BY tbeck

11/01 Direct Link
The morning was cold and the the pasture was layered in a thick fog. Just after 7am I was out getting more wood and took in the cold air. We've been preparing for another wet and damp winter and this year our wood pile is stocked.

We spent a number of hot summer days cutting and loading wood off a friend's property. It doesn't matter how cold it'll get. We'll have plenty of alder, pine and fir to burn. Even if the power goes out we'll at least be warm. Time to restock the candles and fresh water.
11/02 Direct Link
There has been a subtle shift the past few weeks. A slight change in my routine and a new attitude. Being open minded to new opportunities and accept the gifts that are given. It seems so overwhelming sometimes and as I write this the only thing that stands in the way is me.

Every decision I make is the opposite of what my brain tells me to do. That alone makes all the difference in how I look at my day. Get out of the way and allow the magic to happen. It's so much easier.
11/03 Direct Link
The majestic maple trees stretch up and down the road. This quaint country road runs parallel to the highway but usage is limited except for the dozen or so homeowners who live there. This morning I decided to bypass the highway and drive down the road. I was immediately struck how beautiful these trees are this time of year. The vibrant, golden yellow leaves still on the trees shimmered against the cold November sky. As I slowly drove I counted at least twenty maple trees lining the road. Their beauty left an impression which has been with me all day.
11/04 Direct Link
WIth so much pain and hardship how much longer could Marilyn continue? She asked herself that question every morning as she got ready for work. As she walked into the kitchen, the coffee was already made and she poured herself a cup. Opening up the refrigerator she noticed the odd shaped container which wasn't there yesterday. Overlooking the container she grabbed the milk and poured some in her coffee. Taking a sip and pausing Marilyn intuitively knew something wasn't right. It was the same feeling she had when her father passed away. She needed to make that decision sometime today.
11/05 Direct Link
I'm listening to him talk and he tells me he writes a blog only about sad movies. What constitutes a sad movie? Is it three hanky, maybe five hanky movie? I can't even remember the last movie I cried at. Most Hollywood movies feel so contrived to me I generally don't give in. I'm probably jaded a bit and it takes something real and pure to touch my heart. Something like a father losing a child would trigger the lump in my throat and I know I couldn't hold back the tears. I'd be crying, probably wailing in the theater.
11/06 Direct Link
Many of us gathered to celebrate a friend's 60th birthday last night. A party to honor the life of a dear friend, who still has an adventurous spirit and zest for living. Her last vacation earlier this year she traveled to Egypt with her sister just after the civil unrest and had an amazing time.

Last night she shared stories of growing up in the sixties and getting to see Janis Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix live in concert in Seattle. She was a hippy for a period of her life, an environmental activist and always a devoted friend.
11/07 Direct Link
Old, collectible things surround the store. Vintage plates, glassware, bowls and vases. An Early American armoire stands proudly against the center wall. Antique b&w photographs of scenes from a forgotten era. A vintage kitchen hutch, an classic slot machine from the early 1900's. Owned by others with the intent of finding a new home on someone's coffee table, bookcase or living room wall. The fine art of recycling the old back into a contemporary world. These and hundreds of items available for sale, waiting patiently to catch the eye of a new owner. In the meantime they'll collect dust.
11/08 Direct Link
I read that Steve Job's last words before he died were "oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.

