Friday, August 31, 2007


  • ~the largest moon of Saturn

  • ~the Greek sun-god Helios

  • ~a race of giants in Greek mythology

  • ~Mahler's sympony No. 1

  • ~the largest beetle in the Amazon

  • ~a class of rocket

  • ~a Star Trek Starfleet ship

  • ~a South African cricket team

  • ~a large dumptruck in British Columbia

  • ~my new truck

  • Wednesday, August 29, 2007

    Freethought- word of the day

    Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that beliefs should be formed on the basis of science and logical principles and not be compromised by authority, tradition, or any other dogma. The cognitive application of freethought is known as freethinking, and practitioners of freethought are known as freethinkers.

    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    Dahlia Man- dream journal

    A lot of strange things happened when I visited Dahlia Man. Most notably he tried to ride a bicycle up a steep sand hill. When he couldn't make it over the crest, he fell off and the bike tumbled back the the bottom of the hill. He turned smoothly and slide down the sand as if it was a sliding board, grinning the whole way. Afterwards he was trying unsuccessfully to take a bath by himself, but didn't want to ask for help.

    Sronnoc Esor

    This followed on the heels of another dream about Dahlia Man yesterday. I had fallen back asleep after I got up. The phone startled me from a deep sleep and I remember dreaming that I had fallen asleep in the chair in Dahlia Man's living room. He was sitting at a small desk where his recliner usually is. A big hat kept flopping in my eyes and I couldn't see at all.


    Sunday, August 26, 2007


    An email from SPM last night invited me clamming.
    He picked me up before 6:00 am and we were off.
    We put the canoe in the Umpqua River and were off to the clam bed exposed by low tide.

    The small hole on the left is the clam's hole, our signal to dig.

    When the wall of the hole is caved in, the clam's neck is seen protruding from the mud.

    It takes careful digging not to break the shell.
    This is a soft-shell clam.
    Dahlia Man calls them "piss clams" because they eject a stream of water when caught.

    After the clam is shucked, the belly is removed and the neck is slit open and skinned.
    Here's the edible portion that remains.

    As we waded in the suprisingly warm water of the river observing tiny Dungeness crabs skittering about, SPM observed this tiny fish only 2-3 inches long swimming slowly and crookedly. Anyone know what it is or what's wrong with it?

    We had a lunch of curried Thai clam pot, swiss chard, fingerling potatoes, fresh whole wheat garlic bread and hummus preceded by oyster stew and accompanied by Black Butte Porter.


    Saturday, August 25, 2007

    Today's Ride- photo essay

    Kool Coastal Nights- more classic cars in town than permanent residents

    Crab Bounty Hunt - appear to be more boats in the water than fish

    Finally, a relaxing walk on the beach; hardly anyone here.

    Friday, August 24, 2007

    Rerun- dream journal

    I've had this dream more than once before with slight variations.

    There wasn't much privacy at the house, so we went for a ride up the mountain road. At first, we had trouble reaching the steering wheel and the brakes, and going around the horseshoe curve felt pretty treacherous. We hadn't driven long when I had to pee. We pulled in the driveway of the first house we came to and I ran right in past a startled elderly woman to the bathroom. When I came out, I explained the urgency of the situation, which she seemed to understand. She offered us drinks and everyone, there were several of us now, went and sat down in the living room. It was a lovely room, done in a shade between navy and royal blue. It was a few steps up from the rest of the house, with a wall of windows looking out over the view. I tried to help the lady with the dishes and pouring drinks, but I seemed to make a mess no matter what I did. I explained to her that I was a nurse and that I had experience working home care and wasn't usually this clutsy. I gave her my phone number, which she transcribed wrong, so I wrote it down myself. We decided to leave, but noone could find the cat. I found her and caught her. She resisted being held. When we went outside, there was no car there, so we all got on an old sofa that was sitting in the driveway. My cousin seemed to bewitch the sofa to make it fly so we could get home in time to get ready for church.

    Sronnoc Esor

    Thursday, August 23, 2007


    Preparing my breakfast this afternoon, I found my potatoes in an advanced state of inedibility. I proceeded to cut them up and bury them. Perhaps I'll give them a try again later.
    Late last night we rode to the beach and sat looking at a gibbous moon reflecting off the surf and a sky full of stars with shooting stars streaking by.

