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Posts Tagged ‘postaday’

            “ Beware of the half- truth. You may have gotten the wrong half.” – Unknown

A page from one of my sketch books of a chipping sparrow.  I promised to share my art occasionally and this just seemed like a good day to do it.

A page from one of my sketch books of a chipping sparrow. I promised to share my art occasionally and this just seemed like a good day to do it.

So Much to Do, So Little Time. Dang it!

            The worse thing about my broken ankle, well now that I’m not in pain and it doesn’t hurt to walk a bit in my clunky boot, is not being able to drive.

            Thankfully, I had my daughter tootle me around town this weekend. I bought a vacuum, went to the post office and, drug store, did shopping for two weeks of groceries, and picked up pillows for my couch — which I had ordered to match the chair I bought because the chair that came with my red couch was ugly.

            Thankfully I had one of my grandson’s help in getting everything up to my third-floor apartment.

            Today was spent on a bunch of catch-up tasks, including the completion of a couple of writing projects. No not my book. I know. I know.

            I did a Valentine’s article for American Profile magazine and worked on a piece for Story Circle Network’s March journal.

            Now it’s almost 6 p.m. and I realized I hadn’t done anything for my own blog.

            Well, this is it – and all you are going to get today.

            I hope everyone had a happy Monday.

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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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Sunrise and a Pair of Cooper’s Hawks

“The grand show is eternal It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling, vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in turn, as the round earth rolls.” – John Muir

First I saw the sunrise ... -- Photo by Pat Bean

First I saw the sunrise … — Photo by Pat Bean

A morning couldn’t get any better 

And then I saw one hawk ... -- Photo by Pat Bean

And then I saw one hawk … — Photo by Pat Bean

           I was sitting at my computer, drinking my cream-laced Sumatran coffee and wondering what I was going to blog about today when my phone chimed that I had just received a text message.            “Shhh. Come look,” my neighbor Betty Ann had written.

And so, quietly, I stepped out onto my third-floor balcony and was greeted with a blooming-pink sunrise that brought cheer to my soul. Beautiful, I thought, but why did I have to be quiet to see it.

And then I heard a throaty kek-keky-kek coming from a tall tree in the courtyard.

... and then I saw the second Cooper's hawk. -- Photo by Pat Bean

… and then I saw the second Cooper’s hawk. — Photo by Pat Bean

Not one, but two hawks, were sitting among the branches. I quickly, and quietly, stepped back inside and grabbed my camera.

From their rusty-red breasts, I thought I was looking at a couple of red-shouldered hawks, but a few minutes later, when I put my binoculars on them, I realized they were Cooper’s hawks. While both birds of prey have streaked red breasts, their head shapes and the rest of their coloring is quite different.

I’m hoping the pair will build a nest in that tree. What a daily bird-watching adventure I will have if they do. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Hiking the Colorado Trail http://tinyurl.com/b2tqg2l I love hiking trails, but for the next month or so my broken foot is keeping me off them. Perhaps that’ why I so enjoyed my arm-chair hike this morning with this Fabulous 50’s blogger.

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“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.” Maya Angelou

Mind Triggers

The sight that greeted me when I looked up from the computer. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The sight that greeted me when I looked up from the computer. — Photo by Pat Bean

            I was just completing yesterday’s blog about Willie Nelson, when I looked up from the computer and saw my canine companion, Pepper, grinning from ear-to-ear as she sat in the middle of a devastated stuffed cat.

The dead cat. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The dead cat. — Photo by Pat Bean

I couldn’t do anything but smile. The toy had been on sale at PetSmart, and I had bought it for her, knowing full-well I would pay the clean-up consequences.            And then Willie’s quote about bigoted people not being his friend popped into my wondering-wandering mind, and I laughed, and continued laughing as I picked up the stuffing from every room in my small apartment.

Pepper is not prejudiced against cats. She’s also destroyed a big stuffed dog, a bear, a raccoon, and several ducks. She even took a bite out of my daughter’s Great Dane’s indestructible dinosaur.

Indestructible was the word my daughter used, even after I warned her that Pepper didn’t know the meaning of the word.

They look so innocent when they're asleep. -- Photo by Pat Bean

They look so innocent when they’re asleep. — Photo by Pat Bean

During Pepper and my first month together, she destroyed three pillows and their pillow cases, two pens (the stain of one which can still be seen on the rug in my RV) a computer cord, half a dozen pairs of socks, two of my daughter-in-law’s flip-flops and just about anything else she could get her teeth into.            Fortunately, she finally learned the difference between things that were hers and things that were mine, well except for socks and these days I blame myself for leaving any within her reach.

In the meantime I, or since I moved to Tucson, also my daughter, keep her supplied with plenty of chew bones, chew toys and occasionally a stuffed animal which can give her days of fun, and me days of picking up stuffing.

But as I said, she’s not prejudiced. She’ll chew up any stuffed animal.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Alastair’s Blog http://tinyurl.com/b4ggr4t How to Wash a Cat. I got great belly laughs from this one. I hope you laugh at it as much as I did. Laughter’s good for the soul. And I’m not prejudiced against cats, just for the record.

