Miss you, Mom

God, I miss you, mom. You always had my back. Covered me. Fought for me; along side me. You were a ferocious fighter you entire life. It’s how you survived. But you were even more vicious of a warrior when it came to protecting or standing against injustice for your offspring.

Sweet? No, you were nice. You were honest; brutally so. Mom, you fought for the most rag-tag people. You favorites were always those who needed the most. You were my safety-net. If I buckled you were there with your sword to cover until I regained my footing.

God, I miss you, mom. My warrior passed her sword to me. Am I a worthy warrior?


The Alarm

The 7:00 p.m. alarm on my phone has rung for years. It rang whether I was at home or whether I was out of town. It was my reminder to help mom remember to take her evening meds. It’s only been the last few years that we needed a reminder. First, I noticed she didn’t take her medication when I was not home and that was even when I had placed all her medications in in little cups. One for each each day. As her condition continued to decline over the last two years, I didn’t forget her evening meds. I didn’t need a reminder, yet I left the alarm set. I don’t know why. Maybe it was symbolic. A symbol that I was truly a caregiver.
The 7:00 p.m. alarm still rings. I’ve not yet been able to turn it off. A form of permanent silence. I’m not there.

Just Tell Us the Diagnosis

I remember telling my mom’s hospice nurses how irritated I get with healthcare workers. My mom’s doctor was wonderful. He had the best bedside manner of any doctor I had ever encountered and he was a great doctor. However, even he never told us his diagnosis of COPD. It was the COPD that got her on hospice, not the dementia. It is irritating that that not one healthcare worker ever told us: “She has COPD”. It likely would have made no difference in me being able to convince her to use her oxygen. Of course, that was before she reached the point where she simply could not breath without it.


Why is it that we have to pull every bit of information from healthcare workers like pulling a splinter from my finger. It’s as if they believe we won’t understand. Tell me and I will understand. If I don’t understand, I will research it.

This piece in Touch: The Journal of Healing by Sarah Bigham, And Now a Few Words from Your Healthcare Providers is beautiful.

Enjoy. And learn.

Killer Society

Another month, another mass killing. Last night I wrote this post on a friend’s Facebook post about the Sunday killing of parishioner’s in a Texas church.
I’m to the point where I just don’t give a shit anymore. This is our fault. Screw it. If we are’t willing to find out what drives people to mass kill and to stop them from easily accessing war weapons then why should I care? We humans are stupid.
I cared and was deeply affected in 1984 when that man went into McDonalds in San Ysidro, CA and killed 21 people. I still see the image of that boy’s bicycle tipped over outside the restaurant. July, 1984. I was 25 years young and pregnant. I was bowed over with sadness over such horrific slaughter.I had never heard of such horror outside war zone.
I was outraged when someone can kill 27 first graders and the good people of America don’t make necessary changes to stop what causes it (easy access to guns AND seriously demented (and RICH) kid who’s mental health was swept under the rich wall of plush carpet in the multi-million dollar home; I was saddened and furious when a racist punk walked into a Black church and communes for an hour during bible study and still kills 9 people. And the f’n cops let him stop at Burger King before taking him to jail. But when a rich White man can get a small arsenal of weapons up to his hotel suite and then kill 58 innocent people enjoying a concert I stopped caring. Why hell should I care? I knew nothing would change. It will be one week of paid talking heads on all the news outlets then crickets. Nothing changes. Maybe we’re so stupid we deserve this.
It’s just another week in Greatest f’n country in the world. Yee Ha.
Frustration. We are all tired of the mass killings. We all hear the same response. Endless analysis by anchor spokesmen on the entertainment news that now passes for journalism. We all hear the politicians direct attention away from gun reform laws to mental health. On the other side, we hear the politicians say it’s time for gun reform laws. We know the routine. We know the response. We know not one thing will change. The new conversation is now that nothing will change.
Let me ask you this, do you remember the name of the man who killed 58 people in Las Vegas last month? What about the name of the killer at the nightclub in Orlando? What is the name of the killer in Charleston, SC? Newtown? Aurora? Can you name them? Me either. I’ve forgotten. We’re desensitized. Did we give up after no reform following the slaughter of 20 first graders and six adults in Newtown, CT.
Maybe, just maybe we’re seeking solutions to an epidemic without knowing what caused the epidemic. I’m an ecologist and work in the environmental field. When an ecosystem collapses, it is never caused by one thing. Most recently I’ve been studying environmental health. If we have an outbreak of a disease that kills, name anything; dengue virus in humans, chronic wasting syndrome in moose, rabies in raccoons; how do you respond if you don’t know what caused the sickness? Just pretend for a moment you’ve never seen the disease. It’s new and you have no idea what is causing it. How do you respond? That is exactly where we are with the mass killings. We know who is dong it most of the time; White men. We know how they get the weapons that do the killing, they buy them legally. What we don’t know is why they do it. It is now an epidemic but who is studying what caused it?  I’ve heard only one researcher ask the right question,  “What makes White men so prone to this behavior?
We need the sociologists, the ecologists, economists, environmental health researchers, political scientists, lawyers, and philosophers to start working on finding the many possible variables that are causing or making it so easy for White men to open fire and kill crowds of innocent people. It’s time for citizens of all political views to be on the streets and at the door of every senator and representative. Take to the streets. We won’t get answers otherwise, and without answers to the the question we will never get resolution.



