Saturday, July 31, 2021

July 31--Miracles?!?!?

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.  --Albert Einstein

    I tend to go with "everything is a miracle." Just look at the human conception, gestation and birth process for starters. 
    But I digress... I'm writing this the afternoon of July 30 after the MLB trade deadline has passed. Being a die-hard Cubs fan, I must say, there IS crying in baseball. My three favorite players, along with several others, have been shipped off elsewhere, so that I'm wondering if they can even field a team for tonight's game. Of course it's good for their minor league players. But I would suggest that Jed Hoyer, the GM who is responsible for all this, should probably not show his face around Wrigley Field for a couple of weeks. The Cubs winning the 2016 World Series WAS a miracle, but all hopes of that happening again soon are now completely dashed--a first-world problem, I realize. It's back to the long-time Cubs' saying, "Wait till next year!"
    Bummed Cubs fan,


Friday, July 30, 2021

July 30--See the World!

Stuff your eyes with wonder; live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. 
--Ray Bradbury

    Bradbury is directing us away from stuff ("any dream made or paid for in factories") and into experience. Life isn't made by the amount of things we accumulate, but rather by the experiences we have. "See the world" is excellent advice. I often marvel that in our solar system of rocky, uninhabited planets, there is this one jewel with water, mountains, beaches, jungles, and nearly infinite life forms--our magnificent mother Earth. The natural beauty is staggering, and humans have created even more to enjoy. It is easy to "stuff your eyes with wonder" with very little effort. 
    Wandering and wondering,

Thursday, July 29, 2021

July 29--More Please

Stay hungry. Stay foolish.  --Steve Jobs

    Hungry for life. Hungry for experiences. Hungry to love. Hungry to be loved. Hungry to learn. Hungry for wellness. Hungry to use your talents. Hungry for challenges. Hungry for triumphs. 
    Stay foolish. Don't take yourself too seriously. My older son and I talk about playing "goldfish boring golf." Boring golf means that we strive to avoid getting into trouble like deep rough, trees and sand traps. Goldfish means that we have the memory of a goldfish--forget the last shot, good or bad, and focus on the present one. It's a foolish way to remind ourselves that golf is a game. Such is true for all of life, really. 
What are the chances!?!?? 
(Credit: LupiArts on Twitter)

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

July 28--Are You Dancing?

Life calls the tune, we dance.  --John Galsworthy

    This conjures up a fairly joyful life, wherein we comfortably move with whatever life's tune may be at the moment. Then there are times of resistance, when we refuse to dance with life, and those tend to cause us some form of distress. The older I get, the more I'm convinced that a successful life requires us to keep moving, i.e., keep dancing. 
    Nice footwork,

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

July 27--Open Soul

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience. 
--Emily Dickinson

    I have had the occasional "ecstatic experience," and they have always come when I was really paying attention, present in the moment, very aware of myself and my surroundings. Instead of moving through life on autopilot (very easy to do), we stop, breathe and become aware. A mountaintop is not required. As Ms. Dickinson states, just keep the soul open. 
    Grateful for Life,
Alan Seeger Natural Area, central PA

Monday, July 26, 2021

July 26--Beauty Within Us

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

    If we don't have beauty within us, we can't see it. I believe we all have the capacity to know beauty, but life may have buried it deep within us. 
    Barney and I are safely back in Wichita, after a beautiful week in Colorado. I have traveled to many parts of the world, and I've enjoyed seeing the beauty of the ultra-rich, such as Hearst Castle, the Crown Jewels of England and fine art at many museums. Equal in beauty, however, were the orphans and their "mother" for whom our mission team built a home in the Watoto's Suubi village in Uganda. It was a simple home to us, but a palace to them. 
    I saw a vehicle decal this week while driving around Colorado. It said, "We Choose Joy." The joy exuding from a human heart is a special kind of beauty. Joys of the week included lots of golfing with my sons, wedding planning discussions, walking the dogs, enjoying the mountains, summertime flowers, napping, shared meals. A beauty overload, for which I am ever so grateful!

