Day 50: Excuses or Poetry?

Day 50!

Where oh where has this writer been?

Off to the trails, lakes and camping again?

Will she start blogging, like she promised I wonder?

Perhaps and yet … her time is asunder.

She say’s she’ll do this and she say’s she’ll do that

She rarely has time to sit down and chat!

So, let’s give her some slack and watch where she goes

She’s sure to come back, smelling sweet like a rose.

— The End —

100 Days of learning will continue at the end of July. 50 down & 50 to go!

Stay tuned!

Self-Learning: La, La, La

I am also learning that for every mistake I make, others are willing to work with me to help get me to the next level.

Day 48:

I am learning as I go. I still say Yes to most things that align with my beliefs and values. I know when to say No and step back. I am learning when to voice my opinions and when to keep quiet. I am also learning that for every mistake I make, others are willing to work with me to help get me to the next level.

Day 49:

I am learning to let go when it comes to the world of travel. There are lines, searches, more lines, delays and frustrations. And with each line, there’s an opportunity to chat with the person behind me or next to me. To learn what book they’re reading, to learn their destination. With each search is the appreciation that someone is doing their job and I am just part of the process.

I’ve learned that people-watching can take the place of television, videos, youtube and other distractions that often keep us occupied. Watching families and how they interact (or fail to interact) is fascinating. People of all shapes and sizes come with their own hidden stories. Every now and then a story is shared but for the most part, the world is filled with possible movie scripts. Off we go!

FYI– I just read The Rent Collector by Camron Wright. So far it ranks as one of my favorites!

Life Lesson: Learning to BE

Day 47

It’s so easy to get caught up in sorrow and sadness when in reality life is about living. My lesson day after day is to stay in the present. To live in the moment. To make new friends and stay connected with old ones. To laugh and share stories and make new memories.

I’ll try to keep that one close to me. You’ll see it flash up here time and again.

Day 46

Learning, once again, how important walking is to me. Not only exercise, but a feeling of being outside under the wide open sky and feeling the air on my body as I move. You are here...

Being outdoors and near the river or walking the foothills or up mountain trails really makes my heart sing. Walking with friends is great and many conversations are shared and lessons learned. Walking alone is more about introspection and self-care.

Both are good. My body is pleased. My head is cleared. My day begins anew.


Day 45




I woke up today and learned about a mass shooting in Florida. Over 50 people are dead and many are wounded. I learned that the shooter “may have leanings toward Islamic ideologies” and terrorism is suspected. I know that because of this shooter, that the Islamic population will be targeted and suffer because of one person.

These victims, like many others were in the right place but some madman stepped in and changed their history. It happened at a movie theater, at universities and schools across the country; a MAN (yes, always a man, right?) takes a gun or several guns and decides the fate of innocents.

Terror Attack at Orlando Gay Nightclub Leaves 50 Dead, 53 Wounded

Day 44

I learned about a painter named Peter Max. Many of you already know of this painter and how his posters created in the 1960’s were a mainstay of most college dorm rooms. I missed that whole scene along with the drug and music craze. That’s what happens when you marry and begin your family at the ripe age of 20.

But now, in my 6th decade, I am learning about Max and music. I’ll save the drug education until my 7th decade.

Descending Angel - Peter MaxMax traveled extensively in his youth and learned music, languages and was exposed to many different cultures. He had support and backing from his family who watched him soar. After his intensive art education, Max fell in love with astrology and delved into the world of stars, skies and the spiritual realm.

His art was neo-expressionist which was essentially a ticket to create his unique psychedelic brand. Max incorporated his graphic art, music, travels, yoga, and his essence and the results were bold, new and colorful.

Day 43

I learned that Canada has a program to work with US citizens who want to leave the county after the election. Google recorded a 1000% spike in searches with this term – “How to move to Canada” after Trump won primaries in seven states on Super Tuesday.

“Coincidentally, Canada’s new Liberal government has just proposed a range of sweeping amendments to the Citizenship Act that will potentially make it quicker to obtain citizenship or landed residency. According to the Government of Canada’s Citizen and Immigration website, “These changes will allow people who have made the decision to immigrate to Canada to apply for and obtain citizenship sooner and more easily than is now the case.” If you can prove you pass criteria to apply under the Express Entry or Start Up Visa systems, it may take even less time—often as little as six months. You still might have to prove that you won’t be taking a job from an equally qualified Canadian, though. Once your papers are in order, here are five possible places you might want to call home.” (Karen Burshtein, Vogue)

Day 42

I was reminded/relearned how precious life is and to say the words we need to say … now. Be kind. Be interested. Ask the next question. People come into our lives for a reason. Let’s not assume we have tomorrow to express our love and friendship.

