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Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

             “You cry and you scream and you stomp your feet and you shout. You say, ‘You know what! I’m giving up, I don’t care.’ And then you go to bed and you wake up and it’s a brand new day, and you pick yourself back up again.” Nicole Scherzinger

While I may sketch an owl now and then, I'm no night owl. Just call me an early bird. -- Illustration by Pat Bean

While I may sketch an owl now and then, I’m no night owl. Just call me an early bird. — Illustration by Pat Bean

Morning is My Time of Day

            As soon as I opened my eyes this morning at my daughter’s house, where I’m animal-sitting while the she and her family are camping, I took my canine companion Pepper, and my daughter’s dogs, Tara the great Dane and Bobo the yellow lab, outside to do their business.  Then I fed the dogs; the two cats Rocky and Miss Kitty, the two fighting Siamese fish (If they have names, I don’t know them), then went outside to feed, water and fly-splay the horse, Hondo

That done, I came in and had a cup of cream-laced coffee, while reading the 127 e-mails waiting for my attention on my computer.  Next, I took a hot bath, luxuriating in a nice long soak while I mentally planned my day. When I realized it was the first of the month, I decided to drive back across town to my apartment so I could pay rent and check my mail, as I was expecting three books to judge for a contest.

I was half-way there when I glanced at the clock on the dashboard of my car. I expected it to be about 9 o’clock. But it wasn’t. It was only 6:37 a.m. Even this early riser was surprised.      

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Go where the trail takes you http://tinyurl.com/ojcmqbx I loved my four-wheel ride with Monica Devine on this trail. But then I’ve never been one to worry about my nails anyway.

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A friendly game of tug of war between Dusty, left, and Pepper. -- Photo by Pat Bean

A friendly game of tug of war between Dusty, left, and Pepper. — Photo by Pat Bean

   “A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.” – Elbert Hubbard

Best Friends

They like to wrestle, too.-- photo by Pat Bean

They like to wrestle, too.– photo by Pat Bean

Most late afternoons my friend Jean and I meet for a bit of chit-chat with our dogs.

I treasure such time with a friend. And so do Pepper and Dusty, who are friends, too.

Everyone needs friends.

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Top 10 http://tinyurl.com/pb6ruhe Flowers that look like animals. This is amazing.

 

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The view of the Catalina Mountains from my bedroom balcony. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The view of the Catalina Mountains from my bedroom balcony. — Photo by Pat Bean

   “Those fields of daisies we landed on, and dusty fields and desert stretches. Memories of many skies and earths beneath us – many days, many nights of stars.” – Anne Morrow Lindberg

How Amazing

            If you think of the desert as a dry, sterile patch of inhospitable landscape, think again. In the 16 months I’ve lived in it, I’ve found more beauty than I thought possible in a desert.

Admittedly, it’s the Sonoran Desert, which has also been called the lush desert because it has a monsoon season. But still I didn’t expect to come to love it as much as I have.

Patches of yellow on the landscape. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Patches of yellow on the landscape. — Photo by Pat Bean

I came to Tucson to spend Christmas 2012 with my daughter, and stayed, mainly because I found a dog-friendly apartment in the shadow of the Catalina Mountains that was exactly what I had been looking for when I ended my full-time living and traveling in  small RV.  Its location sang to me, and just as important it was a nice apartment I could afford.

My canine companion Pepper and I left it recently for almost three weeks – at heart I still love being on the road. And when I returned, as if by magic, summer had sneaked, or is that snuck, in. Tucson’s desert landscape does that while more northern states are just beginning to enjoy spring, or if truly northern still struggling with the remains of winter.

What I noticed first, when Pepper and I drove west on Highway 10 and turned north on Alvernon Road was that the landscape, patches of which still remain in the city, was decked out with yellow trimmings. I found it both beautiful and enchanting.

What a fantastic homecoming. Don’t you agree?

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Live to Write – Write to Live http://tinyurl.com/ny8487f  The Hero’s Journey: This blog taught me something about writing, and made me laugh, too. But don’t read it if you don’t want the plot and ending of the movie “Gravity” spoiled for you

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“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.” – Albert Einstein

            “An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” – Henry David Thoreau

Nothing is more enticing to me than a path -- or a road - that leads to a place unknown.  -- Photo by Pat Bean

Nothing is more enticing to me than a path — or a road – that leads to a place unknown. — Photo by Pat Bean

My Answer is Laughter and a Walk

Soul Writing’s blog http://tinyurl.com/keqkm8e this morning asked “What are the two best cures for anything? Before reading more, I looked at my canine companion, Pepper, and said: Laughter and a walk.