Some of the beauty at Cheyenne's Airport Golf Club

Sunday, July 25, 2021

July 25--All-In

Be bold... When you embark for strange places, don't leave any of yourself safely on shore.  --Alan Alda

    You can't go sailing if you don't untie the boat. You've seen the comical routine many times where one foot is on the boat, one on the dock, the boat floats out, and the would-be sailor splashes into the water. All-in or all-out, halfway doesn't work. 
    I'm going to approach this from the standpoint of people-pleasing. It is a nasty habit so many of us practice. It is a very common symptom of addiction, particularly codependency. We don't want to rock the boat, we want to keep everyone happy, we want everyone to like us all the time, i.e., stay "safely on shore." My son and his fiancee are planning an October wedding. Questions abound regarding who to invite and how. Concerns about irritating people arise. It is an excellent time for the reminders of a) the bride and groom must do what pleases them and not worry about any one else; and b) they have no control over how folks react to their choices. They need to just go for it--embark into the strange new world of wedding planning--without the added burden of trying to please everyone all the time. 
    Standing up for oneself, doing what it takes to fulfill one's needs and desires, fully going for it, may be the boldest thing anyone ever does. 
    While it is not a strange place, Barney and I are today embarking for Wichita and returning home. Thanks, Colorado, for an excellent vacation! We will be back!

Home Sweet Home

Saturday, July 24, 2021

July 24--The End is When?

It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth--and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up--that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it were the only one we had. 
--Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

    When I initially typed this quote, I had spent a day doing a bunch of cleaning. I detest cleaning. If I arrive at the "pearly gates" having spent my last day in part doing house cleaning, I'll be pissed!
    I confess that full recognition of my limited time on earth didn't really come to me until I hit the age my mother was when she passed, 61. I realized that if I want to complete my MLB stadium quest, I have to get in more than one stadium a year. (I've been to 24 of 30 as of this writing.) There are still many destinations I would love to visit, and I dearly hope I live long enough to enjoy at least one grandchild!
    "Live each day to the fullest." What that phrase means is very personal to each individual. I wonder if I am doing that. It feels like a lot of pressure to make each day ultra-exciting, meaningful and/or extraordinary. Most of my days, however, are fairly ordinary. I am happy and content most of the time, generally doing what I want to do. I love and I am loved. Is that enough? Another question is "If I passed on today, would I have any regrets?" Only that I did not get to do all the things I wanted to do, but that will be the case no matter when I transition! 
    I believe attitude has a lot to do with living each day to the fullest. Staying in an attitude of gratitude, practicing kindness to others and loving self-care for oneself, makes for a day of serenity and peaceful rest each night. Alas, I am grateful that I am able to clean my house, and I do like the results!
    Loving my days in Colorado,

Southridge Golf Course, Fort Collins

Friday, July 23, 2021

July 23--How Is Your Fairy Tale Going?

Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.  --Hans Christian Andersen

    I'm having a "fairy tale" week in Colorado. (See July 18 post for background.) The visit has been very successful, six days in and we are not sick of each other. This trip has been enlightening. With a longer visit, we don't feel the need to spend every waking minute together, which is very relaxing for us introverts. It has resulted in me learning my way around their neighborhood, in and out both directions. The dogs are enjoying each other and do fine together when left alone. I've provided a couple of suppers to make the evenings lighter for my working son and daughter-in-law-to-be (diltb). And truly in the "fairy tale" vein, I was given a tour of their October wedding venue, a beautiful Colorado setting that will make for a lovely and memorable event. I treated my diltb and myself to pedicures. Best of all, the week includes four times golfing with my sons. It is absolutely a "most wonderful fairy tale." 
Oh, yes, and naptime with my buds!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

