Weekly Photo Challenge: One

In a cat’s eye, all things belong to cats.
~ English Proverb ~

 I have lived with several Zen masters, all of them cats.
~ Eckhart Tolle ~

Thou art the Great Cat, the avenger of the Gods, and the judge of words,
and the president of the sovereign chiefs and the governor of the holy Circle;
thou art indeed…the Great Cat.
~ Inscription on the Royal Tombs at Thebes ~

In memory of Graham

December 5, 1993 – March 13, 2012

A.K.A. Mr. Boy and Grammer T. Boy

(named after Graham Chapman of Monty Python fame)

There was only one like you

a special bond we had

listening to you purr as we slept

cuddling, hugging, traveling, playing

such sweetness nestled close into my shoulder

kneading my hair, (sometimes way too vigorously)

I told you to stop and you meowed your displeasure

assuming your authority when the dogs did something bad

all your mischievous and playful entertainment brought such happiness

Yes, there was only ONE Graham and I miss you constantly under my feet when you want to be fed.

But you are safe and loved overlooking the river where beautiful sunsets paint the sky

where birds fly freely and flowers bloom profusely and horses ride

dried flowers top your dust still from when last I visited

my heart and being remembers you today and everyday

Happy Longer Days! Happy Solstice!

Unless you’ve ever owned a cat, you have no clue of what I speak!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree

carefree

“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”

~~ Cherokee Proverb ~~

Going to the park is the highlight of our four-legged kid’s day. He loves to romp and play with his ball.  Actually, he is obsessed with his ball and wants no parts of any other interaction with the other dogs.
I can’t help but wonder what the Brittany dog in the background is thinking …. “Hey, come play with me!”
It’s interesting to watch how “in the moment” Simon is when he is at the dog park.  He is totally focused on his ball.  We throw it. He brings it back and we do it over and over until he plops himself down on the grass, panting.  Give him a few minutes and he is ready to go at it again.
Oh that we could take a lesson from this.  Focus!    Rest!    Go for it again!    And be Carefree!!!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

When it comes to our companions, I found it difficult to settle with just one photo.
boyz

Best Buddies.

budz

A common sight in our house.

girlz

Lottsa spots just waiting for Mom to finish photographing them.

simon_baxter

I wonder what he is whispering to his buddy at the dog park?

The Best Part About Owning A Dog: 

He always is happy to see me and makes me feel important.
He’s always ready to give me kisses.
He looks into my eyes and is content just being near me.
He always brings his ball back, soggy and wet, and ready to fetch it again.
He turns around three times and always plants his butt near my face.
He starts out in a circle and ends up stretched across the bed, hogging space and all the covers.
He sheds endlessly and my clothes reflect my trademark of dog hair everywhere I go.
He knows when I am sad and comes to comfort me.
He loves me unconditionally.
No wonder it is said that pet owners are healthier and live longer, thanks to our four-legged companions.  I am thankful for all the pets that I have had in my life. 
Weekly Photo Challenge – Companionable

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: The sign says . . . "Really Bad Advise . . . "

The sign says . . . “Really Bad Advise . . . Only $1.00”

bad_advise_crop

Where else but Venice Beach would you find a character like this?  OK, well, maybe New York City.
I couldn’t resist taking this photo and truthfully, this is the one I was searching for the Weekly Challenge that I just posted.
A group of us new-to-California-curious-folks decided to check out Venice Beach one Sunday afternoon.  What a great day of people watching, enjoying the sun and surf, listening to the drumming, watching the graffiti artists and eating all the delightful but absolutely not-good-for-you “boardwalk” food.
Then along came this guy holding his card board sign.  And of course, he wouldn’t let me take a picture without paying him $1.00 for some really bad advise.

Tribute to Mom

I haven’t been here at My Awakening Life for awhile.  The reason being is that my Mother passed away the end of April and I was dealing with traveling to visit with her earlier in the month, dealing with the emotions of letting go and trying to remain Awakened.
Some thoughts of the events over the last few months that I have learned from . . .
Never take anything for granted.  You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
Life has a way of giving you situations that you can experience and learn valuable lessons.

