Finish the Sentence Friday -the Wakefield Doctrine-

Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)

Sometime in February/March of 2013, I worked up the nerve to participate in my first bloghop, Finish the Sentence Friday. Hosted at that time by Janine, Kate, Stephanie and Dawn, joining in marked a transition in my online life. Up until then, starting June 9th 2009, (come on, everyone remembers their first blog post…right?), I devoted my time in the ‘sphere to writing posts about the Wakefield Doctrine. For whatever reason, I worked up the nerve to go over to their blog (yeah, the high school metaphor’s been with me from, like, the minute I turned the computer back on.*) and I wrote my first Finish the Sentence Friday post.

Since that time, I’ve met some very remarkable people and have become friends with many of them. And that’s where the temptation to indulge in metaphor begins. Meeting new and interesting people, not something I’m naturally inclined to do.

“But it wasn’t a dream — it was a place.

         And you — and you — and you — and you were

         there.” (Dorothy Gale)

Kristi was gracious enough to invite me to co-host the Finish the Sentence Friday bloghop this week. In part, because I’d returned to joining in on Fridays and, one Friday, a few weeks ago, I threw out a sentence fragment in a comment and Kristi replied, ‘Hey, I like that! That might make a good sentence fragment.‘ So, here we are.

(Can’t say enough about Kristi other than, if I knew about her and wasn’t already a friend, I’d be too intimidated to introduce myself. But that’s getting ahead of the sentence fragment. Suffice it to say, Kristi Campbell is one of the most able women I know. I consider myself fortunate in being allowed to hang out here. So join Kristi and me at the best of all bloghops…. the Finish the Sentence Friday.

“A study released by the Department of HHS reports that most people consider their online relationships comparable to their social experiences in high school… this is true because….”

...For some of us, the virtual world is not simply a place drawn in phosphorescence and LEDs, binary yes(s) mating with stubborn no(s), a place of mathematical precision and statistical approximations of feelings and intuition. For some of us, its a reality of metaphor and stories. The world online is a place where the social contract has been stood on its head.

In our lives (in the real world), when we interact with others: visiting relative’s homes, running into our children’s teachers at the convenience store or meeting friends at the mall, our personal lives are subject to immediate validation. Your car sits in the parking lot, your children wear the clothes you pick out (or not,depending on age) and your life is a page in an increasingly public record.

In the virtual world, however, we are, in a very real sense, a story we tell those we meet. When we interact in the various locales such as Twitter or Facebook or on bloghops such as this one, we tell our story. The virtual world, at least the parts that I frequent, is very much a world of words and writing, stories and imagination, risk and rewards.

It’s a secret rule of life that the rate of meeting new people and making friends is inversely proportional to age. In the real world. there are only so many people who can fit into the: work places, schools, daycare, health clubs, churches, neighborhoods, supermarkets, doctor’s waiting rooms, therapists offices, barracks, bunkhouses, cells, wards and three-bedroom-colonials-on-a-quarter-acre-with-a-really-great-HOA. When limited opportunity butts heads with escalating demands on our personal time, is it any wonder that 80% of our real world friends are those we met back when we were still in school?

Then there is the virtual world. Available anywhere and anytime. And with more people (on the other side of the screen) than you could fly over in a plane on a four-hour flight.

And,(to try to establish the basis for my post….finally), just as it was in high school; when we arrive in the world-online, a social environment is waiting for us to negotiate, navigate and accommodate. There are people already here. They’ve been here long enough to establish their own little corners of the ‘sphere. Some of the people on the ‘net we meet because they on in our path. I mean, you have to get into line in order to get lunch, right? And, if you’re in line to get lunch, eventually you have to come out of the serving area and face a room (small or huge) of people eating lunch. Already seated. At their own tables. With their friends.

(lol  ok, so my own experiences with high school are not exactly 100% positive.) But I made it through those years. And now, a lifetime later, I find myself in a social environment that, with only a little imagination, looks a lot like high school. The difference is not that ‘I am older and mature and know better.’ That would be the easy and not-overly productive way out. The difference is that I choose to see the metaphor because it allows me to see myself in a slightly different perspective than might someone, (a roger, for example, who might say, ‘Dude! it’s the internet. You’re an adult. Stop with the make-believe, the trying to relive the past‘) who does not see the common points between past experiences and present reality. And the Wakefield Doctrine is about nothing, if it’s not about taking advantage of varying perspectives on the world in the service of becoming a better person.

