The Quilt of Life

My life has consisted of many imperfectly sewn together squares. These squares are the equivalent to the chapters in a page turning novel, that currently remains unwritten. The fabric that has held everything together so far has been veterinary medicine.

The animals have always been my passion. When I decided to become a veterinarian there was no stopping me. I vividly recall being at a local gas station and bothering maybe even begging, Dr Regusa for a job at Raton Animal Hospital. He worked his magic and an interview with Dr. Mark Jansen was granted. I ate, slept, and dreamt veterinary medicine from that point until present.

Mark informed me if I was going to succeed, I better always be doing something. There was always something to do in a vet hospital he said. Randomly, he threw out some examples of things I could clean. He mentioned there were tons of other tasks and I should be able to find them without bothering him. Employees should be productive all the time was his mantra. That summer I carried spray bottle and rag everywhere I went.

This was my first official job that included a boss. I previously ponied horses at the race track, where I was my own boss and knew what was expected. Laboring in a hospital was a hugely different dynamic which sometimes was served up with drama, both veterinary and otherwise. Looking back, I knew so little. I wonder how often, one gets to step into the shoes of their mentor. As a practice owner it is amazing how different the view was, surprisingly much the same as my mentors I bet. I now know what it is like to be in the self employed club, it is a definite blessing that is weighted heavily with stresses.

The memories of those summers play daily in my mind. Like the time we were semen testing bulls and Mark was talking and talking with the rancher. It was starting to snow, it was miserable and cold. I finally asked him to stop talking and start ejaculating! He and the rancher never let me live that down. There are so many other stories that stream through my mind like the rubbing alcohol incident, the new tire incident, the escaped heifers incident, the lasix caper, and working on African wild dogs and zebras. The above definitely constitute their own book/blog!

Mark was always smiling, laughing, joking, and was infamous for his practical jokes. He loved to talk and always had something he wanted to show or tell. Looking at it from my current situation as the head of a small company, how did he make time for everyone and still accomplish all the necessary tasks required to run a hospital and treat patients. He was the quintessential people person. I regret that I didn’t make the time to tell him how much he meant to me. He will be greatly missed. The thought of going to Raton and not having the option to pop in (usually because I have forgotten something or needed something for one of my favorite brother’s animals) and visit a minute causes the tears to flow.

He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and the community he served.

Cupcake Redemption

Macgyver doesn’t have anything on most moms! When a ranch mom digs deep into her pantry the possibilities are endless! Anyone could have crafted these cupcakes if they gone for supplies. However, that is why I am so proud of them, because they were created out of only the supplies on hand. When did this become a cake blog?

The cupcake problem began when my mom, the grandma informed the preschool that Macklee was going to bring cupcakes to school for her birthday. What I might mention here is that my mom does not bake. Aren’t grandma’s suppose to bake? Good thing she has amazing other talents. (Sure shopping is a talent, almost a science if you go with my mom!)
Normally, this would not have been an issue, however on the heels of this weekends cake debacle (feel free to read previous blog!). the stakes were high, real high.

Did I mention it’s farm week at preschool? The amazing shopper went on a quest for small cupcake topping farm animals, you know the dollar store variety. Apparently, these are a hot item in Belen, NM, they were nowhere to be found. (Let me tell you if they were in Belen my mom would have found them!). Now what? Plain cupcakes? This is when inspiration struck. I never meant for this to turn in to a food blog, but was incredibly proud of making something out of nothing!
Today, Macklee is officially four and I get a birthday hiatus until January! Oh except for my moms birthday but she isn’t getting a cake this year for obvious reasons (read previous blog!). Happy Birthday Mom!

A Piece of Cake

Let me begin with the admission that as a mom, birthday parties have never really been my thing. I usually try to scrape something together to acknowledge the day i.e.cake. I tell myself that I make everyday special so there is really no need for a large production. Then, about every four years, I go all out and do too much birthday! This was not an all out year. One other teeny weensy fact before you examine the pictures, is I did attend three courses in cake decorating. I have certificates, or at least I did until the Wilton Cake Decorating people read this blog.
Before . . . .

