Colleen Hannegan

Finding the words....and the perfect pair of glasses.

Change of venue.

Colleen HanneganComment

There are no pixs to tell this short story. Because mostly it's about food and fun and I'd prefer you'd use your imagination than have to look at one more photo of someone's plate of food.

If you follow me on FB you can see some nice shots of the Anza-Borrego desert and my happiness at spending a day and a night out there getting wowed by the amazing landscape and all the elements that greeted us for our hike and stay over. 

If you've never been and you would enjoy desert hiking in the spring, AB is a must. Nothing out there but everything wonderful about natural beauty, unspoiled by sprawling suburbia. You drive through town in less than two minutes. Some nice places to eat and stay and this was a treat  also. The desert beauty is quite stunning in its own very special way.

But my post here is about the simple pleasure of getting away from routines and work and ruts, seeing something new and getting recharged and wowed by nature because nature knows what we need and when and how to break off our crusty shells and open us up like brand new kids all over again.

Nature humbles us with its powerful views, scents, plant life, rock formations, dramatic  and undulating forms that relate to us on such a deep level, trying to describe the feeling is inadequate. Nature's grandeur was here before us, will be here after, it knows all and tells us everything we need to know and it waits to be discovered and appreciates our company if we come to it with respect and an open heartedness. We give to nature in return if we can experience it in this way. 

The next morning as we got ready to leave, my husband suggested heading home the back way out of town, through the Yaqui Pass (another beautiful landscape) and into the town of Julian for breakfast. Julian is known for its apple pie and a stop off for Pacific Crest Trail hikers. 

Meeting interesting new  people along with new places is especially appealing to me. In Julian, we discovered Soups and Such Cafe for breakfast. The ambiance inside was delightful as soon as we entered. Our waitress Beatriz was sweet and full of smiles. She seemed genuinely happy to meet us.

I'm a breakfast snob away from home. But this time our delicious egg and potato breakfast was made so perfectly, I had to meet the owner/chef and thank him personally.

Ibrahin was born in Argentina and fed well by his grandmother, he explained. His friendly face and fab smile expressed well, his passion for his cooking and his cafe. HIs wife Lani is a florist and sells her bouquets there.   They met in NYC, got married and moved to Julian where Lani grew up. Ibrahin explained he'd been so spoiled by his grandmother's fabulous cooking that he had her teach him long distance how to prepare food as she did. 

"When people order I have to explain at times to relax and enjoy, because I don't hurry in my cooking. Everything is prepared when ordered." I told him his over-easy eggs were the best eggs I'd ever eaten away from home. The coffee, the bread, the cafe easy- listening music playing, and the local art that decorated the walls created a special place to put on our list of places to return and people we'd love to see again.

"If you enjoyed his breakfast, wait until you try his lunches!" our waitress said as we said our thanks and goodbyes.

Getaways don't have to be faraways. Two hours from home and a new nature experience and Ibrahin were there waiting to be discovered. If you just take a drive and look for a change of venue, things can shift in such a positive light.








Some things never change~

FeaturedColleen HanneganComment

It's springtime in Southern California. I know this for two reasons. I'm feeling better energized each morning and I want to make pretty in my container garden.

Seasons here are scant imitations of the dramatic seasons in the eastern and northern states. This year the southern states were besieged by hefty weather storms also, and caught many by surprise with the cold temps and snow. I admire the hearty souls who know how to drive and survive in snow and ice conditions. But I'm terribly grateful  I live right there. The one winter I lived in Seattle, the snow  showed up one afternoon and I had heart palpitations having to drive my car up a slippery slope on the way home from work.

I'm strong in many ways unique to my own personality and ways of being in this world. Living in one digit climate is not one of them. For those who do live where chains are required, I admire you very much for your stamina.


The saying, "The only thing constant, is change", is true for so many turns in our lives. But as I consider working with my hands in soil, and feeling renewal of spring's song and the rhythm my body tunes into these mornings, I realize nature can be counted on to follow it's course around the sun. And we follow right along with it. 

There's a time to plant and a time to sow. And what we choose to plant and sow is always the change. After 62 winters I finally understand. Springtime will always return and I will always want to dig right in.

The happiness that comes to me in welcoming spring and planting beauty to surround me every morning keeps me grounded. 

