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The Road Less Traveled

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~ Robert Frost

Friendship ~ Love

Friendship is a quiet walk in the park with the one you trust

Love is when you feel like you are the only two around.

Friendship is when they gaze into your eyes and you know they care.

Love is when they gaze into your eyes and it warms your heart.

Friendship is being close even when you are far apart.

Love is when you can still feel their hand on your heart when they are not near.

Friendship is hoping that they experience the very best.

Love is when you bring them the very best.

Friendship occupies your mind.

Love occupies your soul.

Friendship is knowing that you will always try to be there when in need.

Love is when you will give up everything to be at their side.

Friendship is a warm smile in the winter.

Love is a warming touch that sends a pulse through your heart.

Love is a beautiful smile to which nothing compares:

A tender laugh, which opens your heart,

A single touch that melts away your fears,

A smell that reminds you of the tenderness of heaven,

A voice that reminds you of the innocence of youth.

Friendship can survive without love.

Love cannot live without friendship.

~ Author Unknown .

Copyright (©) 2010 - 2017

A Weekend In Paradise ~

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“Off the beaten path” can be a choice or a reflection; it can be a moment in which we decide to follow the crowd or to adventure off on our own and take a chance; take a chance on finding a gem in the rough or take a chance that we are able to acclimate ourselves and enjoy the prospect of only finding a lump of coal.

In our latest excursion we were indeed fortunate and blessed, we found a gem …  we found Paradise.

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Paradise Valley is a river valley located in Southwestern Montana just north of Yellowstone National Park. The Yellowstone River flows through the valley with several natural hot springs and other natural wonders. Wildlife is prevalent with elk, deer and eagles.

In finding Paradise, we experienced awe inspiring views and a glimpse at a lifestyle that is laid back and easy. It was a moment where time seemed to pause and reflect an earlier way of life.

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The cabin we stayed in www.cabininparadise.com is owned by a local woman, Edie, who is well known and well liked by the residents of Emigrant, Montana. She owns only the one cabin and fills it with the little things that make it feel homey and full of love. There is an attention to detail in the simple décor and it is clean and welcoming and comfortable.

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Finding this cabin gave us the opportunity to explore this area of Montana and to have a cozy place to return to. Our cabin was only a mile from the Chico Hot Springs Resort,  www.chicohotsprings.com, a mineral hot spring that has been used by local natives for hundreds of years and is now turning into a renowned spa. Here we were able to enjoy an evening of swimming, socializing and listening to local music before retiring back to our cabin.

The Chico Hot Springs are well know in Montana and nearby areas. They are mineral springs that are believed to hold special healing powers. Some people even believe that they are a “fountain of youth”  keeping users young and healthy by their therapeutic effects on skin disease, women’s diseases and arthritis.

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As we left Paradise Valley, we ventured into Yellowstone National Park following the Yellowstone River to its oldest entrance in Gardiner, Montana. This entrance is framed by the Roosevelt Arch and holds the inscription made famous by Roosevelt when the park was originally dedicated to the people of the U.S.  in 1903.

FOR THE BENEFIT AND ENJOYMENT OF THE PEOPLE

~ Act of Congress March 1, 1872

We were surprised and also fortunate to discover that this would be the last weekend most of the roads inside the park would be open for the year.

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It is always nice when things fall into place and turn into special memories; this weekend turned into one of these times. I will be forever grateful that I was given the opportunity to see and explore Paradise Valley and Yellowstone National Park during the winter. It is one of the things that most people never get the opportunity or take the time to do.

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As we explored Yellowstone National Park we were able to see elk and buffalo in their natural surroundings. We saw  hot springs, canyons, waterfalls,  geysers and other unique geothermal features. We were able to leisurely travel and experience the quiet and hear the sounds of nature without the interruption of human voices.

We were able to imagine a time when the area was first being discovered by John Colter and Jim Bridger and the amazement they must have felt at discovering these incredible sights and natural wonders.

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I often reflect on the audacity and motivation it took for these men of courage and vision to leave their homes and venture off into the unknown. I am reminded, however, when I gaze upon the incredible magnificence of the Rockie Mountains that sometimes we may feel a calling and a stirring in the soul to see what is over that next ridge or around that next turn. Whether we are seeking adventure or discovery,  some are not content to sit by and only hear about the wonders of this amazing world we live in. Some feel the need and desire to see all that they can see and experience all that is before them.

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It is gratifying to step off of the path forged by others and to choose instead to find my own path and direction.

