Posted in Europe, Journey

Ramsau, Germany

After leaving Hintersee on the German-Austrian border, we snaked our way back through a number of tiny villages. Traveling the narrow roads that were filled with little to no traffic, we were lead through green pastures and dream like settings. I noticed more people on bicycles vs. people in cars, and it is truly a different way of life. Things are slowed down and most errands are done by bicycle such as daily trips to the local bakery where an array of fresh breads and pastries await, or a trip down the road to the local butcher store where you can pick up fresh cuts of lunch meat or a savory steak. Everything is fresher with fewer packaged and preserved items and therefore they taste better as well. You won’t find a big chain retailer such as Walmart anywhere and honestly I can’t even imagine the sight of it in those settings. The surroundings of those villages are quaint with a local economy that is far from mass production. Many are nestled at the bottom of granite mountains with a dramatic backdrop. I felt as if we were driving through a fairytale. Add the golden hues of fall and you have nothing short of breathtaking. Magical, and it was as if seeing it for the very first time. I accepted it as my final conclusion and had no recollection of being here in younger years. At least nothing stood out about spending quality time here, which meant a prolonged stay. Maybe I had driven through here with my parents as I was little, or we passed by with the motorcycles as teenagers. Either way, it was a long time ago with faded memories that no longer existed. It was a great time to visit and I made a mental note. The temperatures were comfortable now and had lost the humidity that often causes me to struggle. Especially during hikes in higher elevations, or during climbs. I prefer them to be on the cooler side and I just tend to do better if I don’t feel the pulse in the back of my neck pounding from over exertion. A moment of bittersweet hit me as I realized that the return back had officially started and that the time had come to leave this peaceful place. We were on our way back, back to Mom and I had a mixture of emotions that don’t need further explanation.

Our plan was to stop at Ramsau and take a peek at the little, famous, and picturesque church named St. Sebastian. It’s an old Catholic Church in front of such described dramatic backdrop, and we had to pass through it anyways. A few other people had the same idea, but it never felt crowded. We saw an older couple in traditional dress with Lederhosen for the man and a Dirndl for the woman, strolling through the area. It was neat to see and it added to the overall fairytale feel. I couldn’t help but wonder about their life and their story living at the feet of the Watzmann, Germany’s third highest mountain. We wandered around the church, checked out the old cemetery and this time I briefly went inside the ornately, elaborately decorated church. Time stood still and all noise disappeared. What remained was silence and a feeling of bliss to experience this present moment. I stood still, with an awareness that was sharp and took in every little detail and noise. It held the intend of holding on to that feeling and that very moment. I wanted to remember what it felt like, and I wanted it to be the fuel for all the tough decisions that would lie ahead. This moment in time would become a reminder of what my heart is yearning for, and it would be a place my soul will call Home some day. Not in the physical sense of living in Ramsau, but in the pursuit and the recognition of that very feeling, wherever it would be in aiding and eliminating the feeling of in between, one day I would call that place Home in more ways than just the physical sense.

I’m not even sure how else to describe this sight in words and it is one of those moments when a picture does speak a thousand words. However, it is different for everybody and might not hold the same meaning for you. Perhaps it is dependent of the current state of your journey, your frame of mind and what is near and dear to you. In either way, it is something you have to experience for yourself and in the meantime I will lead you to your own conclusion about this serene little place called Ramsau. If you like it, I hope you get to visit some day and have your own story to tell.

Posted in Inspiration, Spiritual awakening

The heart of a Gypsy 🦋

I want to rid my life of clocks, schedules and deadlines and live by the rising sun.

Worship the moon and feel the earth beneath my feet.

Walk off the beaten path and celebrate Mother Nature and all its creatures.

Love on my own terms and see adventure in every day.

Nourish my soul and make time to express the passions that truly matter.

Fall in love with everyone I meet, and collect the stories to tell.

Posted in Books

Watching Glass Shatter

Look at what came in the mail today!!! My very own copy of “Watching Glass Shatter”from a fellow blogger and friend James J. Cudney. I’m so excited and I can’t wait to actually start reading it. Today is definitely a prime example of work getting in the way of the things that I want to do, ha. But I guess I have to earn a living and my quiet reading time must be postponed. But not without a moment to join the celebration of a huge achievement, and help spread the word. You can get your very own kindle version and read the book for free this weekend. It has a five star rating and awesome reviews. There is still time and you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain with no better way to support each other than this. Please check it out, and join us with a random act of kindness and only a few moments of your time. It’s a great way to make a difference, while treating yourself and ensuring that every voice counts.

Just yesterday I talked to another friend about minimalism and I believe that less is truly more these days. But not when it comes to my books, and I am that person that loves to hold the actual paper copy vs. reading the kindle or nook version. For space sake, since books are one of my guilty pleasures (I have too many), I thought about downloading the kindle version for a brief split second, but “Nah”, I couldn’t follow through with it. I’d be ok with a tiny house but a huge collection of books and I’m not sure if I could ever get rid of my books. Maybe some, but there are those that will always be close to my heart. Somehow, I feel that this one will join the ranks of those special books near and dear to me. I can feel the energy and the labor of love that is emitting from it. All you need to read is the profound acknowledgment in the front of the book to visualize the journey that it has taken from the beginning, the spark of an idea, to the surroundings and circumstances, the spirits we meet along our journey, to the support and encouragement, and the final printing stages.

