Thank You.


I realized just a little while ago that most of the positive actions that we’re supposed to take in our lives spring from a full understanding of the need….to be thankful.


That’s pretty much the whole enchilada.

Our expression of our faith shouldn’t come from a fear of consequences….it should be profound thankfulness for what we’ve been given.

Our love for our families isn’t just “maintenance”…it’s thankfulness.

Our love for our lives isn’t just a nice habit that jumps out of some “good attitude cake”….it should come from thankfulness.

Gratitude covers a lot of bases….gratitude is a good angle to settle into.

I’m not always full of gratitude, though.

I was looking at the “Black Friday” deals this morning.

That’s easy to do on your computer….and since it’s so early, I need to find something quiet to do so I don’t wake everybody up.

I didn’t see any deals that made me HOLLER OUT LOUD, though.

This world is set up to make me want.

How would anybody stay in business if they couldn’t make me “want”?


But….when I looked at some of the offers (DID YOU KNOW YOU COULD GET A KINDLE FOR 35 DOLLARS!! 35 DOLLARS!!), I realized how little I really needed or wanted.

Now, if somebody asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I might be able to come up with something just so I could make them feel better.

It’s crummy to be shoppig….hah!….I mispelled it….that’s a new word…SHOPPIG!! THAT’S FUNNY!!! ….what was I saying? Oh….yeah….it’s crummy to be shopping in the dark for someone….so I guess that it’s a kindness to give them an idea….but…if it’s so much work to come up with a want, even, then…..

Maybe I don’t really need anything.

Maybe I’m not full of desire.

Recognizing that I don’t need anything doesn’t mean I’ve hit the pinnacle of gratitude for what I already have, though.

I haven’t figured out consistent gratitude….yet.

We’re going to cook a turkey later today.

That’s what people do on Thanksgiving.

We’ll probably walk around in the woods….come back….eat a bunch of food….hang out at the house….go back out into the woods and look at the treehouse site….come back inside….eat some pie….hang out…

Do the usual Thanksgiving stuff….

I am thankful to be spending Thanksgiving with my family.

My life is fairly simple….and, for that, I’m very thankful.

Maybe that’s something to shoot for in the coming year? Not so much to make my life worthy of “thankfulness”….which it already is, by the way…but to recognize the NEED….AND THE RESPONSIBILITY….to be thankful for what we already have.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Everyday….thank you.



Here’s an old “Thanksgiving song”….pretty great. The really good stuff has longevity….

“alice’s restaurant massacre” Arlo Guthrie



Full Cheek McDuck

My daughter was showing my wife some pictures of different tattoos last night.

She was pulling up these big collections of very tiny pictures….(on her phone!!)….and….with a wave of her fingers….just a little swipe (on the screen of the phone!!)…she made them big enough to see.

I don’t think that she wants a tattoo….they were just looking at them.

Then they were talking about friends who had tattoos….and, then, people who had tattoos they regretted….and bad tattoos they’d seen.

They were talking tattoos last night.

I told them that if I could get a tattoo, I would get a full cheek (on my BOTTOM) tattoo of Scrooge McDuck.


Maybe I’d change my mind midway through….I don’t really know.

It’s really just a passing fancy, anyway.

“A passing fancy” doesn’t really work with tattoos, though.

You are “in it” with a tattoo.

You don’t back up quickly and beat a hasty retreat.

That would be a memorable and appropriately private tattoo, though.

Who would ever get a chance to see that? Only your loved ones would ever know.

I guess that it could be a real conversation starter in the locker room to have a giant and colorful Scrooge McDuck on your….BUM.

Maybe that’s not the place for a conversation.

That’s kind of far-fetched, anyway.

I don’t want to set myself up for strange tabloid photos taken by fence hopping paparazzi, either.

Oh!! Speaking of tabloids and paparazzi….I listened to some “EW” radio the other day on my Sirius Radio.

That’s not “Ewwwwwwwww” radio….that’s Entertainment Weekly radio.

Man, talk about vacuous.

