Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Meeting the World's Deepest Need


VOCATION: THE PLACE WHERE OUR DEEP

GLADNESS MEETS THE WORLD'S DEEPEST NEED.

~Frederick Buechner


Of Note: On this last day of November let us imagine a time when human beings will be filled to the brim with passion for what they are doing. Somewhere in the distant past, the mass consciousness put on the cloak of pain as a way to move forward on the evolutionary path. Since then, misery has become so ingrained that humanity is weighed down with the burden and often has difficulty even conceptualizing the inherent gifts of Divinity, an heirloom from Father to Son. Change is on the horizon. For those who do not see it yet, acting AS IF works too. All it takes is an intention to Be Love throughout the day and a short review at night to see how it went. After 28 days, the intention becomes habit. By thus contributing to the pool of harmlessness through the use of the imagination, we can take part directly in the coming transformation. The result? A spirit-driven future in which our children and their children will be secure, happy and committed to the common good. It will be our legacy to future generations for which we will always be remembered.

Today's Weather Report: Water is dripping from the roof at the same time it is snowing. It is an odd combination for sure. A blizzard is forecast for later today, and I'm heading into town shortly to stock up on provisions. Just think, in New Zealand it is spring, and the flowers are beginning to bloom. That thought helps as the snow flies here in the northwoods, and the only colors available are shades of gray. On another note: have you clicked today? On the right hand side of this blog page is a circle asking the reader to click it. Up will pop the Greater Good Network at www.thehungersite.com. All that is required is a quick click in the box provided on six separate pages. It takes under a minute. What the site gets is money from advertisers--over $20 million dollars have been distributed in 10 years. Not bad for six simple clicks. The Website is cool as well so it is a pleasure to donate this way every day. I do it right after finishing the blog. It only took 28 days to make it a habit.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Harmony of Numbers


There is harmony of numbers in all nature:
in the force of gravity,
in the planetary movements,

in the laws of heat, light,
electricity and chemical affinity,

in the forms of animals and plants,
in the perceptions of the mind.

The direction indeed of modern science is toward
a generalization which shall express the fundamental
laws of all by one simple numerical ratio.

~ HP Blavatsky
Secret Doctrine, Part 4, 1888

Of Note: Since the turn of the 20th century, scientists have been searching for the one formula that will unite all forces of nature. The mathematical schemes attempting the feat have become so elaborate that only the greatest minds can grasp them. Lay people are entertained with accounts in magazines and best selling books by authors claiming to have the inside track to the ultimate prize. Maybe the answer lies not in the convoluted realms of higher mathematics but rather in the basics of form and number. If indeed the fundamental law of all will be expressed by one simple numerical ratio as Blavatsky stated, there is a good chance that ratio is already known but under-appreciated. Take pi for example. Webster's Dictionary defines pi as a transcendental number having a value to eight decimal places of 3.14159265. In actuality the number goes on to Infinity. Could it be that embedded in that never-ending string of numbers is a clue to the mystery of the universe? While astrophysicists and others search for the ever-elusive prize in the direction of the more complex, someone else, maybe a metaphysician, will find the answer in the basic laws governing the universe. Motive will be the deciding factor for the answer will be found only when the fruits of its discovery will be used for the good of all mankind.

Today's Weather Report: Water is still dripping from the roof here at 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though the sun was out yesterday, today it is not. Heavy clouds obscure its rays. Actually, this is a typical November day, and we can look for more sunshine in December, just a few days away. Humans are nurtured by sunshine, and it provides much needed vitality. Without it, we become weakened and pasty. Ageless wisdom suggests every one of us needs at least 15 minutes of the sun's rays a day. Sun and a healthy light diet plus ridding ourselves of worry should keep a person healthy. Simple really. Why is it the simple solutions are often the hardest to accomplish? The fact is most of us crave the complex--the more complex the better. It seems to be hardwired in our brain. However, as our consciousness evolves, simplicity is one of the signs of progress. First complex, then simple. It's written in the stars.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Entering a Period of Consequences


THE ERA OF PROCRASTINATION IS COMING TO A CLOSE.
WE ARE ENTERING A PERIOD OF CONSEQUENCES.


~Winston Churchill

Of Note: What do Roza Otunbayeva of Kyrgyzstan, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, and Iveta Radicova of Slovakia have in common? Not only are they women political leaders but are at the helm in developing countries. They join their sisters Angela Merkel of Germany, Johanna Sigurddardottir of Iceland and Dilma Roussef, the newly elected President of Brazil, and many others who have been chosen by their people in the last 10 years to lead their respective nations. It would appear that the Age of Women is unfolding, and the period of consequences of which Churchill spoke will be lead by humanity's female half. The talk of woman's ascendancy is front and center in numerous circles, but many times exclusively circumnavigates woman's issues such as reproductive health, maternal and child health, woman's rights and the like. People may be surprised to find that woman in power have at least as broad a range as their male counterparts and easily master complex interweavings of politics, finance, education, business, science, medicine, religion, and philosophy. Their best efforts, however, may be in peacemaking--a future area of exploration. Some believe that it is women that must be educated because they nurture the sons and daughters, who go off to fight. When mothers no longer raise warriors, the fighting will end. Raise these educated women one step further to political power en masse, and they may take the doom out of doomsday in short order. Interesting, the developing countries are leading this paradigm shift by electing women to their parliaments sometimes in numbers approaching 50%. These are the countries to watch as this story unfolds right before our eyes.

Today's Weather Report: Water is dripping from the roof outside my office window. Checking the temperature explains why. It is surprisingly 39 degrees Fahrenheit! A veritable heat wave on one of the last days of November. The sun is shining to boot. December is a much sunnier month than November. Possibly we are getting a taste of December a few days early. The aerator I worked with off and on for two years is keeping the water open in a large circle around the dock. Apparently, the old aerator wasn't doing its job for some time before its demise because the open area is quite a bit larger than it used to be. Bet the fish are happy with their oxygenated water though I don't think the sleeping turtles much care. Speaking of turtles, this summer, we didn't see the huge snapping turtle with a two-foot diameter shell, who always lived under the dock. After we removed that dock in the spring, I wonder if she moved on. Can't say she will be missed. Although it was exciting to see such a monster, I always worried about my toes when working in her neighborhood. This picture was taken of her lake last winter during an unforgettable sunset.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Quest toward the Marvelous


SCIENTISTS IN THEIR QUEST FOR CERTITUDE
AND PROOF TEND TO REJECT THE MARVELOUS.

