March 12-14, 2011 Vacation days 11,12,13 – Countdown and Homeward Bound

March 14, 2011

March 12-14, 2011 Vacation days 11,12,13 – Countdown and Homeward Bound

Sunset Over Ram Jhula

This will probably be my last post this sojourn in India.  For those who are new to this blog, I hope you enjoyed your time with me in India.  For those old-timers – sorry that this was not more interesting, as perhaps it was in past years.  I will still be posting on my other blog during the year if you are interested:  http://mindfulnessjournal.wordpress.com

And look forward to seeing you there as well.

The last few days have been peaceful, despite them being just before my leaving Rishikesh.  I did not find the usual pre-travel days stressful as the have been for me in the past and that for me is a big change, and a blessed one.

The weather has definitely changed to summer…it is now already dark outside, but all the windows in my room are opened and it is warm.  It was quite hot outside today…to really be exhausting for me.

This, an many other things, have made it quite clear that I am going home at exactly the right time, despite it being a month shorter than I had originally envisioned. For one thing, all of my supplies have run out over the past few days:  shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, dishwashing liquid, body soap, floor and toilet bowl cleaner, honey, dried fruits, food stores etc.  All letting me know that this is the perfect time to leave.

I would have enjoyed the warmer weather for a week or so more, but then I would have had to restock everything, and that would not be cost effective.

I am still weak, but have been given some further herbal remedies by Dr. Arora to get me back in full energy.  I have already brought all of my things into storage – kitchen and room supplies here at the guesthouse, and clothing and other items by Seema.  My bags are packed (to my great surprise, I still had too much stuff-even after sending a parcel last week – so this morning I sent off a second parcel and hopefully I will not be overweight at the airport.

The last few days were spent with old friends, and several new ones I’ve met this trip…saying tearful goodbyes – being invited out for meals, and just talking and relaxing together.  IT has been a good way to end this trip.

I will be leaving at 9 AM and going to my friend’s house in Delhi…will be there all day Wednesday and will be at the airport at 3 AM Thursday morning for my 6 AM flight home.  By 12 noon on Thursday I will be in Tel Aviv!

Hope to get some shopping done in Khan Market since I am already there, and this friend loves to shop, and of course has a car.  And then just rest up before heading home.

I am now getting into bed to watch the latest episodes of both “Bones” and “The Mentalist” and hopefully will be tired enough to get a good nights sleep.

And as quickly as the time came to GET to India, the time has come to LEAVE India.

It has been a wonderful 3 months, different than other trips here (but then again each sojourn has its own personality, and brings me different things), and now look forward to the next stage of my journey, with gratitude for what was and acceptance of what awaits me.

Namaste

Jane

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March 11, 2011 – Vacation Day 10 – Change of Plans and Final Shabbat Shalom from Rishikesh

March 11, 2011

March 11, 2011 – Vacation Day 10 – Change of Plans and Final Shabbat Shalom from Rishikesh

At this time next week I will probably just be waking up in my own bed!

Hard to believe 3 months have gone by so quickly…and so beautifully.

Now cooking probably for the last time here, as I want to get my “kitchen” packed away today. Making plain pasta with just some ghee.

Earlier today, I woke up feeling really good, especially happy with the fact that I have gotten back to eating properly and pleased with myself.  Got dressed up nicely, put on my makeup for the first time in a long time, and went down first to visit by Dr. Arora and explain to the girls why I hadn’t been around for a few days, and then go take care of a couple of things I needed to finish in Ram Jhula, and hopefully go sit along the Ganga.

Well, this was not to be. I got down to Dr. Arora and simply mentioned my feeling so weak and having a slight fever a couple of days back, and resting up the past couple of days.  He was a little surprised and when he checked my pulse found it weak.  I asked if this has anything to do with the panchakarma, and he asked what I had been doing the whole week.  Didn’t mention everything I ate, but did tell him I had done lots of wonderful walks in the beautiful weather.  And he immediately understood what had happened.  He said even the slight fever was an indication that my body was very tired, because I had not rested properly after doing panchakarma.  Just then I got up to talk to Laxmi, and felt so faint I had to sit down.  He took my blood pressure which was also quite low, and simply told me that I must respect my body and just rest for the next few days.

