Sunday, November 28, 2010


It turned out to be a wonderful Thanksgiving, with friends coming over and plenty of food to be had. And this year I embraced the notion of being thankful for the many things and people that I have in my life. It has been a tumultuous year regarding my livlihood, but I think good things lie ahead.

And the weekend was spent reading fiction - something that I find to be an indication that I am relaxed and can truly enjoy my down time.

Another interesting thing I began was reteaching myself how to sew. Just the sound of hearing a sewing machine I find to be very soothing and remenicent of simpler times when my mother would be sewing and mending while I conducted my youthful activities void of deadlines and stress.

At any rate, a good weekend of doing nothing. I was tempted to write earlier, but I find the time suckage spent in front of computer is pervasive when my weekend's free time is increasingly more valuable. But today, I needed to commit to getting caught up on work and installing software, so many of my daylight hours will be spent in front of this screen listening to WWOZ. At least I have a wonderful dog keeping me company, who unfortunately is feeling a bit under the weather with a stomach flu. Poor little pooch.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


On Friday it snowed. And when you live in a city with few, if any, plows, it turns into a challenge when the recurring freeze thaw cycle makes for treacherous conditions. And a few days each year, the temperature dips into the twenties or teens - this seems to be one such time. So today the storm windows went up, as well as the heat tape plugged in and those little pieces of wood that cover the crawl space under the house.

This picture was taken by a friend that lives up near the arboretum and has a great view of Bellingham, the bay, and the Canadian Coast Range in the background. I don't know why thirty degrees seems so much more cold here than ten or zero degrees back east. Maybe the perpetual dampness in the air has something to do with it - even on days like today when the wind kicks down from the north versus off the water.

It is days like this that I am grateful I have a warm home and a dry bed.

Wednesday we will probably see a melting and life returning to normal. I will take forty and drizzle any day over this. Brrr.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


The weirdest thing happened yesterday:
I went out to leave for work - opening the garage and feeding the chickens before I board my bike for the arduous five minute commute to work. When I opened the door, mice were in the chicken feed container and I caught them off guard. Two fell to the bottom of the bucket as I picked the bag of feed up and stranded them there so they could just maybe think about their actions. Two were nimble and spry.

The third (I'll call it The American) had so engorged himself on chicken feed that he could barely move across the bottom of the bucket. He looked like Augustus Gloop.

So I went to work, left the three of them there, and upon my return home found the spry one standing his fat, dead partner in crime - the little one reaching for the sky. I let the two go and threw the third gluttonous one in the brush pile. Life is fragile.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tweed Ride

Sunday was a fabulous bike ride around Bellingham dressed in British attire, riding old classic cruisers. Here is a picture taken at the gazebo in Elizabeth Park in the Columbia neighborhood. This was last Sunday, and a hundred or so cyclists so up at one point or another. I look forward to the next Tweed Ride.

But right now I need to get to bed, after I finish a business plan for someone far away in a warmer climate as I sit here sniffling decompressing from by semi-annual sojourn to the Bellis Fair Mall to realize why I come up there as little as possible (especially Roth, or Ross?, which was like a war zone - a Canadian free-for-all orgy of commerce).

Okay, since I am writing little, I will post two pictures.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I think I get sick more than normal in this climate. Or maybe people are getting sicker due to the over-prescription of all the drugs in the world, or the innumerable other reasons. And biking in the rain doesn't really help too much either.

But Bellinghamsters just seem to be sick, and the sniffles through the winter is normal. This latest spell (I was told, as well as am experiencing) lasts about two weeks. Biking home sniffling in the rain I am so grateful that I have a home to come to that is warm and dry with a happy dog awaiting my return. I also empathize with those experience terminal illness that will never get better, versus my temporary discomfort.

And the notion of a health care plan is so foreign to me that I have not yet been able to fully grasp its enormity. I have worked as a consultant for many years, and your health care provider was usually the internet, as a $5,000 deductible was a bit foreboding, and seeing a doctor for things like the flu was deemed silly and not a consideration.