I am excited about the prospect of turning my own lump of coal into a gem… A gem that is more magnificent than I could ever have  imagined.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~ Robert Frost

~ MEET ME IN MONTANA ~ Paul Davis  ~  Performed by Dan Seals and Marie Osmond

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Journeys ~

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Traveling from Wyoming to California on the back of a Goldwing, I reveled in the magnificence of the western skies; I marveled at the colors of the trees in Colorado as their leaves began to change from green into the brilliant reds and golds and oranges that signify the end of summer; I was entranced by the beauty of  the red rocks in Arizona and the peacefulness of the cabin and campground we stayed at with friends in Sedona; I looked in wonder as the terrain changed from desert to mountain, progressing  from mile after mile of saguaro cactus into the hairpin twists and turns of the mountainous roads.

As we traveled and marveled at the scenery and terrain changes, the feelings of having received a rare gift stayed with me and the feelings of gratitude filled my soul.

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It seems our lives are made up of journeys. Some of our journeys are physical but mostly our lives are made up of emotional, philosophical and personal journeys.

These journeys may take on many different characteristics and their value may depend on the moments in which they occur. They may come in the form of lifestyle altering changes or they may come in the form of our reactions to the different crossings by the people who revolve in and out of our world.

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I am one who believes that we attract into our world what is foremost in our thoughts… our emotions give these thoughts the power to manifest.

We are like a sponge that absorbs whatever it is that we are around and think of on a daily basis. As we become emotional about these thoughts, our world begins to reflect where our thoughts have led us. Only by changing our thoughts can we change our world.

 By looking at the manifestations of our world we are able to determine what our foremost thoughts, desires and loves truly are. By asking, we receive and by receiving we believe and by believing more manifestations are possible. It is a circle that begins and ends at a central starting point - what we believe.

When we begin the journey of living our life to the fullest, this circle becomes a comforting way to embrace and live our life. As we live our lives with love and admiration and gratitude for all that we have and for all that we can dream, we are then able to truly feel inner joy and happiness.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

~Ernest Hemingway

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Days of Autumn ~

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As the air turns cooler and the days get shorter,  I have come to suspect that Autumn may be my favorite time of year.

This realization has come about slowly. It has come about after years of believing that Summer or maybe even Spring is my favorite season. This idea has crept into my thoughts from time to time but thus far had never actually convinced me of this unfathonable fact.

I ask myself… What could there be to love about the end of Summer? What possible reason could there be to even imagine the cool days of Fall as anything more than an end to the frolicking of the wondrous days of Summer? What more is there to an Autumn day and night than a prelude to the beginning of Winter?

Hummmm…

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Wonderful Fall Music Festivals

Magnificent October Skies

Jumping Into A Pile Of Leaves

Tenting And Hiking

Apple Cider ~ Apple Pies

Raindrops On Tinroofs

Horsedrawn Hay Rides

Bonfires

Chrysanthemums

Camping Trips

Snuggling By The Fire

Golden Aspens

Harvest Moons

Oktoberfest

Porch Swings

Scenic Drives

Falling In Love

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Here’s to Falling In Love ~ All Over Again

Amore’  To Autumn

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In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!
Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

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I Remember ~

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As another summer winds to a close I remember…

I remember Bavaria.

I remember the boat ride along the Rhine River with the wind blowing in my hair. I remember gazing out at the passing castles and reflecting on the beauty that was before me. I remember how much I wanted to stay in this beautiful country and savor every moment.

 My European vacation was coming to a close and I felt deep in my heart that this trip was momentous and would be the beginning of a complete revamping of my life. We were aboard the Loreley, named after a rock along the Rhine River that marks the narrowest point on the river between Switzerland and the North Sea. It is also the name of a beautiful German poem about the enchanting Loreley who is betrayed by her beloved and is accused of bewitching men and causing their deaths.

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I remember feeling the awakening in my heart and the realization that, although I was alive, I had not truly lived in years. There was a deep sadness in my soul and though I couldn’t quite figure out how to be happy,  I knew that there must be a way.

I began a realization that all my decisions and thoughts and actions had brought me to this point in my life and only by changing these thoughts would I be able to change my life.

This five year anniversary marks a milestone for me. I am extremely grateful that I am now surrounded by positive people who I love and who love me in return.  Amazingly, I do wake up every morning giving thanks for the wonderful life that I now share with these special, special people and know that I am truly blessed.

I am trying to adopt a  “joy de vivre”  attitude…  living life to the fullest and truly having an embulliency for life. I can’t think of a better way to greet each day. We are, after all, only given a small moment in time to make our mark.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.    ~ Albert Einstein            

As darkness is a passing shadow, and light
is a substance that remains, so sorrow is
fleeting, but joy abides for ever. Do not think your sorrow will remain;
it will pass away like a cloud. ~ James Allen

I believe in happily ever-afters, I believe that if I can have faith and believe, my dreams will come true.

