Upticks and Resets


April 27, 2023- After leaving my car, for an oil & lube, I walked off towards our Gateway Mall, seeking breakfast. Usually, the walk takes me over to the east side of the mall, which takes about twenty minutes. Something told me that I would not have that long, this morning, so it was time to revisit Panera Bread, which I had not patronized for nearly three years, after I found the place filthy. Today, though, it was again the Panera I love-and a hearty bowl of oatmeal accompanied my morning coffee. That gives me three choices for a mall breakfast, the others being Wildflower Bakery and Third Shot Coffee House.

Needless to say, the call came from the Service Department, that Sportage was ready, just as I had finished my meal. Everything was in order, and I got advice as to where I could take a recall notice for proper servicing-though it’s nothing urgent. No resets were needed on the car.

With little to concern me, the rest of the day, it was time to re-order weight reduction products, from Thrive by Level and Herbalife, so that I can finish what started on February 6. The two lines compliment each other and combining them is what helped shed a healthy number of pounds-and inches around the middle. It’s time to up my game-and that includes exercise, so two or three routines will be part of any Planet Fitness visit, as it is for so many others.

This evening, after having enjoyed the company of fellow Baha’is at Spiritual Feast, refreshments came-in the form of pie a la mode. It was my first such indulgence, since early February-with the discretion of valor recommending that I take what was offered-and workout once back at Home Base. So, I enjoyed a scoop of Breyer’s Vanilla and a not-too-sweet slice of apple pie-and here I am now, halfway through a set of abdominal exercises. Resetting is a constant, but there are far worse things to face.

Reconnecting, in any case, is most often a delight.

That Lunar Influence


January 21, 2023- I read yet another “free” detailed horoscope for 2023, pretty much repeating what two Reiki practitioners, Hiking Buddy and my own observations over the years have told me. I don’t need to rehash all the wonderful things that are attributed to my being or all the challenges that stem from my shortcomings. The horoscope was, of course, followed by a series of generalities and a pitch for “personalized, special details about what is coming. Some of it may be quite shocking!” Most likely, the only “shocking” part would be the price tag. I passed.

I got enough out of the freebie to sense that an auspicious day is coming, towards the end of this month and that I will experience an unforeseen burst of energy over an upcoming five-day period. I need to be present and attentive. What else is new?

I do feel ebbs and flows of energy, with the various phases of the moon and planetary alignments. Venus seems to have an outsized influence on my demeanour, as does Neptune. I don’t get crazy during a full moon, but I do experience more alacrity. A new moon (the one we can’t see) brings more energy also, but in a kinder way. Having been born during a waning gibbous (first phase after a full moon), that phase brings me a more centered energy.

This day itself had minor challenges-mainly around my sending a certified letter to a friend. One of the few times I left my cell phone at home, and was expected to have it at the ready, came at our main post office. A discrepancy was found in the zip code given me by said friend. I was told to go look it up, and that the post office was not responsible for providing that information. That led to returning home, finding the information-it was one digit off-and getting back to the P.O., thankfully dealing with a different, less officious, clerk. I will have my karmic rebuttal, in the post-visit survey.

Afterward, came three good workouts- being part of a skeleton crew that broke down the Farmers Market, a session at Planet Fitness and walking to and from Raven Cafe, where a delightful young couple performed three sets of gentle folk tunes. It was as gratifying to see how they adore one another as it was to listen to their delicate harmony.

I have to give the freebie astrologer credit: He does recognize that I generally view life through a positive lens.

Healing Energy


November 13, 2022- I felt some change-of-seasonsitis coming on, last night, so I did what I always do in such cases. I took a spoonful of elderberry syrup and crawled underneath a bundle of covers. The covers helped me sweat whatever it was out. In turn, this allowed me to attend breakfast at the Legion Post, host a Zoom call and join another, work out at Planet Fitness and enjoy a fine meal with my Hiking Buddy.