This is the unicorn cake that I ordered for MJ’s 4th birthday! I would just like to take a moment to honk my own horn here. This alone in the past would have brought the waterworks from my poor eyes. However, I really took this in stride. I faced it head on, with an I can do attitude.
How hard could it be to replace a unicorn cake head. I began baking. I then cut out the cake into many pieces and stacked them ever so carefully. It was amazing, it really was resembling a horse head. This is where I started patting myself on the back a little early. It was when I attempted to frost the warm cake that it all went wrong. . . .

The funny thing is the birthday girl could care less. All the fears I have of ruining her childhood will have to wait. I guess there will be no therapy sessions for the unicorn cake that my mom didn’t master. No support group in high school, for girls that never had pretty cakes!
So the moral of the story is twofold. The first lesson is true stories are always the funniest, and the imperfections of life create the best memories.
The day was wonderful for my princess.

Respectfully submitted by the Queen (mom of a princess!)of cakes!

Summer Lament

dalli summerWell, can someone please tell me how we ended up back in school already? It seems like just yesterday that I had a ton of delusions about what our family was going to accomplish. We were going to cast our line for some trout, snuggle in a borrowed tent, and ravage some s’mores.

For the record, none of that happened. At this moment I am trying to conjure up a family memory that did transpire. Macklee went with grandma and grandpa to Colorado Springs to watch Uncle Wes rope. Dalli went with them to Chama to ride the rails. But as a family unit, I am sure summer eluded us. Remember as kids when you could get a “do-over”? I need a summer do-over!

Oh well, no crying over spilled summers, one must march on and vow to do better next year. We were able to take a plunge in one of the big stock tanks on the ranch once.
The week ended with an awesome birthday party at the Albuquerque Zoo, tigers, orangutans, and hippos oh my! It was so nice to see friends, even if it was for a short time. Then off to a family dinner at the Luna Mansion, where we obsessed the during the entire nice dinner, worrying about MJ’s Roy Rodgers drink that didn’t have a lid! DonT these people have children? A mothers advice, never pour more than you wish to clean up!

Now, I do my time (like the ladies in Orange is the New Black!) at the emergency clinic. Hoping tomorrow will come soon, so I can have some time with my girls before another week, or worse, an entire school year disappears . . .again!

Heifer Hodgepodge

The week has been a blurr, like a dust storm where you can’t see two feet in front of you, and have no idea if you are still on the right road, or any road for that matter. It started last Friday night, David and the girls picked me up in Belen so we could head to a high school graduation in Quemado, NM.

However, before we fled Belen, David noticed the rear end of my suburban was smelling bad, mom saved the day and volunteered her vehicle. The graduation was great, and we left at 9 pm for the three hour journey home. We were originally going to camp out, but had to start our heifer synchronization on Saturday. My friend Lori and her son, needed a lift back to Mountainair. (This would have been fine if we had the suburban, but moms car holds, 5 and if you are following my ramblings closely you will get a tally of six!).

The commute was going well until we saw the flashing lights. Oh yes it was us the state patrol was after. He approached the car after shining the flash light into the back seat, (where the three kids and I were buckled improperly) he asked politely to see David’s license.

“Well you see officer, I don’t have my license”.

The officer asked him to step out of the car, he was able to get his information and pull him up, then he asked about the car.

“Well you see officer we broke down in Belen, and this is my mother in laws car . . . “.

At that point, the officer said you are awfully tight in there, go on your way but slow down. I think it was going to be too much paperwork for him.

Saturday we gathered heifers and implanted them to start the synchronization process. A long day. Sunday we saddled up to drive the heifers to the house. It was another long day horseback. But somehow, we even found time to haul a few loads of dirt for a much needed cattle guard. The girls and I ran the dump truck while David loaded us. Some of the haul roads that lead to the pit were a tad scary like ice road truckers without the ice!

The rest of the week was pretty uneventful, a couple of trips to the mechanic to fix the suburban, last day of third grade, violin and gymnastics. Then, last night I worked at Pet Er. This morning, I stopped at Home Depot to get some garden plants, in hopes that a garden can be planted at some point before another weekend escapes. Arrived home in time to run to Capitan to pick up frozen semen to inseminate heifers Monday. Girls are currently asking questions about what semen is. Hey family how about we check out the Smokey the Bear museum.

