In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Broken.

Orion and butterfly 005
A broken femur bone

A time will come when you no longer run with such carelessness. You will lay quietly in old age and sleep away your days. No longer will I worry about a broken bone. But then I will worry about the years left with me. For now, I try to keep you still, comfortable, and without pain. Heal quickly dear Orion, and remember our love for you will never be broken like your leg. It will just get stronger with the passing years.Orion and butterfly 001

Love is Never Broken

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An Ode to Orion

10459092_689725637760172_5238165932732310864_oDear Orion,

You make my heart smile. From the first moment I saw you, I knew you were special. You were desperate for a home, you had too many owners in your short life. You were thin, your ribs showed. You were very big, intimidating by your size, but your eyes were so sad. I fell in love with those eyes, you looked scared and you were hungry. Previous owners had no idea what your breed was, they thought they were getting a Pitbull. You grew so large and they couldn’t accommodate your needs. You needed to be able to run and play. You required food twice a day, real dog food not leftovers from the kitchen. You wanted a home and I was ready and willing to take you when a neighbor came and knocked on my door. She only had you for two days, she was the fourth house you had lived at. I will never forget how scared you looked that first day you entered my life. Your eyes were desperate. No wonder you were sad , you felt unloved, unworthy, no one wanted you. They lost out. You are the most magnificent animal: one who protects and serves for life. You are also a wild child full of playful energy. Your breed is a Dogo Argentino. I often wish I could have seen you as a little puppy. You are so intelligent. I have read that dogs know and understand as many words as a six-year-old. You know so much more than words, you know the language of life. Now I have to see you laying still with a wire in your leg, sitting in the grass while your pack plays around you.Hike and Orion injury 015

You play too hard, run too hard, and show off for your pack. I worry incessantly about you since you had already had a break before. That break was in your front paw, a very strange place. I saw you trip that day running down the stairs…your body is heavy on your legs when you fall. Oh, what a process that was. You would not stay still, you had a screw in the very tip of your pad. It was over six months of constant supervision and you not doing what should be done; which is rest. You ran, you played and nothing could keep you down, not even the cast that was constantly improved. You finally healed and I remember thinking “please never again!” However, here we are again, because you can’t stop when your pack calls you to play. I close the gates to the lake, but someone always opens them up and leaves them open. You love the water. I have no idea how you did this horrific injury but I am sure it was in the lake. When you enter the lake with supervision you are fine, but when you can just do what you want this is what happens. Never again will you be able to run free into the lake showing off, I will make sure of that. You cannot endure another injury. I cannot endure another injury on you.

My daughter’s birth year on a butterfly native to Colombia

The day of your surgery I awoke and went to you. I sat next to you just loving on you. I was very distressed to think you would be going under anesthesia just like humans do. I  stayed with you and prayed for a good outcome. The surgeon is very famous in Cali, Colombia for his skills. He had just recently put a dogs leg back together who had been shot and the bone shattered. He used a metal rod to connect the bone. When I heard of his success stories I knew you would be fine, but still I could not get over the feeling of trepidation inside my stomach. I did not get much done the day of your surgery. I was watching a movie, waiting for word on when you would be put under and there was the most amazing sign that came in the form of the #89 butterfly. This butterfly is native to Colombia and has the birth year of my daughter on its wings. It came to the windows surrounding the Villa Migelita Suite, and stayed for five minutes. I knew then that you would be fine. You were a gift from Misha. I know she was sending me a sign to calm me down. I was able to relax after the visit from this gorgeous butterfly.

So here we go again: another break, another healing process. I have asked so many to pray and send healing energy to you these last few days. It is all I can do besides making you comfortable. Please my Orion, no more. Stay still, heal and let us all love your magnificent self.hike and poco 004


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The Sky is NOT the Limit

Parapente over the Valle del Cauca, Colombia

When I see the parapente fly over my Villa I think of bold choices. I chose to move to a foreign country and make a new life. It has not been easy, but it has been a dream accomplished. I am no longer young, but I still have a lot of life left to explore new horizons. I will always look to the mountains to find my soul.  I just need to look to the sky and know there are no limits on what I can do. Every day is a new beginning. I find myself enveloped inside the beauty surrounding me when I wake up each morning, the bit of clouds that allow the sun to shine through is what I see for my future. A beautiful day shines down upon me.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man.”