~Jacques Cousteau

Of Note: In 2006 Pluto was demoted from a planet when a larger object, Eris, was found orbiting the sun. Based on that discovery, the International Astronomers Union, which makes these weighty decisions, deemed both "dwarf planets," leaving only 8 official planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. In a surprising finding announced on November 6th, a group of astronomers, who had recalculated Eris's size, found it was slightly smaller than originally thought, and Pluto once again took the lead in size. Based on this information, it appears that the demotion may have be to reconsidered. It would have saved astronomers time, however, had they been versant in the ancient science of astrology. Like the other outer planets, Pluto, though tiny, emanates enough energy to powerfully influence whole generations of people on Earth. Pluto, only discovered in 1930, is presently aiding the transformation of Earth from a non-sacred to a sacred planet utilizing a paradoxical combination of destructive and regenerative energies. We can be fairly certain based on past history that astronomers will continue to argue about what is or is not a planet. Regardless of this controversy on the third rock from the sun, Pluto and the others will continue on their daily rounds unimpeded. Carry on.

Today's Weather Report: The gods dictated that I take a day off and contemplate the workings of the stars and planets. Such musings always put me in a mellow mood, and so it was today. At 17 degrees Fahrenheit, it was cold outside, but nestled in my study cove, I didn't care. Winter is my quiet time when ponderings of one kind or other are mulled over with relish. Thought projects are grasped with pleasure when the snow begins to fall. By the spring and the rebirth of the garden, most of these projects have moved on to the next phase. But today all that mattered were the thoughts playing in my mind like a soul-filled tune and my cup of hot green tea.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Loos'd of Limits and Imaginary Lines

From this hour I ordain myself loos'd
of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master,
total and absolute.

~Walt Whitman

Of Note: Walt Whitman was undoubtedly a Master of Wisdom, who brought to humanity a renewed sense of spirituality through the written word. People find themselves moved by this poet's pieces, some without even understanding they are reading scripture. Emerson, Browning, Whitman and others contributed a huge bank of sacred words for the betterment of our planet and all its inhabitants, human and subhuman. Even today the energy of these poets flows through the ether, and every time their works are read, particularly aloud, the universe trembles and rejoices.

Today's Weather Report: This morning was quite nippy in the mid-teens Fahrenheit with flurries. But by late morning the sun shone brightly overhead. The snow is piling up and is obviously here for the duration of the winter--though it is not officially winter yet. Here in northern Wisconsin, we have fall for about a month then winter for 5 or 6. I am already picturing the tulips breaking ground first thing in the spring and bringing some color--right now we have to be satisfied with shades of gray and white. That is why the sunshine is so welcome--it illuminates the landscape and exposes the color hiding in the woods. The evergreens, which simply look gray on a cloudy day, are quite colorful in the sun. It's well worth a drive through the woods on a sunny day to fill one's eyes with the bountiful beauty.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Knowledge into Wisdom


KNOWLEDGE IS KNOWING A TOMATO IS A FRUIT;
WISDOM IS NOT PUTTING IT INTO THE FRUIT SALAD.

~Anonymous


Of Note: As this year quickly comes to a close, we can look out on the vast amount of work accomplished and be joyful that the fruits of our labors are beginning to shine throughout the world. No one can argue that these points of light illuminate every corner of the planet. Humanity is in the tricky process of transforming knowledge into wisdom, and what's more is having success. For that we can all take credit. Happy Thanksgiving and may the blessings of the universe pour down upon us throughout the coming holiday season.

Today's Weather Report: A short while ago it was still snowing lightly; several inches have fallen since the start of the storm around 4 pm. The 30 degree Fahrenheit temperature continues to hang in there like glue at 1 am. If anyone was wondering, I do know the fruit above is NOT a tomato, but no tomato photo was available in my vast catalog. So this apple, which graced my garden last year, agreed to pose as a tomato stand in. Please use your imagination and act AS IF. Trust me, it works every time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Superior Mind


A conviction, akin to a religious feeling,
of the rationality or intelligibility of the world
lies behind all scientific work of a higher order.

This firm belief in a superior mind that
reveals itself in the world of experience
represents my conception of God.

~Albert Einstein

Of Note: And God said "Let there be Light" and all hell broke loose. Literally. For a God-in- training there could be no other outcome. Most believe in a God who is perfect, but perfection is relative. As compared to man, God is perfect indeed. As compared to the Hierarchy of Gods, He-She only sits somewhere in the middle with quite a bit more to learn about creation before heading out of this universe into another. We know this to be true by looking around at the pain and misery that represent the Earthly experience. But the teachings of ageless wisdom tell us that our fledgling God is heading for a leap forward in His-Her evolutionary path, and we are all being carried along for the ride. Thus, the apparent chaos we see around us is a reaction to growth on a scale unimaginable to man. This does not let us off the hook, however. As creators in our own right, we have responsibilities as well. The key as Master Einstein noted is the use of mind--the same one connected inextricably to God, The Mind. Imperfect at this point in time, yes, evolving to perfection, indeed. In that thought is our guarantee of a brighter dawn than the one we have today.

Today's Weather Report: Northern Wisconsin along with much of the upper Midwest is getting slammed by a snowstorm that is raging out of the Rockies. Weather advisories warned of treacherous road conditions including a winter mix of ice, sleet and snow. This mess is explained by temperatures hanging tightly in the lower 30's Fahrenheit. I have to admit a real aversion to ice, particularly driving in the stuff. On one occasion years ago, my car went careening down an icy hill in Duluth. The only thing that stopped the vehicle was the fact it eventually hit the side of the road. Other cars were not as lucky as they went barreling to the bottom. Salt trucks repeatedly went up the other side of the road. Only after several hours did one come down the other side. They were no dummies--unlike the rest of us who should have heeded the warnings and stayed home.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nature is No Saint

NATURE AS WE KNOW HER IS NO SAINT.

~Henry David Thoreau
Essays

Of Note: What do cow flatulence and leaking Siberian lakes have in common? If you guessed, methane gas, you were right. Methane is produced when non-oxygen loving organisms feed on organic matter in cows, landfills or permafrost. Although cud-chewing cows have always emitted the toxic gas, the Siberian frozen lakes have only been spewing the noxious substance since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago, a rate which has been accelerating recently because of melting permafrost underneath. In Siberia, methane gas gurgles to the surface, and one scientist was stunned when she found that "some days it looked like the lake was boiling." Some researchers believe the melting permafrost and methane situation is a serious sleeper issue and a few amplify this concern by stating it could become the epicenter of climate change. On the other hand, one newspaper headline trumpeted: "Arctic Armageddon needs more science and less hype." At this point, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program reports that the balance is tipped in favor of carbon dioxide absorption, and the situation will continue to be researched, monitored and otherwise tracked. Researchers stress that reducing methane gas emissions in other areas could make a difference. That is where the cow-tax comes in. So far, this has not been a popular solution to the problem of bovine flatulence, but the day may come when the fix is taken seriously.

