Javajune's Blog

Someone once said… “Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.”

I love the journey

This is the little chapel by the sea on Captiva. There is something so serene about this place- I love it.

My travels south started out with traffic jams and a grumpy hubby who said we are never taking our vacation by car again-back to the sky next year. The drive was my idea. It had been a long time since I traveled afar by car, we always fly to our destinations but I had this romantic idea of the open road and little kitschy places tucked away off the beaten path just waiting to be discovered by me.

You know that dream of mine… hopping in a hippie van and traveling the us with my camera and a journal, documenting every ounce of cool and kitschy I can find.

The cool and the kitschy were not along the expressway and I didn’t take many pics, didn’t even write one sentence in my journal. I’m not sure why, it just didn’t happen.

The ride home was a little different. We were forced to get off the beaten path when the expressway was nearly closed down due to the insane amount of people heading north after spring break and the snow birds heading back to Michigan. This was a good thing!

Although I didn’t get a chance to take any pictures or jot things down in my journal, (hubby was driving like a mad man in an attempt to get out of Florida and get away from the people he claimed didn’t know how to drive, I was hanging on for dear life) I did see some things that were amazing and kind of surreal. I saw tiny shacks and mini log cabins that looked like something out of the 1930’s. They were full of life, clothes hanging on the line, junk scattered across the yard, children playing  out front and one with an alligator hook hanging over the pond, baited and ready to catch sunday’s dinner. It was hard to believe we were still in Florida or the U.S. for that matter.

Since I didn’t get a chance to take pics at rapid speed,( hubby wasn’t stopping for anything at that point) I borrowed this image of a Florida shack from sxc.hu.

We passed tiny houses that looked like they hadn’t been changed or updated in 80 years or more. Just as I felt like we had entered a time warp, we would pass a modern gas station or car dealership, out in the middle of nowhere. It was interesting and kind of amazing too. This was the old Florida drive I remember taking as a child, very rural and charming. I guess one could feel sad when looking at the dilapidated places along the road but it just wasn’t like that. They were full of life and seemed to be a lifestyle that was lived on purpose, simpler and uncomplicated, or so it seemed, maybe this was just my romantic side believing that these people had chosen a life that imitated a simpler and happier time for them . I can’t believe how much lives differ from one area to another.

This trip was restful and refreshing but it stirred up that wander-lust inside me. I’m just itching to hop that hippie bus to destinations unknown, journal in hand, camera ready.

xo-jj

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April 15, 2010 Posted by | bad boys, Hello Miss Manners, me, nasty habits | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Little words- big message

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Several years ago on a warm and sunny fall day, I came across a deserted beach along lake Superior.  As I walked along the shore with my collecting bucket (to gather smooth lake/worry stones) I noticed something very unusual; every few feet there was a word or saying painted on the rocks- things like be happy, smile, don’t judge, love, etc. I instantly smiled because some soulful spirit had left a beautiful message behind just for me. What a perfect way to connect with someone you will most likely never meet. If you think about it we connect with each other all the time by what we leave behind, sometimes it intentional, sometimes it’s not.

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Since that day I have shared a little found words with strangers from time to time. The dry river bed that runs through my garden harbors a few such messages as it twists and turns between the plants. Every once in a while I pack up a rock or two and leave them along an out of the way path so someone else can experience the unexpected joy that I did on that perfect fall day along the beach.

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Some day as you’re walking along life’s path you may come across a smooth stone with a positive message that was left by me for you to find. Now that would be amazing!  I love the opportunity to make a stranger smile.

“Every day your life changes just a little- make it a positive change!”

xo-jj

September 8, 2009 Posted by | Hello Miss Manners, me | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Note to self

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Lush and lovely

Dear Junie,

Love the journey not just the end result. I know you think you have things all figured out- you don’t. I know you think you can’t possibly have a vibrant career- you can.  Life isn’t a dress rehearsal and there aren’t any retakes, so make every day count- do it, do it all!

Love me

Feeling inspired by this lovely apartment building in downtown Portland.

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 Sweet perfection

This entrance drips quiet elegance and artsy inspiration. My apartment of choice would be the beautiful balcony to your right. Imagine sipping your morning cup of coffee while tending the flowers. Yeah, I’m already there….

