Category: Wellness


“See what a little wishin’ can do?” I am so grateful for help given me tonight that I am mimicking words spoken by Jiminy Cricket at the conclusion of the nightly Wishes fireworks at Magic Kingdom.

These words sum up not only what’s happened over the course of the past few days, they show the incredible power of dreams combined with action. For some reason, wishes have been coming true more frequently for me these past few years.

At 7:30 pm last night I finally gathered enough energy to heft a shovel and clear a snow-clogged drive. I had waited until dark so no one would see me struggling with 5′ drifts, but there they were – two men attacking the drive next door with a truck blade and a snow blower. One of them saw me shoveling and raced over with his snow blower to clear my drive and a length of sidewalk. As I walked to their truck while they stowed their blower afterward, they said I owed them nothing and drove off! This is such a proud example of humanity in action. People helping people. Dreams in motion.

Earlier this week, I returned home exhausted from keeping up with younger members of a local ski club on a fast paced trip to the southern Caribbean. I had an injured foot I hadn’t told anyone about. We hired a driver, took volcanic mud baths, crashed through fifteen foot ocean swells over and over on a speed boat, shopped till we dropped (I bought a badly needed hat), snorkeled off a catamaran, danced a bit, took advantage of opportunities. Relaxing for even a moment meant being left out. In some cases that meant all day. It was continuous, hyper, extension. On return I wanted only to melt into the woodwork for a few days. Life rarely works that way for long, however. Trying to rest while keeping obligations met is a continual challenge.

Exhausted, and with no fresh food in the house, I warmed up canned soup with wilting Brussel sprouts and ate shriveled apples for a couple of days.

After a couple days of this, I stopped to meditate for a minute. I asked, believed, and gave thanks for whatever would solve my situation without going out of the house for groceries when it was time for recouping energy healthfully. I mean, in lieu of a stimulant like coffee or cola. Instantly I had an idea. Throwing together some frozen smoked turkey left from a Christmas celebration, frozen peas, diced tomatoes, Tuscan spices, olive oil, the ever-present Kalamata olives, and Mozzarella sprinkles from a forgotten bag in the back of the freezer, the resulting dish was pretty and very delicious. It made a nice meal instead of snacking all day.

Even though I am still recovering from a dream trip, starvation is no longer an issue. At least eight to ten meals can be made from only a few frozen bits of meat and canned elements. The freezer is a little cleaner now. There is room for fresh groceries.

Better yet, the snowy drive is passable once more! The intrepid human spirit triumphs again. Moreover, two snowy ‘angels’ touched the earth when they were most needed and promptly disappeared.

Yes, it is possible to see what a little wishin’ can do. Thanks, Jiminy.

3x5OverToThe DarkSideWednesday Wisdom ~ DreamSculptr travel sense, Little Man with a Big Siren, and a question, so Angel doesn’t go over to the dark side in a few hours.

DreamSculpting Interactive is all about hearing from you what will make your dreams sing, and including that when sharing an upcoming guidebook I compiled for myself ~ a relatively playful process that worked well for me during the worst of my personal trials, and continues to do so.

First, though, I want to say that last night’s travel ambassador tour at the stadium clubhouse was awesome! Thank you CVB and stadium manager. I met fascinating new people and ran into friends with whom I swapped travel adventures, leading a friend to ask, “Why don’t you write about the many benefits of your adventures?” Would people actually be interested in reading this?

I told my friend, “I’m too busy adventuring.” (Well, publishing books and dancing around the art of ceramics,  watermedia, and staying alive, too). Then I remembered the safe, savvy, solo travel book I began as a spinoff from the sculpting my dreams book while driving coast to coast to ‘walk my talk,’ after finalizing a late bloomer degree that placed me firmly in the professional ranks back home.

