Wilderness — A Meditation

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Parallel 88

Thanksgiving dinner was a delight at Parallel 88. Ben and Sarah, Graham and Dorothy supped on organic wine, superb dressing, succulent turkey, tasty mashed potatoes in the midst of a lovely family setting.

Zion National Park is dusted, white upon red monoliths under blue skies.

Only problem, I managed to sprain my other ankle by slipping on the instead of enjoying the lovely great outdoors, I'm propped next to a trash can full of ice and lots of pillows upon which to stash my ankle when it's not in the water...

So, trip to the cabin is set back a few days. We'll head north to visit Matt and Tina first and then come back to climb the snow covered road.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holiday Pudding

Only the Irish could convince me to actually attempt a Christmas pudding..and so I must give credit to Desmond, the Irishman on an INFJ listserve to which I belong. He posted his fav pudding recipe with strict instructions about making one's own bread crumbs.

I succumbed! On the stove for the past hour and for another two are several small Christmas puddings complete with brandy and Guinness substitute, full of fruit, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg et al.

If it all comes out as a delicious treat, I'll post again to let you know. If it all comes out as a delicious treat we have Agnes Lind to thank. It was her culinary tools - the ones she left behind twenty years ago when she moved out of the house - that were used to good effect. Rubber spatulas, wooden spoons, huge enamel bowls, a Sunbeam mix master, a Sunbeam blender, measuring cups and spoons - the whole nine yards tumbled out of drawers and were useful in combining ingredients, in preparing a sumptuous dessert for the holidays.

We are, indeed, fortunate folks to have rescued this little prairie house from the raccoons who had use of it for far too long. Time to titillate human taste buds for a bit.

Happy third week in November to you all.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Day After the Birthday Celebration

No hangover!

But we did head north to Estevan in Canada for Vietnamese. Delicious - not as delicious as the Vietnamese in Brisbane, but tasty, clean, fat free Asian food served with a smile and a cup of Jasmine tea. Rice paper spring rolls - my fav.

Then we did the slip and slide across icy city streets - had to put the little ute in four wheel drive to get through one intersection. We're still novices at this black ice travel, to be sure.

The Aussie had a harrowing experience with similar black ice the day before as he approached the morraine on the way to Powells Lake. A series of massive SSSSS with no oncoming vehicles got his attention. Glad my sprained ankle kept me home propped up. My screams would have added nothing to the experience - of this we are both certain.

Life is good! A blood pressure cuff and machine arrived in the mail today. I did well! 115/75, a slightly better reading than the 124/40 on election day when I attempted to give blood at the Red Cross Drive here in Flaxton.

We depart for places south in 9 days..looking forward.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

- - - - - - - - Fear of the Unknown - - - - -

New York Times

The Opinion Pages


Justice Stevens on ‘Invidious Prejudice’

Published: November 9, 2010

A great deal of what public figures have said about the proposed Islamic cultural center near ground zero in Lower Manhattan has been aimed at playing off fear and intolerance for political gain. Former Justice John Paul Stevens of the Supreme Court, on the other hand, delivered one of the sanest and most instructive arguments for tolerance that we have heard in a long time.

Justice Stevens, who retired at the end of the court’s last term, served for two and a half years as an intelligence officer in Pearl Harbor during World War II. In a speech on Thursday in Washington, he confessed his initial negative reaction decades later at seeing dozens of Japanese tourists visiting the U.S.S. Arizona memorial.

“Those people don’t really belong here,” he recalled thinking about the Japanese tourists. “We won the war. They lost it. We shouldn’t allow them to celebrate their attack on Pearl Harbor even if it was one of their greatest victories.”

But then Justice Stevens said that he recognized his mistake in “drawing inferences” about the group of tourists that might not apply to any of them. “The Japanese tourists were not responsible for what some of their countrymen did decades ago,” he said, just as “the Muslims planning to build the mosque are not responsible for what an entirely different group of Muslims did on 9/11.”

Many Muslims who pray in New York City mosques, he added, “may well have come to America to escape the intolerance of radicals like those who dominate the Taliban.” Descendants of pilgrims “who came to America in the 17th century to escape religious persecutions” and helped establish our democracy should get that, he said.

Justice Stevens ended with a powerful message that participants in the debate over the mosque and community center in Lower Manhattan should heed: “Ignorance — that is to say, fear of the unknown — is the source of most invidious prejudice.”


I am reminded of a story told by my Aussie bloke about a conversation he had with a North Vietnamese colonel twenty years after the war in Vietnam had ended. The two were seated in a hotel bar in Ho Chi Min City. There was an interpreter who joined the two men.

He asked the colonel, 'Why are the Vietnamese so welcoming to Australians? If you had invaded my country, I'm not so sure I would welcome Vietnamese visitors there.'

The colonel was quiet for a moment and then turned to say, 'But we won.'

Monday, November 08, 2010

Life at 70

My first birthday card arrived today..thanks Becca!! On the front was a gigantic blue 70.

Couldn't figure out why my dear friend would make such an error.

This couldn't possibly be my 70th birthday. She must have purchased it to send to someone else who died just in the nick of time and so she was recycling it for me as a joke!

No joke.

My dearest partner, Graham, took a look, smiled and said..'ah you have to admit just how long you've been hangun round. '

Caught! Dearly caught..It's a long time to flutter hither and yon. Many snows have passed since that birthing back in Flint, Michigan. Lots has changed. But, finally what counts is that I've done a good deed or five here and there, smoked a joint or three, driven into lots of snowy ditches, made love to a couple of amazing men, and today am cozy and creative in our little prairie house looking forward to our upcoming trip to the Sierra.

love you all..

