Monday, December 28, 2015

May Your Days be Merry and Bright

It was a good Christmas. We filled our bellies as full as the moon and sang together and tromped through the snowy woods and had a merry time doing all the usual things that families such as ours do, to celebrate the holidays. A half foot of new snow fell Christmas night through day after, with big fluffy flakes floating softly down, bringing with them a sense of quiet gratitude, and peace, to those of us in need of them. There is a comfort in the sound of snowflakes falling, in the slight rustle of a lone oak leaf, the muffled crunch of icy snow underfoot, the way cold changes things...

I always miss the snow, but this year the Fall was particularly hard, with bleak grey skies and chilly rains persisting well into December. Sunday was the first bright blue snow-shiney day in many moons, and the first we've seen of the sun in weeks. In the afternoon I borrowed a pair of skis, put on a pair of ill-fitting blue-and-white striped boots and set out to break a trail through the fresh snow, past the first fence-row and the second, through the old gravel pit and back to the lake, down to the beaver dam, up through the circle and around to the big hill, then back home through the north woods...the snow hung gently on the trees, and sparkled silently in the open fields, catching the light of our nearest star and throwing it forth again in a spectacular, unknowable number of angles.

A sight for sore eyes, to be sure. As the day is long, and the night is dark...

They say, of course, that every snowflake is unique, but does that come as a surprise, when every moment is unique, unrepeatable, unfathomable really, in its singular infinitude? What time does it take for a crystal to form, to join with another? Is this a simple thing, or a complex one, to take and/or create shape in this way? How is it that we can think of water as a molecule, apart from the drop, the crystal, the snowflake, the snow-covered field, the blue-colored sky casting itself onto it, the grassy ground that lies beneath? Why do we humans persist in thinking of these as separate things? Is it a failure of language, of imagination, of intelligence? Or is it simply that we refuse to acknowledge what we already know? Or have we not yet learned it yet? Or, all of the above--and then some?

We scarcely understand what matter is, much less what matters.

Upon my arrival home yesterday, I discovered on my doorstep a surprise Christmas gift, from a man who I love and admire very was a book, sent to me by my father, one which I think may hold answers to some of these questions, as well as to others that I've not had the insight to ask or to consider on my own. A timely present, as it were.  And a sweet one. An act of kindness and of that a simple thing? What is received, and what is reflected, by such a gesture? Or any gesture?

It is the thought that counts, they say, and there is some truth in that.
Ah so, I wax philosophical while the moon wanes, and the winds blow...There's more snow coming our way tonight, and yet more tomorrow. It will be a relief, to be blanketed in white once again, and to rest in the arms of Old Man Winter for a time. Until then, I shall have to settle for resting in my bed... 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Heart Shaped Box

I’ll wrap it up in something bright and shiny, tie it down tight with a string, and carry it with me lightly across snow-covered fields and into the woods, to the foot of an old familiar tree where I will bury it in the quiet ground, under the mosses and leaves, for safekeeping. When the snows have come and gone, I will come again, or perhaps someone else will, to reclaim this gift. As Fall has turned to Winter, so Winter will turn to Spring... Peace to all this season, and may you carry your hearts with you, and give them freely, with love.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015

I Forgot Happy

Now I think I know what my Dad meant when he told me, young woman that I once was, "don't let the bastards grind you down."

Thursday, October 15, 2015

think twice, cut once

two times should be enough, right? maybe some of us need more, but some must get it right the first time... or am I over-thinking it again?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


I'm tired today, from an unexpectedly wakeful night that only offered up some rest, finally, upon this morning's rather chilly arrival. I did not wake to my alarm, which I'd seemingly dismissed, but at the urging of my phone--a saving grace of sorts, although it felt more like a rude disturbance at the time. Despite my weary edges, or perhaps because of them, it felt good to leave the house today, to breathe in the brisk air, take note of the changing colors, sip my black coffee and join the flow of morning traffic--in fact it was one of the first times in recent memory that I actually felt some amount of optimism toward my impending workday, even if only for a few minutes, before the insistence of the morning commuters got the better of me...or at least went racing away with the better part of my happier thoughts...

I've been less than productive today, mostly, and not really surprisingly, although if I were subject to a quota I guess I would probably have met it and maybe that's really all I should care about. Fortunately, expectations of me are few, leaving my mind free to wander, perhaps to stray, into a vaguely pensive state... I'm too tired to be entirely melancholy, or particularly reflective. It's not just for lack of sleep, but lack of rest, lack of peace, lack of clarity, lack of truth...

A strange, fleeting thought passed over me the other day or maybe just last night, after seeing someone take a fall on TV, that it's been a really long time since I've fainted...but I clearly recall the last time I did, and how much I struggled coming to, alone for those fearful moments, and for what felt like an eternity, I had no idea of who, what, or where I was... there was just the sensation or realization that I was rushing through time toward a waking state, and the answers to those questions would arrive with me, once I got there. 

I feel a little like that, today, except that I know that, once the workday is over and my appointments are out of the way and my errands are run and my chores are all finished and I lie down to rest my head and my bones, that no answers will come. But then again, was there a question?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

An event that matters to you

It could be Fall, it could be a trip somewhere, it could be a dance, it could be something brewing, it could be a lot of things...

I listened to this today, chosen (more or less) at random from a long list of unplayed interviews on a podcast I have only once attempted to listen to, previously. I post it here in the hope that it will be of some significance, or interest, to one or more of you. This conversation is aptly prefaced, and not the sort of thing that just anyone would care to listen to, but it's worth your time, if you have some (by which I don't mean to introduce paronomasia, though now I've done it).

Anyway, have a listen:

I wouldn't recommend trying to read the transcript of this interview, but if you're interested in this scientist's work, some of her other thoughts and writings can be found here:


Sunday, August 9, 2015


It's a no sleep kind of night I guess, although it dosen't seem as though today should become tomorrow, without some rest in between. Hopes of getting up early, to work outside in the morning hours, are shifting into worry of how the day will be, if I cannot dream my way toward being part of it...

Maybe I should open the windows and listen.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Direct Current

Ugh, apparently it is also earwig-on-the-bathrobe and biggest-centipede-I've-ever-seen-in-the-kitchen-sink season...!

I woke up far too early this morning, and spent a couple hours tossing and tangled in the sheets of my mind before finally falling back to sleep, past the alarm of course, lulled by the sound of gentle thunder and pouring rain...a comfort, to be sure. Naturally I'd left all the now thoroughly-soaked bags of garden trimmings out on the walk, thinking I'd wrangle them back to the alley in the morning...but thank goodness for the rain!

