Month: December 2016

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas everyone!  It has been the time for Christmas spirit as well as that time of year when we all try just a little harder to be a little nicer.  Just as so many other things in our lives, it is a good reminder that in order to change the world we must first begin with the belief that we can, and then act upon it.  It is not much different than the Christmas season itself.

You may not believe in Santa Claus, but to act as if you do doesn’t hurt.  Santa Claus embodies the potential that we have as individuals.  The hard part of potential is that it takes time, more than a season of cheer has to spare.  But it is well worth it.  But that is perhaps the worth of believing in Santa: we can better ourselves for reasons other than selfish ones.

Perhaps Christmas reminds us that our dreams do not have to be forgotten; that our goals do not have to go unsung.  Christmas reminds us that failure is an option, but never for long.  The Christmas spirit is that spirit that we all have in those unfortunately few moments when we forget ourselves and the typical cash and consumerism motivations that we often do not realize define us.

While some of us cannot be with family, we can maintain our Christmas spirit by remembering that family is not always blood relatives and that friends are friends even if they are far away.  And so, I raise a glass of my favorite Islay to those I cannot be with tonight, and wish those as well as everyone else little bit of happiness in their lives, as much as there is room for!

Material Goods and Good Material


It’s been snowy and awfully cold here these past few days (-7 f) and the wood burning stove has been busy in the shop, as have I.  But one thing on my mind has been in these holiday  times: materialism.  Of course, it is with us in the west most everyday, but during Christmas it seems, well…so over bearing.

However, recently I was reminded that there is a difference between material goods and good material.  We do live in a material world, but we need to remember that we live in a material world; a world of things and stuff.  These things need to be treasured and looked upon as the good that they are.  I was reminded of this yesterday while trying to decide what to do with the two massive cherry slabs I recently acquired.

These slabs remind me of the importance of putting importance on material things.  There is a cost to all the things that we buy, from iPhones to cherry slabs but it is not only the monetary costs, it is the real, the material costs that we need to always remember.

Looking out over my acreage, it is covered in forest, I am reminded of how much lesser the land would be without its beauty; I am reminded that this beauty is not wasted, but is wonderful; it is not resources, but reality.  The difference between material goods and good material is the real cost of taking these things from the world that we live in and the world we want to live in.


The Daily Dream


It’s interesting watching dreams move in and on, change and morph into new and strange, sometimes traditional and familiar themes.  At the end of the day, working to make a dream a reality is like most other jobs: it requires long hours, tough work, compromise, eating crow and learning; always learning.

The snow is on the ground now, and days are spent in the wood shop making cabinets and built-ins, making onion and potato boxes, and planning out woodsheds and chicken coops for the coming spring.  With each of these things the drawings and dimensions, the measurements and plans change almost with each passing day.  But the days pass, and pass quickly.

Every morning, however, starts the same: make coffee, fire up the wood stove in the shop, and take the dog for a walk.  I guess some things never change.

Six months into my dream, reality is taking hold and does so every morning when I get out of bed and feel sore, wanting more sleep but not being able to sleep because of the day’s work that rolls around in my head.  I watched, and worked, with my father-in-law dairy farmer for some years and told him this the other day.  He just laughed, but it sounded like “I told you so…”

And so tomorrow morning I’ll get up, make coffee, fire up the wood stove and go for a walk in the snow with the dog, and when we get back, I’ll get on with the work of making my dream a reality.