Friday, October 14, 2011

Of Course I have No Body Hair :)

A Smooth Body....
Or have I "Figured out The Secret to being a Girl?" ~GRIN!

Every one of the pictures shows me Nekkid, but they are done in a way which shows no detail. Look with an Open Mind, or Closed Eyes :)

Ya Gotta climb and Play! :) by JOn's ~=:-) view

“I figured out the secret to being a girl. It's all about hair. As long as it's on your head everything is cool...anywhere else....OMG! Us girls spend more time removing hair than it takes a man to mow the lawn. No pun intended. =)”

I about died laughing when Kathie recently posted this on Facebook. After I “liked” it, this was her comment: “I figured you would like that. I pretty much wrote it for you AND to give the kids hell.”

You gotta love a friend that accepts you, and even knows how to make you smile from 3000 miles away! Kathie is one of those who accepts, and even understands my choice to be smooth…and only she could possibly combine a post that simultaneously shows her love toward me, and torments her own children using the topic of body-hair.

Yesterday, I wrote about how I know my life is not in the right balance when I discover that I have hair on my legs, and Do Not have Purple Toenails. I decided to write a separate post about each of these, starting with the purple toenails, because I was coloring my toenails long before I would ever have to deal with body hair.
Yes, you understood that correctly… I Remove ALL Body Hair.

But when my life is not balanced properly, I tend to neglect things that would otherwise be done without any needed thought. Three of those things which are really good indicators of how balanced, or not, my life is would be: Quality Naked Time, Purple Toenails, and Not a Stitch of Body Hair. If any one of these is not right, then you can bet that all three are equally out of whack. But these are merely a visible means of measuring what is going on deep inside my mental battle. Usually once I discover I am neglecting these three, I have already long been addressing the core issues. But once I discover I am hairy, and my toenails are naked, I know I gotta focus quickly on a more positive direction, and quickly, too.

As soon as it hit me yesterday, I showered, shaved, and colored my toenails. Ahhh Much better!

I guarantee, you will not find a human on this planet we call Earth that is anything like me. I was created unlike any other, and do things differently than any you have ever met. It is impossible to put anything I do into any kind of category, or to label my choices in any sort of way. The ONLY category that anything I do can be grouped into would be the “Jon-Category”. It really is that simple… None other will fit. For some odd reason, most people try to categorize the removal of all body hair into some sort of sexuality. This baffles me. Nothing about body hair is sexual to me. I also do not see why so many people want to treat such a topic as “forbidden”. To me, the topic of body hair is no more, or less, appropriate than the topic of hair on a human’s head. Every Human has hair all over their body. Why do people get so bent out of shape over this topic? Why is it expected that women must remove (almost) every bit of it, and men should be hairy? Also, why is it considered acceptable for women to remove all of their body hair, except for the area immediately surrounding their vagina? Oh how people freak out about how much, or how little a woman has there! Shouldn’t a person be allowed to decide for themselves how they wear their own hair? Why is how a person grooms their hair such a hot topic? (I say “Hot Topic”, referring to how heated, controversial, or twisted the topic becomes… not as a topic that is often brought-up in general conversation)

All my life, I have found the subject of body-hair to be quite a fascinating topic. Or, more appropriately, I found the ways in which people addressed (or avoided) this topic fascinating. I guess you could safely say that early in life, I had already made up my mind about how I felt about body hair. I decided early on that I would not have any. I decided that the supposed acceptable way society deemed men were to be hairy, and women were not, was not acceptable to me.

Always seeing people naked was not a bad thing for me, because for someone who enjoys learning about the world and those who occupy it, what better way to learn about a human body, than to see it without the illusion of clothing? I have written often about the freedom of living life naked as a child, and being around others naked. To me, this was just natural. Seeing how each human did or did not have hair, how it grew in what areas, and at what ages the hair started to appear as a young-adult, the way it would be coarse in some areas, and really fine in other areas, or how it would be a different color than the hair on their head, or how some would curl, while other areas were straight, or when it turned grey, or even got really wild and sparse as an older person to me was a wonderful learning experience. I always loved learning about everything around me. I found that most of the people in my life were open and willing to allow such curiosities from me. Also growing up in such an open environment allowed me to observe how people groomed the hair differently on different parts of their bodies. I was always amazed when I would find someone who had never learned about all the different aspects of a human’s body hair. It baffled me to discover that some people grew up without ever having had this experience. I could not imagine going through life without learning from every single experience. I could not imagine having grown-up and never even noticed body hair on any of the humans I saw daily. For some odd reason, it seemed most people did not even pay attention to body hair, until they started to grow their own. Then suddenly, it was awkward for them. I often asked these people how it was possible that they could go every single day of their life, and not learn about body hair. How could it be possible to suddenly have the topic come up, when every single human has body hair, and it is all around them? Oddly enough, because they had chosen to not pay attention, this made me the freak.

All my life, I have been treated like I was some sort of freak, because I liked to learn, wanted to know everything about any topic that crossed my path, and had an opinion about those topics. (It is easy to have an opinion when you know about a topic.) At an early age, I had an opinion about body hair. It did not match most of society. I knew I did not want any on my body. I knew I admired the way each and every person groomed their own body hair. To me, it did not matter if they were a man or a woman, what they did with their own hair should be their own choice. I also knew that no matter what I believed, society would attempt to make me just like the others.

Fortunately, for me, I did not begin to grow any body hair until about tenth grade. I say “fortunately”, because for me, this meant I did not have to attempt to remove it, since it was not there. But unfortunately for me, most of society wants boys to be hairy from the age of twelve. Along with all the other troubles I had in life during my teen years, and attempting to hide myself from most of the world, my problems were only aggravated further by not having yet started to grow any body hair. When the mean boys in P.E. attempted to make fun of me for not having any hair yet, my reply was always the same: “Good! I Do not want any.” For whatever reason, they did not understand this, and only tried to torment me more because of it. What I could not understand was why being unique, and having an opinion about how I wanted to live my life made so many people want to be mean, harmful, and even attempt to make me behave in a horrible manner… or more appropriately, to behave just like they did. Why were they so convinced that being mean to another was a good thing? Why would they want someone to have hatred toward another? Why was a lack of hair such a big deal to them?

Also fortunate for me, was when I finally started to grow body hair, I had just moved to Medford, and was no longer surrounded by the mean people in Tigard. I had a brand-new start in Medford. In Medford, I was able to be who I am, and even though I never had huge amounts of friends, those which I did have accepted me for the unique person I was.

The summer I moved to Medford was 1984. I had just turned 16. Before that summer, I was only 5’4” and weighed 90-lbs. When I started school at the beginning of 10th grade, I was suddenly 6’2” and weighed 140-lbs. I did ALL of my growing all at once. It was summer-time, so I was in shorts, and did not have to keep getting new pant-sizes.

I lived in Tigard, officially, still, but had gone to visit my Dad in Medford in the early part of the summer. At that time, I must have started to grow some fuzz on my face, but had not realized it, yet. Later in the summer, I went to California to visit my Grandparents, and later came back to Medford again. When I returned to Medford, My Dad gave me a brand-new electric Norelco razor. That was his way of saying I needed to shave. That was when I realized I was growing hair finally. The week before school was starting, I went back home to Tigard. Once I was back in Tigard, I realized how horrible life was there, and could not even look forward to once again having to be in the same school as my brother. (I was fortunate that the two previous years, he was at the high-school, while I was at the junior high.) I had been in Medford enough that summer to know Medford was a better place for me. I arranged with my Mom and Dad that I would move to Medford, and start fresh at school down there.