And that will never change.

 Ready for Spring!

Ready for Spring!





It appears it's more difficult to care for others in front of you~~~

societyColleen HanneganComment

Yesterday morning I was waiting to turn right at an intersection. Four cars in front of me.          Red light.... green light.

But as the light turned green, an old man was in the crosswalk across the four lanes headed our way. In a wheelchair. He was moving fairly quickly, hands to wheels, spinning as fast as he could to get to this side in his allotted time.

The first car at the turn was too impatient to wait for the man to wheel to the curb; he(or she) turned right. Granted the old guy had three more lanes to cross to get closer to us, but he was moving fast, he was easily visible, the law says WAIT and it was an old timer in a wheelchair!


Second car up, floors it and takes his right. "No!", I said out loud to my passenger husband. Not that I haven't seen this before. But the next moment, Mr. Wheelchair was really close and moving fast in the closer half of the crosswalk if that makes you feel more justified in waiting until he actually gets across safely to the sidewalk.

Third car in line.......yes.....steps on the gas, too and hurries a right turn in front of our handicapped, old man, wheeling as fast as he can, pedestrian, in a cross walk, with his green go signal, hoping to get to the other side and live though the afternoon. 

It's not necessary for me to repeat my  profane words I screamed to describe my horror at watching car #4 go ahead and turn right too, pretty much saying "fuck you" to the old man, in a wheelchair, in a crosswalk, expecting the proper lights, laws and drivers to let him make it across the street. Now he's so close I'm thinking OMG is he going to make it or is he going to get run over? Who will save him? 

I'm next in line and the still wheel'in old timer looks up at me, shaking his head and waves me through, too. I don't move. I wait. He keeps waving. No, I shake my head. No way. He wheels up to the sidewalk and moves on. 

I'm so disgusted with humanity at that moment. So many cars, so close, all willing to not respect this man trying to get through the crosswalk.  I've seen slow walkers on cell phones who don't give a crap anyone is waiting for them to get through the crosswalk. Yeah, I understand a driver's impatience with that. Still, chill out and follow the law. 

I thought about all the bad things that happen to people we don't know far from where we live, yet we share sympathies, donate relief funds, send messages of prayer and support.  It doesn't mean anything if we can't find patience, kindness, thoughtfulness, and 10 seconds in our self important lives to let an old man in a wheelchair, or anyone else get to the other side of the street and not fear getting run over. Shame on you.

Shame. Shame. Shame.




Looking for the Pot of Gold.

TravelColleen HanneganComment

I am not an easy traveler. Oh I talk about where I want to travel and how I want to get there and what I'd love to see and how long I'd want to stay; often. I dream of seeing faraway landscapes and towering natural skyscrapers that allow us to stand before them in awe and remind ourselves how majestic this world is and how small and insignificant we stand before them.

Others travel where I wish to go, and I see the beautiful places vicariously through their photos and wonder why I don't travel more often.

And here's the truth. I tend to travel more to deep and dark and miraculously mystical places in my mind, in my early morning musings, in my spiritual readings and meditations, than to physical places on a man made map. I've been drawn to the soul maps within; they are my quiet places I long to wander and discover secrets and languages so old and full of mystery, one cannot so easily decipher. But I try. 

The other part of the truth for me is..... I'm more hesitant to travel in person, by plane, auto or boat because that unknown causes me much more anxiety than the inner travels I prefer.

What used to happen when I committed to a physical travel adventure, I'd come down with some malady that either caused me to cancel the trip or made me sick while I was in the middle of the trip. On my adventure to Italy with my daughter Leah in 2006, the night before we left, I got a cramp in my neck that stayed with me the entire 10 days we were away. Too bad I remember the pain I was in more than I remember the joys of walking through the duomo in Milano or taking a bus ride into the gorgeous countryside outside Firenze. Stress. Being in the middle of a divorce battle didn't help. But I think more than facing down Mr. Meany in court, I was afraid of leaving home ( my new cozy apartment) and all its familiarity and certainty. 

Not long after,  I took a trip to meet my sister in Reno for a 10k adventure and came down with strept throat as soon as I arrived. Trips planned then frequently cancelled. The list of physical freak outs before trips away from home endured for about ten years until I decided to trick my mind into looking at physical travel as a buried treasure map.