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Geographical Center of North America

Rugby, North Dakota!

In the midst of writing a short story about my first visit to North Dakota, where I currently reside, I wondered how close my house was to the center of North America. 144 miles north-west of Rugby sits my little prairie cottage. Now that's pretty darn close.

What a wonderment to discover that finally at almost age 70, I'm rather like a top swirling on it's tip, almost dead center in the middle of Norte it..and thought you might enjoy knowing what I now know..that your friend and blogger has finally found a modicum of balance in her life :)

I wonder if this fact will have any impact on my political balance? Probably not!! Staunch progressive here!!

Physical geography

The vast majority of North America is on the North American Plate. Parts of California and western Mexico form the partial edge of the Pacific Plate, with the two plates meeting along the San Andreas fault. The southernmost portion of the continent and much of the West Indies lie on the Caribbean Plate, whereas the Juan de Fuca and Cocos plates border the North American Plate on its western frontier.

The continent can be divided into four great regions (each of which contains many subregions): the Great Plains stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian Arctic; the geologically young, mountainous west, including the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, California and Alaska; the raised but relatively flat plateau of the Canadian Shield in the northeast; and the varied eastern region, which includes the Appalachian Mountains, the coastal plain along the Atlantic seaboard, and the Florida peninsula. Mexico, with its long plateaus and cordilleras, falls largely in the western region, although the eastern coastal plain does extend south along the Gulf.

The western mountains are split in the middle and into the main range of the Rockies and the coast ranges in California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia with the Great Basin—a lower area containing smaller ranges and low-lying deserts—in between. The highest peak is Denali in Alaska.

The United States Geographical Survey states that the geographic center of North America is "6 miles west of Balta, Pierce County, North Dakota" at approximately 48°10′N 100°10′W / 48.167°N 100.167°W / 48.167; -100.167, approximately 15 miles (25 km) from Rugby, North Dakota. The USGS further states that “No marked or monumented point has been established by any government agency as the geographic center of either the 50 States, the conterminous United States, or the North American continent.” Nonetheless, there is a 15-foot (4.5 m) field stone obelisk in Rugby claiming to mark the center.


Saturday, November 06, 2010

Nancy Pelosi - Hooray for my favourite legislator

'Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) has tweeted that she will run to lead Democrats in the House of Representatives.'

Washington Post (Breaking News) Friday 5 November 2010
(click on the title to this blog post for the full Washington Post story)

I love this woman, love what she stands for, love her willingness to model the best possible leadership for young men and women around the nation.

May her fellow Dems choose her to do the job! We'll all be better for their making such a choice

Amazing woman!!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Day After - election results

Oh, I know we could agonize over many of the decisions that seem to have been made by those Americans who cared enough to vote. (Why, oh why, isn't it a legal requirement for everyone to vote?)

In my home state, North Dakota, the republican candidates won every contest which they entered. That's why I love California. Even though the dipsy doodle house of representatives republican candidate for my home town there won again (I think he's gonna be in office til they carry him out in a coffin), most of the state voted my political conscience. They didn't allow big oil to win the day. They voted for JERRY..hooray..the man ran a brilliant campaign, which, of course, means he drew a brilliant selection of folks around him. I personally want to thank whoever was in charge of JERRY's Facebook page..kudos, for sure.

Barbara is still the second senator from California..hooray for the gurls with the dark curls..blonds may have more fun, but they are also sometimes just not up to the really hard chores required of senators...ya know what I mean..and those blonds are male as well as female.

So, last night I fell off to sleep a very unhappy voter...the projections were abysmal.

This morning, I awoke with slightly more perspective. Dreams and a empathetic Australian husband will do that to you.

Since we lost the election here in Nordacotah, we went out and bought the wood to build a new passageway from the house to the garage so we can park the ute there instead of in the snow in January when it is really really cold on the great northern plains.

So, be well..have hope that the naysayers in the world who hate helping their fellow humans with health care and jobs have only a modicum of impact on the great American experiment..stop buying from the corporations who supported the candidates you oppose cause then those corps will have less money next time with which to support those candidates..and be happy..

Remember it's how we react to setbacks in life that determines who we are, not the setbacks themselves. React well, my friends..and know that you are loved entities. :)

Monday, November 01, 2010

6 a.m.

Crystal clear at 6 a.m. this morning after two days of almost perfect foggy dew.

Woke up to the crescent moon staring me in the face through the window - brilliant!

Downloaded a new operating system on my laptop last night and just couldn't wait to get up to play with the web to see how well it operated.

Perfectly - crystal, like the atmosphere surrounding us here on the prairie.

I can use Hotmail again and can access the real time counter on this blog. Hopefully facebook will also work better. I think the old OS on this machine was new six years ago; a lifetime on the internet.

So, it's dark for another hour or so here in Nordacotah..the sunrise ought to be delightful. The school bus with its flashing lights ought to pass on our street in about fifteen is so strange to think of living in a house where the chillins are up and ready to go to school in the own experience back in the day, but that day is more than 50 years ago..oh my

Tomorrow is a birthday celebration for two of my favourite folks in the in advance, Happy Day to Marcia and Sarah...I love you both!!

Catch you in the sunlight..may laughter and warm hugs follow you all the hours of your celebration