Nana’s Favorite Pages and Blogs…

ON some o f these, there will be an actual link to a post that moved me so much at the time, it needs to be shared!  Here I go:

http://www.flaurena.com    Because Lauren’s jewelry appeals to my individualist nature.

http://www.fizgiggery.com/2011/other-mischief/nanny   I read this blog post every time the anniversary of my grandmother’s passing comes around, and it is one of the best posts I’ve ever read on any blog–anywhere!  In fact, a few years back, her blog post on “karma” got me to turn a few thoughts around in my head and get out of the correctional field.  She posts on many subjects, too! Check it out!

http://momsicle.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/caramel-apples-chocolate/  From food, to parenthood and everything in-between, including travel tips for parents of tots, this is a helluva blog…Check it out!

http://www.terribleminds.com/  Very blunt, honest and to the point–in short, when he posts about writing, he doesn’t post bullshit.

http://piperbayard.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/the-end-is-near-and-we-deserve-it-kindergartener-deemed-terrorist-threat-and-suspended/   Whether weird stories like this interest you, or historical fact, OR the impending Zombie Apocalypse–this is one cool blog!

This will be updated again I’m sure but for right now, these are my top 5. Have a great day!

Nana knows this much…

The woman never could understand why people search for that which is so hard to find unless they look within. No one needs to spend a fortune to seek these things out. One only needs to be willing to learn and experience it–and to be silent and listen. Each person must do this on his or her own–wherever their wings take them–and it is nothing to fear. And that person must patiently wait for the answer. Fear keeps many from finding their vision and sometimes looking for it through others can prevent it–especially if we become too dependent upon them. Others can guide us, but we must find our path ourselves, in our own way, in our own time. The process is part of the adventure, and it can be rewarding–and for her it has been.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JI2o-nxHd8

I have my mountain to which I run to, and it is where I find my solace but I plan to go to Sedona, AZ or to Pecos, NM for a retreat at some point. There is strength in silence and beauty in places where nature can speak to us.  That being said, I hope you all have a great weekend.

 

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Nanahood Resolutions….

 

The time has come for change.  For one, I am cleaning up the blog.  While I do have a strange outlook on some things, I realize that it is because the people that were around me at the time left me rather jaded in thought. I tended to put everything into these neat little boxes of my mind and I  would compartmentalize them so that if someone or something did not make sense to me, they ended up there–my virtual “cornfield”.

Either way, it is time to change my attitude, my life and possibly (after the grandson comes) the latitude. I can no longer hide here. I am going to branch out. I’m getting back to the writing basics again…My family matters. My grand kids matter. This crap about holing up and only talking to a few select people is over.

If I get stuck, I go back to Lauren Vasil’s blog,  www.fizgiggery.com  for some inspiration…Or to Momsicle’s blog…Given the recent post on the little blue dot in Lauren’s blog, I decided that although we’ll probably never see space travel in our lifetime, it would be nice to be able to see places like this from a ship!

It looks almost like something you’d see in a video game or in sci-fi doesn’t it? It’s actually a view of the Carina Nebula from the hubble telescope. I really do consider space to be the “Ultimate Wonder”. It is infinite and timeless.

However since time tends to be somewhat of an enemy, it is best to concentrate on things that I would like to see here–like the world we live on.  Maybe someday I will get to do that.  The thought crosses my mind every time I look at my poster that I made.  I’ll put it up here on my next post, but I really want to position myself better than where I am now. I want to be an inspiration to my grand kids–and to teach them that there is much more to the world than what is right in front of them.  I hope that makes sense to you. It does to me.   It may be time to simply go forth and expand my horizons.  Have a great week!

 

You Just Had to Ask Me…

Note: While I am on my “hiatus” of sorts from discussing certain things  on the blog, I hope you enjoy this interlude of a different story while I keep working on part 6 of “Centuries Under the Moon”–Kadja

The older man came to her and sat next to her…’Wanna dance?”  he asked, brushing back his salt and pepper hair from his face, which had just enough lines to reveal that he was a hard-working man with some determination.

“No. I don’t dance.” she said as she was trying to listen to the band, brushing her black bangs from her eyes.

“You don’t dance? Seriously?” he asked her.

“No. I don’t.  What part don’t you get?” she said firmly as smoke continued to fill the air–and he continued to invade her space…

“Wanna take a walk outside?” he asked.

