Tag Archives: personal

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go (after a quick blog)

At my place of work

At my place of work

This morning, awake at 5:45 a.m., after stoking the wood stove, igniting the gas beneath the tea kettle, pouring a pink glass of grapefruit juice, I turned on the Kindle Fire to check email.

There, sitting so innocently in the in-box, appeared a note from John.  He misses me in the Internet world, he says.  You and your prose are missed.  I sigh from my heart and would have wiped away a stray tear–except it’s still too early.  I’m missed.

The part of self that always longs for acknowledgment wants to jump up and down beside a snowbank in delight.  Someone misses my writing.  Someone loves me.  Hallelujah!

The part of self that doesn’t care about acknowledgment raises its eyebrows at the inner child but doesn’t chastise her.  I’ve been learning so much in the last five to six years about honoring all parts of the self.  Until then, it’s hard to honor all parts of the other person.

But, jeeezsh, John, it’s only been a week since I wrote here at Lake Superior Spirit.  That’s not long, is it?

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Neon fish in the aquarium at Joey's

Neon fish in the aquarium at Joey’s

Last night we dined at Joey’s Seafood Restaurant in Houghton.  As we ordered our fish tacos & jambalaya & tilapia a fella offered us a sealed envelope.  Upon paying, we must present the envelope to our waitress and see what we won.  10% off?  20%?  50%  Oh-my-goodness, how about 100%?

Jeanette, our Scottish-born waitress, says she’s missed us since our last visit at Joey’s.  Where have we been?  We asked her what days she worked.  We divined how we might have missed one another.  Tomorrow was her birthday, she confessed, and told us how she’d spend the day.  I shouldn’t tell you–but it involved casinos.

I wanted to say–Jeannette, you give us a winner and I’ll pray for a winner for you.

But I didn’t.

Later, she reverentially opened the envelope to determine our winnings.

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Lately, oh so lately, I’ve been able to sit with my own uncomfortable inner places much longer without turning away.

Because of this, I can stay with a good friend on the telephone for 78 minutes and resonate with her pain.  I will not shirk or abandon her.  I will stay with her in that dark underworld of suffering and regret and perhaps eventual grudging acceptance without turning too quickly toward the positive, the optimism, the la-de-da where it all feels okey-dokey.

Oh how I’ve sometimes turned toward optimism way too quickly in my life, grabbing hold of it like a snowshoe, begging it to keep me safe and navigating through deep drifts.

Others embrace the negative too quickly, resisting, fighting fervently against the way the present moment refuses to meet their expectations, digging their boots deep in snowbanks, paralyzing all ability to propel forward.

Lately, oh so lately, I just allow it all to exist, you and you and you, pain and joy and delight and death, negative and positive, the whole compost of it, the whole turning of the seasons.

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Is it a blizzard, Mr. Wizard?

1.  It’s the damnedest coldest winter I can remember in many years–and we’re only three days into 2014.

2.  The Christmas lights still shine in our Little House in the Big Woods–but I’m taking them down on Sunday.  You can hold me to that resolution.

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I want to twinkle today.

The light of the world

The light of the world

“Do not try to save the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there patiently
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worthy of rescue.”

- Clearing by Martha Postlewaite

Bitter cold still freezes tears this morning.  Laughter ricochets off icicles.

I curl up on the couch on this day off work and ponder the dense forest of my life.  One hundred thoughts arise like one hundred trees, all competing for attention.

I’ve been waiting patiently and impatiently for the song that is my life to fall into these cupped hands for a long lifetime.  Sometimes I hear the tune, so very clear, like ice forming in the bay a quarter-mile away, and feel truly at home.  Other days one wanders lost in the forest, wearing fear or sadness like a winter parka, fingers icy in woolen mittens.

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Baby, it’s cold…inside

There's a star in the woods on Christmas morn'...

There’s a star in the woods on Christmas morn’…

Never mind the outside temperature.

It brags 12 degrees (-11 C), shame on that thermometer at 4 p.m., Sunday afternoon.

It’s shivered below zero for nights.  Winter appears early in the north this year.

Barry just departed the house.  “Feels like a heat wave!” he announced (perhaps sarcastically) as he shut the door.


It’s so.  Darn.  Cold.

We keep feeding the hungry wood stove.  One log, two logs.  Three logs, four logs.  Aren’t you satisfied yet, you greedy creature?  Must you munch more and more and MORE?

Must we feed you every hour?  Hey, don’t you know it’s only December?

Baby, it’s cold Inside.

