Thursday, November 29, 2012


- It is only once a week and I rarely stay up late, but still, every Thursday morning when my alarm wakes me for a 6am yoga class...and then I look and it is 5:35am and I am still in bed, I wonder how I get there.

You know how a child learns to whine or plead based on their effectiveness. If it won't get them anywhere, they will give in relatively soon, but if they learn that persistence pays off, they may continue, relentlessly. I think it is the same way in my brain. My mind puts up a bit of resistance every Thursday morning, but since I've never planned to go and then changed my mind, it is minimal and easily overcome.

- Once I am out the door it is gone, I look up at the dark sky and the beautiful moon, I arrive and as I'm stretching I'm thinking about this, about I am grateful that my obstacle is minimal.  I'd prefer to have a quiet mind in yoga class, but if my mind is going to be occupied with something, writing/thinking about something I'm grateful for isn't a bad start.

- I found a ride home for the event tomorrow. "Scientists say that 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity."  It felt pretty lame/pointless to not be able to take public transit and/or carpool to an event focused on climate change.

- I've made it to 5000 Gratitudes!   I started March 1st 2010 and last week I took a long walk and remembered that I wanted to note my 5000th gratitude and that it should be coming up soon.  I'm not sure why I made the math so complex to figure this out, there must be a simple algebraic equation, but I think it is today.  

"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek."

 Joseph Campbell

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Phantom Tollbooth

#1 - There is show on public radio called "The Story" that I have listened to on a regular basis for a couple years now. I estimate that is close to 500 shows I've listened to and today is the first time I felt inspired to comment on the program.

#2 - For my second gratitude let's play a little game - Guess what is the topic of the program that inspired my need to contribute to the conversation? My sister-in-law got it on the third guess.

Take the time to do this now, I am serious we are playing a game here, I'm just looking for a general subject area. :)

#3 - I stopped numbering these a while ago because I kept getting the numbering messed up switching from my journal back to here. However, I wanted to note when I reached 5000 gratitudes. I haven't thought about this for quite a while, but on a walk today I was reminded and started doing a much of math in my head. I realized I am QUITE close (end of next week.) I'm happy I didn't miss it. I kept going on a math tangent and I laughed when I realized if I do this until my late 80's, I could reach 100,000. Finally I have something concrete to tell people when they wonder what I am doing with my life!

#4 - Something I found in my 2009 journal the other day written by a friend. It feels reassuring to me to read.

"Indeed it can seem like a lot of work to get a prayer up to God effectively. It's like trying to rank your website on the first page of Google. After God has assessed whether you are serious or not - whether you are communicating a heartfelt message or are just trying to spam him - He will send an appropriate response back to Earth. If your prayer has really been earnest, and God is impressed, He will sometimes suspend the humanly imagined limits of what is possible, and get back to you with a personal response. This is called a miracle. It's equivalent to getting a date with someone you feel is really out of your league. You know you're not worthy, but you're just so happy that the universe can be so good sometimes. You can hardly handle it because it's so blissful and makes the rest of your life just seem more or less to have been a waste of time! Why were you sitting on the couch for so long being depressed when such a great occurrence as this was possible? Who knows. But I guess if it weren't for all that couch sitting time put in, this moment wouldn't have arrived, and this miracle wouldn't have occurred. So I guess it's okay that all that couch sitting took place." Jed

#5 - This is the commentary I emailed to The Story.

"I spent a year as a teacher-in-residence outside of San Francisco teaching people where their food comes from. We had a 1 acre organic garden, as well as a few goats and sheep, 30 or so chicken etc. For half of my year the chickens were my daily chore. They were kept in a coop at night, but free to roam as far as their search for interesting food would take them during the day. During that year, I witnessed for the first time a chicken, and then a sheep that were slaughtered. I cried. Nobody tried to tell me this wasn't okay. I also was able to observe salmon swimming upstream in their natural habitat and the enormous life energy that requires. Despite arriving as a strict vegetarian, I left with a more open mind. Growing up in the city I was removed from the cycle of life, and I'd never witnessed people who deeply respected it also slaughtering and eating meat. It seems to me we need more reverence to life all the way around, that sometimes the animal rights groups are in such a state of reaction and anger that it makes it difficult to see this is what they long for too. It is no doubt their feelings are justified, we hide an often atrocious food system both in its environmental impact and its treatment of animals. However, it seems that because that system is so big and powerful it is easier to attack the smaller and often much more humane players."

So if you guessed the topic was FOOD - you got it right :).

P.S. If you are looking for a delightful read I recommend The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. I checked it out for Thanksgiving weekend, but after being hooked by the first three sentences I couldn't wait that long to finish it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It Only Takes One

#1-3 Today I volunteered with GOTV (Get Out the Vote) Most people I talked to had already voted or were on their way to vote and they didn't need a ride. One older man however peered at me after I knocked from behind his door, smoking a cigarette.

"Hi my name is Tammy. I'm out volunteering with the No vote on the marriage amendment. Have you voted yet?"

"No." He didn't look that interested, but I continued.

"Would you like a ride to vote?"

"Too long to stand." He said.

"Well, it's mid-morning now so it is a good time of day to go, the line shouldn't be bad. I can give you a rider over right now."

"How will I get home?" he asked.

"I'll wait for you to vote and bring you back."


"Great! I'll go get the car which is on the next block and pick you up in five minutes or so."


I ran down the street to find my door-knocking partner, "I've got a voter that needs a ride!"


When I picked up John (I'm changing his name), he told me he doesn't drive anymore. His polling place was fairly far from his house, certainly for someone who has some mobility challenges.

John said last election he waited in line a long time. "What time of day did you go?" I asked.


Well, he was right. We got to the polling place and the line snaked around the corner. I knew they had to make accommodations for ability (or believed they did anyway.) So we went in the exit door and I spoke to one of the election judges.

"I brought a man to vote who has difficulty standing."

"We can either bring a ballot out to the car or we can ask the people in line if they will let him in."

"Well, he's right here." I brought the judge over to John who was standing hesitantly at the door. "Whatever would work best is fine."

So John was brought to a table where he could sit and vote. I have a feeling that even if John knew he could do that, it would have been hard for him to ask I, however, was happy to do it.

When I dropped John off I said,

"Thank you so much for making my morning worthwhile." It was highly unlikely that he would have made it to the polls if I (or someone else) hadn't knocked on his door.

"Thank you," he replied.

#4 - Even though by the end of the day I felt I was just being annoying, "Did you vote yet?" I was still glad to be a participant in the events of the day.

#5 - This song came on the radio on the way home and it was exactly what I needed.