Thursday, October 25, 2018

I Went to the Woods and Lost 20 Years

Sunday, husband and I went to the woods, and I lost 20 years.

The big trees did it. The forest. The old growth. My pain-free knee. All contributed to my youthing process.

I read somewhere that old growth trees have over the years accumulated silica into their trunks. And when we are surrounded by that silica, it contributes to our well-being. Notice the difference sometime if you have an opportunity to experience the big trees.

Husband dear and I drove out east of Eugene, Oregon along the McKenzie River. I know I talked of that area before when we made the same drive during the summer. Now though, we wanted to see the area during its golden-leaf time before deciduous tree hibernation when the forest throws the gray cloak of winter over its sleeping trees. 

A little Maple putting on her PJ's

This trip also gave us a brunch for the soul, a stop at the Obsidian Grill at McKenzie Bridge. I'm raving again. That sandwich was just as good the second and third time as the first. I love the Obsidian chicken sandwich—happy organic chickens they say, bacon, an artisan bun smeared with what appeared to be Cajun spices, a poblano pepper, they didn't scrimp on the lettuce tomato or onion, and whatever their secret sauce is adds a vast amount of juice that takes a dozen napkins to sop up. It's great. I had enough chicken to share with Sweet Pea.

Sweet Pea on the road again.

The forest walk reminded me of something Dolores LaChapelle, author of Earth Wisdom wrote: “Patanjali, Buddha, Moses, and Jesus did not go to workshops or seminars or even churches. They went directly to nature; sat under a Bodhi tree of on top of a mountain or in a cave. We've been living off the residual remains of their inspiration for thousands of years, but this has almost run out. It is time to return to the source of this inspiration—the earth itself.”

Mine was just a little walk in the woods, A Hors d'oeuvre, a taste of the wilderness, but then we came home, and I had a deja' vu.

In Hawaii, we had no refrigerator.

Not again!

Our present fridge was on the fritz. It worked, but husband dear said we must defrost the refrigerator and the freezer for a water leakage had caused ice to build up behind the back panel.

In Hawaii, we used an ice chest for months. To celebrate getting a loan on the house we bought a refrigerator. It remained up-plugged though, for we didn't have enough solar power to run it.

Instead of using electricity, we used ice. Used to be people got a block of ice from an iceman who carried that massive chunk of frozen water on his shoulder, dumped it into your icebox, and that ice kept your food cold for a week or until the ice man came again.

The deja' vu came when I loaded some items in an ice chest. My choice, for I didn't want to be running to the refrigerator in the Way-back every few minutes.

We do have an extra refrigerator, thanks to our California experience where we rented a house without one, bought one, and hauled it to Oregon with us. Now we have two, well three, another in the Way-back that we inherited. The trouble is it doesn't get cold, but is beautiful, so it's a possibility someday.

I figured the Universe was making up for denying us refrigerators for a time.

A thousand years ago a Zen Master wrote this poem: 

Magical power,
      marvelous action!
Chopping wood,
      carrying water...”

On the road to enlightenment (ahem, I'm not claiming anything), one must still do the minutia of life, chop wood and carry water. The editors of NEW AGE JOURNAL wrote a book with that title: Chop Wood, Carry Water, and their take is a bit different from what I initially thought it meant.

Not only must we chop wood and carry water, meaning take care of business, but our spiritual journey can be because of it.

We do not need to spend our lives sitting piously on a mountain, our life, our journey, comes from the living of it.

I failed my spiritual test as I carried frozen food to the Way-back refrigerator. With all my grunting and grumbling and throwing a few expletives, the Universe would not have given me a gold star.

But then maybe She doesn't care. It was my choice. I could accomplish a task with a glad heart or have a fit.

A screaming fit still gets the job done!

But it's not so great on our nervous system.

Oh well, I'll get another chance when I haul all those frozen items back into the house and put our in-house refrigerator back together again.

P..S. This is super cool:

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Don't Look Down

“Real power is—I don’t even want to use the word—fear.”
Donald J. Trump, 2016, in an interview with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. 

Thus begins Woodward’s book, Fear—Trump in the White House.

Well, I’m afraid.

It’s the doctor’s office’s fault. While waiting, I picked up the Times Magazine and read this:

“The reality was that the United States in 2017 was tethered to the words and actions of an emotionally, overwrought, mercurial and unpredictable leader.
“Some of the Presidents staff joined to purposefully block some of what they believed were the president’s most dangerous impulses.” --Bob Woodward 

Doesn’t that scare you?

Stay away from doctor’s offices.

I’m joking, you know that, and I know little about politics and usually shy away from talking about it. But that Trump is so sure that he will win the 2020 election scares me. 

People will believe him. 

Even Michael Moore predicts that the President will win (?) a second term. (The President didn’t win the first by popular vote.)

When someone states a belief emphatically, loudly and often, people usually believe them—it is human nature. And Trump doesn’t lose. There will be so much Trumping that we won’t even know that other candidates are in the running.

Woodward says that people don’t trust the popular media.

But people trust Social Media.

Social Media is a popularity contest.

People want high numbers of followers, comments, etc. so they go for what gets high ratings. I heard that some bloggers search for subjects to rant about, because ranting gets reader’s blood boiling, and that gets followers and responses.

But wait a minute.   
Twitter, in my circles, is positive. The blogs I read, and the Youtube talks inspire and teach.

I read bloggers who travel, they visit fabulous places and write of it, they talk about raising kids, they talk about keeping a Coyote for a pet, they talk about living in a place that stirs their soul.

Is this to tame?

But, people are kind. They are nice. I went into town yesterday, and the clerks were raving about the wonderful weather we have been having, and the fall colors, and telling me to enjoy my day. 

If we look out there, we often see gruesomeness life, we feel that the world has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. (The world has feet.)
What if we look closer?
We see that people are kind. They do help their fellow man. They want what’s best for the earth. They try to warn people that catastrophes are coming. They help them find higher ground. As we look around, what do we see? Kind, loving people.

If we took away some of the fear, what would happen?

Does it take battling, and screaming and pushing and shoving for change to occur, or can it happen another way?

Here is one of the most astounding stories I ever heard on the radio.

I was driving home to Oregon from San Jose where my daughter used to live and found a radio station out of San Francisco that told happy news. I couldn’t believe it. 

Here was the story: A teacher saw a kid do a kind deed in the schoolyard, and she wrote on a piece of paper, “Good for you,” and gave it to the kid. Somehow the word got around, and soon kids were doing positive acts to get that note. She said a piece of paper couldn’t blow across the schoolyard without someone running after it to pick it up. The pieces of paper morphed into Tee-shirts where all the kids wanted one.

Imagine something like that spreading!

P.S. I AM SO TICKLED! I got the proofs for my book The Frog's Song today! I love the cover. I will show it to you when I can. Now I'm supposed to read over the copy to see if there are any spaces where they ought not to be, or words jammed together. I trust that they have proof read the manuscript, so it's clean.  

Friday, October 12, 2018

With Cream or Without?

Yum, I can smell it.

Dave, the coffee roaster, thought the Sumatra blend matched the coffee I had been drinking at home, and the cup he served me was smooth. I drank it black which I would never do otherwise—just think, I thought, how this will be with cream.

So, I bought five pounds of whole beans they had roasted that morning.
That’s how they sell their coffee, in five-pound batches, roasted according to order the morning the customer plans to pick it up.

My Chiropractor told me Eclipse coffee was the best, so I decided to check it out. 

The coffee warehouse was a cool out of the way place where Dave was fun, where burlap bags of coffee were stacked higher than my head, and where they write out an invoice, keep a carbon copy, and that’s their bookkeeping system. They do not take credit cards, the only means of payment I had in my purse.

Dave said, “Take the coffee and just drop off a check.”

Don’t you love it?!

I had planned to sell coffee on a website. The trouble is since I can’t say “It’s the best,” I’m not selling it. I still like Peets Home Blend whole beans I grind at home better, and now I’m stuck with a five-pound bag of coffee in my refrigerator.

I wish I had tried The Tsunami Blend as it sounds more to my liking.

There are many stories regarding the origin of the drink we call coffee. One involved a Moroccan Sufi mystic. While traveling in Ethiopia, he noticed birds with unusual vitality. He decided to try eating the berries they were eating, and experienced the same vitality.

Another story was a man named, Omar, who was known for curing the sick. He was, however, exiled to a cave in the desert. (A great thanks for being a healer.)

Poor Omar was starving and decided to chew some berries he found on nearby shrubbery. Whoa, they were bitter. He roasted the beans to improve their flavor, but they were hard, so he boiled the beans in water to soften them. The boiling of the beans produced a fragrant brown liquid that he drank, and that liquid sustained him for days.

When stories reached his home village of this “miracle drug,” the elders asked Omar to return home where he was sainted.

Fickle people.

Were you looking up coffee on the Internet when you found this site?

