My neighbor clearcut his property a few years ago, mostly tall white pines, which had an impact on the vegetation of my property. For example, my shade garden became a heated hotbed, roasting my hostas. The increased exposure and sunlight boosted the regeneration of shelterwood, where food and shelter are an abundant supply for wildlife: squirrels, deer, fox, birds. I have to continually manage the regrowth to avoid overgrowth. His clear-cutting approach also imposed much vulnerability to the winds. I now have a lot of deadfall as only the sturdy and windfirm trees stand the test of time.

Although my neighbor tried to convince me to do the same clear-cutting method, the white pines that have stood for centuries still stand on my lot. Despite the emotionally charged conversation, I approached the situation with logic and reasoning, weighing the pros and the cons. Vilifying the land or my neighbor was not an option. Sure, piled with the heavy snow and ice, the limbs come crashing down, …

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

DUI, DWI, OUI, call it whatever you want, mixing drinking with driving is never a good idea. Motor vehicle accidents are still one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and regardless of all the warnings, public awareness programs, and penalties people will still get behind the wheel while intoxicated.

The legal limit is 0.08% BAC. To calculate BAC, take the grams of alcohol consumed and divide by the person's weight then multiply by 100.  Be aware that this formula does not consider personal factors that affect BAC: medication, weight, gender, body type, and food and water intake.

A 160-pound man who drank two 12-ounce beers in an hour would have an approximate BAC of 0.02. While he is well below the legal limits of driving under the influence, he is 1.4 times more likely to have a crash than someone who is sober. A person with a BAC of 0.10 is 7 times more likely to have a crash. A person with a BAC of 0.15 is 25 times more likely to crash.

Even though the legal a…

#45 Honesty

Let's face it, if we're honest, we all lie. The other day I was at a gathering where a controversial book was being discussed. When asked my opinion, I gave a regurgitated viewpoint of a review I had read. No, I did not read the book. They assumed I read it; I did not correct them. Instead, I continued to mislead them. Feeling heavy guilt, and enormous regret, I eventually did read the book. My opinion did not change, but my reasons were much different than the author of the review. I misrepresented myself.

Whether it is a harmless "white lie" or an outright lie, a lie is a lie. Dishonesty is a passive-aggressive behavior used as a coping mechanism for confrontational situations, especially where we may be judged. Even offering a compliment or trying to shield the person from the truth can create problems later. This creates a vicious cycle of anxiety-ridden energy spent on keeping things hidden, remembering the details of the untruths, and fearing the discovery of t…

Full Moon

Tonight is the Hunter's Moon. According to the Farmers Almanac, full moon names are mostly derived from Native American and early American folklore to mark the seasons. The Hunters moon signals the time to go hunting and prepare for winter. It comes in the wake of the Harvest Moon, when crops were dug, leaving an open field for wild game to gorge, and thus making them an easy, baited target for hunters.

There are many superstitions about full moons. My grandmother had so many. Much of the lore speaks to bringing good luck. However, one belief is that a full moon on a Sunday brings bad luck.  By the same token, many religious calendars follow in step with the moon. It's how we determine Easter as well as the end of Ramadan for example. On top of that, there are many full moon rituals that involve magic.

When a full moon is approaching we can get a little crazy, sad or angry. The power of the moon exacerbates. Ask any teacher or nurse, and they will tell you ... If you have an i…

Be Like a Pumpkin

We're in the midst of the fall season, and it is evident by the pumpkin theme found just about everywhere. Pumpkin lattes, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, Limited-edition Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, Pumpkin Pie M & Ms, pumpkin pie gelato, pumpkin martinis, pumpkin soup, pumpkin candles, Pumpkin Spice Deodorant -- no thank you! Paint a pumpkin! Carve a pumpkin. Pumpkin is a sure sign of fall and it signals the last of the harvest.

Pumpkins can last forever, about 12 weeks.  Jack-o-lanterns last about 8 days. If you put both in a tub of water, What do you think would happen? The pumpkin would float and the Jack would sink.  The scientific concept is called buoyancy. Pumpkin is hollow on the inside. The Jack-o-lantern is solid throughout. Positive buoyancy is when something is less dense than the water around it. This will make the object float.

So here's the thing, some say that holding on is a sign of great strength. However, more it takes great fortitude to let go. It's no…


Wherever we are in life is temporary. We are in a constant flow of choice and change.  Positive change cannot happen with a negative mindset. Letting the past maintain its grip is immobilizing. Of course, we all have made bad choices. So, learn from them so that they define and fuel your future choices not your present state.

We naturally evaluate risk vs reward, and we can say "Yes" or "No" to certain opportunities, or we can stand still throughout the chaos. Either choice triggers the next series of events. The bigger the decision and the more choices, the more impaired the decision-making process becomes. It seems intimidating and only becomes manageable when we gain more courage and confidence to accept where we are and then to take bold action.

Here's the thing, when we are present in the moment we find meaning, even in the bad stuff. Life’s about being at peace with your past, your present, and your future. It is about being content with the choices that …


The word karma has been tossed around so much that its true meaning has been distorted. In pop culture, karma is often defined as people get what they deserve, a transaction. We think that when someone does something bad, something bad will happen to them in return. We may even believe that there is some tabulation calculating the good and the bad, keeping that in check as though karma is part of our legal system.

Karma is Sanskrit and actually means action. Every action has a natural consequence, a cause and effect. We put forth bad karma by means of selfish actions. When we constantly defend or promote ourselves this is selfish. Maybe we manipulate others to get what we want. Perhaps we project our insecurities onto others. By reacting with anger, jealousy, and defensiveness all the time, we are conditioning the mind for anger, jealousy, and defensiveness.

Karma's punishment is connected to your inner peace and happiness. We feel this every day, and it’s not stored for future pu…