Travel is magical. It transports me to other worlds and connects me to new people. As much as I love being caught in the lens, while traveling I am the one behind the camera. I love adventures, like those recently spent cruising from Paris to Monaco, through the Pacific islands, trolling the Caribbean, escapades on the Disney ships, and sailing on windjammers. Times spent enjoying Denali, calving glaciers, sweeping through Europe to study the arts, sleeping in a national forest outside the Grand Canyon, climbing volcanoes, residing on the Emperor’s moat in the elegant Akasaka Prince, riding the Shinkansen, homestays in “rural” Otsu, and drawing artwork for a ‘little man with a big siren’ after leaving Denver trailing a broken leafspring. Then there were times when I nearly died in the Hiawatha Nat’l forest, when the flooding Colorado River near Arches swallowed me, when I survived Death Valley without air one hot July, those insider observatory tours with my personal astrophysicist, a lockout on Olympia, and a storybook life as a kid along the Pigeon river wilderness and Rifle river while pulling porcupine needles from a dog’s muzzle, skinning rabbits, and petting a tame elk tagging at my heels. Other times, I faced a Yellowstone black bear, caught myself in a frenzied herd of  longhorn cattle, as well as earthquakes, tornadoes, and stampeding buffalo. I drove sheep, climbed mountains, learned 35mm photography far out on a Kaibob ledge jutting into the Grand Canyon without a railing, and hiked canyons with my brother. I’ve experienced amazingly spiritual animal encounters, escaped from a roaring inferno, unknowingly worked for a serial killer, endured my child being in the Rome airport during a terrible bombing, been guarded by a tiny Japanese woman with a parasol, survived the Great Sargasso Sea of Romantic Turbulence, broken through the glass ceiling, found personal discovery and generated questions, plus much more.

My travel hasn’t always been solo but lately much of it has. “Walking my talk” led to many people at Disney World and across the country freeing themselves from spellbinding circumstances to pursue their dreams.

This represents a lot of exhausting air, overland, train, and ship travel for a woman who, like all women, can be magnetic in person but must hide her charm when far from her sanctuary and yet still plan well enough to allow for spontaneous openings ~ for new people, new ideas, and insight.

Many benefits come from solo travel, whether you are truly alone or hitched to a flock of other travelers going in the same direction. I developed better radar, found moments when I forgot to guard my heart, formatted a better understanding of the world, and, of course, encountered events that required the intervention of my guardian angels. But they rose to the challenge. Now I know of new places to mention when friends ask, “what’s next?”

Preparation is key to safe, savvy solo travel. It is critical to know how to pack your bags, how to stay ‘invisible’ at times, and when to join in or merely observe. Safe transportation is a must, as well as preparing for emergencies that arise along the way ~ and that includes unexpected situations with a first time roommate as well as mechanical upsets and crises back at home base.

The truth is, I don’t know if I want to reveal poignant details of my life. I currently write stories and poetry for older children, young adults, charity, and myself. I’ve also published stories about amazing circumstances in several local editions and I’m working on a series of novels as well as in a collaborative studio.

So before I invest my time in developing what I did and why and how, I wonder if people are interested in reading these assorted tales? How has travel opened your horizon to new possibilities that help you realize your own dream?

I drew this picture while trapped at a campground outside of Denver on the flat, high plains ~ having just left behind the awesome beauty of Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. There’s a key pad combination lock on that open privy door, and the drawing is entitled “Little Man with a Big Siren.” Ouch…TextrLilMan BigSiren

Give your lovely longings a powerful outcome!

Keep it simple…

♥¨´`’*°♪.
( Creatively`*•.¸_¸ . ♫♥*
`♥♪♫-´¯)  propel your dream! .¸¸.☆

What? Give your dream/goal a name: ________________________________________________

Why? List a powerful reason why you must do this: _______________________________________

With what outcome? What do you want to happen if you accomplish this pursuit? ___________________

What steps or pieces can you break the project into?_______________________________________

Where are you now on this dream’s radar? _______________________________________________

What would you need to do or change to get there? ________________________________________

Who or what can you enlist to help?  __________________________________________________

What dreams have already come true for you?  ___________________________________________

How can achieving those goals help you with this one? ______________________________________

If folks out there tell you that you can’t, simply turn around and say, “Watch me!”  Run through walls…a brick at a time. And watch where you step.  Send a trial balloon ahead to point the way.

