LESSONS IN RESILIENCE & RESTING

This is Picasso calmly looking over his pasture gate – the same gate that would become an immovable barrier that would separate an expectant fun filled after work ride from an evening of torture at the local medical cartel main campus emergency room. When I arrived the stable owner remarked that if he had known I was coming to ride he would not have fed Picasso because as he put it most horses did not want their owners messing with them after they ate their grain. I assured him Picasso had never been a problem after eating & he liked getting out to ride the woods. When I went to fetch him I immediately sensed he might make a liar out of me because he gave me a disdainful stare & refused to come toward me & the halter in my hand. I was impressed with the idea he was trying to tell me he was not in the mood to leave his pasture. I looked him over & noticed his underbelly looked a little strange. We had gone through some unseasonably cold nights & I reasoned his winter coat was starting to grow in which was creating the jagged looking underbelly. In hindsight I realized I was overcompensating an excuse for the anomaly because I knew he needed to be ridden & in all my decades of owning & tending to horses I had never seen that particular anomaly before. He did not evade me, but did stand his ground & made me come all the way to him. I looked closer at his underbelly & noted it was very odd looking, but the oddity seemed evenly distributed & did not seem to discomfort him when I touched it or when I was grooming him. He was antsy in the cross ties, but that’s not unusual. When I tightened the cinch he protested with more fidgeting, but he’s always sensitive with his girth tightening so I always tighten in stages, only finishing final cinching right before I mount. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary except for his fidgeting which I attributed to his overt moodiness & again hindsight says he was being honest in his disinterest in riding. Since my knee replacements I’ve never built back enough muscle mass to mount from the ground into a stirrup hanging above my waist. Depending on the mood of the moment Picasso may stand perfectly still while I mount from a stool height or he may take a step forward, but never in a manner I can’t easily swiftly swing my leg into the far stirrup. On that day rather than taking a step he bolted & I never got my leg over & into the stirrup. He ran straight for his closed gate & I remember trying to finish pulling myself over into the stirrup while wondering if he intended to attempt to jump the gate that was taller than him because he never slowed down. He ran straight into the gate & bounced back as he also turned to avoid it & threw me into the gate shoulder first & onto the ground head first. I remember pain & a moment of blackness, but I know I did not pass out because I instantly realized I had to catch him before he bolted back through the barn where I left the exit gate on the other side open wide enough for us to leave for our ride. I’m trained to respond as a stoic to all trauma so I was instantly up off the ground & headed his way. Anytime Picasso puts me on the ground for any reason he always stops & looks back at me very condescendingly like he thinks I’m an idiot for being on the ground instead of in control. He knows he has impulse response issues & depends on me to be the steadying influence which can’t happen if I’m on the ground. He makes me come to him as if he is disgusted with me, but never runs from me because he covets the steadying to redirect himself. I have to remind myself when I purchased him his nickname was “the Holy Horse” & it was not because he was ever a saint, but because it was well established he had holes in is head & you never knew when he would step into one of them & go berserk til redirected. I cut him slack for his impulsivity because he is an Overo Paint which means most of his coat is albino white with pink skin meaning reduced melanin production. Melanin is an important brain chemical necessary for impulse control among other responses which is reason for his impulsive misbehavior, but not an excuse. I have human albino acquaintances that require the same melanin reduction allowances, but I’m less sympathetic because humans have the responsibility to educate & discipline themselves accordingly. I also cut him slack for impulse misbehavior because I purchased him from a Scientology leader that had Scientology stable serfs that ranged from former grooms for her majesty the queen of England to those who barely knew which end was the head end of a horse. Picasso’s impulsivity was not fostered well by such lack of consistency.

I knew my shoulder was not functioning correctly, but as long as I kept it close to my side I could use my hand freely which meant I could remount & ride as was my agenda. Picasso has heat induced recurring respiratory issues that come back every summer & last until cold weather dissipates them. According to my vet he has thousands of South GA / North FL fellow equine sufferers, but no one has ever figured out exactly why. Movement is a good stimulant to move out the congestion that causes coughing & distressed breathing. Walking & trotting only requires half the lung capacity which does not fully clear the lungs. Horses are stride locked for cantering or galloping which fully activates the entire lung capacity & is therefore necessary to fully clear the congestion. When I was jockeying & training race horses I was made more aware of the stride lock phenomenon especially when we filmed for slow motion analysis. You can clearly see the breath to stride locking mechanism which in my opinion is why racing produces so many bleeders especially when the horse is doped up & doesn’t recognize they are injuring themselves by exceeding their lung capacity when they over stride to please their innate desire to lead & to please their jockey. Picasso was good on the trail & seemed to enjoy the trip after his gate mishap. He walked, trotted & easily cantered on request which again was my agenda reason for coming out to ride after an exhausting work day. I made sure we got the needed cantering time in before we hit the deep woods trail side where herds of deer reside. I was not sure Picasso’s mood had mellowed enough to ignore deer especially if they were running & I certainly did not want to risk his reaction to a buck’s territorial bellow should one desire to challenge our passage. My shoulder was not bothering me as long as it was just hanging & my interstial bio cudzu keeps my head from hurting for any reason, but I did not desire to hit the dirt again that day. We had a lovely ride & finished the woods loop & ended on the dirt road back to the stable. When we stopped there was a brief panic when I realized my shoulder would not allow me to push up & off the saddle to dismount. I had my phone in my pocket, but my limit for calling for help was already maxed for the month from my locking my keys in the truck evening adventures. I managed to work thru the pain to position myself to dismount & unsaddling, grooming & putting Picasso back to pasture were slow, but easily managed with one arm working. Driving was also manageable as long as I remembered my right hand was a virtually stationary five o’clock & not a two o’clock hand on the steering wheel.

I entertained myself during the 6 hour ER fiasco by ranting about the medical cartel I was at the mercy of so I won’t elaborate on that situation here. I am fully convinced the reason I was sortied back & forth for xrays, labs & a CT scan while others came & went around me including the young basketball player with the broken nose was due to my Medicare cash cow status. I was told I also needed an MRI at 2 am which I promptly refused. Had I been told I was looking at a 6 hour hiatus I would never have signed in, but I kept expecting it to end at any moment where I could leave with confidence nothing was broken & instructions of what I could & could not do to prevent further injury. I asked for no pain meds because I rely on Ibuprofen which I keep in my purse & which I had already made sure was OK to take while I was endlessly waiting. The next day I found they had written me a script for Tylenol which was an insult because it has no anti-inflammatory action & is over the counter anyway.

