Sunday Stills and Weekend Coffee Share in the July heat

Welcome fellow Spoonies and various other sentient beings! Come in, grab your favorite cuppa and let’s visit a bit with Natalie at the Weekend Coffee Share and Terri at Sunday Stills. Our Sunday Stills prompt is “angle” and I found oh so many on our recent adventures.

Last week, we visited Mountain Home, Idaho and took a mini tour of Penny Alley which is a local alleyway that has been dedicated to dozens of urban murals in this tiny rural town. According to the local brochure “in 2016 a group of local artists came together to transform a nearly 320 foot stretch of alleyway in the city’s downtown into an outdoor art gallery featuring a collage of different works of art painted on the walls of local businesses.” We spent a sunny (yeah read that HOT!!!) morning walking the alley, snapping pics, and eating outdoors.

It’s business hours so a lot of this collage is blocked but still sooo worth the look. I can totally dig the wild angles in the dream catcher. Dude!

Adventure is out there!!! LOOK at all the angles in the mural, each sun ray had it’s own design. Plus, it’s purple … and pink! 🙂

I considered cropping this shot but wanted to keep the “OMG this is the alley of actual working businesses” feel. I like the lines of the bricks through the murals and the way the angles are broken up with curves and blending of the individual pictures in the mural.

I particularly love this. Maybe it’s the quote, I am a John Muir fan, or maybe it’s the scene, or maybe it’s the style. This shot is not pixelated, the rough “texture” is intentional. Up close it rather resembles one of those photos transferred to canvas texture. However it was done the result is much in keeping with the alley-feel. I shot this from a straight-on angle with my hinney squeezed up against the far alley wall, stupid camera phone. ;-p

After a long stroll we made our way back to the car through a little craft fair. It was fun to see the offerings. We returned to our hotel and spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool, splashing, relaxing and practicing that wonderous vacation ritual of napping. So many great angles in the rock water feature.

Hope you’re staying cool in your part of the world. We’re enduring another round of record breaking heat here in the west and midwest USA. To read a bit more about Spoonies and summer, check out Magical Mundanities Episode 3 –Summer Spoons.

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Magical Mundanities Episode 3 — Summer Spoons

Buddleia gone wild

In the early morning I step outside. The air is already heavy with heat. Summer is in full swing. Blackberries and blueberries hang gravid with sweet juice, begging for harvest. Yellow squash and bright red tomatoes peek through verdant leaves. Wild roses are faded and dry in the heat while marigolds and buddleia proliferate wildly much to the delight of the cavorting swallowtails. All the sweet abundance of Summer.

But with the sweet, comes the bitter. Sweltering heat brings fatigue, enough to crush the body and soul. Discontent and maudlin anxiety taunt me with reminders of all I can no longer do. I step outside into the heat of afternoon and see the dull haze, the bane of forest dwellers everywhere, wild fires. It is hard to breathe through the acrid smell that fills the valley. There will be no evening stroll along the river tonight.

This is deep summer for a Spoonie. Equal portions of bitter and sweet, joy and sorrow. I cannot change the heat, the fatigue, or the fires. All I can change is how I react to it. So for today, and probably tomorrow, I will stay sequestered indoors with windows closed and A/C on until the smoke passes. I will read, and write, craft, and rest. And I will be grateful for the precious, magical moments of my life. I missed so many moments, days frittered away in anger and impatience, back before I knew that life is lived in those tiny moments of grace, filled with joy and laughter, and strung carefully together into the journey of a lifetime.

In a few days we venture on to our next destination but for now it is enough to know that we are still relatively safe from the distant fires, my health will return, and the berries will make an excellent topping for shortcakes.

Abundance of blackberries

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Magical Mundanities — Episode 2 — Spoonie Travel in a Pandemic World

Welcome fellow Spoonies and various other sentient beings to another episode of Magical Mundanities where this Spoonie seeks to find the magic in a mundane world.

After returning from a short trip to visit grandkids and wrap up pre-retirement details with the home office, we had three weeks to rest, recuperate, see doctors, repack our suitcases and pack up our tiny home for storage before heading out on the “big trip of being somewhere else.” This is the first significant road trip we’ve taken in several years.