Did you want to know about coffee, or did I push it on you?

I am wondering what people search for, if they are precise in their search, or do they go stumbling in search for something that sparks their attention?

Both I guess. Jon Morrow, on #ProBlogger, says to search Google, find what people want, and write about that.

See why I’m not a pro blogger.

Last night I noticed a bag of magazines in the truck. My daughter said she got them from a client, and that she wanted to make a Vision Board from the pictures, quotes and such, she could find in that stash of publications. 

A Vision Board is a collage of items you want, wish you had, or are just fun to contemplate. It is a meditation of sorts, an affirmation to keep your mind focused, and to program your subconscious mind to go for its dream.

Daughter  said, “I can search the Internet, find what I want and print it out, but it’s more fun to search the magazines.”

I agreed. We are hunters/gathers by nature. It’s fun to search and discover things we never dreamed we wanted, oh, or finding those coffee berries we didn’t know existed.

P.S. A fun find:
I had been using the numbers 747 as in a fast Boeing jet but found on the Internet that 747 is an angel number meaning I’m on the right track.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Fred and George

When Mr. Rogers (of the TV show, “Won't You Be My Neighbor?” was a young boy, and frightened, his mother would tell him, “Look for the helpers.”

We need to be that, the helpers, the holders of good.

I times of struggle and despair such as now with the Supreme court nominee, and sexual allegations, it makes me question if people have their heads screwed on straight. Most of us remember the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill fiasco and fear it happening again. Thomas was nominated for the Supreme Court. Hill adamantly declared that Thomas had sexually harassed her; however, he was seated anyway.

The good-old-boys club.

It makes my feminist blood boil.

Women have fought so hard for their rights, for equal pay, freedom from harassment, reproduction rights, for God's sake for the right to vote, and to worship with the men—but let's not go there. Yet there is an element in our society that would be happy to take much of that away.

Don't men who force themselves on women, the one who would happily rape her then call her a slut, the ones that would force her to have an unwanted child while giving her less pay for equal service, have a wife, mother, sister, or girlfriend maybe even a teacher they love, respect or admire?

Yes, I know, it's power.

Long ago I heard a teacher say it was necessary for the power structure to separate men and women, for together they are indomitable.

And then there are men like Mr. Rogers, who care, who support, and who champion the cause for good. There are many Mr. Rogers in our neighborhood, maybe not as low-key as him, but good men who love women, children, their fellow man, and all life.

As you have probably surmised I did see the film, Won't You Be My Neighbor.  

When AARP offered free tickets for a showing of the Rogers' documentary at a local theater and called it “Movies for grown-ups.” I became curious all over again.

(See the film and you will understand why it is being pressed to adults.) My husband and I didn't make the free Thursday show, but Friday we invited daughter number one, and twelve-year-old grandson to watch it with us when we rented the film on Netflix.

I believe Mr. Rogers was the real deal. And he wasn't afraid to tackle the issues of the day. After Bobby Kennedy was killed, Daniel, the puppet asks. “What does assassination mean?”

When, in the 60's, it was unlawful for people of color to swim in a public swimming pool, Mr. Rogers sat in his backyard (on his show) with his bare feet soaking in a tub, and he invited Officer Clemmons, the show's black policeman, to join him. “

The water is so relaxing.” Rogers said, “Care to join me?” And so Francois Clemmons ripped off his socks, and we see two sets of feet in the water, a black set, and a white set.

Long ago, when I watched “Won't You Be My Neighbor,” with my kids, I didn't know the poignant strategies Mr. Rogers implemented. I saw it as a low-key, simple children's show.

PBS gave Mr. Rogers the daunting task of addressing the falling of the World Trade Center, and although heart-breaking, he directed the issue splendidly.

It's sad to see tender hearts torn asunder by world conditions.

And it's also sad that many people were intolerant of Mr. Rogers' tolerance.

I have been experimenting with what it means to follow the Sacred Path. That doesn't mean we never get mad, lose our temper, or lose heart. Neither does it mean we spend a life in pious contemplation.

It is more like Fred and George.

You know who Fred and George are?

Fred is the little black box, the navigational computer, on a Boeing 747.

George is the computer who takes Fred's directions.

“George, we are five degrees off port, correct.”

“Will do, Thanks, Fred.”

And so it goes, constant corrections.

And although the big jet had been off course 90% of the time, it hits the mark spot on.

Luckily Fred and George aren't people for after a while George would be saying, “For crying out loud Fred, stop correcting me all the time. All I hear is, “Yap, yap, yap.”


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