Wilderness — A Meditation

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

What a Day I've Had Today!!

Greetings and salutations from the end of the last week in September.

Indian Summer all round this evening. 

Watched a moose in the harvested wheat field across the slough from my upstairs bedroom window this afternoon scoot into the rushes in a dip in the prairie.  I suspect the 'only moose permit in my lifetime' hunters were chasing this young stag earlier.  There were gunshots from the huge copse of trees around the farmstead just beyond the wheat field around 9 a.m.

I was delighted that the youngster (I could tell because his beard reached half only just below his chin) managed to survive and was wise enough not to stay on the high ground in the late afternoon sunshine. I seriously doubt if he will survive the next few weeks of 'moose season' unless his long legs carry him north across the border into Canada during the night. It's a short journey - five miles.

North Dakota's state Constitution enshrines the 'right to hunt'.  Those of us without firearms in our possession are in the tiny minority. 

The gathering of the Canada geese for their journey to South America is in full form these days.  In the late afternoon chevrons of thirty or forty geese move east and south regularly.  We gun-less ones know that not all of them will survive either.  Many a North Dakota hunter will have wild game in the freezer this winter. 

Three colorful pheasant inhabit a spot near the Danish cemetary on County road 13 as well.  In the early evening yesterday we watched them scurry from roadside into high reeds as we came past. They, too, will soon be part of the hunter's quarry.

Later, the deer will be hiding in the buttes hoping to blend into the golden stubble of durham, oats, and barley when hunters arrive to add to the wildlife steaks in the freezer.  People here in North Dakota do not need to worry about 'pink slime' in their hamburger.  They don't need to eat beef.  There's enough good protein on the hoof among the wild things to satisfy any prairie menu.

And when I am feeling somehow superior because I don't hunt or because I have no interest in hunting, I remember the gigantic Swenson's Hawk who has been feeding daily on the baby coots congregating in families of twelve or thirteen in the slough.  One makes a fine meal for this intrepid hunter.  I suppose it's more than a little unfair to judge the humans and excuse the Hawk. 

This land is so full of life that we had no idea existed when first we arrived.  I can't imagine anyone going hungry here.  It is a splendid feast for the eyes as well as for the stomach.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Quick Post

In the middle of the day..can't ya just hear the lyrics..?? NO!! Darn..

Anyhow, my purpose is to write some salient, savvy lines that somehow convince an agent or publisher whom I have queried today about The Veteran Abecedarian, An Ironic Tale and who chooses to check out my blog that my work is worth consideration. 

Not gonna happen, you say!  Probably right.  I'm just not sure how to present myself in this space other than in the eclectic manner in which I have expressed myself for the past few years. Over fifteen thousand hits on this blog ought to convince  'em that what I have to offer impresses a few folks. 

Oh, that's not how it works?  Damn.  Just cause folks stop in doesn't mean they read what they came to find and/or took joy or meaning out of that reading.

Guess you're right.  So instead of trying to impress, I'll just quietly suggest that my manuscript, mentioned above, has been written on behalf of all the 'oldies', the women over the age of 70 who have raised children, built community in their neighborhoods, kept a garden, baked pies and cookies, loved wilderness, wrote poetry, traveled across the globe in search of adventure and spiritual sustenance.  Our world is the center of the larger circle of civilization.  We are the ones who hold the cosmos together in some tattered sort of way.  The warp of fabric owes its strength to our virtue, our love, our energy, the gifts we've offered to the larger picture.  Congrats, girls.  We've pretty much done a yeowoman like job.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lorraine - who always makes my heart sing

I wanted to share with you my admiration for your thoughtfulness, for your taking time before responding to all sorts of provocation during our writers workshop yesterday.  I seem to blather on.  You, on the hand, seem to think your responses through and then share.  I so appreciate your on-off switch, your dimmer.

I am sitting here being aware that I have no energy to do any of the tasks that await me.  I will go downstairs and hang out the laundry when I finish, but packing is out of the question for the moment, at least.

I am distressed to some extent by the degree of dissatisfaction that Nueva is feeling.  Somehow it is catching.  Not that I am dissatisfied, at least not more than I usually am, but that I am aware of continuing to walk in the midst of her unhappiness.  I think that is why generally T personalities are hard for me.  I catch their negativity in the net of my psyche and little pieces cram into the corners of the mesh.  No matter how hard I scrub, they remain, sometimes festering.  I need to be able to direct a harsh splash of water through to wash away the influence.

You and I do not have such a relationship, at least as far as I can tell.   I never feel hopeless when we talk.  I always have a sense that there is some space in which or through which I can pass within our conversations that will allow me to pursue a more positive outlook.  And for that sense I wish also to thank you.

I just left you a note on yahoo messenger saying I wanted to chat. It is this topic about which I wanted to say something.  Before I leave Oz, hopefully to return in three months, I needed to share with you the degree to which you are a valuable asset in my life.  Thank you for being precisely and exactly who you are when we are together and even when we are far apart and communicating via Internet. You often make my heart sing. 

