Adjusting

Adjusting

I’ve often told my daughter that life is like a rollercoaster. It’s filled with lots of ups and downs, twists and turns, plus plenty of thrills, fears, and unknowns. Since moving into a house and selling the RV, an RV that we called home for eight years, my life has definitely felt like a rollercoaster. Although we chose the change of lifestyle, I found the change challenging at times.

However, if I’m being truly honest, I think like so many others, the challenges started during the pandemic but personally were exacerbated by our move.

This blog has always been about lighthearted fun, photos, travel, and adventures. I’m not one to write about anything too serious especially anything that might come across as being a Debbie Downer. That’s just not me, but life happens, and we all go through difficult times so I’ll leave it at that for now. Nonetheless …

When I realized I hadn’t picked up my camera in over a year and hadn’t written a blog post in almost that long, I noticed the things I loved turning to for enjoyment and using as an escape from the-every-day had been ignored. I had allowed my mental and physical health to get the better of me. Personally, I don’t feel comfortable talking about the subject of depression other than knowing it firsthand. There are far more articulate and knowledgeable people out there on that subject.

Perhaps, in future posts, I’ll share some of the physical issues I’ve been dealing with … nothing overly serious, more annoying than anything. Ah, the art of aging! ūü§™

Suffice it to say, I am in a much better place these days. Instead of mourning the years of yesterday, I’m embracing the todays and the tomorrows. Hey, when you’re in the fourth quarter of life, every tomorrow is a gift and should be celebrated. Am I right?

Finding Inspiration

In an attempt to snap out of it and pull myself out of that dark hole, I joined the local camera club. I started attending meetings, and classes, and last week went on my first camera club outing.

AND I bought a new camera!!! Well, new to me anyway. A Panasonic Lumix GX8 with a couple of lenses. My beloved Lumix FZ300 had been used and abused and developed some glitches. So, this new camera has ignited a spark.

With a newfound passion for photography, I’ve been out and about in search of subjects. I find myself struggling with photographic compositions, but I’m working on it. After traveling full-time for so many years and encountering in-your-face photo ops, it’s going to take some practice to focus in new directions. I’m feeling up to the challenge and enjoying the new camera more with each outing.

At the end of the month, the photography club is going on an architectural tour in downtown Phoenix. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Friends

A couple of months ago, WordPress congratulated me on 11 years of blogging. Eleven years? Really? The best thing that has come out of starting this blog is the friendships forged over the years. The first blogger I met in person was MonaLiza and that encounter was right here in Phoenix, Arizona, at Cave Creek Regional Park back in December of 2012. Mona and Steve were in their first year of living in their RV full-time and Al and I were getting ready to sell the house in Colorado and join the community of full-time RVers.

Over the years, ML and I shared numerous RV adventures together including bird photography along the Texas Gulf Coast, and just a couple of weeks ago, we got together for a wildflower photography hike. Who knew back in 2012 that both of us would end up settling down in Arizona, selling our RVs, and remaining friends all because of a thing called a BLOG.

ML and I had a great day of photography at Estrella Mountain Regional Park, Goodyear, AZ Our photography skills have come a long way from our ‘point and pray’ days.

ML was just the first of many friendships formed from blogging. Last week I was included in a gathering of bloggers, and even though I’d taken a hiatus from blogging, I’m grateful this lovely group of gals reached out. This luncheon reminded me of why I enjoy blogging and perhaps it’s time for me to jump back in and reconnect with all of you.

Back row – Nancy, Terri, Marsha, Me Front row – Jodie, Janet

Bloggers at the luncheon …. Nancy of Two Trails One Road, Terri of Second Wind Leisure Perspectives, Marsha of Always Write, Jodie of Jodie’s Touch of Style, Janet of This, That and The Other Thing. Thank you ladies for including me.

Blog post ideas are swirling in my head, and of course, I need to keep practicing with the new camera. I feel like I’ve finally adjusted to my new lifestyle and am embracing a new kind of adventure.

Take care,

Therapy comes in many forms

The intoxicating beauty of towering red rock sandstone monoliths and¬†buttes…. rocks aptly named Coffee Pot Rock and Cathedral Rock…. equal parts of rugged and¬†luxury….¬† a small town blessed with¬†an abundance of beauty and surrounded by National Forest land…..Sedona, Arizona

These words barely begin to personify stunning Sedona, Arizona.  Sedona served as stop number two for my excursion with my daughter, and as you might expect, it did not disappoint.  Ashton was pleasantly awed by the angular rock formations, high mesas, and stunning colors.  Sedona

Talk about a visual treat.  A feast for the eyes.  An abundance of beauty in all directions.

SedonaThose beautiful red rocks serve as a backdrop for a number of outdoor activities ranging from spiritual pursuits to hundreds of hiking and biking trails to guided Jeep excursions.

Lots of great dining options
Lots of great dining options

Since Ashton and I only had a couple of hours to tour the area, we set our sights on exploring the shops.  Sedona is well-known for its vortex energy and folks from around the world come here for healing and spiritual renewal.

SedonaMany of the shops focus on the metaphysical¬†and sell jewelry made from various crystals and stones, each serving a¬†distinct purpose.¬† We stepped into the Sedona Crystal Vortex shop and found ourselves learning the metaphysical value of the array of polished stones.¬† The store offered everything from loose stones, to stunning pieces of jewelry that I would classify as “Art”, to simple elasticized bracelets.¬†Sedona

As we perused the numerous bracelets, we read the¬†special benefits¬†of wearing particular stones.¬† It seems there’s a stone for whatever ails a person.

 

SedonaMy skeptical nature may have had me doing an eye roll, but the bracelets were cute and thus I figured what the heck.¬† It certainly couldn’t hurt to wear one of these ‘healing‘ bracelets and¬†I can always use a little help.¬† Hmm….. I pondered which stone(s) would be¬†most beneficial¬†for me;¬†¬† creativity, energizing, harmony,¬†inspiration, courage, grounding, prosperity, calming, balance?¬† The list went on, and although I was tempted to walk out of there with half a dozen bracelets, my wallet thanked me for walking out empty-handed.¬† Perhaps¬†I should have indulged in¬†a citrine¬†stone bracelet = prosperity!

Ashton, on the other hand, found healing and inspirational therapy at a wine shop.  Following a little wine tasting, she walked out of the store with two bottles of Arizona wines.

Sedona

We spent another hour engrossed in retail therapy before heading off for a little spiritual enlightenment.Chapel of the Holy Cross

Regardless of one’s faith, a visit to the Chapel of the Holy Cross is a must.¬† Built in 1956 this Catholic Chapel rises 70 feet (21m) out of a 1,000 foot (300m) red rock cliff.

Sedona

I must admit, a quiet moment of reflection inside this church had more of an impact on my aura than any of the crystals or healing stones I handled that day.  Perhaps my chakras are in need of attention.

On that note, I know just the place to go to have my chakras aligned, engage in vortex energy, have my aura analyzed, or¬†purchase stones to help heal whatever ails me ūüėȬ† Yes, Sedona…. I shall return.¬† I’m itching to hit your trails!

Sedona

Before heading out of town, we made one final stop.¬† Not only had I worked up a thirst, but I felt compelled to show Ashton the architecture on this one of a kind McDonald’s.¬†Sedona Yep, this is the only McDonald’s in the world where the arches are turquoise instead of golden.¬† So when I told her we were stopping at the Turquoise Arches for soft drinks, she was initially perplexed¬†and later¬†humored.

Crystal Healing
November’s Chopin Fashion Handmade Metal Leaf Pendant Wood Prayer Bracelet Link Wrist Necklace