Gateway to the West

In response to the WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge:

Perhaps it’s because I’m not a native of St. Louis, but whenever I’m on the grounds of the Gateway Arch Monument, I have the urge to act like a tourist and take a picture. Especially when it’s gleaming on a bright, sunny day, it makes me proud of my adopted city. These were taken a few years ago, from the approximate spot where my husband proposed.

Not only does it give me an “ooh shiny!” kind of distraction, but it is also, indeed a giant, shiny, hunk of steel.

You can read all about the Gateway to the West here.

arch2
photo my own

 

 

Preparing for the Solar Apocalypse

There’s nothing like a natural phenomenon to get people all riled up. In case you haven’t heard, certain parts of the United States are going to experience a total solar eclipse on August 21st, and everyone around here is going bat shit crazy.

solar-eclipse
Image from Discovery Center at Murfree Spring

Don’t get me wrong, it is kind of exciting. It’s being billed as a “once in a lifetime” kind of thing. For various sciency reasons that I won’t get into here, (click here or here if you want to learn more), this hasn’t happened in the lower 48 states since 1979, and won’t happen again until 2024. But here’s the kicker – it will never be in the same place again.

And that place, this time, is pretty much right in my backyard. Continue reading

Took a Hike. Found My Bliss.

When I was a kid, Dad would take us on hikes – or as I remember them – forced marches through the woods. He had an uncanny ability to lose the trail. I touched on the topic briefly in this post. We’d be dragged, if not kicking and screaming, then at least whining and bickering through bug-infested jungles. Needless to say, I was not a fan.

I’ve surprised myself by discovering a love for hiking in my later years. Nearly every trip Mr. Maid and I take involves an opportunity to get out there and haul my old bones up, over to, or around, whatever Mother Earth has to offer.

There are few places that give me a greater sense of peace and connection to nature than on a hiking trail. I have come to crave the fresh air, the physical challenge, and the surrounding flora and fauna. And nothing gives me more satisfaction than that feeling of finally reaching the summit.

Here are a few of my favorite moments…

maui
Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii – Dragging my ass through a strenuous hike often has me feeling like Wonder Woman, so as you’ll see, I often have the urge to strike this pose. Cheesy smile and all!
g canyon
South Kaibab Trail, South Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona
grand canyon
North Kaibab Trail, North Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona
glacier
Trail to Apakuni Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana
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Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
tetons
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
sawtooth
Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho
maine
Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine – There’s that pose again! You can read about our misadventures on this hike here.
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Dante’s View of Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, California
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Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California – my other ‘go-to’ pose – because hiking really does bring me closer to my bliss! Namaste, ya’ll!

Written for the WordPress’ Daily Post Photo Challenge: satisfaction

Spending Time Up In My (Freelance) Business

I just realized that I haven’t posted on this blog since April! Years ago, I coined the word “blazy” to describe a former coworker. She would always claim to be “so busy!” but she was really just lazy. That is a good description of me these past few months. I have time to do all I want and need to do, but somehow, I just don’t get around to some things – like keeping up with this blog.

Until I get those creative juices flowing again, I thought I’d show a glimpse of what I do in my “real” life. Continue reading

A Surprise Out My Window

Cardinal

They say that seeing a cardinal signifies a visit from someone who has passed.

I find that capturing them on film is difficult. No matter how I hold my breath and try not to move, they seem to vanish into thin air. Much like hanging on to the image of a loved one when you see them in a dream, or hear their voice in your head.

I am not a good photographer, but occasionally I can surprise one, capturing the image before it flees.

Today, I am thinking of two people who departed our world last week.

An old friend I hadn’t seen in years – gone too soon – taken by cancer. And a dear friend’s father who lived a long, full 86-year life.

Perhaps the cardinal’s skittishness is a reminder to appreciate those we love while they are here. Before we know it, they too may take flight, leaving only memories of their vibrancy.

~Written in response to The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Surprise.

Aspiring Not to Aspirate

I’m not generally a hypochondriac, but as I’ve gotten older, I have my share of moments when what’s going on in my body scares me. It’s like staying in a haunted house. Every creak, every sensation makes me stop in my tracks and listen. It could just be the old house settling on its foundation. Then again, it could be something malevolent intent on doing me in. Ah, the joys of aging!

Knowing me, however, my demise is more likely to come from doing something really stupid.

Last Thursday night, Mr. Maid and I were eating dinner. It was one of my ordinary weeknight menus of spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread.

easy spaghetti

In defiance to all rules of etiquette, I was chewing a big mouthful of pasta while simultaneously trying to talk. I can’t remember what I was saying, but it was making me also start to laugh. The combination of chewing, swallowing, talking, and laughing was apparently a little more multitasking than my brain and body could handle. As the phrase goes, my food went “down the wrong pipe.” Continue reading

Hemorrhoidal Tendencies: The Driving Edition, Volume 2

Welcome! You’ve stumbled upon Hemorrhoidal Tendencies, the occasional feature of my blog where I complain about the things in this world that are a pain in the ass.

In my first entry in Hemorrhoidal Tendencies I discussed some driving pet peeves. Every time I get behind the wheel, I realize I’ve only scratched the surface. Here are a few more things about driving (or more accurately, my fellow drivers) that can make me want to turn a pleasant Sunday drive into a scene from Death Race 2000.

You’re Not Fooling Anyone

Even the most conscientious drivers among us are guilty of breaking a driving laws on occasion. Is there really anyone out there who never goes over the speed limit? Or failed to signal a turn when no one is around? I didn’t think so.

One source of driving guilt that is probably most common is distracted driving. I myself have been known to grab a burger on my way out of town to eat while tooling down the interstate at 75 miles an hour. But over the years I have seen people put on mascara, shave, clean their ears with cotton swabs (yuck,) apply nail polish, and – I kid you not – read a textbook by the glow of the dome light. Continue reading