mom

My Mother was 91 when she passed from this world onto her next journey. She lived a full and rich life and although we didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, I always respected her and loved her because she was the person who gave me life.
In early March of this year, I felt compelled to write her a letter thanking her for giving me life and raising me in the best way she knew how.  It’s difficult to raise a child given the fact that we don’t come with an owner’s manual.  So, we do the best we can at the time even though we make mistakes along the way. I thanked her for teaching me right from wrong and for things like an appreciation of gardening, nature and sunsets, teaching me how to cook,  and guiding me to follow a path as an entrepreneur.  I also thanked her and Dad for always providing more than adequately for our family.  In her frail state of consciousness, she held my hand and thanked me for the letter. It was a moment of peace for both of us.
We gathered at the grave site, where my Father was waiting for her, and said our good byes in the pouring rain.  It was an important moment for our family as we sat there, suspended in grief, holding on to the memories of cherished moments of her life.
Our journey then took us back for a visit to our homestead a few miles away from the cemetery.  I hadn’t been able to visit there since my Father passed away and Mom sold the house 11 years ago.  Somehow, it seemed like the right thing to do and it really wasn’t the grieving experience as I had expected.  It felt like it was the closure that I needed.
Rest in Peace, Mom and Dad.  I miss you!
34 Morris
This is the Homestead where I grew up.  My parents built this house and paid for it as they built it.  They never had a mortgage.  It sat on 13 acres of land given to my Father by my Grandfather for the cost of $500.00.  It was a place where family gathered during the holidays, cousins came to visit from the big city during the summer, where we grew our own vegetables, played with many dogs and farm animals and a place I called home.

What do you see?

Stepping Stones to the Path

What is it? 

  1. Craters on the moon
  2. Capturing shadows in the Badlands
  3. Foot steps at the start of the trail
  4. An archaeological dig in the desert

hike_geek_sabrina_williamsNature’s arch.

Tree Character

Trees fascinate me, especially when they have such character.

griffith_tree1

Silhouetted against the azure sky . . .

The answer to “What is it?” is #3.  It was nature-made footpath to the start of the hike and I just loved the way the shadows were casting depth.  When I looked at them on my computer screen, the it didn’t look like a foot path at all.
What did you see when you first looked at that photo?
And speaking of walking … here’s what Thoreau penned about walking  …
When we walk we naturally go to the fields and woods… Of course, it is of no use to direct our steps to the woods, if they do not carry us thither. I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit. In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations, and my obligations to society. But it sometimes happens that I cannot easily shake off the village. The thought of some work will run in my head, and I am not where my body is; I am out of my senses. In my walks I would fain return to my senses. What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods? I suspect myself, and cannot help a shudder, when I find myself so implicated even in what are called good works — for this may sometimes happen.
Click here for the full length essay.

And speaking of trees . . . Check out the Tree of Life!

Weekly Photo Challenge: My Neighborhood

We have taken up a new hobby …. hiking the hills and valleys in the neighborhood at least a few times a week.  And, it’s been absolutely amazing.  It’s great exercise and we get out to enjoy nature.  Not to mention …. the views are amazing.

Green Rolling Hills

Looks like others have been here before.  Even though there is graffiti on all the beautiful rock formations,
looking past all of that, the view is breath taking.

Lone TreeWith just an elevation of a few hundred feet, this lone tree has a beautiful view of the surrounding San Gabriel mountains.

Rock Face

We discovered this ghostly rock formation about half way up the climb.  Oh, the stories it could tell.

View from one plateau

Only a portion of the way up the steep, ass-burning workout, we stopped to turn around and look at the view.
That little white speck by the gate is our car.

Panoramic View from the Top

Ahhhhhh!  Finally at the top.  We concluded that those far mountain ranges are about 30 – 40 miles away.
Estimated elevation about 1200 feet according to Google Earth.

Sunset

And what climb wouldn’t be complete without the sunset?  Absolutely Beauteous!
And to think, this is all within a ten minute drive from our house.

As we stand high above the rest of the world, we can hear the traffic of three intersecting highways.

Where is everyone going?

Why are they in such a hurry to get from here to there?

How many of them stop to appreciate the beauty all around them?

Take time today to enjoy your neighborhood and the beauty that surrounds you.
There is beauty just outside your door.

Awaken your life to infinite possibilities!!

Welcome to Little Texas

There’s an interesting story that goes with this little Island.  Really, it is called Rose Island on the maps.
That little island got it’s name because many Texans come to fish on Prince of Wales Island and you know how they always boast about how big everything is in Texas? Well, according to local lore, Little Texas represents the size of the state of Texas compared to the size of Alaska!

If you look closely you can see a little house on the left hand side. It’s probably long since been washed away by a high tide.  And that’s the story of Little Texas.