Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Are You Showing God a Good Time?

“Ignorance on fire trumps experience every time.” –Insurance Salesman

Does anyone want to read a blog that isn’t about blogging?


Well, maybe a few. Dear friends who are interested in what in the heck you do with your days. Some want motivation whether to take action or to make life changes.  Some are searching for answers to specific questions, like how in the world do we get high SEO ratings?

I haven’t a clue.

I know, though, that we’re all salespeople.

I didn’t think I was since I’m not charging for anything I write, post, or blab.

But I realized yes, I am selling. I want people to read my blogs—what in the heck am I doing here otherwise, blowing smoke?

I want people to buy my book when it eventually comes out in 2019.  (After two years with the publisher)

At a party aren’t you selling yourself when you strike up a conversation with someone?

Are we so jaded with somebody trying to sell us something that we turn a deaf ear? Some are shysters, yes, taking advantage; others are trying to make a living.  

And don’t blame the marketers, advertising is the way to get eyeballs on their merchandise.

People have to know it exists.

I want to give my gift. And I think that gift is to talk about self-realization, motivation, and spiritual growth.

Sound lofty?

Well, it is. I see how unhappy many people are. I see how they believe their self-worth is equal to dishwater. I see how they fear dying and fear living abundantly.

I see how people are carrying emotional injuries from childhood, protection that worked then, but as an adult, it isn’t working. Boy, do we need to drop that garbage.

I see how 10’s of thousands of people throng to Tony Robbins events with the intention of either healing themselves or gaining a greater understanding about how life works. Some want to rise to greater heights. I saw how when Tony speaks with a participant; most are suffering.

In conversations, people roll into fear—you know, the government, “trying to do God’s will.” Well, crap, God’s will is your will. That’s my message. Carve out your own path. Give God a break.

“Are You Showing God A Good Time?”-
- Rev. Linda Finley (Center for Spiritual Living,)

You wonder in “Giving your gift” if the receiver will like it. You question if you have matched their tastes. They might re gift it, or give it to goodwill, or stash it in the closet. “Gee thanks,” they mutter while wondering what in the world you were thinking.

It’s embarrassing.

That’s the way it is with writing. You put out some words; some will be scooped up gentle as baby birds, others will get trampled.---Not the baby birds.

It’s a crap shoot.

But let’s get smart. Write what you want to read. Yep, yep, yep, I know not all people are like me, but you aren’t writing for the world. You are writing for a special few.

Are you are giving your gift? Find what floats your boat.

Find it. Give it.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Stack the Deck

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” –Pablo Picasso

    Our souls are washed, our hair is filled with sawdust.

               A chainsaw artist took a break and left his bear holding the saw.

Husband and I took our little dog, Sweetpea to the McKenzie Chainsaw Festival in Blue River Oregon, although we were concerned about the noise.

Recently Sweetpea developed a fear of loud sounds. She gets excited about going in the car, though, so we often take her wherever we are going. That little curling up on the floor when we say she has to stay home, melts my resolve to leave her.

I figure she doesn’t know what she is getting into, but then, she knows that bacon might appear somewhere on the trip. (It did on this trip.)

The Obsidian Grill at McKenzie bridge, 20 miles on up the highway from Blue River makes a super-duper chicken sandwich--blackened chicken, no scrimping on the bacon, no scrimping on the tomato slices or the lettuce all green and curly. They add cheese that is cheese, a pepper, and serve all this on a toasted artisan bun that has a slight crunch, which gives it character, but doesn’t tear the skin off the roof of your mouth. (See there was a piece of bacon for Sweetpea. It’s her consciousness.)

Until Sweetpea ’s recent sensitivity I was oblivious to the crashing, banging of trucks with their air-brakes, their loading sounds, their off-loading sounds, and the roaring of them passing.   Well, of course, there are fireworks, and gun shots. The dog has sensitized me.

Desensitizing a horse is called, “bomb proofing,” I think earmuffs might be a good idea for a dog.

Daughter number one gave us a homeopathic for Sweetpea, and it seems to help a bunch. The homeopathic is, Aconitum Napellus 30x

After a dose, she handled the chainsaw noise like a trooper. Tractors were a different story.

In between exiting the car, (that was a delight for Sweetpea) and entering it again, (a greater delight—“Whew, I survived!”) we were struck by the ingenuity of human beings.

