Showing posts from March, 2019

Meditation 3.27.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

I don't think I have slept more than a few minutes in the last few days.

I am exhausted.

Springtime is mating time and there has been a lot of mating going on around here. 

The loudest culprits of the last few nights have been the owls.  Our owl is normally a quiet, sedate, young lady, but, for the last week or so she has revealed her party side, and has invited every owl in the neighborhood to join her. 

They are all noisy, particularly the boys.

Please excuse me while I fall asleep.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 3.26.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

Today I read an article in the Washington Post about Abigail Maslin, who, after her husband was attacked with a baseball bat and left nearly dead, stepped up to be the primary caregiver (and breadwinner) for her family, having to act as a single parent, provide direct care support for a spouse, and maintained a full time job to pay for it all.

She is exhausted and really she isn't the only one.  There are so many spouses in this position, where one half of a partnership, for whatever reason, loses the ability to contribute their 50%, sometimes permanently. These spouses deserve a special salute.

Our society focuses so much on the survivors, their struggles and their strengths, but little is said about the spouses that loved their spouse enough to support them through a life-altering trauma, knowing that they themselves will also be damaged in the process.

I think we need to draw more awareness to these amazing people.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 3.25.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

Have you ever wondered about your daily activity level?

I thought, prior to reading about the Blackpoll Warbler, that I did ok.  I mean, I am not a slave to physical fitness, but I do get in a daily workout and I do try to take the stairs, most of the time, so I had felt like I was doing enough in the activity department, and I also felt that I could define myself as somewhat active.

I no longer feel that way.

You see, the Blackpoll Warbler has a long commute during migration season, almost 13,000 miles and this little bird is a marathon flier, known for flying three days and/or 2,100 miles at a stretch.

I felt incredibly lazy after reading about these small little endurance athletes.

I will be outside now, talking a walk.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 3.21.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

It is that time again.

You know the time I am talking about.

Spring Cleaning time.

I am trying to gear myself up for the process but it has been hard to find the motivation.  However, it is a requirement (and not just because Good Housekeeping says so)

Spring is such a time of renewal and cleansing that it seems a shame to let the house stagnate as well, particularly as I work from home.

I have also noticed that I need a quarterly "cleanse" otherwise I seem to have trouble concentrating (and creating).

Sigh, I guess this means I need to go find the broom.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 3.20.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

I am wishing for a specific class, one which teaches the art of conversation.

Specifically, I am looking for a class that tells you how to have a conversation with someone and not interject something stupid and insensitive.

You see, I am constantly staying something awkward or insensitive in a conversation and I would really like to stop.  Dale Carnegie's book hasn't helped me with this issue.


xoxo a.d.

Meditation 3.19.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

Is anything truly free?

I have received a large amount of "free" boards and as I am having to redo all of my flower beds, I was glad to have them.

At least initially.

See, the boards were used to build a packing crate for a large water tank.  To prepare them, I have had to dismantle the packing crate and remove the nails from the boards.  I have been working on this for several days and I am not finished.

I no longer believe this wood was free.

At least I am recycling.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 3.18.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

There is a new trend and I love it. The trend is called the #TrashTag challenge.

It is much better than Tide Pods.

In this challenge, you are to find a messy outdoor spot, take a picture, clean it up, and then take a second picture.

In other words, the challenge is to see how impressive you can make your trash collection.

I love this challenge and think it has been a long time coming (Fish has always collected garbage on our hikes, he has done it since I have known him (which has been for a really long time), I, shamefully, have not, as I am usually carrying camera equipment.  Fish, however, generally gets two bags full, so my husband is a great guy no?)

It was amusing, however, to see how soon this turned into a generational thing, with the young ones blaming the older generation for leaving them a mess and the older generation insisting teenagers start cleaning up when they are bored. Really, the problem is very simple, everyone should be doing this, rather than wasting…

Meditation 3.13.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

Have you ever wanted to be more kind?

I do, to be a kind person is one of my goals, and, it seems, one I have to work really hard at.

Recently, I read some great advice in an article written by the Dalai Lama (his book "The Art of Happiness" is a big favorite of mine).  In the article, his Holiness says that the key to kindness is to catch yourself in the moment between an event and your reaction to it, and during that moment, to frame your response kindly.

I am still working on catching myself at that moment, generally, I catch myself some moments after the fact.

I hope with practice, I will get better.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 3.12.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

Scientists announced they have discovered why zebras have stripes.

Stripes are a fly deterrent.

It was observed that horseflies can't land on zebras.  The stripes throw them off.

Reading about this I was left with two questions.

Why haven't more animals evolved with stripes? and Will painted stripes work?

Horseflies are my nemesis.  They always bite me.  Perhaps I will begin wearing stripes.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 3.11.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

Today, in the Washington Post, there was an article about books.