July 22--Imagination Required

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere.  --Carl Sagan

    I think of all the fantasy movies, TV shows and books that have taken us to worlds that never were. What would life be if we didn't have the creativity and imagination behind...
  • Lost in Space (I'm dating myself 😉😉)
  • Star Trek
  • Star Wars
  • Harry Potter
  • Game of Thones
  • Avatar
  • The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings
  • Han Christian Andersen's fairy tales
    Those are from the world of entertainment. I look at the cell phone lying next to me--it is considerably more powerful than the very first computer I used (creating programs on punch cards). Imagine--machines that wash clothes, dry clothes, suck up dirt, fly us to remote destinations, look at our innards, keep our food cold--the list is endless of the modern conveniences that started in someone's imagination. Mr. Sagan nailed it--lack of imagination is a dead end. 
    Human imagination gives me great hope for the future. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

July 21--Chow Down on Life

Life itself is the proper binge. --Julia Child

    My common characteristic with Ms. Child is that we both LOVE butter. When I was growing up, margarine was labeled in our house as a "Communist plot." (That was the 50s and 60s, remember.) And I know way too much about the binge.
    Bingeing was the model I learned at a very early age for coping with life, whether the substance be food, tobacco and/or alcohol. I spent a lot of life time in my first three decades devoted to the binge. My #1 substance of choice was food. Therefore, when I got into recovery and gave up my "best friend" food, I had a lot of time on my hands that I did not know what to do with at first. As I became a more sane individual, not mired in a food fog, I began to realize things that I wanted to accomplish in life. Bingeing on life brought me the opportunity to raise two healthy sons, to have satisfying work that uses my skills well, to build good relationships with family and friends, to enjoy adventures I would have never thought possible, and to learn to lovingly care for myself. Bingeing on life is so much better than bingeing on food!
    Bingeing on CO,
A family maxim: Never eat anything bigger than your head.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

July 20--Give, and Give More

Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.  --William Jennings Bryan 

Here's the July 19 "Note from the Universe" (Mike Dooley):

However much you give, Leta, more than that will be given to you.
Take the bait,
The Universe

    I find this to be true, and I especially love "Take the bait." Giving, generosity, is not chance--it is choice. I was blessed to have a very generous father, who set a wonderful example of giving for me. I also have kids who work or have worked as servers, and so I tip very generously. I think it is a worthwhile practice to consider how hard the folks work who serve us and reward them for their efforts.
    Wouldn't it be nice if we could just hang out and have everything we've ever wanted drop from the sky? We would all be fat and lazy. It's a good thing we have to do the footwork--it makes achieving a particular destiny all the more sweet. It keeps us moving. 
    What do you want to be when you grow up? We are all still growing up, and we will be for eternity. There is always an opportunity to create the next destiny. The more we give of our talents to the world, the more joy expands within us. 
    Having a great time in CO,

Monday, July 19, 2021

July 19--Rich Treasures

Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music--the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.  --Henry Miller

    I love this quote. A dear friend passed a few weeks ago, and at her memorial service, I was reminded of many things from her rich life that I had forgotten. Everyone has a story, and if we take the time to listen, they are usually quite fascinating. 
    I love going to art museums. Those are great places to forget yourself. The variety of art in the world is truly infinite. I love human creativity! I love thinking about the unique soul that creates each piece. I've done enough art in my recent lifetime to appreciate the spiritual connection that makes art possible. 
    I'm an introvert, but I am getting better at stretching myself to talk with folks I don't know. It is almost always a pleasant and interesting conversation. World travels, too, bring me in contact with people from different cultures, giving me an opportunity to learn ways of life unlike my own. I also get to see the magnificent natural treasures of our beautiful home planet. 
    Currently exploring Colorado,
Some of the ocean's rich treasures

Sunday, July 18, 2021

July 18--Colorado Dreamin'

Throw your dream into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back: a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.  --Anais Nin

    I'm leaving this morning for Colorado for a big dream throw. I'm planning to stay for a week with my older son and his fiancee. Prior visits have only been a couple of days max. We're going to see if we can enjoy that much time together without getting sick of each other. They live in much bigger quarters now, their own home that they moved into in April. I'm taking Barney with me. It is my first big trip alone with him, and he'll be in doggie heaven with his bud, Dusty. There is plenty of fun planned for the week. I'll have no trouble "entertaining" myself. My son and his fiancee have talked at length about wanting the grandparents to be around a LOT when they have kids, so this is a trial for that. There's lots of opportunity for "new." I'm excited. 
    Let's go, Barney!