The carver made this bear in a log within a two hour specified time. The “Quick carves” (two hours) were then auctioned off. I don’t know who bought the bear in a log, my favorite, or what they paid for it—but to carve this in two hours?! Wow.

 In between Quick carves, the artists worked on their larger pieces.

 Buffalo by a lady carver.

Find meaningful work is one of the attributes that leads to a happy life. And in speaking to one of the carvers, he says he makes a living with his carvings. Often they are commissioned, so it's fun for him to to carve whatever suits his fancy.

While meaningful work is high on the happiness scale, there is one higher, and I was shocked to hear this--it is WHERE WE  LIVE.  

Yes, we must take care of  food, education, work satisfaction, committed relationships, and friends which whom you can have meaningful conversations, but stacking the deck is where we live.

You knew I couldn't end this blog without going into something resembling a life lesson didn't you? 

Dan Buettner,  author of “Blue Zones,” a researcher of places where people live the longest and are the happiest, says that regarding the happiness spectrum, about 50% relies on genetics with  50% being controllable.

However,  stacking the deck is WHERE WE LIVE. 

The peoples of Singapore are happy, but for the American independent that probably wouldn't work. They are secure, success is laid out, they work hard, they keep your head down. It's what is expected.

Costa Rica is "Puta Viva" Pure life, the cities are designed for face to face contact with other people, not just traffic.

Denmark, interesting that a cold climate is a happy one, for people are usually drawn to warmth, tropics, sunshine, water and mountains.  However in Denmark health care is no issue, students get paid to go to the University,  and status is not celebrated, in fact it is frowned upon. The Danes go on vacations, and 80% like their jobs. 

Canada is a happy place--hum, another cool climate. Daughter and I loved Canada. Imagine a place where they have signs for buckling up that say, "Be protected, not projected." Unlike the US's "Buckle up, it's the law." And in cities they have "Traffic calming zones," where a driver can pull over to the side of the road. They seem to be friendly, happy people.

Stack the deck. 

Orchestrate your own happiness.

To a wonderful life,

Monday, July 9, 2018

"The Cinderella Horse."

Talk about flying horses. Oh, or wishing on them.

This is Snowman.  “The Cinderella Horse”

Snowman was trucked to go to the slaughterhouse when he caught the eye of  Harry De Leyer, a horse trainer who arrived late at a horse auction. The unsold horses were loaded to go away when the gentle eye of the big white horse captivated DeLeyer. The horse was of mixed breeds, formerly a farm horse, but there was something special  in Snowman that De Leyer recognized. On a whim he asked that the horse taken from the truck,  and he purchased the horse for $80.00.

At home, his little girl said, “Oh, he looks like a snowman.”And Snowman stuck.

Known for his gentle disposition, he happily held five kids.

De Leyer used Snowman as a training horse for children until he recognized his talent after he sold Snowman to a neighbor.  Snowman repeatedly jumped 5-foot fences to get back home. As luck would have it, the neighbor was happy to give the horse back to De Leyer who began training Snowman for jumping.

This horse became a jumping phenomenon, winning jumping’s highest honors in 1958-1959. He was the first horse to win at Madison’  Square Garden’s Open jumping Championship two years in a row.

I read that Snowman appeared on the Johnny Carson Show, and Johnny climbed aboard.  Where was I? Darn,  I missed  it. I guess I was too young to stay up late to watch Johnny Carson in those days.

If we want inspiration, take one from Snowman.

Who knows what lurks in the heart and soul of a human or animal. Who knows who will go on to greatness.

And about wishing on white horses, you've heard my story, about Rita telling me to make a wish.

“Why?”I asked.

“A white horse. I always wish on white horses.”

Rita was as crazy about horses as I was. What fun. I added wishing on white horses to my wishing repertoire.

And as you know when at twelve years old I got Boots, a horse of my own. All those years of wishing and having them come true, made a believer out of me.

So here, calling this blog Wishing on White Horses, I intend that we return to our childlike sense of wonder, and magic, and dreaming, and an innocent way of looking at the world--as though it conspires to do you good.

Which I believe it does. We just stand in its way sometimes. Here we're hoping to learn not to do that.

 Once we believed in magic.

Let’s do it again.

We all want something. That's life, the constant reaching out, the desires, the lure of the chase, the desire to be better.

And don’t tell me you’ve got it all together, that your life is perfect, for I won’t believe you. Unless, of course, you are already on the other side.

The  juice of life lies in the dream, and success can lie on the other side of frustration, discouragement, and despair. Life isn't perfect all the time, but the outcome can be.