Anyway… the value, (for me), of indulging in the conceptual metaphor of ‘the blogosphere as high school’ is that it allows me to make different choices and, by doing so, come to accept that ‘experience does not define the entire person’. My personal history, the social one inferred in this post, is not the summation of my potential. It is a description of choices I’ve made. The unfortunate thing about life is that, for some of us, when we look at the choices we’ve made (some consciously, others under duress, still others under the influence of others), we feel that they define us.

This time around, I’m finding it a little easier to be uncomfortable around others. I’m more willing to take risks, despite how foolish a part of me says I am. And, as a result, I have a bunch of friends that I might not otherwise had and, from that, I become a better person.

Thanks Kristi!

 

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday bloghop post. Come on! Join in…. you’ll be glad ya did. Get on over to Finding Ninee and tell ’em the Doctrine sent ya.

 

 

* I remember writing my first post in large part because of what happened when I completed the process. So, I wrote and I edited and did all the things that we all do, Then came the moment… to hit ‘Publish’. I went through a number of clarklike changes and finally hit the button. I then reached down, turned off the computer, got up and went down to the garage, got in my car and drove away from my house.  Eventually I returned and turned on the computer and the rest has simple.

** Outsider (clarks), Predator (scotts) or Herd Member (roger)

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TToT -the Wakefield Doctrine- ‘there, all set for the weekend.’

Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)

‘Una’s garden ready for Winter’s white quilt.’

The Ten Things of Thankful (TToT) bloghop was created by L Lewis way back in 1997. Given the fact the blogosphere had not been discovered, (or at least as well mapped as it is now), there was little participation. Her idea was a sound one and so, it survived until the (virtual) world caught up. Fast forward to sometime in the early 21st C and the Founderess realized that the time(s) were right. As is the case with many trailblazers, pioneers, experimenters, outsiders and explorers, L. tried it out on herself first. A one (wo)man blgohop. Word got out and soon people started gathering around.

hey! Here’s the line up in 2013: *

* I had 27 TToT post comments circa 2013. Except for a few people who switched from blogger to wordpress (I’m looking at you, zoe) and one or two who got to all the old Yearbooks with a pair of scissors… (totally looking at you, Considerer). But the rest? All of the links lead back to the original TToT post at their respective blogs. I looked (and I followed the links on a couple) and thought, ‘Man! This is good for at least 3 Grat Items.’ But then I got this ‘err, clark? Just a smidge on the wrong-side of edgy… maybe a little stalky, don’t ya think?’ and I had to agree. So if you want to find the wardrobe to 2013, ya gotta discover it for yourself.

Today the TToT is made available each week courtesy of the hard work and positive vibes of Josie Two Shoes. It may seem a simple thing, but given the attention and, more than anything, the energy that it takes to get this herd of hyper-literate cats heading in one direction? Way more than most of us are able to muster. Thanks, J!

On with the Grats!

1)  The secret history of our-own-selfs inherent in the above-referenced blog posts. Available to all of us who have the necessary curiosity, spare time and rainy day.

2) The natural reticence of clarks. One of the qualities of clarks that makes it so difficult for us to participate in a free and open society/culture is our reluctance to reveal information about other people. That person you, (and everyone else), knows who’s a good listener? …yep, a clark. While we’re way too free with the information we squirrel away every waking moment, we are loath to pass along what we consider to be personal information, which tends to be everything except that which everyone already knows. Problem comes from society/culture being grounded, in part, in the exchange of valued information. On the positive end of that spectrum: an open and caring environment with people sharing their lives freely; on the negative end: gossip.

3) Seems to be a Wakefield Doctrine sorta TToT. So let’s make Number 3: the Wakefield Doctrine.

4) We got a new furnace this week.

