• Category Archives Shadow Mountain
  • Prepping

    Imbolc and the Ancient Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Pan-psychism. The Sacred. The Divine. Consciousness. Chi. Prana. Ruach. Neshama. Soul. Life force. A Mountain Night. The Moon casting light on the Snow, shadows of Lodgepoles. The neighbor’s security light. Cassiopeia. The Great Bear. Pleiades. Orion. My friend. The Mule Deer and the Magpie. Love.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Shadow Mountain Night Sky

    One brief shining: Each night I arrange my cache of blankets just so, switch on the electric one, wiggle in and wait for everything to warm up, while doing that I look up out my window to the northern sky and see Cassiopeia peek out from behind the same Lodgepole and find that comforting, some stability, predictability before entering sleep when, the rabbi’s say, your soul is taken from you which is why we Jews pray a prayer of gratefulness when we wake up, thanks for returning my soul. Resurrection.


    Preparations for the B’nai Mitzvah service began yesterday. The four of us studying the morning service together, the liturgy we will use on Shavuot. I attended by Zoom, wish I’d gone in person. Everybody was there but me: Rabbi Jamie, Kat, Laura, Veronica, and Laura Berman. Kat, Laura, Veronica, and I will celebrate our b’nai mitzvahs together. B’nai mitzvah = children of the commandments. Reflecting of course its more usual occurrence at puberty.

    At 77 I’m the oldest of the group by a good 10 years I’d guess. We’ve not exchanged ages. Initially, each of us would have had our ceremonies in Jerusalem, Veronica and me our conversions, Kat and Laura their bat mitzvahs. Now Veronica and I have been through the beit din and mikveh so we can proceed with our b’nai mitzvah.

    My torah portion is coming along. I’ve gotten reading it down. With vowels. On the day of though the torah has no vowels, so there’s more learning yet to do. How to read the same text without the pronunciation aid of vowel markings.

    Part of the preparation will involve choosing parts of the service we each will do in addition to our torah portions. I’m more than a bit nervous I might have to chant, or god forbid, sing. Not. My. Thing. I hope we can find a work around for me.

    This preparation fit well into my shabbat practice which includes torah study and reading for my conversion classes with Jamie. Last night I lit the candles at 5:16 pm, five minutes later than the week before. I’ll have the blessing memorized by this week or next.

    It may seem surprising that I’m as focused on ritual observance as I am, which is not very compared to what it could be. I find ritual does what it’s designed to do. Establishes a mood, separates a time or an event out from the mundane. After I light the candles, shabbat has begun for me. I settle into a quieter, more relaxed space. Immediately after I light the candles I go to my chair and read the week’s parsha. Perhaps some commentary. My shabbat has begun.




  • Shtetl Life

    Imbolc and the Ancient Moon

    Shabbat gratefuls: The Ark of the Covenant. The Tabernacle. The very detailed instructions from Hashem for it. Hoarfrost on the Lodgepoles. Thousands of flocked Trees within my field of vision. My companion Lodgepole glistens as Great Sol reappears on this cold Mountain Morning. Kai, Seoah’s nephew. His writing. Asia. Fan Kuan. Taiwan.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Hoarfrost

    One brief shining: Family reaches across oceans, over national boundaries and time zones, does not diminish with distance: Mark writes from Hafar in the desert of the Arabian Peninsula, Mary from Kuala Lumpur, I see Seoah and my son, their dog Murdoch, in their 12th floor apartment in Songtan, Korea, I talk to Diane once a week from San Francisco, all these precious people so, so far away.


    Breakfast yesterday with Alan and Joanne. Always a treat. I handed over Lamb to Joanne. She’s also reading, she says carefully, my copy of Emily Wilson’s Odyssey. We discussed Joanne’s upcoming warts and all early history of CBE which she presents next Wednesday night. She’s well known in the congregation for her wit and rightly so. Should be an entertaining experience.

    Alan’s daughter, Francesca, who lives and works in Manhattan, returns to Denver Monday. She’ll be doing some work here, schmoozing donors for the Jewish charity she works for. I can’t remember its name. Something to do with organs and organ transplants, I think. Then on Sunday she will perform with a trio in the second of Alan and Cheri’s Inspire concerts held in their penthouse apartment on the 38th floor of Inspire Towers. All of the condos from the 38th floor to the 42nd received the appellation, penthouse. Marketing, eh?

