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Archive for the ‘Journeys’ Category

 

The trail led beside and beneath the waterfalls. I do so love Zion. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The trail led beside and beneath the waterfalls. I do so love Zion. — Photo by Pat Bean

         “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! – Dr. Seuss

Runoff from the Emerald Pools' waterfalls created this small puddle of water, which reflected the nearby landscape. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Runoff from the Emerald Pools’ waterfalls created this small puddle of water, which reflected the nearby landscape. — Photo by Pat Bean

On a Birthday Hike   

It felt fantastic to be back in Zion National Park to celebrate my recent birthday with some of the same friends who have celebrated it with me in this awesome place for three decades.

A good-sized lizard near the start of he hike. I barely captured him with my camera before he slithered away.

A good-sized lizard near the start of he hike. I barely captured him with my camera before he slithered away.

While my body wasn’t up to the grueling 5.5-mile roundtrip hike to the top of Angel’s Landing, which I have done about 30 times in my life, it was up to a moderate three-mile hike on the Kayenta and Emerald Pools’ trails. The two trails join at the waterfalls junction.

I originally started the tradition of spending my birthday in Zion because I didn’t live near any family members, and I figured it was much better to do something I enjoyed than stay home and feel lonely.

 

My friend Kim near the start of the hike. -- Photo by Pat Bean

My friend Kim near the start of the hike. — Photo by Pat Bean

I had hiked it alone or with varying friends for several years before Kim and her son began joining me almost every year. This year she called me about three days before my birthday and told me to get my butt to Zion. The message wasn’t exactly expressed in those exact words but I got the meaning.

I drove up to Zion, a nine-hour journey, in Cayenne on Friday, hiked and partied on Saturday, and drove back on Sunday. It turned out to be one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: A Writer’s Path http://tinyurl.com/ps647fp  This blogger chose his favorite 10 opening lines of books. I agreed with a couple, but the blog made me want to go and list my favorite opening lines. Perhaps it will do the same for you.

 

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            “It’s income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta.” ~Dave Barry=

Hey you Procrastinator?  -- Photo by Pat Bean

Hey you Procrastinator? — House finch photo by Pat Bean

And OK with That – and Taxes, Too

I was doing what every red-blooded, procrastinating American was doing at 9 p.m. last night – filing my income taxes.

Doodling with watercolor. -- By Pat Bean

Doodling with watercolor.  Check out today’s Bean Pat  — Doodle By Pat Bean

But I would have had it done by 2 p.m. if Turbo Tax hadn’t locked me out from their site. It seems I tried too many times to remember last year’s password. I was told to try back in 15 minutes. I waited a half hour, but was still locked out. Again, again and again. Finally I gave up and went to the H&R Block site, where I used their free forms and was done in half an hour.

I felt lucky because all I owed Uncle Sam was $101. I was even thankful t I didn’t have enough medical costs to take anything but the standard deduction

While, like most everyone else, I don’t like paying taxes, I’m extremely thankful that I had enough income in 2014 to have all the necessities of life with a little extra for luxuries, like good coffee and gas for a few road trips. It would be worse not to have owed the government.

I just wish Uncle Sam would spend his money as wisely as I try to do.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: Doodling http://tinyurl.com/mtp9zy6  I should have been doing something like this while waiting yesterday for Turbo Tax to unlock my account.  Anyway, this is a fun blog from a favorite blogger of mine.

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Cooper's hawk at WOW Arizona. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Cooper’s hawk at WOW Arizona. — Photo by Pat Bean

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John  Burroughs

Rufous-winged Sparrow

I discovered this little fellow while I was looking for the rufous-winged sparrow. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I discovered this little fellow while I was looking for the rufous-winged sparrow. — Photo by Pat Bean

The Cooper’s hawk sat patiently for its photograph, but I was too enthralled by the rufous-winged sparrow to even take my point and shoot camera out of my pocket. While in most people’s eyes, the hawk would be considered the more magnificent of the two, the sparrow had my vote this day.

