Archive for December, 2006

Here’s what I’m going to do to make my intention real:

  1. Be myself. If I want to say something, don’t censor myself (unless what I say is mal-intended or harmful to someone else)
  2. Notice when I am myself. Reflect back on my day. Not every day, but make a point to reflect as much as possible and to positively acknowledge when I’ve broken through the confines I place on me.
  3. Wear my hair how I want. Straight if I want straight. Curly if curly. Don’t worry about having straight hair around people who normally see me curly and vice versa. Don’t let my hair be the great segregator of my life.
  4. Talk to someone each day who I otherwise would not have talked to, even if it’s a person riding next to me in the elevator.
  5. Laugh often and open-mouthed.
  6. Don’t keep secrets. Be the same open person to everyone I trust and love.
  7. Understand this isn’t something I achieve like a Girl Scout badge. It’s more like sitting practice. It’s there in one moment, gone the next. Be present to the moment and chances are I’ll stop fretting.

-from Topic post, Do Or Die Triangle

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14 – the number I wore on my back when I was a field hockey halfback at Red Land High. Ancient history. The days of our home hockey games, I wore a red plaid kilt to classes with a bright white, short sleeved shirt, dingy white T-shirt underneath with navy ribbing around the neck and sleeves, and #14 in 10″ red block lettering on my back.

12 – my basketball number because #14 was already taken by an upper classman. Back then women’s basketball was played differently than men’s and 2 of the players could sometimes not go out of the key or past the ½ court line. Do I hear full court press?

50 – the number of pages in Cat-e-gory, 50 drawings by Edward Gorey, all illustrating a number. Liz got the book for Christmas from her Mother; the original was released in 1974.

3 – the number of cats I live with every day, 2 boys, 1 girl – Kiev, Mr. Stripeypants, Chaco (for the canyon)

52 – the number of birthdays I’ve celebrated

5 – the number of twists in a candy cane, big vats of syrupy sticky goo, pale yellow, then mixed with giant blades, air bubbles turning the stew candy clean white. The first candy canes were ALL white. The red stripes were added later. Come on Baby, let’s do the twist. Roll, roll, roll.

12 – months in a year

4.2 – weeks in a month

2080  – hours in a year

26 –  letters in the English alphabet, derived from Latin

13 –  cookies in the bakers dozen I bought from Sarah Jane’s Bakery for Christmas: Snickerdoodles, date stuffed, sugar, and peppermint twists.

1,000,000 – the number of $$$ I want to make this year

24 – the number of Sharpies in the variety pack I got from Liz for Christmas

8 – the number of plants in our living room. Green – the color of Liz’s thumb.

4 – the number of Beatles, the number of corners in the Southwest, the number of seasons (and once it was the number of years since I’d had sex)

2 – the number of eggs the female Sandhill Crane lays on a mound of vegetation. Cranes mate for life; 2 parents feed the young colts. The Sandhill Crane does not breed until it is 2 to 7 years old. It can live up to 25 years in the wild; in captivity they have been known to live more than 2wice that span. Mated pairs stay together year round, and migrate south in groups with their offspring. Nearly 450,000 a season migrate through the Platte River area of Nebraska.



WordNetCite This Source



a large number [syn: numerousness

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of LawCite This Source

Main Entry: nu·mer·os·i·ty
“nü-m&-‘rä-s&-tE, “nyü-
Function: noun
: the requirement that members of a proposed class formed for a class action be so numerous as to make joinder of the members impracticable

Webster’s Revised Unabridged DictionaryCite This Source

 Numerosity \Nu`mer*os”i*ty\, n. [L. numerositas.] 1. The state of being numerous; numerousness. [Obs.]
2. Rhythm; harmony; flow. [Obs.]
The numerosity of the sentence pleased the ear. –S. Parr.


