The Good, the Bad, and the Panic Attacks

Sometimes my days seem schizophrenic. There are so many highs and lows that it makes my head spin. More accurately, I end up with a full-blown anxiety attack, complete with shaking limbs (that make me trip over a dog then drop and break a pretty bowl) and chest pains. Nota bene: I know it’s not my heart, no need to tell me to go to the ER.

See, I’m also prickly and can get annoyed for no good reason, like imaginary unsolicited advice. Let’s back up.

I went to work at the Red House, since I had a training to do and didn’t want to drop the meeting suddenly. That was fine, though I left my mouse at home. Does anyone actually LIKE trackpads? I’m all ready for the training. Suddenly I hear chainsaws.

There’s my kid and his coworker. They inform me they’re going to cut down the dead and dying trees in the yard. These are HUGE trees. I was dubious. But they did get a lot done, plus got limbs away from the roof.

All was well, though, since no one could hear the cutting and thudding but me. I made the mistake of looking outside and seeing the two young men on top of the house. I was scared for them and got sorta nervous. It looked pretty dangerous. I mean, they aren’t arborists, just guys willing to do what they’re asked to do. They also admitted to being scared. That’s a healthy admission, I think. As far as I know, they survived. They have good sense!

I also unpacked a box of glassware from the Austin house. I do dislike doing that, but it was nice to see my Starbucks mugs and favorite green glasses. Lucky renters will get to use them.

Day lily bloomed today!

Things continued to go downhill as I raced home to get ready for my horse lessons. It was extra hot and humid, which didn’t help. The horses were hiding, because they don’t like welding, which was going on in their pens. (Too bad, I’m very happy the pens are getting worked on and think they look great.)

I was too busy to take pictures, so enjoy dogs playing with cattle.

I sorta got Drew cleaned up, then trudged back for Apache, who was sweaty as me. I was deeply involved in trying to de-sweat and de-mud him when our welding friend called out to me. I nearly jumped out of my skin, which is weird, because I knew he was there! It turns out Mabel had braved the welding area and walked out. I had exactly zero minutes for chasing after her, so I probably looked like a nasty old woman running around cursing.

Mabel responded to food, of course, but Apache never did get groomed. All this prelude leads to this: I had a great lesson on each horse, learned a few things, and really felt calm and together, like I’m getting a clue. Well, when Drew started to toss me around because mares were running up, I yelled at Tarrin that I was going to die. But I didn’t. She got me and Drew back on track. He actually settled down after being frisky because the weather changed.

Sunset over chicken house.

Im so grateful for Tarrin’s help, and I think the horses are, too. Apache hates to leave her training area! And we get to laugh at cantering cows and thank the weather for cooling down the moment my lesson started. It’s good stuff, the horse training.

By the time we got home, Drew had managed to kick everything around in the trailer and break his trailer tie. That allowed him to mostly exit ungracefully without me unlatching him. That got me all worried he was hurt. That guy! But he’s no longer the ranch baby, because Sully had her baby today, a little filly! I can’t wait to see her.

Sara shared this cuteness. Sully gave birth at her owner’s place.

By the time I finally got the horses fed, I was starving, which probably led to some of the shaking. I just feel like I was not my best self much of the day, but at work and with the horses I was great. Eh, that’s probably normal.

Now to settle that chest pain down. I’ll pet Carlton. That will help.


What makes you nervous?

Today’s blog prompt would have been answered much differently when I was younger. I was BORN nervous. It’s how I’m wired, and feeling abandoned (in my mind) so often didn’t help me stay calm.

Carlton helps keep us all calm.

Today, though, I’ve gotten to a place where I’m not nervous all the time. Things don’t get to me like they used to. In fact, I don’t even “take things personally” and let them get to me like they once did. It ain’t easy, though.

Take the long view, like this old tree does.

I surround myself with what makes me feel calm, but I can’t ignore the world. And the way people treat each other makes me nervous. People shooting each other for walking into the wrong yard or ringing a doorbell…that makes me nervous.

So many governments passing laws that take away the rights of people who aren’t men in the ruling class. That makes me nervous.

Take a deep breath.

The health care system in the US makes me nervous. Wow have I been hearing some horror stories of people’s needs being completely ignored. If I think I may be ill, I get nervous.

These guys keep me focused on good things.

But hey, I don’t dwell on that all the time. There is so much good in the world, so many good people, and so much hope. I don’t want to forget that. You don’t, either, okay?