It’s been worse, in the past. Some years, change-of-seasonitis kept me in bed, for 24 hours. If it were COVID, I’d probably be in bed for a week to ten days. So far, though, that hasn’t happened. Having O+ Blood may be responsible for that good fortune, though that immunity may be an old wives’ tale.

Mostly, though, I credit healing energy for the relatively good track record. Part of it comes from doing devotions every day and the other part comes from acting on those devotions. We talked about that in the first Zoom meeting, this morning. Thanksgiving, gratitude, has to be sincere-not perfunctory, if one wishes to genuinely partake of what is good in life. This sincerity should be in place for everything from answering a daily “Good morning, have a nice day”, on social media to paying one’s fair share of taxes, when the time comes.

It also involves being patient and flexible-things which have attached themselves to me, over the past three decades or so. After all, everyone, in their own space, is facing challenges that have nothing to do with what anyone else is facing. So, we can all send out healing energy and adjust our schedules to help others, when the occasion merits.

I’m grateful for each person in my life, even if I can’t give certain people what they seem to want of me. I am appreciative of what they give to me.

Economy Kick


October 12, 2022- When we were kids, there would occasionally be times when Mom would announce to us that the family was on an economy kick. That was about the extent of our involvement in family finances, but we knew that costs were outweighing income, and not to ask for anything extra. We got three meals a day, without fail, the house was comfortable and well-kept, and the clothes were always clean. Not much else really mattered, even to me, in the throes of autism, of which I knew nothing.

I had to manage a household, myself, during Penny’s decline, and through being frugal, managed to keep 3-6 people fed and comfortably housed, even while working through Chapter 7 and the uncertainties of the housing crisis, combined with medical costs. The economy kick came, almost with its physical counterpart- when an Arizona state employee came to the house and demanded I turn over Penny’s care, and her benefits checks, to the state. It didn’t happen.

Every so often since, frugality has been my answer to the forces of greed and deprivation, when they stage assaults on our well-being. I know that the financial markets, being global entities, are not cash cows, so when they get raided, I know to tighten the belt. This is what I am doing now, though it may not look like it when I head up to see friends in Nevada and Idaho, in a few days. The thing is, I don’t cancel plans to visit people, just because the powers that be are trying to take us all down a notch.

I do keep my spending to a dull roar, and am quite happy even sitting in the apartment, watching shows and reading. A foray or two to Planet Fitness, or to the neighbourhood park, works nicely, as does a walk downtown. In time, these ebbs will return to being flows, as they always do. Someday, too, the controllers of the purse will realize that prosperity for the masses of people does not mean they themselves must go without. It is not a zero sum game. In the meantime, I will continue use my funds wisely, as ever.



May 6, 2022- A new “passport wallet” arrived today, taking the place of one I received from my little family, two years ago. It never did hold my passport, as COVID kept so many of us within national, and sometimes state, borders. This one may well be more likely to do so. On a different note, I have to replace my main water system’s filter. The new filter will take three weeks to arrive-from who knows where. I am glad to have a portable back-up.

I spent another few hours tidying up my posts from a 2014 visit to Europe, and re-read all those intentions I had to go back over there in 2017. Various things, mostly financial, happened to nix that. Some have, in fairness, rolled their eyes at my ongoing talk of more overseas adventures and time will tell. It will not be for lack of trying, though, and I do keep getting inklings that certain places are in my short-term future.

I went over to Planet Fitness and got acquainted with the new equipment, which the owners had installed last week. I found it all much easier to use, than the older pieces it replaced. Surprisingly, the staff is rather “Meh” about the refurbishing, with a “Glad YOU like it” response to kudos. Maybe there was lack of consultation, involved, or just sour grapes about working on a Friday night.

Each day, some things are replaced and others keep on doing their part. Renewal- of health, of energy, of friendships and of joy in living, seems to take place regularly enough that whatever self-doubt that hits me in the dark before dawn is fairly quick to dissipate, these days.