   

5) Kerry. I’m grateful for having the opportunity to meet her here in the ‘sphere. And I’m grateful for the thing I’ve been doing with photos. The ‘description’ thing? That’s been a challenge, a benefit and a way to practice the writing thing, a direct result of knowing Kerry. Actually.

6) …gotta give props to Kristi on this. She was my inspiration to do something more with photos on my TToT posts. (Some people are good and make sure you know it. A much, much smaller number of people are good and don’t expend any energy in self-promotion. They do good things for people because that’s who they are.) I’m not certain when she started writing descriptions as captions to her photos, but once I noticed, I thought, ‘Hey! What an excellent thing to do. I bet I can do that!‘   lol, well, kinda. Kristi’s descriptions are direct, sufficient and simple to the point of being elegant. My own, well, it’s understood (because the Doctrine tells us), my people are more inclined to…. follow the path less travelled? yeah! I like that.

7) The Graviteers. Val and Joy, Kristi and May

8) Una

‘Looking for the path to Summer’
(courtesy of Robert Heinlein from the title of his most excellent time travel story, ‘Door into Summer’)

9) Phyllis

10) Secret Rule 1.3 (From the Book of Secret Rules, aka the Secret Book of Rules and states, in part: “[t]he completion of a list of Ten Items is, in and of itself, a legitimate Grat Item and, may, provided it conforms to all reasonable, conventional and standard practices in placement (on said List) be cited as an Item. The anticipation (and therefore manifestation) of the completion considered, from an achronicological perspective1, to have already occurred, despite, and, this constitutes warning to the Reader of the risk of infinite regression, the fact that it (the completion) cannot be said to exist until it is numbered, which can only follow the realization of the fact of completion.op.cit. ibid

Click here to join the expectant crowds gathering at Dutch Elm St.*

* totally lifted that last part from FireSign Theatre

1) Yes, it is understood that, given the non-rational nature of emotion, the world of the Herd Members (rogers) is, essentially, achronicological… so, the next time you’re have a ….’discussion’ with a roger and for some reason tempers are about to flare (like that‘that is to say, with a slightly more positive correlation as the sun rising in the morning, as opposed to the evening. ever happens with rogers) and they (the roger) suddenly get a distant look in their eyes, ask them, “What?” And even though they are not likely to answer truthfully, know that they (the roger) just flashed on some wrong done to them (real or imagined) when they were freshman in high school (or seniors in college, or just back from their honeymoon, or yesterday while standing in line at the Dunkin Donuts). And that moment is as real as whatever it is you two are arguing about.

(you’re welcome)

Who wants to hear some Biz Markie…ok, maybe some Falco?

Ok, if you insist, we’ll take a vote.

 

Still time to Vote!!

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TToT -the Wakefield Doctrine-

Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)

Summer, a friend cherished for it’s boundless life and warmth, falters and falls behind. Even knowing it is the way of nature, one can’t help but to look back, hope becoming resignation to the turning of the seasons.
(modified portrait format…almost square)
Una is sitting on her haunches (that posture that seems to say, “You have hands? Big deal… betcha I’ll respond more positively to surprises than you and your hands”) in the lower left corner of the photo. If she were in front of you as you sat on your couch, her left foreleg would be pressing against your left shin.
Una is sitting on the globel-warming-green grass between me and my camera and her garden, in our backyard.
Her face is in profile, so there is the triangular black silhouette of her head and muzzle at the right top of the black rounded-triangle of her body. Her front legs are two sable uprights, twin fulcra to launch her into action should the need arise.
The upper half of the photo is a view of the garden. Nearest Una is the ‘A’ section of the garden where the celery still reach upward, desperate for salvation. Behind them are the stalks of corn that are still standing, the perfect symbol of New England autumn. They are collectively-angular and a lifeless light brown. They huddle together, clumps of the dying standing amid the flattened carpet of the dead that cover the formerly life-giving ground on either side. Very non-human, they are not malevolent as much as they are careless (devoid of the slightest sharing of feelings, the ultimate of unconcerned bystander). If God decided to kill all the angels in heaven, I believe the aftermath would look like this.
oh kay lets get back to Una!
Una, while sitting on the alert, has a cautious forward lean, that manages to convey a certain sadness at the scene behind her. Being a dog she does not regret the dying of the garden. Being a dog she accepts that the garden is now a different thing, a different place in her world.

