March 2, 2022- A state legislator, censured for advocating executions of her political opponents, on a public gallows, fired back at those who voted for censure-saying they were picking on a “sweet grandma”.

To be sure, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, even for those who say people of different ethnicities have horns and a tail, or words to that effect. Yet, there are laws that forbid making specific threats against the safety and well-being of other human beings-or hurting most animals, for that matter.

I am sure the legislator is sweet to her grandchildren, if not her children. Loving people who are one’s bloodline is well nigh universal, save for those who are deranged. That tells me the woman has some semblance of heart. Her comments, at a recent gathering of white supremacists, tell me that she has spent precious little time listening to those who offer views different from her own. They also give readers and listeners who disagree with those comments a sense that she herself may be a bit unhinged.

We have had a long, hard road together, vis-à-vis race relations, especially between Blacks and Whites, but also between Whites and First Nations people as well as between First Nations people and Blacks. Much of the discord involves failure to listen, to observe, to accept others for who they are. It’s true that there are people in each group who have taken advantage of their own, and who have ingratiated themselves with the dominant group. It is also true that there are people within the dominant group who have suffered at the hands of “their own kind”. This, however, does not take away from the aggregate of the dominant group, in a good many countries, having the responsibility for erecting a system that perpetuates their dominance, at the expense of those outside their circle.

Real sweetness does not hate.



February 6, 2021-

There are many people still in my life, and several causes that seek attention. I gather that this is true of just about everyone. The question then arises: Is there a point at which being oneself and prioritizing one cause, or group of people, over another constitutes dereliction of duty?

Being an empath, I feel other people’s energy very strongly. That doesn’t explain the underlying reasons for that energy. Only the person feeling it can divulge those. I feel it even more so, when the energy is collective. So, to all those who have expressed the view that a person ought commit to one organization, activity or community, I say godspeed. I will help each organization as alignment allows. My own energy focus allows for a modicum of time spent in virtual meetings- knowing that, as with any human endeavour, there are those who would be on Zoom, or Microsoft Teams, 24/7-and again, godspeed to them. My greater energy, though, is spent away from the computer.

For the time being, that is, for the next two weeks, my priority is helping a couple of schools in dealing with COVID-related staff shortages. Some time will be spent on Red Cross classes, and with a small, but spirited, group of college students who are earnestly planning sustainability activities. There is also the 50% chance that jury duty will transpire, towards the end of this month.

Dereliction of duty is clearly defined, when it comes to parenting, supervision of children in a school setting or service in the public realm. It is less clear, when it comes to the matters of those generally self-sustaining adults who are suffering emotionally or spiritually. This gray area is also on my mind and in my heart, and occupies some of my time, on a case by case basis. Thankfully, most such people are appreciative of any time and energy that others give, as it at least validates that their situation is important to someone.

Smelling The Roses


November 24, 2019-

For the longest time, I went through life being purposeful, and regarding taking time with non-essentials as a waste of time.  Even time in nature had to be for the purpose of reaching a goal.

Penny got me to slow down, just a bit, and to not  look at life as just a thing to be accomplished.  Since I wasn’t really all that ambitious, in the conventional sense, learning to relax and not be time-driven was actually refreshing.

Jordan Peterson’s twelfth rule for life is “If You See A Cat on The Road, Pet It.”.    Although many of the cats I’ve encountered in life are hardly willing to be petted, the sentiment is  a charming one.

Being semi-retired, I now take more time for the gentle pleasures of life.  Most of the people in my life understand this, and many say it’s high time. I have encountered a few who take umbrage at my pastimes, and their words sometimes trigger memories of my past.  This leads me to lash out, as I did in the earlier version of this post.  Time away, reading “Abby Wize”, brought me back down to the level at which I am in a better frame of mind.  Nobody likes being triggered, yet I need to keep above it.

That is the thing.  I have worked hard, at a number of endeavours, both professionally and socially.  I have earned a measure of taking time to smell the roses.  Lest anyone think I was playing the victim card earlier- think again.  Lest anyone think I am dodging social responsibility, think twice.  I  continue to be very much involved in community activities. That, to me, is part of taking time for what is beautiful in life.  Towards that end, I enjoy walking in our lovely town, spending much time in leisurely walks through nature.  I will continue to enjoy time with non-judgmental people.  I will pet animals, especially dogs, which enjoy that kind of attention.  As you may have guessed, I will also continue to travel widely, especially towards the late spring and summer months of next year.  As Dr. Peterson says, taking time for what is meaningful is what keeps us in good health, and even helps the sick to recover.

This concludes my first set of commentaries on the Twelve Rules for Life.