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Florida. The Art-Deco Heaven.

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So the travels have begun with a long (very long) drive to Florida from Galveston Island. In Joe’s little car with no A/C. So much for my start back to life on wheels after five and a half years of car-free living. Florida is a place that I have been in and out of a few times for equestrian related things in my long ago past but I never really got to see it and never have I been to Hollywood or Miami where I’ve been able to go this Spring/Summer.

We started here to pick up the RV that Joe and I will begin our American Road Travels in, as well as to visit, while there, some of his family.

I was also getting to see Florida with the new eye’s of a traveling tourist rather than work or mission.

And I’m in love.

Art-Deco ANYTHING is my favorite…my love…my choice in all. And so of course the houses, the cute little motels all over the place…even the frickin trailer parks have grabbed my heart here.

Joe thankfully is all about the get out on foot travel and that we have done. But the sun shines very bright and the heat itself isn’t felt long before the sun exhaustion is…so we also end each day rather tired…simply worn out. Even our feet hurt, but we’ve had so much incredible joy walking for hours and hours among these buildings, these houses (many mid-century as well so a double whammy of perfect love.)

The water here is blue blue blue and the way much is built for walkable living….the artistic community…the food trucks and oh. my. gosh the most amazing food and restaurants and so unbelievably cheap but GOOD….ok, the list grows of why I have played with the idea of just staying here. In any case….I will forever have Florida on the map to come back to…and we haven’t even done the Keys yet! Not even Hemingway’s house yet! There is so much more to do!

On this trip I have lost about half of my pictures sadly but as I said, there is still more time and so I hope to be able to recapture some of those as well as much more new.

I have been utterly fascinated with Cuban food (Can’t wait for an actual trip to Cuba) and the fact that Florida is SO preserved! The historic Art-Deco entire cities and the houses are in great shape, and for such a hurricane hit state, too. I mean, coming from Galveston, this is a big deal. I truly think that Galveston should check out the preservations processes here.

Another item I have been absolutely in love with and just can’t get over is all the greenspace and trees and grass area’s and the lay out of places, such as Miami beach. Ok ok, I am comparing Galveston a lot but seriously…the beach, the park space, the baordwalks, the restaurants, shops, hotels and the houses are laid out in such perfection that this is truly a city to take note and example of. PEOPLE. Especially in the size of space and amount of people…this state really knew how to build for the people and for growth while keeping comfort and beauty.

Hollywood is very much a mix of Burbank, California and Galvesto Island, Texas in a way.

The one thing I see a lack of and am pretty surprised at is the bike community, but much of it is car-free still. Where I am staying, in Hollywood, I am smack dab in the heart of Down Town and there are about a hundred restaurants at my feet. I’ve eaten three meals out daily and have yet to be able to have bee to all of them. And the gelato is not helping bikini season at 500. There are parks and grocery store and library all in walking distance and the beach is less than a mile and a half away but an easy walk or a hop on the trolley (bus style…again, Galveston take note for the bringing back of the island trolley) take care of that, too.

http://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2015-02-20/10-great-art-deco-cities-you-might-not-know-about/1 Doesn’t even name Miami in this top 10 list but it is apparently the largest area of Art-Deco in America. On the list I have been to 5 out of 10 and it is a pretty good list that I hope to finish the next five of but in the meantime I am super happy that I decided to come to Florida and see a state that I seriously never had given thought to…and was very very wrong to have done so. Especially in my love of certain types of architecture. Not to mention food. And art…and….oy. Florida.

I will talk much more but in the mean time…here is a thousand words in each picture of simply gorgeous Art-Deco architecture.

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Florida. Livable Community.

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So my travels have begun with Florida. Florida is a place that I have been in and out of a few times for equestrian related things in my long ago past but I never really got to see it and never have I been to Hollywood or Miami where I’ve been able to go this Spring/Summer. Btw, anybody know any ideas on natural safe sunblock? I can’t stand slathering cancer causing chemicals on my skin only to prevent cancer but even staying covered up my skin is needing it here.
I am meeting family and playing tourist and living the food, art, walkability, of the community.

I am still surprised not to see much of a biking community here (In Hollywood area mostly) though the traffic, round abouts roads and such are a little scary. Though Miami Beach and St. Augustine, Florida are listed on Wikipedia as car-free communities in the world. And I have found Hollywood and Miami Beach to be incredibly walkable with a decent pubic transport. The grocery is easier and closer to get to than Galveston for me and the sidewalks and safe neigborhoods give me no reason to see why you couldn’t live car-free here.

