Making America great again?

With only a few weeks left in Nicaragua we finally broke away from Esteli. After the long goodbyes we missed the small van to Leon and spent 4 hours waiting at the bus station. While there we met several international travelers, first a couple from Germany whom are traveling through Central America for three months starting in the south In Panama and working their way north to Guatemala. Ironically, the husband sprained the same leg as Uriah a few days before they left for the trip. They received excellent medical attention in Panama for a mere $200 and he has healed well. Also waiting was a young Frenchman that we didn’t speak to much and the Brits that Uriah already wrote about. Despite the growing horrible reputation the US is gaining around the world, people have been very friendly and kind to us. We can’t be sure if this is due only to people feeling sorry for Uriah. The Brits learning we had no room reservations anywhere in Leon offered to share their cab to their hotel to see if they might have room there since the bus to the beach stopped running before we arrived. We graciously accepted and though we didn’t get a private room, the beds were comfortable, the dorm was actually quiet and we enjoyed a nice dinner out with our new friends. The $10/ night bed also included individually prepared breakfast in the morning. During our morning coffee we met some more travelers, particularly a couple with a small child. The husband was from France and the wife from Italy. He had been in the oil business and she a humanitarian. She relayed many stories, but the one that really shocked and disturbed me was her recent experience trying to fly to Nicaragua. Her flight had a two hour layover connecting flight in Atlanta. Since one of her work assignments had been in Iraq many years ago, she was being required to pay extraordinarily high additional fees to obtain some type of background check and obtain a special visa. In the end they either denied her or she gave up with the hassle and had to re- arrange her flight through Mexico. For our safety? She was a humanitarian for godsake. She wasn’t even going to leave the airport. Although she was pretty disgusted with the US, they ended up giving us a ride to the bus stop. As soon as we got dropped off, I left Uriah on the sidewalk to inquire about which bus to take. I hadn’t even walked a few steps when a Nicaraguan man asked if we needed help. I asked if he knew which bus to the beach. He didn’t know but told me to wait, got on the bus to ask and came back with the info where, when and even how much the bus was. I’m so grateful for all the angels watching over us. Once on the bus, we met a young couple from Canada, we shared stories and information about places to visit and they gave us the low-down about the beach area, buses and potential places to stay. Fortunately, I had taken the Brits advice that morning and booked a room somewhere. This saved us from walking up and down looking for a place with all our luggage, not to mention that many places on the beach fill up fast. The room we ended up in wasn’t that great, but we were thrilled to finally be at he beach. The next morning we met another Canadian, he just bought property near here and is fixing it up for his future retirement home. He also relayed many stories but the one he was most animated about was his recent trip back to Nicaragua. He’s flown back and forth for years but on this flight connecting though Houston, TSA pulled him into a room to interrogate him. Apparently he had a drug charge over 5 years ago which he had paid his penalty. After detaining him for quite some time they denied his entry into the US, even though it was just a connecting flight mind you. He missed his flight and had to rearrange the flight at great expense and hassle. He was furious. So I ask, is this how we make America great by isolating and alienating others? I think not!

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As I experienced my first morning Sadhana on the beach, hearing the waves crash, feeling the ocean breezes, watching the brilliance of stars fade as the light began to illuminate the birds soaring over the exquisite ocean waves everything melted into a moment of pure ecstasy and love. The contrast between the perfection of nature and the ignorance of mankind is dramatic. Is there hope for us to merge and become one? It doesn’t seem likely but I will continue to imagine the possibility.

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Making America great again?