Wishing you a day of inspiration.

xo-jj

August 21, 2009 Posted by | me, photography, rants | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Letting go; A mother’s journey

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I’ve returned home with mixed emotions dancing around in my head but my heart is filled with joy. Joy for the moments and people in my life, joy for the opportunities and beauty the universe has to offer and joy in this very moment here with you.  It’s important to get lost in the moments and let go of some of the self-control that runs our lives. That grip can squeeze every once of goodness out of the present time. Some times it’s important to slow down and  just breathe, cloud gaze, dig in the dirt, feel gratitude and cultivate that inner smile.

I’m lingering an inner smile that feels a bit like the slippery moments that are enjoyed during the in-between state of consciousness.  My mind is wandering, reflecting, but mostly enjoying the tiny joyful moments of my life that are strung closely together.

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My trip was filled with moments, of feeling lost without care, discovery of new places and people, taking in the sights of a beautiful landscape and the feeling of letting go. Opening up and letting go can be painful but it can also be a beautiful thing. We wandered the city of Portland without any concept of time and experienced a culture that was new and somewhat unusual.

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 I met up with my wonderful on-line friend, Lucinda, and she took me sight seeing along the gorge. Thank you Lucinda, you’re a beautiful person! The next morning  my son and I journeyed westward through miles of forests until we reached the ocean shore. We then drove across the beach with sea-spray in our hair and a laugh in our hearts. It was a beautiful moment of madness and freedom as I began to let go. My control flowed out the window and tumbled across the beach until it met with the sea. Who knows where it went from there.

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Our wandering took us to the mountains and back. It was a series of beautiful moments of self- discovery and sharing. Good-byes are never easy but quite often necessary. Infinite love is something a mother fully understands. The landscape was only a symbol for what we were about to experience as mother and child. The act of letting go of someone you love, so that he can soar, is like climbing a mountain. There are moments of pain and difficulty that must be endured. My difficulty was answered back with a veiw that was more beautiful and liberating than anything thus far. The sight of my child spreading his wings with the courage to leave the nest is one of those joyful moments.

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 “Something good will come of this.”  I told myself as I boarded the plane alone. I felt my body lighten as I opened up to the moment and all the infinite possibilities that life has to offer and then I was truly free, just like the clouds outside my window.

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Someone once said, “The key elements of life are time and people.”

Let go and just breathe, Junie, just breathe!

xo-jj

August 18, 2009 Posted by | confessions, me, photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Journey to the other-side

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Someone once said,

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. “

I’ve always had a secret desire to buy an old VW hippy van and travel across the US with my camera, a notebook and an open mind. I would love the adventure of an open road laid out before me and the nostalgia of a retro ride not to mention the great gas mileage. So as I embark on my journey in the air to the Pacific North West I will close my eyes and imagine that I’m making this journey on the open road, in this….

I found this pic on Wheels weekly- I love it.  Now imagine my face behind the wheel with a big smile. Get packed Jana, my stylish friend, I’m headed your way and yes your bare feet are welcome on the dash. I can see us now with the wind in our hair and not a care on our faces as we head into Portland to pick up an artsy goddess named Lucinda on our way to the beach. We’ll be having a claim bake in the sand and everyone is invited to join us. Lisa, the beautiful world traveler, is headed up the coast in her sports car for the unravelling reunion. I can’t wait to meet her. I know Susannah the unravelling queen  and many others will be there.  There will be laughter and tears that will last for several days. Music playing, cameras clicking and wine flowing as the surf tumbles across our feet.

That’s my fantasy trip but reality is quite different. I’m headed to Portland Oregon with my son to get him set up for a college internship. There will be many details to tidy up and then a sad goodbye as I leave him in in the north west and return home alone. I’m happy he is taking this opportunity but sad that he’ll be so far from home. I know it’s only a plane ride away but a flight to Pacific North West is damned expensive.  That V-dub bus is looking better all the time.

This trip will be busy but we’ll take some time for fun, a jaunt to the west coast and a visit with my Unravelling friend Lucinda, but this growing up stuff is hard to except. I’m thankful and sad at the same time. So the real deal is that I will be headed to the Detroit airport a little before 5am tomorrow morning to board a plane headed westward.  Deborah, The Mid-life Poet, and sweetest girl in blog-land, has promised to be floating in the pool as I  fly-over around 10:45 Michigan time.  I will return next week and resume a normal life of a mid-western girl.

It’s time for a little more caffeine and a lot of busy work getting ready for the trip. I have bags to pack, a house to clean, errands to run and hugs to give before I embark on my journey across the country. Leave me your thoughts and words of wisdom and I will try to check in during the trip. 

Oregon is a beautiful place with it’s many bridges over rivers that are cut out of the mountains, on a rage toward the sea. I hope to have some insightful moments and wonderful images to share with all of you when I return but for now I leave you with a quote from one of my faves by Norman Maclean.

