Edited: The difference between 99.9% and 100% totality is literally Night & DAY.
Ochoco National Forest 14 or so miles north of Prineville, OR August 21st, 2017 10:20AM
A moment one will never forget and forever have a hard time putting it into words
The speed at which the shadow of totality hit was like hitting a light switch and seeing an incandescent bulb fade off in one second. Twilight to totality in a flash as the shadow flashed over. Literally felt like the sun went out. Bang! Gone!
Temperature drop, cool crispness to the air
Shouts and eruption of chatter, gasps of giddiness from our group
A flurry of pointing things out
look, there, Venus
look, at the horizon all around 360 sunset
look, at the ground – weird light shadow patterns
look, the corona – waves like flames
listen, silence, total nature silence where we were
look, red solar flares
look, a jet chasing the eclipse
look, it’s back, another diamond
quick, put your eclipse glasses back on
Yes? No? I don’t know! Oh, geez! I just want for once to be able to buy a product and not have to think twice about it after I’ve consumed some of it.
So, it happened again. I guess I let down my defenses. Twice in fact, in the last month.
Both times with Trader Joe’s products. I really should just stop shopping there. But the store is so close, it’s small, unlike those mega super marts, the people are friendly and the prices are really good.
So what happened this time? Well, a couple of weeks ago we had some friends in for a casual get together. My friends are amazing and are always trying to bring gluten free products over to our house. We do almost ALL the entertaining because, unfortunately, everyone is too scared to feed me. But seriously folks, still invite me over. I can and will bring my own food.
Anyway, someone brought Trader Joe’s Organic Hummus. A quick glance at the ingredients looked safe. I mean, come on, it’s hummus. It was good. Someone else also brought some really cute little Trader Joe crackers. OMG, again the ingredients looked safe so I ate a few. I really liked them so I asked the person who brought them what they were called so I could pick up a bag at TJ’s. I get to TJ’s and I look at the fine print, “Processed in a facility with wheat”. Seriously? Seriously!
Okay, well, I can still buy the hummus, right? I know how to make homemade hummus, but again, sometimes I just want to be pampered a little bit. And, yes, by pampered, I mean not having to buy the raw ingredients, make it myself and clean up the equipment used in making the item. And, no, I can count on one hand how many times I eat out in a YEAR!
So, for the second time this week, I’m digging into this store bought hummus with my organic carrots and I think, “uh oh, this isn’t labelled GLUTEN FREE”. Well, but, the ingredients sound safe. Hmm…. no allergens are listed but then “gluten” is not required to be listed, just “wheat”.
Google if “Trader Joe’s Organic Hummus is gluten free”? Well, I come up with a list of products that are gluten free and a ridiculous long explanation of gluten free which is just a bunch of crap that I have to read through and already know. The hummus in question is not on the list. Now I get this weird feeling that this maybe the trigger of some migraine’s and various other unmentionable symptoms I’ve had over the last few weeks.
“Hey, dear hubby, you want to finish this hummus?” Thank God I have a husband who can eat all the products I buy and then later doubt their gluten free status.
I don’t feel safe eating the store bought hummus anymore.
As #45 would say,” SAD, bigly SAD!”
Okay, gluten free rant over. You can be glad the rants don’t come as often as they used to.
I was surprised to realize one doesn’t need to travel far to find objects or scenes of interest and intrigue. I picked 12 of my favorite images from 2016. Surprisingly, half of my favorites were taken within yards of my house, others from just a few miles away.
How did I pick these twelve shots? I quickly went through my images and labeled ones that were favorites. I then selected ones that created an emotion, feeling or memory for me. Not just another record shot. I then sorted the 80+ images into sets: black and white, food, landscapes, macro’s, people, animals, insects, artistry shots and such. I then narrowed it down to one or two from each category.
I’m certainly learning what interests me and along the way I’m surprised that my passion in photography turned out to NOT be just macro’s of flowers. It will be interesting to see what 2017 brings as I acquired my new iPhone and DXO camera attachment towards the 2nd half of 2016. I’m just beginning to learn the new phone and camera features. I hope 2017 allows me the time to take more photos and to explore new ways to see life.
Sadly, the election did not turn out as expected. The poles were wrong and we’re learning about the influence that social media may have played in affecting the outcome of this election. I had hoped that 2016 would have been the year we saw a woman elected as President. I still have faith that we will see a great woman leader in my lifetime. The following is still my hope.
How wonderful it will be for all our daughters to live in a nation where a woman CAN and WILL be POTUS. Confirmed by a woman leader that will help tear down the inequalities and help heal this nation.
Wondering what it will be like for my future grandchildren to never know any difference between who can be a leader.
Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote. The 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote.
Will we get our lives back? Will the anxiety go away? Will “America be great again”? Wait, we aren’t great?
