MY EVEREST: THIRTY YEARS OF SAN DIEGO HIKING (WITH DOGS!) – MARTHA KENNEDY

My Everest: Thirty Years of San Diego
Hiking (With Dogs!)

Kindle and Paperback
August 29, 2017
Author: Martha Kennedy

I don’t like reviewing books written by friends.

What if I don’t like it? Will they hate me if I can’t give them a great review? Authors take book reviews personally. We aren’t supposed to, but our books are personal. I can’t think of anything in my world more personal to me than the (one) book I wrote. Apparently, no matter how many books you write, you will continue to feel that way about all of them. They are your babies, your little love children.

My everest martha kennedyI wasn’t too worried about this one, though. I’ve read other books by Martha and I liked them. I’ve always liked Martha’s writing (if you don’t read her blog, you should), especially when she is writing about her dogs. When this when came out, I dashed over to Amazon and immediately bought a copy. Then I got bogged down with other stuff and didn’t start to read it until a few days ago.

This is a wonderful book. It’s so very good, I hardly know where to begin raving about it.

back cover my everest martha kennedyThis isn’t just a book. It isn’t about hiking (despite its title) in the San Diego hills with your dogs. This is a book about finding what is real and what matters. It’s about discovering the world is God and you are part of it. It’s about recognizing all living things having an equal right to be on this planet. It’s about learning how tiny we are while expanding to be part of the hugeness of life.

“My Everest” is a beautiful book. It is profound and thoughtful. I found myself putting it down to leave myself time to think about it and what it meant to me. I don’t do that. Really. I don’t. I just read. This was different.

Truffle and Molly in the Medicine Wheel

“My Everest” is not one of those silly books about searching for yourself, either. Martha has found what I also found — that we are where we should be and we are in the right place. Our job is to enjoy it. Fully. See it, feel it, absorb it, love it. Be part of the all-in-all. Fly with the buzzards and the hawks. Get warmth from the earth with the rattlesnakes. Watch eternity roll by with the rocks.

This is not self-revelatory narcissism. It reaches out and says “I love you” to everyone and everything. It’s not offering you rules to follow so you can walk the same path. There is no path. “My Everest” is about joy and sanctuary , the world that Martha Kennedy and her many dogs found in the Chaparral in San Diego.

Taking the world hiking.

Those hills and mountains were her place. The suggestion is implicit that any place can be your place. You don’t have to go to those specific hills or mountains. The important thing is that there is a place — your place — that brings you that full measure of contentment.

I don’t think I can explain it any better except to say I loved the dogs and the mountains. I love the people she met on the way. The young people she brought with her to hike the hills. In good weather and bad.

I loved how she loved her dogs, yet understood that when they passed, that was how it had to be. Because we live, we pass — humans , dogs and all that lives.

The Models – Two magnificent huskies

This is not the kind of book I would have normally sought to read, but I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to read it. In many way, for me, “My Everest” is a prayer and a hope for a world gone wrong. I don’t find a lot of hope — or any kind of prayers — in 2018’s world.

I most fervently recommend you read this book.


It’s available on Kindle for the extravagant price of $3.00 and in paperback for the break-the-bank price of $7.00. I have it on Kindle and when my next Social Security check arrives, I will get the paperback, too.


I want to be sure it is in the bookcase with other books I love too much to leave in the cloud.

THE FORGOTTEN PHOTOS – GARRY ARMSTRONG

Marilyn found them. An entire folder of my pictures from January 2016 in Arizona. Apparently, they were never opened since she downloaded them.

Nice surprise. She fixed them up and here they are. Hope you like them!

JANUARY IN ARIZONA – YELLOW MOUNTAINS AND SUNSET


A cactus sunset – near the Superstitions

BRIGHT HORIZONS

HORIZON – THE SKY ABOVE THE LINE OF THE EARTH


My favorite horizon is sunrise, but sunset is pretty good too. Anywhere where the sky meets the earth is a horizon. Clear away the buildings and the trees, and there it is.

NATURAL STRUCTURES – A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE

A Photo a Week Challenge: Structures in Nature


Superstition mountain, Arizona – The mountains rise up out of the earth like monoliths in a science fiction movie. They are to my mind, unreal.
These rocks were probably formed from an ancient lava flow. They are entirely different than the rest of the hills and mountains in the area,m clearly formed from a different substance. Photo: Garry Armstrong
The wild twists of an ironwood tree
Super moon — bright but undefined and framed by branches

ARIZONA MOUNTAINS – NEW PHOTOS FROM LOST FOLDERS

Saguaro along the mountains

I have been going through my folders. My photography folders. There are an awful lot of them and within each folder are even more folders. While searching for missing photographs, I have discovered there are thousands of photographs — good ones — which were never processed. Why not? Because I moved on to the next batch of photos and never went back. Two weeks later, I didn’t remember these photographs existed.

Phoenix Mountains and a saguaro

The good news is that I have some amazing pictures simply waiting for me to get to them. The bad news is that even after I find a great batch of waiting photographs, when I go back to work on them, I probably will have forgotten them.

Shadow of the mountain

The exception to this are vacation photographs because these are always in separate folders by events — so I know where they are. Which is why the first new batches you’ll see will be from Arizona 2016.

Three mountain peaks

I can find them. They are listed in the “A”s. And there are a lot of pictures those folders.

Wide mountains with saguaro

SHARING THE WORLD – THUS BEGIN THE HOLIDAYS

Hard to believe Thanksgiving has arrived. I’m still mentally stuck somewhere in October. In fact, I’m still waiting for Autumn to really begin. Everything is happening much too fast this year.

Share Your World – November 20, 2017


If you were having difficulty on an important test and could safely cheat by looking at someone else’s paper, would you do so?

I’m pretty sure I needed help in several tests in high school. Once I was past studying material for which I would never have any need, I also never needed to cheat. Cheating is something you do when you are forced into a testing situation for which you are either unprepared, or for which nothing you could do would prepare you.

I was never going to understand my French teacher’s spoken French. I could read it, but I couldn’t understand a word she said. Later in life, I discovered I understood French a lot better when French people spoke it.

I don’t think I’ve been tested for anything since I left school. I’ve had to study a lot of things, but there was no test. Only having to write a thousand page book on the subject which other people could understand and use. No test required.

What things in nature do you find most beautiful?

That’s an impossible question to answer. I find many things beautiful. Animals, rocks, mountains, water.

The sky and the sun and the dark. In cities and in the wild. The answer to that question is a book, not a few paragraphs.

Complete this sentence: When I travel I love to….

Take pictures and try the food.

About the food, the thing I find the most incomprehensible are travelers who only want to eat food that is exactly the same as the food they ate at home. Looking for the nearest McDonald’s when you are in Japan — or, for that matter, Phoenix — is mind-boggling. Why aren’t they out there tasting all the remarkable new flavors of the new place they are visiting? Isn’t that at least half the reason for traveling?