I was the girl who always had the latest styles, along with the designer prices that went with that style. I had a closet full of shoes, shirts, jeans, dresses, skirts, jackets, and accessories that would guarantee me a spot in any fashionista’s top ten. I knew how to pull  off the correct look, and religiously watched shows on the latest trends. I knew when I should wear a certain color nail polish and what was trending for any season. I had loved fashion since I was a Disco gal in the 80’s. I used to be a hair model in college and a disco dancer. These photo’s are from different centuries.

Look at the hair! circa 1980
2010 at the beach
Full designer outfit ..not my thing these days
The birth of baby goats on my farm
xploring 011
La Buitrera, Valle de Cauca , Colombia

The red and white stripe picture is when I was a hair model in the early 80’s, the other is me in 2010 at the beach. I am still rocking white sunglasses. I always say accessories make a look. I use that advice even now. I am not a fashionista anymore but I still make sure the hair is in style along with the nails. I really have no use anymore for all of those stylish clothes I wore for years, nor for the cost of them. I realize this is not what makes me happy. I loved it then, I loathe it now. I prefer jeans, simple tops, and good hair these days. I will always exercise and take care of my skin. I am a fanatic about sunscreen. I guess I have evolved. I still love to look at the pictures of what is trending with celebrities. I enjoy all of my friend’s photos showing them in the latest styles. However, when I visit the states I buy cute t-shirts and jeans, along with new converse sneakers. I used to let clothes define me. Now I let me define me. I am happy being a bit simpler these days. Simplicity is my new norm, along with a peaceful outlook that fulfills my inner self. I enjoy this new look. I am defined by my inner self now, not clothes. I hope my inner self shines through in my current photos the way my past photos showed my love of fashion.

Confessions of a Former Clothes Horse

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Forces of Nature.”

I live in a land of incredible beauty. Colombia offers so much in the way of flora and fauna. I grew up in South Florida and I was never very good at growing anything. I was given a tiny planting of one Daisy 2 years ago, now I have them everywhere on my farm. They fill out all of my gardens with their happy presence. They make me smile. 10262165_833295006736567_8646196105888836900_nThis Daisy is not the most beautiful flower I have growing on my farm, but it represents what I have accomplished with my life here in Colombia. I will never walk past all of my Daisy’s and not think of the one tiny planting that was given to me. I am reminded that life is like this tiny flower, a spectacular representation of what I can do if I set my mind to it. So little Daisy you are a force of nature to me.

One Daisy

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Forgive and Forget?.”1973566_756373984428670_7210894168049152791_o

Sure it is easy to forgive and forget some things. But to ask me to forgive the murderer of my daughter and forget what he did, I can’t, I won’t. He killed her when she was helping someone. He ran her down and left her body on the side of the road for hours. She was twenty years old, and had a two-year old daughter. He killed a daughter, a sister, and a mother. He is without remorse and has never apologized. I made it my mission to get him to trial, which he avoided for almost five years. He was given a suspended sentence by a worthless judge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana who is known for letting killers walk free. I can’t forgive or forget her either.

Do I let this travesty ruin my life? No. I live my life in memory of her. I do everything that she can no longer do. I will not allow myself to be bitter. I will not allow myself to wallow in the sadness I feel that will never leave me. Do I think of him now that he is walking free without ever serving time for killing my child? Yes, sometimes, but it is best for me not to think about him as I become very agitated over the injustice. I get physically sick, I really do. My health has suffered. It is best not to think of him at all, but that does not mean I have forgotten. It is just the way I have to live, the murderer has left me with that. He left me with a hole in my heart that will be there until I die. If I think of him, like now while writing, I hope someday he will feel the kind of pain he inflicted on all of us who are still grieving her death.