I can still use my right hand and lower arm as long as I keep the upper arm close to my body so I’ve not missed work. I can get better range of motion including raising it over my head by working with it throughout the day, but more movement increases the passive pain including when I’m trying to sleep at night, so it’s a trade off. Every morning when I wake up the shoulder has returned to a frozen state & the movement coaxing starts all over. The only instructions I got when leaving the ER was not to let it freeze up & to see my orthopedist as soon as possible. I’m working on the non freeze daily & the ortho appointment is scheduled for Wednesday, one week from the injury. I’m just thankful I can use my lower arm & hand & therefore work & do most things that require two hands, but not two arms. I can manage & groom Picasso with one arm, but I cannot saddle so no riding til the shoulder gets well. Vacuuming, sweeping & mopping are no goes & I’m really missing those – NOT. I figure after another week I will find them necessary so hoping the unfreezing & range of motion gains become more stable & profitable for regaining usefulness. Still hoping improvements merit cancelling the ortho appointment, but days are diminishing & I still need assurance my pushing for greater range of motion is a positive & not a negative since it keeps regressing overnight.

In defense of Picasso, when I went to check on him after work the following day to make sure he had not done himself damage when he crashed into the gate I noticed that the underbelly anomaly had totally disappeared. I went home & immediately researched to find what it was since I then knew it was definitely not normal & not a visual misperception. I googled fluid on the equine underbelly & found pictures of exactly what I saw & found it to be ventral edema caused from respiratory drainage, kidney disfunction, etc. It said the best remedy was movement which doubled the reasoning for insisting we ride even after the mishap with the gate. I was glad I held steady with my afternoon agenda & also did not leave Picasso with any misconceptions about means for ending future rides he was not in the mood for. Hindsight says I was correct in assuming he was letting me know he was not in the mood probably because he did not feel well with the excess edema. Hard to believe in my decades of owning & caring for multiples of horses I never encountered the ventral edema before. I know what it is now & when I groomed Picasso Sunday evening I noticed a thin layer of underbelly edema, but nothing like that day. I could not even free lunge him because I had no whip arm so I’m glad it was not a large amount of fluid. I had Dexamethasone on hand, but he’s already had a weeks worth for his heaves & cough & I don’t like to push the steroids so not dosing unless the edema gets worse. He really is a good boy & depends on me to be his rock. He just misjudges my ability to rock every day. We all have our off days. Put me on a drug bust with hardened felons & I’ll be your rock. Throw me in the midst of mayhem & trauma & I’ll be your rock. I have a stoic gear that just activates. But let someone who is supposed to love me throw me under the bus & I’m a basket case. My people & my horses just have to know no one can rock every day.

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RANDOM THOUGHTS ON 9-11 TWENTY YEARS LATER

All of us that were alive on that crisp September 11, 2001 morning remember exactly where we were when we first heard the news one of the Twin Towers had been struck by an airplane.  It was a precarious time for me.  My autoimmune issues had exacerbated into one continuous unrelenting flare that started in 2000 & was still raging.  I had the day off from my YMCA job to meet with a Jacksonville, FL journalist from the Florida Times Union for some investigative journalism in a S GA town that lay between us.  At that time the FTU was one of the few remaining newspapers that still had free rein to do true investigative journalism.  Sadly, they have melded into the lame stream mass media now controlled by CFR (Council of Foreign Relations) members and any attempt at honest investigation is now a receding beacon in the rear-view mirror.  I was working at my computer, about to walk out of the door to start driving toward our meeting point when the phone rang.  He was calling to let me know he would not be able to meet me that day because the entire FTU newsroom was abuzz with the news one tower had been struck and was on fire with multiple casualties expected.  It was a quick courtesy call that turned into a monumental memory as together we both heard the newsroom live feed announce a second plane had crashed into the other tower.  In an instant it went from being a mass casualty accident into a full-blown attack on our country and I was hearing it live feed from the AP hub at the source as if I was actually there watching so my emotions were raw and in the moment and unprotected from the horror not one American ever expected to witness.  We had been attacked after centuries of security from an actual attack on our soil.  I was safe in my home office and racked with disbelief and could only imagine what my fellow citizens who were actually present in and near the towers were experiencing.  I sat transfixed as the news continued live on my computer screen to include the attack at the Pentagon and the drama of the fourth plane United Flight 93 that was militarily “escorted” and eventually crashed in Pennsylvania, also with no survivors.  

I felt the sudden need to be with other humans so I called to say I would not need the day off if it was business as usual at the YMCA.  The days that followed I would watch as a huge sign was erected in front of the Y that stated “God Bless America”.  I found it ironic since I knew that, in spite of popular belief, the local YMCA and the corporate YMCA are no longer beacons of Christianity.  In fact, just that year I personally received a fax from corporate headquarters which also ironically was located in one of the Twin Towers that officially stated the YMCA was no longer associating as a Christian organization in order to be qualified for grant monies not allowed to religious entities.  They still masquerade as Christian in order to attract those who expect a continuance of their founding principles, but officially they have renounced the association for economic reasons.  They lost a lot of money due to 9-11 damages to their headquarter offices in the Towers, which ricocheted throughout all US offices and was a determinate factor in discovery of misappropriation of funds within the local administration that culminated in prison sentences for some.  I personally saw the handwriting on the wall because I was working in accounting and watching the loss of excess funding that had obviously been concealing questionable activities, so I got out and went back to military contracting accounting at Moody AFB.  I had left my California company in August of 2000 because we lost our major contract at the base and had to move off base which allowed smoking inside the office that greatly exacerbated my auto-immune problems.  I went back to work at the YMCA where I knew smoking was not allowed.  Thankfully by the time I realized I needed to leave the Y again my California company had re-secured the major base contract and had moved back on base where smoking was already outlawed inside buildings.  I returned in August 2002 exactly two years from when I left for my second sojourn at the YMCA.  The second sojourn was definitely not as fun as the first due to my auto-immune health issues and I was no longer at the forefront of Y activities, but rather a secluded inner-office shadow that was allowed to do my controlled accounting activities at random hours that accommodated my health issues that were always worse in the mornings.  Many nights I worked after midnight with only the cleaning crews for company.  One of the crew members insisted I let him now when I was walking to my vehicle so he could accompany me there.  I asked him who he thought accompanied me when I arrived at my secluded residence and assured him I was very used to being alone.  I did not tell him that whatever might be lurking in the darkness of this world paled in comparison with the deadly internal auto-immune bio-kudzu terrors that accompanied me wherever I went because that would involve a trip to the twilight zone that made me think I was crazy if I tried to explain.