In a Dark Time… — Wolves and Writing

News of yet another wolf poaching in Oregon creates a profound feeling of despair and helplessness. What can we do? It feels as if the people with the guns are holding all the cards, doing what they want with no repercussions. But a deeper look at the situation reveals an unassailable truth. These people, […]

via In a Dark Time… — Wolves and Writing

Texas Chemical Plant and Citizens Right-to-Know under SARA Tier III

After the reporting by Matt Dempsey in the Houston Chronicle about the chemical explosions at Arkema I went to review the the federal regulations that are supposed to protect citizens’ right to know about what is in their environment. It was reported that the Arkema CEO, Rich Rowe refused to answer to what chemicals are stored on site and could potentially be released. I found this hard to believe because I know there are federal regulations that  are written specifically to protect people, wildlife and the environment.

In 1980 the Comprehensive Environmental Response, and Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), better know as Superfund, was enacted. It was expanded and reauthorized in 1986. This reauthorization is called Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization (SARA). Title III of SARA (SARA III) is the  Emergency Response and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

These amendements to CERCLA came after the worst chemical release accident in history  that happened on December 2, 1984. The loss of life is said to be as low a 3,800 and as high as 16,000. The Union Carbide Pesticide plant in Bhopal, India that was later taken over by Dow Chemical. Read about the Bhopal incident here at The Atlantic.

The federal regulations under CERCLA and SARA III guide the planning and response. There should be a planning and response on these levels:

  1. Federal
  2. State
  3. Local

There are sections within several different federal regulations that contain a list of chemicals regulated.

Definitions Of Regulated Materials

Extremely Hazardous Substances (as defined by SARA Title III)

An extremely hazardous substance (EHS) is any substance regulated under SARA Title III, Sections 302–304. The EHSs are listed in Appendices A and B of Title 40, Part 355 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). View List of Extremely Hazardous Substances here.

Hazardous Chemicals (as defined by OSHA)

As defined by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), hazardous chemicals have the meaning given in Title 29, Section 1910.1200(c) of the CFR. It is any substance for which a facility must maintain a material safety data sheet (MSDS) under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Hazard Communication Standard/Employee Right-to-Know regulations, but does not include the following: (1) any food, food additive, color additive, drug, or cosmetic regulated by the Food and Drug Administra- tion; (2) any substance present as a solid in any manufactured item to the extent exposure to the substance does not occur under normal conditions of use; (3) any substance used for personal, family, or household purposes, or is present in the same form and concentration as a product packaged for dis- tribution and use by the general public; (4) any substance used in a research laboratory or a hospital or other medical facility under the direct supervision of a technically qualified individual; or (5) any substance used in routine agricul- tural operations or fertilizer held for sale by a retailer to the ultimate customer.

