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Archive for the ‘Journeys’ Category

Thorns

Beauty among the thorns. — Photo by Pat Bean

          You cannot show people only the petals and not the thorns. It’s not fair to them.” – Bethenny Frankel

Morning Chat

          Marianne Moore, an American poet born in 1887 whose work was rife with irony and wit, said: “Thorns are the best part of you.”

My younger self would have argued the point – until the day I noticed that my children were all in love with my mother. She was a person who had lots of thorns.

She was also a kind person, but the thorns, as Marianne proclaimed, were the best part of her.

It took a few more years, however, before I let my own thorns show. And that only happened when I realized that people would still like me, well at least the people who counted, if I were more than a smiling, agreeable twit who never said “No” to anyone’s request.

It seems I had only been pretending to be a goodie-two-shoes – and that probably lost me more friendships than it saved.

I still smile a lot, and try to be kind. But sometimes, as my close friends and telemarketers can testify, I can be a real bitch.

Bean Pat: Celery Bog https://pinolaphoto.com/2019/09/27/the-fall-migration-comes-to-the-celery-bog/ A walk among the birds I wish I could take.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, enthusiastic birder, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Dang Those Extra 30 Pounds

It’s fall. I love pumpkin pie and my pumpkin soup. And I’m going to eat as much as I want. — Painting by Pat Bean

          “Embrace what you have. Say, ‘Belly, you might be poking out today, but I’m going to choose to love you and nurture you.” – Ashley Graham

Morning Chat

          As I’m rereading my journals from the 1990s, I find myself frequently coming across instructions to not eat so much, to get serious about losing weight, t0 exercise more, and numerous promises to myself to follow this or that dieting plan.

As a young girl, I was on the skinny side and stayed that way, even through five pregnancies, until I hit about 30. I then spent the next 20 or so years at a weight that felt right for me. But when I hit my 50s, I began adding pounds, eventually about the 30 extra that I still carry around today.

I can starve myself for two weeks, then look at food and I’m back where I started. I finally realized that if I ate reasonably sensible, but never denied myself anything I truly wanted, my weight didn’t fluctuate. Over the past 15 years since I retired, my weight has not varied by more than five pounds, and that was downward, and might have had something to do with the numerous trips I make up and down three flights of stairs every day.

Today my weight only varies by one or two pounds — no matter what I eat. It seems my body wants those extra 30 pounds and there is not much I can do about it other than starve myself and be miserable. But since I enjoy cooking and eating, and am not a martyr, I have come to love my body just the way it wants to be — and to be thankful to it for all the good times it has given me.

I think I must have started down this path on April 5, 1998, when I wrote in my journal: “I need to walk more for my soul, and less for exercise.”

          Bean Pat: https://westwardwewander.com/ If you like traveling, nature and hiking, you’ll love this blogger

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, enthusiastic birder, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Cats I Have Known

A painting I did of my cat Chigger. She was a black and orange tortoise-shell cat with lots of personality. She loved to sit on the laps of visitors, especially if they were allergic to cats, as was my old friend and co-worker Charlie. 

          “I’m curious. Period. I find everything interesting. Real life. Fake Life. Flowers. Cats. But mostly people. If you keep your eyes open and your mind open, everything can be interesting.” Agnes Varda

Morning Chat

          I grew up with dogs and thought I didn’t like cats. That feeling was confirmed when my nine-year-old daughter, Deborah, brought home a black cat that she said had followed her home from school. Maybe, maybe not.

The cat across the way who prompted me to write this blog. — Photo by Pat Bean

She named her Mai Ling, and she was the nastiest meanest cat I have ever known. She hid under the couch and scratched people’s ankles as they passed by – and she jumped on people in the middle of the night.

But my daughter loved her and so the cat stayed – until she adopted another home down the street. My daughter brought her back a couple of times but she always went back. I think our home was one she simply adopted temporarily after she tired of her home before ours.

