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Still with the goal of seminary swishing around in my thoughts, I decided to take some graduate courses in literature.  With my bachelor’s degree in English, I chose a liberal studies program focusing on gender, religion and social issues, while also working to improve my writing skills.


Needing to write about an epiphany in my life, I was facing a deadline and had settled on something plain-Jane to get the job done.  But when I began writing, the story was not so plain at all.

What fell onto the page was my early steps to finding my own religion, or even so, finding Unitarian Universalism.

From my early years as a veritable latchkey kid, spending more time tromping between school and (insert name of the latest-independent-fundamental-Baptist-church here) than I did getting my ass home.

It all spilled out, bouts of brimstone by greased old men in cheap suits, missed Sunday evenings with Mickey and The Wonderful World of Disney, and years of over-involvement, prayers for heathens, and groups of righteous people joining to discuss the second coming while eating ambrosia salad with tater tot casseroles, always ending our prayers with the name of Jesus because only heathens prayed only to God.

It was the awareness of an awakening.  A growth that I hadn’t acknowledged.  The discovery of my faith in the joining of words, in poetry, in writing, in essays and speeches, and my transcendence beyond the faith of my fathers.

I was 16-years-old, and I had taken the first step to my own freedom of religion.


Hawai’ian views

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There are never enough pictures to share the awesome creation that Hawai’i is!

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Surfers on the Pipeline, North Shore, O’ahu
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Bellows Air Force Station
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Mokoli’i Island off of Kualoa Point
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Brazilian Red-Crested Cardinal
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the Mokes (Na Mokulua)
Maunalua Bay Beach Park
Waiting for the sun to rest, Maunalua Bay Beach Park

Maps, beaches and a bucket list

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VisitedStatesMap Lg 1.2016
UU Communities Visited

As we continue to work our way to even more UU communities, I can’t help but take joy in the loving and accepting people our faith attracts!  Our growth from your shared knowledge is immense and will be with us always.

2015 ended with my 14-year-old son, Austin, marking his 43rd state visited!  As a homeschooling mom, I can’t imagine a better life experience for him than physically seeing the many places in our history books.

I’ve also now visited all but one state, and I can’t wait to take that trip to Alaska to complete my map.  (Still on my bucket list!)  But with 2016, comes a move to Hawai’i.  Of course it won’t be so simple, but we plan to keep our summers busy with mainland travel.  The motorhome will still be waiting us each time we set foot on the lower-48.

Here’s to a wondrous 2016!





Social Media Sabbatical

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I’m jumping into my bucket list full force. The first step is shutting down my online presence, at least for a while, and going off-line and off-grid.

I let go of Facebook a while back. That was a blessing and a wonderful deletion from my life and my sub-conscious. But now I find it’s time to cut out the middle-man (WordPress and Twitter) and remove myself from this out-there-for-the-world kind of life.

I’m sure I’ll be back someday, I say as a smirk engages my face. I’ll miss my ramblings and I’m sure I will truly have a bounty of photography to share when the time comes around to return.

So off to travel and visit my UU friends, off to plan my year in Alaska, and off to my garden …

Miss ya’ll!


traveling tUUsome / permie love / Dusty’s Musings

Adieu Facebook!

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I’ve pondered the move to ‘unfriend’ Facebook for quite a while now.

I’ve written about its faults on my personal blog, Dusty’s Musings, yet held on to hope.  Though as typical, hope in a corporate growing or sinking ship (depends on whom you ask) within the social media world is at best a belief in the unknown.

No fret, I won’t be giving up blogging any time soon.  So if you normally get my posts through a Facebook link, you can instead click on the “Follow Me” button on the right to receive updates via email or through WordPress Reader.

For some of my reasons, and for those you might want to consider, check out my personal post from this morning.

Ready to rumble!

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Back on the blog and writing again feels so good!  I’ve got a busy schedule ahead, beginning on Monday when (Arctic blast willing!) I begin the Purdue University Master Gardener Training Program.

Washington County, Indiana
Washington County, Indiana

Deer have been passing through the woods behind us every day so in preparation for the weather a salt lick is out, the bird feeders are full, and we’ve got some loose seed ready to put out during the negative temperatures expected this week.

Jeep is ready and packed with emergency supplies for the heavy snow expected tomorrow and I’ve got lots of UUA reading to catch up on.  Putting on a slow cooker with homemade soup and baking some bread.  Hopefully we’ll all make it through warm, cozy and well fed!

To learn about the Purdue University Master Gardener Program, visit: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/mg/about.html

Louisville tomorrow

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On my way to Louisville, Kentucky, tomorrow for my corneal transplant.  This is my second one and after the pain of the last I’m not all too excited for the experience but, I am excited for the results.  None of what Austin and I have done the past couple of years would have been possible had I not had the surgery in my left eye in 2005–no driving for sure.  Which means it would never have been possible for us to have lived on the road fulltime and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the country.

So with the New Year at hand, I hope to begin it with the ability to see the world with both eyes, clear and beautiful.  Only another reason to be out there and enjoying all that Mother Nature and the road have to offer.  And to think of how much more fun my photography hobby will be with a new lease on how I see the world!

So wish me luck, good blessings and adieu for awhile, with hopes of still making our plans to be in Chicago by the second week in January!

One of my favorite photos, taken at my parents' home in Ohio
One of my favorite photos, taken at my parents’ home in Ohio

Why I’m getting surgery: https://travelingtuusome.com/2013/11/25/keratoconus-ker%c2%b7a%c2%b7to%c2%b7co%c2%b7nus/

The Midst of Icepocalypse

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Austin and I find ourselves in the midst of Storm Cleon, or as friends have titled it, “Icepocalypse.”  Following a full inch of sleet and freezing rain throughout the night, we now have about six inches of fresh, wet snow and still more falling.