To my sister Jan's house to care for her cats while she is away on sabbatical, and while the de-leading company takes two weeks to replace the windows on the second and third floors. She has a baby grand she doesn't play, that is not too badly out of tune. E-mail, but no internet access.
Went to Lyman Orchards in the rain and bought peach and banana nut muffins
and the peanut butter cookies I like.
I am working on The Taoist I Ching while on retreat.
Hexagram 6 - Contention
To practice the principles of the Tao in the context of the events of the world, first erase wile and impetuosity at one stroke. Be inwardly
strong but not outwardly aggressive; then there may be danger in the
environment but there will be no danger in the heart.
Much rain, three out of four days so far. Am eating too many baked goods and buying books I don't need.
Moses started out as a gray and white blur but has decided today I'm ok since I feed him. Endora will sometimes stay on her chair in the
living room when I go in there and will sometimes come over to me, but
will run away after I pet her once or twice.
Hexagram 8 - Accord
Accord with the wrong people has no
benefit and is harmful.
Thought about getting the piano tuned, but it didn't seem worth the trouble for the time I would have left here after it was done, and no one else uses it. I had to pull it out from the wall to get enough room to sit down. The keyboard cover tends to fall down on your fingers so I propped it up.
Jan has free cell on her computer, but the red on her monitor doesn't work, and she was right when she said that makes it much harder.
Went to Miller's Pond state park which someone had told me about. It is a fair sized lake and there weren't very many people. A few were swimming and I swam across the narrow part, though it was just
about warm enough not to be uncomfortable. The path around the edge
involved climbing over a few rocks.
I went to the remainder and closeout book store that is only open fri, sat, and sun. I got there fairly early, and then it was closing time before I got through the whole store. I didn't know if I would find anything, but wound up not having enough money with me. Maybe I will go back on sunday. I found three children's books, one about flying frogs,
one about string figures like cats cradle, and one about the creatures in
an old growth forest.
Endora started out eating both her food and Moses's after I put it down. Now Moses is waiting for it and chases Endora away from her food before she's done. Jan doesn't leave dry food out all the time because Moses would eat too much. She said to give them a little more dry food if they
seemed hungry so I put some in their bowls. They don't eat it right
away, so I guess neither one is starving.
Hexagram 11 - Tranquility
If one remains upright in difficulty,
forstalling danger, wary of perils, only then can one be free from the
fault of losing what has been gained.
I haven't been looking at newspapers, or the internet or television, so I
have no idea what the media thinks has been going on, expect that it is
more of the same. I stayed awake until ten this morning finishing one of my new books, The Sai Prophecy, about a family that interacts with two incarnations of an
indian holy man. I don't remember doing that before,
and it had been taking me at least a week or two to finish books lately.
I've been doing my tai chi on the deck in back when it is not raining. Yesterday the day care kids from the church next door came by when I was
almost done and I must have repeated a couple movements, since I ended up
facing the wrong direction.
I went back to the book store and got a condensed version of the Wizard of Oz that has great pictures by Charles Santore. Also some other books,
including one on semantics, one on different kinds of insect, and The Vegan Epicure, which has a very good index. Everything looked interesting.
Valerie says the window company lost the order and has not made the
windows. So the work is not starting this week and we have no idea yet
when it will start. Ken is trying to get the contractor to get in-stock
windows and do the third floor this month anyway, but they have returned
his calls yet.
Working on a recipe Jan might like. I remembered some chicken and spinach fettuccine with tomato sauce I used to make, substituted shrimp for the chicken, replaced the
tomato with elements from shrimp scampi, Valerie's pad thai, my pasta and
vegetables, and what seemed appropriate.
12-15 small frozen cooked shrimp
4 oz spinach fettuccine
2 tsp water chestnuts
2 tsp margarine
1 tsp soy
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp chives
Cut the zucchini and mushrooms in large pieces
Rinse the shrimp with cold water until defrosted, leave them in the colander
Break the fettuccine in half, boil for seven minutes
Add the vegetables, boil for three more minutes
Pour out over the shrimp, return everything to pan
Add everything else, stir, cover, let sit for four minutes
Serves one or two.
Valerie says Straightline Deleading just called. The third floor windows are non-stock
as well so we can't have them done in September and the work is now
scheduled to begin October 9.
When Endora is looking back over her shoulder at me through the opening
of the door at the top of the cellar stairs, all I can see is a pair of
green eyes and a black tail.
It is too dangerous to walk on the narrow twisting streets here. There is much traffic and people drive very fast. The trail in Wallingford that has the map showing it going from one end of the town to the other, with proposals to link to other trails at either end, turns out to so far just go for a mile next to the highway. There is a side trail that goes over to the Quinnipiac river.
Nice weather today, but a lot of wind yesterday. I had to sweep a lot more leaves than usual off the deck before I could do my tai chi. Janice needs a bigger broom, with a longer handle. In The Sai Prophecy one character noted the bent backs of two women in India
because the handles of the brooms they had been sweeping with all their
lives were too short.
The cats still insist they are not getting enough to eat, but when I give them more dry food Endora just walks away. Moses will eat it, even
though he is sure I have made a mistake.
I managed to find Books and Co. in Hamden today, but only one book to buy, Beyond the Light, about near death experiences. The shop seemed directed toward women, but they were polite, except for asking just the men who came in they could help them. Two comic shops in Meridan were sold out of the issue I wanted, and the third place on my list seemed to
actually be a factory where they were assembling electronic components.
So I back tracked to New Haven and found it.
