After our hike out to The Wave, I rested in Springdale for a few days and got to witness glorious morning rain and clouds in the canyon.
Clouds over the West Temple
Then we took a circuit of Highway 12 through Bryce and an amazing route through central Utah. There’s a reason they call it one the best drives in the US, for sure!
We stayed the night in an Airstream trailer and watched a movie in the drive-in, then went on to Torrey and Cedar Breaks for the night.
We drove down the Capitol Gorge and took it as far as we could go, stumbling upon all the glorious old barns tucked way back in the back roads. They were some of my favorite parts, old gnarly barns, so much texture and lovely light!
The next day we hiked the Hickman Bridge Trail to stretch our legs (and lungs).
The second part of the road trip was spent near Zion National Park, but we took a day hike out to The Wave near the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in the Coyote Buttes area of the Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness on the Utah/Arizona border. The Wave hike is somewhat of a legend, a permit is required, there’s only 20 given a day and they go fast and are reserved up to 4 months in advance.
I find the geology fascinating. Per wikipedia: “The Wave” consists of intersecting U-shaped troughs that have been eroded into Navajo Sandstone of Jurassic age. The two major troughs, which comprise this rock formation, are 62 feet wide by 118 feet long and 7 feet wide by 52 feet long. Initially, infrequent runoff eroded these troughs along joints within the Navajo Sandstone. After their formation, the drainage basin, which fed rainwater to these troughs, shrank to the point that the runoff became insufficient to contribute to the cutting of these troughs. As a result, the troughs are now almost exclusively eroded by wind, as indicated by the orientation of erosional steps and risers cut into the sandstone along their steep walls. These erosional steps and risers are oriented relative to the predominant direction of the wind, as it is now naturally funneled into and through these troughs.
The Wave exposes large-scale, sets of cross-bedded eolian sandstone composed of rhythmic and cyclic alternating grainflow and windripple laminae. The rhythmic and cyclic alternating laminae represent periodic changes in the prevailing winds during the Jurassic as huge sand dunes migrated across a sandy desert. The thin ridges and ribbing seen within The Wave are the result of the differential erosion of rhythmic and cyclic alternating grainflow and windripple laminae within the Navajo Sandstone. These laminae have differing resistance to erosion as they have been differentially cemented according to variations in the grain size of the sand composing them.
It’s almost impossible to get a sense of the place unless you’re there. It’s such an otherworldly place, the photos are stunning but I’ve found them to not make any sense until I got there, took my own and then looked at others. Also, most of them have no sense of scale of the place, no reference points so it makes it hard to figure out. Different treatments of photographs can bring out colors and textures in different ways.
A sense of scale of the place (though you can’t tell that he’s standing probably 5 feet higher than she is), and different treatment from the above photo to bring out more of the colors.
The hike out there was long and somewhat confusing, the hardest part was slogging through sand and climbing up over a ridge. We left later in the day, knowing we’d want to hit it in the late afternoon and evening light (for something different) and stay out a later to get night shots with the sky. We watched the sun set from there, and I wandered around barefoot through the sand and over the ridges, wanting to feel the place, touch it, taste it, relish in the rarity and specialness of the moment and the place.
Looking back at the trail that led there through the opening, the doorway, to The Wave at sunset
The textures fascinated me, the ridges, the colors, the curves. It was the sexy curve of the hip of the Earth and I wanted to run my hands all over it.
We were there for six hours or more, it was not an easy hike in, and the GPS and the will to get back to the car and have a donut from the gas station in Kanab were the things that got me back to the car. But it was well worth it. I’d love to go back, spend more time there just be-ing.
- Driving into town down all the back roads, I was awash with the feeling that summer is here (even if it’s not official). The backyard tub is back in service, the road’s all dusty, trees are green, it’s time for even more summer country music, freezee pops and ice cream sambitches, watermelons and cold beer and for the Milky Way to be up at a reasonable hour again. I love Texas so hard, and I love living out here in the country.
- I am a country girl photographer!
- There are two tiny little birds building a nest in the birdhouse that is sitting in the corner of my front steps right outside my office window. The birdhouse has been sitting there for a year or two, I keep forgetting to put it out somewhere.
- Puppies who wait
- The upshot of zesting two bags of oranges for my double batch of orange soap is that now I have orange juice for breakfast.
- Went to sit on the old bridge on Creekside. I listened to the wind and the bubbling water until I was soothed.
- Avocado margaritas for the win.
- I always love seeing the big barn owl swoop from the trees on my way home.
- I had a fever for a lunch counter, so I stopped at Nau’s and got a grilled cheese with egg and bacon and a strawberry shake!
- Interesting quote that I just passed while looking for something else entirely:
“Let your joy scream against your pain”
- Ironclad beetle
- My tiny sliver moon shone down just after dusk, and as always, brings a smile to my face and peace to my heart.
- Drunk rodeoing.
- Hubs was a sweetheart and thoughtfully brought home my favorite local fried chicken for dinner. It was absolutely the perfect thing to eat; crispy, salty, moist, fantasticness.
- My sweet cows; as noisy, pushy, curious, full of personality and sometimes not so bright as they are, they bring me such joy and happiness.
- Racing a storm home (and beating it). Nothing like a little adrenaline to make life more interesting.
- My mother and I laughing uncontrollably, fueled by each other’s uncontrollable laughter in a never-ending cycle.
- A warm shower and a cool bath when you’ve been sweaty and sticky and in the heat all day at an extrication burn class and then building a fence. Washing my hair is the best feeling in the world after days like that.
- Ice cream with big chunks of fruit in it and homemade blackberry cobbler.
- When waking up multiple times, snuggling in with hubs and sleeping a little later nestled in together.
- Lighting cars on fire, putting them out, punching out windows, cutting out glass, cutting off the roof, rolling up the dash. Destruction and learning win-wins.
- All working together under the direction of our pro, knocking the fence project out, and having something really great to show for it at the end.
- A squirrel walking down a power line, just as easy as you please.
- Hubs letting me borrow his car to drive into town because mine smelled like dead things
- Listening to soothing, mood-calming music at full blast because there was no one else in the car but me
- Three hundred paper cranes
- The cows chasing after the truck and trailer and then the tractor full of hay, and sneaking bites as they walked and chased alongside
- A million billion wildflowers along the sides of country roads. Makes me want to collect fistfuls and carry them around with me everywhere I go…
- Singing at the top of my lungs “with your arms outstretched trying to take flight, leaving everything behind…” And sticking my arm out the window like a wing. “But even at our swiftest speed, we couldn’t break from the concrete…”
- Armadillos crossing the road in the middle of the night
- My teacup collection
- The tiny lizard camping out on the ceiling of the porch when I came home
- Stopping on the way home at the highest point I knew, turning the lights off and looking up at the stars. From the middle of the county, you can see the Milky Way draped across the eastern sky, still pretty low at this time of night, with Sagittarius, Scorpio, Cygnus, and the Big and Little Dipper all shining and winking brightly. It soothed me, to be standing looking up at the huge vastness. It’s a perspective check, a good measuring stick for my problems, a way of thinking outside of this tiny little head of mine.
- Going out to feed and milk my sweet cow Nora. The act of going out there, and the repetition of milking her is so soothing to me.
- I went wading through thigh high weeds and wildflowers to get a shot of my tree without the power lines in the way and when I got back to the car I found a Mexican blanket flower in my boot!
- Exchanges like these:
Me to Hubs: “Do you like my tractor shirt?”
Hubs: “I think your tractor shirt is sexy.”
Me: “50 bonus points for you for country song reference!”
Hubs: “Your car smells like mayonnaise.”
Me: “It’s a step up. At least it doesn’t smell like dead things anymore.”
- I went out to take photos of the cows and of the sunset and the breeze was blowing in a most pleasant fashion. I decided to grab a Shiner and sit on the porch in my rocking chair, listen to the wind in the trees, the chimes dance in the wind, the poultry cluck and chirrup their goodnights, watch the sun slide down the hazy, sticky sky and try to clear my head and just be.
- My chickens (and turkeys) as they “lead” me to the feed shed to feed them…they are all so funny and every day fill me with such delight.
- My niece laughing: Snort, cough, choke, laugh, snarf
- The finish line
- Watching the high tension power lines go up and down connecting to the towers. Following the lines slide with the clouds as the backdrop of the lines of sheet music.
