Topping the Misty Spanish Mountains – 159-169/200 Camino Photos


It’s been a little while since my last post in my 100 Spanish Photos series (now 200 Spanish Photos!), but I have much more to share. This section of photos has me traveling from Astorga to Rabanal, then beyond to Molinseca, which was the most challenging part of my Camino.

What do you do when you are walking the Camino de Santiago and it is a rainy day? Well, you walk right on through it, trudging up, up, up the hills. At the crest, you find these makeshift crosses. They are a celebration of sorts, declaring for all: “We made it. Our devotion has brought us thus far, and will take us further still.”

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The hillside is beautiful with purple sage, and quiet mountains.

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In the folds of the mountains lie little Spanish towns.

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And as you walk in the footsteps of pilgrims throughout the ages, a saxophone player fills the land with beauty.

The strains of his song carry for hill after hill, accompanied by birdsong. Messages of love and generosity occur all along the Way.

At the top of a challenging hill, soaked by rain and chilled by cold, I reached the famed Cruz de Ferro, an iron monument sacred for many since Celtic times. The tradition is that you carry a stone with you during the whole Camino, symbolizing something you wish to give up. Then, prayerfully, you place it at the foot of the cross. Thus unburdened, you carry on with your Camino.

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If you are lucky you may see a pilgrim that carries a staff and wears a heavy wool cloak.

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Speaking of the past, atop a lonely hill near Manjarin I visited a handmade outpost occupied by Tomas, who claims to be the last of the Knights Templar. He gives pilgrims a dry bench to rest on, and offers a rather precarious outhouse with a stunning view of the valley below.

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Heading onward to Molinseca I encountered the most difficult challenge of the way – wet slippery slate and large rocks underfoot, both of these made worse by sore feet and general exhaustion. Still, the beauty was undeniable, and I appreciated the vivid colors and grand views.

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The peace and solitude may be glimpsed by this short video, which features a the call of a cuckoo bird.


If you’ve missed any of the photos in this series, feel free to backtrack over here.

Book of Kells Now Free to View Online


Xina Marie Uhl:

Awesome news for medieval history lovers!

Originally posted on The Library of Trinity College Dublin:

MS58_fol_27vThe Library of Trinity College Dublin would like to announce that the Book of Kells in its entirety is now viewable in the Library’s new Digital Collections online repository, provided by the Library’s Digital Resources and Imaging Services.

Direct link to the Book of Kells online

The Book of Kells transparencies, originally captured by Faksimile Verlag, Lucerne, Switzerland in 1990, have recently been rescanned using state of the art imaging technology. These new digital images offer the most accurate high resolution images to date, providing an experience second only to viewing the book in person.

In addition, we would like to direct you to the new iPad app of the Book of Kells, with added functionality and commentary.

Have you seen the new volume on the Book of Kells by Trinity’s Head of Research Collections and Keeper of Manuscripts, Dr Bernard Meehan? It’s been receiving fantastic reviews. Available…

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10 Amazing Reactions to Bad News: The Right Way to Respond to a Friend’s Hardship – By Sky Khan

10 Amazing Reactions to Bad News: The Right Way to Respond to a Friend’s Hardship – By Sky Khan

Xina Marie Uhl:

Lovely things to do when someone in your life is suffering.

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

What to Say to Someone with Cancer

It’s hard to know what to say to someone with cancer. If you’re like most, you blurt an instinctive, “I’m sorry.” Albeit well-intentioned, “I’m sorry” is a sorry substitute for a meaningful connection during a vulnerable time.

Kiki's Leukemia Battle Fund                             Kiki.

Sky Khan knows how to react when receiving bad news. She became an involuntary, repeated “bad news teller” after doctors diagnosed her 4-year-old daughter, Kiki, with leukemia last September.

After hours of face-to-face conversations and challenging phone calls, Sky heard and saw reactions across a spectrum of appropriateness. These firsthand experiences motivated her to reflect on what to say to someone with cancer or facing any sort of life challenge.

Sky compiled her insights into this list to help  others. You can read more about Sky, Kiki, and their family by visiting Kiki’s Leukemia Battle Fund.

10 Amazing Reactions to Bad News: The Right…

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Transformation Through Fire – Simi Valley, California


My little break from my photo series 100 Spanish Photos (now almost to 200) continues for a few more days, it seems. Southern California afforded some great photos when my hiking friend and I visited a spot near Simi Valley that was scorched by wildfire within the last two months. Despite the charcoal smell and barren earth, beauty was present.

