Derek Johnson Muses

It is my daily goal to make everyone around me better people, thanks be to God.

Ideas Left Behind

Pen

It Changes

Possibilities and ideas pass through my head all day, whether I’m doing the dishes, walking on the trail, or just driving someplace. I file them away. Some of them turn into ideas that I post here. I’ve had whole visions of running off to California, or working in national parks. But some, like writing for a real website or selling my photographs, have come to fruition.

The enthusiasm of a new idea always fades, but when it does, it the truth becomes clear. Humans are always destined to see more paths than they are able to walk. We don’t need to take it so personally, it just means we have great imaginations.

Podcast Life 

Face the Future.

Face the Future.


I played the voices and speeches in my ear, and left them on for hours. When I turned them off, my thoughts had a lot to say to me. 

Podcasts are just personal time radio, or a theater of one’s own making.  Radio feels like appointment time, podcasts like library of daily discourse. 

What’s Left

Find

Find

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this blog, or more accurately, a lot of time forgetting this blog while I write for Huskermax and script videos for USA Today. I can’t even write a decent post about being stumped for something to write about. http://derekjohnsonmuses.com/2012/09/27/stumped/

But I figured I can still share my photograph, buried deep on my computer and my phone. After all, it’s a shame for all that pretty stuff to go to waste, isn’t it? The photo above is from northeast Iowa, somewhere west of Dubuque off US Highway 20. http://derekjohnsonmuses.com/2012/05/04/the-roads-of-dubuque/

Sprung

Faker

Faker

So I got my wish: winter ended. The snow melted, and the dead grass started to show itself. Now comes the laundry list of choirs: pulling grass out of the rocks, acquiring seeds, mowing. And oh yes, I still have cook, clean, and do everything else.

Monday, I bought seeds for my garden. I have thirteen packs of seeds, and ground that still needs to be tilled up. I have a rain barrel to set up and other boring tasks to do. It got up to 80 degrees in Seward and it’s still March.

Drip. Drip. Drip. 

Epic and Ordinary

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Epic is a very overused word. That epic game last night. An epic speech on YouTube. Epic plays. I wish the word epic only applied to stuff that was at least 75 years old, like epic books or epic wars.

Our phones give us some much self importance that we don’t need. Instead of worrying about epic, let’s just worry on the ordinary and normal. Let’s not tell everyone they are special for getting the mail, or reading a 1000-page book. If I can’t remember something in ten years, it shouldn’t count as epic.

The Last Days of Winter. Ever.

Not This Again

Not This Again

I hated it when it snowed last Saturday, even though it saved me the trouble of going to Lincoln and fighting the Saturday rush at Menards for a drainage implement I ordered off of Amazon anyway. I can’t help it: I want to wear my shorts the second 55 degrees hits.

I’m just waiting until I can till up new ground. Waiting until I can stop running the heat. Waiting until I can drink a beer on my front deck.

Waiting.

Kartephose

Sideways

Sideways

I had been thinking for a long time about what to write about with the picture above. At first I thought back to when high school, through two-and-a-half years of youth group, the time spent maturing on our little acreage west of Seward. No story came to mind.

Then I tried to think of a quality, like sadness or control. No idea presented itself. Trends around Seward? Nothing. Stuff at church? I’d use a different photo for that, if I had anything.

Back when I started this blog, someone asked me what the theme of it was. Defiantly, I told her I didn’t need a theme. Now, I realize if I had come up with an answer to that question, I might not be as stuck as I am now.

In case you are curious, the photo above was taken in Clearwater, Nebraska, west of North Platte a ways. The reason it is crooked is, at the time, I didn’t feel like slowing down or stop, and decided to wing a photo. Thus a distorted perspective.

Pretty Grain Tower in Northwest Iowa

Full

Full

The grain tower above is somewhere in northwest Iowa, on the diagonal highway that runs from Storm Lake to the I-29-US Highway 30 interchange. It’s backlight because I drove past that area in the early evening sometime last August, heading for a nice dinner in Omaha, hoping to get back to Seward before 9 PM.

Last summer had too many nights were I drove until it was almost dark. Over the last two years, I felt like I told the story of my life on the road for Blue River, and there wasn’t anything new I could find about that those little family restaurants in central Illinois. It’s also why I’m going to take a short vacation this spring before I really get busy. I need perspective.

But hey, there were some good photos right?

Snow Falls

DSCN9967

Piles upon piles

Snow drives me crazy. From the multiple layers required just to go outside, to the shoveling, to the reduced outside time, snow creates so much extra angst. And since my place doesn’t have an attached garage, even getting to my car becomes an adventure.

But I think snow really helps culture. You get perspective when it snows and realize that stuff outside your control sometimes runs your life. Yes, it’s annoying and sometimes conducive to the spread of disease, but snow has taught me a lot of patience.

So when New York City bans people from leaving their homes during a snow storm or Seward cancels Monday school at noon on Sunday, I roll my eyes. What can we do?

Much a Tweet about Nothing

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While I didn’t celebrate Bo Pelini getting fired as Nebraska’s head coach, it did wonders for me on Twitter. All through the fall, I was around 150-160 followers and gaining 2-3 followers a week. The first 24 hours after Pelini was fired I added around ten followers, and now I have 211 followers, gaining around 3-5 every week.

In a limited sense, all those extra followers ramp up the pressure. I’m more consciousess of when and how often I tweet. I pre-write a lot of them, and put out more pictures and links. One night, I checked my phone before I went to bed, thinking that I had tweeted too little when I had in fact tweeted 33 times that day. When I think about that many separate thoughts, I wonder if I should be putting that time into writing a book instead!

Always looking over your sholder

Always looking over your sholder

Squash Soup.

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The Crookneck Squash I grew last year tends to be a lot of work. I have to clean off its thick skin, and beneath that skin is minimal edible substance. Suffice to say I’ll be planting another variety this coming spring, but I still have a ton of squash I froze to deal with.

So I went though a couple rounds of soup making with said squash. First, I decided to use the blender to cut the squash into little pieces. I had tried using the blender a few times before and it worked so well. So I cooked made broth seasoned with ground mustard, sage, and ginger and just dumped the squash in the blender.

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The results were-adequate. The soup was good for eating turkey, but then I realized that I could just try cooking the soup on the stove (like 95% of all soups) and it just might be less grainy.

I did that, and the next batch was smaller but smoother. Squash soup maybe bland but it fits the bill.

Pretty windows

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Windows like my front window are supposed to be like traps for suburbanites. (Ok, that’s a little too Revolutionary Road.) But it’s odd, going from the small kitchen window of my old place to my new big living room picture window that looks out at the mild traffic on First Street.

It’s harder in the winter when the snow and low temps keep you. I pace the floors and watch tv, forgetting that I’ll be mowing and tending to the outside once the sun comes. But then there’s a mid-January thaw and it’s all good.

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The web site of Mark Yarhouse

GMO Free Girl

Changing The Way You Eat One Bite At A Time

StarboCho

Dragon Slaying: from the Lutheran Perspective

The First Premise

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Final Mystery

"The final mystery is oneself" - Oscar Wilde

Biking with Coleman

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Christian in America

The blog of Matthew Tuininga

Cassie Moore

Adventures in the Mundane

For the Love of Food

...because a girl's gotta eat

An Illustrated Parsonage Life

A new pastor's wife writes about church, home, children, and life's general absurdities and mishaps.

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Oratio + Meditatio + Tentatio

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Brent Kuhlman's Blog

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Gamekeeping

Ensuring young baby boomers thrive in today's workforce

St. Matthew Lutheran Church

Bonne Terre, Missouri

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