Hatching Free Range Ideas

Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

Ursa Bohdisattva

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Today we’re losing our old dog. After 16 or 17 years, we’re not sure which, our fuzzy Zen-master is moving on.

In her life, she’s peed in most of the rest areas between New Mexico and New York, twice; taught play to dogs who were afraid to play and those who were mean to appreciate a friend. She’s taken others on grand adventures under secret identities and made dog friends in new places before the dog owners knew us.  She’s hiked in the Sangre de Christos and the Adirondacks and many places in between. She’s ridden in a canoe, fallen through the ice, fished and caught goldfish, perch and frogs. (I can still see her with little frog legs hanging out of her mouth.)

We think she’s famous in the dog world. How will they celebrate her passing?

Oh, the dog looking straight at you is the other dog. He’s more at my level of perfection.


Learning to fly

In Uncategorized on July 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm


Didn’t we all try as a child, running as fast as we could, leaping from roofs and crashing, crashing to the ground? I’m amused as I think about chickens working this same way to fly. Learning to fly is alot like learning to draw again. Forgetting that we know that we can’t and running, running, running and crashing.

I have a new Bamboo tablet and pen and I’m learning to roughen up the work that the computer has smoothed, adding handmade touches back into my life (and yours as you can see). And, I’m learning to draw, as I did as a child. I am finding the charm in crude illustrations. Wayne Thiebauld told profesisonal painters that they could never compete with the passion that primitive painters have. That’s what I’m thinking here.

There have been times when I have stopped to draw one small picture every morning, in a 2 x 3 inch box. It is amazing what comes out of your brain in that medium. There’s a lot of interesting science on how the use of images impacts and unpacks thinking, like from the work of Gerald Zaltman and of course, all the folks at Vizthink.

Today, I found that I had nothing to write about, until I drew a picture. It was the spark.

What will you draw today?

Girls Braintrust

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2010 at 9:25 pm

I just spent a glorious day with three other women, talking about the business of art and creativity. Seems like exactly the right group to be wearing red wax Halloween lips in July.

The power of this group and this gathering, for me, is our conversational agreement to wander, get lost, find treasures and never ask for directions. If you don’t have a group like this, you should consider getting one. I’d loan you this one, but it’s Beverly’s. For now.

Billy Ray’s Birthday Pork Butt

In Uncategorized on July 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Billy Ray, of Eye of the Dog, had a birthday party two weeks ago. That was the inspiration for this “song.”

For Billy Ray’s Big Pork Butt

Today, I’m one year older and we plan to celebrate
My wife she said, “Hey, Amsterdam?” I said that sounded great,
But I got another idea that seemed rational to mention.
I said, “Instead of travel, let’s share up our best intention.

“Let’s gather all our cronies who we’d love to hang together
‘Cause now that we’ve got AC, we ain’t scared of summer weather.
Let’s put ‘em in the Center and feed ‘em ‘til they pop
But let’s do it on a Sunday so the party has to stop.”


We could smoke us up some pork butts
Yeah baby, and we’ll keep an eye on dog mutts
‘Cause maybe, they might choose ‘em up their own treat
They know that you just can’t beat pig meat.

Bev agreed the concept had some style and had some merits.
We both know a lot of veg-heads but we wanted more than carrots
To mark a big occasion and to test old body’s limits,
Just a stutter to the heart, no one headed to the clinic.

So I turned on the computer to learn what to do
And I found it in a flash, not on one website but two
Or three or maybe 50. It was excellent advice
That came from other people who had done it once or twice


I learned How to smoke a pork butt
Oh baby, if you’re headed for a life rut
And maybe, if there’s many gonna join you
It’s crazy and you better just cook two.

Today I’m one day wiser, some say wiser than my years
We parceled out the leavings left around from piggy rears
To avoid the body trauma left when leftovers abound
We split it up and farmed it out and shared it all around.


You gotta take some pork butt
Oh baby, please relieve us of the pork glut
‘Cause maybe, there’s so many more of you
It’s crazy, if we’re eating it with us two.

And baby, when you eat in on a soft bun
You’ll relive this big night of Big Fun
That will keep away the soft tears
From waiting ‘til the next year.

Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 1:54 pm

We’re off to be children with cooking skills again this weekend. My school girls, the 7 sisters, and I are getting together to play in the water and hang in the country and roast marshmallows. Okay, not extreme cooking skills. Above is an image from a midnight hayride from long ago.

We’ve done this now for several years. It might only happen a few times a year because everyone is so busy. Each time, the return feels a little unreal, like the weekend must have not happened because it’s impossible to leave that many responsibilities, troubles, guilt, etc. behind.

That’s what it’s all about. It’s about dropping that stuff by the side of the road on the way out. It will wait there for you to pick it back up again. It’s about opening your heart up for a weekend, about accepting and being accepted for exactly who you are and who you are together.

The first evening we eat too much, drink a bit too much, stay up too late, talk about stuff that would shock your mothers, dance, sing, tell stories and catch up. It’s all about settling in. We find our sleeping spots and make our nests.

When we wake the next morning, usually later than we normally sleep, we have truly arrived. We are fully present. This is often the time that we head for the grocery store to see if there is a new or much-loved flavor of chip that we must add to the collection. We spend the rest of the day in the outdoors, swimming in the summer, walking in the not summer and of course, eating and drinking and lounging and talking.