- (Very) Small town rodeos
- Driving down dusty dirt roads, on the way places
- Waiting for dinner after picking up the niece
- Sitting out on the porch watching a gentle rain and I think, “hmm, now would be a good time for a run…” (with a daisy behind my ear)
- Awesome tiki week drinks in a rodeo tiki mug. I’m in love!
- June was muggy and hot with a 50% chance of baths on the backporch. It’s been surprise rainstorms, rodeos and carnivals, cloudy nights and daisies. It’s been cows and catfish and afternoon naps and peaches straight from the tree.
- Trying to figure out how many giant marshmallows I can fit into my mouth. The verdict: only one, and barely.
- Surprise downpours!
- December 21, 2013 – June 21, 2014
I put a solargraphy can up on the corner post of my milk shed winter solstice last year and took it down yesterday. I need to figure out a way of getting more sun lines on the paper and less of the stuff below, that may be about angle or getting it up higher off the ground.
- Yes, I did stick my hand under a pile of bagged, fresh tortillas and then grab the warmest and hold it up to my face to cuddle before putting it in my cart…
- The first (and last) of the peaches off of the tree. It’s the first year it’s fruited significantly and I’m so excited. We got probably 50 or so peaches off the tree and they were perfect little orbs of juicy amazement.
- Plans and parts for an outdoor hanging bed on the back porch
- Perfect little daisies down my driveway
-I pause reading: I sit wrapped in my big smooshy easy chair, my knees pulled up to my chest and folded to the side as I usually do in this favorite chair of mine. My big Texas mug of herbal tea in my hand, I bring the cup up to my nose to inhale the flowery bouquet and take a sip, letting the cooled liquid swirl around in my mouth. I taste the chamomile, the lavender, the hint of sweet of licorice and rose. Then I pull the bag out, slurping the corner and missing it, dangling in the air above my face and get drops of tea that dribble down the side of my chin and my neck like a juicy watermelon slice. I giggle, wipe my neck and smile, putting the mug back down.
And in that moment absolutely everything is right and just as it should be.
- Daisies in the setting sun
- Driving home I turned off the radio, and slowed down at my tree to gaze at the long golden light. The waxing gibbous moon in the east to my left and the low and setting sun in the west to my right. It was a split second of holding there, pausing, weightless in that perfect moment.
- Country sunsets
- Wittle buck teefed Nigel
- My sanctuary, my perfect bathtub, full of candles, amazingly wonderful art (mine and others), Chinese lanterns and a solar (or lunar) tube, a basket full of Lush bath products, my antique razor, a basket full of magazines to catch up on and my Bluetooth speaker. It’s the most perfect place that I spend a large portion of my evenings in.
- I had the house to myself and I laid on the couch gloriously lounging, epically reading and dozing in the most delicious manner. A long, slow, brilliant afternoon of me laying about listening to music (until the speaker died, then relishing in the silence) with a grin and absolutely, perfectly content with where I was. I love deliberately lazy days like this.
- 26 pound wheel of Caerphilly cheese (a sharp, salty, strong cheese that’s almost Parmesan but softer) was cut, the rinds shaved off, shredded and bagged in 30+ 2-cup vacuum sealed baggies for the freezer!
- THIS is why I run.
I was that completely hopeless kid in gym, I was kind of always chubby/slightly fat, I ran a 17 minute mile all through high school and felt like I was going to die the entire time. I was almost always last picked for everything except kickball, which was the only thing that I was decent at because I imagined that ball was whatever boy had pissed me off that week’s head and making that bitch sail through the air and past everyone in a glorious channeling of pre-and post pubescent rage. I got out of gym for an entire year because I had mono and I was so damn excited about it. Had I known earlier, I would have tried to break another bone or tried to contract ebola to get out of gym for any other year. Running for me was always a thing I dreaded. But when I moved out to the farm and was suddenly 30 minutes from any gym, and an hour plus from any decent gym, running seemed to be a thing that I could do down all these dirt roads and pack in a workout in 30 minutes. And once I learned how to barefoot style run, where I used the ball of my foot and avoided the heel strike as much as possible, it didn’t feel like I was sending bone-shearing earthquakes through my shattering knees up to disintegrate my hips anymore and after the initial shin splints, sore calves, feet and toes, I started to *almost* enjoy it. I can walk around in heels with no problems because I can walk around with that much weight on the balls of my feet, they are used to it. I ran my first 5k a couple years ago. I ran for a few months, then signed up for it all while doing the C25k program. I don’t know that I’ve ever made it entirely through the program either, I’m usually ahead of whatever they are telling me to do, but it’s a good guideline, and something to shoot for at minimum. I was SO damn happy to have been able to run that entire 5k, let me tell you. I was slow as shit, I think I was either the second to last or last in my age bracket, but I didn’t care, I damn well FINISHED the entire thing and I ran the ENTIRE thing without stopping. Just getting across the finish line was an absolute miracle to me. Going from that chubby girl in school who hated gym to this strong, crazy, I’m-going-to-do-it-anyway mid-thirties woman who finished the entire goddamn 5k…I do it because I know that I can do damn near anything that I put my mind to.
- Supermoon rising in the african dusty sky
- The pink full moon rose over the rodeo arena and then slipped under the anvil of that huge storm to the west of us.
- Big tick-fat moon on the horizon and a pretty sunset, fence’s fixed (thanks boys!), truck’s fixed and I cooked really good dinner for everyone. Everything is a little more right with the world tonight.
- I had some time to kill, so cake. Because, why the hell not?
- Wenda and a dinosaur!
- No joke, a 24 hour pecan vending machine. With whole pecan pies available to anyone even at 3am, for those pecan emergencies. Ms. Pearl approves.
- Radio pumping out great tunes, got wood fired pizzas, a couple of farmhouse sour beers, a nice breeze, life is goob.
- The best view is through the horses ears.
- They all seem to want something, don’t they?
- “Watch it man, I’ve got a beverage here…”
- Free slurpee day!
- Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain
- My county’s best: hay and cotton
- Art I made:
- My own poetry, to help work through feelings and release their hold:
Bitter angry hateful vitriol
Makes me shake
I feel it
I feel it all.
Vibrating with intensity
A hunger to destroy, to consume like wildfire
In the pit of my stomach, all the suppressed words I want to punch and kick and scream
I want to translate my anger into red rivulets
I want there to be blood
And I’m afraid
Of so many things
Strong fear, clutching like claws in my tender heart
The fire, the rage, the gripping fear all wrapped together in one ball of flashing eyes and claws
Trapped in a corner
No one can save me
And I can’t save anyone
In all the ephemera of what is
Just this now, ever now, and now and now
I reach my own hand down into my own darkness
To pull myself up
- Spending the afternoon reading in a coffeeshop.
- Spending a Sunday afternoon chilling and grilling with friends.
- I got a new toy, but then had to give it up.
- We got a new DVR from DirectTV that’s a TiVo! Now I can have that very satisfying “bloop” when I do things, I’ve missed it in my life.
- We watched JD and Gary halter and saddle break two two-year-old fillies this morning (and I got to help a tiny bit and take photographs)
- Giant female jackrabbit, she was probably like 18-20 inches nose to tail. Just walked right up to us like, “hey what’s up?”
- Giant goliath beetle toodling around
- Clifford the big, red truck
- I spent an evening driving around, watching the amazingly ever-changing super-colorful sunset through the rain clouds, then sat on the dirt roads and in parking lots til well after dark watching the lightning streak across the sky from the storms.
- A most amazing poem!
By Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
And if you dare to dream of meeting
Your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
For love, for your dream,
For the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
If you have been opened by life’s betrayals,
Or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain,
Mine or your own,
To hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy,
Mine or your own,
If you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
Without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic,
or to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself,
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithless and therefore be trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty
Even when it is not pretty every day,
And if you can source your life
From its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure,
Yours and mine,
And still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon,
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,
Weary and bruised to the bone,
And do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you are, how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
In the center of the fire with me
And not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
From the inside
When all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone
And if you truly like the company you keep
In the empty moments.