    Joanne and I will head down to what she calls the pandemonium for a second time to hear Francesca. Joanne tutored Francesca for her bat mitzvah and loved working with her. These are the sort of intricate and intimate ties that make synagogues so personal, more like a village. Or, a shtetl.

    That may be, come to think of it, what appeals to me so much about CBE. It has characteristics familiar to me from growing up in a small town. I know some of the people very well. I know a larger number casually, some on sight only, yet there are times when see each other, acknowledge each other. The total number is not so big that I feel distance, at least not much.

    Very similar to walking downtown in 1950’s/60’s Alexandria. I’d see folks I knew well. I’d wave at the parents of kids I knew. Some store owners, clerks. We were important to each other whether we knew it or not. Our faces, our bodies, even our repeated locations added stability and confidence to our day-to-day lives. We lived embedded lives, lives where we were seen and known. Sure, this has its downsides, too. Folks gettin all up in your business. Having to interact with folks you despised or, worse, that despised you for some reason. Perhaps forgotten. Never feeling off stage. Yet I’ve found over the years that I gravitate back to contexts that provide this sort of experience.


  • I’m Scared!

    Imbolc and the Ancient Moon

    Monday gratefuls: Those two kids who wanted to shovel my driveway. Snow. Cold night. A Mountain Dawn. Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. Oh, my. Those Chiefs (sic). Mahomes. Football. Still a danger to so many. The Ancient Moon. Being a man. Men. White men. Black men. Red, yellow, and brown men. Cultural influences on manhood. Testosterone. Women. Sure. Women, too. And all other spots on the gender and sexuality spectrum.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Genitals

    One brief shining: A soft knock on my front door, a boy and his sister stood there in winter coats holding red plastic snow shovels, we do driveways, the boy said, how much I said, thirty dollars, ok, and they got started.


    One of the more human moments. These two kids started on my driveway with their plastic shovels. Worked hard. Older than his sister the boy, ten, got more done. Both stayed at it until I noticed them walking away. She has to go the bathroom, the boy said. Well, she can come in here. They were headed home. She did. At the top of the stairs, reminding me of Kate, she said I don’t remember which way is right. I showed her and signaled the way to tell with her hand.

    As she went back outside, I told them both they could come inside if they got cold. They got back to work. I got more money. Wouldn’t pay them less than Vince gets if they finished. Which I doubted they would. Vince was on a remodel in Bailey and forgot to plow me. Otherwise I would already have had a cleared driveway.

    I sat down to finish reading Lamb. Which if you haven’t read it. OMG. LOL.

    A bit later the girl came inside, softly opening the door. My brother went away to get my sister and he said he’d be gone 10 minutes and he hasn’t come back and I’m scared! Her eyes were wide. I want to go home!

    All right, I said. Where do you live? I don’t know. OK. Do you know your phone number? No, sobbing.

    You know. I get scared when I get lost and can’t find my home. Do you know the street you live on? Chalet. Pronounced Cha-let as in let go of my eggo. I looked it up. Not too far away. What’s your last name? Estrada. I had her sitting down at the table with me.

    I felt so sad for her, wanted to hug her. But. Well, old man living alone. Eight year old girl. Damn I hate what these times have done to men.

    I put the blind up so she could she if her brother came back. I was prepared to drive her down to Chalet, sure she’d know her house if we were on her street when her brother showed up. She ran out to him and he hugged her. Big brother. Everything ok now.

    They worked a bit longer, got maybe a quarter of the driveway done. We have to go home. We have to take a shower. I gave them $15 for their work and waved good-bye.


  • Shabbat

    Shabbat post. Wrote one I decided to keep private, but I’ll be back later today with a new post.