These people were only talking about what they’d watched on TV….and complaining if it was awkward to watch all the television they thought they needed to watch.

Of course, it’s their job to watch television …..and to talk about watching television….but it really hit me that it was kind of a weak way to spend your life.


What could be more pathetic than a bunch of adults sitting around with nothing better to do than talk about watching television?

Another adult, driving mail, listening to them talk about watching television?!!

OK….I was the winner in the “pathetic category”….that time.

That time…..I was the winner.


That’s not funny.



That’s kind of permanent, isn’t it?

I’d better be darn sure that my commitment to Scrooge McDuck is really strong before I let somebody needle me like that.

I better make sure my head is screwed on straight before I let somebody ink my rear end.

I better know what I need before I decide that I know what I want.




We’re doing some early Spring cleaning at our house.

It feels good to get some stuff out of here.

Of course, most of the stuff is mine….and “getting it out”…in my case, at least….often means that I just re-organize….and shift to a more….shift to a more……shift to a more…..more….

I need some coffee….it’s early.

Shift to a more appropriate and efficiently placed….place.

Sometimes, I wonder how much coffee it would take for me to “remember all my words”.

Jenny said that she and Zoe counted all my jackets once and I had like 50 or so.

That’s insane.

I’ve heard that people who didn’t have shoes as young people sometimes become hoarders….and end up with 100’s of pairs of shoes….wandering the street…hitting up all the thrift shops….buying shoes…even if they don’t really fit….scared that someday, they might run out of shoes.

They don’t want to end up in the same boat…..that they were in….when they were young.

They like shoes.

I don’t remember ever being really cold or lacking for a jacket.

I wonder why I like to buy jackets?

I’ll see some great jacket….in a thrift store…that I know sold for quite a bit of money….realize what a bargain it is….and have to add it to the collection.

I never knew that I had 50 jackets, though.

50 “all together” is embarrassing.

It’s not so embarrassing when I’m just adding another one to the edge of the pile.

(They’re actually on hangers….like anyone else’s collection of jackets, mine are on hangers…but if they were in a big pile, it would be embarrassing to see how many there were….)

So…..I end up with all these bargains….and, indeed, they are bargains….Gore-tex and Carhartt…vintage….GOOD, GOOD, GOOD….

But the thing about all these bargains is that a bargain that you don’t end up using really isn’t a bargain.

You could spend the rest of your life with that Carhartt albatross around your neck if you aren’t judicious with your jacket purchases.

It doesn’t get cold enough here to use my Artic gear.

But, I’m ready when the meteor hits and the new Ice Age begins.

I’m ready…if I can find any of it in the pile….hangers.

It’s good to get rid of stuff….I’ve narrowed it down to about 37 jackets, so I’m pretty proud of myself.

I read about the artist, Russell Chatham, a while back.

His wardrobe consists of 3 pairs of bib overalls and eight gray t-shirts.

That’s the way I’m going to roll….overalls and a couple of t-shirts.

Unless I see a really cool old Gore-tex jacket.

I might need it someday.


holding on to what I think I know


I had a bus that looked just like this one….except not as nice and it didn’t run very well.

I think that I ended up selling it for 400 dollars.

Oh well.

I put on a pair of bib overalls for the first time in a long time yesterday….and last night, I had a dream about a Volkswagen bus….so there must be some connection between the two events.

(I wore bib overalls pretty often back when I had my buses.)

In my dream, my wife was taking off some kind of weird rubber boot that fit over the hubcaps….and then was pulling off the nasty looking hubcaps that were underneath the rubber covering.

Of course, a real bus doesn’t have any outer layer to the hubcaps….that was just weird “dream stuff”.

Jenny was telling me that she hated how the boot/hubcap combo looked.

That must be something related to the bib overalls….subliminal….er….subconscious.

I protested this hubcap thing in my dream….telling her how it was important to leave it all “stock” (even if “dream stock” was pretty wacky)….telling her about “patina” and how we should just leave it alone.

She was right, though.

It looked pretty weird.