His family is making it publicly known what the last moments of his life were like. This is something that I wasn't expecting to hear since most of Steve Job's life was private. You just have to wonder what he was seeing as he uttered those words. How fortunate of a life he lived, leaving behind such a legacy. There aren't many people who achieve that in a lifetime. When my time comes I hope to experience that peace.
11/09 Direct Link
On the phone with my mother the other day she talked of my grandparents marriage while she was growing up in the 1930's. I know they had a tumultuous marriage due to the fact my grandfather was an alcoholic and dealt with numerous setbacks and health issues throughout his life. My grandmother accepted far more than she needed to raising four children and being the classic enabler. She would take the kids to her mother's and plan to stay there but my grandfather always came and convinced her to return to their home. Back then she should of divorced him.
11/10 Direct Link
A twenty-three page document stating the sexual abuse that has gone on for over a decade. A grown man in a position of power using young boys for his own pleasure. A shocking story that is now in the public eye and the facts are disturbing and hard to grasp. One man taking advantage of the vulnerable and weak and after he was done discarding them. For all these years these victims had to deal with the abuse but now the truth is out there. It'll be a long court battle to finally find justice for these young men.
11/11 Direct Link
A much needed day off from work today. 11-11-11. Veteran's Day is a paid holiday and the husband is sleeping in while I catch up on the computer. No plans have been made for the long weekend. I'll be catching up on sleep, doing some outdoor chores, a potluck with the neighbors on Saturday night. In the meantime, we'll have to weather a high wind advisory for the rest of the day and hope for no power outages. This is the same storm that just hit Alaska's coast and has moved south. The first winter storm this year.
11/12 Direct Link
Her husband and grown children had planned for months to surprise her with a birthday party as she turned 75. A story had been concocted to get her to the party where fifty-five friends had gathered with food and drink. Their children, grandchildren and two great-grandsonchildren flew in from out of state to help celebrate this festive day. She arrived at the party and even before she made it in the door they all shouted "surprise." It was not full of zest and enthusiasm like I thought it would be. Surprises are for the giver not the receiver.
11/13 Direct Link
This past Friday night ended tragically for these four young people. An 18 year old female with three male passengers ages 19, 20 and 22 out having a good time. What she didn't anticipate wIth the combination of alcohol and speed behind the wheel of the car was a horrific end. These four lives changed within a few minutes of swerving off the road and slamming into a tree. Within seconds the car burst into flames and all but the driver survived. She was pulled from the car with minor injuries and will now face three counts of vehicular homicide.
11/14 Direct Link
Within a few hours a memorial shrine appeared. It started with a few flowers and small white cross placed at the bottom of the charred fir tree. As the word spread throughout the community of this horrific accident and the deaths of three young men the shrine has grown. Dozens of bouquets of mixed flowers, a wicker basket of yellow roses placed next to candles. Numerous trinkets, a baseball, two more white crosses with a handwritten note across one and a white angel draped across the other. This has personally affected so many young people.

Alcohol + speed = tragedy
11/15 Direct Link
What sets him off? Could he be tired, angry, hungry or lonely? If any one of those things is off kilter he'll blow his top. Something like an angry toddler man. Behavior like a two year old throwing a tantrum all tied up in a grown man's body. You just have to laugh when it happens but don't do it in front of him. Just turn your back and walk out of the room. No need to confront him on his actions. He'll blow for a minute or two then it'll all be over. Soon he'll grow out of it.
11/16 Direct Link
Issues? "What issues are you talking about?" She was crossing the bedroom when she noticed the smug look on his face as he was lying on the bed. Why the smug look she thought to herself. She didn't want to start something so she bit her tongue and let it go. It wasn't worth the fight not this late at night. Once in the bathroom she was brushing her teeth when he came in to get some aspirin. Glancing over she noticed his broad shoulders, the flex in his arms. She didn't want to go to bed mad, not tonight.
11/17 Direct Link
I've been busier than normal with Thanksgiving being a week away, the invitation to friends finally went out the other day. The gathering will be smaller than past years but still enjoyable. Since we've been together in this house our tradition for Thanksgiving has been to open our home. We cook the turkey and make the stuffing, gravy and pumpkin pie and everyone else brings the side dishes. Despite that both our families live across the country we make the day fun. We'll take an after dinner walk, play games, have interesting convesations and appreciate the friendships of good friends.
11/18 Direct Link
If I was able I'd go back and rewrite or edit many of my entries. But this isn't about perfection for me. I can live with a typo here or there or if I use incorrect grammer. No one will grade me on my efforts and good chance no one even reads my entries. This has more to do with the practice of writing every day which by doing so has helped me in other areas of my life. I wasn't looking for much when I started this eight months ago. I keep reminding myself this is just a practice.
11/19 Direct Link
My 80 year old mother was involved in a car accident yesterday. Turns out she was driving west as the sun was starting to set and ran a stop sign. Got hit by a car coming out of a side street and told the officer she was blinded by the sun and didn't see the stop sign. Luckily no one was hurt but she knows her driving days maybe over. The damage to the cars can be repaired and their insurance will probably go up. Driving offers her freedom and not sure how she'll react to not driving. She's stubborn.
11/20 Direct Link
The main character in the story will go on an adventure. He'll have some kind of profound experience in which he'll learn something about himself. At the beginning he'll be in denial but by the end of the story he'll be a different man. He might deal with some kind of addiction. Take your pick. Alcohol, drugs, power, food, porn. It might be infidelity in a marriage or abuse from his childhood. The thing is no one is immune from any of these problems. Only the author knows the outcome of the next story. The main character is now ready.
11/21 Direct Link
I just want to type something, anything to complete this entry so I can hit submit. I'd rather be doing other things right now. Ideally I'd love to be in a warm tropical place rather than bleak and rainy weather. It will be like this all week in fact all winter. How do I endure it year after year? I might be at the breaking point. Don't know if my body can endure the cold and damp. I told myself "no whining" today. No one really cares and who's listening? Just buck up and bask in the rain. Good day.
11/22 Direct Link
I meant to find him hidden somewhere in my memory. Just a faint image of his smile, standing next to his 64 Dodge. When I first saw him in the parking lot I thought he was the man I would marry. What did I know? I was only nineteen. I just finished my first year of college and working out west for the summer. He was a few years older, an aspiring painter. His trunk was filled with oil paints, an easel and other supplies. He was painting landscapes. Now, thirty-two years later he's an accomplished, well known painter.
11/23 Direct Link
I was surprised when she told me she wasn't going to anyone's house for Thanksgiving even though she had two invites. She doesn't want to overeat and would rather "do her own thing."