With only a few weeks left in Nicaragua we finally broke away from Esteli. After the long goodbyes we missed the small van to Leon and spent 4 hours waiting at the bus station. While there we met several international travelers, first a couple from Germany whom are traveling through Central America for three months starting in the south In Panama and working their way north to Guatemala. Ironically, the husband sprained the same leg as Uriah a few days before they left for the trip. They received excellent medical attention in Panama for a mere $200 and he has healed well. Also waiting was a young Frenchman that we didn’t speak to much and the Brits that Uriah already wrote about. Despite the growing horrible reputation the US is gaining around the world, people have been very friendly and kind to us. We can’t be sure if this is due only to people feeling sorry for Uriah. The Brits learning we had no room reservations anywhere in Leon offered to share their cab to their hotel to see if they might have room there since the bus to the beach stopped running before we arrived. We graciously accepted and though we didn’t get a private room, the beds were comfortable, the dorm was actually quiet and we enjoyed a nice dinner out with our new friends. The $10/ night bed also included individually prepared breakfast in the morning. During our morning coffee we met some more travelers, particularly a couple with a small child. The husband was from France and the wife from Italy. He had been in the oil business and she a humanitarian. She relayed many stories, but the one that really shocked and disturbed me was her recent experience trying to fly to Nicaragua. Her flight had a two hour layover connecting flight in Atlanta. Since one of her work assignments had been in Iraq many years ago, she was being required to pay extraordinarily high additional fees to obtain some type of background check and obtain a special visa. In the end they either denied her or she gave up with the hassle and had to re- arrange her flight through Mexico. For our safety? She was a humanitarian for godsake. She wasn’t even going to leave the airport. Although she was pretty disgusted with the US, they ended up giving us a ride to the bus stop. As soon as we got dropped off, I left Uriah on the sidewalk to inquire about which bus to take. I hadn’t even walked a few steps when a Nicaraguan man asked if we needed help. I asked if he knew which bus to the beach. He didn’t know but told me to wait, got on the bus to ask and came back with the info where, when and even how much the bus was. I’m so grateful for all the angels watching over us. Once on the bus, we met a young couple from Canada, we shared stories and information about places to visit and they gave us the low-down about the beach area, buses and potential places to stay. Fortunately, I had taken the Brits advice that morning and booked a room somewhere. This saved us from walking up and down looking for a place with all our luggage, not to mention that many places on the beach fill up fast. The room we ended up in wasn’t that great, but we were thrilled to finally be at he beach. The next morning we met another Canadian, he just bought property near here and is fixing it up for his future retirement home. He also relayed many stories but the one he was most animated about was his recent trip back to Nicaragua. He’s flown back and forth for years but on this flight connecting though Houston, TSA pulled him into a room to interrogate him. Apparently he had a drug charge over 5 years ago which he had paid his penalty. After detaining him for quite some time they denied his entry into the US, even though it was just a connecting flight mind you. He missed his flight and had to rearrange the flight at great expense and hassle. He was furious. So I ask, is this how we make America great by isolating and alienating others? I think not!

IMG_1897
As I experienced my first morning Sadhana on the beach, hearing the waves crash, feeling the ocean breezes, watching the brilliance of stars fade as the light began to illuminate the birds soaring over the exquisite ocean waves everything melted into a moment of pure ecstasy and love. The contrast between the perfection of nature and the ignorance of mankind is dramatic. Is there hope for us to merge and become one? It doesn’t seem likely but I will continue to imagine the possibility.

Finding Beauty, Joy & Pleasure

Finding beauty, joy & pleasure in every thing is my intention for 2018.

As the new year began I was absorbed in getting ready for our two month adventure to Nicaragua, a step into the unknown. A few days before we left I had a relapse of Vertigo, a very ungrounding experience. I’d only had it one other time in my life, seven years ago and wasn’t sure if traveling to another country in this condition was a good idea. Time was running out to make the decision to go or cancel the trip. I did the best i could to self remedy the issue and proceeded with getting ready. With all of this and dealing with the transition of living in completely new and different environment i hadn’t even thought about my intention for the year. Instead I’ve been focusing on riding the waves of trust & surrender to move through the fear and discomfort I’d been experiencing on and off.

During our first three weeks in Nicaragua we settled into a simple life in Estali, a fairly large city in the northern region of the country. The upside of being here is that it is a bit cooler and we’ve had the opportunity to assimilate to this country by living with a family, In what you would call a “home-stay”experience.