And nothing excites me more than when whatever path I've chosen to walk turns up a surprise, like this great blue heron that I cam upon while following the above path at Brazos Bend State Park in Texas. -- Photo by Pat Bean

And nothing excites me more than when whatever path I’ve chosen to walk turns up a surprise, like this great blue heron that I cam upon while following the above path at Brazos Bend State Park in Texas. — Photo by Pat Bean

At the sound of the latter word,  Pepper’s eyes sparkled, her tail waved and she jumped around in a way that made me thing she was laughing with joy. I think Pepper likes to laugh as much as I do.

So I took her for a walk before coming back and picking up reading where I had left off reading. I wanted to see how Soul Writing answered the question. I was 50 percent in agreement with the blogger. She thought laughter and sleep were the two best cures for anything. I don’t know what her third choice would be, but mine would be chocolate.

This wondering-wandering old broad would love to know how you would answer the question.

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: List Making http://tinyurl.com/lcndr3p As a person who is a writer, one who daily makes lists – and talks to her dog as well – how could I not love this blog?

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   “Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

Fall was in full progress when I arrived in Maine, and followed me on my southward return. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Fall was in full progress when I arrived in Maine, and followed me on my southward return. — Photo by Pat Bean

Is Finished

For all of you who have stuck with me for a bit, and followed the writing journey of my book, “Travels with Maggie,” I’m delighted to inform you that it is now ready to go out to the world.

Maggie claiming the driver's seat during a stop for gas. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Maggie claiming the driver’s seat during a stop for gas. — Photo by Pat Bean

The 75,000-word travel book/memoir is about a six-month journey my canine companion, Maggie, and I took in 2006. The title is inspired by John Steinbeck’s  “Travels with Charlie,” and I’ve been telling prospective agents it would sit nicely on a book shelf between his book, and Charles Kuralt’s “On the Road,” with Tim Cahill’s “Road Fever” nearby, but that its uniqueness lies in the fact that it was written by an old-broad, wandering-wonderer.

I’m currently in the process of looking at ways to get it published as an e-book, and getting a cover designed for it. Next will come a printed book – I’m hoping.

The journey began in Camden, Arkansas, where my youngest daughter lived at the time, and ended in Rowlett, Texas, in time for Thanksgiving dinner at my oldest daughter’s home. It was a trip of 7,000 miles that took me to Maine and Acadia National Park that wriggled its way through 23 states and Canada.

Any advice those of you who have self-published a book is welcome. Especially helpful would be experiences any of my readers have had with Vook or Bookbaby.

Meanwhile, this is my way of yelling from the mountain top that the third rewrite of “Travels with Maggie” is now behind me.

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Two short videos. Footloose and Kevin Bacon fans will enjoy this one, even if they saw it on the Jimmy Fallon show: http://tinyurl.com/oldwfxj And old broads and anyone who loves life will enjoy this one. I smiled all the way through it. http://tinyurl.com/qz8btq6

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Most people who ask for advice from others have already resolved to act as it pleases them.” – Khalil Gibran.

Of course when I hiked the benches of Mount Ogden in Utah, I wasn't exactly along. I always had Peaches or Maggie with me. Peaches would have torn the limbs off of anyone who tried to harm me. But, Maggie, who is shown here, would have been hiding behind me for protection.  -- Photo by Pat Bean

Of course when I hiked the benches of Mount Ogden in Utah, I wasn’t exactly alone. I always had Peaches or Maggie with me. Peaches would have torn the limbs off of anyone who tried to harm me. But, Maggie, who is shown here, would have been hiding behind me for protection. — Photo by Pat Bean

It All Depends

This is a photo my daughter shot while riding alone in the desert. -- Photo by T.C. Ornelas

This is a photo my daughter shot while riding alone in the desert. — Photo by T.C. Ornelas

I’m not a fan of giving advice – or getting it for that matter. I cringe when all but my youngest daughter asks me for advice, especially in areas in which I’ve made mistakes – and that covers a about a jillion areas.

And the only reason I don’t mind giving my youngest daughter with neck problems advice is that I know she won’t take it. I guess she takes after me. I can’t think of hardly any advice given me that I didn’t distain in favor of the hard knocks of experiencing things for myself.