- Illusory photos
- “The outward flared look to the clouds along the base of the storm is evidence that the storm had become outflow dominant…cold air being pushed out…a process that typically happens in high precipitation storms that don’t remain quite strong enough to shunt most of the precip forward and out of the updraft. The vivid colors in the hail and rain core are the result of certain wavelengths of light being absorbed by the rain and hail within the storms core. Only certain wavelengths will make it through…mainly the blues and greens”
- Millie the rockclimbing cat
- For anyone who is interested in seeing what some of the places I went on my last road trip to Utah are like from above, here is a great little video! North Window and Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Mesa Arch (and false kiva which I did not make it to this time) in Canyonlands National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, The Wave in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the Moki Dugway … all in *winter* and all just as stunning as I remember them.
I recently went on an 18 day epic road trip from Texas through New Mexico and around Utah, some of my favorite country.
I started out in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, traveled to White Sands and Goosenecks State Park in Utah, and finally made it to Natural Bridges National Monument and Capitol Reef National Park.
Here are some images from the first part of the trip.
Goosenecks State Park in Utah
Sunset at Owachamo in Natural Bridges National Monument
The Cathedral Valley Overlook in Capitol Reef National Park
Cathedral Valley in Capitol Reef National Park
Temple of the Moon in Capitol Reef National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
The Watchman and the Virgin River in Zion National Park
- I love that pearly pinky blue eastern sky just after the sun sets in a cloudless sky.
- Henri had her very own cowbirds following her around today, kinda cute.
- New baby calf surprises!
- I sat outside at midnight listening to the thunder and the rain start quietly and slowly build to a blowing crescendo, driving and insistent. I love the sound of the rain on the roof, the thunder far off, the smell of wet earth. Flashes illuminate the landscape, momentary glimpses.
- Put the horses back in the pastures so we could work on the fencing, but when they were wandering around the yard, I thought they were going to climb the front steps and try to come in for a beer and tv.
- Needing to have multiple words for love, like having multiple words for snow
- First backyard bath of the season
- I like watching the vultures fly on the thermals, the clouds sailing by, the long golden light, watching the cows mill about, hearing the wind through the trees and watching the leaves sway and dance, hear the acorns roll off the roof, the crows call, the soft splash of the water in the tub, the windchimes tinkling, the sound of the gate squeaking on its hinges in the wind, smelling the farm in all of its richness on the breeze. I feel the breeze on my bare wet skin, chilling me and making me shiver – a novel change after muggy sweating.
- Amazing phalanx of sweets and colors for Mother’s Day brunch!
- Thoroughly enjoying Grand Budapest Hotel. I really thought I’d hate it, the previews made it look so ridiculous and not really at all what the movie turned out to be about.
- A good hard morning of work pulling up fence posts, sweating and getting good and tired. I’ll miss the gigantic prickly pear cactus that gives a ton of fruit every year and the funny place that the tree has grown around the barbed wire in that one spot, but I’ll be even more glad to have a good sturdy fence along our longest property line finally.
- Warm, glorious, driving rain!! Bonus mid-day thunderstorm, for the win!
- Saw that it was likely to storm, possibly hail, so I moved the truck and the car under the carports. Then because it was warm and lovely and I needed a pick-me-up and I was about to take a shower, I just stripped down and danced in the warm rain instead until I was absolutely soaked. Benefits to living in the country!
- Sitting outside listening to the rain on the rooftop, the wind blow through the trees and the windchimes, the drops in the puddles. It’s the perfect temperature, if a little moist.
- A love note from my soup lady. She’s the best!
- A partial cure for vacation hangover: Go out and pet my cows and horses, get in my car and drive around my neighborhood with the windows down, country music station blaring and sing at the top of my lungs. Stop at my local convenience store and get a huge iced tea. Then stick my left arm out the window like a plane wing while screaming down my back roads. I remember why I love it here so much and why I’m so glad to be home. Makes for a softer landing than sitting home wallowing that I’m not sitting at some lunch counter in the middle of nowhere eating grilled cheese and ogling America.
- Homecoming Texas BBQ after two and a half weeks of Utah doing bad things to meat. And to boot, David Alan Coe’s You Never Even Called Me By My Name (You Don’t Have To Call Me Darlin’) is playin’ on the radio. Glad to be home, glad to have my hubsand back, glad to have good BBQ and old classic tunes.
- Standard, pre-leaving Vegas, slight hangover, insomniac night, breakfast of champions. And my favorite waiter, Nick, is serving at Hash House A Go Go.
- My all time favorite Tiki bar in Vegas, amazing and ass-kicking drinks, getting bought a drink for talking guns and whiskey to the locals and talking shit with the bartender.
- Jean Phillipe Patisserie, both in the Aria and the Bellagio, with chocolate fountains, rose raspberry macaron, tiramisu and an espresso. Pure, sweet, decadence.
- The beautiful flower sculptures at the Bellagio, butterflies, tulips, foxglove, daffodils, absolutely beautiful.
- Hiking up to Canyon Overlook in Zion National Park, a little lizard decided to come and sit down next to me.
- 4000 miles, 5 states, 3600 photos, 8 National Parks, a couple of state parks, a half a fifth of bourbon and a six pack of Porter. Good trip.
- The best grilled cheese I’ve ever had, twice in as many weeks. (Blondie’s in Hanksville, Utah)
- The perfect place to meditate, on the edge of the Canyonlands from Dead Horse Point Overlook
- Pre-roadtrip really awesome beef jerky runs
- Baby cows in green fields surrounded by golden rocky hills
- Giant baby breakfast burritos from Blake’s
- Morning doves cooing from a pole
- Tiny chirping birds from the highest branches
- Watching the moon set over Guadalupe Peak
- Waking to pink stripes in the sky and a far off cloud bank
- Sharing the random, out of the way gas station with the guy that just got out of the Army and was headed home
- PopTarts for breakfast
- Standing atop the rock watching the sun rise over the cloud bank in Guadalupe Mountains
- The pitch black rolling hills, only seeing the mountains for the lack of visible stars
- Watching the moon rise through my passenger window
- Sunset through my windshield
- Tall pine trees and rolling hills
- Fire training grounds in Carlsbad
- Great names of places: Sleepygrass, Cloudcroft, Skywater, Hi-D-Ho drive in
- Great vintage signs: White Sands Motel
- Playing on the monkey bars, swings and spin-and-puke at the campground playground
- Fat little wobbly puppies
- Wardrobe change going from mountains to valley and back again
- Lightning and storms over White Sands
- Finding the car again after getting lost in the dunes
- Post hike hotdog and custard stop
- Walmart stop, of course and obligatory ridiculous purchases (bubbles, my little pony, playdoh)
- Flat skies that turned stormy
- A giant freaking pistachio at Pistachioland
- Flying my emergency kite (finally – I’ve only had it for damn near 20 years)
- Soft pillowy sand poufs that felt really good under my toes
- It started raining just as I got back to the car from hiking, perfect timing
- Sitting in the car listening to the rain on the roof
- Glorious showers and liberal oil application to combat wind burn and sand blasting
- Travel braids
- Tiny travel stops cute gift shops on reservation land
- Hot ass (at the travel stop)
- Amazing and fast breakfast, even if I didn’t get to sit at the counter
- Barrel cacti (and welded ones with bob wahr)
- Donkey art; on the rooftops and where they probably shouldn’t be, just like real life
- Lava rock and wildflowers in Valley of Fires
- Rock with wings; clouds with teeth
- I love that you can see Shiprock for more than 40 miles away
- Cool ranch Doritos taco
- Dappled light on mesas, rock outcropping sand desert
- The way the light reflects off the red rocks and tints the bottoms of the clouds pink
- Poufy clouds and virga as far as the eye can see
- As I was driving into the sunset, I could see my bones through the flesh on my fingertips from the sunlight behind them
- A raven riding the thermals and sounding in Goosenecks
- Just barely making it for sunset, scrambling down and getting the full 200 degree view of the entrenched meander
- The sun shining off the back and wings of the raven just below me
- Watching the dog star set, driving back to see Orion sliding down the horizon
- Polygamy Porter and a ribeye at the Swingin’ Steak
- Drunk facebooking about peanuts, the moon, and mortality
- Brunch on the edge of a cliff of Goosenecks
- Sitting then laying on the edge of the Goosenecks
- Fire tv, stars, river, crickets
- Having someone else clean up after brunch because I just couldn’t
- Me ordering dinner, pushy bitch style
- Tiny flowers on the edge of canyons
- Completely rearranging everything in the truck tearing down dirt roads in Valley of the Gods catching air and scrambling my brains
- I dreamt of snow in canyons
- Watching the moon rise
- Red dirt, pinion pines and virga in Fry Canyon
- Climbing up the Moki Dugway and being able to see Goosenecks, where I stayed, Monument Valley, and Valley of the Gods
- Finding a great and fairly remote camping spot, and being able to laze in the morning sun on chilled skin
- Quick pork chop dinners
- Owachamo and bugs and frogs and sunset and Orion
- Laying on the rocks watching the light fade
- Altitude sickness and being able to fix it with caffeine and b-vitamins
- Seeing things for the first time
- So many stars
- Eating dinner in front of the fire
- Amazing clouds while driving out to Cathedral Valley
- Gas station in a cave
- Really good pancakes and the perfect grilled cheese
- The Christopher Walk-In
- Driving along the water pocket fold
- Cedar and pine fire; smoked girl
- Hike out to the fins, finding the perfect dead tree atop a hill
- Lunner of mixed random things, strawberries and almond Choco spread, mandarins, tin of sardines, smoked oysters…
- The truck just running up those dirt/rock roads like a champ
- River Ford (and Honda)
- Again and again, be here now. Hard to remember, but coming back again and again
- Firelight and stars
- Amazing pre-sunrise drive to the Temple of the Sun, Moon and Stars
- Bentonite hills
- A crow, hanging ten on the wind over the road as I drove past
- Making a snow angel at 9600 feet
- Hula hooping cow signs outside of Orderville
- The Hogback on highway 12
- A hot shower when you’ve not had one on five days
- A wonderful warm bed, staring up at the stars all night, listening to the wind whip through the trees and being warm and snuggled inside
- A rainbow over Bryce Canyon, caught in the dappled light and the virga
- Looking down into the canyon, then crawling down over the edge to hike down into it, and peering down into the switchbacks of Navajo Trail
- Listening to music all night to soothe me
- Driving out of Bryce, alone, through the beautiful countryside, seeing the buffalo snoozing on a hillside, the clouds give way to clear skies and feeling good
- A great greeting, brunch, and a much needed shower
- Waking to rain on the roof and clouds in the canyon
- A good morning, feeling connected and part of it all
- The best French toast I’ve ever had, and waffle French toast too!