Go for it.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Songs and Secrets

“Thunder of the sky, thunder of the drums, thunder of the falls. A timeless song cycle…Here water sings a deep-voiced travel song.”
—Sign at Koosah Falls, McKenzie River, Oregon

 Koosah Falls, McKenzie River, Oregon

Ironic that we took off for tall timber to escape the fourth of July fireworks only to arrive home to the tune of, “Pop, pop pop.”

We fixed it though, while our little dog, Sweetpea, our motivation for running away, hid under the bed, we turned on the movie Jurassic Part III and the screaming, roaring and chomping drowned out the snap, crackle and pop that was happening  outside.

We had intended to be out past fireworks time, but by 10 o’clock we were ready to be home. We had spent the day out the McKenzie River area, visiting waterfalls, rowing a boat on Clear Lake, and having a picnic with daughter number one and her family by the lake.

Sweetpea has developed a fear of loud noises, so husband dear and I decided to escape the 4th of July and go to the forest. 

 Did you know that fireworks are verboten in the National Forests of Oregon?  However,  the one cabin I could find that I wanted, was only available on the 3rd . so we took it.

What fun. Sweetpea provided the motivation. And daughter dear had given us a remedy for Sweetpea that seemed to make her better.

I have mentioned that both husband and I grew up in Oregon, but on the dry side of the Cascade Mountains. When we first visited Oregon west of the Cascades, (And we settled here)  I thought I hadn’t seen Oregon until I saw the McKenzie River.

Years ago we visited McKenzie bridge where The Log Cabin Inn had a long history of being a stagecoach stop, and where at that time it was a restaurant where they served wonderful food, and delicious Oregon berry cobblers.

Alas during our time away from Oregon the Log Cabin Inn burned to the ground. And what was once rustic cabins alongside it, are now replaced with exquisite houses, called cabins, that are for rent, at a goodly price, and will sleep 12 . Not what we wanted.

However,  across the street, from what used to be the Log Cabin Inn, is a small store, and within that store is The Obsidian Grill. You wouldn’t believe how good their food is.  “Fresh ingredients,” they say. It makes a difference, attention to detail. Salad fresh, crisp, and the blacked chicken sandwich, on an artisan bun, bacon, peppers, red cabbage coleslaw, I don’t know what all. Mine was perfect.

Husband dear had pulled pork, that he loved.  Behind the grill existed a large area, partly covered, partly open, mulched with bark, and littered with picnic tables. There you could while away the hours, or eat and run. A movie screen was set up, but the movies hadn’t begun yet. But what a great idea.

 That was our destination this fourth of July, and our cabin within blocks of it.

 Our cabin in the woods 
where we shared champagne with friendly neighbors from Bend.

The Mighty McKenzie River

 Sweetpea's path

Look down

Look straight ahead

Look up

If you travel on up the McKenzie, you will find roaring, turbulent waterfalls, and farther on you will come to Clear Lake. Three thousand years ago the lake was formed by a volcanic eruption that damned up the river and created the lake. The water drains from the lake forming the McKenzie. The headwaters of the McKenzie collects above the lake from snow melt from the Three Sisters Mountains.

The McKenzie is the only tributary to the Willamette River that doesn’t have an Indian name. Phooey. It has a trapper/explorer’s name.

No motor boats are allowed on the lake, but they rent rowboats, and Daughter number one, grandson, Sweetpea and I took advantage of their offer. We took turns rowing and wove our way  out onto the beautiful lake. Along the shores we could see little white butts in the air as Canadian geese struggled to feed on the underwater plant life while their floatation devices struggled to keep them afloat.

 Clear Lake dock

  Look who decided to join us.

Sahalie Falls

                                         Wall built by the CCC, 1933-1942

And finally, on the way home, a photo of a wall that formed the entrance to Sahalie Falls built by the CCC--The Civilian Conservation Corps 1933-1942. Look at the precision of the rock work. Franklin D. Roosevelt, long interested in conservation, created the CCC to relieve families who had difficulty finding work during the great depression. One of Roosevelt's most successful New Deals, this one gave men food, shelter, clothing and a wage of $30 per month, $25 of which they had to send home to their families.  (In 1970 this wage was equivalent to $570.)

Visit Timberline Lodge, sometimes, and there you will find exquisite carvings decorating the banisters created by the CCC.

It ’s estimated that some 57,000 illiterate men learned to read and write in CCC camps.