Today's Weather Report: It was cold all day hovering in the low 20's Fahrenheit. Very cold even with the proper attire. The sun shone and produced the illusion of warmth much to the chagrin of the local hunters, one who is joining us for dinner tonight after hunting our land all day. We are having grandma food tonight, scalloped potatoes and ham, and the dogs have not moved far from the stove in anticipation of a few handouts. The smell has saturated the house and has made it difficult to concentrate. Better go check it out.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mystery of the Unknown


If we can somehow retain places where we
can always sense the mystery of the unknown,

our lives will be richer for it.

~Sigurd F. Olson

Of Note: In our hustle-bustle world, it is often difficult to find locations of peace and quiet where the mystery of the unknown comes to life. Sigurd Olson, a world renowned environmentalist, found such spots canoeing in northern Minnesota on pristine lakes near his hometown of Ely. He wrote a myriad of books cataloging all of his favorite places "far from the maddening crowd." The man lived to leave civilization and submerged himself in the vast wilderness. Solitude was his friend and companion. Upon returning from his sojourns, this practical mystic brought back a message that man should refrain from inhabiting every square inch of the planet. That open space was good for the collective soul. That alone-time was essential to find the mystery of the unknown. What he might not have emphasized but surely knew--the external was only a symbol for the true place of peace inside. As Louise Driscoll famously said: "Within your heart, keep one, still secret spot where dreams may go."

Today's Weather Report: Ice and snow defined the day. I know because I was returning from Ashland in the thick of a winter storm. Although I wasn't driving, it was a vicarious white-knuckle event. At 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the precipitation was just at the point of freezing. Someone might ask why the trip was made in the first place. Well, the answer was the roads on the way there were fine.....it was the unexpected snow that changed the outcome. Putting that aside, the last Chicagoland hunter left today and was returning to 58 degree temperatures. My Mom in Dallas, Texas reported 70 degrees temps yesterday. However, although today was a little more exciting than most, I wouldn't trade their balmy weather for ours. A white winter adds to the excitement of living in northern Wisconsin.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Feeding the Soul


BREAD FEEDS THE BODY INDEED,
BUT FLOWERS FEED ALSO THE SOUL.

~The Koran


Of Note: A flower's beauty can take the breath away. In a world of apparent chaos, a flower stands out as a singular example of the Soul's ability to express joy, love, and truth as well as immortality. Annually, flowers awaken, produce riotously, deposit voluminous seed, then die gracefully, reflecting the larger universal cycles of which man is a part. The flower challenges us to find a beginning to the process....for flower and seed are one, simply different aspects of the same energy. From on high, the reproduction cycle of the second vegetable kingdom would appear as a dance, an intricate dance of beauty ever nurturing mankind as it struggles to recognize and attain its divine destiny.

Today' Weather Report: Treacherous would be the word to describe the weather conditions. An icy mix fell during the night so that we awoke to 1/4 inch of ice on everything outside: cars, trees, dead plants, stones, tractors. Everything is covered. Calls have been coming in all morning from friends here and there reporting on the conditions where they live. Most are staying put. Though, one intrepid hunter friend is out walking the Namekagon River at this very moment. The Chicagoland crew, who originally intended to leave at 6 pm, has not made a decision yet if they are staying or going. They better decide soon because darkness comes early these days, and I wouldn't want to trek on ice in the dark. We did that once on Highway 53 behind a salt truck and still pulled off in Eau Claire for the night. We figure it would have taken longer than we had to drive the 400 miles to Chicago at 20 miles per hour. That was a sound decision because by the next day the roads were fine. So it goes during the winter in the northwoods.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Beauty Breaks in Everywhere


NATURE CANNOT BE SURPRISED IN UNDRESS.
BEAUTY BREAKS IN EVERYWHERE.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Of Note: Since the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, social protests rank up there with national sports. Femen, a group of female activists in the Ukraine, has a new protest method which is proving to be quite effective. The ladies, who organized at a pajama party two years ago to promote woman's rights and democracy, first took to the streets in bikinis but soon decided topless gained more attention to their causes. Their protest umbrella is wide and has included domestic violence, corruption and a visit by Vladimir Putin. Some feminists are incensed that breasts are being used as a political tool, calling it exploitation. The Femen leader retorted: "If sexuality is used to sell cars and cookies, why not use it for social and political projects. Sometimes you just need to bare your breasts for ideological reasons." The flagrant display of flesh appears to be the response to repression under Soviet rule....or at least that is the theory of some feminists, who hope that the allure of bare-breasted protesting will depart and leave in its wake a more serious response to heavy-duty problems. However, the Femen women, who believe they are making a positive impact, disagree. They can tell that to the police who jail them frequently. Sports, anyone?

Today's Weather Report: The temperatures plunged into the mid-teens today, enough to freeze anyone standing outside for any length of time without the proper attire. To be sure, this would not have been a day for a Femen protest in northern Wisconsin. The orange-clothed "hunters" have been out all day walking around, with some retiring for naps mid-afternoon after a late night out. One has his annual migraine headache, and we hope to see him sometime before the group goes home. The dogs have been showing off their new orange vests, one of which was almost torn in half the first 20 minutes out. A little duct tape took care of the problem. Thank goodness for duct tape. I had rolls in red, white and gray for proper color coordination in repair jobs but lacking orange, the white had to do. Surprisingly, the dogs don't mind the vests, which are sure to deter any hunter who mistakes them for a deer or wolf.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A New Environmental Consciousness


WE NEED A NEW ENVIRONMENTAL
CONSCIOUSNESS ON A GLOBAL BASIS.
TO DO THIS WE NEED TO EDUCATE PEOPLE.

WHEN FUTURE GENERATIONS JUDGE
THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE THEM ON
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, THEY MAY
CONCLUDE "THEY DIDN'T KNOW."

LET US NOT GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS THAT
GENERATION WHO KNEW, BUT DIDN'T CARE.

~Mikhail Gorbachev

Of Note: Mr. Gorbachev's request for a new environmental consciousness facilitated by education is spot on. We humans are as tightly connected as the sunflower seeds above, more so as a matter of fact, because our mass consciousness interpenetrates all life. Three simple words provide interconnected humanity with the key to future success: energy follows thought. When our mass consciousness flows with the rhythm of love, then our creations will be in tune with the planet, and the whole universe will respond in kind.