As I started school in 10th grade in Medford, I was fully aware of the hair I was now sprouting. The fancy electric Norelco razor my Dad gave me burned my face, and when I tried to use it on my body, it left horrible rashes. I would shave my face only about once a week. That would minimize the burning, and still keep the hair from growing wild. Trying to shave my body was almost impossible. And an electric razor is absolutely horrible on hairy underwear regions! I did not have enough money, or even know enough about disposable razors to attempt to buy, or use any of those. I was getting a hairy body, and absolutely hated it! I found that by using the trimmer feature on the electric razor, I could keep all the hair trimmed to a very short depth. Occasionally, I would be at a female friend’s house, and would discover that they had disposable razors, and shaving cream. I would ask if I could use them. After they asked “why”, they always said “yes”. I would eagerly jump into the shower, and shave from nose to toes! Not a single one of them ever thought this was weird. After I showered, and came out again, they were more than eager to ask me questions, and learn about my desire for a smooth body. Oh How wonderful it felt! (Both the smooth body, AND the closeness of being able to discuss a supposedly forbidden topic with a trusted friend!) Then the hair would quickly return. It was itchy, and uncomfortable. I absolutely loved how clean I felt when I was shaved smooth! But I hated how uncomfortable it was when the hair was growing back. For whatever reason, My Dad was against disposable razors, and I was not about to go against his wishes in his home, so I could not maintain the completely smooth feel on a regular basis. I finally gave up trying, and just let it grow. Every now and then, I found myself in a situation where I could get a full shave again. I Cherished those.
Fun!~ Sailboat beyond Legs n Feet :)

The topic of shaving did not come up often, but with those that it did, it was always funny to find out I was smoother all over than most girls were. They often asked me for advice, and it was not unusual to help them. While for most of my teenage and adult life I was absolutely mortified to allow anyone I knew to see me naked, I found that there were always exceptions. The bathroom, showering, and changing clothes near a trusted friend was for some reason never looked at as awkward. Shaving also seemed to fall into that category. If I was comfortable enough, and they were, too, for the detail discussion about shaving, then we usually did not have any hang-ups about seeing each other in that situation. While I would go to great lengths to be sure I was not seen naked, for whatever reason, those who were around when I was shaving were always considered safe, and even comfortable. It would at first cause a bit of alarm when someone wanted to watch, and see the technique I used, but when it involves a sharp razor near sensitive regions, you quickly forget about anything else and focus on taking care of the task at hand. I was always surprised to find out how many girls would not shave near their underwear region, because they were afraid of accidentally cutting. Once they discovered how smooth I kept my regions, they would ask if I could teach them how.

Just a humorous footnote: Be careful when you ask someone to help you shave. If you are not specific about exactly what you wish to be shaved, or phrase it in a less-then clear way, you might end up with something shaved you did not expect… see the next two pictures as a good example. (No captions needed, you can fill in the blanks…)

As I grew in life, I also often bought disposable razors, and maintained a smooth shave. Unfortunately, as life’s financial struggles sometimes were a bit overwhelming, one of the first expenses I eliminated was the razors. I still had the electric, and could get by with using it on my face, but the cost of disposables kept me from buying them. I would occasionally buy the cheap ones, but they were worse than not shaving at all. My body liked the expensive ones, go figure!

Sometimes, I would just let it grow, and other times I would keep it smooth.

When I was married, my life became such a living hell, and I found myself retreating into a world of safe-shelter again. I was married for one day less than a full year. My wife did not like me to be shaved, and I stopped shaving my body to please her. Six months before I finally divorced her, I started shaving again. She never noticed. (A good indication of how messed-up the marriage was!) After the marriage, I entered a world of living my life in mostly secret again, and it would take many more years to finally rediscover who I really needed to be. After my marriage, when I shaved, it was mostly in the winter months. This way, I was always wearing long pants, and nobody would notice. I often would spend the night at friend’s houses, and would sleep in shorts. If anyone ever noticed, they did not say anything about my shaved legs.

For whatever reason, I stopped shaving my body, except the underwear region. I found this to be completely odd. I let everything else grow, and only kept the underwear region completely shaved. I tried to let that grow back, but I could not stand it! It took many years before I could grasp why that region was so important to always be shaved. I associate the hair in that region with the horrible things that happened while I was married. I know it is silly to make that connection, but since that is when I had hair there, and those events happened only while I had hair there, the connection will always remain. That was in 2000.

I would not totally rediscover complete freedom again, until 2005. That was the year I ran away, literally, from life as I knew it in Oregon. In the year prior to leaving, I had tackled quite a few of the issues, and self-imposed demons that were bogging me down. Cara was my roommate, and she always bragged about how good her Venus Divine Razor was. She also used really good shave gel. She was convincing enough, that I actually willingly spend the money to buy Venus Divine razors for myself. I was amazed at how good they were. I could not believe how many women had kept this secret! The razors created for men were simply just ok. These Venus Divine razors created for women were better than any other I had ever used! During that year, I often shaved my whole body. But I did not do it continuously. When I left Oregon, I neglected to pack the Venus Divine razors. I did not have any extra money, so buying new razors was not exactly something I could justify. After two days, I could not stand it anymore! I bought a cheap disposable razor, and attempted to shave at least the underwear region again. This turned out to be a very bad idea. I was using cold water, at a rest-area, without any kind of crème, or gel. I attempted to use some liquid handsoap, but I was allergic to it, and that made matters worse. So, now I had cuts, rashes, and extreme discomfort! I had no choice, but to NOT Shave for many days, until all was healed again. At some point while in New York, I broke down and bought One bar of Good Soap, One Good Razor, and One can of good gel. I shaved that night in a campground shower which had plenty of hot water. I made that razor and gel last as long as possible for many more days. I found that even in the coldest of streams, if you have a good razor, and good gel, it is easy to get a smooth, perfect shave. Often, I did not even have a stream, but could rig-up a make-shift shower with a hanging plastic water bottle. Even under those conditions, I could manage a good shave.

Two weeks later, when I finally stopped running, I was in Virginia. After attempting to kill myself, I finally ended up in a mental-hospital. They allowed me to shower immediately, but they had specific rules about razors. I could shower, but the rules specified that I needed to be watched. They would allow a person to ONLY shave their face, so shaving any part of my body was out of the question. The razor they provided was not real good, and they expected you to shave without any kind of gel, so I did not even bother to shave my face. When they released me, they sent me to live at The Salvation Army Shelter. I started working immediately. While I had a little bit of money, still, I could not buy the good razors. And even if I could, the shower setting there was not exactly a place I felt safe. I shaved my face, just because it was easier to do there, than the entire body. So I just had to let it all continue to grow. After a little more than a month, I was offered a room with a coworker. Finally, I was feeling like I was in a safe-enough place that I could shave.