Tendons and Tendencies


January 26, 2022- It was a cloudless day, save for a small controlled burn that was instigated by last weekend’s off-season fire near Big Sur. Arizona tends to pay attention when off-season fires break out in California or Colorado.

My hiking buddy and I were far from the controlled burn, just enjoying her first long (5 mile) walk in four months, along Prescott’s flat Peavine Trail- a multiuse path built along an abandoned rail route. It is not a taxing route, especially good for a person who needs to build back strength. It was also good for me, as I have not done many hikes of any length, during her hiatus. I would later work out at Planet Fitness, for good measure.

We are keeping our tensile strength up also, with natural supplements and restorative foods. There is no need to sacrifice muscle mass or bone density, any earlier than the Universe has in mind for us. My mother continues to define growing old, with all faculties intact. I do not want to pull the rug out from under her, by being slovenly or unmindful of my own well-being. Besides, each day that I get a good night’s sleep and put my best forward, is another day won.

The last significant matter that came in front of me today was the extent to which we turn aside from any tendency to be satisfied with short-term benefits and look to long-term, systemic improvements in the well-being of our community and the least of its members. This is important to me, so to be admonished along those lines is no insult. This matter came up, during a business meeting at which I was an active attendant.

Many times, building up our physical, mental and ethical tendons helps us avoid destructive tendencies.

Timeless Things


January 5, 2021-

I am pretty much “bounced back” from the twenty-two miler. It’s nice to be “retired” and to be able to sleep extra, when needed. Pinky swear, though, the lessons I took from Copper Mountain Loop will not be cast aside. I got in a mild workout, this evening, at Planet Fitness, with no creaks and groans, so all’s well again.

On a wider front, there are those of my friends who legitimately are concerned about the days, months and years ahead. Let me say this:

The rights of children, to safety and well-being, are timeless, and inviolable.

To no one is given the right to violate the person, safety, health and well-being of another human being.

Elders are due the respect afforded by their years of service, to family, community and nation.

No one is entitled to extralegal privilege, based on the cleverness and stealth of their planning, or the loudness of their voice.

Leaders, regardless of ideology, cannot cherry-pick which laws they will follow, or which citizens they will protect.

Citizens who deny the human rights of people, with whom they disagree, are taking de facto leave of true citizenship.

Be safe and well, every one of you.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 18: Ring of Fire


June 18, 2020-

Today was a low-key day, with no outside commitments, or Zoom calls. So, I checked over some work i was to do for a friend, and found-I’d already done it! I completed anothe rbit of study for a Red Cross credentials update, and spent a while at Planet Fitness.

Today was a suitably relaxing day, as the next three days: Juneteenth, Solstice and Father’s Day, have their expectations and the certitude of intensity. Topping it all off is the Ring of Fire Solar Eclipse, with a New Moon as the catalyst. It won’t be visible, in this neck of the woods, but I am sure we’ll feel its effects.

I am encouraged, even while posting on another medium as to what I would like to see gone, to post what I would like to see come to pass. Here is a short list:

“Physical Distancing”, as the term used for keeping people safe.

Adoption, instead of abortion.

Hands across the ideology divide, so people see clearly where their true friends are.

Universal free access to information.

A collaboration between naturopathic, homeopathic and allopathic medicine, with a de-emphasis on the profit motive.

A public safety system, in which there is transparency and consistency of communication as the baseline.

The Ring of Fire now being witnessed, across the globe, represents a cry of people who have been discounted and dismissed, for too long a time. I have learned that it is not entirely race-based. It is primarily rooted in economic eleitism and opportunism.

Altogether Fitting and Proper


May 20, 2020-

I woke today, feeling the power that comes with a day which may be written as 05-20-20, and which is the midpoint of the twentieth week of 2020.  Being Wednesday, I found myself in two consecutive Zoom calls, for two different reasons, this afternoon.

