Thursday, August 25, 2016

I'm Dumb

But not this dumb

#Jon Morrow said if I’m not getting massive traffic on my blog I’m dumb.

He gives away massive amounts of free stuff. If I want it, however, I must sign in with my email address. He must have me on his counter at least 20 times. Sneaky.

And then driving my ten-year-old grandson (eleven in October) to our house today and hearing about how he could make a paper thin computer keyboard proved Morrow right. I am dumb.

The paper-thin keyboard could be made with graphite. Graphite is an electricity conductor, pencil lead is graphite. It’s a little more complicated than that if one draws a circuit board with a pencil, and with wires, clips, a ground—human fingers work as the ground—and a  USB port one could type on the paper. That bit of news was followed by states of matter of which people think there is three, solid, liquid and gas, but he said there are four. The fourth is plasma, that is a state of being. And Star Wars Light Sabers are not made of light, he said, but of plasma. Next, he told me how they made the robot BB 8 in the latest Star Wars movie.  BB 8 is round and rolls, and if his head fell, my grandson says, he would still work. The body and head work together with magnets. And Tesla could create earthquakes, and stop his own…

My brain is fried.

Except, somewhere in the recesses of that brain, I am smarter now.
This week we found five acres and a cute little house we liked, decided to put in an offer the next day figuring it would go fast. The following day the owner chose one of the three offers that came in that day. And it was not us. What? One buyer came in with half the money for a downpayment. The nerve.

And here I had already mentally put in a brand-new kitchen.

I grieved for about 10 minutes, then said, “Okay great master, you have something better in store.” And I am relieved. I can breathe easy again. Sometimes the Great Spirit just has to watch out for me.
What did I want to talk about today?

Oh yes, I wanted to ask about this conundrum…


Most everybody says they want to be happy.

People search for happiness.

They pray for happiness.

They read Oprah about it.

Many write about it.

Our constitution says that everyone has a right to pursue happiness (not necessarily to have it) which implies that it is something everybody wants.

Why then are most stories about suffering?

If someone is just happy they are boring.

Give someone a dreaded sickness, allow them to overcome it, and people lap it up.

The hero must struggle.

The hero must overcome obstacles, he must work for it. If he just went with the flow and life was good, nobody would want to hear about it.

Well, we might ask him this: “How did you do that?” But if it came easy it would be suspect.

Please explain this to me.

I’m dumb.

Monday, August 15, 2016

I Don’t Know How I Feel About This

It’s complicated.

When my kids were growing up we lived in San Diego California, home of one of the largest Zoos in the world, and home of #Sea World.

Being residents, and with yearly passes, we frequented both places.

Some of our most poignant times were spent at Sea World. It was not as commercial in those days. It felt wilder then, with more of a natural setting.  It had aquariums, the dolphin, walrus, and sea lions shows, and the featured attraction #The Shamu Show.

We watched as the Killer Whale show aka The Shamu Show advanced from simple to extravagant. I never liked calling them Killer whales, and now people are calling them Orcas, their scientific name.

Before they built the large tanks of today we sat in Southern facing bleachers and burned our noses as we watched Shamu leap from the water and touch a pole so high the whale’s entire body was out of the water.

He circled the tank racing at high speed, splashed the audience, who chose to sit in the “splash zone,” and part of the show was to have a  volunteer, sometimes a child, stand on a platform and have the Orca “kiss” their cheek.

Not anymore.

We stared in awe and fascination as the shows advanced from “dancing” with the whales in the water, to watching as the whale and trainer disappeared under water only to appear seconds later, the whale leaping from the water with the trainer standing on its nose.

It was positively awesome. It made your heart sing. It brought tears to your eyes.

I thought the whales were goodwill ambassadors, showing the people that what had previously been called “Killer Whales,” were now interacting with people as friends.

And the whales seemed to be enjoying themselves.

