I tried release compound path and the ungroup icon was still grayed out
I did get the solution from Suzanne Dean's Silhouette group
I needed to use the trace method.
Get file onto the mat
Click the "Open Trace Window" icon at the top of the Silhouette menu bar
Click Select "Trace area". It will give you a crosshairs to highlight the area
Go down to "Apply Trace Method" and choose " Trace and Detach"
It worked and all the individual pieces are moveable so I can move the elements off the mat that need to be cut later
During this entire process the ungroup icon was still grayed out.
My only problem was when I moved the elements off the mat they left a very faint outline where they had been. I wonder if I should have made the trace line a tad wider or just ignore those faint lines .
I can't cut it yet as I made a total mess of my mat by cutting some very fibrous black paper. The mat was covered in black fibers and I scraped so much that I took the adhesive off the mat. I ordered the Crafter's Companion mat cleaner and re-adhesive spray, but it has been so cold here ( close to zero or below zero) I have not been able to take it outside to spray it. It is supposed to warm up tomorrow to at least 20 degrees so I can do it them
"I have not failed . I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work" --Thomas A. Edison