Butterfly on a purple coneflower bids me farewell in South Dakota

We left South Dakota on a sunny day. The weather had been mostly hot and sunny for the weeks prior to our departure and we were looking forward to some cooler temps.

Spoonie travel requires some adjustments. We discovered early on that traveling by car is no less draining than travel by air, and it TAKES LONGER! Bear in mind that neither of us travels well these days, we’re out of shape. We took the drive in easy steps traversing no more than 350 miles of state highways per day. We stopped at virtually every roadside rest and touristy place along the way (aka restrooms).

Independence Rock — along the Oregon Trail — Alcova, WY

We loosely followed the Oregon Trail most of the trip and picked up fascinating tidbits about the pioneers and their perils, as well as the Eisenhower Highway Act which connected this vast country. The story goes that when Eisenhower was a young Army officer, he participated in a cross country convoy from New York to California. The trek took 62 days and Eisenhower later wrote that this was when he first envisioned a cross country highway system.

The road was long, the journey arduous although certainly not a patch on what the pioneers or post WWI travelers must have gone through. Breaks became less frequent and fatigue crushed the mind, body and soul of these two spoonies. Wyoming holds many, many hundred miles of, well, nothing. At all. I have always said though that if you LOOK for beauty, you’ll find it. Above, during a brief break at an otherwise unremarkable rest area, thistles behind a dilapidated parking lot.

Penny Wall, Mountain Home, Idaho

Finally after three days of bone crushing travel fatigue, we stopped for a two-night R&R in the little town of Mountain Home, Idaho. While there we took in some local sites like “Penny Alley” which encompasses an alley full of murals. More on that later.

Hand Mural – Penny Alley — Mountain Home, Idaho

For now, if we were having coffee at the Weekend Coffee Share, I’d tell you that our travels have been full of tiny steps and beautiful moments, and some fairly huge stumbling blocks as well. I’d remind you that you have but to open your eyes to see the beauty around you, and “those who do not believe in magic will never find it.”

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Silence

Silence

The discordant drone of cicadas

like the raspy buzz of high power lines

cars and trucks in monotonous whine

hustle and bustle of coming and going

my sense assaulted by tuneless song

jarring cacophany endless throng

I close my eyes to inner guidance

standing on the ragged edge

praying for a single moment

of silence

We arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio a few weeks ago. Oh lucky me, just in time for the cicada apocalypse. The 17-year cicadas emerged, there were billions of them, everywhere. Yes, at least one got caught in my hair …. eeeeeeekkkkk! (why yes, I do scream and dance around like a little girl). What bothered me the most was the constant noise of the beasties. I also recently read “The Ragged Edge of Silence” by John Francis, so I was more and more shocked at how much “noise” occupies my world and how I yearn for a single silent moment.

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild (quiet but wild)

Sunday Stills – Outdoor Life in Balance

For Sunday Stills where we are celebrating “great outdoors month”

For me, like a lot of spoonies, the “great outdoors” is all about finding balance. In the Ayurvedic tradition, balance comes from being in sync with nature, and from being in balance within ourselves.


Rock cairns, large and small decorate the banks of the Virgin River near the Narrows hike. After a flood deposited thousands of rocks and stones along the riverside walk in Zion National Park, human creativity balanced with nature.

“Into the forest I must go. To lose my mind and find my soul.” ~ John Muir

Here, the end of the trail for us in Redwoods National Park. The trail went much deeper into the forest but this was as far as we got, and that’s OK. Spoonies have to balance the desire to trek off deep into the woods leaving the world and it’s noise behind, with the need for caution. Getting to the end of a trail and discovering awe inspiring fairy glens and primordial glades is wonderful. Fatigue induced exhaustion that causes you to faint, not so much.

The Philosopher’s Walk in Kyoto, Japan. The cherry tree lined path that follows a small canal from Ginkaku-ji to Nanzen-ji reminds me that the great outdoors is always there, just a step away from my door. Sight-seeing can be taxing on a spoonie and the days of rugged outdoor hikes must be balanced with relaxing strolls and stargazing.