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Hitchhiker, near accident & birdseed



1.  It’s 4:30 p.m. and the sun arches its back into the horizon, preparing to depart from this earthly realm until tomorrow morning.

2.  We picked up a hitchhiker yesterday on our way up to Houghton.   A young 20-ish Michigan Tech student whose vehicle died.  He thumbed a ride to the auto store for repair parts and then shivered in the cold for twenty minutes before we picked him up.  Before stopping the car I hissed to Barry, “We don’t pick up hitchhikers!”  Fortunately, Barry didn’t listen to his wife and decided he was a young college student who needed assistance.  Afterward, I was proud that we’d helped a fellow human being–and hoped kind souls might assist our children, should they need it.

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Darkness still spreads her peaceful cloak across the forest this December morning.

‘Tis a new day.  I cuddle beneath the fluffy white comforter and remember scraps of last night’s dreams.

‘Tis better than remembering yesterday.

Yesterday proved a tough day.

Why? you ask tentatively.

Because anger struck so hard and fierce it felt like lightning seared all sensibility.  This heart pounded so fiercely that it leaped from the body and exploded all the way to China.

OK, I exaggerate.

Why so angry? you ask, even more tentatively.

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Conflict, ice cream & snow for breakfast

Our Little House in the Big Woods

Our Little House in the Big Woods

Picture this.  The day before Thanksgiving.  Waking up to about eight inches of beautiful fresh white snow outside our Little House in the Big Woods.  The wood stove humming and throbbing to heat our home, relishing its breakfast of hardwood logs.

Still, we shiver.  The back-up gas heater kicked in during the night.  It’s frigid for November.  I toss more logs into the ever-hungry stove. The logs clink hard against each other, promising more heat.

Barry still slumbers so I sip tea and ponder conflict.  Oh, how I loved writing and pondering yesterday’s blog!  Oh, how it resonated and thrilled and danced in my psyche all day long yesterday while the wind blew sideways and we purchased our first organic buying club order here in L’Anse, and we traveled up to Houghton on icy roads for Barry to cover a hockey game for his job at our local weekly newspaper.

One might imagine a morning breakfast of hot steaming grains, perhaps oatmeal or wheat berries or quinoa, to jump-start such a freezing morning.  Instead I whirred together buckwheat groats and cashews in the food processor.  Added chunks of frozen bananas and, OK, maybe some vanilla yogurt just because it smiled so dreamily from its perch in the refrigerator. Healthy ice cream for breakfast!

The pulsing clamor of the food processor woke my husband.

“I thought you were grinding rocks again,” he muttered as he settled on the couch, still sleepy-eyed.

“I don’t think people understand me,” I said.

He rolled his eyes silently.  It was obviously going to be one of those mornings in the Little House in the Big Woods.

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Sweet potatoes, kale & avocado before flying to a tropical vacation



I’m making breakfast now, simmering sweet potatoes on stove top while simultaneously sautéing  onions and the very last of the kale (garden kale is always sweetest after it’s been frosted and picked) and, OK, maybe browning the onion a little too ferociously because I’m uploading photos for this blog at the same time.

After the kale and onions magically simmer, softening most delectably, I’ll spoon them over mashed sweet potato, sprinkle with cayenne and lemon, and decorate with long green avocado slices.

In the meantime, summer clothes lie helter and askew all around the house. They’re waiting to be stuffed in a black carry-on suitcase and toted an hour and a half away through snow showers to a jet which shall wing toward some very special family members in a tropical location, I swear it’s so! (No, poor Barry must linger behind and work, but a certain daughter is joining in this adventure…)

Before that auspicious hour, there are sixteen errands to run, including playing BINGO Spanish games with nine elementary students this afternoon, picking up sub sandwiches in town for Family Science Night at the school, and, oh, I won’t even type everything which will pass before luxuriating in 84 degree sunshine tomorrow afternoon.

I won’t be on-line much in the next week or two, so shall be mostly off the blog-reading and Facebook circuit, except for some random peeks.  Shall be posting the weekly blessing blog as usual, though, and it’s a very special blessing post indeed.

Would scribble more snippets but the sweet taters and kale and avocado await eagerly in the kitchen and the wood stove needs stoking and where is that suitcase anyway?

P.S.  Actually, even though there’s much to do before smiling at the TSA fellows, I’m actually feeling quite peaceful.  As long as the snow remains reasonable and cooperative for drivers, which I imagine it shall, bless every northern snowflake and southern tropical ray of sun.

See you later, snow!

See you later, snow!