“No.” she said again.

She had seen the wedding band and knew this guy’s drill.  She already knew there was no common ground with him, so she put her barrier between them quickly.  He was one of many that she had no use for–let alone a desire to get acquainted with.  She kept to herself–until she walked onto stage. Then she let it out.  All that angst–and the power to release it ignited her defiant soul more than ever as she shook her head to one side, her black hair moving away from her green eyes as she took that microphone into her hand.

She then went back to her booth, where a reporter she was expecting had been waiting.  He was a young man, close to her age.  Very good-looking, and he knew she was a tough one to interview. His editor had warned him about how she can be. Yet there she was–all 5’5″ of her.  He stood 6’1″.  When his brown eyes locked on her, he knew this woman was different from the others he’d had dealt with before and he knew that he’d better tread lightly.  Her bottle of Patron and a lit candle were waiting for her, along with two glasses.  She offered him a drink, which he accepted.  She noticed that the sandy colored locks this reporter had were a sharp contrast to Michael Redding’s well-kept black hair. She also liked it that he showed up in jeans and a T-shirt, and appeared to have not shaven in two days as opposed to Michael’s “everything has to be perfect” look.

“You have no one in your life?” he asked after they conversed for some time, talking about her upbringing in Oregon and her family–which she didn’t say much about–YET.

What difference does it make? I have plenty of people who support what I do and I don’t have time to limit myself in any way.  No man has ever loved me for the creature that I am so I fly solo and I sleep solo.” she responded.

“Even though Michael Redding is telling all who will hear him that he wants a relationship beyond friendship?” the reporter asked.

“As I said, what difference does it make?” she asked.

“He seems like a nice enough guy–”

“Which is why I’m doing him a favor by avoiding him this week since that is the public perception.” she mused.

“He’s heir to the Biotechna fortune.” the reporter said, puzzled that she would say such a thing when they seemed to be so close.

“And?”

“But you two seem to go very well together in public–”

“That’s what he tells me.”  she said.

“You’re not going to tell me if you two are in a relationship, are you?” he asked.

“IF we were, I wouldn’t be interviewing with you alone in a darkened booth in a friggin’ bar.” she grinned, as shafts of light flashing into the booth revealed her dark red lips and pale skin.

“Do you have a hard time in relationships?” he asked out of curiosity.

“No because I never enter into arrangements with anyone. I don’t believe in it. If I want to play house, I’ll hire a gigolo.” she said sarcastically as a sheepish grin came across her face.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“People in this town hook up to find convenient arrangements for combining resources and such.  You will find that many couples in this business aren’t in love but they only stay together because they can tolerate each other.  In other words, they play house.  I know four couples right now who cannot say “I love you” to each other, which sucks because two of those couples brought kids into this bitch we refer to as our world.  Their teen children are screwed up because they know why their parents are together–just like mine were back in the heyday of this town.  No thank you.  Men who want that do not interest me. I’m not an investment or a breeding mare.”  she said.

“So you plan to avoid romance altogether? That seems rather sad.”  the reporter said.

“There is no such thing as romance–especially here. It’s all about appearances.  I don’t believe in romantic love anymore. Everyone in this town is about getting into an arrangement.  If they weren’t, you wouldn’t find so many of them screwing around on each other like my own parents did.” she said.

“You have been at odds with your parents for years.  Do you speak to them now?” he asked.

“Not very often.” she said.

“Why?  They seem like nice people–”

“My stepfather is one of the coolest people on the planet.  So is my dad. I cannot say the same about my mother or that bitch my father sleeps with and calls a wife.  I don’t care if you print that or not Mr. Jacobson.  I talk to neither of my parents since I had to go to court to get their hands off of my bank accounts.” she said.

“This is what the feud is over?  Money?” he asked.

“That’s what they WANT to think.  It’s not. It’s about their inability to live their own sick lives through their daughter and son.  They did the same to my younger brother.” she said.

“He committed suicide.” the man said.

“Yes.  AFTER dear old MOM cleared out his funds.  Then she sent part of it to dad via the stepmom and he says he never saw a dime of it although she admits she had it.”  she mused.

“Will you ever make amends with them? They seem to be reaching out to you now–”

“For more money. Here! I’ll prove it.” she grinned as she turned on her speaker phone.

“What’s up Ce Ce?” she asked her stepmother.

