Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I Had a Change of Heart Today

Good Morning,

I cleaned the refrigerator a couple of days ago. Imagine that! As I scrubbed it, with my head inside that huge cold machine and my butt in the air, I had this thought:

What idiot said, “If it ain’t fun don’t’ do it?”

If that were true I would never get my refrigerator cleaned.

You know, you are at the cleaning-the-refrigerator stage where all those half-used bottles that are not good enough to keep, but too good to throw away lay like fallen soldiers on the counter top. The produce fainted a few days ago and is still out cold, and opening that cottage cheese container? I was afraid to do it.

Please say you've done that for I don't want to be the only one.

And then I had a second thought.

I love this refrigerator.

Remember, Joyce, when you lived in Hawaii and used an ice chest, because you had no refrigerator?  And then the mortgage loan came through, and you bought a refrigerator, but didn’t have enough solar power to run it?
Remember the Hawaiian woman at The Pond’s Restaurant who said, “Living like you are will make you appreciate everything?”

I appreciate my refrigerator.

It came with the house, a perfect fit in the space created for it, and it matches the stove and the dishwasher. Oh yes, I didn’t have a dishwasher in Hawaii either, or an oven.

I am blessed!

I thought of the saying, “You can’t be depressed and in gratitude at the same time.”

I am grateful for my refrigerator.

And now it is clean, and all the labels on the bottles face forward, and it is beautiful. I would stare at it except that having the door open pours out energy. (I once saw a commercial that demonstrated energy loss by filling a refrigerator with ping-pong balls, You can guess what happened when someone opened the door.)

Ah well, I could end my ode to the refrigerator, but I have to say that, after having none, we now have three.

There’s the dear refrigerator in the house, and two in “The Wayback,” our auxiliary building. The owners left their earlier refrigerator there, and we house ours from our previous house.

Ta Da!

The universe is laughing.

I finally took a break from “Blogging” for some house cleaning.

Not many are finding me on, but that will change and I am happy for whoever shows up. No, I can't say that, I'm getting spammed by porn, and to keep it off I would have to pay a fee. (Gripe. Why do people do that?!) My parent blog is this one

Sorry about the .org as I lost my .com--$100.00 would get it back, but that seems a tad steep. I'm waiting for its redemption period to end. I hope then I can catch my .com and get it again.  

Most travel bloggers are young people, singles, newly married, or young families with children. Maybe I ought to let my hair go gray and tout myself as “Gray Fox at Large,” for I haven’t seen one of those, but I’m not going to do it.  I won’t admit that there are any gray hairs under my blond.

I’ll admit I sleep with a Grandpa, but that’s all.

Last weekend, before the blogging and the cleaning frenzy, we took another day trip.

We drove to McMinnville, OR  about a two-hour drive from where we live to see the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. The Hercules, known as the Spruce Goose, Howard Hughes’ famous “flying boat” is housed there.
Upon approaching tour destination this is what we saw.

  "A plane on the roof."

It is a full-blown commercial jet sitting atop a water park next to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.

The hangar/Museum where The Spruce Goose lives next door where it sits like a cake with flowers around it. Only the cake, the Goose, is wood, and the flowers are airplanes polished to a sheen. 

Everything was spotless, the planes, the white floor—no wonder I had to come home and clean my house.


The Spruce Goose with hubby.

We climbed inside that ginormous airplane and ascended a narrow spiral staircase to the cockpit--the service man gave me a peek inside before it closed entrance to it.

Darn, Leonardo DiCaprio, the actor who played Howard Hughes in the movie The Aviator, wasn't sitting there.

A duplicate of the Wright Brothers’ plane was there, and private planes, and military planes, trainers, and jets.

The Wright Brother's aeroplane.

How long did it take man to build a contraption that would fly? Now they can throw up a boat the size of a football field, and it will fly.

Next door the Space Museum housed rockets and space capsules, and spacesuits that you wonder how a man could ever maneuver. Those suits alone were an engineering feat, let alone that someone landed on the moon.

“The Wright Brothers flew through a smoke screen of impossibility.” –“Dorthea Brande

Look there, a 400,000 pound airplane made of wood can fly.

Monday, June 19, 2017

"Of all the paths you take, make some dirt."*

Wish on white horses flatlined for a few days, lost its dot com, and in the process didn't even see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now we are back fresh with a new address. It is a dot org. The address now is Remember the originator of this blog is from Oregon, org, good ending.

And so we begin;

For 63 of his 87 years, Buckminster Fuller noted for the geodesic dome, kept a scrapbook/diary that documented every day of his life. It reflected his correspondence, drawings, newspaper clipping, grocery lists and other evidence of his unique story.

