...to the Home Page of
Initially created in 1995
HI! I'M JUST JUMPING FOR JOY THAT YOU DROPPED IN TO SEE ME!
Let's get acquainted.
First, a little about me: In early 1995 I moved to Houston. Although I'm a Texas native and grew up in a small town in the Lone Star State, I had lived in other states (LOTS of them!) for many years. I had forgotten how much I love Houston. This city has a wonderful energy, and it's great to be HOME! Besides life in general, here are just a few things I enjoy:
- Computers! ("Hit any key when ready"...NOOOO, put down that sledge hammer!) Before joining my computer users' group HAL-PC (Houston Area League of PC Users), I used a computer mainly for writing letters and I knew nothing about their "innards." Through my association with all the wonderful folks at HAL-PC, I learned enough to go to a "clone shop" and order a powerful computer built to my specifications. Now I've learned to do all sorts of computer-related work - coach new users, teach Microsoft Word, maintain data bases, design Web Pages, and more. How exciting!
- ...Visit a couple of my favorite sites for web pages:
- Animations and Graphics for Your Website (You'll have fun here!)
- Physical fitness through good nutrition and exercise (jogging in particular).
This is a picture of me with some of the trophies I've won in 5K races.
- ...And here are two suggested sites to increase YOUR health knowledge:
- Ask Dr. Weil...Combining traditional and nontraditional medicine.
- Travel, especially when combined with studying/learning Spanish.
- In 1992 I traveled to Guatemala all by myself (I thought I was pretty BRAVE!) where I lived with a non-English-speaking family for a month and studied Spanish at a school where the teachers didn't speak English either! (Read my article "Quetzaltenango, Guatemala: Total-Immersion Spanish on a Shoestring.")
- In 1995 I went to Peru. From Lima, I traveled to Iquitos in the jungle for a boat trip down the Amazon. Then I visited Machu Picchu, the sacred city of the Incas. Incredible!
Below is a picture of me sitting above Machu Picchu.
Located in southcentral Peru, Machu Picchu is above the Urubamba River and the sacred Urubanba Valley, and is 8,000 ft. above sea level. In its majestic natural setting high in the Andes, Machu Picchu is an architectural wonder, an expression of beauty. But even more, the thousands of visitors that flock to the city each year find Machu Picchu imparts a sense of spiritual upliftment. It stirs the soul as an example of man's reach for the heights, his search to feel the touch of God. Amidst the silence, one connects with infinity and feels removed from the world and the problems of life.
The stone structures are largely intact. Their thatched roofs, of course, are gone.
- After Machu Picchu, I went to Ecuador where I rode a train through the mountains and oooo-ed and ahhh-ed at the spectacular scenery. (The "train" was actually a diesel bus with train wheels running on a narrow-gauge track. Most of the passengers rode on top of the train/bus to take full advantage of the views. This journey ended up at the beautiful colonial city of Cuenca.
Back in Quito, a short bus ride took me to the equator, where I stood with one foot in the southern hemisphere and one in the northern.
See me straddling the equator?
(Does this mean the equator really IS a red line that runs all the way around the earth???)
In December of 1997 I traveled alone to Copper Canyon in Mexico. It was a grand adventure, enhanced by the fact that I made no advance reservations (other than my plane tickets). I had, however, gotten information on the Internet and had a general idea of my schedule and the hotels I might choose.
I've come to love the adventure of traveling alone. (The fact that I don't know anyone I choose to travel with doesn't keep me at home!) And with the goal of truly experiencing the culture and what it's like to live in the country I'm visiting, I also travel cheap. Relatively cheap anyway. I eat simply but well. I like a room to myself. I don't hunt for the very cheapest accommodations and transportation, nor do I tolerate shared bathrooms. Even so, traveling as I did you can (excluding airfare) have a wonderful 10-day Copper Canyon excursion for less than $400.
Located in the mountains of northwestern Mexico, the Copper Canyon area is actually a series of six massive gorges - a vast maze four times larger and 280 feet deeper than the Grand Canyon. To be in the midst of its awesome grandeur is nothing less than a spiritual experience.
The Chihuahua al Pacifico railroad, completed in 1961, offers accessibility to a small number of the spectacular chasms. However, the train travels well back of the rim, giving few glimpses into the canyons themselves.
To truly experience the magnificence of this remote wilderness, you must get off the train for several days and descend into the heart of the rugged canyon depths.
