Wednesday, September 28, 2011

a Work in Progress

Somewhere between Gratitude and Acceptance do I find a semblance of sanity and serenity in my daily life. If I don’t have Gratitude, I’m hurting. It is that simple for me. It is so easy to forget when I am struggling to force my will in a situation. Somehow I find myself trying to change the things I can’t accept, as if this time it will be different. Surrender does not come easy. I am a “Yes but” person. I am always trying to find an angle or a way to assert my will. The irony is that sometimes I get away with shit and I am left with the idea that I have power. Lack of power was the dilemma. Just when I think I am on easy street, my Higher Power pulls the rug out from underneath me and I am flat on my butt again. Acceptance is the only tool that gets me through during those times, because nothing else will suffice.

The Spirit Rock shown above is a work in Progress, like myself.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Summer’s end

A friend and fellow seeker, Fred Pothoff died over a week ago. We had his memorial service yesterday at the Catholic Church in St. Helena. Fred was a great guy. He came to visit me on more than one occasion when I was still working at the CIA. He clued me in on several aspects about Greystone that really brought the building to life for me. He and his work crew were instrumental in the remodeling construction that took place between 1995 and 2001. When you walk in to the building and look up, you will be struck by the beauty that brings the light from the third floor down to the first. Their would be no Atrium if his crew hadn't cut away the floors and ceilings that enclosed the former Christian Brothers Sparkling wine and brandy cellars. Fred’s crew also secured and sealed the caves that went way back into the hillside behind the Culinary Institute of America.  Many suspect that the Chinese laborers that originally built Greystone had a network of tunnels that extended beyond the property. To date, no one has really determined how far back they go. Historical record says 300 feet. A series of pylons were driven into the hillside during the retrofit that anchored the building from the back. Fred also explained how epoxy was injected into the cement floors throughout the Barrell room to solidify them. Otherwise, they would surely crumble in an earthquake.After our visit, Fred gave me a “Christian Brothers Greystone” sweatshirt that had been given to him by Brother Timothy who was the cellar master. It is a collector’s item that I will keep until the day I leave this world.

R.I.P Fred Pothoff.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Eating Weird

The picture you see below is of some pretty healthy stuff. Cale, Tomatoes, Garlic and the like. This is not my regular diet, but it is a direction I am heading. I eat weird, but healthy. Lately, Quinoa is my staple. I cook it like rice and add stuff to it after I take it off the stove. I add cranberries, dates, chopped carrots, celery and a large dollop of tahini for good measure. I may even add a few crushed almonds to boot. What do you think? Is this normal ? This morning I took a rice cake and slathered it with Sunflower seed butter, bee pollen, Organic blackstrap molasses, cayenne, ginger and cinnamon. Oh yum ! Actually, I have no set diet, but I can tell you that I eat weird. My favorite is something I concocted that I call a “Chipoltelini” which consists of melted sharp cheddar on a rice cake, a layer of tahini and Chipolte sauce from Trader Joe’s, then topped with a slice of heirloom tomato. Don’t knock it until you have tried it ! Anyway, I would be curious to know about your favorite weird snack that you are reluctant to let anyone know.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Labor Day Fun

I went for a nice hike with my pal, Dave and his girlfriend, Kathy. We started at 9:30 AM and got back around 1 PM. It was a gorgeous day ( not too hot, not too cool ). The creek had water running and the view from Coyote Peak was awesome. We thought we heard a mountain lion growling and it turned out to be a crying kid who was about 50 yards back. The picture above is of me inside this stump that was hollowed out a long time ago. I thought that it was the perfect photo op. I Hope that your Labor day was fun for you too.

Friday, September 02, 2011

New Poster

This poster contains rocks that I have painted, photographed, scanned and have modified in Photoshop. I inverted some of the images for that ghosting effect. I only imported one image with the glow-in-the-dark effect to illustrate that particular feature.
Right now the entire image is around 8X10", but I plan to output it to poster size 18 X 24 ".