Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Letting Things Speak for Themselves

Just signing on to inform the masses that I'm too tired to grace cyber space with witty anecdotes that make up my days. Instead I would like to share a poem. It's from a small pamphlet like book called Bhakti, Santi: Love, Peace, a book of meditations edited by Jacob Trapp. The bottom left corner of the cover states PRICE 75cents. There is an inscription inside the cover addressed to my grandmother dated June 1974:

Dear Mrs. Pontbriand,
There are only a few with
whom the deeper things
can easily be shared.
Thinking of you.

I'm not going to share the name of the man who presented this little treasure, but here is one entry I felt was appropriate for today.

Let Things Speak for Themselves

Consider the lilies,
they neither toil nor spin;
yet Solomon's bride in all her glory
was not arrayed like one of these.

The famous silence of the Buddha:
Before a waiting, expectant congregaion of monks
he came and stood before them silently
holding up a flower for them to contemplate.

The sage Teu-tzu one day pointed to a stone
lying near the temple gate, and remarked,
"therein reside all the Buddhas
of the past, the present, and the future."

"Tongues in trees, books in running brooks,
sermons in stones. . . . ."
"An old pine tree preaches wisdom,
and a wild bird is crying out truth."

The flower is.
Beauty in not its own excuse for being;
it needs none.

J. T.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Unlike most folks of my age, and even more unlike those who share in the profession of rising long before the crack of dawn, I'm not a coffee drinker. I've always loved the smell and I learned young how to prepare a cup whether it be in a counter top push button model or a good old fashion stove-top percolator I've been fixing coffee for others for years. Mothers day breakfast in bed, milk, no sugar. Thanksgiving in the brown plug in with the pour spout. Always reveling in the smell and wondering when the day would come when I'd be grown up enough to like it and enjoy the array of flavors as I do it's aroma.

While I'm still waiting for the day when I'm all grown up, I do realize I've reached adulthood. My responsibilities are tedious and I cringe at the thought of where I've led myself thus far and the lingering consequences if I neglect the many obligations we become shackled to. Though I have made it to this point and still have yet to be a faithful cup-a-joe a day, must-have-before-I-can-function, flavored-is-for-wanna-be-coffee-drinkers kind of gal. I still have the *blagh nope, still don't like it* reaction when the smell pulls me in. I ocassionally force it on myself when I'm having a particularly delusion brought on by sleep deprevation that as much as I dislike it, it will help me make it through. I've on all occasions in the long ago past, found that; and this includes all sugar products like soda (which doesn't really inhabit my diet now-a-days) candy and the like; caffine has a difficult time penetrating my overly relaxed demenor.

After years of continually trying to fool myself that being overtired merits the punishment of a cup of coffee, I have noticed, the punishment is to no avail a dud. In my continued attempt to have some solice from droopy eyes and a muddled mind, I have made the discovery that I'm not what one would call at caffine light weight. I'm of the 200 pound weight class and if you were, in the instance of booze, trying to turn a person of this class to a state of handing over their keys, it would take more than a sea breeze or two. Sure you could feed a steady stream for period of time and hope they drink fast enough. If you're really trying to lay them on their back, your going to go for the hard stuff straight up, no ice...I'm aware that this may sound slightly like I'm in the business of incapacitating people for sport, but it's an analogy that is closely related to where I'm going with this coffee issue.

So to get to my point, if I drink enough coffee all at once, I get the desired effect that one anticipates from the beloved morning elixir. Though unfortunately there's no in between. I drink a straight cup of the black stuff and nothing. I drink, as the market has named it (I think), the Hammerhead (coffee with a shot of espresso), I end up with a twitch.

This wordy narrative was all to pretense my morning....

