Why Wyoming?

Wyoming - Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org

Late at night when I should be sleeping but instead I am obsessing about all the things there are yet to do, I sometimes suffer a fit of uncertainty and I ask myself “Why Wyoming?”

Because, in the dead of the night, I can’t seem to answer that question with any kind of logic or sensible reasons, it often leads to a moment of panic. The question of “Why Wyoming?” often becomes a statement, “What the heck do we think we are doing?” I might actually be a little more profane than that.

I’d like to say the choice of Wyoming as our new home state was totally rational. I’d like to say that we weighed all our options and listed the pros and cons. I’d like to say that we set up a scale of one through ten and assigned appropriate numbers to each item and then mathematically determined where it would be most logical to move.

But I can’t really say that. I can, however, honestly say that although certain factors caused us to decide, somewhat precipitously, to sell our house and move, the reality is that we had been considering moving for probably the last seven years. We don’t generally jump into things.

We considered a lot of different states. We had our list of requirements and we looked at how well each state might fit those requirements.

The first state we considered some seven years ago was South Dakota. I know what you are thinking. We get some of the same looks when we tell people we are moving to Wyoming. Oh, and by the way, not everyone who lives in Wyoming lives on a ranch. They do have cities in Wyoming. Not just towns. Actual cities.

File:Main Street N 300 Block, Riverton WY.JPG - Wikimedia Commons
commons.wikimedia.org Part of Main Street, Riverton, WY

We also looked at Montana and North Dakota. While we like our weather cooler than what it is here in the higher elevations of central Arizona, we don’t actually like it to be arctic for quite that much of the year. Or actually, quite that arctic. Period. I don’t know how the Canadians do it.

Billings, Montana Sees Snowiest Winter on Record - WeatherNation
weathernationtv.com Billings, MT

Colorado is pretty darn nice. Great scenery. But pretty much out of our price range for the most part. Same goes for New Mexico. Although there were a couple enticing homes near Taos that we considered for a while. But they were a little too remote. At our age, living off the grid might be just a little too rugged for us. Although, it does have its appeal.

I think Idaho was always going to be too expensive for us. We felt the same way about Utah.

I kept coming back to Wyoming in my mind. And then I discovered the author, C. J. Box, and his Joe Pickett novels a year or two ago.

Box writes about his home state with such love and compassion that I couldn’t help but begin to love the state as well. He writes about the people who live there, their passions, their outlook, and their way of life in such a way that it seemed to me that was just what Bernd and I were looking for in a new home state.

Yellowstone National Park | Cody Yellowstone
codyyellowstone.org Plus, we’ll only be a couple hours drive from Yellowstone. Maybe we’ll actually finally get there.

So we got serious about Wyoming. From there it was a matter of settling on a city. Riverton won out for a number of reasons: low population, elevation similar to where we are currently living, cooler than here but not arctic, clean air, enough infrastructure so that we would not have to drive a hundred miles to get what we need, and housing prices that would fit in our budget.

We went there. Liked what we saw. Decided to make it our new home.

Even so, I do still sometimes wonder why I chose Wyoming. And I say “I” because Bernd pretty much just decided to go along with whatever I decided. He does that a lot. It’s kind of maddening sometimes and can put a lot of pressure on me. At any rate, I’m not wholly sure there wasn’t a little romanticism in my decision. Bernd did ask me once if it was the Joe Pickett novels that convinced me about Wyoming. My answer was something like, “No!” Big thoughtful pause. “Maybe. I don’t know. Yeah, maybe a little but only a little.”

Every now and then I have a moment of panic, even when I am wide awake. But I imagine that once we are in our new home in our new city in our new state, that all the worry will just melt away. We’ll fit ourselves into our new community and get on with the getting on of life.

So why Wyoming? Why not?

[Note: Because we are moving in a few days, this will probably be my last post for a while. At least until we get the computer set up in our new house. Thanks so much for reading. I’ll be back soon.]

Writing

Interdisciplinary Writing | Occidental College
oxy.edu

Writing is, for the most part, a solitary endeavor.

To a certain extent, one needs a quiet place with few distractions. For there are times when the ideas are flowing so fast that your fingers can barely keep up and to be disturbed would be to lose those ideas.

