Thursday, August 25, 2011

Welcome back to the school year Rebels!

I can't even remember what song I was searching for when this old memory popped up in the sidebar, but I thought it sure was significant timing with the beginning of the school year!  So as I always say when I post a song; crank up your computer speakers and push back your chair and do a little honky tonk dancin' with Lorrie Morgan on this classic:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Royal Ranch Royalty: Shades of Change


Well it is time to sit down in front of my computer and try to heal my broken heart with words.  See, I have been telling you Rebels about changes here at The Royal Ranch and they have all really started to hit me these last few weeks; thus my absence from this blog.  

We lost our beloved cat Shade a few weeks back and I knew it would be very symbolic of the times ahead.  Shade was our nurse and one of my best friends here at the ranch.  If any one was not feeling well, Shade was the first to let me know by laying by that animal or person and meowing insistently!  It was uncanny his ability to know that a spirit was not well before they actually showed symptoms outwardly.  I guess it was from his time living at the vet clinic for so many years; Shade had been a blood donor cat before he came to live at the Royal Ranch.

Which is how he became a character in my childrens book, Llucky Llama.  His name in the book is no other than Cuddly Cat of course.  Cuddly Cat is buried right next to Dedicated Dog; my first Great Pyrenees that was one of the greatest dogs I have ever owned in my entire life.  As a matter of fact, that spot has not been used since Marilyn (Dedicated Dog) passed.  Tom tried to bury another dog there one time and about got his head bit off by me-ha!  Sometimes there are just animals that are extraordinarily special in our lives and Shade and Marilyn were those type of animals.

As I said, I knew the winds of change were blowing; I just didn't know how hard.  That week I had gotten the news about my back.  I had gone back in because my back just isn't making progress.  It will be a year in October since my surgery and I have tried everything except chiropractic care.  And I do mean everything.  Walking, Pilates, stretching, yoga, acupuncture, etc., although it is all very good stuff it does not completely take away my pain.  I saw multiple docs in one week, one of them a specialist on the field who then sent me to another ultra-specialist who all agree; this is a lifelong issue.

The good news is is that the last specialist I saw did give me a shot in the spine that sent me into a horrific tizzy for about a week; and boy was it a painful tizzy, but I am better now.  So Rebels, please keep your fingers crossed that I can get these shots every three months for a little bit of pain relief!!!!  The timing was perfect because my back was feeling better just in time for me to deal with my next big change....

Which is losing my sons.  And to be perfectly honest, I suck at letting go.  I know that they are going to college and that they are doing the best thing for them, and that this is what is supposed to happen, but it still really hurts my heart.  I miss them sooo much it physically hurts sometimes.  And I know I'm not the only one out there; maybe I am the only willing to admit it, I don't know.

We took them to Gunnison, Co; the home of Western State College on Friday.  They will share a dorm room and will start classes on Monday.  Thomas already got a job and Austin has an interview today; so their lives are just going wonderfully!  My heart bursts with pride each and every time I get a text or a call or an email from one of them.  I really can't believe that my 2 sons are at college; to be honest I wasn't sure it could really happen.

These are two boys that come from homes that are not made of money.  As a matter of fact they are the first of both their families to ever have gone to college.  Thankfully, due to Austins legal circumstances (our adopting him) his schooling is entirely paid for with grants and loans (mostly grants-yeah!); but it really came down to the wire with our Bubby.  We have been selling things (anyone need a plow truck? ha!) and creative budgeting like no one's business.  I even swapped for some of his text books (review of book swapping sites to come in the following days, there are definite differences!).

Speaking of Austin's other home, that has been a constant source of stress this week also.  Since we have been a part of his life I have been very careful to include his other family and try to make one big happy family so that the boy does not feel as if he has to choose between the two.  I know that he loves his dad and his sisters and needs to keep contact with them; it is very important.  But this last week has just about killed me.  His Dad has let him down one too many times in my book.  As have the step mom and the sisters and the rest of them....I just couldn't take the hurt expression on my sons face any longer.  On the way up to Gunnison, I kept asking Tom what I could do to make up for the terrible week he had had, and all he kept saying is "Hon, you've got to let it go, you are already doing the best you can.  Just be who you are.  He knows how much WE love him."

