Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Well, It’s Been an Exciting Week in Junction City

Sign at the local Coastal Farm Store: “Stay one horse length away.”

I loved that sign and the sense of humor that went with it, although a horse length is usually considered to be 8 feet, not our social distancing of 6. Consider this, the racehorse Secretariat in 1973 won the Triple crown (All three races, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont) by an amazing 31 lengths. A feat unsurpassed.


I know, this has nothing to do with my blog, it just struck me. And I like horses and Champions, and being thrilled when some animal or person steps out of the commonality of life.

Okay, my week:

On my way to create a blank book, I found it was more trouble than writing one. I wanted a journal/notebook with lined pages, but I refused to sign up for another subscription to allow me to have them. “I’ll do it myself,” I said. “Hee hee,” said the Universe. “I will jerk you around first.” (Just to see if I was serious, I guess.) 

It’s easy to do a Kindle book, but formatting for a hold-in-your-hand’s-paperback book is another story. My first try of putting lines on every page of a 250- page booklet failed to comply with Amazon’s formatting specifications.

Okay, try putting in a table and erasing unwanted lines—that worked until I added quotes. And Amazon requires a page break between every page. I kept losing page breaks, losing lines…

It’s like a game you want to win and refuse to give up. I’ll get this. 

Sorry, this story is longer than you want to hear… 

I found it fascinating, however, reading quotes.

Don’t you love little notebooks with pithy quotes?

I do. I like a motivation a day, although I have not placed a quote on every page. I just broadcast them throughout the booklet like seeds. It will be an Easter-egg hunt. 

Oh, the fascinating thing I found with quotes is that some work, some don’t. Now, Mark Twain was a master. His quotes are simple, poignant, and to the point. No wonder Hall Holbrook received raves dressed and speaking as Mark Twain.

“When angry count to four, when very angry, swear.” Mark Twain 

“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful of your life.” Mark Twain

Other motivational people or teachers run on too long…their words lose their punch.

Zig Zigler is another great speaker who creates pithy quotes. His motivations are top-notch “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

You might have to read that a couple of times.

And, you know my favorite Zig quote: “They say that motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing, that’s why we do it daily.”

Other than the booklet I was formatting for Amazon paperback, life was going beautifully. Suddenly, Wham! The manufacturing company whose items I was selling shut down advertising on Amazon. “Company policy,” they said. You cannot sell their product on Amazon or eBay. Well, darn, and I had a good thing going. 

Time to make that timeline switch.

This is something I have praised about people during our recent shut-down. For many, when one avenue closed, they tried another. When businesses needed to social distance, they sent their workers home to do remote work. When restaurants were required to cut back and social distance, they set tents outside and started carry-outs and curb service.

One thing daughter and I are contemplating: It’s her invention. What if someone created a computer game with no rules. The people were on some remote place like Mars, where a big mistake would blow a hole in their dome or some such thing. The people needed to work together or perish. Where would that go?

Would we pull together or argue ourselves into obviation?

Last night we watched the newest remake of the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. Basically, the moral was that there is more to people than first meets the eye. The grand moral was that people change only when they reach a crisis point. 

Let’s imagine this: Momentum says that an object tends to travel in the direction it is headed, and with speed behind it, it is next to impossible to stop. (That’s not exactly the law of Physics, but my interpretation.) One would think that the world would continue in the way it is headed. And that people are predictable. But what if—and this has happened repeatedly—along comes an individual who causes a shift in the timeline. Didn’t Martin Luther King Jr do that? Didn’t Jesus? Didn’t the Buddha? Didn’t John F. Kennedy? 

Well, they got killed, but they changed the world.

Oh heck. Let’s have a happy ending.

Friday, March 26, 2021

The Gist of It

 I was struck this morning by something I read, and now for the life of me, I can’t find where I read it. The interview I copied and saved is not it.

Here’s the gist of what I read:

Often, wrote my unknown author, in times of trouble people band together, but this hasn’t been the case with the Covid19 pandemic.

Why is that?

And then my brilliant author who shall remain nameless, came to a brilliant conclusion. Death frightens people, and this lockdown made the thought of death up close and personal. Usually we don’t think death will happen to us. But this virus experience jammed it in our faces.

Not only were we at risk of sickness or death, or but we had to protect everyone else.

The brilliant author’s conclusion was that the real presence of death causes people to circle the wagons. It causes them to find their own kind, and band with them. Then they fear outsiders.

That pretty much explains what happened this past year. 

And then I moved to another author, Ryan Holiday, talking about his book “Stillness is The Key.”