    Wednesday, August 22, 2007

    Lily Pond

    For instant relaxation, close your eyes and transport yourself to a wooden bench, overlooking this view of the lily pond with the odd bullhead lily sporting its bright yellow, waxy bloom. A blue-winged dragonfly buzzes by. Chickadees chatter from the treetops. The sun, filtered gently by the trees warms your back while the breeze cools your brow. The earthy scents of wood and water and ripening salal berries waft by. You've brought a picnic of cheese and bread and fresh fruit. A Bald Eagle might just soar over the clearing if you watch closely.
    All's right with the world.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    Questions or Forgiveness Revisited

    Do the actions of others affect my own?
    Most definitely. "No man is an island." I do not exist in a vaccuum. I react emotionally, often easily affected by the influences exerted on me by others. My reactions are often extreme and inappropriate, resulting in the opposite of what I hope for. Sometimes my reactions are even detrimental to myself.

    Should they?
    Probably not. But I have yet to achieve perfection.

    What controls my actions? Free Will?
    I believe in free will. I believe that I have the capability of controlling my own actions. I know that I make wrong choices at times. I know that I sometimes treat others unfairly. My judgment may be clouded by emotion. My consciousness may lack the maturity to choose appropriate actions.

    Divine Influence?
    I have experienced the perception that God was influencing my behavior in the past through the influence of the Bible or the "Holy Ghost". I have alternately acted with or against this perceived influence. In retrospect, I attribute this influence to factors like emotion or exhortations from peers or spiritual leaders. The moral principles found in the Bible are ingrained in me by culture and upbringing, therefore when I act on them, I am responding to the influence of other people.

    Am I correct to judge others by their past actions?
    Past events are the best predictor of future events. I would be a fool to expect others to act in a manner incongruous with their past behavior. It seems inhuman to me to forget past behavior. However, I accept the possibility that others may change. Proof of change is necessary to alter my judgment. This does not make me right to judge. Judging others may
    be detrimental to myself. If I do not use past actions to judge others by, I risk suffering a repeat of the same insult. If I judge others too harshly, I risk ruining all hope of finding good in others.

    Must I forgive others to receive forgiveness myself?
    Yes. If I expect my own shortcomings to be forgiven, it would be consistent for me to forgive shortcomings or disappointments in others. A world where noone forgave anyone else would be insufferable.

    If so, from whom do I receive forgiveness?
    I receive tacit forgiveness from others all the time for simple things like social fopaws or traffic blunders. jc overlooks a multitude of my shortcomings. Others I am in contact with certainly must do the same.

    If I accept the presumption that God has forgiven me, does it indeed make it easy for me to forgive others?
    First, I don't accept the presumption. Assuming that I did, the presumed nature of God is so much different from my own, that it would be difficult for me to act in the same manner that he does. Ease of forgiveness is more determined by factors like seriousness and repetitive nature of the insult.

    Does the fact that I have done wrong help me accept errors in others?
    Most definitely, but with limitations determined by my perception of my relationship with others and the nature of their offenses.

    R. Connors

    postscript I hope to achieve forgiveness in the present situation, if not for the benefit of the offender, certainly for my own well-being. I just haven't completely gotten there yet. What was taken away can never be replaced or corrected.


    Always Planning

    I'm quite confident that I live too much in the future and not enough in the present

    Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?
    Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?
    The Master doesn't seek fulfillment.
    Not seeking, not expecting, she is present,
    and can welcome all things.
    ~Tao Te Ching No. 15

    Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
    ~The Holy Bible Matthew 6,34
    Regardless, I'm already planning next summer's vacation, though.

    "Thus the Master travels all day without leaving home."
    ~Tao Te Ching No. 26


    Monday, August 20, 2007

    Mediterranean Cafe

    Greek soup and pita
    While out and about today, we went to our favorite Greek restaurant.

    Chicken caesar salad

    Lamb gyro



    Sunday, August 19, 2007

    not enough room- dream journal

    We arrived at the dock with our hand luggage to rent a car. What they gave us looked much more like a golf cart. It had no roof and I couldn't find the brakes. Finally the man showed me a set of buttons on the dash that were a substitute for brakes. I took it for a test ride around the parking lot and found it be very tippy. Then we remembered that we hadn't gotten our regular luggage yet, so I went to find it. While wandering the ship I found my orange backpack, stuffed to the gills. A woman in uniform tried to take it from me. I followed her up the stairs to the pool to retrieve it. I finally wound up in a small conference room that said "keep out" on the door, but inside people were being called by cabin to claim their luggage. They were still pretty far from our cabin, so I went to tell jc what I had discovered. I found him driving around in the golf cart with an old friend (no longer living) of his who I'll call Bilbo. jc had decided the golf cart wouldn't work. He wanted to go get our car out of long term parking, but couldn't remember where it was. I told him where it was and then went back to the ship with Bilbo.