Truth is, in past years, I did panchakarma at the beginning of my stay here, had plenty of time to rest for a week or 10 days afterwards, before getting back “into action”.  But this time, I finished just a couple of weeks before going home.  Also, the weather had been so bad, I wanted to not only get out and enjoy walking, but get in as much walking before going home.  So I literally went directly into action the day after finishing my panchakarma.  And a week later, my body just rebelled….knowing that better than “me” what was good for me.

So now, instead of all my plans to take full advantage of walking for the next few days, I have been advised, especially before traveling and coming home, to rest as much as possible.

So looks like the next 3 days I will stay very close to home, enjoy the weather from my rooftop, cancel my plans to go visit Devi, Laxmi and Manju, no Papu Lassi in the Market, no facial in the Market as well, and no special meals back at Prem’s Namaste Café.

Perhaps in another day or so, I WILL feel a little better, but truth is, I was so weak, that for the first time here I had to take a rickshaw all the way up to Swiss Cottage…I could not walk back up the hill!

Came back, had my pasta for lunch, and then went down to visit by Seema, as well as the ladies there…came back to my room, had some chai and carrot cake and later a fruit salad, and finally a pleasant visit until now with a lovely young American girl who I have been spending time with over the past week.  I had originally done Tarot and healing session with her, and we “hit it off” and have had some lovely discussions since then.

I will now read a bit and then go to sleep

Shabbat Shalom for the last time from India this year!

Namaste

Jane


March 10, 2011 – Vacation Day 9 – Story of the Silk Cotton Tree-Simple Lesson in Focused Intention and How We Are Provided with Anwers by the Universe

March 11, 2011

March 10, 2011 – Vacation Day 9 – Story of the Silk Cotton Tree-Simple Lesson in Focused Intention and How We Are Provided with Anwers by the Universe

It seems that sincere intention to know something, will always bring an answer – and usually from a place, or in a way, that we could never imagine.

Silk Cotton Tree

 

Yesterday was a relaxing day spent close to home.  Didn’t want to push my luck after feeling so weak the day before – especially just before coming home.  So hung around close to my room, did further packing and sorting, read, needlepointed, visited friends, friends visited me and was even invited out for dinner.  Ate properly the entire day and felt at peace.

Although I am enjoying the beautiful weather immensely, I am now completely ready to return home, for whatever waits me there.  And that is also a good feeling.

Just after posting yesterday, with pictures of the “cotton” tree, I continued to be curious if that was really its name and to find out more about it than the owner could give me.  I was thinking of googling it when I decided to first sit down and read for awhile. …I was reading the book I mentioned by Ruskin Bond, “The Book of Nature”, and when I opened to the page I was up to, what did I find but this chapter “The Silk-Cotton Tree”!!

And as I began to read it, I realized he was talking about the exact tree I sat next to the previous day.  Since it is so nicely written and explained…I will just quote the whole few beginning sentences here.

“Most of you, even if you do not play badminton, are familiar with a shuttlecock.  Well, if you take a shuttlecock and paint it a bright crimson, you will get a fair idea of what the flower of the semul (or silk-cotton tree) looks like.

Now just imagine a tall, leafless tree covered with masses of crimson flowers, and you will know what this wonderful tree looks like in spring..  There are few trees in the world that can compare with it in beuty and brilliance.

You may, of course, have seen a semul tree either in the jungle or along a tree-lined avenue in one of our citis.  It is a god shade-tree, losing its leaves for only a brief period, just before it flowers.  During the summer months, you will find its seeds overed with white cotton, which is blown far and wide by the slgithest breeze.  This cotton is not suitable for spinning and weaving into cloth, but it s used for stuffing pillows and cushions.”

And now both you and I know a little more about the tree!  It seems that sincere intention to know something, will always bring an answer – and usually from a place, or in a way, that we could never imagine.

Have a great, focused, day.

Namaste

Jane


March 9, 2011 – Vacation Day 7-8 – Paying the Price

March 9, 2011

March 9, 2011 – Vacation Day 7-8 – Paying the Price

Flowers on the “cotton Tree” -more later in the post and on Facebook Photo Link

Outdoors until bedtime…beautiful weather for sitting, and still cool enough that mosquitos are not yet a real problem.  But staying up and about until this hour, also makes me hungry for more food.