Hexagram 20 - Observing
If one can be truthful inwardly, then acquired
influences will naturally disappear.
I found where the Mattabasset trail reenters the woods on the south side of route 68. It is not where the maps says. There are no signs where the trails cross the road, just some blue paint on telephone poles. There is a place to park. I will be able to hike south to the lake
behind the firing range. I also found where the trail crosses route 17
south of the lake, but there is no place to park.
The cats no longer seem to be afraid of me, except Endora has mixed feelings about being patted. Now how do I get them to stop racing into
the kitchen and sitting by their food bowls every time I go in there?
Hexagram 29 - Mastering Pitfalls
Though near to reality by nature, people become estranged from it by
habit - descending lower and lower by daily repetition of habit, they fall into a state of ignorant obstinacy and do not know how to stop. However, if one practices evil one becomes evil; if one practices good one becomes good - it is simply a matter of how people habitually act. Practice of evil is a way into danger, practice of good is a way out of danger. Getting out danger requires that one believe it is dangerous - belief rules the mind. If one can believe in danger, then one will not be seduced by external things. Practicing good, one can then be good; as
it is said, once you reform, it is the same as if you were originally
Found a Home Depot and bought a bigger broom with a longer handle for
Bought another vegan cookbook. Barnes and Noble
had three, but one used curry powder for all their curries and another said
real vegans ate their food raw. So I got The Accidental Vegan, which looks good.
Halfway through my stay, I thought it was time to take out the garbage. From the dumpster in the parking lot on the other side of the church
there was a view of cloud, sky, ridge, and a red maple across the street.
Judy just wrote that Squeak, the gray tabby was got last spring, was hit
by a car and killed.
Went up to Middletown. The health food store moved, Bob's has gone from funky to glitzy, the book store looks smaller but maybe that's
me, the Thai restaurant and toy store are still there, both Bradley's are
gone, and Sears left before I did. Time is a dimension.
Hexagram 33 - Withdrawal
But withdrawal as a path does not mean avoiding yin, nor does it mean sitting there watching the way things turn out; it means using yin to complete yang. The small being beneficial and correct
is when the yin energy has not gotten to the point of injuring the yang
I explain to the cats I have already given them more than Jan said, but they just sit by their food bowls and stare at me.
Jan has some wind chimes by the back door that sound nice. The wooden piece that hangs down and catches the wind is missing, so they need a pretty good breeze. More noticeable is the traffic that stops by the
light near the end of her driveway, especially the motorcycles and loud
music. Also quite a few big trucks.
I finally walked around downtown New Haven today. I hadn't been there in eight or ten years. The mall they had built at the corner of the common is pretty much dead, and the Strawberries CD store that was across the street is gone. It seems the white people who work downtown won't mix with the black people who live there. And nearly all the white suburbanites are afraid to go into the city. There wouldn't be much left without Yale. The only cities that work in New England have college
students. New London only survives because the sailors from the navy
base go to the bars, but you can't say it is successful.
Hexagram 17 - People in the Home
The human body is like a home; the
human vitality, spirit, soul, psyche, and intent are like people in a
home. Being firm in refining the self is like gaurding the home.
I finally hiked the Mattabasset trail through the woods today. It took a little over an hour to get to the top of the mountain, and I was able to take a few pictures before my batteries died. It was noisy, with the gravel company loading hopper cars on the north end of the ridge and the rifle range across the reservoir on the west side. There were a couple very steep places, a stream, and some tiny frogs. Also a few differient mushrooms
and lots of acorns. A track for some sort of all terrain vehicle
formed part of the trail.
I have been listening to Pleiades Dances, piano music by Yoshimatsu, a composer who does not like modern music. To me it sounds tinkley, but I
don't know what that means. Inspired by Bach, as many sets of preludes
or sets of other forms have been.
Many of the smaller stores here are closed sun and mon. I will have to wait till tue to go back and look in the used book store in Saybrook that
I discovered is still there, and to find out what yam salad is like at
the deli a little farther down the street.
There is a greek salad in The Accidental Vegan that has cucumber and
carrots and artichoke hearts but no onions and of course no feta.
When I pick up the double food bowl to fill it, Endora dances around and
bats at the cord of the wall phone that is hanging down.
Jan has the picture that used to hang in my and Larry's room over her
fireplace, with the blue road that I always thought was a river. I used to think that people who came out of the house on the river would have to walk sideways along the narrow strip of grass in front to keep from getting their feet wet.
Hexagram 45 - Gathering
But the way to make a great sacrifice and bring about good fortune cannot be accomplished simply by a moment of emptiness; it is necessary to tread the ground of reality step after step
before one can achieve it. If you know but do not act on it, it is the
same as not knowing - how can you then attain good fortune?
Hexagram 49 - Revolution
Regret comes from insincerity in reforming the self; if one is sincere in reforming oneself, while strong one can be
yielding, and can transmute the temperament and not be constrained by yin
The woman who cleaned the house yesterday, and the man who took out the
air conditioner the day before, both talked about a storm. I haven't seen
much of one, except for some rain.
Hexagram 53 - Gradual Progress
When the real returns and the false dissipates, the polar energies of true yen and yang join to form the
elixir. Then for the first time one knows one's destiny doesn't depend
Bought gas and did laundry today. Not much to pack. I managed to practice Hanon exercises through number five every day, and a Bach invention most days, or the first gymnopedie. The piano seems to have gotten more out of tune, and G below middle C sticks sometimes.
No Jan today. I was thinking she might not make it, since her plane lands in Boston and her car is in Vermont.