    Imbolc and the 77 Moon

    Shabbat gratefuls: Snow. Cold. Winter Storms. Bringing Water we need. My own tiny Aquifer. A steel blue overcast Sky. Black Mountain gone. (I suspect it’s still there, though) Lodgepole Branches gathering Snow. The Supreme Court. Alan. Relationships. My life’s focus these days. Including with myself. Bereshit. Mishpatim. Parshas I’m studying now. That Shabbat feeling. Candles.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Eye

    One brief shining: The Lodgepole out my window has Branches focused toward the east, toward Great Sol’s return appearance after a Mountain night; on Their west side, where Their colleagues grow, the Branches never emerged, the same true for Others who face out toward the open air with an eager reach, why waste energy where it’s all shade anyhow?


    Shabbat once again. Interesting for me since the shabbat rules focus so much on not working, on relaxing from the daily grind, on staying home. Gee, sounds every day of the week for me. That does create an odd problem. How can I keep the spirit of shabbat if its traditional focus no longer seems appropriate. What does it mean to me to rest from my “regular” obligations? Or anyone retired, for that matter.

    So far I’ve focused on a few aspects of shabbat, like lighting the candles at the time indicated by Chabad. That does have an interesting grounding effect. The time, 18 minutes before sundown, gradually moves, during this season, later and later in the day. Yesterday it was 5:11 pm for the Denver area. Saying the prayer, reconstructing its meaning, and lighting the candles makes for a defined starting point for shabbat. Ritual.

    Reading the parsha for the week is another aspect. This week it’s mishpatim or Exodus 21:1–24:18 which contains many rules and regulations plus Moses’ ascent into the cloud on Mt. Sinai. My favorite commentator, Aviva Zornberg has a commentary, The Particulars of Rapture, which analyzes and interprets each parsha. In weeks past I’ve read her commentary after reading the parsha.

    This week though I’m also reading the very first parsha, bereshit, or beginning. Genesis 1 through the story of Cain and Abel and the lives of those who preceded Noah. Also reading Zornberg’s commentary, The Beginning of Desire.

    A nap has been part of most of my shabbat’s so far. For those of you who know me well, I’ve stopped taking naps for the most part. I also watch some TV. Eat breakfast and lunch. Workout.

    This week, yesterday, I also attended a torah study on reproductive rights online. Rabbi Jamie. The Jewish position is clear, a fetus does not become a person until the first breath or, according to some rabbi’s, when the head crowns. In most cases of pregnancy it is an obligation to save the mother’s life first if an emergency occurs.

    Shabbat has a different texture from the other days of my week. The priority on not doing worklike activity does color it for me. So does the candle lighting ritual and the emphasis on torah study. It is harder for a single person, retired and living alone, to fit into even a modest version of the traditional shabbat with its focus on family and nearby friends. Not my goal, though I appreciate the feel of that one.



  • Folks I know

    Imbolc and the waning Cold Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: Chamber music. Marina Harris. Ana. A clean  house. A gift. Jazz. Coltrane. Brubeck. Mingus. Monk. Davis. Mozart. Haydn. Telemann. Pachebel. CD’s. Music. Books. Lamb by Christopher Moore. Biff. Mitch Rapp. Marilyn and Irv. Breakfast today. Tara watching Whales off Costa Rica. My son. Seoah. Murdoch. Missing them. Jackie and Ronda. Aspen Roots. Aspen Perks. Primo’s.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Irv out of the hospital and rehab

    One brief shining: Hit power on the treadmill, 15 minutes of cardio, off to the kettlebell for goblet squats, the TRX for lunges and rows, dips, dumbbells: chest fly, bench press, skull crushers, bicep curl with shoulder press, body weight: marches, ab crunch, crossovers, ab crunch on ball, and dead bug, then some balance work. repeat three times, another 15 minutes of cardio and one day’s worth done.


    Got a surprise Valentine’s gift from Marina Harris who owns Furball Cleaning. She likes me as a customer, as she says often. Kate found her and I’ve used her since Kate died. Ana and sometimes Lita come to clean every two weeks. They do a good job. They’re dependable and no fuss. Same with Marina. Could see having someone clean as a luxury, a good place to save money. Nope. A clean house gives me a good feeling. Self-care.


    My Hebrew lesson today got canceled since Tara, my teacher and friend, found an available Whale watch excursion, and headed off into the Ocean. What a great reason to cancel. Whales! Made myself sick on a similar excursion off Maui. I had binoculars. Neglected to give my stomach a rest from the magnified messages the lenses sent to my eyes. Ooof.