The downside of living in a large city is the intrusion to the senses. When you practice a lot of yoga, you become even more sensitive to sensations and the environment around you. My comfort zone of peace, quite and fresh air seems a million miles away. There is a constant stream of sounds that infiltrate every space. Everything from neighbors loud speakers booming latin beats, the cars with massive speakers on the hood announcing some product to buy or upcoming event, taxis & motorcycles honking, engines rumbling, roosters crowing, dogs barking neighbors talking, and Carlito crying or screaming for hours at a time is the daily norm. In addition to the noises, the smells have been particularly noticeable. As I mentioned in my first blog, one of the first things I noticed upon entering the country was a thick smokey pungent smell in the air. Though Managua was noticeably worse pollution wise, my nose is still bombarded regularly with this vile smell.  It seemed like the excessive smoke was from burning trash but Martha and Heyling assure me they do have a landfill or at least I think that’s what they said, and they pick up trash once week.  Where it actually goes remains a mystery, due to communication issues. Still I smell smoke several times a day and it’s not the pleasant smell of grilled meat. The neighbors apparently cook on a fire every day and I’m certain they burn plastic along with wood, because it’s the kind of burning smell that screams of toxicity. I’ve also seen large burning fields when we’ve hiked above the city. It’s  been confirmed by an english speaking friend of Heylings, that most people burn their trash.  Then there’s the smell of emissions from all the vehicles. Though many people walk, bike and ride horses, there is the usual city traffic but without the emission protections required in the US. One of the many regulations my husband is against and I am grateful for. The final disturbance to my senses is seeing excessive trash strone everywhere!! Along the streets, rivers & nearly every nook and cranny is trash. Though the small towns have waste baskets and I’ve seen signs telling people “no botemos basura” Don’t litter, it’s pretty much universally everywhere in Nicaragua. The cities, small towns and even in the remote mountain trails. I’ve actually watched people young and old simply throw their wrappers on the ground without a second thought.  The prolific use of plastic to this earth lovin’ momma is atrocious, even plastics bags are sold in plastic! Everything sold from a donut, piece of chicken, hunk of cheese are all sold in a plastic bags which of course end up as trash on the ground.

So let’s get back to my New Years intention. All this habitual noticing things that are displeasing to my senses have distracted me from the intention. It wasn’t until one afternoon after our usual morning routine we decided to take another walk to the east. We headed up the road that Uriah thought would take us to Jinotega, when he was still considering walking there over the mountains. Once we entered new territory heading up the hill, we began to see larger than normal amounts of trash. Apparently people were using this road as a dump, and by the smell this likely included dead carcasses. The smell was putrid, yet it was a pretty nice day out and we were happy to be walking and getting out of the house for a bit. It was on the way back when spirit sent me a message. I was gazing at all the trash and a dead skunk when all of sudden I see a heart shaped rock in front of me admits all this trash. There it was in plain sight to remind me, thank you spirit!

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I’m grateful for this little reminder and all the moments in natures glory that help me to see how beauty can be found anywhere even amongst the trash. I can see it in the faces of the people, in the painted murals everywhere. And of course there is Mr. O by my side, always trying to make sure I’m okay, giving me a smile, cracking one of his usual jokes.  I’m truly blessed.

Since writing this blog, a week or so ago we had an incident. If your not following my husbands blogs, the short of it is that we finally left Estali to head out on the motorcycle to experience the last month driving all over the country and exploring the many beautiful locations this country has to offer. Unfortunately on our second day out, we tried to take a less traveled back road to short cut to the next town rather than backtracking to the highway. We accidentally took the wrong road and found ourselves in a very dangerous predicament which we survived but caused my husband to brake his ankle. IMG_1350

This was by far my most trying experience thus far. I honestly didn’t know if I had it in me to do what i needed to do to get out. It required helping push the motorcycle out of a spinning rut in the dirt on a 60 degree grade road, carrying my and his backpacks back up an extremely steep road! Since we were in the mountains and yes it was beautiful, I tried to concentrate on this and my mantras to give me strength. Spirit sent us an angle, a Nicaraguan man whom appeared out of nowhere when the motorcycle feel on my husband and he heard & felt the click of his leg braking and yelled out. I threw down our bags and tried to run to help him, but I was slow on that steep sloop and by the time i could see him, I saw the man helping, so I went back to get the backpacks. As I have a spine injury, just carrying  my own backpack was a struggle, adding his was nearly impossible but i kept moving. Once Uriah and the man navigated the motorcycle up the steep dirt road, he offered to pay our angle to come back down and help me carry up his backpack.  We made it out and spent the night in the highest town in Nicaragua. Did I find joy in this experience? No, just relief that we made it out alive and appreciation for those sweet souls that helped us.