I bought the Venus Divine Razors, and the Skintimate Shave Gel again, finally! That first night, I shaved every single part of my body. It was heavenly to feel so clean from nose to toes again! While relaxing in bed that night, I realized how important the shaving was to me. Since that night in October of 2005, I have ALWAYS made sure I keep the good razors on hand.

Shaving my body is in no way a sexual thing.

To me, shaving the body is far more important than anything having to do with sex, or sexuality.

Yup, Winter is Here! Keep Warm! :)Yes, I make myself laugh. I took these pictures last year... I realised quality naked time was lacking, but it was cold, and I lived in a drafty old house. So, what to do? Put on a warm hat, warm socks, and have a nice hot cup of coffee while cooking breakfast! If ya can't read the print on the coffee cup, scroll down. :)

I chose these two pics, because they illustrate a hairless human quite well, with shoving anything anyone might not wanna see in their face. I hope you also find the humor in how I live my life! :)

Coffee Anyone??
It is a feeling of cleanliness. A feeling of everything is safe in my world. A feeling of knowing I am taking complete care of myself, and finding the positive, joyful place where I belong.

Yesterday morning, when I realized I had neglected the shaving, and My toes were not colored Purple, I Knew I had let myself get out of that good, safe place.

Sometimes, the simplest things can be the biggest indicator of what we are doing right, or not quite doing the way we should.

According to the Quote from Kathie at the top of this post, I guess it would seem I have figured out the secret to being a girl. ~Grin ...But I still have not yet figured out what to do with that darned penis hanging in front of me! Ha!

There are so many fun stories to tell associated with a lack of body hair, but those will have to wait for later posts.

May you find a Smooth Shave in your Near Future! May you find the joy of having a completely smooth body from nose to toes! May you tell the rest of society that what you do with your own body is not their concern.

I Hope you have a wonderful day, and realize if things are not balanced the way they should be. May you always find the time to color your nails, play naked, and have a smooth shave! ~=:-)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Of Course I have Purple Toes!

Yup! I have Happy Purple Toenails!

Fun!~ Sailboat Framed by Legs n Feet by JOn's ~=:-) view

Normally, My toes are colored purple, and there is no hair to be found anywhere on my body.
I say normally, because today, that was not the case. I seem to be neglecting a few of the important things lately.

Today, I realized how far out of balance things are for me right now.
If My Legs have Hair, that is not good.
If my toenails are not colored purple, that is even worse!
I just got out of the shower, and once again, The Only hair that exists is on my head. And My Toenails are once again Purple. Ahhhh, Much Better! :)
For many, this would be a surprise to find a hairless man with purple toenails. But for those who know me, these are considered normal parts of who I am. For a good portion of my teenage, and adult life, I did keep these mostly a secret. But since 2005, I have never hidden it, nor been ashamed of it. Oddly enough, I started not hiding this part of who I am at the same time as I came Out of the Naked Closet. Most people would categorize painted toenails, or a shaved body into some sort of sexuality-based thing. That would be their lack of understanding, and their own desire to make it something it is not. I fail to see the connection. There is absolutely nothing sexual about my toes, or my lack of body hair, yet for whatever strange reason, most people wish to make them sexual. Most people feel they need to fit everything someone does into a certain category for their own comfort about it. Silly people… there are no categories of any kind that fit me, and likewise there are no categories I could be fit into. If one must categorize anything I do to make themselves more comfortable, then there is only one category that could possibly be applied: That would be the Jon-Category.

It really is that simple. I was created unlike any other human on this Earth. That means plain and simple, there is not anything someone could attempt to compare, or group me with. Most of what I do is about what fits my character, personality, and makes me feel good about myself.
Oddly enough, most people would attempt to somehow link my naked lifestyle with the shaved body, and the purple toenails. This always baffles me. Why would they want them to somehow be connected? Each of these is a completely separate thing, and there really is no way to interconnect them. I guess if you really wanted to stretch it, you could go with the fact that I shave while I am naked (because it would be almost impossible to do while clothed!) I also color my toenails before I put my socks and shoes on (because it would be almost impossible to do once the socks and shoes were covering them!) So I guess, that would be the only way to connect naked to each of the other items.

Ha! After writing this, I realized they do in fact have one thing in common: They each are a great way to determine if my life is where it needs to be, or if it is somehow out of balance. If my life is in balance, I am getting plenty of quality naked time, My toenails will be purple, and I won’t have a stitch of hair anywhere on my body. If any one of these is out of sorts, then it is likely all three will also be. But those would serve only as visible means to measure the balance. Internally, there is a greater battle going on which I most likely have been fighting, and trying to sort out long before I realize I have forgotten to color my nails, or to shave.
So, that brings us to: Why do I do It?

I’ll start with the Purple toenails, since I was coloring them long before I would ever grow any body hair.
Fun!~ Sailboat beyond Happy Purple Toes :)

To me, toenails are a perfect item to be colored. They are just so plain, and often look like they are screaming for something to be done with them. My question is: Why would you not paint your toenails? Have you ever looked at them? You cannot do a whole lot with toes, and other than balance, they really are there for decorative purposes only. So, ya have ten little piggies sticking out looking for some way to feel important. We often cover them in socks, and shoes, and they are hidden. Then when we finally do uncover them, they do absolutely nothing to make you smile, or appreciate them. They are just there. Boring, plain, sometimes kinda ugly looking. When ya remove your shoes, do your toes give you something to smile about? Do they give you a feeling of happiness, or brighten up your world in any way? Do they look just like everyone else’s all around you? Plain, and kinda just there, without anything to feel good about? Imagine you were a toe, and you were neglected and left plain, boring and could never make someone smile? If you were that toe, you might start to develop some way to get noticed. Often toes looking for attention turn funny shapes, or colors. Now You have a toe that gets noticed, but it hardly makes ya smile. In fact you will likely hide your toes if this was happening. But imagine if you colored your toenails in a color (or many colors) that actually made you smile when you saw it. You would happily remove your shoes and socks at the end of a long day, and without even trying, you would see the colored piggy, and it would make you smile! If there were other people around, it would make them smile, too!

When did I start coloring my toes? Good question! I do not recall exactly when I started doing it, but I do recall every girl I ever knew always wanted to paint my toes while she was painting her own. Often the sisters of my friends were excited when I would come to their house, because their brothers would not allow their nails to be painted. This started as far back as I can remember when I was a little kid. I Always let them do it, too! I could never understand why most boys would run away from these girls. Are you kidding me? A Girl wants to hold your foot, and paint on your toes? Of Course the answer is yes! The foot is filled with more nerve-points, and reflex-points than anywhere else in the entire body. The foot is the gateway to almost every single organ, and part of your body. (Have you ever seen a reflexology chart?) To have someone willingly want to touch, hold, and do something that felt so wonderful, of course the answer was always yes. Then afterwards, you got the added bonus of having toes that made you smile! It did not take long before I was painting their toes, and they were painting mine. Both you, and the girl always had a good time, and went away with happy soles (pun intended). That is what friends do for one another. The part I could not understand was when other boys would see the colored toes, and attempt to make fun of me. I learned early on that boys did not appreciate girls, and they were very mean to other boys. I had a few friends who were boys, but not many. The way they acted, I was not interested in hanging out with anyone who treated others that way.