Buds: Dusty (left) and Barney (right)

Saturday, July 17, 2021

July 17--Plowing Ahead

Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.  --Francis P. Church 

    I would offer that the best bet to fully enjoy all the wonders we get to experience is to be totally present in the moment. To that end I offer this from Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation** from July 14:

Beatrice Bruteau (1930–2014), one of the great contemplative teachers of the 20th and 21st centuries, offers an unusual metaphor to help us better understand what it means to be “pure of heart,” to maintain a single focus when we “practice the presence of God.” It sounds very much like what we might call “being in the flow”! 
    This unification of the consciousness is what is usually called “concentration.” It is basic to spiritual practice. 
    How do you do this concentration? You just do what you’re actually doing in the moment, without thinking/feeling about the fact that you’re doing it. When you set your hand to the plow, you just concentrate on plowing and go straight ahead without looking back to see what you plowed or how well you plowed.
    You put your whole mind onto plowing, the activity, in the moment in which you are actually doing it. You don’t allow the mind to divide into two, half on plowing and half on plowed. . . . And in fact, if you can put your whole mind on the activity, not dividing some part to look back and see what you have plowed, you will cut a beautiful furrow.
    You put your whole will into plowing. You do not divide your will in two by partly consenting to plow, and partly resenting and resisting it and wishing you were doing something else. You “give yourself to” this activity totally, as you do it. The act of plowing and the act of willing to plow become the same thing.
    Similarly, you do not allow your imagination to conjure up some other scene for you to enjoy in daydreaming while you plod behind your plow. The imagination must . . . “be here now.” This is where you actually are, this is reality. Don’t create a fantasy. . . . Know who you are and where you are and what you are doing and really be there.
    Finally, put all your feelings into this plowing because this is where your life is at this moment. You have no other life here and now except this plowing. Therefore feel this plowing thoroughly, feel it in every way you can. Feel it through your body with all your senses, with your emotions. . . . Become plowing. This is you at this moment. This is where you really are and what you are really doing.
    That’s how you center yourself, how you concentrate.

    It's easier said than done, surely, but I love how Ms. Bruteau describes the practice!
    Heading out to concentrate on golf, 

** Center for Action and Contemplation (

Friday, July 16, 2021

July 16--Not Knowing

Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how... We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.  --Agnes de Mille

    WOW, the pandemic has made this sentiment a real and ever-present part of our lives. We learned that life both at home and globally can change drastically in a very short period of time. We knew that intellectually, but now we have a visceral understanding of "not knowing what next or how." 
    It is a challenging practice in life to get comfortable with "not knowing." I feel like the older I become, the more I don't know, or at least the less I take for granted. Will my health/money/stamina hold out? What is the most satisfying way to spend my time? Do I have enough lifetime to do/be/have all I want? It seems that life is becoming more questions than answers. But I keep on keeping on, and for the most part, I am content with my daily life.
    I took a leap into a dark closet of my life this week, with the support of my spiritual coach. The inspiration was the upcoming wedding and my dread of shopping for an appropriate mother-of-the-groom outfit. (See July 13 post.) What came barreling out of that dark closet was my mother's constant encouragement to eat more, while saying, "You'd be really cute if you lost weight." I was quite obese from the time I started 1st grade till my twenties. I was so heavy that I could wear only home-made clothes, so between that and my weight, I was (in my mind) a freak. Plus I had unconsciously taken on the job of keeping my mother happy so that she wouldn't drop dead like my grandmother (her mother) did, of a heart attack. So I ate and ate and ate. No wonder I don't like clothes-shopping!!!!!!! I am grateful to have made this connection, because with awareness comes choice, and I can choose to release this craziness caused by my mother's untreated addiction. I am ever more grateful for my choice to begin recovery decades ago!
    Keep leaping!
We all have them, and
I am sure I have more than one!