What do you think?  Consider the patchwork portraiture of a stalled desire.  Can realizing a noble dream change the world?

‘Yes,’ in all probability.   Is now the time to find your inspiration, catch a wave that’s building, and harness the tide to your own quest?

Of course, if you don’t have one, how can it ever come true?  What is your dream?

Is motivation an issue?  What to do?  Will it take a ‘lifequake’ to rivet attention on this goal?

Perhaps it’s already too late…foaming white water is churning its frothy spray against jagged rocks and the boat is tilting crazily into the sea.  Is there still time to take charge of that dream before it falls into the Great Sargasso Sea of No No’s and Whoas?  Is it time to roll the ball forward?  If the answer is ‘yes’, try asking strategic questions.  Here are a few thoughts:

♥ If I had a magic wand, what would I do?

♥ Yesterday I won the lottery and I’m being handed a check for $20 million. What will I create with it?

♥ If I were to wake tomorrow morning and discover that my deepest, fondest dream has come true, how does it look? What does it sound like, how does it smell and taste?  Describe it in detail. How would I feel in this new scenario?  Is there something I’d change, or is it perfect?

♥ I am about to enter my choice of any theme park in the world.  When I walk through the gates, I will become the one millionth guest.  Cymbals will crash and balloons will fly.  Then arms will embrace me and thrust a microphone in my face.  I have won a prize, anything I want within the park.  What park am I in?  What do I want?  What shall I go see, or do, or have?

♥ My favorite author has just released a fantasy in which I’d like to immerse myself.  The central character is a youth who has just escaped Chaos, by entering a world he’s been told to avoid.  Megalithic vegetation and critters of mythic proportion surround him, at first seeming strange, then providing new structure. While there, he discovers a new venture in which he wishes to become skilled and illustrious, renowned far and wide.  This involves great danger. Chaos is not far away, and the boundaries are weakening.  As this youth, do I go join the fight, endangering all who could benefit from my new role?  Or do I buckle down, put the pedal to the metal, and start learning, practicing, and sharing my new skill?

♥ It is downsizing time in my corporation.  The training office has sent folks out to play the ‘Great Sky God’ game with vulnerable employees who should be considering alternative careers.  After I step blindfolded onto ‘Shaki Islet’, I am thoroughly disoriented, then told that a fire has broken out nearby.  My only hope for survival is to escape the island by water.  Somewhere in the water there are life preservers and a boat.  But there is a catch;  they will only appear to me if I have acquired the necessary tools.  If I am unprepared, I can only try to swim to ‘Safe Harbor’ and begin anew.  If I can’t swim or attract help, might I perish? How can I ensure my safe passage?

♥ If I get off ‘Shaki Islet’ safely, where will I go?  To Comfort Cave, to hide from catastrophe? To Lighthouse Point, to reset my bearings?  To Prosperity Key, to dig in and retool? Or directly to Castaway Bay to enter the new arena without further delay?

Now, bring that very special dream to mind.  What needs to be done to ensure that a toolbox is equipped to snag the life preserver, anchor the tilted boat, and navigate effectively into the particular ‘Safe Harbor’ where this reward waits?  For instance, if the dream is a new job or career, this virtual toolbox probably contains a current resume, a written statement of your objective, and certification of necessary skills.   Would it also be helpful to include a networking and support circle, a compass, experience reminders, and new linkage strategies?  If the dream is a vacation trip, the virtual toolbox will likely contain your research findings, a map or guide book, funds, and transport documents.

What two or three things must you do to realize this special dream? Why do you want this?  There won’t always be a fire to ignite action, but powerful inspiration can serve a similar purpose.