“Is this for another one of your business schemes–like the one that broke dad’s company?” she asked.

“No! It’s for your father’s eye surgery and I have no time for–”

“Well, if it weren’t for the lasik I’d send it but I know how you operate. You’d use it elsewhere.”  she said flatly.

“Come on! Reese, what is $15,000 to you?  We are your family–”

“Dad is my family. You are nothing.  He told me he was scrapping the lasik thing last week. Nice try, CeCe.” she said as she hung up.

“Mr. Whatever your name is–THAT is how my family is. Always with a hand out. Always a new lie.  She’s not half as bad as my mother is.  I’m surprised my step dad hasn’t left her ass.   She’s still paying back money she robbed from me.”  she said to him.

“So you’ve been robbed of your childhood, robbed of part of your fortune and robbed of what good in life you can have out of fear of being used?”  the reporter asked.

‘I am a corporation, am I not? I am used every day. Even Mr. Redding will tell  you that much.  I’m not marrying or moving in with him either–and you can print that in the papers, the book, I don’t care…  I like my space.  He asked me to marry him four times in three months, but when he sees my prenup he tries to skirt it so I don’t see him any longer.” she said.

“I just think it is sad that you can trust no one.  Off the record.  Why did you let me interview you?” he asked her.

“You just had to ask me.” she mused.

“I really want to know.” he said.

“Your name is Stephen Robinson and you work for the Herald, correct?” she asked.

“Yes.”

“Then I chose you because you don’t bullshit. I like that.  I like that article you did on Tibet too.” she said.

“Why do I get the sense that this may head elsewhere?” he asked.

“I’m hiring you to write my biography.  Didn’t your boss tell you that?  IF you decide to do it, you’ll have the exclusive.  You’ll be traveling with me and my band mates–IF I decide to regroup.  You’ll see the good, the bad and the ugly–and the fugly too. ” she grinned.

“Is there anything about the “fugly” I need to know about?”  he asked.

“I have maybe a year to live and I want the truth out.  I’m making my will tomorrow.  I refuse medical treatment as my younger sister died of this particular blood disorder I have.  Here is the reality.  I will never have a normal life. I will never get married or be a mother…In short, you get to write about how f**ked up my life and my family really is.  I know you can bring it out the way it needs to be brought out.  You’ll also be there at the end.  My band knows nothing and neither does my family, my agent or my manager.  I don’t fear dying either. It is the only release I’ll have from the ongoing bullshit in my family anyway.” she said.

“This is a joke, right?” he asked.  Then he noticed as a faint shaft of light came across her face.  A tear had rolled down her cheek.

“I wish it were one of my f***ing jokes.  I would be laughing hysterically if it were.  However, I will leave them nothing. Absolutely nothing.  At the same time, I want to learn how to really live.  Does that make sense?”  she asked as her tone became more resolute and she wiped the tear from her cheek with the sleeve of her blouse.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“I want to do what I have always been afraid to do–starting with bungee jumping. Go with me.” she said.

“Bungee jumping?” he asked.

“Bungee Jumping…Right after I get my will signed.  By the way, you are getting a hefty check for all of this shit.” she told him.

“What if you chicken out of the jump?” he asked.

“That’s what YOU’RE there for…To make sure I don’t, dammit.” she said.

“Oh so I’m a personal assistant to you now?  I am sorry but I don’t know how to–”

“Just bring whatever you need to write.  Don’t be anything less than honest either.  That is all I ask of you.” she said as she downed a shot of tequila.

“Look, Miss Harrison–”

“Look at it this way.  Either you write it or nobody else will.” she said flatly.

“I need to think this over and talk with my editor–”

“You’re getting exclusive rights to the story.  I’m paying you $150,000 to write it, plus 50% royalties in any film rights and such,  with a $50,000 advance  for your time.  He knows that.  Besides, you free-lance anyway. IF you want it in writing–”

“Miss Harrison, this is a huge assignment for me.  I need to think about it.  I was going to go to Nepal–”

“Which you’ll have plenty of time to do later because if it’s about the orphanage, I am part of that benefit taking place there.  All I am asking for is part of your time–not 24/7–unless you want to get the whole deal.” she said.