And yet, no author can write in a vacuum. It is the world around us that inspires us. Shut yourself away for too long from the world and you effectively shut yourself away from yourself.

It’s all about balance.

Inspiring Writing Quotes for NaNoWriMo Authors
earlybirdbooks.com

Inspirationless

50 Short Inspirational Quotes We Love - Best Positive Inspiring Sayings
goodhousekeeping.com

I am too tired these days to find inspiration. I worry that I have lost it permanently. But then I will be sitting and typing an email to our escrow officer for the sale of our home and I will realize that I’m just tired. The words are all still in there. Otherwise, why did it take me seven paragraphs just to send her the information about the escrow officer on the other end for the house that we are purchasing?

Even so, I miss the writing. I miss the tapping at the keys and watching the words appear on the monitor. I miss the steady flow of thoughts and the fleshing out of ideas. I miss my characters and their lives.

I tell myself that all this will end eventually. We will get moved to our new home. I’ll set up my computer. And the words will flow.

But a part of me still worries. And undeniably, there will be a lot of work ahead of us still. Moving in might not be quite as difficult as moving out, but it still takes time. Decisions have to be made. Repairs have to be made. Carpeting needs to be removed and laminate installed. It all takes time.

I know myself. I won’t be able to set aside time to write as long as there are things that need to be done. Even now, sitting here and typing this, I am thinking about the next items I need to pack and feeling a bit guilty for simply sitting and enjoying a couple of macaroon cookies and a glass of water.

So it might be a while before I finish proof reading “The Many Misadventures of Tall Guy and Short Gal.” It might be an even longer while before I get around to finishing the writing of the sequel to “Millie’s Adventures in Time.”

I sincerely doubt that there are any readers out there eagerly awaiting either of the books. But on the off chance that there are, I apologize.

For now, this might very well be the last posting to this blog for a while. Our departure date is quickly approaching, and we still have a lot to do.

25 New Beginnings Quotes - Inspirational Quotes About Beginnings and Change
countryliving.com

EGBOK

Egbok egbOK necklaces Everything's Gonna Be Okay All | Etsy
Possibly I need one of these.

Everything’s Gonna’ Be Okay

I lie awake at night thinking. Worrying? Wondering? I’ll go with “wondering.” It sounds a little less crazy.

But the truth is, I’m obsessing about how we are going to fit our lives (and all our stuff) into the house we have purchased in Riverton, Wyoming.

7 Steps You Can Take to Get Over Worrying | Private Therapy Clinic
theprivatetherapyclinic.co.uk

I would be better served simply sleeping well. Whatever I might think about how it will be will surely not be accurate. When we actually get there, most likely I will find a few of the things I have anticipated will be as I’ve imagined, but probably the majority of them will not.

So what’s the point?

I should remember EGBOK and find peace in the assurance. But I can’t seem to do that. You don’t want to know how many times I’ve looked at the photos of the house from the online listing of it. I have an intense desire to do that right now. Oh my.

EGBOK is not a mantra that rolls smoothly off the tongue. It is not like “om” that you can feel deep inside you as you repeat it. It’s not a reassuring sound as you say it aloud. And repeating it over and over just makes it absurd.

But the thing is, I do actually feel that everything is going to be okay.

Now I just have to believe it.

Moving

Atlas Logistics acquires last-mile delivery company TopHAT - FreightWaves
freightwaves.com

Moving a household … especially one that has taken 27 years to establish and entrench so very completely in the place where it is … is no easy feat.

I hate moving. Pure and simple. It’s why we haven’t done it much. Bernd hates moving too.

The house we have lived in all these years is a mere 1600 square feet. I say mere because (not counting the trend toward ridiculously small houses) the main trend over the years has been to build bigger and bigger homes. The national average for homes today is something like 2,322 square feet. But when you consider that we have a full basement under our house with about 400 square feet of it finished, you then have the problem of having about 3,200 square feet of shi … uh, stuff to move.

I won’t say we are hoarders, but we’ve saved a lot of stuff over the years. Some of that is empty boxes and they are coming in really handy right now. But a fair amount of it is stuff we never use (that’s why it’s in the basement) and probably should have let go of long ago. I’ve let go of some of it, but not nearly enough. I have serious doubts about finding places for all of it in our new house.

