Blue Monday

I have shared the old Costa Rican saying with you before, “Blue Monday and not even the hens lay.”  That describes today.  Unless you are the owner of a tow truck or snow plow.  After the weekend’s big snow storm, those fellows are very busy today.  (We are waiting for Al to plow out our plugged driveway.)

I’ve pressed my ancient laptop computer into service on my desk.  It is very slow compared to my new unit, which is still in the hospital.

My sister Barbara’s grandson, Ben, passed away last night.  He was 22 y. o. and a recent MSU grad.  His battle with cancer (Ewing’s sarcoma) lasted three years.

As I write this, the sun is shining brightly on the pure-white, new fallen snow.  Deep drifts create interesting shadows on the landscape.  Fortunately, I have no other place where I need to be.

Enforced Vacation

It’s not really an “enforced” vacation, but since my computer has spent the last two weeks in the hospital, I’ve been giving my arthritic hands some rest.  To be able to accomplish those “must do” tasks, I’ve had to be inventive.

Sleep eluded me last night.  Around midnight, I could see the moon hanging just over the western horizon.  It was an enchanting scene.  First the tripod and then the camera came into my hands and I set them in at the front door.  I opened the door and beheld . . . a black sky.  Not a single star could be seen and who erased the moon?  It was a cloud bank.  No joy.

Then, to the rescue, my La-Z boy called and I answered.  Settled in, and with Nook in hand, I tweaked settings for night-time reading.  A few chapters of Llana of Gathol* got me in the mood for sleep.  (* – This is from the Tales of Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs.)

Mr ‘Puter

Still no idea when I’ll get my computer back.  However, in the words of John Carter: “I yet live.”

FWIW, I recently learned that Sasquatch read the Tales of Barsoom, and based on that same John Carter quote, he had a brilliant idea for a talk show.  It worked!  It caught on in the northwest US.  Unfortunately, Sasquatch is dyslexic, but it worked to his benefit.  Today only a handful of stations carry his program “Yeti Live.”  Watch for national syndication in the near future.

(Thanks Scott.)

The good, the bad and the not so pretty

Friday, January 2, I looked out at the birch tree below the garden and there perched in the top was a beautiful fellow.  A fine example of a red-tailed hawk.  I walked swiftly to the office and returned to capture this image of him.



Life is like that.  Sometimes.

After missing Dad’s flight to Florida on Friday.  We were able to keep him with us for another three days.  I think we all enjoyed that.

This morning we loaded luggage and people into the Jeep (just in case) and started for the airport.  Everything was going fine until I went to enter the I-96 expressway.  As I approached the speed of surrounding traffic, the vehicle began to shake a lot.  I drove into town under 60 mph.

We did get to the airport on time and Dad was securely “stowed” aboard.  We watched until his plane pushed back from the terminal.  Sylvia called her sister to confirm that Dad was headed her way and on time.

After Sylvia made a few phone calls, it now looks like we’ll get a repair estimate sometime on Wednesday.  (We are not the only ones to have a bad day on Friday.)

Speaking of Friday, that was also the day that something went wrong with this computer.  It appears that MS Office is the only software that refuses to work.  I tried running the repair utility.  No joy.  I ran the more extensive repair procedure.  No change.  I uninstalled and reinstalled.  Still ugly.

I’m not a very happy camper just now.  And still I think of the words of John Carter,*  “I yet live.”

* John Carter is the protagonist in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tales of Barsoom.  John is from Earth and wakes to find himself on Mars (Barsoom).


I just received a callback from my friend and computer guru, Robert.  He’ll pick up my computer this afternoon and repair it for me.  That’s his business so it’s not just a favor for a friend, but I’ll not begrudge him a single cent.

Hey look.  I’m smiling.  A little bit.

Her Birthday

This morning I read the latest post from our friend Sharkey at MQD as she blogged about silos.  It took me back many years.  I had just started my senior year in high school.  On a Saturday, I went back to the farm where I had worked in the summer.  The job was to help fill silo.  It was a long hard day, and I returned home tired, stinky and sore.  I just wanted to stay home and go to bed early.  Yet it was my best friend’s birthday and so I showered, put on clean clothes and went to his house on the other side of town.

There were folks that I knew and others that were new.  There was one girl present who was very quiet.  I almost didn’t notice here.  She was sitting next to me at a card table where four of us were playing a game.  I was losing.  Bad.  Teasingly she touched me on the arm with words of mock comfort.  I looked at her as I have never looked at another woman–before or since.  (Four years later, we would marry.)  Today that young woman celebrates another birthday.

