Monarchs and Fritillaries

My dog loves to hunt for moles, digging holes as she goes sniffing along. Deep holes. All the way to China holes. At first I bemoaned these holes, fearing a broken ankle or leg by falling into one. Instead, these holes became opportunities as neighbors and friends began giving me cuttings and babies from their own gardens!

Delightedly, I filled these random holes with crocmosia and milkweed. While randomly placed at the moment one day I plan to connect them into a wonderful native plant wildflower garden. In the meantime these monarchs and gulf fritillaries do not care that my garden is in progress, only that they are receiving nectar.

Milkweed out of random doggie holes. Lemonade out of lemons.

Direction

In addition to the recent diagnosis of RA the year has been filled with a myriad of challenges, not unlike your own. Tackling these challenges during a health issue have been interesting.

My mother recently moved in with us and she has mild dementia. Shuffling her legal papers, paying her bills, refilling her prescriptions, setting up new doctors, moving everything to our state, changes of address, etc., all during a freaking PANDEMIC has tested us all. My husband has been a godsend. My mother is a wonderful, patient woman and I’m very blessed to have her here. I love her – we are best friends and have been for decades. I’m happy to be doing this for her, having her here, helping her at this time in her life.

Just goes to show you that we are not in control of our lives. Just when you get comfortable that’s when things will begin to morph, to evolve. Follow the signs, be patient with yourself and give yourself lots of love.

Life Throwing Curve Balls…

This is the first blog I’ve written in a while. Life has changed my course.

I’ve been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which isn’t really “arthritis” but is instead a disease. This disease has diminished my capacity for doing photography and sitting at a desk playing in photoshop. It’s also stopped my pre-dawn walks, of which I’ve been fond of for two decades.

It’s been quite the learning curve. Between medicines (which have been worse than the disease) to pain management RA has temporarily taken over my life. That said, I do intend to win. I may not walk in the pre-dawn mornings but I can walk in the sunset skies. I WILL photograph again and begin to share once more on my blog. In the meantime I look forward to catching up with everyone’s thoughts here in WordPress.

Enjoy the sunrises….

Hearts Above

 

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“The superior man understands what is right;

the inferior man understands what will sell.”

Confucius

 

Confucius so got it.  It’s amazing to me how we have all learned so much yet nothing seems to change.  Or, Bill Watterson says something like this – Day to day it seems nothing changes, but suddenly one day everything  is different.  I’m unhappy about today’s politics and am ready for that “suddenly one day everything is different” thing.

YES, I will be voting.  I vote every year, every election…even the midterms.  But there’s something fundamentally wrong with Washington DC.   I believe it’s when Citizen’s United was passed by the Supreme Court.  And the gerrymandering.  Now, we are an Oligarchy.  Clearly we are no longer a Democracy.  I love my country but barely recognize it these days.  What do you think?

What is this?

 

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If anyone happens to stumble by my blog, sees this image and knows what it is… please tell me in a comment.

We were sauntering around Santa Pau, Spain, a medieval village in Catalonia about 1 1/2 hours north of Barcelona.  I peeked around a corner and noticed this, stopped and looked for a bit but couldn’t figure it out so snapped a quick photo and continued my meander.

Your guess is as good as mine.

Santa Pau

 

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Old Door in Santa Pau – 2018

“Travel early and travel often. Live abroad, if you can. Understand cultures other than your own. As your understanding of other cultures increases, your understanding of yourself and your own culture will increase exponentially.”  (Tom Freston)

I am finding this to be true, this quote from Tom Freston.  The more I travel the more educated I am about the world.  The more educated I am about the world the more open I am to new experiences, new ideas.  The more open I am to new experiences, new ideas the more curious I become.  The more curious I become the more I wish to discover.  The more I wish to discover the more open I am of other people and their ideas.  The more open I am of other people and their ideas the more I love LIFE.

Happiness = Travel + Curiosity + Adventure.  IMHO.

Besalu, Spain

 

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“My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. This is my message to the young people.”   (A. P. J. Abdul Kalam)

The above is one of my favorite photographs from Besalu, Spain.  It encapsulates the colors, the mood, the laid-back vibe of the medieval village.  When I took the image I didn’t even see the woman sitting so serenely.  She was a bonus when I arrived stateside and began processing my images.

Spiritual Connection

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Spiritual Beech Trees of Catalonia, 2018

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” (Martin Buber)

Such it was for me. After the tram ride though long-dead, eroded volcanoes we had lunch then showed up again at Lava Parc for our next adventure – a carriage ride to see the beech forest. I kept asking Xavi “are we there yet?” “are we there yet?” and he patiently said “…..you’ll know when we’re there.”

And I did. The carriage lunged up a hill and slowed down in a sea of green – the beech forest. We all grew silent and the guide told us this grove of trees exists because of a particular soil mixture that occurred due to the volcanoes. And, these trees only grow here, in the heart of Catalonia, and in Iceland.

We slowly clambered out of the carriage, which left us to hide behind a curve in the road.  Our chance to experience this place without intrusion.  As we fanned out I left the group and went into the forest.  Touching a larger beech tree I began suddenly to weep.  Tears flowed from emotions deep, deep within me, and would not stop.  I wanted nothing more than to lay here in this forest and sob.  Most of my photos are blurred from emotion.  My reaction was not unnoticed by Xavi who, when it was time, came to help me out of the forest.  Tears blurred my vision.  My family, who know me well, gave me lots of hugs and we left the forest behind.  I am weeping while telling the tale.  This was an unexpected experience, a surprise reaction, a truly rare moment that I’ll never forget.

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