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…