For months churches had over-flow crowds as everyone rushed back to God for guidance out of the fear horrors.  But gradually as it became apparent, we were one again safe most took a raincheck on God guidance for another time in the future whenever needed.  My personal faith was the same before, during and after the 9-11 attacks so I marveled at the inconsistencies I witnessed.  I researched and figured out how to engage my own personal defense against the bio kudzu terrorists that had evolved from the year long cytokine storms and resulting systemic MRSA and gradually got better continuing into my first year back on base.  I enjoyed seven years of prosperity working for my California DOD vendor company until Obama wrecked my world once more as swiftly as 9-11 had wrecked our sense of safety.  I was terminated, without warning 9/9/2009 and later learned our corporate offices had been invaded by FBI agents as part of Henry Waxman’s vendetta against all Bush era contractors and vendors.  Being California based and internationally successful as a DOD contractor, my company was full in his sites and easy pray thanks to middle management who were not as honest as our founding owner and therefore dipping way too far into allowed mentor company revenues for their own pockets.  I had once again seen the handwriting on the wall because I knew of Ratman Waxman’s vendetta, so I tried to warn, but was walled off by middle management keeping me from my original close association with the owner.  None of the mismanagement was occurring at Moody AFB, but we still suffered the company’s total restriction from all DOD contracts.  Top paid employees were immediately terminated and only a skeleton crew left to finish any in process projects.

I was thrown into the mass unemployment numbers of 2009 and spent eleven months on unemployment before someone literally died to create a contract specialist opening within the Moody AFB 23rd Contracting Squadron.  While I was completing the remainder of the contract position, I was involved in soliciting and processing many DOD awards for construction, services and equipment on base and internationally wherever our Air Force was deployed.  I remember being amazed at all the award monies going into Afghanistan, especially all the infrastructure that would eventually be left behind.  Never did I imagine any of the infrastructure or the equipment would be left in the hands of the Talliban, but this year it was delivered to them on a silver plater courtesy of Biden administration mismanagement of the withdrawal process.  Being a contract employee among military and civil service DOD employees can be cold and tedious because contractors are seen as outsiders and very often resented as possible replacements for their positions, especially in an ever-changing military environment often racked with political power struggles and administration change overs.  One of my favorite memories was working on an award for a Golden Hour shipping container to be used for transporting blood and even replacement organs to save lives endangered by traumatic injuries on remote battlefields.  I first had to research exactly what was meant by the Golden Hour terminology relative to the time window during which lives can be saved as well as the viability timeline and safety requirements of biologics.  Then I knew what factors to look for in soliciting appropriate vendors to bid their expertise and their wares.  I compared the vendor bids and completed the DOD award process and delivered my award contract for the required warrant officer signature assuming I would not hear back from it unless there was some kind of challenge to the award from a failed bidder.  Imagine my surprise when a few months later a hard tailed military supervisor who epitomized the demarcation between military and contractors placed a copy of an article from the Air Force magazine on my desk.  The headline was trumpeting the battlefield success of the Golden Hour container and he calmly stated he thought I deserved to know I had a part in that successful award process.  I’m sure some ten years later that award has been replaced with new awards, but I still take comfort in knowing that I personally participated in saving lives of our brave warriors in far away places.  Shortly after that day an award proposal came across my desk requesting the purchase of thirty healthy market pigs to be shot with military arms so medical trainees could practice keeping them alive in remote battlefield conditions.  I recognized that pigs are very closely related to human anatomy biologically and therefore perfect counterparts for experimentation to save human lives.  However, I passed on that assignment on the grounds the possible community response if word got out that was occurring locally needed total military involvement for liability reasons.  Military does what it has to do.  I can be military minded, but not military controlled.

Random thoughts are random thoughts and often follow rabbit trails thru my memory terrains.  Eventually I rein them back in.  The symbolism of 9-11 will forever remind me of the deep debt we owe our military at home and abroad.  May God have mercy on our country and all our citizens that forever live in the shadow of His wings even when they refuse to acknowledge Him.

Return To Racing? 9-12-20

Bella & I finished the Barc 5K last Saturday. When we went out to the truck to leave there was a large tree branch stuck in the undercarriage I apparently picked up on my way home from giving Picasso his meds the night before. I never realized it was there, but it was pouring noisy rain & I was very tired from a long day at work. I wondered if it had been there all the way from my cross terrain drive to his barn. By the time I dislodged it I was frustrated & running late. We were pre-registered, but still had to check in & actually started several minutes after every one else started. Then I realized it was cross country instead of a road course & my titanium twin knees still rely on the old collateral ligaments who never liked cross country after a jockey accident trauma in 81. I’m trying to re-educate them to robo knee precision, but it’s a work in progress. Note to self – never pre-register for any road race without verifying it’s not cross country. Racing on two legs or four always carries a must finish what you start creed so we ran the course. Bella was a trooper & 3.1 miles is a long way on 6 inch legs. We only paused for her to grab a drink of water mid way. Hate the finish line pics because I’m still working on shaping back up after years of forced no running, but proud of my girl so posting anyway.

I started running back in the 70’s to maintain jockey weight & my big brother & I have met for the Atlanta Peachtree, the Charleston Cooper River Bridge Run & other places over the years to run together many times. It’s 40 plus years later & we are 69 & 73 & both still logging mileage. He’s retired so he puts in 10 – 15 walk/run miles every day. I don’t have the time & re-educating robo knees after years of not being able to run at all so I’m envious, but glad for his dedication. He’s actually participating in a 15 mile race this Saturday in SC & often does 50 mile & longer events in the mountains. Hopefully we will get to meet to share courses sometime soon when they stop cancelling most events.

