Arizona Landscape (Photo by B. Goodjoin)

In October, my family and I traveled to Tucson, AZ for a few days of vacation and visiting friends. We enjoyed the flights to get there and had a chance to explore the area (above and below ground). Arizona is a place with a fascinating history from the Buffalo Soldiers, to Wyatt Earp and the Trail of tears. It’s of place of mountains and desert land, Indian reservations, cities and dreams. A place of riches and poverty.

Exploring Underground Cavern
(Photo by L. Weymouth)

I never imagined I would be going caving, but due to “peer pressure from my wonderful children, that’s exactly what I ended up doing. Climbing and crawling through tight areas served to remind me that I really need lose a few pounds and exercise more. It was quite an adventure. As I looked up towards the ceiling of the cave, I hoped that the hundreds of thousands of pounds of rock would continue to stay in place. “Please God, no earthquakes right now!” I prayed and my children laughed…nervously and told me to “shut up.” I was spoiling the fun. Yes, I did take a big breath of air when we made our way to the surface. Would I do that again? Yes. It was exhilarating!

Giraffes at the Pheonix Zoo

My grandson’s favorite part of our stay was the zoo. I think it is his goal to visit every zoo in the United States–maybe even the world. I have to admit that compared to the zoo in the city where we live, most places we have traveled to have more expansive areas for their animal inhabitants to roam and live. Tucson has the Reid Park Zoo, but these photos were taken at the zoo in Pheonix, AZ.

According to what I read, the Pheonix Zoo is the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in the US. It was founded by the Maytag family.

No matter where I go, I always travel with a camera and a notebook. Writing and photography are my passions, and I enjoy the inspiration that comes from new sights and meeting new people along this journey of life. My favorite times of day–early mornings and the evening sunsets…with a cup of hot tea or coffee–stirred–not shaken ūüėČ

On the evening this photo was taken, I was introduced to a poisonous caterpillar and told to look out for rattlers, so I picked a place sit where I had a clear view of the area around me. My son, Jay, kept an eye on me to make sure I didn’t try to bring any new pets home. Usually I am the one to rescue turtles, frogs and lizards, but creepy crawlers that are poisonous are a little out of my league!

My poem Arizona Sunsets was born here…Thank you to my daughter (L. W.) for the photo of me at work.

The kids are ready to hop another plane or train for another escapade, and I encourage them not to be afraid, just to go for it. Wherever you go, take time to learn some of the history of the place and enjoy doing new things. Whether you travel by car, plane, helicopter, train or hot air balloon, it’s always nice to have friends or family to travel with, but if you don’t, join a travel group or “go it alone”. The world is bigger than the hometown or state in which we were born, so expand your horizons…

Flying higher than the clouds, yet I still look up to pray–B. Goodjoin


Young bucks and does in a herd of mule deer on a beautiful late spring afternoon.
(Photo from iStock (royalty free)

The angels melt into existence from the dark of the trees, quietly grazing on grass and leaves.
They move (wingless) on silent feet, as light as feathers in the gloom of eve.
The angels of the wood look at me with the darkest of eyes. Spiritually prancing in the light of the moon . . .from a star-filled endless sky…
One crowned with antlers, standing a head above all, whispers a blessing to me . . .
With raised hands, I thank the blessed Holy Trinity!
In awe of the angels power–I behold their amazing grace.
They melt back into the wood, leaving silence in their place,
Following a trail only they can see, again, I thank the heavens for the peace they leave with me . . .


A Poem of Origin. A Poem of Praise

Black swan in pond (photo by B. Goodjoin)

I am the dark coffee that brews early in the morning

Before the break of day.

5 feet 2 inches of time ticking, ticking, ticking that

Loud tick-tock of the clock as the

Alarm readies to sound the

Changing of seasons from summer to fall.

Like a chameleon of form, I can soar to heights

Far above the clouds and

Lick the snow-capped mountain peaks.

I morph into the lowest depths of earth and tend the

Flow of Nature ( Photo by B. Goodjoin)

Jewels that glitter and grow in the depths of my soul.

…And still I rise as a stream flowing into a running creek

that merges into an endless ocean of blue . . .

 an ocean that gives birth to hurricanes with the

Ever-watching eye of peace that leaves

Calamity in its wake.

 I am amazing.

Sun-Kissed Soles (Photo by B. Goodjoin)

His Glory

Every morning of my life I awaken to the sounds and sight of God’s glory, the first thing being the song of birds outside my window (rain or shine).

After I am up, the window coverings are opened, allowing in the starlight, or moonlight . . . then the rising sun. If clouds are overhead, there is still the soft light of day.

The greenery outside, either stands still and upright welcoming greatness, or does a praise dance accompanied by the winds. A dance that includes the waving of branches (hands), the swaying of stems or trunks (bodies); the whisper of air through branches (voice) extolling the hallelujahs that are due.

Every living creature that is blessed to do so, moves, by the power of the holy spirit. Whether one is a believer or an atheist the scriptures proclaim, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD, every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.'”

