Share Your World 9/11/17

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2x Great Grandfather, Knoxville

Cee’s Share Your World this week:

Would you want $200,000 right now or $250,000 in a year? It’s safe to assume all money is tax free.

I could wait, so I’d rather have the extra $50 thousand.  I know people who could probably turn the $200,000 into $300,000 in a year but I’m not one of them…

Is it more important to love or be loved?

To love.  If you love I think being loved will follow.  If you need to be loved, for the most part you won’t  be…

List things that represent abundance to you.

  • All my friends and family being well and fed and happy.
  • Owning a home with no mortgage.
  • Being able to travel any time any where
  • Having a savings account so huge you could need a new foundation, a new car and a new roof all at once, and you could just move the funds to checking to pay for it.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

While waiting for Ancestry DNA results I went ahead and got a paid membership for the first time in a long time.  I mostly wanted it so I can follow up on the results, but I’ve been happily poking around and following trails, constantly inspired by another find to look for more..

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Republicans, Harvey and the Wall

Initially I was shocked the other night to read that Republicans are proposing to take one billion dollars away from the Hurricane Harvey relief fund and direct it to #45’s wall instead.  Then upon reflection I wondered why it surprised me…

I found myself wondering how all those Republican voters in Texas feel about this.  Personally I feel appalled at the callousness and at first my heart went out to all the suffering Texans.  Then it occurred to me we’re talking about staunchly Republican Texas and this is exactly what they voted for.  This is who Republicans have always been and lots of people have been voting against their own interests and in favor of the 2% for decades now.  So, I’m wondering if losing recovery help in favor of building the pointless wall a billionaire wants will suit them just fine?

On the chance that they’re going to feel thrown under the bus by this, a little part of me is wondering if this is a Machiavellian maneuver by fed-up Republican politicians to turn the tide of approval away from #45 so they can get rid of him without consequences?  Or at the least to put him in yet another awkward position, in that he’s trying to pretend he gives a crap about what’s happening in the flood/storm zone and yet he wants that wall?  Which will he choose if these are his only options?

Interesting times we’re in. Lots of folks operating out of world views I seriously do not understand.

Meanwhile I’m still chanting and meditating on heart and compassion, etc.  Seems needed in these times… At least I apparently still need them.

Share Your World 8/7/17

Cee’s Share Your World this week:

What was the last URL that you bookmarked or saved?

I so seldom bookmark anything any more I don’t know…  Generally I get URLs either to link to something in one of my posts or to put on a Pinterest board or to share something on Facebook.  The last such shared link was a story about a mobile library for refugees.

Do you believe in the afterlife?  Reincarnation?

I believe we are eternal, spiritual beings living in a physical body.  And that that spirit inhabits different bodies in the space time continuum, which translates to reincarnation I guess.

If you were or are a writer do you prefer writing short stories, poems or novels?

Novels.  I like to be able to stretch out a story and am not that good at the succinctness required of short stories.  And poetry, to me, requires a patience about carefully choosing each word; it’s a patience I lack.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

A friend thanked me for the positive space I’ve been creating with my posts on Facebook.  It’s been a concerted effort on my part to point out the good stuff.  Her gratitude sparked a realization in me that it is life changing to spend time every day looking for the good, finding the good and sharing the good.

Share Your World 7/31/17

Cee’s Share Your World this week:

If you had to have your vision corrected would you rather: glasses or contacts? Or what do you use if you need to have your vision corrected?

In an ideal world in which my eyes tolerated them better, I’d wear contacts.  But I struggled for decades, had various pairs that docs who specialize in “sensitive” patients were sure would be perfect and never in all the years could I wear them all day long…  As the muscles around my eyes have unwound my vision has improved quite a bit and I’m nearsighted so I read well without anything and I can see TV well enough without.  The changes mean my prescription is constantly shifting and I can’t afford to change glasses all the time so unless I’m driving or doing something that requires being able to see more clearly, I don’t wear anything.  Keep an old pair of glasses in the car to wear to be legal.