We’ve taken a lot of stuff to Goodwill. We’ve put some stuff out by the street for people to take if they need it. Mostly it all gets taken. And we tossed out probably a volume equal to all that we have given away … maybe more. And we have still more stuff to take to Goodwill or put out by the street. I called Habitat for Humanity to see if they would come pick up some of it: an electric clothes dryer, a Quoizel lamp, a digital keyboard, a telescope, a queen bed frame, two 30″ stereo speakers and a window air conditioner plus a few smaller items. They wanted pictures of it all in order to decide if they wanted any of it. I decided I didn’t have the time for that. So quite probably, the smaller items will be put in our car and taken to Goodwill. The larger items will be put out by the street and will probably disappear in a day or two. Oh, and the guy that came to fix the windshield in my Jeep took some of it. Yay!

Know anyone who would like a nice Quoizel hurricane-style lamp?

Moving, especially if you are going a long distance, really makes you re-evaluate what you actually need and what you can possibly live without. I am finding that there is a lot that we can live without. It’s liberating but also a little sad. I love our square glass dining room table with its four comfy, armed chairs and it’s probably not going to fit in the new house. I was unable to talk Bernd into not taking it, however. I’m exploring options like a fold down table that attaches to the wall. Then when we don’t need the table we can use the small space as a sitting area.

I’d like to sell the glass table while we are still here and not have to move it. But possibly he is thinking that then we won’t have anywhere to put jigsaw puzzles together. He’d be right about that. Except if we set up a folding table in the den. That just might work.

35 Best Quotes About Change - Inspiring Sayings to Navigate Life Changes
countryliving.com

Moving is all about change. Especially when you are completely leaving the area you’ve lived in for the last 27 years. I don’t do change well, but I’ve also wanted a change for some time now. Go figure.

But when you take all the same stuff with you, how much change do you actually accomplish. Okay, sure, it will be arranged differently in the new house … maybe. But it’s still all the same stuff. I’ll still be the same me. I’ll still want all the same things I’ve always wanted. Beggars the question:  Why move?

Premium Photo | Clear blue sky with white clouds, background
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Lots of reasons really: cleaner air, lower population density, small town atmosphere, friendly people who are not simply in a hurry all the time, cooler summers, money in the bank, and much more. And the rock hounding in Wyoming is at least as good if not better than here in Arizona. They have nephrite jade in Wyoming! And turns out the area where it is found is not all that distant to where we will be living. How exciting is that!

What Is Nephrite Jade? Meaning, History, Value, And Price! | Gem Rock  Auctions
gemrockauctions.com
How Costco gained a cult following — by breaking every rule of retail
thehustle.co Bye-bye, Costco

There is no Costco where we are going. I know, oh the horror, right? The nearest Costcos are in Idaho and Colorado. There is no Home Depot or Lowes. There are no major department stores. And we are finding that we are just fine with that. Although, just yesterday Bernd confessed that he was going to miss Costco. I figure we’ll do just fine without it. Although the convenience of the sweet kale chopped salad that they sell in bigger bags than you can get anywhere else at a price that can’t be beat will be missed. I’ll just have to make my own chopped salad. I can do it. Really.

We are counting down to the close of both escrows. They will happen first for the sale of our house and then the next day for purchase of our new home. We still have much to pack, but a lot of it cannot be packed until the day the moving van is loaded. So right now we are in a holding pattern of sorts; planning supplies and cooking utensils around what we’ll need for a few days in the new house before the moving van arrives and what we can do without, trying to figure out just how much stuff we can cram into both our cars and a rooftop cargo carrier and still have room for little Maddie in my car, and all that sort of thing.

We are spending the time making sure both our cars are up to the trip. We are getting utilities, endings and beginnings, arranged in both places. We’ve established new homeowner’s and automobile insurances.

Now we just have to hang in there, living in a house that is bare except for the multitude of boxes sitting everywhere. There is no art on the walls. Nail holes have been patched and painted. There are no little knick-knacks sitting around. Cupboards, cabinets and closets are being emptied. Throw pillows are being packed and the house seems less and less like ours every day. I figure that’s a good thing. It should make the final letting go easier. Hopefully.