This information came to my attention on my “Free Will Astrology” by Rob Brezsny—in my opinion, the best column to read in The Eugene Weekly.
His point to Aquarians was that he would love to see us express ourselves with as much disciplined ferocity as Buckminster Fuller did for the next two weeks of our lives.

I had to laugh, but don’t worry folks I won’t publish every detail of my existence, not that you would have to read it if I did, I just thought it was funny that he threw that challenge in my direction.

Once I heard Buckminster Fuller speak in San Diego. Of that speech I remember two things, well three, the first was the long line before getting into the auditorium where the girl in front of me who kept obsessing that we wouldn’t get in. (We did.)

Of his speech, I remember this: He held up a model of the square. It was about four inches on a side built of something like four plastic rods held together at the corners with rubber bands. Press on one corner and the square collapses. But as demonstrated next, a triangle is solid and firm. If you press on a corner and it doesn’t collapse. That concept led to his idea of building with triangles.

The only trouble is I like squares—sorry Bucky, but a cube is quite stable and makes a nice house. Probably not as strong as a pyramidal shape though. Guess those ancients knew something.

The second point I remember is that he said he made $300,000 a year and spent every penny of it. He knew that the following year he would make another $300,000—now that’s my kind of guy.

His earlier years weren’t so positive. After the death of his daughter at 4 years of age, and with family financial difficulties, Fuller contemplated suicide as a means of giving his family money from a life insurance policy.

Instead, he had an epiphany, and heard this voice:

“From now on you need never await temporal attestation to your thought. You think the truth. You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to Universe. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume that you are fulfilling your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others. -- From Wikipedia

He ultimately chose to embark on "an experiment," to find what a single individual [could] contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity.

And, as a part of that experiment, he began chronicling his own life.

The military recognized the geodesic dome as useful. It could be small, lightweight, inexpensive and can withstand heavy loads. 

To quote “Bucky’: “I look for what needs to be done. After all, that’s how the Universe designs itself.”

And now a little inclusion from Joyce:

*The title is a quote by John Muir seen in a window in Sisters Oregon. 

On Social media you can find many people who travel the globe as a way of life, so I thought, I don’t want to travel full-time, but what sort of day-trip can my husband and I take?

A weekend ago it was Cannon Beach Oregon, two days ago it was Sisters, a small tourist catered-to town in the high desert of Oregon. We hadn’t been there for about ten years. (Our pleasant memories of that town was the chicken and dumplings the Sisters Saloon used to serve on Sunday nights. Long ago it was a large bowl with enough to take home. Alas, that went the way of the dodo birds.)

The shortest route from here to Sisters was still closed due to snow.  Snow? It was 90 degrees that day, probably the highway clean-up hadn’t removed any brush collected on the highway over the winter,  so, we took the over-the-mountain trip.

We have always loved the McKenzie River and long ago The Log Cabin Inn was a stopping off place where they served great Marian Berry Cobbler, but the log Inn, too, is gone. I heard it burned down when we were out of Oregon. It is replaced with homes and cabins now. It is still pretty for the cabin-style structures are integrated into the old-growth forest that surrounds the area. Yes, we do have some old-growth left. The McKenzie River was so high and swift that I took Sweetpea away from the bank and beat feet out of there.

We drove through the Cascade Mountain Range where the forests were spectacular, and white frosted peaks gave evidence of long-ago volcanic eruptions.

A Douglas fir forest is sometimes so dense you wouldn't believe a deer could wiggle its way through, but animal paths snake through.

Soon the firs give way to Pine forests where you could actually ride a horse between the trees--my mouth watered-- the forest floor was green and sprouted flowers, and the trees were spaced about ten feet apart.

There was some sage brush around Sisters, but it was still in the Pine Forest. I know, however, that if you continue driving east the Pines will give way to Juniper trees and further on there will be sage brush, and no trees.

We are lucky to have that Cascade Mountain Range that creates abundant forests. It also creates a rain shadow. The land east of the range gets little rain, while we to the west get gobs, and get green that I love.

In Sisters, we ate superb Mexican Food on a little outside deck with our traveling dog, Sweetpea, under the table getting bites of chili verde.

Too bad this path wasn't dirt, I would have gladly trod it, but someone threw asphalt on it. 

Beyond this path is a full sized river, the Metolius. It sprouts straight out of a mountainside. It was so overgrown I couldn't get a good picture of it, and I had to stay behind a fence. The water comes from springs that have been fault lifted to near the surface.  The right most picture is my view of the Metolius River from the view deck--a full-sized river only a few hundred yards from where it was born.

   A Douglas Fir Forest                                                                   A Pine Forest

Evidence of long ago big booms..

I do believe this last picture is of two of Three Sisters. If an Oregonian reads this perhaps they can identify these mountains.