    Sronnoc Esor

    Saturday, August 18, 2007


    A Story from Dahlia Man

    "It was the 1930's in Baldwin, a suburb of New York City. I'd been seeing Adella for a few years when I asked her to marry me. She told me she had to make a trip to Buffalo to settle things with her husband. I never knew she was married. She returned two weeks later to tell me that she had patched things up with her husband and was going back to him.

    After that, I only dated married women for a long time. Then I married Dot, the love of my life. We had grown up together. Dot contracted lymphatic cancer. She died after we had been married only twelve years.

    I remarried and moved to California. Not long after that, Florence and I had a big fight and I went back east to visit my mother. While I was there, I decided to see Adella. She was in Florida by now. It was there that I met my daughter. It was just as if we had never parted. Her husband had been killed in a freak accident on a shrimping boat that he owned. I could've stayed with her and taken over the shrimping business, but I had a good job working for the state of California, so I went back to Florence.

    Hardly a day goes by that I don't think of Adella though. It's not likely that she's even still alive, but she's still twenty years old in my memory. Memories are all you have when you're this old."

    Friday, August 17, 2007


    . I got an unexpected apology yesterday for something that happened a very long time ago. It's taking me some time, thought, and collaboration to process. How can I forgive someone for something that affected my life in such a big way? I used to believe that complete forgiveness included forgetting the thing ever happened. I don't think I can do that, especially when the offense was also directed at others who are important to me.
    . The thing is, I've only just started to realize I'm angry about it.
    . It's an important point. You can never take anything back. Be careful what you put into the universe.
    r. connors

    Thursday, August 16, 2007

    Do You Know Where You Are?

    . I've neglected the woods this summer, so this afternoon I set out on one of my favorite hikes. Just around the bend from the trailhead, as I paused for a photo, some hikers came the other direction. Antisocial as I am, I concentrated on my camera settings as they passed. The retired gentleman in the rear greeted me and I looked up to speak to him.
    . "Is this the way back to the parking lot?" he asked, wiping sweat from his brow.
    . "You're almost there." I assured him.
    . "Did you look at the map carefully before you left?" he pressed me, not certain that I was right.
    . "I've been here before."
    . By now, Mr. Hiker is feeling pretty friendly. If there had been a chair, I'm sure he would have pulled one up. "We took the left at the sand dune just like the sign said. But then we weren't sure where we were. We passed a sign post with no sign on it. She and I got in the worst fight we've had since we got married." He confided.
    . "Well, you're just about back now." I repeated, sure that he would be anxious to return to his car.
    . He wasn't done yet, though. "Which parking lot is it?" he queried.
    . "There only is one, unless you're looking for the campground." There followed a short discussion about the location of the campground.
    . Mr. Hiker still wasn't satisfied. "There's another couple lost out there too; they're about our age," he told me. "I hope they don't find their bones out there in a few years."
    . "If I see them I'll point them in the right direction." I promised.
    . As his family virtually pulled him physically down the trail, Mr. Hiker was still talking. "Do you do this for fun?"
    . To be fair to Mr. Hiker, seventy-some degrees felt pretty warm on the sand today. I only did the loop at the beginning and was happy to get back to the car.

    Wednesday, August 15, 2007

    Beauty, Part Three

    As I was pedaling along through the dunes with jc, snapping shots of wildflowers, I thought, "Beauty is everywhere." Then I remembered my Plato: true beauty is an ideal. Is Plato right? Does seeing beauty in a flower make me blind to true beauty? Immediately the Daodejing came to mind: beauty creates ugliness. Is Lao Tsu right? By making one thing beautiful, do I cheapen other things? I could have added quotes from the Bible, which reminds us more than once that true beauty is not the outward appearance, but what comes from the heart. That's much more obvious than the former two ideas.

    So what is it that I consider to be beautiful?

    I started the thought with objects in nature. Flowers, trees, streams, lakes, the ocean, birds, little spotted fawns. A sunny day with a cooling breeze and a bright blue sky dotted with puffy clouds. A rainy day with a gray sky close enough to touch and a gentle patter on the roof. The human form, most especially of a lover.

    Things made by man seem paler in comparison, but still lovely. The architectural lines of a stately mansion or a humble bungalow. An inspired painting or sculpture. A plate of sashimi prepared and garnished by an expert hand. Flowing calligraphy. Music.

