February 26, 2013

wet and white

This has been our February

February 20, 2013

icy this day


ruminations  ~~~~~ might fine word this!

to turn a matter over and over in the mind
to chew on
to reflect on over and over again
to engage in contemplation

February 19, 2013

winter ~

Winter can be hard here.  
It can be

breath taking

February 14, 2013


Malcomb Forbes wrote this about a business letter, but much could translate into writing online, poetry, any writing.  So many of use use too many words, and never really say what needs to be said.

Some Thoughts from Malcolm Forbes

A good business letter can get you a job interview.
Get you off the hook.
Or get you money.
It’s totally asinine to blow your chances of getting whatever you want – with a business letter that turns people off instead of turning them on.
The best place to learn to write is in school. If you’re still there, pick your teacher’s brains.
If not, big deal. I learned to ride a motorcycle at 50 and fly balloons at 52. It’s never too late to learn.
Over 10,000 business letters come across my desk every year.
They seem to fall into three categories: stultifying if not stupid, mundane (most of them), and first rate (rare). Here’s the approach.
I’ve found that separates the winners from the losers (most of it’s just good common sense) – it starts before you write your letter:

Know what you want
 If you don’t, write it down – in one sentence. “I want to get an interview within the next two weeks.” That simple. List the major points you want to get across – it’ll keep you on course.
If you’re answering a letter, check the points that need answering and keep the letter in front of you while you write. This way you won’t forget anything – that would cause another round of letters.
And for goodness’ sake, answer promptly if you’re going to answer at all. Don’t sit on a letter – that invites the person on the order end to sit on whatever you want from him.

Plunge right in 
Call him by name – not “Dear Sir, Madam, or Ms” “Dear Mr. Chrisanthopoulos” – and be sure to spell it right. That’ll get him (thus, you) off to a good start.
(Usually, you can get his name by phoning his company – or from business directory in your nearest library.)

Tell what your letter is about in the first paragraph. One or two sentences. Don’t keep your reader guessing or he might file your letter away – even before he finishes it.
In the round file.
If you’re answering a letter, refer to the date it was written. So the reader won’t waste time hunting for it.
People who read business letters are as human as thee and me. Reading a letter shouldn’t be a chore – reward the reader for the time he gives you.

Write so he'll enjoy it 
Write the entire letter from his point of view – what’s in it for him? Beat him to the draw – surprise him by answering the questions and objections he might have.

Be positive – he’ll be more receptive to what you have to say.

Be nice. Contrary to the cliche, genuinely nice guys most often finish first or very near it. I admit it’s not easy when you’ve got a gripe. To be agreeable while disagreeing that’s an art.

Be natural – write the way you talk. Imagine him sitting in front of you – what would you say to him?
Business jargon too often is cold, stiff, unnatural.
Suppose I came up to you and said, “I acknowledge receipt of your letter and I beg to thank you.” You’d think, “Huh? You’re putting me on.”
The acid test – read your letter out loud when you’re done. You might get a shock – but you’ll know for sure if it sounds natural.

Don’t be cute or flippant. The reader won’t take you seriously. This doesn’t mean you’ve got to be dull. You prefer your letter to knock ‘em dead rather than bore ‘em to death.
Three points to remember:

Have a sense of humor. That’s refreshing anywhere – a nice surprise in a business letter.

Be specific. If I tell you there’s a new fuel that could save gasoline, you might not believe me, but suppose I tell you this: “Gasohol” – 10% alcohol, 90% gasoline – works as well as straight gasoline. Since you can make alcohol from grain or corn stalks, wood or wood waste, coal – even garbage, it’s not worth some real follow-through.
Now you’ve got something to sink your teeth into.

Lean heavier on nouns and verbs, lighter on adjectives. Use the active voice instead of the passive. Your writing will have more guts.
Active voice: “I kicked out my money manager.” Or, passive voice: “My money manager was kicked out by me.”

Give it the best you've got
When you don’t want something enough to make the effort, making an effort is a waste.

Make your letter back appetizing – or you’ll strike our before you even get to bat. Type it – on good quality stationery. Keep it neat. And use paragraphing that makes it easier to read.

Keep your letter short to one page, if possible. Keep your paragraphs short. After all he’s going to benefit if your letter is quick and easy to read?
For emphasis, underline important words. And sometimes indent sentences as well as paragraphs.
Like this. See how well it works? (But save it for something special.)

Make it perfect. No typos, no misspellings, no factual errors. If you’re sloppy and let mistakes slip by, the person reading your letter will think you don’t know better or don’t care. Do you?

Be crystal clear. You won’t get what you’re after if your reader doesn’t get the message.

