Archive for the ‘Relaxation’ Category

Much of our recent trip west was spent enjoying The Great Outdoors …what splendor and awe we found, most often in the most secluded and rugged places.

Boy meets Pacific Ocean

Redwoods at Jedediah Smith State Park

Yup, I drove through one!

Majestic Mt. Shasta

Beach boy meets snow for the first time!

Fortunately there were only two spots where there were rocks in the road with no place to swerve but off the cliff. Woo-sah, I can still drive high elevations after all these years!

Smith River…my favorite place to see a shade of blue you never see except deep in glaciers or geyser pools

Oregon coast

Now we know what a “sneaker wave” is!

Multnomah Falls

Thank You, God, for an incredible trip, for the privilege of being able to share Your inspired creation with my son, for spectacular shows of nature and for happy memories. God, may all people experience the natural revelation of You. May we serve You through caring for this world and its people, preserving these special and awe-some sights for generations to come.

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Seuss taught Muse

To rhyme with things,

Kings, rings and flings, &

Things with wings

Said Muse on Beach,

This bird can reach!

Fly, bird, fly!

Sea doth beseech…

Li’l Muse dreamed

Of flying, so high!

Delight through sky

With Heaven nigh….

Hey, God, thanks for dreams both remembered and forgotten. Thank You for helping us find our wings so we can fly to You.

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Where I live, the concept of a New Horizon draws many a soul each day. 

They flock to these shores resolving to make a fresh start, a golden retirement, a new identity or a temporary escape from their reality.

Living by the sea, however, still necessitates daily grind. Laundry and dishes don’t go away, things break and need fixing and, bless our hearts, there is no escape from this fine, white sugar sand tracked into the house daily…but I am NOT complaining!

So my new horizon for 2017 will be to to see my world anew through the eyes of our visitors – to actually pause to BREATHE deeply during the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. To be more mindful of the beauty surrounding me. To engage the 5 senses and escape back into my world here, anew.

2016 has been a year of tremendous transition in my life, and I bet in yours, too! 

I invite you to join me in rediscovering yourself and your calming peace in 2017….let us look through the lens together and see nothing but awe-inspiring beauty in the year to come.

Let us get out of the grind and into the moment!

Thanks, God, for an amazing year, for getting us through 2016 and delivering us to the doorstep of 2017. Thank You for all the things You’ve shown us and taught us. 

And most of all, for all the gifts, promise and beauty surrounding our lives. May we never get caught up in the grind and always see each moment of each day as a “present” from You. 

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 Symbol of summer…sunrise on Ono Island, Alabama:  


Thank You, God, for some of the best summer memories yet, symbols of dreams come true…and glimpses of Heaven itself.

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There is nothing I do not love about summer. It is my favorite season, hands down.

Naturally, I couldn’t resist sharing a few glimpses of my summer for this week’s Photo Challenge:


Fort Morgan, Alabama


Sunrise on Jeckyl Island, Georgia


Favorite Swimming Hole


Sharing my paddle board with a friend


Horse Fly!


Unexpected companion while kayak fishing on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina


Summer Lovin’!


Thanks, God, for summer lovin’…for cherished memories, for seasons of change, of play and of rest, for periods of sweat and cooling off.

Thanks for tall, refreshing drinks, toes in the water, humming cicadas and opportunities to grow and explore new horizons.

Thank You for an unforgettable summer of growth and new beginnings.

Please bless the WP readers with a safe, happy and enjoyable summer.

And may everyone find time to relax, recharge and reinvent themselves.

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At the eleventh hour of the week’s end, she felt pressed to get her last set of cardio in, just under the wire.

The bright, waning moon illuminated the path before her. She darted across the seashell driveway and into the shadows of the giant, old oak tree and sprinted into the road to chase the beckoning moon.

She inhaled the brisk air into her lungs and, getting up to a good pace, was breathing hard by the time she got to the waterfront. This was not the first time today she’d lost her breath.

She felt more alive as she lost the rest of herself in the music on her iPod as she picked up her pace a bit more.

Thinking of a world of things and also of nothing in particular, the evening sea mist enveloped and tousled her mane which followed behind her as she ran.

She could see the bright moonlight reflected in the water, illuminating the depths.  A chorus of frogs competed for her attention over the music.

How free she felt! Into and out of the shadows, into and out of the moonshine she ran.

Reaching the original goal as she experienced her second wind, she decided to double her distance and to indulge herself in a double dose of moonlight.

She ran past places she knew from old, places she ran before, places she weathered the Perfect Storms before, places which held good and not so good memories– but tonight, they were all good, basked in silvery  moonlight.

Bad became good, evil became blessed. Ugly became beautiful. Sick became well. All pain melted away.

Along the waterfront she ran, at one with the elements, lost, totally lost in her spirit, strong legs carrying her farther and farther.

Reluctantly she doubled back at one point realizing she needed to go home.

But she wouldn’t, really. She went through the motions, but in her mind she ran…ran far away.

She ran to her shelter under the giant oak and mounted the gracious swing that invited all passers-by to pause and swing a spell.

Now heated, she shed her sweatshirt and hung it on the fencepost as she approached her other favorite escape.

Her shaped arms grasped the ropes as her legs pumped and brought the swing high into the shaped arms of the oak tree. It was by far the best way to cool down.

Lost on the swing anew, she sailed back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth…into oblivion.

Blissfully lost, more than ever. The evening sea air cooled her sweat and calmed her soul.

The moonlight penetrated through the sheltering branches of the oak tree and shined on her heart, which pounded in another dimension altogether.

God, thank You for blessings in darkness, for light in the shadows. Thank You for getting us from starting point to destination no matter the circumstances. And thanks for lighting our steps, one at a time, for our being able to trust You every step of the way.

