Thursday, March 8, 2018

Morning View

Usually by March I am tired of the snow but this has been
a particularly beautiful snowfall
coating all the trees and making the world
look like a wonderland

Thursday, March 1, 2018


Yesterday Dick’s Sporting Goods announced they would no longer sell assault style rifles. They would also not sell high capacity magazines and that it would not sell any gun to anyone under 21, no matter what the local state regulations were.

I met the owner of Dick’s (Mr. Stack to me) very early in my career.  He owned one stand-alone sporting goods store adjacent to the city I worked for and we were trying to entice him to open a new store in our downtown.  It was a time when downtowns were dying and no one was investing in city retail.

But Mr. Stack had once worked in our downtown and had a soft spot for the city.  He truly wanted to help in its economic development, even if it presented a financial risk to him.  For about a year we sat and planned. I was pretty much an underling at the time but he and his family always treated me with respect and gave me a lot of confidence in my abilities.

When the new store finally opened the Stack’s always gave back to the community and were interested in the surrounding businesses’ success as much as their own. Mr. Stack’s son eventually took over the company and I was delighted when I learned that they had since expanded all over the country.  

I was not surprised by their announcement yesterday as they always were always a family based, community oriented company.  I am happy that they have not strayed from their roots and values.

Today I am going to my local Dick’s and buying something. Anything.  I want to support them as they join the fight to turn the tide on gun regulations just as they supported me and my former community. I hope you will give them some encouraging words on their social media or, if you are able, go buy something. They have great camping gear : )

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Full of Grace

I am making new cedar shutters for our house and smell of the wood has filled my garage.  It is the most pleasant fragrant aroma with which to fill my lungs.

Going to visit Peachie in Boston and seeing her happy in her new home, all decorated and homey.  

And she took me to my very first trip to an IKEA store which was amazing.  Lunching on Swedish meatballs was pretty awesome too.

70 degrees in February.  I know it was just a tease but getting even a tiny glimpse of Spring fills me with joy and anticipation.

A developed a stye in my eye.  I am not particularly grateful about that as it has been ugly and itchy and painful and caused very blurry vision.  But I am very grateful that I have gone my whole life without ever having to deal with one of these before.  And hopefully never again.

And of course, this:

which has been on a continual loop on my computer.  

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Friday, February 16, 2018

Planet B?

I was fortunate to be able to take a small break from this year’s bitter cold upstate New York weather and go to sunny Florida to visit some old friends.  I  took leisurely morning beach walks with the sea gulls, took bike rides along a jetty with pelicans, went to see manatees (my friend’s granddaughter calls them chubby mermaids), and marvelled at all the different flora and fauna one thousand miles in distance can make.

I also had the opportunity to sit on the beach to witness the Elon Musk space launch. It was incredible to watch the rocket go up and even more amazing to watch the rockets come back slowly and return to their launch pads. And then the sonic booms.  The whole experience was goose bump producing.

Before going on this trip I had no idea what this launch was all about or that it was such a big deal. Literally over a hundred thousand people came to watch, we saw license plates from all over the country and many folks from other countries. And because of all the media attention I learned that it is Elon Musk’s  dream to establish a human colony of Mars of one million people by 2040.  This launch was just a precursor to the soon-to-come BFR (big fucking rocket) that he hopes will carry as many as 200 people at a time to their new home on Mars.

Then I read blogger Tim Urban’s Wait But Why blog comment that “all our eggs are currently on one planet. If we can build a self-sustaining civilization on Mars, it’s much harder for humanity to go extinct.” WTF? Personally I feel that we deserve to go extinct and I imagine all the remaining plants and animals standing up and cheering when we do.

I recently read that over 20,000 species have gone extinct directly attributable to human impacts on the planet. Why shouldn’t we be next?  In fact, we deserve to be next.  Americans generate about 4 and a half pounds of trash per person, per day, or 254.1 million tons total per year.  Where does it all go?  

Even dogs know not to shit their own beds.

This is our home. Why aren’t we talking about the necessary changes we have to make in order to continue the human project here?  Personally I think we are just too greedy, too lazy, too selfish to make any of the sacrifices needed because they might inconvenience us or impact our pocketbook.

So rather than clean up our act here we will look to migrate to another planet?!