Back to ‘Shaki Islet’, fire is licking the grass near bare toes.  Disoriented from the blindfold, it’s near impossible to know which side of the island is where, or in what direction the water is flowing.  And good heavens, could there be sharks in the water?

What a delight it would be, right now, to hear a boat captain pull up and say, “Give me your hand and step carefully into the boat.  Now then, where would you like me to take you?”

In closing, focus on the significance of the quest, not its overall success.  Then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning to fuel your effort.

Dreams and callings come in all shapes, but none is as special as the one you carry in your own heart.  It can change the world.  Proceed step by step, a thing at a time.  Wait and see, or run through walls.  Catch a wave that is building.  Join a flock of geese flying in your direction.  However you approach the matter, be creative.

Ignite your dreams! .•*¨`*• . .•*¨☆

Next:  Propel your dreams

Beauty is all around us!

“We must all become more aware of the beauty around us!”  ricocheted from the car radio as I drove home a few days ago.

WithCaptivatingout further ado, I bypassed the ‘hood and drove to a nursery where I bought roses…six vertical feet of them! Blossoms bathe us in special sort of beauty all their own.

Earlier on that hot day, there was a quarterly meeting at the studio.   Due to a painful wrist sprain that kept me from creating artwork, I hadn’t seen the other participants in weeks.   Finally, I gathered supplies and headed home with intent to work on my deck. By then I was exhausted from two frantic hours of catch-up conversation and heated discussion.

How many of us have experienced the sneaky way a resolve has of dissolving? My hand is raised.  Feeling deprived of leisure after three days of nonstop social events, signing books, minor league baseball, birthday celebrations, whirlwind cleaning, and meetings, I turned onto my street to plant my roses.

As I neared the house, I suddenly heard the radio blare again:  “We must become aware of the beauty around us!”

Without thinking further, I waved at the darkened, shuttered house and drove through the ‘hood, winding up hills and around curves considering the beauty.  Suddenly I was headed north on a country highway.  “Just a little further,” I pleaded.  “I’m parched.  Where can I sit by the water?  Correction…where can I find big water, not a river or a pond?  Next stop Lake Michigan, please!!!”

Destiny hadn’t tuned in to my dream yet, so I drove back roads toward the only nearby lake of measurable size.  Water had always been important to me.  My father occasionally took us along while tending Michigan waterways and parts of the Great Lakes, but I spent much of childhood far from water.  One highlight was a ride across the Straits of Mackinac on the last ferryboat that ever plied the water before the state built the Mackinac Bridge.  That one trip was enough to light my fire for eternity!

Since the age of six I haven’t lived on a lakeshore where the water was still in existence, as is necessary for those of us born under the dual sign of Pisces.  Fish are magnificent aquatic creatures, aren’t they?   However, they need water as much as air.  Without an oxygenated marine ecosystem they cannot breathe.  And if they are also more than half ‘human’, they cannot manifest their spirit.

We humans have an interesting relationship with water.  We find the eternal receptivity fascinating and the reflection a mirror to the soul.  Moreover, the ever-changing palette of possibility created by water in motion is nourishing to the restless spirit.  Water is, truly, beauty in action.

“If nothing else,” I decided, “I’ll buy ice cream and cruise Lake Drive taking pictures; they last longer.”  It’s true…the water scene does live in my memory.  Then why waste mileage?   For one thing, proximity to water renews life and rejuvenates weary cells. The area had also captured my heart over recent years. I  sold a nearby home to accept an invitation to study with Disney University and reset a relational hot button at a distance.  In short, I moved on.  New horizons are great.  But revisiting our roots strengthens our connection to the past when there is still something to learn from them.  Realizing now that a part of me was left behind in the sudden move, I jerked the wheel.  The car detoured abruptly into our former neighborhood.