I'm anxious. Not about anything in particular, just a general lack of ease, and peace of mind. I'm restless, and it feels electrical, almost, like I need a ground, I need earthing. For a few dreamy moments this morning, I thought I might step out into the seems so long since the last time I did, although I suppose it was only a few months ago. What is it about standing in the rain that feels so good?

So I feel compelled, because I've been thinking about it more than I ought, to rewrought the thoughts I posted on metallurgy a few days back. They make no sense, really. Steel is just as heavy as iron if not heavier, and sharpness is irrelevant. It's true that copper and silver may be on the softer side, but gold is just as soft. And I think everyone knows how heavy gold is. So, just scratch all that, or polish it, whichever you prefer.

In a similar vein...if I were actually concerned about stalkers I'd just shut this whole peep show down, or better yet, relocate to a place that can't be mapped by electronic devices. Something came up recently that just got me to wondering, but it's not anything or anyone I am worried about, any more than I'm worried about being struck by lightning. Although, if I were hiking above treeline in the Rockies, that might be a different story...

Anyway. Tasks for today are few but many, house work and yard work and brew work and money work and before that work work, and more importantly this: replace every critical thought with a better one. Negative to positive, isn't that the way it goes?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Spider Season

Oh, my goodness.

This evening I picked a good half-gallon or more of beans (Northeaster and Golden Gate Wax), two large and lovely heads of broccoli (compliments of my Dad), my first stout cucumber of the season (with a couple more nearly ready), another zucchini, and a handful (or mouthful) or two of sweet peas and raspberries, along with a couple bright cherry tomatoes, and maybe a leaf of something here and there. A nice light dinner.

All the hugely sprawling tomatoes are now neatly staked and tied, after being flattened by rains and wind last weekend (and after weeks of neglect), the basil is growing in for a second cutting (half-pints of pesto already in the freezer for pizza and what-not), and there's room yet to plant more, for the fall season...kale and chard and winter greens, short-season broccoli, whatever else I can squeeze in...

My raised beds are a beautiful thing, and have far exceeded my expectations. A dear friend (aka "batman") was inspired/crazy enough to build them for me last Spring, and they are not only gorgeous but deliciously productive, due (no doubt) in part to their being filled to the brim with free composted horse manure, acquired via craigslist from a couple of friendly ladies and their farms, located out to the West of here. Everything grows like mad in those beds, and not only are they perfectly solidly square (including the exceedingly handy 2x6 top rail/shelf/stand/bench which I adore) but also perfectly lovely, with their corrugated metal sides that catch the sunlight and the houselight and the moonlight, from time to time. I totally dig them.

The rest of the gardens are coming along, too...they've been a bit of a mess this year, with as much rain as we've had until recently, and everything growing tall and flopping over onto its neighbors. I made an effort this year and last to fill all the space, and succeeded to a large extent, but there's (always) more left to do and I've realize that some of my choices about what to plant where may have been less than ideal. The blackberries I transplanted from the tiny shaded strip on the north side of my house over to the NW corner have thrived, in a way, but have already become unruly and so ambitiously large that I cut them back by half and they're still overrunning everything next to them.  The lovage I transplanted to a more central location was quite lovely this Spring, until it shot up to seven feet and fell over, heavy with seed. The borage I let go everywhere is a feast for all the bees and pollinators that grace my garden, but it gets all over everywhere and smothers what's around it, as does its cousin comfrey, which I've spread from place to place... I finally cut it back over the weekend and ended up with a good three big brown bags of cuttings, if not more. The marshmallow, too, grew tall and then flattened itself and its sweet pink blossoms, leaning onto the asparagus which finally seems to be recovering its vitality...they're now propped up again, though looking awkward. There's chamomile and catnip and sorrel and arugula and feverfew and more, all of them leggy and stretching out every which way, which is not what I had in mind when I put them in. I may have to rethink and replant, in order to create a more sustainable architecture. I'm willing to cut back and prop up to some extent, but ideally I'd like to let things mostly go on their own, and minimize the maintenance. There's so much else that needs maintaining...

The peach and plum are covered in fruit this year, and both are ripening to gorgeous shades of, well, peach and plum... though I fear the ruthless rodents will set upon them soon, and it may be time to experiment with that whole rubber snake idea. Anything to keep them away, and unfortunately shooting them is less of an option in the city, seeing as how I don't have a pellet gun and it's not really legal to use one here.

It truly amazes me how bountiful this little yard of mine is... I've got more than I can keep up with, and more vegetables this year than I can eat. There are bees and butterflies and bats and birds of all sorts, and more insects and spiders (suddenly it seems) than I can count. There's something about having things growing and alive all around you, that keeps things real...

Ah, so, that's really all I've got this evening. I'd hoped to share a little about my recent and wonderful trip to the Lake with my family, and to wax philosophical about various things, and I know I've left out about a zillion things going on in the garden...but I'm past ready for bed at this early hour, so this will just have to do. Things could be better, but they could be worse. Gratitude for all the things that keep growing, and much love.


Don't you just have to wonder sometimes about just how many you might have, and just who they think they are? Or is it just me??

Shadows only show themselves in the light...

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Steel is sharp, and iron is fucking heavy. 

Silver is soft, and so is copper. 

Gold is hard. 

Up and at them

It's 8 o'clock already...

Waking up this morning, alone, at home, with only the whole day and the rest of my life ahead of me... feeling twice as rested as I have for the better part of the past few weeks, but half as rested as I really should... my first thought was of being awake, my second of the time (is 7:15 still early?), and then all that needs doing: I don't know where to start. It's going to be a hot one today and the garden dearly needs my attention while it's still cool out this morning, but just getting out of bed and taking a first few steps reminded me that everything hurts... It's all stiff and sore and in need of proper care, not hours of bending to lift and pull and cut back the tangled mess of stems and stalks and flowers and leaves that's been pretending to be my garden: plants on top of other plants and others under them, flopped down any-which-way, covering over all my best laid plans... time to uproot a few things and sow new seeds, and to get things set upright again. It needs doing.

It's weird to consider the possibility that no one will think about me today. Huh.

Okay, time to ignore these creaky joints and fix the gardens, it's getting late already... 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Because it is.

Sometimes it feels like my bed must really and truly be the most perfect place in the whole, entire universe, times infinty...Plus one.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Oh boy

I'm stumped, with no one to ask.

Last night in my dreams a man told me to relax.

Walking back to my place from the auto shop down the street I was musing on this, and how being in a state of doubt is just an extremely unrelaxing way to be. I feel like I'm on a tightrope, walking a wavering line between faith and fear...dangling in mid-air from a thread that's about to snap, and I might fall or I might fly...