So I think asking someone to forgive and forget could be applied to petty squabbles, or ex-spouses, mean people, friendships that disappoint, bad relationships, anything that you have moved on from. I cannot move on from her murder. I can allow myself to enjoy life, I can relish the beauty that surrounds me here in Colombia, I can feel happiness. But I can never forget her, I can never look at the gorgeous rose blossoming,  the hummingbird drinking nectar, or the butterflies that float by without thinking she is missing this. Her life cut short through the senseless act of selfishness that one man perpetrated. He drove off and left her there dead, he shall never gain my forgiveness.

Asking the Impossible

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Luci and Her Tree Perch

Hike with Beeja, Luci on tree perch 018Luci has a new perch. It is a tree that was accidentally cut down. From an untimely death, this tree has been given a new life. It is now next to Luci’s cage and holds hummingbird feeders and plantains to attract wild birds to its bare branches. The fatality is partly my fault because my worker did not understand my Spanish. He is new on my farm, older and probably has never left this area of Valle de Cauca. I imagine working on a farm for an American is strange but also fascinating to him. He is a very kind old gentlemen. He works quietly all day, the dogs stay near him. I often look outside and I will see Orion next to him while he is in the vegetable garden, or Bruno Mars laying sound asleep while he prunes flowers. He has a gentle spirit that the dogs relate to. I have always had trouble with my American accent while speaking Spanish, and I even wrote a funny blog about my Spanish here. However, this  latest misunderstanding caused the death of a Quava tree that was in my garden. It was a young tree, maybe 5 years old, and was producing fruit. I felt such sadness after it was cut down. I believe trees can feel, breathe, emit sounds. Anyone need only walk in the rainforest here in Colombia and listen; the sounds are symphonic, heavenly, full of spiritual resonance. It is not just birds or insects that you will hear, you will hear the air moving through branches as they sway and twitch in a chorus of their own.

I looked out from my glass enclosed bedroom, and saw my worker was taking an ax to my tree. I yelled out, but it was too late; the tree fell along with all the fruit, scattering guava everywhere. The look on his face was horror as he realized that he was cutting the wrong tree. I had asked him to cut up a banana tree that had fallen during a rainstorm, and pointed to the tree on the ground. It is unfortunate that the Guava tree was right in the path of the banana tree. How he thought my live Guava tree should be cut down from me asking him to cut up a dead banana tree I will never know. I do know that I sometimes can’t understand someone speaking Spanish to me, and it is because they speak with a slightly different accent. I am sure he had no idea what I was saying. I wish he would have asked my maid to make sure he was doing the right thing, but he didn’t and I lost a beautiful tree. I was lethargic the rest of the day, unable to concentrate due to the sick feeling in my stomach about this unnecessary loss. I would often photograph birds on this tree, eating the fruit on the ground as they fell with ripeness. Then something happened that changed the loss into a gain, the dead tree was placed in a spot next to Luci to be useful once again.

I swear I can see Luci smiling as she explores the durable stems without leaves. Hummingbirds come to the feeders, the whir of their wings now heard on my patio. The hummingbirds are all around  Villa Migelita , but now there is a new spot to sit where they come regularly to feed. The branches also hold cut plantains to attract wild birds. This is the way we feed and attract birds here in Colombia, regular feeders filled with seed never work. Birds here have many fruits to choose from, and they will only come to fruit on a tree. I am anxiously awaiting to see my first bird come feed! This tree has also brought a change in my day; I eat lunch outside with Luci and my dogs. I sit in the afternoon studying Spanish while the hummingbirds hover nearby. What a great redemption for my Guava tree; still being used to attract birds while also allowing Luci to perch up high. I look at the beautiful scene and I smile thinking that this dead Guava tree is serving a purpose after all sending positive energy into the air, attracting life just like it did before.  The branches are bare but they still reach to the sky and call nature to its side.Hike with Beeja, Luci on tree perch 019