Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Journeys’ Category

Logically, this should have something to do with my post — but it doesn’t. It’s simply my latest watercolor, which I was doing as a workbook exercise.

Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be, but as it isn’t. It ain’t. That’s logic.” – Lewis Carroll

A Page from My Journals

July 14, 1996, “At one time in my life, I sought logic in everything. Now I know better.” – Pat Bean

And this is simply a quick sketch I did of a great blue heron. I think I gave the bird an attitude. Is that logical?

I collect quotes, 99 percent of them from people who better put into words my own thoughts. Occasionally, however, I surprise myself and find the exact words to perfectly express what I think. Like the one I recorded in my journal, and which I’m sure came to me in a flash of insight because of something in my then life.

I kind of stole the last half of the quote from Maya Angelou, who is quoted many times in my journals. “When you know better, you do better,” she wrote. This thought always soothed me when I thought of the many mistakes I had made my life.

But to get back to the matter of logic, and my own words. I was already in my 50s, when I wrote the quote in my book on that 1996 summer day. It stands alone as the only words I wrote for this date. And as I reread it this morning, my first thought was how come it took me so long to reach such a painfully clear conclusion,.

The next thought had me wondering, what was the event that prompted me to come to that conclusion.

The answer to the first is easy. I truly am a very late bloomer – even though I precede the baby boomers.

I have no answer for the second, but I suspect I’m going to lose a few hours of sleep for the next few days pondering the answer, which will probably still elude me.

And that’s not logical at all.

Bean Pat: To be or not to be. https://interestingliterature.com/2018/11/03/a-short-analysis-of-shakespeares-to-be-or-not-to-be-soliloquy-from-hamlet/   I found this to be quite interesting, especially since I was thinking about popular quotes when I read it.

Blog pick of the day.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, she is calling Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Read Full Post »

Winklepickers

These flowers aren’t periwinkles, but their color is about the right hue. — Art by Pat Bean

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.” — Dr. Seuss
The Word Stumped Me

I was reading Eric Brown’s Murder Takes a Turn, which is set in England shortly after the end of World War II, when I came across the word winklepickers. I love British mysteries set in this era, before DNA and other scientific methods changed the tone of modern-day crime solving; and I love reading books that teach me something and introduce me to new words.

They call these shoes Winklepickers. But they’re more of a cobalt blue than periwinkle blue, don’t you think?

Wunklepickers was one of these, and stopped me in my reading tracks. My Kindle was on the table beside me, so I used it to look up a definition of the word, and discovered that it is a boot or shoe with a pointed toe that became popular with British rock and roll fans in the 1950s.

The name is related to periwinkle snails, which I had also never heard of, but which are a popular snack across the ocean. The only periwinkle I’m familiar with is a five-petaled flower that is mostly purple or blue. Periwinkle is also a watercolor hue that I sometimes use.

The shoe moniker, however, refers to the sharp-pointed object that is needed by snail eaters to extract the soft snail flesh from the shell.

But then perhaps you already knew this. I asked my friend Jean this morning, when she dropped off her canine friend Dusty for me to watch while she went to work, if she had heard of winklepickers. She immediately thought of the snails, but then she’s a chef and spent many years working in Europe.

Stores are still selling winklepickers today, I discovered when I went online to research the word – but I think I’ll stick to my tennies. I’m sure they are way more comfortable.

Now available on Amazon

Bean Pat: A fall walk https://pinolaphoto.com/2018/10/26/a-fall-walk-through-the-miami-whitewater-forest/?wref=pil Enjoy. I did.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, she is calling Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Read Full Post »

The “Big Tree” on Texas’s Goose Island is one of the world’s largest live oak trees. It was considered to be Texas’ largest until a bigger one was found in Brazoria County, where I lived for 15 years. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television.” – Aldo Leopold

About Trees…and Life

I’m rereading Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, a thoughtful philosopher and naturalist who wrote about the environment. It’s well worth rereading, and I do so every few years.

A first edition cover of Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Aldo wrote that he loved all trees, but that he was in love with pines. I also love all trees so naturally his words got me asking myself what was my favorite tree. It only took me a second to conclude that it was a live oak.