Hazardous Substances (as defined by CERCLA)

A hazardous substance is a substance subject to reporting requirements un- der the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and listed in Title 40, Part 302.4 of the CFR. CERCLA Hazardous Substances List

Hazardous Waste
(as defined by RCRA)

As defined by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), hazard- ous waste is a solid waste, or combination of solid wastes which, because of quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics may (a) cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible or incapacitating reversible illness; or (b) pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improp- erly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed. RCRA Hazardous Wastes List


Definitions Of Regulated Materials

Toxic Chemicals

Toxic chemicals are chemicals or chemical categories regulated under Section 313 of EPCRA. Toxic chemicals are listed in Title 40, Part 372.65 of the CFR. To obtain a list of toxic chemicals, see List of Lists below.

List of Lists

U.S. EPA has consolidated a number of the lists described above into one document known as the List of Lists. This document contains the lists of extremely hazardous substances, hazardous substances (as defined by CERCLA), Clean Air Act Section 112(r) substances, and toxic chemicals.
EPA List of Lists

The federal regulations determine what the state and local regulations or emergency planning commissions are required to do dependent on the type of facility. That is why I am perplexed by what may be happening in Houston. These are federal laws and the state of Texas doesn’t have the authority to ignore them.

My point is there are laws that require businesses and companies to ensure the safety of citizens and emergency responders. That means something is wonky with the CEO at Arkema Pesticide plant or something is wonky on the reporting in the Houston Chronicle. I kind of doubt that the reporter is lying so how is this company skirting these federal laws, if indeed this company is doing that.




Caregiver PTSD

I needed to look up PTSD for caregivers and found this in NYTs. I use to joke about PTCGD (post traumatic caregiver disorder) but I don’t joke about it anymore. However, once again, this article focuses on the sweet side and is not close to what me and my brother are beginning to experience. NYT Caregiver Trauma Lingers.

This blog post, Caregiver Space comes closer to what me and my brother are feeling. I told my brother this morning that I wish mom was more normal. I would LOVE to take her to a senior day center for a few hours a week. I would LOVE to take her out of the house if we did nothing but ride around and look at things. But she is not normal. Never has been normal. Ever. I figured that out when I was 4 or 5. She is a woman of extremes. Extreme volatility. Extreme compassion. I love my mom and have always wished I could help her be happy, feel loved, feel worthy. I failed. It is up to her to overcome her psychological pain and past.  She is two months shy of 88 so I do not believe she will get peace while still alive. Therefore, all around her will suffer if we are not strong enough to grasp her pain and let her own it, and also, be strong enough to protect ourselves with patience and forgiveness. My brother and I are bearing her burden. It has to stop. Each of us must protect ourselves and we must protect mom. It it time to do all of the prep work, which there is a lot, to consider placing her in a home.

Marjorie Farabee and Australian donkey advocate Andrea Jenkins discuss slaughter of donkeys in Australia to make Chinese fad drug ejiao, (Wed. 3/8/17) on Wild Horse & Burro Radio

This should be interesting. What is it about Asian culture and drugs there require slaughter of animals? Of course, we Americans are still testing on Beagles so we’re not a lot better.

Straight from the Horse's Heart


Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, March 8, 2017

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen Live (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

Wild donkeys in the Top End of Australia ABC Rural: Matt Brann

Our guests tonight will be Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Australian donkey advocate Andrea Jenkins, who is a member of Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary, and has been investigating the ejiao issue in Australia.

Donkey skins are used to produce a fad health and beauty tonic sold as a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)…

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