Meanwhile, my kids – I had five of them – were always bringing home stray dogs, which we took in until we could find a home for them. One day, however, they brought in this skinny, bedraggled, ugly cat. I knew before we could find it a home, we would have to fatten it up a bit. But by the week’s end, the whole family had fallen in love with this cat, and we kept her.

After a few more weeks, just as the ugly duckling turned into a swam, our ugly cat turned into a beautiful calico that lived with us for many years. We named her Kitirick, after the Houston TV Channel 13 KTRK’s mascot Kitirick. The sexy, black-cat dressed mascot was played by Wanda Louise Orsak.

A collage of cats from one of my art journals.c

The next cat I came to love was a 17-pound, cross-eyed Siamese with an overbite. He was the first family animal that liked me best, and his favorite sleeping spot was my pillow — right next to my head. We named him Emperor Sock-It-To-Me in honor of the TV show >Laugh In.” But we just called him Imp.

The last cat in my life came into my life on Christmas Eve in 1982. My son, Lewis, was on leave from the Army and had found a tiny kitten abandoned on a snowy canyon road. He dropped her into my lap and said, “Merry Christmas Mom.

She was tiny and cute, and I thought of naming her something sweet and pretty, like Crystal or Tiffany. I went to bed thinking about what her name should be; I had a lot of waking time to think because she wanted to play all night. By morning, I knew her name was going to be Chigger, because nothing is peskier than chiggers.

I had her until she died in 1999, leaving my then canine companion, Peaches, depressed. While in the company of humans, Peaches pretended the cat didn’t exist. But after Peaches became deaf, I would often come home from work and find the two animals curled up together on my bed.

So why am I writing about cats this morning? Because I’m staring at one in a window across from my balcony.

Bean Pat: To all the people out there who take good care of their cats, and other pets as well. Not much makes my blood boil hotter than someone who abuses animals.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, enthusiastic birder, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Looking at a rainbow off my bedroom balcony. — Photo by Pat Bean

          “The way I see it, if you want the rainbows, you gotta put up with the rain.” – Dolly Parton

Morning Chat

          My long-time friend Kim visited me this past weekend. We sat up the first night and drank Jack and Cokes on my balcony and chatted until the wee hours of the morning the first night, went to a paint class the next day, and a corny musical play at the Gaslight Theater here in Tucson, where we both laughed ourselves silly, last night.

Kim and I at the end of our paint class.

She had gotten a cheap ticket for the visit by landing at the Phoenix-Gateway Mesa Airport, which is two hours from my place. No problem because I jump at any opportunity these days to be on the road.

She arrived at 10 a.m. on Friday, which was perfect. But her flight back to Utah left at 6 a.m., which meant that we begin her drive back to the airport at 2:30 a.m. Not too big a deal until we were almost there and it started to rain, Drips at first and then buckets, which made seeing, especially for my old eyes, a bit difficult.

But I was familiar with the route and we made it safely to the airport, where Kim got thoroughly drenched before she got her suitcase out of the hatchback. With the rain now coming down mightily, I creeped my way back to Interstate 10 via Loop 202 and through the town of Chandler. Back on the interstate, the rained stopped and I could once again enjoy the early morning drive.

I have to admit, I had cursed the rain when I had to drive through it.

This morning when I woke up, I discovered that the rain had come to Tucson overnight. But when a few minutes later I found myself waking my canine companion, Scamp, in the rain, I realized I was loving it.

I find it interesting how circumstances can give one’s brain a 180-degree turn.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: To everyone who loves walking in the rain.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, enthusiastic birder, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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One of the magnets stuck to my refrigerator.

          “One day an army of gray-haired women may quietly take over the earth.” – Gloria Steinem

Morning Thoughts

          While perusing through Facebook this morning, something I allow myself to do for about 10 minutes after posting a link to my blog, I came across a painting of the backs of four women standing close together in a meadow filled with flowers, all with long gray hair that ended in one braid.