One or More Seasonal Miracles

What an interesting day it’s been! Interesting animal health news abounded, and animals impressed me, too. I’m just going to start with the actual seasonal miracle. Well, you may recall me saying we’d lost our hen, Betty, the Americauna who laid light brown eggs. I said that because when I checked on her between rain storms, she was lifelessly laying in a puddle.

I was reminded that life is as ephemeral as a dandelion puff.

I didn’t put her in a plastic bag to be disposed of, because of the rain. Next time I checked, I realized she was still alive, though she hadn’t moved. Yesterday, when I did my evening check, she’d moved. What?

Birds are mysterious. Ask any swallow. They are weird, like me. So swoopy.

This morning when I went in, she’d moved again, and I saw her move around. I mentioned to someone that I could swear she was actually better. But how? She was really looking bad for a few days, and was soaked. Nonetheless, when I got home from horse training today, after being given up for dead for three days, there was Betty.

So, her name is Not Dead Betty from now on. Who knows what was wrong? Did she have a virus? An impacted egg? A cold? I just cannot believe this miracle of rebirth. How seasonal!

Take a break to enjoy a bee so engorged with pollen that it was acting inebriated. I tapped the flower and it finally drug itself out of the pollen paradise.

So, What Else?

Well, there’s good news and bad news in the horse department.

  • Good: I was able to get Drew groomed today, with just a few clods of dirt left in his mane. He’s all soft and smooth now.
  • Bad: Apache seemed ok in grooming, but when we got to Tarrin’s, his back was all bloody. Drew was biting him in the trailer. No wonder the trailer was rocking all the way there (which took extra long, of course, thanks to having to get gas, hitting every traffic light, AND being blocked by a train again.)
  • Bad: Apache seems to be all inflamed for some reason. His lymph nodes are all puffy. Tarrin thinks it’s allergies from all the new rich grass and pollen. He gets to stay in the pens during the day for a while to work on it, and he will need lots of exercise (that’s good).
  • Good: Drew was amazingly better at this week’s lesson, even with no riding in the past week. It was like watching a different horse, and riding him was actually fun! That was a miracle to me. Both Tarrin and I needed positive horse experiences today, so hooray.

I was relieved that Drew was doing so well today and paying attention to me so well. I am equally concerned that Apache is having his issues flaring up. I hope we have caught the inflammation in time to get him back on track. When one of your animals is sick, it’s like your child is ill. I’ll just hug on him and dote on him and let him eat hay all day.

We just all need to sit outside and breathe a while.

There were all sorts of other things going on here, none of which are my stories to tell, but I’m glad we all have each other to support one another around here. If you have any to spare, send vibes out to my family, okay?

It’s spring in Texas. Those of us not allergic can just enjoy the green grass, blooming flowers, and changing weather.

Patience Pays Off (Horse-wise)

It’s been a long day, but Lee and I managed to do all the things needed to get us, the motor home, the horse trailer, and Apache to the swanky wilderness of Washington County, Texas, to try Apache at a horse show. Teamwork!

Off we went.

But first, I want to thank everyone for being kind to me after yesterday’s blog about my son. I appreciate it.

My other son made this excellent shiplap wall.

Today I’m talking about patience and how it pays off with horses (and other things). I’m happy to say that patiently working with Apache has gotten us to where we can try a show. I don’t even mind if he falls apart again, because I know he CAN do nearly all the required things and even enjoys them. And he did fine riding over here, too.

I’m more excited than I look, honest.

My biggest reward for patience came yesterday. I decided that I had time to groom all the horses after I got them in their pens. I figured I’d just try to put a brush on Mabel and call it good. That would be progress, letting me do that when she wasn’t tied up.

You underestimated me!

I talked to her and started brushing her (not the tough curry comb, but the grooming brush). I tried her neck. Good. Shoulders. Fine. Stomach, she leaned in! And haunches were no problem. I even did her legs. I saw no signs of distress or discomfort!

Look, my mane has no hay in it.

It was very satisfying to get the stuff out of her mane, too. I was very tired of looking at mud balls in there, plus all the hay. And ah, now that she has a tail, it’s lovely to brush. No tangles or anything, almost like human hair.

Well, this is unflattering and the tail doesn’t even show up. Poor horse.

I was so pleased at how the session went, especially because she continued to stay with me and ask for more petting and rubbing when I was done. She let me rub between her ears! Next we will go on walks.

Here she’s alerting me to a huge piece of farm equipment.

This is all so good. It makes up for the fact that I’m wheezing again, probably from breathing in so much hair, dirt, and hay dust. It’s okay, though. The doctor said I’m healthy except I need Vitamin D. Not bad for an old broad.

Enjoy some phlox and bluebonnets on the roadside today. This is such a great time of year in Texas.