There were snow capped peaks all over the place, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, The Three Sisters, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Bachelor. Whew. In high school they told us those volcanos were dead, and then Mt. St. Helens woke up. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

One Solution

Sweetpea and Joyce

Want driftwood? Well, it’s here. Beverly Beach, OR.        True.

How in the world did this happen? This geological wonder was situated where the beach sand abuts a cliff. Beverly Beach OR

Want to hear about my weekend?



Well, how about what led up to it?

“I can’t write, I can’t spell, my grammar sucks, and my style isn’t all not that hot,” I lamented after three days of editing where I felt tied to the computer, rummy, and foggy-headed. Husband dear said, “What can you do?”

“I can think,” I said.

So that’s what I am doing here, letting my fingers do the thinking.

After feeling fried, after beating myself into the ground at the computer, I decided to take care of myself.

We hear of our stressed lives, how we feel fractured and displaced. There is little talk of what to do about it.

One solution: change scenery.

Go to the Beach. Now that’s a good idea. There is something about the salt air that clears the brain.

I have wanted to go to Cannon Beach, Oregon for some time, about a three-hour drive from where we live. I could have waited until the weather got better. I could have waited until next weekend when the yearly sand carving contest happens, or go for Father’s Day or our Anniversary that is coming up this month. Even the weather wasn’t all that great. No, I was ready. I wanted to go THAT DAY.

And so with a willing partner, that is husband dear, we set out on Friday night for a drive to Cannon Beach.

You can stop reading now, but the best is yet to come.

You know how it is if you are distraught, things work maybe, but more often than not drama comes, matching your fractured energy.

I got the last room at a Motel—pet-friendly—for I wanted to take Sweetpea. A few minutes later, however, the Motel called, another traveler had slipped in before me. No room. Good thing we hadn’t left the house yet. I grabbed another motel, where there were two rooms left, I reserved one. Then discovered they had a “No pets,” rule. And in small print, "not cancelable without a 24 –hour notice."

Oh, well, take the room. Take the dog. I was determined.

The hotel owners didn’t know I had a dog, she did no damage, and she didn’t let out a squeak. I worried about being discovered, but it worked. I got up at 7 am to take her out and discovered a few folks ambling around a neighborhood, some letting their dogs run down the beach. The area was as quaint as the downtown shops, and the area, the plantings, flowers, shrubs, were all manicured, even the blackberry bushes looked as though they belonged there. A small shingled grayed-by-the-salt-air house, built like a townhouse with two stories, a 1920's issue, was listed for sale for $750,000.

After a latte and a scone, we took Sweetpea to the beach. She stood transfixed at the wonder before her. We unclipped the leash and she flew over the sand, chased the birds, skidded to a halt where the rolling sand from her toenails gave her something else to chase. All this she did while grinning like a Cheshire cat.

After our beach run, the downtown area became our new stomping ground, with people leading dogs, the shops quaint, and everything beautiful with abundant plants and flowers perked by the rain. Pathways snaked in and out of cottage businesses, and the shop signs were works of art. No industrial signs, no franchises that I could see.

I loved it.

We had fish and chips and left for a drive down the coast towards home. I wrapped in a blanket in hibernation mode and felt like one of the Hornbill turtles we saw in Hawaii lazily sunning herself on a beach. 

The weather was overcast until we got to Beverly Beach where the sun came out, and a long strip of coastline sparkled in all her glory. I roused, and we walked down the beach, and Sweetpea again exploded into joy with a frolic on the sand. A Hawk appeared as though catapulted from the cliff above us, dove down at breakneck speed, put on the brakes about a foot from the ground, then swooped up again to the top of the bluff. “Oh,” said husband dear, ”he is playing on the air currents.”

Don’t take a pill to calm your nerves, take in a beach.


I was like the dog, eating, napping, running on the beach, having an outing of window shopping, repeat. In Newport Beach we watched a glass blower create a vase out of molten glass, a substance like taffy candy that he alternately placed in and out of a 2,500-degree furnace.


We came home and watched a film called Minimalism, a Documentary, where two guys talked about getting rid of stuff.

I have tried to pare down with each move we have taken. Yes, it’s good to reduce stuff, not to accumulate redundantly, not to use buying as a drug, and acquiring as a means out-shine the other guy. On top of that don’t go crazy with Black Friday buying running rough-shod over people. That is plain cuckoo.

The fellows in the documentary felt that being minimalists made them happy. I would say, however, there was more to it than that.

They had a book to promote. They had a cause to champion. They had adventure driving place to place to give talks. They were meeting people.

They had meaning and purpose.

Long ago Dr. Viktor Frankl, an Auschwitz concentration camp survivor, wrote Man’s Search for Meaning. He wrote that identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then immersively imaging that outcome determined a person’s outcome.  Abraham Maslow wrote about becoming “Self-actualized.” Spiritual gurus show that a spiritual connection feeds the soul.

