Wilderness — A Meditation

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Surreal Photos Of Feminine Bodies Expose The Many Roles Women Play (NSFW)
Salvaterra's photographs in today's Huffington Post caught my attention immediately.  And this particular photo will stay with me for a very long time.  The metaphor is overwhelming, a perfect statement of my Australian friend, Thea Gaia's, experience with the church.  I suspect it is a perfect metaphor for most women who find themselves mesmerized by the church in almost every main stream religious practice. It makes me very sad to realize one more time the loss women have experienced in their spiritual world today. I had to share.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Too Many Books

Love it, love it love it, love it....
Don't you ever be caught telling me what to think! Asshat!!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Life Will Break You - Favorite Literary Quotes #4

"Wilderness, my home on the planet, provides a space in which acceptance of self is not only a challenge but an accomplished fact. "
available on Amazon kindle and

Monday, August 25, 2014

Take Me Home, Country Road, to the Place I Belong
Nope, not West Virginia.  Brisbane is the place where today I belong.  Prairie mist has encompassed our almost ready for harvest for the past two days.  I'm ready for sunshine and shadow. I'm ready for open doors and windows.  Even at the end of a southern hemisphere winter, I'm ready for a fresh breeze to wend its way through the rooms of my home.  And here on the Nordacotah prairie seven miles from the Canadian border, the stiff breeze brings rain to my counter tops.  I have to keep the windows securely fastened.

So, instead, I'll share a couple of photos of my favorite spot in Queensland, in Brisbane, in the city beside Morton Bay, the playful, energetic, smiling face of eastern Australia.  And, I'll pretend I can open my front door and like the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I'll step on through to my second home on the planet.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Free -Free -Free Read to Your Hearts Content for Free

Jennifer Krichbaum runs this site on which readers can find a massive list of free fiction and non-fiction on line.  The list above is for 'world travel'. However, if you click Home on Jennifer's web site, the address of which is also above, you will find a vast array of titles from which to choose. adventures from Mexico, Ecuador, Norway, , England, Australia, China, Malaya, South Africa, Romania, Ireland, West Africa and a slew of other parts of the globe.  Enjoy


A North Dakota prairie winter tale

Available at

Prairie Rainstorm

Early morning prairie thunderstorms ought to excite, ought to worry, ought to change the atmosphere in our cozy cottage, but this morning the overcast came about two hours after daylight and moved with alacrity to the east.

Instead of creating a sense of doom, the heavy skies bring a sense of comfort.  I have thought this morning about a loss of electricity.  I have disconnected my laptop from the major power source in our household.  I did make another cup of coffee in case the power is affected and our espresso machine is turned off at the source.

But, I love the rain even though I can imagine the farmers in our neighborhood, whose wheat, canola, flax, oats, and barley are almost ready for harvest probably prefer dry weather at this time of year. Tomorrow the grass will have grown another half inch if the sun shines later this afternoon.  The mowers will be ought, buzzing throughout the little city we call home to shorten the green lawns which provides a home for mosquitoes.

But for now, the Aussie bloke is humming as he researches new pipe fittings and other gear to renew the infrastructure of town. His desk top computer is attached to a major implement that will interrupt any surge in electrical service to the house.  My coffee is warm and tasty.  And my eyes grow heavy with the thought of an early morning 'second nap'.

Falling water relaxes. Rain makes me sleepy. Life is good until or unless the 'lightening' that is ever so close wakes my nervous system and keeps me alert.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

North Dakota — Winter 2011

The worst storms in over twenty-five years lingered in their half-acre in the winter of 2010-2011.  The rainstorms of spring 2011 filled the lake to within twenty feet of the house.  Sump pumps worked 24/7 to pull out the ground water beneath their basement. During spring planting, behemoths of the fields, giant tractors, cultivators, and seeders with farmers in the cabs slid down into wind-rows, and sank four or five feet into the clay bottoms beneath the shallow topsoil.  No vehicles could pull them out.  Patience was the mantra of the day.
And then on May first the warmth disappeared and a gigantic storm rolled in off the Bay of Alaska dropping huge feet of snow on mountain tops and still had enough moisture when it met the warm uplifting Gulf of California stream of air to leave six feet of snow powered by winds up to ninety miles per hour on northwestern North Dakota.
There the northern plains sat in the middle of spring with no electricity.  The wet ground followed by the extreme wind conditions of the pulsating storm activity pulled the electricity poles loose from the clay-based soil like a seven year old pulling a loose front tooth.  The ground was so soggy that the huge electrical-line equipment, driven by the best electrical linemen in the industry, bogged as soon as they left the roadside. Seventy heavy duty repair vehicles lay stranded up to their knees in mud surrounded by puddles of water on which mallards delightedly ducked beneath the surface to feed and Canada geese trundled on the upper quarter of huge wheel-wells watching linemen attempt to repair what intrepid men could not reach.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Readers and Other Travelers of the Web Who Stop In Regularly

American in Oz is very fortunate to have readers from around the globe.  Welcome and thank you for stopping in. In the past day, these are the countries from which folks have clicked into American In Oz. 