Thursday, July 15, 2021

July 15--I'm No Quitter

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.  --Thomas Paine

    The first thing that came to mind when I read this quote was Forrest Yoga Teacher Training, 28 brutally hard, long days of learning, work, homesickness, and driving in insane Houston traffic. I felt like a rock star when I finished that. I wanted to stop folks on the street and give them my autograph.
    I have completed (with perfect attendance) the watercolor class at Wichita City Arts. Watercolor is a tough medium, and this has been my most challenging art class so far. Because of the nature of watercolor painting, instructor Wil had to teach us a lot about light, perspective, foreground, background and so on, in addition to mixing colors and different ways to apply the paint. Below is my finished product, and I'm fairly pleased with it, because it represents a LOT of learning, and at least you can tell it is a landscape!
    Feeling triumphant,

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

July 14--Synchronicity

The most exciting happiness is happiness generated by forces beyond your control. --Ogden Nash

    I think of this being synchronicity, when all sorts of tumblers fall into place to create an ideal situation, and I was not the one arranging the tumblers.
    Pre-pandemic I was making a road trip to Fort Collins, Colorado, which involves several rest area stops along I-70 in Kansas and Colorado. I noticed a red pickup with Missouri license plates, and a man walking a small dog. They looked familiar from a distance. The man came out of the rest room and was looking at the Kansas map on the wall. I approached, and sure enough, it was a dear family friend from St. Louis, also on his way to Colorado. What are the chances?!?!?! How many times have you run into someone you know from another state at a rest stop? We were both amazed, and made several phone calls after we hit the road--"you won't believe what just happened!" FUN!
    The Universe supports us in ways beyond our imagining, so I'm thinking a lot is going on with "forces beyond our control." I do love a good synchronicity!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

July 13--Curiosity is a Must

Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.  --Eleanor Roosevelt

    A lot of things crossed my mental or physical path yesterday. It is truly hard not to turn one's back on life when suffering a serious illness, and likewise seeing a loved one go through such a tough experience. Living life means living through the hard times as well as the good ones (dang it!). 
    Curiosity about my knee aggravation took me back to the doctor for the MRI results. I have two meniscus tears which they don't repair in people "my age." They just snip off the torn part. I don't care for that idea, especially since my knee is improving. When I told the doctor that I had walked over two miles and swam almost a mile that very morning, he said, "I don't think we need to do anything right now." My curiosity is leading me to consider a non-surgical treatment that has worked in the past. A stiff knee isn't going to cause me to turn my back on life. 
    There is an October wedding upcoming in our family, and I will be the "mother of the groom." I have a dear friend who has been anxiously awaiting this so that she can go shopping with me for an appropriate outfit. I'm not fond of clothes shopping, rarely do it, and the whole idea is both too girly-girly and frightening for me. In talking with my shopping friend, I learned that I need to know what the mother of the bride is wearing first, so that I don't get anything too similar, I guess. Given that it's been 35 years since my wedding, and I haven't ever been "mother of the groom" before, there's loads to be curious about. I know the end result will all be great, but it surely is tempting to turn my back on shopping!!! OMG, out of curiosity I just did a google search for "wedding dress mother of groom." Every single dress looks miserably uncomfortable and NOT me. I promise I'll post the end result after the wedding!
    Staying curious and learning,
This is more my style!

Monday, July 12, 2021

July 12--Adventure is LIFE!

Adventure is worthwhile in itself.  --Amelia Earhart

    Clearly Ms. Earhart said that before she left on her last big adventure. She lived and died her belief--good for her!
    What is adventure to you? My first thought of adventure is travel. This year I have a December trip to Jamaica planned. There will be multiple trips to Colorado to visit family, as well as a son's wedding there in October. We have plans to broaden our range of golf courses played into Wyoming. There is a September weekend for golfing in Oklahoma with galpals. I love anticipating such adventures.
    Life is more fun, however, if we can see each day as holding some adventure for us. Otherwise, there's the danger of falling into the "I'll be happy when..." trap. Today's adventures include walking Barney, lap swimming, seeing the doc for the verdict on my knee MRI, running errands for goodies for my upcoming Colorado trip, and teaching Melt and yoga this evening.
    What are we here for, if not adventure!!?!?!?!