Day 41

I learned that I can go for a full week and not have to look that the tv, read a paper or listen to the radio. That being said, I am often out of the loop when it comes to air plane disasters, mass shootings, and election results. I often go to the library and line up the papers from the last few days and get caught up at once.  It’s painless, I’m still informed and I’m not controlled by what the media wants me to know.

Day 40:

I learned that some dogs love to bark and bark and bark. I learned that they get really hyped up when I bark back. I learned that if I keep it up long enough and get all the other dogs barking too then someone – somewhere – brings their dog inside.

Just saying …

Day 39:

I learned to be humble when my 7-year-old grandson beats me in cribbage – three times in a row! I learned that after several times of getting beat, I should just let him count up his own points. Even with that ‘life lesson’ from Nana, he still wins big.

Memorial Day: Sad Lessons

Day 38

usa flagIn the United States we celebrate Memorial Day to remember the people who died while serving in the armed forces. It’s the time to visit cemeteries with flags and flowers. It’s the time to attend parades and celebrations.

I often think about the men and women who did not die in the war but took their lives after they returned home. The veterans who couldn’t deal with the trauma of what they experienced. Those who couldn’t turn off the sights, sounds, and terror of the night. They returned in a wounded state and were unable to function. Are they considered heroes as well? Are they celebrated and memorialized or is there a stigma attached to their death? It’s clear they weren’t killed by an enemy bullet but the enemy did have a part in their death.

The suicide rate for returning veterans is over 10 times higher than the general public. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not track suicide trends among veterans of specific military units. And some units do not track suicides of former service members at all. I’ve read that over 100,000 returning Vietnam vets have committed suicide. And now the younger men and women are following in their shoes. I’ve learned that we all have a story. This one needs to change.

Day 37

I’ve learned to say Yes more often. To accept leadership roles, to hike a steep mountain, to visit large cities and small shops. I learned that I can say YES and if life gets too overwhelming to say, ENOUGH for now. I’ve learned by saying Yes, I am inviting an entire new set of circumstances into my life. New people, ideas, books, articles, opinions, tastes and vistas.

Arms out wide shouting YES!Saying Yes is scary too. It forces me to show up when I’d rather lie low. It makes me take deep breaths and look around with fresh eyes. Yes gets me in the door and then I can decide how long to stay.

Yes forces me to move whether I am ready or not. I said Yes at an early age to marriage, to motherhood, to uprooting and moving across the country, to returning to college to get my degree, to working as a waitress while I worked on my degree, to living life in a way that could only happen then. Without saying Yes, I would have missed out on meeting so many people who are now friends. At each workplace, I met someone new and wonderful. I learned from amazing bosses and bad administrators. I took chances and had friends in place to catch me when I fell.

I like going to the edge of my comfort zone and just sitting there for a bit until the discomfort fades away. The fear slowly subsides while I’m interacting with my environment – visiting the sites, meeting people, starting conversations, and staying engaged.

When I find myself in a rut, I start finding reasons to say Yes again. Yes to joining organizations, Yes to cleaning out my garage, Yes to asking for help, Yes to reading a new author, Yes to listening to new musicians, Yes to relocating, Yes to a trip — HECK yeah!

Then, in the quiet hours I reviewed the things that I said Yes to and get scared again. Why did I say Yes to that and that and that and that? What was I thinking? And yet, I learned something new, enjoyed a new band, walked a new trail, made a new friend. I know there are times to say NO and I will when the time comes. I promise I will but for now I realized I have more fun when I say Yes. I get more done and feel more satisfied at the end of the day.

For now, Yes is my friend and teacher.


Day 36

I learned (once again) how much I love walking in the morning. I love the way the light shines on flowers and how clean the air smells. I try to take my camera with me in case there is something I want to capture. My tulips and flowers morning walk1favorite things include landscapes and colorful flowers. I wish I could capture the smell as well – that fresh early morning dewy smell.


Learning about Grand Teton National Park

Day 30-Day 35 – Grand Tetons

I recently traveled to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. It was a quick 4 day visit and full of glorious views. Below are things I learned about the Tetons that I thought I’d share with you…

Amazing video about the wildlife and Grand Teton National Park.

Lesson: Grand Teton is the highest mountain in Grand Teton National Park, in Northwest Wyoming, and a classic destination in American mountaineering. It’s a popular destination for hiking, fishing, canoeing, boating, photographing, cross-country skiing, horseback riding and scenic drives.

Grand TetonsLesson: Grand Teton National Park has about 310,000 acres and or about 485 miles of land and water. The park was established in February 1929.

Lesson: The Teton mountain range is about 40 miles long. The major peaks of the Teton Range were carved into their current shapes by glaciers.

grand tetons- oh myLesson: Grand Teton National Park is located a mere ten miles from Yellowstone National Park.

