Can I Commit to Uncommitted Oregon?

As someone who has long refused to register with either of the major political parties in the United States as a statement on the issues I have with both parties, I've struggled with how to embrace Uncommitted Oregon . While my values tend to trend liberal, even progressive, I often find the Democratic Party falls short due to the influence of lobbyists, PACs, and corporate influence in general. And the Republican Party's values tend to be completely out of line with mine, or frankly my world view in general. When Uncommitted Oregon started getting off the ground, and I saw the behind-the-scenes work going on, I was both intrigued and conflicted.   In Oregon, I have to be registered with a major political party to vote in that party's primary. I fully support Uncommitted Oregon's message that an immediate and permanent ceasefire throughout Palestine must happen now - well, yesterday or many yesterdays ago, that humanitarian aid must be allowed into Gaza via land crossi

Story of Todd

Story of Todd (for Todd ) Todd May 14, 2009-February 2, 2024 Sleeping quietly All the others scampering Can’t take my eyes off Your little white and gray body Snuggled up against the edge I wait for you to wake up Keep glancing back Finally, I can’t wait any longer I pick you up Your brilliant blue eyes Capture my heart In less than a beat You yawn Not scared Not too excited Not agitated Settle in Home Bringing you home You bounce through the house With such enthusiasm Snuggles and pets Kneads and kisses Purring so much and so loud Always so happy Yet so very sensitive To noise To upheaval To chaos You loved hard You played hard You lived hard Always looking for a new challenge Entertaining yourself and us You were life personified Tenacious to the very end Loving to the very end Filling our hearts day after day Beyond the very end

In Loving Tribute to Todd

Todd (aka Toddy) died on February 2, 2024 at West Hills Animal Hospital with his humans by his side. He was born in California on May 14, 2009 and brought to Oregon by Safehaven Humane Society shortly thereafter and given the name Powder. He chose us as his family in July 2009 when we met him at Safehaven. From day one, Todd was a loving, sweet, gentle cat who wanted everyone - human and cat alike - he loved to be happy and peaceful. He loved both his humans and both his kitty sisters.  He purred so frequently and so loudly that on his first visit to the vet, Dr. Glaze proclaimed "He's purring so loud I can't hear his heartbeat."  He became easily bored with toys but always loved a new one. He loved to run through tunnels and chase dangling things. He would challenge himself by climbing up the six-foot cat tree using only his front legs. Boxes full of packing paper always made him happy. He didn't care for the outdoors though he did give it a try a few times. He

Searching for Meaning

2024 has found me, us, the world. I keep searching for meaning in the moments, large and small, that made up 2023, globally as well as personally. There are disappointments, challenges, losses, and triumphs dotted throughout the year. Somehow today it is the little kindnesses that stand out to me in a sea of painful moments. And, I wonder if sometimes we forget that a little kindness, a little love, a little compassion goes a long way toward making life bearable for those in challenging circumstances. My problems this year pale in comparison to worldwide atrocities. They were still challenges I had to face and handle. Those challenges taught me some lessons about the people in my life as well as about myself. Frankly, I don't want to talk about my personal 2023 right now. Relationships change, grow, end, and begin. People lift us up and people let us down. Good things happen, and bad things happen. The world around us can be incredibly kind and just as cruel. And through it all, we

Ye Shall Not Read

Banning books has always seemed beyond ridiculous to me. What is the point? Ending knowledge? Ending points of view? What if the book you love is the one on the banning block? Does that change things? T he idea behind book bans is to silence those with messages someone doesn't like. I have often wondered what would happen if someone turned the tables on them.  I recently saw that someone decided to challenge the book bans in their state by using the criteria in them to request the Bible be banned from a library. The official who wrote the book banning bill whined that wasn't what he intended, but let's be  clear the criteria fit. I guess that answers the question. And, this wasn't the first time the Bible has been caught up in these kinds of bans... Just  Google it .  The thing is, and this is what they count on, liberal and progressive folks tend to want people to have access to a multitude of books and generally don't try to ban books because we value knowledge an

Call Me Woke

Woke... Are you woke? Am I woke? The word woke has somehow become a slur, an insult, a criticism. Every time I hear the word used in this manner, I roll my eyes. I have to wonder if people really understand what they're criticizing or even what the word is intended to mean. Let's start with a simple definition of woke - awake, aware, conscious. The opposite of this would be asleep, unaware, unconscious. So I'm supposed to be insulted by being called awake, aware, conscious. Really?  Well, call me woke... I'll wear the label proudly!! Now, to be a little less general. When criticizing the idea of being woke, most people seem to be referring to people who are aware or seek to be aware of injustices, inequalities, and vitriol in order to address the consequences for those affected in order to make necessary changes to create a more just, more equal, and more accepting world. Wow! And, there are people who think people should be ashamed of being woke. Really? Are they serio

The Gift and Work of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is not some supernatural event that fixes everything. It can't be. Asking it to be is too much to expect as well as absolving us the work it takes to right a wrong or at least acknowledge a wrong that can't be righted. Forgiveness is all about accountability and absolves no one from the need for accountability. Forgiveness is essential to life. It allows hurts to mend, amends to be made, and offers a way to move forward. Sometimes that forgiveness allows people to move forward together, but sometimes it helps them move forward apart. When they move forward together, that's growing closer. When they move forward apart, that's finding closure. Both are important at different times in life. Forgiveness isn't something we do for the other person. It's a gift we give ourselves. It's a letting go of what's beyond our control. It's an acceptance of what happened and whose accountable. Forgiveness allows us to stop clinging to the mud miring us i