Today's Weather Report: At 34 degrees Fahrenheit, we haven't moved much from our standard of the week. Makes conditions awfully slippery. Sometimes dangerously so. The Chicagoland hunters are arriving at any minute. Actually, there will be little hunting going on with more of an emphasis on the party aspects of the weekend. Apparently, these men have no stomach for killing deer and are welcome to come here and party hardy at their all-guy "deer" camp. I will be the hostess around the edges making sure towels are available and band-aids are well placed. These photos were taken two years ago of gigantic sunflowers grown from magical Idahoan seeds in my garden. The heads were as large as plates and provided an exemplary view of fractal interconnectedness.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Powerful is the Human Spirit

If we look at our planet from above,
we will observe particular vortices
of light and darkness.

The human spirit can create
powerful manifestations of energy.

One may state that the vortices of Light
are saviors of the equilibrium of the planet.

Nor is it far from the truth to state that
the vortices of darkness contain a
destructive gas which is not only deadly
to the crust of the planet but can alter
the climate and even significantly
affect the drift of the poles.

Thus, powerful is the human spirit.

~Master Morya
Fiery World I

Of Note: The world is having a heated debate about the cause of global warming and climate change. Does humanity have a hand in it or not? Tempers fly over the response to that question, and scientists argue about findings. Some of them have the seas rising until all cities adjacent to oceans are immersed in the not too distant future; others respond that this is only a typical cycle. Nothing new. Yawn. Let's go back to lunch. Master Morya weighed in on this matter in the early 20th century before climate change was even a part of the mass consciousness. He put the responsibility squarely on humanity. Climate change and other manifestations result from energy created by thought and, to those watching, this energy is visible. Love is Light and describes the natural response of the human spirit. When humanity discovers this fact, many of the problems we see around us will cease. Yes, maybe even the climatic ones.

Today's Weather Report: I will not cease to do this daily weather briefing before seeing some incontrovertible evidence that humanity has come around to Love. It may be awhile, but then I'm quite patient and am sure it will happen. Temperatures in the low thirties hang in there like glue. Next week is supposed to get frigid and will make this week look like summer. Clouds embrace the entire sky and let not one ray of sunshine through. Though, some must be streaming down as it is light outside and not dark. Always have to keep fact in mind when grousing about current weather conditions. Actually, every day we are alive is a good day; no, a great day. Oh, let's go farther, a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Planting the Seeds

DON'T JUDGE EACH DAY
BY THE HARVEST YOU REAP,
BUT BY THE SEEDS
THAT YOU PLANT.

~Robert Louis Stevenson


Of Note: For years, Africa was written off as a continent. The conventional wisdom held that the vast landmass was ravished by famine, AIDS, malaria, TB, corruption and nothing would ever change. That did not keep billions upon billions from being pumped into contracts, grants and programming of every imaginable kind. The developed nations tried "everything" and most of it failed. Well, not so fast. Turns out, Africa may just be coming into its day, and some are paying attention. High on that list is the Chinese government, which is milking African nations for resources, but leaving behind needed infrastructure. While the move might be controversial in Europe and the United States, it is not in the African nations receiving the largesse. They defend the money as filling gaps identified from within, rather than money given to fill gaps identified by outsiders. Right or wrong, the money is flowing. Africa has one of the highest growth rates on the planet which will be further fueled by graduates from the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg. These scholars selected from promising students across the continent are sent with full scholarships to universities in Europe and North America. After graduation, they must return and work in Africa for at least 10 years. One proponent of the program said: "If the school can help more talented young Africans get a first-rate education, it can boost the ranks of professionals who will drive Africa's political and economic development." Growth from within will ultimately be the key to success. Until then, China and others will exploit, promote and propel the beleaguered nations to the next step on their evolutionary path--just in time for the first waves of graduates from the African Leadership Academy to take the helm.

Today's Weather Report: Well, the sun keeps peeking out from behind the clouds. It is flirting with us, but only flirting. No real sunshine display is expected today. Water was dripping from the roof so I guessed it was 33 degrees Fahrenheit outside. When I checked, that was precisely what it was. Same temp we have had all week, give or take a point or two. Driving at this temperature can be really dangerous as ice starts to form at 32 degrees. Best to stay put in weather like this. The ground is still not frozen; so, a trench is currently being dug for the new generator. We only had days to go before that project would have had to wait for spring.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Living Well and Dying Well

So if we wish to die well,
we must learn to live well.

Hoping for a peaceful death,
we must cultivate peace in our mind
and in our way of life.

~The Dalai Lama

Of Note: Birth and death are the two certainties in life. Yet, out of fear, we welcome one and scorn the other. Some might think death is the opposite of birth, but that is not so. The only difference between life and death is the presence or absence of a physical body; the consciousness remains intact. Completely intact. It is said that sometimes the consciousness after death does not even notice its missing body and wonders what all the commotion is about. In reference to the sacrificing soul, which takes a dense physical body time and again, ageless wisdom goes a step further in its teachings that death is birth and birth death. For reasons not yet fully explained, Earth is the place of this spiritual dance, and all humans must learn the steps. The Dalai Lama provides an important clue to successful graduation when he suggests that peace in our minds while alive lays the foundation for a peaceful death. Could be, that if we had peace in our minds, we might not even notice the transition.

Today's Weather Report: The temperature hung it there tightly at 32 degrees Fahrenheit give or take a degree. And I mean tightly. It hasn't budged all week. At 33 degrees the snow began to melt this afternoon, but this evening when it dipped a degree, the melting ceased. Today, the freezing lake looks like the photo above taken of the stream last year. If anyone wonders if there is a higher Being, all he or she has to do is look at the geometric patterns encased in the ice. Certainly this cannot be unconscious, random electron flow.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nature Must Be Obeyed

NATURE TO BE COMMANDED MUST BE OBEYED.

~Francis Bacon
(1561-1626)


Of Note: We humans perceive that we are the supreme masters of the universe. With technology we believe anything can be discovered, uncovered, cured, fixed, created, maintained, alleviated, influenced, destroyed and/or compensated. In ignorance, we view the physical world as our personal playground and make every decision based on the "reality" before our eyes. Looks can be deceiving. During the Age of Enlightenment, Master Bacon reminded us that the higher, invisible universal laws prevail. We have only to look at the chaos before us to understand that we do not fully understand this concept. When we do, and we will, nature will rejoice because one day it will work in concert with an enlightened humanity, and all will share in natural abundance.