Nearing the old homestead, I had a sudden brainstorm.  Until now I had only taken pictures on the fly.  Why not use the video cam?  Oh yes…the neighbors might see me!  Well, to heck with them.  I slid the iPhone camera indicator to video and sailed by with an open window.

Locating the home required two passes.  As I was soon to discover, new owners had painted the brick exterior white.  The cozy hiding spot was revealed by the wraparound boardwalk and multilevel deck I designed and built.  A huge Blue Spruce proudly dominated the street.   My father had dug the seedling from his evergreen nursery after retirement.  I planted it myself.   All these images are captured on my video.  Even though the film is a bit jumpy I can ‘revisit’ home without the haunting sense of place that makes me wish I were still the owner.

Next I drove to the water. The lake was as urban and crowded as ever.  Joggers and bicyclists rimmed the encircling drive as I raised the iPhone again.  Eventually, I found lakeside mansions fit for a water sprite.  The lack of reaction to my filming was surprising.  Instead, people waved and smiled warmly.  ‘For sale’ signs littered the landscape…perhaps they thought I wanted to purchase.

Once again lit, my nautical Pisces spirit led the way.  Driving wasn’t exactly refreshing, though.  That waits for a time when I live and work and love life from a personal studio beside the big water.

While I was puzzling about the best way to tame wild dream dragons, I drove to local dairy for a baby cone.  I had one proviso: I would lick the drippy edge while visiting one last lakeside neighborhood.

Unfortunately, the black cherry and drop-dead-chocolate canisters were empty.  Behind the counter stood a youngster wearing plastic gloves.  “Try the Pistachio.  You’ve eaten the pudding before, right?”

“Nope, I don’t eat pudding.  I’m a health nut. But I like pistachios…they keep well in the freezer.”

Jamming the cone upside-down into one of those little styrofoam cups because he stuffed it with too much ice cream, I wielded a spoon.  Finally the last video clip was done.  I set the odometer and drove home.  Only eight miles separated me from the nearest water.  Back home in drydock, however, my dream to live by the water faded into reality.  It diminished in a deafening facade of busywork, bricks, mortar, and secluded neighbors, and was consumed by the sanctuary of a comfort cave.

The new rose bush fit well in the garage.  Its seven-foot-long branches flippy-flopped all over my face,  though, and I quickly banished it to the deck for pictures before planting.

I stashed groceries in the refrigerator and retrieved some fruit blended with pecans and Pina Colada mix.  After searching for the rum I’d forgotten, I sat outside in the breeze.  “How,” I wondered, do we reposition from comfort cave to seaside bliss?”  At the time I was too lazy to find the compass I designed to navigate creative reinvention.  Instead, I checked the videos.  They were splendid.  Dreaming vicariously may not have directly solved the challenge, but the resulting brainstorm certainly brought the dream closer.

What remained was to refresh the essential aquatic creature within.  Anything with the word ‘water’ helped, like watermelon, waterside, and waterfall.  But something else was missing.

A clue to the missing piece does exist…it is in watercolors, romance, a shady Riviera breeze full of fluttering leaves, and the beautiful image of a sailboat floating beyond the edge of the deck on cool blue azure water so enormous we can’t see the other side.  These images function as dream propellers.  Fueled by their energy we finish the imaginative book series.  We draw the illustrations and make gourmet meals, too, because love is fueling the project. It all sounds so incredibly easy.

If we focus on the outcome as if it already exists and believe, it helps to attract the right circumstances. Belief is an exceptionally powerful form of beauty.  In turn, a realized dream brings out more of the loveliness that is always nearby waiting for recognition.  Beauty is all around us!

