2020 a year of retrospection

Dawn on Kauai

For Sunday Stills our prompt is “retrospective”
and for JusJoJan prompt “fingertips”

2020 may well be know at our house as the “year of the doctor” with more than it’s fair share of medical problems, diagnoses, and treatments.

January dawned bright and clear, with the cancellation of our trip to Kauai, and the scheduling of two surgeries. That was OK though, a return to normal life was at our fingertips while we continued to recover nicely from the YOH that was 2019.

a lone pinecone in the snow outside my door

February brought us snow and the glistening beauty of winter life. I recovered quickly from surgeries and watched the world outside go by, snug in our little home.

bush after a March snow storm

March brought more snow and a corona virus that began to sweep through the world at a frightening speed, crushing travel plans in it’s path. But it also brought a medical release back to “light duty” so I could work the summer as planned.

Kwan yin golden statue at panyu lotus hill resort guangzhou

April brought us cancelled flights and all hope for travel outside (and sometimes inside) the United States were dashed. It also brought another set of minor seizures for Superhubs, and poof, back behind the wheel I went.

Amazon grocery order – yep it’s empty

May brought the resumption of my part time seasonal job and new adventures in on-line grocery shopping. This is a shot of one of my orders from Amazon, yep, completely empty, perfectly sealed, not a thing in it. But the best was yet to come.

Creepy Clouds

June and the whole summer brought seriously weird weather. Lots of thunderstorms, biblical in scale.

half melted hailstone

July brought hail storms, several, the likes of which have not been seen here in decades that left our part of the state designated a disaster area. This is a hailstone from one of the storms. It was about a hour after the storm so a lot of it had melted, the stones were the size of baseballs when they struck.

changing colors

August and September brought stress, panic disorder, and the most beautiful fall colors I’ve seen in years. It also brought a Cardiac Sarcoidosis diagnosis and finally admitting that my working days are done. My last day of work was October 1.

Once in a blue moon, on Halloween

October brought much needed down time, and a rare Halloween Blue Moon.

Tiny display of fall leaves with a bitty gnome

November brought us an LADA (autoimmune diabetes in adults) diagnosis, changes, more changes, to daily life. New definitions of “holidays” too as we learn how to celebrate on our own, without travel. Adventures in “backyarding” on our little nature walks through the RV park observing what there is to see, a hawk circling, leaves falling, skies changing was a saving grace.

December Sunset here at Hart Ranch

December brought us dyshidrotic eczema *ouch*, socially distanced Christmas greetings and a ton of grandkid videos. As the sun set on December, I realized, in retrospect, what a gift 2020 was and how I look forward to the unseen gifts 2021 will hold.

Til next time ~Stay trippy, hippies

Sunday Stills – Quality of Light

For Terri’s Sunday Stills our prompt this week is lights. Like a lot of folk, I immediately thought of Holiday lights. Honestly, they are virtually non-existent for us. It’s hard to string up lights around an RV and neither of us drive much at night for local viewing. After reading Terri’s post though, I realized that “lights” doesn’t necessarily mean Holiday. As an artist, I find I’m always looking for that particular … something, a certain quality of light that sparks the imagination, and ignites the soul.

Certain Quality of Light

The air alive with magic, the world awash
with a certain quality of light
eyes open to incandescent beauty
of the new day, brave and bright
my poor heart trembling,
I breathe, weeping with delight
The moment passed too quickly
but never will I forget the sigh
of a world alive with magic
and that certain quality of light


Dawn on the beach
Heceta Head Lighthouse – Florence, Oregon
Sunlight on Hibiscus
A dreamer can only find her way by moonlight
“Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snow, lies the seed that with the sun’s light, in the spring becomes the rose”

And finally, for those of you who just NEED that Holiday Lights fix, my fav

Til next time  ~Peace ~JP

Sunday Stills – Wonder in the Winter

For Sunday Stills our theme this week: Winter Wonderland brought to us by catsandtrailsandgardentales while Terri is off this week. Well, here in the Black Hills of South Dakota, we finally got some snow. It feels so much more wintery and holidayeee with snow. I love it! We’ve spent 12 of the last 14 years snowbirding. Staying in areas with warmer weather and while we had great fun, nothing quite beats a Christmas snow! A few Winter Wonderlands from our travels

The hills outside Virgin, UT covered in the all too rare winter snow
It always amazes me how snow brings out the child artist in people. We found this funny little fellow at Zion National Park during another of the rare snowfalls
This is more of the type of ice sculptures we get here. This is an icicle that ran down the side of our RV and finally frozen itself solid to the concrete slab.
Winter wonderland of snow and frozen fog here in South Dakota
Once again, here in South Dakota a pretty little snowfall

Til next time ~Peace ~JP

Sunday Stills – Colorful Textures

For Sunday Stills our prompt is Textures

Colorful Textures

Colors of the sky
texture of grass
songs of the ocean
feelings that pass

Colorful textures
changing with time
rough hardened edges
that sparkle and shine

Large amethyst geode on display at Ruby’s Inn – Bryce Canyon, UT
Devil’s Tower, Wyoming — “This means something”
A thorny flower or a beautiful thorn bush? – Pahrump, NV
Robin’s egg found in a nest of stone in South Dakota
The power of water – shooting the rapids on Animas River, Durango, Colorado

Til next time ~Peace ~JP

Sunday Stills – Thanks for the memories

For Sunday Stills our theme is “Thankful”

It’s been a crazy year, that’s for sure. If you feel yourself a bit uninspired in the thanks department this year (and who isn’t), please do pop over to Terri’s site and get yourself a dose of thankful reminders.