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(the proprietor of the place we stayed whom gave us a ride back down to a lower elevation town, about half way to Estali.)

We are now safely back in Estali. Uriah’s leg is broken, he now has a cast and needs to rest for the next three weeks, nearly the rest of our vacation.

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(Francis, Martha’s sister that helped Uriah get medical attention promptly)

Although i had surrendered to this fact with peace, I began feeling some other emotions bubbling up under the surface. I won’t go into detail here, but let’s just say I hit an all time low Sunday evening. After expressing those feelings to a friend, and picking myself back up with my yoga practice, a shower and some determination, over the past few days I have been receiving many insightful blessings about myself interacting with others, and our human predicament.

Beauty, joy and pleasure can be experienced in many ways! It doesn’t always show up in a fancy package or an ecstatic feeling. It can be as simple as the satisfaction that you feel trying to communicate, accept and share with another human being with totally different ideas & ways of being in the world. It can be as simple as finding a heart shape rock in the dirt, a rainbow in the sky,

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and asking a stranger how to say rainbow in Spanish “arco iris”, a bird landing on the clothes line, discovering painted murals around town, Murals of Nicaragua, sharing a meal with your new family, tending to your injured loved one, calling a friend or family member to tell them you love them, and on and on… You just need to be open to listen, see and feel these blessings in your heart. I’m grateful for this intention for 2018, I know it won’t always be easy to remember in difficult times, pero yo estoy feliz!

Managua to Estali_1/11-12

As we flew into Managua at night, I could see the immense sprawl of city lights. In the center were brightly colored lights of red, blue, yellow and green. I wondered if this was left over from Christmas or if they were a permanent fixture in the city. I’m not sure the size of they city, but it looks highly populated. Not surprising as it is the Capital.

Our entry into the country was flawless. We moved through customs very quickly and simply walked across the street to the Best Western hotel. Since we had such a long trip and arrived so late, Uriah sprung for this more expensive and nice hotel that Carlos recommended. This will likely be the one and only time to enjoy such creature comforts that most of us Americans take for granted. We luxuriated till the last moment, check out time 12 noon the next day!


We took a cab to the bus station where we intended to take a bus to Estili. The taxi drivers at the hotel charged $9 for the ride, Uriah haggled with a taxi driver on the road for $7. My husband always the frugile spender. One of the things I appreciate for this is how we are able to travel in the winter. There are many buses to many places, by which is how most people travel here. Some buses are express and some stop at every little town. Estali is about two hours north east of Managua on the express bus, I have no idea how long it would have taken on the other bus perhaps 4-5 hours. With God’s grace, as we walked toward the ticket counter, the bus driver looked at us and said express bus to Estali and tried to take my bag. I have no idea how he could have known that is where we wanted to go and I was amazed how quickly and simply it all happened. Before we knew it, we were sitting on the express bus ready to go. 