This years election cycle has been really ugly. What it has done is make me even more conscientious of my voting rights and choices as a woman. I have always read initiatives and propositions but this year I went through them at least three times and read for myself the actual text of the initiatives. None of this reading the arguments for and against or allowing myself to be swayed by the media. I decide for myself. I reflected on my personnel values and ethics and thought hard about the choices I was making.
The final work of filling out my ballot spanned 7 days. That gave me time to really mull things over. I like to think things through without being pressured.
It was nice when the first door to door canvasser came by yesterday I could say, “I’ve already voted.” Yep, the ballot is in the envelop, sealed and ready to be dropped of this morning downtown. Almost a week early.
I am worried though, will the elected candidate for president be able to unify this divided nation? The ugliness and marginalizing of fellow humans has me really frightened. I’m concerned that some American’s are living with so much fear of their fellow humans just because they practice a different religion, have a different sexual orientation or are the opposite sex, their skin is a different shade or they are poor, a refugee or from another country. I also want a leader that leads by example with a high standard of morals and compassion demonstrated by their personal life and behaviors. And for God’s sake can speak above a fourth grade level.
Well, the waiting is almost over. I pray that the people of this nation will accept the results of the election. I fear that there may be violence and unrest after the election.
I know how much thought and education it took for me to make my informed decisions on the 17 state initiates this year on the California ballot. California has the longest ballot in the nation this year. I’m worried that the average American (a “C” student) doesn’t have the education to comprehend what they are voting for or why. Many are just doing as they are told and voting on emotions based on false ideals. By visiting rural areas of states like Pennsylvania this fall and speaking with locals, I get their frustrations. It was good to understand better where they are coming from.
Now, back to that 19th amendment thing. My mom was born in June of 1919. She told me stories that she obviously was told about how her mother (my grandmother) marched and fought for this right of women to vote. I wonder if she shared these stories with my brothers. She always took voting seriously and all women must take voting seriously.
The time is right for a woman, mother and grandmother to heal this nation. This nation is in need of some serious mothering.
Thankful for my therapy dog who faithfully stayed by my side while through out this election cycle.
Tragic events fill the headlines. That’s not new news!
I retire in the evening to bed, only to make the mistake of looking at my news feed to learn of yet another attack, this time in Nice, France. I awake to my news feed analyzing the latest shooting, explosion or tragedy.
Gone are the days when news traveled slowly. Decades ago, often, something happening on the other side of the world never made it to our newspaper or radio. If it did, it most likely wasn’t accompanied by photos or graphic video complete with audio or articles followed with a vitriol of hateful and hurtful commentators that only fuel the divide.
What’s worse is that breaking, tragic headline news will be replaced with another breaking, tragic headline, often in less then 24 hours. The prior tragic event will drift away from the headline. Will anything have been learned? Will anything ever change?
Technology has made the news that is newsworthy hard to distinguish from all the background stories. I want to keep informed and to be educated on current local, national and global events and research outcomes. But, I haven’t figured out how to sort through all the information that this vast news highway is constantly streaming onto my screen.
I need my screen. My screen has become my phone, my camera, my bank, my electronic mail, my calendar, my alarm clock, my entertainment and my modern day rolodex. At least it fits my concept of minimalism.
Back to the news: so much hate, so much miss understanding, so much lack of empathy and lack of compassion passes before my eyes. How can I make sense of it all?
Can we just stop and look deep into the eyes of the one we fear or hate or judge? Hold their gaze. Look at each other. What do you think you’ll see?
In most instances you will see another human being. Someone who is loved and is important to others. Someone who is trying to get by in life: to have the minimum of shelter, food, clothing and maybe a bit more. Occasionally you will unfortunately see fear, anguish and imbalance. This is when we must show our most vulnerable side, continue to look into that individuals eyes with the greatest amount of compassion you can find. Look back with empathy. Offer to just listen. Sometimes this maybe all that we can offer. It’s hard to do. It’s a lot easier to just avoid or pretend they don’t exist or maybe worse, tell them how wrong or messed up they must be.
Many of the individuals who have committed many of these acts of violence, I believe, most likely have a mental imbalance. They have a fear or hatred that has festered and grown out of a lack of education and understanding. Often it seems we learn that most of these acts are acts by individuals acting alone. The blame maybe put on a particular group or a particular group may take credit for the act.
As FDR said the “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”
We can’t give up on fighting for everyones rights. Collectively I pray that our individual voices will be the change. I maybe only one voice. I will do what I can. I continue to write to my elected officials on issues that resonate with me.
I continue to seek renewal through nature so that I can provide what little support I can to those whose lives maybe in need of compassion when our paths cross.
I would rather have written today about providing water for bee’s or another poor food labeling job on a product not disclosing hidden gluten. But, I had to free these thoughts, so I can continue to move forward and be a small part of the change, the amount of change that one, just one person can be.
