Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy US Thanksgiving, everyone

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, because it comes with a 4-day weekend!  I'm going out to enjoy the snow, and to dinner later.

It's a good day to start a 30 days of Gratitude series.  Three things a day one is grateful for.  Here's today's installment.

The PARADE!  (I love the parade.  I'll watch it later.)
My neighbors and friends.
The gorgeous sunshine, and it's cold enough to keep the snow guns running all day.

Oh.  That's two.  That's OK.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

The photo of my roasted sweet potatoes with pecans and maple glaze has vanished -- as have the potatoes.  Sally enjoying the fire is a good substitute on this cold Thanksgiving day.

The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy series
Hard and e-formats available at:

and all the usual outlets.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Waste not....

World Hunger and Poverty Blog   I have a guest post up there about waste.  Please read it and comment. 

And please do what it says:  do whatever you can to avoid wasting edible food, and helping others do the same.  

It doesn't take time.  It takes only a little effort.  It saves money.  

Take it one step further:  split the money you save between your local food bank and your piggy bank.

We don't do sin in Buddhism.  If we did, wasting food would be right up there.  

This Thanksgiving, be thankful for all you have, and think about this very easy and small way to share what you have with others.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Of Two Minds

I was raised in a gun culture.  People owned guns.  Many people hunted.  I learned gun safety as soon as I could walk.  I shot my first gun, with my parents and grandfather, at a range, when I was 5.  Got kicked on my baby ass, too.  Learned how to avoid that in the future.  I've never hunted, but I'm hell on targets.

I learned about the environment, I learned where meat came from and how.  I learned about herd management and ecology, and how hunting and animal predators work to keep the ecology sound.

My vegetarianism is in some ways a weakness.  The reason for it is plain and simple.  If I can't kill it and butcher it myself, I have no right to eat it.  That's my moral imperative.  And I know I can't.

If my stomach does flip-flops at the idea of eating meat, or fish, or fowl, and I physically can't eat it -- and now I get sick from it whether I know it's there or not -- that is weakness.  Yes, I realized this early on and have taught myself how to be a very competent gatherer and farmer, but if there is nothing to gather, and there are things to hunt, I am not a survivor if I can't kill it, butcher it, cook it and eat it.

I leave it to the hunters and fishers and other apex predators to manage the herds of deer and elk, the various fish and bird populations, and thus the streams and lakes and forests and plains, to keep all of it balanced and healthy.  I leave it to human and other apex predators to reduce and control invasive species, such as geese in the Netherlands and carp heading rapidly towards the great lakes.

Andrew Zimmern, of Bizarre Foods, does a wonderful job of introducing people to the whole idea of hunting, to how it works and what it's for and to what he calls "alternative protein sources."  I can't be offended at the most explicit scenes because they show responsible predation and he is right.  Eat those carp.  Eat those geese.  Learn about the environment.  Know where your food comes from, and how it gets to your table, and how to manage for a sustainable supply.

We have taken away so much from nature for human gain, it's necessary for us to act to preserve the environment we have and to keep the balance in it.  I can't get mad at responsible hunters.   I admire them.  Responsible hunters are great conservationists, maybe the best.

There is no need to raise animals for meat.  It's not necessary for humans nutritionally, there are plenty of other really good things to eat, and it would benefit the environment and all the people who live on this planet enormously if we just stopped raising animals for food purposes, especially for meat.

I understand the hunter, but disagree with the rancher.  Does this make my ethics specious?  How about my stomach?  Am I weak for knowing what must be done to take care of the environment yet being utterly unable to take part in it?   Am I strong for adhering to principle?  I don't know, but I am still a vegetarian.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Back on the snow again!

I spent last week in Mexico, where it wasn't as hot as I expected, just shirt, slacks and sandals comfortable, with a light-sweater chill at night.

While I enjoy Mexico despite my appalling Spanish, I was there for Part One of extensive and nasty dental work.  Part One should be the worst.  Part Two comes in March and Part Three about June.  Investigate this!  High quality -- same as US or better -- yet a quarter of the cost and far less of your time -- despite the travel and its attendant time and costs.

I'm still recovering, and on a slightly better than expected schedule.  I am happy to be home.

The areas opened as soon as possible, but with limited runs and schedules.  Naturally, I went up.  It looks so funny!  Naked except for the few open runs!

On Sunday a storm moved in.  This is the view from the top as the storm blew in.

Sunday night, we had 6" of Mother Nature's finest along with the cold weather that lets those snow guns roar.  Everything's supposed to open fully on Friday, giving all us skiers something to be thankful for on US Thanksgiving, November 26.

In Japan, Labor Day is right around US Thanksgiving, sometimes the same day, and that's fun, too!
The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy series books One and Two, are out and running.  Give a child a world.
Hard and e-formats available at:

and all the usual outlets.

Thursday, November 5, 2015



It's cold enough for the snow guns to blow all day;
White noise makes white ground.

15 degrees F this morning.  The snow guns are running; not an unpleasant sound.  It's like white noise -- and snow is piling up on the ground.  My garden, I think, is officially done and will be put to bed on Saturday, when it's warmer.

I've been so lost in the exciting world of The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy that I completely lost a week between NOW and the opening day of ski season, when ski instructors start clinics for the new season.  The first rewrite is done and it's off to its Beta Readers.  Yay!

Missed the first two books?  Better get them now!

Hard and e-formats available at:
and all the usual outlets.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Capture a moment

Snow on the ground,
a fire in the stove,
A passing flurry;
Cold night to come.

Tsuru crane painting on a door, on display at Kumamoto- jo.

The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy Series,
Hard and e-formats available at:
and all the usual outlets.