Behind us in line for the ticket and next to Uriah on the bus was a young woman from Austria. She was traveling alone. She had already traveled to Cuba and was heading to Costa Rica next. I didn’t get many details as they were behind me. I was sandwiched between a young man on the seat to the left and two other men sitting in the isle of the bus on little plastic stools. Being seated between these men made it more difficult to look out the window, but I did my best.
In Managua, the city looked crowded, dirty and very poor. The streets were filled with cars, trucks, buses, motorcycle taxis-consisting of a wooden seat attached to the front of the motorcycle, and horse drawn carts. All the houses and stores are pretty much the same concrete blocks and or bricks with a tin roof. Each small store primarily sold separate items from shoes, tortillas to auto parts. There may be and likely are some parts of the city that are nicer and more beautiful but we didn’t see any in our short stay.
As Uriah had told me before we came, there was much trash along the roads. However what was/is even more disturbing to me is the constant smell of smoke which I believe is from people burning their trash. Even when we were at the hotel I could smell it. At first I thought is was a forest fire or just car pollution, but it’s everywhere. I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I actually preferred the smell of chlorine at the hotel pool over the constant smell of burning trash. I can’t imagine how people with asthma could deal with this. Nobody else seems to notice or be troubled by it but me. When we got out of the city and I started to see larger expanses of land, trees and green I immediately felt better. I started to even breath easier. However, every once in a while I would smell it again. A big swafting smell of something burning. Somthing I guess I will just have to get used to.
I didn’t try to talk to anyone on the bus, but I notice that I am now constantly thinking in Spanish. When I have a curiosity about something, I practice how I would ask in Spanish. Unfortunately when I do begin to speak, even though I think I know what to say, I get a confused look on the receivers face. I know that I have the correct words, so perhaps my pronunciation is way off.
It was very hot and humid in Managua and on the bus, so I was relieved to be going to Estali. It is a smaller city and in the mountains so it will be much cooler there. We arrived at about 3pm and asked a man to borrow his phone to call Martha, Carlos’s wife. We are renting a room and living with her and her two children Heyling (19yrs) and Carlito (2 yrs.) for the first part of our journey.
As we waited, Uriah went to buy an apple and I sat down next to an old women with some open seats for Uriah. As soon as I sat down, three young men whom looked like they were up to no good sat down surrounding me. There was something about the way they looked at each other and then me that seemed like they were targeting me. I said good afternoon and left. Now I want to make something clear and especially after I read Uriahs post this morning. My expressing thoughts and feelings of fear on my previous blogs is not about an unreasonable paranoia. I think my fear is similar to many people. I simply was expressing my inner process as I am a person whom is always trying to push myself to grow and expand. So although my intuition was telling me the boys were up to no good, I did not in fact feel afraid. I simply was aware.


After about 30 minutes or so Martha arrived. She doesn’t drive, so her neighbor and Carlitos God father, Alberto drove Carlos’s truck. We exchanged hugs and greetings and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening becoming acquainted with limited communication skills. The girls want to learn English and we want to learn Spanish, so with the help of our translator tools and our limited knowledge, we had a good time in our attempts. A note about translator tools. Just because the tool gives you a translation, doesn’t mean it’s the correct one. The online Spanishdict.com seems to be the most reliable. The Google translate App on my phone is fine for single words but sentences are problematic.
More about Estali later, time to go ex

Snowbirds fly to Nicaragua!

As usual about a week or so before we left for our two month journey, I began feeling that all too familiar old tag along … ‘fear’. The idea of traveling on a budget to a third world country old style winging it, with what ever you can carry on, sleeping in airports just doesn’t seem as fun as in my youth. However, since I only started traveling when I turned 40 yrs and I do enjoy exploring new places, escaping the cold and am blessed to have the opportunity, I choose to move through it.

It didn’t help the situation when two days before we left I got vertigo. I’ve only had it once before exactly 7 years ago. It was hard to imagine having this extra challenge and Uriah offered that we could cancel if I wanted. I decided to just stay the course and do the best I can to get rid of it or deal with it. After several attempts of the apey maneuver, using pressure points & essential oils, I thankfully seemed to have rid it on the long journey from Hot Springs to Managua, NI.   

The long journey consisted of 1 hour car ride, 4 flights and 30 hours to get to the country. Once there we still will need to take a 5-6 hour bus ride to Esteli our first destination. During our long journey, I have had plenty of time to reflect. Also catch up on some reading and webinars. After listening to a IKTYA recent webinar titled, “Emotional Liberation” with GuruMeher, I meditated on my most common emotion, fear. My mother’s favorite mantra is “Fear is your Friend”. Sorry mom but I’m not buying it anymore. This doesn’t mean I’m going to start acting crazy and taking all kinds of risk. I’m still me, very cautious and thoughtful. It means I’m ready to say good bye to that habitual emotion that comes up automatically over and over again. Mostly, unnecessarily. It is a well proven scientific fact that fear causes stress and secretions of adrenaline and other hormones. I am sure this puts a lot of wear and tear on my body and organs and I’m ready to release this pattern! I wonder how much more pleasure and joy I can experience without this sidekick. That’s the Spirit word I choose this year. Finding Joy and Pleasure in everything.

