Rum and Coat

I love Minnesota!  Landed here last night after a wonderful last two days in BZMT.  I flew out here for a family reunion on my dad's side.  I must be the 'good weather bringer' because again I landed after a long hot and humid spell, and the temps dropped and the rains came.  It's so beautiful and green here in the summer.

After having dinner with my mom, uncle and cousin I picked up my other cousin's car and stopped at Whole Foods for provisions and an orchid for my auntie.  The drive from St. Paul out to Andover was pleasant and quick without traffic.  The treehouse on the Rum River was lit beautifully and my dear auntie welcomed me home!  It's been several years since I've relaxed in her sanctuary she's created here on the river.  

Deep breaths and peaceful, loving vibrations emanate naturally from within here.  I was not able to sleep out on the porch because the mosquitoes were heavy.  No biggie... I just moved down to the middle of the dance floor and crashed on a super comfy couch with the cool breezes bringing in the sounds of the river.  This morning we slept in late and then made chocolate chip cookies while visiting with 'Granny' (the elderly matron who was born and raised up the hill, who auntie helps care for) and her grandson who stopped by for a chat.

By the time I got outside to drink green tea and soak in the wind, trees, river and wildlife the clouds had broken up and were floating puffy whites across a rapidly changing sky.  I found the tree (pictured below) had fallen over since I've been here last.  Always amazed at how nature seeks life, I thought of my life and my family's life and life in general.  As you see this tree is still very much alive... it's just growing sideways instead of up.  It reminded me of how we get knocked down and how we have a choice of what to do afterward.  I'm so grateful for choosing to get back up and keep on keeping on.

Rum River, Andover, Minnesota

Allergy Attacks and Cold Mountain Stream Water

Today the smoke came back to the Gallatin Valley.  As soon as I opened my eyes this morning I could tell because the light coming into the room was dark yellow, almost amber.  It wasn't very apparent until we went up into the mountains to wild harvest Chanterelle mushrooms.  It took me a moment to adjust to plunging into the forrest.  I quickly realized that what I had to adjust was my pace... rather than keep up with my friend who was bolting to the secret spot, I prefer to amble.

When we slowed down and kept our eyes open for the prize mushrooms I got to appreciate all the forrest has to offer.  With the stream rushing by to our left giving the perfect sound track I took in layer upon layer of beauty.  Something was in bloom that I'm allergic to and I began to sneeze uncontrollably.  Maybe it was to the peace of the situation, or possibly it was another growth marker... but I was OK with the process my body was in.  Sneezing, heaving, sweating, itching eyes, post nasal drip, rest, repeat.  Historically I've always hated allergy attacks and the way they made me feel.  Today I simply observed and felt what was happening just as I was taking in the incredible nature all around me.  Have I told you how much I love the sound of the wind singing throughout he pine forrest?

We found two little baby Chanterelles and then headed up to the lake.  I opted out of a quick dip at Hyalite Lake with the general public enjoying its offerings.  Instead I asked to pull over on the way down to go for a dip into the creek.  My knack for finding the perfect place was spot on today.  Access was easy, the scenery spectacular, and although it was just off the road it was out of sight and the sound of the rapids drowned out any road noise.  I jump on any chance I get to be naked in nature!  I got to scramble across beautiful granite boulders and find a little area to submerge myself without getting swept down stream.  

The frigid snow melt water rushing over the rocks became an amazing natural allergy relief medicine.  I kept cupping handfuls onto my face and visualizing my sinuses being cleaned out, allergens being washed down stream.  Breaks were necessary as my hands and face was getting numb.  I repeated the face splashing until it was time to go.  Trying to shout over the volume of the rapids I felt my throat closing and my voice getting strained.  It didn't feel like my typical allergy symptoms.  Then I remembered the smoke.  By the time I got to the car my allergy attack was back on.  So it was not a full cure, but it was a beautiful and fun way to get some real temporary relief.

Hyalite Creek Natural Allergy Relief

Green Smoothies and West Gallatin Reconnection

Fires have been ravaging the West and Northwest and smoke has been heavy here in Bozeman, MT.  The Gallatin Valley's big sky had been covered, the sun was deep red and the Bridger Mountains were barely visible before I arrived last night.  I landed after Bozeman's much needed lengthy downpour, and stayed up visiting until the wee hours listening to the rain and watching lightning.

First line of order this morning was a garden visit out back.  After harvesting beans, kale, broccoli, carrots, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries for our smoothies, I got to just sit.  Wow, what a novel concept!  I sat with my bare feet on the earth and my spine erect, breathing deeply and pulling energy in from above and below as I repeated a mantra.  I remembered how nice it was to have a regular meditation practice.  I'm always amazed at the clarity and perspective I get on my life from afar...  or is it from within?  

