The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Monday, September 28, 2015

just meandering thoughts

From my spot in the chair on the right I see

crunchy golden leaves as small as dimes swirling about like ice crystals in a snow flurry

and a lone duck at rest behind a limb that dips in to the river on the far side

the almost empty bird feeder, hanging pendulum stirred by the breeze, traces a lazy circular pattern

Fall eases in like a lopsided smile.

It's just great to sit here looking out the window and see those leaves flitting on a breeze.  I am trying very hard to make time for just that ... relaxing.  Seeing what can be seen from a slower pace ... noticing that I am easily seduced by the peripheral blur ... fast has seemed to be more, hmm, fun, interesting.  I wonder what all I must have missed going so fast all the time.

Couple ah nights ago I dreamed about preflighting a plane that had what seemed to me to be a problem with the connection between stabilator and the antiservo tab.  Even though I felt pressured to fly the plane I refused.  It's a complicated feeling, I can't quite explain it even to myself.  I woke up wondering if there's something in life, just everyday life, that I'm not noticing as I should be.  The ups and downs are a lot "smoother" if the antiservo tab is functioning as it is intended to.

In the dream I watched as though on a small screen, a video replay, of that plane as the stabilator twisted and because it was too low to recover, the plane crashed.  I don't know the ins and outs of what might have happened mechanically if that were real ... not a dream ... but in the dream I felt that I should have insisted that the problem be looked at closer, rather than just bailing out on the flight myself.  
"Relationships" as a topic is on my mind.  I think the dream was in support of thinking about that.
Lol ... it's so much easier to sit peacefully with oneself, perhaps listening to the dog rumble around, then to deal with all the little (and bigger than little) bits of all our so many relationships.  I tend to keep mine to a minimum, but I don't think I'm really supposed to!
We saw the movie (V and I) a few weeks ago and I've been thinking about the imaginary friend character/aspect ever since.  In reading up on imaginary friend it seems that "only children", as in one per household, lean more towards this sort of thing, also females more often then males in the early years, later in life gender doesn't play a role.  I didn't have an imaginary friend.  I was closer to my two brothers then most siblings appear to be, but I attribute that to the fact that my dad's job moved us around very frequently during our formative years ... also we had the common concern of an over zealous mother.  I'm wondering why, like what encourages, imaginary friendships.  I imagine that it's almost impossible to not attribute "imaginary" qualities to our real friendships ... meaning, I think people believe "better" of other people, the people they like/love/befriend.  
The other day I heard my son say, I will have other plans for dinner because she chose not to behave in a way that families behave ... something like that, iow, I don't want to hang out with someone who can act/do like that.  I get it. Empathy is almost impossible when you don't know the story ... and sometimes knowing their story isn't a possibility for any number of perfectly reasonable reasons.  I have five adult kids and they all have significant relationships outside our immediate family ... the boys are very easy going (but they date women, lol) ... the girls usually have a slight problem waxing or waning between themselves that they hope I will chose sides on (it's exhausting!).  My kids are "tight" with each other and I believe they will be good at "doing" family as they move along in life.  None of them had imaginary friends ... they would have selected imaginary private bedrooms if their imaginations were at play ... they were apt to be lacking in solitude if anything.  I think a pen pal would be the closest type connection that I can imagine as "imaginary friend" ... a "friend" who you imbue with the qualities you most prefer them to have, I mean ... you don't actually know them, you interpret what they chose to share about themselves, reading between the lines with your "filter".  If you actually had a few moments with them you may find yourself having trouble reconciling who they actually are with who you thought them to be (even though they never offered anything misleading at all).  

  • Imaginary friends or imaginary companions are a psychological and social phenomenon where a friendship or other interpersonal relationship takes place in the imagination rather than external physical reality.

If that is the working definition, then I'd say that most friends are in a sense imaginary because we seldom know what a person will do, we imagine we know, we speculate.  People are full of surprises.

  • Research has shown that imaginary companions are a normative part of childhood and even adulthood. And some psychologists suggest that imaginary companions are much like a fictional character created by an author. 