When I meditated deeper with my fear, I realized that I must be afraid of death. I never thought I was afraid to die, but I guess when you stripe away all the layers this must be the root cause of all fear? A good inquiry for my two month retreat. I intend to let go of my over active fear and find the joy and pleasure as each new day and experiences that unfold!

2.9.2017_CC2017/Life along the Border

I’ve contemplated why I haven’t had the urge to blog as much as in the past. Certainly there are some practical factors that have inhibited me such as extra time needed taking care of the animals, studying Conscious Communication and my daily sadhana. Also the fact that I cannot use my computer unless I am plugged into an electric outlet has been a deterrent. However after more consideration I realized that my past blogs were mostly dealing with fears associated with traveling with Uriah. It is true that I am feeling less fearful and thus less need to process my fears through writing. Now the question I proposed to myself and Uriah… Is that because
a) I am used to traveling with Uriah and his risky ways, b) Uriah has changed his behavior becoming less risky in order to make me feel safe, or c) I have transformed and am less fearful? Uriah says “c” without hesitation, but I think it is a little of all three. Truth be known, we really haven’t done as many risky things as usual. The one time when we took that very rough 4- wheel drive road back to the Gillard Hot Springs was the only time that I felt unsafe. And I’ll have to say, I did feel pretty calm, so I have changed some and I do trust my husband more. It’s interested to note in his blog that he admits to also feeling some fear in the situation, which is rare. You know if Uriah was afraid that it was a very bad situation! Thank God and Grace that we are still alive and unharmed.

Since we left Lori and John in Green Valley (my last blog) we have been traveling primarily along the southern border of the US. Since the 1st of February the weather has finally warmed whereas we are not waking up to frost every morning. And we have even been in shorts a few times! It is making the trip much more pleasant. We have been camping in and around a series of what they call “Sky Islands”, beautiful mountain ranges that have pushed up and are surrounded by desert. The Chiricahua’s being among our favorites. Living near the border some common experiences you will have are…low flying helicopters, signage warning you about illegal immigrants and drug trafficking, border patrol cars about every 100 feet and lastly something we were unaware of.. Military Surveillance Blimps. These 72 foot long unmanned tethered aircraft have photographic equipment, infrared sensors and other equipment that allows them to watch the ground from 2000 feet. At first glimpse I thought it was a UFO, but some locals hiking by told us they have been there for many years. Most people we talk with that live near the border feel that a wall is unnecessary and unproductive. Everyone knows that building another wall will not keep immigrants out and only worse relations. To date, there has only been one former prison guard who is for the wall.

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I’ll have to admit that living on the road less tied to the media has been a relief. Every time I talk to my mom or friends they are very worked up and upset. And though I understand and also agree that our new president is NOT making good choices and it is important to be informed and let our voices be heard, I also feel that being less connected to media helps one to remain more neutral and calm. We still check in and read what is going on, and I do still respond to requests to contact my legislators (though I doubt it will make any impact since all of the South Dakota representatives are in agreement with Trump.) It is equally important to keep a neutral mind and open heart. If we get caught in a “us against them” mentality we have already lost the battle. This is the time to come together and move beyond the duality if we are to find true lasting peace.

This is my prayer and commitment. For me, I will continue to try to spread “Love and Peace” wherever I am. Be it though giving my time and attention to people I meet, keeping up with my practice so that I can project light-filled radiance, creating the word “love” out of found objects and randomly leaving them. (see my “Love” album on my facebook page) and now I have one more new fun activity. Since we were taking the animals and I knew we were going to be cramped, so I did not take my weaving materials. Instead I decided to buy a lovely adult coloring book with markers and colored pencils. I’ve enjoyed this activity a few times and decided once completed to either give them directly to someone or also to leave up randomly (in a place where they will not become trash). Here is my latest, each one will bear this message “In the spirit of spreading Peace, Love and Beauty…Enjoy or pass it on. ~Change For Peace~. So eventhough I am not In Hot Springs to join our monthly “Change for Peace” group, I have found another way to practicing this from the road.

