Another poem from The Writer’s Almanac really struck me a few weeks ago, Durum Wheat by Lisa Martin-Demoor. I find that I am reading these on a regular basis during natural breaks in the day. It doesn’t take long, and you sometimes find great gems, like the closing lines of this poem. Durum wheat by … Read more

Daemons and Geniuses

There are a lot of amazing TED talks out there at this point, but this has got to be one of my favorites. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the best-selling book Eat, Pray, Love, shares a new perspective on the creative process that goes back to the Greeks and Romans. It’s the idea that the … Read more

Travel Sketching Pen/Watercolor

Memorial Day weekend is historically one of the busiest. So, as a local, my tendency is to want to get out just as everyone else is trying to get in. Unfortunately, a substantial trip is not really in the works this year, for various reasons, so I’m left with trying to figure out what to … Read more

April is Poetry Month and other Goings Ons

April is almost over, and I’m just getting around to collecting some ideas about in one place. Being busy is good, but if someone could slow the clocks down and give me a chance to catch up again that would be nice.

In addition to the big things (Easter, Earth Day etc.) There were a bunch of interesting things going on to distinguish the month (as if the beginning of wildflower season wasn’t distinction enough around here). I don’t know if they are interesting enough to actually get me to participate – which is probably why it took me so long to mention them – but definitely interesting enough to get my head going around a bit. Helping out with the Yosemite Sentinel brings a lot of these random events to the surface, and is one of the most rewarding things about working on it.

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Up from out of in under there!

Another great find courtesy of The Writer’s Almanac I lately lost a preposition: It hid, I thought, beneath my chair. And angrily I cried: “Perdition! Up from out of in under there!” Correctness is my vade mecum, And straggling phrases I abhor; And yet I wondered: “What should he come Up from out of in … Read more

Yosemite Flower Report

Bird's Eye Gilia
Bird's Eye Gilia
Tom and I dodged down to Hite Cove to check up on the flowers there and get a little run in. The run was marvelous. We went all the way to the Cove, and I felt great – although my legs were cramping a little toward the end (not sure why). Plus, the flowers were spectacular.

A friend had been a little worried that the poppies were past. True, they may not be as abundant as they have been, but there are still plenty spectacular. Right now, it seems like the best display is further up-canyon, near El Portal. For my money, the hillsides have gotten even more interesting because instead of uninterrupted carpets of orange, the orange is punctuated with many other flowers and colors. I think the show stopper this trip, were the beautiful patches of Bird’s Eye Gilia (of which I got the Gilia and the B, but had to look up the rest).. or the RedBud. RedBud is always amazing when it is in bloom.

Many of the people that I stopped to ask about flower names could only shrug. To my, “Ooo – do you know what kind of flower that is?” one guy smiled and said, “The pretty kind”. True enough. Still, for those who are interested in this kind of thing (and are understanding of my imperfect flower identification skills)…

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Progress Check

So far we’re 29 days into Lent, and I’ve managed to get a blog post in each day. I’ve missed a few days, and had to back-date, but I’m still at one-for-one, and I usually get that nagging lagging post in the next morning.

It’s a lot more writing than I’ve really ever done before, and the great thing about it is that it seems to be getting easier with each day that goes by. Ideas for things to write about come at me faster than I can get them down. (Knock on wood that it continues.) The conservative part of me is saving those posts for use on later days when I can’t think of something else to say, or don’t have time to get something down, but the longer this goes on, the easier it is for me to build up a surplus of ideas.

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Playing the piano like Tom Bopp

Tom Bopp played the piano for the retirement party last night, and getting to see him in action made me think a lot about playing the piano and the power of music. I’d love to be able to play like Tom.

I started learning to play classical piano when I was 5 or 6 years old, and took lessons all the way through high-school. But, I had stopped playing since then, until Tom put his foot down and bought a piano for me about 8 months ago.

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Not the Usual Yosemite Fare

This is a strange weekend for me. It is filled with activity options that wouldn’t normally occur to me as Things to Do in Yosemite. When I got here 5 years ago, my list was pretty short – climb, hike (to climbs) and backpack (for far away climbs), but the more I’ve lived here the more I get exposed to all of the other things that are going on in Yosemite.

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Observing Lent

Lent as a time for meditation

I don’t really know too much about Lent. We never observed it when I was growing up, and although I knew it was that period right before Easter, I didn’t really even know how long it was until pretty recently. My in-laws observe Lent, and I think my brother’s family does, and I’ve even tried it once, in the traditional way.

We were visiting my in-laws one year during the beginning of Lent, and my father-in-law was giving up “all the stuff he loved” meaning desserts and sweets. I felt like I’d been eating a lot of desserts lately, and on a whim decided I’d follow suit, having no idea how long Lent was. I was shocked and horrified to find out that I’d committed to 40 days. 40 days!?! In the end, it didn’t really matter, because my dessert-loving father-in-law had a favorite bakery on his morning circuit, and since he wasn’t eating them, brought a pastry home for me. My good intentions lasted just over (or maybe just under, I forget) 24 hours.

But, 40 days is a good number of days to challenge yourself with – long but not eternal, so I thought that maybe this year I would try again to do something for Lent. I’m going to try to publish a blog post each day for the duration of Lent.

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