Use good English. If you’re still in school, take all the English and writing courses you can. The way you write and speak can really help – or hurt.
If you’re not in school (even if you are), get the little 71-page gem by Strunk & White, Elements of Style. It’s in paperback. It’s fun to read and loaded with tips on good English and good writing.

Don’t put on airs.
Pretense invariably impress only the pretender.
Don’t exaggerate. Even once. Your reader will suspect everything else you write.

Distinguish opinions from facts. Your opinions may be the best in the world. But they’ re not gospel. You owe it to your reader to let him know which is which. He’ll appreciate it and he’ll admire you.
The dumbest people I know are those Know It All.

Be honest. It’ll get you further in the long run. If you’re not, won’t rest easy until you’re found out. (The latter, not speaking from experience.)

Edit ruthlessly. Somebody said that words are like inflated money – the more you use, the less each one is worth. Go through your entire letter as many times as it takes. Annihilate all unnecessary words, sentences – even paragraphs.

Sum it up get out 
The last paragraph should tell the reader exactly what you want him to do – or what you’re going to do. Short and sweet. “May I have an appointment? Next Monday; the 16th, I’ll call your secretary to see when it’ll be most convenient for you.”
Close with something simple like, “Sincerely.” And for heaven’s sake sign legibly. The biggest ego trip I know is a completely illegible signature.

February 7, 2013


Posted by Picasa

the other season

In winter I miss color

February 4, 2013

everchanging, never boring

This morning from the bedroom window.
I worried when we moved here that after awhile I wouldn't notice the views.
I notice more now yet differently.  
It is not just the distant views, but also my closer views, 
the fields,
the trees, the rocks in the fields. 

February 2, 2013

All are welcome....

touched me...... hope it is true....

A Spiritual Conspiracy
by Author Unknown
On the surface of the Earth exactly now there is war and violence and everything looks horrible.  But, simultaneously, something quiet, calm and hidden is happening and certain people are being called by a higher light. A quiet revolution is settling from the inside out.  From bottom to top. It is a global operation. A spiritual conspiracy. There are cells from this operation in every nation on the planet. You will not watch us on TV. Or read about us in newspapers.  Or hear our words on radios. We do not seek glory.  We do not use uniforms. We arrive in several different shapes and sizes. We have costumes and different colors. Most work anonymously.  Silently we work out of the scene. In every culture in the world. In large and small cities, in the mountains and valleys. In the farms, villages, tribes and remote islands.
We might cross paths on the streets. And not realize ... We follow in disguise. We are behind the scenes. And we do not care about who wins the gold of the result, and Yes, that the work gets performed. And once in a while we will cross paths on the streets. We exchange looks of recognition and continue following our path. During the day many are disguised in their normal jobs. But at night behind the scenes, the real work begins. 

Some call us army of consciousness. Slowly we are building a new world.  With the power of our hearts and minds. We follow with joy and passion. Our orders reach us from the Central Spiritual Intelligence. We're throwing soft bombs of love without anyone noticing; poems, Hugs, songs, photos, movies, fond words, meditations and prayers, dances, social activism, websites, blogs, acts of kindness ... 

We express ourselves in a unique and personal way. With our talents and gifts. Being the change we want to see in the world. This is the force that moves our hearts. We know that this is the only way to accomplish the transformation.  We know that with the silence and humbleness we have the power of all oceans together. Our work is slow and meticulous. As in the formation of mountains. 

Love will be the religion of the 21 century. Without educational prerequisites. Without ordering an exceptional knowledge for your understanding. Because it is born of the intelligence of the heart. Hidden for eternity in the evolutionary pulse of every human being. 

Be the change you want to see happen in the world.  Nobody else can make this work for you.  

We're recruiting.  Perhaps you will join us.  Or maybe you have already joined.  All are welcome. The door is open.

February 1, 2013

budding friendship

Tonight I sat by the fire while the dogs snoozed.  This is our evening routine-Quiet togetherness.  What has happened is that Shunka and Indigo have finally bonded.  There have gotten along since Indigo arrived which was pretty easy- Both low key dogs.  Indigo was not totally here for a long time.  She wasn't a part of the family and sat away from us and didn't get up and take part until recently.  She is suddenly in front of the line at meals, and teasing Shunka and she sits and sleeps in the center of things, walks in front on the walks. Shunka has taken to checking her over in the morning, tail wagging.  And he was really upset yesterday when Tim took Indigo out in the truck.  He kept looking for her.  Before he wouldn't have bothered.  
Just because you bring someone into the family is not a guarantee it is going to be a good  relationship.  Has taken a long while to progress to this, longer than I would have thought. But at last we have team Dane.
Nice to have a friend you can follow in the field, someone to bark with or to tease with a toy.  Who needs these people anyway.