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Sherpa's Wonderin's

Updated: 2017-11-07T01:59:58.884-05:00


Life....and Death


Unfortunately, my life has been touched by several loved ones who have taken their life recently.  Its one of the things that goes with coming from a state with a high suicide rate and well...just living in this cruel world.  A few weeks ago, a friend I grew up with took his own life.  This morning, an old favorite single, Rhett Miller's song, "The Believer, (For Elliott Smith) popped into my head."  Elliot Smith was another favorite singer who took his own life. Rhett's tribute to his friend is poignant, if you listen closely.

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On Kent Haruf


Kent Haruf February 24, 1943 – November 30, 2014
One of my favorite living authors is unfortunately, now one of my favorite deceased authors. Kent Haruf, was quietly mesmerizing in each of his five published novels (I can't wait to read the sixth which will be published this Spring.) Haruf's books take place in fictional (but based on his decades of living in Eastern Colorado) Holt County. Haruf has the same quality of many of our greatest writers of taking characters and turning them into complex beings.

The following article published by Granta this fall is a beautifully written article by Kent Haruf.  If you get a chance, please read this too.

Haruf's Novels were:
The Tie That Binds (1984)
Where You Once Belonged (1990)
Plainsong (1999)
Eventide (2004)
Benediction (2013)
Our Souls at Night (to be published in 2015) 

YouTube Video of the Day: Elvis singing "How Great thou art" and Elvis's father at the end.


For this Sunday morning I leave you "How Great thou Art" by Elvis.  This video was released shortly after his death and is worth watching....Elvis's father's appreciation for the fans at the end is touching.

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Quote of the Day: Brady Udall


"Whether we like it or not, polygamy is not only a part of our past, it’s part of our present, our scripture and theology, which both suggest it will be part of our future. If we are to respect our heritage and be honest about who we are as a people, we must acknowledge polygamy’s place in our church and culture. And when we see a polygamist family among us, we must remember we are looking in the mirror; we are looking at ourselves."
 Brady Udall. Found here:  
Brady is the author of "The Lonely Polygamist," one of my favorite books I've read in the past five years.    

Quote of the Day


"To recognize our bias toward error should teach us modesty and reflection, and to forgive it should help us avoid the inhumanity of thinking we ourselves are not as fallible as though who, in any instance, seem most at fault. Science can give us knowledge, but it cannot give us wisdom. Nor can religion, until it puts aside nonsense and distraction and becomes itself again." Marilynne Robinson from "When I was a Child I read Books."

Another Gem from StoryCorps


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What an amazing big brother.

Oh, Hello


Instead of cleaning and organizing, I thought I'd procrastinate by writing for a few minutes on my blog.  Since the advent of Facebook and Instagram, my blog has suffered but there's something about the blog that leads me to think its not an obsolete social medium, although its not as immediately gratifying as Facebook, Instagram, or even Twitter.  Blogging is, and can be an online Journal, diary, essay, etc. Blogging can be whatever you want to be but some how feels more intimate than Facebook even though anyone can read my blog or comment on it (I'm looking at you, Russian spammers).  Anyone can and should be a "writer," because there's something liberating about creating, even if its just a little dribble about blogging.  Anyway, I guess I should write a little bit about the past three months, but maybe tomorrow.......

Seeing is Believing


Ah, so, the last couple months have been eventful.  I moved to my own apartment, had surgery, and...will hopefully pick up my first pair of reading glasses.  Now, looking back, I should have probably g seen the optometrist at least a year ago and the result would be...but I'm a little stubborn and oblivious to the fact that squinting, eye-strain headaches, and moving labels in several different directions to read the text means....that I need glasses.  Mostly though, I was in denial about the fact that I finally need glasses as I was hoping to reach the age of 45 when both of my parents needed glasses.  Yeah, setting goals are good....but calling off the goal is sometimes worth it too. Especially in this case.  So, last week when I was sitting on my couch after surgery (I'm healing nicely) and brainstorming about how I will need to buy books with larger text from here on dawned on me that eye appointment that my mom has been bugging me about for about 5 years....should probably be made in the the next week.

Garlic Clam Sauce Recipe


My friend's father has tried several diets over the years and she claims the best thing that has come out of those diets is this clam sauce.  I'd have to agree that this dish is incredible tasting and quick to make.  