Are you more of a dog person or a cat person?

Salty, black and white 2

I love both but I’ve only had cats for many years.  Unless I can afford to hire a dog walker at some point I think it will continue to be cats because I can’t imagine me out there walking a dog every day no matter what 🙂

If you were to buy a new house/apartment what is the top three items on your wish list?

  1. fabulous kitchen — I enjoy cooking but how often I cook has always depended on how good a kitchen.  I’d love to have my dream kitchen.
  2. a large shower with a bench/seat and a hand held shower head
  3. as much space between me and my neighbors as possible — like a house in the middle of 1,000 acres sounds good 🙂

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

At a party, one of my friends thanked me for the positive stuff I’ve been posting on Facebook and I suddenly realized how happy it makes me to seek out good news and spread the word — so I’m inspired to do more!

Share Your World 7/24/17

Cee’s Share Your World this week:

List some of your favorites types of teas.

Not a big fan of tea.  There are some brands of Darjeeling and Earl Grey I really like — also some brands of both I can’t swallow…

After YEARS of searching for an herbal tea I could tolerate, I landed a few years back on Bengal Spice and I drink it a LOT and add it to my turmeric ginger tea to help the flavor.  Most herbal tea tastes to me like a cup of hot water that something flavored has been swiped through once.  Bengal Spice is nice and robust, so for strong-coffee-drinker me, it satisfies plus it’s a combo of spices I really like.

I also steep tea of all sorts longer than anybody I know — STRONG!

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

Okay, we had this question once before and I did the serious job of thinking about what really represented me.  This time, I just love this sign–which probably does say something about me:

What are a couple of things could people do for you on a really bad day that would really help you?

Remind me to breathe deep and stay in the moment.

Irregardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would do do?   Remember this is SYW, dreaming is always allowed.

The thing is, not having great fitness, coordination or agility I never had dreams of being an athlete.  Nor do I like to watch most sports.  I do love figure skating–and I actually did skate as a kid–and I would totally love to take it up again and learn more.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful the storms around here didn’t do any damage to us–unlike Maysville, KY, which could use some prayers.  This week I’m going to a gathering in honor of a friend, Allis, who moved away and is back for her first visit.  The gathering is in Danville, where I have a crowd of friends I don’t see often, so looking forward to seeing everybody but especially excited to see Allis.  The next day is a fundraising concert/party for a friend who’s doing the Susan Koman walk in San Diego and it’s another group that hasn’t been getting together much any more so I’m looking forward to seeing those folks.  After two social events in a row I’m looking forward to having nothing to do for a few days 🙂

Start the Revolution Without Me?

This is one of those posts I’ve debated about for a while — which blog?  which blog?  I’ve been doing some occasional political pieces on the Scribblings blog, but ultimately I decided this one has messages that suit both.  So I’m posting on both– not even a reblog just the same post in two places…

Lately I’ve been slowly realizing how everything I’ve done since college has been adding up to something forming in the now; a purpose and direction born long before this spiritual journey began as a conscious process.

I got to Northwestern University in 1970 and by the end of my freshman year I was radicalized.  A lot of revolution talk floated in the air around the anti-war movement and I felt both excited and unnerved by it. Puzzled by the enthusiasm being expressed by “peaceniks” for a process usually containing violence and horror — however great the outcome might be. (Though really, historically speaking, I’d have to say an awful lot of revolutions made things worse instead of better….)

It fascinated me, so I began to study.  Technically I majored in history and had an English minor, but I put together my own course of study.  An instructor with a forthcoming book on the “Power Elite” (the people of money who, behind the scenes, ran/run much of what happened/happens) ignited more fascination and I started taking classes on 20th century history, political systems, economic systems, political philosophy, political sociology, etc.  I wanted to know what the plan should/would be for a replacement if we wanted to tear the current structure down.  I wanted to find out if there was a path to change without violence.  I never lost sight of the deep questions about whether those who were shouting about revolution really understood the ramifications.  They also shouted about peace and the contradiction troubled me.

