Good and Plenty.


We all have plenty of check marks in the gratitude column.  Most of the time, we don’t have to look very far to find them.

Four Grandkids. Check.
All visiting us at the same time, on a Saturday Night.  Check. Check. And Double-Check.
A beautiful night.  I fire in the ring on Cricket Hill.  Homemade Camp Stew over the open Camp Fire.
Three loving dogs.  A yard full of good chickens.
All together.  Sharing the moment.
A great big Check with a value of Priceless.

It just does not get ANY BETTER than THIS.

Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling. -Margaret Lee Runbeck.

Talk to the paw

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This is Frances.  This is Ollie.  This is Max.  I say they are my dogs.  But in fact, I think, more to the point, I am their human.

I don’t own them.  They don’t own me.  We are….well…… we ARE  family.  Sure, you may not feel this way about your dog, or your cat, and that is okay.

And please, don’t get me wrong.  I love my family.  I have the best partner in the world, and just this evening, we had dinner with two of my beautiful sisters.

Yet tonight, I just wish to talk about the family with fur.  Although… one of my sisters is pretty hairy, this is about the dogs.

Yes…. these four-legged-people-in-dog-suits…. have touched my life.  Like you can’t imagine.  They have laughed and cried with me.  They’ve shared surprise, and fear, and understanding with me.

There have been times in my life where I have been pretty low about this or that.  Times when I don’t feel like being around anyone… barely even myself.  It is about at that moment, that one of them will approach slowly…but surely…and drop their head right on your knee.  Those big eyes rise to the occasion and meet yours.  And suddenly, you feel like the world might right itself again, and start spinning on its proper axis.

They’ll take a long walk with you, and be as quiet as you want, or as loud and rowdy as you are.  They chase their tales… just to show you that they can be agility clowns.  They eat voraciously… because they love the food.  They guide, and protect, and comfort.

They’ll forgive you when you’ve been at your worst.  They’ll jump for joy when you win the dart game.

I could go on and on.  But the bottom line is this.  If that doesn’t spell family, I am not sure what does.

With all things in life, there are the highs and the lows, the goods and the bads.  These three dogs have way more pluses, than negatives, in the “keeping score” column.

Not that they would ever keep score on me.  They love me… without condition or constraint.  Bless their little furry hearts.

I am grateful to have Maxine and Frances and Ollie in my life.  I swear to dog.


You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.
— Maya Angelou

I do believe we’re all connected. I do believe in positive energy. I do believe in the power of prayer. I do believe in putting good out into the world. And I believe in taking care of each other.
— Harvey Fierstein

Salt… please.

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Energy.  I have it. You have it.  The Universe is chock-full of the stuff.  But what is it, really?

Now.  Don’t turn the page.  I’m only going to talk Bill-Nye-the-Science-Guy for one little minute.

In Physics… we know that one of the golden rules is this:
Work = Force x Distance.

So…. The energy of an object (or system)…. is how much work the object can do on some other object. (or system, on another system).  Energy can assume all sorts of different forms.  It can be…..  thermal, electrical, mechanical, chemical, radiant, or kinetic.

But what kind are we?  Personally…. I think it is all of the above… mashed up all together… in the human-atmospheric-psyche-energy.

HAP Energy….. is just what I call it on a rainy day.

Here’s the thing.  I am so blessed.  Fortunate.  Lucky.  Whatever you want to call it.  I am so fortunate in the way of GREAT people in my life.  Today… I have been reminded of this time and time…. and holy-crappin’ time again.

I have encountered so many wonderful humans today.  My partner in life… a few really good friends…  my sister visiting from Montana… and on.  I have been touched by them, healed by them, enlightened by them.   I have both laughed and cried because of them.  I am becoming a better person because of them.

Now back to energy.  I would say these people are exuding Positive HAP energy.  It makes me feel good just to be around them.  They feel like warm sunshine.  Supercaliffredulisticexpialodocious.

Then.  There are some days when I come into contact with humans who are filled with Negative HAP energy.  Those are the ones that wear you out.  That drain you.  That can bring you down a notch if you let them.  The complainers, the nay-sayers, the gloom-and-doomers.

My dog Ollie says… we humans either taken a “Puppy Upper” or a “Doggie Downer”….  and Ms. Ollie is right.