NUMB3RS – a CBS program that airs Fridays at 9pm CST and I’ve secretly watched and coveted for quite a while. My favorite character is Charlie Eppes, played by David Krumholtz, a genius professor of mathematics at a Southern California technical university, who uses math to help his brother Don solve perplexing crimes for the FBI. I heard in a People-type TV rag that he’s become a new cult figure of mathematicians and geeks – he has made math cool again. An actor, not a mathematician, he’s become kind of like the fake Einstein of his time. He’s been invited to come and speak at math conventions across the country. NUMB3RS also sponsors a program designed to help kids love math – We All Use Math Every Day. 


Math is not my strong suit. But I have come to appreciate and embrace the structure of numbers and the way they seem to easily record the methodology behind day to day activities or show logic in its best light. I love the symbols, the essence of the numbers themselves. But I’m too hopelessly romantic to love math. 

Except for the mystical ideas of Quantum Physics (let’s hear it for details), general relativity (or maybe you like big picture), and (hey, what’s the connection?) string theory.

Or the trigrams and hexagrams of the ancient I Ching.


Trigram Figure

Binary Value






||| (☰)


Force (ä¹¾ qián)

heaven (天)




||¦ (☱)


Open (å…Œ duì)

swamp (澤)




|¦| (☲)


Radiance (離 )

fire (火)




|¦¦ (☳)


Shake (震 zhèn)

thunder (é›·)




¦|| (☴)


Ground (å·½ xùn)

wind (風)




¦|¦ (☵)


Gorge (坎 kǎn)

water (æ°´)




¦¦| (☶)


Bound (艮 gèn)

mountain (å±±)




¦¦¦ (☷)


Field (坤 kun)

earth (地)



Or the Zodiacal birth and solar return maps of Astrology which, for most medieval scholars, were often connected to the Divine. Check out the Zodiac painted in a 6th century synagogue at Beit Alpha, Israel.Zodiac in a 6th century synagogue at Beit Alpha, Israel. Photo public domain.

No, I’m not a big numbers gal. And I’m suspicious of rock solid solutions to the myriad of problems life can throw at us. But if you leave that little gateway of uncertainty in the equation, I can get into the A, B, C’s of NUMB3RS.

Solar return natal chart - public domainSnap, Crackle, Pop, 12 Noon. It’s exactly time to eat my 1 course lunch, take my 6 vitamins, and go shovel the 3 inches of crusty snow off the 100 foot driveway on the 15th block of the million avenues in 1 of 50 states in north Somewhere, USA.

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Write anything that you learn or that you know or that comes to mind about numbers, about counting, about adding, subtracting, all the interesting things we do with numbers and what are numbers really anyhow? Numbers are one of the first things we learn about in grade school, but are so very very abstract when you think about it. What is numerosity? Make a list of numbers. 1 is the loneliest number. Two’s a company, three’s a crowd, four on the sidewalk, not allowed, four-square, the chalk sidewalk game, five, pentagrams and pentacles and pentagons and magic and such, six, the star of David and 666 the mark of the devil, 7, the 7 wonders, Seven Brides and Seven Brothers, 8, ocho, the 8 nights of Hannukah, etc, what numbers are special to you? Why do we have lotteries and numerology? What is it about numbers that has fascinated mankind over the centuries? Butterfield 8, 77 Sunset Strip, the phone number you grew up with. The sizes of the digits, their unique ambiences. What couldn’t we do if we didn’t have numbers? Can dogs count? Can cats count? Is base ten really a result of ten fingers?

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I’ve been putting off this leg of the assignment. For one thing, which of my 27 items to write about? Some of those wishes are so deep, fostered and fermented for so many years, just saying them out loud brings tears to my eyes.

The bulto. I’ve dreamed about carving those wooden statues. I have a fantasy about my life if my father had been an artist, not an accountant. Who I’d be in my core. I’m sad that for this life I’ve been born into my vocation, my father’s vocation, my mother’s blind trust in doctors, my father’s lack of savvy and surplus of responsibility. Sad. Sad the way you can be when you miss the ideal mark. Not regretful, not depressed. Not ungrateful. Just sad. I could have had longer legs and a longer waist, more pronounced eyebrows, darker skin, thicker hair. Then I would have marveled at myself in the mirror, walked taller, literally, been happier. In my dreams.