Full of anticipation I opened my much awaited package to finally hold my own copy of “Watching Glass Shatter”. Right away I loved the velvety feel of the cover, yeah call me weird, but it was what I noticed first. There was something regal and defined, something precious and something to be treasured about it. Holding it like some prized possession, I love the actual size of the book, how it fits into my hands and the font choice, as well as the size of it. I told you, I’m weird, perhaps a bit crazy but those things along with that “New book smell”, are things that matter to me. So in case you opt for the paper version and those things matter to you, they are good to know.

Congratulations again and much love on your way of becoming a best selling author.

Posted in Inspiration

Plumas National Park

October 25th and one of the last warm days to walk barefoot and feel the earth beneath my feet. Without a doubt this is one of my favorite spots….oh wait….actually, there are many. But today, looking back to this day and this picture, it comes with a great reminder to….

“Remember to water your roots and your soul will blossom”

Posted in Europe, Travel

Alpine Bliss – Day 2

The first day in the Alps brought some much needed change of scenery. Getting out and hiking to Eis Kapelle helped refocus my mind and offer a little escape, although I knew that it was temporary. Still, the break was welcome and just what I needed. Mom was with me (in my mind), always, but I knew that she couldn’t be in better hands and knowing that provided some relief. The little penthouse (that’s what we called anything if it was bigger than just one room) was fabulous and we stayed until the last minute. With not an extra moment to spare before running the risk of being kicked out, we made our way to pay for our stay. It’s a point of difference in Germany (Europe) compared to the states, and you pay for your hotel after you spent the night, vs. paying in advance). There is no credit card information that exchanges hands prior. Someone shows you the room and if you are happy and you agree, such said person hands you the keys while informing you about breakfast and a few other need to know items. Gas purchase are handled the same way, as you pump first and then go to pay. I can’t even imagine that here in the states, and somehow I picture that people would take advantage of it and bail without paying. Not that I’m saying more dishonest people live here, but somehow I can picture a possible outcome if it was this way. I’m sure it has to happen in Germany too, but I’m not sure as to what extend? I have no clue, but it can’t be too big of a problem because it has always been this way forever and nothing has changed in all the years. 

Today we would explore the “Hintersee” another alpine lake close to the Bodensee. It was only a short drive from the penthouse, but the scenery was breathtaking on this sunny morning. I sighed a few times at the feel of vacation and my heart was full of gratefulness to see this beautiful place covered in the golden hues of fall. It was still early as we strolled around the banks of Hintersee and watched the little boat “Annerl” run between the shores. Taking a few passengers to the other side of the lake, it was passing by a man dressed in waiters, fishing in the shallows of the lake. Perhaps a cook, fishing for today’s catch fresh out of the lake, or a local looking for a tasty lunch. Life seemed tranquil and unaffected by the hectic of today’s hustle and bustle. This was a place to slow down and indulge in the local customs and culture. We wandered over to a little restaurant/cafe and enjoyed a cup of coffee with a delicious little pastry. Yep, you guessed it, I could have sat there for a very, very long time, soaking in the warmth of the sun and life in general. It was all about that and life was good. It always is, but it was even more so in these moments that will forever stay with me. It was time to move on and capture a few moments on film to compliment the memories already living in my head. God knows if I hit my head yet again on another clothing fixtures, there was no telling of what could happen to my memory. I needed the physical proof of the beauty laid out in front of me and those special moments that would pass without ever returning. Before we knew it a couple of hours had passed. We watched people come and go, just passing through, while snapping a few pics and off they were to the next location. It was not as extreme as it is here in the states, but still it felt like we were the only ones that stayed. In all the years I noticed that few people can hang out and be still for hours, let alone spend a whole day in one place. It would get boring for most, although I feel that things are getting worse with the rising demands and expectations of a busy work life. We have to do what we have to do to survive but I believe that balance is key. 

Eventually our stay came to an end, although we didn’t want to go. It would be a few hours to make our way back to Mom and we knew that it would be some time to see this place again. One last glance, one last sigh and we were on our way. A beautiful chapter came to a bittersweet end as we waved our goodbyes to Hintersee. I’m reminded of an old favorite quote that puts things into perspective and that reads like this…..

Don’t be sad that it is over, be happy that it happened. 💙

Posted in Hiking

A short adventure

Yesterday was probably the coldest day so far, and we didn’t hike all that much. It wasn’t the actual temperatures that made it tough, but the wind and yet another storm front coming through, which caused our stroll to be a bit on the cold side. We didn’t care a whole lot, it was a day off and soon we decided to stretch our legs a bit and visit Mother Nature. The trail was skirting around Lily Lake and soon was beginning to climb. Just a little ways in, the first rain drop came, but still we continued on. Along the way, we passed several A-frame cabins that were already boarded up for the winter. If needed, they would provide shelter and keep us dry. The clouds soon became more ominous looking and at one point the rain was moving in to the left of us. Rain clouds were pushed by the high winds and were clashing against the granite walls. It would be miserable to get wet in the cold winds and we decided to head back. I love to hike in the rain, but not when it is cold and windy, it surely makes for bone chilling conditions with the best chances of getting sick, if this is what you’re after. I was lucky enough to hike in the rain this summer and it was very peaceful and serene as the light drizzle fell. Not so much yesterday, but I’m glad we still managed to escape.