Drew’s Growing

It’s been a while since I updated you on my teen horse Drew. (Teen in horse years; he’s 4.5.) I was worried that he wasn’t going to do very well, since between weather, travel, and illness, he hasn’t done much work.

That’s okay. I just want food and Mabel to run with. That’s his food he spilled on the ground.

Today was the first time I’d had an in-person lesson in a long time. I just took Drew, because I knew preparing two horses to go would tax my breathing. Luckily, he was so good that I ended up enjoying grooming all his shedding hair off and I didn’t cough much.

I got him all shiny.

I was looking at him and noticed he’s getting more muscles in his neck and chest. His tail has grown, too. And he’s mentally better as well. He handled trailering well today.

Stopping on a dime.

As you can see, Tarrin rode him a lot, but I was able to do his ground work except when she had a little chat with him about keeping his head down and being in control. Wow. When he paid attention his footwork was beautiful.


He worked very hard, even though he mostly walked. He was walking with good form, which takes energy. He was breathing hard and looked so sweet. He really tries.

I’m trying in more ways than one

I did get to ride, though, and it was so good to have some coaching and affirmation that I’m doing the right things with him. Tarrin even said he’s improved in some ways!

Must I turn?

He even leg yielded well for me. I was pleased that I held up long enough to accomplish things, and managed not to get sunburned, too. I’m glad I remembered to wear a shirt with sleeves.

Good boy.

Like I said, getting confirmation that I’m on the right track was really helpful. I got the same for my health issues, too, when one of my friends who happens to be trained as a physician’s assistant offered to go over my symptoms and share some things she found about bird-related illnesses.

This, and Fiona, cheered me up.

She pointed out how rare the chicken-related illnesses are, and that my lack of fever helps tule them out. Her guess is that what I inhaled triggered an asthma-like reaction in my lungs, which may not deteriorate since I got the antibiotics in. She also told me how to most effectively use the inhaler, which no one had done before. All in all, I feel less worried. It sure is nice when people offer to help like that!

Speaking of chicken issues, either Henley or Billie laid a dud egg today!

I do plan to wear dust masks around chicken poop and hay, for sure. But I feel less concerned.

Now I’ll move on to my next concern, which is job related. I’ll be fine no matter what happens.

Signs of Spring

Wheeze wheeze. I guess I’ll wheeze forever. I’m ok if I do things slowly, so I hang out with the horses and wander around thanking Mother Nature for showing us signs of spring. I think she’s blowing it in from the south, since today has been blustery.

What’s this? Our first bluebonnet of the year!
And what’s this? Our first Indian paintbrush! Beauty is coming.
Bye bye cranes! Enjoy the North!

I’ve continued to be absolutely captivated by the beauty of our yearly carpet of tiny friends. It’s impressive that something as teeny as tiny bluet can make the ground look purple.

These come in many shades and mix in with chickweed (white), Field madder (pink), and corn speedwell (blue). And the yellow of black medick or burr clover.

There has been so much crow poison this year that it scents the air, which isn’t bad for something named “poison” (or wild garlic). I know I showed some recently, but it’s so pretty I want to share more.

Sorry for all the plant photos but it’s all I’ve got other than farm animals. But here are other early beauties from today.

I did get the first row of my blanket done. It’s still January on it.

The dark squares are green.

American Rural Health Care, You Stink

I have spent the past two days trying to get a chest x-ray, you know, because my chest is full of fluid and probably horrible fungal growth. I am concerned, you see. I am beginning to see why people just use the emergency room as their primary healthcare provider, because trying to AVOID such things and not go into debt over a cough is a pain (in my chest and brain).

So, I went to the nice little clinic in my home town that is not affiliated with the corporate mega-system I am not fond of. They said yep, my lungs are rattling and wheezing, so I needed a chest x-ray to help diagnose. I also got blood work, after two tries, because Worker A probably had never drawn blood out of a living human and left my arm looking like this:

Old woman with bruised arm

Worker B then arrived and took the four endless vials of blood out of the other arm. Sigh. I won’t know if I have the fungal infection or other issue until the lab results come in. So, merrily I cough along.

Merrily coughing at sunset, when normally I’d be horsing around

I was so short of breath yesterday that I didn’t dare try to groom the horses or ride them, though I did sit and look at them while they ate, then spent a long time just hanging out with Apache and massaging his poll (top of head), since he asked for it.

The others were busy scarfing up leftovers

Anyway, of course the nice little clinic doesn’t have its own radiology department, so I consented to go to the only place in town that has a machine, which is operated by the company I am not fond of. When I arrived with my paperwork in hand, they informed me that their x-ray machine is broken. I could go to another town to another of their facilities, but I declined.