- That first moment of walking into The Wave after that long and hot hike. All I could say was, “Ohmygod! Ohmygod!”
- Walking around barefoot, feeling the rock and sand beneath my feet, running my hands along the lines and curves
- Steel wool spinning in the dark
- Seeing the ISS scream overhead and it’s support refilling satellite
- Tiny iron pellets in the sand
- Hiking out in the dark, via GPS, both much easier and harder than the way in. The cool breezes and amazing starry skies made it so much better. There is also something about hiking in the dark (like the Subway) that is just magical.
- Finally getting home and showering and crawling into bed to sleep in.
- Woke to the rain on the rooftop all snuggled and warm in bed finally catching up on some much needed sleep. Then got up to find the Watchman peeking in and out of clouds and the West Temple playing peek a boo with the sun. I walked up the hill to get an unobstructed view before breakfast.
- Homemade pie, soup, fried chicken or grilled cheese places, especially if they’ve got wood burning or pellet stoves and tractor seats at the counter
- The Wave: it is the sexy curve in the hip of the earth; the lines, the curves, the color, the texture, the light…simply one of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen.
- That bitch, Sandy Plain
- Frozen coke and Fritos and Munchos
- Cute little boy waiters at the counter. And adorable barrel rider waitresses.
- Airstream trailer hotels
- Breakfast at Kiva Coffeehouse, amazing views, really great food, and tea and coffee.
- Local distilled Utah desert essential oils
- Stopping to investigate art, talk to locals
- Guy Tal, stone hearts and daisy cathedrals
- Driving Capitol Gorge and the barns at the end of the road
- More goosenecks and entrenched meanders on the road to nowhere
- Watching Blazing Saddles at the drive in and having the proprietors be as excited about it as we were!
- Hot showers when I’m cold
- Driving into snowstorms, where you can see them coming for miles
- Ice cream when it’s 50 degrees outside, because I’m on vacation dammit
- Eddie the dog, who kept wanting the ball thrown inside, was the cutest tea companion
- B&Bs with massage chairs in every room
- An amazing dinner spot out in the middle of nowhere, (Torrey) Utah
- Amazing views, sweeping expanses, snow on the mountain tops
- Blowing fine snow, like hyper-drive
- Tiny snowmen at 9500 feet
- Field water sprinklers freezing in the grass
- Bucolic pasture meadows tucked between mountains
- Pink first light on the mountain tops
- Candy clouds at sunset from the hot springs bath tubs on top of the hill
- Hot springs, cialis commercial sunsets and warm water
- Curling in the one big cast iron bathtub with my best friend and talking for hours
- Riding a camel. Kissing a different camel
- Steak and green bean dinner al fresco
- The fire, my sweet little moon setting and a sky full of stars.
- Waking early to find Sagittarius and the sexy part of the Milky Way up in the southern sky
- Driving in the dark, singing Peter Gabriel and Natalie Merchant at the top of my lungs
- Driving in the early morning to Mesa Arch and being quiet in the early pre-dawn hours
- Sitting against the rocks on the edge of the cliff watching the last light fade and the moon and the stars reflect off of the Green River
- Watching the fire in silence
- Hole N The Rock super kitsch
- Eggs Benedict with bacon
- Climbing up the little pulpit rock behind the North Window to catch the shot with Turret Arch through it. Being perched up high looking out
- Sunrise in the truck from the campground in Arches, the sun screaming in my eyeballs
- Heading into Moab and brunching at Milt’s then back to the same place for early dinner of grilled cheese and milkshake
- The hot server at Milt’s who reminded me of people past
- Quite possibly the best hamburger ever
- Lucking out in getting a camping spot in Arches and also at Horsethief, considering they were both full. The nice couple who gave me their campsite because they were leaving a day early.
- The hike to Delicate Arch was brutal, but the view well worth it
- Staying to shoot stars and having that had a great light painting setup and stealing their light
- That GPS has saved my bacon several times this trip
- Brushing and polishing a buffalo
- Long lasting dust Devil
- Tiny ants running along the trails and hills
- Sexy curves of hills, leading to spires and castles
- Oranges and whites and reds and greens of pine trees
- Winds whispering through the pines, swaying the tall boughs
- Being sad, but also feeling like I don’t want to waste my life, that I want to be the one who lived life as fully as I could, that I seized every moment
- I make paper cranes. Sometimes very very tiny cranes out of tiny paper napkin rings.
- Glorious showers, full pressure, good water, hot water, no time limit, getting clean and conditioned finally
- Morning cups of tea
- Early morning hikes, four small ones with great views and having my knee not freak out
- Petroglyphs (and seeing them for the first time)
- Not being able to sleep, soothing myself with Tycho on repeat
- Getting up at first light and looking out the window to see the pre-dawn glow but all the lights still on; that perfect transition time
- Shared breakfasts
- Flying over White Sands and starting to pull myself out of my sad, pining funk, feeling like I can do this, I can run on my own power, that I can come back to life again
- Bees on cactus flowers!
Aristotle’s opinion was that friends hold a mirror up to each other; through that mirror they can see each other in ways that would not otherwise be accessible to them, and it is this (reciprocal) mirroring that helps them improve themselves as persons. Friends, then, share a similar concept of eudaimonia [Greek for “having a good demon,” often translated as “happiness”] and help each other achieve it. So it is not just that friends are instrumentally good because they enrich our lives, but that they are an integral part of what it means to live the good life, according to Aristotle and other ancient Greek philosophers (like Epicurus).
- Awesome fish tacos
- Smooth cortado
- Cheap drinks and rolls and date night sushi.
