How do you get the most out of life?

It may be way back in the far reaches of your mind but it’s a question that has even been a driving force behind philosophers. We all have a limited time we’re allowed to inhabit this planet of ours. What do you do to get the zest out of life? How do you go about making it the most flavorful adventure it should be?

When you think of “flavorful” food tops the list of course. But if you are a golfer maybe there are courses that add flavor to your life. In reality whatever you are passionate about should “float your boat” so to speak.

Hundreds perhaps thousands of people that have suddenly been on the receiving end of “you have so many months to live” have the best perspective on life. They say live every day as if it were your last. In other words, if you haven’t developed a bucket list it may be a good idea to draft one.

So very many of us are so caught up in the everyday getting by in day to day matters that we never stop to think what life is all about. Mac Davis put it best in the song, “Stop and smell the roses“. There are so many beautiful, wonderful things to see and experience that there’s simply not enough time to cover it all. Notwithstanding, there is family and love.

Enjoy.

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Pictures are priceless

We’ve all seen the different Mastercard commercials over the years listing several different items and their corresponding prices with the last one being “priceless“. Since pictures speak a thousand words some are often viewed as priceless.

I grew up in the midwest so when someone mentioned the desert and the Arizona territory I thought of sand and yes I also pictured the Saguaro cactus as pictured in the photo. The Saguaro pronounced [suh-gwahr-oh] is the one that we all grew up seeing in the cowboy movies.

The interesting thing about this cactus is it sprouts the arms sometime after it’s 200th birthday! So all the really tall ones are hundreds of years old. Arizona is really the only place where you will find this special cactus. Why? because it only survives in this particular climate. For years people were coming and stealing these magnificent creations in the middle of the night many times bringing them to California where they died.

Now there are federal laws against taking saguaros and each has been tagged by the BLM so they’re trackable. One last thing the Arizona state bird the cactus wren typically lives inside saguaros. Many of the holes in the cacti are from the birds then again many others were from those Cowboys back in the 1800’s with their 44’s.

Natural wonders abound

In everyday life, we all encounter pests now and then but how many of these pests are actually part of the natural wonder?  Take the butterfly, for example, it is regarded by many as a pest because they may eat their crops or leaves in the caterpillar stage. This pictured one is amazing in that the stones/decorative rock are only a half inch or so in diameter. It’s truly a small beautiful wonder among us regularly.

Everyone knows the metamorphosis story how the caterpillar turns into a cocoon and emerges as a beautiful butterfly. A really beautiful story. The real question is why do so many people view the butterfly and virtually all the creatures and natural environment as so pleasing to the eyes?

Science can’t answer that question because it goes beyond the reaches of science. Man can’t answer it, in fact, mankind has done so many awful things to destroy the wonders of nature.  The progress of mankind comes at the expense of nature. Strip mining for example and other mining have taken their toll and of course Wars on the planet.

The answer to why we find nature so beautiful lies deep in your heart, mind, and soul. Look there and you’ll find the answer. The great Louis Armstong said it best in the song “What a wonderful world”.

Gateway to America

It’s widely accepted that the huge arch in St. Louis, Missouri is the gateway to the west. That being a fact and said, I just returned from a quick trip to the Utah mountains. The Wasatch Range of which we spent a majority of our time is the western edge of the Rockies. Mount Nebo at 11,928 feet is over two miles high and is the highest peak of the Wasatch that stretches into Idaho. This is a high, daunting, beautiful gateway to the greater northwest territory. I felt I was on the Top of the world looking down on creation.

After you cross this range you drop into Salt Lake City which is a huge valley much like Phoenix. It’s also the second most arid state after Nevada. Amazingly all 29 of Utah’s counties have mountains. That’s rough country.

There are almost countless canyons across the state that offer breathtaking views and can actually take your breath away because of the thin air. That doesn’t stop the hard-core bicyclists that climb these ascents constantly during the summer months.

Park City is in the Wasatch mountain range featured the 2002 winter Olympics and you can see the Olympic park from highway 224 which is maybe 10 minutes from town. The town is a huge ski destination but originally in the 1800’s was then known as the silver mining town.

Portion of life

For most people, if you look at a portion of their life that they enjoyed most it would be their vacations. Many of us live for the next vacation, it can’t come soon enough. Believe it or not, a good percentage of Americans can’t seem to find the time or have the means to take vacations. Because it’s a time we enjoy most it seems it should be a priority and if you can’t find the means at least you could take a day trip to enjoy nature and life.

Nearly two years ago I had a portion of the book I’ve been writing for years published in an international literary magazine called AOIS21 Media. Since then the road is like this. I have the bulk of the manuscript ready but every few days I work on it refining, changing, rearranging to make it ready to present to a publisher. I’ve also spent countless hours reading and listening to e-book publishers and speaking with some to get their advice on publishing. An arduous task at best.

Essentially this work of the heart has taken a portion of my life. I’m amazed by authors like James Patterson, one of my favorites, that releases books every couple months it seems.  I know he has a template or a formula which he starts from so it’s not as difficult as a brand new creation.

My wife and I are very fond of vacations though we get so tied up in life that there are way too many years when we skipped a vacation. At least when we didn’t find time for an actual vacation we’ve at least taken a getaway weekend to regain our sanity and remember how to breathe. That’s the key, remember how to breathe its an essential ingredient for living.

Paint the opaque wood treatment

When I think of opaque I think of heavy frosted or tinted windows that conceal what’s behind the window. In Arizona with the bright scorching summers heavy tinted windows are allowed in fact it’s rare to find vehicles without tinted windows. For locals, it’s a clue that the people without tinting are not from around here.