That’s because while I have seen many Cooper’s hawks, even watched a pair raise two chicks this past year, the rufous-winged was a lifer. It’s the 706th species now on my life list of birds. A big thinks for the sighting goes to Chris and MaryEllen, who over a 20-year period of hard work, have created a special wildlife sanctuary on their property.

Peeking through the cactus at one of the many hummingbird feeders on Chris and Maryellen's property. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Peeking through the cactus at one of the many hummingbird feeders on Chris and MaryEllen’s property. — Photo by Pat Bean

Chris was especially helpful in seeking this south eastern Arizona bird out for me, after I mentioned I wanted to see one when he was giving me and six other Audubon birders a tour of the grounds. After the circuit, and a bit of sitting on his patio watching a variety of hummers, curved-bill thrashers, gila and ladder-backed woodpeckers, white-crowned sparrows and house finches, I set out for the front meadow, where he said the rufous-winged hung out.

That was where I spotted the Cooper’s, and immediately knew there would be no small birds hanging out in this area until the hawk-watcher went off duty. So after snapping the hawk’s photo, I went elsewhere to search.

Chris soon joined me, saying he had heard a rufous-winged. A couple of minutes later, we had a clear view of one singing in a tree. It was a grand sighting, and after Chris and I high-fived, he said even he had chill bumps.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: It seems only fitting that WOW Arizona’s web site get the blog pick of the day award. Check this marvelous place out at: http://wowarizona.org/  WOW, by the way, stands for Wonderful Outdoor World. Chris said people don’t need therapy or drugs to solve their problems. “They just need to get outdoors into nature.”  It works for me.

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“A great epiphany: I found out that I’m totally confused and I’m good with that. I’m consistently inconsistent. I’m all of the above. I’m OK. I’m a work in progress. That’s my next tattoo somewhere.” – Ronnie Dunn

Last night's sunset as seen from my balcony. Sometimes the thoughts that pop into my thoughts are as explosive as this. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Last night’s sunset as seen from my balcony. Sometimes the thoughts that pop into my thoughts feel as explosive as this. — Photo by Pat Bean

Epiphanies

I remember the day when I realized there were really two Pat Beans, one a responsible, stable, confident woman, and the other a rebellious mess who was afraid everything she did was wrong.

I also remember the day in which I put the two pieces together to form both a stronger and a weaker single Pat Bean.

Most of my epiphanies, however, are less dramatic, like the one I had this morning while reading about how we  evolved from lesser species. I suddenly realized that as high as we are on the food chain today, humans a million years into the future may consider us the same way we think about Neanderthals.

OK.  Perhaps this is a bit dramatic.

But then there are the daily epiphanies in my life, such as accepting that if I don’t do something right now, it probably won’t get done.

So go the continuous firecracker pops through my little gray cells. Sometimes it is fun – and sometimes it’s annoying.

Bean Pat: Doors http://tinyurl.com/k2kb8b6 This bit of nonsense captured my passion for oddities..

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Easter Morning Thoughts

“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”  ~Tenneva Jordan

Mother became a Dr. Pepper woman in her later years. She had a beer at 10, 2 and 4 o'clock. This picture was taken a couple of years before she died when I took her on a family camping trip to Zion National Park. She sat around the campfire with us, but then I took her to a nearby motel to spend the night in comfort. I love you, Mom. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Mother became a Dr. Pepper woman in her later years. She had a beer at 10, 2 and 4 o’clock. This picture was taken a couple of years before she died when I took her on a family camping trip to Zion National Park. She sat around the campfire with us, but then I took her to a nearby motel to spend the night in comfort. I love you, Mom. — Photo by Pat Bean

My Mother

I’ve recently been thinking a lot about my mother. While I truly hated her growing up, she and I reconciled in my 30s — when I finally understood what a strong, courageous woman she was.

I was holding her hand when she took her last breath in my home, and am so thankful I had that precious moment.

The thoughts that flew through my head on this Easter morning was how important it was for her, when we were so very poor, that we kids all had new clothes for Easter. She, however, never had anything new.