I’m beginning to think that Summer is over. Not entirely because of the weather, which in the last week or two has been early-Septemberish in character. I’m beginning to think that Summer is over because it’s starting to get dark at, like, 3:00 pm (and we’re still on DST!). Given that our house is in the middle of a pine wood (photo below) which means our horizon is approximately 45 degrees up from ‘over there’, the sun sets early anyway. I suspect there is something more fundamental going on than mere temperature and light; the days are getting shorter. Doesn’t take a metaphysician to extrapolate that observation into something useful…to a clark. (lol)

‘The view from my writing place.’
This is a photo of squares and anti-squares. It is in landscape format. Filling the frame are two double-hung windows. Through and beyond the windows are pine trees.
The windows are comprised of four square panes of glass. We see that they are two windows because the dark wood that divides them on the vertical is twice as wide as the dark word that divides them on the horizontal. We recognize them as two windows because there are two white borders running from top-to-bottom on either side of these windows. These are white curtains. The innermost edge of the curtains show in silhouette like the decorative frosting around the top edge of a round cake.
In the lower left of the photo we see three-quarters of a square of my computer monitor. On the screen we can just make out the squares of the windows open on the display. It’s all about the squares with this here photo here.
It’s beyond the glass that we leave the land of squares and have to deal with anti-squares. The pine trees fill the scene from top to bottom, except for the far left, upper corner where white clouds against a blue sky shows due to the fact that the trees on that side of the scene, while just as tall, if not taller than the trees in the center and right, are farther away.
The telephone-pole trunks of the trees show as shy dark lines wherever the branches of green pine needles are not. Just when you think the branches are running on a horizontal, they bend upwards in tight clumps. Really kind of scottian trees. They grow very fast, they don’t go away in the winter, keeping green and rustlely in the middle of a damn blizzard and though they are taller than anything else around, they’re always having limbs break off. But even then, they don’t slow down, just keep growing.
lol…scottian trees.

Hey! Quick Grat Item… lets call it… Number 7 any scotts reading this should find a way to head south, even if only for a short visit. As a people, they are way prone to seasonal affective disorder. It doesn’t take much, just some extra sunlight to break the soul-crushing effects of approaching winter.

Ok… to get back to the topic, Josie Two Shoes works hard enough every week getting this train rolling, we shouldn’t make it more difficult by increasing the likelihood she’ll have to contend with messages, “I love the idea of sharing the parts of our lives that we feel grateful for and especially appreciate the orderly format asking for (up to) Ten Things of Thankful. Knowing that others feel the same goes a long way to making this a joyful exercise, not a chore at all. It’s a pleasure come and read the others… what is it with those Waynesville Doctrine people? Are they doing that on purpose or what? I mean, come on! How difficult is it to write ten numbers in sequence?

On with the show.

Una and Phyllis start this week’s post at Items 1) and 2). Una does not mind winter’s cold, but, if truth be told, she not a big fan of snow. Sure, she runs through it and has fun but, our Chodský pes* prefers dry to wet and once you come in the house, wet follows snow like

Combined (1 & 2 cont’d): Phyllis and Una on google. Type ‘chodsky pes’ into the google search, click on images and you can see a photo of: Una as a very young puppy on the couch or…. Phyllis and Una in bed. (photo below, in case you don’t want to scroll through excessive canine cuteness).

‘Not yet entirely comfortable with the paparazzi’

Items 3-5 the bloghops out there in the ‘sphere. They are a critical element not only in my enjoyment of this place, but in the development of writerly skills:

  1. Finish the Sentence Friday (with Kristi and them)  Hey! I just remembered, Kristi said I could do a FTSF with her on the 9th of November!  how cool would that be?
  2. Six Sentence Story (zoe and Joules)
  3. TToT (Josie Two Shoes)

These blogs are excellent illustrations of why (and how) the virtual world has cable TV beat, hands down.