I believe that love is truly the answer and I believe that our life is whatever we choose it to be.

Yes, I believe in magic and in miracles.

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Long Distance Romance ~

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Every morning I miss you…

More, every day.

I wake up and reach out…

But you’re far away.

I beg for your touch

I dream of your kiss

I think of the memories

And good times we’ve missed.

A long distance romance

Growing stronger with time

A yearning and feeling

A passionate rhyme.

A long distance romance

Playing in my mind

A dream and a whisper

Of what’s left behind.

A single small moment

Of memories past

A meaningful feeling

A summertime trance.

I MISS YOU DARLING ~

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Simple Things ~

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I wake up and look at the writing on the wall….

~ Live Simply ~

It is there to remind me ~ Never become so engrosed in material things that I lose sight of what makes my life a true blessing.

I am reminded ~ Blessings come in many shapes and sizes but are always there if I am willing to look.

It reminds me ~ There can be good stuff on the inside of us all ~ We can all be beautiful no matter what our outer packages project.

What a gift it would be if we could learn to see the inside of a life and forget about the outer packages.

With age has come realization… Realization that life is fragile, Realization that each day gives us an opportunity to fullfill all that is important to us, Realization that each day is one of a kind, Realization that no matter what the obstacles before us, we are able to learn and grow and enjoy and prosper.

“Does Thou Love Life? Then Do Not Squander Time, For That Is The Stuff Life Is Made Of.”  ~ Ben Franklin

“That Man Is The Richest Whose Pleasures Are The Cheapest.”    ~ Thoreau

“We Do Not Remember Days, We Remember Moments.”        ~ Cesare Pavese

I recently became a Grandmother for the second time, what a true joy to know this unconditional love. As I think of all the things I want to share with my grandchildren, it is the walks throught the woods, the sunrises, the sunsets, the days full of laughter, bliss and happiness that I most want them to experience and to teach them to appreciate.

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It is the long, lazy summer days spend skipping rocks or fishing or wandering around with no destination in mind; It is the autumn days with the cool breeze in the air, wondering about the leaves changing colors, camp fires and sleeping  in tents, fishing in streams, admiring the mountains in the distance and venturing to meet them;  It is the cold winter mornings spent drinking hot cocoa, stomping in the newly fallen snow and realizing that no two snowflakes are ever the same. It is the springtime days spent picking wildflowers, flying a kite and having a picnic. It is the mornings snuggling with their parents and the nightimes falling asleep to a bedtime story.

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My wish for them would be the opportunity and courage to live a lifetime true to themselves and their passions. The confidence to follow their heart, find out what it is that they love and persue it with all of their soul. I wish that they would learn to appreciate and admire the simple things in life.

 Today I am reminded -  The Simple Things Truly Are The Best Things.

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups have been taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups… And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee. Savor the coffee, not the cups!  The happiest people don’t have the best of everything… They just make the best of everything.

Live Simply. Love Generously. Care Deeply. Speak Kindly

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Enjoying The All ~

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Taking a moment of time

 To imagine a way,

Watching a simple image

As it floats away.

Dreaming of tomorrow

Today still in hand,

Learning and dreaming

A life long plan.

As a river flows,

Life begins it’s imitation

 Sometimes rough and rolling,

At other times gently moving

 Always however,

Moving along from place to place.

Sometimes staying

Within the confines of its banks,

At other times

Violently exploding out.

 Malleable as it flows,

Always Growing

Forever Changing

Winding along,

Finding inspiration along the way.

 Whether jagged and turbulent,

Or smooth and laminar,

 Following it’s individual course,

Becoming parts of its influences

Following life’s path

As it cuts its way

Through obstacles before it.

Enjoying the ride,

Experiencing the all.

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Donovan Frankenreiter ~ KPRI Concert

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The last week of June was welcomed by classic rock station 102.1 KPRI  offering another free concert for their private listeners. This latest concert was held aboard the Adventure Hornblower in San Diego.

It was another clear, beautiful night in the San Diego Harbor. The doors opened early and the festivities began early as a capacity crowd was fortunate enough to hear the opening act of GARBO,  with lead singer Cathryn Beeks, of KPRI’s the Homegrown Hour and closing act Donovan Frankenreiter.

