Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Nature Of Parenthood

Ode on the Whole Duty of Parents
The spirits of children are remote and wise,
They must go free
Like fishes in the sea
Or starlings in the skies,
Whilst you remain
The shore where casually they come again.
But when there falls the stalking shade of fear,
You must be suddenly near,
You, the unstable, must become a tree
In whose unending heights of flowering green
Hangs every fruit that grows, with silver bells;
Where heart-distracting magic birds are seen
And all the things a fairy-story tells;
Though still you should possess
Roots that go deep in ordinary earth,
And strong consoling bark
To love and to caress.
Last, when at dark
Safe on the pillow lies an up-gazing head
And drinking holy eyes
Are fixed on you,
When, from behind them, questions come to birth
On all the things that you have ever said
Of suns and snakes and parallelograms and flies,
And whether these are true,
Then for a while you'll need to be no more
That sheltering shore
Or legendary tree in safety spread,
No, then you must put on
The robes of Solomon,
Or simply be
Sir Isaac Newton sitting on the bed.
by Frances Cornford

I recently read an article about the healing powers of simplifying a child's life.
It spoke to the undisciplined pursuit of more that Greg McKeown believes lies at the core of failure and the value of constraint in a world brimming with options.

Modern life in America often lays siege to the sacred space, the wildness, the uncluttered and aimless time we humans need to flourish. 

In this new cultural context, boundaries become all the more important-- protecting us and ours from a constant undertow of distraction and obligation. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Snow Day

1. Seagulls calling out, invisible in the swirling snow, at the dump.

2. A woman in a motorized wheelchair braving the deep drifts in the Safeway parking lot. 

3. 99¢ to buy a quality DVD at Video Warehouse.

4. Checking out at the grocery store self service station in Spanish.

The world is full to overflowing

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

An SF Girl Dreams Of Bicycles

Here's what being born and raised in San Francisco gives you, among other things: A love of bicycles. 

I got my current ride in the Bay Area on Craigslist for $35. A beautiful Schwinn that is older than I am. Although she struggles to commit to a gear, preferring to inhabit a limbo land all her own, she has proven herself to be a bruiser, a trooper, and a godsend over the years.

And as I look towards a future without multiple months of expeditioning each year, I am thinking about how to support my health and wellbeing in the outdoors moving forward. One possible answer is adding a spendy road warrior to our current bicycle fleet of two.

Here are some suggestions from the bike gurus in my life:

Surly's Cross-Check costs around $1,200 and is pretty darn multipurpose. Or the Straggler, which has better shifters on the same-ish frame, but costs around $400 more.

Advocate Cycles' Lorax costs around $1,800 with proceeds going to bike advocacy. The motto of this bike is, "any road any time" which seems promising, but I think I find their fat bike more appealing. 

Salsa Cycles' Marrakesh costs around $1,600 and is billed as the world traveler of bicycles. Their Fargo comes highly recommended as a generalist as well, although it seems further along the continuum towards a mountain bike and costs a bit more than the Marrakesh.

All told, Evan and I are really schooling our spring homework assignment (at least the dreaming part of it-- we haven't reached the pragmatic portion of the proceedings yet): 

Our goal is to price out our material dream list (car, skis, home renovations, etc) and see what we can afford to pop for now, what we will save for in the future, and what we will simply cross off the list. 

Time will tell if this bike fantasy makes the cut.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

And The Leap...

Supposedly, it was written in the stars and planets that March 16th would bring sea change for me and --lo and behold-- it did.

Come April 4th, I begin work at The Nature Conservancy.

After twenty three years in the field of wilderness education, I'll now be advocating for the conservation of the natural resources on which all life depends from a different angle.

I am thrilled and honored to be invited into this organization. And eager for the learning curves that lie ahead on this shiny, new adventure.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Cold War



Sunday, March 13, 2016

Air Quality Control

So far Evan and I have been a one car family. 

That's been nice. Simpler, cheaper, and better for the environment. 