Summer gardens in BZMT are notoriously incredible, and today we were invited to a garden tour.  We opted to go out to the river with friends instead.  After stopping at the organic food co-op  (where I won the prize for the most polite customer of the day) we headed west.  It has been at least 8 years since I've been in the West Gallatin, and it was perfectly lovely.  The swimming hole was deep, currents strong, water clean and cool, and the sun was out full force.  We saw Turkey Vultures, Osprey, Bald Eagles, Killdeer, Trout, White Fish, Swallows and a few humans.

I've been hearing much recently about people feeling overwhelmed, stressed, uber busy, endlessly on the go, etc.  As I was laying on the small patch of sand today I realized that I have not really stopped in a long time.  I did my best to relax.  Although the scene was perfectly relaxing I found my muscles fighting to hold on and my mind relentlessly on the pursuit of the next series of thoughts.  Here's the growth: today I stopped twice... once to meditate, once to let the river's edge support me in my process.

In gratitude...

West Gallatin River, Bozeman, MT

All in This Together

My car wouldn't start and I missed my flight yesterday.  It was quite the awesome team effort to get me there.  One neighbor hooked this truck up to my car with jumper cables... no go.  My friend who was going to drive me to the airport texted the cab company to dispatch a ride to my house.  Another friend dropped what he was doing to come by and pick me up.  Finally another neighbor offered to drive me to the airport... leaving 15 minutes earlier than planned to pick up her 4 year old, while toting her 2 year old with us.

I missed the cut off time for checking in and the next flight was sold out.  Although my guts were in a knot my outside presented as calm and centered... even after the kind woman at the desk said, "You're late."   She did what she could to find me a flight out the next day, today.  Nothing showed up in my category of ticket that would cost me less than $650.00.  She asked a co-worker for help, but they couldn't find anything.  She asked me why I was late.  I gave her the condensed version of the story, then she went to speak with her supervisor.  He allowed her to charge me only $50.00 to change the ticket... because she asked and told him my circumstances!

Thanking her for her help and for going out of her way to find me a decent price, I was pleasantly surprised by her response... "Well maybe there will be something special here for you tonight."  I received a text message saying that my friends were on their way to pick me up.  They greeted me with smiles and hugs, "Hey welcome home! How was your trip?"  We talked about Human Design and the energy that the earth is in right now.  Also talked about doing our best to keep a positive outlook in all situations.  As they dropped me off they offered to take me to the airport today and asked if there was anything else I needed.

After I had my car towed to the shop another friend picked me up and took me to get some food.  We ended up at his house and I got to play with two incredibly bright and fun little boys, 7 and 4 years old.  Today another friend brought me the keys to his van so I could get around and do some errands, my neighbor offered to take me to the airport, another friend left me a voice mail asking if she could help in any way, the original friend mentioned in this blog post has checked in on me twice to see how I'm doing, my friend in BZMT called to get my flight info so he can pick me up tonight, and the woman at Peet's accepted my offer to let her taste my dessert that she was craving.  Now I'm waiting for mom to pick me up so we can eat late lunch and then she'll drop me at the airport.

"All in This Together" is a title inspired by the auto mechanic who apologized that my car had broken down.  I have done my best to focus on the positive aspects of life and to believe in the goodness of people.  Thank YOU for being~

Onward and upward!

Light and Dark

From Dolphins to Montana

Here we go... this morning I was blessed to be able to wake up before sunrise. Unusual for me as I've historically been a night owl.  I can indeed wake up for dawn patrol surf sessions.  I got to meet my brother, cousin (who is visiting from Minnesota- btw, he surfs Lake Superior out of Duluth, MN, in the fall and winter! Hardcore) and 2 childhood friends at 'Mouse's' in Mission Beach, San Diego.  The waves were not great, the jelly fish were prolific and it was a bit chilly.  But the water was wet, the connections were wonderful and we got to surf with the dolphins! Love them.  Love surfing with them.

In a little bit I will be boarding a plane and heading to Bozeman, Montana.  Haven't been to BZMT for quite a while now.  I'm going mainly to visit my dear old friend who recently had some bladder cancer removed.  Although the prognosis looks good (he rode his motorcycle to work the day after his surgery!) I wanted to take the opportunity to visit while I could.  Looking forward to catching up, playing music, camping in the mountains under the big sky, soaking in the hot springs, swimming in the river, riding bikes, etc.

Gotta run and finish the final details pre departure. Cheers!

Beauty is Everywhere

Aloha folks...

I'm so excited about the launch of my new website and video!  Welcome to the current phase of my life.  Come back check out my musings and we'll journey into the various realms of healing, wellness, art, music, food, love, surfing, nature, meditation,etc...  As we are wrapping up production here at the Land of Lost Luggage I'm going to run and help the Master with the final touches. Ciao for now.

Sending the Love