Wednesday, September 27, 2023


 One benefit to my endless social-media surfing is that it can be educational - I just added another word to my vocabulary. "Noeticism" refers to a state of inner wisdom or direct knowledge.

"A noetic experience is a state of intuitive illumination, a sense of connection to a higher truth. It skirts the ineffable and inscrutable. From religious epiphany to the overview effect to psilocybin-induced altered states of consciousness, a noetic experience is a visitation that never leaves us."

This writer (an MD & fellow long-Covid sufferer) was referring to the experience of the astronaut Edgar Mitchell, witnessing the diminutiveness of the Earth (& consequently, the human race) in reference to the vast expanse of the universe.

But then, like a zoom-in shot, reality returns “up close & personal” - and my breath catches in my chest again as those financial chickens circle back to their roost: right in the forefront of my consciousness! Maybe I could sense those apocalyptic hoofbeats approaching as my girls & I enjoyed our brief continuing-education weekend in San Antonio; shit has gotten realer than real as all these bills (routine stuff like pharmaceuticals & testing supplies, stacked on top of the electricians’ invoice for rewiring ($17K), another draw by the contractor ($14K), and the new cabinetry ($18K) require payment at the end of the month as another biweekly payroll period for my employees rolls around. I am skint folks - taking MORE money from my savings account to cover payroll as the last of that economic development grant evaporates! My dear old friend talked me off the cliff last night so I didn’t go down in a gibbering ball o’ flames. Lord knows I couldn’t talk to DH - I had to take a short-term loan from him a couple of months ago (also to cover payroll while I waited for the economic grant money).

I met another vet-school classmate & his wife for dinner last Saturday night in San Antonio; I could read the concern in their eyes as I relayed the news of P’s 8 mos of unemployment & fruitless job search. Todd offered to put P in touch with a headhunter he knows…

Hopefully we put up some good economic numbers yesterday; as soon as I finish whinging here I’m going to open up the banking app & recalculate where I stand.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Wishful Thinking

 … on my part, thinking that Peran was coming home from his “man stuff” weekend on Sunday - he returned Monday afternoon. Lunch or dinner? Forget it, what was I thinking??

Last Thursday I went in for my final wrap-up interview of my interventional exercise study at UT Arlington - I received copies of my lab work & my Dexa scan. My a1C improved slightly (started at 6.1, finished up at 5.8), net loss of 4 lbs but still edging into “Obese” category on my BMI. 44% body fat?!? Dear Lord - but at least the rest of my lab work looked good except for one elevated inflammatory marker, GlycA - I’ll be doing some research to find out what I can about that.

Still contemplating my options for primary care physician - the concierge practice has left multiple messages since I did not renew with their $3K annual fee. I can tinker with my own thyroid replacement levels, thanks so much! In the end, Dr E seemed to run out of ideas to help my chronic fatigue/long Covid symptoms since I wasn’t going to fall back into complacency taking an SSRI. I’m done with that merry-go-round! 

If I had more time I would schedule a diagnostic workup week at MD Anderson but since I don’t have the time OR the money right now I’m probably gonna divert to an Eastern-style practitioner. I drove by a long-standing acupuncture clinic in Arlington last week so I am considering going back there. But for now I need to get on into work.

Friday, September 8, 2023

All I Can Hear IS The Music

 I have become absolutely obsessed with the Oppenheimer movie… I found a discussion forum, downloaded the soundtrack, and yesterday afternoon (despite my long list of things I **OUGHT** to be doing) I snuck up into the big city to catch an afternoon matinee. It was glorious.

