Walking, losing weight and taking photos of life in Virginia.

Posts from the ‘D’s Best Known Writing’ category

Breath Is The Bottom Line / Solving Problems And Meditation

The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep. ~E. Joseph Cossman


Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. ~Thich Nhat Hanh


A good night’s sleep is helpful if you are feeling generally cranky and tired. But it seems to me that if there is a major problem, a crisis, all that happens is you go to sleep, you wake up, you remember what’s going on in about five seconds, and you’re in a state of shock.


One little recess from the terrible is not going to be much of a bridge between despair and much of anything. It takes something more. And, in my experience, this is where breathing is important. But not just breathing which, of course you must do on a regular basis or all your problems will take a back seat to the one indisputable fact – your dead! It’s more important to be aware of your breathing. Focus on it. Because it truly is the gateway between the physical and mental worlds. And this type of exercise will calm both those things down.

It’s especially good at calming the thoughts and allowing a third element to enter the picture. And that would be the spiritual realm. Because, beyond our physical activities and thoughts there lies an all encompassing power that will actually allow us to experience peace in the face of adversity.

All of this is a brief summary of the art of meditation that does not do it justice. There is much more. I’m just saying, for starters, that we can decide to focus on different things in our life. Sleep offers a brief respite. But solving problems that are not going to go away overnight takes something more. And when you really can’t figure out the answer to a particular problem it doesn’t mean that there are no answers.

You may just need to chill. Breathe. Feel the peace. And go from there. Next week, next month or next year things will probably look very different.

Library Of Congress/ Playing Baseball And Football In The Buff / Thomas Dekker

In the buff




A buff-coat was a light leather tunic which was worn by English soldiers up until the 17th century. The original meaning of ‘in the buff’ was simply to be wearing such a coat. Shakespeare makes reference to this in The Comedy of Errors, 1590 – employing a play on two meanings of the word suit, i.e. a suit (of clothes) and suit (authorization):

ADRIANA: What, is he arrested? Tell me at whose suit.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE: I know not at whose suit he is arrested well;
But he’s in a suit of buff which ‘rested him, that can I tell.

The later meaning of in the buff meaning naked is an allusion to the colour of the skin, which is somewhat like the colour buff (a light browny yellow). This was first recorded by Thomas Dekker, in his work Satiro-mastix or the untrussing of the humorous poet, 1602. In this he likens ‘in buff’ to ‘in stag’, which was a commonly used term for naked in the 17th century.

“No, come my little Cub, doe not scorne mee because I goe in Stag, in Buffe, heer’s veluet too.”

All of this from a lovely little site called  The Phrase Finder

Earlier in the year we were up in DC and having a nice tour of the Library of Congress when our friend Kurt started telling us about these two paintings way up there on the ceiling.

These are representations of our national pastimes of football and baseball. But, of course, there is a major Greek influence going on here with all the statues and large columns. Just having a picture of Brett Favre up there (and a reference to There’s Something About Mary) would not be cool.

What to do? I know! Let’s undress em all and Play Ball!

So this is my Sunday afternoon post. Basically I’m sitting here alone because Beth went out for awhile to do some shopping. And I already did some shopping this morning on Amazon.com. Last evening when we went to dinner our waitress was telling us about the upcoming Black Friday shopping day. Her eyes became wide with animation as she talked about waiting in line at five am to be the first one in Walmut’s. She was pretty cute about it. Apparently last year there was a large crowd around the mountain of stuff that was unbelievably discounted.

Televisions for ninety nine cents. That sort of sale and when they’re gone they are definitely gone. So the guy was throwing the stuff to people who couldn’t get near the pile. And our poor waitress got hit in the head by a small box.

I think it was a radio or an alarm clock.   Because she got clocked.   So they had to call the ambulance. . .

Just kidding. She had fun and went out to breakfast with her buds after it was over.  And she had an adventure.  Plus!  She was not watching television.  She was enjoying her life.

But why am I not convinced that I or anybody I love should do this. . .I guess it’s a sport. And like any sport you have to understand the finer points. And love it.

Like n*ked football. Or even better. . . n*ked baseball!

Batter Up!

If you enjoy it please SU it so more folks will see it. And just to be perfectly clear SU means Stumble it on StumbleUpon. There’s no telling what might have been running through your mind a few seconds ago.

After reading all these edge dwelling posts.

Have a wonderful Sunday afternoon.  Maybe I will go for a walk.  Evita would approve of that.

Beth too for that matter.

How To Stop Rumination/ Take A Cold Shower

Here’s my first list for the New Year. It’s all about What You Should Not Do in the coming days. It’s about making good use of the opportunity we have been given to start over again and make fewer mistakes.