I'm reading that book SKYFAIRING ... I'm sorta reading it.  I like it, but it is not what I was actually hoping for.  I hoped his writing would be something like Captain Dave's writing, but it's not.  It's interesting in an entirely different way.  This author said he had a (childhood) pen pal who he was able to meet (as an adult) because he is an airline pilot ... he flew to meet his (imaginary) friend and it went well.  I think that's really neat.

This week end we had company in for dinner on Friday and missed our movie night in support of that.  On Sunday afternoon we kayaked on the Colorado ... I loved it!  Last night I woke up feeling like I'd been laying on my left side for too long, it was aching like flu body aches ... I wasn't on my left at all though.  I over did the left side work out.  A bit stiff all over at first this morning but all better as the day went on.  (Getting old!)  Great fun, and I can't wait to go again.

I trained with a lot of really outstanding pilots.  One of them used to say "Everyone has to paddle their own boat."  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

First day of Autumn.

A bird's empty nest was resting on the ground near the start of the trail where we walk.

My "away at college" daughter has been feeling bad and the doctor suspects endometriosis.  She has a sonogram scheduled tomorrow to check that out ... and seems so far away and maybe not quite as grown up as she really is.  I wish I could be there with her.

She's says it's no big deal.  I hope she is right.

The house is pretty well ... uh, functional  I guess is the word. I know where most things are.  My husband is working from home now and that is an interesting adjustment.  It will be really weird when he is away for several weeks in a row coming up pretty soon.  It's been really nice to have a walk buddy.

On Monday I went out to the airport to tour a new business that has opened up/is opening up out there.  We were at a city council meeting (great way to get your hand on the pulse of a new place) and saw this business presenting for approval of a few things that the city wanted to see happen.  Seemed interesting to me because I like airport stuff in general.  After the meeting L and I went out for lunch at a place that serves breakfast all day and just great lunches and dinners as appropriate.  My husband likes pancakes or waffles or other sweet breakfast things that I seem to not place on our table.  Anyway.  He ordered something scrumptious and I made due with the vegetarian plate (still working on those comfort calories I packed on last year).  Long story shorter ... the airport business guys showed up at the same restaurant, struck up a conversation with us, gave me a card and invited me out for a tour.  I finally got to it on Monday ... and as part of the expanded tour, I was introduced to someone who hired me to flight training on a part time basis.  They need flight instructors here.  Big shock.  I wasn't really hoping for a job, I haven't flown in a ... coming up on two years.  I thought that part of my life just was  ... done.  It's both exciting and somewhat intimidating to have an opportunity, the perfect hand to glove type opportunity for me.  They're glad to let me do contract instruction so I can make my own hours.  I feel that a few flights in the area with the chief there and I'll (probably) be good to go.  Things going that well makes me a bit nervous ... anxious maybe ... i'm more used to having to make my own way.  I am thankful, yet watchful.  I wish I could just be thankful.  I wish I was still that girl ... .  Here's an unreserved thankful for though ... during college I sang with people who mostly (probably I'm the only one who didn't) went on to become working musicians.  I love great Chorale music.  I love Classical music.  I pretty much love music of all types.  Where we lived there was not great music being performed.  My college upper strings professor conducted the symphony nearest to our home, but  for one reason or another, I never took him up on the offer of tickets.  My husband doesn't like music ... he doesn't like music at all.  I should have found a girlfriend to go to those things with ... looking back on it, but I didn't.  Gosh, sidetracked!   ~  I joined a wonderful group of singers who meet and perform a few times a year right here!  My high school voice teacher who went on to a university post actually knows the conductor.  Music is a small world.  I am very happy to have the opportunity to visit in that world.  I knew my junior year in college that I better change my major because I am/was definitely not a performer and I couldn't see myself teaching kids.  I love that there are people who live that out as a "calling" ... !  We've had two rehearsals.  I am so happy.  And ... a new dress is involved  AND it is to be long and black!  How fun!  I love long black gowns and I have had no need for one in over 30 some odd years.  I do like
group performances.  I do like the sense of "flow".  I adore those gay singing men with their pithy comments and wry senses of humor who are completely devoid of interest in me.  Other then the actual music I think I've missed the fun of those guys most.  Then the lovely dress up time!