Today's Weather Report: It is a gloomy November day outside with a temperature at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or there about. Most Novembers, heavy clouds are the predominant feature. So, this is normal. We were lulled into complacency, however, with the balmy weather in the 50's for the first part of the month. The snow storm took many of us by surprise. Shouldn't have, but it did. As it turned out, we only had a few inches of snow though it was of the heavy, wet variety. While doing emails this morning, I was startled by very loud booming and crunching noises.....over and over. Come to find out, those noises were sheets of heavy snow falling from roof to roof then to the ground. Thankfully, no one was hurt. The dogs with their long coats think it is heavenly outside. During the summer, they spent much time in the water to cool off. Now the water is frozen snow, and they like that even better. Interestingly, this part of the Namekagon River near Seeley rarely freezes. The shot was taken from the landing adjacent to our property last fall.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Butterfly as Leaf

A FALLEN LEAF RETURNING TO THE BRANCH?
BUTTERFLY.

~Anonymous


Of Note: Oneness described in a simple word Butterfly. Indeed, branch and butterfly are one though not the same. Similarly, Universe is. United but diverse. A paradox? Most certainly.

Today's Weather Report: More snow with the temps hanging in there at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The main highway is clear but the back roads are not which makes for some treacherous driving conditions. I would not want to go off the back roads even more than I would not want to go off the main trunk. Several inches of the white stuff has fallen though I will wait for the storm to end before deciding exactly how much. Minneapolis actually made the news this morning for a snow dump of 12 inches. We aren't there yet, but we may be before it's over. The lake is still oddly open. I say oddly because it has usually frozen over by the time of the first winter storm. Not so this year, apparently. The aerator is bubbling away so whenever it does freeze over, the fish will have enough oxygen to carry them through the winter.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our Only Lasting Possession

The realization of impermanence
is paradoxically the only
thing
we can hold onto.

Perhaps our only lasting possession.

It is like the sky, or the earth.
No matter how much everything
around us may change or collapse,
they endure.

~Sogyal Rinpoche

Of Note: Freedom fighter and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was released today after seven-plus years of house arrest in Myanmar. Being freed entailed taking down the barbed wire barricade near her residence and removing police guards. Otherwise nothing changed. This remarkable woman, who is the embodiment of patience, espouses non-violent democratic change. She was first arrested more than 20 years ago when she had the audacity to help forge an opposition party and has been under house arrest 15 of the last 21 years. 5000 supporters greeted her release, and she is heading to her party's headquarters tomorrow where many more are expected to welcome her back. Fact is, this woman, who has been described as charismatic, tireless and outspoken, has never left, and, while imprisoned, this heroine was an inspiration for non-violent democratic movements around the world. At various points, she had an opportunity to leave Myanmar but would not for fear the military junta would block her return. Suu Kyi's release followed the "democratic" election in Myanmar last week, which consolidated the military junta's hold on the country. We will see if the insecure junta will allow this courageous woman to remain free. But free or not, she has become liberty itself to many around the world. That no dictatorship can squelch.

Today's Weather Report: The scene above greeted me upon awakening this morning. Forget the temperate weather I mentioned before. Truth is, I rarely look to the future in regard to weather predictions, only look out the window as I am writing this blog to see what's what. It is a true instance of "living in the now." At 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the snow has little chance of staying around for long once the precipitation stops. If lower temps arrive on the back of the storm, that could be another story. Then, this storm might officially be called the first of the season meaning it is the first to stay put for months and months. Misty, our female German Shepherd, went out this morning and just sat with her face into the wind, apparently relishing the event. Last spring, she found the last snow pile and sat there daily until it was gone.

Friday, November 12, 2010

You are That

My son! Bees create honey by
gathering the sweet juices from
different flowers and mixing
all into a common juice.

And there is nothing in honey
whereby the juice of a particular
flower can be identified,
so it is with the various creatures
who merge in that Being,
in deep sleep or in death.

Whatever they may be, tiger, lion, wolf,
boar, worm, moth, gnat, mosquito,
they become aware of a particular life
when they are born into it or awake.

That Being is the seed;
all else but His expression.
He is the Truth.
He is Self, Shwetaketu!
You are That.

~The Upanishads (C. 900 - 600 BCE)

Of Note: Ever think about God as a pesky gnat? How about a croaking frog? My personal favorite is visualizing God as a bristly boar. Some might think this kind of talk is sacrilegious or scandalous. But long ago, the conventional wisdom accepted that God was in everything and of everything. Indeed, what we see all around us is God personified. Somewhere along the way that truth was lost. When humans regain that knowledge and act on it, their creations will come to resemble the Divine Plan. We don't yet have a good idea what that world will look like, but we do know it will be based on the spiritual values of cooperation, sharing, truth, personal responsibility and sacrifice of selfishness for the common good. Until then, acting AS IF we are already there will facilitate its approach.

Today's Weather Report: Although it started off very chilly in the morning, the afternoon was a balmy 53 degrees Fahrenheit. Today though, the sun stayed hidden behind thick clouds. It was taking a break from bathing us in its energy for at least a good week or more. Some may wonder why I include a daily weather report in this blog. The answer is quite simple: as the years progress, it will provide a historical record of the weather patterns as they unfold over northern Wisconsin. We have been told that climate change will eventually devastate our planet. Right here we will have a daily climate accounting that, if and when analyzed some day, may prove enlightening. On another note: thanks to my "pet" frog, Fred, here for standing in for God. He was kind enough to pose for a photo last year in my garden stream.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Faults of Others

IT IS EASY TO SEE THE FAULTS OF OTHERS,
BUT DIFFICULT TO SEE ONE'S OWN FAULTS.
ONE SHOWS THE FAULTS OF OTHERS
LIKE CHAFF WINNOWED IN THE WIND.
BUT ONE CONCEALS ONE'S OWN FAULTS AS
A CUNNING GAMBLER CONCEALS HIS DICE.

~The Buddha

Of Note: In a landmark deal, the city government of Beijing is now the proud owner of a 104-year old unit of General Motors in Saginaw, Michigan. The Nexteer company, which manufactures steering equipment for GM, employs 8,300 people in twenty-two factories, six engineering centers and fourteen customer service centers around the globe. During World War, it built the M-1 carbines used by Marines in the Pacific. Some unionized employees and citizens of Saginaw ask whether the place needed to be sold to the Chinese in a $450 million cash deal. The answer might be our government's push to have China buy more in the United States because of the large trade deficit. After all, GM is controlled by the U.S. government, which approved the deal. Not surprisingly, increased purchases by the Chinese in America and Europe will be a central theme at the G-20 Summit, which opened in Seoul today. An inquiring mind might ask why would a Chinese city government such as Beijing want to buy a small concern in Michigan? The answer lies not so much in the physical infrastructure but in the 1,000 plus patents held by Nexteer. One Western banker put it this way: "This dramatically shortens the technology gap between China and the rest of the world." The new owners will continue to operate from Saginaw.

