Thursday, December 15, 2016


I watched a video clip about the Electoral College yesterday where they used the words “The Third Option,” a phrase I’ve been using quite a bit in the past few months. I’ve found this to be a good brainstorming tool to move beyond right or wrong, black or white, your way or my way. 

Why do things have to be right or wrong? If you look at big stuff such as killing someone, which I think most people believe is “wrong,” consider these scenarios. 
(1) A serial killer plots the death of people in intricate detail and follows through with these murders. 
(2) A driver is consciously obeying traffic laws when someone jumps out in front of them and is killed by the impact of the vehicle. 
Both of these scenarios result in death. So are both the serial killer and the driver “wrong” and should be treated the same? OR IS THERE A THIRD OPTION?

If your eyes could only see black and white, you wouldn’t see the beautiful colors of the rainbow or the green grass or a sunset over the ocean or the multitude of colors in a calico cat’s fur. WHICH WOULD YOU PREFER?

Your way or my way may be a bit tougher for a lot of people, exacerbated by what I’ve seen as rudeness and bullying becoming “fashionable” in a lot of public situations. Many people seem to think if others don’t believe what they do or agree with them on everything, they should shout louder. How about simply saying, “I don’t agree with that, but did you notice how healthy the trees look this spring?” 

Yep, simply change the topic of conversation so you can talk about something you do agree on. USE THE THIRD OPTION of allowing people their own opinions but don’t try to shove your beliefs down their throat. As long as their actions don’t take away your freedom to feel differently, what does it matter? 

THE THIRD OPTION can be a brainstorming tool to come up with solutions. My son and I have used this in remodeling my house and yard. His perspective is mainly sturdy, functional construction. I like to add beautiful and sometimes whimsical touches. How do we reach THE THIRD OPTION of combining sturdy and beautiful?

—RESPECT the opinion and skills of the other person. When I want something built, I go to my son and ask him the best way to build it.
—Then I LISTEN and am OPEN to what he says.
—Next, I SUGGEST what I’d like to see to beautify a basic project and we tap into our CREATIVE minds and BRAINSTORM how to incorporate beauty with sturdy, functional construction.

One example: when we were remodeling the kitchen and shopping for tiles for the backsplash behind the sink, I found some beautiful small tiles that I loved, but they were quite expensive. (I’m a bargain hunter but sometimes I splurge when something really catches my fancy!) My son found some basic tiles and figured out how many would be needed to cover the backsplash at a reasonable price. However, I kept coming back to those small tiles. So I bought a few samples—they came in 3-inch by 10-inch sections—but couldn’t bring myself to spend a lot of money to cover the entire backsplash. 

When we arrived home, I fussed and figured, then dug through my stacks of tile from previous projects. In one of those stacks was some beautiful tile that would coordinate with the eye-catching samples I had just purchased, which in turn looked great with the basic and reasonably priced tiles. So we ended up with an eye-catching focus behind the sink itself as well as an overall beautiful backsplash at a very reasonable price. (Did I mention the tiles from a previous project had been given to me, so didn’t cost anything?)

I can’t say this process always works. I’ve encountered people who become stubbornly entrenched in “my way is the only right way” and are shouting too loudly to listen to anything else. As much as possible, I don’t deal with those people. However, there are ways around them. A neighbor who is threatening and belligerent toward me sings a different tune to her apartment manager, with whom I am friends. So I don’t deal with this neighbor at all. If there is a problem, I go straight to the apartment manager. And, no, I don’t misuse this connection. I truly want to keep this friendship intact and care about what is going on in their lives—without being nosy. 

In looking over these thoughts, it seems THE THIRD OPTION boils down to basic manners, humanity and caring about your family, neighbors, and others in your community in several simple steps:
—RESPECT the other person.
—LISTEN to others and be OPEN to what they say.
—SUGGEST ways to work together.

—Tap into CREATIVITY and BRAINSTORM sturdy, beautiful solutions.

Can the many complex issues of today that deserve discussion be resolved by using the simple steps of THE THIRD OPTION? Why don't we give it a try and see what we come up with?

Friday, December 2, 2016


Abraham-Hicks thoughts on the election
This is not in support of or against any candidate in the recent US election, but about choosing thoughts and vibrations of what is best for yourself.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Gotta admit I was disappointed in the Thanksgiving messages from both President Obama and Donald Trump. 

With our hosts for the first Thanksgiving—Native Americans—camping in below freezing temperatures to protect clean water and restore our Earth, what a missed opportunity to show deep integrity and passionate stewardship for the planet that is our home. 

A missed opportunity to truly repay those indigenous people who welcomed starving, homeless immigrants and showed them how to survive. I am deeply saddened that welcome was “repaid” in the ugliest of ways.

Today, the issue of how Native People were treated has come up to be recognized. To be corrected. To start healing centuries of broken treaties and heinous treatment. To say, “Our ancestors were wrong and we are deeply sorry.” To truly step into being people of integrity. To keep our promises. To begin a new era of appreciation for other cultures and traditions, and abundance for everyone who chooses it.

That may sound very high-falutin’, but there’s also a practical side. The resources currently being used to “contain” the Native People protecting the water and the Earth could be used to rebuild. We can incorporate technology with native wisdom to build homes that take advantage of solar or wind power or other energy that does not destroy our environment. We can use the ideas from permaculture demonstration sites to grow food and plant renewable forests and restore soils. 

And why not extend this thinking to our entire country? The “clean” technology is available now that can provide jobs and also take care of the Earth on which we live. 