He didn’t have to think beyond 48 hours.  $150K for a year…Not bad and it’s not exactly chump change given the fact that other writers, at least in his mind, were superior to him.  Stephen Robinson knew this assignment would be life changing–but he had no idea how much.  He went to her house in Beverly Hills 2 days later.  When her maid answered the door, Reese was pouting on the stair case.

“TWO days…It took you two days to make up your mind?  I didn’t go bungee jumping either. Thanks for nothing.” she pouted.

“You didn’t need to do that right away anyhow.  Besides, I had loose ends to tie up.” he said.

“Whatever.” she mused as she stood up and went into her conservatory.  While the maid, Abigail, showed him to his room, she told him, “Mr.  Robinson, she is really mad about you taking two days.  She only goes in the conservatory and composes like this when she is angry. Just let her be for a couple of hours and she’ll be fine.  She’s furious with Mr. Redding too.” she warned him.

He was amazed by her choice of decor.  She stayed true to the history of the house, which was built during the early 1900’s.  There was an ornate fireplace in her den, another living area with a smaller one and huge bay windows that had a view of the pool. He noticed the bar and made particular note that everything in the rooms had solid colors–no patterns.  Abigail explained that she did the main rooms of the house in this fashion due to her sister’s epilepsy when she came to visit.  According to Abigail, almost any extreme pattern or something as simple as a flashing light could cause a seizure, so Reese was taking extra precautions.  She did have hanging crystals in her conservatory though and there was some pattern to that.

He loved the deep blue and silver accents and the  fabric adorned it.  There was no straying from the color scheme except to add grey throws to the chairs.  He was also keen to the scent of enchiladas cooking.

“Why? He’s crazy about her–”

“That’s what he wants her to think but she caught him two timing her a few months back when they was together.  He hit her when she refused to take him back. Now he wants her back again and she said very nasty things to him and told him to get out of her life–only she used more curse words.  She really fears him, Sir.” she said.

“Well, thanks for the heads up.” he told her.

“You seem like a nicer guy than he was.  I hope she takes a likin’ to ya!  She deserves some happiness after her mother pulled that stunt last week on her.”  she said.

“What stunt was that?” he asked.

“She tried to get control of her money again but the judge threw it out.  She’s 28 now and she can do what she wants and it just ticks her mama off.  She seems so sad lately though.  She doesn’t joke around much any more.  I’ve known her since she was 12.  Something is not right about her.”  Abigail said.

“Well I’ll see what I can do.” he said as he scratched his head.

When he unpacked, showered and shaved, Abigail was knocking at his door frantically…”Mr. Robinson please come!”

“What’s the matter, Abigail?” he asked as he opened his door after hastily putting on jeans and a T-Shirt. Then he heard the sound of crashing glass.

“She’s in a bad way again, Mr. Robinson–Mr. Redding made her mad again! They are down there arguing and I’m afraid he will slug her like he did before when they were together!”

As he entered the den she threw another vase at Michael yelling, “I told you to get the f**k out of my life and stay out! I meant it then and I damned well mean it now!”

“Look, Reese…I’m sorry you got hurt.  She means nothing to me,” he told her as he tried to get close to her.  She then pulled a letter opener out, “Don’t you dare come near me!” she yelled.

“Reese, you know you aren’t going to do that.  Put it down–”

“Back off dammit!” she yelled.

“I’m not going to hurt you again, Reese–”

“I think you’d better get the hell out of here.” Stephen said firmly to him.

“Oh…And who might you be? I think you’re the one who had better learn your place around me–”

“Anytime you feel lucky, bring it.,” Stephen told him, “But you will not bother her again.  I mean it.”  He saw that Reese still had the letter opener in her hand and she was shaking.

“You work for her?  Gee…Wait until you see how idiotic she is!  She thinks anyone who is with her has to be f***ing perfect! I screwed around on her one time and she  acts like she’s holier than thou! Maybe if she f***ing knew how to put out to a man, she’d be able to keep one–”

“Maybe if you were a man, I’d have stayed with your ass.” she mused.

“Don’t you talk to me like that! You’re the one who goes on tour after tour–”

“And bailed your ass out of a $7 million dollar debt.  We are done now get out!” she hissed.

He stormed toward the front door, “Reese, I’ll be back when you calm down.  We need to talk about this more–”

“I’m getting a restraining order. Abigail, call the police.” she said.

“Yes ma’am!” Abigail said as she went into another room and called them.

“So that’s the way you want it?” Michael asked her.

