Sunday, May 31, 2009

my back yard

(when i look out back at a certain angle,
i feel like i am in the tropics)

It is useless to utter fervent petitions for that Kingdom to be established and that Will be done, unless we are willing to do something about it ourselves. ... We are agents of the Creative Spirit in this world. Real advance in the spiritual life means accepting this vocation with all it involves.

~ Evelyn Underhill ~
The Spiritual Life (1936)

Today two squirrels ate from my hand at the same time. They took turns--one on each end of the railing, he'd eat his hazelnut then run up to take another from me. Then he'd run back to the end of the rail while the other came to my hand for more.

Two at once! Never thought I'd see that happen.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


(lettuce in our garden)

I think an economy should be based on thrift, on taking care of things, not on theft, usury, seduction, waste, and ruin.

~ Wendell Berry ~

from his poem "Some Further Words"

And lettuce. It should be based on lettuce.

Friday, May 29, 2009

even frank can have a bad day...

("what the...?")

Some days you're the bird--some days the statue.

~ Origin Unknown ~

Thursday, May 28, 2009

love thursday 05.28.09 ~ he's comin' back....

(blackbird coming back after the winter)

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.

~ Dwight D. Eisenhower ~

Happy Love Thursday, everyone.

More Love Thursday at Chookooloonks....

(I have no idea why I am having so much trouble with focus. Must be a metaphor for my life! Or maybe it was an unconscious synchronicity with Karen's post...hmm?)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

list anyone?

(spring through my office window--the leaves are back)

The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.

~ John F. Kennedy ~

Something tells me that Kennedy was not the first person who uttered that statement. I guess they had to attribute it to someone.

Lots of roof repairing weather going on here. It's a good thing.

Not so much squirrel feeding though...or picture taking.

Maybe tomorrow. Next on my list is painting the downstairs bathroom, putting my desk together, and reorganizing my office. Wonder when I'll get that done?

How about you? What's on your list?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

moral beings

I stand before you as a moral being ... and as a moral being I feel that I owe it to the suffering slave and the deluded master, to my country and to the world, to do all that I can to overturn a system of complicated crimes, built upon the broken hearts and the prostrate bodies of my countrymen in chains and cemented by the blood, sweat, and tears of my sisters in bonds.

~ Angelina Grimké ~
Abolitionist and feminist (1805-1879)

I watched a movie tonight called Black and White. Based in Australia in the late 50s-early 60s, an aboriginal man is convicted and sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a little girl. The story follows his trial and shows how justice is not done for people of color, the underprivileged--basically, anyone who is not a white male of authority.

The prime minister commuted his death sentence--not because it was the right thing to do, but for political expediency. Max (the "half-cast" aboriginal) spent fourteen years in prison for a crime he says he didn't commit. The real Max makes a cameo at the end of the film: "Some people still think I'm guilty. Some think I'm not."

We have made some progress. Not enough. The disadvantaged are still...disadvantaged. Those who are not of the "ruling class"--and make no mistake, we do have a class system--often aren't adequately heard in their quest for justice. Not just in the courts, but in jobs and relationships and systems of all kinds.

Moral beings, we are. Aren't we?

Monday, May 25, 2009


(half a tail)

The ability to concentrate and to use time well is everything.

~ Lee Iococca ~
I know the picture is blurry, but look at this little guy with half a tail. I couldn't tell whether he had been injured or he was not fully developed. He ran off a number of bigger squirrels and crows. The whole time he was sitting there, he was talking and warning them away.

And if this quote is true, I am screwed.

Happy Monday. May we remember those who have gone before us.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


(i remember the first time i saw a field of clover in bloom.
it took my breath away.)

It is time that Christians were judged more by their likeness to Christ than their notions of Christ.

~ Lucretia Mott ~
Quaker abolitionist and women's rights advocate (1793-1880)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

coincidence: part deux

(photo by mom...mine, not his)

Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Program (PEAR) conducted a study for almost 30 years. The purpose was to study the interaction of consciousness and sensitive inanimate physical devices.

In layperson's terms (mine), the study recorded computers with random number generators and looked at correlations between the output of those generators and world events. What they found is that before a major world occurrence (such as the events on September 11, 2001) the randomness of the output became less random and began to develop a noticeable pattern.

In brief, they found that "The enormous databases produced by PEAR provide clear evidence that human thought and emotion can produce measurable influences on physical reality." (See PEAR press release.)

The 20th century denotation of "coincidence"...


[koh-in-si-duhns] Show IPA
1. a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance: Our meeting in Venice was pure coincidence.
2. the condition or fact of coinciding.
3. an instance of this.

1595–1605; coincid(ent) + -ence

1. accident, luck, fate.
...must give way to the 21st century denotation...

(kō-ĭn'sĭ-dəns, -děns')
  1. The state or fact of occupying the same relative position or area in space.
  2. A sequence of events that although accidental seems to have been planned or arranged.

What doesn't change is that both refer to "events that happen in the same place and time." What's the difference? In the first definition, cause is attributed to "accident, luck, fate." In the second, cause is unknown--but there is a cause.

The point of the PEAR study is that we do effect the events and occurrences of this world. No longer can we attribute coincidence to chance without a "first cause." Attribution to a cause is a given even if we don't know what that cause is.

Bottom line: We are all connected, inter-related, inter-dependent and we affect each other.

Do I believe in coincidence? Absolutely, more than ever. In fact, I believe that creating coincidence is possible and may be the wave of the future.

What do you all think?

PS - Regarding "waiting"...all is well. It was just one of those days where the waiting for others took more time than the scheduled events. I found it tiring that day. Thanks for your concern.

Friday, May 22, 2009

more to come on coincidence...

Charity depends on the vicissitudes of whim and personal wealth; justice depends on commitment instead of circumstance. Faith-based charity provides crumbs from the table; faith-based justice offers a place at the table.

~ Bill Moyers ~
Television journalist and social commentator

...but not today.

Do you know how tiring it is to wait? Well, that is how tired I am.

Tonight I can't think to rub two words together. However, I will return to the subject and I have appreciated your input so far.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

love thursday ~ 05.21.09: joy

I have committed myself to joy. I have come to realize that those who make space for joy, those who prefer nothing to joy, those who desire the utter reality, will most assuredly have it. We must not be afraid to announce it to refugees, slum dwellers, saddened prisoners, angry prophets. Now and then we must even announce it to ourselves. In this prison of now, in this cynical and sophisticated age, someone must believe in joy.

~ Richard Rohr, OFM ~

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

coincidence: the dialog

(almond croissant)

I had no idea that history was being made.
I was just tired of giving in.

~ Rosa Parks ~

Coincidence. Someone quoted Karl Marx in one of my recent mail lists as saying that "Coincidence is the Highest Regularity." I'm not sure what he meant by that, but I agree with the statement as I understand it.

Coincidence has meaning. Those events that we call "coincidence" resonate at a similar level. Rather than being flukes--products of chance or probability--the synchronous events we call coincidence find a level of entrainment that allows them to meet at the same place in time.

Understanding the meaning of it is another issue.

Okay...there's my opening statement. Now it's your turn. Talk to me....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

lost words

(shadin' himself)

When you pray, move your feet.

~ African Proverb ~

I seem to have lost my words again. Maybe Carrie is right and there is a connection between how close the squirrels come and my finding the words. No close encounters lately. Sometimes they come when I call. Sometimes not. No one is eating from my hand.

Hmm. Guess there is a connection--or at least a coincidence. (Some day let's have a conversation about coincidence, shall we?)

Bear with me as I create this post to prime the pump. For a long time I practiced the "morning pages" of Julia Cameron's Artist's Way. At least I was writing. At least I was using my words. I know this will pass. It always does.

Thanks for coming by to visit. Leave a word or two. Maybe I'll find the trail.

Monday, May 18, 2009

anyone know what this green thing is?

(does anyone know what this is?)

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.

~ Buddhist Proverb ~

Sunday, May 17, 2009


If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.