I am fine, but not at ease. My hackles seem to be raised all the time lately.

I can't see clearly what I need to do right now, to set things in motion for today, tomorrow, the days and weeks that follow.

And maybe that doesn't matter at all.

I feel like I have the opposite of that problem that returning vets have, when they get back to civilian life and are overwhelmed by having to make so many choices for themselves. I don't seem to remember how to be guided by others, sort of...

Which is really kind of silly, when you think about how we're all just one big mass of matter and energy and all the separations we perceive and create and impose and experience are sort of really just a way for us to know and be more...every moment is a relationship, every interaction a union... I heard this analogy recently, in a conversation about what science does not know about human consciousness, comparing it to a headlight. The light only makes visible what is in front of it; it cannot shine upon itself, much less what's behind it...

All right, let's dial it back a bit.

Goal for next few days: relax, go easy. Take things as they come, do what needs to be done. Speed the body, slow the heart, clear the mind. Be present, be kind, be here, be real. Make room for love and joy. Get hugs. Embrace change. Go swimming.

Yeah...relax, goddamit!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Having trouble breathing in...

Whew.  What a weekend...after two hot and summery river-filled days, I got home late last night and spent a couple hours on the phone rambling with an old friend before finally crawling into my deliciously comfortable bed, just as the rain came. I fell asleep within seconds of my head hitting the pillow, to the sound of a steady downpour outside the open window. I slept pretty hard for at least a few hours, and I swear it seemed to rain all night....One of my very favorite things. So nice. I think there may have even been some more thunder this morning, but my memory seems to be failing me...

A haze has settled over us here, with many square miles of smoke hanging heavy in the moist air, so thick it burns the throat. A nice breeze kicked up tonight and cleared things up a little, but it looks like it may be while longer before the fires die down or the winds change. It's not easy to breathe, and I feel the need to lie down. 

Before I do, I'd like also to mention one thing that crossed my mind today, because it seemed important at the time. I was thinking about some of my recent posts, and what they mean to me versus what they might say to anyone else. If you're reading this, you're likely already well aware that I tend to do much brooding here, and in some ways that's important and cathartic and what-not, and in other ways, it feels like I may be showing some disrespect, by not putting a better foot forward. Like a nicely pedicured foot in a comfy flip-flop, instead of a gnarly ingrown toenail in a heavy boot, if you see what I mean.

I've enjoyed so many blissful times, these past days and weeks and even years, and I am sorry that I don't get to read about many of them here. So, long to short, I'll try to accentuate some more of the good stuff here, as the summer goes on. Nothing but now.

There was one more thing. Maybe two.

One is--and actually this is the second thing, I'm really just trying to remember what the first one was--I don't exactly regret that I didn't do so but really wish I had been able to muster the nerve to impress myself and my ship-mates by braving the rope swing from the high bridge, because conditions were pretty ideal for it, and I feel as though it might have propelled me not only into the river but over some greater fear that has been standing in my way... or to put it another way, it would have set more than my body in motion, I think. Plus it would have been fun, exciting, and exhilarating, if ever so slightly risky... Ah well, the bridge still stands, and I'll be back--and swinging.

The rain pummeled the gardens last night; now all the flowers are doing push-ups and the dogwood is down for the count. The lovage is leaning, the comfrey needs cutting, the blackberries are becoming a hazard, no one's cut the mustards, and so many other things are just all over the place that it's starting to look like no one's taking care of things here. But... all the veggies look great, the beans are sky-high, calendula's blooming bright, there are peaches and plums and peapods and nothing needs watering... It's summertime, and it's been beautiful, and I'll breathe in every bit of it that I can. 

now my memory

coming home from my last trip, walking steady through the motion of strangers at the airport, this music in my ears and my ride waiting for me




Friday, July 3, 2015

After the Full Buck Moon (Blue Moon Coming)

Some insight found here, today:

This morning in my dreams I got into a fight with a polar bear. It all got kinda real from there. Intense, weird stuff.
Oh and this, too:

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Everything one thing at a time

Maybe I shouldn't have downed that grapefruit soda before breakfast today.

I got approximately nine--that's right, NINE--mostly whole hours of sleep last night and yet still woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Wait, no, scratch that--there is no "right" or "wrong" side of the bed, there is just the good side and the bad side...I mean, the better side and the best side, the East side and the West side, the yin side and the yang side...or something like that.

Anyway, today should be a good day. It's not. Mainly it's not because I have a lump in my chest the size of Alaska and its rugged wild beautiful coastline keeps pushing saltwater up into my eyes... 

I’m coming apart.

I know that these words evoke a certain sense of helpless destruction, as in some kind of breakdown, and that implies some kind of mental instability, etc. but it’s not quite like that. By way of analogy, let’s just say your car breaks down; when that happens, it usually means it’s time to fix it. Whatever is broken must come apart in order to be repaired. More than that, it’s important to pay careful attention when disassembling things, so that they can be put back together when the time comes. It’s true that upkeep and regular maintenance can help prevent certain things from deteriorating, but sometimes parts just wear out or fail, sometimes unexpectedly. Now I seem to be running about as well as my old 850: missing one (vital) cylinder, with a major oil leak, bad synchro, sagging bumper and various temperature control and electrical issues, among other things. The minor stuff is mostly fixable with sufficient time and commitment. It's the burnt valve in the heart of the machine that's the real problem...

I need a leave of absence from my day-to-day life. Not a holiday; I want to work, hard, for several weeks or longer, on something I really care about, and truly accomplish something. I want to learn something, do something, be something, someone other than who I am right now. I want a major disturbance, a total interruption, an all-consuming, fever-inducing, heartstopping, breathtaking, boat-swamping, prairie fire-like transformation. I want a trip, a journey, a detour...and for that I must also have a destination, however temporary. I want good company, too, of non-dead friends who actually live near me, or at least a few kind-hearted strangers with good intentions. Somehow I have inadvertently, both with intention and without regard, isolated myself into a state of profound solitude that no longer serves me well, if it ever did. It's a cultivated state which I often cherish, but it's become too precious to me, though not by any purpose of mine. I want to be important to someone else, like most people do. It's needed. 

For reasons clear or nebulous, I've been feeling extra tender about all this, these past few days. I suppose the key word there is "feeling". Some part of me shifted over the weekend, something cracked, and some rusty bit that's been holding this old jalopy together and rolling down the road finally gave way. I've been lonely too long, and it has kept me from living as I wanted and hoped to. Performance is bound to suffer when you force a 5-cylinder machine to run on just 4.