“For a long time now. Leave me alone!” she said.

“Fine! Don’t come crying to me when you can’t handle the pressure and shit!” he said.

“Oh I won’t. Believe me.” she said icily.

When Michael left, she sat down shaking as Abigail rushed over to her…

“Are you alright–”

“I am now that he’s gone.  I’ll get the restraining order. I’ve had it.” she said.

“I never would have thought him to be violent.” Stephen said.

“Welcome to just one aspect of my fugly world.” Reese said as she looked up into his eyes. It was then he saw the red mark on her cheek.

“Well, it shouldn’t be like that.” he said as he waited for the police to arrive in the foyer.  When they arrived, they wrote out a criminal trespass for Michael and took her statement.  She filed harassment and assault charges since Abigail saw Redding strike her.

“Well, it’s a good thing the media is already here because those reporters he has in his camp are going to make out like he’s just a friggin’ love-sick victim.”  Reese said.

“Good thing I am here, then. I’ll save it for the book though.”  Stephen said.

“Thank you. I appreciate that more than you know.  It’ll die down in a few days.” she said.

Within a few weeks, Stephen saw how she went about her daily routine.  Her songwriting habits and the various chew out sessions with her management and various band members often perplexed him but at times he laughed.  He found some of it to be rather amusing, and was becoming more drawn to her as she undertook charitable work.  They traveled to Nepal and to Costa Rica together where she saw the wildlife refuge and went bungee jumping with Stephen.

As the sunlight shone upon them and the warm tropical breeze embraced their beings, they were having a bit of a heated debate…

“You can’t be serious about doing this! There is plenty of other things to do in Costa Rica than risk our lives!” Stephen said.

“You’re kidding me, right? If the cord breaks and I die, at least I have nothing to lose.” she mused.

“Don’t talk like that! It isn’t funny!” he said to her.

“It is absurd and that is why I said it. I am merely trying to point out to you that there is nothing to be afraid of.  We’re not that high up and the water is 100 ft. deep.” she said.

“Not that high up? Look do—” she pushed him and jumped afterward.

“Shiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttt!” he screamed all the way down as she laughed.

They bounced a bit and he shot her a dirty look once they calmed down.

“Why the hell did you push me?! It’s not funny–” he protested.

“I didn’t have all day to wait on you to make your mind up.  I’ve got other things to cross off my list anyway! Why can’t you just admit that it was kind of fun?  You had to have felt a rush–”

“Oh yeah! The rush of DEATH!” he snapped.

“Exactly,” she beamed, “But if it makes you feel any better, my friend, I’ll never push you off  like that again. I promise!”

Something in her smile was rather infectious.  Something in her assertiveness was addicting.  HE finally cracked a smile at her again.

“Do you MEAN that?” he asked her.

“Not really.” she smiled as she winked at him.

“Oh shit…Whatever.” he said.

A Last Minute Road Trip Pays Off!

Oh my god! Where do I begin here?  I went to a couple of places this past week that totally blew me away!  Before I go into this bit of adventure, I need to thank LaurenVasil for inspiring me to get off of my butt and just freaking go, Go, GO!!!  I was reading her blog on her recent road trip from Brooklyn, NY to Los Angeles, CA…You can read about it here: www.fizgiggery.com

These posts inspired me to come out of my cave long enough to find out about some things in W. Texas I never took the opportunity to go see.  I found two places that blew me away.  One was Monahans, TX and the other was Balmorhea, TX.  I am putting the pics here as proof of how amazing these places are–despite their size.  These places are writer’s havens to me.  I can camp out under the stars by the sand dunes of Monahans, or I can stay at the motel at the State Park outside of Balmorhea.  Both places are so unique, and they posses a beauty all their own. The people in both places are very friendly and I had a couple of people already ask about my metamorphosis necklace this week, and it seems that when I go elsewhere–people are curious about it!  I got it from www.flaurena.com   folks.

I will also go into some info about both places, starting with my adventure in Monahans.  On a hot, miserable day in West Texas, I decided that while hanging out in Midland, I would go to the visitor’s center off of I-20 and see what they had to show me.  The two women working there were so sweet, and explained a bit of the History of each place they told me about.