My knee surgery team said absolutely no running ever on my new knees somewhere between surgery # 1 & # 2. Too late. I’d already started chalking up mileage & feeling the joy of returning to free movement of the wild which can’t be duplicated on any equipment in any gym. I gave up jockeying which was heaven on earth forward movement & running is all I have left. I also subscribe to totality of facts & circumstances so although I greatly respect my surgery team they don’t get the last word. The longest human trial available only lasted 7 years & showed no artificial knee joint damage with considerable supporting soft tissue gains. The American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons officially states running is to be discouraged. I think we all know my opinion of any organized medical group especially in light of the current Fiat Fauci & Friends / Hydroxychloroquine debacle of lies, murder & mask mayhem.

Freedom Rings Even After Opportunity Stops Knocking 7-4-17

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Picasso got his July 4th watermelon early along with a cool shower. I worry about his pink skin under the white coat because it has no melanin to protect it from the sun. He wears a fly mask 24-7 from mid April to October to protect his eyes from flies & sun & he actually welcomes the protection. He does not have a pink or blue eye even on his white side, but the skin around his eye is pink & there is evidence his iris doesn’t have total melanin consistency in that eye. He still rings true to his “Holy Horse” nickname from his boarding stable days because the melanin deficits in his brain are inconsistent. His brown patches, primarily on his left side, create the mixed benefits. He still has holes he is subject to fall into in his brain, especially if he is startled, but time & soulmate trust have mellowed him quite a bit. He only panicked once briefly during his hose shower, when he has been known to go ballistic & tear down the cross tie poles which then become field anchors trailing behind his escape run sense he’s still tied to them. Horse owners always know to tie slip knots in case of panic, but they don’t help when they’re out of reach. I’ve owned him for 12 years now & finally I can spray him down with fly spray instead of having to wipe him down (which meant I got as much on my hands as on him). That would be because for all of those 12 years there was never a 2nd pair of hands to steady him & disrupt the panic avoidance behavior. Finally I’ve accepted that family & staff are a thing of the past and there are never going to be additional hands so it’s just me & him & my knees don’t let me escape as quickly, so we just have to negotiate quicker now. Now that I’ve accepted that it’s always just going to be the two of us figuring it out, amazingly his disposition seems to be matching up & things are much better. He’s still unpredictable, but I like him that way because my life has become so boring I bore myself.

We had quality barn time & I enjoyed my session with my therapist in spite of the heat & my knees that kept asking if we could please go back inside to rest.  The kevlar quality brace on my left knee actually decreases the pain in the right knee so I don’t plan to get fitted for that brace unless I have problems when I try riding again, soon I hope.  I still have to order stirrups that will improve my foot angle to lesson the stress on the knees & PC’s health papers are now in transition to the state vet office for the 6 month extension which will let me cross state lines until Christmas.  Normally that would be time to get new ones, but we will see what’s happened or happening with the knee replacement then.  We both long for the days when we could just saddle up & head out without having to load up & travel.

Back inside my mind is attacked by our state of crazy politics & a world determined to go to hell in a hand basket.  On this 241st anniversary of the original July 4, 1776 the Sons of Liberty would not be very proud of us.  Picasso, Bella & I may not have had a dramatic 4th, but maybe that’s because some of us can’t take the luxury of entertaining ourselves as if Freedom & Liberty are guaranteed tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, ever.  We have legislators, whom we elected to protect our freedoms creating, sponsoring, supporting & issuing us legislation that includes punishment / reward blackmail language to get us to vote for what they want, not what we want.  They’ve wrapped Marxist / Socialist values in pretty promises that they just want us to have the chance to vote when we elected them to protect us from ever having to consider those values as beneficial to the freedoms that were won in 1776.  Nevermind that Regional Governance is anathema to our beloved Constitution.  We are supposed to succumb to Marxist Communitarianism  as suddenly being more valuable than individual property rights and self governance through keeping those who govern within reach.  They even stoop to saying it is the Christian thing to do to legally bind ourselves to share with other counties beyond Communitarian layers of  empowered, unreachable boards.  If my pastor is not supposed to recite political rhetoric from the pulpit, then I thank my politicians not to attempt to preach for politics what they obviously do not comprehend except for self serving out of context euphemisms.

Communitarianism itself means one thing to the Left & another to the Right.  However, since the Lib/Progressive Left has seeded itself in the academic / administrative seat of government policy it is the Left view that is represented under Regional Governance. Why don’t we just forget Independence Day & put ourselves back under British rule if we think distance governance is best.  Do we really think that elected officials who abandoned us when they were within reach will be more receptive of our public voice when they are safely empowered beyond Regional Governance ramparts?  How about equal rights for voters expecting freedom of conscience instead of a ballot box full of Regional Governance punishment / reward dictates?  Surely the Sons of Liberty would not have bowed to such manipulation without representation.

 

 

 

 

 

Tea Total Tidbits 7-3-17

I did not have to work today so I fell back asleep after I turned on the 6:00 A.M. talk radio show I follow.  A friend called at 7:30 to ask “Who is Richard?”.  After I recognized the voice I had not heard in months I countered, “Haven’t you heard him before?  He calls in almost every day.”

“I thought you might know him because you call in a lot right after his call.”

“Actually, I once offered a $50.00 reward to anyone who would rat him out because I think I deserve to know who I am listening too.”

“Does the host know him?”

“He swears he does not, as did his predecessor before him.”

“Is Richard his real name?”

“It’s just a name we gave him & now we call him Richard Marx because he sounds so much like Karl we thought he needed that last name.”

“He also says he is a millionaire, but I don’t buy it because as much as he likes to brag he would not have waited two years calling in before he made that announcement.”