“We’re trying to get to a place where, as crazy as things are on the outside, we can be calm and clear on the inside.”

Quiet, calm, meditation, stillness, these aren’t new age terms. Spiritual disciplines throughout the ages talked of quieting the mind. Buddha was determined to acquire enlightenment so he sat under a Bodhi tree for God knows how long.  Jesus went to the wilderness for 40 days. The Muslims speak of it, the Greeks, the Bhagavad Gita speaks of “evenness of mind—a peace that is ever the same.”

Perhaps this pandemic was to teach us something—to slow down, to look out for our neighbors, to stay firm in times of trouble, to enjoy nature, to take care of it. Perhaps the lockdown was saying we should teach our own children instead of letting institutions do it. Maybe it’s time to know we are divine beings.

Maybe this year was to tell us: “Don’t let the rabble of the marketplace knock you off your steady and firm stillness.”

Yes, the marketplace “rabbled” a lot this past year—not only that, but our livelihood was in grave danger, as wages were cut and lay-offs occurred. We didn’t know where to turn.

Did we lose our stillness, our confidence that things would work out? Did we lose our own internal knowingness?

I have found that it’s easy to stay centered when things are going well. When trouble comes…well, that’s a different story.

How can we help each other?

I will keep reminding you that you are a divine being, that you have a strength within yourself stronger than you know, that thoughts are powerful and to watch what you are thinking and saying. I will try to be upbeat even when it appears that things aren’t working according to plan. I will remind you to follow your own guidance system, and to notice how something makes you feel. That is a barometer.

You know the old game of hot/cold. When you are getting close to your good, it feels better (hotter), when you go away from it your tummy tells you so. (colder).

I know, sometimes indecision can stir you up. I’ve had that-- knowing which way to turn.

Go back to the stillness, your quiet place, and let the divine speak to you.


Holding the baby and watching "All of Me," with Steve Martin and Lilli Tomlin--it's a kick. Watch it. You need a laugh, and maybe a baby chick.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

They Are Going to Kill Her


Whose responsibility is this?

I’m so mad I’m turning to you.

The lady I’m talking about survived the holocaust, for crying out loud, and now she’s in a system that is taking over her life once again.

She was not in a determent camp. She was a Kinder child, a system where they took German children away from their parents, and shipped them to a safe country.  She ended up in England, and she still has friends there. She was a well-known mathematician and highly respected.

Until now.

Now she is in a fine assistant care facility, has her own apartment and 24- hour care. She has MS, which isn’t life-threatening, and she has short-term memory loss. She can be controlling and a pain in the ass sometimes, but that is no reason to kill her.

She’s paying big bucks for care. And caring for her is the job of her caregivers.

Quasi nurses that come in for a few minutes when she is really complaining have recommended that she be placed on hospice care.

Yes, she has a wound that isn’t healing from sitting on her walker (There are fine wound-care clinics), and she has itches that drive her and others crazy. The itching could be from the MS or a side effect of the oxycodone that she is taking (plus, I don’t know what else).

The nurse (not an RN) who recommended she go on Hospice said, “Oh, no, we won’t give morphine unless the patient is in pain.”

The principal person here, the patient, the lady from Germany, has stated that she would rather have pain than being whacked out of her mind.

Well, they did place her on Hospice, and not one day went by, but she was given Morphine, Methadone, plus an anti-psychotic drug. (She is not psychotic.)  This is standard Hospice procedure.

Hospice, I thought, was end-of-life help for people in pain.

She has no terminal illness. She is old.

This is an abuse of the system.

Morphine can inhibit breathing—which is often what kills people eventually. Now caregivers can administer it in liquid form after the patient can no longer swallow.

They even made up her bed in the way they do when they judge that the patient is not getting out of it. (The strange bed-making is so they can change the sheets while the person is in bed.)

The lady doesn’t understand—she trusts those in authority. Those in authority whispered behind her back that they were going to recommend Hospice care, and she asked what they were talking about. Yet they say to her face that “You are our number one priority, and we’re going to take good care of you.” They say they have talked with her but have not made her understand. But she is/was lucid enough to make decisions about her own life. She has a Power of Attorney, but that person is a hired professional, not her family. Yesterday someone unplugged her phone, so she couldn’t talk with what little family she has because she was incoherent.

This is criminal. This is chemical restraint. This is elder abuse.

Once upon a time, a son in a cold Northern cold country decided his father was ready to be placed on the ice flow to die.

Being somewhat sympathetic, the son gave his father a blanket.

The father cut it in half and gave one-half back to the son.

“But, Father, why would you do this? “asked the son. “You need the blanket.”