Did you know that one of the authors of the James Bond books is from Midland, TX?  Well, if you didn’t, look up Raymond Benson.  Woody Harrelson also was from the area, as well as Carolyn McCormick (who played Dr. Olivet on Law and Order).  Little known trivia:  When Mother Nature isn’t on crack, like she’s been all year this year, Tommy Lee Jones also comes to Midland quite a bit–sometimes to play polo, but he has property that he owns in San Saba, TX. Kathy Baker (from “Edward Scissorhands”) was also from Midland.

Mezzo-Soprano  Susan Graham also hails from Midland, TX.  Those of you who live in San Francisco and frequent the opera will know who she is.

Now for my adventure!  It began last Friday when I got thoroughly bored to death in Big Spring.  I really got tired of the 111 degree weather (in the shade) and decided to take advantage of some time off–which I will do again next week!  Since I can’t seem to get to White Sands, or the Apache reservation to check it out in New Mexico, I decided that I was going to see if there is anything that strikes my fancy near here. My first stop was Monahans…It is not the White Sands Missile Range, but it’s cool!   Here are a few pics:

These look like regular bushes, but they are not. They are the tops of oak trees, which help to hold the dunes together. They come up about knee-high, but their trunks and roots can extend far into the ground–the roots sometimes going underground for miles.

Like I said, it is not the White Sands Missile Range, but the kiddies love sliding down these in a saucer. Some even bring snowboards!

This is one of the street signs in Monahans (5 miles up the road from the park)! I’ve never been to a town that had these toppers on them!  Other streets have different metal art on them, but they are cool!

Now for the second leg of my journey, I went to Balmorhea, TX.  This park has a HUGE spring fed pool.  It also has a hotel on the premises.  There are two hotels in town and a restaurant called “The Bear’s Den”.  This town is small–a smudge on the map, but the people are very, very friendly and it’s beauty lies in that it is a small, quiet place for a writer to hide out in, if he or she chooses to do so.  It definitely appeals that reclusive side of myself that I have kicked to the curb more than once in the past two years.   The spring runs parallel to the street on the south side.  There are little walking bridges that cross it as well as the street crossings.

As I said before, this water is so clear it is truly amazing.  If there is an oasis in the desert around here–this is definitely it!  Here are some pics from this leg of my trip also.  I fully intend to go back either tonight or tomorrow.

Hey! If you decide to check this place out–there are phone #’s on here!

The spring on the roadside--view 1

Those big, black fish are catfish…I thought these were nocturnal. I guess not. Anyway, these are HUGE! They are actually about 15 ft. down. I am standing on the edge here. Just to give you an idea of what this is like, even at the 35 ft. end, you can see the bottom of the spring. It reminds me of the films I’ve seen of the reefs…One can snorkel and such in here. I didn’t know this prior to my departure, though.

Just another shot of the spring…I can’t believe how clear the water is!

Reed shot…This is a close up of the spring behind the motel that is at the State Park…

This would make an interesting screen saver, I think…What do you think? I decided to use my telephoto lens on the 2nd reed shot.

This is a shot of the motel by the state park.

This is a shot showing how the spring runs behind the motel rooms…It is prettier than it looks.You can get directions to this place and it is worth going to~! The food here rocks!

I knew there was something special….I thought of Margaritaville when I saw the parrot! LOL

This is the front of the Bear’s Den!

I am including a couple of shots of this simply because of the way this sits in the water…The spring flows around it. There is a church out behind it, but I thought this was simply “art”. I am not Catholic, but this moved me…It is simply beautiful. It is on the side of the road as you enter or leave Balmorhea–depending on the direction you take.

Another shot of beauty.

I found the people here to be so friendly, and the area itself to be so tranquil that I must return to this place.  It is every bit as sacred to me as my mountain now.  I truly hope you enjoyed this, and if you decide to go there, let me know!  The town may be small, but if one is looking for peace and quiet–then this is the place to visit!

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It is Now Official! Mother Nature is on CRACK! Texas Needs RAIN!!!

This is going to be a short and to the point post.  Why is it that TX is having the worst drought it has experienced since 1917?  I’ll tell you why! MOTHER NATURE IS ON CRACK! That’s why!  This is NOT how an afternoon sun should look!

Would you really like to  know what this is guys? It is smoke! That’s right! It’s smoke from a wildfire burning in the Forsan, TX area.  That is 13 miles from where I’m at.  On top of this the flu is seriously kicking my butt!    I have also notified the TX Forest Service of Mother Nature‘s chronic problem on their Facebook page

The next pic I’m going to put up SHOULD reveal a clear view of the hospital and the mountain I love to walk on about a mile and a half away from my house.  Due to the smoke, it looks like it’s 20 miles off or so!

