Pictures from Eureka Springs, AR

Went back to Eureka Springs with my friend because I didn’t get enough of the town last time!

We visited a shop that’s located in a house built over Gadd Spring. In the shop you can see how the original cave and spring are built into the house’s design. Very cool.

I took photos of the garden outside.

I love Eureka, but each time I see this one skinny, tall house in my photo, it looks haunted! I’d almost like to buy it, fix up and make it into an artist/writer’s cave.

There’s devils trumpet growing on the buildings, surprise lilies in the park, and a giant tuned windchime where you can play music to your heart’s content.

Also visited the Susan Morrison Gallery. You must not miss this incredible wildlife art when traveling through!

My friend and I ate at FRESH. We fell in love with their balsamic vinegar reduction, which is made at the restaurant. Our server even gave us some in to-go cups. The meal was refreshing and light.

All in all, a perfect day.

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A Road Trip (Updated)

My friend Janice and I decided we’d make a day of road trip fun by heading to Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, AR. Then we’d drive to Eureka Springs for dinner, heading back to Springfield, MO late in the day.

I recommend this as a road trip to anyone in the Springfield area, mostly because it’s a great “round trip” and you get more out of your day making a circle with two stops than the usual trip there and back.

We had some adventures at CB. We had never done all of the trails, so after a picnic lunch on Walker Landing in front of the museum, we decided to do part of the Crystal Bridges trail and then return to see the Andy Warhol/Jamie Wyeth exhibit.

Unfortunately, CB needs to update its pedestrian maps. We thought we could take the trail that ended at the north side of the museum (after about an hour of walking) and get in. The weather being hot and muggy, we thought we’d cool off inside. But at the top of the stairs the entrance was locked. I’m not sure if it’s an employee-only entrance, but we were pretty mad when we realized that not only was there no access from the north side, but the trail that would normally lead us around to the front of the building was closed!

Clearly this was a bad plan on their part not to provide an easy access back to the museum. There was no alternate way other than a mile back in the sweltering heat. After talking to an employee by phone, we realized that we were not getting those doors unlocked and had to just walk on back.

But in spite of this problem, I love Crystal Bridges. Where else will you find such a nice art museum in the Ozarks? It’s a peaceful place…

We did have a good laugh at one exhibit though, because in my opinion, canvas covered with one color of paint is not art (yes, there is one of those on display, currently).

There was a room containing 4 colored fluorescent bulbs vertically fixed in an ordinary light fixture. A bench was placed at the back of the room so that we could, as the exhibit explanation put it, appreciate the color and light. We laughed so much that a museum attendant had to look in on us. Now that I think of it, perhaps laughter was the artist’s intention! I personally believe we could have appreciated the piece more with music and drinks in the room.

However, art is fluid, flexible, and perhaps a lightbulb is art to some people! But I need a daiquiri to appreciate it.

We enjoyed an interactive exhibit in the Andy Warhol section, a yellow room with pink cow pictures on the walls…it had floating helium silver squares that kept circling the room. It seemed the height of the absurd, but it was fun to experience.

Of course CB has a lot of masterworks too. I always appreciate seeing my favorite pieces. Enjoy the pictures, and think of the museum when planning your next road trip! (my apologies that these are taken with my phone, but it’s kind of just to give you a general idea. The museum allows photography, but no flash photography, and these photos are for instructional purpose only!)

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All photos taken at Crystal Bridges Museum.

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update: We ended our day at Eureka Springs with dinner and yummy strawberry daiquiris which we enjoyed on the second story patio of the Basin Park Hotel. Perfect ending for a road trip before the drive back. I recommend the Basin Park restaurant. unfortunately, my phone was ready to die by this time…so here’s a Eureka photo that seems to mesh modern and nostalgic times with a pirate-style lantern:

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Changing the Movie

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As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve struggled with past relationships and situations that have been holding me back from my full potential. Via memory, I was essentially living in a mental cinema where I got to guilt myself on a daily dose of drama.

“If only I’d chosen a different boyfriend. If I had taken this job offer. If I’d not gone to that college…”

I can almost see the film boxes (or ok, the film frame on the screen) with the titles on them.

All this self-blame just fueled my internal uncertainty. I recall one particular relationship where my boundaries were severely busted. I felt, at the time, powerless to change this situation. I thought that I loved and needed him too much. And much like a character in a horror film, I watched myself change! I slowly took on my boyfriend’s values, because I wasn’t strong in my own. Those values were not good ones. I even accepted criticism of myself because, well, of course he must be right, because I feel bad about my choices, how I look, etc–he confirms it, therefore it must be true. Also, when someone’s doing it saying they are trying to help you, it can be pretty confusing if you aren’t sure of yourself!

I can’t understand why I accepted BS like that from him and others! But I’m thinking it’s because I didn’t really trust myself.

I read this many times on other blogs and in books–and watched movies that said “you have to love yourself.” I never got it until now! I think this has to be a conscious choice, and one that a person has to keep reinforcing. You can’t just wake up and be your own best friend after reading an amazing book. It’s a process, and for me it’s been a struggle.

The reward of beginning to REALLY live my life in a conscious manner is that I notice how the feedback I get from others each day is more consistently positive. Although I miss the drama sometimes, I understand now that fear and drama are triggers. And I can opt out. I can choose.

I am changing my “mental movie” now: getting rid of gifts and cards that were props in the drama. Forgiving myself. Learning to make valid choices and accept the responsibility for them.

I don’t want to live in a Telenovela or a horror film! I read an interview by horror author Clive Barker where he discussed how he had a time when horror movies truly bothered him. He says we recall the monsters more than the protagonists. It’s true. Our monsters in the case I’m discussing may not be people who’ve done us wrong: they may be, in fact, situations where we felt powerless.

Sometimes we’ve got to look away from the past and spare the analyzing for a time when we can face it without being afraid of the monsters.


Learning

I’ve been absent from writing for quite a while, I know! So here’s an update on what’s been going on.

The health crisis I went through has prompted me to dig into some emotional issues from the past. I realized that I’d let myself go, by chasing relationships and career dreams. Some of those dreams and relationships were unrealistic or at least….not for me at the time that I was so sure they were.

Neglecting to show myself the love and care and support I needed, I woke up in a hurry when pain began imposing itself during my workday. It’s amazing that I could give so much care to my responsibilities and the people around me, and not take care of myself!

I’ve had to work through lots of emotions, make peace with the past, forgive myself, and generally treat myself better. Quit seeing myself as super girl. Ask for help. Accept help. That last one is hard to do!

I hope to return to writing soon. I’ve got a few ideas…

In the meantime, I’ve been on the trail of promoting/creating advertising for friends, marketing, art and of course, taking time to rest(keep convincing myself the last one is not a crime).

I’m letting go of a tightly-held past to make room in my hands for a healthier future. It’s scary, but I’m ready.

Have you ever been down this road?

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Into the wild…neighborhood

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Took this picture in a neighborhood that actually boasts “Crocodilians on Display.” But it reminded me of Aragorn’s comment (LOTR) when asked where he was taking the hobbits: “Into The Wild.”

Yes, the photo was taken with my phone. I promise better next time. :)


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