While it can’t compare to the giant redwoods, it does get mighty big. If it lives long enough, its winding, crooked branches can be wider than the trees height. It stays green in winter, and I often see it with graceful lengths of moss hanging from its limbs.

I lived on the Texas Gulf Coast in 1961, when Hurricane Carla came roaring through. It was two weeks after it struck before we evacuees were allowed back to our homes. Fortunately, ours, inland a bit in the town of Lake Jackson, only had a few roof shingles missing.

What was missing, however, was all of the moss from the live oak trees. The hurricane blew the moss off all the trees, taking with it the landscapes southern charm.          Now, here are a few more of Aldo Leopold’s quotes that make me think:

           “Cease being intimidated by the argument that a right action is impossible because it does not yield maximum profits, or that a wrong action is to be condoned because it pays.”
The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: ‘What good is it?”

  “To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.”

“There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.” — said Aldo Leopold, about his book.

Sand County Almanac, which has had many printings, was first published in 1949, a year after Leopold’s death at the age of 61.

          Bean Pat: Books of the 1970s https://lithub.com/a-century-of-reading-the-10-books-that-defined-the-1970s/

Now available on Amazon

Of the top 10, I had read seven, and many of the others as well. What about you?

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, she is calling Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Read Full Post »

Evidently, as usual, I took a wrong turn somewhere. — Photo by Pat Bean

“I think what is interesting in life is all the cracks and all the flaws and all the moments that are not perfect.” — Clemence Poesy

My GPS Has It Too

I have no sense of direction. Without a familiar mountain that never moves within my sight, I will almost always turn in the opposite direction of my desired destination.

For 25 years, I got around Ogden, Utah quite well because the magnificent Wasatch Mountains never moved/ They always stood tall and proud to the east. — Photo by Pat Bean

My usual method for getting to where I want to go when I’m driving, and the one I used for the nine years in which I traveled this country full time in a small RV, is to study a map before I head out, and carefully create a written cheat sheet of where to turn right or left.

The last few years, however, I have learned to use a GPS that a thoughtful daughter gave me. But it and I don’t always communicate well.

For example, I took a friend to the airport last week at o-dark-hundred. I knew the way to the airport but used my GPS because my night vision is no longer great, and the device tells me the names of streets coming up.

As usual, because, as I said,  the GPS and I don’t communicate well, the device wanted to take me to the airport on a route different from the way I wanted to go. As a result, because I thought the street the GPS wanted me to turn on was before the street I wanted to turn on, but it was after, I passed it by. OK. I’ll just follow the darn GPS directions, I decided. That would have been just fine if the GPS hadn’t told me to turn right when it should have said turn left.

 

These days, I live in the shadow of the Catalina Mountains, which when I’m in Tucson never move from their northern position. Above is a sunrise view from my bedroom balcony. — Photo by Pat Bean

Thankfully, after a couple more wrong turns, I got my friend to the airport on time. That’s because I always give myself plenty of time to get lost when I’m going somewhere – even when I have a GPS.

And there’s even a silver lining behind my flawed sense of direction. I’ve gotten to see a lot more of this beautiful country because of my many unintentional detours.

Bean Pat:  Garden of Verse https://argumentativeoldgit.wordpress.com/2018/10/21/for-love-of-unforgotten-times-a-childs-garden-of-verses-by-robert-louis-stevenson/  I, too, read Robert Louis Stevenson as a child.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Read Full Post »

Laughter

            “A Day without laughter is a day wasted.” – Charlie Chaplin

These flowers and butterfly I saw at the Botanical Gardens in Phoenix didn’t make me laugh, but they certainly put a smile on my face. — Photo by Pat Bean

Giggling is Good for the Soul

The more I live on this planet, the more I enjoy, and am thankful for, anyone and anything that makes me laugh. I’ve even begun recording things that bring a smile to my face in my journals so I can smile a second time down the road a bit.

