• Tag Archives sheepshead
  • Cartography and Snow

    Spring                                                                                       Planting Moon

    Spent the morning redrawing a map of the Winter Realm and Summer Realm on Tailte.  Tomorrow I’ll work on detailed maps of both separately, the islands and the Dark Range.  This was a constant among the beta readers and I agreed.  Doing them now will help the rewrite.

    This afternoon I hit a wall on the next four verses of Book I, the Metamorphoses.  My mind seized up and would go no further.  So, I went upstairs and took videos of the dogs play in the already 5-6 inches of new snow.  And, it’s still snowing.  Supposed to get heavier over night.

    Worked out, aerobic only because my back still complains from my lifting the hive box with honey on Tuesday.  I could have done without this, but I caused it so what can you do?

    Sheepshead canceled.  With the snow coming down heavy now and predicted to be heavier still we decided to put it off.  It was a wise decision, but I will miss the conversation and camaraderie.   Wanted to hear what the Jesuits thought about the new pope.


  • Too Pooped to Pope!

    Imbolc                                                           Valentine Moon

    Cybermage Bill Schmidt held the hot hand tonight in Sheepshead.  He just kept winning.  And came out ahead, well ahead for the evening.  The card gods blessed him in his coming and in his going.  My cards were middling.  In the black, but barely.

    Since this is three ex-Jesuits, a very engaged Catholic layman, and me, a former clergy, talk turned to the Pope.  One guy thought the headline for Benedict’s resignation should have been:  Too Pooped to Pope!  Great line.

    The Vatican has always fascinated me.  Partly the mystery and secrecy, the Vatican library for example.  Partly its nation-state status inside the city limits of Rome.  Partly its peculiar prominence among the world’s religions.  Partly the long history and partly its long reach.  Partly the great outfits.  Surely the great art.

    Kate and I sent the thank-you notes for our wedding, penned over the Atlantic on a Pan-Am airliner, from the Vatican Post Office.  We also first had what we call Popeteria salad (mozzarella and tomatoes with basil and olive oil) in the cafeteria of the Vatican Museum.  When we were there in March of 1990, the Last Judgment was still in the process of being cleaned, but the rest was, well, pristine.  Ha, ha.

    Michelangelo. Raphael. Bernini. Great and illustrious names in Italian art decorated–decorated–St. Peter’s, the chapels, apartments and even the hallways.  The Vatican is a great monument to the power of the Western artistic vision as well as the power of the papacy and the curia.

    Sede vacante.  The chair is empty.  Now the inside ball, politicking without politicking.  Running without running.  Men in cardinal soutanes and small cardinal berettas file in and begin a centuries old tradition, an oligarchy of the church chooses their monarch.

    Set aside the metaphysics, this is just plain interesting from a human and organizational and historical perspective.


  • Good Fortuna

    Spring                                                 Bee Hiving Moon

    Sheepshead.  Fortuna, the Roman goddess of fortune and fate, had her hand on my shoulder tonight.  Even when I had not so good hands, I got good results.   Amazing.

    Sold my second jar of honey tonight, too.  Still feels weird, selling the honey.  The bees make it; I just support them.

    Cool tonight, but not cold.

  • Playing Cards

    Winter                                 First Moon of the Winter Solstice

    Oh.  The card gods had it in for me tonight.  And about time, too.  I got cards that were almost good enough, but not quite.  And I kept playing them.  And playing them.  And then some more.  I had a great time.  It’s fun playing with these guys, win or lose.

    On the way back from the game I felt great.  Realized at this point that this feeling lifts me up and the serious, more work ahead feeling after political meetings, not so much, and I want more lift me up in my life.

    Driving back there were snow flurries, the temperature was either 17–the truckometer, 12–the sign on 35W just after 694 going north or 28–HOM furniture, which always runs hot.  Around 13 by my educated ears.  Windy, too.  Downright chilly.

    Felt great.

    Off to Denver in the AM.  The Great Western Stock Show.  Grandkids.  Time with my honey.

  • Details

    Fall                                                       Full Autumn Moon

    Off to the city of Andover to get stakes marked with orange fluorescent paint.  Why?  We exurbers put these to mark the edges of our lawn so the city snowplows plow the street and not our frontyards.  This is what comes of not having sidewalks.

    Usually I don’t put these in before Halloween since they make such good Halloween prank possibilities, but I’m going to this time.  Just in case though I got twice what I needed.  I can redo it if I need to when we get back.

    New filter in the furnace.  Salt in the water softener.  Then turned it off.  Saturday I’ll turn down the temperature on the water heater, clear out the refrigerator and turn it down, too.  Lights on timers.  You know the drill.

    One last garden chore.  Putting down mulch, then spreading composted manure on top of it.  Tomorrow or Saturday.

    Saturday we take the dogs over to Armstrong Kennels, their new home until Thanksgiving.  We’ll pack and weigh Saturday.  We have no intention of paying heavy bag fees.

