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Thoughts & Travels

When you neglect anything for a while, it’s hard to get back to it. Practice, practice daily and it works better. So here I am…showing up on the page. I love to write, but I’ve been so down on my ability to do anything. At the last meditation retreat I did in Maui, after fifteen years, I figured out the reason I keep at zen practice. Believe me, it’s not an easy one in any way. That was a good thing.

I’ve been reading a lot. Well, actually, I’ve been listening to books a lot. I almost gave up reading because I had such difficulty concentrating. I still do, but listening to audio books has made it easier. The experience is definitely different. I listened to Pico Iyer’s The Lady and the Monk. Mostly I enjoyed going through Kyoto with him. After that, I had to get the book because reading the words makes the images more vivid for me. I just finished Lit by Mary Karr which is well written. I found it hard to get through some of the bad stuff she experienced, but the insights were wonderful. Now I’m listening to Michael Pollan’s A Place of My Own. He narrates it as did Mary Karr and Patti Smith and I love listening to the author read their own work. Ted Kooser reading his memoir, Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps, was one of my favorites. I know, my choice of reading material is all over the place. Anyway, being in touch with the books made me want to practice writing again. So here I am.

Another practice, I’m trying my hand at is drawing and painting. I’ll try anything. I want to try my hand at another form of art practice. Lots of stuff I want to do. I have a humongous collection of art supplies so there is absolutely no reason to procrastinate on this one. I even have images in my head…food, ohia trees and other native Hawaiian plants, dogs and just beautiful things in general. I listened to an interview on Public Radio where the interviewee’s goal in creating work was to give people a reason to be optimistic. It was on Serious Eats and they interviewed Phil Rosenthal. I thought that that was an fantastic goal to have given the current news climate…a perfect goal for me to have whether I write, draw or cook. Looking for the good things is the way I want to spend my life.

My best friend died last year. I still think I can just call or write her about something she would like or think was funny every day. Channeling those thoughts into art would be a way to express those things. She encouraged my writing and watercolor all the time.

So Carolyn…this is for you. I miss you every day.

Believe it or not, a lot of progress has been made in the last week. The construction tent is gone and we can use our garage. The wall in front of the house is complete and the work table is gone. Now we have a blank canvas to work with.

The Meyer lemon buds are blossoming and smell divine! Fern shoots in different stages are unfolding. During the week, I was in Maui so I missed the first magnolia bloom, BUT this one:

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I’m publishing this on my blog so that I can provide a link to this on Twitter. I feel powerless to do anything against the largest airline in the world. They simply don’t give a shit about their customers.

From American Airlines after they destroyed our printer. We were charged for additional bags on the second leg when we had to overnight because their flight schedule could not accommodate us on the same day. What do you think?

“Thank you for contacting us. We appreciate hearing your perspective about our checked baggage policy.

When a customer has an overnight stopover, the baggage fee will be charged at the originating point of the trip, as well as at the stopover point. Assessing charges for checked baggage was a difficult decision but reflects the reality of our business. The cost to the airline to transport baggage is substantial and the checked bag charge helps to offset that expense. We have “unbundled” (created separate pricing for) many of our services in order to keep our fares competitive. This also allows our customers to only pay for those services which they are utilizing. At this time, we have no plans to eliminate the baggage charges.

In addition, we are sorry to hear that your equipment was damaged when you traveled with us. Certain items in checked luggage are not covered under our Conditions of Carriage. We do not accept responsibility for computers and other electronic equipment. For additional details visitAA.com.

Ms. Scanlon, we hope to have our customers’ understanding as we work to remain competitive.”

I just returned from a wonderful trip to California. I love exploring on foot taking photos with my iPhone.

This site before arriving at Asilomar State Park took my breath away. I will never ever get over the beauty of the ocean. It just hits me in the gut.

This site before arriving at Asilomar State Park took my breath away. I will never ever get over the beauty of the ocean. It just hits me in the gut.

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Asilomar is a magical spot on the ocean – gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, sunsets, cypress and deer wandering the property.

And then exploring Pacific Grove – adorable colorful homes and shops.

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I came across a Tibetan meditation center in a residential area. Never would have seen this had I not been on foot.

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An adorable Farmer’s Market on Monday night. The produce was amazing!

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Really enjoyed dinner at Jeninni. The menu was interesting and service was great. I had the crispy octopus, but I think it was not the best choice. Littleneck clams in a broth were fresh and delicious.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/jeninni-kitchen-and-wine-bar-pacific-grove