My two girls learned to swim by having “Shamu rides” that is they would hold onto my back, hold their breath, and I would dive deep under the water, and we would come spurting up to the surface.

Those were glad times.

The last time we visited Sea World, about four years ago, we saw their new big glorious tank with close circuit television screens, a story on screen, but no trainer in the water with the whale.

It was disappointing.

I wondered if the whale having played with people for so long wondered why they no longer played with him.

A whale—not the original Shamu, one named Tilikum, had killed someone.

The whale was known to be aggressive, so why they got into the water with him is a mystery to me.

In my opinion, these smart people acted foolishly.

I once heard of an old man being killed by his “tame” ostrich. The ostrich had attacked him earlier on, but what did the man do? He went into its enclosure again and was kicked to death.

There was fervor over the whale killing incident. The whale had killed someone at his previous establishment, then at night at the Sea world facility he had apparently drowned a homeless man who got within grabbing—or falling into the tank, distance of the whale.

People forget that a wild animal always has wildness in him and that Killer Whales in the wild regularly pull seals from the rocks and eat them.

While driving down the Oregon coast one day my husband and I heard the loud barking of seals, we pulled off the road and looked down into a bay below us. There floated a big black and white Killer Whale. The seals were smart enough to warn the others.

If an animal is known to be a killer, stay out of the water. But, I wonder, should we then pass a law saying that no human ought to go into the water with a whale. Maybe no one ought to go into an enclosure with an ostrich either.

Should Sea world have captured whales from the wild?

I don’t know.

Much was learned from their captivity, and many people fell in love with them and came to realize that animals, previously thought to be vicious can be docile as kittens given the right environment.

After the outcry regarding capturing wild whales, Sea World stopped capturing them, and began breeding them in captivity.

Now that has stopped.

When the present whales die that will be the end of whale shows at Sea World.  There was a documentary made titled “Black Fish,” that my daughter watched, I didn’t, and it changed her mind about keeping the whales in captivity. People were outraged at their treatment.

People ought to be outraged whenever an animal is treated badly, yet many people have championed their cause. They rescued Keiko from a tiny tank in Mexico (Yes, I saw a dog in a crate in Mexico too, but people still crate their dog.) The people who rescued Keiko somehow got a large gorgeous tank at Newport Oregon built for him. During his years there he gained over a ton of weight.  Later he was released into the wild. Where I believe, he was without a family, for he had bonded with people.

It was a tough decision. People wanted what was best for him. I hope he forgave us our ignorance.

It’s tough isn’t it, knowing what the “right” thing is?

People who only know wild animals or livestock, see them as either dangerous, or lacking intelligence, or use them as machines, or for work, food, or entertainment.  I always hated it when as a child I heard that humans have "Dominion over the animals." People took that as a license for power. 

A wild animal can be dangerous when threatened or encroached upon. But to live intimately with an animal shows the human partner how loving they can be. How they form bonds with species other than their own, and that animals, like people, they have individual personalities.

Once I adopted a 5 ½-month-old mustang from the Bureau of Land Management in Burns Oregon. True she had been born at their facility as her mother was pregnant when removed from the wild.  But she was a wild animal.

Within a week she was eating out of my hand, and allowed me to remove the lead rope she had been dragging since we loaded her at the facility. When I released her from her round pen she ran around the paddock at such a speed, I thought, Good heavens, am I ever getting on that animal?

She was the sweetest horse, and so curious. She loved to play with plastic Pepsi bottles in a box.  She was a darling pet, but never a trustable riding horse—but not that well trained either.  I did saddle her and ride her a bit, and she never bucked with me, but she could act a little cuckoo. I remembered the trainer Pat Parelli said to always remember that they were once wild, and still had wildness in them.


People train whales, lions, etc. and once in awhile someone gets hurt. Seeing an animal in such a loving situation people forget they aren’t pussycats. (Have you ever seen a feral cat? Try to hold that animal.)

I was motivated to think about this after I saw #Rachel Jones blog “#Hippie in Heels,” ask the question: “Should We Visit Sea World?”