But my friend, Kris, who always makes me laugh, brought a big smile to my face as turned into a butterfly during our visit to the gardens. — Photo by Pat Bean

As I do so, I’ve begun noticing that the kind of things that make me laugh the loudest – belly laughing I call it — are more likely to be things that have me laughing at myself.

For example, the quote: “Writer’s block is only a problem for those who can afford it.”  This made me laugh because while I occasionally suffer from writer’s block these days, I never once had it before I retired when I wrote for a living.

I laugh at the who-walked-into-a- bar jokes that one son is always telling me, and the knock-knock jokes a young grandson has discovered, or the corny jokes told in a melodrama a friend and I recently saw here in Tucson at the Gaslight Theater. It was called “The Vampire” and the show had me giggling throughout the night.

Meanwhile, I’ve also come to notice that I’m not laughing at the late-night comedians – you know who they are — who mock people and what’s going on in the world today. For one thing, I don’t consider this kind of material something to laugh about.

For another, it seems like such rhetoric is a kind of bullying, certainly not the kind of laughter that will help a polarized nation come together, encourage people to practice kindness or set good examples to young people who make fun of or bully any kid who is different.

Am I alone in feeling this way? I really want to know.

Bean Pat: Another Unscheduled Interruption: Michael   https://1writeway.com/2018/10/10/another-unscheduled-interruption-hurricanemichael/#like-19323  Hope we learn what happened next.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Read Full Post »

A 2015 road trip to the north rim of the Grand Canyon to see aspens in the fall. — Photo by Pat Bean

“You can’t travel the back roads very long without discovering a multitude of gentle people doing good for others with no expectation of gain or recognition.  The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines.: — Charles Kuralt. 

A fall hike in Maine’s Scarborough Marsh. — Photo by Pat Bean

A Break from the Chaos

Fall along Texas’ Gulf Coast. — Photo by Pat Bean

I don’t know about you, but I need a break from hearing people being unkind and downright nasty to each other. I’m tired of people who are rudely unaccepting of anyone or anything that is different from them or theirs.

I don’t expect everyone to think the way I think, or the way you think, but that doesn’t mean we can’t at least be civil to one another. Being different or thinking different is not a crime.

I think I need to take a back road road trip to remind me of all the good people in this world. And what better time of year to do it than in autumn, when Mother Nature showers the vistas with color.

Anyone want to join me?

Colorado’s Cumbres Pass in the autumn. — Photo by Pat Bean

Bean Pat: Breezes at  Dawn https://breezesatdawn.wordpress.com/2018/10/08/a-monday-meander-surprise-adventures/ Another blogger who likes to wander.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Fall at Idaho’s Lake Walcott State Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Polifax in the 1999 TV movie The Unexpected Mrs. Polifax. Other actors have also played this character, but Angela is how I always pictured the character when I read Dorothy Gilman’s books.Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us. – Boris Pasternak

The Write Words

One of my favorite authors back when I was trying to figure out life, which of course I still am, was Dorothy Gilman and her Mrs. Polifax series. For those of you who haven’t read any of the books, Mrs. Emily Polifax is a white-haired widow who adored hats, had a brown belt in karate and worked for the CIA as a spy.

Life”s surprises are a gift, like a butterfly that unexpectedly appears. — Art by Pat Besn.

What I liked about Gilman’s heroine was that no matter how difficult a situation she found herself in, she was always hopeful she would find a surprising way out of her difficulties.

Reading back journals, I discovered I often used the character’s dialog as quotes. The gist of the one I remember best is that life is not like setting a table where everything can be placed exactly like you want. I thought about this on reading this month’s prompt from my online writing circle, which is:  Write about a journey you’ve been on where you got sidetracked and ended up with a much more fulfilling outcome.

My second thought was: just my whole life.  

            Dreams I had of how my life would go – to quote one of my grandmother’s favorite sayings – went to hell in a handbasket. Other dreams turned out better than I could ever have imagined, even though they bumped forward on a rocky path with many detours along the way.

Looking back, I’m glad life didn’t go the way I had planned. It wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting.

Bean Pat:  https://lithub.com/alice-walker-on-writing-dancing-and-bursting-into-song/  I  loved this.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »