Sunday, November 13, 2016

Risk Authenticity

I have been mulling over how to write my own version of the election results here.  I am one of many who are disappointed in the results, however, what I really want to express came after some reading I did from Buddhist leaders, and today I watched a Ted Talk from Brene Brown about Vulnerability.

Risk authenticity and just express how you feel.  I find it best to do this within my own tribe first, to get my feet wet, then branching out from there.  But be informed and be kind.

Personally, I don't vote for anyone who supports racism, but I also didn't think it wise to let someone run the country who had never been a politician.  We don't usually hire managers off the street, so that was just bad business.
I let my gut tell me how to feel about a person, I always have.  I have good instincts and high intuition.  I knew he wasn't right for the job.

Aside from all the obvious stuff that has already been aired, I really see this as a Shift, an opportunity for Big change.  OK, it's out, and the country is split. everyone is mad as hell, and at each other.  This is not where we should start.

For me personally, it became apparent just a few days after the results were out and I was on a day trip with a friend who happens to be a conservative republican.  I was hoping to not talk politics at all, and we almost got through the whole day, but somehow it came up and I feel I was ambushed into a corner.  Not really her fault.  My lesson there was how apparent it was to me that I was uninformed and couldn't even defend myself!  My fault.  Knowledge is power, that is correct, and I have seen the light!

After a recent meditation I came away feeling compassion for all of us.  I also felt hope and acceptance.  But it will take some time to sort things out before others calm down, some just won't, but that's in their nature.

So risking authenticity is to be vulnerable, and vulnerable is a state of openness.  The risk of course is not knowing the outcome, but that's just life.

I think this Shift will be different for all of us, it will be very personal and many will grow because of it.  I know I have already.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Boycot Black Friday


#OPTOUTSIDE!

This Black Friday as with last year, I am opting out of shopping and going outside.  It's a fitting gesture for me and a smart one.  We consume far too much stuff at an alarming rate!  I am slowing that down and promoting "less stuff".  It's easier to manage less stuff, costs less and allows me more free time.  Now that's smart.

Thank you #REI for this splendid image that encourages us to Opt Outside.  (Even they will close for Black Friday.)

Will you join us??

And speaking of STUFF, here is a great video from Woody on the subject:

https://youtu.be/jwJMy9PleXg

Friday, November 4, 2016

Indoor Projects

After a myriad of outdoor projects and the eminent arrival of Fall rains, I moved my motivation indoors at the beginning of October.  This next project was already brewing in my mind while I was working outside.

I had a plan to caulk the remaining seams in two of the bedrooms and repaint.  I had such good success in the bathroom from earlier this year that I was eager to get started.

I don't have any photos of this project because honestly, seams of walls and ceilings just don't translate well in a photo.  If you've ever done any caulking work you know what I mean.

One of the biggest problems I ran into was an old patch / fix from the former tenant.  I'm still not exactly sure how to make a permanent fix, but for now I have at least made it look better and used a small piece of sheetrock to patch a hole in the ceiling.  Originally there was a really long piece screwed to the ceiling tile that also covered an old water stain.
I just put a few coats of Kilz paint over the stain and it was fine.  (Reminder:  this mobile had previously been rescued from Mt. St. Helen's).  Now of course it has a full roof-over structure, so these water stains were quite old.

The overall goal here is to eliminate the need for trim and give it a more finished look.  I did indeed accomplish this!  Floor trim, of course, remaining.

There's nothing like a fresh coat of paint!  Both bedrooms got a country white which will be greatly appreciated come the long dark winter here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Benefits of Handwriting

I heard something today that reminded me that there is a difference between handwriting and using a keyboard as far as how your brain works.
An article I read said “When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated,” said Stanislas Dehaene, a psychologist at the Coll├Ęge de France in Paris.
In another article it said that  "because putting ink to paper stimulates a part of the brain called the Reticular Activating Center, or the RAS."

I found more information about this as an educational issue for young children but I also know that I myself feel a distinct difference between writing something out by hand vs typing.  I can still relay my feelings and ideas, but handwriting seems to flow easier.