Something concrete. Mom doesn’t care any longer what people think of her. She’s not at the end of the journey. I imagine she cares plenty, yet her plenty is a thimbleful compared to another person’s. And you know, I don’t even want to write about this. Not the hum of the loud refrigerator or the sound of water moving from the water heater in the entryway closet to the far bathroom. Not the clothes tumbling in the stacked dryer, not the tile under my left foot too hot. Not my gratefulness for socks to keep my skin from burning. Not my chagrin for having worn the same pair four days out of four days this week. I’m sock poor, wine glass poor, coffee mug poor, house poor.

When will I realize my dreams? I give myself to my 50th birthday to have my house done, walls painted. And what? Another ten years for the compound? Isn’t this antithesis to the direction most people move as they get older? Don’t they divest? Buy condos. A condo. Travel. Get light?

And me and my dreams. Some are silly, and that’s OK. My affirmation. What does it ultimately matter whether I make all or one? I will get to the Lightning Field in Quemado next year, for my birthday. Jim’s present to me. I will eventually stop caring about how I look. I’m letting the gray go wild, like dandelions in grass. They’re too many to pick and I’m tired of poisoning the earth to get rid of them. I will let my teeth yellow a few more shades but then I will employ strips to bleach them. I’ll lose those five pounds, gain them back, lose them, gain them. Each time I gain it will be one pound more than I lost. The net effect will be gradual weight gain. I will let my face go, stop washing it every night. NOT! Won’t let my teeth go unbrushed any night, although I will give up flossing except once a week. (Is this what it means to stop caring about how you look? I don’t think so.)

By the time I’m dead I will be tired of friends who get torqued because I say what’s on my mind. Although I’m self-aware enough to know I shouldn’t judge friends. A spouse or partner is simply a friend with whom you eventually learn not to get too bent out of shape with when he tells you something you’d rather not hear. Friends expect to be above that kind of reproach. Why, I don’t know. I’d like to make a friend who doesn’t freak out on my actions. I’m human. So are you and you and you and you and you. What’s the point in seeking ideals in every facet of life?

And then again, if we don’t seek some ideals–how to be in the moment, how not to waste this precious life–then what?

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flat substitute snow
in cracks outside dave’s window
falls behind fake panes

caw of the raven
vibrates lower than the crow
on the bare oak branch

winter solstice sits
snowless on grassy great plains
degrees from freezing

lynx & snowshoe hare
dance the 7 year tango
starving for substance

holidazzlers walk
down bone dry hennepin ave
lights bounce off bare glass

watching sun set west
i long to shovel the drive
in deep december

squirrels skip on the rail
under black millet feeders
suet melts beige gray

freezing weather hides
behind hard global warming
no one gives a wit

standing in the sun
ghosts of mabel dodge luhan
stare at Taos Mountain

afraid of shadows
growing under starry ice
the magpie flies east

hardcore treehugger
yells minnesota winter
dies a long slow death

the mountains cry out
build your home in desert grass
above the snowline

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

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RAW WP – Build an open Prairie-style home somewhere out West. – 20 Minutes Go!

Building a Frank Lloyd Wrightish Prairie-style home was #2 on my 25 Things I Want To Do Before I Die list. The list is not in order. I chose to write on this topic because I realized, at this moment, I believe it’s the least likely to happen. It’s not a rational thought. It’s just a thought.

Liz and I went to FLW’s Falling Water in Pennsylvania on our way to Ocean City, Maryland to visit with my family in 2004. I loved the way the rocks, earth, and water were incorporated into the design of the house. I hated the low ceilinged, dark, cave-like bedrooms. Yeah, I think I’ll leave those out.