Yes, there is a world of difference between the Negative HAP Energy Slugs…. or the Positive HAP Energy Bunnies.  I love the bunnies.  Not so crazy about the slugs.

I can only say this.  When we surround ourselves with goodness, I think goodness is what we will find. Yes. The good.  The light.  The loving.  On the contrary, if we remain with those who eat up the light… we will be…. in the dark.

I am thank my lucky stars… for all that good light.

As for the negative slugs in our lives?  Keep a salt shaker handy.


When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple. — Paulo Coelho

The energy of the mind is the essence of life. — Aristotle

Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will. –Zig Ziglar

Ahhh, nuts.

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Looking back.

We all do it.  Tomorrow will be the Throwback Thursday, after all.  Yes.  Humans look back at the past.  Sure enough we do.

Sometimes we look fondly.   Good memories, and glad feelings about people, places, and things.

Other times, we look with disdain.  I’ve heard some people say they have absolutely no regrets.  I am not one of those people.

I am so dang human.  I make mistakes all the time.  In my life, I have made some big ones.  Colossal even.  And with that, comes regret.

Recently, I heard an analogy that works right along with all of this.  Here it goes.  When a boat moves through the water, it leaves a trail of waves behind.  The wake.  Every boat has one, if it is traveling across the surface of the water.

But the wake doesn’t power the boat.  In fact, it is something that is simply happening as a result of movement.

And that is us, and our lives, and the past.  We are the boat.  And when we move through life, we leave a trail of events behind us.  The wake.  The Past.   But again, the wake doesn’t drive the boat.  In that same way, the past shouldn’t drive our lives.

Sure we can look back and see that it is there.  But it is probably a better idea to keep our eyes on what we are doing… the direction in which we are going.

I often wonder if other entities have regrets.  Like… dogs, or squirrels… or Captain Kangaroo for that matter. I better get back on track… before I regret it.

I like this boat analogy. But.

There IS something to be said for learning along the way.  I think at times we should remember our past transgressions, and missteps.   Otherwise, we are sure to repeat them.

A perfectly balance resides in there somewhere.  You know, studies have shown that squirrels misplace about 50% of the nuts they bury for the barren winter months.  The trick …. for the squirrel…. is in finding the nuts once they’ve buried them.

I think this analogy might work too… for humans… and looking back.

The bottom line is this.  Analogies can give you a boatload of knowledge, but they can also make you a little nuts..

I made decisions that I regret, and I took them as learning experiences… I’m human, not perfect, like anybody else.

— Queen Latifah

Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.

— C. S. Lewis

Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.

— Henry David Thoreau


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There is much speculation over which came first. The chicken, or the egg.   And of course, the age old question which largely goes unanswered… Why did the chicken cross the road?

Science, and reason, will most certainly tell us so.   The cold, hard facts. Proof. The tried and the true.

You know, I put a lot of weight in to science and reason. I think there is a lot to be said for that which has been established as a Law of the Universe. But some things seem to go unanswered. Ambiguous and unpredictable.

Even though we have much that is for sure….

For instance, the Universal Law of Gravitation…. Newton’s Laws of Motion… the Laws of Thermodynamics… Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity… Evolution and Natural Selection… and then of course… maybe the Grand-daddy of them all…. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

In postulating his Uncertainty Principle, Heisenberg realized that it was impossible to simultaneously know….. with a high level of precision….. two properties of a particle. So. In other words.

You can know the position of an electron with a high degree of certainty…. but not its momentum and vice versa. How’s THAT?

Now. One thing I absolutely love about the Uncertainty Principle…. is… well…. The Uncertainty.

I think it is off the charts good. To have a Scientific Postulation concerning every little thing in the Universe… and it is based entirely on the uncertainty of it all. Every little electron! We don’t really know …. Despite the fact that we know a lot.   So everything we figure about the reality of Quantum Physics, and Mechanics, could be all wonky, if we figured out the whole big ball of yarn.

Take for instance, the possibility of Time Travel. Well… yeah… but that’s for another night. Chicken Little said the sky was falling… after all.

Yet…. What I’m really talking about tonight is the Uncertainty of the Universe. Sure there are lots of Universal Laws, and Facts, and Science to guide us in SO many ways. Those cold hard facts.