I was telling my sister that I was so upset that Thursday, the last day I had with the boys had been such a stressful day because we had been running to Austins last dental appointments and needed to get their toiletries, etc.  And that at first I was wishing we had spent it differently, but when I looked back on it, I had been able to sneak in the fact that I had asked the dentist about cleft pallets and they are not related to fetal alcohol or drug abuse; a fact which Austin had grown up thinking and blaming his Mother for.  And when his Dad told him he wasn't coming home to say goodbye to his own son before he left for college; well I was there to buffer the blow and explain to Austin that it was because he just couldn't handle saying goodbye.

So, sometimes even a harried, stressful day can turn into one that is very meaningful to those we love.  That night when we got home, hours later than we had planned, our neighbors were waiting for us.  They were here gathered to say goodbye to our beloved boys.  They are the ones who truly love and respect these kids.  It's not always blood that makes a family.  We had my daughter's best friend and her Mom and sister.  The boys' best friend who is one year younger (poor kid getting left behind) and his family, who have truly become our dearest friends; and our beloved neighbors Dan and Judy over.  It was so perfect.

In the midst of all of this; I have been eluding to changes here at The Royal Ranch.  They have been a long time in the making I suppose, but it sort of came as a shock to me.  The biggest being that I have realized that I am probably not going to be doing pack jobs anymore.  There are times when my back is bad that I can't even make it up the stairs so it is a bit concerning to make a reservation for a pack trip up a mountain that is six miles one way.

Which really means that I have way too many llamas than I need.  And on top of it, I am losing my Great Pyr, Tia.  She has a cruciate tear that needs surgery that we cannot afford nor take care of after the surgery.  I am very blessed that the person who gave her to me is willing to take her back and pay for the surgery that I have arranged through a dear friend of mine and then care for her during her recovery stage....We will take it one day at a time after that.  The problem with caring for a dog that weighs more than I do, is that she will need to be physically moved, etc after her surgery.

So, I am slowly but surely placing my llamas, Tia will leave around the 13th of September, Paco my ram is going to Auction where he should pull a pretty good price and will not get eaten because Rams are yucky to eat and so I can finally feel comfortable taking an animal to auction and seeing how it all works.  I may replace the ram; the main reason he is going is because I would like to breed his daughter this year.  But the whole ghist of the ranch is changing a bit...

As a matter of fact, I had decided that I was going to do poultry.  That was until the neighbors dog killed one of my prize turkeys last week.  Yes, in the middle of my crazy week; I was in filling out paperwork with the boys which is how it happened because normally when the turks are out I have my eye on them at all times.  But this day, we were busy doing last minute stuff for the college, and I heard a ruckus and went out to find the dog eating my turkey.

Although they have offered to compensate me financially, it was very hard for me to determine a price on the first turkey.  First of all, the turkey was not harvested properly so I was unable to save the feathers which on these types of turkeys is a good portion of their value.  We, of course, were unable to save the meat after a dog had been eating it.  But what really bothered me the most was the waste of the whole thing.  I think you as Rebels know that I do not waste anything.

Let alone the amount of hard work and time and love that we all had put into these turkeys.  We knew that the turkeys were going to die; as a matter of fact we all were quite proud of the fact that these three were going to be the first animals that we actually planned on raising from the get go and eating.  Now we will not even be tasting our own hard work as the remaining two have already been sold to friends who have driven in our driveway, taken one look at those beautiful turkeys and asked if they were for sale.