The Street list’s Miami as a car-free place to retire.
But not everybody likes the Heat either.
I am a huge fan of both mid-century and art-deco architecture and living by the water. The water ways here are so awesome and the way it is but and laid out is just really…well thought I think. There are more yachts then boats and the amount of sailboats has me swooning.

I have lost some of my pictures from this trip but will take some more. Frankly I can’t get enough. It is so sunny and pretty here and the entire state seems to well thought out. From living young or retired to vacation and tourism to shops, Entertainment and restaurants and parks and greespace and on the water life and fun.

The food is very affordable. I have been really surprised, though Joe keeps reminding me that I live on what we call “Island Prices” back in Galveston. In one other comparison is how different the menu’s are from restaurant to restaurant and in a two bock radius there are no less than forty restaurants. The island really offers very little in type and then on top of that the problem there is that each place has the same menu…and usually even the same cooks who have rotated around to each place. Small town living. Sigh. I am not trying to bash but there it is.I love it. Sometimes I want to fix it. Like a bad relationship.

Joe and I have loved it here and got really interested in the thought of investing in a home here. We are still looking into that and I am still trying to figure out why so many homes are in foreclosure but also something about not being forced to move once you are? Not sure so if anybody can shed some light that would be great. Aside from foreclosure we are finding beautiful homes for half the price they would be on the island. Not bad at all…and swoon…many mid-century or art-deco ! And pools!

I’ve been a bit surprised by having read that a lot of people say that there is no diversity here….as in no Asian or Indian, very little African-American or black and mostly Spanish. I have found a wide variety of Spanish from all kinds of places (Cuba being only one) and a lot of Jamaican and Thai and even Indian (maybe not as much in restaurants is all.) Though Spanish is probably the heaviest of all of those it seems pretty even with white. Of course for me I change and travel to a lot of places and each place will be heavier in one or two than another so it doesn’t freak me out or even bother me. It just seems to be a heavy topic when looking things up about Florida on the www and an observation.

And how I love the Cuban’s for the food….my heart belongs to the Cubano sandwich.
BTW, a really cute recommended movie is the Chef , but be ready to be hungry is you watch it. It’s on Netflix.
I AM very pleasantly surprised at the huge artistic community that Florida offers, especially in the Hollywood area. There are Artwalks here and not far there is a (soon to be visited) Artist Lofts of Artspace. The parks and greenspace really blows me away…and the tree’s ! It’s very family friendly here but seemes a very bend of young and single, older and retired, lower and very upper class, family and children, business and art. I am still hunting out some live local music spots that aren’t about and for the tourists.

We haven’t headed to the keys yet and are actually planning to come back in winter for that and head up to Chicago before snow weather happens. But there is still so much more to see in Florida and cant do it all in one trip.

The trailer home parks and tiny old motels still fascinate me. The historic preservation . Especially in a hurricane hit state.
The colors…oh my…the colors.

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Morning Meditation

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I was doing a piece on color and the brain and thought back to what colors have meant to me in my life journey.

My absolute favorite color has always been green. I loved the color of new life and spring. When the brown and bare woods suddenly flourished and the fields of grass waves from a dull winter brown to a vibrant alive green.

After my divorce I suddenly was attracted and pulled to the color orange so strongly it would take my breath away. I had previously not only wasn’t fond of orange but had even hated the color other than when in a sunset. I began finding my eye seeking the color out however, or coming across it as if by accident. Suddenly it was everywhere and I wanted to be where it was.

The day that I went to see a loft for rent which had an orange front door, however, I chose to look into why a color I had once disliked was now something I couldn’t get enough of. It turns out that the color orange…not green…is the color of new beginnings. A new start, more than green, of new life not that of birth. Fitting.

Ever since then I listen to what color has started pulling me toward it since.

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A Writers Life For Me.

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I write by hand all the time (I mostly do notes, small spurts and pieces as well as all poetry, but my real long writing is by typing, with a notebook of notes for each project next to it). But mostly I go back to reference things I’ve jotted down and end up thinking “What the fuck did I mean by that?”

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Florida Living. Food. Library. Coffee. Trees.

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I have lived in Galveston for six years and one of the things that brought me there was the architecture (more of the industrial and Down Town than the Victorian), and now it’s onto other travels and adventures and my first place, Hollywood, Florida, has really offered me a lot on the architectural front.