    Learned yesterday that our lanai cabin has two deck chairs for our exclusive use.  That’s a bonus.

    Sheepshead tonight.  It’s in the cards.

  • Sheepshead

    Samhain                                               Waxing Thanksgiving Moon

    The card gods were pretty good to me.  I had some good hands, some good luck and a lot of fun tonight at sheepshead.  We had a great evening with a lot of laughter.  It’s nice to be with guys who can see the humor in their own lives.

    The wisdom teeth began to throb tonight, a bit surprising after a calm period since the extraction.  I’ve felt fatigued and a bit spacy, but no real pain until today.

    I will be happy when Kate’s work is done in early January and she goes on casual time.  Having her here will make our home feel more vital.

    Over the weekend I plan to put the bees to rest for the winter and make some more soup with the last of the leeks.  Latin tomorrow.

  • Harvest Moon, For Me and My Gal

    Fall                                               Full Harvest Moon

    What a great moon in the southern sky.  As I drove back from St. Paul, after sheepshead, the night had grown chill.

    On the way in the full harvest moon hung high in the east behind a scrim of cirrus clouds, casting a pale circle, surrounding itself in a nimbus of moonlight.  On the east, the full harvest moon, and on the west, the skyline of downtown against the late twilight sky.  Skylines have their own beauty, a fragile outline in light of daytime sturdy buildings.

    We had a sixth tonight at sheepshead, a friend of Roy’s in from Appleton, Wisconsin.  The dealer sat out and we played our usual five man game.  Dick Rice came away the big winner.

  • Kids, Chinese Heritage and Sheepshead + Buddhism

    Lughnasa                          Waxing Artemis Moon

    Whew.  Into the MIA for tours with kiddies from the Peace Games at the park across from the Museum.  I had two groups, one a group of girls mostly who were sensitive, responsive and imaginative.  A pleasure.  The second group was all tween boys who wandered, posed, paused and were harder to engage, though the sword did get their attention.

    When finished, I knew I had to return at 5:45 and I had the option of staying, but I chose to drive back home and take a nap.  After an illness, I like to get as much rest as possible.

    So, turn around at 5:00 pm and go back to the museum for a tour of the Matteo Ricci map with the Chinese Heritage Foundation.  They were a lively, bright group who could read the map!  That gave more insight into it.  Lots of good questions, conversation.

    I left the museum at 6:45 and headed over to St. Paul to sheepshead.  The card gods smiled on me tonight.  After a slow start, I got some better cards.

    Then, back home.  A long day.  On the drive I’ve been listening to more of the Religions of the Axial Age lectures.  The ones right now focus on Buddhism.  I’ve never found Buddhism appealing though certain elements seem helpful.  Since I’m a not a big believer in reincarnation or kharma, the Buddha seems to be solving a problem I don’t have.  After listening to the notion of no-self, I began to have a distinct puzzlement.  I don’t get how the notion of no-self and continuing rebirth co-exist.  I must be misunderstanding something.

  • From Bee Hives to Art Galleries

    Summer                                            Waning Strawberry Moon

    Today I’m back to the world of art.  The bees will work on now until next week without me.  Probably what they prefer.

    A tour today on my new tour day, Thursday.  I have a group from Salem Covenant Church.  They wanted to see the Matteo Ricci map and the Old Testament prints.  Based on that I decided to take them on a tour of art at the time of Matteo Ricci and the late Ming dynasty.

    We will see a Ming dynasty painting, Towering Mountains and Fantastic Waterfalls, the Wu family reception hall and then move upstairs to the Old Testament prints.  We’ll finish with Morales’ Man of Sorrows and Honthorst’s Denial of St. Peter.  The late Ming dynasty coincided with the Counter-Reformation and Reformation era in Europe.

    Later on, Sheepshead.

    Oh.  My ear.  Much better this am.  Thanks.

  • Sheepshead

    Beltane                                      Full Planting Moon

    Sheepshead tonight.  We get in lots of jokes and laughing during the game.  The best story came from Dick Rice, who says he got it from a relative of Flannery O’Connor.  He told it in response to Bill mentioning Vega and the rabbit.

    This guy’s dog brought home the neighbors pet rabbit, a pet she prized.  The rabbit was dead and the guy felt embarrassed, wasn’t sure quite what to do, so he wiped off the rabbit, washed it off in the sink and dried it carefully with a towel.  His neighbor had not come home from work at this point, so he snuck over to her house.  In her backyard he carefully took the now clean, but obviously still dead, rabbit and placed it in the house she had built for it.

    The next day he saw her crying and went over to her yard.

    “Oh, my.  You’ll never believe what happened!” she said, tears streaming down her face.

    “What?  What happened?” he said.

    “Well, my rabbit died the other day and I buried her in the backyard, but somehow she came back and ended up in her house again.”

    True or not, it’s a great story.