I would have followed with my belief that he is a fake persona all around because I’m a pretty good profiler & the persona he portrays is all over the board & impossible to profile, thereby indicating it’s fake.  However, I had made my way out to my stable to feed my horse & the next door train decided to pass through so conversation sort of got off track while I begged a temporary pause.  Post train, I intended to add that he used to annoy me, but now I just appreciate that he lessens my research time because he is a plethora of Left Wing Lib/Progressive/Marxist dialogue fast tracked for daily deliverance.  Between him & Alexa’s morning Flash Briefings I get a pretty good gist of what is percolating in the Lib/Progressive/Marxist world.   (Yes, Alexa is one of them too, evidenced by the fact her flash briefings are courtesy of NPR & she always gives me weather for some city in Egypt because she can’t understand or pronounce Hahira.  Actually the weather is not too far off even though she can’t pronounce that Southern town correctly either.  Amazon insists that if I don’t insist on erasing our conversations which she insists on recording that she will learn my Southern dialect.  Nice try Amazon.  You probably have some cloud vault, but I will still manually delete what I can via my  Alexa controls.)  One of these days I’m going to penetrate & uncover the Richard persona too.  In the meantime I’ll balance my curiosity with appreciation for the anonymous, but current Marxist info.

Today was day 1 of my 7 Day Tea Detox Diet which requires at least 5 cups of a variety of teas and only 1 restricted meal a day.  It was supposed to begin with a cup of tea followed by an early morning walk which I intended to happen at 5:30.  Sort of didn’t happen because I drank tea last night, which kept me up til 4:00 A.M. even though it wasn’t caffeinated.  I can fall asleep with a cup of caffeinated coffee in my hand, but tea wires me.  I brewed my tea & called into the radio station to ask what Richard had said that initiated my re-wake up phone call.  It was something about Walmart being a Marxist corporate devil that denies employees fair minimum wages.  You know – the usual Marxist rhetoric about wealthy corporations being obligated to share their wealth.  Actually I can agree with Walmart being a Marxist anti-Capitalist devil, but not for the reasons he recites.  Having worked inside the accounting department of a Walmart supplier I am an insider to how they manipulate suppliers to topple competitors & create vast monopolies, which can’t be tagged to the Walmart name because the money is laundered through the suppliers.  The Walton brothers tried to keep it honest, but once you grow beyond your ability to keep tabs on & control your greedy middle management it’s all downhill integrity wise.  Because they can buy in bulk & keep so much product diversity under one roof, plus manipulate a lion’s share of competition, they are most often the wisest choice price wise.  I always call it “Taking Spoils from Egypt” just like in the Bible.

Finally, tea downed & iPhone with the talk radio streaming app blaring in my pocket, Bella on leash & sunglasses safely in place I hit the streets shortly before 9:00 A.M.  Hot City!!!! – Southern Style. Bet I don’t miss 5:30 in the morning.  The artillery style hinged knee brace intended to extend the knee replacement delay until I can balance my surgeon’s schedule with my work schedule, the Zodiac window (most important) and my Physical Therapist out of state daughter’s work schedule (because she wants to be present to assist my first post op recover week).  That’s looking like maybe January 2018, so the black torture device will be my companion in the meantime.  Guess how much fun black almost kevlar strength neoprene is in S GA summer which extends well into Fall & sometimes mid-Winter.  Not to mention the frustration of taking the same amount of time to walk 1 mile that I used to jog 3 miles.

The pity party was full blast midst the flowing sweat when suddenly it hit me that what I needed was a take away victory of some kind.  And there it was.  If I can only walk that means I can’t jog again until after my knee replacement & therefore I do not have to wear a bra for my daily mileage.  Oh sweet Jesus (no disrespect felt or intended) for the first time since I was 9 years old I can now ditch the extra heat device while exercising (at least until its cool enough to value layering).   I’ll still aim for 5:30, but even that will be cooler with my newly recognized clothing free pass.  I still can’t toss the shirt, which was also my pre- 9 year old habit.  That was another early onset milestone in my realization that it is & always will be a man’s world because they never have to forego naked chest bliss & summer heat reprieve.  It may get restricted, but never completely surrendered.

Bella and I finished our hot mile & returned to the cool of our cave with me savoring my new found, mood enhancing knowledge for the future.  And then – I reached to take off my sunglasses & realized I’d walked every step in the bright sun wearing my reading glasses.  It appears that my future holds a lot of surprises, some new & some just various versions of not recognizing which pair of glasses I’m wearing.give me patience

 

Happy Birthday To My Hero

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This was my birthday post for 2012:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY SON!It has been 42 years today since this wonderful person graced my life. We have not always seen eye to eye, but we have always seen heart to heart no matter the distance. When you were born I told God you belonged to Him & I would serve only as the encourager. I did add if it was OK with God my choice for your profession would not be a lawyer or a preacher because those professions hold way too many temptations. And so I watched you grow in wisdom & in spirit. There were many proud moments watching sports including football & my favorite, wrestling where you were team captain. You chose electrical engineering as your life’s work & even when I was pressured to convince you to accept a guaranteed Westpoint appointment I deferred to my position as encourager only. I still hold to my theory the government does not need to know your real talents. You were nicknamed computer brain in the 3rd grade when computers were just becoming known & you sailed through school snagging the LHS class Valedictorian title as you journeyed on to GA Tech. From the time I gave you to God I was aware that God was allowing our relationship to be supernaturally close because one day your journey would take you far from me leaving only those memories to fill the void. We both experienced wedding plans that cancelled & thus we were drawn to spend 10 months sharing our lives for the final time in my birth city Atlanta. God warned that the final separation was nearing so I moved first to leave you the freedom to follow your heart. Three months later that heart call came from Houston & my former horse trainer partner moved to Texas where I was sure you would find me a real cowboy mate. Of course your life does not involve horses or cowboys now so that was a dead end. Instead I had to trust God while you flew around the world visiting oil fields to help improve their oil flow. Now your travels are only within the US including weekly trips to your other office in Austin which allows the drive time chats I love. You have a wonderful wife who works in a high rise that looks surprisingly like a castle tower & your twin girls point to it on the skyline as “Mommies castle” as they commute to & from day care. It has been hard to be so far removed from your mundane world & all the treasures it holds. But in the spirit world, there in the heart that eternal flame bids us come & sit true as the day it was first lit. We are always close heart to heart.

 

Today is December 9, 2016

Much has happened in the last four years, but you are still my hero.  You may wonder why I insist on republishing your baby picture.  Perhaps this anonymous quote speaks to that tendency:

“To a mother, a son is never a fully grown man; and a son is never a fully grown man until he understands and accepts this about his mother.”  