Garlic and Clam Sauce:
2 T fine olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 t. dried thyme leaves
2 T chopped fresh parsley
Dash cayenne
2 6-7 ounce cans chopped (or minced) clams
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Saute onion, green peppers, and garlic in olive oil until translucent (add a little water and cover if necessary during this process). Add mushrooms and continue heating in the covered saucepan for about 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, including all the liquid in clams, heat until hot in covered saucepan.
Makes 4 piddly little dieter's servings or 2 decent servings.

Serve with spaghetti or linguini. Top with grated parmesan cheese.

Quote of the Day: Penelope Lively


"We open our mouths and out flow words whose ancestries we do not even know. We are walking lexicons. In a single sentence of idle chatter we preserve Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Norse: we carry a museum inside our heads, each day we commemorate peoples of whom we have never heard."  Penelope Lively

Penelope Lively

Quote of the Day


"The law has nothing to do with justice, and injustice can't be left unchallenged. So I decided to be a writer. Writing can't change the world overnight, but writing may have an enormous effect over time, over the long haul." Leslie Marmon Silko

Leslie Marmon Silko

Quote of the Day: Stretch yourself...


"Reach as high as you can, and then reach a little higher.  There you will find magic and possibility.  And maybe even cookies."  

Quote of the Day: Perspective


"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart." --Steve Jobs

Turned this quote into a "Recite" Image...because why not?

Steve Jobs

Quote of the Day: Colum McCann


"I think a good novel can be a doorstop to despair. I also think the real bravery comes with those who prepared to go through that door and look at the world in all its grime and torment, and still find something of value, no matter how small."

Colum McCann



This week, my parents were watching the Olympics together. Johnny Weir was on tv and my dad asked my mom, "Is he a little gay?"  My mom replied not missing a beat, "Yes, Johnny Weir is a little gay."
Love Johnny Weir, and love my dad.
Johnny Weir

Great piece in the New York Times about Johnny Weir's NBC Olympic figure skating team and why they may be better than Scott Hamilton's NBC Olympic figure skating team.  I don't know about you, but I'd love to hear a different group of individuals announce the next Olympics.  

Quote of the Day: Dangerous Creativity


“…creativity is dangerous. We cannot open ourselves to new insight without endangering the security of our prior assumptions. We cannot propose new ideas without risking disapproval and rejection. Creative achievement is the boldest initiative of mind, an adventure that takes its hero simultaneously to the rim of knowledge and the limits of propriety. Its pleasure is not the comfort of a safe harbor, but the thrill of the reaching sail.” -Robert Grudin in The Grace of Great Things *
Thanks Janette!

*The first quote by Lenin in this article is not a complete quote, but rather, someone condensed it, therefore the quote is incomplete.  

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men*


Thanks to Garrison Keillor's, "The Writers Almanac," I learned that one of my treasured books (read it when I was 12 on a drive from Moab to Vernal in the shell of our pickup truck, finished it, and then immediately read it again), "Of Mice and Men," was published on this day in 1937. Steinbeck's puppy, Toby, chewed up half the manuscript.  Check out Steinbeck's reaction to his pup making confetti of his manuscript.

Word of the Day: Acquiescence


Song of the Day: Arrested Rose


This morning I woke up with a song from the Gypsy Soundtrack in my head, or more specifically, Buster Bluth Buster Bluth dancing to (Ethel Merman's version if I remember right) "Rose's Turn" from Gypsy.  I've always been a fan of Gypsy since I was a kid, and the selection of this song for the character of Buster was brilliant.  Anyway, I can't find the (hilarious--and poignant) dance Buster does to the song, but here's Ethel singing "Rose's Turn" from Broadway.

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A Brief History of True Roundy Feild


True and Verna Roundy.  Sisters.  