The golden hour faded to blue night while spindly branches reached toward the sky.

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The moon shone tiny but silver overhead.

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And an alien lifeform glowed atop a hill.

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Won’t you join me on future adventures? I welcome companionship. Click follow or enter your email in the box on the right to subscribe.



Xina Marie Uhl:

Ah, contentment! What can be better?

Originally posted on SPEAKZEASY:

CONTENTMENT is a mental or emotional state of satisfaction drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind.  It is a state of having accepted one’s situation and is a for of happiness.  Contentment and the pursuit of contentment are a central thread through many philosophical or religious schools across diverse cultures, times and geographies.
Quotes :
(1) Ten poor men sleep in peace on one straw bed, as SAADI sings, but the biggest Empire is too narrow for two Kings. —– William R Alger.
(2) Health is the greatest gift.  Contentment is the greatest wealth.  A trusted friend is the best relative, NIBBANA is the greatest bliss.  —— Gautama Buddha.
Contentment(3) A joyful heart makes a cheerful face.  A sad heart makes a despondent mood.  All the days of a poor person are wretched, but contentment is a feast without end. ——- Rabbi Meir Leibush.
(4) Where…

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870. A hug makes you feel good all day. ~Kathleen Keating


Xina Marie Uhl:

A good reminder for all of us. Hugs are awesome!

Originally posted on Sacred Touches:

A hug delights and warms and charms;
that must be why God gave us arms.
~Author Unknown

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A hug is the perfect gift:
one size fits all, and
nobody minds if you exchange it.
~Irvin Ball

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Love is a circular emotion
that surrounds you, like a hug,
~Jarod Kintz

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One word can end a fight;
One hug can start a friendship;
One smile can being unity;
One person can change your entire life!
~Israelmore Ayivor

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Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. ~Proverbs 4:8  ✝

**images via Pinterest; collages by Natalie

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The Surprising Majesty of San Pedro, California


I am once again taking a little break from my photo series 100 Spanish Photos (now almost to 200) that documents my walk down the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. A good friend took me on an adventure in my back yard – Southern California. In particular, San Pedro. I’d been there a couple of times, once to visit the Battleship Iowa and a few times to take boats around the bay or to Catalina Island, but somehow I had missed these wonderful spots.

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1 Tactic That Will Help You Grow Your Following: Meet and Greet

1 Tactic That Will Help You Grow Your Following: Meet and Greet

Xina Marie Uhl:

I love the idea of meet and greets – as a part time dogsitter I do a lot of them. There’s not as much sniffing and barking in this one, but it’s just as much fun!

Originally posted on Dream Big, Dream Often:

imagesWhat day is it??!!  Meet and Greet Day!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So don’t be selfish, hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags (i.e. reblogging, reblog, meet n greet, link party, etc.), it helps, trust me on this one.
  4. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new bloggers to follow.  This helps also, trust me.
  5. And if you leave a link and don’t follow me, how about ya show ole Danny some love?

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and meet n greet your butts off!

The Reblog post will publish at…

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Amazing Astorga, Spain – 148-158/200 Camino Photos


On April 23rd, 2015, I set out from Villaverde, Spain, on my way to Astorga. The hills, valleys, and red earth, were peaceful.

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So peaceful that I decided to preserve the surroundings with shaky, dizzying video

Up I went to a squatter’s residence at the top of the hill, overlooking Astorga far below. David lives there in joy, peace, and simplicity. Here he is with my Camino friend Sarah.

Sarah and David

He maintains a little snack stand that is run off donations.


On his free time, or during the slow seasons on the Camino, he makes esoteric art like this. He has made a humble home in the lean-to behind the tree on the left for six years.


Also atop a hill is one of the many crosses with mementos cluttering the base.

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In Astorga, a few Euros buys you admission to the cathedral, the museum, and the Gaudi house below.


Inside, it is sacred, colorful, and playful. Signature Gaudi.

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The museum contained intricate, gorgeous illuminated manuscripts.



I could have stared at these manuscripts for hours. I had, instead, to get back to the albergue to wash my clothes and take a shower. A good night’s sleep and I continued on the Camino de Santiago.

If you’ve missed any of the photos in this series, feel free to backtrack over here.