In the 46 years since you were born I have yet to dream about you as an adult, but I dream often about you as a child.  They say our dreams are the embodiment of our subconscious realities so I guess even though I consciously respect your independence and your accomplishments as an adult, in my heart the child man yet lives.  Perhaps that is as it should be.  The world demands independence and maturity, but the Bible, while equally championing maturity, also reminds us that our sanity and our personal “North Star” is dependent on our ability to remember and periodically access that child self that lies so close to when he first created us.  Perhaps, he purposely deposits and nourishes that image within the heart of the mothers so we can always find it there even when they are only memories.

Today, you are once again traveling with your career, including out of country so your other time is dedicated to your own family as it should be.  I still cherish our drive time talks and any other time I get to hear your voice.  And the rest of the time I cherish my knowledge of how you cherish your beautiful wife and your twin daughters.  As you love them so fiercely you are also recirculating all the love that we share so I am blessed.  The beautiful high rise palace queen has now relegated those duties to perform the greater role of Queen Wife and Mommy reigning over twin princesses and home castle sanctuaries.  Again, I am blessed that those princesses get to know the love of a mother not stressed with work place demands since motherhood is in itself very time consuming and demanding.  I am thankful that I was able to spend many years enjoying full time mothering.  So what if I’m now a single income jack of many trades, but master (on paper) of none.  Look at all the magic I created and added to the world through you and your sister.

Happy 46th birthday, my son, my hero, my legacy.

 

 

 

 

Random Thoughts from a Magical Day in the Woods

Magical day in the woods with us 3 Greats (I have to cheat a little because my only great grand is a cat but I’m still Great). Here we’re breaking proper horsemanship rules by allowing our mounts to detour to snack at the bamboo bar. It’s like horse hors d’oeurves & they love them. Picasso pulled up a whole plant & devoured it all the way to the roots. It’s considered bad horsemanship to allow your mount to eat while wearing a bit. Oh well, call it horseladyship & being old enough to finally realize we actually had it right in our youth –  most rules were made to be broken. I could not take more pics because I spent the last hour carrying the bright yellow bucket we rescued – still hanging from a limb after a previous high card draw trail style. It did not contain one drop of rainwater which is why we were able to ride all the trails without encountering hoof deep, much less belly deep water. Even the running cross stream Picasso always feels obliged to jump was dried up.
 
My first & immediate mission after I dismounted (and while I was still trying to get back my land legs) was to stagger up for a pit stop. Hard to believe I only had half a cup of coffee. Anyway, I came back out commenting that I thought I’d been in some fancy places, but imagine having to come to the middle of the woods to see my first self lighted toilet bowl. It reminded me of my aunt’s house where they had a button under the toilet seat that started talking when you sat down. Obviously, I have some creatively humorous friends & relatives & another reason for appreciating being scream proofed by my drug squad stake-out buddies. I can now be totally surprised in silence.
 
I intended to eat the hot dog lunch & run, but the invitation for a few rounds of Mexican Train was hard to pass up. I’m not sure exactly where the name came from so my brain just makes up its own story. Everyone has a domino track but you can only ride another player’s track if they’ve been penalized with putting their train on their track. However, the Mexican Train is a free ride for anyone who wants to hop aboard at anytime – leaving me to think if I purchase my own game I will store it next to my Trump – I’m back and you’re fired game because I just sort of consider them related for some reason. I bought the game years ago because I thought it might help me learn to cope in the dog eat dog world I’ve been thrust into since Dem Ratman Henry Waxman shut down the CA DOD contracting company that was my set for life future. Life’s been pretty much roller coaster survival ever since so the Trump game is still sealed in the box. I’m pretty sure it requires more than one player anyway.
 
Back home, I fully intended to unload PC & catch a quick nap for my aching bones. But, then I looked at his sweat matted  winter coat & realized I was looking at the epitome of “Rode hard & put up wet” & I just could not do it. Too cold for a cold water hose down. I grabbed a bucket & retrieved hot water from inside the house longing for the days when hot water was always conveniently piped in at every racetrack shed row. I ragged him down with the hot water & he loved it, but my aching bones did not. He looked quite regal in a hunter green queen bed sheet also retrieved from inside the house. Since I had to wait for him to dry I went ahead & unloaded & parked the trailer. I used to park a four horse goose neck with ease, but that dang two horse has 4 wheels way too close together & we don’t get along well on a good day. Today, it was merciful, perhaps because it knew the adrenaline was all that was left & running out. Finally, the old man made it back into the pasture for a much deserved supper as the sun was setting. Now only one of us was still feeling rode hard & put up wet. Still missing family and/or staff, bone weary, but magically happy anyway.

 

Two Words And Time

 

 

Straighten my crown

It was a short text that came at 12:05 today – just two words and time.  “She’s gone 10:10” Who was she?  My mind has been trying to wrap itself around that question since I made a quick phone call to her husband to make sure I was understanding what his words meant.  Her earth name was Betty Carol Richardson (Greene) Hickox.  Who knows what they call her now, because now she has a new name.

Often when we lose people we struggle to quickly craft memories of a saint by tossing anything that does not fit the image.  And then sometimes its OK to hold all the memories because they intricately weave the person we loved who walked in a beauty so magical it cannot be marred by any fleshly flaws.  Indeed, any falls from grace were but tiny cracks that served to remind us that only one has ever walked this earth in perfect step with God.

She lived large!  And when you live larger than life you manage your share of drama and sometimes discourse because you can’t please everyone all the time.  You sometime trip over political correctness because most of the time it’s intended to trip those who answer a higher call.   Sometime you dance like there is no tomorrow.  Oh, but we did a lot of that because we were born spirit sisters with dancing legs & hearts that echoed every drum beat they ever heard.  How many nights did we dance til closing time & then spend the hours before dawn eating & talking at the Waffle House because we both had homes once filled with love & laughter that had grown way too empty.  It was a mutual joke that when the bread man arrived it was time to go home & dress for work.  When you’re in your 40’s you can do that & still punch the clock every day.  And you try not to think the day will come when time will punch you back.  But it does come.  And for this earth angel it punched again & again as her tiny body with the big heart kept struggling to win another round.  Two words & time marked the end.

