I’m Baaaaaack!

Concerned as we were about our flight north yesterday — those 90% snowflakes in the weather icon for Denmark, Maine, were worrisome to us — we arrived without a hitch about 2:30pm in Portland and found the weather not so bad after all. The sudden shock of cold air was even a bit invigorating. But it was lovely warm down there in Ranchos Davies, about twenty miles from Fort Lauderdale, in upscale horse country. We even stayed on Thoroughbred Lane. Laurie and Roberto “Faibi” Tuchman have a large home, guest house where we stayed, and a large barn plus paddocks for the six horses (two belong to them) they currently board. I snapped a lot of horse pictures plus a number of others, 78 in all (see MY FLICKR in my right sidebar). We visited a couple museums, the Viscaya in Miami and the Flamingo Park nearby. I loved those bright orange flamingos standing, perhaps asleep, on one leg.

I managed to get some reading in: over half of Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Then I completely re-read The Private Life of the Brain: Emotions, Consciousness, and the Secret of the Self by Susan Greenfield because Faibi Tuchman is a noted neurologist and I figured I might have a chance to ask him some questions about the brain. Sure enough, I did, and he gave me two books to read: On Deep History and the Brain by D. L. Smail, and In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind by Eric Kandel. I’ve started reading the latter, a fascinating part memoir, part history of brain science, and I’m up to chapter 9 out of the 30 chapters in the book. As a would-be philosopher of mind 😆 the least I can do is try to understand what scientists know about the brain before I philosophize about it? :roll: 😆

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  1. GeologyJoe’s avatar

    Glad you had a good trip.
    After reading SleepyLaKates blog it sounds like you got managed to get out of some serious snow shoveling.

  2. Mardé’s avatar

    Hey, that’s right, Joe! I did get out of some serious snow (and ice) removal. I think we timed that trip pretty well in terms of snow and ice avoidance.

    But today I freed up our back door on our lower floor where I take our generator out in case of power loss. (Good thing we didn’t lose power when we were gone.) Then I went snow shoeing almost like a squirrel around our property on top of the snow…. well, not quite as fast as a squirrel.

  3. Brian Donohue’s avatar

    Welcome back, and in your honor I’ve quoted from Thoreau’s The Maine Woods for today’s Transcendental Daily.

  4. Mardé’s avatar

    Hey, thanks for your comment, Brian. I had already read your post Save a Kitten Today earlier today and noted that good quote from Thoreau but just now I checked out your The Maine Woods link. That is great! It’s all there online, Thoreau’s descriptions of his Maine woods trips over an eleven year period. Thanks for reminding me of that! BTW: For what you have to believe to be a Republican today, everybody, be sure to check Brian’s Save a Kitten Today!

  5. nash’s avatar

    Nice to know you guys had fun in Florida and made it home ok…Now gear up for more snow…Cheers!!

  6. barbara’s avatar

    Hi Mard,
    Welcome home !
    It sounds like you and your wife had a nice break. Good for you !
    It’s good to get recharged with some sunshine.

    Have a nice day 😉

  7. Mardé’s avatar

    Thanks, Nash! Yup, we made it home OK, although we were wondering for a while. But we have you to thank for saving our porch from disaster!!! That’s great that you got that 3000 tons of snow off the porch. Not only that, you fixed the snow thrower. If you hadn’t fixed the snow thrower by putting those new screw pins in many weeks ago, we’d be in deep doo-doo now, let alone deep snow! Nash, you are a savior! Thanks, son!

    Barbara, thanks for your welcome home. Yes, it was a nice break and that sunshine and warmth was really great. We did get recharged, and it’s great to be home again. You have a nice day too.

  8. nash’s avatar

    The news was saying that last week the accumulated snow weighed 64lbs per square foot before the rain on Wednesday. The deck is about 130 square feet? The snow we shovled actually weigh about 8320lbs!

  9. Mardé’s avatar

    Good calculation, Nash. That’s a lot of pounds, more than four tons, right? Wow! It’s a wonder the porch didn’t collapse. Thanks again for shoveling it off.

  10. Aileni Noyle’s avatar

    Good to see back in excellent form. Nice to beat the shovelling but how many pounds did you put on?
    You didn’t get to Dawkins – I am sure you got more out of the reading you did do.

  11. Mardé’s avatar

    Hey, thanks Aileni. I haven’t dared to weigh myself. 😕 I got introduced to a fish I’ve never eaten, the Florida Pompano. It tastes even better than salmon which I love. That’s right, I didn’t get to Dawkins. I cracked the book open, then put it down. As I say, I hoped to be able to speak to our neurologist host, and when I did he gave me two more brain books to read. I’m up to chapter 15 now on Kandel’s book. Very interesting.

  12. Dragonstar’s avatar

    Hey, welcome back! You’ve been missed! I really enjoyed that video Kate posted – nice of her to ask you after the event 😀

  13. Mardé’s avatar

    Hey, thanks Dragonstar! Yes, I was shocked to suddenly see myself sitting there ready to be clicked via YouTube. Kate likes to make movies, even when the subject is weirdo!

  14. Annette’s avatar

    Hi!
    Glad to have you back. So you have discovered Jon K-Zimm.. I was fortunate to have taken a seminar with him several years ago. You might be interested in “Coming to Our Senses”..healing ourselves and the world through mindfulness.

    This has been an interim year at KUUC and we have been using his book to help us stay on track with “mindfulness”. Our new minister arrives in June and the Board plans to continue with the semi monthly meetings to help bring this practice to the rest of our community. I am easily distracted, so I need all the help I can get.
    Annette

  15. Brian Donohue’s avatar

    I second the motion of Annette — any JKZ is worth reading. That includes “Full Catastrophe Living”; “Wherever You Go, There You Are”; and “Coming To Our Senses”. In CTOS, he even writes about politics (excerpt here — it was published two years into the Iraq war).

    Best thing about JKZ is that he won’t attempt to sell you on Buddhism or any spiritual path at all, in fact. His message is worth hearing in this campaign where there’s so much talk of transformation. Transformation is not supposed to be mysterious or spiritual — it’s simply living and working as you’d like the world to become (Gandhi said that, though with considerably more eloquence).

  16. Mardé’s avatar

    Thanks very much for your comments, Annette, and Brian.

    That’s interesting you’re using JKZ’s “Coming to Our Senses” with your new minister to stay on track with “mindfulness”, Annette. As I say, I’ve gotten over half way through “Wherever You Go, There You Are”. I’ve been working on breath awareness but probably not enough.

    I checked your link to the excerpt in CTOS, Brian. Yes, as he says, the objective is to achieve “an understanding of the gap between appearances and how things actually are”. This must require work because we have an overload of information coming at us from all corners, and it’s hard to sort out what’s real from what’s false or fake. Your blog does a great job of doing this sorting.

  17. Fimo’s avatar

    great one.i always wanted to go north someday.

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