Beauty in mud


Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.

Roger Miller
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If the rain spoils our picnic, but saves a farmer’s crop, who are we to say it shouldn’t rain?

Tom Barrett

The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Rain is grace;

rain is the sky descending to the earth;

without rain,

there would be no life.

John Updike

I’ve always found the rain very calming.

Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away the hunger.

The way I see it,

if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

Dolly Parton
after the rain

after the rain

Other beautiful posts

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People that you meet in your neighborhood


It is interesting here for sure.  One of my past posts spoke of the “masks” we wear. Though the following photos do not represent the same types of masks I spoke of in my last post, they are masks just the same.

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The word Sadhu is a Sanskrit term that means “good man”. Sadhus are people who have chosen to live on the edge of society in order to focus on their spiritual practice. The base of this word is supposed to mean to let good happen.  It was interesting walking through this area and having these Sadhus beckon you over to get your photo taken with them.. for a small price.

The Sadhus lifestyle does vary from place to place.  Some live in caves or huts in remote areas, some live in Ashrams or temples in large cities while other Sadhus roam from place to place throughout their lives.  The Sadhus of Pashupati seem to live in this area and depend upon the photo taking of tourists and the brotherhood of each other.  I have visited Pashupati several times and for the most part I see what appears to be the same group each visit.

Regardless of the “masks” they wear or their actual purpose. They leave a lasting and haunting impression.  I hope you enjoy the photos.

Other people from this area.

Other haunting posts.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Characters that Haunt You

  1. What a character! | LauGraEva
  2. Characters Haunting Middle Earth | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
  3. Our daimon | The Seminary of Praying Mantis
  4. Vanquished | Master Of Disaster
  5. This Baby Continues To Haunt Me | Not the Family Business!
  6. “Return of the Obamacare Jedi” Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  7. With Time Comes Grace | Real Life Co.
  8. Weekly Writing Challenge: Characters that Haunt You: Vetfaan. | Rolbos ©
  9. the name is bond, james bond | Musings of a Random Mind
  10. DP: Writing Challenge: You never know… | Mainer Chick
  11. Characters that Haunt You | Parchment Pressed
  12. She | wrappedinmystery’s Blog
  13. WWC: HE LEFT THIS SILVER BULLET | SERENDIPITY
  14. Templed Genie | Saying Everything
  15. Weekly Writing Challenge: Characters That Haunt You | Ashley Reavis
  16. Silent Worlds | Let me tell U a story
  17. Heartbreak Hotel | Pen and Pixels
  18. Bookworm | Bellyaching: From the belly and the heart
  19. Silent Worlds | Let me tell U a story
  20. Oblivion | Words from the heart
  21. The Crone of Lake Cowichan | The Crone’s Apprentice
  22. Characters That Haunt You: Justyn | emilykarn
  23. “Characters that haunt you.” | mroziuk 1
  24. the name is bond, james bond | Musings of a Random Mind
  25. Fire Woman | Perceptive Pot Clueless Kettle
  26. DP: Writing Challenge: You never know… | Mainer Chick
  27. Characters that Haunt You | standinginthestorm
  28. Character development exercise: At the airport | Mother Bear
  29. Vanquished | Master Of Disaster
  30. This Baby Continues To Haunt Me | Not the Family Business!

All it took was ….


When Ailsa posted her travel theme clean this week, my first impulse was to focus on the dirt and grime I’ve been surrounded with lately.  Instead I let her post speak to me and inspire me.

I’ve been traveling for five weeks through Vietnam and Thailand and even Nepal.  Directly after returning home I had guests in my home for two weeks.  I’ve been playing a crazy game of catch up at work, hosting guests and being sick.  Yesterday I spent ten hours at work on a Sunday just to catch up and I did indeed do that.  Today I spent the entire day cleaning my home, rearranging it, organizing my mess and disinfecting the place from sickness.

After cleaning my home I began to feel a bit inspired.  I had a fresh look on my house, my work and now a painting project.  There is a quote about a clean house equating to a clean and uncluttered mind.. to me it means freedom and comfort.  So with this new freedom and inspiration I decided to create an interpretation of my time in Vietnam through paint.

I hope you enjoy.

My representation of Vietnam.

My representation of Vietnam.

Ok.. just two more shots from Pokhara, Nepal.  I was there for one week on a work function and talk about clean air compared to Kathmandu.  Hope you enjoy.

Fewa Lake Pokhara

Fewa Lake Pokhara

View of Himalayas from my hotel door.

View of Himalayas from my hotel door.

 

Kirtipur, Pharphing and other day trips


Kirtipur (Nepali: कीर्तिपुर) – This is an ancient city that is about a 15 minute to 1 hour drive from my house depending on traffic. This little city was clean, charming and had a beautiful view of the mountains.  It was a tranquil place in comparison to Kathmandu city.  There were so many places you could just sit and watch the people and enjoy the scenery with no horns honking.  Even the dogs were not barking.

