Self Care

Finding Peace in a new Perspective

This isn’t a real post, but I recently finished visiting Miriam at Out ‘n About and got distracted. If you haven’t read it yet, here’s a link. Prepare for surprisingly profound animal-inspired wisdom and plenty of grins.


One point she makes that really resonates with me are the surprising relationships that spring from being open to new experiences and unexpected encounters

Image from Out ‘n About


You can almost tell something magical is about to happen…

(Just in case you were confused, I’m the ass in the hat)

Despite my undeniable animal magnetism, its not nearly as easy for me to make meaningful connections with real living people. But when I do, amazing things seem to happen.

This is particularly true in the blogiverse. Seeing so many others sharing the best (and worst) of themselves has taught me how to do the same.

I don’t know about ya’ll, but this blogging thing has made me a different person. I’m not sure if its a better version of me, but I’m having a lot of fun so far, so I’m going to keep at it. And I hope you do too.


Wonder where this journey will lead us…


For real… if you haven’t made it over to Miriam at Out ‘n About yet, what are you waiting for?



  • Reply curioussteph December 14, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Fun pictures, I liked Miriam’s site, and your insights! Interesting how connecting with (non-human) animals can help us feel better, and then makes it easier to transfer to connecting to others of our own species, who can be much more challenging, with their masks and veneers.

    • Reply Gabriel December 14, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      So true Steph! And all-too-often, those masks are scary…

      • Reply curioussteph December 14, 2017 at 2:04 pm

        Scary masks, and even scarier, the stories we make up or attach to them.

      • Reply curioussteph December 14, 2017 at 2:04 pm

        Or as my cat Lucy calls em–Monsterds!

        • Reply Gabriel December 14, 2017 at 2:07 pm

          Ha! Love this – Im going to have to find a way to work this into my daily conversation.

  • Reply Writing to Freedom December 14, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    I love your art at the end of the post Gabe. And kudos for visiting Miriam in person. She seems a nice person who I’ve only visited digitally. Nature always helps me let go of the fears, masks, and troubles, and if I’m lucky return to peace and grace.

    • Reply Gabriel December 14, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      Ahhh I’m sorry I didn’t;t mean to be misleading here. I didn’t meet Miriam in person. Just in the virtual blogosphere.

      But thanks for the compliment of the sketch. This one took FOREVER. and I’m still not thrilled with it;)

      • Reply Writing to Freedom December 14, 2017 at 4:35 pm

        Darn. I was excited for you and a little jealous that you might have popped off to visit a Miriam in Australia!

        • Reply Gabriel December 15, 2017 at 12:33 am

          Australia is definitely on the travel Bucket List.

          • Writing to Freedom December 15, 2017 at 9:08 am

            Me too. Then you can meet Miriam in person along with that cheeky camel. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply December 14, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Thanks for the link! I love when I discover other bloggers through recommendations of bloggers I like and follow. Your painting is beautiful! I don’t think you’ve shared your artwork for a while, and I miss it… you are really talented.

    • Reply Gabriel December 14, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      You’re too kind Janis. Seems like life gets too busy for the side hobbies. But I really do enjoy creating these digital sketches when I get the time.

  • Reply Debbie Harris December 14, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    I love Miriamโ€™s blog and yours too! Blogging can make us better people and I must admit I like the person my blogging makes me. I love meeting new people and reading their thoughts they so kindly share. Your painting is brilliant too by the way.

    • Reply Gabriel December 14, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      Cheers Debbie! And you’re sooo lucky you got to meet Miriam in person.

      • Reply Debbie Harris December 18, 2017 at 4:37 am

        Yes Iโ€™m am so lucky to have met up with the lovely Miriam ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Reply Miriam December 14, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Wow Gabe, this post is so timely for me, for so many reasons. I’ve drafted a post which also touches on these connections you mentioned and the fact that blogging’s changed me ( for the better). I love the painting you created from that photo of mine. I know you said you weren’t completely happy with it, but maybe in that perceived imperfection it’s actually perfect!! Love it and eventually, if it’s okay with you, I’ll reblog this.

    • Reply Gabriel December 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Wow thats great Miriam! And please feel free to reblog – I’m gonna be Famous!!!

      • Reply Miriam December 14, 2017 at 2:39 pm

        Haha, you make me laugh Gabe. You already are! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Reply Miriam December 14, 2017 at 7:52 pm

        Can’t seem to find a reblog button on your site Gabe, wondering the best way to share it.

        • Reply Gabriel December 15, 2017 at 12:36 am

          hehehe I have a self-hosted blog so reflagging takes an extra step. If you don’t already have the “Press this” button available, ere’s the WordPress link that will walk you through the process (it’s pretty straightforward).