I also learned that I needed to remove the polish soon after they were painted because once they started to chip, they looked really bad. So often, my toes would be colored for only a couple days then plain for many days. When they were plain, I always looked at them as sad, lonely, plain toes. I learned early in life that color made life better. But I had not mastered the skill of doing my own toenails, so I always had to wait until someone else wanted to paint them. I always asked everyone why they did not paint their toes, and most people would come up with answers like “That’s only for little girls.” Or “It is too much trouble.” Only the friends who were girls would paint my toes. I could not get any adult to do it. I could not understand why people would limit themselves in such a way. I would say “If it makes you smile, isn’t it worth it?” But most people did not appreciate that.

A Lot changed suddenly in my life when we moved to Oregon when I was twelve. Along with everything else that was difficult, I seldom got my toenails painted. Occasionally I would, but not very often for many years. Once I moved to Medford, I started painting my own, and often other girls would paint them for me. But mostly, by this time in my life I totally hid all creative expression from most people. There were a few people who I let get to know the real me, and they appreciated the colored toenails, but it was hardly publicly visible. I always used a variety of colors, of my own choosing. Each girl had her own favorite color, and would often have a favorite color she used only on my toes. So, those who knew me well, could tell which girl had painted my toes based on the color. I always found it odd all my life that most boys were actually afraid to have their toes colored. They always claimed that they liked girls, but they would not want a girl to touch them, or even see their feet. Weird.

Once I was an adult, I often had colored toes. I did not work to hide them, but I also did not work to make them public, because of how I was treated when I was younger. Often, because I always have friends with children, most people would just assume they were colored because a child wanted to color them. I did not work hard to tell them otherwise. If that was what they needed to tell themselves to make it acceptable, ok fine. Every time I would get a new female friend, they would be pleasantly surprised to find out I knew how to paint their toes. The funniest ones were the guys whose wives I also was friends with. Most of these women (half-jokingly) called me their “Other Husband”. Their husband was always ok with this, often being the one who started the “rumor”. I had the joy of calling many wonderful women my “half-wife”, without actually having any real interaction of that sort. The guys always loved that their wife had found someone other than them who would allow their toes to be painted. I got the pleasure of having my toes done by wonderful women, and also got to tease their husband about how much they missed out on from their own wives! But since it was often the husband who initiated this set-up, it was a total win for everyone. (Well, I venture to say the husband is the one who actually lost-out… Again, I could not understand why so many men would not want a woman, especially the woman they married to touch them, but would rather watch as their own wife gave me the joy! Men are strange.) These same men would flat-out deny to anyone else that this had happened, even when their wife was right there saying it had. I always wondered what was wrong with these men, and why they were so afraid of happy toes.

Happy Purple Toes on Broadway
By the time I left Oregon in 2005, I was fully allowing my colored toes to be visible to any and all. At some point, I switched from paint to sharpie marker. I discovered how fast and easy the Sharpie was. You could color your toenails, and two minutes later be in the sand and water. If you happened to scuff a toenail, you could just pull the sharpie out of your pack, and touch it up.

A few years ago, I tried Purple, and ya know what they say about Purple: “Once You go Purple, You Don’t Go back!”
Happy Feet in a Perfect Sky! :)

So, for many years, My toes have been happily Purple… with an occasionally multi-color, or special-occasion color. I have proudly let my Purple toenails be visible to any and all, and Not a single person has the ability to made me feel anything but happy about who I am.

It always makes me chuckle when someone who has been in my life for a long time suddenly realizes I have colored toenails. For some odd reason, no matter how many times they saw your feet, or no matter how many photos I have posted, occasionally someone discovers the toes for the very first time. I posted this one last month, and a friend from high school, and also a former roommate noticed the coloring. What really struck me as funny was that she and her nieces had painted my toenails when we were roommates. Perhaps she had thought this was just a temporary thing, or thought I only submitted to let them have a fun time. But the funniest part, was she, and another friend both seemed surprised that they were not multi-colored.

when it Rains in Vegas 005

Perhaps the reason the toenails were noticed this time was because of the setting. Normally the pictures seem fitting for bare-feet activity, and the toenails do not stand-out as much.
This photo was showing how I had to traverse the deep puddles that accumulate in Vegas when it rains. Since I was wearing rolled-up jeans, and a rain jacket, the sandals and Purple toes tend to stand-out.

I Love having Happy Purple toes, and when I neglect to keep them properly colored, that is a prime indicator of something is not quite right in my life-balance. I am working through some struggles right now. There are many things I am attempting to find peace with going on in my world.

I Knew I needed to make some fast changes for a more positive approach when I found that I had hairy legs, And Did Not have Purple Toenails. I have remedied both of these, and will seek ways to find a better balance while sorting through the troubles that seem to mire me in the muck of a not-so-positive way of life.

I have only touched briefly on the body-hair issue, and it would not be fair to leave it unexplained. There is far more to write, than I could fit into a few brief lines, so I will make the hair post a completely separate posting. (Hopefully soon....)

Meanwhile, I would love to hear about your own colorful, happy toenail adventures!
I Hope you have a wonderful, positive, and colorful day! ~=:-)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Wanna Run Away....

I wanna run away….

For some reason, it seems I am entertaining possibly going down a destructive path in my near future. A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about Fall having arrived, but it did not feel like it. I mentioned how it was still in the hot temperature range, even though the sun had shifted southward, and the days were getting shorter. That is changing rapidly. I think the fall-feeling has finally caught up with me. For some reason, this season affects me in a negative way more than any other. I thrive on sunshine, and when Fall arrives, I notice a drastic change in the way the sun feels, and also feel it inwardly more so than just on the surface. At this time, the sun starts to retreat at a drastic rate. While I always try to fill my life with positive, and look for the joys in every single thing I do, I tend to take it personally when My Sun Leaves. I feel abandoned as I head out in the mornings, and the sun has decided to not get up, and shine on my day for a couple more hours. I notice the sun lurks further South even during the highest point of the day. I notice my South-facing windows, and balcony are now shadowed. Even taking a nap in the sun is fleeting, if at all possible. I notice how dark it is early in the evening, and how the temperatures start to demand the use of a blanket, and even require I close most of the windows. As this season sets-in, I have to be careful to not make any drastic decisions in life. The beginning of Fall is the hardest for me. I feel the life that the sun gives making a hasty retreat. I automatically go into a mood that is not entirely healthy. I Fight it, and seek to find ways to stay positive. If I do not recognize the change in my mood, I will easily follow-through with unwise decisions.

This week that feeling has been tugging at me especially hard. Today, I felt an impending doom lurking. This is not the first time I have had to address this feeling. My first urge was to get as far from any other human, or part of any human influence. This is the same feeling that made me leave (literally run away) Oregon in 2005. I recognize this feeling now, and know I need to avoid that. I know I need to find as much positive energy as I can… but in a safe manner. I Know that if I went out of my home in that frame of mind, I would make disastrous choices. At times like these, I am especially glad that I do not have a vehicle. This is the time when I could easily go for a drive, and decide to keep going. The very fact that I am dependent on the city-busses just to even get out of the city, is sometimes a good thing. Just knowing that I am in no mood to deal with the drama that seems to be prevalent on the buses makes me avoid climbing on one. It is also sometimes good that my arthritis keeps me from loading up my pack, and just hitting the road for destinations unknown. By being semi-bound and not having the freedom to just go, makes me stop and seek alternatives.