~ William Wilberforce ~
British abolitionist and social reformer (1759-1833)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

thank god

( mother's day flowers that the squirrels didn't eat)

God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help in trouble.

therefore we will not fear,

though the earth should change,

though the mountains shake

in the heart of the sea;

though its waters roar and foam,

though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

~ Psalm 46:1-3 ~

Friday, May 15, 2009

is it your business if i love you?

(in between bites of the flowers)

If I love you, what business is it of yours?

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ~
Yes, I know it is a repeat. Yesterday's post brought up some interesting responses for people, so perhaps it is worth repeating.

I'd love to hear more of your thoughts about what this means. I see it as many layered. Depending upon your point of view and your viewing point, the meaning comes from several directions all at once. Or maybe there is some built in Rorschach to it...not that I have any intention of analyzing your responses.

Someone asked what it means to me. One response is not enough:

  • Who I love is my business and I will go about the business of loving them whether they are aware of my love or not.
  • What would it mean to you if you knew I love you?
  • I am responsible for my feelings.
  • My loving you is not dependent upon your knowing it and responding in a certain way.
Those are for starters. Tell me yours.

On another note...

Squirrel update: They came when I called this morning. Apparently, squirrel politics abound. Three red males appeared this morning. One of them came and took two consecutive peanuts from my hand. The others wouldn't approach. They did, however, run off my little buddy. I guess they don't (a) like him fraternizing with the humans or (b) getting more peanuts than they do. After the others challenged him a couple times, he wouldn't come back for more.

No problem. Tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Love Thursday 05.14.09 ~ giving thanks

(for the little things)

If I love you, what business is it of yours?

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ~

Somehow, I can imagine God saying this to me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

this is not thursday

(sometimes i just like to take pictures of patterns and textures.
this is the ceiling of the place we stayed in eagle crest.)

Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.

Romans 12:12

So I am not forgetting Love Thursday. I wonder if I will remember all the way until tomorrow? Say it with me everyone, "Tomorrow is Love Thursday." Thanks. Now I am sure to remember...I think.

I'm better today. Thanks for asking. How're you?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I haven't been...

Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr. ~

  • ...feeding the squirrels by hand. (They won't let me.)
  • ...taking pictures. Only one or two here or there.
  • ...uploading to Flickr.
  • ...linking to Shutter Sisters.
  • ...going to bed on time.
  • ...feeling chipper.

Monday, May 11, 2009

weekend update

Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr. ~

We've had a squirrel setback. They will have nothing to do with me. Well...that's not entirely true. He did come today when I called, but wouldn't come down and take the peanut. I had to leave it on the railing. Don't know what happened. Don't know what I will have to do to regain his trust. I will keep you posted.

I hung new mini lights on the back deck this weekend and changed all the burned out light bulbs in the house. Guess you could say I spent the weekend becoming enlightened. The new mini lights for the front of the house are on order. They should be here in a week or so.

SO's daughter sent Mother's Day flowers. They are lovely. We set them on the patio table on the deck. The squirrels ate two of the flowers. Actually they ate the "hips" and spit the flowers out.

We had two days of sun. YES!

How was your weekend?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day...may your sabbath be blessed

(wild turkey in hawaii...not the whisky)

At our best, we become Sabbath for one another. We are the emptiness, the day of rest. We become space, that our loved ones, the lost and sorrowful, may find rest in us.

~ Wayne Muller ~
From "Sabbath" quoted in How Shall We Live by Joan Chittister, OSB

Whether you celebrate your sabbath on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or not at all, I hope you have enjoyed rest and restoration.

May you find rest in your loved ones and they in you.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

for meg

Reversal is the order of the day in the kingdom of God.