6) the Wakefield Doctrine:  because with it, I can see more than one path and…and! with an understanding of its principles, I can know more about other person than they know themselves!*

8) Sunday Supplement  These Bounties for which we gratefully labor:

‘Mother’s Natures Vitamins and Swizzle sticks.’

9) ‘Open Mic Item’  Got a Grat, not yet comfortable doing a whole post but still feel good about this one thing (or person or place)? Send it in as a Comment and I’ll put it right here at Number 9

10) Secret Rule 1.3

 

(talk about your ‘Way Back Machine’!)

 

Click on the photo and join us at the ‘hop

* unless, of course, they’re also students of our little personality theory….

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TToT -the Wakefield Doctrine-

Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)

‘Una standing watch over the house and home’.
Landscape format.
Una is sitting in the picture window that looks out over the driveway and the neighbors backyard.
Nicely apportioned elements make up this photo.
All though the entire field of view is the picture window, Una dominates the right half of the scene. (The window continues behind her but of limited detail.)
Una is presenting her left profile and is looking towards something out of frame to the left. She is focused on whatever it is that has her attention. Her ears are up, two small black triangles that are titled slightly forward which brings our attention to her eyes more than it does to whatever it is she is looking at.
Una is almost entirely black. Fortunately for us, what is not black is both an intimately familiar hue and is associated with those parts that we all know are important. Above her eyes at the inside edge are two beige commas of light coloring. These spots draw our attention to her eye, her lower eye lid, not having fur, reflects the light coming in through the window. The pupils of her are a peanut brittle brown and there is the tiniest of glints of light above the very dark center of her eye.
From the sharp points of her ears, soft-curves take over the definition of Una’s profile. Curving down past her eyes is a straight edge of her snout (un-measurable variations in the black conveys the round curves of her nose down towards her upper lip) to the end of her nose. No surprise that the end of her nose, being free of external hair and fur is marked with a shiny reflection of the outdoor light. Entirely appropriate similarity to the markings of her eyes. Scent rivaling sight as her connection to the world around her.
On the reverse curve her mouth shows as slightly open. Enough to see pale red tongue between ivory white teeth.
Beyond the glass and dominating the entire left half of the photo is the view of the front yard of our house and the backyard of one of our neighbors. The land upon which our house sits (and Una guards) is mostly the land behind the houses that line the street. Our driveway is long and narrow and runs between two of our multiple neighbors. Picture a row of squares, their tops all aligned on the horizontal plane, they present a unified shape. Abutting each other is no problem because they are all square in shape and, in the simplest of terms, when your boundaries are connected by ninety degree angles and your next door neighbor’s boundaries are connected by ninety degree angles, there really is little to argue about.
Until, that is, someone pushes one of the square lots ten feet to the right and the adjoining property is pushed almost ten feet to the left, predictability takes a holiday. When you great a space between two equal squares you force their back boundaries to become more important than they needed to be, Think: upside down T

 

 

This week, on the TToT:  wild turkeys! (the kind with actual feathers, not the ones that convince you that you can catch one and have your very own, all natural Thanksgiving), getting dark way too early, Halloween, a Quinquennial Visit from Vinny the Junkman (and the corresponding archeo-cleaning of the basement), work and the quandary of caring too much, Una, Phyllis, finding a photo of a letter on a mountain side, car chases and much, much more!

(Continuing with the ‘theme’) Brought to you by Josie Two Shoes and the fine, fine, folks at the Ten Things of Thankful (made possible by the dogged determination of an English Gentlewoman who is, most assuredly, by all reckoning, no (direct) relation of CS Lewis.

On with the show!

1)  Una and Phyllis

2) We had a major clean-out of stuff. Interesting process given that Phyllis is a roger and I’m a clark. clarks are not known for seeing the preservation of the past in the form of mementoes, keepsakes, knitted rugs, household expense ledgers, and most text books from school days. rogers, being the force behind continuity and tradition will tend to see things as needing to be saved. clarks are less… concrete. We do have a sentimental streak but it is not usually on display (at least as far as we can tell) and it is not aggressively acquisitive. In any event, we have these clearing of the house (and garage and shed) events every few years and it is a manifestation of the consultative process as most couples experience it.