In my mind I saw a buried treasure map, all aged and yellowed with corners curled. Mountain ranges, desert valleys, rivers curling like snakes along the trails. And there, at some spot marked with a big yellow X, was where I would find my pot of gold.

 Pot of gold.

Pot of gold.

I told myself my pot of gold was waiting for me on my future trips. It could appear as an interesting person I'd meet, a beautiful vista I'd see, an incredible meal I'd eat, a wrong turn that would become a right turn into an exciting drive along some beautiful spot in nature. The pot of gold was waiting for me to discover it. But only if I bravely and fearlessly ventured out to find it. And to be open to when and where it would present itself.

That's how I became less afraid of physical travel, by creating my own magic map to my pot of gold. It's worked nicely since then.

So on our road trip last week to Susanville in northern California to ride  mountain biking trails, here stood my pot of gold in this majestic old oak tree on a quiet street near our B&B. My husband and I were out for an evening stroll after dinner, wandering the local neighborhood before dark.

We turned the corner just as sunset made its way through the autumn leaves of this beauty and deep blue day was surrendering to early night. If you'd seen me, I was kneeling in the dirt before this "pot of gold" worshiping its magnificence and taking a few closeups with my iphone of the sunset performance and the mirroring wonder of that moment.

POG as one.jpg

The bark was the darkest black I'd seen, so maybe it wasn't an oak tree. The contrast in its dark and bright and luminescent shine above was a work of nature art. I'm known as a tree lover. I listen to trees and speak to trees on my frequent walks and rides into nature places. For me this tree represented a happy life being grounded in the earth for sustenance while reaching skyward to share its beauty in reflecting the sun. 

As my husband and I both stood there appreciating its glow and grandeur, I moved closer and realized it was one big base, yet spreading out as two. 

Celebrating our wedding anniversary on this adventure made this pot of gold a special gift for both of us.

Our enticing, beautiful planet Earth is here for us to wonder, to wander and to be wowed by its richness, our physical connection it it and its sacred specialness. Here we live and here we are sure to know its treasures waiting to be discovered around the corners of our everyday lives.

 Two parts of a whole.

Two parts of a whole.

Sky Messages.

SpiritColleen HanneganComment

I can't always interpret, exactly, what I know when I feel a message coming to me from out there. There's this sort of thought cessation, or better said a yielding of random thoughts  before I sense it. Like the singing bird's silence just before the earth shakes. It feels like my higher Self reaches for the chalkboard eraser and clears away the old stuff and nudges me to pay attention. No words, just feelings. Get ready. 

Just before the morning light changed into a glowing golden yellow though my entire upstairs bedroom window, I'd opened my eyes and awoke with a feeling that I should pay attention to the morning sky. Being a morning person, and often tuning in to the magic hour of dawn, I find my greatest peace and silent seductive pull of Spirit at this time.  I reached for my eyeglasses and stood up to peer over the half opened window blinds. Facing east, the passing clouds and blue and yellows were dancing across the sky as the sun made its way up.

The light was different, coming into my room. I looked over at my husband and said, "The light is so unusual, it's making everything golden in here!" 

I left the upstairs bedroom to see how the sun was playing out across the rest of the sky from the back of the house. That's when I saw a section of rainbow behind our home. The sky was showing off with bright colors and clouds and I seemed to be the only one up on this Sunday morning last week. 


I grabbed my iPhone and walked out front, still in my nightgown. My photo barely captured the immensity of the rainbow, it's intensity of bright colors and then a double rainbow appeared, which I captured on video. It was so silently amazing.

The biggest and closest rainbow I've experienced thus far. No neighbors were outside. It was all I could do to keep myself from knocking on their doors at 7am to have them get a look. We don't know each other well so seeing me standing at their front door in my nightie would have been weird to say the least;  a more lasting impression than any rainbow.

Besides, this was my rainbow and it was perfectly fine after all that I enjoyed it and had encouraged my husband to get outside for a quick look before it washed itself away. 

Others interpret their own messages into what it means when you see a rainbow, especially a double rainbow. A friend asked, "Did you make two wishes?" No. I never thought of that.

I just followed the glow.