~ Robert McAfee Brown ~

Apparently Meg is having a bad day. So, to cheer her up, here's my response* to her DIY Friday Love List:

1. Song you love: One Love

2. Book you love: A Salty Piece of Land

3. Type of cuisine you love: Mexican

4. Beverage you love: Coffee

5. Type of cookie you love: Chocolate shortbread with chocolate nibs

6. Ice cream flavour (if you're Canadian) you love: Chocolate peanut butter

7. Place you love to go: Hawaii

8. Thing you love to drive: Volvo convertible

9. Place you love to live: Oregon

10. Movie you love: Sister Act

11. Time in your life you loved: Before I got sick

12. Person you love: SO

13. Cute picture of a baby animal you love (provide link): Baby geese

14. Item of clothing you love most (that you own): My lava blues sweatshirt

15. Way of relaxing you love best: Hanging out in mineral pools

(*These are the first answers that came to my head. )

How about your list? Leave your answers below or link to your own post. And I am sure that Meg would love to hear from you, too.

Friday, May 08, 2009


(another view of the strawberry blossom)

When a person tries to act in accordance with his [or her] conscience, when he tries to speak the truth, when he tries to behave like a citizen, even in conditions where citizenship is degraded, it won't necessarily lead anywhere, but it might....Even a purely moral act that has no hope of any immediate and visible effect can gradually and indirectly, over time, gain in political significance.

~ Vaclav Havel ~

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Love Thursday ~ 05.07.09: crap. i almost forgot again

I know. I know. Doesn't sound very loving, does it?

I have a lot on my mind...besides the weather. Not that that is an excuse, but if you will refer to number seven, perhaps you will understand better.

Today's LT is action...

  • I woke up and got out of bed, even though I didn't want to do either...ever again.
  • I hand fed the squirrel who has become my faithful companion. He came when I called. He ate at least a dozen nuts from my hand...the last several without a shell.
  • I am accompanying family members to doctor apointments.
  • I'll even put the top up for my mom if it is raining or cold when we are driving around. (See how much I love you, Mom?)
  • I'll leave some coffee in the pot for SO when I leave the house.
Chop wood. Carry water. With love. For those I love.

How about you? What are you gonna do for Love Thursday? Leave me a note. I'd love to hear.

random thoughts about the weather

(strawberry blossom--near the bamboo shoot)

Since when do you have to agree with people to defend them from injustice?

~ Lillian Hellman ~

1. I. am. sick. of. the. rain.

2. I think I have snow trauma. The neighbor's house is white. When I get up in the morning, the first thing I see is the big white side of the house. Many mornings I think, "Shit. Snow." Then I look at the black roof and am relieved.

3. 80 degrees is just about perfect. Warm enough to wear shorts. Cool enough to be physically active, if one so chooses.

4. I hate the wind. The only time I like wind is when I am on a sailboat.

5. A mild breeze is not wind. It is sweat evaporation.

6. When I am in my car with the top down or on the motorcycle, that is not wind. I am moving through the air. Big difference.

7. This is the strangest spring I can remember, but then I can't remember shit.

8. Squirrels tend not to show up during the big rain.

9. We had our first "wind harvested" collard greens from our very own organic garden. Not much is big enough to eat yet, but the greens were lying in the driveway after the storm, so we didn't want them to go to waste.

10. The only weather that is not amenable to top down is precipitation that is heavy enough to fall into the car--and that is highly dependent upon the speed one is able to travel through traffic.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

i kid you not

(new shoot on the moso...five of them on this plant)
I think of life itself now as a wonderful play that I've written for myself... and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun playing my part.

~ Shirley MacLaine ~

Today the squirrels came knocking on the door again, asking for food. Red and Gray kept pointing at their mouths and stomachs and looking at me. I picked up the peanut canister, carrying it out with me as I always do. When I rounded the corner and they could see me, Gray jumped into the trees and Red came running toward me.

I kid you not. Running. Toward me.

I gave him a peanut and he took off to the trees to eat it. He'd come back to the railing and take a peanut, then jump into the trees to eat it. Back and forth. At least 1/2 dozen times. Twice, he stayed on the railing to eat--after moving some distance away, of course.

Gray kept observing, but was too nervous to try it himself. Soon two stellar jays arrived. They heard about the peanuts and wanted some of the action, coming closer than ever to me, yet keeping a safe distance. Red decided too much company meant he was through for the day, so I came in and he scampered farther up into the trees.

I know the behavior was totally food motivated, but he was running toward me. I can't wait to see what is next.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

april hail showers bring may thunderstorms

My feets is tired, but my soul is rested.