So ... Autumn is here.  I'm glad I'm here to enjoy it!

weekend fun

Texas Monthly magazine proclaimed  SNOW'S bbq to be the finest in the entire State back in 2008,  I guess Franklin's in Austin now holds that title ... Snow's must be at the top of the list with lotsa people still.  I mean, how do you get a line to form as early as 9:00 on a dusty Saturday morning in a middle of nowhere small town Texas?  That's what they do though.  The line was moving steadily astflies buzzed about and cattle packed in at the nearby action yard bemoaned a change of circumstance. We arrived at 10:30.  I didn't know I was starving to death 'til I smelled the brisket.  Yum.  
A guy working there said Mr. Snow's kids are Aggies when I asked about the marking on the pits.  He said they get a lot of Longhorns in here eating Aggie BBQ.  I bet.
People were even waiting to have their pictures taken here, on this bench below the iconic sign.
We enjoyed our meal outside in the open air.
Ms.  Tootsie Tomanetz  was gracious enough to stop what she was doing to accommodate photo ops with fans ... I noticed Mr.Snow could barely get from one side of the place to the next without stopping to have his picture snapped.

I thanked him when we were leaving and was struck by the genuineness resonating in his voice when he said they sure hoped everything was ok.

I loved it.  The ribs were my very favorite so far and honestly, I doubt anyone can cook 'em more to my liking.  Larry said he still prefers Mueller's (in Taylor).  I think it's that he doesn't want to drive me clear across the country for ribs but he say's it's because Mueller's is heavier on the smoke which he prefers.

Next we walked down the street to see what all the fussing was about at the auction house cows and their dust and stink as far through and beyond the shed as I could see.  There were bulls in pens all alone that were bigger than my car ... at least they appeared so.

Next we drove on beyond the middle of nowhere, down dirt roads bordered by tall grass and an occasional closed fence for our scheduled tour of Sand Creek Farm and Dairy.  We  enjoyed our time at the farm.  I wanted to learn about Aquaponics which is one of Ben Godfrey's specialties, and his informal talk was very informative.  I didn't know we were in for the treat of becoming acquainted with his family. They were precious.  The wagon ride was a complete surprise and I loved being where beautiful horses would walk right up to me.  At the end of the tour we saw his dairy operation and I sampled raw milk (tasted like ice cream) and delicious farmstead cheese and yogurt.  We left feeling like aquaponics would be doable for us on the small scale that we are interested in ... also that we'd met a friend.

Rolling up to Sand Creek Farm makes you wish you never had to return the city. Specializing in Aquaponics, Ben and Alysha Godfrey’s oasis outside Cameron, TX is also home to vegetable fields, fruit trees, cows, horses, chickens, geese and a dairy. Oh and their gaggle of children! The Godfrey’s have been farming their land for over 6 years and have officially made the transition from city folk to farmers. ~ per Sarah in Farm Heroes, Greenling Central, Texas

Farmer Feature: Sand Creek Farm & Dairy

Walburg Restaurant
I thought it was to be a German buffet  ...
seemed like a buffet in a little German town
Sunday lunch out.

After lunch we drove in to Austin for a walk around.  Great day ... best weekend fun.

Friday, September 18, 2015

A few of my High School friends converged here for a visit last weekend.   I enjoyed the time with them so much that it left me wondering "what's on for fun this weekend"?  It seems righter for the question mark to be outside the parenthesis on that sentence ... I wonder ... and I wish I had been paying closer attention in the days when sentence grafting and proper punctuation were being taught. I know I use ( ... ) improperly, I use it to indicate a meandering train of thought.  Anyway, it was great to see the girls.  Old friends.  My soul felt hugged.

Tomorrow L and I are going to drive over to one of the top Top 50 BBQ places in Texas.  It's rated right up there with my two (so far) favorites, Pecan Lodge (Dallas) and Mueller's (Taylor).  They say, "If you want to order by the full menu, get there by 9:30."  Dang.  That would be an early departure ...  my husband has adjusted fairly well to not getting up at the crack of dawn.  It's funny that though I could sleep in, I like to be up and at 'em even while it's still dark out.  I like seeing the light whisper in over the tree tops.  Most days wake up  smiling in the prettiest coral pink infused with shimmering gold.  Worth watching for.  And, I like my coffee.