I got to work, did some stuff, slowly, took a quick break that would usually cause a detrimental problem in my timing of the mornings schedule, drank (half a cup) of the concoction noted above and was well on my way to burning a path in the floor. Eyes wide open and mind buzzing about, as I reflect, nothing at all significant, which is nice sometimes. I do recall having a thoughtful internal discussion about the results of this successful caffine-straight-to-the-bloodstream experience. Does it mean that for some coffee and it's close relatives are an aquired taste? Do some people just drink it because of it's effects not for the taste? This leads me to another opportunity to compare it to alcohol. I think you can bridge the gap. Should I try to suck down this not so enjoyable beverage every morning for a week to see if, at the end of the week it has become more appealing to my taste buds? Or should I stick to my current trend of enjoying my usual cup of tea until the occasion arises when I'm desperate for a funtional pick-me-up? All questions I plan to ponder, most likely over tomorrows hammerhead.....

Signing off.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dear Winter: You Can Kiss My Pastey White Hiney!

So it's been brought to my attention, by a recent comment (though not a direct critique), that I am a very bad blogger. After, spending, I'm sure, an unreasonable amount of time creating this page, I posted a whole one time! It's the idea of it that counts. I'm slightly embarrassed that this person stumbled upon this pathetic excuse for a blog in fact. But to address her comment directly, no my real name is not Betty. It's a, well, short story that I'll share with her in person. The name does well for my attraction to alliteration though.

So to move away from my disgust at my blogging history, I begin to move forward, one post at a time.

No go on the house....let's not go there.

I had a pretty mellow and productive day in the cellar today. The boss left early and with very little to do anyway, I whittled away at mundane tasks that are often not considered worthy of the mantra "why do tomorrow what you can do today." I was still home by 9:30.

It's nice to feel like we're getting back into the summer schedule. I've missed it, though of course that's only because that also means the other high points of summer will be soon to follow. Sun, thunder storms, local veggies and farmers markets, longer days, warm weather that doesn't require five layers just to take the dog out. I have to admit, though anyone who knows me is aware, that summer is by far more enjoyable for me than winter. "Why do I live in the 3rd cloudiest county in the country" you ask? Believe me, I ask too. I'll get back to you.

Back to the summer schedule, Sundays have become a day of rest for us bakers in the market cellar, also known as the kitchen. We make sure the two days prior we've set our selves up nicely as to be home by 9ish, enjoying the relaxation the traditional day of rest was intended for. This is also a ploy to make up for the sleep we inevitably miss out on during the abundance of daylight the summer months bring. This rutine has begun to transpire as well.

I do have to concede that this winter has been monumentally more difficult than others in the past for so many reasons I have no control over. I can only hope that tragedy and bad luck have both said their piece and have moved on for at least a little while.

Aside from this uncharacteristly sorrowful repose, I spend the majority of the winter months tucked away under a fleece blanket (or two) hibernating. I become somewhat of a hermit who goes out to go to work or the few and far between get together with a close friend, or maybe a beer at the local watering hole (if I'm already out). I need more sleep that humanly possible and turn in with little trouble by 8:30. It's an outstanding amount of work to muster the motivation to fufill unavoidable duties such as taking the dog for a walk/hike. I take on a persona that humanizes the emotions that is winter. Dull, cold and dark.

Summer on the other hand, I get a steady average of four hours of shut eye a night. I rarely sleep later than 8 on my days off and I accomplish almost as much as one should in a day. I work, cook dinner, get a hike and/or a paddle in and still have time and energy to spare.

I love this about summer. I always feel much better about everything. It's all about ones outlook.

Needless to say, I am rather pleased to have this feeling that summer is not far away. Though I'll have to go stand out in it for some time this afternoon, I'm pleased with the rain. It smelled so nice and clean when it rained on Thursday. The seasons are a changin and to hide the elation I feel towards this idea would be like holding a hand towel in front of a hippo. (sorry, I couldn't resist a ridiculous analogy).

So that's it for now, don't hold your breath that it won't be another 11 months before you hear from me again.

As a tribute to the few outings in which we took a camera, here are a few photos from this winter, at which moments we took solace in the outdoors. Notice that the sun is an always present factor...won't leave home without it :)

Trek to Taylor Lodge. January 2009.

Little River State Park. Waterbury, VT. February, 2009.

Signing off, BB.