So, my future business plans are as follows:  I am going to continue my writing; I think I may even finally have time to take that second childrens book out of my head and put it onto paper!  The ranch will continue to size down a bit, literally.  The llamas will find the right homes as they come along, and I will slowly grow my poultry/feather business as I feel it is safe.  The loss of my sons I guess I will get used to(?!?), but the loss of Shade....well, that was an indicator of times a changin' I'm afraid.

I would really love to hear from you Rebels.  Have you dealt with losing your children to college and if so what helped?  What about other losses and changes in your lives.....???

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Twenty years and counting...

Yesterday was our twentieth wedding anniversary.  Two whole decades.  I really couldn't believe it; it actually had kind of snuck up on both of us what with all of the changes happening here at The Royal Ranch that I promised you I was going to write about.  And I still will write about those changes and the waves of havoc they have created for this family; changes like kids leaving for college and me finally realizing that my back issue is a disability and not a back issue.  There is a BIG difference when you own, live and love on a ranch; it makes your life decisions a lot more important.

But anyway, back to our twenty years together and how something so significant can sneak up on a person.  See, we have a tradition here at the ranch for birthdays for the kids; in the mornings when they get up I have printed out their names in big letters with descriptive words of them, usually with a pic of something their really into that year.  Yes, teachers I know there is a proper term for this I just can't think of it; help a Rebel out in the comment section here....Well, it seems this tradition stuck, because on our pillows last night we found this poem from our 15 year old who had pretended to have forgotten our anniversary:

Mom and Dad you are so great
even though sometimes its like I don't appreciate
you're always there through thick and thin
so we'll be happy to the end

T*he best dad
O*ver worker
M*r. with a loving family

J*ustifiably Crazy
U*unbelievably great
D*etermined to help even when not needed (we have all laughed ourselves senseless over this one!)
Y*our son loves you

Tom and I said this was the kindest most rewarding anniversary present either of us had ever gotten.

Right back at 'ya kid:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

'Nuf Said!

Dear Rebels,

I recently went into my local feed store because I was entirely out of my regular organic/Non-GMO/no-soy feed for my poultry.  I have to tell you I was so totally caught off guard by the owners total lack of knowledge and even defense on the subject of Genetically Engineered feed that I even had myself wondering if this was a lost battle.  That was until I got back in the truck with my kids and my fifteen year old son said "Mom, I could tell you were getting really mad; and I understand your point.  I just don't think I can explain it".

That is when I realized that I am so passionate about this movement and how it has affected the growth of our children (really, did girls used to have boobs and bums that size?) that I have a hard time coming up with the proper words.  So, although I promised my regular readers a different post for next time, I read some wonderful news online today that really brings my point home; and PLEASE take the time to read the entire article; you don't want to miss paragraphs like this:

Many NaturalNews readers will recall the numerous incidents involving lawsuits filed by Monsanto against non-GMO farms whose crops were inadvertently contaminated by GM material. In many of these cases, the defendants ended up becoming bankrupted by Monsanto, even though Monsanto's patented materials were the trespassers at fault.


But it appears that the tables are now turning. Instead of Monsanto winning against organic farmers, organic farmers can now achieve victory against Monsanto. In other words, farmers being infringed upon by the drifting of GM material into their fields now have a legal leg to stand on in the pursuit of justice against Monsanto and the other biotechnology giants whose "frankencrops" are responsible for causing widespread contamination of the American food supply.

Just like the title, "Nuf Said!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Metaphysical Monday

I woke up this morning thinking how ironic that it was Monday and August 1, the day that I had chosen to make the announcement about my Life Readings and Animal Communications.  See, I've got to tell you, this has been one of the weirdest couple of months in my life; so weird in fact that I will probably split it up into two different posts so as not to confuse things much.  My next post is going to be about changes and losses here at The Royal Ranch, mostly due to me facing the fact that my back is not getting any better.

But today, Metaphysical Monday that happens to be August 1, and the day that I had committed to announcing to months ago, I want to talk about a new phase of my life.  You all know that I have a strange "sixth sense" that allows me to work with my Spirit Guides and communicate with animals.  Well, on June 15, 2011 I had sent out some letters to friends and people I have worked with over the years (no family) to let them know that I had been nudged to share my gift on a professional basis.

