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Showing posts from June, 2019

Meditation 6.27.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

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Dear Henry,

This weekend I had the opportunity to climb a 100 ft observation tower and I initially thought that I wanted to see the view of the Ozarks from the top.

After three platforms (so about 30 feet), as I began to sweat (it was very hot) and my legs felt like I was getting a quite a workout.  A couple of steps up to the fourth platform I decided that I no longer cared about the view from the top and climbed back down.

I kind of feel like a wimp now.

I especially felt like a wimp after I read about cyclist Hugh Sharp of Cape Cod Maine who rode a unicycle 180 miles to raise money for the American Lung Association.

I bet his thighs burned after that ride.

I need to go exercise now.

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: The Other Side of the Sun - Madeline L'Engle

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A short summary of the book The Other Side of the Sun: A British woman learns the secrets of the North American South.

Questions to ponder while reading The Other Side of the Sun: How do you deal with differences?
What would you have done?
My thoughts about The Other Side of the Sun: I loved the literary game (Does anyone want to play?)
A haunting and dark story.
A difficult tale to let go of.

A Book to Read and Love: Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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A short summary of Purple Hibiscus: The story of Kambili's privileged life.

Questions to ponder while reading Purple Hibiscus: Is a religious person always a good person?
What would you do to keep your family together?
My thoughts about Purple Hibiscus: Kambili has become a favorite character.
Religion should not be allowed to shield abuse.
I can't imagine living during a period of civil unrest.

Meditation 6.17.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

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Dear Henry,

What would you do if you lost a toe?

Are you thirsty?

This story starts with a race, the Yukon Arctic Ultra Marathon, a grueling, 300 mile, race, in Whitehorse Canada. 

This year, Nick Griffiths, a British ultramarathoner, gave the race a try.

Unfortunately, after 30 hours, he ended the race exhausted and frostbitten.  After initial treatment in Canada, he returned to his home in the U.K. to continue treatment and have three of his toes amputated.

Remembering an advertisement in Canada from The Downtown Hotel in Dawson City Canada, seeking toes for a drink ingredient, Mr. Griffiths chose to send his toes to the hotel, rather than allowing traditional disposal.

Since 1973, The Downtown Hotel has made a signature drink, The Sour Toe Cocktail.  It is a shot of whiskey with a mummified toe. The drink was conceived after discovering a severed toe in a cabin (because why not?). 

While the original toe has long since deteriorated, other toes have been contributed, and after a si…

A Book to Read and Love: Postcards From the Edge - Carrie Fisher

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A short summary of Postcards From the Edge: The ramblings of a rehabilitation.

Questions to ponder while reading Postcards From the Edge: Have you ever struggled to overcome something?
Do you find humor helps?
My thoughts about Postcard From the Edge:
Ah! Carrie!  RIP.
A humorous look at the challenges of recovery.
We (as a society) need to do more for addiction and mental illness recovery.

Meditation 6.13.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

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Dear Henry,

I love Bigfoot stories and I, rather tongue in cheek, want to entertain the belief in the Sasquatch.

The FBI, however, has determined that no one should believe in Bigfoot.

Back in 1976, a long time Sasquatch/Yeti researcher and hunter named Peter C. Byrne found some unidentifiable hairs caught in some brush.

Mr. Byrne sent the hair to the FBI for testing, which they did in 1977.

But, they never got back to anyone or released any kind of report.  So, of course, conspiracy theories sprouted, grew, and took on a life of their own and everyone was positive that the FBI had samples of Sasquatch hair that they had classified and tried to bury the knowledge of.

Turns out, the FBI is just really bad at correspondence and communication.

and the hair was just deer hair.

I was disappointed.

Of course, I didn't really think that the FBI had actual Sasquatch fur, but they could have left some ambiguity in the report.

Just to keep the dream alive.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 6.11.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

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Dear Henry,

Have you ever heard of the Wankel T. Rex?   It is a great story...

Back in 1988, a woman named Kathy Wankel was rockhounding around the Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana.

The lake was very low that year,  the drought had been terrible and water was also being used for the large Yellowstone fire.

While searching through the lake bed, Ms. Wankel discovered a skeleton, an almost complete (90%) Tyranasarus Rex.

I have always wished to find something amazing.

Anyway, after an exhausting amount of bureaucracy, the skeleton, named Wankel T. Rex, will go on display in the Smithsonian's newly reopened fossil hall.

I make sure to look down now when I hike, just in case.

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: To Sir, With Love - E.R. Braithwaite

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A short summary of To Sir, With Love: The power of a good teacher.

Questions to ponder while reading To Sir, With Love:
Will sharing experiences help curb discrimination?
Does respect breed respect?
My thoughts about To Sir, With Love: Beautiful book.
A good exploration of the many different biases.
I wish he had been my teacher.

Meditation 6.7.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

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Dear Henry,

Do you journal?

My grandmother loved was an amateur genealogist and loved family history (which she passed on to me).  She collected all sorts of documents related to our families past and had several different (often self-published or simply typed and photocopied) autobiographies, biographies, and journals.

I used to love reading through the autobiographies and biographies.  It was interesting to me what people did and thought and, most importantly, how they wanted the rest of the world to see them.

I approached the journals with fear and a feeling of invasiveness though and never really liked reading the journals of my forefathers.  I felt the same way when I attempted to read the journals of Sylvia Plath and Frieda Kahlo, neither of which I have finished, and I regret even trying.

"Everyone" talks about how helpful journaling is in your life, but the vulnerability of writing down my most personal thoughts and then having them read and scrutinized later distur…

Meditation 6.5.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

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Dear Henry,

Donald Culross Peattie said "For me, a weed is a plant out of place"

I have come to the conclusion that, based upon this logic, gladiolus are weeds.

Last year, knowing I was facing a redo with my garden in the near future, I wanted to put in an annual, just for some color and to keep up appearances and, when I saw a box of 100 gladioli for 14.99, I thought it was a perfect idea because gladioli don't overwinter, right?

Turns out, they do.  And they multiply.  And because of the water/flooding problems, they aren't necessarily where I planted them.

The more I move them, the more they seem to sprout up in inappropriate places.  They are everywhere and they are taking over the new garden beds, the new rock work, and even, the compost pile.

Who knew that gladioli were so invasive? It's a good thing they are pretty.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 6.3.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

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Dear Henry,

Have you ever heard of the tsetse fly? 

A while ago I ran across some information about this little fly and heard about the damage it can cause.

The fly is the vector for trypanosomes  - the cause of sleeping sickness.

While not a problem is the U.S., the effect of the tsetse fly has been devastating on the African continent. Sleeping sickness will affect both humans and livestock.  Cattle are especially susceptible and the disease will destroy herds (both from illness and from culling) and surviving cows are smaller, weaker and unable to be sold for meat and dairy production is severely decreased.

I have just read that the government of Senegal and the government of the U.S. had actually come up with a solution to the problem of the tsetse fly using nuclear science, and they have solved the problem quite well. Tsetse flies in Senegal were irradiated with gamma radiation to sterilize them, dropping the fly population to almost zero.  Senegal ranchers and dairy farmers have…