Monday, October 26, 2015

The Way...

What possesses a bald guy to drop his lid on  me one second before the flash goes off?  Dig me n Mark (Walking Man) lookin' silly after a two hour caffeine fueled visit.  It had been over a year since I got together with Mark so we had some serious catchin' up to do.  And, as usual, if you weren't with us, we talked about you shamelessly.  Were your ears ringin' Michelle, Jim, Erik, and Charles?  All love-I assure you.  This week, as I talk about a movie involving 'walking', it's just fitting that I show off my favorite walking man.

I rarely review books and movies but this week I make another exception.  I am on a roll with my fascination with hiking trails.  5:30 a.m. found me awake and scanning channels for something to fall asleep to.  I discovered a movie called, "The Way".  It involves a hike on the El Camino de Santiago, a hiking trail that starts from France through  the foothills of the Pyrenees and ending in Santiago.  In Santiago there is a cathedral that houses the remains of the apostle James with a mass celebrated every day for the hikers.  It is a gorgeous trek, 500 miles I think, filled with luscious scenery through mountains, small villages, vineyards and farmland.  It is full of symbolism and religious iconery-that appeals to me every time.  On the Pacific Crest Trail as well as the Appalachian Trail outdoor camping and carrying your own food is the reality.  On the Camino, there are hostels and restaurants available as you walk from town to town. Wine seemed to be awaiting all the weary trekkers as well as lovely baguettes. I actually aspire to do this trek.  For real.

 I don't really want to give up much about the actual movie, but I was totally enthralled.  The acting, the scenery, the soundtrack and the gripping message is very powerful.  I think it will effect everyone differently for just as many personal reasons.  I absolutely loved everything about it.  Please 'On Demand' or Red Box or rent it as soon as you want an uplifting, beautiful message.

Then, of course, let me know how you feel about it.   Warm fall hugs, my darlings!

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Hills...

Recently I have read two books regarding hiking.  The Pacific Crest Trail to be exact.  The 2,650 trail that leads from Mexico to Canada is an immense hiking effort.  The books I read are "Girl in the Woods" and "Wild".  I absolutely loved both stories with all of the trials and tribulations involved. 
The pics above show Dane and I on the Appalachian Trail, where we participated in a mere 12 mile hike.  Both of the girls on the P.C.T. encountered snakes and we found a small garter snake.  Also in both stories the girls had demons that they felt they could reconcile on that long hike.
Dane and I, however; had no demons to expunge.  We walked simply for the experience and exercise.  And it was amazing!.  Our 12 miles were an accomplishment for us and we finished sweaty, and tired, with a story all our own.  It never would occur to me to rough it for 2,650 miles through  the desert and the snowy mountains.  Nope.  Not me.  Getting rid of my 'demons' would never involve sleeping in a tent, eating mostly oatmeal, rationing my water, nursing foot blisters, and carrying a giant backpack.  Yes, the two characters 'found' themselves on the trail, but I would have lost my mind.  As much as I love the outdoors, my comfort level is much larger than that.
Still I highly recommend both books.  This weekend I watched the movie version of 'Wild'.  I enjoyed it, but as per usual, preferred the book by the same title.  The movie simply does not have enough time to show all of the details that the book does.  However; I did enjoy being able to put a visual to the imaginary picture I had of the P.,C.T.  With Reece Witherspoon as the lead character, I loved the visual depictation.  I hope the "Girl in the Woods" gets made into a move, too.
I wholly recommend both books as well as the movie.  It's totally escapism, that for me struck a realistic nerve.  If I was 20 years younger, I would surely attempt that very walk.  But not to discover or find myself.  I would do it for the challenge of it. Very little challenges me physically these days,  save maybe for my boxing, boot camps and various gym workouts, but I would welcome the chance to try.
What challenges you  these days?  Do you meet the challenge or do you ignore it as a chance gone by?  Let me know what moves you.   xoxo

Monday, October 12, 2015


I try not to make this weekly blog thing just about the things I've done it the past week.  Nobody needs to read about the minutia of my world.  But this past weekend was pretty damn special.    A family wedding, found my sister and my Mom traveling south of Standish to join me in the festivities. Lisa and Mom got here on Friday in time for lunch.  After unpacking their car we settled in for some serious catching up.  I always am interested in the news happenings in Ossineke as well as my sisters restaurant, Rosa's.  I was thrilled with all the wonderful lettuce Lisa brought me from her greenhouse and the 10 quarts of tomatoes that my Mom had canned for us.  I love these little tastes of home.  Soon it was time for cocktail hour.  Randy got home from work and we sat down to the lasagna dinner that I was brave enough to cook for these two wonderful chefs.  I am a nervous cook, but all seemed to enjoy my dinner.  With a big day ahead, we retired early.  On Saturday we were up early and out the door to do some shopping.  I rarely shop on weekends, but I gamely chauffeured Mom and Lisa around town.  We laughed and had a ball over nachos and margaritas.  It was then that I realized that the lines had blurred a little.  We were not only family-but good friends.  Soon it was time to leave for the wedding.  Weather wise it was a perfect day for an outdoor wedding.  I love this side of my family and there they all were, turned out in tuxes and finery.  We enjoyed being part of the lovely ceremony and reception.  Hours were spent catching up with those we never see enough of.  We even danced a little.  On Sunday, we did a little more shopping and then came back to catch a movie we had been wanting to see.  Later we went over to Mac n Ray's for dinner.  Coming home, we sat at the kitchen counter/bar while I whipped up some cookies.  I can hardly believe that after 2 1/2 days, we still had stuff to gab about.  This morning, Mom and Lisa packed up and  headed back home.  Today and tonight, my house is strangely quiet.  I miss them already and look forward to Thanksgiving when we will be together again to feast, drink wine, and catch up on each other's world.  I am here to tell you that absence does make the heart grow fonder.  My family is my support system and I couldn't do it without them.  I feel very blessed.  Congratulations to my darling cousins, Aubre and Sean.  You are beautiful and I wish all the love and happiness to you both as you start your life as man and wife.  The day was superb and my heart is full of joy from seeing all my family.  Love to you all.   xoxo

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hands of Love...

The topic of this week's post is very near and dear to my heart.  This week is National Mental Health Awareness week.  I'm sure everyone reading this knows someone in their family or circle of friends that is or has dealt with mental problems. 

I have been on this soapbox for years and I do not need to rant on again here.  Just let me say if you know someone who is suffering, encourage them to get help.  It could be an evaluation by their regular doctor that could lead to a recommendation for a psych doc.  Some churches offer counseling.  There are support groups that are very, well, supportive.  There is much to learn as a patient or caregiver.  Sometimes just being a good listener can help someone who is suffering.  Do what you can, but most importantly do not ignore. 

If you would like more information, look up National Alliance for Mental Illness.  N.A.M.I. is a pet cause of mine and I am happy for the awareness that they are bringing to the world. 

Thank you, one and all for allowing me to run my personal service announcement.  Have a safe and healthy week.  Love to you all.  xo