A little further south is Pharphing, a different Newari town where you can hike, visit temples and see some great monasteries.  You can stay at a small hostel or attend yoga retreats. My personal favorite thing though was to watch the people.  Again, in comparison to Kathmandu the people were more relaxed and seemed to smile more often.  The pace was much slower for sure.

Even though the Newari culture is still alive and well the culture and language are apparently fading away.  Despite most everything being written in Devanagari, many English words have invaded the language.  The Newari language is also being forgotten and there is a movement to try to bring it back.  I provided a few links that further explain the culture and the language.

“Travel is the discovery of truth; an affirmation of the promise that human kind is far more beautiful than it is flawed. With each trip comes a new optimism that where there is despair and hardship, there are ideas and people just waiting to be energized, to be empowered, to make a difference for good.”
― Dan ThompsonFollowing Whispers: Walking on the Rooftop of the World in Nepal’s Himalayas

The following are some of my favorite photos from hiking in areas nearby Kathmandu.  I found it interesting that for the most part the women are the ones hauling, pulling and planting. Despite some of the disadvantages of being in Nepal, the daily load-shedding, the unfinished roads and terrible traffic and the constant sound and stimuli that surrounds you every day in Kathmandu, driving even 15-20 minutes from Kathmandu Valley brings you to some peaceful and beautiful surroundings that truly calms the spirit and eases the mind.  I hope you enjoy.

Interesting follow-up on the areas:

  1. Newari people and culture
  2. A degree among deities 
  3. Celebrating Tihar
  4. Newari Culture
  5. Pharphing
  6. Pharphing Caves
  7. Nepal Travel Guide
  8. Frugal Travel
  9. Offbeat Nepal
  10. Nepal Travel blogs
  11. Travel Snapshots – Nepal
  12. Nepal Life
  13. Travel Agency in Nepal
  14. The roofs of Kathmandu
  15. Driving in Nepal
  16. American Nepali
  17. About Nepal
  18. Trekking in Nepal

SUNDAY POST : Plains


This week’s theme with Jakesprinter happens to be a theme that is close to my heart.  The definition of Plains is:  “A large area of flat land with few trees.”  Jake further explains that plains are important for agriculture because they support grasslands, are deep and fertile so they are great for crop production and grazing for livestock.

As I mentioned this theme is a bit close to my heart as I view plains in the same category as farming, agriculture, farmers and the depression. Sort of strange I suppose, but my grandfather had to work his way through parts of the depression and would take on odd jobs such as truck-driving, frozen foods delivery, gas station attendent and farmer.  As a child and up through my teen years I would occasionally help him bale hay, feed the horses and more often then not just watch him pitter around his “farm”.  I do wish I had some old pics of him during those years.  I might have to try to find some at my dad’s house the next time I visit.

Because I can’t show pictures of my grandfather and all of his “hay” days.. I’ll settle on farmland and agricultural areas of Venezuela.  With the temperate climate and non-stop mountains and hills it is hard to imagine that there could possibly be “plains” in Venezuela. As a matter of fact, up until the oil boom which started in the 1970s, agriculture was the main economic support system for Venezuela.  At this time only about 1/5th of the land is now used for the same purpose.

One of the most striking areas of Venezuela houses amazing plains where the horizon is the only thing you can see.  I visited Los Llanos, which makes up about 1/3 of the country, during both of its two very different seasons.  I caught the edge of the rainy season where much of the land is under water and you commute by boat to many areas.  During this time we weren’t able to see much of the wildlife because the water was sufficient in all parts to keep all the animals away from the main travel routes.  I also visited in the dry season with some friends. This was a time where the wildlife, ranging from crocs to rats (Capybaras) to all kinds of snakes, converged directly in the high traffic areas to get at the water.  Cattle breeding is the most important economic activity for this region and we were able to travel by horseback to visit much of the area.

There is also the high plains of the Andes which I hiked with my sis and her boyfriend.  This is not really considered a plains area but the population farms it as if it were flat.  It’s amazing to hike through here and travel by donkey passing farms and slanted “flatlands” where crops such as organic coffee and potatoes are grown.

Once you pass the Andes, you have the lower farmlands of Barinas with rolling hills (not really plains but so much of the milk and fruits and veggies come from this area it wouldn’t be fair to not include it here.)  Finally there is Colonial Tovar which is also not really plains either but has many hillside farms like the Andes.  It has the most amazing farmland and grows delicious fruits and veggies as well.

Pardon me for not sticking strictly to the “plains” theme.  I got a little side-tracked with agriculture and farming in general. I hope you enjoy.

Here’s the text of Paul Harvey’s 1978 ‘So God Made a Farmer’ Speech, which inspired the Ram Trucks Super Bowl ad that has resonated with so many Americans:
And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.

“I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon — and mean it.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain’n from ‘tractor back,’ put in another seventy-two hours.” So God made a farmer.

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church.

“Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life ‘doing what dad does.'” So God made a farmer.