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.”

Bye for now.

Take care.

xo-jj

Let the journey begin…

August 11, 2009 Posted by | me, rants, saga | , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Recalculating

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I told you it was beginning to look and feel like fall in my neck of the woods. See the mist that hangs in the air. This was taken last evening shortly before sunset. It’s brisk out this morning and requires a jacket. brrrrrr

You know that little voice that speaks up and changes the flow of your journey in mid-stream? No I’m not talking about the lady in your GPS system; I’m talking about that inner voice that says “hey your going the wrong way.” Do you know her? I have one of those but the trouble with my guide is that she frequently says “recalculating” but doesn’t explain where I’m supposed to be going or how I am to get there.

I’m on this creative journey and there are so many things I wanna do (like make a photo journal) and places I wanna go (like somewhere on the other side of the ocean) but there never seems to be enough time or money for any of it. I envision my life as this infinite thing with time and space for everything but I am a realist and know the reality of that dream. One of my goals is to live to be 100, so I can experience all the changes in society and yes, so I will have time to do everything imaginable. Life should be simple and one’s heart should be content with simple things but I’m just not that kind of girl.

My mind wanders, my curiosity leaps, as my heart yearns for more. What makes us simple or complicated and how can some be so content in the place they are standing, no matter how dull or insignificant it may seem? Perhaps their system isn’t equipped with that annoying little GPS-like voice that says “recalculating” every time they take a wrong turn or deviate from the path.

My map is complicated and the roads don’t have names. There are so many destinations that I haven’t met, but intend to, in time. I’ve walked through fields of flowers and the sidewalks of Times Square, I’ve enjoyed the essence of sea-spray on my cheeks, and climbed mountains in Montana, I’ve swam the Great Lakes and sailed in a boat ten miles across the Atlantic ocean but I know there is so much more just waiting to be discovered. My guide sometimes speaks in a foreign language and I have to do my best to interpret her message. So far this journey has been worth every moment but where is it taking me? Maybe I don’t I need to know that answer. Perhaps I should close my eyes and enjoy the ride, with ups and downs that sometimes mimic the thrill of a roller-coaster? I could raise my arms and scream at every turn. I should ignore the voice that says “recalculating” and press on.

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I’m still trying to tame little Willow (I just don’t know when to give up). We’ve made a connection but she still won’t let me get close enough to touch her. I want to run my fingers through her fluffy coat in the worst way. Isn’t she beautiful?

(If you don’t have a GPS in your car and are totally confused with my post or the comparison I’m making, let me explain. Most GPS systems come with an audible voice that will say something like this,” in 300 yards/meters turn left on route 66″ and if you miss your turn, this voice suddenly interrupts with the word “recalculating.” She then sends you on a detour to regain your place on the intended path.)

Well, not only do I have  that voice as part of the GPS in my car I also have a similar voice that lives in my head and frequently tries to keep me on the right path. The problem is, I don’t know where she’s sending me and I’m not sure why I can’t make a few side trips here and there. Can anyone else relate?

Here’s a youtube video of the system that lives in my car (not my head).

She’s a little annoying, isn’t she?

Well, I’m off to get some editing done and pics listed in my shop. Didn’t I say I was going to do that yesterday?

Recalculating!

xo-jj

August 6, 2009 Posted by | confessions, me, photography | , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The winner

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Hold your applause til the end please. The winner of The Mad Tea Party is apparentlyjessy from the land down under. Her little fairy will be making a long journey. She is pictured above having a fabulous time at her own crazy party. Congrats Jessy, now send me your addy and I’ll ship your goodies.

Stay tuned for the next post it’s an important one.

xo-jj

June 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Here’s to a new week, a new path and new friends…

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How do you choose a new path? Do you look for the easy road or something magical and inspiring? Does it have to speak to you or do you just go with the one that is highly recommended? Like I always say: “follow your heart, your passion, your bliss” and you’ll never go wrong. It may not be easy but it will be worth it!

I’m back from my family retreat and as promised I will be passing on an award today but first I’d like to share my unravelling with you.

I along with 164 other people from around the globe have embarked on a journey of self discovery from the feet up. Our first assignment was to photograph our feet in a way that said something about us. I shared one of my pic’s with you here. We are allowed to share 4 photo’s and descriptions each week with the class. We do not have our new photo assignment for this week but our writing assignment is to write our life as a fairy tale. Okay we all know that I’m good at the make believe stuff but writing about my whole life as a fairy tale isn’t that easy. I have caught myself adding little embellishments and sidesteps that just aren’t true. What a surprise to me that the writing assignments has been the hardest part thus far. It is incredibly interesting to see how others view themselves. I have always wondered how different my view of myself is compared to the people who know me best.

