Monthly Archives: March 2015

Lovingkindness, Peace, and Healing for the World

DSCF7071Every year the Dalai Lama sends groups of Tibetan monks out to travel the world and spread the message of LOVINGKINDNESS.  DSCF7067

At Emory University in Atlanta during March 2015, their theme was PEACE AND HEALING.DSCF7072DSCF7074DSCF7073

The monks stay about a week in each place, building a sand mandala and teaching classes. DSCF7063DSCF7068DSCF7069DSCF7070

At  the end of the week, they deconstruct the mandala in a deeply moving ceremony.  Amid chanting, crashing bells and cymbals, and blasting horns the monks process outdoors to the nearest body of flowing water. DSCF7080DSCF7082DSCF7081

They pour the mandala sand into the water so that the grains can be carried along with prayers and blessings downstream to the sea, and thence to the entire world.DSCF7083DSCF7086DSCF7090

The monks pack some of the mandala sand into small bags and hand it out as blessings to participants in the ceremony.DSCF7102

In the same manner as pouring grains of sand into a flowing stream of water, these virtual grains pour into the cyberstream of the internet to be carried along with prayers and blessings to you, and thence to the entire world.DSCF7066

Unexpected Treasures

DSCF6719Sometimes the best part of traveling is finding unexpected treasures by the side of the road.DSCF6721Like a peacock taking a nap…DSCF6696… or this mysterious machinery…DSCF2284Motor Lodge sign… or an odd sign…DSCF6720… or an entire field of scarlet milkweed…DSCF2286DSCF8888

… or an unusual holiday display…DSCF5443… or an out-of-business business.

Keep your eyes open.  You never know what you might see.DSCF6454DSCF6464DSCF5483

Look UP!

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When you are in the woods, do you ever look UP?DSCF6771

Even in early morning or late afternoon, on the already-darkling woods paths, you can look up and see the bright sunlight still illuminating the tops of the trees.DSCF6766DSCF6769When we walk in darkness, it is reassuring to look up and see the light above us.  It brings us hope that as the world turns the light will return and brighten our shadowy path.DSCF6755DSCF6764

The Big G Ranch

DSCF6027Along Highway 23 south of Indian Springs, Georgia, is a mysterious gated entrance.DSCF6024DSCF6025

Beyond the ornate gate can be seen elaborate topiaries and sculptures, both stone and bronze.

Now, the Old Lady loves a good mystery… but even more, she loves solving the mystery.

An internet search revealed that the gate leads into the Big G Ranch, owned by the late Jack Galardi.  Galardi owned dozens of topless bars and “gentlemen’s clubs” across the country, including the Pink Pony in Atlanta.  The Big G Ranch is now apparently owned by his children.  Galardi was famous for his invitation-only July 4th parties held at his Ranch.  Google was unable to determine whether that tradition continues.DSCF6023

Water from the Rock

DSCF6440The Old Lady loves springs.

Her very favorite spring is at Indian Springs State Park in central Georgia.  She has been coming to the old stone springhouse there for decades, to drink and to carry away jugs of the heavily-mineralized sulphur water.  Many people come for the water, saying that it has powerful healing properties.DSCF6441

The spring itself has been covered for protection, but through the plastic dome you can see the water flowing directly from the rock. DSCF6442This is real water, God’s water, water filtered by Mother Earth and free for the taking.  To your health!DSCF6443

A View of the Underworld

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The Old Lady took a chance detour on Florida Highway 51 from Tennille to Mayo, and discovered something not on her map: Peacock Springs State Park.

There she saw something she’d never seen before: a Karst Window.

It appeared to be a sinkhole filled with water, but it is actually a place where the stone roof over the Florida aquifer has collapsed, providing a “window” into the subterranean world that connects the springs that abound in that area of Florida.DSCF6731

Nearby is Peacock Springs where divers enter those underwater caves (“Me???  Not in a million years!” states the Old Lady firmly).DSCF6722DSCF6723DSCF6729

Just Chillin’

Chillin

Somebody asked the Old Lady: “What do you DO while you’re camping?”

Chill.  Just chill.

And look at stuff… like this stuff, at Jonathan Dickinson State Park near Hobe Sound, Florida.

DSCF6698DSCF6701There among the picnic tables there were glossy ibis browsing along with the more common white ibis.DSCF6703

High atop Mount Hobe is an observation tower where you can really take in the lay of the land.DSCF6707DSCF6708DSCF6709DSCF6710

SHARK!

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The Old Lady has a new toy.

The Air Swimmer is a helium-filled balloon shaped and painted like a shark.  The remote control operates a ballast system for lift and a movable back fin which propels the shark through the air.

The Old Lady’s big brother liked it.DSCF6659

We named our shark Large Marge.DSCF6654