I recently read an article in Minnesota Monthly that talked about how families are going back to the smaller, wide open Prairie-style houses of our youth. Well, some of our youths. Photographs were posted of a few of these 50’s homes and I loved them. The kitchen opened up into the living room which had a small stone fireplace and large floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out on the grasslands and nearby lake.

The bedrooms and den were private, a place where you could take personal space. Paint color choices were used to make spaces appear to be larger and the lines of natural woods, cabinets, windows and tiles ran from one room into the next.

Ah — I can breathe easier just thinking about it. But why don’t I think this will happen?

The idea of architecting and building my own house has been a long time dream of mine. But I’ve never believed I’d be able to save enough money to afford it. I do believe I can find the right architect. I know a couple that fit the bill to a T. Model T? Or T-Shirt? Green. I want solar and to incorporate the earth and nature around me. That doesn’t seem like a hard sell.

Do I deserve it? Maybe that’s the deeper issue gnawing at my bones. Intellectually, I say, “YEESSS!” I want to live a big life. The smaller mind is doubtful. But I persevere. I have more confidence in my writing and the structure I’ve built around that part of my life than my long term goals around retiring and building a second home. This home would be a second.

I like the idea of Oregon, somewhere up, up, up like Sea Ranch. I’m not opposed to living in a community of like-minded people. I love western Montana but have lived there before for about 8 or 9 years. And I know the shortcomings. Mountains are grounding. Can I do without the ocean? I choose mountains over ocean. Water is harder to find in Montana. There are a few glacially carved lakes.

A few. I’m used to over 15,000.

Cool green Vermont marbles and I do like tough, clean stainless steel, though some find it cold. I warm up any environment with linens and the hues and values of color and art on the walls. I’m not worried about warmth. I carry it inside. I want clean lines and grand views. But simple.


New Mexico is beautiful. But it’s my spiritual haven. I don’t want to live there. It’s too dry. Second home there? Maybe. No, I think I’ll stick to the Pacific Northwest.

I went to an astrologer once that told me the crosshairs of astrogeology for me hit the bulls eye in a small town in western Washington state. I had once travelled through that town. And lived not far from it in Missoula, Montana. I wouldn’t live in Missoula again because of the 5 valley inversions. Though I love the town. It’s like the Austin of Texas or the Savannah of Georgia. It’s open and doesn’t judge. It leaves you room to breathe.

I’ve got a lot of work to do if I want to make this happen. Money is the least of it. But, yes, it’s a big factor. Then I’ve got the problem of living in Minnesota while I build out West somewhere. I do love the West. And I’ve always planned on retiring there. I spent the first 5 years I was in MN wishing I could move back out West. But now I love the Midwest, too. It’s very grounding. And what if I decide I want to build in North Dakota?

How is this going to happen? If God is in the details, the details are grounded in the small steps I take each day to reach my goals. The more I write about making this dream a reality, the more it will become one. Live into your dreams.


1) not enough money
2) my partner and I won’t agree on the same location
3) not enough money
4) i don’t deserve it
5) i’ll get ripped off if I’m not present during the building
6) it will take too long and I’ll die first
7) what if I never start?

Okay, where do I start? I’ve already started. I’ve set my intention. I’ve done a first writing. I’ve listed my fears. Next, make a list of how to make it happen.

Details. Things happen when rooted in details. And structure.

Make a list of how I’m going to make this happen. A, B, C. It’s easy as 1, 2, 3. I heard Michael Jackson singing Santa Claus Is Coming To Town in Sears last Saturday as I was trying on my Land’s End shoes and waiting for Liz’s new tires to be mounted in the auto center. It struck me that I probably bought the 45rpm when the Jackson 5 first released it in the late 60’s. Or was it early 70’s? I contributed to his millions. Minus the latest lawyer fees.

Okay, he might be a little messed up (gulp) but he’s reinvented himself a thousand times. And so has Madonna. They didn’t start out knowing they were going to make it.

One practice I’ve begun is to begin to emulate people I see as successful. I wouldn’t choose the two above as an overall success. They just popped into this raw practice. There are better names who live more whole and sane lives. But you get the picture.

I learned the same thing in a writing retreat a few weeks ago. If you hear someone read a piece of writing that knocks your socks off, don’t drop your head, wallow into self pity, or want what they have. Become the fierce warrior you are and buck up, “GRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!.” Then steal a good line to start your next writing practice. You are just as good.

-posted on red Ravine December 19th, 2006

-related to Topic post, WRITING TOPIC – DO OR DIE TRIANGLE

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PRACTICAL LIST – How To Build An Open Prairie-Style Home Somewhere Out West

1. Write it down as a goal (DONE)
2. Repeat every day: “I’m building an open Prairie-style home out West”
3. Narrow down “Out West” (it could be ND which is technically “west” : -)
4. Decide what I’m willing & not willing to compromise on
5. Keep a journal specific to this dream to log information
6. Write down every time I do something toward this goal

7. Talk to my partner about my dream. See if she’s on board.
8. Talk about timing of project in overall mutual life goals
9. Compromise. Be willing to bend. Not break.
10. Keep my support communities in the loop. Solicit feedback.
11. Talk to people who have done this. Listen well.

12. Set up a new savings account for this dream
13. Name the account, Funds for Open Prairie-style Home Out West [State]
14. Add $$$ every paycheck, no matter how small the amount (even $1)

15. Brainstorm, treasure map, blog, do writing practices on the goal
16. Locate magazines with photos and articles on Prairie-style building
17. Visit other FLW homes. Like a Julia Cameron “artist date.”
18. Take vacations in states where I can look at possible sites (geocache)
19. Take into account rainfall, sunshine, seasonal changes, wind, ice, snow
20. Take photographs of homes I see in my travels that I love (don’t limit)
21. Get specific about what I love about these homes (details)
22. Check out current magazine articles on natural landscaping
23. Do some sketching of sites in a journal
24. Start researching furnishings

25. Do some long-term financial planning with a professional
26. Talk to good friends with good business acumen
27. Create a spending plan
28. Set goals of $$$ I need to bring in each quarter to make this happen
29. Break it down into $$$ I need to make each day
30. Work toward that amount of $$$ in my business ventures

31. Research green architecture & architects that know it
32. Start talking to architects I want to work with
33. Consider remodeling an existing house. Might be cheaper.
34. Choose a trusted architect to work with. Meet with them.
35. Talk about timeframe & estimates of the project
36. Don’t be afraid to say NO
37. Decide if buying/remodeling or building

38. Decide on the square foot size of the house & number of rooms
39. Talk over materials with the architect and price them. Be realistic.
40. Get specific about colors and styles of marbles, tiles, stone
41. Look at appliance color, style, durability
42. Check out roofing color, style, right for the climate
43. Consider porches, indoor, outdoor, patio
44. Choose window style, size, convenience, light

45. Revisit financial plan once a month (or as many times as it takes)
46. Keep meticulous $$$ records around the project
47. Compare records to spending plan once a week
48. Pay all invoices on time
49. Remember the pro’s I hire work for me. I don’t work for them.

50. Draw up final blueprints after critical decisions are made
51. Research contractors. Talk to my Uncle. Hire the best.
52. Find out what I need to learn about building processes to avoid pitfalls

53. Break ground
54. Celebrate
55. Keep a close eye on the details
56. Live nearby until building is complete (included in financial planning)
57. Work with inevitable frustration of late timeframes. It will pass.
58. Purchase furnishings during build phase

59. Inspect completed home
60. Add furnishings
61. Celebrate
62. Move into home with partner
63. Celebrate again with a housewarming

[Hmmm. 63. The year before my 64th Birthday Bash in Minnesota. That seems like a good year.]

-posted on red Ravine Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

-related to Topic post, WRITING TOPIC – DO OR DIE TRIANGLE

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