I tried to continue this work as a graduate student in sociology, but fellowship money wound up side-tracking me into the Center for Urban Affairs.  I learned more stuff that influences me still, not the least of which was a massive review of literature on crime statistics and the startling revelation that the probabilities of being a victim of most of the major felonies (robbery, burglary, assault, murder, rape, etc.) had not changed since at least the 1940’s.  (see previous post for more info)

I’ve continued to periodically check for updated studies and it has remained true to this day–and I now know the unchanged probabilities actually extend far back beyond the 1940’s.  It’s remained a central point for me, the realization that fear and perception of what’s real can be manipulated by how the facts are presented and what the media and people in power choose to bring to our attention.  And in these days, when positive news is available in a few seconds of internet searching, it’s also about what we choose to focus upon.

My law career was spent mainly on cases fighting nuclear power plants one way or another and I learned a lot about the real story there and how the utility companies, in collusion with the government, have tried to create a benign view of the nuclear industry that’s out of alignment with the facts.

I used to count all of those earlier studies and jobs out of my thoughts about how various elements of “my path” have added up to where I am now and what I am meant to do.  But as these wild times have ignited me to renewed interest in these big questions about politics and economics, I’m seeing how the Universe has guided me to gather what I need for my whole adult life, not just from the point when I began to explore myself as a spiritual being.  I still don’t see exactly where it leads, though that book I decided to write months ago on peaceful activism remains in the forefront of my thoughts.

Going back to the undergraduate studies, Oskar Lange‘s book, On the Economic Theory of Socialism, moved me, convinced me and provided the basic framework for what I would like to see that has guided my political thinking ever since.  While I love Social Democratic philosophy and especially how it has played out in Denmark, I remain aware that the U.S. has reached a point where powerful money forces have entrenched themselves so deeply in the political fabric that it may well require a revolution to make a change.

Through all the years I’ve watched the left leaning side of the Democratic party (and those who, like me, are somewhere left of the party but vote for it out of expediency), I’ve been amused and bemused by the unending chatter about changing this deeply rooted political principle or that deeply entrenched lobby group.  They speak of it as though just electing a few of the right people and/or passing the right laws will be all it takes to turn everything around.

My personal feeling has long been that it will take something far more earth shattering than electing “the right” people to revamp our system into a Social Democracy.   In an ironic sense I have a feeling the election of #45 may be the catalyst that does it, but that’s another rambling for another day…

My perspective now includes years of spiritual seeking, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, chanting, etc. and my beliefs have shifted to encompass a more spiritual and less political view.  I believe in peace.  I believe in compassion.  I believe in lovingkindness.  And I’m still striving to find a way to change the world without a revolution–or at least by fomenting a peaceful and compassionate one.

I’m unhappy about the anger and vitriol on display from both sides while at the same time understanding we probably need this time of erupting anger to clear a lot of buried stuff.  I’m unenthusiastic about “resistance” being the main banner of the movement for social democracy.

I am very clear it is more powerful to be “for” something than it is to be against something and I believe it is time for a platform of social change in which we are FOR equality, FOR universal health care, FOR equal rights for all humans of every race, nationality, gender and sexual orientation, FOR a basic decent quality of life for all humans–maybe FOR a new Social Democratic party?…  Time to stop speaking of our striving in battle terms and instead to be positive about what we’re doing to create what we believe in.

I am also clear that much of humanity discounts the role many of us have been playing as we have cleared old issues, struggled to become more loving, more kind, more compassionate…  Much of humanity doesn’t believe in peaceful means.  I understand that most people don’t get the web of all life or comprehend we are energy beings first and foremost; energy beings who are interconnected and whose thoughts and feelings as well as actions impact all of life.