Find more ~ follow @DreamSculptr at http://www.facebook.com/pages/DreamSculptr/130834070320694 and www.twitter.com/dreamsculptr

Contributing author CactusRose is at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-CactusRose/231400233547368

If you love Carousel Art and the related Painted Ponies as much as I, you will love this video about Disney’s restoration of the horses on the King Arthur Carousel…

http://www.viddler.com/simple_on_site/5f2e46d8

I fell in love with the carousel and painted pony art form as a child.  Then we moved.  Later, after having children, I rediscovered carousels.  With my career speeding off in other directions, I discovered antique toy auctions. Between work, college, seminars, ‘estate’ management, and rearing teens, I forgot my passion again.

Today I write and explore the forgotten worlds of my dreams, so I’m rediscovering this interest dear to my heart.  Carousel books rest in a case less than three feet from my sleigh bed.  While I am still guilty of moving in scattered directions, I can quickly overview my growing venue of interests with those books and ornaments I’ve collected or received from my fantastic children over the year… including an awesome, intricately detailed musical  carousel from my daughter which I enjoy daily.

Pictures included for your enjoyment are: the Painted Ponies book, a carousel art calendar, an old carousel art shopping guide, and my musical miniature carousel replica .

I started this blog when this video inspired me.  In fact, the Art of Disney has always inspired my creativity.  I will update this item from time to time as I find links to new information. Now I return to the carousel art trail…

If we were all watercolor pencils, we could create great art. Like colored pencils, everything we do leaves a mark, and we can correct most of our mistakes. The most important things in life are what is inside of us as we go through repeated sharpening to make us better throughout life, while submitting to, being held and guided by, the wisest hand of all. Then we create beautiful visions and realize our greatest dreams.

Recently, I joined a group of friends traveling to Las Vegas to see Cirque Du Soleil.  For years I had wanted to see more of  Cirque Du Soleil. I was also fascinated in the time share condo we rented for the week instead of separate hotel rooms. With friends going in the same direction as my ‘dream’, I was only too happy to become a ‘colored pencil’ in the hands of this well-established group as their newbie member.

Once we settled the lodging, air, and minivan, we turned our attention to the specific Cirque events to visit each night as a group.  Facebook was offering closed groups, so we created one and posted each show separately. Eager participants researched online. The plan was to see all of the shows, or as many as possible.  Candidates were Ka, O, Zumanity, Viva: Elvis, Love: the Beatles, and Mystere. Organized conversation flowed until we finalized advance reservations and were on our way!

Or were we? We agreed to meet at the local airport two hours before the late March flight, knowing the ticket counter closed 45 minutes before the flight. One couple was already there when I arrived.  I must say, I was not entirely intact.

I had, in fact, been under stress for some time wondering whether I would be able to keep my travel plans. Why? Well, despite a lifetime of good health, a swollen lump surfaced near my scapula a few weeks earlier, just as the late January “Snowpocalypse of 2011”  hit Michigan with over a foot of snow. Whoopee, right? Not really…it makes a better plot line for your worst nightmare. I had just paid unrecoverable travel expenses, so I waited quietly  to see if it went away, rather than spook family and friends.

For several weeks, doctors sent me from one inconclusive digital test to another, including ultrasound, biopsy, PET scan  and CT. In the end they decided to  ‘explore’, in other words, surgery. I could see myself trying to lift and roll a heavy case through the airports.  Worse – does there always have to be a worse? – they decided to combine two procedures into one more painful hospital visit, rescheduled even closer to my departure.

Without their support I never would have been able to go.  One was rooting hard for the trip to continue on schedule. The other encouraged me to stay in case treatment was needed. Had I listened exclusively to him I would have lost  funds, my friends’ good will, and precious memories. Instead, I listened to my positive thinking daughters encouragement.  “Hang in there, mom, you might be able to go.”  With support from them and my sister, I endured the tests, big scary words, and surgery with nothing more than a rash from the impatience and frustration. I made it!

Steri-stripped together with week-old stitches, my daughter drove me to the airport and waited to roll the big suitcase  while I dragged the smaller overhead case.  Eventually our disabled traveler arrived and claimed the group wheelchair. With cleverly disguised anxiety, we waited for our final friend to arrive with our boarding passes. A mere 20 minutes remained to shutdown by the time we checked luggage, passed security, and fled toward the gate. We were off!