Besides, over the years, I’ve learned that sometimes good-intentioned advice is not in my best interests. The best example is the frequent advice I was always getting not to hike the benches around Ogden alone.

coyote

And this is one of the coyotes that have followed her. — Photo by T.C. Ornelas

If I had followed that advice, heeding the fears of others, I would have deprived myself of some of the most soul-filling moments of my 25 years of living in Northern Utah. Knowing this is what keeps me from telling my youngest daughter not to ride her horse along in the desert, where coyotes trail her path.

For some of us, having our alone time in nature, is absolutely necessary for maintaining sanity. It was for me when I had daily newspaper deadlines to meet. And my daughter is a working mother, who raised three daughters and is now raising three boys, including two teenagers among them.  Talk about needing to hold onto saneness.

I also didn’t follow the advice of all the financial gurus who told me how much money I needed to retire. Instead I’ve spent the past 10 years, nine of them  traveling – alone – full-time in an RV across this vast country, perfecting ways to get by on much less than the gurus claimed I needed.

Recently, I’ve been checking out advice for getting my book, Travels with Maggie, published. Advice for this seems to be just about around every corner — and in the tradition of writing advice, the various suggestions are often contradictory.

But this morning, I read the best piece of publishing advice I have come across since I started researching the issue. It was offered by Chuck Wendig, author of “Kiss –Ass Writer.” The first step, said Chuck, is “write something great.”

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a better piece of advice, or one that I will try harder to follow.

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat:  Winter’s Heartbeat http://tinyurl.com/nxuqj55  This blog might actually make you not want to chase away the cold.

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            “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.” – Regina Brett

One of the best things about taking Pepper for an early morning walk is getting to see the sun come up over the desert. -- Photo by Pat Bean

One of the best things about taking Pepper for an early morning walk is getting to see the sun come up over the desert — while the moon is still in the sky. — Photo by Pat Bean

That’s My Life

What Regina said is what I have to do, despite the fact I’ve been fighting a sinus infection. I’ve gotten up, dressed up (OK, so it was just a sweater over my pajamas at 6 a.m.) and walked my dog, Pepper, four times a day.  And I live in a third-floor walk-up.

But don’t get me wrong.  I’m actually thankful, because the task of doing this over the past year has gotten me in better shape than I was a year ago. That’s great news for someone who is pushing 75.

Every old-broad should have a dog to walk.

Bean’s Pat: Interesting Literature:  http://tinyurl.com/oqw3gsj More quotes. I like No. 9 best.

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What is Home?

            “You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.” — Maya Angelou

This view from my balcony is now part of what means home to me. -- Photo by Pat Bean

This view from my bedroom balcony is now part of what means home to me. — Photo by Pat Bean

Whatever You Want It To Be

            I spent nine wonderful years living and traveling this country full-time in Gypsy Lee, my 22-foot motor home. Recently I realized that was more years than I had ever lived in one specific dwelling in my life.         

Desert sunsets from my front balcony now seem like part of my home. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Desert sunsets from my living room balcony now mean home to me.  — Photo by Pat Bean

All that time I was traveling, the road felt more like home than any of my former rooted dwellings. This wondering wanderer pondered why?

            The road, I finally decided, with its wondrous sights and beauty, was what I had longed for almost all my life. I dreamed about exploring this country, from coast to coast and border to border, ever since I can remember.

            The hundreds of travel books I read over the years — “Blue Highways” by William Least Heat Moon, “On the Road,” by Charles Kuralt, “Travels with Charley,” by John Steinbeck, “A Walk in the Woods,” by Bill Bryson, “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey, and many, many more – fueled those dreams.

            Then finally, at 65 years of age, I made the dream come true. I figured I had about five years before age would catch up with me, and I would have to stop living atop wheels, but I almost doubled that expectation.  

And Pepper is part of my home now. I'm a very blessed and a very thankful person. -- Photo by Pat Bean

And Pepper is part of my home now. I’m a very blessed and a very thankful person. — Photo by Pat Bean

          This year I exchanged the road for a Tucson, Arizona, third-floor apartment in the Catalina Mountain foothills. Although I find it hard to believe, it now feels like home. Of course this wondering wanderer pondered why?

            In doing so, I listed what home meant to this old-broad wandering wonderer these days. My answers included: A place with a large bathtub so that I could soak in a hot tub whenever I wanted. This, I should tell you, is the only think I missed after paring down for my RV lifestyle and the road..