- Cows in flowers
- Horses on my porch
- Sunny, warm-but-not-too-hot, breezy days
- Giant spaceship-shaped supercells at sunset
- Clear skin and no hives
- Helping friends
- Standing in the middle of my pasture in the evening chill and photographing the moon and stars in the gloaming light
- The cows running along behind me down the driveway as I run to catch the sunset
- Taking the backroads
- The way fields of bluebonnets smell
- The giddy anticipation of planning
- Warm and snuggled in bed, sleeping through the night
- Days when you feel like you’ve caught up
- Sitting on the tailgate drinking a beer and shooting the shit
- Warm Epsom salt baths, as doctor prescribed!
- Sushi dinner dates, amazing food and my favorite nigori sake
- Catching up with old friends I haven’t heard from in a while
- The best quote of the day that is entirely too raunchy to share in public but made me laugh out loud for a good 20 minutes
- Surprised dump truck
- Unexpected gifts (and rockabilly styling!)
- There’s a song that has a sample in it, “the sun’s coming up; I can hardly believe it” that got lodged in my brain as I woke.
- “She’s whiskey in a tea cup.”
- Sunning myself on the back porch, warm light and stiff breezes across my skin
- When angry and upset, turning off my phone and the radio and driving the backroads, stopping to ogle flowers and say hi to cows
- Warm, wonderful evening baths
- Curious cows and nosey horses
- Honey mint chocolates
- Finding an entire box of Ethel M’s chocolates in my freezer that I forgot about
- Watching the sun rise on the wall of my bedroom and trying to pull Hubs back into bed with me when he tries to leave
- Flowers, that I bought for myself, because I am awesome
- Sunny warm days
- Drive in double feature
- “The lovers, the dreamers, the cheese…”
- Where I had breakfast and my view…pure heaven. The wind is blowing stiffly through the trees and making all the bluebonnets wave. A pack of cyclists flew past the end of the driveway down Sugar Ridge, I’ve got my second cuppa tea and snuggled into the blankets.
- Buy a half of a case of wine from local winery.
- Go into Ennis and ogle the festival
- Eat more yummy crap
- Go back to B&B and get pleasantly tipsy on wine
- Cook steaks and asparagus (try not to burn place down)
- Light fire pit, make s’mores
- Hot tubbing under the moonlight
- Stay up late curled in blankets on the daybed on the back porch and watch the moon
- Spend two hours on the back patio drinking wine and reading magazines that have been piling up for three years and listening to mellow music and the birds chirp and the wind blow. It feels so decadent.
- Pie, fire tv, dive bombing suicidal junebugs, polishing off a bottle of wine and later.
- Hell yeah, a diner. You bet your ass I turned around to stop there for lunch and sat at the counter. I ordered chicken-fried steak sandwich and a milkshake, deviating from my normal diner order of grilled cheese, hot chocolate and a piece of whatever their best pie is.
- It’s cold outside, especially when just in one’s gutchies. I managed to wrangle my longest lens and drag it outside for some shots, just waiting for 2:46am, deepest eclipse for a few shots then back to bed.
On a side note, the sky looks absolutely amazing, so many stars, so crisp, so bright…I’m in love!
- Sunset storm.
- Henri is too big to hide behind this little tree.
I did not know I was on a search for passionate aliveness. I only knew I was lonely and lost and that something was drawing me deeper beneath the surface of my life in search of meaning. There is a hunger in people to go to those deep depths; to know that our lives are sacred; that our hearts are truly capable of love. It is a yearning to be all the we can be. A longing for what is real.
~ Anne Hillman
- My cousin takes the most adorable photos of her dog, Ben:
- Urban and Emergency Rappelling
- Mauritius Island is 2000 km (1240 miles) southeast of Africa. It gives off a stunning optical illusion that the island its on top of a large waterfall. There actually isn’t much of a depth difference at all, but the receding waves are pulling the light colored sand out into the ocean, giving the illusion of a drop off.
- The raccoon came visiting during yoga class and tap-tap-tapping on the window. He’s so ridiculously cute. Then on the way home we saw the big barn owl that lives on the neighbor’s place. S/he flew into the tree and stared at us for a while then flew off, gorgeous! And when I parked my car, I heard a shuffling in the leaves and was startled by a Sheldon (all armadillos are named Sheldon) who looked at me, sneezed, then slowly toddled off unconcerned.
- 2/21 I noticed that the red phlox had started to bloom at the northwest corner of my dirt roads, the first heralds of spring! Four days later it carpeted red and spreading to other corners!
- “Farmer’s malarkey.” Gee thanks autocorrect!
- One upside to being up at 6am is that I got to see the perfect, earthshiney, crescent moon and brilliant Venus in the early morning dusky light. It’s the perfect sliver moon hung low in the sky, and the first time I’ve seen it in over a week.
- The thick fog left everything soft and hushed. Trees and telephone poles emerge delicately, cows quietly schwush through the dewy grass, pastures silently full of last years hay, soft cottony blankets over freshly tilled fields.
- Chilly sunset
- Yoga. In front of a fireplace. With a thunderstorm outside. And rain on the roof. I win at life.
- One of our chickens laid a shell-less egg, an interesting and squishy rarity that is always fun to play with.
- Sunset broke from under the cloud deck and dappled golden light all over everything.
- Sometimes I forget that my life works far better with a soundtrack, and a good one at that. I’m much happier, have more energy, and function far better. A quiet house makes me stir crazy, but I can bust through a huge pile of to-dos if there’s good music to keep my head bobbing.
- I love the sound of rain on the tin roof.
- Even better, I love thunderstorms at night. When they wake me up from the low rumbling, and I can lay there and watch the light flicker on the walls through the windows and listen to the rain on the windows and the low, long tumbling growls.
- Freezes that glaze everything.
- Last minute, feel-better rodeo self-dates with a box seat!
- Counting trains. 3 engines, 64 cars.
- The amazingly wonderful taste of Texas Ruby Red grapefruit for breakfast.
- The other morning dawned beautifully cool, magnificently bright and smells like dirt, wet grass, and home with the crisp, invigorating sense of hope and promise.
- There was still enough dust in the wind from the west Texas haboob to make for a hazy moon set. The wind is really raging, making all the windchimes sing. There was a chilly bite in the air, but it’s still altogether pleasant out, even this early.
- I like this post
- Watching the Tobies eat.
- Bucket list: fill the back of the truck up with pillows and blankets, drive to the middle of nowhere (or the middle of my pasture) and sleep under the stars.
- Petting and cuddling a wittle woodgie woo mini piglet who buried her snout in the crook of my arm.
- Full body scrubbing, feeling so amazing afterwards.
- Sharing awesome food with someone else, even if I can’t eat any; that wonderful feeling of knowing they will love it and you absolutely have to share it with them anyway.
- I saw a field full of hundreds and hundreds of black birds, I don’t think they were grackles out this far in the country, all tail up pecking in the grass. The edge would fly up and they moved like a wave like that across the pasture, just one section moving at a time in synchronous undulation.
- Word porn: psithurism – (n.) the sound of the wind through trees
- I loved running my fingers along the smooth glazing on the morning we had the ice storm. I had to touch and caress everything.
It’s tremendously encouraging when we realize that we’re able to change how we feel. No longer do we have to be victims of our own emotional responses. No longer do we have to be compelled to repeat old and unhelpful patterns of feeling and action. With mindfulness — and with the tools for change that lovingkindness meditation offers us — we become happier and freer.
We must decide what we want and then focus our actions to support it. By doing everything—eating, speaking, breathing, behaving—with purpose, our actions become sacred rituals that yield intentional results. Eating something because it’s what we actually want to eat to nourish and please our palates and our bodies. Saying something because it needs to be expressed and heard. Breathing in a way that supports our thoughts, feelings, and movements. Behaving in a way that makes us feel proud of who we are.
- Up early enough to catch the pretty little earthshiney waning fingernail moon rising.
- You can sometimes really get a sense of how people are by how they travel and act at the airport. I spent seven years of my life traveling at least every other week. I spend my time at the airport people watching. Yes, I’m watching you as you walk past me in a hurry in a huff, or you who look just so amazed and happy to be here.
- I put money in the Zoltar machine and for once he spit out a fortune and told me to do all the things that I want to because life is short.
- The ultimate BLT bloody mary.
- Whiskey before noon.
- The most amazing patisserie. Everything looked too pretty to eat!
- All-you-can-eat sushi followed by a post prandial foot massage/nap. Perfection.