    Brother Mark, whom some of you know, has had a glitch in his current Saudi gig. His company has apparently lost their contract and will have to suspend operations in mid-March. Beware the ides of March, eh? Although. The new company has to recruit 115 teachers in the next two weeks. May not happen. If they can’t, then Mark and his colleagues would stay on until August. Saudi ESL companies come and go as do their contracts and the teachers. Mark’s done well this last year and a half so I imagine he’ll land on his feet. If not, he’s resilient.


    Meanwhile sister Mary and Guru live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the same country where she started her expat life now so many years ago. I’ve not been there but based on Mary’s reports it must have a close relationship with the jungle. Lots of Wild Neighbors like the Elk and the Mule Deer, the Black Bear and the Mountain Lion. And they come to visit. Lizards. Pythons. Monkeys. I’m sure there are others. IMO nice to have them in a large urban area though I’m not sure that’s how Kuala Lumpurites feel about them.


    And one more. Cousin Diane and her adopted home state of California. Atmospheric rivers. Too. Much. Rain. Not as bad in the Bay area as in L.A., southern California. But bad enough. Especially when you consider this is climate change driven. In other words, not going to diminish, rather more likely to increase.


  • Shadow Mountain. Home.

    Imbolc and the Cold Moon

    Monday gratefuls: The hostages. The empty chairs. Rabbi Jamie. Alan. Cheri. This moment. This keyboard. These fingers. The lev that motivates them. My neshama. Yours. Shards of ohr. Tikkun olam. Home. Eclipse 2024. Aurora, Great Sol lighting the morning. A blue white Sky above Black Mountain. Ruth. Gabe. Mark, leaving Hafir in March. Mary, may the forest and the pythons and the monitor lizards and the monkeys be with you.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Change, our only constant

    One brief shining: The way Black Mountain emerges from the night, slowly with only a dark bulk visible, as Great Sol throws more ohr toward it the Lodgepoles become distinct, Snow on Rock outcroppings bounces the ohr back toward Great Sol white and brilliant, a shade of red orange rests for a moment over it all, then the blue white Sky lights up and Black Mountain stands dominant against my western horizon.


    Increasing. My stay on Shadow Mountain tendency. Only the very occasional night out. MVP. Dinner with Ruth and Gabe. Not even services, maybe once a month. Yesterday a solidarity walk with Denver relatives of the hostages in Gaza. Big Snow Saturday and I found myself not wanting to brave the Mountain roads. So I didn’t. Felt a bit of guilt. Ah, Jewish guilt! Hey, I’m really in now.

    Not sure how I feel about this. There are a number of drivers. At night my reaction time is slower. And even with cataract surgery I still get halos and spikes around car headlights. I go to bed early, though I’ve recently discovered not so early for my chronotype, the Lion. Inertia plays a role, perhaps too big a role. Though. This began long ago when Kate and I first started missing St. Paul Chamber Orchestra nights. A long drive and a late night when going from Andover. At some point the negatives begin to push out the positives. This may be that point for me.

    During the day. Still getting out. Breakfasts. Lunch. Thursday mussar. Getting groceries, medical appointments. That sort of thing. Yet I have not gone into Denver to the Art museums and galleries which I can visit during the day. Traffic. Parking. An hour in and an hour back. I’m grateful for Alan and Cheri’s concerts because they’re on Sunday mornings. That way I can still experience live music.

    Not slowing down physically, still exercising regularly, now up to three sets of resistance work plus cardio. My back though continues to push at me. Noticing now if I turn too quickly to my right with my foot planted my hip tends to drop.

    Guess I’m trying to parse out the real limits of my daily and weekly life. Seasons make a difference of course. When winter is over and Great Sol agrees to light more of the evening, it’s easier for me. I love winter. Snow. Cold. But not ice. And not Mountain roads after a storm.

    Whenever I have these thoughts, I think about RJ Devick, my financial advisor, who once told Kate and me that his clients who hit their eighties tend to do much less traveling and their expenses go down. Could be what’s going on with me.