Donovan last appeared aboard the Hornblower three years agao and was welcomed back on June 28 to a capacity crowd with around 400 people being turned away. Over the past few years, Donovan has appeared at the Belly Up Tavern, the Green Flash concert series at Birch Scripps Aquarium and also aboard the Hornblower in concerts for KPRI fans.

Frankenreiter is a musician and a surfer whose first album was released in 2004 on Jack Johnson’s, Brushfire Records. He began surfing in Southern California and was signed to tour with Billabong through a clothing sponsorship. During this time he met and became friends with Jack Johnson who’s musical style is very similar to his own.

This Hornblower cruise was lively and festive and the crowd was energetic and vigorous.

Thank you KPRI…

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Poudre Canyon, Colorado ~

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The beautiful Colorado landscape is being scarred by a raging wildfire that is engulfing thousands of acres and destroying hundreds of homes. In the midst of it all is Poudre Canyon, a narrow canyon approximately 40 miles long. In my opinion, this stretch of land, on Colorado Hwy. 14 along the Poudre River,  is one of the prettiest in the world.

Hwy 14 is currently closed due to the devestation caused by the High Park fire. To date over 56,000 acres have burned and close to 200 homes have been lost. At this time the fire is only 45% contained with no rain expected in the near future.  This fire is now recognized as the largest and most devastating wildfire in Colorado’s history. It is of small conciliation but is noted however that this fire was started naturally by lightning instead of, as once feared, by human hands.

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I was fortunate enough this past Fall to take a ride down the breathtaking Poudre Canyon on Colorado Hwy 14 from Walden, Co. to Hwy. 287 near Ft. Collins. This ride was absolutely amazing and the scenery was incredible.

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During our trip we stayed in a small, rustic cabin along the Poudre River http://sportsmanslodgecolorado.com/. We then enjoyed the day hiking, riding, stopping along the river, enjoying the views and inhaling the freedom of unencumbered happiness.

We enjoyed breakfast along the Poudre River at the Mishawaka http://themishawaka.com/an amphitheatre/restaurant, and are looking forward to attending an open air concert there this summer. I have learned that, at this time, the Mishawaka is still standing but the concerts have been postponed until the end of June.

The people we met of the Poudre Canyon were open, friendly and absolutely lovely. It was a pleasure being a part of their world, if only for a short time.

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In watching the residents on the news, after the devastating losses they are experiencing, I noticed that they were optimistic and thankful, thankful for their blessings and thankful to have been given the opportunity to live in such a remarkable, beautiful area.

I am full of admiration and respect for the people who have made their homes in these areas. I am ever appreciative for being able to enjoy this area before the fires swept through and though it may take years for the land to recover I am convinced that with the spirit and courage of the residents the love and reconstruction will return much sooner.

The small towns in Colorado have always inspired me with the openness and amiability of the people who call this area home. Their outlook on life is admirable and their values seem to be reflected in the areas they choose to live in and by the things that they place importance on.

 Imagine having the opportunity to wake up daily seeing the beautiful Rocky Mountains, the rolling waters of their many rivers and streams and the chance to make this area your home. I ask myself… could there be a more satisfying life than living amongst some of these most amazing sights and sounds?

Today I count my blessings for having had the opportunity to visit this beautiful area and meet these brave, honorable people.

“The mountains are calling and I must go.”

~ John Muir

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SUNRISE ~

 

SUNRISE

S   teadfast in the morning shadows – dependable and unencumbered

U  nexplainable beauty - imponderable with an evanescent glow

N   ew beginnings – believing and knowing

R   adiance ever-changing – transfixed in amazement

I    ridescent – magnified with beauty and magnificence

S   plendid – gentle and serene

E  verlasting wonder – treasures of a lifetime

 Gazing over the rolling plains, to witness another amazing sunrise,  I am mesmerized as the western skies of Wyoming seem to transform themselves into a magnificent painting; a painting full of radiant color and luminance, a 3-d panorama of vivid iridescence. The reds, the violets, the pinks, all seem polarized and much more intense than expected. I am full of wonder and begin to realize the promise of what is ahead. I am given a new slate, a new beginning, with nothing to mar what could be or what is in store.

  Sunrise is a time for setting goals, for believing the impossible, when anything seems probable and everything is still before us. A time filled with peacefulness and beauty, a moment made for reflecting and imagining, a moment in time when everything seems possible and the confines of the day have not yet begun to embrace us. It has a calmness and an allurement that engulfs all of the senses and manifests itself into whatever we can dream is before us.

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So… as the dawn of a new day beckons, our world is a blank canvas and our brushstrokes can design a world full of all we dare imagine it to be.

horace mann SUNRISE ~

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