You’d think I’d eaten enough already today….will just have some nuts and dates though…in the end I ordered a fruit salad!

fruit salad - apples, papaya, pineapple, clementina, grapes, pomegranate

Have begun getting myself ready to leave….going through my stuff…what stays, what goes, what I still need to buy etc.  Just 5 days left here then I will be for a day and a half in delhi before my flight.

I will begin with the morning of the 9th after the night of the 8th!!

One lesson I have learned in life, and tried to teach to my children as well, is that everything has a price…before you make a decision to do something, consider the price and if you are willing to pay it!

Every year following panchakarma I kind of go crazy when it comes to eating things I shouldn’t, and things I couldn’t eat for the past month.  And after a week, this always ends and I go back pretty much to the “straight and narrow”.  Of course, this type of indulgence definitely has a price…and I paid most of it last night, and am paying the final installment today!

I don’t get diarrhea or anything, but certainly would be happy if I could vomit (but never manage to)…It is just a feeling of such total discomfort in my stomach and abdomen that I feel like crying…the pain is relieved temporarily with Reiki, which helps to release gas from the area, and by taking lots of ginger oil and drinking hot ginger.  But there is no way I could sleep last night, and am still uncomfortable today, and of course tired from no sleep, and weak from not eating.  Today I will stick to hot ginger and some dry toast with a drop of ghee.  By tomorrow I will be fine, and if truth be told, when I think back on it, except for yesterday (which still makes me nauseous when I picture everything I ate), the week of food fun was worth the price. (It is now evening, and  I am not feeling well at all.  My stomach seems to be much better, but I am feeling, weak, slightly dizzy and have a very slight fever.  Hope it is nothing more serious than just overeating, but tomorrow will tell for sure)

So what did I eat yesterday?  Well, that is part of nice story of  what I DID yesterday.

I woke up in the morning and decided I had to get back to properly before I head home.  Most of the restaurants I eat at are noisy, crowded, with loud music, etc., and also serve only standard meals from the menu.  Which means if I want to request with no potatoes, cabbage or cauliflower it is a problem as the veggies are chopped and mixed in the morning for the whole day. I also want a place with a shady outdoor view overlooking the GAnga, which also limits me to where I can go.

So today, I went checking out some new haunts, and after several unsuccessful attempts, came upon Prem’s Namaste Café down in Laxman Jhula, with an upstairs sitting area overlooking the Ganga.

view from Prem's Namaste Cafe

The owner came from Nepal in 2000 and opened the restaurant with the idea of bringing something a little different to the area.  And he seems to have succeeded.

He has the standard dishes, but also a more varied menu as well.  Some lovely fresh salads, brick overn pizza, lots of tofu dishes and many many veg dishes to choose from.  When I asked about things I could not eat, he was very accommodating and promised me a good meal to my liking.  It was freshly prepared (which means waiting, but these are always the best meals and the freshest),  Everything lived up to his promises and I hope to be back there for my last few days here in Rishikesh to try some other dishes. (obviously I was not there today, and looks like tomorrow I won’t be either).

It is really quiet here, overlooks the Ganga and is very clean as well.

There is a pleasant cooling breeze coming off the river making it really comfortable..not a drop of sun – probably freezing in the winter, but just perfect now.

 

SO…what did I eat:

Veggie and tofu dish with beans in it which was scrumptious – not greasy, not spiced in any way – just lovely and something I’ve never tasted before anywhere in India.

I also ordered a butter Naan, the first time I had one this trip, and it was also delicious:

butter naan

And just then, eating, relaxing, enjoying the view

view towards laxman jhula

I had one of those moments when tears of gratitude overwhelm me!  I am so blessed to be here and so grateful to all the powers which make this possible for me.

And the final, extra touch, was my chai was served in a holder so that I don’t burn my hands as usual on the hot glass/

chai in holder

There is this gorgeous tree here with amazingly beautiful red flowers.  Owner says it is a “cotton tree” and that after the flower and fruit, the tree is covered with cotton!  And he says that this tree is one of the blessings of this restaurant for him here in India.

cotton tree-see more lovely photos on the facebook link below

See this link for lots more beautiful photos of this and more from today:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=275834&id=547896544&l=02a97cc25b

It was just so beautiful I could not leave, and sat and did my needlepoint for quite some time, and just enjoyed the view.  At one

YUMMY!!

point, a monkey came along to feast on the cotton flowers and must have eaten more than 20 before taking off.

let's see...what's next

I wonder if you can see how much he enjoyed his lunch from the pictures

 

 

And then, coming down the Ganga, was a traveler, with small pack on his back gliding along on what looks like a surfboard with a paddle!!

guy gliding down ganga on surfboard -see more on the facebook link

By this time, I was hungry again, and decided on something sweet.  I ordered something called a bhagsu cake, described as layers of cookies, caramel and chocolate – very sweet.