Did you know Smokey the bear is buried in Capitan NM. He was found as an orphaned cub there, and lived to be 25 years old. ( he spent most if his life in the National Zoo, in Washington, DC). Finally off to Ruidoso for dinner at the Cattle Baron, a little grocery shopping and home finally. Remember only you can prevent forest fires!

Pokey Porcupines

We began to ponder this afternoon whether the correct pluralization of porcupine is porcupines? Porcupines is correct according to The Russian Orthodox Monk whose dogs were attacked by one this afternoon! (Okay maybe it was the other way around, but that is not how it looked)

We were having a routine day, and then It all fell apart. Two porcupine dogs, a dog that was hit by a car, a dog with heartworm disease, a cat with a bladder infection, and of course the regular surgeries are ready to be picked up! Phew! The good news all patients are well, including the nurse who was bit by the porcupine dog in the middle of the frenzy.

After sending all patients home, except for Baby (the dog who was abandoned at our office at the beginning of the week anyone want a female pit bull?), we realized that it was time to skedaddle to the train station for my nurse who rides the Rail Runner, to commute from Albuquerque to Belen. (We made it with at least 1 minute to spare!) David called to let me know he was passing through Belen and so we were able to eat dinner together, before he ran home to gather horses. He will leave our house at 5:30 a.m to go to Surat Ranch to help them brand tomorrow.

I stayed at my moms. Del Rae and Mote kept the girls, how blessed we are to have an extra set of grandparents to love our girls. So, I wen to the office and did paperwork until 8 and then headed to my moms. I am finally kicking back watching an episode of Farm Kings! (I love that show)

An incredible busy week? I am not sure how busy it actually was, or if it just seemed hectic, because David and my mom have abandoned me, and left me to fend for myself? They both have spoiled me, now I am holding down the fort. I guess they just do that everyone once in awhile to make me appreciate them more. Maybe next time they could coordinate their planners and not be gone at the same time? I appreciate you guys come back! Help!

David’s Posse


All in all a wonderful day. David advised us last night that, we needed to move cattle today. So, we tried to race to be out of the house before the sun came up. Key word was . . . “tried”! David took the ranger to check out which pasture we were going to put them in. I saddled three horses, and rushed the girls through rodeo practice before we loaded up and headed out.

We found two pair, but the sight of all of us, was too much so they high tailed it through the trees. We were persistent and rounded up the rest. My husband even expressed that “this would have been incredibly hard to do by myself”.
Since I speak cowboy, that is translated to “you are great help, thank you so much!”

There was one moment when MJ’s horse jogged off, and she forgot she knew how to stop her, but she remembered quickly. I don’t know if kids, horses or my husband give me more grey hairs.

The afternoon brought a pleasant surprise when my friend Jill called to ask if Dallli could come for a sleepover. So we headed to town to meet Jill and her daughter Nora. Jill and I went on a walk around the track, (I was so sore from riding, I could hardly move) then Mj and I took the trash and stopped to get milk.

MJ and I baked brownies, took a bath, and did some manicures and pedicures. Lastly, a nice Fancy Nancy bedtime store and sweet dreams of tomorrow rodeo.


The Hoarders



Three generations (one of which is no longer with us, but definitely contributed to the problem) of hoarders came together to clean out the old shop this weekend. The cleaning and sorting was like being in a giant dusty time capsule. Why we felt the need to save some of the things we did over the years will remain a mystery. It was hard work, with lots of manual labor, old memories, and tons of scrap metal.

The shop has served the Mack family well over the years. It was first Mack’s Marine, where they serviced boat engines. Then they progressed to Mack’s sales and sons when they begin repairing small engines, like chain saws and lawn mowers, and today thrives under the heading of Mack’s Drilling which seems to encompass the tons of things they do including my brothers new adventure

Two trash trailers, one utility trailer, one dump trailer full of scrap metal and we are still not done. There is still a garage sale pile, Wes’ keep pile, Bobs keep pile and of course more scrap metal. My pile came home in a utility trailer that I still owe for! (Hopefully I have a good interest rate!)

There are such pleasant memories associated with that old building. There were 4 separate rooms, the main machine shop, the parts room, the garage, and my grandmas office (which was located off the parts room, and apparently was also the old chicken coop before my time!) There were new chainsaws displayed in a tree (old log) that reached from floor to ceiling, in the center of the parts room.