Sylvia in Cartago, Costa Rica

Sylvia in Cartago, Costa Rica

That picture is one of my favorites.  Sylvia is standing beside the man from whom we would buy oranges every Saturday morning.  This picture is the right one on bitter cold and windy day.  Road accidents abound in this part of the state.  Slippery roads and a steep ditch foiled our plans to get Sylvia’s dad to the airport to catch a flight to Florida.  Everyone is okay and we’ll try again on Monday.

Happy Birthday, Sylvia.  I love you.  Here’s wishing you many happy returns of the day.


Do You Ever Wonder?

Today, as I made my usual morning blog rounds, I came to my friend, Vanilla’s, blog.

Our friend has a sense of humor!

In today’s post, he asked us if we’d ever the clicked the “next blog” link on a blogger blog.  I had, but I spent an hour doing that again.  The two interesting blogs that I found had been inactive for over a year.  About half of the blogs I visited were in a language other than English (mostly Afrikaans).  My exploration of “next blog” ended in a loop that switched between two blogs written in Afrikaans.

Vanilla asks several other questions that I’ve frequently asked myself.  As an active blogger, I found this post to be quite interesting.

If you haven’t done so already dear blog bud, please visit my friend’s blog and today’s post: Blogging: Thoughts on a Snowy Day.


Magi followed the star

Magi followed the star

Today, January 6 (aka Epiphany) is the day that western churches celebrate the visit of the eastern magi to the young child, Jesus Christ.  It is also the twelfth day of Christmas.

Today, some of our Puerto Rican friends will have gathered in Hartford, Connecticut for the Three King’s Day celebration and parade.  If they follow their tradition, there will be camels, donkeys, elephants and other critters along with all the human folk.

In our house, we will wrap up our Christmas celebration and tomorrow we will pack up decorations for another year.  Which is to say until after Thanksgiving this year.

Feliz día de los tres reyes magos.
Happy three kings day.

Dios les bendiga a todos.
May God bless you all.

R.I.P. Nellie

The house is very quiet today.  Their is an air of mourning about this place.

Uggh!  Monday.


For the past several months Nellie, our kitty, suffered gastrointestinal problems.  We tried several things to help.  The vet concluded, “I can do nothing to help her.”  Still she soldiered on.  Eventually, the problem became too much.  I was with her when she passed yesterday (Saturday) around 2:15 PM.

I hope you understand.  I don’t want to talk about it.

Sixth Blogaversary

Secondary Roads

Secondary roads,
Made for folks in no hurry,
Better for the soul.


It was six years ago today, that I published my first blog post.  At this time each year, I reevaluate my continued activity in the blogosphere.  I’m surprised that this year I’m more happy than usual to continue.

A lot of friends have come in the last six years, and most of them have gone.  Many have dropped out.  Others just drifted away.  That’s not why I’m content to continue this blog.

There is another group of friends that have come and have remained.  I’ll not name them lest I omit one, which would be an unforgivable error.  These friends keep me interested, informed and amused.  Words and images skillfully crafted and arranged keeps me coming back to them for more.  My blogger buds, are always posting fresh, creative material.

This post was going to be a retrospective on Secondary Rds.  I was diverted from that path.  In thinking back over the life span of this blog, it became obvious that the blog, as life itself, is not so much about me and what I have to say as it is about the connections that I make with others and the relationships that together we develop and nurture.

Thanks to you for being there.  Are you ready for 2015?  If so, allons-y.*

* Any Whoovians out there?

The Road Ahead


Yesterday, I had a session with my chiropractor.  Afterward, I returned home.  Shortly after I left the office, I turned onto to the state highway.  About a half-mile ahead it was l like a white sheet had been draped across the road.  It might have been a fog bank, but conditions weren’t right for that.

As I neared that area I could see that it was the edge of a snow storm.  I drove a few miles through that, and then came out the other side the way was perfectly clear ahead.  I made a turn off the highway and after going about a mile.  Another white “sheet” limited my view.  It was not falling snow.  It was wind-blown snow, or drifting.  Through that area the road is a few feet above the fields to each side.  This results in an aerodynamic effect that lifts the snow from the grown and “sucks” it up into the wind. (It’s the Bernoulli effect if you’re interested.)  I was soon past that spot and the way home was once again clear.


Sometimes life is like that.  You can’t clearly see the way forward.