Wednesday, October 22, 2008

30 Days to Peaceful Partnership

From Beth Fuller at Peaceful Partnerships (an amended version of a challenge Maisha issued last night):

1) Treat your partner with respect, kindness, compassion, and love. Assume that their issues are not about you, but are instead about their own pain.

2) Greet them and speak to them as though they are the most wonderful person on Earth (because they are). If you are able, recharge your sex life.

3) Say absolutely nothing negative about them for 30 days. Find your own way of keeping track all of the positive things that they do each day. If you feel a negative criticism going on, perhaps you could try writing it down. After the 30 days, review the positive things and release the negative ones.

4) Offer them lots of love in their own primary love language. For good measure, offer them an abundance of ALL the love languages.

5) If your partner rages or retreats be compassionate and offer them what they need-- a hug, for you to be a mountain (quiet, strong, present with him), etc. Just hold them in your heart even if they do not melt.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Voting in Oregon

The state of Oregon uses a 100% Vote by Mail system. We do not have polling stations at all. What happens is two weeks before the election we receive our ballot in the mail.

Personally I love this (although I do miss serving as a poll worker and experiencing the party atmosphere of a polling station). It takes me a lot of time to vote, so I love going through my ballot one item at a time and doing the research I need to do to make a decision as I go.

Since this is a Presidential election year, there are more measures on the ballot than usual - everyone wants to get their issue in front of a bunch of voters who will just pick yes or no without really caring. A lot of our measures are poorly written, somewhat ambiguous measures placed on the ballot by a guy named Skidmore. I figure it will take me a couple more days to finish filling out my ballot and get it dropped in the ballot box.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Displays of Responsibility

For all you unschoolers out there, this will be no big deal, but for any who question how unschooling could ever work, I give you yet another example:

I'm sick - I didn't get the post conference cold until the other day, so it's not really a post conference cold, except that it is, well, post conference. Yesterday was the day I was hit hardest - didn't change out of my PJs and really had NO energy. I was up with a nose that wouldn't stop running until 2:30am and was just a bit miserable.

Bekka took it upon herself to clean up the kitchen, take my dirty dishes to the kitchen for me, run the dishwasher, empty the dishwasher, etc. all day. It was SO NICE! I felt so cared for and loved.

Saturdays are her marathon dancing days in Portland. Her ride comes for her before 7:30 am! (We are NOT morning people - well, Steve is, but the rest of us are NOT!) Last night I checked in with her to see if she needed me to wake her and help her get off in the morning (she has always wanted me to) and she said she had it covered. She set out breakfast, got all her stuff gathered (did her laundry) and as I lay in bed this morning I noticed that she was actually ready early (a first).

So, for anyone who thinks kids have to have 12 to 16 years of practice getting up early every morning so they can get up for a job - Phewy! It's just not true - they do it when it's important to THEM!

Oh, BTW - she placed in all of her dances at the Portland Feis last weekend - this was great considering this was her first Feis dancing Novice. And some of the team members performed at the Thirsty Lion and put on a fantastic show!

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Better Explanation

Have you heard the concept of the Law of Attraction (LoA)and feel that it's just too out there? Too steeped in magic, voodoo, new age weirdness?

The basic idea of LoA is that what you think is what you get (kind of). The popular book, "Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires" by Esther and Jerry Hicks is just one of the many books out there about this concept. The movie "The Secret" is just more of the same. The basic idea is a good one - a kind of be careful what you wish for and that our mind is a powerful tool, but all the LoA gurus out there seem to be focusing too much on material desires and not reaching the core of truth.

Sandra Dodd mentioned the concept in amongst a lot of other faith based beliefs over on FamilyRUN.ning and it really made me chuckle because she pointed out the fallacy of LoA - that so many people seem to believe that you can concentrate on getting anything and get it through LoA. The actual line she used was, "The other group wants desperately to believe in Ester Hicks and her imaginary friend, because if they believe those things they can be rich and happy." I love how silly she makes it sound because this really is how LoA is perceived by most people, thanks to the LoA gurus who make it seem so.

I believe in many aspects of the Law of Attraction, but I wasn't able to really, fully explain why I think it can be true, but not always true for everyone. It isn't a get rich quick scheme, get everything you say you want system, but that's what it often sounds like.

This morning I read an article by Martha Beck over on that explains it all so perfectly. In this article, she talks about "magic lists" and how they work and don't work. It all depends upon the place inside you that you are writing the list from. If you are listing out all the things you think you need to be happy, you may as well be spending that time digging for gold, because it would probably be time better spent. If, however, you are in that place of peace deep inside where you have already given up material desires and really visualizing an amazing future, you are well on your way to achieving your dreams.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Here's something you don't hear every day. Last week Bekka asked for a DECREASE in her allowance!

About a year ago Steve, Bekka and I tried to figure out how much Bekka needs on a monthly basis to cover her clothes and activities. Since we really didn't know how much she needed, we just kind of guessed (an educated guess, but a guess none the less). Well, apparently we guessed too high, so Bekka came to us and asked if she could receive less allowance. We wanted to make sure she had enough - and she certainly felt like she did!

Unschoolers handle the money/allowance issue lots of different ways. Many unschoolers have an open budget - meaning that everyone in the family gets together and decides how their monetary resources will be used. Others just make sure their kids have the money they need when they need it. What felt right to Steve was to actually give Bekka her chunk of the budget on a monthly basis - and this was agreeable to me and Bekka as well. She's been managing her money very responsibly - obviously!