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An astrologist might have warned me of a mystical alignment of stars and planets that would sprinkle magic stardust across this Cancer-the-Crab’s Saturday! The early-morning inbox confirmed that my European friends had been slaying the day’s dragons while I was still in dreamland.   I pondered the humor of asking them, ‘Is it going to be a good day?’ as remnants of REM sleep evaporated from my dream-fogged brain.

Marianne Petterson’s 365 Days always enhances my awakening hour, so I pondered her Saturday-morning points about self esteem before moving to the second part of her post.  What a delightful surprise it was to find that she nominated Playamart/yours truly for the Beautiful Blogger Award!

According to her specs, I am to tell 3 things about me and pass the award to 3 more bloggers.

Hmmm.  Three things about little ole Zeebra!

1. For starters, I am not little!  At 5’8,” I outgrew my three older sisters.   Pat often introduced me as her ‘Baby Sister,’ because ‘Little Sister’ sounded a bit silly!   In Latin America I sometimes need to duck when stepping through doorways, and I tower above most of the locals on the fiesta dance floor!

2.  When growing up in the Mississippi Delta, I spent most summers on the barrel-racing circuit.   (My  high-spirited horse could run like the wind!) Many mornings I awakened before sunrise, trekked through the pasture in search of my horse,  then explored the wooded areas and lake banks along the Mississippi River.

3.  I was a horrible student when ‘trapped’ inside the confines of a classroom, but was at my best when alone and immersed in nature!  I still treasure and crave a strong connection with Madre Tierra.

I pass this Beautiful Blogger award to three more refreshing writers:

1. Few people make an easy adjustment from the life they had to the life they have, and Nancy Levin is one whose joy and enthusiasm spills over on all who know her!  Nancy shares her tales in Finding Our Paradise in Ecuador

2. Stephanie does a grand job of marrying her lovely images with equally-lovely words.  stephanielane2012   Expect to see Stephanie’s blog snowballing as more people find her blog.

3. How this beautiful woman manages to juggle the daily mountain of positive information about women is a mystery to me!  Her blog, which includes an Inspirational Woman of the Day, has jumped from zero to almost 50,000 hits in a short period of time!  Congratulations, Lady Romp!

“Chillin’ at the Cruzita Bus Stop”

My next surprise of the morning came from Bab’s salmonfishingqueen blog.  How could one not smile when given an award called  Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments?

So here are the Sparkly questions and my answers:

**Describe yourself in 7 words:Happy, Uninhibited, Fearless, Sensitive,  Naturalist, Intuitive, Creative

**What keeps you up at night? I sleep well and easily, though when painting (or working on the blog!)  I can work all night until finished.  (Late night provides a dead-calm silence that evaporates with the daytime stirrings of man and nature!)

**Whom would you like to be? I am happy with the unique person that I am!

**What am I wearing right now? A brown cotton tank top and cat-motif sarong.

**What scares you? Few things scare me, though I am highly aware of life’s dangers.

**What are the best and worst things about blogging? The best is the ease of self expression and for the opportunity to know/appreciate so many highly-talented and diverse people.    

The worst?  Not having enough quality time to savor the wealth of talent in the blog world, and not having enough time to compose and design the many posts that are incubating in my psyche and waiting to hatch!

**If I could change one thing about myself, what would it be? Roll back my eyesight to a much-younger version!  I understand why many of the masters switched to impressionism or abstract!!!

**Slankets, yes or no? To quote Babs, “What the heck is a slanket?”

**Tell us something about the person who nominated you.

I smile;  Barbara’s “Salmon fishing queen” title immediately caught my eye, as fishing is one of my vices!  She is funny and intelligent, does great research and shares amazing trivia as well as incredible images of nature.  She gardens and is a great cook… She is the type neighbor I would treasure! 


Cruzita Ecuador Fishermen

Surely the day could get no better, but it did!

My friends John and Mary McDonald made a pilgrimage from ‘just down the beach’ in San Clemente to Cruzita, where I am staying to prepare for the next show.   Although the frigate birds could soar between the two towns with a few flaps of their wings, John and Mary came by bus, which surely took an hour or more!   Not only did they bring grand smiles, but they also brought gifts!  Mary proudly presented her version of a painted rock, and then presented her latest painting – the brightly-striped and extra-happy zebra that graces the header of this post!

After an afternoon of rich conversations, I watched as they boarded the bus and rolled back out of town!  

How great it is that a magic zebra and its crab side kick stayed behind to watch over me!  


Thanks, all of my friends, who helped transform this day into one of beautiful smiles!  🙂 Z