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Health and wellness

Like the Dire Straits song but reverse the direction. Leaving tomorrow or Friday for a week in the North country, mainly the headwaters of the Costilla River (right on the Colorado border) and the Blanca Peak wilderness area.  I’ve looked at Blanca Peak in awe, studied all the maps, and decided the best place to camp is accessible from the NE side (adding another 3 hours of driving). My good friends, Debbie and Debi, will be joining us for the last few days of the adventure.  My best friend and sometimes nurse, Lysa, will be… Read Article →

We have camped much of the Summer on land in far northern New Mexico that is managed by Rio Costilla Cooperative Livestock Association (RCCLA).  From what I’ve seen over the Summer, this organization does the best job in New Mexico of managing and maintaining the vital habitat and wildlife of the Sierra Sangre De Cristo. It’s pretty cool to see that a for-profit organization (private ranchers) are doing a better job than ANY of our national forests of preserving ancient grasses, protecting one of our country’s most delicate wild trout habitats, and operating a truly… Read Article →

I beg to differ with the travel guides who call the Lower Hondo Valley the most scenic place in New Mexico.  It’s indubitably a beautiful little valley where I live, but our state has some mighty scenic places – like the Rio Costilla Canyon Southeast of the town of Costilla. We spent the weekend exploring the high country of the Northwest Sangre de Cristo range – mainly places in the Questa Ranger District – and had a wonderful time camping in the high meadows surrounding the Rio Costilla.  The drive up through the Rio Costilla… Read Article →

Obesity is now the leading cause of heart failure, and the leading preventable cause of death among women over forty. The problem with obesity is that, as a society, we have not learned to treat it the same way we treat all the other addictions.  Obesity does not carry the stigma that comes with most addictions; but it needs to.  All the behavioral issues associated with other addictions appear in obese people, too.  So we need to move quickly to identify the intense denial, control, family codependence, and insidiously harmful priorities of the obese person…. Read Article →

It’s like a dream come true to be able to say, “I live in Taos.” But now I do! Taos is one of 3-4 places in the US where I’ve traditionally driven out of town wondering, “Why am I leaving?”  So it’s soooo awesome to finally live here! I actually live in a small community outside Taos on the Rio Hondo. It’s not far, though.  Everyone works and shops in Taos. Based on the characters I’ve seen or met so far, this little community is a dead ringer for Chamisaville in John Nichols’ New Mexico Trilogy!… Read Article →

I just got back from 2 weeks in Austin – where any aspirations I may have had to go back and live there were thoroughly smashed.  In fact, I may never go back. The Austin where I grew up no longer exists.  The city is severely plagued now by poor air quality, high cost of living, horrible traffic, and a selfie culture that rivals that of Santa Fe.  Maybe worse. I have dear friends in Austin whom I’ve gotten to see on this visit; but I could not help noticing that nearly all my Austin friends are… Read Article →

One of the wisest phrases I’ve ever heard: “Some of us are sicker than others….and then we all trade places.”

I’ve about concluded I will not be able to continue living in New Mexico without a car.  Things are too spread out, I’m 20 miles from the hospital where I have constant appointments, and I simply cannot afford to buy a car – especially knowing I could move back to Texas, where I have more social support and it’s easier to get places without a car, and not need a car. I’m heartbroken because I like New Mexico and most of the people I’ve gotten to know here; but I need to be making changes… Read Article →

New Mexico Medicaid discriminates against parents who pay child support. My monthly income from disability is barely above the eligibility requirement for New Mexico Medicaid – unless I pay my child support. Then it’s significantly below the eligibility requirement. Why does Medicaid punish me for paying child support? Interestingly, if I go to prison for non-payment of child support (because I have to pay for private health insurance instead) then I will qualify for Medicaid by virtue of being a prison inmate. I asked Medicaid for an appeals hearing several months ago. They acknowledged my… Read Article →

In the final analysis, meditation is about changing my physical perspective in the real world. It is not about changing anything between my ears. For the longest time I believed meditation was about causing some sort of magic to occur in the mind. It was about achieving some sort of transcendence or about perceiving some special voodoo that I’ve been missing. It was supposed to be about making the mind still, focusing on breathing a certain way, or a whole raft of mental processes – focusing on nothing, focusing on something, clearing the mind of… Read Article →

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