Goldie backed me up. She doesn’t like crowded scary places, either.

This started me on a health care odyssey to get an x-ray elsewhere. By noon today, I’d made six phone calls, left numerous messages, got many corrected phone numbers, and lost my patience. Usually I’m a fairly patient patient, but I didn’t feel very well, as I soldiered along recording myself talk and pausing to breathe a lot.

Let’s take a break and enjoy all the henbit that’s blooming right now. It will get mowed soon, so I’m enjoying it while I can.

Finally, after I’d gotten irritated enough to get in the car and drive back to the clinic to try to talk to someone in person, they called to say they’d faxed my orders to a place that was associated with my OLD doctors in Austin. Soon they actually called and said it had gotten through.

Did I make it to Temple, Texas in record time? Of course not. I got behind a very strange-looking semi-truck that plodded along at 60 in 70 mph zones, trailing up to twelve cars. Thankfully, they pulled over at a turn and let us all go free.

I thanked my lucky stars, as well as the moon, Jupiter, and Venus.

The place I went was clean, spacious, and NOT crowded. though a little hard to find. The facility did please me. How long did the x-ray take after spending 20 minutes filling out paperwork? I’d say 65 seconds. Now, let’s see if I get any results from all the testing and perhaps get treatment. That would be nice. I just do NOT want to get sick enough to go to a hospital. I really don’t like hospitals and all their germs.

The sun is setting on this struggle.

I just wish we had our old local hospital back, where you could get an x-ray and labs, and get looked at quickly. However, it’s now the county office building. Rural health care in the US is sad. I can’t imagine how it would have been if I didn’t have insurance.

I promise happier news in the next post.

Talk Therapy in Its Many Forms

Between work and the weather, I haven’t been doing much that’s very exciting for the past two days. Nonetheless, I’m feeling pretty darned good. I’ve managed to place myself in the Piscean sweet spot between my desires to be alone and meditate and my need for human contact. That’s rare. I have too much of one and not enough of the other much of the time (though the tack room has helped a lot with my balance at the ranch).

It has been a moody and rainy day

I have to pat myself on the back, because my post yesterday about anticipation and its consequences encouraged a couple of people who I care about to call me, which led to some good, old-fashioned catching up. I’m really grateful that my stepsister and my cousin are in my life, because they support me in all my weirdness and they both make me laugh a lot.

Lunchtime view. Not shown: shrieking children

In addition I did some Facebook messaging with people I don’t talk to often, and planned a surprise gift for a friend, which is guaranteed to put a smile on one’s face. It just plain feels good to be reminded of your connections with others. That’s one reason I enjoy Zoom meetings with two groups of friends every week. It builds community, which I also find therapeutic.

Damp oaks. It’s okay, because these are my favorite colors.

Long and winding phone calls with people who know you really well can be quite therapeutic. I figured out a lot of stuff about how my family of origin ticked by talking to my relatives, and it became even clearer how my mental health challenges came to be.

View from community room, where I worked while my room was being cleaned.

And now I realize that I could have this sense of community a lot more often if I wasn’t so damn sure I’d be rejected when I call someone and get all Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria on myself. My brain thinks everyone is too busy to talk to boring old me. I’m sure some people are. Some are not. But I don’t try, because I don’t want to feel bad.

Lordy, I sound like a total mental mess, even though I actually feel pretty fine now. I simply notice it when I feel like no one likes me, tell myself it doesn’t matter one bit, and go do something fun. That sounds like a plan.

And on that note, it’s time to watch another movie.

The Real World for Elderly Hermits

The morning today was like in some princess movie, with dozens of little chirping birds surrounding me with songs, plus a loud and strikingly beautiful red-bellied woodpecker. I’ll remember this brief retreat at Lake Somerville for a long time.

It’s impressive how much beauty you can find among bare branches and the promise of spring flowers. But these things must end, and I turned my focus to work as we left for home.

My office with seat belts!

I missed getting to evaluate the horse camping area because I was concentrating on work, but from what I saw, it could be fun. I was thinking of my precious pets, though, as we stopped at Tractor Supply for horse and hen food.

It’s a little squished in travel mode, but under the RV you can store a lot of pet food.

After a happy reunion with all the pets (you should have seen the horses galloping up from the back pasture when they saw me!), reality hit me and Lee with a thud.

I’m able to rest comfortably now that y’all are back!

Yeah, the people who sell Medicare supplements came by to help Lee with his Part B and supplement selection. That’s painful. I’m just getting A until my job ends, so I mostly sat there wishing the government made ANYTHING easy for people. Being elderly hermits isn’t for wimps.