          • Miriam December 15, 2017 at 3:03 am

            I’ve just done it. Hopefully all ok.

  • Reply Tara December 14, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Beautiful painting. And it’s all about connection, my friend.

    • Reply Gabriel December 14, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      It really is, Tara – and after-breakfast naps.

      • Reply Tara December 14, 2017 at 2:50 pm

        I’m a fan.

  • Reply D. Wallace Peach December 14, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks for the intro to Miriam and her lessons learned from her animal friends. I agree with you about this blogging adventure, Gabe. It’s so positive compared to much of the ugliness happening in the world. It reminds me every day that there are wonderful people everywhere doing the best they can to live, love, laugh, explore, and grow. That’s pretty darn awesome if you ask me. <3

    • Reply Gabriel December 15, 2017 at 12:29 am

      mmmmm love that. “… live. love, laugh, explore and grow” sounds like the essential ingredients of a balanced blogger diet!

  • Reply ralietravels December 14, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    “[T]he surprising relationships that spring from being open to new experiences and unexpected encounters” — I often think our best experiences have been unexpected.
    I also always enjoy seeing your artwork.

    • Reply Gabriel December 15, 2017 at 12:30 am

      Thats my experience as well. I find that the best ones in life are what happen when my plans and expectations aren’t fulfilled. Cheers to whatever, wherever and whenever!

  • Reply JT Twissel December 14, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    I’m not sure if blogging has made me a different person but it is nice to see the world from different perspectives. Sometimes – when I’m having a spot of writer’s block – I think it’s a bit of misery loves company! ; )

    • Reply Gabriel December 15, 2017 at 12:32 am

      hehehe very true. It’s comforting to know that no matter how bad things seem, theres always someone in the blogiverse that can relate.

  • Reply DailyMusings December 14, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    I had already read Miriam’s post and felt as you do. Awesome post, and she is an awesome person I might add. Glad you are enjoying blogging, I love the connections I have made here.

    • Reply Gabriel December 15, 2017 at 12:33 am

      Yup – we have plenty to be Grateful for.

  • Reply Liesbet December 14, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    If I am completely honest, I have to admit that I like animals better than people. Most of the time. But, thatโ€™s not a bad thing… ๐Ÿ™‚ Magic for sure happens when wildlife encounters take place. My best memories are made that way. And, I love the connections made through blogging as well.

    • Reply Gabriel December 15, 2017 at 12:35 am

      hehehe with a few notable exceptions, I agree that animals are easier to love. But I have yet to meet a critter thats willing to take care of the dirty laundry when I’m feeling the urge to extend my after-breakfast nap – so I guess it’s all about finding balance, right?

  • Reply rugby843 December 14, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Cute pix and I love the painting. Lots of color which I like.

    • Reply Gabriel December 15, 2017 at 12:38 am

      Thanks! This was a challenging sketch too create, and I’m still not thrilled with it. But I’m learning to be OK with these imperfections…

  • Reply A Gypsy's Tale by Brooke Breazeale December 14, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    100% agree, Gabe. I think this community has quite literally saved me over the past year. I can still barely wrap my head around the fact that a year ago I didnโ€™t even know the blogging world existed. It has led to so many unexpected gifts, the main one being the amazing people I have โ€˜met…. a beautiful thing indeed.

    • Reply Gabriel December 15, 2017 at 12:39 am

      I know, right? Its crazy to think of all the relationships (and stories) that have developed in less than a year! It’s exciting to think about what next year will bring!

  • Reply Didi December 14, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Maybe it’s not about the fact it made you a better (or worse) person. It’s about it made you….you. One can”t be completely happy unless he is connected to the fibers of what he really is.
    Maybe through these amazing connections you found those connections in yourself too.

    • Reply Gabriel December 15, 2017 at 12:41 am

      I love this line Didi… “One can’t be completely happy unless he is connected to the fibers of what he really is.” Which reminds me… I better eat more Bran muffins this week (Fiber is an important part of any balanced diet;) )

  • Reply Didi December 15, 2017 at 3:42 am

    I’m glad you see the benefits of good fibers. Enjoy the bran muffins๐Ÿ˜‰ and all that life gives to you.

  • Reply restlessjo December 15, 2017 at 6:22 am

    Fabulous darlin! It’s a pleasure to be part of your blogging world. Love the painting, and Miriam’s a lovely lady. She’s had her share of stuff to bounce back from. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply Gabriel December 15, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      Yours too Jo!

  • Reply the incurable dreamer December 15, 2017 at 7:18 am

    You and Miriam are two of my favourites, Gabe, and I know without a doubt that my life is so much better because of both of you! What a gift this blogging world is. If you let it, it will change you and teach you lessons you didn’t even know you needed. We are a world of misfits, dreamers, teachers, seekers, travellers and it is the most beautiful place to be – wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Thanks for being you, you know, that ass in a hat! HA! As if!