However, I think the other part… the Unknown… is much more interesting. It can take us anywhere we want to go, or think, or do. Our energy and motion can move in infinite ways. Einstein once said that Imagination is more important than Knowledge. And that is where much of this lies. If you ask me. Our Great Unknown is the Final Frontier.

The bottom line… we don’t know. It is all connected and all very uncertain.

Some days, it is all good, and other days… it can be completely sideways.  And all of it depends on what is happening with our electrons…. Or more to the point ….. what we don’t know are happening with our electrons. Just ask Heisenberg. He’ll tell you so. He may even be able to answer some questions about our Chickens.

Especially since he descended from a long line of German chicken farmers. Auf Duetsch Hühnerzüchter.Full circle. It is all connected… and all very unclear.

Today… we lost Imogene. One of my favorite chickens.

Who knew I could get so attached to chickens. It used to be the closest I felt to them was in the Tyson section oft he meat department.

Oh…. how things can change.


What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.

–Werner Heisenberg

Full of it.


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I keep trying to focus on the positive in my life. There is a lot of it.

You know, all that spirituality work, and attempts of transcendence.

But tonight, I just have to… HAVE TO… yammer a little.  So I’m putting down the prayer beads, and the little Buddha stature… just for a tiny minute.

You see… We are on our way home. WE have been in Yosemite National Park for a few days, and it has been a completely wonderful trip. I mean… super nice. Surrounded by beauty, and peace, and goodness.

So, we board our plane this morning in Sacramento, CA.   There often seems to be one standout…. on each flight. A person who creates a memory for this reason or that. Today was no exception. I must tell you… this particular guy was a real piece of work. That is all I can say about this guy. Gwhhheeeez.

Okay, I can say a little more. He seems to be a completely narcissistic, selfish, insensitive, rude and malevolent young man. Of course I don’t know him. But I’ve do know what I have seen so far.

He started out, two minutes after taking his seat, by giving the Flight Attendant holy-heck because there are no TVs in first class. “This is a 3 hour flight,” he reminds her… as if she didn’t know. How can there be no TVs on a 3 hour flight??? I mean… that could have been the end to all ends.    “You better have a full service meal,” he goes on to warn her.

Ooooorrrrr….. what’s the guy going to do? Hold her down and make her cry uncle? Well, of course, Delta gives us a nice little meal. He complains to her about the choices. Meanwhile in all of this, he has admonished her because his Heineken’s are not being delivered quite fast enough.

A few minutes later, he is in a verbal scuffle with the guy in the seat behind him. Apparently, the guy had bumped Mr. Wonderful’s chair, and he wasn’t happy about it.  The Flight Attendant had to come over and smooth out the wrinkles.

About a half an hour later, he starts chewing tobacco. Where THIS is going to go…. I just don’t want to know.

So. My point and I do have one….. the 8th deadly sin. Entitlement.

A lot of people in this world have a sense of entitlement. This or that is “owed” to them… and no one else really matters. Numero Uno. I come first no matter what. And the rest of the world can take a big jump off the bridge.

It bothers me. Maybe because at times in my life, I have been guilty of this very thing. But I am beginning to learn. I am discovering about higher energy, and the importance of being present in this life. Which means, being present with others.

I only hope I have never fallen quite this low. And I hope I never do.

I certainly don’t know anyone in my current circles this self-absorbed. And… I hope I never do.

As for this guy. It makes you wonder how and why and when this happens to someone. But I believe, deep down inside there is goodness. In all of us.

It just takes a little more time for some people …. To let this goodness eek out.

I think for most us…. we let the good eek out…. Whenever we can….

“When the choice is to be right or to be kind, always make the choice that brings peace.” – Wayne Dyer

See every moment



Again, today, I saw some pretty amazing things.  Awesome beauty of nature.  And the splendor of  the world.

We went to Glacier Point today at Yosemite National Park.  We could see Half Dome, and El Capitan, Cathedral Rock, Brides Veil Fall, and Yosemite Falls, and so many other  creations of note.

It felt like a long hike down.  Steeply down.  That 4.6 miles of decline made my quads hurt.  But it was worth every step.

Yet, as I breathed in all that was around me, and had a deep appreciation of the place that I was in

… I realized the obvious.