You cannot even tell the mountain and the hospital are actually closer! They look like they are miles away!

 Here is yet another view…

 

It looks totally overcast huh?  What looks like a mountain or hill in the horizon should actually be a clear view of steep hill with the highway cutting through it.  However, until this state gets some much-needed rain, this is likely to continue.  Please keep us in your thoughts down here in Texas!  Thanks!

By the way, if you are travelling, you might want to keep the # for the Department of Public Safety handy.  You never know when you’ll need it… 😉

When your gut usually tells you to, it’s usually best to do so…

Did you ever have that feeling that you should take an opportunity, although it sounded like something that might not be your cup of tea (as in what you KNOW you can do)?  I have several times.  I have recently accepted a position as an assistant manager trainee.  I can work my way into full management within a year–which is a great opportunity with benefits.  I can do that job, so that is not the issue.  I know I could easily get an overseas job once my TESOL course is complete.  No problem…However something tells me that this is where I need to be for now.  Sometimes what you view as a lesser opportunity gives you an opportunity to learn and to grow.  This job  is already doing this.  I am learning to enjoy being “myself” again. 

I love teaching.  I love working with students so maybe this is my de-briefing from sergeant mode! Being a corrections sergeant caused me to “lose” that part of myself that allowed me to be a little more trusting.  At times this is a good thing.  At others, I often wonder.  Everything is starting to turn green outside, and I am usually greeted by a blue sky, a decent temperature and a wonderful walk on my mountain. It is those times I spend up there that I feel most energized afterwards. 

However I have another sanctuary I go to.  Check this out…I felt an urge to go there earlier and do some more reading…

Sanctuary #2--the one I never shared before...

 

I like sitting on that rock that’s over the water too.   This is just a place where I can go to get in touch with that part of myself I thought was lost–but is just sleeping from time to  time.  It is a part of my being that has lain dormant for too long in the cell I stuck it in for its own protection.  There are springs that feed into the pond here and the lake that follows beyond the earlier shot. 

This spring flows underground before going into sanctuary #2...I think it's neat!

Some of my ancestors were Comanches who rode along trails in W. Texas.  They knew how to navigate the various lakes and streams in what most of the early settlers thought was desert land.  They would follow these trails and the water supply all the way to Northeast Texas.  The pictures I am sharing in this post were taken at Comanche Trail Park in Big Spring, TX.  Between this place and the mountain, I can always get some “me time” in.   I will go up to the mountain again when I get off of work tomorrow because I want to get a picture of that fox that is running around up there!  However, this picture will have to do as far as the company I had:

In my best "Al Pacino voice" I'm saying to myself: "Say hello to my little friends! And next time remember to bring them some freakin' food!" 😀

 

I love feeding the ducks…I just forgot the food today!  There is also another trail right across from this that leads down to another part of the spring which feeds the lake…When one stands in the middle where the spring flows across the trail, it looks like one is walking on water! 

This spot is really cool! I'm looking toward the lake here! It is on the other side of that trail where you see the tree on the right.

 

Well, I am about to head off for work again, but I’ll be in one of two places when I get off!  If not at that park above, I’ll be here:

Another mountain shot...

Anyway, have a great day!  I know I will!

Redemption

The mountain I walk on is my oasis in a desert in more ways than one. However, when I travel, I always find a new mountain. We all have to have our “sanctuary” and mine is usually outside because I stayed inside and away from people for so long. Remember that scene in “The Shawshank Redemption” where Tim Robbins is standing in the rain with his arms outstretched? That’s what happened with me when I changed my path last year, and rejoined the human race.

I had a deep seated fear of allowing myself to become involved with life in general, and was dangerously close to becoming a total recluse again. Nothing is better after spending so many years in prisons of other people’s design as a child (or of my own as an adult) than to stand outside among other people and know that there is freedom in walking among a crowd and not feeling isolated in it and forced to be there for other reasons.

Time is a precious gift–and it is best shared and not squandered.  If sharing mine makes a difference, and it is all that I can offer at the moment, then you are welcome to such as I have if we should ever meet one another. 

My current idea of "Heaven" at the moment...