Buying a House

The house we are selling in Dewey, AZ/

We are twenty-seven years older now than when we last looked for and bought a house.

In some ways, we are older and wiser. In other ways we are simply older and tired-er.

Several things came together all at once to make buying a new house and moving right now more appealing. Not that moving is ever appealing. Really.

A little over a year ago, my sister moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She had been living in southern California and was about seven hour’s drive time away from where we currently live in Dewey, Arizona. If she called and said she needed me, I could have conceivably been there within about eight hours. But that was no longer the case. And we had been thinking of moving for quite a few years already. But several other things besides my sister were holding us here.

Bernd’s employment was one of the things making us stay. It wasn’t the best job in the world and it was extremely stressful for him at times, but he knew how to do it well and so didn’t want to give it up. It can also be stressful to learn a new job.

I had a horse. She took up a lot of my time and moving a horse can be difficult. I had a lot of friends associated with my horse and didn’t want to leave them. But then another horse nearly kicked me to death and once I recovered, I found that I couldn’t really get anywhere near horses due to PTSD and I gave up my horse. Also, seeing those same horsey friends triggered some of my PTSD. Very sad.

For a while, home prices in our area either plummeted or held steady at a low level. This made moving and buying a new home financially impractical.

So here we are now, my sister has moved away and Covid-19 closed my husband’s place of employment. People from southern California are abandoning that state and moving to Arizona. Suddenly our house is worth more than we ever imagined it would be.

We decided to hop on the situation. We really needed to create some sort of retirement fund because neither of us has a pension. And the jobs we’ve held over the years were not very well-paying so our social security benefits fall short of our monthly expenditures.

So we found ourselves driving to Wyoming to look at homes to buy after hurriedly getting with the agent who sold us this house in order to list it. I’ve already written about that trip. It was exhausting and enlightening. And we did find a house to buy.

Amazingly, it met our health needs. I am so chemically sensitive that artificial fragrances make me extremely ill. We had not hoped to find a house that had not had fragrances used in it. Or chemical cleaning agents, scented laundry detergents and dryer sheets for that matter either. But we did. It was like a miracle.

It doesn’t meet all of our other needs, but we feel we will make it work. Best of all, or maybe second best of all, it is costing us less than what we are getting for our house and so we will have some money in the bank. It’s a good feeling.

Our new hometown is really nice; low population density, low traffic, clean air, nice people, great small town atmosphere. But it’s been an uphill battle to get to the point where I feel that the escrow on the house we are buying will actually close and in a time frame that will not leave us temporarily homeless. The escrow on the house we are selling could close very quickly because it is a cash sale. We had a few very tense days of back and forth trying to get it all worked out. It was not much fun.

The Anatomy of a Moral Panic – AIER
aier.org

It’s been nerve-wracking and terrifying. It’s been joyous and delightful. I’ve run the gamut of emotions so many times in the last two weeks that I am utterly exhausted. A lack of restful sleep doesn’t help.

So, has being older and wiser helped to make buying a new house any easier? I can’t honestly say that it has. Did I manage, in my older and wiser way, not to go off the deep end a couple of times? Nope. Will I be able to deal easily and gracefully with everything that is sure to come up between now and the close of both escrows? I really wish I could answer that with a “yes,” but I fear it is probably a “no.”

There is a saying that growing old is not for the faint of heart. I think the same could be said of buying a house.

The house we are buying in Riverton, WY.

Crazy is as Crazy Does

The Road Trip Has Always Been DIY—These Experts Are Here to Change That |  Condé Nast Traveler
cntraveler.com

First I am going to tell you never to do this. Then I am going to tell you that we decided to do it again.

We got up Tuesday (October 27) at midnight and hit the road at 2:00 a.m. Our goal was to get from Dewey, AZ to Riverton, WY before dark. That didn’t happen. Wasn’t even close.

It took us 18 hours.

We made a lot of stops to switch drivers and take our little dog, Maddie, for walks. She was a real trooper. She slept in her doggie bed in the back most of the time. But she sure was excited every time we stopped somewhere. I think Wendy’s was her favorite stop because she got some of an unsalted, all-beef patty. It was Bernd’s favorite stop because of the baked potatoes.