I get where she's coming from but she's not even overweight, not an ounce of fat on her body. She's choosing to be alone than gather with friends. Could be she's not into socializing or doesn't want to cook something special. Whatever the reason she's made up her mind. This Thankgiving she'll be thanking herself for not overeating. Her body and mind will thank her.
11/24 Direct Link
We all gathered to share a meaningful time. To pause and give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. This year we spent with good friends and we didn't have to travel far. The convenience of staying home and opening our home to those we love. Low stress on ourselves, no travel or unpredictable weather. The meal preparation and cooking went flawless. Just one tiny argument in the kitchen early in the day with no feelings hurt. Thanksgiving couldn't of been scripted any better.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thanks.
11/25 Direct Link
Her dilemma is family and she needs to make some decisions about her older sister now that their mother passed away. Her sister's mental illness only makes it harder. Even though she continues to live in their mother's house it's evident she can't take care of herself. The neighbors keep calling the police everytime she goes off her meds which is more often these days. She's not hurting herself or anyone else so the police can't do much. She feels it's her responsibility to care for her older sister and the weight has become too much. She needs an angel.
11/26 Direct Link
Prayers to the gods, to buddha, krishna, the enlightened one.

It could be Christ or Allah.

The spiritual beings who are there for us.

Whatever name or form is given, just believe.

Trust in surrendering and turning my life over.

I no longer want to run the show.

Twist or manipulate the truth.

Be as honest as I can.

Live in love, be loved.

No longer live in the past.

Accept the gifts that have been freely given.

11/27 Direct Link
The only thing I bought this weekend were groceries and rented a few videos. I refuse to buy into the "Black Friday" madness. I never have and I never will. I can do my part and not participate with the masses. Just boycott the nonsense and show Target, Wal Mart, Macy's, Best Buy, etc. that you can do without their bargains. Do we really need the newest gadget, toys or tv? The decision to start sales on Thanksgiving eve has gone over the top. Can't we have one day of the year free from consumerism? I'm sickened by our culture.
11/28 Direct Link
Jack was a trooper until the very end. He lived the best life a dog could ask for and at seventeen he threw in the towel over the Thanksgiving weekend. Jack had it all. An owner who rescued him from a bad situation twelve years ago and lived the best life a dog could ask for. He had plenty of acreage to run around with daily walks through the woods, another dog to play with and keep each other company and an owner who loved them unconditionally. Jack gave it his all everyday of his dog life. Rest in peace.
11/29 Direct Link
He cracked one too many jokes. I knew he was kidding but I was not in the mood for his humor. He's got that sarcastic wit, fast with a retort. I tell him he should try stand-up comedy and put together a routine. Show up for open mic and put himself out there. He has enough material for an initial 3-5 minutes routine. In the meantime he uses me for his audience and I'm laughing ha, ha. Who else could convince him to try his routine on a real stage? What motivated all the great comics to try?
11/30 Direct Link
Sitting at the kitchen table my mother drank her cup of tea every morning along with her breakfast. Her ritual was pretty simple. Lipton tea steeped in a cup with saccharine added. She'd take the tea bag out with a teaspoon and squeeze out any excess liquid and set the bag on her plate. I don't think she ever drank coffee in her adult life. I'm following in her footsteps by drinking tea every morning and steeping my favorite black tea in a mug. I squeeze out the excess liquid from the bag and toss it in the compost bucket.