Friday, February 14, 2014


( photo from National Wildlife Federation)

I'm not sure how the verb "to grouse" came to mean  "to complain about"  but it did.  The above photo of a Ruffed Grouse looks pretty serene.  On the other hand, a grouse can ruffle up all its feathers, fan out its tail, and look pretty threatening.

Anyway... this morning I am grousing about chain letters, no matter how well-meaning.  Usually I ignore invitations, but I was a sucker for this one, from my sisters:

"We're starting a collective, constructive, and hopefully uplifting exchange. It's a one-time thing and we hope you will participate. We have picked those we think would be faithful, and make it fun. Please send an encouraging quote or verse to the person whose name is below in position 1 (even if you don't know him or her). It should be a favorite text verse/motivational poem/prayer/meditation that has lifted you when you were experiencing challenging times. Don't agonize over it—it’s one you reach for when you need it or the one that you always turn to.
1.     Sister X
2.     Sister Y
After you've sent the short poem/verse/meditation/quote/etc. to the person in position 1, and only that person, copy this letter into a new email, move my name to position 1. and put your name in position 2. Only my name and your name should show when you email. Send to 20 friends BCC (blind copy). If you cannot do this in five days, let us know so it will be fair to those participating. It's fun to see where they come from. Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new ideas and inspiration. The turnaround is fast, as there are only two names on the list, and you only have to do it once."
It sounded easy to me.  It was easy for me to find an inspirational quote.  I used a very short poem by Wendell Berry from the blog  A Year of Being Here:
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings. 
But then, I had to figure out how to send blind copies over Outlook.  Had never done that. That took a while.  Then, I had to find twenty people . That took quite a while.  Many Facebook friends would have been appropriate, but I didn't have their email addresses. Then, I have many friends who would refuse to do this... I just know them.  So I must have spent an hour on this activity.
I'm waiting for the "sorry, but"  emails to come in.
Remind me not to get involved in something like this again, even on a snowy morning when I don't have to rush to Mass and school.
On the joyful side, here's a photo of a Dark-eyed Junco hopping in the snow, taken by Diane Porter:

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