And a final request.  If something should happen to me in terms of my health or my mind when I am gone from this fantasy land which has become my home, please continue to work on publishing our manuscript.  I love what we have created and do so wish to have the process shared with a more general public.  I am proud of our work, humble too, believe it or not; and want our words to be read by others.  You have my permission to change any aspect of what is written in those pages to suit a publisher should I not be around to do it for my own words.

Take good care.  I shall miss you.  As a matter of fact, I miss you this very moment whilst I write these words.  You are my rainbow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Forbidden Knowledge TV

Two of my favorite Aussies posing among the Bristle Cone Pines of eastern California.  These ancient trees and these two incredible people didn't make it to the video which is reference below, but I know they would have enjoyed wandering through the middle end of the photo essay.

Here's a great site, this particular video shows what kids can do in homework..because some teacher thought to offer the assignment.  I'm impressed..See what you think!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Write Right

 21 Key Traits of Best Selling Fiction

Check It Out.  Quite a List...

Does your writing have 'utility'?  Things folks can use in their lives?  Oh my gosh..only if they encounter a 300 pound black bear every now and again.  Only if raging mountain streams flow through their back yards.  Only if Australian mountaineers steal their hearts when they're not looking.  Sigh..I'll never sell this little package of mine..actually, it's a bit large these days..78,000 words..Can you believe it? 

Regardless..check out this article..well worth the read..

Friday, September 14, 2012

Searching out TV Programs with which to Weather the Winter

Aye, the sun rises later and sets earlier these mid September days and I, I have just been perusing the possible entertainment available on line so that the long autumn evenings and longer winter nights will seem less dark.

As I may have reported earlier, we have no television - on purpose.  However, that doesn't mean we eschew television.  Rather it means that we are selective, that we choose the shows we prefer and pass over the chaff.  It is so much easier to be discerning when one isn't forced to hit the 'off' button on the remote.  Instead, one is forced to make selections, to research in advance and then schedule the best hours to enjoy.

And that is what I have just been doing.  Discovered that Game of Thrones will not be back on line 'til the end of March.  I do miss the drama of it all, love almost every character in the past several seasons, even the ones I am supposed to disavow.  It is a meticulous production and I suppose it will be so again since they are taking time once again to produce the best possible sturm and drum.

I am also looking forward to Mad Men, and of course Good Wife and am wondering about the new television show that will feature the ms poster child himself.  His work on Good Wife was excellent. I am thinking that we may all see first hand the effects of 'stem cell treatment' unfold before our very eyes.  What a wonderment.  I do hope so.

For pure bullshit entertainment, I love The Mentalist.  The writing is mediocre but the formula works because the Aussie star has just the right hutzpa to remind me of my southern hemisphere home.

Ah and that reminds me to mention once again that we depart the great white north on 3 February.  Hope to catch up with a few of you on our way south next early year.  We should be gone only for a short while - time to either sell or re-rent the Brisbane Colonial and then return to our abode near the Canadian border.

Monday, September 10, 2012


MIssing in Action

I know I've been missing in action for quite some time now.  I've posted other people's stuff, but very little of my own.  So, you know I'm on line even if I'm not present here very much.  Life has become more than a little busy and I've not been blogging much at all.

Today, I'm back, but I can't promise to be here daily for another couple of months because I've taken on a couple of new responsibilities that are, to say the least, time consuming.  As I write this note to you all, my incredible Aussie partner is upstairs putting together a new desk on which I can research and write in an effort to help my community come up with a new zoning and planning ordinance.

As some of you will recognize immediately, this is NOT the kind of writing I most enjoy.  I'd much rather wax not so eloquently about my imaginary friends and adventures in short stories and poetry.

However, this is the kind of writing that my community needs from me at the moment.

I live on a vast North American prairie in the midst of a somewhat smaller but a just as lucrative Bakkan Oil Patch.  What this means for my community is that in the next year 65,000 new residents will arrive to punch great holes into the deep underground layers of this land in an attempt to extract billions of barrels of crude oil.  Already some 14,000 folks have descended on our corner of paradise.

I'm thinking you may understand that this influx into an area that has had fewer than 10,000 residents for the past thirty years is not all for the good.  Housing and infrastructure are the major issues.  Flaxton, my home, had diminished to 54 residents three years ago.  When the Aussie and I arrived we were the 56 and 57 residents.  Today, we have 104 people living in town, 21 of which are children.  And more are coming.

Part of the community is simply amazed and jazzed at the possibilities inherent in this circumstance.  Part of each of us in this community are scared shitless.  And I?  I'm eager to make the best of the situation, to bring new educational opportunities to the children, to hopefully create an atmosphere in which families rather than 'crew camps' dot the landscape of our little town.  So far we've been very fortunate.  Four new families, eight new children in the past three months.  Some of us want this circumstance to continue and so on behalf of the futuristic view that we can somehow orchestrate a community rather than house a work force, I will be a tad busy.

  I will report regularly about the new Planning and Zoning Commission of which I am currently the secretary.  More stories will appear of the kindergarten and first and second graders who stop in to visit with me for cookies and chocolate milk along with their workbooks that I happily provide, coloring books, readers, glue and stuff to glue, art projects, and maybe even some 4H activities.