I’ll never lose my need for the great outdoors, and I treasure every moment, the exciting ones and the sedate ones. Sitting on the beach on Kauai surrounded by dark and light, sea and sand, I breathe in the tang of salt air and I am at peace.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” ~Ferris Bueller

Of course, there are also wonders to be found just off the beaten path that make my little spoonie heart soar. During a drive on South Island, NZ we saw an interesting angle of the bay and decided to stop. A short walk from the pull off we were greeted by magical sandstone cathedral spires. We never would have noticed them if we hadn’t listened to that small still voice that whispers “take a look.”

Meanwhile, half-way across the planet, more hoodoos (sandstone spires) dance in gay perfusion in Bryce National Park, Utah. I have walked so many trails in so many places, always, always looking for balance, the synchronicity of nature and balance within myself. Many of the trails have been half-way trips. When he sees my strength beginning to fade, Superhubs will gently remind me “we still have to walk back.” Ahhh yes, the walk back, more adventure. The journey, after all, is the worthier part of the trip.

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Sunday Stills – a Midsummer Dream

For Sunday stills, sunrise, sunset

“I have seen so many sunrises,” he said “each one glorious with the promise of the new day to come. Mine to shape and mold as I will. And sunsets, the sky refracting back to my meager eyes to joy of the day that has passed. I have watched the stars burst through the dark sky like a million flaming diamonds. Yet none of it prepared me for the explosion of celestial light within your eyes the first time I saw you smile.” ~Gwren

This week marked the Summer Solstice which we celebrated with a family gathering and feast on the BBQ. Surrounded by brothers, sisters, children, and grand-children. It was lovely. This shot of Stonehenge was taken in the spring but to me Stonehenge will always hold a special place in my Litha celebrations. Accordingly, I watch the sunrise over Stonehenge on youtube (I’m such a rebel).

 

Sunrise over the ocean on Kauai. This is one of my favorite shots for summer even though it wasn’t summer when I took the picture. The golden sky and reflection on the ocean just speaks to me of the power of the sun.

Another of those golden sunrises, I adore the flame red of the sun’s reflection on the water.

Sunset in Virgin, UT one wonderful solstice. Striking sunsets are rare in the desert, as are the clouds that create the textured feel of the picture.

Chimney Rock, Nebraska at dusk. Located at the “south edge of the North Platte River Valley, Chimney Rock is a natural geologic formation, a remnant of the erosion of the bluffs at the edge of the North Platte Valley. A slender spire rises 325 feet from a conical base. The imposing formation, composed of layers of volcanic ash and brule clay dating back to the Oligocene Age (34 million to 23 million years ago), towers 480 feet above the North Platte River Valley.” source

And finally, sunset at 30,000 ft. over Kentucky. From my seat on the plane as we approached Cincinnati on our recent trip. A wonderful way to start a trip.

That’s about it from here at Chez Spoons, have a great and safe week mes amies.

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Magical Mundanities — Episode 2 – Losing My Muchness

Linking up with Weekend Coffee Share

Approaching the Cincinnati Airport (this is just the outskirts of the area)

We are traveling right now. It’s lovely and also challenging. This is the first time I’ve been away from my tiny home in over 18 months. We spent the first few days visiting family including sister, brother, daughter & grand-daughters, son and grand-sons, grand-daughter and great-grandkids. It was great fun but also exhausting. I was mostly fine those days, got up, did my abbreviated magic morning routine and went from there. It’s very overwhelming for me to be surrounded by cities.

Jungle Jim’s grocery store — half groceries, half amusement park

Then we moved across the river to Ohio for the final training of our replacements. So many people, so many different energies, it’s very draining for a magical introvert. Now there is an office to be at, people to deal with, goodbyes to be said. Now it is a business trip, get up, get dressed, have breakfast meeting, tour factories, have lunch meetings, work with factory, have dinner with managers, discuss days findings, finally get back to hotel, collapse. Get up next morning and do it all over again. I am physically exhausted, emotionally spent and spiritually bankrupt. There is no magic morning ritual to ground me and more and more days are ending in pain and tears.