Okay now to move into the good stuff. I was very honored last week when Deborah from Midlife Poet  (go meet Deborah she is so inspiring) gave me the coveted Renee award. If you do not know anything about this award or have the privilege of knowing Renee, a very incredible lady, please stop by Birds Circling My Head for a visit.

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Now I think I’m ready to share this award with a few deserving friends of mine.  I will list just a few that I think have displayed their courage or kindness to others and me in blog land.

Libby from Thoughts usually with attitude: Libby is a very courageous and kind lady battling MS. No matter what kind of day it is she always has a kind and encouraging message to leave. Thank you for that Libby.

Ricardo from Unloaded: He is in the midst of making some incredible changes in his life and tells it like it is, at all times. He lets it all hang out very candidly but is always supportive of his fellow bloggers. Thanks Ricardo.

Shell from Swan of Dreamers: She is a dreamer like myself and inspires others with her beautiful words. She charms me with her positive attitude and I usually learn something when I visit her. She always has something kind to say. Thanks Shell, fellow dreamer.

Terra from Unfinished business part II: Terra has an uncanny way of making  her daily experiences read like a sitcom or soap opera. She is kind and supportive in her comments. Thanks Terra.

 Now really I could go on all day listing people who inspire me and others with their beautiful blogs that make me want to try harder.  I mentioned just a few because they are the bloggers who have been most supportive of me in my quest to follow my dreams.

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Thanks for sharing this first day of a new week with me.

xo-jj

May 11, 2009 Posted by | me, rants | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Soul to Soul

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This is the tale of a girl who is always looking for inspiration and ways to connect herself to others. She dreams often and when she dreams it is global. She looks for hope in every face and loves little treasures with a deeper meaning of faith and love. img_1392That is why she couldn’t pass up the change to posses a piece of culture and prayer from across the the world. A Buddha statue and Tibetan prayer wheel were being sold by a family who relocated to the states from Nepal. A place where the culture is so rich and faith is everything.  Hand to hand and soul to soul the exchange took place.  The tiny treasures that had traveled so far became her own. It was as if she too had been there to experience the people, the culture and the treasures that put a girl on a budget at risk. She laughed at the thought of being in the red because she knew that it was so worth it.

The best time to act is when opportunity presents itself, another chance may never come. The dreaming part matters! It can take you places you have never been and will never physically go. You are on a journey much like this girl who dreams too much. Don’t let opportunity pass and experinces be waisted. Plant the seed and then let it bloom. Let your dreams run free and your spirit soar. Life is truly worth it and so are you.

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(Women holding a Tibetan Prayer wheel. I would love to give credit for the Tibetan pictures but can’t remember where I found them.)

Have faith in the universe and yourself. Good things are on their way.

soul to soul-jj

April 26, 2009 Posted by | me, saga | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My Dreams and 100th Post

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This is my 100th post and I wanted it to be special in some way. So, I decided to share my dreams with you. I have always been a curious girl with my head in the clouds as I explore every inch of my life.  My passions change with the wind and I want to experience it all. I have big dreams that are floating  just over head. But I sometimes lack the discipline to make my dreams a reality. I always believed that I would do something extraordinary with my life and I’m still waiting for that moment.

I left my job in the medical field a year ago and embarked on a journey to find my creative roots and plant them firmly. I started out with a vengeance but I have to say my batteries are wearing down a bit. I started this blog to serve as a platform for my novel “The Sofa Diary”. It is still a work in progress and I have been off my game a bit since the holidays.  I’m sure I’ll put my game face back on very soon. The last chapter of the book will be all about this sight and the amazing stories that have been posted here. I can’t wait to finish the book and share it with all of you.

Okay on to my dreams as promised.  *I wish to be published and profit from that venture.  *I wish to buy a cute little cottage near the warm beaches of the gulf of mexico.  *I wish to have time to share this paradise with my friends and family. * Last on my list is to live happily to the age of 100 with the ones I love close by. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so.

Share your dreams with me no matter how big or small. After all this site is all about sharing, secrets, passions, dreams and stories. So throw one out there, Junie wants to hear what you have to say.

Thank you for being a part of my 100 posts and for sharing in my dreams.

jj

February 26, 2009 Posted by | me, rants, secrets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments