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These lovely flowers lined our ever so random routes in and out of dirt roads, their blooms glowing and inviting. Later in the summer, these same roads will be lined with sunflowers – one of my favorites. And we will go back, and wander some more. I sometimes think that stubborn things planted in harsh environments bloom all the more beautiful. Rather like people.

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Prairie Grasslands, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.” — James Kavanaugh

Daily gratitudes:
My trashy TV watching companion
The final tree pruning
MKL
Looking forward to the weekend
Being sleepy

My blog friend over at Half Girl Half Teacup posted today about a common concern of bloggers, best summarized by “Who’s reading this stuff anyway?” We want people to read our words. We’ve put a little piece of our soul into each post. Sometimes, we want to share some pretty deep and intense thoughts or recollections, and when moved by that spirit, we can sometimes feel stifled by the fact that our family, friends, in-laws and co-workers might be reading these words. I’ve shared some personal things about depression, family, parenthood, divorce, loss, and love. I’ve shared pain and poetry. I’ve shared some of my skeletons.

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Weld County, Colorado.

There’s more I want to share, and sometimes I hesitate. I hesitate because I fear the judgement of people who know me. If they really know me, they know that what I share, what I have experienced has helped me become who I am. We are not who we were in our pasts; we are shaped by our past experiences, and by our past choices, wise or otherwise. In blogs, we hang our skeletons on fenceposts, and let whoever drives by see, stop, ponder. That road is public – it might be our own driveway, or it might be an inaccessible trail at the back of beyond. Anyone who finds it can see those bones. As I commented on Jess’ post, there is no shame in my life, my past (remarkable and regretful as some of it is), or my thoughts – no shame in me. So there’s no reason for anyone NOT to see my words, to see those bones. If they judge in some negative fashion, that speaks about them, not about me. My bones are out there, brightening in the sun.

Quote of the day: “Every heart has its own skeletons.” —  Leo Tolstoy

Daily gratitudes:
The graphics on the 1st Bank display downtown
A stubborn cricket outside the back door
MKL
The promise of bacon
An orange glow at sunset

Cows seem to come in fifty shades of brown, or at least that’s how it appeared on this particular driving day. I do love cows, but as you may have gathered, I love all animals. In my shamanic work, I don’t have just one spirit animal, I have an entire menagerie, as confirmed by other shamans with whom I’ve worked. This posse has helped me in my ability to help animals, to do some healing, to figure out what’s wrong with them. It’s a small gift, but a precious one. That level of empathy for animals makes it impossible to see news stories on animal cruelty, and any time an animal is introduced in a film or a book, I have a faint frisson of dread at the prospect of its fate. It also makes me think long and hard about my current carnivorous habits, but I’m not ready to flip that switch (again) yet. I do MOO at cows as a courtesy when passing, and have been known to pause in my travels to serenade them.

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Weld County, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Cease, cows, life is short.” — Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Daily gratitudes:
Prairie dogs
Mad Men
My soup
Loving someone enough to miss them so much
Mr. Man starting to think inside the box again

This seat is probably hot in many ways. a) It’s in Snead’s Ferry, right on the river,  b) It’s right outside the kitchen window of this restaurant, which means the heat from the kitchen is pouring out upon the sitter, and c) it’s pleather. in the sun. We’ve all been in the hot seat from time to time, and at least this one does occasionally have a cool breeze to stir the hot hair straggling on the back of your neck in the depths of July. Looks like that beer (and the rain puddles) might have helped cool the occupant off a bit too.

The Hot Seat
Sneads Ferry, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “A man who goes into a restaurant and blatantly disrespects the servers shows a strong discontent with his own being. Deep down he knows that restaurant service is the closest thing he will ever experience to being served like a king.” — Kriss Jami

Daily gratitudes:
Feeling better
Ice water
A letter from LJRH
That I get to see my husband tomorrow
How lovely it is to say “husband”

I love the smell of line-dried laundry. It brings back so many memories. My parents never had a dryer the entire time I lived at home. But I guess I love the convenience of dryers more. In some places, that convenience is a luxury, and so we still have scenes like this.

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Wailuka, Hawaii.

Quote of the day: “Dare to be brave today, and trust that when you extend your wings, you will fly.”  —  Mary DeMuth

Daily gratitudes:
MKL
Black
A beach in sight
Island-A-Day calendar
Love and reassurance

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