    The answer will be different for each of us though. Every reader will find an item on my list that leaves them cold, if not repulses them. It makes Plato right, doesn't it? These things only serve to awaken the idea of beauty already in my consciousness. The objects that I assign the idea to are determined by external influences that have taught me what to consider beautiful.

    The Daodejing is not so simple to process. XBFRN tries to explain it to me and I envy his grasp of it. I've graduated from the idea that everything falls in one of two categories to the idea that everything falls somewhere on a continuum. So I can grasp the idea of everything from gorgeous, beautiful, lovely, pretty and cute down to plain, bland, unpleasant, ugly and repulsive. When I see one thing as beautiful, other things become ugly. I won't quite get it today.


    Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    Beauty, Part Two

    Spotted knapweed Centaurea biebersteinii (nonnative)
    When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad.
    Being and non-being create each other.
    Difficult and easy support each other.
    Long and short define each other.
    High and low depend on each other.
    Before and after follow each other.
    Therefore the Master
    acts without doing anything
    and teaches without saying anything.
    Things arise and she lets them come;
    things disappear and she lets them go.
    She has but doesn't possess,
    acts but doesn't expect.
    When her work is done, she forgets it.
    That is why it lasts forever.
    Tao Te Ching
    Lao Tzu
    Translated by Stephen Mitchell

    Plummer's Hollow

    The part of me that is still a little girl in pigtails running barefoot in the central Pennsylvania hills is awakened by the beautiful essays, poetry, and photos on Dave's blog Via Negativa. It's almost as if I've stepped through a magical window into the past reading about picking high bush blueberries and the luminescence of the deer's ears in the sinking sun. Once more the summer days are endless, I can't catch poison ivy even if I bathe in it, and there's a new wonder to be found behind the gnarly trunk of every white oak.

    If you think a little girl like that might be lurking in your psyche, make sure you visit Plummer's Hollow.


    Monday, August 13, 2007

    Beauty, Part One

    Hairy Goldenaster Heterotheca villosa (native)
    And this is the distinction which I draw between the
    sight-loving, art-loving, practical class and those of whom I am speaking, and
    who are alone worthy of the name of philosophers.
    The lovers of sounds and sights are, as I conceive, fond of
    tones and colors and forms and all the artificial products that are made out of
    them, but their mind is incapable of seeing or loving absolute beauty.
    Few are they who are able to attain to the sight of this.
    And the man who believes in beautiful things but does not believe in absolute
    beauty, nor is able to follow if one lead him to an understanding of it- do you
    think that his life is real or a dream? Is it not a dream? For whether a man be
    asleep or awake is it not dream-like to mistake the image for the real
    Plato's Republic


    Sunday, August 12, 2007


    Dahlia Man shared with me yesterday that he has been successfully battling depression by consciously controlling his attitude. It's a good reminder. jc got us the Rent DVD and we rewatched it tonight. I'm still amazed by the powerful message of the film.

    Vive la Vie Boheme!


    Saturday, August 11, 2007


    Tooth-leaved monkeyflower Mimulus dentatus (native)

    Friday, August 10, 2007

    Rhinoceros Auklet

    I was up before jc this morning and went birding on the south jetty of the Siuslaw. That's not it in the picture. I was delighted to see a rhinoceros auklet swimming around in the channel!

    Thursday, August 09, 2007

    Shuffled Plans

    Alsea Falls closeup (photo credit: jc)
    We spent the day in Eugene yesterday. I walked the bikepaths (in flip-flops) until I wore the skin off my feet. We picked up sushi and walked to the concert, which was outdoors. It was a lovely walk through the park. At the concert, we sat on a quilt on the grass. Chris Botti and his excellent band played for an hour to open. He plays a wonderful bluesy jazz trumpet. Then Diana Krall played and sang numbers from Nat King Cole and Irving Berlin down to Elvis Costello. By the time the show was over it was dark and we walked back to the hotel under the stars.
    This morning I found out that my job in Eugene was canceled and they sent me to Florence. We took the scenic route on the way over. After I checked into the hotel (on the company) and took a nap, they canceled me here too. So we took a walk and now I'll call it an early night. It's just as well. I forgot not to schedule around my period, so today wasn't a great day to work. All things considered, me and Thermacare wraps and ibuprofen are doing just fine.

    Tuesday, August 07, 2007

    At Long Last

    My Specialized Expedition came on Friday and we took it to the bike shop to be put together. He was too busy to get it done on Saturday and was closed Sunday and Monday, so I finally got my bike today.

    My first bike had a yellow banana seat and one wheel bigger than the other. I paid something like ten bucks to a guy who worked on bikes in his garage up Runville for it. One tire was bigger than the other.