Today's Weather Report: More sun and blue skies, though the temperatures in the high 50's Fahrenheit have dropped by 10 degrees. A fire was needed today in the fireplace to take the morning chill out. The unseasonably warm weather portends mild temperatures for the coming hunting season. That is good. With mild temps and no snow, the beasties are harder to hunt and track. Deer are ubiquitous and pesty in the northwoods. However, our two new, large dogs have deterred the deer immediately around the house; so, the garden stayed intact for a change. Two years ago, the garden was decimated by two deer, a mother and baby. While they were fun to watch during the day, I was not amused most every morning to find long-nurtured plants eaten to the ground. (The day lily above was an exception.) The dogs took care of any local roaming deer....so now I can enjoy the them again, but a few will do. We probably don't have to worry about large numbers, though. In our neighborhood, a very large wolf pack is apparently taking its share.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ask, Seek , Knock, Love


Ask and it shall be given to you;
Seek and you will find;
Knock and it shall be opened to you.

Everyone that asks receives;
And he that seeks finds.

~Jesus the Christ

Of Note: Jesus must have been a simple guy. Love thy neighbor; seek and you shall find. These are simple concepts to ponder so why are they so difficult to implement? Could be that we humans do not understand that we are creators. Like God. These were no platitudes coming from Jesus--He was stating fact. Creators demand and the universe supplies. ASK, SEEK, KNOCK: these are words of command not words of supplication. There was no please stated or implied. The key word, though, to any creative project is LOVE. Look around and we immediately see what creation by humanity looks like without it. Becoming Love: that is the Way to our true destiny as divine creators. Through the chaos, people are starting to wake-up to this fact. When enough are embodied love, a tipping point will be reached. At that point, some have said, the world will change overnight. We may not see that day but our children and their children most certainly will.

Today's Weather Report: On the mundane level here at Mt. St. Mossback Monastery, the temperature hangs at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Yesterday, we had a balmy 63. This certainly can't be November in northern Wisconsin. Alas, it is but we are NOT complaining. Today, the two tractors, which have worked so hard this summer, are getting a much needed change of oil. I've only done this once before so I am no expert. But oil change, now that's a simple concept even Jesus would have appreciated. Probably Buddha too.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Make Thyself Unto the Mind Itself

IF there is joy in meditation upon the sun and moon,
the planets and the fixed stars are the
magic creation of the sun and moon;
make thyself like unto the sun and moon themselves.

IF there is joy upon the meditation of the mountain,
the fruit trees are the magical creation of the mountain;
make thyself like the mountain itself.

IF there is joy in meditation upon thine own mind,
distinctive thought is the magic creation of the mind;
make thyself like unto the mind itself.

~Milarepa
(1040-1123)

Of Note: Without the sun's life-sustaining energy, Earth would be a whirling rock tumbling through space. Home to no one and no-thing. We take the sun for granted and barely give it a second thought as its rays bathe the Earth on a daily basis. Things are about to change. Next week, the sun and its ubiquitous energy will become a hot topic at a meeting convened in Egypt by the United Nations for 100 invited researchers and government officials from 30 countries. Of great concern to this global body is the increase in solar activity, particularly violent storms from the sun, which could take out great swaths of technology in the blink of an eye. When a solar storm hits "waves of ionization ripple through Earth's upper atmosphere, electric currents flow through the topsoil, and the whole planet's magnetic field begins to shake." At the equator, the effect is particularly strong and moves magnetic currents in unexpected ways. Developed countries already have an abundance of solar monitoring stations that keep track of local magnetism, ground currents and ionization. The developing countries--many of which straddle the equator--do not. Therein lies the rub. One official said: "International cooperation is essential for watching the equatorial anomaly. No single country can do it alone." Of the thirty countries sending representatives, more than two-thirds call the equator home. Co-sponsors of this solar powered meeting are the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA.)

Today's Weather Report: Speaking of solar powered, that would describe this day perfectly. Nothing but sunshine and blue sky to invigorate the body. Every day we have warmth is one less day we have cold. Come spring, that makes a difference. The rainy weather seems to have passed for the moment. Haven't seen a drop in quite awhile. We have turned the aerator on so we don't forget. The first hint that it would soon be needed was the ice glaze on the lake after sub-freezing temps several mornings. Our two long-haired German Shepherd pups think this cooler fall weather is perfect. If we could speak dog-ese, I am sure that we would hear them complaining vociferously about the HOT summer and how they suffered with all that fur. Their coat will be just the ticket come winter.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sailing in the Same Boat


After an orange cloud--
formed
as a result of a
dust storm over the
Sahara
and caught up by air currents--

reached the Philippines and
settled there as rain,

I understood that we are
all sailing in the same boat.


~Astronaut Vladimir Kovalyonok

Of Note: Remember the first time you saw that extraordinary picture of Earth taken from the orbiting space capsule? I do. The blues and greens and clouds that we instinctively associated with the world were real, I thought with wonder. Earth looked like a living, breathing Being--radiant and beautiful--as it whirled through space at top speed. And so it is, according to the teachings of ageless wisdom, which contends that Earth as living is also conscious. Thus, we can ask what would Earth think of the current state of affairs in the allocation of its abundant resources freely provided to humanity? Would it approve of the current and past state of affairs in which resources and conflict are often inextricably intertwined in a violent dance of death? Do nations or corporations have an intrinsic right to claim these resources as their own? These might have been some of the underlying questions asked at a two-week United Nations conference on biodiversity convened on October 18th and attended by representatives from 198 nations. Specifically, attendees discussed ways to halt "the global loss of species and fairly share benefits that arise from biodiversity." At issue is the practice of corporate procurement of genetic benefits from the biodiversity of developing nations with little return to the originating nation. We are talking money, and a dispute between rich and poor nations threatens to stall ongoing negotiations to a mutually advantageous benefit-sharing agreement. Some progressive nations already have such laws on the books, but most do not. Even though an international agreement has yet to be reached, the conference represents a beginning to a future which includes systematized benefit sharing. Once that milestone is reached, the larger question of resource sharing will certainly emerge as the next major step on humanity's evolutionary ladder. The developed nations should keep in mind that developing nations may have the upper hand in that discussion given that they control many of the resources needed for future development. Thus, even-handedness in the current discussions may lead to more fruitful talks down the line.