Monday, August 8, 2016

My Heart Leapt at This

Not the picture, Caz's comments:

“I would have liked to have heard a few more stories with joy as a focus. I feel like joy gets overshadowed too much by struggle and pain. The stories of pain are important so we never feel alone and it’s where we gain strength, BUT, it’s equally important to put joy on the centre stage too. Feeling joy is not something to hide away and I think society has a habit of doing this. Not surprising given how much the news dominates our space. I want to hear about joy more. I want to feel joy more. There was a lovely bracelet making service at BlogHer where you could give them a word and they’d etch it on a bracelet for you. My word was JOY. It’s why we’re here. Give JOY a chance.”

The above quote is from Caz who flew from Australia to L.A. to attend the #BlogHer conference. Caz is a world renowned blogger who writes YTravelBlog. Her photo won a BlogHer award and she was thus invited.

Caz: “A consistent message from all the speakers was the valuable role bloggers have to help make a positive difference in the world.”

Me: Here I am a little blogger sitting in my own little corner of the world wondering if I have anything of importance to say… can I make a difference, and why am I drawn to this avenue of expression in the first place?

Someone asked me the other day what I blog about. “Life, and whatever I choose to talk about,” I said, "and I want to be inspirational."

To whom? You? Me?

Both of us.

I trust that my audience will find me. You know if you aim your boat upstream, it takes a lot of paddling, but if you turn your boat to the current it will carry you...

Caz: “Instead of looking sideways, I’m going to throw out. It’s a term I just made up as I wrote that last sentence. Each time I go to cut myself down and underplay my value, I’m going to look up and throw something valuable out to the world – either a kind and supportive word or way that I can serve someone else to help them grow.

Me: Yesterday I listened to a YouTube interview with #Terry Cole Whittiker. My long time readers know I love that woman. I had never felt such love as I did the weekend I spent with her. On YouTube, she was talking about her early days in the Science of the Mind ministry. When she was first asked to speak she didn’t know how to do it. So she cut inspirational passages from various books, pasted them on a yellow legal pad, and read them verbatim.

She was met with silence.

And then after the stunned audience recovered they applauded.

Her friend said to her, “Terry, you’re a speaker.”

And thus the speaker was born.

Her church grew to something like 7,000 attendees, and she had a national TV show. Now she lives in nature where she says she’s the happiest. And she seems to be following her own inner guidance, which is something I am trying to do. (Don’t try. Do.)

Caz: "Sheryl Crow spoke at the BlogHer conference about her breast cancer journey and how it returned her to whole foods and the nourishment of herself. “A lot of the stress we live with now is a result of what we let in – the constant barrage of people’s opinion”  

Sheryl says:

“Being empowered means seeking what our soul wants. Life is made up of circumstances reminding you of who you are.”

Caz: “I absolutely loved this. It was the quote of the conference for me alongside Jessie Weiner, who said in the panel discussion about feminism:

“When do the grown ups step in to fix this. Hang on we are the grown ups”

Me: The reason I began my new blog is that I watched Marie Forleo's UTube interview with Tony Robbins regarding his documentary created by Joe Berlinger titled "I Am Not Your Guru." 

(How did that come to me? A stumble? Divine guidance?)

That interview prompted me to watch the documentary.  What an event! Awesome. Touching. Inspiring. (It’s available free on Netflix.) If strong language offends you, don’t watch, but it would be a shame to miss it.

Now, I wonder, do I have the courage to go to a #Tony Robbins live event?

I once saw him in Portland at a millennium 
Celebration. That would be 16 years ago!

My friend and I felt we were walking on air when we left the auditorium. But now, the closest Robbins' event to me features a fire walk. Yipes! 

The next Robbins even is coming up in November. I'm considering it.

What to hear about it? Oh my, what am I setting myself up for?

Thanks for reading.
Keep checking in with you know I Love you guys,