After the seriousness of BBQ we have a trip to a aquaponic farm for a tour of their operation. Fun.  I really can't wait to learn all about that.  Even if it's not viable on the small scale that I'd like to incorporate (which remains to be learned) it's still going to be a huge trend in the food supply industry.  I've wondered what use all those empty big box type stores may best have ... greenhouse type use makes sense to me.  The dope places up in Denver were in warehouse looking spaces, I guess with lots of artificial (reliable) light.  I understand that they use hydroponics in that industry. A visit to the farm is pretty exciting.  I like seeing how things are done.  These guys, I found them online, seem have it figured out.  They also dairy farm (which I'd never want to be responsible for a cow).  If the idea looks like something we want to get going, they teach a week long class for some group out of Hawaii and provide an outlet for the equipment.  The questions right now are: is a home garden worth the expense ... and how much trouble are the fish? 

As I've set here this morning I've been texting with my niece, my brother's daughter.  I'm happy for the chance to spend time with her and her son (she may not know it, but he is the spitting image of her daddy at that age) ... I haven't seen her very much over the years.  Everyone notices that she favors me in appearance, and I'm surprised to notice that she does look more like me then any my own three daughters.  I'm happy to get to know her if it goes that way.

Not much in reference to my brother's daughter, this isn't about that, "relationships"  have been a lot on my mind lately.  I'm thinking about non professional relationships ... relationships which are  about the people who come (and sometimes go) in our lives outside of work or school.  Not that those relationships don't become more personal if interests and inclinations are supported.  I guess I'm thinking of relationships we choose, and how we choose to nurture them (or neglect them ... devalue, for whatever reason).

Lately, and probably mostly because of the big move, a lot of my relationships have shifted.  And ... it's not just relationships with other people which have modulated, there is also the change in how I spend my time.  And ... this may seem weird, but just being in a different house creates a different feel.  It's actually kinda interesting to experience a huge shift in one's life.  It does feel "not right" to not have my brother around.  He wasn't physically present, but I did speak with him several times each week.  I frequently find myself thinking oh Tommy would know or Tommy wouldn't believe ,,, I am fortunate that the loss washes gently over me ... it is similar to how I experience the loss of my dad, I know what he would say, I just really miss hearing him say it.  I don't actually miss my mother.  Our relationship was obligatory and I am glad (for her sake) that she is where "whatever comes next" is ... I think she is well there and it's delightful to imagine her that way.  Her laugh was like crystal bells and I think of her laughing often now.

As with sorting through "stuff" with the purpose of deciding ... is it useful, is it beautiful ... is it clutter ... lol ... I have the job of sorting through how I want to spend my time and with/on whom.

It's interesting to get to "create" a new "this feels right".  It's a luxury really.

Now I need to go find a new Korean Grocery store ... everything is new over here ... except for what's sorta the same (and the stuff I kept ... it's still strange to see our furniture in a different place).

I just wondered if there is a relationship between an "open heart" and an "open mind".

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

pictures and words

How to stop time: kiss.
How to travel in time: read.
How to escape time: music.
How to feel time: write.
How to release time: breathe.
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin

The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater. 

~The Lord of the Rings

We have put the light burden on one side, 
that is to say, self-accusation, 
and we have loaded ourselves with a heavy one,
 that is to say, self-justification. 
~Abba John the Dwarf

Saturday, September 12, 2015

yesterday's walk and what I'm thinking about

Samson pretty much ignores them until he suddenly wants to give chase. Deer are everywhere around here.  I'm surprised that I don't hear rifles going off, but I have noticed that the crossbow shop is a happening (stand alone) shop.
This week I prepared hydroponic tilapia ... definitely better texture and taste.  I'm researching the possibility of aquaponic gardening as we consider our housing options.  The idea of growing lettuce and tomatoes is appealing.  Tilapia are a great addition to that system.
Training provided at
Sand Creek Farm in Texas

That's a lot of lettuce.  I'm thinking to integrate a greenhouse "more" into the actual house as an indoor room or "lung" for the house.  We're not looking for a business of growing stuff! One of my sons is "agriculturally" oriented.  He says this type construction is very inexpensive.
Lake Flato YEE HOUSE
More integrated, like this picture.  I don't know if it will work/make sense cost wise.  The local aquaponic guy sells his lettuce for 4 bucks a head.  Seems like his production costs must be fairly high.