Yesterday was my mother's birthday.  I only got to chat with her briefly and then left my phone at work (oh, well), but I was thinking of my mother and my mom's mom.  I noticed that Trudy Anne, my cousin, posted the second biography of our grandmother True.  I read through this biography which I'm not sure I've read before (but nothing in the biography really surprised me.)  Yes, my grandmother loved to wander (sometimes in a book (even though she didn't approve of fiction), sometimes on the road, loved her baby sister, and family, and loved the ranch. If Grandma didn't have the "risk" gene, I would be very surprised. We have a picture of her in her late 50's or 60's riding a motorcycle...and we always joked about grandma speeding. Yes, she loved animals in her own way. Yes, she had a really hard time after Keith, my grandpa died.
Yes, the hardest thing about her getting old for me was we never laughed together anymore.  We were always giggling about something, and she stopped giggling her last couple of years. I missed laughing about something whether it be spilled milk, or someone saying something clever.
My grandma was a rock to a lot of people, and pretty much everyone who ever met and spoke with her, thought that True was their best friend.  The past couple of years since my grandma has died has been hard on my mom and the rest of the family (immediate and extended) but my mom is hanging in there...and hopefully will get to speak to my mom today.  Yay! And get a card out to my Aunt Hannah (Trudy's mother), whose birthday is today,  in the mail too.

Random Musings: Pneumatic Lungs (NOT MINE!!)


So, let's say you get home, notice your best friend aka roommate's car in the driveway and realize she didn't go to work.  You come into the apartment.  She tells you that she has pneumonia.  You Do a few chores, ask her for what she needs, and she keeps telling you that she's fine and has it under control.  She also tells you that her dad who was diagnosed with pneumonia last week is back to work.  She then says she has this under control even though her mother is worried about her and wants to come to DC and take of her.  Yeah, I'm pretty sure that no one is "fine" when they have pneumonia.  No. One.  But she sure made me chuckle.  Darn, stubborn, best friend.  I may still love her, but she's a stubborn one.

Quote of the Day: (Lake) Wobegon Faith


I was listening to  Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion podcast (that's the way I roll) this morning when Keillor ended the broadcast from Lake Wobegon stating, "Martin Luther once said, ~Your laughter is the measure of your faith.~"
I like that a lot.  I recently read an article from Malcolm Gladwell about how he rediscovered faith. The article resonated with me.  As someone with Mennonite roots several generations back,  I find the Mennonite's concept of faith and love fascinating, even if I'm a lazy scholar in regards to the Anabaptists.  

"True" Friendship


My cousin Trudy blogged about my grandmother True (yes, the names aren't a coincidence) yesterday.  Grandma or (Gra-ma) had a dear friend from Randolph, Utah, that she met up at Utah State.  Her friend, Kathleen, married after her freshman year, but Grandma and Kathleen stayed the best of friends.  I remember visiting Kathleen a few times and being "ordered" to stop by Kathleen's when I lived in Randolph one summer.   Kathleen and Grandma stayed friends for 70+years and died within three weeks of each other.  My mom and dad went to Kathleen's funeral and my mom reported how happy Kathleen's family were to see my parents.  Here's a link to Trudy's web-site.

And yes, my grandmother's French Bread?  Best. French. Bread. Ever. (really).

Song of the Day: Merry Go Round Kacey Musgraves


Although I grew up listening to country (and western) music and am a fan of much of Country Music's "old-guard," I stopped listening to Country Music when I was 14 (early nineties) for the most part.  Oh, I still heard a lot of country music around, but I pretty much gave up the genre. The quality of country music on the radio about that time went down a lot (and ironically the quality of rock went up about that time) and I just wasn't interested any more in country music on the radio.  That being said, I still follow the genre somewhat.  Several of my favorite song-writers have been covered by mainstream country artists (Bob Dylan, Patty Griffin, Ryan Adams),  in the past 10 years and quite a few of the artists I listen to would be considered "alt-country."  I'd go see Dolly Parton perform in a heart-beat and I listened to several George Jones singles non-stop the week after he died last year.  So, anyway, last year I started seeing more and more articles in the newspapers and magazines (NPR, New Yorker etc.)  about the women in country music so I clicked on the single below and wow......this artist pretty much summed up settling in a small town perfectly.  The lyrics, the melody, the word-play....if you get a chance, just listen!

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Song of the Day: Top of the World


I woke up with an "oldie" ('96) from Patty Griffin in my head, and since I couldn't get the CD player in my car to work this morning so I could hear the album "Top of the World" was originally supposed to be released on, I thought I'd post this song on here.  Wow, that was a run-on sentence.  Anyway, enjoy a gem from Ms. Griffin.

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