Then there’s cocktail hour, which usually lasts into the darkness even on long summer days, followed by a creative dinner made of all the treats that each woman has brought. . . okay, overbrought. There are candles and flowers on the table. There’s a lot of talk about staying until the food is eaten, but that would usually mean a week, not the precious weekend that we all have. The evening is a repeat of the first one, but slower. Bedtime often comes earlier.

The final day, we are slowed down to a shared pace. Breakfast is late and luxurious, while we all clean and sort to prepare first to leave the location better than when we got there and then to leave.

I continue to suspend real time on the ride home, already reminscing about the event and planning four or five fantasy events although I know every date will pass before we can actually all coordinate our times to be together again.

So, to all the women who know you as a grown up girl and to my 7 sisters, for who we are when we’re apart and when we’re together. Where are your girls?

New rain for old eyes

In How we learn and think on July 12, 2010 at 2:52 pm

There’s no picture for this post so you’re going to have to try to see it in my head.

It’s rare to see something new in the familiar. It’s been raining here alot, so we’ve had a very green July, which after the dead one last year is wonderful. Plus I find that I love precipitation . . . of all kinds. Back to the original story.

During a rainstorm this weekend, the sun was also shining brightly. Normally, I look through a curtain of rain or mist into the landscape in the background. But this day, the sun illuminated the strings of rain, turning them into silver threads. For the first time in my memory, I was looking at rain in the midground. The affect was like looking at an old piece of scratched movie film. It took concentration not to refocus on the images in the background, or in the foreground when the butterfly came winging right toward my face.

I hope you get a chance to see the midground too. I’ve seen the midground before, also because of precipitation. Remember how it looks when you are driving through falling snow? It’s like going into hyperdrive and you have to be careful not to focus on the snowfall.

This wasn’t dangerous. But it was still phenomenal.


In Friend's doing cool stuff that you can share on July 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I love the idea of abundance. And who wouldn’t? Except an abundance of cockroaches or spiders maybe. Wait, the idea of abundance and the word except and but don’t belong together, do they?

A friend gave me a basket of chandelier sparklies. It’s enough to abundantly drape one large chandelier. Now where will I get one of those?

As much as it would abundantly drape that chandelier, it’s truly an abundance of sparkly earrings. I can use them wildly on my own chandelier or I can make an abundance of pairs of sparkly earrings to share. I think that’s what abundance means to me. . . enough to share. . . freely. . . joyfully. . . lavishly, like Santa Claus, without wondering if you left enough behind.

Gardens mean abundance to me. And since my small garden doesn’t grow enough of anything but cayennes to give away, I cheat and buy boxes of tomatoes at the local farm stand. And share. Abundantly. The people who get them don’t really care that they didn’t come directly to them from my garden, as long as they are the incredible summer tomatoes that they are.

So, abundant summer tomatoes . . .and zucchini.

Or maybe zucchini is a plague.

Birthdays and involuntary milestones

In Uncategorized on July 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm

My Birthday is 5 days away. Some people forget theirs after having many. I don’t. I see them, not only as cause for great celebration but an opportunity for reflection over the past year, in my own time. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. In fact, the changing of the year number on January 1 seems arbitrary and impersonal. So my year changes on July 12.

This last year saw many things end, some happily, some very sadly. Which means of course, that the coming year offers many great beginnings. I just finished reading 1000 miles in a million years, where the author talks about how great lives share the elements of great stories. I’m still thinking about that as I think about the coming year. What story elements will I incorporate?

One other thought about birthdays. My Dad is almost 89. He’ll be 89 in September. Almost ages are important when we are under 11 (10 and a half) and over 85. Why isn’t turning another year an event otherwise, so that we say we’re almost 37 (I’m not) or almost 55 (closer)?

Branding. Sigh. Back to square one.

In Uncategorized on July 2, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Today it’s time to work on what I do for a living. Don’t get me wrong; I love my work. But, you know how hard it is to explain stuff when you’re really close to it? If you don’t know, have you ever talked to a physicist about work?


There are a million assumptions that we make, a million leaps across concepts, a path so well worn that our feet know the exact steps to take after all this time. It’s so familiar that we don’t even remember it, much less remember to explain it.

Which means that we have to remember to forget, to be a beginner. That’s today’s task. Luckily, there are many resources for beginners that aren’t available for seasoned folks. Doesn’t it seem like when you need deep, complex answers, you have to pay for them? But beginning, well there are folks everywhere who will help you start, hoping that once you’ve started you will eventually need their help. Hey! That’s an interesting idea.

But wait, no sidetracking!!! My current challenge is marketing. So, let me share some marketing resources that I’ve found. First, if you aren’t reading Chris Brogan and you have any kind of hope about an online presence, you’re missing some good, painless knowledge. He’s here.

And I found this site a couple of days ago. My task for today is to work through a few of these How-to articles, like how to develop content for your website. These guys are Business Identity 101.

I’m off to figure out some answers to the really basic questions that I forget to ask myself. Because, you see, I already know the answers.

However, I expect that when I ask them as a beginner (from a beginner’s mind) they won’t be the same answers.

I’ll let you know how it all works out when I see you. Until then, how do you describe what you do?

No, no, no! Don’t tell me your new formula for computing the impact of the energy flux on the toroidal radius!