Right now, I am listening to an album from 1977 that always puts me in a good-spot. Yes, I called it an album. It is the group “Up With People” and the album is called “Push on Through”. When I was a kid, my family went to see this group many times. I had the actual record album for many years. My sisiter and I would always play it full-blast, and all our worries would be carried away with it.

 I could not locate the album for many many years. Two years ago, when I got my computer, I was able to locate it, and purchased it on I-Tunes. I have it stored on my computer. It is THE ONLY Music I have ever bought, and stored on a computer. I made a copy on a disk for my sister. I gave it to her in her car one day, without any labels, and had her put it in the player. Then I watched her face. It had been at least 20-years since either of us had heard it. (I heard it just before making a copy for her.) As the first tune started to play, I could see the sparkle, and recognition in her eyes. Then, she totally registered what she was listening to. There is no way for me to even begin to describe what this group is, or how they affect me in a positive way. I wish I knew how to add it to my blog, but I cannot locate the info to do so. I tunes does not seem to have an option for it to be shared, except in a home-shared network. I have replayed this album four times already today. It helps a lot!
I managed to locate their official webpage: They have a sampling of some more recent music. It is not the 1977 album, but you can learn more about Up With People there.

(An interesting footnote: last week when Steve Jobs of Apple died, I posted that I respect his brilliance, and all that he has done to change our world, but I did not recall ever having used any of the products he created. I stand corrected… I tunes is an Apple product. I would not have the Up with People Album without Steve Jobs, and Apple. Thank You for this, Steve Jobs!... You have finished the race, and crossed the finish line. Your contributions have helped many people. No doubt, You Probably DO Know… But If you do not, Let me tell you, You may have helped save my life.) While Directly, Steve Jobs did not save my life, nor did this album directly do anything so significant, The impact made is important, and Does make a difference.

Today, after hearing Up With People, I decided to turn my energy toward creative writing. This is one of the main reasons I started Blogging. I need a creative outlet, and seem to have a lot of things on my mind that I need to write. Writing is very positive for me, and I have found that it also helps others, too! While my first intention of writing my feelings, thoughts, concerns, and often twisted humor is not meant to entertain others, I find that it serves a double-duty, without trying to do so.

Have no worries… I am not gonna run away.
I did that once. If I have any choice in the matter, I will not do that again. I merely am feeling the pull, and now know how to recognize it. The biggest battle I have is making sure I DO recognize it, and address it. Many times since that fateful event in 2005, I have found myself seeking that escape. I Know it is not an escape at all, rather it becomes more imprisonment than any kind of true escape. It is the hope, excitement, and possibility that perhaps you could magically go from one life into a perfect new life and leave all your troubles behind that entices me. It is the fantasy that if I were somewhere else, I would suddenly find the perfect place. I dream of finding that place where Peace truly is the thing that motivates others. I dream that if I went somewhere else, I could find that one magical place where there is no racism, no bigotry, no hatred of others, no evil, no dishonesty, and no crime.

I fully expect that when I do discover such a place, I will arrive riding my dragon, and have a pet unicorn, and truly be able to fly without any mechanical means. And the Sun will shine high, and warm all year ‘round. There would be plenty of snow, but it would not be miserable. In that snow, we could run, and play, making perfect naked snow-angels, then go for a swim in the warm-water flowing nearby. In that place, we could be naked without anybody trying to make it a bad thing. We could climb the trees, run through the clovers, watch the perfect sunset, and then watch the stars glowing overhead.

Meanwhile, Fall is closing in fast, and My Dragon has not yet arrived. My Unicorn got stuck in the mud, and my naked snow angel got frost-bite in all the wrong places.

I feel much more positive now than I did when I started to play the Up With People Album. I Hope you have found some joy and a bit of humor in my writings!

If you find yourself with a pet unicorn, may I offer one bit of advice: Never Play LeapFrog with a Unicorn!

And if you have a pet dragon, be careful … you likely could make a tasty snack when properly toasted by a stray fire-sneeze from that dragon.

I Hope You find something to find joy in when you feel the urge to Run Away....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No Swimming Allowed

Water Everywhere, But No Swimming Allowed...

Not Swimming, or Diving.. Just Floating... by JOn's ~=:-) view

This is the First Summer of My Life I did not swim.

I moved to Las Vegas, which one would consider to have perfect swimming weather. The summer weather is always warm, and the water is too. There are pools every few feet, it would seem. I even moved into an apartment complex which has a pool. Every hotel, resort, or attraction has some sort of fountain, or water-feature. For a town that has so many water-features, it is amazingly prohibitive for swimming, or even just being allowed to play in any of the water features. As Fall came this year, it dawned on me that This is The First Summer in my entire life which I have not gone swimming. Not even once. I have only been able to even wade in a little bit of water. 44 summers in my life, and only one…this one… I have not gone for a single swim. This year, I did not get to play, swim, or even enjoy water during the summer time. Swimming was not something I ever tried to make happen, it just was always part of my life. I love to swim, and am an excellent swimmer. This year, the most I can claim to have done is wade into some water barely over two-feet deep. This was at The Las Vegas Wash. I got some fun pictures, and yes it did feel wonderful, but hardly deep enough to swim in. Wading does not count as swimming.

Hmmm.... ya Know What That means, Right?
And even doing this I was risking a possible run-in with the authorities. In many places along The Las Vegas Wash, there are signs stating no swimming, no wading, and admonishing that one is not even allowed to be close enough to actually enjoy the water. The places I chose to enjoy, there were no signs.

Naked Skinny-dipping Purple-haired Troll!

~Naked Alert!~
Caution... One of these pictures below shows my nekkid Butt... Look with open mind, or closed eyes.

Ahhh, the water feels good!

Ducky Watches His Human Play

Ohhh Yeah!
The Water felt Great.... but it was barely over two feet deep.
You might ask why I did not visit any of the millions of available pools in Vegas, or even the one in my own apartment complex?
The answer to the one in my own apartment complex is simple. It never opened. When I moved-in, they showed me a sparkling clean pool, and even gave me the rules, and hours of availability. After noticing the gate was always locked, I inquired, and was told “Soon.” But soon never came. Finally, The Nevada Health Department chained the gates, and posted huge notices all around the enclosure stating it would not open, and anyone entering the enclosure would be subject to fines. Hmmm. The management will not say the reason for this. I find this to be triply ironic. First, I am extremely cautious about entering public pools which I cannot be sure of the quality or integrity of cleanliness. After seeing how some of my neighbors behave, I am certain I never would have even stuck a toe in the pool. The second reason I likely would not have used it is because of its location. It is situated as a “fish-bowl”… sort of a focal-point for all to view. I am never fond of being “on display” around people I do not trust. Yes, you can safely say I do not trust most of my neighbors. And the third reason would be that I will not go into any pool that is crowded with rowdy people. This pool, if it had opened would likely be nasty, crowded, and always surrounded by the lurkers. This whole city seems to be filled with people who like to lurk. Very creepy, indeed. There is no way I would swim, let alone even hang-out, anywhere near people who act creepy, lurk, and have no sense of personal-space.