I journal daily.  It's my therapy, my friend, my companion.  My think tank for ideas.  As I write, I get even more information about my subject, often I get answers!  I can almost always figure out a dream if I write it down.

Dr. Wayne W Dyer mentioned many times in his writings and speeches that he always wrote out his books by hand, and that he always felt somehow guided as he wrote.
I have to agree that there is an ethereal element to this kind of process.  My daily journal writing has been very therapeutic.  I actually prefer this over long hours spent with someone who hardly knows me, not to mention the cost.

I also write out my to do lists, my project lists and I still send hand written cards.
So I imagine I am engaging a different part of my brain in this way, and hopefully stimulating it with new cells to keep me mentally fit for many years to come,  as this article states:  "According to The Wall Street Journal, some physicians claim that the act of writing — which engages your motor-skills, memory, and more — is good cognitive exercise for baby boomers who want to keep their minds sharp as they age."


Winter Readiness

I like to repost this one every year as we head into winter.  I have had a lot of experience by trial and error on what to do or not do during storms.  The last thing we want is to already be in one unprepared, whether at home or away from home.

I've added two great new gizmos to my arsenal of supplies.  Actually one was a gift from my brother this year.  It's a battery operated light switch.

Don't let this thing fool you!  It's incredibly bright and only needs two AAA batteries.  It can mount via sticky pads or magnets.


 Is that crazy or what?  I love it!

Next up is my go to tool when the lights go out and it's dark.  It's a headlamp.  Hands free light wherever I need it.


This has three settings, two for brightness and one blinks.  I imagine the blinking option would come in handy should I somehow get trapped in a snow bank, lol.

 More tips follow from this archived post:


  While it's a little early to be thinking about snow here in the Pacific Northwest, it is not too early to prepare for it!
Women on their own must look out for themselves and be prepared for anything - because anything can happen.  I have been through many major storms here and been trapped for weeks, both at home and away from home.

I now have a preparation ritual.  In the Fall (sometimes sooner) I start thinking about what I need to do, from gathering supplies to making preparations.
Supplies always include extra canned and dry goods, anything I can cook or prepare on a camp stove should the power be out.
Preparations include winterizing the house.  Wrapping outside pipes, putting up heavier curtains inside.
I even pack an overnight bag that I keep in my car should I get stuck away from home.

I always make sure I have a flashlight and extra batteries, several small propane tanks, lanterns and oil, matches and ground coffee!  Until they design a battery operated coffee grinder, this is a staple for me!  Of course a small drip coffee one-cupper and cone shaped filters must be included.
[ update:  I found a hand grinder!  No batteries or electricity required!)

Other useful things would be a couple of bags of ice in the freezer, so when the power goes out it keeps the food cold.  One year it was so cold outside that I just put the food out in the mudroom.
Extra containers of water may be necessary if your water comes from an electric pump,  and did I mention candles?  Lots of them.

Obviously I have a back up heating system that doesn't require electricity.  I have a wonderful wood stove.  It is actually my primary heat source. I get my fire wood in the summer, stacked, cured and covered by Sept.

Keep the gas tank full in the car and the snow shovel by the front door.  Have a corded phone to plug in to the jack should the power go out.  Cordless phones are useless without power.
Up until about a year ago I didn't even have a cell phone, but now that I do, I keep that charged up.  While I don't get service here at my house, at least I can use it in the car if need be.

So these are some of the things we can do to be prepared for a long winter living alone.
If you're on a budget like me, or just like to conserve your resources, we have to think outside of the box a little more, get creative and work with the resources you have.

I'm really quite content with my independent life, and grateful to have a sharp mind and willing spirit.  It just makes life so much more interesting.

If you have any tips you'd like to share on winter preparedness, please leave a comment!  I look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Winter Wren





Winter Wren has returned.  He shows up every year about this time.  He makes himself known by flying up to me, jumping around and making cute little peeping sounds.  I'm not sure exactly what this behavior is, but I'd like to think he is just letting me know he has returned and is happy to be here.

I keep a year round supply of fresh water for all the birds and my lush, mostly untouched habitat is perfect for foraging and nesting.

He will stay throughout the winter and then head off to wherever he goes for Spring and Summer.

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