Day 50: Excuses or Poetry?

Day 50!

Where oh where has this writer been?

Off to the trails, lakes and camping again?

Will she start blogging, like she promised I wonder?

Perhaps and yet … her time is asunder.

She say’s she’ll do this and she say’s she’ll do that

She rarely has time to sit down and chat!

So, let’s give her some slack and watch where she goes

She’s sure to come back, smelling sweet like a rose.

— The End —

100 Days of learning will continue at the end of July. 50 down & 50 to go!

Stay tuned!

Self-Learning: La, La, La

Day 48:

I am learning as I go. I still say Yes to most things that align with my beliefs and values. I know when to say No and step back. I am learning when to voice my opinions and when to keep quiet. I am also learning that for every mistake I make, others are willing to work with me to help get me to the next level.

Day 49:

I am learning to let go when it comes to the world of travel. There are lines, searches, more lines, delays and frustrations. And with each line, there’s an opportunity to chat with the person behind me or next to me. To learn what book they’re reading, to learn their destination. With each search is the appreciation that someone is doing their job and I am just part of the process.

I’ve learned that people-watching can take the place of television, videos, youtube and other distractions that often keep us occupied. Watching families and how they interact (or fail to interact) is fascinating. People of all shapes and sizes come with their own hidden stories. Every now and then a story is shared but for the most part, the world is filled with possible movie scripts. Off we go!

FYI– I just read The Rent Collector by Camron Wright. So far it ranks as one of my favorites!

Memorial Day: Sad Lessons

Day 38

usa flagIn the United States we celebrate Memorial Day to remember the people who died while serving in the armed forces. It’s the time to visit cemeteries with flags and flowers. It’s the time to attend parades and celebrations.

I often think about the men and women who did not die in the war but took their lives after they returned home. The veterans who couldn’t deal with the trauma of what they experienced. Those who couldn’t turn off the sights, sounds, and terror of the night. They returned in a wounded state and were unable to function. Are they considered heroes as well? Are they celebrated and memorialized or is there a stigma attached to their death? It’s clear they weren’t killed by an enemy bullet but the enemy did have a part in their death.

The suicide rate for returning veterans is over 10 times higher than the general public. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not track suicide trends among veterans of specific military units. And some units do not track suicides of former service members at all. I’ve read that over 100,000 returning Vietnam vets have committed suicide. And now the younger men and women are following in their shoes. I’ve learned that we all have a story. This one needs to change.

Day 37

I’ve learned to say Yes more often. To accept leadership roles, to hike a steep mountain, to visit large cities and small shops. I learned that I can say YES and if life gets too overwhelming to say, ENOUGH for now. I’ve learned by saying Yes, I am inviting an entire new set of circumstances into my life. New people, ideas, books, articles, opinions, tastes and vistas.

Arms out wide shouting YES!Saying Yes is scary too. It forces me to show up when I’d rather lie low. It makes me take deep breaths and look around with fresh eyes. Yes gets me in the door and then I can decide how long to stay.

Yes forces me to move whether I am ready or not. I said Yes at an early age to marriage, to motherhood, to uprooting and moving across the country, to returning to college to get my degree, to working as a waitress while I worked on my degree, to living life in a way that could only happen then. Without saying Yes, I would have missed out on meeting so many people who are now friends. At each workplace, I met someone new and wonderful. I learned from amazing bosses and bad administrators. I took chances and had friends in place to catch me when I fell.

I like going to the edge of my comfort zone and just sitting there for a bit until the discomfort fades away. The fear slowly subsides while I’m interacting with my environment – visiting the sites, meeting people, starting conversations, and staying engaged.

When I find myself in a rut, I start finding reasons to say Yes again. Yes to joining organizations, Yes to cleaning out my garage, Yes to asking for help, Yes to reading a new author, Yes to listening to new musicians, Yes to relocating, Yes to a trip — HECK yeah!