   Barney's sprinkler adventure

Sunday, July 11, 2021

July 11--Yes, You and I Are Going to Die

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.  --Steve Jobs

    I'm happy with my life as it is now, and I have this fantasy that it will continue on this way forever, and eventually I'll get to do all the things I want to do. At age 65, there is some urgency, but not with any sense of angst. Maybe there should be. Intellectually, I know that I could be off the planet at any moment. But I know I don't have a visceral feel for my ultimate demise. It is truly difficult to contemplate. I don't feel afraid to die, but I do hate the idea of missing so much fun with family, friends, etc. 
    I do feel as though I pretty much follow my heart. Life is good. I get to do what I want for the most part. I don't feel like I have to prove anything to anyone any longer. What do I think of as "something to lose"? My family is the biggie. But I believe we will be together eternally. Lose status? I have none already. Lose my health? I live/eat/move daily in a way that keeps me comfortable. Lose my varied jobs? I enjoy them, but I don't feel any of them are essential to my survival.  
    When I am in a crowded area, an airport for instance, I spend a lot of time contemplating people. There is such a blessed variety of folks, and each one is simply living as best they can with what they have to work with. I like the idea of "already naked." Can we all just get over the judgments of surface things that would divide us and simply get along? 

Check out the Heart-Brain Comics at

Saturday, July 10, 2021

July 10--Experiment!

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better. 
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Experiment = practice. Over and over, day after day. The more we practice, the better. And no, practice does not make perfect. There's no such thing as perfect, at least in human terms.
    The following is a version of the Lord's Prayer I read this morning in Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation from the Center for Action and Contemplation. It comes from the Anglican Church of New Zealand, "which both honors and reflects indigenous Maori culture." 

Eternal Spirit,
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:

The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples
of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and for ever. Amen.

    I really like this version. Experiment with it. 
Rainbow Walking Water Experiment

Friday, July 9, 2021

July 9--Young, Strong, Willing

The young do not know enough to be prudent and therefore they attempt the impossible--and achieve it, generation after generation.  --Pearl S. Buck

    For this I am ever so grateful, for the inventors and their perseverance, their energy, their dreams. Our older son and his partner are in the process of landscaping their new yard. They paid to have the front yard completed, but they are doing the back yard themselves. Already they have moved and placed four tons of rock. This weekend they are going to move tons of topsoil/compost, rototill and lay sod. I told my son that it exhausts me just listening to the plans, and he said, "I'm strong." And young. And an enthusiastic first-time homeowner. I'll get to see the results in a couple weeks. 
    I don't know if it is age-weariness, "been there, done that," laziness or what, but I'm reluctant to take on big projects nowadays. I have painted the entire interior of our home twice in our 36 years here, and I have NO desire to do it again. I'm grateful that there are folks who are willing to do those chores that I no longer care to do. Thank heavens for the exuberance of youth!

Thursday, July 8, 2021

July 8--Risky Business

Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. 
--T. S. Eliot

    One excellent thing teaching yoga and Melt Method has taught me is that I'm just a regular human. I tell my classes, "It's a good thing you don't have to have perfect balance to be a yoga teacher." The practices are just as good for my body/mind/spirit as they are for the students. I'm continually learning, and often bring new moves to class, and that's always a stretch. Will I explain it adequately? Can I do it properly? We work with a roller, and I've fallen off many times. No damage done, I just look silly. Sometimes I use that to advantage, to help other folks know that perfection is not required. The search for perfection kills the prospect of finding one's limits. 
    Taking art classes over the past few years has been a huge risk for me. "I can't paint!" I started with one of those drink-wine-and-learn-to-paint-with-girlfriends adventures, which comically enough, rocked my world about how painting is done. That inspired several classes with an infinitely talented and patient instructor at Wichita's City Arts. I've learned much about myself through taking these classes, and the painting I did during the pandemic lockdown kept me fairly sane. You could have never convinced me ten years ago that I would have so much fun with painting.
    I have jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. I organized it as a group adventure, hoping that group pressure would ensure the jump, and it did. I think of that often, and still can hardly believe I did it. That was definitely "going too far" for me, and it turned out to be one of the most terrifying and exhilarating events of my life. 
    Maybe do a check--is life too comfy?