I was very excited because I love to read about books (almost as much as I love to read books).

Unfortunately, I disagree with Ron Charles.  I haven't ever found that the last line of any particular book being the one thing that stuck with me.  In fact, I am hard-pressed to come up with the final line of any book that I have read.

I don't think the last line is important. I think the best line is important.

That being said, he has an amazing list of books whose lines inspired him, many of which (Beloved, Frankenstein, Gone With the Wind, and The Great Gatsby etc) I have read and think I have discovered a good "best line" from the book.

Of course, there is the "Ultimate Best Line"  and I think that award goes to Shakspeare (of course) and can be found in his play a Comedy of Errors, "If she lives till doomsday, she'll burn a week longer than the whole world".

It is my…

The Tortilla Curtain - T.C. Boyle - A Summary and Review of a Good Book

A short summary of The Tortilla Curtain: The lives of Topanga Canyon.

Questions to ponder while reading The Tortilla Curtain: What is a criminal?
Is immigration truly worth it?
My thoughts on The Tortilla Curtain: A haunting story.
It will make you question your biases.
This book was released in 1995 and the story is still relevant today.   How, after almost 25 years are we still in the same place?

Meditation 3.8.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

Today is International Women's Day and everyone is celebrating their favorite historical women.

Is it ok that I can't pick a single role model?  It seems to me that there have been so many women who have gone before me, women who had conquered so much of the world that my existence feels rather luxurious when it is compared to the lives of the women before me.

I feel like I owe a debt to several hundred thousand women rather than one or two. 

Where would we women be without a long lineage of women such as Mary Wollenstonecraft, Cleopatra, and Queen Victoria?  And really for every big, well-known name, there are thousands whose fight for equal rights have largely gone unnoticed and unrewarded. 

I think I would like to take a moment of silence for them all.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 3.7.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

I think I have found Pixar's next greatest character.
In the high mountains of Central America, there live some mice with a unique set of skills.
They sing.
Called the Alston's Singing Mouse, these little creatures communicate through songs.  Each one has its own signature tune, which can last up 16 seconds, and their songs are like conversations, with no two mice singing over each other.
and of course, because they are mice, they are cute.
Does anyone know how to get a hold of Pixar's people? Because I can envision a hard warming story about a little mouse trying to find his song.
xoxo a.d.

Meditation 3.6.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

I know I have mentioned it before but, I love Spring.

I love the smell of newness and the feeling of renewal.

It is a period of possibilities and growth and I love the feelings of ambition I get ones Winter has finally let go.

What do you hope to accomplish this Spring?

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 3.5.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

The other day, someone asked me who I admired most.

It is hard to put forth someone as an example though, because, ultimately, everyone has flaws.

But there is someone to whom I admire a great deal and that is Eddie Rickenbacker

While his story of survival at sea for 24 days following the crash of his plane during WWII is commonly used in Alcoholic Anonymous meetings as an example of fortitude and perseverance  It wasn't his first plane crash.

His first occurred in 1941 and required more than a year to recover from.  Mr. Rickenbacker had just barely returned to society when his most famous wreck occurred.

Despite this, he managed to live a full and relatively healthy life for more than 30 years.  His book - "Rickenbacker: An Autobiography" is on my to-read list:

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 3.4.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

I am at a complete loss without my planner. 

Even with my planner, I am a complete loss. 

I was surprised by three, yes THREE birthdays this weekend, and it was largely due to the weekend itself (because I have things set to "no reminders").

I even wished my son a Happy Birthday this morning.  His birthday is tomorrow.

Sigh, I don't even know what to say.

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: Beloved - Toni Morrison

A short summary of Beloved: Living with a haunting past.

Questions to ponder while reading Beloved: What is love?
What is murder?
My thoughts about Beloved: A must-read.
A haunting, echoey tale
I don't know if I liked it or if I hated it, but I can't let the story go.

Meditation 3.1.19- A Pen and Ink Tangle

Dear Henry,

Do you have a favorite type of tools?  When it comes to pens and papers, I certainly do.

I ran into this problem a few days ago, when I ran out of my "weight" 98 lb paper, and, when I went to pick up more, the store itself was out of stock.

Thinking "No big deal," I grabbed a book of 50 lb.

As ridiculous as it sounds, it is a big deal and one that caused me to make a special trip to the store (contrary to all conservative budgetary and ecological advice).  I now have a book of 98 lb paper, several of them in fact.

This story reminds me of a similar instance when my favorite pen ran out of ink.  It ended in about the same way.

xoxo a.d.

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline - Summary and Review of a Good Book

A short summary of Ready Player One: Gamers for the win.

Questions to Ponder while reading Ready Player One: Are you good at puzzles?
Would you have kept playing?
My thoughts about Ready Player One: The ultimate dystopian gamer's guide.
You never know when your D&D skill will come in handy.
Great fun in a book.