The mountains of Ashville, NC (photo credit: B. Goodjoin)


Rising long before the sun, I opened the blinds covering the windows; I unlocked the front door and went outside. It was cold and dark, except for the occasional lights of random cars passing by. I felt a breeze–smelled the odor of rain on the way. Rain would start falling in less than 15 minutes was my guestimate. I smiled.

According to my husband, I have an uncanny way of sensing the time of events, like rain or snow, illness, and phone calls (telephone telepathy) if you will. It comes from years of observation, I believe. Practicing AWARENESS of sound and smell. Noticing that people have patterns of action that are hard to break. It’s all about observation.

Take a moment just to sit still and feel what your internal body and mind are experiencing. Notice the temperature, the sounds your body makes, the rate at which you breath, the sounds in your environment.

Use your sense of hearing, sight, taste, smell, and touch to do more that just indulge in things that bring you pleasure. When is the last time you actually sat quietly and listened to a person–looking into their eyes–noticing how their breathing changes with different emotions, hearing their heartbeat, empathizing, and realizing that you are one spirit even though you are not the same physical body…


Peeping through the blinds of the living room window, I see the snow on the ground.  This photo was taken during the snow of January 2018. I  remember being so glad that I had heat, and if the power should happen to fail, I had the fireplace as a second source of heat.

This morning (December 2018)¬† we have a forecast of possible snow for the weekend.¬† I awakened at 1:30 a.m. and felt the cold on the tip of my nose. I wrapped the blanket around me to ward off the cold as I scampered to adjust the thermostat on the wall.¬† The child¬† “inside” is looking forward to enough snow to play in…The adult me knows that the beauty of snow has an ugly side. Snow is¬† a dangerous thing for those¬† who are not prepared for it do to, ability, income, and homelessness.

I am a big believer in  donating to shelters, Red Cross,  and to other causes that are supposed to help the needy.  My husband and I help people directly, because as you know, there are always people who will be left out for one reason or another.  These days, we,  never know when WE may be on the receiving end of needing help.

The blessings of abundance are many times taken for granted…until they are gone.¬† Every year, there are people all over the world (USA included) who lose homes and possessions to fire, flood, landslides, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other major events. These people will find themselves standing in line for help.¬† As we know, insurance agencies¬† do not cover everything, IF they will even help at all (loopholes).¬† So all we really have is each other.

ALL WE REALLY HAVE IS EACH OTHER!¬† Regardless of status, ethnicity, nationality, political standing,¬† or whatever system is used to classify people, all we really have is…each other.

In my blog archives (September 28, 2017) I wrote a poem titled “STANDING IN LINE”. It is as true today as it was then.¬† Take a moment to read it.¬† Thank you!








Fall! The season of changing leaves and cooler weather, and Thanksgiving.  I love the look and smell of Fall!  Here in SC the leaves have began the  ritual of changing color.  The mornings and evenings are very cool, and the days are just gorgeous.   Great for longs walks, and playing outside.

What does fall smell like?  It smells fresh and cool in the mornings as I enjoy my hot tea on the back porch.

What does fall sound like? Sometimes I wrap myself in a blanket as I enjoy the early morning peace of glistening stars and chirping insects and croaking frogs.¬† The birds start their first songs of the day before sunrise. I can hear the sounds of automobiles in the distance–sometimes the deep rumble of trucks on the highway.¬† Often I hear the engines of airplanes as their blinking lights cross the sky.

What does fall feel like? It feels like love.¬† Sometimes cold, sometimes hot. Usually refreshing, even when its raining.¬† The first frost is invigorating. It’s a time of warning to prepare for the winter that is sure to come.

What does fall look like? It looks like the rainbow in the sky dripped color into nature. The trees adorn themselves in gay colors and as the leaves age, turn brown and fall, they look like rain, only bigger and more colorful–¬† Of course, the evergreens are always green…just to remind us that spring and summer are just a few short months away.

Fall is the perfect time to slow down, enjoy the beauty of nature, and enjoy time with family and friends over dinner.



As if he didn’t know already, my husband married a TRUE nature lover when he married me!¬† I have spent the summer indulging in my favorite past-times of writing and photography, with a little painting on the side.

A common question I heard asked this summer was, “Where are the bees?”¬† Well, in answer to that question, the bees were at my house, along with butterflies, birds, and a plethora of baby animals.

I was totally excited to begin and finish another project.¬† That was to record my first official “spoken word” collection of poetry.¬† I am in the process of shopping it for airplay on specific programs and publishing my 2nd book!¬† Thankful,¬†is how I would best describe myself, right now, and BLESSED to have people around (family and friends) who are supportive and encouraging…‚Ķ.





The month of May has come and almost gone (today is May 31).    My art supplies and notebooks  have been replenished and I am waiting for my new camera.

I am so blessed to be able to indulge in creativity and write, draw, and paint over the next few weeks.¬† The family and I have a couple of travel dates scheduled, but for the most part I will be relaxing with my grandson underfoot and at my side. He is my “assistant photographer”, co-painter, book-worm, co-writer, and advisor on all things in the game world.

We treasure each moment and season as the family grows and changes over the years. Remembering those we have lost, as we love those we gain and embrace them into the family.  Consider the things and traditions that your family holds dear and make it a point to bring the generations together, because we all can learn from one another.