Today's Weather Report: The meteorologists had it spot on today with blue skies and highs in the 50's--all the better to finish a couple of outdoor projects. We northerners watch the death of the summer each year with various emotions. Mine is usually euphoria because the garden is put to bed for the year, and an interlude of hibernation is before me. Some prepare for all the winter sports. There are the snowmobilers, who make lots of noise, or the snowshoers, who don't. Skiers are in the second camp, and ice fishermen and women fall somewhere in between. Me? I just take the quiet time and study and watch and think. It is a time of spiritual rejuvenation and harvest from the previous season. Recently, I posted my 600th blog, which was started in the dead of winter 2007 - 2008. My husband has a saying: "It really doesn't get any better than this." That would describe my experience of winter perfectly.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Small Island in the Midst of a Boundless Sea

HUMAN EXISTENCE IS GIRT
ROUND WITH MYSTERY:
THE NARROW REGION OF
OUR EXPERIENCE IS A SMALL
ISLAND IN THE MIDST
OF A BOUNDLESS SEA.

~John Stuart Mill
Three Essays on Religion

Of Note: Sages are known for releasing the mysterious from the mystery. People flock to them in anticipation of finding Truth, Beauty and Light. Many do because they are ready; others leave in disappointment. A day is coming when the mystery of Life will be revealed to all. No longer will we ask a middleman for answers to the questions that besiege our minds: "Why am I here? What is the meaning of life?" Religion as we know it will no longer have a function; churchiosity will have gone the way of the dinosaur. In its place will be a functioning society that knows of its interconnection and lives by spiritual values on a daily basis. No special buildings needed. A spirit of cooperation and sharing will define Humanity. We are preparing for that time now. As we look around, the change we see as chaos is ridding the world of old forms. The change we call globalism is creating the infrastructure of things to come. We can ready ourselves by acting AS IF the spiritual values are anchored to the Earth right now. And what are these values? A love of Truth; recognition of the needs and rights of all; a spirit of cooperation and sharing; a sense of personal responsibility; and sacrifice and selflessness for the common good.

Today's Weather Report: Another beautiful day graces the northwoods of Wisconsin. Three days of these delightful temperatures with highs in the 50's are all that are forecast. After that the real fall will descend. The "real" fall is great too--every day is great--but it will be cold. Time to get out the winter boots, warm coats, gloves and hats. After that when we venture forth, we take on the look of a penguin. At least I do especially in my one-piece -50 degree red snowmobile suit. The cold and I do not always see eye to eye but with enough layers, it is comfortable--kind of. Must be my Texas upbringing. The folks born and raised in the northern climate can be found wearing no gloves or hats, though all wear boots because of the snow. One of these days, I will take a picture of my penguin look for all to see. Then everyone can have a good laugh.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Civil Connectivity

Civility is not simply about manners.
It doesn't mean that spirited
advocacy is to be avoided.
What it does require is a willingness
to consider respectfully the views of others,
with an understanding that we are all
connected and rely on one another.

~Jim Leach

Of Note: Jim Leach is the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and served as a Republican Representative in Congress for 30 years. From that experience, he knows that Congress has gone way off course in matters of civility. After all, at an 11% approval rating, most of the electorate does as well. The former Representative went on to say that we are looking for politicians willing to work together for the common good. He contends, and we would all agree, that "a government by and for the people is obligated to conduct the nation's business in a manner that respects dissent." In the early rough and tumble years of Congress, dissent and fighting were apparently fairly commonplace. Not anymore. A mature government moves past the rancorous antics of youth to a place of wisdom. Americans are ready; the whole inter-connected world waits.

Today's Weather Report: A friend and I drove down to the Eau Claire area today in a blast of sunshine. We were attending the 91st birthday party of his cousin and couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day with temperatures in the high-40's, low-50's Fahrenheit. Monday, it is forecast to be 70 degrees in Chicago and 50 here. This is unseasonably warm but we will take it without complaint because a few more fall chores remain. I grew up in Texas, and 50 degrees would be considered chilly there. Funny how the perception of temperature is so relative. Seasons are relative as well. Just think, it is spring in New Zealand. My friends there are most likely preparing their gardens for summer blooms and vegetables.

Friday, November 5, 2010

How We Address Ourselves to Them

I try to remind myself that we
are never promised anything,
and that what control we can
exert is not over the events
that befall us but how we
address ourselves to them.

~Jeanne DuPrau
The Earth House

Of Note: The women in Afghanistan fear the return of the Taliban to power. The recent TIME magazine cover story depicting the woman, whose nose and ears had been severed by decree of Taliban forces, included a plea to keep them from taking over the country again. Thus, many say the NATO troops have to stay. But the question is this: will keeping the Taliban at bay assure Afghan women the freedom they desire? Columnist Nicholas Kristof went to the war-torn country to find out. There he found a group called BPeace at work promoting female entrepreneurs; females in elder-endorsed schools in Taliban controlled areas; male villagers who said the women were locked at home regardless of the NATO forces; and a woman who lost her husband and daughter to American air strikes after she prayed that the Taliban would be defeated. Now she hates them all. The author suggested that the best way to end oppression is not "firepower, rather education and economic empowerment, for men and women alike, in ways that don't create a backlash." He concluded his ground-level observations by opining: "The road to emancipate Afghan women will be arduous, but it runs through the schools and economic development -- and, yes, a peace deal with the Taliban, if that's possible." Today, a short news article said the Taliban threatened to kill anyone caught trying to make peace in Afghanistan. Given that obstacle, schools and economic development will most likely win the day. One thing we know for sure, freedom once known cannot be repressed for long.

Today's Weather Report: It is nippy outside in the low 40's Fahrenheit with the sun in full shining mode. My husband intends to finish the on-going landscaping work with his old Farmall tractor. Actually, he has two old tractors which are both working and have been used in this project. That the two are working at the same time is a miracle. It has never happened before. The fact that he has had both working has allowed him to complete several projects around the place this summer, such as grading the road and dumping fill-dirt in several huge holes. The deer are starting to return--so whatever kept them back last year must have subsided. This time of year I don't care because the garden has gone to sleep and won't awaken until next spring. On another note, ice has started forming on the lake so the aerator I just fixed will have to be started shortly.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Death is a Vast Mystery

Death is a vast mystery,
but there are two things
we can say about it:

It is absolutely certain
that we will die, and
It is uncertain when or
how we will die.