From an acrylics pouring class

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

July 7--Cherishing Today's Adventures

Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.
--Ninon de Lenclos

    What a passionate way to start the day! 
    I do cherish creativity, so it's time for an update on the watercolor class. I've mentioned in a previous post that being in an art class brings out the insane person in my head. He/She/It was alive and well in last night's class five of six. I started with this, drawn last week:

    Working with watercolor requires extreme patience, not my strong suit, and certainly not a quality of the wacko in my head. Over the course of two hours, instructor Wil led us step by step in creating the landscape scene. I had to ask him to repeat instructions several times, as the person in my head was freaking. The "tennis match" in my head was non-stop: "I kinda like this" bouncing back to "I hate this, I've ruined it." But the voice of reason simply kept me plugging away at it. This is where I left it, to be completed next week:

    It's no Rembrandt, but at least you can tell it's a landscape. As I walked to the car after class, I was thinking "that was fun." It's comical to me that I feel so challenged and awkward in class, yet feel so relaxed afterwards. 
    Everything's a miracle,

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

July 6--GO!

Make voyages! Attempt them! There is nothing else.  --Tennessee Williams

    Yoda: "Try not! Do or do not, there is no try." 
    I am often asked if I'm afraid traveling overseas, or if I'm afraid to take long driving trips by myself. I guess I'm not afraid, because I keep doing it. I reply, relative to overseas trips, that it's bad business to kill tourists, so most countries refrain from that. 
    Throughout my adult lifetime, I have made it my quest to visit every major league baseball park. I've worked tours and trips around getting to games. I've bummed help and lodging from family members, bribing them with tickets. I've made new friends. Other than the folks I have met on baseball tours (I've been on two of those), I don't know anyone as nuts about baseball as I am. The Universe has supported me in extraordinary ways to make this quest happen (read the May 14, 2021 post for an example). My life has been so much richer as a result of these adventures. I am so glad I started this quest, and I feel confident in my ability to reach the final six stadiums on my list. 
    I've been a tourist in Europe, Asia, Central American, the Caribbean, Canada. I've helped to build a house in Uganda on a mission trip, followed by a safari. For me, "voyages" make life complete. I would hate to reach the end of life and say I didn't go anywhere on our phenomenally interesting planet. 
    I'm an introvert, and I am perfectly content holed up in the woman cave by myself. I know the reason I love the woman cave so much is because I leave it often to "make voyages." I don't want to be a boring, afraid old person. That's no life. 
    Ready for today's voyages,

How many folks have had their
picture taken with the Phillie Phanatic!?!?!!?

Monday, July 5, 2021

July 5--Unexpected FUN

Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.  --Samuel Johnson

    Several sets of neighbors on our eight-house court gathered last evening for a cookout and "kiddie" fireworks. There was plenty of "oooo" and "aaahhh," and kids and adults got their annual safe play-with-fire fix. Everyone ate too much of a wonderful variety of food. We had fun visiting and getting to know each other better. The biggest joy came when the lone little boy said loudly, "Wanna see my really big one?!?!?!" Of course, he was referring to his fireworks stash, but all the adults got a big laugh out of that "unexpected spark." 
    I traveled to Scotland and Ireland a few years ago. Obviously I went to see the sights, enjoy the food and drink, and learn about the lands and cultures. The unexpected spark I remember so clearly was at a local pub. My traveling companion and I asked a couple if we could share their outdoor table, as those were the only seats left. What ensued was a delightful conversation with a young couple on holiday from England. Those are moments money can't buy or plan. 
    Think of a time when someone did something unexpected and especially nice for you. Isn't that fun!?!? When an event turned out even better than expected? When you were able to surprise and delight someone? You, too, can be an unexpected spark.
    I love surprises,
Sweet snoozing Barney,
one of my "brightest blazes"

Sunday, July 4, 2021

July 4--FREEDOM!!!!

