that comes in, will be fantastic!  I am hoping to find spinners for him, Big Whitey and Mellow, as they all have beautiful wool. 

It really has been an amazing few days.  Sunday was unbelievable.  Those folks were wonderful and are friends for life now, even if we just e-mail each other for support from now on...which the e-mails have been flying!  But to be a part of the nation's biggest animal rescue has been something I can't even describe in words...beyond satisfying?  Now you too can be a part of it, help name our nameless guy...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

On a much lighter note...

(rescued 2006)

I never like to leave you all on a negative note, which I know my last post was, but it needed to be said.  Anyway, as I have been busily preparing for my new arrivals from Montana, my faith in mankind has been restored!  First and foremost, I have had multiple offers of help from neighbors and friends, but my family has really stepped up to the plate as well.  One of the cutest calls I got was from my father, who had to deal with my rebellious butt for the first portion of my life and knew there was no stopping me if I was needed in Montana; and he just quietly offered to go along for the ride!  None of the men in my life (Husband, sons or Dad) were too happy about me headed across the country by myself in the middle of winter~to say the least.

My husband too, has been a real gem.  He of course started this whole thing out stating that we could help as long as none of them ended up on his property...Well today he has promised to help me move his plow truck out of his barn and turn it into a temporary llama barn as they will be quarantined away from our boys for quite some time.  All of this without a word being said; I was really smart this time, I just kept forwarding the e-mails that I was getting from my coordinator, how could he resist?

But one of the biggest things was when I went to go pick up a nice load of hay for my new rescues.  I had called my regular hay guy the night before and explained what was going on and since I had become a legal foster home for Southwest Llama Rescue would he maybe want to give me a break on the hay for a tax deduction?  Thursday morning I headed down there, and start picking out the proper hay for starving llamas, not an easy task...when he informs me that the load is FREE, yes, 85 bales of beautiful hay was absolutely free!!!  When I started to cry, he just hugged me and said "Aaaw, don't make an old farm boy cry."

He insisted that he remain anonymous, he said he usually raises the price on his pain in the butt customers.  Trying to be an old tough guy.  I had his ticket.  So I drove up the mountain with my heart a little restored, and ready to take on the task of healing these boys.  I have a wonderful support system that is for sure.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

An Outsider's Perspective

Jasper and Marcel
(rescued in 2002)

You know I'm really mad about this whole llama sanctuary thing.  Over a decade ago, I started calling local llama farms to learn more about llamas.  I met this very nice lady and as she was taking her llamas around to get bred she introduced me to all of "the right" people.  And when I say "the right" people, I mean the breeders and showers and stuff, you know, the ones who really matter, the ones who have the money.

The last place that she took me though, was horrific.  It was in southern Colorado and they had over 400 llamas at the time.  There was a dead Cria (a baby llama) on the ground, and many of the llamas had parts of their ears missing from being born in the winter without shelter to keep them warm.  She was there to drop off one of her llamas for a mating.  I only saw her one time after that and it was when we hosted a calendar shoot at The Royal Ranch and she was mad I had not bought a llama from her.  I will say, I can never be appreciative enough of her for introducing me to Bobra though.

I bring this up because it reminds me of the pics I am getting from Montana.  But the names don't ring a bell.  See, many moons ago, I got sick of playing the political game, and quit watching the tussle of power, and pulled out of the RMLA; the local llama association.  So I have become an outsider of "the right people".  I do, however, still know their names, and very few of them are on the helping list now.

Why did I get frustrated, you ask?  Because I rescued too many of their animals is why.  From people who had no idea what the hell they were doing.  One couple had llamas so fat they were about to explode on the amount of alfalfa hay and pellets they were eating.  They were surrendered because their home did not have the proper water well; the breeders never had the new llama owners check this or taught them how to feed and exercise them!

It has happened to us time and again.  We load up the trailer to pick up a rescue, I ask where the people got the llamas in the first place, I recognize the name from my previous "right" life and think WTH, why are these llamas ending up as rescues?  We load the boys, head home, get them in shape and either give them a job or get them a new home.  But my anger lies in where are those "right people" now?  Now that we have hundreds of llamas to save. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Llama Emergency!