Gloria Steinem’s quote accompanied the illustration. The scene and words moved me. While my hair is short, it is gray these days and I am an old woman. And I would gladly join an army of sisters intent on bringing peace and sanity to this world.

I felt significant when I was a journalist and focused on educating, not editorializing, about things going on in my small part of the world. Today, it seems, we get more falsehoods than truth, and more righteous opinions then honest facts.

But now, as a gray-haired old woman, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only thing in my power is to be kind. A better world has to begin with that. But if my sisters ever raise that army, I’ll be one of the first to volunteer.

   Bean Pat: To all kind people in the world.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, enthusiastic birder, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

 

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          Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind, and dance the mountains like a flame.” – William Butler Yeats

A rare view of Mount Lemmon with snow on its peaks. — Photo by Pat Bean

Morning Thoughts

I was in my early teens before I left the flatlands of Texas and saw my first mountain. It was love at first sight.

I suspect that love was one of the reasons I settled in Tucson for my retirement years, instead of in Texas where the majority of my children live and where I had planned to settle after my full-time RV-ing years.

One of the first things I see every morning, when I look off my bedroom balcony or while I’m walking my canine companion, Scamp, is Mount Lemmon. I live in its shadow, and just looking at it fills my heart with joy.

Mount Lemmon, at 9,159 feet, is the tallest one in the Santa Catalina Range. Its name is rare in that it honors a woman, botanist Sara Plummer Lemmon who hiked to its peak in1881.

It’s currently the monsoon season here in the Sonoran Desert, and while it’s been a dry one, the mountain still exudes a green patina at midday. In the early mornings, the rising sun casts shadows that define its nooks, crannies, and canyons. And in the evening, as the mountain reflects back the last rays of the sun, it takes on a rosy glow.

The mountain’s face is ever-changing, and I never tire of looking to my north.

Some people need to live by the sea, others in a forest. I need to live by a mountain. It steadies me and sings to my soul – and always lets me know which direction I’m facing

Check out Travels with Maggie on Amazon.

Bean Pat: One of my favorite books is Men to Match My Mountains by Irving Stone. Sara Plummer Lemmon and Isabella Bird, who is the author of A Lady in the Rocky Mountains (also a favorite book) add notes to history showing women can match the mountains, too.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, enthusiastic birder, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Piddling around with art is one of the things that is always on my daily to-do list. Some days I paint, and some days I don’t. This simple one of a tree and meadow were done a couple of years ago.

          By taking the time to stop and appreciate who you are and what you’ve achieved – and perhaps learned through a few mistakes, stumbles and losses – you actually can enhance everything about you. Self-acknowledgment and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward toward higher goals and accomplishments.” — Jack Canfield

Morning Thoughts

          As I picked up my daily journal yesterday morning, I noted that it was 8:30 a.m. I then wrote “It’s not yet nine a.m. and I have walked my dog Scamp, made my bed, washed dishes, blogged and read a chapter in Carole King’s memoir. A Natural Woman.”

I paused for a moment, then laughed as I continued writing. “It feels good to give myself credit for the things I’ve done instead of beating myself up for all the things on my to-do list that I haven’t done.”

          All I can say is that at 80, it’s about time.

Reading my journals of the past, I discovered that I was constantly abusing myself for not doing everything I planned or wanted to do, even though in the earlier journals when I was a working mother, I found myself amazed that I had managed to do so much.

While I no longer beat myself up, today’s to-do list is, as always, longer than my attention and energy can handle. I like it that way. It assures that I will never wake up and find myself with nothing to do.

But being OK with not accomplishing it all is a blessing that has only come with age. I like that, too.

Check out Travels with Maggie on Amazon.

Bean Pat: Silly Saturday https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/2019/09/14/silly-saturday-the-past-unblogged/ A plug for blogging that made me laugh.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, enthusiastic birder, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.    *****

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