This brings us to the next question: Why would I not go to any of the millions of available public pools? Simply for the same reasons as above. Vegas seems to be all about “The Party”. For some reason, people do not want to go to a pool to relax, and enjoy peace and quiet. I cannot understand the desire for crowding hundreds of rowdy people into a pool, serving food, alcohol, and adding a live D.J., and then calling it “a place to relax”. The very nature of the environment is the exact opposite of relaxing. Before moving here, ANY public pool I had been to would not allow rowdiness, or music audible to others. If someone wanted music, they played their own device politely and quietly, or used headphones. The idea of having someone else’s idea of music-choice blared at you without any regard for each person’s own preferences. And the fact that the public pools here actually encourage food and beverages inside the enclosure, AND IN the pool, too does not sit well with me. If people wish to have food or beverages around their own private pool, that is fine, but who in their right mind would ever take food and beverages Into their pool? They work hard to keep their pools clean, and safe, Why would anyone want to create an unsafe environment, especially in their own back yard? All my training in health-codes, and keeping public pools clean, and safe tells me that these pools in Vegas are far from clean. It really makes me wonder if there are any health-related certifications required to operate a public pool in Vegas. Then you add the idea that people are consuming alcohol, yes…Even IN the pools. People already behave badly enough without the added effect of the alcohol. There is absolutely no reason I would visit a place so unsafe, and filled with stress.

Also, there is the abundance of enormous fountains, water-features, and man-made lakes all over Vegas. Every single one of them prohibits anyone to even think about touching, let alone actually getting in, and enjoying them! I have been all over the U.S. and never seen so much prohibited activity. Most communities want people to enjoy the beauty, and comforts. Vegas does not want anyone to touch, or enjoy anything unless they can collect money for it. The reason Vegas builds such wonderful water-features is to make it Look appealing. These are only an attraction used to get people inside the establishments. (The state of New York had some rather unique rules about the same thing… but that is another post in itself). It seems Vegas did have a water-adventure park a long time ago. The only reason I can find for it having shut-down was because they do not want people to enjoy water here.

People in Vegas claim there is no money here. I beg to differ. It may be true that the locals do not have much money, but that is because they spend it on activities with ridiculously high prices. The prices charged to get into a pool around here are astronomical. They wish to encourage females to come to their pools, by giving them a “discount” compared to the price they charge men. There was even a recent lawsuit alleging that policy was discriminatory against males. The court threw it out, claiming “people go to a pool to see boobs, not men.” That is one thing I absolutely hate about Vegas. They are so hung-up on sexualizing everything, that they cannot even see something for a non-sexual activity. Excuse me?!? What happened to going to a pool for swimming? If you wish to have a place to lay-down near the pool, there is a charge for a chaise lounge. If one wishes to not rent the lounge, or chair, the only option is to be in the pool, or stand. I would venture to guess that many here actually do make a lot of money, because of the events in which they choose to partake in. Even if I could afford such extravagances, I likely would not. The pool environments here are absolutely not comfortable. There are many pools that are not as expensive, but they cater solely to kids, or people with kids. They encourage running, screaming, and total rowdiness. The pools are only 5-feet deep, with no diving boards, or actual places to swim. It seems people do not view a pool as a place to swim anymore. They view a pool as a place to hang out and be incredibly misbehaved. They crowd hundreds of people in, and there is rowdiness, and raunchiness, but nobody is actually swimming. It seems the pool has become just a wet-club in which to hang-out. Perhaps there are pools in Vegas that do in fact exist for the purpose of swimming, and relaxing. Could there be a pool that is not a party scene, a pool that is clean, and respectable? I have yet to locate them.

Maybe I have been spoiled in life. (HA!) Maybe by having learned how to properly be quiet, respectful, and clean, it has jaded me. Maybe having been certified in pool-maintenance, and health codes has made me unwilling to compromise? Could it be that knowledge, and respect are a bad thing? Maybe by learning how to relax, and enjoy a peaceful environment, allowing others to find peace, and relax, too has tainted me. Could it be possible that the people around here, and those who come as tourists have never before been taught peace, cleanliness, respect, and how to enjoy life without being rude? Could it be that this is how they have always been shown to behave, and have not had the true joy of enjoying life? Could it be they think they must be rude to have fun? Could it be they do not understand that a clean, safe environment can indeed be wonderful? Could it be that the notion of personal space is a completely unheard-of concept? Could they actually believe cramming thousands of people into a small place is a good thing? Could it be that having learned the joy of swimming in nature has made me unwilling to be confined in cramped spaces with lots of others? Could it be that, having had the joy of wearing no clothes while swimming makes me look at swimming pools with required swim-costume necessary rules makes me not want to participate? Keep in mind that just because a pool is open to the public, it is not always mandatory to wear a swim-costume. I have had the pleasure of using many apartment, condo, hotel, motel, campground, and resort pools and jacuzzis all across the nation without having to wear a swim-costume. Very few actually have rules requiring the wearing of a mandatory swim-costume. For whatever reason, most people choose to wear a swim-costume, but it is not required.

I believe I am one of a very few who feel this way. I see photos all the time of people supposedly having fun in such an environment. Perhaps their idea of fun is different than mine. Perhaps they have just never experienced true joy, peace and relaxation.

As kids, we were in the pools from birth. We learned how to be expert swimmers, and there was no place we could not swim. There were pools all over the place we enjoyed. Some were private, some public. Every single one of them had the same expected rules. If you ate, or drank, it was never in the pool. Rowdiness was not allowed at public pools. In private pools, you could be rowdy only if the others also wanted to be rowdy. If rowdiness disturbed the other pool users, the rowdy one(s) were expected to calm down, or leave. Respect for personal space was always adhered-to. You knew you had to respect the rules, or you would lose the privilege of being able to enjoy swimming.

We would go to the beach, and swim in the ocean. We would go to the rivers, and lakes… and swim. The little creeks which ran through town had parks, and everyone always played, and swam in them. At summer camp, we would be encouraged to swim all the way across the lake to get another merit-card. The large public pools had high-dives, and diving boards. The mountains had cliffs 100-feet high over a deep spot in the river. You would jump, or dive-in, and then swim in the pool below. There were canals for irrigating the farms, and we would swim in those. Water meant you could get in it, and enjoy it.

Every place I have ever been, you could freely swim in the rivers, lakes, and streams. (Again, New York is the exception, which I will cover in another post). Most cities allow people to enjoy the water-features, and often you will see people playing IN the fountains. Before moving to Vegas, I Did look at all the maps, and made sure there was water. I just did not expect it to all be supposedly off-limits. Yup…even in the middle of a desert, there is plenty of water. But for some reason they want to keep people from swimming.

Trying not to get washed-away
As Soon as I put The Ducks in this fountain,
The Police were questioning me.
Even just putting a few rubber ducks in the water for a picture will attract the police very quickly. What the *@! They do not even want a simple rubber duck to go for a swim! (To be fair, there are a few that do not react as if you are breaking the law by putting a rubber duck in the fountain…. But not many.)

Caesar's Palace is one of those places which does not seem to jump to harrass those who play with the fountains. Here is a fun shot of my friend Colleen Quickly puting her duck, Cheese, in a Caesar's Fountain. We had a blast that day, and not once were we bothered about touching the water.

Be Quick... and Maybe nobody will Notice....