What we play is life.  --Louis Armstrong

    What a fine quote for a holiday, especially one that celebrates freedom! 
    I love the idea that our entire life here is a game. We were bored in the unending bliss of eternal life, so we signed up for an earthly adventure, chose our parents, made some general goals, and "landed" here ready to play. And what a paradise for play our beautiful Gaia is!
    Let this Fourth of July holiday celebrating freedom remind us to not take ourselves or our lives so seriously. Let our freedom take us into expansion and joy. Go play!!!!

Saturday, July 3, 2021

July 3--Carpe Diem

If you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured, it may never arrive. Mountains will not be climbed, races won, or lasting happiness achieved.
--Maurice Chevalier

    I'm not sure we could even identify that "perfect moment" even if we did want to wait for it. There are no guarantees here except for death and taxes, and I would add, that everything has a lifespan. Opportunities are infinite, but it seems that each one only lasts for a little while. "Just do it." Putting off happiness until some future milestone happens is a waste of a perfectly good life.
    We have spent considerable time during the pandemic trying to maintain "all is safe and assured." Certainly we created new ways to approach that such as curbside pickup. Yet over 600,000 people have died in the USA alone. Even though one may have remained Covid-free, it was not good for our mental health to isolate for "the perfect moment." We are designed to go for it. That is why we came here. 
    Enjoying today,

A favorite pair of socks, a gift from
someone who knows me well 😉😉

Friday, July 2, 2021

July 2--Delightful?

Life was not meant to be easy, but take courage: it can be delightful. 
--George Bernard Shaw

    I believe life was meant to be easy, but then with our free will and creativity, we tend to make it difficult. Nevertheless, life is delightful. 
    Let's substitute "golf" for "life." Golf was not meant to be easy. If it were, the cups would be bigger. With courage and determination, it can be delightful. 
    Let's substitute "art" for "life." Art was not meant to be easy. Maybe it is, if you are able to have the courage and persistence to uncover your artistic niche. The watercolor class is certainly teaching me how "not easy" the medium is.  In my fourth class last week, we began drawing a picture that we will eventually watercolor. For me, drawing is about as "not easy" as it gets. I do have sufficient courage, however, to stick with it. Even if I don't become a great watercolor artist (that's a joke), the class has been delightful, most especially because I have ventured far "outside my box." 
    Let's substitute "gardening" for "life." Gardening was not meant to be easy. Take weeding, for instance--hours of work gets thrown into the trash unseen. All that up, down, twisting, pulling and pushing are tough on the joints. There's plenty of dirt and sweat. And bugs! But then we are rewarded with beautiful flowers, fresh vegetables and tantalizing herbs. How delightful!
    Onward with courage,

One of my pandemic art projects

Thursday, July 1, 2021

July 1--Adventure!!!

It is good to love the unknown.  --Charles Lamb

    July's theme in "Daily Joy" is adventure. When we were in the child-rearing phase of life, I labeled a trip without the kids a "vacation," and a trip with the kids, an "adventure." 😉😉
    I'm pondering "love the unknown." I love surprises, good ones, at least. I love going to new places. In fact, I rarely go to the same vacation spot more than once. There are too many wonderful destinations to see to repeat. I am forever grateful to my mom for planting the "travel bug" in me. And I love to learn. I'm willing to be a complete rookie for an adventure of learning, as evidenced by my current undertaking of a watercolor class. Walking Barney is an adventure each day--who knows what doggie friends, rabbits, cats, or other critters we may encounter? Really, each new day is unknown, because we all know (ironically) that life can totally change forever in an instant.   
    Some "unknown" is tough to love--illness, injury, relationship challenges, conflict, endings, failure. It isn't easy, but it makes for a peaceful life if I can take the negative unknown as smoothly and easily as the positive unknown. Faith in something bigger than myself is essential, along with remembering that everything has a lifespan. "This, too, shall pass," so either enjoy it, or be of good courage and get through it. 
    Enjoying the adventure of life,