She died in 1999, but I still miss her.

            Bean’s Pat: Interesting Literature http://tinyurl.com/orbw97w  The Devil’s Dictionary. This blog is a fun read for all those who love books.

 

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Six-Word Story

            Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see life with a clearer view again.”  — Alex Tam

There's something about the dawn of a new day that gives my glasses a rose-colored hue. -- Photo by Pat Bean

There’s something about the dawn of a new day that gives my glasses a rose-colored hue. — Photo by Pat Bean

Sometimes I Cry Myself to Sleep

I used to do just that. But not in a long, long time.  My life these days is just too damn good.

And before you know it, the world is filled with light once again. -- photo by Pat Bean

And before you know it, the world is filled with light once again. — photo by Pat Bean

Even back then, when a crisis, unmet desire or problems were almost routine in my life,  my days weren’t all that bad. But there were many nights, from my teens into my 40s, when I curled up in a fetal ball at the midnight hour and cried until I had filled a bucket with tears.

The funny thing was that after the tears were shed, my whole body felt wonderful. There’s a scientific explanation for this phenomenon. While I don’t quite understand it, I do know that the world always seemed more promising and my blessings more abundant after a midnight sob session.

While I’m certainly not sorry I have little to cry about these days, except perhaps the loss of a long-time friend, I kind of miss the tears. Perhaps that’s why I do enjoy a book or movie that touches my soul and turns on the waterworks.

But what’s best of all is writing that makes me both laugh and cry.

So what’s your six-word story?

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: The day after:  http://tinyurl.com/l3e9e2f  This was the blog that got me thinking about my own tears. I love the brightness of her words about the morning sun making all things better. I totally agree.

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  “The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment when you are between asleep and awake, when you don’ t know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just that one moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened.” — Oprah Winfrey

Pepper, waiting for me to take her for a walk. Did she start or end my dream, I wonder? -- Photo by Pat Bean

Pepper, waiting for me to take her for a walk. Did she start or end my dream, I wonder? — Photo by Pat Bean

One Heck of a Dream

            My canine companion Pepper woke me at the break of dawn, at the end of one of my crazy dreams. Not yet ready to get up and take her for her morning walk, I replayed the dream in my head.

In it, I was attending a writing conference in Vancouver, Washington, with an old boyfriend. As the workshop ended, we met up with one of my ex son-in-laws. He didn’t have a vehicle so we invited him to ride with us. On the way home, we got lost in Virginia City (not sure if I was in Nevada or Montana)  because my old boyfriend couldn’t find the highway that would take us across Lake Michigan – yes I know, but it’s not uncommon for my dreams to be full of disjointed geography.

Some dreams fade into the background, while others stick out like this patch of color I find it all interesting. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Some dreams fade into the background, while others stick out like this patch of color I find it all interesting. — Photo by Pat Bean

I suggested that we find a place to spend the night and try again in the morning, then I remembered that I had left Pepper home alone. I would need to call a friend to take care of her. When I couldn’t reach the friend, I had a brilliant idea, just as we were passing a Best Buy. We went in, bought a GPS, plugged in my address, and were home before dark.

As if she knew I was thinking about her, this was the exact moment that the flesh and blood Pepper scooted up to my face and began licking it. Or did my dream start when Pepper started licking my face?

Let’s see. I do attend writing conferences, and I recently came across a photo of my old boyfriend, taken when he was swimming in an off the trail pool during one of our outings to Zion National Park; I saw the ex-son-in-law at my granddaughter’s house during my Christmas trip to Texas; I have a son who lives close to Lake Michigan; I’ve visited Vancouver and Virginia City in both states; and I got a a GPS for Christmas.

What’s strange is how I put all the parts together.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Bean Pat:  100 Beautiful Words http://tinyurl.com/ncdsjvo  I found the list of what one person thought were beautiful words fascinating. My choices, however, would be different. At the top of my list would be the words cacophony and oxymoron, perhaps not beautiful but certainly intriguing.

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