- Quote of the day: “Well, yes. I suppose I do try to live my life on the scenic byways…”
- A sequin breadcrumb trail that led down the hallway of the hotel.
- “The D – Vintage Vegas: now accepting bitcoin”
- Hotei wishes you good luck
- Watching the sunrise from the chair at the window in the hotel
- Hanging out at the hot springs, kibitzing, sweating and being lovey
- Naptime/quiet time with my hubsand snoring sweetly and delicately in my ear
- Red rocks that soothe a fraying brain
- Tiny little ground squirrels that scamper around me
- Winning $12.60 at penny slots at “Invaders From The Planet Moolah” and watching everything get sucked into spaceships
- Shooting a submachine gun (it didn’t last long, but still was pretty novel). 30 seconds of full auto.
- Joe in bed
- Last minute road trips to hot springs.
- Lemon sorbet in a cone that tastes like Trix cereal
- A red rose at dinner
- The “happy birthday” dessert they brought out to us, even though it was our anniversary.
- Vintage signs in small towns.
- Three breakfasts in the same day! One at 4:30am CST before we left, one at the airport before we got on the plane at 8am CST and one when we got to Vegas at Hash House at 9am PST!
- Glitz and neon.
- Catching up on paper cranes on the airplane.
- Walking around the Strip gawking, Oxygen bar, all the Chinese New Year decorations and gentle smells of incense wafting around, beautiful galleries
- That raspberry rose macaron deserves it’s own line item, for sure.
- A giant, marble-lined, deep tub that was the first thing we jumped into upon checking into the hotel
- Frankie’s Tiki Room which may now be my favoritest bar in Vegas. The strongest damn drinks, awesomely irreverent bar tender, surf rock and really trippy B beach movies. I think I’m in love. Need some tiny bubbles though.
- Vegas at night is absolutely how it should be experienced. All the lights, and spectacle look far better at night.
- Faceplanting onto the bed for a disco nap in the evening.
- Hoover Dam…WOW! Art Deco amazing, a complete wonder feat of engineering.
- “The Library: girls girls girls”
“Maybe they dress up like librarians and dance for you?”
*without a beat* “Oh shit yeah!! Uhh, I mean, uhh…”
- I passed Buck Brannaman and his daughter walking out of Sam’s Town casino in Vegas.
- Sunset Stampede, frickin’ lasers and always ending with Dale Jr, Rednex and Lee Greenwood
- Sunrise from bed
- Crepuscular and anti-crepuscular rays just after sunset in one of the most beautiful places.
- We hiked out as it was almost too dark to see, but the skies were still lit up. My flashlight died (oops) but we made it out ok by double timing it up the hill.
- Slow, snuggly mornings
- The lovely, layered and colorful rocky drive out to Hoover Dam
- Hot tea for breakfast
- Art Deco engineering
- The thrill of looking down down down over the dam
- Rocks that vary from deep purple red to screaming orange to yellows and all between, layers and layers of them peeking out
- Scrambling over giant sandstone Swiss cheese
- Quite possibly the most unexpected and best sunset at the Fire Wave than I’ve seen. It was definitely a 9 on a scale of 10.
- Scattered black rocks over the red stripes looking like peppered bacon
- Redneck casino ending to the night
- Predawn pool view from the room.
- Getting dressed up for a fancy dinner downtown
- uitwaaien (OUT-vwy-ehn) – (v.) to take a break to clear one’s head; lit. “to walk in the wind”
- Chandeliers, shiny lights, brightness.
- Chateau briand and lobster for anniversary dinner.
- Kitsch factor 12 of Peppermill’s Fireside Lounge
- The biggest box of chocolates to take home
- Sitting together and synchronous napping/snuggling the whole flight home
- Non-stop flights
- Spending time making paper cranes in my seat, and explaining the story to those around me who are curious
- Amy’s chocolate strawberry ice cream on a whim
- Coming home is always far better when you’ve been away, especially somewhere as manufactured and surreal as Vegas
- There was a weird chirping noise coming from somewhere. Hubs and I thought it was a distressed bird and went running outside to check on the chickens – they were all fine. Thought it was the ceiling fan, but we stopped it and the noise continued. KittyKitty was freaking out, and we figured out it was coming from under the couch. We lifted the couch, a mouse ran out and KittyKitty caught it. We got it in a glue trap and dispatched it and KittyKitty was forlorn and sad staring under the couch.
- Donkey kisses and watching the sun set over my stock tank
- Momma making us dinner upon arrival home. It was so sweet, a perfect soft landing and good way to catch up.
- Crawling into my own bed, snuggling in and passing right the heck out.
- Sleeping in
- There’s been an amazing amount of days that I’ve had to chip ice out of all the stock tanks in the mornings (and evenings) this year.
- The best beef jerky pit stop
- Graupel mornings.
- Once more across the country! That’ll be Vegas three times in a month, because why the hell not?
- Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Nevada. Add in California from the last trip and that makes for quite a month!
- Tea house dinner before leaving.
- We emerged from a deck of clouds, watching a strip of sunset sky get bigger and bigger until we popped out into a clear, cloudless, starry sky as we hit I-10 off 290.
- Driving through Balmorhea — listening to Balmorhea.
- Remembering a person who was kind and patient and took an interest in a young, inexperienced me, helped show me the patient kind of person that I wanted to be.
- Good music, good conversation and a bag of carrots for the road trip!
- I can see Mexico from here!
- El Paso, a place I’ve never been before! It was a disconcerting late at night, much more 3D than I expected.
- Arrived in Las Cruces just as my great Hunter and the moon was setting. They kept me sweet company all the way, high and bright in the sky.
- Arriving. The journey is great, but arriving when you’re extra tired is sometimes better.
- Vintage signs and bent neon.
- Mirages on the highway
- The Thing? What is it? It’s a wonder! – (hint: it’s a dollar)
- Do you know how much money I’ve dropped on squashed pennies in my life? (Hell, do I even know?) Let’s just say a lot. I have quite the collection that really no one had ever seen.
- If there is a tiki bar, I will find it. (also..http://critiki.com/)
- A much needed mai tai and Tahitian punch. Tipsy afternoons in Tucson are the best kind.
- I am a cactus hugger. It can be done, one must do so gently. They need hugs too.
- Silent giant
- Barrel cactus and stripey ocotillo
- Hipster pasties
- We arrived at Casa Blanca Hot Spring and ate our pasties by moonlight and soaked in the tub under the stars.
- Talking, sharing, trying to figure things out, all while submerged in a hot tub full of silky spring water and drenched in moonlight. The shadow of the palm tree on the bottom of the tub looked like a giant scorpion or face-hugger.
- Taking this trip has gotten me excited for my epic April trip. I’m looking forward to long, lonely roads, long stretches of silence and time to myself, rocks and pine trees and skies and coming back to myself again and again.
- Sunrise soaks, the light filtering through the palms and mist, me laying sideways in my tub so that the sun can hit my bare skin, the sound of constant sloshing from the springs.
- Showering al fresco, there really is something spectacular and amazing about the air on all your skin. Soaping up with the brilliant, cloudless sky above me, the cool air around me. I washed my hair and climbed into the big cast iron tub to soak. I was submerged up to my neck and zoning out to the birds flitting in the trees, the hummingbird that came by to try to feed off of the red shut-off valves, then flitted around me seeing what I was about.
- The guy sitting the next booth over is this crotchety, leathery, old guy who has a whistle and a drawl when he talks. It’s so endearing.
- Breakfasts of green chile omelets two days in a row.
- Truth in advertising.
- Tumbling along.
- Stopping to pee on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere because it’s likely that there won’t be any civilization for another 50 miles.
- Vulture Peak through Hummingbird Springs Wilderness Preserve
- North on 89, the memorial to the Granite Mountain Hot Shots.
- Yarnell, up on the mountain, cute little quiet town, paid my respects and bought fire department raffle tickets.
- Congress, Arizona – super cute little westerny town
- If I ever won the lottery and could buy any car I wanted without worry for fuel and mileage, I’d probably buy me another Jeep Wrangler like Lola. She was still my favorite vehicle I’ve ever owned.
- We sat in here with the moon, Orion and Jupiter shining down on me through the palms soaking in lovely silky spring water.