So being a creature of habit, I sit here with zinc tablets, some tea made with dried lemon balm (from the garden), turmeric, ginger (plenty of it) and fennel. I have a disdain and distrust for western medicine, so until I can find a naturopathic doctor I will be treating myself. Fortunately, the worst is behind me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


When you (and all your friends) don't watch television, you have a tendency to spend your nights doing other things. So I end up in odd and eclectic places.

Tonight I went to a a house high up on Garden Street and sat around a table writing poems. You pick a subject out of a hat, and begin by writing a few line, and then pass it on to the next person.

The following was what was written, based upon these two subjects written on scraps of paper:
1) The Spartans traded rods of metal and used no real form of currency, and
2) The start of the agricultural culture.

And here's what came of it:
The abundance of wheat and grain,
The Fertile Crescent
Across the sea.
Willing to trade metal rods like the moon exchanges light with the sea,
Mohawk shadows marching towards villages with groves of olive trees fringing the corridor of traveled passageways.
Do the roots grow deep enough to rabble
the skeletons from their rooked graves?

What am I saying?
Roots depend entirely on what grows, above and seeps down...which I cannot begin to quantify.
Well, I can begin.
And time too soon. We're passing through cycles, like orbits. Is all that we're troubled by today are different than the experiencing of pirates and...who were the others? Other pirates?

Pirates traded spice, slave salve of the coconut palm.
There were ships, were floating farms
Spread from the soil to the foam
Bulging pillaged land floating at sea.

And the seeping grain is a hole in the plastic sack.

A fun night.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Yesterday's gardening entailed transplanting some Jerusalem Artichokes -not really artichokes, and not from Jerusalem either; they are native here in North America. So I transplanted a bunch of them, giave two of my neighbors a clump each, and still had a huge bag to put in the 'fridge.

So for breakfast (my housemate had hers with eggs from our chickens) and dinner we had Jerusalem Artichokes. I consider these to be my sustenance if "the sh*t hits the fan" as all these post-carbon people claim, or some other form of societal collapse - I am not really of the peak oil school.

Some consider this plant a weed, I consider it something I look forward to cooking for Thanksgiving. (There is a second patch near the fence.) Why we consider something edible, healthy and pretty tasty that grows prolific in this country a weed, when we engorge ourselves with all the synthesized agribusiness crap that.... oh never mind - I had a good day.

But tonight I baked them in oil and sprinkled them with dill on one half, and rosemary on the other. Yummy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tyrannus melancholicus

Today was the second day that I saw a group of people with expensive field glasses and field guides on the bridge over Whatcom Creek by the bike path. They were obviously birders. Last week I was looking at the same bird they saw and thought it was a Yellow Breasted Chat. I found out today that I was woefully mistaken.

It was actually a Tropical Kingbird, a species way off course from its normal wintering grounds of New Mexico and Arizona. Odd indeed. So I hung out for a bit and watched its antics and talked with some fellow birders and then headed home to a productive day of gardening and doing house things. I do need to get out more, hence my trip down to the coffee shop this evening to play on my computer and add a few items to a business plan.

A warm sunny day, a great night and a good life in the City of Subdued Excitement.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Coffee Shops

OK, so I couldn't stay away long from writing. I left work and came to the coffee shop for tea and relaxation. Now that I am working a desk job, and can concentrate at for eight hours a day, I no longer need to dawdle on the computer for hours on end to meet endless deadlines of uncertainties. There is something to be said about for the regimented mindset and vision in a more structured environment. It is not an unwelcome notion to reacclimate to the organizaed structure of an office environment, getting up at 6:50am, and doing the same routine day after day.

Although the picture above is blurry, it evoked the sensation of boarding th ferries in the dusk and its beauty. I will always romanticize about riding the ferries back from the islands or peninsula in the fall twilight. My friend took the picture and I took it off her Facebook page. Thanks Donna!!

Time to go home and finally - for one of the first times I've lived in Bellingham - relax.