I believe the biggest revolution may be the one that can and must happen in our hearts.  Which is not to say peaceful activism doesn’t also have a role.  But more than anything I believe now is the moment to clear any vestiges of fear and anger IN YOU, raise your energy vibration toward love, toward compassion, toward higher consciousness.  You can’t make anybody else change their thoughts or learn to meditate or choose peace.  Only you can do it. Only I can do it.  Peace begins with me.  Peace begins with you

Share Your World 7/10/17

Cee’s Share Your World for this week:

How do you like to spend a rainy day?

Inside.  I’m learning to enjoy sitting on our sun porch looking at the greyness and listening to the tapping sound but it’s taken a long time since my years in the Pacific Northwest led me to loathe the rain…  I was there during a particularly wet bunch of years, hitting the year when a long drought broke, then Mt St. Helen blew up and created rain cycles and then there was a long el nino/la nina deal.  Rain, rain, rain.

The years when I was out there it rained or was grey and/or misty something like 28 days a month from September until right after the 4th of July.  When I worked at Lewis and Clark Law School, I remember one of the students who was about to graduate coming into my office and I asked him if he was staying in Portland.  He looked at me like I was insane and said with mingled disgust and disdain, “No.  I’m going back to California, where I won’t have mushrooms growing between my toes.”  I thought that said it all.

After years of living through Michigan and Chicago winters, I was more cold than I’d ever been in my life in the dampness that permeated everywhere and later I found out I’m very allergic to mold, so it was a miserable time.  I did meet lovely people and have maintained some cherished friendships over the years.  And had some lovely visits back.  In August. 🙂

List at least five favorite treats. (They do not have to be sugary).

I don’t do a lot of snacking, but lately I’m on a big kick of heating up a couple of Trader Joe’s Black Bean Taquitos when I want a reasonably healthy snack.

I’m also fond of popcorn without butter.

My one desserty thing each day is often several pieces of various sorts of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate candies.

Two other dessert things I’ve fallen in love with though I don’t eat them often are Whoopie Pies, a gluten and dairy free chocolate sandwichy thing with various choices of filling flavor (210 calories) and Garden Lites chocolate muffins which are little chocolately delights whose top two ingredients are carrots and zucchini and they’re gluten free as well (110 calories).  Both are absolutely delicious and after many years during which my wheat and dairy sensitivities meant I couldn’t have dessert unless I made it (being unwilling to eat the nasty gluten free stuff that used to pass for dessert), I’m so pleased to have two such delectable sweets I can buy.

Where’s your favorite place to take out-of-town guests?

When I lived in the San Francisco Bay area, we could strike out in pretty much any direction, but several I especially liked:

Mountain Home Inn View

Mountain Home Inn View

  1. drive through Mill Valley and up the hill to have lunch on the deck at Mountain Home Inn, looking at the amazing views and then a little walk in the woods across the street
  2. drive through the Presidio and go to the Legion of Honor museum or head up to Golden Gate Park and the De Young, in the days before it moved to the giant modern building it’s in now.
  3. grab the ferry at Larkspur and head across the bay to wander around that end of SF.

In Chicago there were also multiple great things but my two favorites were to go get the tour boat on the Chicago River shortly before sunset (it moves up the river first and then about the time the sky has become a magnificent backdrop, moves out onto the lake and the skyline view) and to drive up to the Bahai Temple in Wilmette and walk around the grounds and take a tour.

Here in Kentucky I take people out the winding roads in the stunning countryside.  My late aunt belonged to the Hunt Club and I spent summers swimming there.  It’s on a country road so narrow if two cars pass they both have to put the tires on the outside off the road.  There are also gorgeous horse farms around it, areas where you’re just in the midst of trees, one lane bridges, etc.

You are trapped in an elevator, who would you want to be trapped with?

Since I don’t like closed spaces and am afraid of heights, I think it had better be a paramedic or a psychotherapist or a Buddhist monk 🙂  I can ride an elevator as long as it goes pretty quickly from point A to Point B.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m really grateful for a bunch of days without rain — this has been a wet year (I keep saying I feel like I’m living in Portland) so it was nice to do without for a bit.  I’m reading books on a topic I plan to write a book about and enjoying reading other people’s takes on peace, coping with enemies, non violence etc. so I’m looking forward to putting in more time on that this week.