Russia             104 hits 
United States    56 hits
Netherlands      19 hits
China                 8 hits
Chile                  4 hits
France                2 hits
Poland                2 hits 

I am fortunate to have you as an audience for the posts included here. I would, however,  like  to bring to your  attention another blog associated with this one, which is located at

This second blog is devoted to marketing Sierra Sunrise: A Travel Adventure. Slowly but very surely pictures of all the locations in which various scenes from Sierra Sunrise take place are being added to that blog.  It is essentially a photo shoot of the incredibly beautiful settings of Demi's story.

I would like to invite you to stop in and take a look and to comment on what you like and would like to see more of in the comments section at the bottom of each post. 

Currently, photos are included of parts of the John Muir Trail in the eastern Sierra Nevada of California, the  real town on which Demi's Mereview  is based, the cabin in which chapter 4 takes place, Evolution Valley on the famous Sierra Crest Trail.  Each day a new location will be highlighted.  Please do stop in.  You may well enjoy the beauty of the high Sierra and eventually the photos of the other amazing travel spots that background Demi in her journeys.

Of course, it would also be wonderful if you were to take a look at the first  free 20% of Sierra Sunrise and maybe of the entire manuscript which is available for download as a Pdf. mobi or other file at Smashwords and/or Amazon kindle for $3.99



Evolution Valley

Evolution Valley — One of California's Sierra Nevada most exquisite views. In August a meandering stream flows the length of the valley, which unlike the many glacier carved valleys is broad, sweeping and mesmerizing.  The granite ridgelines on either side of the valley give way to stands of ponderosa, white fir and grass, grass grass.

After descending Muir Pass along the Pacific Crest Trail, one trundles down hill for two thousand feet to this respite from granite crags and stoney trails, steps, steps, and more steps past Muir Lake, around the ridgeline and finally one reaches the grassy meadow.

Relief to find myself surrounded by the beauty that hung like an apparition before me for hours as I descended, my body took over and sat me on the edge of this loveliness.  Tears streamed. I was home. I was safe. I had successfully made the long trek.  My body cried with joy. My mind determined to stay forever.

Here is the address of another blog that celebrates wilderness.  I am impressed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sierra Sunrise: A Travel Adventure

Sierra Sunrise: A Travel Adventure

Bottom of Form
In this romance novel, an avid backpacker finds the true meaning of her existence, and overcomes her past, while taking on new experiences during her retirement.
Demi, a divorced mother and schoolteacher for troubled youth, finds herself most at peace when she is hiking the Sierra Nevada. She has surrounded herself with like-minded friends who handle Demi’s various fears, such as vertigo, with compassion. When she goes online and meets an Australian outdoor adventurer, her life takes on new meaning. . .

The protagonist’s experiences with wildlife and her surroundings in the Australian Outback or mountains of California are vivid and detailed: “The muted greens of the eucalypt forests encapsulated by soft mosses created a cave like atmosphere. The bottomlands oozed spongy soils.” These passages fit well within the larger context since this is where Demi is most comfortable

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Free Online Novels

Just wanted to alert other authors that Jennifer Armstrong supports a community of writers by offering this service to those of us who offer our work for free.
Thank you, Jennifer.
A free novel about north country prairie winters

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Sierra Sunrise: A Travel Adventure

After fording a raging creek and surviving hypothermia producing storms, Demi Tryon decides there’s safety in numbers.  Scouring the Internet, she meets Sy, a Scot-Australian mountaineer who also loves wilderness.  And god help her, she likes him.  Not as a safety-buddy, but for his ridiculous smile and his no-nonsense approach to the world.  Sy’s never run from anything.  Including her.

Currently available for $3.99 on Smashwords at

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Hand Me Downs - A Winter's Tale

New to the prairie of North Dakota, Tamara has much to learn about surviving the harsh winters near the Canadian Border. This insulated region in the geographical center of North America, nearly empty of human inhabitants at the beginning of the twenty-first century, harvests massive crops of wheat, oats, canola, and flax. The arrival of oil fracking in the Bakken Fields competes with those harvests as it brings huge numbers of new inhabitants to the border country.  Tamara’s story is a creative non-fiction tale of social and physical survival. 

Available from

It's free!