The father spent the rest of his days with his son.

Thursday, March 18, 2021


Arbor Lights

Enthusiasm in ancient Greece meant “Filled with God.” 

I love that.

We heard something from our President the other day that we haven’t heard for a long time. That was optimism. 

Those concepts, enthusiasm, and optimism have been sadly lacking in our beautiful world for a time. 

With the coming of spring, though, comes hope and new life, and I see the joy of living springing forth from sticks that looked dead during the winter.

It’s incredible, isn’t it, how after being dormant during a cold spell, they can spring to life?

“We can take a lesson from plants. Hope is coming. 

The Magnolia tree is laden with flowers. The evergreen Clematis on the arbor has more buds and flowers than leaves. How do they do it? Life wants to live, and so do we. And we want to live beyond survival level. We want to live abundantly. 

I do not want to diminish the suffering people have endured or the worry plaguing them; I want to look ahead to a brighter day.  

I think we’re like passengers on a just landed jet plane who breathe a sigh of relief when they safely reach  their destination. I bet even people who feel quite comfortable flying are a bit relieved to have wheels on the ground.

It’s time, though, don’t you think, for us to be “Filled with God” and to remember that child within us who longed for a secret adventure.

Remember when we were kids and we laughed for no reason? 

Those who are filled with that enthusiasm–filled with God–do not harm people, animals, nor soil their bed, which is mother earth.  

I visited the farm store the other day and stopped to look at baby chicks. I’ve been wondering if I wanted to begin again with chicklets. I have two hens that are laying sporadically. They came to live with us as adults, so I don’t know their age, and elderly hens stop laying eventually. 

I asked if they would be getting Americanas, now called Easter egg chickens because they lay beautiful seafoam green or blue eggs. Chickadee, my Margaretta drinking, french-fries eating chicken was an Americana.

Friday, said the farm store lady said. The chicks would be coming in on Friday—that’s tomorrow. The chicks will be three days old. I wonder if I can be as lucky as I was last time when I got three little pullets. Roosters annoy the neighbors and don’t give any eggs. They might provide us with more chickens, though.

I’m debating. We’ll see tomorrow. 

Babies give us the belief that the Universe will continue.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Words, Words All over the Place

Whoops, I dropped some into my coffee.


Have you ever had someone ask you a question, and you tried to answer, but about two sentences in, their attention wandered off, and you were left feeling that you were the stupidest person on the planet?

You think, well, I’m not emoting enough. I should be more dramatic. I don’t have the right words. I’m boring.

No! The person is self-centered.

Last night my daughter told me of such an experience she had with an elderly lady. I reassured her that while it might be excusable with an old person, it’s not justifiable with someone will all their facilities. My daughter is a precise person and not overly talkative.

I’ve had such an experience, and that was after I had listened to them tell the same story about five times.

Although I fear for my words on paper sometimes, for I want my writing to be fun or exciting, or informative, and know they can fall short. Still, I keep keeping on.

You keep on keeping on, too—whatever your calling is.

Keep doing it, for you’ll get better with the doing of it. That’s what practice does for a person.

But don’t keep doing the same old stuff.

If a pianist kept practicing the same piece with the same errors repeatedly, he would perfect it with mistakes. I suspect soon, he would think it sounded good with the mistakes.

I recently read about conversation. Few people correctly judge when a conversation should end. You know sometimes you are rolling, and you are sorry you had to end the visit. You are often wondering how to end a phone call or, say, at a dinner party. You like them. You’ve just run dry.

It’s a tricky business being a human being.

Funny too.

Sometimes you want to ask a person about a particular belief system, and they open up and bombard you with more information than you wanted to know. Or want to beat you up with their belief system.

It makes us leery about asking. Still, you want to know what they think and why they think the way they do.

I remember reading about ancient Egypt. According to one source, they were quite allowing when a new person wandered into the village. They would ask, “Who’s your god?”

They felt there was room for many and genuinely accepted another person’s point of view. They didn’t have to embrace it as their own, but it was interesting to them what the other person thought.



For a chuckle check out the pics on my Pinterest site, the board is, “The Art of Animal Stacking."



Thursday, March 4, 2021

What is it with Groups?

 Okay, guys, what’a think of this?

Allen Francis M.D, a psychiatrist, makes a case for the idea that while insanity in individuals is somewhat rare, it appears to be the rule in groups and nations.

Last night my daughter and I observed how groups begin with lofty ideals, maybe even a mission statement, but if they don’t follow it. They can become abusive and cruel—like a cult series daughter was watching on television. This group (TV show) would tell their participants to “Push through. To face their fears.” If a participant questioned the procedure, the answer was that they weren’t pushing through or facing their fears. We know that facing fears and pushing through is a standard therapeutic technique, but cutting off dialogue and placing the control solely on the leaders can be detrimental. In this scenario, the fault always lies with the participant, not the group.