  • A day with texture

    Imbolc and the Cold Moon

    Shabbat gratefuls: New candle holders. Memorizing the prayer. Alan. Joe Mama’s. Rocket Bar. Wild Mountain Ranch. A dozen eggs and two beef tenderloins. New blinds. John Ellis. Evergreen Shutter and Blind. Shabbat. Parsha Yitro. Snow. Maybe in feet! Good sleeping. Israel. Hamas. U.S. Iran. Hezbollah. Saudi Arabia. Korea: South and North. Japan. Taiwan. Ukraine. Russia. U.S.A.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Wild Mountain Ranch, regenerative farming in Conifer

    One brief shining: Wouldn’t have found Joe Mama’s, again, if I hadn’t seen Alan sitting at a table near the window, and wouldn’t have thought it was a breakfast place anyhow since it had a pool table, not to mention the bar where three Wheatridge stalwarts sat each with a drink in front of them, one a yellow mug of beer, the others I couldn’t tell, at 9 am.


    Don’t usually go to bars. At all. Certainly not at 9 in the morning. But Joe Mama’s had moved from its ten foot wide spot on west Colfax to a new place in Wheatridge. Alan and I liked it, the food was good. We decided to try the new spot.

    They’ve become, I think, the kitchen staff for the Rocket Bar. A no frills spot which looks like the owner took over a small building that maybe housed a barbershop and a small bodega like grocery store. Four separate rooms. Pool table room. The room where Alan and I sat, larger and with tables, the bar room, a narrow area that might have been a wide hallway, and a fourth room with tables. The latter two rooms seemed to constitute the main working spaces for the Rocket Bar.

    Alan and I will not be going back. For one thing the politics of the place had a certain MAGA like feel. For another this alcoholic doesn’t like to eat breakfast while old guys belly up for their first shots of the day. Their choice, not disputing that. But my choice is not to be with them when they do that.

    Always good though to spend time with Alan. We discussed his and Cheri’s first in-home concert. Cheri floated after the morning. She loves music, loves playing, and arranging for others to hear music. And this time, at home. We also dissected the current state of Israel, Hamas, Gaza, the West Bank. Way complicated. But perhaps with a solid solution if Biden stays in office.


    Came home to be here when John Ellis, no apparent relation, came with my new blinds. They’re double honeycombed and have a slight green tint. The ones in my office will allow me to work in the morning without Great Sol in my face. The new blinds on the living room/kitchen floor improve on the faded ones that were there before. The blinds downstairs will reduce glare in the afternoons and early evening. It took John less than hour to install all of them. I paid him the balance due.


    After John finished, I hopped in Ruby to go find Wild Mountain Ranch, a local regenerative farm I discovered a week or so ago. Not an easy find. Had to turn left on a downhill slope of 285 onto a narrow dirt road. I needed to find Red Hawk Trail. Found it but it didn’t look like it went very far. Just behind Tucker’s horse training and riding facility. Drove past it, then noticed that it took a sharp right that I hadn’t seen. Turned around and went back. Down a steep slope on a muddy narrow road to the right hand turn.

    Drove a long ways on a one lane dirt road muddy from thawed Snow. All the while going up, a gentle rise. No signs for Wild Mountain Ranch. I had an address but I hadn’t paid attention since I imagined there would be a sign. The road ended in the driveway of the last house on Redhawk Trail. A man roughly my age came outside to see what I was up to. We chatted and he said,”Oh, yeah. You’re buying beef?” I nodded. “Turn around and go back down. It’s on the right and you’ll see some cattle, some big ones. A radical right hand turn.” Thanks, dude.

    Sure enough maybe a half mile further back from his small orange home I saw some Highland Cattle lounging in mud. I took a radical right turn, maybe 240 degrees, and found the parking lot. Rang the bell. Nothing happened. Rang it again. Still nothing. I went back to the car, found my phone and called. No answer. As I wondered what to do next, Brittany came out. “Have you been out here long?” No, not that long. She got my name went back in the house, got my dozen eggs and two tenderloins.

    Marketing and customer service are not Wild Mountain Ranch’s strong suit. At least not yet. I wanted to talk about their farm but Brittany seemed distracted. I’ll wait.

    Gonna go downstairs now and have a couple of their eggs before I workout.