(please visit Colleen, and here wonderful Ducks at )

I find it incredibly strange that I could go an entire summer without having gone swimming even once! And the Only water I have actually been in was a couple of times along The Las Vegas Wash, where I possibly could have gotten in some sort of trouble for even touching it, let alone getting in. One time, I noticed a cloud of dust approaching very fast on the other side. I used my binoculars and saw it was two police cars speeding toward me. I was naked, but I did not worry, because I know the laws, and even if they sought to arrest me, they could not, because simply naked is not illegal. (Lewd and Obscene Are illegal, but I was neither of those.) I did not run. I kept wading, and walked downstream. They followed me along the far side of The Wash, and watched me for about an hour. They never came where I was, nor did they motion for me to come to them, but it was clear they were in a hurry to come watch me, and then continue to do so. Perhaps they were just curious about me, and my ducks, or perhaps they were hoping I would do something they could use as a reason to come closer. But they only watched, and followed. Perhaps it was a slow day, and the idea of watching a naked man pose Rubber Ducks, Flamingos, and Trolls for pictures was amusing for them.
~Naked Alert~
The Picture below shows Me Naked...
But Nothing is visible.
Look with an open mind, or Closed Eyes...
You might just find how funny it really is! (and can see why the officers might have been amused to watch me.)
hehe... Look at ROxy's Eyes.... What Does She See??

Even Though I never found deep enough water to swim in along the wash, I always Find plenty of fun!

I am 43 years old. Every summer for forty-three years I swam. (Yes, the year before I was even one counts.) This year I did not.

I will continue to explore, have fun, and play anywhere I can do so legally. I am sure that eventually I will find my groove, and find an acceptable place to swim in, or near Vegas. It cannot be possible for ALL water around here to be illegal, or a party-zone, can it?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Finally Got To Church Again

Wetland hike (preview) by JOn's ~=:-) view

I finally got to church again…

This may come as a surprise to many.
I Know Most people have a certain vision of what church is. I am different from any you will ever meet. Life has been hectic, and for many reasons, I just have not made it a point of getting to spend some quality time in church. It has been too long. I visit church every day, but just not enough. Yesterday, I finally went to church again for an entire day. Yup, it was not a Sunday. It was Tuesday. There was most definitely The Blessing of The Water. There was definitely some Mud Slinging, Some devastation, some restored hope, some cold-chills, and even some hot air. There were slippery-slopes, and even those who slithered a bit. I even saw the scared, and the joyous. I saw some struggling for life, and even those who are happily feasting. There were bright moments, and even very dark times. I saw some searching for shelter, and those who were content even if their home had just been wrecked. I saw those of every color, and from every age group. Even The Lighting and Sound were impressive. The show was spectacular.

Everyone has a different reason for why they go to church. Some go for the ritual. Some go for fellowship. Some go for spirituality. Some go for reasons nobody else would understand. Some go to “be in God’s House”. Some go to hear God’s words. Some go to be told what to do. Some go to learn. Some go for social reasons. For every single person on this Earth, there is a different reason why they go to church.

I know most churches exist within a formal structure, or building, and while they are supposedly barrier-free, they are in fact full of barriers. The very nature of most churches is all about barriers, fitting-in, and acceptance of only those who fit the description desired by those who run the church. Too many churches force their members to fit into certain beliefs, or even certain behaviors. This is why there are so many various types of churches. Each one caters to a different group of people. Most people are not allowed to be themselves, but must act like something they are not in order to be accepted at a church. Most people need to dress a certain way to attend church. Most churches ask their members to pay for the privilege of attending. Many churches tell their member when and where they can attend. Many churches tell their members when to stand, when to sit, when to say hello to their neighbor, and when to pray, sing, or applaud. For those who find pleasure in these sorts of churches, I am happy for them. I am glad they find what they need, and would never attempt to discourage them from finding that joy, or attending their church. That is not the church for me. I have attended many, and even found joy in various parts of each of them. None I have attended have given me Totally what I need in a church.

Why Do I go to Church? I have many reasons: Spirituality, stress-relief, and to uplift my soul. The Most important reason I go to church is to spend time with God. Do not misinterpret this, because I can, and DO Spend Every single moment of my life with God. By going to church, I can forget everything else happening in life, and Only focus on God. When I try and focus on God while immersed in everything else life throws our way, it is easy to focus on life, and not on God. It seems too much of our daily lives are not about God, and especially the people we are forced to be around on a daily basis. Very few businesses make God a priority, let alone recognize there Is a God. When I go to church, I can see exactly what God wants me to see. When I go to church, Nothing else matters. When I go to church, I can be free. I can be Myself. I can be the Unique Human God has created Me to be. When I go to church, I can forget everything, and everyone else. When I go to church, God is THE ONLY ONE who judges ME. When I go to church, I can wear whatever I want to wear, or be as naked as I choose. To God, it does not matter what I do, or do not wear. God welcomes me. God created me. God does not care how I spend time with Him, only that I DO. My church does not ask me to pay for the joy it offers. My church does not ask me to attend only at certain times, on certain days. My church does not decide for me when, or even where I pray. My church does not decide which music I should listen to, or when I should sing along. My church does not even ask me to praise God. When one is in my church, there is never a moment that one could possibly forget you are in God’s House. My church is never heated or cooled by mechanical means, but it is always a perfect. My church does not need to worry about if the roof will leak when it rains, because when at my church, you would expect to get wet if it rained. The lighting in my church is always perfect…sometimes extremely bright, and often extremely dark…but never so dark I cannot see what I need to see. The sound-system is the oldest style known to man, never malfunctions, and Always delivers the most pure sounds. My church does not even ask that I bring others along with me. In fact, it seems to thrive with less people. I often am all alone when I go, but it hardly feels lonely in such a wonderful place. Occasionally I will find another who wishes to attend with me, and they are always amazed at how magnificent it is.
One might wonder where this wonderful church is that I can be free.

This Wonderful Church is not a secret, nor is it hidden. It is widely advertised, and even known by all. Every human is aware it exists, but not many choose to go there. This church is not new, nor is it trendy. This church has existed as long as humans have on this Earth. This Church is NATURE. Nature is my church. It is not about religion, but about spirituality.

Nature is known by many names: Mother Nature, The Great Outdoors, Outside, and sometimes Mother Earth. There are easily hundreds more, but they all mean the same thing. Whatever name one wishes to call it, it is all the same. Some wish to claim God does not exist. That is fine. Those who enjoy all He has created, and still deny he exists have Waaay more faith than I do. It is really easy to accept, and acknowledge God than to go through life denying one exists. Some of my greatest friends do not believe in God. We can still enjoy Nature together. We each go for the same reasons, yet call it something else. Literally, we attend the same church. Nature does not care of you believe, or not. It exists, we enjoy it. Call it what you want, you are still enjoying it, and getting the benefits of it. I can take my most adamant “There is No God” friends out in Nature, and they always love it. I do not have to tell them I am taking them to My Church, but they get the same thing out of it as I do. Often when admiring nature, you hear the non-believer exclaim, “Oh My God, This is beautiful!” I do not bother to remind them that they claim to not believe.