So I'm coming apart, trying to figure out what's busted and what's still good, and find the tools to make the needed repairs. I can pull out parts like nobody's business, but putting them back in is gonna be another story...

It's tough losing good friends when you already have few, especially when they are among those closest to you, who have known you longest and best. It's not easy when the people who inspire you most and keep you headed toward your right direction aren't there to do that anymore. It's difficult to see everyone around you growing in ways that you are not, and to realize that you've hardly grown at all and have in many respects actually regressed... I saw posted somewhere not too long ago the words "People grow when they are loved well". If we could love ourselves that well we would all be superheroes, but that kind of love doesn't come from within. It comes from the people around us. I have been loved well by many people, and my friend Krista was among the very best.

We can only get so far on our own, and I want to go further. 

I'm tired beyond words today, in a way I've never been, overcome with possibilities. 

This is a more personal post than I've written in a while, and I'd like to end it on a positive note if I can, because there are so very many good things that have been happening lately, many amazingly wonderful moments and happy surprises. For those and for all of you I am most grateful, as always.

I'll have another story to tell, another day.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Not the day I thought I might have

today... I feel a bit like a stick that's been whittled down just a little too far to be of use. 

tomorrow is another day, and from what I understand there will be more after that... 

I'll believe it when it happens.

Friday, June 26, 2015

...and wakes me where I lie

love this song...

to friends who have gone missing

Monday, June 1, 2015

It's a kinda haiku

Red volvo smells of gas

Geese are out tonight and honking

So this is Spring?

Friday, May 15, 2015

What's up

This little ray of sunshine came my way from an old friend today. I only cried a little :)

There's been a lot of change going on around here this Spring. Some of it is just what happens every year, though it's no less beautiful for being expected, and the growth and blossoming these past few weeks has been more lush and lovely than we've seen in many seasons. Some of the other changes, most notably the death of a very dear friend of mine, have made the passage into Spring a very poignant one, this year.

I've recently been quite ill, for nearly two full weeks, which presented a significant interference to my intents and purposes...Not long before that, I had the pleasure of spending a few beautiful and challenging days out in the wilderness with a close friend, during the very early days of Spring way up North, just after the funeral and memorial. Among and in between all that, many seeds have been sown, many roots have been planted, and many bright possibilities have been blooming. I'll tell you all about it soon.

Until then, as fortune cookie say, do it because you love it. And don't you forget it.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Nuff said

Fifty-eight to go...

Saturday, May 2, 2015

première salade

from the fridge: carrot, beet, fennel

from the garden: burdock, asparagus, dandelion, scallion, lovage, chervil, sorrel, mint, horseradish shoots, garlic chives

from the pantry: olive oil, cider vinegar (dad's), maple syrup (folk's), horseradish (ours), dijon mustard, coarse salt and pepper

garnish: violet blossoms and chamomile sprigs

(not pictured: another carrot, aspargus and lovage, plus mint and garlic chives)

stir it up, little darlin'...


Thursday, April 16, 2015

or maybe...a pizza!

It could be cheesy
It could be un-cheesy
It could be both cheesy and un-cheesy
It could be neither cheesy nor un-cheesy

and it could be the best most delicious thought I've had all day.  I love it when I do something smart like make pizza dough in the morning, and then totally forget about it until I'm burnt out on work. Day made!

maybe a mantra

I learned a little something this morning, from a friend of a friend (of a friend), on a popular anti-social media site.

It can be true
It can be untrue
It can be both true and untrue
It can be neither true nor untrue

I'm going to think about this today, until I get my work done.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Nothing doing

Epiphany is not part of the Easter holiday (which does continue for the next several days, according to some tradition) but it was an element of my day today...

I suddenly realized, this afternoon, that something fairly important that I had been attempting to communicate (rather more than poorly, I now see) was quite possibly completely misunderstood if not totally lost on the recipient of said communication, due to a variety of factors over which I had a significant amount of control which I did not perceive, or effectively assert. Ironically, and somewhat strangely, the lack of clarity with which I expressed my thoughts on this matter--which has been troubling me since late last week--actually brought to light, today, what was perhaps the real reason for my distress, in a manner I could not have conceived, if I had tried. There's a story in every story, and sometimes it's hard to tell what's being told. Riddle me this...

Enough of that.

Obviously, despite the abundance of hard-boiled ideas I might crack and peel, my thoughts are scrambled today. With that in mind, I can't offer much literate inspiration here but I would like to put down a few thoughts and recollections, nonetheless.

There's nothing really wrong with my black wagon that a little elbow grease can't fix. Or maybe there is, or there will be, but for the time being I'm happy to know that its needs--however costly and time-consuming--have been and will be more than adequately addressed, for the foreseeable future. I've nothing to worry or complain about in that regard. But I'm still inexplicably leery of its transmission, and that's a pretty important aspect of any set of wheels sporting a motor. I don't know if it's because I'm inherently untrusting, or if it's because my intuition is stronger than both my common sense and my intelligence, and I'm not sure if that's even saying all that much, but then again there's a story...

Easter weekend was fine and a sweet one, and I had no real reason to return home feeling broken-hearted. I had fine time and a pleasant evening chatting a circle around the dining room table on Saturday evening, enjoying my dad's fine black currant wines, and partaking of my family's particular humor, wit, compassion, smarts, and care. Sunday was a pleasure as well, colored by many moments of joy and togetherness. Among them, and one my favorites of the day, was singing "All The Time" by Bahamas with my niece, who was right there to support my melody with her sweet soprano on the backup vocals. She's got some pipes, for such a pipsqueak.

I came home with a bag of goods from my folks...onions, potatoes, beets, homemade apple cider vinegar...and as always, there's more where that came from... I'm still working on a jar of maple syrup from last year, but they boiled down to five full gallons (or more) this year of that rich amber goodness, and I'll be looking forward to replenishing my supply when the time comes. I was lucky enough to make it up north last weekend to observe the sugar shack in full boil, and to lend a hand in (very) small part to what turned out to be quite the operation this year. One hundred seventy gallons or more, gathered over the course of eighteen days, and boiled to perfection during a long and blustery weekend-plus-some. It's a lot of effort but such a sweet endeavor to undertake, and I'm glad my folks have added it to their homesteading repertoire.

At work today, I had a not terrible and possibly positive first "one on one" with my new boss--or should I say manager--and I'm feeling a little better than I did last week, about how things might be shaping for me in that regard. At least, lines of communication are open. She's one those people that does that whole "so what I hear you saying is" thing, and I have to say, it's not the worst way to make sure you have an understanding with someone. I'm sure there will be situations where that approach might fall short, but for now, it's nice just to know that someone is listening.

