Friday, October 29, 2010

International Buy Nothing Day approaches!

I like planning and in my head Halloween is already over. My head hopped ahead to the end of the month and my next opportunity to spread the word on simplicity and sustainability. I had a great idea.

I want to host a big party for International Buy Nothing Day!

The message of IBNDay is a negative one -- to NOT do something (to NOT join the mobs engaging in the post-Thanksgiving retail frenzy).

Rather, I want to have a party to enjoy and have fun with friends, maybe even make it a left-overs potluck.

Play games, share ideas on ways to celebrate sustainable and sensibly, popping popcorn,maybe making something for someone more needy--with companionship and fun.

Sound good? Steal my idea! Only it isn't stealing if I give it to you.

Hope you accept this gift, observe IBNDay, and share the occasion with others in a fun way.

Peace, y'all


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Saving the ta-ta's

This a first for me, blogging with a beer and blaring music. Some women I know-- strong partying smart gals-- are throwing a big party to raise $$$ for the Susan G Komen foundation to conquer breast cancer. There are SO many ways to spend $$, and all raise $$ for the cause. I am not feeling very itchy in a retail way so my contribution is to buy a beer (part of the cost goes to the cause).

Well I am not a huge party girl. Breast cancer has afflicted my family. My sister survived. So dis my cousins Susie and Jannie. Not so my cousin Winnie.

Cancer also took my mom, and my mother-in-law. And cancer has laid a siege on my step-daughter and step-son as I write this.

Cancer kills 1 in 4 in the US. Some reason that's because we don't die from other things. Yep, that's it.

Contributing to a charity is a good thing, and if we can have fun at the same time, why not?

Cancer, bad. Charity, good. Fun, good. So this fin may help some woman fight off Demon Cancer.

Peace, y'all


Unplug 'the Christmas Machine

Six coworkers signed up my my workshop, but I needed 8-10. So I sadly canceled it. Yep, sadly. Better luck next year.

I so hoped to reduce the stress in my workplace. Perhaps I will find another way.

Peace y'all


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hooray for the stats

I am thrilled to learn I have readers from other parts of the planet. Hooray for the stats that let me know this! For months I wrote without knowing if anyone (besides Tom) read my words. Now I have some idea and it is soooooo wonderful!

I am motivated to write more, and through that find more ways to peace -- for me and perhaps you too, wherever and whoever you are.

Peace y'all


Atomic bombs. Bad, bad, bad

A coworker recently shared with me a powerful portrayal of nuclear testing we have subjected our planet to. Check it out:

Two things impress me days later.

First, the USA has the dubious distinction of having detonated the most nukes -- half of the 2053 bomb tests between 1945 and 1998.

Second, most tests are in remote areas. The US used the South Pacific, then remote parts of the US--Nevada. The UK used Australia. France used the South Pacific.

In one way this makes a lot of sense. Why would you do something dangerous and harmful in populated areas?

But the remote areas are populated too. And not just by humans. How many ocean creatures died in those tests?

Last thought, and the hardest. Did these tests make the world a better place?

I usually focus on things within my own control. But I was glad to see the bomb test show. Good to think about the big picture sometimes.

Peace, y'all


Monday, October 25, 2010

A good obituary

Sounds a little silly, but I do hope my life will add up to enough good to merit an obituary in the Friends Journal. I like reading them, admiring what other Quakers have done with their lives.

I don't yet measure up. But I still have several years, perhaps decades, to improve my life record.

Better get busy.

Peace, y'all


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Never mind Christmas -- let's make a list for Congress

Just 2 more weeks of attack ads, campaign letters to the editor, and emails asking for money. Nothing is happening besides campaigning right now. But in a short while our elected leaders will get back to work. But on what?

Time to flex those first amendment rights and petition the government. I am going to make a list of issues I know need attention. Then I'll identify where the solutions come from, and how to petition the decisionmakers.

For example, immigration. The fix is clearly at the federal level. And we need comprehensive reform. What can we do locally? Petition, assemble, speak out.

We can see our representatives' voting record.

What else? That's the work of the listmaking.

Prayer will help me find inspiration. Will make this idea more robust and useful.

Peace, y'all


Monday, October 18, 2010

Drat it

Just wrote the passionate blog entry ever, and somehow lost it. Darn and double darn. The gist is this: peacemaking is never finished, the world isn't perfect, so I want to make it a better place and want you to also. With a bit of dialogue (IOW, Comment!!) we can help each other on this path.

There, much more concise this time.

Peace, y'all


Please comment

Besides Tom in Ohio, I have 'no' idea who reads this, nor what readers think of it. Before last week I had 'no' idea IF anyone read this blog. I truly thought, each time I started to write, that once more I was peeing in the dark. That's what I thought.

Last week I realized Blogger now offers 'stats.' It felt like an answer to my prayers! Yes! People ARE reading! I am still thrilled. And grateful.

And motivated. I want to build peace pretty much all the time. And I would like others to do it too. Peace is a process. Its sisters are justice, harmony, love, brotherhood. We reach these sweet spots in special moments. Sometimes we have a general sense we are in thw right place--especially if we have a full belly and a warm, dry place to sleep.

Yet when we are in a good place, maybe giving a prayer of thanks for our meal as we gather with our loved ones, we know the world is not perfect.