Early in the 2000’s Superhubs and I left our home and family behind us. We abandoned the 5 year plan and the 10 year projections and became pilgrims, seekers, voyagers. We became Wide Eyed Wanderers. For the next 13 years our home was a 30 foot class C motorhome christened the SS Minnie.

I am so thankful for that little home on wheels. Ah the adventures, the views, the fun we had with her. Oh the places she took us.

The historic beauty we found in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

the magic spires of Bryce Canyon, Utah

and the places where the Minnie couldn’t take us, Opaekaa Falls, Kauai, Hawaii

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, NZ

We let her go last year to a new home for more adventures, but I am thankful for the memories. Mostly, I think I’m thankful for all the goodness of life. Let’s raise a song of harvest home, the glass of good cheer, the heart overflowing with joy. I have so much for which to be thankful, so much about which to smile. Chief among those is:

Status board at the hospital after Superhubs first brain surgery

I have so much to be thankful for, al I have is truly all I need. Life has bestowed upon me an extravagance of riches, but still I hope for one thing more. The gift of a thankful heart, a heart that does not forget the blessings I have received.

Til next time ~Peace Peeps ~JP

Sunday Stills – Auburn

This week’s Sunday Stills prompt is our monthly color exploration, this month – Auburn Many thanks to Terri for the prompt as auburn is one of my very favorite shades

Auburn Iris — Queens Garden, Invercargill, NZ
Auburn leaves of a huge Japanese Maple from the Japanese Garden also in Invercargill, NZ
stunning auburn sunrise in Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii
Auburn brick patterned walkway, Wellington, NZ
Deep auburn woodwork, Larnach Castle, Dunedin, NZ

Auburn hair slid beneath his hands
hot nights lying on coral sands
when diamonds winked from the indigo sky
serenade of waves as night rolled by
adventures as they rode across the land
lost as auburn hair slid beneath his hands


Til next time ~Peace ~JP

Weathering the Storm – a Sunday Stills perspective

For Sunday Stills, Terri asks us to considered “weathered”

A weathered statue at the Byodo-In temple on Oahu, Hawaii

A weathered archway entering Honen-in temple near Kyoto, Japan

The weathering of eons at Canyon Lands, Moab, Utah

The weathering of wind and surf on Kauai, Hawaii

and last, we have weathered much the tree and I

Touch of the Master’s Hand — voiced by J.D. Sumner
poem by Myra Brooks Welch

Til next time ~Peace ~JP

Autumn leaves me breathless – Sunday Stills

For Terri’s Sunday Stills where our prompt this week is: Leaves Today was gorgeous here in the Black Hills of SD. Warm temps and lots of sunshine, we took several walks, took care of chores and just sat around outside enjoying the sun. I did take a little time to flip through my pics, recent and not so recent to see what I had about leaves.

Shugakuin Imperial Villa in Kyoto, Japan. Looking up through the canopy of changing leaves to the blue sky.

Fern frond unfurling from a huge specimen of tree fern in Queens Garden, Invercargill, NZ
Found this interesting little heart-shaped bit of fallen elm leaves on our daily walk, it wanted to come home with me.
My weekly collection of fall leaves gathered on our daily walks here in South Dakota. Made them into a tiny arrangement (that’s a shot glass being used as a vase) and guarded by my trusty garden gnome.

Autumn sun warms my toes
across my face, gentle breeze
tickles my lashes as it blows
beneath the mulch of leaves
tiny sprouts begin to grow
only to be bitten by the cold
that soon will come, I know
but for now, it is enough
to let the sun warm my toes

Til next time  ~Peace ~JP

Birds from my Big Backyard – for Sunday Stills

For Sunday Stills where this week’s prompt is “backyard birding”

OK, so as an avid traveler, I’ve had lots and lots of backyards over the past decade and it’s really difficult to pick a few of my favorite feathered friends, but I’ll try.

A Pukeko bird in Queenstown, NZ These guys were swimming around Lake Wakatipu, so colorful and graceful. Imagine my delight when they came to shore and revealed themselves to be waders. I’ve been laughing at those chicken legs ever since. How DO they swim with those?
Osprey in flight over Willamette River, Oregon, USA. These guys are a delight to watch while they fish. The “hover” over the river and then dive so fast they are little more than a blur before swooping back up and away.
Macaw in Pahrump, NV – Nope, that’s not in a zoo, or an aviary, or any other type of enclosure. Heidi Fleiss (yes that Heidi Fleiss) operates a macaw sanctuary at her home there and one can often spot the town’s colorful (pun intended) residents. Beautiful to behold but oh my are they noisy.

and finally, Great Horned Owlets right outside our window near Rapid City, SD, USA — We had such fun watching these cuties grow from tiny puff balls to grand juveniles. I wish we had gotten some shots of them preparing for their first flight. They stood boldly out on the edges of the tree, spreading and flapping their wings for a couple of days before hand. Then, one morning, they were gone. Their haunting songs will forever remain in my memory.

Great Horned Owls

Til next time ~Peace ~JP

Happy Places and New Normals – for Sunday Stills

Terri’s Sunday Stills prompt this week is “your happy place” ahhhh, there have been so many. We’re international travelers. Every year we’ve been out of country for some period of time (usually a month or more). Needless to say 2020 has been somewhat of a let down. Like most people, we’re still learning to cope with the “new normal” so very different from the “old normal.” But we’re adapting and there are still hundreds of beautiful places to visit. Cautiously, carefully. So a few of my happy places from right here in my own “backyard” …

Bryce Canyon, Utah, USA
Crater Lake, Oregon, USA
Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii, USA
Open Trail, Zion National Park, Springdale, UT USA

Over oceans I have traveled
across the lands by plane and car
I have hiked the forests green
and wished upon a Shanghai star
of the places I have been to
the happiest by far
the only place that I call home
is any place you are

Til next time ~Peace ~JP