As I wrote and expressed my feelings regarding politics I think recently, only glancing at times to reiterate the proper spinning motion of the Earth, I just cannot help feeling as there is something terribly wrong, even considering my naive mind within its outlook… as I read this morning’s Yahoo opening page. This guy Bernard Madoff, who I have never heard of before, has been caught in a 50 BILLION dollar fraud! 50 Billions! And here we are all of us trying to make ends meet and, here in this country and near by, what am I saying… the World around, humans dying of hunger, lack of heat, sicknesses…Wow… he admits to his guilt… the money is missing… and worse… he will only get 20 years if that, and a 5 million dollar fine. Being 70, with good conduct as he will be able to afford the Federal Ritz Carlton, he should be out in a couple years enjoying his stash! This is actually beyond politics, economy… I keep thinking that maybe, just maybe, the future of this land of ours that has suddenly shrunk to the size of a dime is in big jeopardy! Someone up there is going to get really really upset and strikes us badly! I just hope that the good people are spared. OK… need to move on and change permanently my Internet opening page to the weather. Done. Spirit agrees.
Today I prepared for tomorrow. Sounds kind of everyone’s Life really. I wish I could say “we” but, besides only changing position Spirit did not even open his eyes all day. I really want to be him some day when I grow up. He likes the fire ring and I do to! It has become my center here where I feel useful and planted. I don’t know why I waited so long to cook outside but I finally did today. I have all the kindling needed for a couple lifetimes, added a couple chunks of pecan wood for coals, it did the trick as my soup is now ready and I do know it tastes pretty good because I already had some! I am still so thankful to Carl and Colette for bringing this wood up from Booth. What a great gesture and only wish they were still here to share it all. Next year for sure. We will do this when they are here.
Clever devices to hold the pot, yes there is a third rock unseen in the photo, custom made! The recipe? I have no clue… emptied many cans, broth, rice, chopped vegetables, chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, hot sauce… you name it. Some chicken will go in today and back on the fire. Even my bread for tomorrow turned out good as yesterday was just too cold for it rise properly. Whole wheat with molasses this time. Dessert will also be cooked on the fire tomorrow.
This turns out to be the best campground I have been in. Nothing permanent as I like this way, but all the needed peripherals to sustain ourselves and specially feed a dozen or so Friends tomorrow. Yesterday we took a ride into Big Bend Park to see the first snow of the year. Here anyhow. So sorry to hear by the way about all the hardship so many are going through up north exposed to the incredible storms hitting such vast areas. Going through town I had to stop to refill a bottle of propane and as I was watching this man spend his 75 cents to air his tires, I was betting with myself that the compressor will stop when he was done with only 3 tires. Of course I won, and in good conscience offered him my compressor that I always carry. Years of service for $9.99! That is about 13 shots at the quarter machine if you only do 3 tires… come to think of it, perfect for a sidecar rig! But I am sure it was not the maker’s intention. Air for 4 tires? $1.50… More expensive than fuel!… for now.
The plan in Big Bend was to visit some road travelers we had never met, only read their Blog as I really like their watercolors which are now a hobby of theirs. Unfortunately their were on a hike as I later found out and also to make the matters worse, I had missed a home made chicken soup and a pumpkin pie! There will be more about them as they are headed to “The Oasis” tomorrow to join us for our Christmas Tradition and rock hunting. Mark and Bobbie… as us also seeking some meaning to this Life of ours.
First snow! There will be more no doubt, specially at the Chisos Basin due to its high elevation. The weather has turned out to be now really nice as we are getting slowly used to the cooler temperatures. Today I went through a photographic moment of despair. I have joined this great Forum called “The Mindful Eye“, very informative with daily videos, how to’s and nice members. I have been in and out of many other such Forums not being able to stand the majority of pros making up the bulk of their membership and floating a bit above amateurs, always expressing their discontentment on an ongoing daily basis instead of positive reinforcements. Not the case here.
And so I watched a couple videos, “daily critics” by Craig Tanner, a “Master Photographer” truly and a great Human Being. The videos were about photoshop and what can be done to enhance them such as just about everything one can imagine from changing textures, highlighting mountains, colors, even adding yourself to the photo. This is not the first time I fall into this “dilemma” that makes me think sometimes about my own hobby. I have to say, the results were remarkable, really incredible. I had my eyes crossed reminding me of some trigonometry class when a nap was always more welcomed. I felt inadequate afterwards, my sometimes green skies could be corrected, high contrasts of photos taken during the day could be solved, I could even place Spirit on the rider seat, I could look thinner…! Besides the learning curve of its multitude of functions, I imagine the time spend per photo would be at least 30 minutes if not more which would also open up another door. That door being, since the photos would stop being the mirror of my senses how far would I go?
I found myself being troubled by this for a while but finally came to my own senses by the end of the day. What brought me back mainly was remembering standing by my own photos at the Kiowa Gallery in Alpine, talking to others about them and being real proud always adding that the photos were not obtained by digital effects. Yes, I do use the camera’s multitude of settings, I do alter the contrast at time, same with color saturation and colors curves, which is all the same, just different tools. The photos are what they were at that moment. What also brought me back was the fact that because of their natural presentation I might end up with, if lucky, maybe half a dozen great ones for every year passed and it is that “hunt” for them that makes it so exciting instead of letting the keys making a masterpiece from an average photo.
It also reminded me how at times I have been a bit criticized about my writing, lack of grammar, punctuations and upside down sentences. After all, this Journal was to be just a Journal and none will change. It is what it is. Will continue the photos as they are, they are the extension of the words as misfit as they might be at times!
These pasts couple mornings, with the sun rising on my back, witnessing the moon finally going to rest for a few hours has been incredible changing the colors into this pinkish hue all around us as if “The Oasis” suddenly had changed its stage. What magical space this has turned out to be, what incredible Karma has brought us here! I do think and prepare for the months ahead when we will leave and I already know, regardless how much I itch to get on the road, that I will miss “The Oasis” for sure.
It is soup time! Till later… Stop by.
Help us keep the site alive. Please contribute… I use to ask if reading this site was worth 1$ a month. I do again. This site has been far from being a free Journal for us as it was at one time!
Two years of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In “Your Favorites”, in “States”, some labeled “first year” and second year”, now also “Texas the third year”. Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun.
Merchandise is also available through SmugMug. If you like to order a print all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload on the Gallery.
Be well, always. Ara & Spirit