Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Lesson from Daylilies

It’s that time of year:  “wild” orange daylily time.   Everywhere you look — including along the ditch in our back yard.


According to Ray Allen, Founder of AmericanMeadows.com, Daylilies, the most popular perennials of them all.

In the United States and Canada, it all started with the original "wild" orange daylily.  In fact, many North Americans think the tough old orange one they see in old gardens and along roadsides is a native wildflower, but it really isn't. No daylily is native to North America; most hail from Asia. But that old orange Asian species, called Hemerocallis fulva, is still popular, and it's everywhere. In fact, in its homeland, China, and Korea, it's more than just another pretty flower; the buds have been roasted and eaten as part of the Asian diet for centuries.

These things are tough.  Really tough.  If you want to go to the countryside and rob a few from the ditch bed, you’ll need a strong shovel and a stronger back.  Maybe that’s because they are no stranger to adversity. 

Over the past couple of days, we’ve had some pretty torrential rains causing flash flooding.  I looked back the other day and daylilies were completely submerged in rushing, debris-filled water.  Still, even after another storm last night, there they are in all their orange glory.  A little bent over, but nothing a day of sunshine won’t cure.

An old zen saying goes something like, “What the student calls a tragedy, the master calls a butterfly.”  In this case, it’s called a daylily.  Good to think about as we travel through these rough and winding roads these days.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, June 29, 2020

i.e. Bitter / Better

The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter. 
-- Anon

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Rainbows and Mobbing

Dateline: Our House, 4 A.M. 
Hooting sound right outside our window (at least it sounded as if it were right outside our window).

Hooting:  “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?”

I love this distinctive hooting call of the Barred Owl — even when it rattles me out of bed at 4 A.M.

Turn the page a couple of hours.

This morning’s “coffee on the deck” session was shared with a host of other birds.  A rainbow of colors (though I doubt it had anything to do with Noah’s Ark, Gay Pride, or NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon’s old team).  This morning’s lineup included: Goldfinches, Chickadees, Cardinals, Eastern Bluebirds, Blue Jays, Pileated Woodpecker (heard in the distance), and WAY up in the sky a small bird harassing a larger bird like a WWI aerial dogfight.

What’s up with that?  Have you ever see that before.  Truth be told, I’ve seen it a few times — just never stopped to think about it.  Turns out that there is a name for it:  Mobbing!

Smaller birds chase predators out of their territories so that they will be safer. Mobbing usually does not harm the larger bird, although you may see blackbirds or kingbirds making contact with crows, hawks, or herons as they drive them off. 


Been seeing that a lot these days with humans.  Funny thing though, we humans seem to do it not to protect and feel safe but to destroy. 

Guess our little birds back in the nest are on their own to try to make sense of it all.

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, June 22, 2020

Summer Solstice and . . .

We just reached the Summer Solstice.  The official start of summer and the halfway point of one unusual year.

Headline the other day:  Rare solar eclipse darkens Asia on the summer solstice.

Eclipse darkens . . .  How appropriate.

In many ways, it has certainly been one dark first half of 2020. 

One of the latest phrases that have been coined and entered our daily lives is "Phase."   You know, as in "Indiana is now entering in Phase Three of returning back to the new normal."  (Haha, other States  are only on Phase One or Two).

Anyway, all this reminded me of the sun and the moon.  They don't give a shit about what's going on down here, they just keep on keeping on. Which reminded me of this saying:

Over the years, I've seen a lot of art that includes the sun and the moon -- and not given it a second thought.  2020 has, to me, given the images new light.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, June 15, 2020

I'm Too Chicken

Fortunately, Suzanne and I still believe that this world can be a pretty cool place to get out and explore.  Especially little family-owned businesses that have been created and survived by generations of "roll-up-your-sleeves-and-work-tirelessly-to make-something-out-of-yourself-and-for-your-family" kind of business.  You know, the kind of places that generations of families from the community have supported through thick and thin.

Well, this certainly has been a "thin" sort of year.

Dateline:  Ireland.  Well, Ireland, Indiana. 

We pull up to a small, brick restaurant right on Highway 56 outside of Jasper.   Opens in ten-minutes or so.  There are already of few people waiting to get in.  We get out of the car to the unmistakable aroma of fried chicken. 

The Chicken Place wasn't always the Chicken Place.  As the story goes, it used to be Leinenback Cafe.  However, so many people were calling information and asking for the number to that wonderful "chicken place" that the owners just decided to go with the fried flow and change the name. 

The History by current ower:
I would like to welcome you to the famous Chicken Place located in the heart of Ireland, IN. Originally opened its doors in 1948 by my Great-Uncle Amos Leinenbach as Leinenbach Cafe. Chicken Place is a staple of the Ireland community and its fine people. The chicken recipe was my Great-Grandmother's and is not found anywhere else but right here. We take pride in serving you the best food possible and to provide you with a fine dining experience. We are glad that you have chosen our restaurant to spend your evening with us and thank you for your business. Great food and great times are found right here at the Chicken Place.
So true. So true!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Just a thought

I can make you rise or fall. I can work for you or against you. I can make you a success or a failure.
I control the way that you feel and the way that you act.
I can make you laugh … work … love. I can make your heart sing with joy … excitement … elation.
Or I can make you wretched … dejected … morbid.
I can make you sick … listless.
I can be as a shackle … heavy … attached … burdensome.
Or I can be as the prism’s hue … dancing … bright … fleeting … lost forever unless captured by pen or purpose.
I can be nurtured and grown to be great and beautiful … seen by the eyes of others through actions in you.
I can never be removed … only replaced.
Why not know me better?

Written by Bob Conklin, a successful author, highlights just how powerful our thoughts can be.

Just something to think about the rest of the week.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, June 8, 2020

Hippocratic Oath

The Hippocratic Oath is an oath of ethics historically taken by physicians.  It's named after the Greek physician Hippocrates (460–370 BC) to whom the oath is traditionally attributed.

Basically, as I understand it,  the first vow is "First do no harm."

Another equivalent phrase is found in Epidemics, Book I, of the Hippocratic school: "Practice two things in your dealings with disease: either help or do not harm the patient".

Now, my father was no physician, but he did have a similar philosophy -- "Make it better than you found it."

Imagine if everyone in the world took that oath.  Wow!

Now, I understand that "it" and "better" are subjective.  And what one person believes is "better" can be completely opposite than what another believes.  But, what if we at least agreed to "First do no harm!"?

"First do no harm!" 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, June 1, 2020


Can't turn on the television or social media today without a vision of gloom:  pandemic, murder, anger, hatred, looting, burning, us vs. them . . .


Today, I see a lot of people going into battle with no vision of the larger picture. 


"Vision is the world's most desperate need.  There are no hopeless situations, only people who think hopelessly."  Winifred Newman


Maybe if we have a positive vision for tomorrow,  the world becomes a better place today?

Sitting on the deck at 5:30 A.M. listening to the birds.  Dozens of species.  All singing.  

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn