A Man and His Father’s Car

Every now and then, we have guests stay with us who have a special story that I would like to share. This week, we had some guests from New Mexico stay with us who were picking up a car that was having some work done on it in Kansas City.

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That car was the gentleman’s father’s 1950 Ford Woody Wagon. Our guest has spent the last six years having it restored.

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The man lived in Kansas when he inherited the automobile and started having work done on it. The final stage of the restoration was having the interior reupholstered in KC.

The gentleman and his wife retired to New Mexico, where his family lived when his father bought the car new.

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It is truly a beauty. The couple should have great road trips in the Woody!

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Have a lovely weekend!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

While in Florida recently, I stepped outside one evening and was surprised to see a brilliant post-storm vista unfold. Fortunately, I had my cell phone with me and was able to catch a few photos as the sun yielded the horizon to nightfall.

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This week’s challenge invites the photographer to use perspective to make the subject of the photo look like something other than what it is. The scene that I photographed was the view as I accompanied my mother to her mailbox. I used perspective to hide the street and cars and to compose the image, capturing only the elements I wanted to remember. For more on this week’s Photo Challenge

Early Autumn on Konza Prairie

I was out on the Konza Prairie the other afternoon and it was just about the prettiest that I have seen it.  The grasses are starting to put on their autumn colors – subtle shades of golds, oranges, reds and purple – before they turn brown for the winter. It is delightful to walk on the trails and hear little besides the wind blowing through the grasses, the songbirds and crickets, and the crunch of one’s own footsteps. In some places, the grasses are tall enough that I could extend my arms almost straight out from my sides and touch them with my fingertips as I passed by.

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Travel Theme: Beaches

Where’s My Backpack‘s travel theme for this week is beaches.

It was difficult to decide which image I wanted to share, but decided upon one of my favorite photos from Ohope Beach, New Zealand.  Its atmospheric quality seemed to fit my mood this morning. I hope that you enjoy the photo.

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Many Thanks for A Great Retreat

We just finished the first Morning Star Wellness Retreat. Everyone had a great experience and the time flew by. I did my best to remember to take photos, but I had a tendency to get caught up in the activities and forget all about documenting them. The retreat consisted of three days of  healthful gourmet vegetarian food, exercise, enjoying nature, meditation and mindful activities (such as art journaling and wine tasting), and all around engaging our senses. (I will make a point of writing more about mindful activities in another post.) I owe an enormous thanks to the each and every one of the wonderful people who helped out with the retreat by sharing their knowledge, enthusiasm and experience! I am also grateful to the equally wonderful people who came to the retreat because they believed in what we were doing!

The event began on Friday with a welcoming wine reception. Oenophile and biologist Dr. David Rintoul led us through a tasting of three wines. Up for comparison were Lioco Chardonnay 2010 (an unoaked Chardonnay ), Rodney Strong Chardonnay 2010 (an oaked Chardonnay), and Vouvray Chateau de Montfort  2010 (a Chenin Blanc). All three were well liked. The Lioco was clean, crisp, and almost citrusy. The Rodney Strong had a bit deeper flavor and a slight oaky aftertaste. The Vouvray, though, which is almost effervescent and just sweet enough to be served as a dessert wine, was the group’s favorite.

Saturday morning we started out bright and early with tangy Blueberry Yogurt Smoothies, Banana Bran Muffins, and a meandering walk over to the downtown Farmers’ Market to enjoy the sights and to buy vegetables (tomatoes, tomatillos, Japanese eggplants, etc.) for the weekend .

We came back to the B&B, had a light breakfast (Homemade Muesli with Fruit or Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Peppers), were led through gentle yoga exercises by kinesiologist Sara Hillard, and then each person had a personal training session with kinesiologist Lauren Lundberg-Berryhill.

After lunch (Green Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette, zesty Fresh Carrot and Ginger Soup, Zucchini Bread, fruit), I taught tai chi at the Flint Hills Discovery Center.

Afterward we went to the Beach Museum where Senior Educator Kathrine Schlageck helped us to practice Visual Thinking and Art Journaling.  Katherine led us through the permanent gallery collection and taught us ways to think about art (e.g. Albert Bloch’s “Lighted Windows” and Carol Haerer’s “Lucine”) using a journal. She then led us to the Quiet Symmetry exhibit to contemplate ceramicist Yoshiro Ikeda’s works.

Monet’s Dream by Yoshiro Ikeda

When we came home, we made several different flavorful salsas with fresh ingredients from the Farmers’ Market.

On Sunday, we got up to see sunrise over the Konza Prairie where we were met by naturalist and writer, Dr. Elizabeth Dodd. It was glorious out there at that hour of the morning and Elizabeth generously shared her knowledge of grasses, wildflowers, wildlife and land formations. I took quite a few photos, more of which I will put in my next post.

After spending several hours on the Konza, we had a hearty breakfast (Buttermilk Pancakes, Fruit and Yogurt), then relaxation time and we finished the morning with our second Tai Chi class at the Discovery Center.

After  lunch,  (Green Salad with Pear and Honey Vinaigrette, Spaghetti with Tomato Crue – raw tomato sauce, fresh baked bread, fruit and cheeses) guests met again met with Lauren for personal training. Then, late afternoon, we enjoyed a class on meditation and mindfulness led by Dr. Matthew Cobb, Executive Director of the Meadowlark Foundation, who helped us appreciate the importance of mindfulness and taught us techniques for practicing it. The session very nicely tied together ideas that we had been working with all weekend. For while mindfulness can be practiced in formal meditation, it can also be incorporated into every part of every day if one pays attention to the here and now, to what is right in front of one , and listens to one’s body. This of course, is what we do when we focus on taste in a wine tasting, when we focus on breathing and movement in yoga and tai chi, when we focus on texture, color, and meaning in looking at art, when we focus on sights, sounds, and smells while walking through nature, and so forth. As Matthew put it, we participate more in life when we are mindful.

Monday was slower-paced. No pre-breakfast activities. We leisurely practiced tai chi then had an early lunch outside (Green Salad with Honey and Stone Ground Mustard Vinaigrette, Moroccan Chickpea Stew, Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins, Fresh Fruit). In the afternoon, each participant had a massage followed by relaxation time.

I am so pleased to have gotten to know, or gotten to know better, all of the people involved in the retreat. We said our goodbyes (i.e. goodbye-for-now’s), happy for our time together. Now I am excited to plan the next retreat!