Bhagsu Cake - Sugar Ecstacy

(I am feeling nauseous right now just thinking of it!!!)…Well, it was pure indulgence – sugar ecstasy for sure.

And that is what I ate yesterday and thought I was paying for today, but perhaps it is something else…will see how things go tomorrow.

That’s it for today – Don’t forget to check out the Facebook Link for lots more photos of today…I sat for hours in just one place and so much beauty found me!

Namaste

Jane


Assistance Along the Journey versus Going It Alone-Powerful Message in a Dream

March 8, 2011

Assistance Along the Journey versus Going It Alone-Powerful Message in a Dream

“When from our better selves we have too long been parted…how gracious, how benign is solitude”

The above is a quote by Wordsworth which I read last night in a book I am reading .  I had actually woken in the middle of night, unable to fall back to sleep.  When this happens to me, I don’t fight it, and usually get up to read until I feel sleepy again.  This quote was used in the book, and after reading it, DID go back to sleep, only to find myself in the following dream, which kept recurring until I woke up just now, several hours later.

The dream:

Riding along in a bus and knowing where I have to go.  The bus is going through a familiar area and I know where he must turn to get me to where I have to go (a place called givat Chen which in Hebrew means, loosely translated: “charming hill”).  As he comes to the corner where he must turn right to get me there, I get up to get ready to get off, but then he passes that corner and keeps going straight.  I KNEW I should have rang the buzzer and gotten off right away to continue the short journey to my desired place alone, but my mind told me  “Sit down and wait.  Perhaps he knows an easier way of getting there.  Let him continue to take you”.  As he drove further and further away from my desired location, I began to realize that something was wrong, but hesitated to question him, not wanting to bother him, or the other passengers.  I eventually found myself so far from where I needed to be, that I DID go and speak to him, only to be told that he has no idea where the place is I am talking about, and it was never part of the route.  I became flustered, and angry and frustrated and began shouting and at one point he yelled back at me but the other passengers just asked me to be quiet so that he could concentrate on his job of getting THEM to their desired destinations, and telling me I could not blame him for my not paying attention and knowing when to get off.

– just as I sat down on the bus and realized I would have to find my own way back, no matter how difficult it was, no matter how lost I was or no matter how far away I now was from my desired destination…I woke up!w

There are times when  we all need assistance.  When we are so far away from the place we know we want to be, that we need help getting closer to that path along the journey.

It may be from a teacher, guru, healer, doctor, even friend, relative or relationship.  When you find the assistance you need, it is a wonderful blessing and should be accepted with gratitude and joy. But you must also know when you have been taken as close to your own path as possible by another person…when you see you have come as far as you can with assistance, and then don’t be afraid to ‘get off”…don’t hesitate or you will be taken very far astray.  You can always return to the place you wanted to be originally, but it will then take that much longer and require that much more effort and energy .

Knowing your own strength and trusting your own instincts will always keep you as close as possible to your own truth…assistance is needed at times along the way…no one can do it all by themselves,  but we must also be alert at all times to the signs that we have gone as far as we can with the help of someone else and know when to once again go it alone.

Know which stop on the bus route is as close to your destination as the bus is going to get you and GET OFF.  Walk the rest of the way on your own.  Don’t hesitate-when you know for sure that this is the place, don’t think that perhaps there is a shorter or easier route.  Let your own knowing guide you from there…And if you do NOT listen to your own inner voice, never blame someone else for taking you astray!!