Here I'm sitting on a cliff overlooking the river in Batopilas, an old silver-mining town that's a seven-hour bus trip from the rim of the canyon...almost 6,000 feet down in the depths of a remote canyon. (Read my article, "Copper Canyon for the Independent Traveler.")
- 1998. I traveled alone to Guatemala for the month of May to study Spanish again. This time I made no advance reservations except flights. I decided to select my school and find living accommodations after I arrived. Many nice middle-class families offer room and board to students. They enjoy the experience of interacting with people from many parts of the world, plus the extra income (about $30 a week) is helpful to them. I stayed with a family during my first trip in 1994, but this time I thought I'd opt for a little more privacy and autonomy by staying in a hotel.
After arriving in Guatemala City, I embarked on the four-hour bus ride to Quetzaltenango in the highlands. My seat mate was a college student going home for the weekend. Celeste said that her mother took in students and invited me to stay with them. She told me that we would walk right by her house on the way to the hotel I mentioned, so I agreed to stop in and meet her family. Well, they were very pleasant, the house was nice, it was late, and I was tired. I accepted their offer to stay the night. I ended up living with them for two weeks, and then I did move to a guest hotel - mainly to escape a neighborhood barking dog that repeatedly ruined my sleep.
After this second trip to Guatemala to study, I have a very good foundation in grammar but I still have a problem understanding Spanish when it's spoken rapidly. And I need more practice speaking it. I want to find a friend who speaks Spanish with whom I can practice!
- 1998, just after Christmas. I drove to the Big Bend area of Southwest Texas. A small group of us then crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico and rode horses in the mountainous high desert for four days. It was an incredible adventure! To read an article I wrote about the trip (and see pictures), click La Frontera by Horseback.
- In July of 1999, I made a driving trip through Mexico that lasted almost a month and covered approximately 2,800 miles. To read an article I wrote about the trip click Mexico by Car.
- Writing... about my experiences (travel and otherwise). For example, from my experience in Guatemala, I wrote a detailed guide about how to study Spanish there for $100 a week. The low price includes five hours of one-on-one instruction at the school (five days a week), plus room and board with a local family.
- R eading
Novels: authors too numerous to mention!
Personal Growth & Spirituality:- Anything by Wayne Dyer - Your Sacred Self, Manifest Your Destiny, etc.
- A Course in Miracles
- Anything by Stuart Wilde - The Force, Miracles, The Quickening, Affirmations, etc.
- A Bridge Across Forever, One, and Illusions by Richard Bach
- Celestine Prophesy by James Redfield
- Stranger in a Strange Land (and everything else by Robert A. Heinlein)
- The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck
- The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power by Vernon Howard
- Conversations with God (Books 1, 2 and 3) by Neale Donald Walsch
...just to name a few.
- S ailing
Ahhh...peaceful silence! The only sounds are the wind in the sails and the water slapping against the hull.
- Learning. If I had to pick one word that would best describe me, it would be "student." I've had a lifelong passion for learning new things, new ideas, new skills.
With learning in mind, here's the site of a great KIDS page that's great for adults, too. It gives clear explanations to a wide variety of questions; for instance, "How do muscles work?"..."How do you make a solar oven?"
YOU CAN with Beakman & Jax
College is not the only path to education. Did you know:
"An intelligent person can read at about the rate of 24,000 words per hour. Giving due thought to each idea expressed, one can easily read and digest 12,000 words an hour.
"A volume of 400 pages, containing about 250 words to the page, therefore, can be read in seven or eight hours. In other words, if one were to read only an hour a day, he could finish the book within a week, and 50 such books within a year.
"The average college student, in completing a four-year course, will be required to read and study about 50 books. Anyone, then, who will deliberately and thoroughly devote an hour a day to a well-planned course of reading, can secure the equivalent of a college education during just one year!"
- Dancing! I just began lessons in July of 1998.
I'm taking ballroom dancing (Tango, Foxtrot, Waltz), Latin (Cha Cha, Merengue, Rumba, Salsa), Swing, and some Country & Western. I'm ecstatic to find this wonderful avenue for the expression of creativity and joy!
- Seeking increased spiritual awareness and growth.
- I LOVE FUN AND LAUGHTER AND ADVENTURE!
My motto: Life is glorious! Live it to the fullest!
Click for my continuing web page, PEACEFUL WARRIOR.