One. Don’t think that you should start taking cold showers in the year ahead. Why would you even want to try this? Especially since I tried it for you last night and someone almost had to call the rescue squad.

So this is what happened when I turned the wrong handle in the middle of a nice, hot shower. A signal was sent out to the pipes somewhere to shift gears and bring in the icy waters from Lake Michigan. About two seconds later small chunks of ice started flying out of the shower head and hitting me between the eyes. At this moment my body in an instinctual attempt to save itself tried to climb out of the shower through the back wall of the shower stall. Fortunately it did not try to go out through the glass because it might have succeeded. And then I would have been tattooed with glass as well as ice particles.

All of this was over in a couple of seconds and I was finally able to turn the water off. Someone once suggested that cold showers were good for something. That person was joking.

Two. Avoid staying up all night. Because the next day strange things will start happening to your brain. It has been trained to turn off for six or eight hours every day. And it really gets messed up if this doesn’t happen. Sometime during the next day it will decide go offline without your permission. And that could mean trouble if you are in the middle of something important.

There is only one way that I know to stop it from disconnecting on its own after about the 35th hour. Sit at a desk and put your head down. Rest it lightly on your arms and give it the impression that you are sorry about treating it so poorly. Immediately it will cry for joy and head off into dreamland. But before it can get there you need to remove your arms and start banging it with a good deal of force on the table. Do it three or four times but not hard enough to actually crack your skull and expose the little bag of tricks hiding inside. Just shake him up a little and make him worry about something else besides sleep.

Proceed onward until you are ready to go to bed.

Three. Don’t delete important files in your computer. Why would you want to do this? Especially since I also tried it for you this morning and nearly gave myself another heart attack. I was trying to delete unwanted plugins from my blog and accidentally deleted something called “www”. Suddenly files were racing downhill as if some miscreant file eater with green teeth and a long tail had just invaded their space. And they wouldn’t stop! Eventually I had to shut off the program. Then I went back to my blog and this is what I found: Four very short sentences and a lot of white space. So I clicked on one of the four very short sentences and this is what I found: Nothing.

Fortunately some very wise person at my hosting company had advised me earlier to start backing up my blogging stuff in the cpanel. It’s pretty easy to do. And guess what? I uploaded a file and everything came back. Nobody was more surprised then me when this happened.

One thing I have learned in the last six months is to never have hopeful expectations when you click on something. Always expect to come face to face with Lucifer who will be smiling as he holds up all your credit card numbers and your birth certificate. Because you will not be disappointed when you come face to face with a blue screen or a white screen or a purple screen full of rain.

You will be relieved and continue on down the road in this paved with pixels purgatory that we have created for ourselves.

So these are a few helpful reminders for the coming year. There are more but we can save them for another time. Just remember that I care about what happens to you. I don’t know who you are but you seem like a nice person.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

It’s Cloudy, Rainy, 63 Degrees And Windy

There are many worse things than a day like this in the middle of January.  So let’s put on the LL Bean rain jacket and go for a walk.  This handy, purple outerwear somehow manages to breathe while it keeps out the little rain drops.  And so the aging, grape blogger goes on down the road.

I will admit to being a little sad this morning.  It’s just a small dose of Dysthymia which I mention because, in the back of my mind, I hope to pass along some information that will possible help someone out there who wanders into this digital diary (complete with photos of mostly happier moments).    In this spirit of sharing I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a product that seems to do some good with the pesky, little demons and is called Triple Complex Mood Tonic.   These tiny, crunchy and mildly tasty little morsels seem to do a lot of good and in no way resemble the wide variety of pharmaceuticals out there.   Thank God for that.

And so we move on.   Let’s get back to the good stuff.  The wind, for example.  Oh let the warm breezes caress this teetering soul as it moves down the road.  They are a lovely hand  on the face, seeking inroads around the neck and under the purple shell to the flesh,  cooling the sweat and reminding the fevered brain that there is hope.  Yes, there is much more than hope in here somewhere.  Open the door and walk into my world.

Walk with me my pretty one.  Your smile cannot hide behind those flowing tresses as your gown never touches the ground.  But why all these stars?  Are there no seamstresses in your world?  I cannot help but notice the road is long and sometimes hard but you seem not to notice.

Lately I have noticed that these walks are not so physically demanding.  But, sometimes,  there are hills up here in my head that are difficult to climb.  People can be so cruel.  They can do things that take the breathe away and yet they hardly seem to notice.  It is not easy walking and carrying them too.   Let’s forget the world and find peace on this path.  You and I.  Here he feels a hand on his cheek evaporating a tear and hears a gentle laugh like small bells somewhere close.