All of these boys, except for the one on my left are rescues!

Today I will be doing things a bit differently.  I have been madly working with my friend and mentor L'illette, who was my friend Bobra Goldsmith's right hand woman.  L'illette has been rescuing llamas for as long as I've known her; as a matter of fact, that is how we became friends.  But I'm not sure either of us ever saw this one coming folks.  My dear friend put it all in an e-mail to me this weekend, and here it is for you in its entirety:

If you’re not up-to-date on this, please check out the website, Gary Kaufman’s YouTube video,  and Jerry Finch (President/Founder of Habitat for Horses) blog report. Horrific in the most literal sense.

I’m also trying to keep my website at updated with these links and any other info that comes along. And a Facebook page has been created: MLAS Llama Rescue. I urge you to cross-post my status update emails to you, the links above, any information you can. And if you have any press contacts, please get the word out to them, too. We need national coverage to get things going faster. Weather and road conditions in Montana mean we have to move these animals quickly.

The newly formed Montana Llama Rescue Coalition (MTLLRC) comprising representatives from llama breed and rescue organizations across the country, has been collecting money for transports and the ASPCA has promised a large donation, funds yet to be received.

We have one big load of 100 earmarked for points east, but need a big cattle hauler. Including below one of the latest emails on that topic for your reference. So if you know of any cattle haulers or anyone who might be able to take on some of these admittedly worrisome, starved, probably ill, and largely untrained llamas—yep, hoping for big miracles all around!—please spread the word.

Also have places for about 25 in Texas and a few so far in Ft. Collins area that can be dropped off en route to Texas. So far, I’ve found one livestock hauler out of Iowa who can take about 35-40 per trip, and 10-15 of the Texas-bound llamas can be dropped off en route.

RMLA AREA – WE NEED YOU! Only two farms so far have offered to help, and I really need more foster caretakers for here in CO. Ideally, of course, we’d like to get in at least one large group to some place where we can then get them initial care, sorting, etc. and on to farms in smaller groups. Our desperately needed miracles will hopefully include some sort of staging/temporary sanctuary area where a bunch could winter under shelter and with care and oversight. (This applies to all regions, not just RMLA.) FYI, these are mostly geldings and a few intact males at this point… hundreds of them still awaiting rescue, and dying as they wait.

Quick immediate and urgent needs lists (target is national, not just for my little regions):
·         Cattle hauler with double-decker style rig to transport 100 MT llamas to Northeast Llama Rescue (NELR) – see email included below.
·         Foster farms that can take in large numbers for immediate triage and distribution asap in smaller groups to other foster farms.
·         Other foster farms: even if you can take only a few, if enough folks will volunteer, that adds up to a lot more lives saved.
·         Donations of money via – all tax-deductible, initially for transport, with any remaining funds, such as if ASPCA comes through, going to veterinary care.
·         Please contact your camelid vets to ask if they’ll donate services or reduce costs for this rescue effort.
·         Knowledgeable llama folks who can be in MT to help load the llamas, or at the receiving ends to help unload, triage, distribute.

Please be aware that there will surely be initial costs to you angels who offer to take llamas. For my RMLA folks, I will set you up as a Southwest Llama Rescue, Inc. foster farm, which means your expenses may be tax deductible. Too, SWLR will continue to raise money to reimburse expenses incurred by foster farms. I’m sure the other rescue organizations are working along the same lines.