Based on our performance on this big blue marble, we will only infect and pollute other parts of the solar system. And then where do we go? Until we learn to clean up our act, there really is no Planet B. Just more places to ruin.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Glory Days

My partner Martha is a basketball fanatic. She runs a basketball league for girls and has always coached at some level, these days our school’s junior varsity team. When our daughters were born they got infant basketballs and as soon as they could walk they had hoops.

Needless to say that when our oldest daughter, Beaner, was the tallest kid in her third grade class Martha was thrilled. “You can’t teach height” is what she always said. And Beaner loved basketball. She started playing competitively when she was 8 and played through high school.  She almost always played up a level and was always the captain of her teams. She made varsity when she was in 9th grade and started developing a following.  By the time she was a junior she had her own cheering section and guys in the front row would hold up signs that said “Marry Me Beaner”,  parents would all wish her luck and young players would follow her around like ducklings.

She would say she was not that popular in high school, a designation apparently reserved for cheerleaders, but in the gym, she ruled.

By her senior year college scouts were coming to watch her play but she decided not to play in college, a decision that broke Martha’s heart. Still even a couple of years after graduating people still came up to her when she went to games and treated her like a celebrity.

It has now been 8 years since she’s played and we just went to a high school game together. One parent recognized her and waved. Other than that she was as unknown as I was. She watched the game giving constant critique of the players - “this generation is so lazy”.  This generation??? They’re only 8 years younger!

At one point I asked her if she missed it and she said “I miss playing and I miss being part of a team. I do not miss Saturday morning practices and running suicides.  But my glory days are over “.

Glory days?  She is 26 and her glory days are behind her? That seemed rather sad. Then I realized that I never had any ‘glory days’.  I never played competitive sports, never performed in any way, was never recognized, applauded or cheered.  As an introvert I am okay with that. It was more than enough to be the mom of two daughters who for brief moments were stars - Peachie having also excelled in her sport and went on to play in college.  

Still, I do wonder what it must be like to experience that kind of adulation, even if only in a very small high school pond. And how it must feel when it is over. I guess I will just have to be content to know that I was once on the fringe of their spotlight and can say “I knew them when”.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Full of Grace


It has been a harsh winter in my neck of the woods.  We’ve had some beautiful snow falls but they were quickly followed by long periods of sub zero temperatures making it impossible to enjoy any extended time outdoors.  

But hope springs eternal and I am eternally hopeful for Spring. I have spent a good deal of time pouring over seed catalogues and planning my vegetable garden layout.  Each year I try for  some new foods to grow. Last year I finished adding fruit trees to my small orchard and had very successful peaches, plums and cherries - the apples and pears not so much.  I may remove one of those and try apricots instead.  I tried beets which I will increase this year and carrots which I didn’t think were worth the effort.  I also planted some garlic in a container in the fall which I am very excited about hopefully harvesting come June.

This year I am going to up my herb game.  I have always planted a pot of basil to use for cooking and caprese salads.  And then I tried making my own pesto and freezing it in ice cube trays.  That was a big success but it was not enough so this year I will be planting a ton of basil along with many other herbs to dry.  

Generally I start all the flowers for the 24 flower boxes and the majority of my veggies from seeds I collect in the fall.  Not only does this guarantee fresh, non-treated seeds but it also saves me hundreds of dollars.  And I love that it is complete and never ending life cycle. My only cost is buying a couple bags of potting soil every year.

I’ve already started petunias under the basement grow lights because for some reason they take a long time to germinate and flower. Most other flowers will wait until March.

And I have started 7 pots of herbs which is probably way too early but I wanted to make sure the seeds would germinate under grow lights.    This morning I spotted this tiny bit of tarragon making its way into the world.  

My goal is always to have the flowers and veggies ready for a May 1st planting even though that is still a little early for a possible frost date where I live.  Still I get so excited by the whole process that I can’t wait and often wind up having to cover all the plants when we get a particularly cold May night.

In these days of extreme political upheaval, toxic government fear mongering, and the shit storm they call a news cycle, I am so very grateful for the opportunity to collect and plant seeds, to nurture the seedlings and encourage the plants, to eat the fruits of their labors and again collect their seeds. The steady rhythm of the life cycle keeps me well grounded and connected and I am thankful for it.