As the generations before us have said, history repeats itself. When will we learn from the past? Haven’t we seen this all before?
Ok, so if you’re been reading my blog (http://gatoraceae.com/2016/04/my-minimalist-journey/) you know I’ve been on this decluttering obsession for nearly 4 1/2 years now. I don’t do things fast. I like to think things through and mull them over for awhile. And, I certainly don’t like throwing things out or putting them into the landfill. I will hold onto things until I find someone who will buy the item or who can use it or if the item can be recycled, reused or repurposed, then I see that it is taken to the appropriate place.
Yes, sometimes, I hold onto things for an absurd amount of time. Take the large grocery sized bag of feminine hygiene products that I had set aside about four years ago. (Thank you Costco size packages) My daughters have long since moved out and I don’t have a need for these products anymore. Feminine hygiene products aren’t cheap. I wanted to donate them to a shelter but hadn’t until last week. I finally researched where I could take these items. I discovered a homeless shelter that I had not know about that isn’t too far away that had these items on their wish list. I’m sure they will be greatly appreciated. In the past I had taken things to another shelter several communities away but I don’t often go that way. This place is much closer.
Well, this got me thinking. There are other items that the homeless need.
I’ve been on this home “inventory project” for a few weeks now, since I read Joshua Becker’s book The More Of Less. My home inventory app makes it very obvious when we have multiples of the same thing. I discovered that even though I had donated some old car camping sleeping bags a few years ago, we still had held onto two bags. We also have a collection of various backpacking and camping tents. We don’t need all of these bags, tents or sleeping pads.
Ah ha! Light-bulb moment! I now know where I could take these items and they can be used rather then stored in my garage.
My life will become simpler and my/our “stuff” that has cluttered up closets, drawers and garage will be of use to someone truly in need. It doesn’t do anyone any good to hold onto this stuff.
We are getting much better at the rule we now try to follow, for each new item in, one item must go out. If we replace something or update with a newer product, send the older item on its way.
I’ve lived in this home for 30 plus years and we have saved things for “just in case!”. Well, that “just in case” rarely ever happens and if it did, chances are we forgot we had saved the item let alone have any chance in finding it when we needed it. Its better to recycle, reuse or donate items ASAP.
Thank you for reading and here’s hoping you’ll look at the “stuff” you have and realize how freeing it will be to pass the items on, give them a 2nd life or help someone in need.
Day two of our weekend get away to McKenzie River area of central Oregon found us deciding between taking a walk through the forest or riding out near Cougar Reservoir.
We had thoroughly enjoyed a slow morning, plenty of fresh coffee, a delicious breakfast prepared by our BnB host, Sharon, of the McKenzie River Round House BnB. We enjoyed the company of the host, her husband, the other guests including a pair of cyclists who are riding their bikes across America. They are a delightful couple from Munich, Germany. The other guests were a math professor from Rutgers University and his family. We had the most interesting morning conversations with them.
We said our goodbye’s to the German couple after exchanging blog URL’s. You can check out their progress at QuerDurch!!
On our way back from the McKenzie Pass summit ride the day before we had stopped at the local bike shop in McKenzie Bridge to check it out. I had noted that they sold a good selection of maps. Not knowing where to hike we stopped in again in the late morning to pick up a map and to inquire where we could hike and hopefully avoid the crowd of folks hiking into the famous Blue Pool. It was now a weekend day and we had heard about the hordes of people that had descended on the area the weekend before and the overflowing parking area. Not the kind of scene I enjoy being a part of.
The young man in the shop had some ideas. One which sounded promising was a hike out Rainbow Ridge Trail leading to a rock outcropping and potential view of a distant waterfall. Sounded good to us so we headed up the road and made the turn onto a dirt road. We continued for a few miles and found the well marked trailhead.
The following are a selection of photos from our hike/stroll through the forest. What was most delightful about this hike is that we did not see another sole the entire time until we drove back out on the dirt road.
The ride up to McKenzie Pass from the west side proved to be far easier then either of us expected. We realize we underestimate the grade and difficulty of Mt. Diablo which we use to train on weekly. I really felt over prepared which is not a bad thing. Our original plan was to ride from McKenzie Bridge over to Sister’s and then back the next day. However, turned out this was the week of the Sister’s Rodeo and I was finding suitable lodging in Sister’s hard to find. So we decided it would be just as fun to ride up to the pass and back down the same way. We stayed at a delightful new BnB in Vida, OR called the McKenzie River Round House BnB. The next day we had planned to do some more riding but instead found a great hike through the forest along Rainbow Ridge Trail with a view of Rainbow Falls. We later drove to see two more water falls. I will post pictures of our hike and the falls in the next blog. This ride convinced us that we will be doing more touring.