And of course there was Maui, but that's another story, of a story, once upon a time, called Island Time, which is another time...and that is all for today.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


I drove the red wagon home today, from across town where'd I left it for the weekend. I love that car. The black one is nice, but it's really nothing I'd ever miss. It's already had more put into it than it it's even worth and it was probably a mistake I should have known better than to make. I don't trust it, it doesn't feel right, and it's not going to last... I'd still fix the red one if knew how, but I know I can't, and I doubt whether anyone ever will. I'll miss that stick. Driving it is like looking at a photograph of me as a little girl...

I missed a few good shots today--or rather, I got some really great ones, only to discover that I had no memory present--and although what was lost was only the image of what was there, just an impression of light, it was something I wanted to hold and to remember, and share. It seems like forever since I've taken any good photos, and I didn't take any after that. I know that every day is lesson and I have much to learn, and we did play and laugh and run and hug and sing together, and the sun was shining and we all ate well.

On the home stretch I watched the odometer, with it's trip numbers just slightly out of sync... confused and waiting, I drove my past my turn, and right at the moment that I would have been turning down the alley to my house, I saw it roll over to 167,000. She's parked out in front of the garage now, covering the stains on the asphalt.

It's strange, how a heart can be broken. You wouldn't think it could be so easy.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

We do it island style...

From the mountain to the ocean from the windward to the leeward side...

Aloha, and mahalo!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sprung, Sprang, Spring

Last weekend I was in snowpants, helping carve out a quinzie and making a snow block wall with all the kids up north. We pulled sleds down the driveway and took a first and last cross-country ski run over at the park, along with our last few breaths of Winter. I miss the snow, I've missed it dearly these past few months...the smell of cold, the sound of crystals covering the ground, the peace and pace of life in dormancy... It's been drier than parts of Texas here this winter--a veritable drought--and I, for one, haven't been too happy about that. A lot of other folks around here seem to think that we're all better off when the roads are clear and skies are blue, and with all due respect, I just can't respect that position. It's a slap in the face is what it is, expecting me to say why yes, isn't this weather just grand?

After months of atypically erratic temperatures and a sincere lack of snow, we are now suffering from an unseasonably warm spell. And I'll admit it: it feels damn good. It's sixty degrees and sunny, a light breeze, no down jacket required, no jacket at all for that matter, and the abritrary re-setting of the clocks has granted us at least an hours' more time for wearing sunglasses in an appropriate fashion. People are in shorts, playing soccer, walking the dogs, riding around on bikes without fat tires and goggles, and I'm thinking about busting out my grill tomorrow. But dammit, it's just not right.

For one thing--and this might be the main thing, my one and only thing (although there is that whole climate change disaster that's going on and the methane in sea ice and the exponential feedback dynamic problem which EVERYONE should know about by now)--my peach tree is suddenly budding, as of a few days ago, and with the forecast being what it is, there's a very good chance that those sweet little buds and blossoms are going to grow and thrive quite beautifully, only to be nipped by a Spring frost... it is only March, after all!

Sigh.  I am nonetheless looking forward to pruning this weekend, in shirtsleeves, and if there's no peaches to be had this year, then I guess I'll just have to plant a bigger hill o' beans!

Anyhoo, aside from weather, here's a little something that both my dear mother and an old colleague friend of mine shared with me recently. I have to say (pun intended), this is Seriously Sweet!  

Apparently these guys have raised almost 6 MILLION dollars of the $70,000 goal set for their "Flow Hive" campaign, and it's pretty easy to see why.  This is such an brilliant design and excellent use of technology that it makes me feel proud to be a human, or something close to one. Bravo, mates, bravo.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Stuck in my head

I think it's the humming

or the entire playlist

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


I am so outraged today that the only thing I can think of to do is write a sentence here, and leave it at that.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I'm just a girl who likes tools.

And Spring must be gettin' close, because I can't stop thinkin' about 'em...  What else can I say?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

more bs for no real reason

Ahhh... it's always nice to get home from an extra long day at work, and settle in to do some more work.

It's also nice that the house smells vaguely of pine tar, I guess, but I wish it smelled more like dinner right about now.  At least I've got leftover short ribs to look forward to, even if the glare of the computer screen is beginning to feel like the beating mid-day sun on a fifty-mile trek across a desert landscape...

The Surly-braised short ribs are quite good by the way, as is the bison ribeye, in case you find yourself over at Happy Gnome on any old evening.

I've been busy lately, with this and that, but probably too much of that and not enough of this, if I must be honest.

It was good to hang out with my sister and the kiddos last weekend, and good to play outside for a short time.  Good to be looking forward to an island getaway at the end of next month, and good to have friends come to visit me here, and stay for a while. Good to take up a new hobby, and good to be getting an earlier start. Good to be sleeping through the night, and good to have my wheels aligned. Good to be where I am, but I can't say it couldn't be better.

Work's been a bear and not letting up. Some project work with new folks this week has been both energizing and tiring, but has gotten me no closer to fulfilling my obligations with regard to some neglected tasks which by anyone's measure could only be regarded as, relatively or objectively speaking, far less significant. Or maybe just less exciting. I need to work harder, do more, make it better, get it done. I'm not lazy, but I'm not as fast, not as focused, not as energetic as I used to be, and some things are just harder for me than I wish they were. Like, it's really becoming difficult for me to read contracts, and I don't think it's just an eyesight problem... I just can't fucking stand to do it, and when I try, it's like my cognitive abilities are instantly eviscerated. I suspect this is an early symptom of what is sometimes referred to as "burnout". On the bright side, at least I've had some opportunities in recent weeks to do work that engages me, and to remember what that feels like, instead of clocking out at the end of a long day feeling like a dud and a failure because of my job. This is important, because I can't see finding a new job without knowing what I'm good at and what I like to do. In all modesty, I'm being totally "under-utilized" in my current role, and it does start to wear on a person after a while, when other people and their bizarre and/or lame circumstances prevent a person from realizing their own potential as a human being, much less a "team member". That, I do believe, is a pretty good indication that a person should be looking for a new place of employment. As if I needed any more evidence.

Here's a random piece of information for today, which I just stumbled across... Apparently there are cultures that don't use "ego-centric" directions to orient themselves to things, such as left and right, front and back, or anything that's relative to their person. They use cardinal directions or "geographical" orientation. So if you were over there, and I was over here, and I wanted you to go further away, I would say go West, or go South, or wherever it was that was the opposite of my direction. I think that's pretty interesting.

Personally, I'd like to be going North, and spending some more time in the snow up there if I can find some, and it's getting to be that time of year again where there's not a lot of opportunity left to be doing that. Time to get a move on!