Again, if you haven’t been keeping up with the situation, please read Jerry Finch’s blog report from December 27. And know that the situation is much, much worse now. I don’t know how to tug any better at your heartstrings, but my own heart is breaking. Llamas are dying every day, and many may not even survive our rescue attempts. But some will! You can be part of this enormous endeavor to save as many llama lives as possible. I can only plead with you to help in whatever ways you can, whether it be a little or monumental. Nothing like this has ever happened in the rescue world, and certainly not to our beloved llamas. Please, please… please.
L’illetteL’illette Vasquez
SWLR/SELR Llama Rescues
LANA/RMLA/MTLLRC Llama Rescue Committees
L’illy Llamas at Rocky Mt. Llamas
7202 N 45th Street
Longmont CO 80503-8844

I chose a Tuesday to post this because I cross post on Green Spot-On and I know that you my Rebels will surely get involved, if you can.  Put the word out people, and if you know me, you probably guessed the reason for my absence the last day or so, yes I have a few tricks up my sleeve!  I am hoping to get our local Environmental Action class involved with my rescue mission...ooops did I let that slip?  Is the RR headed to Montana?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Is it the weekend already?

On our way to Breck, we saw one of these...
(this is my pic taken in '05)

Wow!  I can't believe the days have flown by like they have.  This is going to have to be an all inclusive post, dear Rebels, as I have had a few things on my mind to write about this week; I just haven't had the time (or the will) to sit down and actually do it.  The kids went back to school late this week, so we tried to make the very most out of the last bit of their winter break.

Which brings me to my first point.  Never tie your lunch to the top of your car when you go skiing!  I took the kids to Breckenridge on Wednesday, and due to my back I was sitting in the truck people watching when I saw a murder of crows (yes, that is the proper term for a group of crows) gathering over a neighboring car.  I saw the small plastic bag tied to the top and hoped for the owners sake that it was trash, but since there were receptacles everywhere, I kind of doubted it.  Those crows sure enjoyed the sandwiches and Funyuns that those people donated to them.  Fifteen crows took about three minutes to empty the bag and close half of the peoples' ski rack.  I wonder what they thought when they came back to that mess!

And you know what else?  I am so glad that my Broncos have finally pulled their heads out of their butts!  This coming from a girl who has been "crushing" on the Broncos for as long as she can remember.  Maybe it was when Rich Karlis walked into my hospital room when I was a little girl getting my appendix out, oh yes, I've always been a big fan.  But to see them cheating and going down the tubes like that was really a bummer for bring on the Elway generation (and no, I'm not talking about my very lazy llama)!  By the way, what took so damn long?

So, the kids just got back into school, I barely get the Christmas tree down to the llama pen for their enjoyment...and here it is the weekend!  I hope your New Year is starting off great...I'd love to hear what is on your mind.  And how 'bout those Broncos?  Oh and watch your lunches in public parking lots, the crows can be just as bad as thieves, I was sooo wishing I had a video!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

We Shall Be Free...

Get ready to crank it up, Rebels!  This is one powerful song!  It'll help get you moving for your New' Year's intentions!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

This little device saved our lives Saturday night:
If you don't already have one, get one...Today!!!

 Please read the comments below, my Dad has some very interesting input.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Image from

Wow, we made it to 2011!  To be quite frank, there were times in 2010 I wondered...whew...that is one year I am glad to put behind us and move on.  Not that it was all bad, don't get me wrong, but I just feel it is time for a fresh new start.  For everyone.

I got up this morning and did my regular routine of getting the fire going, checking e-mails, returning messages, pottying critters, and while on Facebook I noticed a recurring theme; I was not the only one happy to say goodbye to 2010 and "bring it" 2011!

So instead of looking back at favorite posts of the year, or favorite stories of 2010...I'd like to just welcome in 2011.  I've never really been one for resolutions because I try to be working on something all of the time (being more green, eating more organic, save money, etc).  But this year I do have some intentions.  I intend to get back in line with my business goals and I certainly intend to get this back thing in order.  I also intend to work on my marriage more; you know actually intentionally pay attention to it.  My husband deserves the same time and attention I give the rest of the world/ranch/kids/animals!

I'd really love to have The Royal Ranch Rebels be a part of whatever resolution or intention you have going for 2011.  I want to help and I know I could.  What is the resolution, let me know and I can do a post about it...It all boils down to one thing; sticking to it!  A support group like The Rebels is a great place to start.  Let's stick together in 2011 and make it the best year we have all seen in a long time.  I sure plan to.