Where are we going?  I must pay attention.  You know the other day I was nearly run over!  Oh please.  Yes you did save me.  But do we have to remember the grape stomping scene in I Love Lucy?  Is it really necessary to go down that road?   Oh, well, maybe it is.   Let’s just say we will go down any road you wish to go down.  Or up!  Clearly we both love to fly and my fervent desire is to lose all this weight and fly.  With you!

Can we fly today?

The purple grape rolls down another hill silently reflecting on his inability to fly.  But he has walked another mile or so.  And one of his favorite songs in blasting in his ears.  Where did she go?  There she is hiding behind a tree a few blocks ahead, laughing and convincing a few tenacious oak leaves to finally fall in lilting motion  to her feet.  They are clearly trying to be nonchalant but they cannot fool us.  We know they are transfixed by the stars.

If you are able to somehow focus on  one of them for a minute or so it will become a fountain and shoot celestial colors in all directions.  And then the riot breaks out!  Squirrels jump out of the trees and birds start to sing.  People run into their yards and begin dancing with their neighbors.  Everyone looks up to heaven as the true celebrities begin to arrive.  I have never actually seen this happen (thus the occassional crunchy mood pills) but I know it will happen.  Someday.

I must focus more actively on one of those stars.

And forget about the other stuff.  Are you still here?  All we have is this present moment so full of clouds and rain and wind.  Yes, the wind.  And the walk.  And you gentle love.  Your gentle love.

Your gentle love.






In Response To Your Letter Regarding Leaf Collection

Bureau of Leaf Collection

Honeydew County



Dear Mr. Aquafat,

In response to your letter dated November 29, 2011 regarding county disposal of leaves from your front yard I would like to inform you of the following pertinent facts:

      Our Asphault equipment disposes of approximately 15 tons of leaves daily.   It has been extensively tested in the lab and shown to reliably pick up 99.4 percent of all leaves in a dry environment.  In a wet environment it picks up 98.9 percent of the leaves.  Our records indicate that on November 28 when Asphault was working in your area the weather was sunny and there was virtually no humidity.  So I am a bit confused when you say that “most of the leaves are still scattered about your yard and in the street in front of your house”.    Mr. Boathowse, general foreman of leaf collection, indicates to me that he and his band of men disposed of your leaves.  He also indicates that the pile of leaves he picked up was quite large and it was blocking vehicular traffic on your street for several weeks, according to your neighbors. While in the area directly in front of your house he also notices that there were remnants of several small fires that apparently had been started when your neighbors attempted to egress the neighborhood and the mufflers on their cars came in contact with your leaves. 

     It is the policy of the Bureau of Leaf Collection here in Honeydew to provide our citizens with 100 percent reliable and satisfactory leaf collection during the months leading up to the festive holiday season.   And, while our Asphault equipment and Mr. Boathowse and his crew are now picking up leaves on the other side of the county in the Blowtown subdivision I would be happy to rearrange their schedule next week and have them return to your area.    However, I must remind you that burning leaves in or about your yard is a class 4 misdemeanor and subject to a fine of one hundred dollars per leaf and imprisonment in the Honeydew County jail for a period of 1-6 months .   Also, as I noted earlier, the Asphault Leaf Collector 2000 has been shown in tests to pick up 99.4 percent of all leaves (including the ones that are determined to get away) .   Before we can rearrange our busy schedule I will need the enclosed form completed.

If you would simply complete this form in the next 48 hours and return it to us.

1.   Number of leaves in your yard or on the street in front of your house ___________  on (date ) ________  .

2.  Number of leaves in your yard or on the street in front of your house following  Leaf Collection Bureau’s visit to your area _________.

3.  Percentage of leaves that are still in your yard or on the street in front of your house_______%. ( divide #1 into #2– and don’t forget to move the decimal point!)

4. If the percentage of leaves is less than 99.4 percent please indicate a date that would be convenient for you for further leaf removal_______.

5.  County services provide  a festive holiday meal on Christmas day for all inmates of the Honeydew County jail.  Please indicate your preference below. (circle one)

     a.  Turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce.

     b.  Chicken and rice.

     c. Flounder and winter squash.

Let me thank you once again, Mr. Aquafat, for contacting our office regarding your leaf disposal issues.  It is my privilege to serve you this festive holiday season. 


Sincerely yours,

A. H. Hungerfoot


Bureau of Leaf Collection

Honeydew County, Virginia

est 1722.

“Virginia Is For Lovers and ( just as night inevitably follows day)  Families too! 






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