Monday, September 26, 2016

In Conversation

Today is a complex day. My thoughts were with the aged, the youthful, the productive, and the creative. All of those thoughts combined and meshed together to lead me to the foundation.
I truly am at my best when I deal with people one on one. I can ask that probing question, for my one goal, which is ever the same.
"Is it better this way?"
Change is inevitable and is always happening so when people make fairly big life changes I want to know, "Is it better this way?"
Now, when I get the "Oh, yes," spoken with a relief to the words like a breath that has been held for too long while a situation was handled but not really ideal, I get a moment of happiness for that person. I think the beautiful thing about being somewhere between the aged and the youthful is that I have come more fully into the belief that there should be enjoyment in life's journey.
Precisely a month ago I was trying to help someone find a fail- safe practice that could, hopefully, help avoid pitfalls as this person was trying new things. The term the discipline of verification came to mind and I thought, yes, that is what this person is missing. Oftentimes my intuition is bang on but the work of explaining it and having the other person understand it is complex.
When very precise terminology comes to my mind, I investigate it to look for its roots. The intellectual foundation of the discipline of verification, in journalism, rests on three core concepts- Transparency; Humility and Originality. Sometimes I create acronyms that I can use for emphasis. If speaking to someone young, I may say, "You know what's really HOT right now? Humility, Originality and Transparency."
If I were speaking to someone more aged, I might encourage them by changing the order of the acronym and say something like, "THO ye be old, ye be not done." See, that's encouragement and still using the same concepts of a solid foundation.
Language is the tool, understanding and trying to help someone remember the goal is the goal of any mentor.
What we learn, we teach. What we teach, we learn. This is the rhythm of life.
In conversation, there are many mentor-ship moments. Explore and enjoy them. They may just be foundational.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Are ;you one of these people that is always looking for proof? Do ;you need proof that you are actually doing something in life and not just spinning your wheels? I can be really hard on myself this way. I look at other peoples' careers and I think, "Wow, that person is so successful." Then I compare myself to some ridiculously successful career that a person has spent almost 30 years building and I don't feel successful at all. This is just not a very helpful thing to do as I'm  trying to move forward in a positive way... doing what I do... as I'm contemplating what I should do.
 Just as I'm sliding down that worn out routine, I load all the pictures into my computer from the days' work and I am amazed at all the work that I actually got done when it didn't feel like I worked at all.
I made soup, photographed a quilt I made in the last couple of days, found that the small bacopa plant that I had given up on was actually growing but I didn't find it until today because the planter had toppled over and broke all the large plants overshadowing it. Then I went for a steamy walk just after the rain and found a fence that would have made Frank Lloyd Wright smile.
Not quite in the plan for the day was the nap I took right through the entire hour I like to spend at church. I think I may have had a time traveling moment or two as I slept. Well, okay, I can't prove that but all the stuff in these pictures kind of made me feel productive.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Purity of Intent

Natural, growing up in the country, we were graciously allowed to live in a very natural way. It was a lot of hard work but we embraced this... who am I kidding? Our parents helped us, okay, required us to embrace the hard work... but I think that requirement still gave us all a real appreciation for fresh air and the fruits of working the land. Everyone helped with that. Autumn always brings remembrances of the smell of the fields, the smell of pumpkin pie, the wonderful clean air wafting on the breeze. Autumn, in the open country, smells so pure.
  There just aren't any manufactured scents that can make a person queasy. It's just so beautiful. So, when I can't sleep, here in the city, I try to make something original. The purity of intent threads its way through the work of people who blossom originality. It's always a lovely endeavor to create a baby quilt. The size is appealing because you know getting it done will be a snap. Of course, choosing a simple pattern is also necessary but a deadline created by someone else tends to work well into the speed of the project.
Now, because babies can't tell you what they like, it's really the Mom and Dad that one often thinks of when making a baby quilt because they're the ones who are going to be wrapping up their bundle in the blanket.
It really is this purity of intent that settles into the soul as the project comes together. Whether making something quaint, eating well,
and maybe with a tiny bit of indulgence, being chased by the seemingly endless Monarch season...
let the changing colours of Autumn encourage you.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


So, what do you do when you`re sleepless?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Flare up

