Sunday, January 16, 2011

wintery weekend

It's been the kind of Sunday morning I enjoy most, waking up slowly, drinking coffee and reading and watching birds, making a breakfast of blueberry pancakes with locally processed maple syrup, and later playing some Irish tunes on flute. The birds have been very active this weekend--this morning I had two hairy woodpeckers, two downy woodpeckers, and one pileated! They're attacking the suet cake I have hanging from the birch tree in front of the house. Sorry no pictures--I can't find a pair of AA batteries for the regular camera, and my iPhone camera doesn't zoom.

The iPhone camera is nice for times like Friday afternoon when I took a few hours off work to go cross country skiing at a local state park. (Sorry for the blurriness; I emailed this to myself at low resolution). The trails were in great condition with two inches of fresh fluffy snow that was still falling. The trails were in better condition than me or my skis, which are in need of glide wax. Nevertheless I had a great time and enjoyed the scenery and the roar of the Kettle River rapids.

Apres ski, I went across the road to the school for Starflower's basketball game, then endured a slow crawl up I-35 fifteen miles in increasing snow for Calvin's game. Traffic was moving slowly, which was appropriate for tthe conditions, but I was getting nervous because my oil light was starting to flicker on. I made it to Willow River and purchased two quarts of oil. My Subaru is experiencing an oil leak that threatens to rival BP's. Appointment tomorrow at the dealership in Duluth; hopefully it's not a big thing.

The Willow River game is fun because Calvin played with these guys, including a best buddy of his, two years ago on a sixth grade traveling team. Funny, they all seem to have grown a foot in height! Here is Calvin shooting a free throw. His team ended up losing, although they fought long and hard.

It's the time of year when I start mulling over seed catalogs, planning my strategy for the growing season. Hopefully I'll get a chance to post about my plans soon.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


My mind has been on a vacation lately. At least that part of my mind that can take the experiences of my life, and turn them into coherent blog posts. I really miss being able to do that, and am doing everything I can to ensure that I will be able to do that again as soon as possible.

Until such time as that happens, I have a couple observations on the events of this past week. My heart cries for those who were killed in Tucson, and I, while not being a praying kind of person in general, nevertheless say a prayer for Gabrielle Giffords whenever I can. For her, and all those whose lives were changed in an instant. I continue to be amazed at Ms. Giffords' strength and recovery, and I somehow wonder if the positive energy sent by so many people doesn't have something to do with it.

We do not know what exactly provoked this tragedy. We may never will. But regardless of whether or not hateful rhetoric had anything to do with it, I ask this: Can anyone who calls themself a Christian condone any rhetoric that implies violence? And if mental illness had anything to do with it, how have we as a society supported early diagnosis and treatment of mental illness? How have we shown support for individuals who may be suffering from a physiological illness, who manifest it by appearing antisocial? Have we lost the ability to care for those within our community, or have we become victims to chemical onslaughts we don't even know about? How about alienation in general...which I think is an ailment that afflicts more and more.

Maybe an afternoon of cross country skiing tomorrow will help me to think more clearly.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

one week into the new year...

I've been thinking about time a lot lately. Or, more specifically, the lack of free time I seem to be experiencing, and the discombobulated state of mind that results. Not to mention the lack of blog posts. I still have a lot to say, but in order to blog I need to sit down in front of the computer, the real computer, not the iPhone, and ideally have some peace and quiet while I compose my thoughts. The computer is still located in the cabin, which is not a bad place for it. When I came out to the cabin twenty minutes ago I had it to myself. Now three boys are here playing video games while The Hermit decided now was the perfect moment to pick up a month's worth of cans and trash from all around (This is a man cave, after all, and I DON'T clean here.) We are still configuring the wi-fi signal so it reaches the house consistently, and I suppose when that happens I could learn how to type faster and write real posts on my iPhone.

I have decided that once in a while, a woman just needs to treat herself to a hair appointment. I had a particularly bad hair day Wednesday, thanks to our hard water and dry wood stove air. I took one look in the mirror and saw a flat, unflattering, overgrown hair style with dirty highlights and frizzy grays springing up here and there. I know, I've earned them, but I got on the phone and made an appointment for this morning. I walked in saying "I'm open to suggestions..." which is a pretty bold move for me.

The results: LOVE it! It seemed at times she was randomly swiping a razor at my hair, but my hair now has shape to it. The color reminds me of photos of me at about 4 or 5 years old, when I actually had a tinge of red in the color mix. Most importantly, it makes me feel good. More youthful, maybe. Does that make me a shallow person? I don't think so.

In other business, I watched Calvin play in a very exciting eighth grade basketball game on Thursday. I don't particularly like watching basketball, but this game had me on the edge of my seat. The score was never more than four points in favor of either team, and both teams were playing hard and fast. With minutes remaining, the score started to favor Calvin's team, and they held on to it for a 41-37 victory! Starflower had two games this week, and the schedule looks busy right through mid February.

Mr. Attitude has been spotting lots of ruffed grouse (he calls them "partridge") eating buds in the trees at dusk. The redpolls are finally starting to show up at the feeders, and there are still large flocks of goldfinches. And of course, chickadees.

Today's afternoon includes some general housekeeping, possibly taking the Christmas tree down, and maybe, just maybe, some music.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Just for fun...

I'm blogging on my iPhone! I'm at Nina's basketball game; they're winning 12-8 at the half.