So she was gone, but where?  She’s still here in my head & in my heart so can any of us ever really be gone?  I see her laughing & dancing & crying because we did  a lot of that.  We met at a divorce support meeting twenty-seven years ago & always agreed that the only value we took away was our friendship.  We were the sister neither of us had, but needed in a world where everything we thought we could depend on was suddenly gone sparat (no translation because it describes the absence of meaning).  We learned that one of the stages of grieving a loss is anger & when the loss is a marriage you can have a lot of that.  Some days we held our anger as a triumphant right of passage from who we were to who we were becoming (ready or not).  Deep in our conscience we knew we had to forgive, but not until we had fully owned the damage done to our hearts & minds & souls.  It was fresh & raw & painful & needing to be shared.  And so we tossed it back & forth when we could not transcend it with music or dancing or mindless laughing at life because too much serious honesty can kill the best of us.  Gradually we sorted the salvageable from the never gonna be the same again.  We realized it was not the loss of one fallible human that had once been our whole world, but rather the loss of who we were in that world that was so devastating.  We could live without the one who failed us, but could we rebuild above all the holes that had opened in our day to day universes because all our anticipated tomorrows were suddenly snatched by that black raven called Nevermore.  We could dance & She most often was the life of the party, but eventually the music faded & the bright lights came back on & that demon Nevermore was still there.  We even had a suicide pact by which we promised that neither one would go that exit unless we both agreed at the same time that it was the right exit.  We flipped & flopped, but never hit that bottom at the same time so we each propped the other up & vowed to do the next near duty & the next & the next.  Best friendships may come in on the wings of happiness, but they are forged into forever in the fires of shared pain & there is no greater pain than transcending from what was to what will be.  We walked years of that transition road together, sometimes close, & sometimes not so much as we also welcomed others to journey with us & those journeys eventually led us in different directions.  But we always carried that sisterhood bond there in our hearts & minds where our special treasures of a lifetime are safely preserved & we always knew no matter the distance or time each would always have a heart light burning for the other.  And tonight, I know that light is still burning because my answering light has not flickered.

And so, I answer my own question that I know where She has gone.  She’s gone to rest in the arms of our Elder Brother, Jesus.  It was He who really brought us through the valleys & stood with us on the mountains because He was the one who knew that we were spirit sisters long before we met  I know She fought to live because She felt it was the near duty, but I also know She had no fear of death.  We used to spend midnight hours in the cemetery every anniversary of the untimely death of her first born.  That was her near duty so she thought & mine was to be there with her & for her.  She won’t be able to be buried there because there is only room for one wife, but it does not matter.  Mother & daughter are together now & finally that loss has been restored.  Graves can bring you close to one who has left this life, but there is no separation in the life to come so graves only have meaning to those left behind.  We earthbound are silly to quibble over earth things for one who has been freed.  We quibble for our own peace of mind because part of the answer to where they have gone is beyond the bonds of earth time or place.

Two words and time marked your passage and I already knew you were going.  Still, they seemed so lifeless & so abrupt & so meaningless.  Why Lord, did you suffer so long if this was how it ended.  And then I started laughing because I realized the 10:10 was a message & you would surely be laughing also.  10 in scripture numerics  is a complete number along with 3, 7 & 12.  It also stands for testimony.  But for me the real treasure was it meant God was saying “I’ve got this.  It’s Ok.  It’s Complete & right on time & also the testimony is completed.”  On the earth level 10-10 most commonly means “fight” when used in 10 signal codes.  So, if I put it all together it read.  “She’s gone.  The testimony is complete.  The fight is over.  And most importantly I’ve got this.”  It does not matter that perhaps no one else would ever read the message like me because I know in my knower it was from God & that makes all the difference.

When they amputated your foot all I could think was not that foot that loved to dance.  And God said “That foot had a good run.”  Now, I tell myself that flesh body could not contain your special magic any longer.  But oh how my heart & my memory eyes can still see you dancing & laughing & loving life & people.  Now, you go rest high on that mountain & know One Father is saying,  “You had a good run & you completed your testimony.”  My prayer is that all those who ever loved you will honor that testimony by choosing to love & be kind to each other.

As for me & my near duty I promise to continue to love everyone you loved & to work a little harder at remembering whose daughter I am & to be more diligent to straighten my crown.  You little trickster.  You no longer have to worry about your crown slipping.  Just know – I won’t be far behind you & then we can both dance every dance because I’m sure they dance in Heaven & the music never stops.  Hopefully there will finally be enough men so we never have to sit down.  Best friends & sisters for eternity!

 

 

Fail Safe

4 legs big heart

December 7, 2015

I’ve posted before about my recurring dream of horses in my care being left without food or water for long periods of time & my realization that this is God’s way of reminding me that He uses my connection with horses to represent the innate wild persona he gifted me at birth.  The dream is always a wake up alert that I am too immersed in the top side world & my soul needs more time in the netherworld in order to find nourishment by reconnecting with the wild self that is nearest to Him.  I sense the drying out & the thirsting for renewal, but everything in the topside world refuses to give room.  The phrase “Do the near duty” is a password between us, but it gets so hard to sort out the real “near duty”.   The dream has not visited, but I sensed it being over due.  This morning when I went out to feed I opened the tack room door & was greeted with an empty feed bucket which is right for evening, but oh so wrong for morning.  I was blindsided with the fact that for the first time in my decades of owning horses I actually totally forgot to feed a ward.  I’ve fed & left the pasture gate open so Picasso could continue to graze in the back yard & fell asleep without going back to make sure he was secured in the pasture, but never, ever totally forgot to feed him.  Randomly, I purposely skip a morning or evening feed as a dietary rest, but only in the summer when grass is plentiful & never ever in cold weather.  But, that is a plan & not an error.  This was a full blown horrible forgetting of something dependent on my care.  Granted PC has plenty of extra pounds to burn, but he needs warm food in his stomach on a cold night.  I absolutely could not believe that the error never registered until I opened the door expecting to find a full bucket of feed.  I always mix his morning feed when I feed the night before so that the morning feed is quick if I’m in a hurry for work.  There was no denying a night feeding had been skipped.  It is my rule when I get home after dark to walk in the front door, gather Bella, & go directly out the back door to feed Picasso.  If I’m on the phone it goes with me because the near duty is to feed before anything else is done.  I was on the phone the 20 mile drive from Kinderlou followed by return calls to the two people who called during that conversation, but that had never stopped my out the door focus before.  Bella was let out & I watched one full DVR episode of NCIS & started a second before I realized I was too tired to finish it.  Still, I went to bed & slept all night & Picasso evidently never entered my mind.  When I woke up I immediately went into morning duty, turned on the tea pot & headed out the door with Bella.  When I opened the door it was a total unexpected shock.