My grandmas office with the navy maps on the wall, marking all the places in the world my dad’s submarine had sailed, when he was in the Navy. The old cash register that was on the end of the massive showcase, oh how we all loved to punch down the big buttons.

The back of the shop held my grandmas mint condition Rambler, and all her wood working tools. All the walls were lined with peg board, and every tool had its place, although in the machine shop, they were rarely in their places because they were strewn out next to some engine or other project on a parts table. I can remember my grandma making rags out of all kinds of material. The rag bin was there next to the degreaser, she always kept the bin filled, and laundered the nasty greased rags weekly.


20140408-195615.jpg My dad built our horse trailer in there. Patches had her puppies in there. The 8 track player was always playing good ole Johnny Paycheck, singing “take this job and shove it”, before I even knew what a job was. It is bittersweet, to have done a lot of work with my family to clean it up, however at the same time realizing that was the last time I will ever set foot in that space again. I wonder how much this family business grossed in the 40 years it used this make shift building?



Nashville was a very happening town. Hopefully, that degree of economic recover will be coming to New Mexico soon. Even the line to buy boots was too long to stand in, yes, sadly, I had to abandon them in Tennessee. We took Tommy’s Tour of the city which was great. It was neat to see where Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, and Martina McBride reside. Below is either Taylor or Dolly’s house, I lost track!

20140322-173700.jpgWe saw the famous Music Row, The Ryman Auditorium, and The Country Music Hall of Fame. Reba’s exhibit and the size of the archives blew me away.

20140322-173237.jpgDon’t forget about my name sake!


20140322-173743.jpg The pleasure of listening to John Paul Mitchell at the AAHA conference, was another highlight.

20140322-173624.jpg As you might be able to tell he wasn’t able to get to my hair!

One night we made it to the famous Tootsie’s Bar. It is amazing how many stages and artists are in this town. All day and night everyday, there was someone with a guitar or a fiddle on a make shift stage strumming away. It also makes me happy that I am no longer frequenting bars on a regular basis.


George Strait was starting his tour last night, and I took a picture of his 3 buses.

20140322-173529.jpgLet us not forget about the delectable GooGoo Cluster. Something, that I had never heard of. The southerns have all kinds of good stuff: sweet tea, googoo clusters, Scarlet O’hara, tulip trees, and those neat accents!

20140322-173303.jpgConsidering how the week started, the ending was amazing. Tennessee is a gem.

Finding Gratitude


What a day! I have spent the day in the city of Nashville, although at this point, I must confess, due to the meetings I have been in, I haven’t seen much of this Honky Tonkin city. Maybe tomorrow! I am attending the American Animal Hospital Association Conference. I arrived a few days early to take part in a business group. (that I thought I was a probationary member of.). Tonight it was made clear by a secret vote that I would not be invited back! Ouch!

It was like a bad episode of Survivor, only I was fully clothed, in a nice hotel, and not incredibly hungry!

Keep reading I am sure there will be some positive in this post at some point in the near future. Just the fact that it inspired a new, much anticipated blog post has to be good, right?

After digesting the information that I was not considered an asset to the group, I called my girl friend Jody and my husband. Their responses, after listening to me wail, were remarkable similar! It was a cross between nervous and uncontrollable laughter! They were quick to point out my lack of failures up to this point in life. Essentially, pointing out the fact that I was in uncharted waters! Then they reminded me that everything happens for a reason. All of this, of course, made me love them both even more! My husband is especially good at taking things in stride, and helping me to try and do so. (And for that and so many other reason, I love him so much)

Which brings me to my point, will this matter in 20 years? I firmly believe it is the little stresses in life that kill us. Maybe we all should be asking ourselves that question more often. Tonight has been rough, but I have taken a stand to remain positive and count all the blessings in my life. We must remember that when God slams a door closed, he opens a window, and if you choose to stare at the door too long you could be missing the beautiful things that await outside that open window! I embrace whatever is next! Lucky for you people grudges are not my strong point!

I am beyond blessed, and will continue to strive daily to be thankful for all the large and tiny blessings in my life!