Being

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Mountains for Miles

Cutest cuddlers in the WORLD!

Mountains for miles…

The Collegiate Peaks

Mosquito Range

East Buffalo Peak

silly

More Collegiates

I read somewhere that people should never be best friends with their spouse. If you dare choose such an arrangement, you’ll be sorely lacking a mate to discuss your spouse is the logic. Rule breaker that I am, I find this foolish, for neither I nor Greg has any problem with airing our grievances with one another. I firmly believe this is why our relationship works. We talk. We complain. We call each other out on our bullshit. We also pass the best small moments together: walking, talking, driving, sitting, listening, laughing, and dining. We have no secrets, tell no lies. I cannot imagine a better or more fulfilling way for us to live.

I am most reminded of this when we travel and have the great privilege of leaving the everyday, how I love to look upon the hubster’s face while he drives, handsome and wizened and curious. How all the questions bubble and pop to the surface. What is your opinion? How can we do and be better? Why do I keep making the same mistake? Couple that with senses heightened by experiencing the novel (at least to us), away from the work and noise of home, both the literal and figurative.

This holiday there were hours and hours floating and dreaming in the hot springs, in daylight and moonlight, senses tuned to the rush of water, gales of wind, and falling of snow. How wonderful that nothing is off-limits. No question or thought, because we are best friends, living in the world together. There are great stretches when not a single word is spoken nor needed and similar times when there are so very many: eloquent, jumbled, silly. All carry the same weight. The weight that is US.

Pike’s Peak in a cloud hug! I volunteer at a retirement home, spending time with hospice patients. One of my ladies, when asked if she had a nice view, said, “It’s nothing much.” Not taking her at her word because I am a woman of my own mind, I glanced out and saw Pike’s Peak. She said she’d seen it so many times she was over it.

Though I am open to many possibilities in life, this really isn’t one of them. Nearly every day, I see this great mountain, and am always delighted by it. It’s here for me! And you, too! I felt the same over my sixteen years in Portland; every day I caught sight of Mt. Hood, Mt. Saint Helen’s, and Mt. Adams was a finding a penny on the sidewalk kind of day, simply the best.

The days are also getting cooler and more trees are starting to turn in our neck of the woods, which means Juniper has occasion to wear a coat. This is a snazzy new one that fits nicely and looks absolutely adorable. How about that dog walker, too. Handsome!

In addition to making kombucha (peach, mixed berry, ginger turmeric, and apple are our best flavors), I have started a wee batch of mead! Honey, water, hibiscus, and time. Fingers crossed that it tastes as lovely as the color. So pretty!

My pack! I snapped these post teeth cleaning (done by yours truly). As you can imagine, it ranks right up there with nail trimming (the hubster’s job) as Juniper’s least favorite activities. Post trauma cuddles go a long way!

Views from yesterday morning’s walk. I know I’m like a broken record, but seriously, this place is so beautiful!

Finally, when I was in college, I was struck by ecological succession. A glacier rests cozily during the ice age; it’s remains melt into a lake; the lake turns to a meadow; the meadow turns into a forest. A magical progression, with every manner of life supported.

During our road trip a few weeks back, I saw a woman who had once been one of my very best friends. For a whole host of reasons, I stopped speaking to her about 18 years ago, a heart-wrenching decision that took me years. Afterward, zooting through the jeweled meadows and forests with a head full of memories, I realized how we are kin: a series of individual beings occupying the same space throughout time. Parts grow and flourish, ebb and flow, advance and retreat, each the same but very different. We spend small forevers with creatures great and small. Some of these creatures nourish, some don’t. Same goes for our experiences, in our own minds and out in the world. As I am solidly in mid-life, I am ever more keen on experiencing all that uplifts and take calculated steps to achieve that goal. This means spending more time with the right people, less or none at all with the wrong ones, as well as being less inhibited about taking risks or trying something new.

So to the picture! I have always wanted to go to a rave, to dance myself silly. Sadly, I never took the opportunity. Then one episode of High Maintenance (my very favorite show!) had a story line with a day rave, and I got super excited. Dancing in the morning? No drugs or alcohol? Where do I sign up?! I searched the interwebs and found Daybreaker, the brainchild of Radha Agrawal, and bought a ticket for their most recent party at the Boulder Reservoir. I went alone but was never on my own, enjoying the best community of huggers, body painters, and glitter mavens! I danced for three hours, laughed and cried. Best of all, I was part of something joyful, radiant, and true. Here’s to more…

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Ambition

After much consideration, I believe I have finally, at least for now (life is fluid, after all), come to the point where I understand my purpose, or at least part of it (I am open to more). It’s to be as kind and generous as possible, open heart, open mind, and to love everybody. EVERYBODY. The easy people and the difficult people. Do not confuse this loving with letting everybody treat me how they wish, however. I gave up my doormat status.

The actual shape this is taking? I am choosing to recognize the humanity in all of us, the utter miracle of our sometimes deeply flawed creations. We were born! We are alive and breathing thanks to a million operations occurring simultaneously in our bodies. Blood pumping, cells dividing, lungs breathing, neurons firing. What beauty!

It is my great ambition to not let politics or cruelty or whatever else might cast serious shade on another person hamper my enthusiasm for the fact that we are each of us wonders. I may not like you, but I  T R U L Y love that the universe brought you here to teach me. Patience, gratitude, resilience, and maybe even resistance. A million thanks!

My Left Foot

Here she comes!

Best guard dog…

and sweet heart.

Look at that little club, my left foot. Though the pain now is really quite something, I am well acquainted with the benefits of torturing my body for the greater good. Over the past couple of years, I’ve experienced occasional to frequent discomfort from a bunion in my foot – a fiery burning in my toes to a stabbing, throbbing nuisance, most often when promenading our precious pooch.

After trying, to no avail, some unfortunately bulky and pricey orthotics to ease my woes, the only other option was surgery. And so it came to be – last week my terrific specialist opened my foot. Bone was sawed and shaved and made better with the aid of three small screws. I am bionic! I will NOT set off metal detectors (so I am told)!

As you can imagine, I have spent much more time than I would ever care to (yet AGAIN) on my behind. Leg up, pooch and most wonderful spouse, parents, uncle, and friends visiting, and soooo much Netflix watching to keep me from losing my marbles. Reviews forthcoming!

I am looking forward to walking without crutches, a kooky gimp, or the great-awful ache that occurs every time my foot spends too terribly much time below my thumping heart. In the meantime, in addition to the wonderful assortment of viewing of every stripe available on demand, I am delighted to report that much has come along to keep me safely active since my dear Great Aunt Mary’s days of Sit and Be Fit (which I have also done!). There are so many options for anyone recovering from surgery or with permanent limited mobility. Huzzah for inclusivity! My favorite is Jessica Smith – sweet and challenging, and that little Peanut is the perfect icing on top! Thank you so very much.

 

H o m e

Also, I changed the lamp.

Juniper and best pal, Juneau. That tongue!

Milkweed – I have two spritely sprouts that I hope will look this lovely next year.

Early morning walks

puddle gazing

We had the most lovely stretch of Portland storms – five days of me sighing wistfully, “Isn’t it wonderful?”, while just about everyone else I know was cursing under their breath. It takes all kinds.

ratibidia

R U N !

Someone had a birthday. I made cupcakes.

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