It was great fun. After arriving in Las Vegas airport our ravenous fliers ate Polynesian Kiki burgers at the nearby Bachi Burger. We picked up a few basic groceries and tucked ourselves into the condo’s two bedrooms and living room for some much-needed sleep.

After a hot breakfast of omelets and juice on Monday morning, we  oriented ourselves and set out to explore architecture along the ‘Strip’. Our first stop was valet parking at MGM Grand.  After checking out the CSI Experience and Ka theater, we walked outside to the fascinating 3-story M&M store. Now, those little brightly coated chocolate M&M’s are my favorite treat.  I was careful to leave with only 3 bags of the peanut variety and a souvenir or two.

Next, we drove to the Tower for lunch on a platform revolving 360 degrees a hundred and sixty floors above Las Vegas.  Our cameras worked overtime as we ate one of the best sandwiches I have ever tasted. When we had rotated nearly a complete circle, we spotted the jump site approaching.  Yes, a roof to ground jump site.  Jumpers are anchored by a support line on either side, as they glide rapidly past the windows on the center line and a camera mounted on the outside line snaps a picture.  We were each determined to snap a live picture of the next jumper.  Problem was, the speed at which they descended.  I decided to select video on my iPhone and shoot a moving clip rather than risk snapping a speeding blob.  It worked.  In a split second it was over.  By holding my camera position near the window top, where I knew he would appear first, I caught him, panned downward, and followed as he disappeared toward the ground.

Then we slipped into valet parking at the Treasure Island casino, home of Mystere.  After claiming reserved evening tickets by the required one hour before showtime, we shopped the theater store and looked around for a quick dinner  before the show.  Kahunaville was next to the theatre.  We had a mere 30 minutes from the time we ordered several hors d’ oeuvres until we needed to claim our seats. The food arrived in the nick of time and proved to be a perfect meal before a performance.

By 6:40 pm we were seated for the 7 o’clock showing of Mystere. I was enthralled by my first Cirque Du Soleil performance in Las Vegas from the pre show  until the final moment. Even the comedy relief was great. We will now greet each other charmingly by squeaking “Poppa!” as a current inside joke. Later, we discovered that MGM sold Treasure Island in order to build the City Center at the Aria Resort. New owners reside on the top floor and maintain a proprietary stance on Mystere memorabilia.  It can be purchased only at the Mystere gift shop. Show costumes, music, characters, and acrobatics were magnifique! Even though Mystere is the longest running Cirque show in Las Vegas, it was my inaugural experience. And I was hooked!

The next morning was Tuesday.   We traipsed along with  our condo host to a timeshare sales event.  By the time we left, two of our members had converted, purchased, or otherwise increased their holdings in this versatile community. After some shopping, it was time to dress and find Viva Elvis, a new Cirque du Soleil resident show playing at ARIA Resort & Casino at the Las Vegas CityCenter. I had already decided that Aria architecture was my favorite. Ultra modern styling and reflective materials highlight its slightly out-of-kilter angularity, making it spectacular.  We ate dinner that evening at a Japanese restaurant for about $30. Since I was not very hungry, I chose a soup with chicken for only $8, saving a robust $22 for other fun.

Wednesday and Thursday were my two nights of alone time. To save a few hundred dollars I had decided to see only 4 of the 6 group shows. That was both blessing and mistake. I needed time to figure out how to operate my new camera and write, so it was helpful. But I missed seeing Ka. I now believe I would have enjoyed Ka the most.  Attempting to recoup my error, I bought a DVD about creating the show, and downloaded the soundtrack from iTunes once I reached home. I was beginning to act to like one of my fine watercolor pencils by now; I was culminating my dream by creating a fabulous set of memories and links to new creative experiences that would lead my particular brand of personal creativity into a visionary future.

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