Anyway, I'm babbling, hungry, and tired of this screen, so I'm going to switch over the other one and get back to work. Take it easy dudes.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rise and Shine

That's about all there is to it.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

It should be pretty obvious

Why would I wish to read a poem tonight,
when the light from distant planets
could yet reach my line of sight?

Friday, February 6, 2015


So I've probably mentioned this before, but ever since I moved into this house I have had a lot of strange dreams of a recurring theme, and I've frequently experienced what I think some people would describe as lucid dreaming. 

The "theme" goes something like this: I get out of bed and walk out into my dark house. I try the lights and they won't turn on. I realize I am in a dream, and usually am simultaneously hit by a sense of fear, as if the lack of electricity is being caused by something vaguely sinister (which may just be me projecting something sinister into the dark/unknown, except that what always seems to follow is something not very fun, which I recognize may just be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but let me finish the story before we go down that road). I move through the house, which often morphs into a different architecture, sometimes familiar and/or similar if not the same as a place I've been before, but only in other dreams. Typically I find myself being drawn down toward the basement, in spite of an ominous feeling, although on some occasions I attempt to flee the house and its presence, sometimes successfully. Other times I just summon all my resources to wrench myself from the jaws of sleep, and turn the lights on for real. 

Perhaps I should interject here that I often encounter total strangers in my dreams, and a lot of these people are clearly dead. Some of them have obvious injuries, others just have the look and demeanor of death, as I would imagine it, I suppose... I've spent a lot of dreamtime underground and in dark, macabre places with these apparently dead people, and it's really pretty weird. It's also extremely creepy, from time to time. 

I am no stranger to nightmares, and by that I don't mean bad dreams that seem real and make you scared and sad (like being chased by a huge man with an axe who is trying to kill your family) but serious nightmares, which are literally terrifying, where it feels like my person--or even my very soul--is in danger. For example, when you are asleep in your bed and become aware of a presence standing at your feet, and you are suddenly grabbed by the ankles and dragged down the bed...that can be a highly unsettling experience. 

 I’ve acclimated to this, to the extent that I can. It hasn’t been particularly easy since it’s not something I can really control, though I can control certain external factors that may or may not contribute to these peculiar states of mind. I don’t think this is “normal” but I do know (or at least suspect) that I’m not crazy. I’ve always had vivid dreams and I guess it’s just part of who I am, and the mystery of existence. There are many positive aspects of active dreaming, and remembering dreams, but the flip side of that is all of this weird stuff. 

So, anyway, last night, after waking up and writing a love letter to my couch, upon which I'd been resting quite soundly, I crawled into my bed, turned out the light, and attempted to do a little more sleeping. I've been keeping odd hours for the past week, due to various social engagements, and probably haven't really gotten into any deep sleep cycles in a while, which may explain some of what happened next, but I don't think that accounts for all of it... 

Some time after falling asleep again, I sat up, got out of bed, opened the bedroom door, walked down the hallway and out into the next room. Suddenly I became aware that I was not awake but in fact still in my bed, and falling into a very deep sleep out of which it would be difficult to extract myself, which is sometimes cause for alarm, for me. As this was happening, I felt someone or something begin to pull me from the bed by my ankles, at an angle toward the door of the bedroom (not the foot of the bed, this time). This was disturbing, but not entirely terrifying, and my response--which seems quite appropriate under the circumstances--was to recognize what was going on try to wake myself up. I remember thinking, this has happened before, I know what I need to do...and so I forced myself awake, opened my eyes, sat up in bed, and, in an almost cripplingly drowsy state, got up, opened the bedroom door, walked down the hallway and through the doorway to the next room, at which point I was met with such a strong force of resistance that I could not move forward. It was as if I were being blocked by a current of water, or wind, and I simply could not take one more step, which would have put me past the threshold. Now, at this point, I actually woke up, blinked a few times at the mindlights darting around the darkness, and just to be sure, reached over to turn on the lamp--which, needless to say I did not turn off again for the remainder of the night. 

At some point during all of this--somewhat strangely, as I recall, it was while I dreamed I was awake but was still dreaming--I considered using my last lifeline, the Phone-A-Friend option... but who you gonna call, at that hour of the morning? And what's anyone going to do about it, if they even answered? And who can actually dial a dream phone, anyway? 

I will freely admit that this sort of episode could very well be the result of some psychological or mental defect of mine--or a physical one, for that matter. I'm sure there are "experts" who probably have some great ideas about what could be causing such drama, if that's what it is, or such exploration, if you want to think of it another way. But, frankly, looking to Jung or Freud or some Dream Doctor to shed some light on this rather dark situation seems about as useful as asking Marco Polo for his opinion on watersports, to me. 

I mean, what was that? Seriously. And who could possibly know, if not me? I guess one semi-rational explanation is that I am manifesting a bogeyman who tries to steal my soul while I'm sleeping, because I am so attached to my own ideas that I couldn't possibly just "let go and let God" and see what might happen if I allowed my mind to shut down for a few hours. But you know, "going with the flow" shouldn't feel like being forcibly dragged out of your bed by your feet, I don't think. I'm pretty well read, I went to college, I understand myths and metaphors, and when there's the semblance of an actual story or relatable experience involved, I can usually get a decent read on my dreams. It would make some sense to me if I were re-living a horrible accident in gruesomely realistic detail, or I was on stage without a clue what my next line is, or I was running through the jungle with a bow and arrow hunting peacocks, or showing a fairy how to use a typewriter, but I'm just walking around my own house in my pajamas, for crying out loud. Could we strip it down any more? And still I can't see it! Am I just terrified of my own shadow

If it's obvious, and I'm missing it, I would certainly appreciate being let in on this particular little secret. It really sucks being in the dark, sometimes. 

I'm puzzled, I truly am. It's one thing to analyze but it's another to grapple, emotionally and physically, with the sense of a presence and of a danger, in a setting that is an exact replica of actual reality, in both space and time. It's just so...real. 

Maybe I should do some reading up on bardos... If this is what I've got going for me right now, I'm really gonna be in for it when I kick the bucket. Holy hell, batman. 

Anyway... if you're still with me, thanks for reading, and I promise you that I'll be making an effort to get back to writing about all the mundane things like family and friends, life and death, food, animals, plants, weather, poetry, home improvements, and what's not on television, just as soon as I get my taxes done. 

And if intentions have any influence over anything at all: I'm gonna stick with the flying dreams, tonight, so help me God.