Not only that but the preservation that amazes me and the mid-century and art-deco that are my favorites. The city lay out (Hollywood, Miami especially which include the greenspaces, parks, trees, restaurants and shops, outside seating, bike boardwalks at the beach, a large spread of beach (and wash off systems and public bathrooms at the beach, which if Galveston took a lesson means that people will actually come off the beach to shop and eat at restaurants), the fact that they have recycling bins at the beach (eh hem, Galveston, stop making me compare.) And they have a more set up trash system at the beach which I see working for keeping it clean and making people care more than what I have seen in Galveston.

The boating, houses on water ways and the waterway/canals are so awesome and everything…traffic to boats to parks to beach to Down Town all seem to blend so easily. The bright and clean look of it here strikes me (on stucco and in the humid weather), and the art, and the recycling at the beaches, show that the city and the people put a lot into the beauty of Florida. There is seriously no dirty here. Everything is shiny, colorful and bright, and clean.

There is much to explore, and here I am absorbing it all.

The street art, artistic community of Hollywood, Florida, and the parks built for art are really awesome. The Art Park has an event just about every night and is only a bock away from where I stay, it’s beautiful with the most amazing huge trees by day, great picnic and reading. Classic Car shows, a Food Truck night, food and wine festivals, an Artwalk and more, every night. They have an entire gallery and stage building built just for glass blowing and have live shows as well as “make your own”. The city obviously puts a lot of money and focus into the artistic community and it’s a great blend of retired, young adult, families, and artists, and business. There are also a lot of art galleries and studios around here, too.

I’ve lost some of my pics but will try and replace/retake.

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Morning Meditation.

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I was talking to my sister yesterday about hair and makeup and how much our faces and styles have changed in our 30+ years, even the texture of our hair. We both enjoyed sharing old photos and comparing and searching for makeup and hair style ideas.

But the thing is…I can’t compare to a model or an actress for what kind of hair style I want and I certainly can’t compare to my younger self. I am not her. And I don’t wish to be. She was a young woman who has walked a pretty fascinating road and never would I take back a single of those steps, but I do believe in forward steps.

My hair may no longer be baby fine or golden but I have earned every gray hair and the darker suits me better….I’ve walked through many shadows since the days of nearly white halo like hair. The fine lines that may appear, the harder shape of my face….the older look is not age so much as world lived wisdom. Experience.
The width of my hips is womanhood that I carry proudly. My feet rarely wear heels because they’ve walked a million miles by now. My hands aren’t as soft because they know good work. My eye’s aren’t as naive because they’ve learned many lessons…the hard way.

The very few stretch marks I have remind me not that I can no longer have a child, nor of my loss, but of my experience at how strong a mothers love comes roaring like a lion in a very instant moment. The circles under my eye’s aren’t to be covered up because they are a sign of my tiredness, my tears and my heartache….but heartbreak is a sign that I have loved. I cherish that.

My nails are kept short because I have spent many days brushing the coats glossy of a horse and today I spend them typing not only stories…but memories and life and future. The callous on my feet are signs of a barefoot life and this is good for I have felt the softest of carpets underneath my feet, the hardness of stones upon mountains, the waters of rivers, the sands of many beaches and of every ocean coast, the tickling grass of summer and a closeness of Mother Earth herself.

My ears ring in constant and I have a loss of hearing in my age but I have listened to many musics of many tongue and creative mind. My eye’s are weak and without my glasses my fingers must creep and see for me but I have rested them upon years of fireworks in the night sky, stars in the blackest of country sky, sunsets from mountain tops and ocean side and have many memory of them in my mind.

I enjoy looking into the face of the young girl I once was, but never do I regret the one that looks back at me from a mirror every day now.

#MorningMeditation #MorningPondering #MorningCoffee #Thoughts #Womanhood #Age #Aging #Woman #IAmWoman

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Happy New Year.

Peggy J. Davenport REMIXT

(Photo by Elizabeth Punches Studio)

One chapter closes and another begins. This thirty-five year old has lived a lot of chapters crammed within the bindings of “Once upon a time” and “The End” and I am only yet to somewhere in the middle. That place in the story of ‘Ah Ha! I get it now.’ Or only maybe so. Or something like that. Or whatever.

I am past the “one day I’ll figure it all out” myth and much more in swing with “let’s see where this trail goes”. Ready- stocked- and prepared should I get lost.