They make my heart sing.  Sweet, curious, charming, intelligent, riders of fast bicycles, they stop, knock on my screen door and plaintively ask 'May we come in?'..who could ever say 'No - too busy today.'

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Do You Think Rich?

 15 ways rich people think differently

1. Rich people think selfishness is a virtue
Average people feel they need to save the world and put others before themselves which is keeping them poor. Rich people take the attitude that if they don’t help themselves first they can’t help anyone else.

2. Rich people have an action mentality
You wouldn’t see a rich person lining up to play the lottery (even before they were rich). Average people are always waiting on someone else to help them get rich - the Lotto, Government, friend or spouse – but it only keeps them poor. Rich people take action and spend time solving problems.

3. Rich people favour specific knowledge over formal education
Average people believe the road to riches is through doing masters and doctorates. Rich people are generally rich because they have made money selling a specific knowledge they have acquired.

4. Rich people dream of the future
Rich people spend a lot of time looking into the future, setting goals and looking forward to what lies ahead. Average people dwell on the past which often holds them back by making them unhappy or depressed.

5. Rich people think about money logically
Average and well-educated people can fall into the trap of thinking about money emotionally and just wanting to retire comfortably. Rich people maintain a logical relationship with money viewing it as a tool that represents options and opportunities.

6. Rich people follow their passion
Oprah Winfrey said it – you’ve got to follow your passion and do what you love. Rich people find a way of getting paid for doing something they love. Average people earn money doing things they don’t love.

7. Rich people aim high
Average people set low expectations to avoid disappointment whereas rich people set huge expectations and follow their dreams.

8. Rich people believe you have to “be” someone
Average people on the other hand believe you have to “do” something to be rich and focus on immediate results. Rich people continuously focus on bettering themselves and learn from success and failures.

9. Rich people use other people’s money
Average people believe they need their own money to make money whereas rich people have no problem using other people’s.

10. Rich people live below their means
It seems contradictory to the above statement but rich people adopt the attitude of getting rich so you can afford to live below your means. Average people live beyond their means.

11. Rich people teach their children how to be rich
Average people teach their children how to survive whereas rich people teach their children from an early age about the world of haves and have nots.

12. Rich people don’t let money stress them out
Average people do. Rich people find peace of mind in wealth and are not afraid to admit that money can solve most problems – allowing them to make more money. Average people see money as a continuous battle and necessary evil they have to endure.

13. Rich people would rather be educated than entertained
Average people are the opposite. They read novels, tabloids and entertainment rather than continuously educating themselves after school.

14. Rich people surround themselves with like-minded people
Average people think rich people are snobs and have a negative attitude towards the super rich. Rich people steer clear of the doom and gloom attitudes and people – adding fuel to the fire of the “snob” label.

15. Rich people focus on earning
Average people focus on saving and miss big opportunities by trying to live frugally. Rich people constantly focus on the big picture – and how to earn the big bucks.
 * * * * * * * * * * * * *
So all of this having been said, I think average — no doubt about it! :)  How bout you?

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Sounds like my kitchen.  Some folks know how to cook. Some folks just don't.  Some of us wish we knew, but despair of ever really being able to prepare a meal in which every dish tastes like we imagined it might.

Well, actually, often my food tastes like I think it might, but I promise you that 'ain't' always a good thing.

So this little quote from a science source just seemed to fit right into my life at least three times a day, except when I head for snack time...then it might be six times a day.  You're right.  I ought to diet and eat fewer times a day.

So much for all of this. I'm off to find some peanut butter chips to snack on.  They always taste just right.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Colbert and Jon Stewart - Political irony

I have to admit that I'm hooked on these two late night presenters of irony and political commentary.

Let me start by confessing that I have no television set in my house.  So, I must wait a day or so to see the latest late night TV.  Last night - Friday - with my hubby I watched the Thursday night coverage of the Republican Convention offered up as entertainment by Comedy Central on my computer screen.  It's a big one designed to allow us to sit back and enjoy the evening criticisms comfortably.

But last night, both hubby and I were surprised to note that the interviewees of the evening were the previous Head of the Republican Party and a previous applicant for the position of Republican Candidate for the Presidency, Jon Huntsman.

Whew!..what an interesting exchange between the comedians and the politicos..I recommend.

I was also surprisingly aware that David Brooks, Mr. New York Times Conservative Commentator and Reporter, had an ironic, rather sarcastic op ed column this week.

Surely, the party of Lincoln and Eisenhower is wandering in a breach in the dike.  The intellectuals are disavowing a connection with the current selection of candidates and not keeping quiet about it. 

One can only assume that the schism is far greater than is immediately obvious. Glad I'm not a mouse on the edge of the carpet as conversations rage inside the party these days.  The 'blue' noise might be a bit more than I am accustomed to hearing.

Please note that I am attempting to 'not prate on' about my own political position - just want to assert that this is the first time I have been a break in the ranks to this degree around Convention time.