Lesson: Some history books say the Tetons were named by the French because they look like teats. Other books dispute it. I like this story and agree.

The majestic views are stunning beyond compare. They jut out of the landscape and command your attention. The trouble is every view is a photo opportunity. When the path I hiked went to the east or west, the views were breath-taking and out came the camera.

tetonsWe were told to Beware Bears and one hiker told of his encounter with a mother and her two cubs. I was happy to say there were no bears on my hike. Amen!


Which bear did I see video?

Drugs, Books & Buddies

DAY 29

I learned about a deadly drug called Flakka that can be found in abundance in Florida. This drug is made from a synthetic version of the stimulant cathinone, the same class of chemical used to make bath salts.

The khat plant, which grows in parts of the Middle East as well as Somalia, is the source of cathinones. The leaves of the plant are often chewed to achieve euphoria or a high, however, that high can be as potent as crystal meth or cocaine. It causes people to act totally out of their minds – erratically, uncontrollably and dangerously.

This highly addictive drug originated from China and has been traced to Florida, Texas and Ohio so far. The users of this drug have a high that can last 3-4 hours but it harms the body physically and physiologically it triggers anxiety, paranoia and delusions.

It’s scary stuff… Click to watch youtube video.

Read More:

DAY 28

One book I recently read was called Dead Wake by Erik Larson. It’s a story about the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. Some of the story was conjecture but plenty of it was information from passengers on-board. The luxury liner was hit and sank within 18 minutes. It was crazy that the ship sailed into a harbor during war and didn’t have an escort. And once the ship was hit, the one battle ship that could have reached the site in an hour turned back to it’s harbor according to wartime policy. Instead help didn’t arrive for 6 more hours. It was an amazing story and I relearned quite a bit about the U.S. political scene, war in Europe, and issues that heads of state were dealing with at the time.

DAY 27

I learned that I should totally delete my account because everyday messages get sent to my spam folder. I found messages from my son and emails from traveling friends who write to reschedule — only Yahoo spams it. Geesh.

Gmail is where I need to focus now and get friends and family to convert to the new address.

Day 26

I learned to appreciate how different schools work to connect their students.  At my grandson’s elementary school, each first grader is paired with a 5th grader. This person is their Buddy and they stay in contact throughout the school year – checking in, high fives in the hallway, visits in the library as a way to help the young children feel connected. The relationship allows the 5th graders to lead, teach and bond with their younger counterpart.

As a thank you, the first graders are going to sing some songs to their Buddies. This is one song that my grandson was singing, called My Wish by Rascal Flatts.

It’s the learning that matters!

Day 25

I heard a new singer today and really enjoy her music. Her name is Regina Spektor. I found her on then downloaded her music for a month using Hoopla. Most of all I listened to her songs and videos on youtube. It was pretty, whimsical and engaging. I wanted to hear more and more.

Day 24

Have you ever watched Grace and Frankie on It’s a comedy about two women in their 70’s who are recently divorced. How and why that happens is where the comedy comes in. The serious part of the story involves the sadness of being divorced 70-year-old women. The issues they never expected to have to face – saying goodbye to their long-held identities, figuring out who they are without spouses, managing expenses, reentering the dating world, learning to trust and love again and so much more. I watch the show and laugh out loud, then take a deep breath and sigh.

The show is my reminder to keep learning, growing, making friends and reaching out. Everything is temporary. The bills that are a struggle to pay, the calories consumed by that amazing cheesecake, the books I read and loved, the books I started and hated and didn’t finish (life it too short to waste on a bad book, trust me) and all those opportunities I passed along with all those amazing adventures I accepted – Temporary.

The big blackboard in the sky doesn’t care if we say YES a hundred time and NO 879 times. It’s what we learn along the way. It could end tomorrow (if so, please return my library books) or not for decades down the road. Right?

Day 23

I live in a world where many people come into my life. I learn something from each and every one of them. I learn about their jobs, families, hobbies, fears, desires and hopes and dreams. Then they leave and others come into my world and I learn more. While I am learning, I am sharing. It’s a beautiful circle and I feel blessed to be part of it.

Day 22

I learned how to dole out simple joys. Like Grace and Frankie. A new season means that I can turn on the show and watch all 13 episodes on the same day. My preference is to spread out the joy. Pace myself. Once I get to the last episode it’s over. Take my time. Sort of like taking one present at a time at Christmas and making it an event. Then sitting back and watching the others open their gifts – giving them my time and attention. Once the gifts are unwrapped, it’s over. Know what I mean? Sort of?

Whoa, enough for one day! Hope yours was a good one. Now go forth and learn something new and wonderful today – then share it with me! HA!