Then, in the quiet hours I reviewed the things that I said Yes to and get scared again. Why did I say Yes to that and that and that and that? What was I thinking? And yet, I learned something new, enjoyed a new band, walked a new trail, made a new friend. I know there are times to say NO and I will when the time comes. I promise I will but for now I realized I have more fun when I say Yes. I get more done and feel more satisfied at the end of the day.

For now, Yes is my friend and teacher.


Day 36

I learned (once again) how much I love walking in the morning. I love the way the light shines on flowers and how clean the air smells. I try to take my camera with me in case there is something I want to capture. My tulips and flowers morning walk1favorite things include landscapes and colorful flowers. I wish I could capture the smell as well – that fresh early morning dewy smell.


Learning about Grand Teton National Park

Day 30-Day 35 – Grand Tetons

I recently traveled to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. It was a quick 4 day visit and full of glorious views. Below are things I learned about the Tetons that I thought I’d share with you…

Amazing video about the wildlife and Grand Teton National Park.

Lesson: Grand Teton is the highest mountain in Grand Teton National Park, in Northwest Wyoming, and a classic destination in American mountaineering. It’s a popular destination for hiking, fishing, canoeing, boating, photographing, cross-country skiing, horseback riding and scenic drives.

Grand TetonsLesson: Grand Teton National Park has about 310,000 acres and or about 485 miles of land and water. The park was established in February 1929.

Lesson: The Teton mountain range is about 40 miles long. The major peaks of the Teton Range were carved into their current shapes by glaciers.

grand tetons- oh myLesson: Grand Teton National Park is located a mere ten miles from Yellowstone National Park.

Lesson: Some history books say the Tetons were named by the French because they look like teats. Other books dispute it. I like this story and agree.

The majestic views are stunning beyond compare. They jut out of the landscape and command your attention. The trouble is every view is a photo opportunity. When the path I hiked went to the east or west, the views were breath-taking and out came the camera.

tetonsWe were told to Beware Bears and one hiker told of his encounter with a mother and her two cubs. I was happy to say there were no bears on my hike. Amen!


Which bear did I see video?

Drugs, Books & Buddies

DAY 29

I learned about a deadly drug called Flakka that can be found in abundance in Florida. This drug is made from a synthetic version of the stimulant cathinone, the same class of chemical used to make bath salts.

The khat plant, which grows in parts of the Middle East as well as Somalia, is the source of cathinones. The leaves of the plant are often chewed to achieve euphoria or a high, however, that high can be as potent as crystal meth or cocaine. It causes people to act totally out of their minds – erratically, uncontrollably and dangerously.

This highly addictive drug originated from China and has been traced to Florida, Texas and Ohio so far. The users of this drug have a high that can last 3-4 hours but it harms the body physically and physiologically it triggers anxiety, paranoia and delusions.

It’s scary stuff… Click to watch youtube video.

Read More:

DAY 28

One book I recently read was called Dead Wake by Erik Larson. It’s a story about the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. Some of the story was conjecture but plenty of it was information from passengers on-board. The luxury liner was hit and sank within 18 minutes. It was crazy that the ship sailed into a harbor during war and didn’t have an escort. And once the ship was hit, the one battle ship that could have reached the site in an hour turned back to it’s harbor according to wartime policy. Instead help didn’t arrive for 6 more hours. It was an amazing story and I relearned quite a bit about the U.S. political scene, war in Europe, and issues that heads of state were dealing with at the time.

DAY 27

I learned that I should totally delete my account because everyday messages get sent to my spam folder. I found messages from my son and emails from traveling friends who write to reschedule — only Yahoo spams it. Geesh.

Gmail is where I need to focus now and get friends and family to convert to the new address.

Day 26

I learned to appreciate how different schools work to connect their students.  At my grandson’s elementary school, each first grader is paired with a 5th grader. This person is their Buddy and they stay in contact throughout the school year – checking in, high fives in the hallway, visits in the library as a way to help the young children feel connected. The relationship allows the 5th graders to lead, teach and bond with their younger counterpart.

As a thank you, the first graders are going to sing some songs to their Buddies. This is one song that my grandson was singing, called My Wish by Rascal Flatts.