Arthritis flare- ups are not a happy thing, huh? I`m right in the middle of a real grinder. During these times I can see changes in a joint from one day to the next. That`s the bad news, when I get a flare- up. I just want to scream `stop.` I`m trying to be artistic by using this small red stop sign to imply that the red inflammation is a real pain but I wanted to use a small sign so fellow sufferers would feel it is a manageable issue and it won`t overwhelm a person.
The good news is, when I get through one of these painful times, the swelling in the joint can go down just as quickly as it flares up.
In the meantime, I use a photo from a day I was feeling great and cycling over rough terrain for a beautiful day of picture taking, exercise and all around beautiful autumn warm weather.
I learned something interesting from someone who was working a job that seemed an odd fit perhaps. I asked this question gently, "This is not your dream job?"
As I listened to the reply I realized that even trying to get an education and pay for it just for the hope of gaining from the time, money, and effort of learning...
well, even that is a carefully considered risk these days. So, be you young or be you a bit older... the calculator of risk versus payoff is always computing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Follow Your Instinct

Over two years ago, I was having a conversation with a real estate agent and I must have seemed a bit autocratic, maybe, in the statement I was making. I can`t remember what that comment was but I do remember his response and his tone of voice when he said these words.
``Well, there`s more than one way of looking at things.``
Now, the tone of voice was calming, like an invitation to consider. I wish I could do justice to the way that statement has helped me, many times, already.
That statement comes back to me time and time again because it is one of those statements that you can apply to so many situations.
Now, who we listen to and why is something each person would do well to know about themselves. This man was a stranger and I was running on instinct as I conversed with him. For some reason, he mentioned that he lived strongly on instinct. So, I immediately felt we were enough the same for me to grill him on any areas of life where he had made mistakes, if he`d made some. Ooh, I love to learn those things so I can avoid making mistakes and I have shared my own stories to offer others the same courtesy.
So, God uses random events that end up being a good thing for you and I.
For instance, yesterday, both the brakes on my bike had come apart and I had to walk for my exercise instead of being able to ride my bicycle. Even though I was not wearing the right footwear I thought I could walk close to an hour in my sandals. So, as I`m walking, I notice a rusted hook that was embedded in the gravel. If I`d been riding my bike, I probably would`t have noticed it. I could see it had broken off of something. It was a fairly substantial metal hook so it probably came off a piece of machinery. I looked at the thickness of the metal and thought... it would take a lot of torque for that to break off of something. It niggled at me and I had been putting off getting my vehicle looked at even though I thought things sounded wrong when I drove on the highway.
So, as I`m driving to the bicycle shop, I`m giving my vehicle a really good workout on the torn up roads... still lots of construction in the city. This little workout just helped me think there was something a little off in the undercarriage of my vehicle.
So, today, I got my vehicle into the garage, a courtesy vehicle was available, and everything was just so smooth in how things were working out, the convenient way the garage was providing made the inconvenience of taking my vehicle in seem... not inconvenient.
Well, sometimes it is the little things that your mechanic catches that will save you a bundle if you pay attention to the, seemingly, little things.
Follow your instinct.
So, the mechanic found a U joint almost completely disintegrated. You know, it is better to have them replaced before they fail. It is the perfect time of year to get your vehicle winterized and ship shape after our season of road construction and before we get into winter.
So, I could have been annoyed that the roads were so rough or in the ``there`s more than one way of looking at things`` dictum, I could just be glad the rough roads pushed the problem to the forefront of my thoughts and made me act on my niggling instinct.
Just do it. Get a vehicle check- up. You`ll be glad you did.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Grande Pointe

I am rather in the mood to do some punning today. Page 17 of The Elegant Universe- "The discovery of the T.O.E.- the ultimate explanation of the universe at its most microscopic level, a theory that does not rely on any deeper explanation- would provide the firmest foundation on which to build our understanding of the world. Its discovery would mark a beginning, not an end."
Some people write tomes of language to explain science to others. Before they write these things, they have taken in incalculable amounts of knowledge to try to bring it down to a simplified form for people like myself to enjoy reading. This is what Brian Greene, Pulitzer Prize Finalist, did in the book 'The Elegant Universe.'
The theory of everything seeks to explain this...
  ... and this...
... and this...
... and...
... and...
... and...
... and...
some may apply the T.O.E. to this...

I could spend all day adding more pictures to define the theory of everything. The writer in me could almost produce a novella from all this inspiration. For me, that is...
 feeling. For some of you, all you're thinking of now is buying an expensive coffee. In my attempt today to engage your senses and play with the grand point, or theory of everything, I feel I've honoured the e that Einstein made famous and maybe...
who knows...
I helped sell some expensive coffee or houses and created work for people because we all need work.
Have a great day and whether you buy something small or large...
just enjoy it!