Texas is a good place to consider if moving…Check it out!

How many of you loved that Superbowl commercial with the Darth Vader kid?  I certainly did!  What blew my mind was when they revealed the kid’s face!  He looks like my youngest son did when he was that age!  I’ll get a pic of my boy, Kevin, to prove it eventually on here, but his older brother was quite amazed!   Check this out!

I’m not kidding when I say this kid looks exactly like my youngest son did at that age!

Kevin also has (and always had)  a grin that is infectious!  When he was two, he went trick or treating as “The Joker” off of Batman!  He never was a very good fibber when he was  a kid either, because ever time he lied, he grinned from ear to ear!  I raised my sons in TX.  None of us have a TX accent.  This  amazes those who meet us for the first time! If you want the drawl, you need to meet my mother!  If I’m around her for a week, THEN I have it for a bit!

 
I have a picture of Kevin taken when he was about 10.  We were in Kerrville, TX walking along the river on the same land my great-grandfather once owned.  In the middle of the river, there is this gigantic, hollowed out tree!  He stood inside of it and I took a picture!  I want to go back this year and get another one of him in it now that it has been over 10 years!  I think it would be neat!
 
To anyone who is visiting Texas, I strongly recommend checking out the following places:  Kerrville, Fredricksburg, Mustang Island (if you’re a beach lover), Galveston and Port Isabel.  Aransas Pass is also great when the Annual Shrimp Festival is going on too!  I loved Corpus Christi! There is a lot to do there!  However, if looking to move elsewhere from where you are now, I recommend Marble Falls, San Saba and anywhere in the Kerrville area.  These are simply beautiful areas to live in. San Saba does not have the same amenities that Marble Falls and Kerrville do, but it is a quiet  place most of the time.  IF you hang around San Saba, you might come across actor Tommy Lee Jones as well since he owns a ranch there.   There are a few celebs who live in the Marble Falls area and in Corpus Christi also.  Given the choice, I’d go to Marble Falls.  It’s far enough away from the hurricane alley for me, but I am not opposed to checking Port Isabel out!   Here is an aerial map of it, and if you go across the Queen Isabella Highway, you are on S. Padre Island!  Just make sure that if you find any Spanish doubloons and don’t want to part with them, hide them.  Sorry TX, but I think that if they are on the beach, they are fair game.  I believe that if I were to find one or two of them, there is no harm in having them for souvenirs.  Yeah, I know, they say you’re supposed to “turn them in” but how many people do you think REALLY do that?  C’mon! Get a grip!  
 
Now if you decided to check out the DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) area, I do not recommend living there.  It’s high crime rate makes me skiddish.  Wautaga, Euless, Grand Prarie, Granbury are okay…If going to live in that particular part of the country, I feel that the areas around Weatherford are ideal.  They are close enough to DFW that you can enjoy the nightlife, and there are plenty of places to get shopping done in Weatherford so you don’t end up fighting in traffic from Hell!  Austin is wonderful too, but I hate the traffic jams and I hate the ones in Houston even more.  It took me 3 hours to go a mile and a half back to my hotel when I went to see the Goo Goo Dolls at the Woodlands in 1998.   Since I don’t deal with traffic too well, I would go into the suburbs if I were going to live there!  Houston’s crime rate is rather high also.  I am of the understanding that Galveston doesn’t have an abominable crime rate and that is why I would consider it. 
 
A word for those of you who are worried about the cost of living: TEXAS has a low-cost of living and the real estate is a hell of a lot cheaper than in CA, NY and Hawaii. Texas also has NO personal income tax and NO sales tax of groceries (food items) purchased at the market.   That is why a lot of celebrities choose to live here.  Besides the people are friendly and they love adopting the incoming “expats”!  They don’t care who you are, this place is the last “true” melting pot in the nation.  It is also cheaper to use production companies from here than in most places if you are trying to get productions staged. If you are a musician–there are plenty of reasonably priced venues to accommodate you.  There are also music labels that are independent here and you might have an easier time getting marketed.  I am not in the business because I have another path going on in my life.  I am good at finding “stuff” if you need a gopher though!  I am more than willing to “gopher this’ and “gopher that” when I have time! I enjoy that!  It may be a useless talent to some, but I view it as an opportunity to learn! 
 
Here is a link to the aerial map of Port Isabel:
Here is the one for Kerrville, too!