  • Mountains

    Winter and the full Cold Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Cold Moon. The night landscape through my bedroom window when the Moon is full. All dogs, everywhere. All Wild Neighbors. The Lodgepoles of Shadow Mountain. Its Rocky presence and its height. Living on Shadow Mountain. Gary and the Torah. Bereshit. Zornberg. Hevruta. Lamb by Christopher Moore. Tinned Albacore. Bartlett Pears. 34 degrees Rosemary crackers.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The night landscape with a full moon

    One brief shining: Hard to miss the steady confident support of Shadow Mountain yet it can fade into the background of the trash and the dishwasher and the television and the sleeping through the night though when on occasion I awake I do look outside and see the Lodgepole shadows thrown against the white Snow by the gentlest of lights and somehow Shadow Mountain rises up, gentle himself, to receive the Moon’s gift.


    We tend to think of Mountains as rugged stony prominences, all yang in their stolidity, their solidity. Yet live with one long enough and its mellow side emerges. It wants to cradle you, support you as a mother does her child. It says yes to the Trees that wish to grow on its flanks. The Mountain greets the Waters as they run down its side whether Rain or Snow Melt or Hail. Even though Water carries away part of the Mountain itself. The Mountain provides nooks for weary Mule Deer and Elk. Ledges on which Mountain Lions can rest while waiting for supper to walk by. Dens for hibernating Black Bears. Dens, too, for the Fox. The Mountain also shares its height with those who climb it for the long view possible at the summit.

    Mountains prefer the company of other Mountains. Sometimes in huge family gatherings we call ranges. Though self-contained Mountains share Roots, Passes, Valleys with their companions. They have similar origin stories with their companions, too. Geologists call it orogeny, Mountain building. Which of course is not building at all, but a rude thrust from an eon or two spent happily beneath the Earth’s crust, cracking the surface and slowly mounting into the Air and the light of Great Sol, feeling the Wind and the Rain, the Ice and Snow.

    Mountains will surprise you. They change their appearance. Sometimes suddenly as when Black Mountain disappears in the Fog. Or more slowly as Great Sol rises, dispersing the darkness of a Mountain night. In the Mountain Fall the gray-white Aspens leaves turn gold, creating a contrast with the green Needles of the Lodgepoles and the darkness of exposed rock. The Elk bugle then, too, and the Black Bears go into hyperphagia needing 20,000 calories a day. In Winter Snow flocks all the Trees and the Creeks freeze up. While in the Spring, the Snow melts and the Creeks run full, often overflowing their banks. Fawns and calves and kits and pups abound on the Mountainside.

    But Summer. Summer has a red flashing light. Danger ahead. Here in the arid West the Lodgepoles become desiccated, their needles dull. Sometimes the grasses turn brown, only a lightning strike away from Wildfire. All of us Mammals in the Mountains have to pay attention, be aware.



  • Coffee in my Vinegar

    Winter and the 1% crescent of the Winter Solstice Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: Getting things done. Fixing (mostly) my casement window. Self-limiting talk. Great Sol. Black Mountain. Irv. Marilyn. Tara. Alan. Tom and his lev. The Zen calendar. Bill. Paul. Mark. Ruby. Kate on brightening up a room. Jon. His art. His quick mind. My son and Seoah and Murdoch. Shemot. Exodus. Ruth and Gabe and Mia. Domo on Sunday. Applewood Village. Friday.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Sardines

    One brief shining: The way it goes quiet then a rush with the American Day of Atonement tonight, Thursday a trip to Parker to see Irv, Friday Wheatridge for breakfast with Alan, Sunday Domo with Ruth, Gabe, and Mia in between sleeping and cooking and reading up on Jewish classical texts for my conversion session with Rabbi Jamie and learning my Bar Mitzvah Hebrew portion.


    Yeah life went from will I go upstairs or downstairs to I will go all over the place, down the hill and back up the hill. Nice to have variety. All of it good, rich, significant in my tiny universe. Life on the Mountain of Shadows.


    While much of the U.S. encounters wild and dangerous weather, those of us on the Front Range have had a real Minnesota January. Temps below zero tomorrow. In the single digits at night for over a week. Some Snow.