Page Arizona | Gateway To Lake Powell
arizona-leisure.com Page, AZ, Gateway to Lake Powell

We have made the drive to Flagstaff, AZ from our home in Dewey quite a few times and know the scenery is pretty so doing it in the dark wasn’t a disappointment. It was just getting light when we made it to Page, AZ so we got to see the Glen Canyon Dam. Pretty impressive topography in that area. Pretty impressive dam.

Hike the Glen Canyon Dam Overlook, Page, Arizona
theoutbound.com Glen Canyon Dam overlook

From there it wasn’t much longer until we entered Utah. Utah is pretty. Lots of meandering rivers. Great mountains. Nice people.

Provo and Salt Lake City are horrid to drive through though. The freeway is every bit as nasty as the freeways in Phoenix, AZ. We don’t go to Phoenix much. Way too scary.

As in Phoenix, there are at least five lanes each direction, the speed limit is posted at 70 miles per hour and everyone seemed to want to go faster than that. I was so happy to switch to the I-80 and start heading east to Wyoming. Both times, going and coming, I did the driving through Provo and SLC, and I’m going to have to do it at least one more time. Not really looking forward to it.

We had decided to move to Wyoming. Riverton to be exact. And the trip was to find a house to buy. Which we did. That’s another long story.

It’s a small town. The people are nice. I think we are going to like it there very much. It is still much the same as the Prescott area was here in Arizona when we moved here 27 years ago. Quiet. Laid back. Very little traffic. Low population density. Clean air. Friendly people. All that good stuff.

File:Main Street S 400 Block, Riverton WY.JPG - Wikimedia Commons
commons.wikimedia.org A piece of the 400 block of Main Street in Riverton

There are no Costcos in Wyoming. And Riverton doesn’t have a Home Depot. But there is a Walmart Super Center that is very nice and a Sutherland’s for home improvement stuff.

Based on how we felt when we finally arrived in Riverton, we thought that maybe we would take two days to drive home. We discussed it and we discussed it some more and finally decided to do it in one piece again. Our reasons were many and good, even if not entirely sane.

The return trip took 19 hours instead of 18 because we took an unintentional detour. And it was studded with several deer encounters that were unnerving causing us to drive a lot slower than the various speed limits.

We were passing through a small town north of Kanab, UT. I was driving under the speed limit. We were enjoying the scenery. It was getting on toward dusk and the lowering sun was casting shadows and making dramatic lighting.

Out of the blue, something slammed into the rear quarter panel on the driver’s side of my car. Scared the you know what out of all of us. I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw a deer running off. Apparently, it had bounded onto the road and run right into the side of my car.

I pulled over and went in search of the deer and Bernd checked out the car. I couldn’t find the deer anywhere and Bernd found no damage to the car. I was happy my car hadn’t killed the deer. Bernd was happy the deer hadn’t damaged the car. Win-win. Bernd decided to take over the driving figuring I was shaken up. Maybe I was. I don’t know. But a little while later, he sure was.

Just north of Kanab, UT, a deer jumped into the road right in front of us. Bernd slammed on the brakes. Everything in the back slid forward (and we had a lot of stuff back there) including Maddie. But she stayed in her bed as it came forward and landed on the center console.

We did not hit the deer. None of us were hurt.

We pulled over as soon as we could and straightened out the cargo area and continued on into Kanab.

In the town itself, we had another deer jump into the road in front of us. But this time it was not as close and Bernd did not have to slam on the brakes. Not 100 feet further, there was another deer standing beside the road. And this was in downtown Kanab, early evening, with lots of people out and about. Maybe they are all used to it. The people, I mean. I’m sure not. Goodness only knows what the deer think about it.

Luckily, this deer stayed put. Also luckily, that was our last deer encounter the rest of the way home. Didn’t stop us driving really slowly though.

On this trip, we saw more of our home state than we’ve seen in 27 years of living here. We also saw more of the United States. We are not big travelers. We prefer day trips and then getting back to our cozy and comfortable home.

