A Lama Up Blodgett Canyon & The First Frost.

I took some photos yesterday of chipmunks and a monk and dear friend. Enjoy. 



It’s funny how the biting cold drives realizations into you better than anything…except a holy man. And if you combine the two, you’re in for a harsh reality when coming to terms with the work you need to do in your own head. 

Winter has come, and with it too comes fogged windows, lonely days, intermittent bouts of shivering, snowy walks, and more waiting…waiting for the sun to come out. Waiting for loved ones to come home. Waiting for things we want, but can’t have yet. It’s a starkly beautiful and challenging time–time for internal growth. 

Sometimes the morning, for me, are difficult. And not because of the time, but rather because of the decisions to make. It used to be easy to go out and decide to do something all day…to go walk around for hours in the hills and take pictures or go to yoga and study or run for miles or find some hot springs by myself. More and more, the days go by and I find myself with the feeling people have when they can’t explain something properly or they struggle to get a tightly-closed jar open. I have trouble writing and I haven’t picked up a paintbrush in awhile. 

I think this is how the plants feel when the first freeze comes. 

This particular morning, I find myself alone with a blank slate in front of me, and a bowl of warm oats and coffee that I’ll peck at, sun barely peeking through the window. I heard some geese above the house; like me, they get hungry for adventure and movement. I’m replete with a lot of feelings this morning, but mostly I just feel tired and lonely. Again, this is exactly how plants feel when the first frost comes. 

Which is just fine sometimes. 


Burns Street Bistro.


I’ve been trying to wake up

Before the sun every morning

To greet it with open eyes

And moving feet

And a crushed, surrendering heart.  


I’ve been trying to write silent songs

To describe the possibilities

Of where to go, what to see…

What to make with my words and my love–

What mountain to put it all on top of.


I weave and braid the emptiness of

The sky that lacks a moon

But is filled rather with stunning

And inexplicable completeness– 

Richness more velvety than a deep kiss or whisper.


And it all steamy-like floats up

Out of my coffee and into the stars

The hand I felt yesterday is clay or dust

And this spectrum of colors—of glazed emotion—

Is infinite in you and in me and in all that simply




Last night in the middle

Of the rounded night

That’s always rolling

Like the moon that bounced down the hill

…the one that you and I can both see from our windows. 


I dreamt of your dream

And in it I saw outlines and headlines

Of black and white not shapes

but rather people

dancing wandering chanting


Holding hands hungry

 And searching through the dirt

Ravenously for food

Not for their bellies but for their

Meandering musing minds.


And in waxing and waning

They move like 

Snakes through the sand

Sand running through their hands

Holding onto and careening off of

not what is but rather what was–

undulating with the turning

Of this almighty world that simply









The Winner! Ding Ding Ding!

We have a winner! 

But first, I wanted to share the entries with you. Here they are! 

1. From my beloved father, a delightful recipe for “goose”: 

Fall Roasted Goose.

Kill a goose, clean it and wash it.
Prepare a huge pan with a lid by removing it from the garage, pressure washing it, and greasing it on the bottom and the sides.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (or whatever).
Prepare stuffing.
Stuff the goose.
Rub oil all over the goose (preferably Olive oil).
Sprinkle your favorite spices all over the goose.
Put it on a wooden roof shingle, in the huge pan with lid.
Cook it til the cows come home.
Remove from oven.
Remove goose from pan, make sure you keep the goose on the shingle.
Remove the stuffing.
Throw the goose in the garbage can.
Throw the stuffing in the garbage can.
Put the shingle back on the roof where you got it from.

From Dr. Daddy Lyons


2. A picture from my beloved father: 



3. A lovely recipe from Sarah, from Saranac Lake, NY…YUM!: 

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons greek yogurt
1 (15 ounce) can cooked pumpkin
4 ounces cream cheese
flax seeds, as garnish (optional)
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

1.      Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
2.      Stir the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl.
3.      Beat the brown sugar and the eggs together with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Add the applesauce, yogurt and the pumpkin; continue beating until mixed. Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture and beat until just barely mixed.  Add chocolate chips if desired.
4.      Fill the prepared muffin cups about half-full with the batter. Spoon about 1 teaspoon cream cheese into the center of each muffin cup and poke it down into the middle of the batter with a finger. Sprinkle the flax seeds over each muffin.
5.      Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan 5 minutes and remove to a rack to cool completely.

4. A tantalizing recipe from Aunt Sis in Phoenix, AZ: 

Grilled dark chocolate sandwich


0.25 cup fat-free evaporated milk

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1.5 tablespoons butter, softened

8 slices thin whole-wheat sandwich bread

3 tablespoons bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts (optional)




         Heat evaporated milk just until boiling. Add chocolate, let stand for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly

         Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Divide the chocolate mixture on the unbuttered side of 4 slices, leaving a little border. Press chocolate chips and nuts (if using nuts) into the chocolate. Cover with the remaining slices of bread, buttered-side up, and press lightly

         Cook the sandwiches in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 1  to 2 minutes. Turn over, press with a spatula, and cook until nicely browned and the chocolate is barely melted, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

         Serve warm.


And the winner is #4, which belongs to Aunt Sis in Phoenix! Your bluebird package will be on its way. The runner-up is #2, which comes from my dad! You will also get something from me, your loving daughter, in the mail! 

Thanks everyone, for participating! I feel terrible that it took me so long to get the results up here. There will be a Holiday Giveaway, so stay tuned! 


J. Bird 


This is ours now.