    • Reply Gabriel December 15, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Hehege at least I had the decency to show yaโ€™ll my good side;)

  • Reply Tom Being Tom December 15, 2017 at 7:43 am

    100% with you on the connections thing, Sir Gabe, but I also want to touch on your last multi-sentence paragraph… blogging has absolutely changed me. At times, I wonder if its the right change, but all change elicits wonder, eh?

    What I know is this: as a lifelong seeker of personal evolution, I always strive to be a better version of me. You help us discover ourselves (and, sometimes, vampires) in your journeys, in your pictures, and in your stories. I would like to call for a round of applause for you, and thank you for your promise that you will persist.

    And now, up the stairs, and around the bend, to Out ‘n About I go … ๐Ÿ˜Š

    • Reply Gabriel December 15, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      Hey Tom! This was refrigerator-worthy praise. I totally want to be this guy you describe!

      Seriously though, your words really made my day. Cheers Tom!

  • Reply Almost Iowa December 15, 2017 at 8:06 am

    When I saw the image of the woman and the camel, I thought, “I know that place.” Sure enough, it King’s Creek Station where I rode a camel named “Peaches.” I wonder how she is doing. We had a connection.

    • Reply Gabriel December 15, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      The story behind this image has the makings of 2018โ€™s blockbuster Rom-Com. Maybe Stan could write the script?

  • Reply Ann Coleman December 15, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    I love this post, Gabe! Blogging has changed me as well, made me more willing to voice my opinion and actually helped me get in touch with my true thoughts and feelings. But more than that, it has connected me to a community of people around the world who are smart, funny and supportive….and what’s not to like in that? I’m so glad you’ve discovered Miriam’s blog! We have been following each other’s blogs for a long time, and she is a wonderful writer and a good blogging friend. And I hope I am not being too bold in saying that I am also very grateful to call you a blogging friend as well. You are a terrific writer and a terrific person as well. And without our blogs, we would have never even met!

    • Reply Gabriel December 16, 2017 at 9:18 am

      We’re ABSOLUTELY blogging friends Ann!

  • Reply Wendy December 16, 2017 at 11:16 am

    I love the painting, love the post, love Miriam’s blog and love meeting a great new blog friend! x

  • Reply AniK December 17, 2017 at 3:29 am

    The ass in the hat caption though! You have a great sense of humour ๐Ÿ™‚
    I always say to myself I should blog more often but always fail to do so. This post has got me thinking. If I blog more often, I may get that slice of happiness (and make new discoveries) that I keep searching for? That would be awesome. (Sorry, if my comment made no sense!)

    • Reply Gabriel December 17, 2017 at 4:52 am

      Makes great sense to me. I know that blogging, like exercise, is a great way to keep our minds (and bodies) in shape. But sometimes… I really really really wanna take more after-breakfast naps;)

      • Reply AniK December 17, 2017 at 5:24 am

        after breakfast naps? I totally understand – I love napping!

        • Reply Gabriel December 17, 2017 at 5:29 am

          It’s really an under-appreciated art form;)

          • AniK December 17, 2017 at 6:25 am

  ! I have found a kindred spirit!

  • Reply amindfultravellerblog December 17, 2017 at 3:59 am

    Miriam is such a special person. She has an amazing blog, and this is a great tribute to her Gabe. So thankful to have a great blogging community around me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Sue Dreamwalker December 17, 2017 at 4:04 am

    Lovely to meet you Gabe and I hopped on over from Miriams post to yours, and I agree with you, The blogsphere is an amazing gathering of wonderful friends, that I feel have become my Blog Family.
    Beautiful artwork.. And as an amateur artist myself.. It is Brilliant, loved everything about it.
    Have a Magical Christmas
    And I am sure I will drop by here again..
    Sue ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply Gabriel December 17, 2017 at 4:46 am

      Great to meet you as well Sue. And I’m looking forward to heading over to your place to appreciate a fellow amateur artist at work!

      • Reply Sue Dreamwalker December 18, 2017 at 7:07 am

        Many thanks Gabe, I will look forward to your company.. ๐Ÿ™‚ My blog is not going anywhere.. Sue

  • Reply Di December 17, 2017 at 5:56 am

    Gabe, this is such a lovely post that really hands the attention over to Miriam and her very beautiful blog…
    And itโ€™s really lovely to read that when you connect with someone…itโ€™s a very meaningful interaction. When life is full of these little โ€˜micro momentsโ€™ that Iโ€™m quoting from Barbara Fredrickson, life is very rewarding.
    A kind post Gabe ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿป

  • Reply Deb December 17, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Miri is amazing just as your are Gabe! That painting is gorgeous!! Love animals….they have so much to teach us if we pay attention!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply Gabriel December 19, 2017 at 8:18 am

      Thanks Deb and I agree – I wish some of my profs were critters;)

  • Reply Andrea Stephenson December 18, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    I loved Miriam’s life lessons Gabe, and it’s true that blogging creates connections we never would expect when we begin. Gorgeous painting.