    When I got out of college, a friend gave me her old Schwinn ten speed, that she had been going to throw away. It traveled from Pennsylvania to Utah on top of the cap of the blue Chevy truck. Every time I went for a ride, I got a flat. There are lots of thorns in Utah. Poor thing didn't make the trip when I moved back east.

    Now jc has gotten me this beautiful bike on eBay. I hate to bend over to reach the handlebars, and this bike rides just like a cruiser.

    We're headed to Eugene tomorrow for a Diana Krall concert and a few days of work. I'm off now to make a huge batch of hummus.


    Addendum: Just back from an 8 mile ride after making a gallon of spicy, garlickey hummus.


    Monday, August 06, 2007

    Cromwell's Point

    Upper left leads up the river.
    Lower left to the ocean.
    Lower right to the marina.
    As many times as I've tried to photograph this huge cliff, I can never capture the scale.


    Sunday, August 05, 2007


    You've seen this before. So have I. I've been looking at it every day for months. Sometimes when I'm visiting with jc in his office, I even sit on it and pedal slowly. Today, however, I sweated my heart rate up to betwen 155 and 175 for about 20 minutes. jc pokes fun at me when I make sudden realizations like this about things he's known forever, but the bike is an extremely pleasant way to maintain a target heart rate.
    Maybe I'll do it again sometime.

    Saturday, August 04, 2007


    The supreme good is like water,
    which nourishes all things without trying to.
    It is content with the low places that people disdain.
    Thus it is like the Tao.

    In dwelling, live close to the ground.
    In thinking, keep to the simple.
    In conflict, be fair and generous.
    In governing, don't try to control.
    In work, do what you enjoy.
    In family life, be completely present.

    When you are content to be simply yourself
    and don't compare or compete,
    everybody will respect you.

    Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
    Number 8
    Translated by Stephen Mitchell

    Friday, August 03, 2007

    Hard to Identify

    I was riding around on my (borrowed) bike this afternoon looking for an image to illustrate what I wanted to write about when I came across this unlikely pair. I can't be entirely sure what they are. My best guesses are California Gull and Caspian Tern. But I should come to the point. These birds are hard to name precisely, just as my feelings are a little bit up in the air. I'm frankly delighted that the little orange bar on my stat counter that indicates repeat visitors has been growing higher every day. I welcome my friends and family here.

    When I started the blog, I was sure that my clever pseudonym would keep those I know away, giving me perfect freedom to write about anything I wanted. Little did I realize at the time that, in many ways, a more real freedom came when I went public. Some of you have clicked on archived posts that scandalized you. It's true that I never meant for you to see them, but now that you have, that's one less secret that I have to keep, one less silent lie to tell you, one less brick in the wall that separates you from knowing who I've turned into.

    Now that it's happened, I understand that I never truly wanted to be artificial with you. A burden has been lifted. For some of you, this means you can add specific items about me to your prayer lists. That's okay. I'm not sure right now where the prayers go, but I'm willing to admit that they could help me. SheWCBN (She Who Cannot Be Named) is certain that I'm thinking clearly enough to come around to the truth eventually. Mr. Clean assures me that I'll find the real truth when I die if I fail to admit it sooner. Baptist Nun offers me an ear and counsel when I need it. Each one has her own level of acceptance and understanding.

    What am I asking for? Understanding would be wonderful, but I know that not everyone can. Acceptance is nice too, whether complete or partial. I would not be so foolish as to expect approval, nor do I need it. This is Real Life. I've chosen my Partner, who gives me unconditional love, acceptance, understanding, and approval. He's as easy to name as a Meadowlark.


    p.s. I welcome your comments. I know you have something to say.

    Thursday, August 02, 2007


    I had to reach way up over my head to snap this shot of the lowest blossom on the magnolia tree. I'm pleased with the image I got, considering. Dahlia Man's niece confided in me that he's been very demanding lately, and she's getting frustrated. She also told me that he's a different person when I'm around because he's so happy to see me. It's nice to be wanted. He made sure I got a huge bunch of dahlias and gladiolas today.

    Wednesday, August 01, 2007

    Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

    I'm settling back into the routine here. I saw Dahlia Man. I'm going to work tomorrow. I got a good night's sleep in my own bed. jc got me some new piano music while I was away: Billy Joel and Jimmy Buffet, so I have that to learn. I got a few concerned emails from siblings. It's good to have people who care about you. My kitties were happy to see me. Don't let anyone tell you they don't have a sense of how long you're gone. They know.