Images also come to mind of blinds in windows that completely block out the sun and thereby the heat. Window shutters are quite common with homebuilders in the southwest to keep the heat out of the home. In addition, heavier than normal sunscreens on homes windows and doors are also commonplace.

But for me personally opaque draws to mind the paint that is put on wood cabinets which are very popular today. From an early background in woodworking, I feel it’s a crime to hide the beautiful woodgrain with white, black or even gray paint. Painting over wood is nothing new, it’s been done for centuries. The difference is there’s a “paint grade wood” that’s recommended for this application (which for panels and molding is MDF fiberboard) but the price has driven many manufacturers to use other beautiful grain woods for the cabinets.

Pine is a softwood but it can be beautiful when stained, used a lot in the past but today the most common material is poplar, a hardwood that doesn’t dent as easy which can reveal the woodgrain. Another wood species that’s painted is alder. Poplar doesn’t stain up as well as alder, in fact, I consider alder the chameleon wood because it can stain up to look like cherry or maple.

In Arizona, the alder sales are higher than some other parts of the country because of its western regional availability. My feelings are wood has nothing to hide. Paint is a coverup. Whitewashing or not to whitewash it’s your call, that’s my two cents.

Opaque Daily Post

Who hasn’t been in denial of something?

With Easter fast approaching many of us are reminded of one of the earliest denials in history. That would be after Jesus was arrested and the soldiers asked Peter if he knew Christ? He proceeded to deny Jesus not once but three times before the rooster crew; which was prophesied by him who was betrayed.  And Christ called Peter the “rock” him whom he would build his church upon. Now that’s the kind of confidence Jesus had that Peter would overcome the shame of his betrayal.

Denial is an everyday thing but being in denial can be a state of mind or refusal to accept something that you may not want to. So many people go through life not realizing that they may be in denial of something unless someone else points it out. The proverbial we’re blind to seeing that something in ourselves.

I think we all are looking to make this a better world. So many of us quick to see the “error in another’s ways” but slow to see it in ourselves. Regardless of where you stand the denial that you may harbor pales in comparison to Peter’s and look how far he went after he came to terms with his error. To a bright future, your walk of life; your brother in arms.

Denial The Daily Post

No magic elixir for life

Contrary to anything you may have ever heard there isn’t a magic elixir for life. Life happens although we can direct our course daily by setting goals and steering our lifeboat on a course we desire. A great many people say they are defined by their livelihood. It’s true a good part of one’s life is committed to their vocation.  For example, if you are a doctor not only did you spend extra time with your education and in most people’s eyes that’s how you’re viewed.

There may not be a formula for life but there is a lot you can do if you plan accordingly. So often young people hesitate sometimes for years in deciding what they want to do with their life and suddenly they find themselves in a career that they actually detest. This is not as uncommon as one would think. Check out the “Escalator of life” video.

In past generations a young man didn’t have to think twice about what he was going to do, it was predetermined by his parents to carry on in the family business. Today you still find that sort of thing if your family livelihood was fishing or farming for example but so many others will be charting their course in uncharted waters.

I have a widely varied background which is why I’ve been writing a book on helping others find out they were meant to do. Stay tuned, I will have further details as the process nears completion. We’ll help you to find your purpose, your reason and perhaps hidden desire for living.

Elixir Daily Post

Patterns in life

It’s amazing how most everything has a pattern to it. You can look at clouds and how they form a pattern to look like this or that which we recognize. Nature has patterns all around us that we marvel at every time we stop and think about it. It’s equally amazing how we find all these patterns around us to be so pleasing to the eye. That’s a compelling argument for creationists that God created these things and they were good.

Digging deeper when scientists look at our genes they see the pattern in our DNA. Again, something amazing in itself. Patterns aren’t limited to mother nature. I’m looking at this beautiful knitted blanket that my mother made it’s always been a pleasing pattern that reminds me of her. Mankind has made its mark.

Patterns aren’t limited to physical objects they’re also prevalent in our speech,  writing, and music of course. Observing patterns in some fields of interest are a full-time job. People seldom stop to take time to see the patterns in this or that, they don’t have time to “stop and smell the roses” and that’s sad. We rush through our hurried life trying to get here and there and miss all the beauty around us.

Do yourself a favor and stop and smell the roses or observe the way your kids are playing. It could be enlightening to you and can only be of help in those relationships with nature and the ones that we love.

 

The Daily Post

 

 

Arid desert alive and well

Years ago I used to listen to my favorite sports team live from Arizona. I heard all the fans cheering on their team and I thought I can’t image that many people down there j the desert. I thought how and why would they live there. It had to be hot, dry and awful in that arid climate without water.

Now after living here for over 20 years, I’ve learned to appreciate the desert. We may be in the middle of a 20-year drought but lately, we’ve been blessed with an unusual amount of rainfall. The desert has plenty of greenery, the only downside being we‘re going to have a bumper crop of tumbleweeds this summer. It’s amazing how those sagebrush grow every year and uproot travel with the wind coming to rest in a fence and sometimes the grille of your vehicle.

Every year people migrate to the southwest, some for vacation, like the snowbirds that are everywhere now. Others are told to move here in the arid climate for health reasons. Subsequently, the growth has presented new problems with not enough water to support the population. The primary source of water is the mighty Colorado river, its blessings of rainfall that renews our hope for tomorrow.

ARID Daily post