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May we each find our own way to accept what is and act from our hearts what we feel is the most loving, peaceful and productive way to create the life we want for ourselves, all beings and future generations. Sat Nam

1.26.2017: CC2017_The Paradox

1.9.17_CC2017/Animal Chronicles

At this point in our journey just over 2 weeks, we are beginning to get in a rhythm. A new rhythm traveling with animals & we call it the “Casita Shuffle”. More about that in another blog. There actually have been many topics to blog about during the drive from Colorado to Phoneix, Salt River Canyon being the highlight. However, we were on a pretty rigid schedule trying to get to Scottsdale in time for me to make a Kundalini Yoga Level 2 training so there was not enough free time for me to do so. 
I am happy to report that we made it in perfect timing thanks to my beloved, HPD or Uriah the Dakotan! He got me there the day before it began just as I asked so that we had time to orient ourselves & find a place to park our Casita before the training started. All seemed to flow perfectly and how amazing despite the fact that we were obviously In a very affulent neighborhood. As the owner of the yoga studio had mentioned on the phone prior to our arrival, the Centennial Marketplace, which is the shopping plaza where the yoga studio is located is fairly low key. We were told by her and the owner of the massage studio next door that the owner of the plaza rarely comes by. We found a perfect spot behind the building where there was no traffic outlet. There were rarely any cars that parked there and we were blessed to have some gravel and trees behind us, perfect for the animals. Next as suggested by someone, we talked to the fitness center that we were parked by to see if we could pay them to use their facility over the weekend to take showers and they said yes! So everything was all set, we even had internet access from both the fitness studio and the yoga studio if we wanted to go sit in the lobby at any time.


It was so easy and low-key, even Uriah seems happy in the middle of this affulent concrete jungle, something he normally abhors. The only challenging part for me has been allowing the animals (particularly the cat) to roam about. I could imagine once we got settled into a natural place that we were going to be for a while to let him out of the camper. However, In a parking lot with cars was another matter. The idea made me very uncomfortable as I worried that he may get hit by a car or wander too far. Uriah being the freedom lover that he is cannot accept any living being being caged up or maybe it is because he thinks the cat and the cat box smells. He insisted that the cat would be ok and should be let out. So I let go of my fear and allowed this to happen. When I could, I would watch him carefully and other times I surrendered. So far so good. I hope this will continue to be my report in these circumstances! The cat does seem very happy to be allowed to stretch and roam a bit. And funny how animals can always find a little grass to nibble on, to help them digest their food.
I can’t even begin to express how happy I am to not only be in a kundalini yoga sangat (spiritual community) but to be embarking on this level 2 training finally! I’m one of these people that is slow and steady. Now that I am teaching more regularly and am the only person in South Dakota teaching Kundalini Yoga, having this type of support has become invaluable to me.


This first weekend now complete and there is so much to integrate. I always considered myself a very good communicator, but now realize that I am far from being a conscious communicator. Even with my best intentions, I realize like most of us, I have gossiped, lied, manipulated and unconsiously created negativity. So for any person whom I have hurt, I ask you to forgive me. I value, strive & commit to spread peace, love and upliftmeant. I am grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow. I know that it takes a lot of practice to create new habits after a lifetime of negative habits, so bear with me. I invite you to call me out on any communication that does not feel right in anyway. Blessings & Sat Nam

1.2.2017_CC2017/Animal Chronicles

We had a great New Years Eve babysitting our grandchildren Blake and Jaxson. It was non-stop fun, fun, fun! They grow so quick that we love every opportunity we can to play with them. Since Caleb & Jami are the farthest south, we saved visiting with them last. It was a short and mostly sweet visit,except for a small incident Uriah had with the neighbor (refer to his blog for details) as I’m sure he will write about it.