3) A few years ago I went to Salt Lake City for business. This is a photo from my room in the Grand America hotel. The reason for this being here is that I’m grateful I found the photo. The reason I’m grateful I found it was that when Kristi moved out to Utah recently, she posted a photo of a mountain side with a big letter ‘Y’ on it. My brain said to me, it said, ‘hey clark! that letter is different. what are those Utohians up to?’ Ya gotta open the photo and then zoom in on the upper left quarter where you’ll see a big, white, letter ‘U’

4) Driving on a semi-rural road on a pleasant-enough day:

5) Difficult Clients. Odd Grat Item, fer sure. But, the thing of it, most of the time when there is stress, I can trace the source back within myself to fear. Fear’s a funny thing. “ja ja” (as Friend of the Doctrine, ClairePeek might comment). Common fear is (usually) big and obvious and obnoxious, that kid in the 6th grade of the one in the 10th grade. And, thank god for the good intentions of those of us who populate the virtual world, there is no shortage of advice and strategy when it comes to contending with Fear (the bully). But he has a sister, who is quiet and charming and, (to some of us, irresistible), when first we meet. She’s all, ‘you are this’ and ‘you are that’ and ‘everyone doesn’t understand you the way that I do’. This lower case fear tends to shape our opinions and perceptions of the world and its people, (mostly, it’s people). Her brother Fear pretty much has laid claim to the objective world. Her’s is the voice that says, ‘if you do that, they won’t like you.’ and ‘suppose you’re wrong, can we just talk for a second how bad it might turn out?’ That is the fear causes me more trouble than the, “Hey! Look at how far up we are!!” The lower case, (and way more alluring), fear will touch my arm in a way both exciting and reassuring and say, “Now everyone will read the post, be careful, you don’t want to get to weird.

Thats why I claim ‘Difficult Clients’ as a Grat Item. They provide me with an opportunity to look within and see how I make decisions regarding the world around me. (aka ‘how I relate myself to the world around me’ which is a totally slick segue to the next Grat!

6) The Wakefield Doctrine (well, duh!)

7) Did I say there was a lot of wildlife in our area this year? (no, not that wild life… lol) This is a combined Grat Item. Work and interesting events and technology

8) Sunday Supplement Photo Insert!

‘Phyllis and Una walk up from the pond and pass the treehouse as they head towards the house.’

‘The rock rests on a perch. It’s separation from the earth an indulgence to the ephemeral life-forms that, with the conceit of conscious self-awareness, have raised it on a pedestal nearly as fleeting in permanence as they are; the rock does not wait, it endures.’

 

Phyllis and Una, nearly home, pass the mailboxes that have been drafted into bird feeder duty. They surely are not amused.’

9) This SPACE AVAILABLE (To any almost-ready-to-participate-but-still-would-rather-see-what-it-looks-like-to-put-thoughts-into-words-and-then-put-them-up-there-in-lights Reader. Send in your Grat Item as a Comment.)

10) Secret Rule 1.3

Click here!

This week’s music vid is an old cover of an older song. Given our demographic, the cover will be more familiar than the original. And, as sometimes happens, the cover is, imo, superior to the original (even allowing for musical tastes).

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TToT -the Wakefield Doctrine-

Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)

‘Whats a birthday celebration without photos thought lost in the past?’
Una at some age less than six months. The woman holding her for the photo is wearing the traditional national dress of the Czech Republic, i.e. red, down-filled quilted jacket. She is smiling in the background. Una is resting her chest and forelegs on the woman’s left hand, her paws showing light beige (Una’s, not the woman’s) in color, Una’s expression is one of less than total enjoyment.

 

Isn’t it funny how words and expressions can change meaning with time? I’m currently trying to write this on my phone and, for whatever reason, the expression popped into mind, ‘ (he is) all thumbs’. I kinda know why that thought occurred to me, as my texting skills are totally what we used to refer to as ‘hunt an peck’. In any event, I remembered that proper texting technique involves the use of both thumbs, hence the thought of ‘all thumbs’. The continuation of the thought that meanings change was inevitable. (then: ‘Why, the poor dear tries so hard but is all thumbs’; now: ‘yow, look at her text, girls all thumbs’). I trust that’s what the ‘young’ people might say. For some reason I’m not always included in their peer conversations.