—Check out the announcement from Tesla about solar glass roofing tiles. Brilliant and beautiful! <>. You can also ogle the pricey electric car that’s faster than a Corvette if that’s your style. 

—Check out permaculture—permanent agriculture. This can be as simple as growing a tomato plant in your apartment or restoring acres and acres of worn-out land. I am finishing up a four-week, FREE Intro to Permaculture at Oregon State University. Lots of great information! However, if you want to learn more about permaculture right now from one of the gurus himself, Geoff Lawton, check out this series of nine FREE videos <>. 

—How about a wind turbine that looks like a tree? <>

Those are just three innovations. How many more can you find? 

We don’t have to wish for the “good old days,” which weren’t so good for some of us. What if those days established an expectation that was unrealistic and not sustainable? That has led to the strife and chaos and crumbling systems we are now experiencing?

But perhaps those days also gave us the creativity and strength to build an abundant world that’s grounded in taking care of each other and a feeling of safety for all of us.

So although I’m disappointed in the messages of certain elected leaders, we don’t have to wait for someone to save us or to change our lives. 

As with integrity, each of us can choose how we want to live. We can educate ourselves and take action. 

The opportunity is here. The opportunity is now.

How will you choose? 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


I developed a distaste for politics when I worked for the state and saw how the process worked. So I have avoided politics for many years, only researching candidates and issues enough to vote semi-intelligently. 

In my opinion, politics has never been pretty. However, this past election year seems worse than ever and disturbed me a great deal with the level of hatred, accusations, and people trying to cram their opinions down the throat of others. 

Conversations in the past few weeks with people I dearly care for have revealed deep disagreements. I found myself in kind of a mediator role, trying to really listen and ask questions that dug deeper into why people felt a certain way. Then to steer the conversation to topics where we could all see hope and possibilities for better days ahead.

Reluctantly, I have decided my head-in-the-sand approach to politics needs to change. Yes, I’d rather concentrate on my little corner of the world, but I think the issues currently in our faces are too important to keep silent. 

I’m not planning to jump into the deep end of the pool and run for political office! Rather, I’ll dip my toes in gradually and start this new journey by becoming more thoughtfully informed.

One thing I’ll do is track bills introduced before the US Congress on this web site: <>.

According to this site, there are almost 12,000 bills currently before Congress—that almost stopped me before I began! That’s a lot of bills, but this site breaks them down by subject, so I’ll choose subjects of interest to me and find out more about them. 

Also, the site also says only about 4 percent of those bills will become law. Bills not enacted by the end of the current two-year 114th congressional session will die, and Congress will start over with a clean slate in January 2017. Starting over in January sounds a bit more manageable than trying to catch up with almost 12,000 bills.

In addition to tracking a bill, if I find one of particular interest to me, I’ll share my opinion—thoughtfully and respectfully—with my state’s congressional delegation. I also plan to send kudos to these senators and representatives when they introduce or help pass bills that are important to me.

I also plan to carve out time to comment on local and state issues to our appropriate officials and representatives. 

I’ve also started this new blog: Opting for the Unknown <>. 

Not sure what all this blog will include other than my thoughts on political issues. I’ll probably also venture into posting positive, forward-thinking technology or scientific theories/findings that provide alternatives to the issues facing our world today. 

While I’m not necessarily looking for comments, I would welcome thoughtful, respectful discussion. This will not be a democratic blog—if I don’t like the comment, if it’s not respectful, if it contains swear words or ugly names, or if I’m just crabby because I didn’t get enough sleep, I’ll delete it. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Ah, yes, the election. Perhaps something most of us would rather forget. 

However, if we forget, we also lose the opportunity to learn.

I’ve been baffled in this process when people I thought I knew had different political opinions than I. However, one thing we agreed on was that neither candidate was ideal. In fact, “neither” was indeed the leading choice.

So, when it came time to actually vote, why did people vote the way they did?

Here’s a theory you might not see bandied about by the media: you voted for the devil you knew vs. the devil you didn’t know vs. the unknown (Republican, Democrat, third party).

Let me expand on that.

If you have lived among or been targeted by bullies, racists and sexual predators, you’ve probably learned to survive those experiences in some way. You may not like these experiences, but they are familiar and you’ve developed ways to cope with “the devil you know.”

If you’ve never been around this “devil you don’t know,” you may be in denial this happens or you may be incensed by this behavior or somewhere in between.

Similarly, if you have worked in a bureaucracy or among politicians, you probably have some idea of how that system works—or doesn’t work. Again, you may not like the “devil you know,” but you’ve probably figured out a way to work within this system if you stick with it for a time.

If you’ve never worked for the “devil you don’t know,” you may still pick up impressions about the government by listening to the media or hearing stories from family and friends. 

In either case, most people will choose the “devil they know” because they at least have some ways of coping rather than feeling totally out of control.

Further, if the “devil you know” is so hideous that you simply can’t throw your life back in that situation, you may cross your fingers and pray while you vote for the “devil you don’t know” and hope you can pick up enough tips from those around you to survive.

For most people either of these choices is better than the “unknown.” Except for a few brave pioneers, you have no direct knowledge of the unknown nor have you heard any experiences from family and friends. You are stepping into the jungle with no path and no guide. You have to fumble around and find totally new ways to survive.

However, what if both the “devil you know” and the “devil you don’t know” are totally unacceptable choices? What if the “unknown” turns out to be the most wonderful, creative life situation you’ve ever experienced? 

I’ve been thinking about this a lot and the “unknown” is beckoning like a winning lottery ticket…