Dear Sofa,

Sorry I fell asleep so early while we were hanging out together last night. I'd had a long day--for the past few actually--and you made me feel so comfortable and relaxed that I couldn't help drifting off. I'm sure you know how that goes.

I just wanted to thank you for being there for me the way you do. You're always waiting with open arms when I get home, and even if I ignore you completely for a few hours or sometimes entire days, you're more than happy to welcome me back into your warm embrace. I lean on you for support and I'm not sure what I'd do without your presence to hold me up, some days. It means a lot more to me than you probably know.

I remember when you came into my life and what a difference it made... Others noticed it, too, and many people have told me how much they appreciate you and the things you do. It's hard believe so many years have passed since you moved in! I know there have been some rough times and you've taken your share of abuse, but you weathered it all with such gentle stoicism that I can't help but admire you for it. You still look as beautiful as the day we met, if not more so, and I do mean that. You wear your experiences well and I don't know anyone who wouldn't agree that you are quite attractive...even at your age, whatever that is! ;)

In all seriousness, the fact that you have accommodated so many of the people closest to me, and those I care about the most in this world, speaks volumes of your commitment to being a part of my life. Not only have you made room for others but you have made nearly everyone who has met you feel at ease in close quarters. That is a rare quality and one I don't take for granted, believe me.

We've been together through laughter and tears, sickness and health, late nights and early mornings, bad times and good ones too, and we've both seen a lot of changes, for better and for worse. The thing is, I know that, no matter what happens, you'll always be there for me, unconditionally, my respite and my place of rest, my confidante, my home base. Nothing you could do or say, literally, will ever change how I feel about you. I love you, I really do. Sometimes I wonder if you know that.

I could go on, but it's late, and since we just said goodbye a short time ago and will be seeing each other again tomorrow, I should probably go pay my (other) bed a visit. I just wanted to take an opportunity to let you know how important you are to me, because people just don't do that often enough these days. You are a wonderful piece of furniture, and I am grateful for every moment we  spend together.

Stay clean and keep it real,

Yours truly.

Monday, February 2, 2015

just one more

gracias a mi hermana

Aural Pleasure

loving this a little...

Isn't it?

If the value of one's life were measured in how many times, less or more, you did what needed to be done when it really matters, I am not sure the numbers would stack in my favor. And isn't that what it's all about?

Today was a long one, with no stupid game involved. It would sure be nice to decompress by sleeping. A girl can dream, can't she?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Some kind of blues riff

I was supposed to be in bed a half an hour ago, or two hours.  I am tired; logic tells me this, and other things that stand to reason, despite an unsettling backdrop of ill-mindedness. I am more lucid than I wish to be, and than I should be, at this late hour. I feel like a shadow, watching myself from across the room, like the ghost of Christmas past. Spirit, remove me from this place!

Today should have been a good day.  In fact, it was.  Quite good, in a few ways. But something hovers over me that I cannot place--or rather, I cannot place myself, where I am or ought to be. Thoughts follow each other like music on staves, in harmonic counterpoint, a minor key, closer to a pentatonic scale maybe.

These notes are just a fraction of a song-cycle I will never compose. The page is silent, and so is this house. If another soul were here, I would no doubt hear them breathing, a room away. I'll let the furnace run instead, and listen to the absence of concern, as warmth strikes the walls. What I wouldn't give for a lullaby.

Try to imagine you are sleeping in the passenger seat. Have a warm drink, and go to bed. Nothing that is happening now has ever happened before, no need to be surprised about it.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pep talk

Listen, I love you.  Tomorrow will be a better day.

Have a warm drink and go to bed. Try to imagine you are sleeping in the passenger's seat.

Go play outside in the sunshine tomorrow, and get as many hugs and laughs as you can.

Everything will change.  Have sweet dreams.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Picture this

I am an etch-a-sketch
and you're the knob.

I could use a good shake

In the dark

I got this thingy last year, as the days were growing shorter, to try to help me negotiate with my morning darkness. It's a programmable timer and dimmer that you can hook up to your own bedside lamp, so it will slowly turn on and gently wake you up in the morning, a la sunrise. Most days, it is surprisingly effective, and will wake me up almost instantaneously, or within a few minutes. With that in mind, I don't know why I set the thing to light up at 5:15, though I suppose I didn't expect it would work so well. This morning I was awake even before it was, though I waited for my alarm to go off a half hour later, plus a few extra minutes, before getting out of bed.

I've never been a morning person. Some of you may recall that I actually used to be a morning demon, but I've mellowed in my old age and now I mainly have to contend with a) being just way too tired and b) feeling completely without hope in the morning. It's just a thing some of us non-morning/non-sleeping types have to get used to, not a big deal. But sometimes it's a bummer.  Like today. Lately I've been served up a plate of doubt, disappointment, and deception, and it's not been sitting all that well in this well-rounded gut of mine. So I found myself under the covers this morning, trying to hide from the ugly light of my negative and unkind thoughts, and fears, and wondering what I could do to change that.

Not care, was the solution I came up with, as in "I could not care less".  The problem with that mantra is that, if you repeat it even once, you realize that it could be logically re-stated as "I am incapable of caring less", which has some different connotations.  Whether it's true or not, it doesn't make a very good mantra anyway, for obvious reasons. I mean, why would you go through life not caring, when you could just not give a shit instead?

Kidding. Sort of.  In any case, the sun has displaced the darkness, my car is running, and I have a lot more to do and worry about than thoughts and feelings, so I better get this shit show on the road.  Good morning!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Date Night!

Ha ha, now let's be serious.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Simply Super Supper

Salmon filet, finger-brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and freshly ground black pepper, baked in steel at 425 degrees for 10-20 minutes (as called for by size)

Squeeze with 3 sections of Minneola Tangelo that were left sitting on the counter all day and also on the table the whole day before, and drizzle with drippings from the pan

Serve with cauliflower florets, steamed or briefly blanched, placed head down on in the juices

Accompanied by a glass of Picpoul de Pinet

Followed by a small chunk of Sartori Bellavitano Gold and two spears of pickled asparagus good enough for me!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Just lovely.

Goodness Gracious, it's been some time since I've held my camera like I meant it. I miss it so much that I can scarcely even remember it.

What a beautiful past few days, with some of the best people I know. Seriously sweet, restorative, relaxing, rejuvenating, (en)lightening, hilarious, thoughtful, and enjoyable. I really do have the best friends, two of whom happen to be my sisters. So happy to share this world and this life with the bunch of you.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Where the heart is

Coulda sworn it was around here somewhere...

Maybe it's on the other side of that swamp?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

There always is

So, I just returned from my first winter camping experience, and I have to say, it was pretty awesome.