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Blessings to count for this Sunday:

  • Lots of rest
  • Lots of leftovers
  • Awesome church service
  • Bountiful, buttery sunshine
  • 2 pesky health conditions disappeared
  • Good, hard, long run with good, hard, long music, through the pecan orchards and sandy washouts
  • Discovered our swing under the big, gracious oak tree…

My Swing

is a perfect way to cool down and exercise all body parts when flying high – upper body, abs, calves, quads, you name it! Pump!


Me & my Mizunos – Wheeeeee! The breeze through my mane cooled my entire body down after the run. Purrrrrrfect…

  • Walk with the family
  • Held hands with my guy
  • Good football to watch
  • Fun pruning roses & hydrangeas
  • Long hug with Mom
  • Mom gave me pic I’d never seen before – her and my Dad, when she was pregnant with me
October 1965

At a party.
My mom, one of the original B-52s singers. Daddy always seemed to have a martini as a prop, although I don’t ever recall him actually drinking them. (and he always slipped the olives to ME – big treat).

  • Shot hoops with the kids – and sunk it every time
  • Got even more Christmas lights
  • Seashells to sort
  • Kisses and hugs
  • Rainbow toward the end of the day
December Refraction

Okay, so the rainbow didn’t capture, but you can see some of the refraction in there…somewhere. Hey, I was driving – gimme a break!

  • Excellent blogs in my Reader to read
  • Treasured bloggy friendships
  • Sweet, sweet dreams

Can it get any better?!

Thanks, God, for ALL your blessings – let us remember days like these on days when nothing seems to go right. Thank You for little pockets of fresh air that sustain us. And thanks for good health, good food, good family, good gardens, good friends and good life. Thanks for a Beautiful Day!

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Between the 15 minutes of drafting this post and posting it, I was made aware of this honor sent my way:


With humble gratitude, 3D…

This was bestowed upon me by my dear, fellow Southern friend, 3D.

Be sure to click on his link and read some of his uplifting journey as he prevails over cancer with some of the most up-to-date treatments, such as a large doses of Jimmy Buffett, along with the daily joys of his incredible family.

Now, on to my original post, before tonight turns into tomorrow…

My town at sunset tonight:



This is not a reflection of the sunset: the fountain is actually dyed pink this month in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. Giant, pink ribbons adorn every city-owned property right now.



A crowd always gathers for the sunset. When its last speck disappears under the horizon, the spectators erupt in a round of applause. It’s an evening tradition like none I’ve ever seen anywhere else.








The roses in the manicured garden are also afire at sunset.




My #2 & #4, while #3 runs amok in the rose garden nearby. We’re just killing time while #1 is at archery practice. I could kill time any time like this.


Thanks, dear readers, for sharing this spectacular evening with me.

And thanks, God, for your art anew each day. Like a rainbow of promise, you bless us with cleansing – cleansing that is at first abrasive but then freeing, intolerable and then somehow peaceful.

Thank You for your steadfast presence in the face of our unbridled sprints…for only You know the full path of our journey.


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Photos do no justice to the brilliance of the white sand here…



The closer you get to the water, the more the eyes (both yours and that of the camera) take measures to protect themselves from the bright sun illuminated on the squeaky-hot sand. Shuffle your feet to get the squeak!



After kneeling in the sand…it’s so fine, it just sort of…sticks.
Like sugar-biscuits.



Paddlers & snorkelers behind me, favorite iPod tunes getting action in my ears, blue skies & seas…how do I get so far away in my head when this is precisely where I want/need to be?!

Hey, God…thank you for squeaky-white sands and r&r at the end of the road. Thanks for friends joining me here…

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When the going gets tough, the tough head to the beach. As much as humanly possible.

Such is the story of my summer thus far. If I’m not working and it’s not raining, I’m there. Um, here.

And you’re here with me….


Take special note of the nice, blue skies – starting out.


More saltwater canoeing, just past the farthest sand bar.
That is NOT an oil rig – oil rigs are not allowed that close to shore in the Gulf. It is a natural gas rig. I always enjoy hearing the loud motor of the delivery ship in the distance and watching it dock under the rig. My mind drifts into wondering what sorts of goodies it brings the men offshore, and how much they look forward to its arrival.


Clouds are building…
(half-hearted apologies to photography perfectionists in the slightly askew horizon – get over it and focus on thing above)





The water is so clear today, you can make out the little fishies!
(These are skittish and are not the kind that give free pedicures)


My cup holder – nothing fancy.
UB40 made a song celebrating what’s in the cup.


Geezamighty, better move my chair back a bit!
Catch of the day, no bait required.


It’s a Balao halfbeak.


Okay, so now things are building up.This isn’t looking so good…
(and speaking of not looking good and just for the record, BP still left us with lots of tarballs littering the sand, both in and out of the water – the oil spill hasn’t gone away)


It doesn’t take long to go from blue to black at the sea.


Rageful skies. Time to take the umbrella down – and RUN.


A dune with sea oats bending in the now-stiff breeze, sand pelting my face like a desert storm – sting, stang, stung.


Okay, so at least there is a great place to take cover during the storm – namely our local Krispy Kreme, with the “HOT NOW” blinking sign luring in the shelter-seekers.
They really shouldn’t pass out free, hot, fresh donuts coming off the conveyor belt like that. There should be a law…


Here, no need for a shirt over the swimsuit. That’s just how we roll.
Until next time, friend!

Hey, God – thanks for keeping us safe from this storm, for keeping us safe through the other storms You’ve brought us through, and for the uncertainty of storms to come – in You we can rest assured, no matter what.


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