Peran and I were jammed into the front row of a small sold-out theatre for our first viewing, which left us with cricks in our necks. On this occasion, I went to the Alamo Drafthouse which serves food and drinks; however, their Lamar Street location was having problems with their AC, so they referred me to their East Dallas theatre which was about 20 minutes away. I arrived early with plenty of time to order my food and luxuriate in the almost-empty theatre. I believe there were three other patrons. Seeing the expansive vistas of New Mexico again brought tears to my eyes - I couldn’t help but miss my dear old friend Roger as I recalled my own experiences riding out there. It was a great mini-escape from reality which was just what I needed. Everything about this movie is superb: the story, the actors, the cinematography, the soundtrack… One early segment is titled “Can You Hear the Music?” as Oppie visualizes chemical reactions, sine waves & other natural phenomena as he “does his thing” with quantum physics. Now it seems all **I** can hear is that music, I could have a worse soundtrack these days…

Our lab courier must have another part-time job as a baggage handler (remember those old American Tourister commercials?) because Annie’s blood tubes got broken in transit; I will resubmit this morning to see if I can figure out the mysteries of Why This Little Mare is So Spooky. My farrier Henry came out for long-overdue hoof trimming, but we didn’t even try with her - I will see if she will let me rasp off some rough edges.

Kristy’s mom has emerged from what I can only presume with some sort of adverse drug reaction, so hopefully I will have a full staff today as our summer heat continues unabated.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Three Strikes & I’m Out

 For most of my life I’ve been mainly a diehard football fan (and by football I do mean American football & not soccer!), but as I’ve gotten older, I find that I have more appreciation for the sport of baseball - there is more to it than just waiting around for the next hit. My Texas Rangers have had an excellent season - off to a phenomenal start, but with recent injuries and problems in their bullpen they have hit a slump. I’m afraid their season will fizzle out once again.

However I may have hit the wall myself - my rides this weekend did not go well. Ms Annie remains spooky and reactive, dumped me twice on Saturday and once on Sunday. More irritating than the discomfort of eating dirt is the fact that she still runs off and won’t allow herself to be recaptured easily. Sunday she wandered so far afield, I was about ready to give up and trek back to our camp to come back with a truck and a bucket of feed but she finally stepped through her reins and let me sneak up on her. The weirdness Sunday was that she had stopped to urinate - which ordinarily no horse will do under saddle unless they’re calm and relaxed - but it was as if somebody came and goosed her in the butt? There were only three of us - myself, Carla and her husband JR - and I owe them big-time since they were probably as sick of this routine as I was! But the ranch was beautiful and I’m still glad I went, even though I’m still working the kinks out today - I went to a double yoga class yesterday which helped a lot.

Today I’m sending off a complete blood profile on Annie as well as updating her Coggins for travel, but if we can find no physical reasons for this behavior I’m afraid I’m gonna have to turn her back over to Sam and give up on this project. Sam is convinced that they had her tranquilized when they first went down to see her. Plenty of unscrupulous horse traders in this world!

                                    Somewhat weary & a little worse for wear at dinner Sat night

Friday, September 1, 2023

Fortiter Ad Metam

 (Now I got A’s in HS Latin, but this motto had me scratching my head - according to Tenney (ride mgr) it means “Strength to the End”, but Google translates it as “Bravely to the Finish”)

Insert bastardized Latin phrase of your choice here - but I’m trying to hold my head up & keep pacing forward. I can’t help but scan everyone’s beautiful photos on social media as I read of last week’s ride results in CO, then try to avoid complete despair as I see this year: 1987

This was the year Dr M’s son was born. In 1987, I completed my second year of vet school, having learned horrible things about the character of my first husband. The summer job market was tight and so I left College Station for the summer to return to Dallas and earn some money working. All I remember there again, was just trying to get through tough times.

Matt was riding a scooter (unknown if it was his own or one of those little rentals) when he was hit by a utility truck and killed instantly. He was an organ donor, so hopefully several lives were saved and improved by his sacrifice. I can only imagine the depths of his parents’ and his young wife’s despair and grief.

But for now I’ve got to get myself moving and do my duty at work - I’ll sneak away this weekend to ride a few miles with my friends.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

And Just Like That…

 …there’s another Disturbance in The Force. I wanted to write about the rest of my weekend so I would have A.) a date as well as B.) a record of pleasant experiences to review at my leisure.

