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Cheers from Cheyenne, the capitol of the least populated state! I’m sipping a gin fizz at yummy Bella Fuoco, cool and refreshing on a particularly hot day of fun.

the Governor’s Mansion

While I was craning my neck to snap this photo, a fellow tourist suggested they install a recliner for such pictures. Wouldn’t that be nice?!

Did you know there are more than twice as many cows than people in Wyoming? Amazing! Even more so when I think about how few cows I actually saw while on the roads of the Cowboy State.

If you’re a person who is strictly anti-cow grazing and eating (I certainly used to wonder), please read this article to the very end. It’s good food for thought, pun intended.

These giant cowboy boots, decorated in all manner of fabulousness, are scattered around downtown Cheyenne. So cool!

If you’re curious about Juniper’s harness looking a bit harsh, it’s actually not. It is a Halti, which, after trying all sorts of harnesses to keep her from pulling (she hurt our arms countless times and made me fall twice, OUCH!), this is absolutely the best solution. It is padded, doesn’t keep her mouth from opening like a muzzle, and she enjoys our walks just as much as when she was pulling like a maniac. Now we do, too!

More coolness is the Cowgirls of the West Museum, dedicated to the extraordinary women who helped build the West, and therefore the World!

While taking the photo of the gorgeous Ford above, a man darted down the street, shouting about Juniper, “Is that an Australian stumpy-tailed dog?” Though we’d never heard that exact moniker, we said yes. Excitedly, he said he had one inside and wondered if they should meet. And here they are! How curious to see them together, their bodies and faces so much alike!

A dandy breakfast at the R & B Breakfast Club! I came for the Elvis memorabilia and was wowed by the great food and truly amazing service.

Awe

peony
Apache plume
ninebark

I heard a story on the radio about AWE. How experiencing it on the daily creates happiness and resiliency. I thought on it, a steady stream of images flashing in my mind, of big things and small things that inspire me, and decided whomever was speaking had the right idea.

Whenever I am awash in the sensation of awe, difficulties fade into the background. I am more grounded in the present moment. This, the only one I truly have. I’m able to feel abundance rather than scarcity. And what a feeling that is!

So, right now, I am dedicating this post to it.

This boy, my cousin Scott’s oldest, whom I adore.

Joanie and the eight year-old! The three of them came down for a few days, and all manner of fun was had. At hockey camp, the zoo, the delicious I-Cool ice cream, hanging out on the back porch, sipping mojitos with mint from our own patch, dashing around on scooters and perusing the garden.

prickly pear – so many flowers this year!
milkweed
yucca
a heavy rain shower
traditional hyssop
feverfew – a childhood rendering of flowers come to life
wall flowers – the excitement of the multi-color and dazzle of veining
callirhoe
rose
ratibida
mallow and teeny-tiny spider
foxglove
new life on the lodgepole
How’s your Aspen?
I, as a terribly literal child, didn’t catch the drift of this popular t-shirt slogan of my childhood.

Thursday morning’s garden. It rained and thundered and flashed with the brightest lightning over night, my favorite kind of storm.

Oh, and the baby birds this year, robin and finch and chickadee. The chickadees made a nest in our wee bird house again this year. Different from last because I witnessed the little ones poke their heads out, contemplating their first flight. Mostly fearful, not yet ready, save one, brazen and slightly unsteady then out and actually flying. Awe inspiring, indeed.

We watched Sound of Metal recently, the only, I think, Oscar nominee we managed this year. It’s funny how I used to be so into it, seeing the movies, watching the red carpet, the ceremony, so interested and invested in it all. The clothes, the speeches, the wonder! A season of my life now complete, I suppose.

The film, however, got to me, deeply. How for a long while, a body moves along, believing it is one person, doing life in one certain way, contentedly so. Suddenly a change comes, wholly unexpected and painfully blunt. In the main character’s case, a loss of hearing. How does a drummer go on when he can no longer hear the notes? How does a body get out of the head space of necessity? Of Disability?