After those were finished, it was time for a regenerative cat nap-THEN came the urge to finally take the first of four directional walks.  So, on went the sneakers, sunglasses and ballcap-and east I went.

Today was the last of a series of mild, rather breezy days, so walking was a veritable pleasure.  My eastward route took me as far as the still-shuttered Planet Fitness franchise, in a shopping center called Frontier Village.  This was a 1 1/2 mile-one-way jaunt, and relatively easy.

The way back led me along the edge of Prescott VA Cemetery, resting place of many military veterans, and a place where I usually join a large group of volunteers, placing American flags at gravesites, on Memorial Day weekend.  I’ve heard nothing about that, this year, so am thinking it’s another casualty of COVID19.  I stopped and read Abraham Lincoln’s “Address at Gettysburg Memorial Cemetery”, thinking about what, today, is “altogether fitting and proper”.

There are three things that come immediately to mind:

  1.  Treat all citizens, especially those with whom one disagrees, as worthy of respect.

2.  Honour those who may need us to make small adjustments in our daily conduct- i.e. people who might be immunocompromised, and need those around them, in public places, to wear face masks.

3.  Continue thinking for self-and that means THINKING, not following the loudest voices in the room, on the Internet or in the streets.

These are altogether fitting and proper, nearly 157 years after our nation’s 16th President dedicated a military cemetery, receiving the remains of those who fought in one of our nation’s bloodiest, and most divisive, conflicts.

My Gratitudes


November 28, 2019-

A year ago, my shoulder was getting better and my left knee, injured by what seemed to be a psychic attack, as I walked down a short, routine set of stairs, was also well on the mend. The “woo-woo” aside, my health has been fabulous this year.  I am grateful to do Terra essential oils, hemp-based CBD cream, a team of physical therapists, my dental team in Phoenix, Planet Fitness and my chiropractor for helping me maintain that fabulous.

My family has been extraordinarily gracious and generous this year, as always.  Being with Aram, Yunhee and the Shin family, on the occasion of their Baha’i wedding, and the travels around southern South Korea that followed, remains the greatest of blessings.

My Baha’i community and other dear friends, around Prescott, continue to keep me grounded.  Those whose aim was to bring me down also had a role to play. Rearranging my priorities this year, has only made my life richer and more satisfying.

Prescott, and Arizona as a whole, continue to be inspiring, good hosts.  I never tire of the view of Thumb Butte, from my front window or of any of the exquisite scenes that unfold, no matter which direction I go.

My many friends and family, across the United States, and beyond, are ever present and encouraging, even if we rarely, or never, see one another in person.  I am grateful to have spent time with some, from California to Massachusetts and in-between, over the past twelve months.

Being ever expansive in my view of the world, visiting new places and making new friends is always a plus.  I found new perspectives on Albuquerque, Memphis, Charleston, Raleigh, the Eastern Shore and Delaware, West Point, Pittsburgh, Chicago/Wilmette, Kansas City and Los Angeles, over the past twelve months. Youth hostels, Airbnb and the comfort of friends’ and family homes made all the difference.

Time in nature is always huge, in my life.  The Centenary of Grand Canyon National Park saw me visit both North and South Rims.  The Navajo Nation’s Coal Mine Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, Window Rock  and Monument Valley ever warm my heart.  Being in New Mexico’s El Malpais was a comfort, after a case of food poisoning upended my Father’s Day.  There were meanders along the banks of the Mississippi and above the Goosenecks of the San Juan River; focused exploration of  Utah’s Natural Bridges and Hovenweep National Monuments, Lake Powell’s Wahweap area and the urban solace of Los Angeles’ Venice Canals re-affirmed who I am,at my core.

The greatest gratitudes are reserved for what is ongoing:  My mother’s continued presence in our lives, my little family returning to the United States, having three of the finest people as my siblings, my Faith in God being reaffirmed, each day, and my physical, financial and mental health remaining optimal.

Thank you, 2019, for having been, and remaining, a space of strength and comfort.