Posted in Humor

Ooopsie – Daisy

I can’t believe that I actually named this post Ooopsie – Daisy, but it’s the first thing that came to mind and I’m sticking with it. I’m in the mood to write a “funny” but believe me when I say that this wasn’t something I initially found amusing. I would call myself lucky looking back and luckily, enough time has passed that I can laugh about it. So, what better way then to write about something funny and on top humiliate one self. Ok then, let’s get started, shall we. The unlucky, lucky incident occurred on the 17th of October. I had worked all day and had to run an errand by stopping at the store before heading home. I wasn’t particularly thrilled about going after such a long day, and this one said store is rather anti-climactic. But there was no way around it and I already had prolonged going until the last minute. So off to that boring store it was for the sake of time, and because it offered a one stop shopping experience to all the things I needed. It would have to do tonight and it was a chore more than it would be shopping for fun. 

Entering through the front door, the women’s clothing department was slightly to the left of me. Right away I zeroed in on a piece of clothing hanging towards the bottom of the rack, near the floor. It was the color and the design that captured my attention, even though I had no clue what it was that I had locked eyes with. Maybe leggings? Yeah, it must be something like that, yeah, I think leggings it is indeed. I walked closer, never once taking my eyes of that mystery piece that still needed to be fully identified. I squinted, eyes locked, but never did I lost my concentration. I must have looked like a predator, sneaking up on it’s prey, while observing my surroundings to notice if someone else had spotted the precious bounty. My steps are getting bigger and I pick up speed. I think I’m in good shape and it looks like I will make it there first. Whatever it is, I’m already sold on it and it shall be mine, regardless of fit and price. Now that I had came this far, the stars just must align, right? It must be meant to be, it just has to fit and how much could it possibly cost. I feel pretty good, I know I can afford it and no other predator is getting closer. I won’t have to beat someone with my purse. Ok the imagination is taking off here and I never, ever have actually done such a thing. But hey, there could be a first. Kidding….

I’m finally within reach of the free standing metal rack that is full of clothing items, although my eyes have been gazing at this ONE, single item hanging on the lower hook. I was right and leggings they are as my mind already pairs them up with other friends (complementary pieces of clothing) sitting in my closet at home. The motion never stops, one more step and my hand reaches down to pick up the mystery piece, but I never make it. I’m abruptly stopped by a loud noise and a force I can not identify right away. It takes a moment and I find myself stuck in an episode of dazed and confused. I catch on rather quickly as my hand instinctively travels towards my head and rubs my forehead. What the heck just happened, did I get struck from something falling from the sky? Within the store? It takes another moment to realize that I have been left pretty vulnerable in all my concentration and eye locking mode with this one piece of clothing. Apparently my peripheral vision went to s… and I ran full dab smack into the upper metal bar of that fixture. I almost cleared, almost, but I definitely hit it and I hit it hardddddd. “It”, the metal fixture never budged, but it brought me to a complete halt. Instantly a headache appeared but it was one of those moments when you are embarrassed and you think something like “Oh gee, I wonder who saw”. Still holding my head, I couldn’t tell how bad it was and decided to just walk away without drawing further attention to myself. Around the corner I went and found a mirror and the bright red mark left behind on my forehead. I had to hit pretty hard for it to leave this kind of mark. It actually stayed for a couple of stays and I might have had a slight concussion based on the headaches. But I guess I have a thick skull and all is recuperated and fine now. I can look back and laugh about it now, but at the time it was a dark moment and it literally scared the hell out of me. I never saw anybody looking at me funny, or giving me the indication that they had seen what happened. Still, I decided against the leggings and never went back to that rack again. Obviously the leggings were bad luck and I wasn’t meant to have them after all. 

No wound picture, but for a moment it got dark and I’m pretty sure that I saw some stars lol.

Posted in Inspiration, Mother nature

Pop of color 

A few storms have moved into my neighborhood. Not only in the sense of a few unrestful feelings, but also in the form of lower temperatures and mountain snow. I recognize that my creativity peaks whenever adversity strikes and the ideas are just pouring out of me. I have no choice but to jot them down for times when I will be able to engage in the process of bringing them to live. 

I’m seeking solitude in nature today and trust her to calm my troubled soul. I’m ok for the most part, but I’m still working through the helplessness of not being in a position of changing things a whole lot right now. In the meantime reality still causes me some grief and remains unchanged.

Today my wisdom reminds me to seek a pop of color whenever your skies are gray. This picture was taken last week and shows that your pop of color can come in all kinds of shapes and all kinds of places. It doesn’t matter where it is, or what it is you do, just find the spot that puts your soul at ease and allow the stresses to melt away. Xo 🦋