Barbed wire fencing suits the mood around here ** stay away — stay away**

I lived in this part of the country for over 25 years, I have relatives galore here and yet it has never been my “home.” I am much … less here. To borrow from “Alice in Wonderland” I have lost my muchness. I am hiding my magic. As a result, I have abandoned all of the practices and rituals that are so much a part of who I am. Here I am not “JP” or even “Pahriza.” I am in short, not myself. I have reached the point when I have to ask myself that important question “am I a human being trying to live a spiritual experience; or am I a spiritual being trying to life a human experience?” Time is a finite resource and I can no longer afford to allow the mundane to take precedence over the magic of life. It is time to take a step back, break out the candles and incense, do a cleansing and relax. How terrible would it be if my children and grandchildren knew me for all that I really am? After all, sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Sunday Stills – The Landscape of My Life

For Sunday Stills – Your Favorite Landscapes

The Landscape of My Life

The landscape of my life lies before me
and it is beautiful
filled with the ‘teeners of Colorado
bleeding their rust-colored stains
the Grand Canyon deep and vast
where Condor shadows fade in twilight
Sunset on a snowy field sends skyward
a brilliant flash of gold
south to Death Valley’s salt flats
eerie, barren, grey and cold
I have seen so many sights
from Zion and Osaka,
New Zealand and Kauai
The landscape of my life lies before me
and … it is beautiful

We spent many summers in Colorado, Silverton, Ouray and Durango. It was here in the Red Mountain Pass I began to understand “Colorado Rocky Mountain High” whether from the majesty of the landscape or the lack of oxygen, I cannot say.

North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We have visited there several times alone and with family. Pictures cannot do it justice for it is the very definition of the word “vast.” I have never felt so small.

“Flash of Green” over the horizon in South Dakota. “Presence of God” moment, perhaps a soul coming back to earth.

Badwater Basin salt flats in Death Valley, California. 200 square miles of … nothing. All I could think was “what must the settlers have thought?”

Shugakuin Imperial Villa, Kyoto, Japan. There is a reason Kyoto is one of my spiritual centers and this shot pretty much says it all.

Skyline of Osaka, Japan from Osaka Castle. A stop at a okonomiyaki restaurant on the way home reminds me that some things are the same world wide. Like, pizza.

Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah. We spent a decade of falls, winters, and springs exploring this beautiful National Park. The awe and grandeur are never exaggerated. It lives up to it’s name “Sanctuary” and peace of mind, body and soul are palpable.

One of a hundred soul-stirring sunrises on Kapaa Beach, Hawaii. During our morning walk along the beach tears started rolling down my face. When Superhubs asked me what was wrong, I told him “my hands don’t hurt.” For the first time in decades, my hands did. not. hurt. The absence of pain, not relief of pain but the absence of it, can be a real eye-opener.


Til next time ~Stay trippy hippies ~JP

Sunday Stills – Free movement

For Terri’s Sunday Stills — Freedom

“I ask only to be free. The butterflies are free. Mankind surely will not deny to Harold Skimpole what it concedes to the butterfly.” Charles Dickens — Bleak House

True freedom can be found anywhere, under any circumstance for it is an attitude of spirit ~JPP

As above, so below
as the universe
so the soul

6.28.20 freedom
Ocean, mountains, clouds, and sky — Kaikoura, NZ

6.28.20 Kyomizu
Kyomizu, Kyoto, Japan

6.28.20 open range
The open vastiness that is Wyoming

Ruby Tuesday — The Rolling Stones

Til next time ~Peace and freedom ~JP

Sunday Stills – Home is where the heart is

Terri’s Sunday Stills theme this week is Home.

Home means so many things to so many people. For me it has never been a place but a feeling. To quote Dory “I look at you … and I’m home.” This is the first time in many years I have stayed in one place for this long (over a year). RVers say “Home is where we park it” for me home is anywhere my love and I are together, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Winnebago in Colorado, home is not a place, it is not walls or land, home is truly where my heart is. Je t’aime mon coeur.

Here are a few places I’ve called home.

6.15.20 Bayfield CO

Looking out the window of our Winnebago, Bayfield, Colorado

6.15.20 Hart SD

Just down the street Hart Ranch, Rapid City, South Dakota

6.15.20 Remarkables

“The Remarkables” as seen from our window in Queenstown, NZ

D:DCIM100DICAMDSCI2283.JPG

Heading “home” to Zion — Springdale, Utah

“Even as I wander
I’m keeping you in sight
you’re a candle in the window
on a cold, dark Winter’s night”

I can’t fight this feeling any more ~REO Speedwagon

Til next time ~Stay Safe, Stay Sane, Stay Sanitized ~JP