- This was my view over the claw-footed tub. The sun rose right over the fence and filtered through the palm trees and onto my steaming skin
- Rounding the bend into Jerome, AZ. Tucked on the hillside, seemingly impossible.
- Moonrise over the red rocks. Sedona really is as beautiful as I remember. The reddest rocks, the cutest shops.
- Oak Creek Canyon, pine trees, tall and majestic, the creek and tall canyon walls.
- Woke in Springdale to overcast, cold and rainy, but the canyon walls still look beautiful. It’s like being in a postcard, even if it’s dreary.
- Sunset on 89 near the Vermillion Cliffs
- Swimming head full of feels, but also love. My walls and my problems falling away and I’m more able to be compassionate.
- Driving through Zion Canyon after dark all along the switchbacks, not quite sure if you’re going to go careening into the canyon or not. We had the whole park to ourselves, not another soul on the road or in the tunnel at 9pm on a Sunday night.
- Tucking in, talking about whatever until she fell asleep.
- Dewy cactus
- View of The Watchman from Canyon Junction
- Chocolate chip cookie and iced tea before departure.
- I look like a crazy hiker/photographer walking through the airport. Hiking boots, black leggins, fleece jacket, shirt with a quirky US map on it, backpack, berkey bottle and camera bag. Maybe a travel writer. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’d love that job if it was the only job I had.
- The sun on the clouds over the Watchman in Zion National Park.
- Breakfast crepe – honey and bananas (!!)
- Beautiful postcard scenery, even in the middle of winter.
- A lovely cup of tea
- Using my flying time as meditation time, and not being bothered by crying children
- Flying over Vegas with poofy little clouds
- Seeing the Grand Canyon from overhead
- The comfort of home
- An entire three seats to myself, able to stretch out and relax.
- Hazy gloaming sunset at 30,000 feet.
- My fridge: States I’ve spent a significant amount of time in (need to get Washingtons). I’m missing having spent significant amount of time in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Kansas, South Dakota, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska. The last two are on the want-to-do list for sure.
- Waking up slowly, snuggled into my warm bed, being petted on and feeling refreshed
- Making time to sit in the midst of lots of things to do
- Perfect hot tea when cold and wet from being outside in the rainy chill
- Slippery floors to slide on Risky Business style
- A healthy eating day, and all things I loved!
- Having done all of my good habits today that I’m trying to cultivate in myself
- Feeling like I’m an important member of my group at work
- Happy cows, happy horses, happy chickens
- Sunset screaming past the city
- Rummed figs
- Catching up with people when I’ve been away
- I woke up refreshed, warm and snuggled into my own bed after having not woken up even once in the night. I managed to make my way through all my email, do some work, have a healthy breakfast and lunch, sort through some things, feed all the things and generally have a really pleasant day with lots of time to take care of myself. So even though it was cold and rainy outside, I still felt pretty warm and cozy on my insides.
- The tiny spot of sun that I watched slowly creep across my floor. This little spot of sun on my floor in front of me teaches me lessons today. Impermanence (as it slowly moves and fades away), acceptance (as it does), letting go (of my desire for it to remain), and the joy of just being and appreciating the moment. All this shall too pass, anything that seems good or bad, it all will change. This moment, this now is what there is, just as it is. Pretty deep for a tiny spot of sunlight on the floor.
- A clean house, all five minutes of it.
- A brisk walk/jog, but staying warm with fleece lined leggins.
- Delicious naps.
- Seeing the moon and the stars for the first time in a week.
- Hot tea on cold, blustery days.
- A California-style, gourmet taco trailer in my tiny little town.
- Crawling into bed and getting wrapped up in the warmth of it.
- Scratching on my sweet cows.
- Valentine’s Day getting drunk on red wine and chocolate cake and folding paper cranes.
- Passionfruit yogurt.
- Driving down one of my back country roads, I love the way it looks; a long, straight road lined with telephone lines down the one side stretching as far as the eye can see. It looks like home to me and brings me comfort. I’ve been driving this road for seven years now, it’ll be four years full time out here this year, the longest I’ve been anywhere. We’ve worked hard to carve out our little space here in the middle of nowhere Texas and I am so grateful for it every single day.
- The cat snuck in our bedroom and decided she wanted to supervise my bath. This consisted of licking my toes, head butting my forehead, and stepping on the ledge to sample the people soup. She’s a strange one, but I find it endearing.
- Moving at the speed of justice (read: slow)
- Went to restorative yoga in ‘town’, was absolute perfection. Roaring fire, nice gentle yoga, and a friendly raccoon tapping at the window looking for dinner. Met awesome new people, can’t wait to go back!
- Let me take you for a ride on my big orange tractor…
- I was dreaming of circular rocks buried in the snow and frozen ponds. It was very pretty. Layers and layers and layers of circular rocks buried under a foot of snow. I reached in and pulled them out, all stacked on top of each other, little core samples.
- One hundred cranes
- I received in the mail a tiny box tucked into my mailbox that contained a little knitted pot of cactus! The little barrel cactus has tiny pin heads sticking out of it in a most pleasing fashion. I’m so in love with it!
- The sound of the little pebbles make as they sploop in the Washpond.
- The wind blowing through the bare trees.
- A full picnic basket full of all sorts of yummy goodies, nibbling on them for a couple hours in a long, lazy lunch.
- Swinging on the swings in my flappy skirt (and the sound of it flap-flap-flapping in the wind) and swinging so high that the chains go slack.
- Getting the swing going so high, then leaning back with my bare feet up touching the sky, my head thrown back, my hair almost trailing on the ground on the downswing, feeling that dizzy high from it all.
- Driving around exploring, and finding a little heart made of barbed wire stuck into a fence post at the end of the road.
- Any place called “The Stone Tabernacle”
- Watching the moon rise over the river, the trees and the moon reflecting in the water.
- Watching the stars, the Winter Circle, Jupiter and Orion high above, so brightly shining that it stopped me in my tracks.
- A good hair day, it was a little humid so it made these great looking curls that I didn’t have to do anything to make.
- Daisies, dandelions, clover flowers, the promise of spring soon.
-The sun shone beautifully through my windows while I sat and meditated
- I saw these birds like leaves in the trees, endlessly streaming across the road
- I passed a momma cow licking her wobbly newborn calf on my drive into town
- Got to the train tracks just as the last car clunked past. Perfect timing.
- The moon a pearl in a sea of pink and blue in the dusky eastern sky.
- The sky was a brilliant orange down my dirt road.
- Sweet heart Valentine
- I love tearing down my dirt roads in the truck with the windows down and the music turned up real loud. I’ve turned into a country song cliche!
- Easy way to fix a bad day: going for tacos, 90s music and drawing on the tables.
- How I know spring is coming soon.
- Sunset farm
- As I sat, Trouble sat on my lap with her little kitty tongue sticking out of her mouth, staring at me. Kitty-assisted meditation is the best kind.
- I was at the new Whole Foods and we had build-your-own-ramen (and tacos) for dinner and I had the most amazing thing ever put together: a chocolate covered pretzel with toffee chunks all over it. Then as I was driving home, a Borden truck was in front of me and I got to look at Elsie’s smiling face for a few miles.
- I went for a walk and this sweet little boy followed right at my heels the whole time.
- Sunrise farm
- Wood witch photo shoot
- I managed to get a crapton done and then rewarded myself with some homegrown chuck roast and vegetables and some restorative yoga.
We went to Vegas this past week and I dragged hubsand out to Valley Of Fire State Park for a little hiking. We didn’t get near enough time to really dive into it deeply, but we did make it to the hike out to the Fire Wave.
The skies were cloudy and looking dismal most of the day and I didn’t have high hopes for a good sunset, but the sun ducked under the cloud deck just as we got there and put on the most spectacular show ever with crepuscular and anticrepuscular rays, virga, amazing colors and just absolute wonderment.
Here’s some of the shots:
We hiked out after dark, scrambling up the hill without a flashlight (mine had died) and stumbling to the car, but it was well worth it. That was one of the best sunsets I’d seen in a long time. I’m so glad I decided to push to go see it!
- SPARKLERS! The best part of fireworks holidays!
- On the very moment of the first new moon on the first day of the new year I sat in silence and manifested my intention to bring awareness and full presence to this next year. Here. Now.