Another Ashland Walk

It’s taken a couple of years, having formed the resolution several times, to start going at least occasionally to Ashland (Henry Clay’s estate) to take a walk.  This is twice in a couple of months so, hey, I might be starting a habit 🙂

All previous visits have involved the parking area, which has several of the buildings nearby, the house itself and the walled formal garden.  Today I chose to park on the far side and walk on a couple of the pathways on the grounds.

I was quite surprised to find a marker informing me of a Civil War skirmish on the grounds — I knew there were battles not far from Lexington but don’t recall ever hearing of something right here in town — let alone in Henry Clay’s yard!

Had to snap a few photos.  Although I cropped some of them, the rest are all without any added enhancements–the light was amazing.

Share Your World 7/3/17

Cee’s Share Your World for this week:

For your main meal do you prefer sweet and sour, hot and spicy, spicy and sweet, bitter, salty, bland or other?

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I’m inclined to say savory, which could include some of those other combos.  I tend to like herbs and flavors like garlic, onion, etc.; country French and Italian cooking.  I also enjoy a spicy curry or spicy Mexican food.  I pretty much never like bland.

Where do you hide junk when people come over?

If people drop by they just see the junk.  We’re messy and my mother is a hoarder, so it is what it is.  On the rare occasions when I have a dinner party or the even rarer occasions when overnight guests are coming, I spend a couple of weeks on clearing, sorting, reorganizing, etc., which mostly involves throwing out a lot of stuff or giving to a local charity that picks up stuff and then doing a good job of getting the rest put away in the spaces I’ve created.  So hiding isn’t really involved.

What daily habit would you like to introduce to your life?

The one I pray for most when the crazy stuff going on with my muscles stops keeping me awake all the time is to have a regular sleep schedule.

If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?

There’s so absolutely nothing in a circus I’ve ever had the slightest desire to do that I’ve never given such a thing a thought.  If I had to pick, Ringmaster 🙂

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

It was hot and humid and off-and-on stormy so I was pretty grateful for AC even though I usually complain about it 🙂  I’m kind of dreading a dentist appointment to fill a tooth this week, so I guess I’m mostly looking forward to after that.

Share Your World 6/5/17

I’ve been lax about getting my SYW posts done lately, so I wanted to make a point of getting right on it this time!  So, this week’s Share Your World:

What’s your strongest sense?

I’m inclined to say vision, though mine needs correction.  But as long as the correction is there, I take in information visually better than any other way.

Which of Snow White’s 7 dwarfs describes you best? (Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey)

Happy

For far too long I’m afraid health issues have meant Sleepy probably best describes me.  But I’m well on the way to being Happy.

If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what age would that be?

If I could know what I know now and have the vitality and looks of 30, that would be my ideal.  If my choice would be (1) to go back to being young and vital but uptight, unhappy and clueless or (2) to live with the emotional, wisdom and spiritual gains I’ve made over the years …  I think I’d choose to be the more serene and wiser me of now–64.

List of Jobs You Think You Might Enjoy: Even if you aren’t thinking about a career change, it can be fun to think of other jobs you might enjoy.

Travel guide for foodie tours in France and Italy.

Much of my life I wanted to be a singer, but at this stage I can’t imagine wanting the peripatetic lifestyle that goes with being really successful and I wouldn’t enjoy the kind of local hotel nightclub gig — singing covers of pop songs I don’t like — that would probably be my lot, so I’ve lost interest…

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

We had 4 or 5 days in a row of perfect weather for having the windows open and I LOVE fresh air so I’m very grateful for that.  This week I’m looking forward to not much on the schedule — the following week gets back to taking Mom to the doctor, usually followed by a trip to the drug store and then taking myself to the dentist another day… so I’m especially grateful to have a quiet week this time.