The most intriguing moment of the story happens when he’s told his grief is not about hearing loss. The problem is not deafness. The problem is making peace with deafness. The problem is the mind.

How true this is. How true that our minds are often our greatest road blocks. Stories we are told. Stories we create. Dysfunctional patterns and beliefs run riot, ruling us like bullies, toddlers in need of rest. How bankrupt and desperate. Sometimes ugly, too.

How potent the moment when we witness this ugliness from a distance, truly recognize it. Embrace it with love. Then let it go. What sweet freedom. What peace.

May we all arrive there.

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Hi there, and happy Tuesday. It’s a jolly morning in my little office. Linda Ronstadt – Mas Canciones – is on the hi-fi, uplifting and beautiful, if ever there was. Si! Si!

How cute is my sun catcher of a pooch, all sleepy eyed on another day?

fern bush
pasque flower
silver buffalo berry

The garden awakens, bud to leaf to flower, and it never ceases to amaze, so much that disappears every fall comes alive again!

Unicorn left alone. Greg, Juniper, and I, on our morning walk, spied it from a distance. Me thinking, from an entirely different angle, mind you, that it was a human (it was a rather large unicorn), engaged in yoga stretches. When it became obvious a body couldn’t maintain such stillness, and we got a little closer, the truth was revealed.

Given the choice, I am a waffle over pancake person, every single time. There’s no replicating that crispness, perfect pockets screaming for butter and syrup. I’d make pancakes, however, out of sheer necessity. Waffles take time, one by one by one. UNTIL! Until I, searching online for a second waffle maker, stumbled upon this one that makes TWO at a time. Fancy! It looks a bit like what Darth Vader and the Empire would use to get a jump on feeding all those darn Storm Troopers. Black and red, and all. The waffles themselves are mighty fine, too.

This morning, on our a.m. stroll, we saw one of our favorite dog runners take a selfie, utterly seamless in efficiency. Sit down on rock, adorable pooch jumps up, snap photo, with, bonus, Pike’s Peak in background! Insert seriously cool guy sound effect.

Hey Buddy, let’s do what that guy did! We can selfie, right?? Well, my friends, this is what happened before Juniper jumped down and refused to return. I thought I’d share it in the let’s keep-it-real vibe. Keep on keeping on. And much laughter to you, too.

I am not a religious person, but a very, very spiritual one. And though my Dad has read the bible daily, for as long as I can remember, I have never had the desire or inclination to do the same. I’ve found people’s interpretation of religious texts, and religion, as a whole, to be more dangerous to the general population than not. The Crusades, Islamic terrorism, Hindu & Buddhist extremism, the sexual abuse of priests and pastors on the innocent, the list goes on and on and on.

That being said, there are two very powerful notions of God that are with me daily. That he or she resides within every body and especially that a person can encounter God any place, any time. I always had difficulty believing this when encountering the cruel people of the world. Why would God reside there, when there are far nicer places to be? But then I thought about the awful person being an instrument of teaching for others, for me. God works through that person to show me how NOT to be. What to stand up for and rise against.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about how when I was little and would see a brilliant sun beam, I believed God was shining a light on a person in need. How the thought left me joyful. The sticky bit was in wondering if the person knew it. How often are we aware of that brilliant light shining on us? How often do we take the time to recognize the beauty and love around us? I think it’s time I do more to seek that awareness. That presence.

And a perfect tie-in to the photo up yonder. When my Great Aunt Mary died, my Grandma Tess found hundreds of Catholic medals in her room. I took maybe a quarter of them and fashioned a necklace with a few of them a while back. I liked the spirit of it, of having metal worn by her prayerful hands, but the look wasn’t quite right. I took it apart and made this one, with all my favorites. It jingles and sings, speaking loudest of her, while buoying my spirit, too.

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