            Home also means a place where I can spend a whole day in my pajamas – if I wanted and did not have my dog, Pepper, to walk, but then Pepper, herself, is home.

             Home is a place with lots of books, even if one has a Kindle. Home is my desk and computer, where I can write to my heart’s content.  Home is a place where I can keep in touch with loved ones, and occasionally travel to visit them. Home is a balcony with a view of nature and birds and mountains. Home is a place to bring friends.

            What I now also know is that home is more inside of one than outside of one, and that it can be whatever you want it to be, and make it to be.       

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

     Bean’s Pat: The Road Not Taken http://tinyurl.com/l37f994 Something to think about.

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         “Adventure is not outside man; it is within.” — George Eliot

Think all doves do are coo. This white-winged species has a nest in a tree that I walk beneath and screeches loudly at me every time I walk past. -- Photo y Pat Bean

Think all doves do are coo? This white-winged species has a nest in a tree that I walk beneath and screeches loudly at me every time I walk past. — Photo y Pat Bean

Letting my Mind Wonder as My Legs Wander

            I’m recovering nicely from my broken ankle, but still not up to the adventure of a trail hike. Instead I have to get my kicks from walking on level ground. Mostly, on the four daily 15-20 minute walks I take with Pepper around the apartment complex, she and I retrace the same territory over and over.

Pepper off on one of her scent trails. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Pepper off on one of her scent trails. — Photo by Pat Bean

But each walk is different because of the people we meet along the way, a suddenly blooming plant, an old sight seen in a new way, the variety and activity of birds at the time, and always the varying thoughts in my head.

My best and brightest or most absurd and ridiculous ideas bounce through my brain like a ball in a pinball machine when I’m walking.

Pepper, who sniffs every twig, every new flower and urine bulletin board messages left behind by her doggie colleagues, always adds a layer of fun to the walks.

This one little flower in a big pot seems awfully lonely/ == Photo by Pat Bean

This one little flower in a big pot seems awfully lonely/ == Photo by Pat Bean

So far she’s never met another canine or human whom she didn’t like, although thankfully she’s come to know which four-footed and two-footed beings don’t want anything to do with her, and has learned to sit quietly by my side while they pass.

Dogs, I’ve come to believe, have much better instincts than we humans

But a smile or a tail wag from any of our apartment neighbors is enough to make her deliriously happy and playful. She is forever bringing smiles to my face.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Like a moment from Midsomer Murders: http://tinyurl.com/d2rrved  A First of May sunrise. I suspect the reference to Midsomer Murders is because there is always one village celebration or another taking place in the English TV mystery series, which is one of my favorite shows. The blog’s title is what caught my attention, but the photo is awesome.

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            “Home is where the heart is.” Pliney the Elder           

This colorful sleeper couch was one of my first purchases for creating a new home and a new lifestyle. i think it's a "joyful" beginning. -- Photo by Pat Bean.

This colorful sleeper couch was one of my first purchases for creating a new home and a new lifestyle. I think it’s a “joyful” beginning. — Photo by Pat Bean.

“Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.” Tad Williams

Creating a New Home

            The road has been my home for more than eight years. It was the home I had dreamed of for most of my life and it was every bit as wonderful as I had imagined.     

My third-floor apartment lets me live at tree-top level It's the closest thing I could find to living in a tree house, which is something I would still like to do. These two winter-naked trees are visible from my front-room balcony. I'm eagerly awaiting them to change into spring garments, and watching them do so is one of the joys I look forward to in coming days. -- Photo by Pat Bean

My third-floor apartment lets me live at tree-top level It’s the closest thing I could find to living in a tree house, which is something I would still like to do. These two winter-naked trees are visible from my front-room balcony. I’m eagerly awaiting them to change into spring garments, and watching them do so is one of the joys I look forward to in coming days. — Photo by Pat Bean

        Me, my bossy canine companion, Maggie, and for a short time a joyful puppy named Pepper, traveled this country from border to border and ocean to ocean in Gypsy Lee, a 22-foot RV that I bought new in 2004, and which now has almost 140,000 miles on her.  

            To live this wondering-wandering life within my personal financial means, I sold or gave away, almost everything I owned before I could get on the road to explore this fantastic country. “America the Beautiful,” it truly is.  

            I knew, however, that one day my full-time life on the road would have to become at least only part-time. And when that day came, I knew I would be starting from scratch in the homemaking department.

            That day came this past December 26. And this red sleeper couch was one of my first purchases. And I love it. It feels like a good start to a new home. What do you think?

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