Where was I? I know! I know! This is the TToT.

This is a bloghop. People write posts, (on their respective blog), and link them to the post the Josie sets up each and every week. This allows ‘one-stop’ reading and given the theme, gratitude (its appreciation, recognition and sharing) it makes for very enlightening reading.

Thanks as always to Josie Two Shoes for her dedication and hard work in making this ‘hop experience both simple and seamless.

‘Colorful stripes and curious dogs’
Phyllis giving Una her birthday presents. They are in a gift bag, (as opposed to individually wrapped, as Una had already eaten breakfast).
The bag in on the left edge of the center of the photo. It shows as a rectangle (on end) held at the top by two very red strings for a handle. The bag has horizontal stripes from top top bottom and looks like an astronomers spectrum analysis (provide the astronomer was 5 years old and just discovered Crayola Centuri).
Una is on her couch. And leaning forward to check out the bag with her primary senses, i.e. her nose is a quarter in from the bag (to explore the contents), her ears are up (in case it’s alive) and her eyes are totally on Phyllis. A happy and alert dog on her birthday.

“A young dog opening presents.’
Deciding which of the toys to pull our of the bag first.

‘Autumns birthday cake’
A photo of the side yard. The lower half (landscape perspective) is of the lawn, which for reasons related to shade, runs from a splotchy dark green on the left, fading to a worn-carpet beige as it leaves our view on the right.
The top half of the photo is of the pine woods. The nearest pine trees are showing with their branches shooting upwards at an angle to the trunk, like a stop-action fireworks display with green gun powder. There is a gap in the trees in the center that leads to Phyllis’ tree house.
The center of the photo is the birthday cake. There is circle of ferns about twenty feet across. The edges show darker than the center and add to the sense of a disc. The color ranges from green to a diluted mustard-yellow with some brown-trying-real-hard-to-look-red. The edge nearest has shadows and make you think of the upwards-curling-over of frosting around the top edge of a cake.

2) Una’s birthday today, she’s 7 (or maybe 49 or …56.) Nah, she’s seven years old because that’s how long she’s been a part of the family. The time from being born to showing up with her driver* I believe is about 6 months.

3) * ‘what’s this about having a driver?’  Glad you asked!

4) * This would be Una (actually, in this photo, she would be more properly address as ‘Balla’, her Czech name), more than likely at the airport in Frankfort Germany. She flew from the Czech Republic to Boston, (via Frankfort), She was driven to our house from Boston.

5) and since we’re on the subject of hypo-grata**..   abusive games that a certain element of society inflicts on the young and the clarks…. musical chairs!  totally awful game meant to amuse scotts, re-assure rogers and remind clarks that they’re Outsiders (like they need the reminder).

6) Hey, ho! New project in the woods and it involves…. moving earth from one place to another! Very excited about the coming week (or two, depending on weather). We’re constructing a new path in the woods that will allow Una and Phyllis to walk down to the pond from a different direction. My part is to create an earthen ramp to compensate for a point in the path where the land rises too quickly. More to follow.

7) ‘Home and Heart‘ I continue to write the story at a markedly variable rate of production. It is very much a learning experience.

8) the Gravity Challenge… the crew, Val and May and Joy and Kristi all be sending in photographic evidence of how big a crush the center of the earth has on each of us. Every single morning except for Sunday. Come on by. It’s fun and beneficial, if altering the number on your scale is an item of interest.

9) ‘This Space Available’ ***

10) Secret Rule 1.3

 

*** How cool is the attitude towards lists of Ten Items that Josie encourages? (Well, since you asked), if you’re out there and reading this, maybe a friend mentioned a bloghop where people write about their week and their lifes and offer some really positive insights and you’re thinking, ‘Sounds like fun and I’d love to participate but I only have one thing I can think of at the moment.’  Well, problem solved! Send in your Item of Thankful (by comment would be easiest) and I’ll set it right there at Number 9!)

‘This way to entrance! Step right up, don’t be shy! Fun and adventure await on the other side of this little virtual curtain.’

 

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