New Year’s Day we set off South once more. We had one more visiting stop in Colorado Springs with Chris & John Orsborn. Since there were no coffee shops open Chris suggested meeting at the Bear Creek Dog Park. It was a relatively sunny day and this seemed like a perfect plan to get Kiowa out before a long drive. It was great seeing Chris as it had probably been a couple years. Chris is one of my old YMCA pals and a former roommate in Boulder pre-Josh, so you know we have been friends for a long time. The dog park was truly amazing!! I thought we went to Doggy Heaven but luckily no one died to get there! The ten acres of fully fenced park had many trails, bathrooms, a doggie obstacle course, a stream and an area enclosed for small dogs only. The entire park the dogs are allowed to be off lease. Since everything was closed on New Year’s day, it was pretty busy. In the hour we walked around and passed hundreds of people with dogs, NOT ONE incident occurred. The dogs greeted each other with a but sniff as we do with a smile. What a major difference when you have to keep your dog on a lease and they bark and pull. It made me wonder if Uriah has been right all these years. The less rules and regulations maybe everyone would get along better? I think we should create a law that every city with lease laws should provide a park just like this. Now that would be more fair!


Not sure how many miles we covered after we left but it was clear we weren’t going to make it to Ft. Union by dark so instead Mr. O pulled over at a place we had camped before, the Ludlow Massacre site. I know it sounds kind of morbid to camp at a place like this, but it is actually perfect. It’s not far off the highway, free, quite & no people around. There was still some sunlight left so we did our yoga practice while the cat and the dog roamed around and stretched their legs. It was all so perfect until Kiowa ran into some cactus. I tried to help him wth my tweezers, but he refused to let me help. I resorted to what I do best, make a nice dinner then we went to bed early. Maybe a bit too early, like before 8pm. We seem to be having battery issues and the heater stopped working completely. It was a very cold night so needless to say it was another puppy/kitty pile on the bed. Fortunately we all survived the night & hopefully Mr. O will figure out why the battery is not recharging or holding a charge.

CC 2017_Holiday Visiting

2017-new-years-collage

There’s no better way to start an adventure then spending a week over the holidays visiting family, friends and our old homestead in Colorado. You just never know what awaits us on the journey of the unknown, so stopping in to reconnect is a very comforting feeling. The only hard part is not getting to visit with all our friends and do all the things we enjoy. Having animals to deal with and only one vehicle makes our visiting more limited. I hope my Boulder area friends reading this that I did not visit understand that it is not a lack of love but just practicality.

We usually stay with Uriahs brother Larry in Longmont, but as he was out of town visiting Lori Sue, we took Sue & Woody’s offer to stay or camp in front of their house in Louisville. It was easy, comfortable and fun to base camp there. Though we had discussed moving our camper each night to stay with different friends and did have many offers, in the end it is much easier to stay in one spot for a bit than hooking and unhooking each night.

When we first started traveling four years ago in our little Casita, people would be amazed how two adults could comfortably live together in less than 100sq ft, but actually it was fine. However now that we’ve added a dog and cat to the equation it’s a totally different story! Don’t get me wrong I love my animals and it’s a joy to have their soft & cute companionship along. However there are many disadvantages as well. For one there is a lot of shuffling of stuff. That always was part of the routine, but now there is even more stuff and the camper will never been clean and tidy like I prefer to keep it. Secondly there is no safe place to keep the cat food where Kiowa can’t get it. So now Odysseus has to be rationed and supervised eating. On a good note however, now that we are all always in the same room he doesn’t meow as much (to be pet while he eats). The #1 biggest problem to date is our sleeping arrangements. At home both animals are allowed on the bed. Sometimes they sleep with us and sometimes not, the are free choose. On our queen size bed there is still plenty of room for everyone to move, stretch and be comfortable. In the Casita however, our bed is only a full so when they join us in bed (which has been nightly!!!) Kiowa in particular takes up about 1/3 of the bed. Most nights he chooses to sleep on my side forcing my movement to be limited to staying curled up in one fetal position all night. This has not been good for my L4 spondylolisthesis. Every night we have been trying to get him to sleep on his new bed on the floor. He starts out there but then soon gets back on the bed. I finally figured out it was because he was cold so now we put an extra blanket under his bed and moved his bed away from the door, it worked pretty good as he stayed down there till 4am! When he did get up he actually slept on the other side of Uriah so I got to sleep the whole night with legs outstretched! Hallelujah.

Well this is it, the last day of the year and our last day in Colorado. Then to warmth and glory!~~

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