But in opening a new chapter there are many things I am going in with. I am more armed than before in knowledge. I am more armed than before in strength. I am more armed than before in friendship. I am more armed in knowing who I am what I want and what I can and cannot expect out of life.

I am glad to be an “Enemy” as we enter the new year. I am stronger than ever with the strength determination and power which I walk with.

My work is onto another leg, another calendar of twelve month of plan and work and DO. Accomplished I close and prepared I begin. This is my greatest place right now.

Likely I will post plenty of dumb crazy cat photo’s because I am stopping and enjoying the little pleasures of life. Otherwise in the midst of literature and politics it is one place of many for…breath. Comedy and laughter are also a must to survive. To live.

I am traveling the United States over the next year because I have a big beautiful back yard to explore. This is my place right now. I felt a need to explore and to seek and to soak in -Other. And so it is. My place during fall has been summed up in one word as Stillness.

There is always plenty to wish for, hold hope on, and have faith in. I am not naive that my path will ever be an easy one. I am ok with that. But there is much I won’t allow for stumble, block, bumps, and much I will pass by and do my part for.

I don’t come from an ok family. We are scattered farther than our physical selves but I care for each of them as people I share name or blood or childhood with and hope and wish them the best in the new year but also in what they make of it. I am only obligated to love those who love me back. I do not need to drain my energy to seek love or approval of those who should just be. This is about friends too. But there is no reason to hate or hold grudge. I have much to love and appreciate. If I’ve learned nothing else in thirty-five years – Negative holdings have not held me in the past year nor will in the future. I think a lot of people learned this year that family is what you make of it. Friends are the same. Author Melissa Gilbert has a good story about negative friendships. Basically they aren’t an obligation to hold onto. But those friends and family I do have are greatness. Such greatness and in this I am blessed.

I hold more mentors in my pocket than before after this year- and some I’ve let go. Crossed off the list due to hate they held- Showed and shared in this election year that came surprisingly and from from one of my most peaceful of them all. -That I can’t hold onto, follow or admire. But some who might even read this have been my mentors even from afar and not even know it. I thank you for the strength you hold yourself with and share, the knowledge you build. The grace you are encased in. And often the love that radiates from you, love which has nothing to do with me. But from which I learn.

Life is a lot of coffee, writing, and books with a year of travel. I’ve no complaints. In my privilege I am only to serve others and look toward a year in it. In my writing I look forward to one day my printed pages moving somebody. In my reading and books I fill with knowledge. In my travels I look to share many good meals with many good voices. In this new year I toast to many new chapters written to fill my story.

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Wake up!

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Ok, real adulting question for my friends here; I was once and raised as an early to bed early to rise person. Natural and without an alarm even. The past going on three years I have been very dependent on my alarm, but now working for myself (even with my own strict schedule) I have found it harder to wake early at all. And I am not just a little extra sleeping in. I am taking like a twelve hours sleep. My big problem is that back in the age of my 20’s I could also manage to stay up late and still wake up early…those days…ahhh memories.

Now I find myself wide awake very late but I also don’t feel that I get my best work done then, at all. So I feel it is closer to wasted time (other than the reading that I end up doing.)
I don’t like the feeling of waking up “half way through the day” at all, and set a lot of alarms to have to walk through, but I zombie sleep turning them off and head right back to bed (now that the cold weather is here REALLY doesn’t help staying out of my nice comfy bed.)

Working for myself, I try and shift my days schedule to fit from hour I woke to hour I sleep regardless but again sometimes the productive doens’t happen that way either, and my job needs the creative and the productive. This also began to be a problem before working for myself so it’s not only the work for myself thing I need more sleep but then feel that “too much sleep” feel. I have more and more trouble waking early.

Things I’ve tried:
*Coffee prepared and ready to go.
*No coffee and a lot of water and also juicing. Not being dependent on caffeine.
*Alarms everywhere to walk to and even move stuff around for basically booby trap myself to think in my zombie walk.
*More written plans of action than I can count
*Music of all types.
*Wake at 4, wake at 5, wake at 6, wake right at dawn, wake when the sun is up, sleep with the curtains open to wake with the sun and not in a dark room. No tv, no computer, hours prior to bed. Name it, I’ve done it. Also super healthy and health reasons ruled out.

So to other adulting people; tricks? Tips? Real you could hold a gun to my head and I would still just turn around ad go back to bed moments in your own life?

Wake up! Why don’t you put on a little makeup?!