- On the cool and bright first morning of the new year, I went out to watch the sunrise and feed all the things and Little Bit came over and started licking and trying to nurse my whole hand and thumb. Hilarity! I stood there for ten minutes giggling and talking to him. It was the perfect sweetness to make up for an utterly rotten end to the night before.
- Then I went to go visit the donkeys and if I stopped petting them, Daisy would grab my scarf and tug, just like a kid!
- Feathers dipped in gold paint and glitter!
- The sheer, unadulterated excitement of winning the lottery for getting permits into The Wave in Coyote Buttes North in the Paria Canyon / Vermillion Cliffs National Monument for April. I had like a .25% chance of getting it, and I MOTHERFARKING WON IT on the first entry! BOOYAH!
- Long, slow, drawn out sunsets that last for almost an hour and have colors that I’ve never seen; cotton candy pinks turning to deep, dark pinks and purples bleeding to oranges.
- The cutest squeaky toy ever.
- Crawling into or waking up in a super-toasty warm bed, snuggling in with my teddy bear and soft sheets and sighing happily.
- Sunrise over milk-nosed calves.
- Driving home into my favorite fingernail moon.
- Shopping for gifts, day-dreaming about dream vacations, coffee with a friend and sushi dinner with hubs.
- Turtle and koi ponds reflecting a sliver moon in the dusky light.
- Stopping in my tiny town to talk to neighbors, catching up, and appreciating the art of reclaimed wood wall art.
- Even though we had a pretty hefty cold snap and we lost our booster pump and some pipes, we still had water and it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. Now at least we have an idea of what we need to do for next time it gets that cold.
- Fantastic sunrises and sunsets:
- I did, in fact, go out and try to blow bubbles in the 16 degree weather only to discover that 16 degrees isn’t cold enough to make them freeze.
- The surreality of life, fly to Vegas to stay for 8 hours then drive all night to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- The amazing drive from Albuquerque to Amarillo
- The cute overload of the Big Texan Steak Ranch Motel. Pure roadside americana perfection. The Big Texan Steak Ranch is everything that I love about roadside America – Johnny Cash and Charlie Pride playing on the radio, waitresses that look like rodeo queens, every kind of taxidermied animal on the walls, deep wood everything. And a ribeye and dippy eggs.
- Rescued hats
- Find a penny, pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck.
- Painted Cadillac Ranch…again.
- Visited my favorite giant cowboy, Tex Randall
- Stopped off in Happy, Texas. Happy Joy!
- Marveled at the wonder of gloriously flat panhandle Texas, where if you stand on a milk crate you can see the back of your own head.
- I passed one of Quanah Parker’s arrows, to whom I’m related to by marriage. I drove past so fast I couldn’t stop to turn around to get a photo though!
- Flat flat flat then the bottom drops out and suddenly…canyons.
- I saw the Texas Bison herd in Caprock Canyon!
- I drove and the sun set, and I found a field with bits of cotton fluff still left.
- As bleak as winter can seem, the long low light seems to last longer and more precious as it drapes itself over the pastures. It’s comforting to see the cows grazing in the warm afternoon light.
- The cat goes in the cupboard 40 times a day to check for mice. I put a sticky trap in there and he found the mouse in it, got it off the trap and chased it around but got the trap stuck to his foot. I had to peel the trap off his foot then pick him up and launch him at the mouse to recatch it. Then he was walking around with the mouse in his mouth and I had to stop him, get him to drop it and then slam the sticky trap back on the mouse to immobilize him. Total slapstick comedy!
- Sleeping in my own bed. When I’m away, to come back to it is glorious and wonderful.
- Surprise jackass!
- Watching the moon rise over the lake, big and fat and slow.
- Pelicans alighting, skimming on the starry water.
- Amaretto, ever my go-to drink.
- There’s something about road trip captive audiences when you have good time to talk and work through things that is excellent.
- Stories and stories and stories of the past from our parents and elders.
- Beautious foggy mornings.
- Watching the sun slip down the horizon and being ushered home by the stars.
- Dunkin Donuts’ french crullers, my favorite.
- Truck stop showers
- Bent neon signage.
- Those transition times, sunrise, sunset, when the light changes and you can witness man-made lights flicker on.
- Silly goggles
- Yummy lunches in cute little towns.
- Recordings of Vincent Price reading me recipes in the bathroom.
- The end of the smoked prime rib, all crunchy and amazing and rare on the other side.
- Benefits of living in the middle of nowhere: when it’s beautiful, sunny, breezy and warm I lay out on my sunny back porch in only what the universe gave me. Because I need more vitamin D and it feels amazing to have sun on bits that never see it.
- Cortado-love and hugs!
- I watched the moon rise late at night, the soft yellow light shone through my windows and I got up to look. The stars were shining brightly and the soft moonlight took the sting out of everything.
- Tattoos in good light.
- I walked to the end of the driveway to watch the sunset and was rewarded with layers and layers, oranges and pinks.
- Fat squirrels that shuffle around in the grass
- The promise of warm weather, but cool breezes to keep me present
- Surprise turkey egg nest
- Donkey lips
- Long low light filtering through the windows and gauzy shades
- Icy tanks
- Being greeted by all the cows, I’m not sure how I ever lived my life without them before
- A warm shower with yummy smelling products (and a good deep conditioning of my hair for four hours)
- Pierogies for dinner, good buttery hunky food
- The start of 1000 paper cranes
- Snuggles before bed, talking and feeling understood
- It was so cold this morning, there were icicles hanging off of my ass.
- Joe, in all the beds I’ve been in the past couple weeks
- Sunset over the stock tank
- I woke up and the entire world was like an icy, glazed donut, including all the livestock. The novelty was worth waking up for, if nothing else.
- as it all melted, it dripped off the roof and slid down the posts in a most pleasing fashion, drip-drip-dripping most of the day.
- I had my favorite lunch as of late, smoked tinned fish, bagel chips, rosemary garlic marcona almonds and a bit of smoked blue cheese. All combined into one bite, it is absolutely amazing. The only thing it was missing was preserved lemon, which I didn’t think about until after the fact.
- the ability for me to utilize my tools (meditation, insight, self-regulation) to care for myself when I need it the most
- waking up, snuggly and warm, tucked deep in my bed.
- ice day! work from home!
- breakfast cooked by momma, eggs, toast and texas pecan coffee with twaddled milk and maple syrup (holy woah amazing!)
- hilarious internet videos, one good reason for facebook, there is a neverending supply of them
- the waning crescent moon shining through my window very early in the morning; the first and last quarters are my favorite
- waking up to another amazing sunrise, stepping up on my bathtub to snap it before my eyes were even fully open
- the frost on everything, always makes it seem like a magical wonderland
- cowboy help, I’d be at a loss (and without a trailer) so many times otherwise
- connecting, helping, bolstering, sense-making
- walking to the park and be-ing; sitting with full attention to everything, focusing gently but seeing all the way out to the periphery, listening to everything, and having the mindfulness practice soothe the frays in my mind
- tea and goodies and drinks and charcuterie and clotted cream (!!)
- healing touch, be it hugs, reaching out to holding hands when upset, grooming, rubbing my back, or soft kisses behind my ear, there is never enough touch in my world
- a really good hair day, combined with a really good scarf day
- love; to love and to be loved
- Game of Thrones?
- Desktop rodeo
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”
― Hugh Laurie
- The best part of this article:
- Identifying and reducing stress in the moment: As we’ve discussed before, identifying stressors and developing breathing habits, postponing rash action, and muscle relaxation can help cool your head.
- Recognize overwhelming emotions and keep them at bay: Emotional self-control isn’t just effective in rage management. While anger and romance may be very different, the same strategies apply: be aware of your own emotions and calm the f*** down.
- Learn the basics of nonverbal communication: Everyone around you is constantly communicating, even if they’re saying nothing at all. Learn to read these cues to assess your situation better.
- Utilize humor to make connections and solve problems: You don’t necessarily need to be Louie CK levels of funny (and in fact that might not help all relationships), but knowing when to use humor to resolve conflicts can be very beneficial.
- Resolve conflicts positively: There’s a huge difference between fighting and actually solving problems and we could fill a whole article explaining how to avoid doing the former and do the latter instead.
- Sneaky way to remove a stuck ring
- The cute, it burns!