I think that is what we want, to feel we have meaning, that we offer value, that we are creative, and that we connect with a divine energy whatever that is for you. Without all that, we feel empty, and many try to fill that emptiness with more toys and more stuff.

James Clerk Maxwell often spoke on the subject of “authenticity.”  He wrote that in a society that is becoming increasingly insane, only a concern for ethics could restore sanity. He further commented that to arrest robotization, each person needs to develop high ethical standards to rejuvenate that society.

There we have it, my trip to the beach that you said you didn’t want to read, but did anyway, where I insinuated I wouldn’t write about it but did anyway.

 All that so I could stumble my way to a soapbox.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

With a Little Help from my Friends

Consider the possibilities.

On the last blog, I wondered if I should continue blogging. I wondered about world conditions—have you ever gotten stuck in that, seeing what’s wrong with the world instead of what’s right?

It’s easy to do isn’t it, to slip into the easy negative view? We can be so silly sometimes. Not you? Okay, me, I can.

I’ve read of two instances where New York bus drivers looked over their disgruntled passengers and the gloom that prevailed and did something about it.

The passengers weren’t looking into another’s eyes. There was no joking, no conversation. “I know it’s dismal out there,” the driver began. “I know you have worries, so when you leave the bus I want you to put your worries into my open palm, and when I get to the Hudson River I will throw those worries overboard, never to be heard of again.”

The passenger’s mood lightened. They grinned. They began to talk, and one by one when they left the bus they held their fingers over the driver’s open palm and figuratively dropped their cares into his hand.

And he did as promised. When he got to the river he threw their worries into the water.

We don’t have to be illustrious individuals to carry some light, and I decided that is my job, to shed light, to carry light, to be lighthearted, and to hand light to others who reach out their palm for it.

So, go ahead and dream the impossible dream. And remember what Walt Disney said, “It’s kind of fun doing the impossible.”

Right now I’m wondering. How about helping to write a novel? There is a moral dilemma involved, and I wonder what your input would be.

What if a thirteen-year-old-girl confronting the man who raped her mother swung a broom, accidentally hit the man in the temple, and he fell over dead.

She didn’t mean to kill him. It was a fluke.

No one saw the accident. She could leave and no one would know. She could be a hero ridding the earth of scum. It was a lucky punch. But what happens to her psyche?

She killed her father.

This is a sequel to Song of Africa

The first 500 words:
Chapter 1
“You killed my mother you low-down son-of-a-bitch!”
Star stood defiantly, banishing a broom in one hand, a closed fist on the other.
The man spun around and gaped at the young girl, probably about thirteen years old, he judged.
“What the hell you talking about?”
 “You raped my mother. You gave her AIDs. She died. You killed her.” Star took the stance of a warrior now holding her broom in both hands.
 “I didn’t kill nobody.”
“You did.
“How many others have you raped?”
“Don’t know, didn’t count.”
Star spit on the ground. How have you lived all these years!”
“Raping virgins…looks like we might have another here,” he reached out to grab the broom; Star swung it.
The edge of the broom hit him in the temple.
He fell like a banyan tree under an ax.
“Get up you lousy bastard. I hate you. I hate your guts. You should have died long ago.”
The man didn’t get up.
Star screamed at him, “Get up or I’m beating the shit out of you.”
The man remained silent, and still.
Star went to him, nudged him with the broom.
 He didn’t move.
 “If you’re playing games, I’m not playing. Get the fuck up. I’m not finished with you yet.”
He was lying face down in the dirt, a good place for him she thought, out cold.
Well, when he wakes up he will be groggy, that will take some of the steam out of him. Using the broom handle as a lever she rolled the man over onto his back.
The whites of his eyes were showing. His tongue was hanging out. Gosh, she thought, he looks dead. Could he be dead? Not like that, one swipe to the head, and bonk, you’re dead. She could feel the adrenaline that had worked its way into white hot intensity was now dissipating. Still, her heart pounded and her hands shook. A moment earlier she had had steel resolve.
It unnerved her to do it, thinking he was faking his demise and would grab her if she got close enough, but she knelt beside him all the while holding her broom.
He didn’t reach out.
He didn’t move.
She held her hand over his mouth.
No air came out.
She touched his chest, no beating heart.
She jerked her hand back. Adrenaline surged again.
She sat back on her haunches and stared at the lifeless man before her. A heart doesn’t stop beating just like that. 
Well maybe it does, she saw blood dripping from a nostril. She looked to her broom. The top portion had metal holding the corn fibers together. It was slightly dented, but that was all. Some might say it was a lucky punch. Star, however, sat there devastated. She had killed her father.