    My casement window in my bedroom wouldn’t shut. And it was cold outside. I googled casement windows, found a screwdriver, trekked out in the Snow. As you might expect, none of the information on the internet helped. Frustrating. Until. What’s that gouge? Looked under the window. Yep, a screw had worked its way loose and impeded the window on its way to full closure. A few turns of the screw et voilá. All fixed except for the gouge which will require a file. Which I don’t have. But I will.

    Agency. Yes.

    I have a high altitude coffee maker. It keeps a reservoir of hot water so coffee brews quickly rather than waiting on the slow boil of 8,800 feet. In cleaning it I ran a coffee pot full of vinegar through it, then a pot full of fresh water. Done. So I thought. Made a pot of coffee, took the cup up to a zoom call with the Ancient Brothers. Took a sip. Yep. I had coffee brewed not with water but vinegar! Another fresh water pot through the system. Still vinegary. It took yet another fresh water pot to get the vinegar calmed down.

    Those things we do to keep life managed to some extent.


    Meanwhile in the alternate universe of U.S. politics. Iowa votes. Then, New Hampshire. 45 sits in at his appeals court hearing. Yesterday Lauren Bobert did not punch or grope anyone. At least so far as the news knows. Colorado continues its quirky political path with no sitting Republican Representatives running in this next election.

    Also. News I’ve not shared before. We have terrible mail service in the Mountains. I don’t, but most of my nearby neighbors do. Mark, my mail carrier, is a pro and has been consistently good since we got here. Elsewhere packages don’t come, mail gets delivered to the wrong address or not at all. The post offices have high staff turnovers and face closure to consolidate operations. Our entire congressional delegation is on this, but the pace is soooo slow.





  • Gettin’er Done

    Winter and the Winter Solstice Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: Cold. 6 degrees. Sparkly Snow. Sleep. Vince. Snowplowing. My bedroom. Its mezuzah. CD player. Listening to Mozart quartets last night. The Brothers Sun. Michelle Yeoh. Solid workout. Rest day. Article on how pro basketball players find clothes that fit. Israel. Hamas. Gaza. Palestinians. Waning crescent of the Winter Solstice Moon. Orion. Mini-splits. Travel.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Listening to chamber music

    One brief shining: Got out the hammer, pencil, measuring tape placed that poster I had framed against the wall holding the wire with my finger, marked the spot, did the same with my conversion and naming certificates, a graphite x for each, that bigger one, the self-portrait my son made at age 6 I had to measure since it was too heavy to hold and mark at the same time, pounded four hangars into the drywall, placed and squared up each one, stood back and said what a good boy am I.


    Quiet time for me right now. Not unusual for the first of the year though. Got some domestic things done. Setup the new CD player. Thanks, Mario. Works great. And the price was right.

    Set up my new phone, a Galaxy 23. All by myself. Transferring all my stuff from my old Note10 to the new one. Fussing with passwords. You know about that. I buy a new phone every five years or so and the biggest selling point for me is the camera. This one? Wow.

    Hung some framed stuff that had been ready for a while to go on the walls. Cooked several meals. Read a lot.

    Watched some TV. Loving The Brothers Sun on Netflix. Quirky. Northern Exposure is now on Prime Video. I haven’t started rewatching it yet but I plan to. Loved that show. Also quirky.

    Got the Rigel devastated couch, long in need of reupholstery, set up with Ackman’s. They’ll come get it next Friday. That will finish the living room.

    Next up for that finishing touch is the loft. When Kepler got sick, I moved my office from the loft to the house, the home office on the third level. I also moved down the large oriental rug I’d had up there so Vega wouldn’t pee on it. As she did more than once in Andover. $300 bucks a pop to clean after that. I had it moved down so Kep wouldn’t have to deal with the slick floor as his motor control became more problematic. As a result, I only use the loft now for working out and painting/sumi-e.

    I’ve got most of the books back on the shelves. I took out the ones I wanted to ship to Hawai’i back when that was a thing. With using the space less it took me a while to get to putting them on the shelves again. When I’m done with that, I’ll have Ana and Lita give the space a good clean and dust.

    Probably going to buy a new area rug for it, leaving the oriental rug in place downstairs. Get some chairs up there. Turn it into a reading/study area. Relieve pressure on that Stickley chair that now serves that purpose. I want to be up there more painting, doing brush work, reading. But I don’t want to move all this stuff back up there again.