    • Reply Gabriel December 19, 2017 at 8:20 am

      Cheers Andrea.

  • Reply bedlamanddaisies December 18, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I found so many nuggets of truth in Miriam’s post as well! Blogging has changed me too…it’s taught me to reach out of my comfort zone, be little more verbal with new acquaintances, and to stay true to who I am in order to forge real relationships. I love that painting! And the ass in the hat caption took the cake! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply Gabriel December 19, 2017 at 8:28 am

      hehehe and the ass without the hat nearly took my candy bar…

  • Reply anotetohuguette December 18, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    What a beautiful painting, it reminds me of a set of stairs that captured my imagination in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! My day is all the more richer after visiting Miriam’s site and her lovely words have led me to yours…

    • Reply Gabriel December 19, 2017 at 8:30 am

      ooohhhh I headed over to your site to look for a photo of those stairs. If you have a link you would be willing to share here, I’d love to enjoy as well!

      • Reply anotetohuguette December 19, 2017 at 11:21 am

        I’d be happy to share once I figure out how to send it, I’m still learning…

  • Reply inesephoto December 30, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Gabe. I always feel refreshed when I read about animals ๐Ÿ™‚
    Wishing you a happy and fulfilling 2018!

    • Reply Gabriel January 2, 2018 at 8:30 am

      Hey Inese! Thanks and I hope you have a wonderful new year as well.

  • Reply Robin O. Cochran January 3, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    I enjoyed this a lot, Gabe. I didn’t know you had two blogging locations.
    I also am excited to find out about your artistic side. Thanks for your recent comment which brought me here again.
    Animals calm people down, give great company and are able to sense illness and protect us. Smiles, Robin

  • Reply AlexisChateauPR January 6, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Pretty sure it’s a better version, Gabe. Happy to see we can comment again!

    • Reply Gabriel January 6, 2018 at 5:58 pm

      Hey Alexis! Its great to see that you are able to comment again! I worked with the WP happiness engineers, and we weren’t able to come up with a fix. Maybe a recent update fixed the problem.
      Regardless, anything that makes it easier to connect with awesome bloggers makes me happy.

      • Reply AlexisChateauPR January 9, 2018 at 11:03 pm

        Well, I’m still only seeing previews of your post in the WordPress app, but I don’t mind clicking the link to the website. At least I can comment now, like you said! ๐Ÿ™‚

        — Alex

  • Reply roughwighting January 8, 2018 at 5:51 am

    Wait. YOU painted that picture? It’s glorious. And so is this post about animals and what’s inside us and how we’ve gained by blogging. I certainly have gained so much more insight into the world, and more importantly, into the incredible loving caring and kind people who are traveling through this life together.

    • Reply Gabriel January 8, 2018 at 7:05 am

      Thanks so much for the compliment Pam. Digital painting is a great form of art therapy for me, and its a double bonus to find others who enjoy as well.

      Now I’ve just got to figure this writing thing out…

  • Reply Amy January 8, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Love this painting! Blogging has taught me how fun it is to sharing and connect with people in the blogosphere.
    Great post, Gabe!

    • Reply Gabriel January 8, 2018 at 8:09 am

      Cheers Amy – great to connect with you in the blogosphere as well!

      • Reply Amy January 8, 2018 at 8:10 am

        Same here, Gabe! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Val Boyko January 11, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks for the link and the smiles Gabe. I do love your artwork. It really sings ๐Ÿ’›

    • Reply Gabriel January 11, 2018 at 6:21 pm

      Thanks Val!

  • Reply Jay January 23, 2018 at 7:48 am

    Happy new year! Hope you’re doing well.

  • Reply Otto von Mรผnchow February 22, 2018 at 9:23 am

    I agree with you, blogging is both fun and transforming. And yes, Miriam’s blog is very inspiring. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply candidkay February 22, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Well, I can honestly say I’m so glad we stumbled into each other’s blogs, Gabe. I look forward to your posts and your comments always make me laugh or smile.

  • Reply AlexisChateauPR March 13, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    No new posts lately? What’s going on? O_O

  • Reply Dave Ply October 10, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Hey Gabe! You still alive? Enquiring minds want to know.

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