Keeping the Peace in these Tough Political Times

The 2016 election was very tough for a lot of us, on all sides. And for many it still is, again – on all sides. The country seems to already have been getting more and more polarized in the last 4 presidential election cycles prior to 2016, but 2016 really seems to stand out. One thing I started seeing on social media were posts saying something to the effect of “If you voted for XXXXX, unfriend, unfollow or block me now!” or something similar to that. Basically people letting their friends and family know that if they differed in their voting actions, then they wanted nothing to do with them. That’s pretty extreme and ultimately not how life works. I found the entire process, the primaries, the election and the aftermath, pretty hard to take and I fell into that mindset of “I want nothing to do with the other Read More

Garden, Lawn, Landscape & Arbor Therapy

In my last post, I talked about my passion for hiking and some of the peace it brings me. But not everyone has access to the kind of trails I can get to, and to be honest, sometimes it’s a hobby that wears me out. Driving several hours, hiking several hours and driving home several hours is a full day. By the time I’m home, I’m wiped out. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but sometimes something close to home and a little less physical is the best way to find a little serenity. I’ve been into gardening since my high school days. It started when I first began working in kitchens when I was old enough to work. Right away I took to cooking and learning about spices, herbs, seasoning, etc. And when you start in a kitchen, you do the prep work – which often includes cleaning, Read More

A Love Affair with Hiking

I can remember the first time that I went hiking as a child. I think Multnomah Falls was the first place. I went with my mom and dad and my sister Megan. We got into our 1990 Subaru station wagon and took the hour long drive up the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. We got on I-205 heading East. We kept going past Gresham and then onto Troutdale and eventually ended up at the amazing view. I remember being in awe of how big the mountains around us were. They were mammoth and splendid. As we parked on the cool spring day we prepared our gear. We had a small NorthFace backpack and our shiny red aluminum Sigg water bottle… we were off. We walked across the parking lot and down the ramp that took us under the freeway. We walked past a creek and if this would have been the Read More