Archive for the 'Zen' Category

My Groundhog Neighbor

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Neighborhood Groundhog

I have written previously about my sightings of the neighborhood groundhog.

Well, this weekend, I saw him/her again, and happened to have my camera in my purse!  I stopped my car, got out, and got a couple of shots.  This is the best one (and it is also blown up a bit, below).

So here’s my little groundhog ‘buddy.’ (I realize that our ‘friendship’ is one-sided; he/she ran away into the woods after I took this picture and started talking to it in what must have seemed a patronizing – but for my part, purely affectionate – tone).

I think that one of the reasons I may have been seeing him/her out eating so often is that it will soon be time for hibernation. Apparently, these little guys pack on the weight at this time of year, just before going into a deep deep sleep, and then waking up much thinner in about February.

So I’m glad I got this picture of my groundhog buddy before he or she disappears into the burrow for the upcoming cold months.

(Judging by the waddle I saw as the little guy/gal ran away into the woods, I’d say the weight gaining program has been successful.  Way to go, little buddy!)
Groundhog - cropped

Wisdom in the Spam

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

Just a quick word on blog comment spammers, for those who haven’t experienced them firsthand.¬†

Comment spammers strike me as slightly¬†misguided souls who spend a lot ot time posting comments on multiple blogs in order to get their own sales websites to rank higher on Google. (They do this, somehow, without actually visiting the blog – I haven’t figured out yet exactly how they manage that).¬†¬†

You can usually spot (and delete the comments of) comment spammers not only by the fact that they are “strangers” and have a commercial-sounding web address (and post other sales buzzwords along with their address), but also because they almost invariably post the same kind of comment: something designed to “fool” the blogger into thinking it’s a genunine and personal response to the site.¬† Usually something along the lines of: “Great site.¬† Thanks for your work.”¬† Or “I’ve been searching on Google, and this site has it.”¬† Or, my favorite, “Informative¬†site.¬†Thanks, guy!”¬† (Often,¬†these themes, and their¬†variations, are phrased in¬†rather¬†stilted English).

But a comment spammer who left me with a little gift¬†yesterday¬†had something different to say.¬† And I¬†had a nagging feeling that this comment¬†bears repeating.¬† I just couldn’t bring myself to delete it without doing so.¬†¬†So here it is.¬† A little wisdom in the spam:

All the darkness in the world cannot put out the smallest candle. The darker it is, more brightly shines the candle. instead of complaining about the dark search for your candle. Believe me; It exists

No More Anxiety Dream? Should That Worry Me?

Thursday, June 8th, 2006

For several years now – did it start sometime in college?¬†- I’ve had a recurring anxiety dream of the academic sort.¬†

I don’t have it very often.¬† But it pops up from time to time – usually¬†during a period in which¬†I’m busier than usual,¬†and always with the same general theme.

In the dream, I suddenly remember that I have a test to take or a long paper to turn in – either that day or the next day.¬† The setting of the dream (as well as the theme of the class)¬†can vary, but these frequently “take place” in¬†either my highschool or my middle school.¬† Inevitably,¬†I realize that I’ve forgotten about the class for the duration of the now-ending¬†semester.¬† I panic and wonder how I’m ever going to pass the class.¬† And mostly, I feel upset and astounded that I’ve forgotten this obligation altogether.

Well, I’m wondering now if I’ve dreamed my last of that dream. . .

Earlier this week, after being awake for most of the night listening to and taking turns caring for a teething (and ear-aching) Emma, I was exhausted.

I slept soundly only between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.  And during that time, I had the dream.

But it was different this time.

For the first time ever, when presented with the fact that I had a physics exam that I was not in the least prepared for . . . my attitude, with a general, shoulder-shrugging¬†lack of concern and even disdain, was “So what!?¬† Give me a¬†D or an F.”

I’m not sure what to make of this odd development.¬†

I’ve never heard of “conquering” one’s own anxiety dream before.¬†

So I’m not yet sure if I should feel triumphant, and applaud my evolution, or whether I should be very concerned.¬†

Is it a bad thing to have reached the state, in the waking, as well as the sleeping¬†world, that I just don’t let the stress get me down anymore?

Have I achieved a state of Zen, or am I just too tired to care?

I really¬†do have more projects to do at work than I can get done¬†within a reasonable time.¬† And as I told a colleague earlier this week, “When you have 25 ‘urgent’ projects, none of them seems quite so urgent anymore.”

The jury is still out on whether my sense of peace with it all is a good or a bad development.

Maybe the answer will arrive in another dream.   

Sitting with Cats

Sunday, May 21st, 2006

On the drive over to my mother’s house last night to perform my cat-sitting duties, I found myself thinking about a pseudo-religious essay I¬†read recently about cats and faith.

Cats are to People, as People are to The Gods, the essay had analogized.

The essayist noted that traveling cat owners think about their cats’ well being¬†during each day of their absence, and¬†expounded on the¬†comparison to query whether cats, when their owners are away, experience themselves to be abandoned and forsaken, or whether they have¬†faith in their¬†owner’s abiding love and eventual return.

My mother’s cats were anxious, when I arrived, and happy to receive some pets and treats.¬† But after a few minutes of attention, and of examining the playful baby in my entourage,¬†they each returned to¬†their prior posts in the bedroom, where my mother had left on a queitly-playing “smooth jazz” radio station for them.¬†

I think Cookie and Yoda are faithful cats.   

Oma's beautiful Yoda as a kitten

Yoda (as a kitten),
originally uploaded by

Eagle Zen

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

EagleHere are links to¬†a¬†web cam view of nesting eagles (opens in new window) and a related story.¬† Just in case you need a little zen in your day…