The First Tuesday in March

After coming through the night at -24C, we awoke to snowfall. This kind of weather will keep me close to home, as three firings of the masonry heater each day require that the damper be closed down after the burn; that would be my job. Attila does the tough stuff, the splitting and toting, and I do the monitoring and closing, and adjusting the window blinds and fans according to weather conditions. It works, and it is work.

I follow a variety of blogs, all English language, and mostly written by people living in English speaking countries, for the most part. Unfortunately I do not speak multiple languages, or my reading adventures would have a much longer reach.

It struck me this morning, as I read the entry for rooting fig trees in Virginia, that the thread of similarity in the blogs I read is that each of the writers offer the world their integrity. What sent me off in this direction of thought this morning was contrast, contrast of focus. The Virginia farmer has a perfectly functional and snug home, which does not conform to idealistic cultural visions of rural life and farms, or architectural beauty of design. Where a farming blog may not have one jot of interest in domestic aesthetics, the homemaker might be creating a domestic environment that exudes comfort and beauty, and soothes the soul. At first glance there may seem no similarity between these two bloggers. But there is for me. Both have their own way of interacting with their environments with integrity, love even. Neither are ensnared in the larger scale social dialogue, which is almost entirely focused on violence, disaster, and political intrigue, among other things, all of which emphasize a negative spin on life on earth, and a complicit acceptance that this relentless gaze on the negative is the only “correct” way to look at things.

After reading about rooting fig trees, I left for Scotland and goat farming, then to Saskatchewan, Canada for a glimpse of prairie life, to the lobstering shores of Massachusetts, then the rolling Atlantic waves of the California coast, and on to all the wonderful places I have found. Each and every visit is a different kind of pleasure.

I choose to spend my time reading the thoughts and descriptions of lives well lived. The doings of the wealthy, powerful, political, capitalized world are rife with atrocities against humans, both in terms of intentional harm and collateral damage, and no amount of discussion about it, yay or nay, has ever diminished this debacle of human social disease, after thousands of years of blabbering on and on and on. My interest in quotes informs me, that throughout human history, since the inception of the written word, grasping after more than one’s fair share, of anything, has been rotting the barrel for the majority of our species. And since most of human history took place long before the written word appeared, we do not know that this has always been so, and I seriously suspect that it has not always been so.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 6:00 AM EST Tuesday 4 March 2014
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -22.1°C
Dewpoint: -24.4°C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: SE 5 km/h
Wind Chill: -27


“Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity than straigthforward and simple integrity in another. A knave would rather quarrel with a brother knave than with a fool, but he would rather avoid a quarrel with one honest man than with both. He can combat a fool by management and address, and he can conquer a knave by temptations. But the honest man is neither to be bamboozled nor bribed.”
C. C. Colton


“Charles Caleb Colton (1780–1832) was an English cleric, writer and collector, well known for his eccentricities…

Colton’s books, including collections of epigrammatic aphorisms and short essays on conduct, though now almost forgotten, had a phenomenal popularity in their day. Toward the end of 1820, Colton published Lacon, or Many Things in Few Words, addressed to those who think., in a small cheap edition. It attracted attention and praise, however, and five additional printings were issued in 1821. Lacon, Vol. II appeared in 1822. In 1822, Colton re-published a previous work on Napoleon, with extensive additions, under the title of The Conflagration of Moscow. In Paris he printed An Ode on the Death of Lord Byron for private circulation and continued to write. At his death he left an unpublished poem of 600 lines called Modern Antiquity.
In the twentieth century and to the present day Colton has been read most frequently perhaps in quotation books, including Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, where many of his aphorisms have been preserved.
One of Colton’s most famous quotes: “Imitation is the sincerest [form] of flattery”.”

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I tend to agree with you about loving to jump hither and thither amongst personal weblogs of individuals who are varied and diverse, all over the globe. I do it too, every day, in fact, it’s 2:40 pm and I’ve been here, as every day, jumping around like this since 9 am. Except for a couple of breaks. And I never run out of places to go, people to read, things to learn, music to hear… all provided by the bloggers of the world! Cheers to them, to you my Canadian friend, and to the Powers that Be for this wonderful thing they call the World-Wide-Web.

Tom McCubbin

The web seems to be getting uglier and more commercial in some respects, but those sites are so easy to spot and avoid, while at the same time so many fantastic people are able to share their life experiences. It is amazing that people all over the world are able to share their experiences…


Tom, a lot of great stuff has disappeared from the net, what I notice mostly is small scale entrepreneurial efforts that are swamped and left in the wake of big corporate sites like Facebook, iTunes stores, amazon, etc. Small business is not well served by the internet, at least in the areas where I make my purchases. I still try to find small local businesses whenever I can, but with all this great technology a lot of them are selling the same made in china plastic that the big corporations are selling. One of my pet interests, shopping local for locally produced goods and services.

Those “Moms without mothers” sites, that irritate me so much, display sites that are plastered with ads, full of paid endorsements, and by example exert silly pressure to “network” for “success”.


While it’s true about the passing of many smaller agreeable sites on the net, there are still a few of you out there writing and it gives the rest of us a chance to connect in the quite byways. Thanks!


I agree Wendy, the quiet byways are where you discover the real treasures of interaction.

Joan Lansberry

I too fell ill on the first Tuesday in March. It was an awful long work day trying to manage with a fever that turned my face visibly red and very achy joints. I’m on the mend now. I hope you are feeling better now, too. (And I agree about ‘the quiet byways’, good stuff there.)