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Chitters in 2010 -- Photo by Pat Bean

Chitters in 2010 — Photo by Pat Bean

“Let go of your attachment to being right, and suddenly your mind is more open. You’re able to benefit for the unique viewpoints of others without being crippled by your own judgment.” — Ralph Marston

Chitters

Chitters is a great horned owl that I met back in the 1980s. And yes, he is unique. What other great horned owl twitters – as in chitters@ogdennaturecenter

He became the Ogden (Utah) Nature Center’s mascot when it was determined he couldn’t survive in the wild. But he did fly free for a short time, which is when I first learned about this magnificent bird.

A nature center worker called the newspaper where I was working after Chitters got loose. She was hoping for extra eyes to find him. The article I wrote in response to the plea noted that a female owl had been hanging around the nature center trying to attract Chitters’ attention. She succeeded, and at the first opportunity Chitters made his escape.

“Imagine that female’s surprise,” said the Nature Center’s spokesman, “when Chitters fails to bring her food, as courting males are supposed to do.”

Chitters turned up back at the Nature Center several days later, skinny and much the worse for wear. Perhaps he has progeny flying free over Ogden, or perhaps not.

The photo of Chitters above is one I took of him during a visit to Ogden a couple of years ago. Isn’t he beautiful?

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            “Oh the places you’ll go (and the things you will see) … You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose…. Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way” – Dr. Seuss

Planning the Dream

When I set out in Gypsy Lee to see as much of this awesome country as I could, it was at the end of years of dreaming and many months of planning.

"Oh the places you'll go ..." frequently hummed in my head while I was traveling this country in Gypsy Lee. -- Dr. Seuss illustration

“Oh the places you’ll go …” frequently hummed in my head while I was traveling this country in Gypsy Lee. — Dr. Seuss illustration

Now, after almost nine years of on the road living and traveling, I’m beginning to dream once again. This time it’s of a round-the-world trip.My must-stops for such an adventure are: Australia, so I can visit Alice Springs, Uluru and travel across the continent on a train; China, so I can stand on the Great Wall; Portugal, because my great-great-great grandfather was a Portuguese sailor who jumped ship in America; Paris, so I can visit The Louvre; England, so I can see in person some of the settings of the British mysteries that I love to read; Ushuaia; because, well just because; and Zimbabwe, so I can see Victoria Falls.

Several airlines and travel trek companies are willing to help me plan just such a trip, I discovered this morning when I started an Internet search. I even started filling out a travel planner with one of them.

I’m truly hoping life, physically and financially, will allow me my dream. But if not, I’m sure having fun with the planning. It’s another kind of arm-chair travel that I find so fascinating.

If you could take such a trip, where would you go?

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Great Gray Owl http://tinyurl.com/b7o29ac Fantastic photos of a bird that is still on my dream list as I’ve never yet seen one in the wild.

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            “Man is subject to innumerable pains and sorrows by the very condition of humanity, and yet, as if nature had not sown evils enough in life, we are continually adding grief to grief and aggravating the common calamity by our cruel treatment of one another.” —  Joseph Addison

This photo calms my soul. I needed it today. -- Photo by Pat Bean

This photo calms my soul. I needed it today. — Photo by Pat Bean

Too Bad We Do Not Learn From History

            I’m reading May Sarton’s “House by the Sea,” a journal of a year she spent in Maine with a view of the ocean in the 1970s. In it she talks about the landscape, gardening, writing and simply her thoughts, which include those on how cruel the world has become.

I needed a bit of beauty, too. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I needed a bit of beauty, too. — Photo by Pat Bean

Being of an age, like me, these thoughts included the Vietnam era, and the Mai Lai massacre. If she were writing today, she would, I am sure, have mentioned how history repeated itself with the torture of Iraqi prisoners and all the other horrible events as the world continues too much in the butt-ugly ways of war.            What she might have missed, however, is the butt-ugliness of jokes being played on people for the benefit of the TV viewing audience these days. I watched my grandsons laugh at one of these cruel pranks the other day, one in which I found absolutely nothing amusing. The goal of the hoax was nothing but humiliation of the victim.

How different is this from the bullying that is allowed to go on in schools to the point that victims have committed suicide?

And then two days ago, I picked up the young adult book, “The Hunger Games.” It was a gripping piece of writing that I admit I couldn’t put down. But when I finished it, I had a very bad taste in my soul. For one thing, a book that is all about children killing other children should never be labeled a kids’ book; and for another, the sheepish way in which the fictional population so callously allowed this to happen, even going so far as to bet on the outcome.

I kept waiting for someone to do something. Hopefully the sequels answer this wish, although I’m not sure I will read them to find out. My soul can only stand so much brutality.

The book put me in the mind of the Holocaust, when all that was needed for evil to triumph was for the good to turn their backs and do nothing.

The Pollyanna in me believes, no KNOWS, that the good people in this world outnumber the bad. So when are we going to stand up and holler enough is enough? A good place to start is simply for adults to tell children that there is nothing funny in cruel jokes. You can bet on my grandchildren hearing this from me.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Words of Wisdom http://tinyurl.com/a4s78pp This just seemed like an appropriate blog to accompany today’s soap-box rant.

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