The only surety we have,
then, is this uncertainty
about the hour of our death,
which we seize upon as the
excuse to postpone facing
death directly.

~Sogyal Rinpoche

Of Note: There are several hundred people in the United States who know the date and time of death and must face death square-on. At the end of all appeals and last minute reprieves, criminals on death row prepare or have prepared for their time-certain deaths by hanging, injection, electrocution or firing squad. Few countries continue to utilize this form of punishment. Across the European Union, capital punishment is outlawed. Because of that restriction, a lawsuit has been brought in the UK on behalf of one man facing certain death in Tennessee in January. Why? In the one-two-three punch used to kill a death row inmate by injection, the barbiturate used to knock the prisoner unconscious, thiopental sodium, is not available at this moment from its solitary U.S. manufacturer and must be procured in Europe. According to an expert at the London-based human rights group, Reprieve: "There is a European regulation that you shouldn't export drugs that will or can be used in the course of execution." Thus, the organization and a London law firm have filed a lawsuit that is requesting the drug shipment be stopped. The lawsuit may be moot, however, when the U.S. manufacturer returns to shipping the chemical sometime next year. Whether the death penalty continues is the far bigger question and is the prerogative of individual states in the United States. Groups all over America have long fought for the overturning of this archaic form of punishment, which is based on the illusion that death is the end. One day the death penalty will be no more, nor will the murder that precipitated it in the first place. But between now and then, the punishment of killing for killing will continue to tarnish our nation.

Today's Weather Report: The rain arrived early this morning. Then, the sun popped out for a moment but was quickly hidden once again by thick clouds. At 36 degrees Fahrenheit, it is right on the cusp of snow or rain. A quick peek at the hunting cabin showed no sign of leakage, though it might not have rained hard enough to tell. I think the problem may be solved because there are few places not caulked on the offending corner. A dry interior is the ultimate goal. The lake is up a little further. Bogs along the shore are filling with water in places that haven't seen water the ten years I've been living here. The dogs that play in the bogs are coming in quite wet. Bet they are surprised that their former playground is not like it used to be.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Small Daily Differences

We must not, in trying to think about
how we can make a big difference,
ignore the small daily differences
we can make which, over time,
add up to big differences that
we often cannot foresee.

~Marion Wright Edelman

Of Note: What would happen if every person in the United States sent one less pound of trash to the landfill? One pound doesn't sound like much and isn't--but multiplied by 300 million or so turns out to be a much bigger number. One way of doing that would be to discard one less pound of waste food--either by more efficient consumption or by composting. Composting around this property would be problematic because of scavenging wild animals. But for many, this is a good way to impact, even in a small way, the food waste in America. A provocative book, American Wasteland, was recently published highlighting the issue of food waste. According to the author, 591 billion pounds of food are produced and up to half goes to waste. That seems impossible until he shows where the wastage occurs. 10% is left in the field unharvested because the fruit or vegetable would not be acceptable to consumers. Another 10% - 15% is lost in transit because much of what we eat travels some 1,500 miles before arriving at the supermarket. There another 10% is thrown away when it gets too old to sell. Last but not least, the American household throws away 25% of the food that it buys. In addition, commercial kitchens in hospitals, schools and restaurants toss their share. In the end, food scraps make up about 20% of what goes to the landfill. One pound less, that is a small effort. My guess is that when we get started the effort will become habitual and much more will be saved.

Today's Weather Report: The temps were in the upper 40's Fahrenheit today, not quite cold enough for a jacket, not quite warm enough go without. I tried the "without" option and was chilly, but not frozen. Little poofy clouds coursed across the sky. At one point this afternoon, they ganged up and looked menacing. The forecast is for possible snow tomorrow. Actually, my request was rain to check the caulk down at the hunting cabin. Could be that request will have to wait until next spring. So it goes this time of year. Since we are talking about supermarkets today, a piece of information floated across my desk this week worth mentioning. 100 million people shop at Walmart on any given day. This creates an enormous amount of consumer information. Because of that, Walmart knows more about Chinese consumer habits, let's say, than the Chinese government. This behemoth plays such a large role in domestic economics that Wall Street uses spy satellites to check whether Walmart parking lots are full as a measure of the strength of U.S. retail. If this seems hard to believe, check out Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System for other equally incredible information.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

To Participate in the Dance of LIfe

TO BE ALIVE IN THIS BEAUTIFUL,
SELF-ORGANIZING UNIVERSE--
TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DANCE
OF LIFE WITH SENSES TO PERCEIVE IT--
IS A WONDER BEYOND WORDS.

~Joanna Macy

Of Note: Last week a close friend of my Mom's moved to an assisted living center due to dementia and a multitude of chronic illnesses. He could no longer live at home and had no one to provide the level of care he needed on a 24-hour basis. Over a decade ago, she lost my Dad to Alzheimer's Disease. He was diagnosed when his employer called Mom and said Bill needed to be tested because his work had declined dramatically. Following that testing, it was shown that Dad had a 6th grade math level. That news was startling as he had worked as a mechanical engineer all his adult life. Over the next 8 years, Dad's mental status declined precipitously, and the last three years he lived in a nursing home. Currently, 5.5 million people suffer from Alzheimer's Disease, a number which is projected to grow in the United States to 14 million as the baby boomers reach old age. On the 5 to 10 year horizon is earlier and better diagnosis and the regular use of biomarkers although few new therapies. By 2050 it is predicted that there will be a whole slew of treatments based on advanced research and drug trials. What's more, preventative measures may even be common. Our children and grandchildren will no longer look at Alzheimer's Disease as a death sentence with a protracted ending but an inherited chronic disease that is caught early and treated aggressively. For them, nothing will get in the way of active participation in the dance of life with senses to perceive it well into advanced old age.

Today's Weather Report: Alleluia, it was 53 degrees Fahrenheit today with clear skies. All the better to dry the caulk at the hunting cabin. I applied it two days ago and, yesterday, the stuff was still quite tacky. In my mind, plans were forming to take the Mr. Buddy portable heater and apply some BTU's to the outdoor application. Thankfully, it appears that will not be necessary since the caulk is now setting up quite nicely. Now, we need a heavy rain to test my work. The downpours last week proved that my previous work around the windows was successful, and the inside was practically dry. Now only this corner remains as a problem child. But I'm on it, as my husband would say, like "ugly on an ape." If this application of caulk does not work, another certainly will. Oh yes, today was Election Day, and my polling place was busier than ever. Thank heavens, this election cycle is over, and we can move on. All that negative campaigning certainly could not be good for the psyche of our nation--or the world for that matter.