Friday, February 27, 2015

Thoughts upon arising

---------  ---  that moment when you first
become aware,
that you're awake-
   Your feet are reaching for
the floor.
                And your mind,
(the inner/truest you) still caught
in the dream state,
     talks to you-
are the ones that
reveal yourself to you.

     Write them down
Or, if you must: 

1. Pee
2. turn coffee maker on
3. turn heat on under pan with oatmeal
4. swallow aspirin
do so out of habit, while holding on to those nuggets of wisdom
                                you awoke with.

     Write them down

This morning:
                        Motivation is only good for the present moment--
it's meager fodder for the

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Things that make you shake your head in disbelief

File under things that make you go hmmm, then shake your head in disbelief.
An acquaintance of mine had a series of health crisis during the second half of last year (2014.). He suffered a stroke, a heart attack, and had a pneumonectomy to treat lung cancer.  Yes, he was a smoker; like a chimney.  Miraculously, he recovered quickly from all these incidents and returned to work.  I heard that he had quit smoking and thought; too bad it took such health catastrophes to prompt him to quit.

Disclaimer:I smoked for 33 years and it took me ten years to quit.  So I do know how difficult it is to quit.

This morning as I walked to work I saw this acquaintance leave his apartment and walk toward a coffee shop a few blocks away.  He was, perhaps, 3/4 block ahead of me.  But there was no mistake when I saw his right hand go up to his face and the lit end of cigarette glowed in the darkness.

I'm still shaking my head in disbelief.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Send in the Clowns for Magpie #259

Garish red lips beckon seductively,
Collecting supplicants hither and yon.
Always taking, never giving, empty.
Bon vivant pretender, disguised still;
Costumes, veil, egos hide insecurity.
Not tonight, I'll spend my tokens elsewhere.

Winter solitude

Darkness fades to blue.
New white smothers the green.
Quietude reigns.
Winged denizens absent from the smorgasbord.
A strobe flashes yellow.
Snowplow advances up Columbia,
Peeling aside the white.
Exposes tarmac black
Stained sandstone brown.

Roaring engine grumble,
Jangle of chains,
Scraping plow;
Piercing the silence.

Rolling down Main,
Quiet restored,
Silence refills the void.

Winter, the season of meditation,
Renewal, restoring,
Readying for rebirth.
Remembering, on a Sunday morning:
22 February.

February is a suitable month for dying. Everything around is dead, the trees black and frozen so that the appearance of green shoots two months hence seems preposterous, the ground hard and cold, the snow dirty, the winter hateful, hanging on too long.
Anna Quindlen

Sunday, February 15, 2015

snow shoveling in below zero february

This morning, after donning my parka of common sense, I ventured out in the -8 degree air under sunny skies of brilliant blue to scrape away the two-three inches of new snow deposited over night. The wind was blowing briskly out of the north-west, making the wind-chill a bazillion degrees below freezing.
Shoveling snow is a great way to keep warm when out-of-doors on a cold day.
I also find twenty minutes in the sauna after an hour's shoveling is a delightful way to warm one's self.

Windchill Armageddon

My oh my, woe is I.
The weather channels,
Soothsayers of doom,
Foretell windchill Armageddon
While traveling to my workplace abode.

Where moments of outside exposure
Will turn you into a shattered
Crystal chandelier.

Yup, it's cold. Something we, living on the border of Canada, should be accustomed to in these months of winter; January and February at least.  Temperatures dipping into double digit below freezing numbers are routine for any of us having accumulated an age greater than 10.

We are familiar with the concept of wind chill factor, knowing that windchill does not lower the temperature.  If the temperature is 10 below zero it remains so regardless of whether the the wind is 20 mph.  If you stand exposed to the wind then the speed at which your body loses heat will be as rapid as if the temperature were much lower.  If you position yourself behind the shelter of buildings, trees, cars, or clothing, the temperature is static.

But if we stick with the facts the media loses the impact of the sensationalism they think is necessary to grab our attention.

It's winter, it's cold, dress protectively, cover exposed skin, don't go swimming in the river without a dry suit.  Go to the coat closet and don a parka of common-sense and you'll be fine.  And after traveling 4 hours southwest I'll be able to boast that I survived the trip through zippity billion degrees below zero!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Honesty is the best policy

Old adages remain relevant through the decades because their truths stand the test of time.  Occasionally these truisms are displayed for all the world to see.

Aunt Nellie frequently admonished me; "honesty is the best policy." I've ignored that sage advice too many times.

Watching what happened to Brian Williams, NBC news anchor, this week over a lie told years ago is a stark reminder to heed aunt Nellie's advice from now on.  I'll bet Brian wishes he had.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


February is a month that we find difficult to like; after December and January we tire of snow and cold, but we get more snow, and it gets colder.  We shut ourselves up inside and daydream about spring and summer.  I was thinking; every coin has two sides as does every story, there must be some redeeming qualities in February's winter.

while February is usually  frigid, it is our shortest month.  (Perhaps we could add the extra days, one each to July and August .)

Daylight lasts noticeably longer.

We celebrate love in February .

There is greater appreciation for fireplaces; more romance.

AND, kids of all ages see snow as a plaything: sledding, skiing, snow-shoeing, tubing, fort-building, snowball fights, skating, ice fishing, and snowmobiling.

For the sedentary souls it's a great month to stay inside curled up on the couch under an afghan and catch up on your reading.

Now that I think of it, February is a great month.

Let's celebrate February .

Monday, February 09, 2015

conversations in the shower.


Many of my more interesting conversations begin in the shower and end in the bathroom mirror. 

Remember, Matthew 18:3? "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."

I was thinking about my exercise routine for yesterday and today; noting, I can easily put off/postpone a day's scheduled activity until later or even tomorrow.  One reason for this, I think, is that I view exercise as a chore or something to do to maintain health, vigor, vitality and promote an active progression into old age.  My grandchildren, on the other hand, run, swim, do gymnastics, self styled zumba/dance for "FUN."  They are active because they enjoy having fun.  WOW, what a novel idea.

Yesterday I said to myself in the morning; "self, I'll run later, when it warms up."  Surprisingly, amid a major distraction, I donned my running togs and went for my run, then and there.  This morning I told myself I'd do my strength training routine later this afternoon at the gym.  Having told this lie to myself so many times before; I got up from my desk chair and did chin-ups, push-ups, shoulder raises, bicep curls and the plank.  The afternoon workout will be a bonus.

Now, to make exercise fun again.

"Philosophy triumphs easily over past and future ills; but present ills triumph over it."
                                                                 Francois De La  Rochefoucauld


Wednesday, February 04, 2015


I almost missed him,
sitting there on the low hanging branch
just inches from the ground.
What the...?
Is that an illusion?...

 I don't recall that object
in my memory's eye.
Wait, an eagle?
No, too small, but wait...
A bird for sure.

The jays, chickadees, doves
even the squirrels
Have disappeared from the feeder.
Fetch the binoculars.

wait, don't go.
the red tailed hawk
soars off
without breakfast,
this time.