I have noticed how groups push down the individual. Think of medical breakthroughs. I remember reading–long ago–how MRI creators were severely criticized before MRI imaging was accepted by the medical community. Now, look at it. It is used regularly. When a new concept threatens the established system, it is ridiculed or severely debunked.

Yet those individuals that make up the group are nice people. We could talk to them one on one. Most aren’t crazy.

When we moved from California to Oregon, my daughter saw a ferret for the first time and thought they were the cutest things. She ended up having ferrets for 25 years. One day we visited a Ferret group in the park. We found a group, while loving ferrets, instead of celebrating them, wanted to control ferret’s owners. They wanted to keep the owners of ferrets under some jurisdiction and legislate who could own a breeding pair. (A couple of breeding ferrets is costly, and un-bred females must be spayed, for their continual estrous will wear out their body). Yes, people need to be educated in the care of most animals., but let’s get reasonable. 

Think of Home Owners associations—the controllers rise to the top.

(Leaders inspire. Controllers, well, control.)

We’ve been involved in start-up schools and see how they can, not always, but often, fall short of the tenants they set up initially. While having a humane and inventive idea, the members soon fall into their own bias and belief systems and bring in the same method they were trying to avoid. (Or become so weird you can’t stand them.) 

Nine-tenths of people are afraid of public speaking. Why is that? If we talked to each individual specifically, it would be easy, yet a group scares us. 

A group can make or break us. They can ridicule us, embarrass us, or kill us if it reaches massive proportions.

Yet those individuals that make up the group are nice people. We could talk to them one on one. They aren’t crazy people. 

Back to the man I was quoting at the beginning of this commentary, Dr. Allen Francis, a psychiatrist. His book is twilight of american sanity (with no caps). He also wrote the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder that first appeared in DSMIII, and is still used in DSM-5, the most recent edition. He began writing his book on social insanity long before any thought that Trump would enter the pages.

He says that Trump isn’t insane. Society is.

He hates it, he says, when a psychiatric diagnosis is so carelessly used to mislabel as mental illness every conceivable example of bad behavior. 

“Most mass murderers are not mentally ill,” he says. “Most terrorists are not mentally ill. Most dictatorial rulers are not mentally ill. Trump’s boorish manners, vulgar speech, and abusive actions make him a national embarrassment and the worst possible role model. He diminishes America, reducing its’s greatness. But none of this makes him mentally ill.”

But what does that say about us? 

Why would we elect someone so manifestly unfit and unprepared to determine mankind’s future? 

“Trump is a symptom of a world in distress,” says Francis.

Calling Trump crazy allows us to avoid confronting the craziness in our society. 

Trump has scared so many people that dystopian classics have jumped to the best sellers list. Orwell’s 1984, Huxley’s Brave New World, Sinclair’ Lewis’s, It Can’t Happen Here, Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. 

I would say that Trump brought out the worst in us. He gave us permission to be fanatical, racist, and misogynistic. 

“It is an inherent part of human nature to create inaccurate explanations that comfort us in the face of life’s uncertainties,” says Francis. Trump won power because he promised quick, phony cures for the following real problems burdening a significant segment of our population who felt left out of the American dream.

Thank Heavens for the Unites States Constitution (based on Greek views, by the way) that we adhere to and that politicians are honor-bound to withhold. It gives us a framework of sanity. It gives us checks and balances (supposedly).

Have you noticed how stirred and unsettled we have felt during the last four years? 

Don’t you feel a peacefulness settling over you now? 

If each generation looked to that seventh generation as the Native Americans did. Then the next seventh and the next, the goodness of the world would rise exponentially. 

The world will probably continue until I leave for the happy hunting grounds, but I want it to continue beyond. I want it for my children and grandchildren and their children and yours.

This past week my naturalist doctor said, “If having me leave would save the world, I’d be the first to volunteer.”

That’s dedication.

We’re good people. Let’s leave the earth that housed us for other good people who are coming up behind us.

We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are.”


Two neighbors went to their Rabbi, each complaining about the other. One neighbor gave his story, and the Rabbi said, “You’re right.”

The other neighbor gave his story and the Rabbi said, “You’re right.”

The Rabbi’s wife called from the other room, “Both guys can’t be right.”

Responded the Rabbi: “You’re right.”

–From Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli

This book has its own page

New cover. formerly called “Hello Beautiful.”