The anticipation was in some ways more "exciting" than the trip itself; it had been quite some time since I've looked forward to anything so very much...I was almost giddy in the days leading up to our departure.  My companion put a great deal of time and effort into preparations, including construction of two pulks--a very fine, expedition-worthy one for himself, and a cheaper yet perfectly adequate one for me. They performed beautifully, in my opinion, as did most of the rest of our gear. I had no prior frigid-weather experience upon which to draw, or with which to compare, but for a first/trial run, I'd say it was a success. No one lost any fingers or toes, there were no catastrophes (aside from a spilled meal which was more of an annoyance than a disaster) and, despite the numbingly cold temps on our first night out, the weather was good, the snow was nearly ideal , and the woods were wonderfully quiet, tranquil, and beautiful. I wish I'd had a camera, but the pictures in my mind, of tall pines and spruce draped in snow, and my dear intrepid friend leading our way across the frozen expanse of the southern edge of the Boundary Waters, will remain fixed in my memory.  I only wish we'd been able to stay a bit longer...I often attest that it takes three days to actually get to where you are, wherever that might be, and except for a few very brief moments of reflection between worrying about keeping going and changing layers, I feel I missed out on really being able to take it all in, and be fully present in the beauty through which we traveled.

We left rather late on Thursday morning, and arrived at our departure point on Sawbill Lake at mid-afternoon. The drive up had us both wondering about what conditions we might encounter--the temps were above freezing and there was little snow on the ground much of the way, but once we left the shore and drove up into the hills, any worries of warm weather and lack of adequate snow were left far behind us. I might go so far as to say that we entered a Winter Wonderland, but perhaps that perception was only due to the stark contrast with where we'd come from. Winter has been a bit of a dud here this year, so to encounter even a foot (or two) of pristine snow was a true delight.

Our first night out on Alton Lake was a cold one, much colder than either of us might have guessed, by the reading on the little zipper thermometer that hung on the vestibule... negative 10 degrees, by morning.  But we stayed warm, bundled in our sleeping bags and cuddled together in the pitch darkness, for more hours than anyone could wish to spend in a tent, except in order to escape such deep cold.  After traversing a wind-blown lake and crossing a relatively long portage through untracked powder, we spent another, considerably warmer night on the shore of Wonder Lake. Unfortunately, condensation got the better of us, or at least of our sleeping bags and the tent, and our fuel reserves were already running low, so we skied and snowshoed our way back on Saturday afternoon rather than go any further, or stay out for another night. My sled carried forty-five pounds, and his was easily fifteen pounds heavier, and pulling such weight was, although easier than I had been anticipating, a tiring endeavor. I was fairly thirsty, and he was pretty sore. Better to get out while the getting is good.

A few lessons learned: Isobutane doesn't perform well if at all in very cold temps. Water takes time and fuel to make from snow and readily returns to a frozen (i.e., undrinkable) state. Well-insulated xc ski boots would be a very good investment. Don't not bring your gaiters. Everything has the potential of getting wet even if it's well below zero. Zipping sleeping bags together is a better idea. Wool is excellent. Weight makes a difference in the long haul. Warmth and the potential for it is critical. Booties are helpful. Seeing wolf tracks is cool. Summer sausage may be aptly named. Snowshoeing isn't easy. Don't put your supper in your pocket and forget about it. Treats are nice. Silence is bliss.

On the way back we crossed paths with an otter, running and sliding its way across the lake out ahead of us--a big first for me. Is there any more delightful animal? A light snow fell in perfect crystalline form, and the air was pleasantly free of biting winds, as we skied the final stretch back to the car (that being my new one, the black Volvo, sweet machine that it is). We took the long back roads back down, stopped off at a little bar in the middle of nowhere, and enjoyed a beer or two before continuing the descent on the snow-covered gravel, back to the blacktop, to the highway, to the towns and cities and the busy interstate and finally, into the big city.

It was a somewhat sad return, for me, coming home to the responsibilities of house and home, the realities of city life and a job that I wish I could more easily abandon for a different life, at a different pace, in a different place... One day, perhaps, I'll have the courage to relocate further afield. For now, I am comfortable and secure, at least in some ways, if not fulfilled... but leaving the sweet peace of deep Winter and returning to the ugly noise of urban existence is not, by any stretch of the imagination, one of my favorite transitions. 

Tonight, there's a light snow falling here, big fluffy flakes drifting down slowly in the stillness, as if to soothe my wistful soul... I hope, I dearly do, that I will return to the white woods soon, sooner than later, at least once more before the snow begins to change, and give way to the next season. There's time yet for another adventure. There always is, isn't there?

Monday, January 19, 2015

I love winter

I love my new pac boots
I love my sleeping bags
I love big fat warm booties
I love watching the otter run and slide across a frozen lake on the edge of the Boundary Waters, in the middle of the day, in the depth of winter
I love winter camping
I love how cold it can get
I love the perfect snowflakes falling on our packs while we eat ice-laced meat log and cheese bagel sandwiches
I love waiting for next time
I love winter

Thursday, January 1, 2015

All right, I'll do it

Be less fat. This sucks and I'm sick of it. Dropping the weight will necessarily entail working out more and drinking less, and reducing stress.

Learn a new skill, art, craft, or activity--for pleasure's sake, not just for utility (i.e., learning how to replace my toilet doesn't count). 

Spend less time alone. This is of critical importance. Lack of adequate time spent in physical proximity to people is damaging to mind, body, heart and spirit--and it shows.

Spend less money. On everything, all year long. Save twice as much as last year, if not more.

Polish my resume, etc. and apply for new jobs. It's long past time. (And that's polish, as in make shiny, not Polish as in sausage.)

Become modestly familiar with, if not mildly adapted to, various forms of social media. Then resume disregarding them, unless there is a compelling reason not to.

Read more. Fiction, non-fiction, news, opinions. This has to be a top priority. I need to be smarter and better informed in order for other goals to come into the realm of possibility.

Help more. Seriously, give a little more. Money, time, labor, ideas. Contribute something, for god's sake.

Rescue a puppy. Just kidding, although sometimes it really would be good to have a dog around for purposes of unconditional love, and obedience training.

Practice, practice, practice, and improve.

Stop the negative self-talk and expect better of others. (I sense these two go hand-in-hand.)

Sleep better. This should be number one on the list since everything else probably hinges on it, in a number of ways.

Take a photography class, or at least learn how to use my camera(s).

Take a trip somewhere new, possibly somewhere well outside my comfort zone.

Be more vulnerable, and more forgiving.

Floss more. 

Sing more

Stretch more

Play more

Do more

Love more.