It was interesting and educational. It was scenic. But I don’t recommend trying to drive 875 miles all in one day.

Nope. Not at all.

Blind Devotion

TOP 25 DOGMA QUOTES (of 527) | A-Z Quotes
azquotes.com

A woman walks up to her local 99 cent store. She has been there at least a hundred times before. She pushes on the front door to enter the shop and the door does not open. In the past, it has always opened when she pushed on it. She pulls out her cell phone and checks the time. Yes, she is there within the shop’s normal operating hours, so why isn’t the door opening? She thinks that they must have locked it for some reason.

Oh look, there comes someone now to unlock it for her. But as the man approaches the door, our woman sees that he is a customer who is leaving after having made his purchases. Then she thinks that is okay because now someone will have to unlock the door and let him out and she can go in. But the man pushes on the door from the inside and it moves. She steps back out of the way and stares at the door in some puzzlement as it closes once more and the man walks to his car. The man wonders to himself what is up with the woman who is just standing outside of the door. He wonders why she doesn’t just go in; there must be something a little wrong with her.

She pushes again on the door and it does not open. Now she is really confused. She does not know that just yesterday, the old door and door frame which allowed the door to swing both out and in had been replaced with a door and frame which only allow the door to swing out. Will our poor confused woman realize that she has to let go of what she knew about the door in order to enter the store?

You can probably guess where this is going. But I’ll meander a little more.

Once, when I was in high school, my mother was in the process of doing something I had seen her do a thousand times. For the first time, it occurred to me that there was a more efficient way to do it. Please don’t ask me to remember what it was, that is lost to me, but not the principle I learned that day. When I explained to her a way that would save her time and effort, she looked at me and basically said that her way was the way her mother always did it and that she had always done it that way and that was good enough. And that may well have been the case. But in my teenagerly way, I told her that I would not be doing it her and her mother’s way. That didn’t go over all that well. There were more than a few, “Oh you think you’re so smarts” thrown into the ensuing, rather heated, soliloquy.

Ideally, my mother would have looked at my suggestion, considered how it might fit into her regimen and adopted it or discarded it based on its inherent worth or lack thereof. But she did not. She dismissed it out of hand as not being the way it was done. And that was the turning point for me.

Still, I fell into the same trap of the familiar that we all do. When Bernd and I were first married, I set up our kitchen in much the same manner of organization as my mother’s kitchen. It took quite a while before I found that it wasn’t really working for me. But eventually I began a process of moving things about, changing what was in which drawer and cabinet, until it was much more efficient; at least to my way of thinking.

We can be blindly devoted to a lot of different things; not just a way of doing something. We can be devoted to a particular world view, ideas about values (what is good and what is bad), morals (what is right and what is wrong), thoughts about how others should best be spending their time, a spouse who is mistreating us but that we just can’t seem to leave, what is and is not appropriate to eat for breakfast, and how others should treat us and we them. The list is endless.

The world and our situations are changing all the time. This has always been true, but is especially evident right now.

We can either change with it, adjust our viewpoint and throw out the blind devotion, or get left outside of the local 99 cent store while some passing stranger wonders about our state of mind.

Dont be trapped by dogma... | Inspirational Quote by Steve Jobs
relicsworld.com

Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh on The Practice of Mindfulness - Lion's Roar
lionsroar.com

Mental Health

In the mental health field, most often mindfulness is described as an integrative, mind-body based approach that helps people to manage their thoughts and feelings and mental health. It is becoming widely used in a range of contexts. It is recommended as a preventative practice for people with recurrent depression.

It is most often laid out this way: (a) some form of paying attention; (b) an ability to engage with, yet not react to, physical (including emotional) and mental experiences; and (c) a mind oriented towards non-judging, acceptance and nurturing.

Let’s All Be Jedis

“All his life he looked away. To the future. To the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. What he was doing.” -Yoda

“Don’t center on your anxieties … keep your concentration here and now, where it belongs. Be mindful of the future, but not at the expense of the moment.” -Qui-Gon Jinn

I’ll be honest, when I first learned about the Jedi Way, I wanted to be a Jedi. I’ll be a bit more honest, I was 25 years old when “Star Wars” first hit the theaters. Possibly a little old to be thinking like that. I mean, it was a fantasy. Right? Manipulating the Force and all that.