It was weird. Dreams are weird.

I guess that I need to get over some of my preconceptions.

If I can make something better by throwing something away, then I need to make things better by throwing it away.

(I tend to hold on to things….even pieces of paper that I think I might need later….FOR THE AUDIT, YOU KNOW?!!)

A bus….some bib overalls….restless sleep on a couch with a sick child….and a wacky dream about allowing things to change in a good way….even if it means getting rid of things that I’ve convinced myself are important….that’s a lot of stuff going on for a late evening.

Why do I hold onto things as if when I get rid of them nothing will ever take their place?

And…why would I even need to fill the space with something else? What good is all this stuff doing for me?

Why is freeing myself from baggage locked in with losing something….in my mind?

And….who is going to want to AUDIT ME? WHAT DO I HAVE TO HIDE?!!


Here’s one of the songs that Nate and I listen to in the morning….from a great album called “Simpatico” by Renée Stahl. This one features Maya Rudolph on vocals. (Yes….that Maya Rudolph). It’s a remake of a song off of Prince’s “Sign of the Times” album.

So much of the “children’s music” is really excellent…I never would have had a chance to hear it if Nate and I didn’t listen to it all the time on the way to school.


OK….here’s a guy who lives in Los Angeles….is a photographer….and who doesn’t own a car and bicycles everywhere instead of driving.

Now….it doesn’t rain a whole lot in California….but listen to him talk about some of the issues with riding a bike in a place where the majority of the people drive everywhere.

Did I mention that it doesn’t rain a lot in Southern California?

Dry is easy….but, dry and surrounded by exhaust is kind of hard.

I’m kind of jealous…until I want to wash my car or listen to the stream beside our house.

It’s some easy riding if you don’t worry about hitting a lot of mud or getting drenched.

That’s just a weird aside, though.

My main thought is this: Why is it such an aberration to see somebody who chooses to ride their bike everywhere?

Why is it strange to see somebody who rides a bike in a place where the car reigns supreme?

I wonder if that will ever change?

Here’s the video that loaded after the cycling photographer video.

I didn’t even know about the Trans America Trail…dirt roads….all the way across the country.




Zoe bought a car yesterday.

She hasn’t seen it yet.

That’s what happens when Daddy learns where she keeps her piles of cash.

No….I’m kidding…she knew about the procedure.

She bought a little old Sentra with low mileage.

It should be a good car for her.

Cash for Clunkers didn’t get this one.

Good for us.

(How about that “Cash for Clunkers” program, anyway? Our debt to the Chinese….covered by America’s affordable used cars. What did that do for us except make it a miracle to find a decent 1,000 dollar car for a college student? But….China needs our steel…so why not pay out some taxpayer dollars to convince us to send our old cars overseas? Buy American!! Complain about the Chinese stuff that comes over to our shores that used to be ONE OF OUR CARS!! Take all of the affordable used car options off the road!! WHAT A STUPID PROGRAM!!!)

Whew…..what was I saying? Oh….yeah….Zoe got a car.

I licensed and tagged it and got the new title process started and got it inspected and …..all the stuff you do with a new car….yesterday.

That’s a big deal….to get your first car.

Even if you’ve never seen it, it’s a big deal.

Zoe bought a car.

I hope that it’s a good one.

(When I added it to our insurance, the lady at the office said, “Oh, I had a Sentra! It was my first car!” .  I asked her what she thought of it, and she said that she had it for a year….and that it was great….but not flashy enough, so she got a Mustang. COOL!!!)

That’s what I want to put my daughter in….a “not flashy” car.

Gramma car for Zoe…..all the way!!


“born to be wild” Steppenwolf

In a Hurry to Farm


Don’t tell my children….but sometimes, I’m flailing.

Now, if you do it slowly enough, flailing looks like considered forward momentum.

But it’s really flailing.



Who wants to hear that, though?

Better to just rest somewhere in what looks like a career….stick with the thing that pays the bills and that makes it appear that you’re solid and have some sort of clue.