~ Mother Pollard ~
An elder in Martin Luther King Jr.'s church
during the Montgomery Bus Boycott,
responding to King's concern
that she was too old to keep walking

We had a heck of a storm this weekend. Thunder, lightning, wind sheers, hail--all of it...all at once. A tree fell in the neighborhood so we were without power for 3 hours. What better excuse to go out for dinner?

Bamboo update: We have another new shoot on the same plant. I have been remiss taking pictures and checking on it. If it ever stops raining and storming I will.

Squirrel update: He took 5 peanuts in a row directly from my hand. A second red squirrel was in attendance and really wanted to get in on the action, but was just too twitterpated to give it a try. Then a gray one came along. He seemed interested, too, and watched the procedings. He didn't learn the procedure either, but methinks that more than one will be joining the hand feeding soon.

Monday, May 04, 2009

humanity requires humility

We fought injustice wherever we found it, no matter how large, or how small, and we fought injustice to preserve our own humanity.

~ Nelson Mandela ~

I sit here at my computer day after day planning to share my thoughts with you and the moment my fingers hit the keys, I lose all my words. So I share someone else's quote and a photo or two.

Speaking isn't my first language. Apparently, writing isn't either. That, however, is not for lack of trying.

For now I go with the flow...such as it is.

Surprisingly, I find my humanity in relating to animals. Sometimes it humbles me to see how they trust us and I am equally humbled by their fear of us--not without merit.

Today when I called the squirrel to come and eat, he came from far off in the trees. Watching him make his way forward in response to my whistles and calls brought me great joy. When he arrived, his dance of ambivalence kept me from being able to hand feed him--the first time. But I got another chance and he took two peanuts from my fingers today. Continued relationship progress.

Definitely a "he". I can tell by...the hair on his chest.

On the other hand, he has no problem eating from Frank's hands.

(taken through the patio door, so it isn't quite sharp,
but i couldn't miss this shot--it's one
i have been waiting for)

Sunday, May 03, 2009


(this one--or one that looks just like her)

If you have been hanging around hanging around here at all, you know how I love my squirrels. They delight and entertain me. Squirrel food has it's own entry in the budget.

In Victoria, the guards at Parliament trained Dennis to eat from their hands. They'd whistle and he would come running to take peanuts in the shell from the gloved hand of the guard. So I said to myself, "I wonder if I could teach my squirrels to do that."

Several times I have parked myself next to the rail where I feed them and called them to come and get it. One of the reds came very close--so close that she came up and sniffed the shell of the nut, but wouldn't take it from my hand. Other days, she wouldn't even come that close.

This morning, I walked out with the bag of peanuts in my arm and one peanut in my hand. The squirrel sat at the end of the railing close to the door where I go to the deck. She didn't run when I walked out so I turned sideways with my arm fully extended, sidled up to her, and stuck the peanut in her mouth. She took it, turned, and ran to jump in the trees while she ate her treasure.

I walked down to the feeding area and waited. I held out another peanut. She scrambled around in the trees and ran at my feet. Every time I moved to bring the nut closer to her, she spooked. I stopped moving and held the nut out at the level of the rail. She came to the rail and took the nut from my hand and jumped in the trees to eat it.

One more time, she finished her nut. This time she came directly to the rail, ran up to my extended hand, and took the peanut. This time when she leapt into the trees, I put out several handsful, as is my custom, and came in the house because it started to rain harder.

We did all right, we two. It took us less than 6 weeks--and I was gone for a full week in there. No more than 6 sessions, I am sure. I'll try for a repeat tomorrow.

Saturday, May 02, 2009



I love Saturday--a full day of no routine and another full day tomorrow.

Saturday is round and rich and full of promise. It is all things good and fun...productive and creative.

Have the Saturday of your dreams. Do you have any plans? Tell me about them. I'd love to hear.

Friday, May 01, 2009

look up

Our common humanity is more important than all the things that divide us.

~ Mairead Corrigan ~
1976 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
and cofounder of the Community of Peace People
in Northern Ireland