If I could live solely in nature, instead of in a society-deemed necessary dwelling among others, I would. It is virtually illegal, and almost impossible in most of today’s world to be allowed to live with nature. Our world has deemed it necessary to live a certain way, and attempt to block-out all of what God has created. I thrive in nature, and enjoy every moment I can outdoors. Often, living in today’s “indoor-world” I find I do not get out in Nature enough. Living in a large city is also a hindrance for enjoying nature. I must work daily just to take time to enjoy the sky, air, weather, and all that is natural around me daily. While I hate the living requirements in the city, I also willingly submit rather easily to the creature comforts created by indoor-living. I moved into this apartment in March. By mid-April, I had set-up my comfy-chair on my balcony so I could use my computer outside. I was on my balcony every chance I got… until the September rains drove me indoors. Now I have my comfy chair set-up just inside the open window. I can still see the sky, feel the fresh air, and feel the breeze, just not get as wet while using the computer. You might ask why I am using a computer, if I would rather be in nature? Simple. I admit to having adapted to many of the creature comforts. You can bet that if I lived in nature, I would find plenty to do, rather than be on a computer. (And You would not be reading this blog, because I would not have created it.) When in nature, I can find a comfy log, or rock to sit, or rest on, but in our society, I am forced to buy a chair which hardly comes close to the comforts provided by nature. Apartment complexes frown upon things that occur while living in nature. I cannot chop wood, carve great walking sticks, or even have a fire for outdoor cooking. I cannot keep deer, birds, and raccoons as pets. Nor can I live amid the high limbs of a tree. If you even climb a tree in the city, you risk arrest. Forget living naked in the city. Just the mere sight of a naked person freaks out most people in the city. In nature, there is seldom anybody else around, and those who happen to be never have a problem with seeing a naked person. In the city, I cannot wash in a stream, or waterfall. I am forced by society to wash in a walled-in room without even a window. If you have ever had the pleasure of showering in the open-air, you know nothing compares. Growing your own food in your own garden is such a wonderful treasure. Gardens in a city are not easy for one to do. I cannot sleep under the stars, for fear of being mugged, beaten, and robbed in my sleep. I am forced to sleep indoors, keeping a radio, or fan on to drown out the ruckus created by society outside my walls. In nature, it is hardly silent at night. It is often a cacophony of sounds, but they are so peaceful, and easily lull one to sleep. While lying down, you can watch the stars, and often not even realize you have drifted off to sleep until you hear the morning birds greeting you. I am forced to close, and lock doors to keep others from taking what few things I actually do have. Yes, I would happily live among bears, rather than among the humans in most cities. With bears, one knows what they want, and why. City humans are a different kind of creature, and one never can understand their reasoning. If I had the chance, and did not have to work, live, and survive in a city, I would take that in a heartbeat! Yep! I would gladly attend Church Every single living moment of my life.

Yesterday, I finally got to go out in nature for an entire day. It was a stormy day, and looked to be cold, wet, rainy, and full of thunderstorms. Nature delivered exactly that… and more! I got all the storm I had expected, Plus a bonus of sunshine, and slight warmth after the storm. I saw flooding, and devastation. I saw many critters who looked scared, soaked, and homeless, and at the same time, I saw many critters thriving under the conditions. The ground was saturated, muddy, mucky, and treacherous to traverse. It was Wonderful! Lakes, rivers, and puddles suddenly appeared where normally only dry sand would be. I saw rivers magically appear, creating their own path as the water, mud, rock, and sand surged downhill, finding the easiest path. It was amazing to watch as something that would be almost impossible for a human to move was transformed in minutes by nature. As fast as the desert can be torn-up by the storms, it seems to regenerate itself just as quickly. One area which had been burned bare in early spring was as lush and thriving on this fall visit. I could not walk among the burned trees because of the thick brush which had grown in the area. The birds, insects, and lizards were thriving. The rain turned all the desert-brush brilliant-green in a matter of hours, compared to what would normally just be shades of brown, grey, and dust. I saw trees that had been uprooted and deposited elsewhere from the floods, yet magically, there were the most delicate wild-flowers still rooted in the same spot. Even after the thunderstorm passed, there were cold winds, and even a few threats of more rain. The clouds were incredible, and danced, changed color, shape, and size in mere minutes. The shades of blue created were spectacular! A Painter with a vivid imagination could not create skies the way nature does. Even the color of the ground, which is normally grey, brown, and sometimes slightly red, was more colorful than I could have painted myself. Every dust-covered rock now was washed-clean, glistening, sparking, and wanting to be noticed.

I saw a lizard that had gotten mired in the muck, and almost gave-up from exhaustion. I helped him to higher ground. He shook off the muck, and went on his way. I saw birds, insects, and fish of almost every type, color, size and shape. As the sun set, I saw the bats come out, and heard the cries of the coyotes all around. The colors and magic in the sunset was breath taking! As the flood waters receded, I saw herons, ducks, and egrets go back to their reeds to settle in for the night. The fish and frogs were happily dining on the surface of the now-calm waters. Not one of these wild critters worried about me. They went about their life as though I was part of it.
How about you? Will you attend Church with me? Would You live in my church? I will always treasure what little bits of church I can get daily, and look forward to the few days a month when I can spend an entire day there. Every time I see the sun rise, I am in awe. Every single storm is an amazing experience. Every plant that grows is a wonder in itself. Every sunset is just as impressive, if not more so than the last one I saw. Every rock, critter, or cloud leaves me wanting more. I will never give up the dream and hope of one day being able to live in My Church. I have, in the past, lived in my tent for months at a time, and if the opportunity arises, I will gladly do it again!

I Often, and Mostly, go to church alone. This is not because I Always Want to be alone. It is because I have given-up trying to get others to join me. I have wasted too many days of my life waiting for those who say they want to go, but never do. The invitation is always open… If You want to join me, please do! I would treasure your company, and enjoy spending quality time with you. I need to go. I do not need to wait. I will go…. There is never a set route, path, destination, or time. I let God lead. Where I end up on any given day is always a mystery, and even a surprise to me. I am never disappointed, and often find joy where I would not have looked for it myself. I make sure to pack enough food, water, clothes, and supplies for whatever may come up, and for however long the day lasts. I often end up not coming home until very late into the night. While I am sometimes tired from a long journey, I am Always rejuvenated, and My Spirit is fully-alive after a day at church. Would you join me? Would you like to meet My God? Would You like to see My Church? It may be easier than you first think. Nature is world-wide. Nature is everywhere. Even in the middle of a big city, all you have to do is look up. The sky is nature. Watch the sun rise, or watch the sun set. Weather is nature. Notice how the weather behaves, how it feels, and how it affects you. Feel the sunshine, or watch the rain. Go for a walk, and look at all that is around you. Fall is fast closing-in…watch as the leaves change color. Watch a bird, or a squirrel. Watch any critter. This is Nature. See? You Can Join Me at Church. Nature is not about religion… It Welcomes Everyone. Oh, and You say you have not yet My God? Yes, you have… AND You HAVE FELT HIM. Everything I just listed is HIM. You might be surprised if you got to know Him… Welcome Him.

Every one of these photos was taken when I was at Church Tuesday. (A note about the day of the week... I wrote this Blog Wednesday, but did not publish it until Thursday.... In case anyone notices the difference where I mention "yesterday" as Tuesday at the top) :)

I HOPE You Have A Wonderful, and Blessed Day! Jon~=:-)