Given that it's tough not to own a vehicle in Wyoming, Ruby (a 2005 Toyota Tacoma) has done us right and we are super grateful for that.

Yet as we contemplate the unthinkable (kids?? jobs that would require us to drive in opposite directions at the same time??), we find ourselves considering the idea of a second car...

What would be a smart choice if we went that route?

Here are some contenders (thanks to Rathke, Consumer Reports and Mr. Money Mustache):

2009-2013 Honda Fit

Around $9000 to $15,000 depending on the year and mileage.

35 mpg on the highway.

6" clearance and FWD.

Rave reviews on Consumer Reports. 
9.1/10 US News. 
8.9/10 Kelley Blue Book. 
4.7/5 Edmonds. 

2012-2014 Toyota Prius V 

Around $15,000 to $22,000 depending on the year and mileage.

40 mpg on the highway.

6" clearance and FWD. Traction control problematic.

Rave reviews on Consumer Reports.
8.3/10 US News.
7.7/10 Kelleys Blue Book.
4.4/5 Edmunds.

2012-2015 Toyota RAV4 (Hybrid as of 2017)

Around $14,000 to $22,000 depending on the year and mileage.

30 mpg on the highway.

7" clearance and AWD.

Rave reviews on Consumer Reports. 
8.1/10 US News.
8.3/10 Kelleys Blue Book.
4.5/5 Edmunds.

2010-2013 Subaru Outback

Around $14,500 to $22,000 depending on the year and mileage.

27 mpg on the highway.

9" clearance and AWD.

Rave reviews on Consumer Reports (especially 2011).
8.6/10 US News.
7.2/10 Kelleys Blue Book.
4.5/5 Edmunds.

2012-2014 Hyundai Elantra Touring

Around $11,000 to $15,000 depending on the year and mileage.

31 mpg on the highway.

6" clearance, FWD, and reportedly poor handling in snow.

Rave reviews on Consumer Reports (especially 2014).
7.6/10 US News.
7.1/10 Kelleys Blue Book.
3.5/5 Edmunds.

2007-2013 Suzuki SX4

Around $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the year and mileage.

32 mpg on the highway.

7" clearance and AWD.

Not much info on Consumer Reports. 
7.3/10 US News.
5.6/10 Kelleys Blue Book.
4.9/5 Edmunds.

2011-2013 Mazda 3 Hatchback

Around $10,000 to $13,000 depending on the year and mileage.

29 mpg on the highway.

6" clearance and FWD.

Rave reviews on Consumer Reports.
8.6/10 US News.
7.7/10 Kelleys Blue Book.
4.5/5 Edmunds.

2009 Scion XD

Around $9,000 depending on the mileage.

33 mpg on the highway.

6.5" clearance and FWD.

Not much info on Consumer Reports, but low rated engine cooling.
7.8/10 US News.
8.8/10 Kelleys Blue Book.
4.5/5 Edmunds.

2011-2015 Toyota Sienna

Around $12,500 to $22,500, depending on year and mileage. 

27 mpg on the highway. 

6.6" clearance and AWD.

Rave reviews on Consumer Reports (especially 2014-2015).
8.4/10 US News.
8.4/10 Kelleys Blue Book.
3.5/5 Edmunds.

The obvious answer?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Lucha Libre In Petticoats

Women have entered the fray in El Alto, Bolivia. 

Called the Flying Cholitas, these indigenous ladies eschew the masks of male wrestlers in favor of their traditional bowler hats and multi-layered, multi-colored skirts.

These photos come from Daniele Tamagni. The image below captures cholitas descending Illumani, another example of these womens' unwillingness to have their boundaries defined by others.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Small Step In Every Direction

That is how I do right now...

Can't see the way for the weeds, so I am nosing about. A fun and creative process. 

It's the decisions that are tough. And I feel them gathering on the horizon. 

Which paths to lean into and which to abandon. When to gather myself and where to commit. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

18 Years Old...

Watch out.

Kyemah McEntyre in a prom dress of her own design.

And in an homage she made to beautiful black women.

A lady worth keeping an eye on.