March 6-7, 2011- Vacation Days 5-6 – Knees, Books, Kitcheri, and Ram Jhula on a Sunshiny Day

March 7, 2011

March 6-7, 2011- Vacation Days 5-6 – Knees, Books, Kitcheri, and Ram Jhula on a Sunshiny Day

Sunrise this Morning

I have just finished reading a book “Dog Boy” by Eva Hornung and am speechless.  I sit here in shocked silence, choked with tears.  All I can say is, if you can find this book, you must read it. It was published in 2009 so should not be difficult to find. I usually just post the books I read with short comments on the tab marked “What I am Reading” at the top of the blog, but this time I MUST say a few words here.  There ARE really no words I can find to truly portray the stunning beauty and sadness of this book. It is sobering to say the least, the concept for the story not a new one, but the author has realized it magnificently.  Do your best to find this one!

Now let’s head back to yesterday.  As I mentioned in my previous post, my knee had been complaining after my long day of walking, so it was obvious to me that today would be a close to home day.  The knee was actually worse than I had imagine, and I found my self limping even when walking a short distance, and the stairs up and down from my room were really difficult and painful.

I spent a good part of the previous night, and the rest of today, doing Reiki, but then realized that the pain originated not in my knee but in the calf of the same leg.  I began to think that perhaps I had overdone something in yoga yesterday morning, and then the extended walking just aggravated the problem. (Good news is, the next day, when I am writing this, my knee is good as new and I will go out walking soon).

The day dawned beautiful and sunny again, and I was able to do my morning meditation, pranayama, prayer etc. outside in the sun.  Had a very light breakfast of hot milk with my chawanprash and dried fruit, and di a lot of reading.

And then a lovely young Israeli girl who had “heard” about me, came up to meet me, and we wound up having a lovely and intense (for both of us) session.  I received a powerful channeled message for her, and also was “adopted” by three angels at the end of the session.  It was really wonderful!

Then I went down for a light lunch of steamed veggies, but wound up eating a vegetable burger on a roll, with salad and chips!!!!  I just couldn’t resist and it was soooooooooo delicious.

Came up to my room and slept for a couple of hours to my great surprise, probably a result of the long day out the day before.

When I awoke, was outside again in the sun, and offered to cook dinner for my neighbor and me if she would do the shopping for the veggies…she happily agreed.  Just then, someone else came up to talk to me (the wife of the guy who I had emailed for quite some time – the yoga instructor who mentioned me on her ABC interview…this all in a previous post).  We had a pleasant talk for awhile but then the neighbor came back with the veggies and I had to excuse myself to cook kicheri for us.  Which I did!  And it was really nice cooking for someone else and eating with them…first time this trip I did this-forgot how pleasant it is to be able to cook for other people once in awhile.

The day ended pleasantly, outdoors, and I had a lovely sleep last night, waking early to the beautiful sunrise at the beginning of this post!  Pays to get up at 6:30 and go outside!

It is now after noon and I will be heading out soon for a short walk to make sure my knee is really OK…and will be back later with perhaps something else interesting to write.

Back from my short walk…only out for 4 hours…and my knee is fine, thankfully.

Had a very expensive lunch at the “spa” restaurant in Ram Jhula, and it was interesting but not something I would ever order again.  A wrap, made in whole wheat chapattis (4 of them on the plate – too much for me to eat – of grated beets and carrots in tehini with mint chutney on the side.  It sounds much better than it tasted, believe me.  But it was a change and the place is nice to sit at, so I can’t complain.  Walked around the ghats in ram jhula for a while and then came back,

 

Ganga Panorama from Ram Jhula Ghats

check out more scenes from today’s walk here:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=275070&id=547896544&l=a04e7fe4d1

did some shopping for the next week, visited with some friends staying at Seema’s and am now happily back on my rooftop where I will relax and read and play and listen to music for the rest of this lovely day 6 of my vacation.

cross the ganga and succsss your journey

Don’t forget to check out this link for some more shots of today’s stroll along the ram jhula ghat.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=275070&id=547896544&l=a04e7fe4d1

Namaste

Jane

 

 


March 5, 2011 -= Vacation Day 4 – Full Day Out from Sunset (yesterday) to Sunset (today)

March 5, 2011

March 5, 2011 -= Vacation Day 4 – Full Day Out from Sunset (yesterday) to Sunset (today)

Yesterday evening, after  a overcast, dreary day and rain in the morning, the clouds began to disperse and roll away

the heavens clear just before sunset

Eventually leaving a clear sky.  With what was left of sunset

As there was so electicity in the evening or some reason, I found myself asleep just afer 8 in the evening. .

