Ten Beautiful Things I Like About a North Man…


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North – cold, wind, precipices, glaciers, caves, heroic conquest of dangerous obstacles,
whales, hot meat, and vegetables, concentration and production, privacy. – W. H. Auden

  1. The way he uses an auger to makes holes for ice fishing before laying in the gill net.
  2. The way he pulls the polar shell over his leather mittens.
  3. The way he lays logs for a fire in the granite fireplace that he built himself.
  4. The way he knows what the temperature is without checking the thermometer.
  5. The way the snow and frost settle on his eyebrows.
  6. The way he climbs onto the roof to sweep off the snow.
  7. The way he snaps icicles off the eavestrough before they shatter onto the ground.
  8. The way he puts chains on his truck and that they always fit.
  9. The way he folds his trapper blanket at the end of the bed.
  10. The way he knows all the constellations in the winter sky – Orion being our favorite.

Photograph © David Dodds

Returning to a New Normal…


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© Joan Currie

In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which
parts of normal are worth rushing back to. – Dave Hollis

Although I don’t like to think of myself as bound to a daily routine, it is this routine that gives me
perspective, stability, and structure, and makes stepping out of it all the more wonderful and exciting!

Ten Beautiful Things I Like About a Scientist…


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Just as the word “science” (scientia) means originally just knowledge and until the eighteenth century covered even theology (which was called the “mother of all sciences”), so natural philosophy (philosophia naturalis), which was also called physica or physiologia, covered the entire domain of the created world, ... Wikipedia

  1. The way he has an “aha!” moment whenever he discovers something, no matter what the rest of the world thinks of it.
  2. The way his hands manipulate things at the bench – his manual dexterity being the most enviable.
  3. The way he insists that the study of science is really the study of natural philosophy – the philosophy of existence.
  4. The way he finds satisfaction in bringing together disparate things and explaining new things to me.
  5. The way he discusses new concepts with his fellow scientists with such passion.
  6. The way he works to make a difference for the good of the world, not motivated by money.
  7. The way he says man cannot negotiate reality: the laws of nature rule in science.
  8. The way he can read labels on consumer packages and understand what is or what is not important.
  9. The way he sees science all around him from baking and cooking in the kitchen to simply looking at tidal pools on a hike.
  10. The way he says, “I don’t know. Let’s find out!” with the same sense of adventure as a small child.
  11. Bonus: The way he looks hot in a pressed white lab coat!

Photograph © David Dodds

Fill Power…


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Fill power is a measure of the loft or “fluffiness” of a down product that is loosely related to the insulating value of the down. The higher the fill power, the more air a certain weight of the down can trap, and thus the more insulating ability the down will have. Fill power ranges from about 300 (in³/oz) for feathers to around 900 (in³/oz) for the highest quality goose down. from Wikipedia

I received a wonderful, dare I say sensual, down comforter for Christmas this year. It has a 950 fill power and weighs less than two pounds. It is meant for fall and spring camping but since my house is quite cold at night, I couldn’t resist using it for sleeping in my bed as well.

Unlike my old comforter that was heavy, rough and prickly from duck feather barbs protruding through the cotton covering, this quilt is light, soft and smooth. I love being enveloped by the luxury of its airiness and warmth.

I began to compare this feeling of the new comforter to being around certain types of people: Some individuals are light, optimistic and well, happy – I might want to hug them, to envelop myself in their positivity, to be in their orb, while others are dark, pessimistic and irritable – like the prickly duck feathers, I want to give them distance. In the New Year, I seek to spend my time with the lighter and more positive fowls.

Photograph: © Samantha Wolov

New Year’s Day 2021…


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Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades
Forever and forever as I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
Ulysses by Alfred Tennyson

A new beginning. And for a brief and shining moment, we know that all things are possible.
We will strive to carry that moment througout the New Year.

Photograph © Joan Currie

Approaching the New Year…


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I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year,
‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’
And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness,
and put you hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light,
and safer than a known way.’
May that Almighty hand guide and uphold us all.

Spoken by King George VI at the end of his 1939
Christmas broadcast.


Photograph ©David Dodds