birthday camping trip

With my birthday approaching, I knew how I wanted to celebrate it: getting grubby around a campfire. So the Guy + dog & I headed for the hills inland from Santa Barbara, where we found ourselves a place by a creek in the Los Padres National Forest.

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Due to recent rain, the brook was babbling ….

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… and the wildflowers were out.

Hours were spent hiking …

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… and staring at flames.

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The weather was perfect, and a good time was had by all.

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After two days, we took the high road home, scoping out possibilities for the next camping trip, which will require a 4WD. As I’ve been saying for, oh, six months now, I really do need to get myself one of them.

admiring

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Rowe and I have a little mutual admiration society going on.
She thinks I’m beautiful and smart.
I think that she’s a work of art.
And that is how we’ll still be years from now.

let me introduce you to tui

Tui shooting the treetops

That’s my girl Tui. Lying on her back, shooting the treetops, on a very fabulous day we spent together last year. (Really? was it less than a year ago? wow!)

Tui was dealt a rough hand. Life has sometime (OK, often) been a struggle for her. But throughout the pain/difficulty/suckiness, she has kept a strong flame of self-awareness. All of us could emulate her in this regard.

She also has a special gift with nature.

Tui_bird

See that? She was 4. The bird was not injured, or tame. It just decided to sit on her finger for ten minutes, then flew away.

Tui has special superhero powers. She is a spider whisperer. If you are on instagram, you should follow her (@tuisted) so you can witness for yourself.

Tui, my firstborn. Lake on a mountaintop.

new soundtrack

I’ve bought more music (and seen more live performances) in the past few weeks than I have in the past year. This artist, and this one, and today this group have found their way to my iTunes library. I’m seeking a new soundtrack. Adele’s love songs are OUT. “Nevermind I’ll find someone like you”? No thanks. Those days are done.

I still love females with unusual voices. Folksy melodies. Lyrics I can understand. A beat I can twirl to. Any suggestions for me?

Along with a new soundtrack, I’m groping around for a new ‘normal’. My life has been in flux since last October (OK, since Feb 11), and still feels in an interim stage. The foods I do and don’t eat, my exercise and meditation habits, the way I spend my leisure time, the things I’m learning — let’s just say I’m figuring out my new groove.

I’m looking for a place to start
but everything feels so different now.
Just grab a hold of my hand,
I will lead you through this wonderland.
Water up to my knees
but sharks are swimming in the sea.
Yellow Light, Of Monsters and Men

While I know this current phase is not long term, I really want to find some equilibrium now. I’m tired of being off-kilter, not-right, off-my-game. I want some daily self-care and peace.

So much of that is just a choice to change the way I think, the way I carry myself, to breathe deeply. To let my new reality unfold, without fighting it. I know that often I am my own worst enemy, and what’s the point of that?

Wasted hours, before we knew
Where to go, and what to do
Wasted hours, that you made new
And turned into
A life that we can live.
Wasted Hours, Arcade Fire

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