'Perfect' means complete, finished. The world is not perfect. In dozens of places on the planet, armed conflict is ripping apart civil society, lives, and the environment. Somewhere right now millions do not have enough to eat. Or a warm, dry place to sleep. Or justice. Or freedom.

That's why peacemaking must continue. In our hearts, in our words, in our actions.

As I meander through life my temporal path is straight. My peacemaking path is anything but. I reach for peace every day, when I smile at strangers, when I seek some kind thing to say to every one I encounter, when I become a sponge and absorb the words that provoke me and extinguish them with love, when I strive to cut my carbon, to help the immigrants and gay kids, when I cook some of God's bounty to nourish the bodies and souls of others (and me), when I open my checkbook wide, when I pray, and when I write in this blog.

I want readers to walk this path with me. Sometimes I will lead, sometimes you will. We will add to the level of goodness in the universe either way.

Peace, y'all


Love thy neighbor

Yesterday I read Anthony Manousos's fine blog essay on ending torture. I reflected more on the evil of ongoing slavery. And the rancor of partisan politics in these final and vicious days of the campaign season is impossible to ignore. There is much evil in the world.

What if, what if peace prevailed in every heart? Roots of evil, I believe, are human vices. Greed, gluttony, fear. If we abstain from vice, the worst we might do is err, or act wrong due to oblivion.

My thinking went a little further and simplified it. Love thy neighbor. Treat him and her the way you want to be treated.

So simple, so profound. Could we overcome the evil, pain and suffering on our planet by simply loving our neighbors and practicing the golden rule?

Peace, y'all


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Break your addiction to oil

Beloved readers, this was a note some time ago in a message in the Grist, a wonderful environmental newsletter, in an entry about what we can do about the oil tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico.

The immediacy of that crisis seems to have faded, but the message persists.
Under this topic were four suggestions:
1. take stock of your own carbon footprint
2. get out of your car
3. Support sustainable energy sources
4. Promote smarter transportation systems.

I'm in good shape for the first two, and hope you are too. My carbon footprint is a huge and scary thing, but I'm working on it. And in June I got serious about commuting via bus, and have used the car for work I think 3 times since then.

#3 and #4 are more challenging, at least for me. Any suggestions? Looks like a good way to flex those First Amendment rights of petitioning the government.

I would embrace suggestions.

Peace, y'all


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Peacemaking on Halloween

I have a sweet idea for Halloween. I am in the phase of life of having little trick or treaters visit my home, not escorting one of those little duffers. I wince over the trash this holiday creates and the escalating decoration, plus the tragic waste of food--pumpkin is a food after all.

I learned recently about "reverse trick or treating." That's when kids give adults a small piece of fair trade chocolate taped to a card with the hard facts of child slavery in cocoa-growing areas.

I am going to order little pieces of fair trade chocolate and make my own card. It will say something like

Hey, parents! Did you know that most of the chocolate you child collects tonight was grown in tropical areas by slaves who are children just a few years older than your own precious child? Mainstream chocolate companies don't want to tell you that. Using disposable slaves keeps costs down and profits up. This little bit of chocolate was made by adult workers who have decent conditions and get a fair wage. Enjoy this morsel

Visit www. I'll find the websites .

How does that sound?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Voting today

Today from the comfort of my home I'll exercise one of my most valuable rights. I will vote. Not just once--there is so much confusion on this. This ballot has 32 separate races or issues for me to vote on. When I cast my vote for Patty Murray, it will be the 8th time, I think. The first time was in 1992. when I realize how many votes I really have, I feel very blessed--and empowered.

I also feel awe for the people who have suffered and died for the right to vote. I am grateful for those who have protected my right. I am grateful for the integrity of the electoral process. I doubt it's flawless, but it's pretty good.

I am grateful for the League of Women Voters. I am pleased I am one of them.

I am thrilled to realize that today, some of the brand new US citizens I registered to vote after the Naturalization ceremony may be casting their votes alongside me today.

Hmmm. The government is by the people, of the people, and for the people. Since I love other people and recognize that of God in each of them, I guess I indirectly love the government. And that which we love, we nurture. So I will renew my birthday pledge to the USA and exercise my rights--and duties.

Peace, y'all


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Riding in the palm of God's hand

The sense of grace and gratitude remains. I have more to do and miles to go...Today I learned how easy it is to get info and support through my city's web site. I can do some good this way.

I have been keeping my promise, my gift to our country on its birthday on July 4. I pledged to use my First Amendment rights.

Am I flexing my First Amendment right to freedom of the press when I write this blog entry?

I petitioned government today via email. I prayed and spoke my mind, and will assemble with coworkers in a few. So, today I'm 5 for 5!

But it is not enough. Miles to go before I rest

Monday, October 11, 2010

Global Warming Cafe was yesterday

10/10/10 was yesterday, and what a day it was. More than 7000 events around the planet, and I did one right here in Richland. With a lot of help from Lora Rathbone and Lyle, Kathy C, Kathy W, and Susie O, we had a room full of people who want to cut their carbon. Many have already cut it a lot.

But I thought I was pretty green, and I have found ways to cut 10500 pounds, which is 12% of our family's total. Last year's anyway. I expect we'll fly a bit less this year, which will make our total lower than the very scarey 79000 pounds we dumped last year.

I'm filled with hope, and gratitude. This looks to be a wonderful fall season.

Peace, y'all