And the next thing I knew, the sun was steaming in the window facing my bed and woke me up!  It was 8 in the morning!!

Poked my head out the door and, for the first time, felt warm air in the morning.

I immediately headed outside and did my morning meditation sitting in the sun, followed by my morning yoga prqctice, also out in the sun!  Normal life on the rooftop has begun!

I am now sitting, drinking a glass of hot spiced milk after taking my chawanprash tonic.  I Look out over the Ganga and for the first time at this time of the day, it is flowing.  It is usually quiet, still, sluggish in the morning hours, but now, from up here, I can see the current moving along at quite a pace.

I imagine the recent rains, as well as the warming air has begun melting the mountain snows and as they run down into the ganga, the current becomes stronger, bringing the river, as well as myself, back to life in the warmth and sun.

I sit here now staring at the lush green mountain opposite me, feel the warmth on my body ( down to tank top by this point and it is only 9:45 in the morning.

Looking forward to a lovely, lazy day, but finally getting in some good walking as well…

Back later…

Check out this link for some photos of the rest of the day, as well as a beautiful sunset again!

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=274523&l=82d7e787ac&id=547896544

Took a long walk out the back forest road down to Ram Jhula where I had a lovely breakfast, overlooking the Ganga, of Aloo AND Paneer Parantha…one of each, a masala chai.  Then over to check on my parcel and back up to Tapovan.  Delivered some pictures I had developed for Laxmi and Devi, did some final shopping for supplies for my last 10 days here, and then thought how nice it would be if I could ride up to my room, instead of walk, drop off my stuff and then continue down walking to Laxman Jhula to sit along the Ganga.

Well, just as I thought this, a friend, with a full bike, came along, and offered to carry my shopping bag up for me….and then, as I continued walking, a Rickshaw stopped, and of course I declined as I will never pay 50 rupees to ride up a hill for 1 minute when I can walk it myself.

In the past, there have been several drivers who would offer to just take me up as they were headed up anyway, without taking money.  But this year this has not happened yet.  To my great surprise, the driver just said, “no problem Madam, come sit…ok”.  And so I did, and got my ride up as I had thought a couple of minutes previously.  Now I sit in my room, will have a nice drink of water, and in a few minutes head back out for a day along the Ganga.

IT is now 7 PM and I have just returned to my room!!  My longest day out, but what I usually call a normal day here in Rishikesh.  It has been impossible up until now, and I am really happy.  One of my knees is loudly complaining, but I am sure it will be fine by tomorrow.

Headed down to Laxman Jhula, found a nice quiet place along the ghat, away from the crowds, which are huge…

shady corner at the ghat

also Saturday and local tourists, as well as the Yoga Festival this week…At one point I started to feel hungry and realized it was already almost 3 o’clock, so went down to my nice quiet restaurant along the Ganga, only to find it full, and having to wait for a seat for about 15 minutes.  But the wait was worth it as I love their freshly made, simple, homemade food the best . Stir fried vegetables with paneer.

Yummy!

And of course the cold coffee was as wonderful as ever, and greatly appreciated on this very warm day of walking.

Sat for quite some time there just relaxing and then headed back up, deciding to stay out for what might be a lovely Ganga sunset.  It was not as wonderful as it is sometimes, but I did have a nice fruit salad out on the terrace while waiting for the sun to set.

To my great surprise, all of a sudden, a monkey had one hand in my fruit salad, and when I looked up, terrified, he was face to face with me, his lips curled back, his hair standing on end, growling viciously at ME, as if I was the one stealing the fruit salad.  I jumped up (did not have the presence of mind to photograph this, even though the camera was open on the table), and the owner came running out and chased him away.  This is truly the closest I’ve ever found myself to an aggressive monkey…

Anyway, he left, the owner gave me a stick to keep on the table, and I simply went back and finished my fruit salad (several pieces missing, but no problem).

Sun setting over Ram Jhula

I came home quite content and relaxed, despite the ong day out in the sunshine and fresh air.  I imagine I will sleep very well tonight (I actually sleep very well every night here).

Don’t forget to check out the Facebook link above for more scenes from my walkabout today.  It was a lovely day.  I am truly blessed!

Namaste

Jane


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