That’s the way to roll….hiding in plain sight, flailing forward.

I think that the way to roll would be to embark on a new venture with a really high start-up cost…doing something that I have no experience doing and that doesn’t have any promise of success.

That sounds like becoming a parent….but that’s not what I’m talking about.


Or….maybe an astronaut.

An astronaut would be cool to be.

Maybe I should just buy a tractor somehow and drive it around.

That would be kind of like being a farmer.

I could wear my overalls and put a piece of straw in my mouth….and drive my tractor.

Thank goodness that a child’s measure of a parent’s competency is whether or not they can buy the cotton candy at the circus for them.

It’s really pretty simple for a child.

When you get down to it, though, I’m kind of like Popeye.

I am what I am….and that’s all I am.


That’s it in a nutshell.

I could farm something, though.

What could I grow that would have a really high monetary return?

Organic garlic?

Sparrow Awake


I was thinking about “recruitment queues” the other day.

That sounds a lot more exotic than college students standing in lines….trying to get a job.

I never stood in a line.

I was an art major….art majors don’t stand in lines.

Not for jobs, at least.


Anyway….I was thinking about these lines, and the people who probably stood in them, who got jobs sitting at a desk somewhere, and who are probably retiring at 55 now….and that kind of life where the pursuit of a linear career and the attainment of material things were taken care of sounded pretty good.

That’s how I fool myself sometimes.

I suppose they wish that they’d taken a more circuitous and exciting route, sometimes.

Everybody wants what they think they don’t have.

I guess that’s human nature.

Sparrow woke up crying in her little bed later that same night….and I went and layed down beside her…to try and let her know that it was alright to go back to sleep.

She woke up and looked at me….smiled…patted my face….and closed her eyes again.

In a minute, I could hear her quiet sleep breathing.

That’s all it took for it to be good again… being there…close to her.

This kind of stuff happens all the time. We put children to bed, pay for college, fix the chimney.

We “do” because we have to….and because we want to.

No matter the reason….we “do”.

The things that we are , though, are harder to notice….or understand.

Sparrow patted my face….smiled….and relaxed back into sleep.

There’s nothing too exotic about that…parents all over the world are experiencing something similar every night…that kind of stuff happens with people.

It’s, hopefully, part of our shared human experience….comforting a child.

I could not have an accomplishment that meant more than seeing the look on that little face next to mine….smiling and going back to sleep.

When I was questioning whether or not I should approach thinking about regret for the evening, this little girl patted my face and made it all good again.

Who was the one that really needed…and got…comfort the other night?


“cast your soul” Wendy Waldman

going to the circus

We’re going to the circus this afternoon.

It’s “spectac”!!

What does that mean? That’s something good, right?

Our little girl is terrified of clowns.

This is going to be like saying, “You like snakes, right? There’s a big pit full of snakes!! Let’s jump in !!”

It should be fun.

I suspect she’ll get over her irrational fear of clowns when they all converge on the crying child.

When she sees all the grownups with creepy makeup, she’ll get over her fear of clowns.

Who’s afraid of a clown, anyway?


Maybe going to the circus is a “right of passage”? Maybe it’s something that every child should go through….where they can face their fears and realize, once and for all, that maybe something bad doesn’t happen every time that you’re surrounded by creepy weirdness.

It’s that “every time” part of the statement that gets you through life.

“Never” would be pretty unrealistic….but “every time”….well….you can work with that.

I’m going to have to hold on to Sparrow when the creeps pile out of that little car.

It should be interesting.

Going to the circus….WITH FREE TICKETS!!

I hope these kids enjoy what we’re doing for them.

surf and turf

“Surf and turf “…

That’s cheesy.

These Salomon Running videos are some of my favorites….just really nicely done.

Listen to Shaun Tomson talk about the “freedom and openess” feeling that inspires runners and surfers….really anybody who enjoys outdoor activities.

I almost used the world “sports”….but it’s usually something a little bit deeper than just enjoying a “sport”.

“No amount of money” is going to get you over that line…..

Good video.