There was just so much chatting and chit chatting as we filled out forms and made decisions. I missed the silent campsite! But the folks we are working with are nice, not high-pressure sales people, and knowledgeable. I shouldn’t complain. They made it easier to know what to get and what not to get, for our specific needs. It truly feels weird to be old.

Oh and one more thing. Wow, people have a lot of opinions on this delicate topic. I’m glad I know some smart folks. Just whatever you do, don’t make decisions based on the ENDLESS television commercials about Medicare. If I were younger I’d be throwing things at the television to make the commercials go away. I’d like to now, too. So deceptive! And incessant.

Thank goodness for hugs.

I hope your mortality isn’t staring at you today, that you’re safe from flooding if you’re on the West Coast of the US, and that you have something or someone to hug, even virtually. We all need support for one reason or another.

Life and Goodness Return

Hey, I got through one of my extra-long days and I’m not totally wiped out! I have my life back! Yep, I even woke up for my 7 am meeting at 6:45, having forgotten to save my alarm clock setting, and made it in time. Woo!

I wish I could say I spent all day watching Apache run around in circles with Camina at my side. But I enjoyed a few minutes!

I got all my work done, then had two hours of horse lessons, then a Zoom meeting. Whew. That’s a long day, but it was full of goodness. Even the weather is pleasant.

Moon over Mabel after my last meeting.

I’m so relieved to feel well enough to get all this done and enjoy myself. Apache was so much fun in our lesson, too. We are making progress and having a good time. He tries to do whatever I ask, which is fine with me. Poor guy is hot, though. He has his thick winter coat on, which makes trotting faster and slower and faster and slower a sweaty activity.

Here Tarrin is checking his muscles. You should have seen him jump! What a guy.

I’m so glad our hard work is paying off and we’re getting skills! On the other hand, Drew and I are very obviously at the beginning of our journey. We both have so much to learn, but I’m willing! There’s a lot of patience involved, but it’s ok.

Both of us look resigned.

Tarrin kept telling me it’s all normal and not to be upset. I really felt fine the whole lesson; I was just thinking about all the things I had to do. You know, learning overload! And Drew did reward me by walking like a true gentleman back to the trailer. This was down the path that scared Apache so much, and in the dark!

I did not mean to write another boring horse blog, I just wanted to say how great it is to be able to do things and enjoy them again! Maybe by tomorrow I’ll stop needing to blow my nose!

something poetic

(formerly The Lost Kerryman)

Joys Of Creating

crafts, hobbies, gardening & nonsense

sara annon

seeking the middle path

Tonya's Tall Tales

My life with horses, bunnies, chickens, ducks, and cows.

rfljenksy - Practicing Simplicity

Legendary Whining and Dining World Tour.

The Backyard Horse Blog

All about keeping horses at home

Hazel's Animal Adventures

My life on the ranch.

Katie Zapfel

Children's book author. Mom blogger.

365 Knit Socks + Books, Crafts, & Recipes

🧦 Homemade gifts are my love language 🧦

Coach, author and educator

The daily addict

The daily life of an addict in recovery

C'est La Vee

Wish You Were Here

Happy Heidi's Happenings

My life in the country.


A family of dog lovers, owners & breeders since 2015

The Adventures of a Mountain Coward

panic-stricken mountain adventuring!

Something Over Tea

Scribbles from my notebook

The Renegade Press

Tales from the mouth of a wolf

Heccateisis's Blog

Just another weblog

The Upstate Gardener

The Upstate Gardening blog with Gardening Information, Recipies, Home Improvement Ideas, and Crafts Projects to make your life more beautiful and healthy.

Nature And Photography

Bring Nature Into Life


no streetlights, just star light

Words and Stitches

woolgathering at its best

Art Studio Dumfriesshire

The Creative Pixie

eat up some crafty goodness with this creative mama

Writings of a Furious Woman

My thoughts, sentiments, and scribbles on womanhood

Paws Bark

Dogs Leave Paw Print in your Heart

Yeshua's Child Art

Beautiful Birds in the Native Habitat

Chicken Coop Plans

Build Your Chicken a Home

Writing about...Writing

Some coffee, a keyboard and my soul! My first true friends!

Leaf And Twig

Where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry.

Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Cathartic Tendencies

motivational posts, rants, and stories!

Featuring Fine Arts & Crafts created and sold by Texans


Aging & Attitude

The Tragedy Kween

A boisterous introvert illustrating her way through life.


Where a little insanity goes a long way