But last night, Dr M texted me that her son Matt died - my flawed memory has a vague recollection that he was fighting lymphoma? I know no details, they are making arrangements today. I think I would lose the ability to press buttons on my phone if something happened to Zach; I’d be catatonic.

Sunday afternoon I met Zach at NorthPark Mall, where we did a little bit of shopping. I was torn between titling this entry “Remembrance of Things Past” versus “Incentives”. We’ve clocked many miles hiking all over NorthPark over the years - Z told me I needed to update my wardrobe so we hit the sale racks at Macy’s. Z picked out a blue sleeveless Calvin Klein dress, size 12. I did not want to disappoint him by going to the fitting room and trying to struggle into it so I just went ahead and bought it: it’s a $79 incentive. He also got me a couple of tops and a new short skirt - I had gone to the REI store to try to find my little hiking skort, but they no longer seem to carry it. For himself,  Zach got a pair of green Adidas shoes - we’ve made countless jokes over the years about his shoe fetish!

So I’ve got to roll on with my day - I will swing by to turn on my mother’s television. She told me last night she had sat with a new acquaintance at dinner; I was so encouraged but in the next breath she was complaining that this place was “the pits” and she wanted to go back to her cottage. The Direct TV system really is not user-friendly; I’ve asked them several times to make it easier for her to operate but I guess I’ll have to take my complaints higher up the chain!

                                                      The shoe maven in his natural habitat

Monday, August 28, 2023

Drifting Onwards

 Usually I plug in an appropriate title & start typing, but this morning it has floated out of my foggy lil’ head! Yesterday afternoon as I drove home, storm clouds threatened, the temperature dropped 12°, you could smell the moisture in the air - but in the end we got not one precious drop of rain!

My pasture looks like the lunar landscape; we desperately need rain. Scattered pockets of precipitation fell around the Metroplex yesterday but otherwise the blast furnace-type heat wave continues. A few brave souls did a short early morning ride in Lancaster but I didn’t join them because I needed those precious extra moments of additional sleep. Annie has settled in well and seems to have made friends with Scarlett. Baraq didn’t finish his breakfast yesterday which concerned me, but I think he was just listless because of the heat? 

Most of my weekend seemed to be devoted to other projects: Saturday I coaxed my mom into the shower after a 10 day interval. She had another minor fall last Tuesday - fortunately just bruised her wrist but it shook her up, she has hardly set foot outside her room thereafter. My mood is somber as I contemplate the fact I may have waited too long to move her, as she seems unable to enjoy this facility. I called my friend Charles for a reality check - isolated in Rockport as he ages (he’s now 82), he reminds me that my mom has chosen her own misery and there’s not much I can do to influence things at this point.

Saturday afternoon, I met up with Zach so he could show me The Ring. I am tickled to report that jewelry stores still offer layaway plans. It’s an impressive emerald cut, laboratory-grown diamond with encrusted bands (I guess that’s the style these days)- -I started to snap a picture of it but I figured that might be bad luck? So I’m inserting a photo of my friend J’s rings - the wedding band is similar. I don’t see how a working RN can wear such gemstones but all that matters is that Z thinks Victoria will love it. I asked Z  about his timeline for the proposal/presentation of this ring but of course that is months away as he gets it paid for!

And on Sunday afternoon, I was able to see Z again, bearing bribes from Costco (Topo Chico mineral water & protein shakes); I also had been in a cookin' mood, making a big pot of potato soup to tempt my mom's appetite, so I took Z a tub as Peran politely declined.

I wish I could tell you what's up with that man o'mine, as he seems to be trying to subsist on protein shakes himself to battle his regain. The loss of our local gym was a big setback to him, as he can no longer access those weights, and misses the camaraderie of his gym buddies... He still hikes miles up & down our road each & every day. Take it from me, sometimes there is no escaping one's genetics.