I really like those Lake Flato designs.  


Sammy at the six acre dog park.  
He was suspicious, thinking perhaps that this was a doggy bath place.

trees can grow through rock

excavated tree rootball tangled with rock

Saturday, September 5, 2015

~ Muir

looking at possible build sites
this house has a nice view ...
lots on either side are available

the walk up to the dam
I enjoy cloud shadows as in this shot
nervous black faced squirrels
(and I think all manner of slithering thing)
 live in this rock wall.
We saw the Walk in the Woods movie last night.  Lots of it was shot at places where we have walked along the trail.  Gosh it's pretty.  I liked that the movie was able to capture a bit of the wonder one experiences upon trudging up to a "view".  John Muir observed "How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!" I particularly like the feeling of walking in the clouds, seeing the movie recalled that.  It is interesting to think about being exclusively with someone, a one person sort of someone, for days on end ... walking and talking.  Mostly walking, there's the weird diet and not so great sleeping accommodations.  Snakes.  Bears.  Bugs. The occasional luxury of an outhouse.

I think the most pivotal planning decision would be who one walks with.

From that thought I think of the idea that each of us is indeed "walking".  We walk cosseted in everyday luxuries ... and distractions (like work, like whatever we do when we are not walking, or sleeping, eating delicious little meals).  We didn't do much walking of the trail. ours were all day trips looking towards the possibility of longer stays out there.  I was up for it, but "real life", my walking buddy's day job, precluded serious planning.  We dabbled.  I think a leg of the trail, done as a block, would represent a shedding of everything save what is truly essential and spending that time, the walking time, mostly quiet.  To me it seemed to be an interior journey ... I wanted to do it then.  I'm not so sure that I'd be up for it now.

Now, I think, just the realization that I am a walking buddy to the people right around me will be enough to work with.  And, I'm really glad that none of my people are super annoying like the girl in the movie was.
blooming cactus 

Recently making a few adjustments to minimize annoyances, those little irritants that can pop up and wreck havoc on the peace of the day  I'm thinking a bit about having dropped my brother's Facebook page from my friend list.  It was a bit difficult to take that step.  The posts coming from that connection are not his though.  And, lol, another recent mind occupying aggravation was the result of a Facebook connection.  I am trying to spend my time thinking about the right stuff.
 ... on Tommy's page I inadvertently saw  "posts" asserting that he is now manifesting as a dragonfly, or a green dot visible in a photo light distortion, or someone has named their little sissy dog after him (what a wonderful honor that is, to be remember by the sort of dog who yaps continuously ... ) or most recently, a startling blue image of his face floating eerily in what looks like a crystal trophy ... creepy, tacky.  I get that it is someone's way of dealing with their grief ... the fact that it adds to mine without diminishing theirs is what I'm attempting to address by "unfriending" my brother.  It smarts.  It's stupid.  He is dead.  He will always be my brother-friend.  I think of him amused by the silliness of this.  He wasn't one to post his personal business on Facebook, ironically, his page is now a receptacle for all manner of ... stuff.  
... the other was a passing unintentional text conversation with a person I would likely never spend much time with focusing on a mutual faux-acquaintance who I probably would enjoy sharing a little time with.  I wound up annoyed about the whole thing and it was just silliness on my part to be drawn in.  Best to spend time on people who you actually do spend time with I think, people who want to spend time with you. Time is my "love language".  You don't get to create more time ... time is precious.   We indicate what we value by where we spend our time  and I am very aware of the fact that we don't know how much time we might have left.  I'd surely not want the idea of spending time with/on me to be seen as something to put on someone's chore list. I do have people who I am obligated to see, but ... I don't really spend much time with/on them.   It makes me laugh to think that to someone I might be like that very annoying girl who another walker expends energy trying to shed, as that scene in the movie.  She really was obnoxious. 

Bird feeders as seen from the living room
very enjoyable for me

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.~ Muir