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A Big Thanks

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Thanks to all who liked my recent post. I am still a neophyte at this, so I don’t know how to thank you personally. I am learning and I will get better at it. My generation didn’t grow up with computers. We still used pencils, paper, dictionaries and encyclopedias. You can bet the only spell check we had was the teacher. So, we are a little challenged. But I’m pretty smart, so I can figure it out.

And speaking of joy: I taught a yoga session on opening to joy the last two days. It went so well that one of my guys whistled as he left class. The poses are meant to open the heart chakra and it seems they do a pretty good job of it. Even with the gloomy rain outside, I left class feeling pretty great. Joy, like everything else of value is found right inside you. If you’re looking for something or someone to bring you joy, you’ll be looking a long time. And if you think you’ve found it outside yourself, you’re bound to suffer disappointment.

Dogs aren’t feeling so joyful today, though. Too wet for their desert run, so they’re lying around looking sad and soulful. At the mere word, “go” they jump up and head for the door. Too bad little ones. No go today.

It’s hard for me too. My chemistry gets off when it’s gloomy out. They even have an official name for it: SAD. Seems appropriate, although grumpy is more like it. It explains why people in the Northwest drink beer and coffee so much. I lived in Poulsbo, Washington one year and nearly went nuts. If I remember right it’s the melatonin we have problems with, but don’t quote me on that.

So, I’m signing off for now to do a little inner work.

The Adventure Turns Out to be Life

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When I started this blog, I really had no idea how to do it. I just wanted to promote our art and share it with those who might appreciate it. Now, I’m reading books about blogging, and it is even harder than I expected. Everyone says to write about your passion. Unfortunately, I have many. Among them would be creating my art, reading, spirituality, cooking, nutrition, activism, grammar and fitness. That’s the short list. And it’s not just what do I write about, but how do I plug in the time to do it while actively pursuing all that stuff. I create, I write for the local paper, I’m writing a book, I teach yoga and strength training and I have a home, a husband and two dogs. Since I believe in eating close to the source, I even make my dogs’ cookies. (Not their food, though.)

I thought I was crazy busy when I was raising my kids. Little did I know. And as I age, I’m not able to do as much as quickly as I once did. Add to that the fact that time compresses as you age and you understand my conundrum. I really would like some thoughts on this one.

Meanwhile, I’ll just start writing and see what happens. I might even have to have another blog, but again, the question is, how? Well, I will need one when the book is complete. But that’s a different problem altogether.

I do think I have some wisdom to impart that was acquired while becoming human. It takes time to become a fully functioning human being. Some never get there. That’s pretty evident when you watch anything on the television. It seems the world is going to hell in a hand basket–and if you know what that means, you know my age. But, my heart tells me there is more good in the human race than bad. We just have to look for it. I see it every day on the faces of my people in class. I see it in the posts of ordinary people on Facebook. I watch as ordinary humans help one another make it through this life a little more easily. Just look a little more closely and you’ll see it too.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have to be vigilant. Greedy opportunists are busily raping the planet until I fear for future generations. And outspoken activists are busily trying to undo the damage. Let’s hope we have time. It begins with us. I guess that’s the message I want to send out there. It begins with you. You were born into a free-will universe. You make the choices that determine your path. You have to stand up and be counted if you want to change anything. What do you stand for? What do you believe is important? How can you help? Can you speak up? Can you sign petitions? Can you donate? Can you actively help your fellow humans? Of course you can. You get to choose. You always get to choose. And that’s the adventure you came here to experience. Life. Wonderful, joyous, beautiful, full, voluptuous, exciting, interesting life.

Never forget that it’s short–make the most of it. Don’t fill your life with regrets. Get out there and enjoy it. Find joy in it. Joy is hiding in plain sight around every turn in the road. Be grateful for that joy. Do other animals experience it? Maybe more then we do. I know my dogs experience it. I see it every time we take them for a run in the desert. I believe it’s one of the things they live for. That and food.

Maybe that’s the answer. I can write about joy!

Adventures With Grandkids

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I promised I’d write a post about the visit of the ankle biters. Well, one of them is a little older than that, but still young. They are both males, but with really different personalities. That’s how it goes with kids.

The youngest had never met us, but that didn’t seem to be a problem as long as we acted like loving humans, which how could you not do? They were lots of fun, but I’d quite forgotten what young ones were like to entertain. We gave them art stuff and took them on adventures and everything worked out fine. I now have pictures on my fridge done by both of them. Now, that’s art.niles family

So, we loaded up food and the two dogs and the boys and headed out! Dogs can be more unmanageable than boys, but they really were quite good on this trip. I worried about all of them getting too close to the cliffs, though.

I am including a photo of this adventure: the Devil’s Fire, or as some call it, Little Finland. By either name it is totally awesome. The trek to it is a bit daunting, but neither of the boys had to be carried. As we approached the hills, the boys (Finn and Jude) noticed white staining on the rocks, so I taught them how to lick rocks (I’m not too sure mom appreciated that) to tell what it is. In this case it was alkali or salt. They got quite a kick out of licking rocks! Me too, for that matter. The desert is full of alkali areas, so they can lick rocks to their heart’s content.

We climbed to the top where the really special stuff is and right-away showed them petroglyphs on the very rock they walked upon. These glyphs are probably as much as 10,000 years old. I can’t even imagine that span of time. And to think humans were here then is awe inspiring.

I look for special rocks and twigs whenever we are out as I use them in my art. We found Moki marbles for the boys–round bits of sandstone rock. I have many of those, as well as chert and round rocks and just rocks I love. That would be most rocks. I figure we have about 50 ton of rock on our property, and aside from the landscape rock, we’ve carried it all in–from little to large. Needless to say, they had rocks in their pockets when we got home too!

It was great to have them here, and it seems they liked it to! Now we look forward to the next great adventure with them.