In my own backyard

Furry neighbor friends

Becoming Perceptive · Words

Attention and randomness and resilience

Krista Tippett: Here’s something else you wrote: “The outline of our lives, like the candle’s flame, is continuously coaxed in new directions by a variety of random events that, along with our responses to them, determine our fate.” You say that we are driven to see patterns and create patterns where the patterns aren’t there. But it seems to me that you’re also presenting our responses as mattering. There is randomness, and then you talk about that even though that is true, the number of chances taken, the number of opportunities seized does make a difference. It does shift things.

Leonard Mlodinow: …little things make a big difference. And what they really do is they raise opportunities for you. Or they raise challenges. And the course of your life depends on how you react to those opportunities and challenges that the randomness presents to you. If you’re awake and paying attention, you will find that things happen. They might seem good, they might seem bad. But the important thing is how you reacted to it. (emphasis mine)



“It will flame out, like shining from shook foil”

God’s Grandeur
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
“God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Public Domain. Read on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, July 6, 2019.


My new favorite cuppa joe

I was recently introduced to the most delectable coffee drink right in the comfort of my own home. No fancy stuff just good strong java jazzed with a dollop (amount adjusted to personal preference) of the secret ingredient…sweetened condensed milk! Who knew? As it turns out lots and lots of people knew because various other cultures (e.g. Vietnamese, Spanish, Thai, just to name a few) flavor their brews this distinctive way; because I didn’t know doesn’t mean that no one did. Delicious, creamy, and, yes, richly sweet. It tickles all my tastebuds in a delightful way. If you want a cup of tastiness, give it a try.


Allergic reaction


Poison oak? Poison ivy? Poison sumac? I don’t know what it was but it sure did itch! This is my hand over a period of two weeks. I also had it on my arm and leg but not as intensely. Finally, it’s feeling better.

Here is an update photo after four weeks. It’s almost completely healed. I’m thankful.