I’m not sure exactly when the concept of mindfulness became a part of the Jedi Way in the movies, but when my husband jokingly asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I told him I wanted to be a Jedi (so okay, this was around age 53, I’m ever the optimist, about growing up that is), he told me I would have to practice mindfulness. I took his advice to heart. Here was, I thought, something I could actually accomplish. And it might just bring me closer to being a Jedi.

Truth is, I was on that path before the “Star Wars” movies ever came out. At the very tender age of about two and a half years old, my dad tired of my incessant questions. One day he told me that he would answer any question I asked, but only once. He told me to pay attention and remember what he said because he would never answer that same question again. It should be said that he, himself, had a phenomenal memory and never forgot any question I asked him. Not even years later.

In any case, it scared me. The thought that my font of wisdom and knowledge was limited to my limitations terrified me. At the time, I couldn’t have put it into those words, but I remember the feeling very distinctly. It was very visceral.

My dad trained me to notice, observe, focus, and, most importantly, remember.

The other day, my husband lost his touch-up paint brush. It’s a unique brush. Small head, pink glittery handle, off-white bristles. Like a kids art brush.

I said to Bernd, “I’m pretty sure I saw it in the garage.”

He said, “No. I wouldn’t have left it in the garage.”

I said, “I think you did. I remember noticing it lying on the pile of drop cloths and thinking ‘Oh look. It’s Bernd’s touch-up brush.'”

He said, “No. I wouldn’t do that.”

I gave him a look and he went out to the garage to find it where it was lying atop the pile of drop cloths.

For me, mindfulness is about being aware of what you are doing. So I always keep my focus on my current task to the end of it. Bernd has a tendency to move on in his mind before he has finished his current task. So I could easily imagine him washing the brush, setting it down, thinking about something else he had to do, and never bringing the brush back into the house. Chances are good that he wasn’t even aware of having set it down. He’s always “losing” things shortly after using them.

I usually say to him something like “Where were you when you last had it in your hand?” He usually says something like, “You really expect me to remember that?”

Mindfulness is also about being aware of what I am thinking and feeling. I’m one of those women who will probably have hot flashes for the rest of her life. They started around age 51 and I’m 68 and still having them. Most often, the heat is preceded by a panic attack. This is not all that common, but a fair percentage of women experience this. My mom did so I guess there was always a good chance that was in my future. Oh well.

The panic attacks range from indistinct feelings of doom to very specific fears. They’ve taught me a lot about paying attention to my feelings and how they affect me. They’ve taught me a lot about how to manage my feelings and fears. I’ve learned how to remain calm in the face of adversity as a result. When adversity strikes you a couple of times a day almost every day, you learn to cope or you go crazy. Dark cloud, silver lining.

Mindfulness is also about being aware of how others are feeling. Compassion and empathy are important components of the Jedi Way. Ultimately, being aware of one’s own feelings can help you to be more aware of other’s feelings.

So, have I become a Jedi? Nope.

Am I on the path? Yup.

Will I ever get there? Maybe if I live long enough.

In any case, a little mindfulness never hurt anyone. And it might just help.

7 Top Mindfulness Quotes and what they reveal - Brilliant Living HQ
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Soap

Citrus & Peach Rose Reviving Moisture Bar Soap - Soapbox
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Bar soap is a great invention. It changed how we wash, when we wash and what we wash.

But it’s also a nuisance in a way.

What do you do with that little thin sliver of soap when it is mostly all used? Do you throw it away? Kind of wasteful really. Do you try to weld it to a new bar of soap? Not always easy.

By turning a new bar of soap end over end in your hands, instead of simply rubbing it without thought, you can wear it down into a shape that can be used for a longer period of time. It is also then in a shape that is easier to weld to a new bar of soap.

There are those who tout living in the now, focusing on this very moment, and ignoring what was and what might be.

Too much looking forward or backward can be a problem.

However, a certain amount of looking forward can help you to get through your life with a little more grace and ease. As in the case of a bar of soap.

Life is like a bar of soap - Love, Fun and Romance | Bar soap, Funny soap,  Soap
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