OK, I know this is random rambling to everyone else.  But to me it is necessary get your act together recording of major fail.  I stopped writing in journals because the shelves are overloaded, but I have to have somewhere to return for reminders of journey milestones.  I had to make a road trip for political reasons because it was already scheduled for today.  I did the near duty & gave it full focus because it was today’s near duty.  When I got home I let Picasso into the back yard because miraculously there is still green grass on December 7.  I groomed him while he grazed & wiped him down with insecticide because mosquitoes were covering him.  He is of course no worse for the wear of a missed feeding, but that does not excuse the mistake.  Tomorrow is a work day & work is always the near duty, but I will be taking a hard look at all my off duty scheduling.  Tomorrow is December 8th & duty is calling.  Winter is coming to my topside world in two weeks.  Wolves never hibernate, but they do pull closer to the netherworld & to their inner circle.  I will be ready to submerge myself for the winter quarter.  There will still be the near duty of the topside world, but the wild self must needs submerge whenever possible.  It is in the releasing of the topside life that one truly gains the true Life with the Father.   “April always comes again, but April never comes to all”.  Winter is coming!  What will April 2016 bring?

 

American Pharaoh – What’s In A Name?

horse & lazy riderFinally after 37 years we have added a 12th name to the Tripple Crown memorial.  Will it read American Pharoah or American Pharaoh and what is the real account of how the spelling mistake became legal history?  For that matter, why was it decreed that it could not be corrected?  My last race horse was originally named Steak and Baloney on his registration papers.  When he came into my possession I petitioned the registration office and paid to have his name changed to Sun Bar’s Shadow to reflect his Three Bars and Black Sun Bar ancestry, not to mention I failed to appreciate the satirical humor in the first naming.  So be it, we now have a Triple Crown winner with a misspelled name.  Perhaps it is best the spelling missed the intended mark.  In ancient Egypt a pharaoh was an autocratic dictator ruling as ultimate king and worshiped as a blood prodigy of the sun god, Re.   An American Pharaoh would therefore be an oxymoron under the rules of the US Constitution which insure autonomous rule.  Perhaps the spelling anomaly could be foreshadowing of a coming power anomaly as “We the People” continue to surrender our ordained right to rule.  Could a letter shift that should have been corrected in an element of the microcosm that has produced a macro page in history be subliminal warning that accepting seemingly harmless power shifts in the political arena is destining America to a matching dictatorial paradigm shift in our national future?  Just a random thought.

I’m also confused about the seeming inattention to the fact AP is registered as a ridgeling meaning  he had one testicle that did not descend.  My Sun Bars Shadow also had a testicle that fully descending and then decided to go traveling.  I always suspicioned that it’s decision to ascend & travel resulted from an extended series of steroid shots administered to assist healing of a leg injury.  Steroids are known to decrease normal testosterone levels & to shrink testicles, so I figured maybe the testicle shrunk which allowed it to reascend.   (When I worked at Gold’s Gym I warned the roid droids of my suspicions, but they never listened.)  At any rate the AQHA will not allow a ridgeling into their stud registries because it is considered a hereditary condition that can be passed on.  I fully intended to wait out the problem since I was aware the testicle had at one time reached its intended destination and therefore might correct itself.  However, a traveling testicle can go anywhere in a horse’s body including all the way to the backbone and can locate in areas where it is subject to being pinched especially when a rider is aboard.  I experienced Shadow’s reaction to this phenomena enough times to make sure I always had on my racing helmet even when I was pleasure riding because my race horses were always broke for pleasure riding along side their race training so they would be well rounded.  I’ve been bucked off many times over the years, but when that testicle got pinched pile driving the rider into the ground was the instant response and an entire unprecedented chapter in my bucking experience was registered.  And so I reluctantly gave in to all the concerned voices who were insisting the problem be corrected for my safety.  I could have left the one remaining descended testicle in place, but if breeding was not allowed by the registry there was no since in doing that.   The local area veterinarian that always attended my race horses considered the operation one of his finest challenges because his equipment only allowed a minimum time window for safe anesthesia.  He said he stayed up all night the night before studying exactly how to reach inside the abdomen to explore and retrieve the traveler under the strict time restraints.  He must have studied well because he was up to his shoulder reaching, but he did successfully retrieve and remove the wayfarer and its innocent twin.  My question is, if Thoroughbred racing is supposed to be so much better regulated, why do they seemingly look the other way for ridgeling breeding when AQHA racing will only recognize a ridgling that has been gelded?   Another random thought.

AP is beautiful and I rejoiced to remotely witness his race into history.  I forgot to record the Derby,  but I did read that Victor Espinoza was questioned about his excessive whipping in that race.  My comments on his excessive whipping habits were registered in my California Chrome comments last year.   Either his whipping was more refined this year or AP had a different attitude about it because he seemed to run true.  I totally missed the muddy Preakness victory, but his Belmont run seemed effortless.  I rejoice with Victor’s Tripple Crown ride into history also.

The Zayat family has its own anomalies including the fact they are Orthodox Jews who also identify themselves as Muslims.  It was never explained why the son always did the talking during the race interviews because surely Ahmed would not transfer his business savvy from Egypt to America without learning English unless he is content to rely on such translator relations.  The son was passionate, but I personally would have liked to also hear from the father even if it was through translation.  Perhaps Ahmed is more Orthodox and preferred to remain semi-reserved from public oratory on the Sabbath.  He did camp in an RV so the family could walk to the track since driving an automobile would involve using machinery which equates to work which is forbidden on the Sabbath.  I guess a prize horse extending horsepower to generate financial gain was an exemption. Too many random thoughts for one blog.

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