On any given day…. where ever we may be…. the same splendor of the world is all around us.

I think we just need to slow down, and take the time to see.  Not just look at it… but see.

And in any given moment, we can feel the power of the energy of the entire Universe.  It is always with us, around us, and through us.  We simply need to see.

To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.
Walt Whitman

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
Joseph Campbell

Mouth wide open.

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Well, here I am in Yosemite National Park.  And you know me.  I just beg to learn the history of the places I visit.  I am not sure what this is about me…. but I love to find out what has happened here before me.  I like to explore, and consider, and think.

And as it turns out…. a LOT has happened at Yosemite way before I ever set foot on this place.  Before any white people came here, really.  Yosemite’s first residents were Native Americans.  They started to inhabit this place  about 10,000 years ago.  That’s right. Ten thousand.

The Miwok Tribe was sort of the main deal here.  They lived here more than 4,000 years… those old Miwoks.  Which reminds me of Ewoks from Star Wars.  But, as Yoda would say…. To the story get back.  Yes, hmmm.

They named Yosemite Valley “Ahwahnee” or “place of the gaping mouth.”  That is me… the whole time I am here….  “Polly Big-Old-Gaping-Mouth” for a lot of different reasons.   The awesome beauty.  The power of the mountain-scapes.     The equanimity of the energy in the nature here.  And then there are things like those brain-challenged tourists, who try to put their kids on the backs of deer, for a cell-phone-photo.  That causes huge gaping-mouth.

But back to the Native People.   The Miwok.  They called themselves the Ahwahneechee, after the name for this land here, Ahwahnee.

Yet.  They are here no more.  Just a bunch of tourists, like me.  Staying here at the magnificent Ahwahnee Lodge.

It goes both ways, doesn’t it? There are really sad, and disappointing parts of history.  And then there are positive and uplifting points too.  This little corner of the earth, is filled with both.  And it makes you feel, and think, and wonder.  And today, I thought about this:

Everything in the Universe lives by cause and effect.   As you walk through along the paths lined with massive trees, and back-dropped with walls of rock… that reach to the sky.  It all has cause and effect.  And, that is something to remember, I think.  Every action…. all we think, say, and do…. also lives by cause and effect.

From the very small to the very large.   Our causes and effects are everywhere.  They are lasting.  And once again tonight… I epitomize the Ahwahnee name of “gaping mouth.”

Once again.


Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching.

– Sivananda

Big Dang Deal



We are on the road.  Or something like that.

Travelers.  By night and by day.  A long dang day… if you really want to know.  It started at 4 a.m. , in order to make an early flight out of Dayton.  Needless to say, it is now…. 8 p.m. California time, and we are just getting settled into our room.

Even though it was a long day, it was a good day.  But we are both very tired tonight.

But here we are in Yosemite National Park.  Driving into this park, is always an awesome site.  There are big boulders everywhere, and I love rocks.  Big rocks are even better.  Those boulders haven’t moved much since the last time I was here, about a decade ago.

Yet….  the 4 hours in the car to get here were a little sad.  This part of California is dead.

No water.  Nothing growing.  Cows grazing on brown nothing.  Golf courses look  like  nothing more than big sand traps.   No flowers.  No colors.  The green is gone.

As I said.  No water.

It makes me wonder what we are doing to this planet.  How much longer this place has before it all shrivels up and fades away.  Our children’s children?  Will they see it end?

I cannot guess.  I can only hope.  That it isn’t too late to figure out a way.  A way to at least slow down the destruction of this planet.

And so I leave you with a brief overview that most already know.   I speak of that great naturalist,John Muir.   He was, and is, so closely associated with Yosemite National Park.   And for good reason.  The guy  helped draw up its proposed boundaries in 1889.  He wrote many magazine articles that led to  the park’s creation in 1890.  And then, in 1892, he co-founded the Sierra Club  to protect it.

I am thankful to the people that had the foresight and the wisdom to work toward preservation of our lands, our parks, our planets… such a long time ago.  I am also thankful to the the people who have that same insight today.  The ones who are trying to do big things to preserve our planet.  Blessings to them all.

With that,  I will leave you with a few quotes filled with vision.

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

God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.
John Muir

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.
John Muir