Only a few days away…the sun will be rising from the ocean, instead of setting into it, but I’m not particular. In the meantime, I had to see my little baby girl off on her first cross-country drive last night – she’s going with three other girls, and I think it’s just a taste of how hard it will be to send her off to college. At least this trip, I will see her on Friday.

IMG_8721
Anna Maria Island, Florida.

Quote of the day: “Bring me the sunset in a cup.” — Emily Dickinson

Daily gratitudes:
A good night’s sleep
Outlander Book #2
Packing
Having a strong, independent woman as my daughter
Juggling to-dos

Since I started the swimming pig ball rolling, I figured I’d just let it roll with some more shots of these cuties. My feet will be in the sand in about four days (North Carolina sand, not Bahamian sand) and I can’t wait. It has been over eight months since I’ve been on a beach (seeing one from an Oregon scenic overlook doesn’t quite count) and that’s way too long for me!

A Passel of Pigs
Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “To the stars, on the wings of a pig.” — John Steinbeck

Daily gratitudes:
My orange shoes
That when I don’t burn things, I can make a darn good quick dinner
Dozing on the bus
Laughter
Masterpiece Theatre

On our last trip to Exuma, we crossed something off of my Bucket List – swimming with the pigs in the Bahamas. Our private captain took us to a Secret Pig Island (not the ones that most of the tour boats go to), and the little porkers swam right out to greet us, knowing that we’d have something fun for them to eat. It was indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience (though I said that about my first trip to the Caribbean as well, and look how that turned out), but I was soooo happy to pet and paddle and share some splash time with these beasties. And they seemed pretty darn happy too.

Swimming with the Pigs
Somewhere off Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “I really do believe that all of you are at the beginning of a wonderful journey.As you start traveling down that road of life, remember this: There are never enough comfort stops. The places you’re going to are never on the map. And once you get that map out, you won’t be able to re-fold it no matter how smart you are.
So forget the map, roll down the windows, and whenever you can, pull over and have picnic with a pig. And if you can help it never fly as cargo.” — Jim Henson

Daily gratitudes:
Wedding dress shopping for Niece 1
Time with my sister
Finalizing my wedding hairstyle (courtesy of Niece 1)
Hawks on telephone poles
GPS assistance when needed

It is still remarkably green here in Colorado, due to our unusually wet spring and early summer. Most years by now, the vista is brown and dry. But as of last week, the wildflowers werestill showing their fancy, making a lovely foreground for one of the sandstone Pawnee Buttes.

Butte and Rudbeckia
Pawnee National Grasslands, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Men do change, and change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass.” — John Steinbeck

Daily gratitudes:
Getting fancy
A lovely date with my MKL
A generous pour of Glenmorangie
Snuggling
Loving attention to my wounds

Yes, it is indeed where the deer and the antelope play. We saw a lot of antelope on our long drive on Sunday, some of who kindly posed for us. Most would bound away when we stopped the truck, retreating to a safe distance, and then inch their way back to us as we took pictures, as curious about us as we were about them. We saw pairs and herds and babies and they were all adorable. It was especially nice for me, as the antelope is my constant spirit animal in my shamanic practice.

Antelope 1
Pawnee National Grasslands, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Beauty, the world seemed to say. And as if to prove it (scientifically) wherever he looked at the houses, at the railings, at the antelopes stretching over the palings, beauty sprang instantly. To watch a leaf quivering in the rush of air was an exquisite joy. Up in the sky swallows swooping, swerving, flinging themselves in and out, round and round, yet always with perfect control as if elastics held them; and the flies rising and falling; and the sun spotting now this leaf, now that, in mockery, dazzling it with soft gold in pure good temper; and now again some chime (it might be a motor horn) tinkling divinely on the grass stalks—all of this, calm and reasonable as it was, made out of ordinary things as it was, was the truth now; beauty, that was the truth now. Beauty was everywhere.” — Virginia Woolf

Daily gratitudes:
How antelope rhymes with cantaloupe
That Season 2 of The Paradise arrived just as I finished Season 1
Fishtail skirts
MKL’s hands
Soft air

Was Sunday really three days ago? It doesn’t seem like it. But then again, I’ve spent hours since battling with the cable people, the power people, and the refrigerator, all of which changes the quality of time, so Sunday is a very happy memory. I am so glad that we have at least made efforts to preserve some wide open spaces. They are blessings.

Pawnee National Grassland
Pawnee National Grasslands, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” — e.e. cummings

Daily gratitudes:
That my neighbor Mr. Beard still has his Christmas lights up
Time with Kelsea
Avoiding traffic
My dress for Friday night at the opera
Not setting the house afire when I made dinner tonight

Windows, doors…all ways in and ways out, and important in our lives both physically and metaphorically. I have seen doors not just slam shut, but implode before me, leaving me left to pull pieces of splintered wood and glass from my heart, but no matter how hard it has been, there has always been a window, albeit one I might have to smash with my bare hands to get through. The doors and windows in my life now are welcoming and clear, and that’s a very good feeling.

And A Door
St. Elmo, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” — Helen Keller

Daily gratitudes:
Tattered Cover’s broccoli-cheese soup
MKL
A strange tinge of fall in the air
Surprises
The sunlight on the wings of wheeling flocks of birds

Today was a wonderful day, driving for nine hours down dirt roads with my sister. Photos to follow! Below is a window into my soul…or someone’s soul.

One Window
St. Elmo, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Some say dreams are open windows into the larger world around us, glimpses of the universe as it truly is, so long as we possess the wisdom to understand what they mean.” — Brian Harmon

Daily gratitudes:
Today
Herds of antelope
Clouds
The color of the sky
Dirt roads

Remember “Three Windows“? We’re counting down, down, down…

Two Windows
St. Elmo, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The pursuit of happiness is a matter of choice…it is a positive attitude we choose to express. It is not a gift delivered to our door each morning, nor does it come through the window. And it is certain that our circumstances are not the things that make us joyful. If we wait for them to get just right, we will never laugh again.” — Charles R. Swindoll

Daily gratitudes:
The Paradise
Having all my electronics in place again (thank you, my love)
Kelsea’s AWESOME play during Ultimate All-Stars
Lots of dragonflies
Hearing Hazel Miller sing in Old Town last night

.

Just to the east of Walden, Colorado (or what I call Mooseland) is Cameron Pass, which is one of Kelsea’s and my favorite views. I thought I’d share it with you today. We tried playing a little ultimate on top of the pass, but it was too windy and I broke a nail such an extent that I seemed to have a shiv attached to my thumb. But it was fun.

A Favorite View
Cameron Pass, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.” — Augustine of Hippo

Daily gratitudes:
My vet
How a little cleaning goes a long way
Watching storms blow through
When the justice system works
Sarong weather

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