My letter stated that I feel very strongly that I can help my community by helping those in it.  I think there are a lot of souls out there right now who need the help and don't know where to find it.  And I am willing to barter.  We are a world that has lost it's spirituality and I would like to help bring it back one person at a time.

So anyway, back to the affects of the letter.  I got plenty of calls and responses, just like I was hoping.  And I did get to work on my "Spiritual dictionary" (I was a bit concerned that my Spirit Guides would not be able to help me enough on a professional basis; read=I was worried about charging people $$$, or bartering for my services), but the most amazing affect was on my confidence.

The letters revolved around the number 7.  Our address is 7, of course lucky seven; and then I was doing 7 free Life Readings in the seventh month.  My goal had been to send out 7 letters, but when I got to looking at addresses I coincidentally came up with 17.  My first free Life Reading decided that she did want me to do a Tarot reading on her when we were done (I am careful not to depend on tools for my readings), and of course a 7 was the first card we pulled!

As the readings progressed and my confidence grew a bit, I found that I was not quite so shy about my gift.  Like when we went to the Rivera's place to shear the rescue llamas and their dog had a nice long chat with me while we sheared away.  A while later the owner of the dog was telling me about how she was feeling guilty about an accidental breeding that had happened; and I knew why it had happened but was not sure if the people would think I was a nutcase if I told them their dog had told me why.

Being the hesitant soul that I am, I sat on it all for a few days....and remembered how they were with their beloved bird, and how they had been with those llamas that they had lovingly fostered and I took a chance and sent them an e-mail AC (animal communication) consultation.  I had written down everything I had learned while I was at their place from all those lovely critters.  And you know what?  They didn't think I was a nutcase at all, they truly appreciated the insight into their household. 

It had all been so cute because the dog (a boston terrier) had won a battle to get to talk to me.  The Rivera's have 4 Boston's and they all had come running up to greet me fighting over who got to talk first.  Growling and snorting like flat faced dogs do, and then when the chaos was all over the group in general didn't have too much to say, except they sure were proud of their swimming pool!  But one of them followed Tom and I when we went back to work and just chatted away, and when she was very adamant about something she would come over and quietly lick my leg and then go back to her corner and sit.

Again, an experience like that was one that I had to share with her owners.  Especially knowing that they carried a bit of guilt when actually the whole thing had happened for a reason.  I find that so often when I work with Spirit, which is why I have chosen to do this...there is a reason for everything, and we need to have some sort of Sprituality in our lives.

Speaking of spirituality.  I had another hunch that I knew I needed to share with a friend.  I hardly know this family; actually I really don't know them at all.  This gentle man is the man who runs one of the Yahoo groups that I follow; an organic gardening group.  He and his family recently suffered a terrible loss in their orchards, not only the loss of their fruit, but the stripping of the trees which of course means their imminent death.

He had been kind enough to help me via e-mail with a few of my very atypical and difficult high altitude gardening questions, but I still felt like some sort of stalker sending him and his wife a note letting them know that I had a very strong vibe that this was just not an orchard or fruit or $ issue like they were talking about on the group.  I felt very strongly that it was personal and that he and his family needed to take some precautions.

You can NOT imagine my surprise when I received the story of his lifetime back.  It is one I will read again and again.  As a matter of fact I asked him if I could repost it here, and he is not comfortable with that.  He did say that Creator told him to share the story with me, and I feel that it is because of the upheaval in my life at this time.  Needless to say, I was correct in my assumption and they are taking all precautions; and they did appreciate my kind thoughts.

The seventh month has passed, and I had helped people that I didn't even think I might be able too.  I will leave it up to the Spirit Guides and Creator, because obviously they have a plan for me.  Thank you for the interesting few months; it's been a trip.