Root of all…

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree

~Albert Einstein


Growing up I was taught that to understand diversity all I needed to do was look at a tree.

OK  Simple enough.  I was told that a tree has many branches that grow in separate and unique angles from the main part of the tree.  These branches can signify all the differences in the world but they always come back to the trunk.  The trunk was to symbolize unity in the face of chaos.

I want to take this little philosophical tale one step further, if I may.  I would like everyone to take the next leap with me.  Let’s take a leap DOWN!  The branches are connected to the trunk and seem to unify at that point.  But what of the trunk?  It cannot sustain the tree all on it’s own.  There must be something else.  That’s where the roots come into play.

Everything the leaf,  the branch and the trunk does is to feed the roots.  The differences in branch size, leaf color or trunk girth don’t mean a thing if the roots are not supported through the nutrients of decaying leaves and the self pruning of diseased branches.  Keep the roots healthy and the tree will live long and strong.

If the roots start to decay?  Then the tree will die.

We have to accept that we will all branch out from the trunk at some point in our lives.  We will all form our own branches of beliefs and values.  If we don’t, we become either an echo chamber for the latest craze (or crazy) or a fence sitter with no opinions except for those that seem right at the time.

We are voting on November 6th.  I urge everyone to take the time and effort to cast your ballot.  Believe in what you vote for and vote for what you believe in.  Don’t be strong-armed by the rhetoric that you feel the obligation to vote a party line.

Keep the roots of your city, county, state and nation healthy by feeding them the nutrients of an unhindered and  guilt-free vote.

When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.

~Eleanor Roosevelt

When If Not Now?

Whoa!  Whoa!  Whoa!  It’s not a blog fired by the coals of discontent or stoked by the bellows of hot air.  This is going to be a blog about a personal challenge met and conquered.  Wow!  Now that sounds impressive, doesn’t it?  Remember I said a personal challenge?

I went on vacation.  What?  What’s the big deal?  It was a bucket list item, too.  I went on a cruise for vacation.  My biggest memory of the ocean was deep sea fishing with my dad.  I should say, he fished and I…um…chummed the waters.  I tried again in the my early adult years.  Several times.  No change.  I wished I could die!  No remedy, neither pharmaceutical nor holistic, could cure my ills on the deep briny.

Image result for charter boat columbia bar

So it was with great trepidation and a new found resolve brought about by my faulty memory and a stubbornness inherited from my father that I looked forward to The Cruise!  How bad could it possibly be, right?

What my mind said the cruise would be like

I survived.  I not only survived, I thrived.  This was one of the best vacations I’ve had!  The food, the movies, the stage productions, whale sightings and did I mention the food were out of this world.  The crew made each of us feel as if we were their only concern even though there were close to 1800 passengers.


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I encourage all of you to NOT put the bucket list off too long.  Start checking things off now.  If your bucket starts to empty, fill it back up!


‘Cause Your Eyes Have A Mist From The Smoke Of A Distant Fire

This isn’t a post about global warming.  Though I believe the current version is called climate change.  This isn’t a post about the failed forestry and grasslands management policies of the last decade.  Though it very well could be construed as that.  This is a post about the consequences of those protocols by which the timber and agriculture industries must abide.

Many of you have seen the air quality in the Pacific Northwest.

Sunset on a “clear” day

It’s not pretty


This a shot from a previous post of the sunrise over Mt. Hood.

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This one is taken from the same vantage point this week at the same time of morning.


The Tualatin and Chehalem Valley are famous for their wine and grape production.  Your Merlot may have smokey undertones after this year.  In case you didn’t know, the Coast Range should be visible as a backdrop to this rolling farm region.

Life goes on in spite of the mayhem humans try to cause.




Life and Nature will always win.

Giant Sloths And Giant Shave Ice

I’m a little bit of a history buff.  Some say I’m just a plain, old history nerd.  Everyone in town knows that Tualatin Oregon is home to a Woolly Mammoth.  There’s a statue of it outside Cabella’s.  Do these same people know that a Harlan’s Giant Sloth’s bones were also  found in Tualatin?  It was a big bubba too!  The beast weighed three to four tons and stretched up to 20 feet long!  Just a little cuddle bug.


Now here’s a little known fact.  An innovative and exciting food cart was almost history in Tualatin before it ever got to be.  Let me introduce you to the Pupu Shack!


The Pupu Shack is a whimsically decorated purveyor of shave ice.  Shave ice is the light, snowy ice creations that are so tasty and cooling on a hot summer’s day.  “Big deal, its a snow cone” you say?  I would beg to differ with you on this.

The beautiful and smiling Sadie was our guide to the magical world of shave ice this week.  (Yes, its SHAVE ice, not shaved)  Her menu is extensive.


The tastes are simple to exotic.  This much is certain though, whatever you decide on will be an adventure in fun, color and taste.

Can you believe the Pupu Shack almost didn’t happen?  Red tape, city council skepticism and zoning problems for Tualatin’s inaugural food cart were abundant.  The Pupu Shack family stuck it out though.  With the support of its fans it now has a permanent location and a traveling van in the city!

All that is in the past.  Surf’s up and it’s time for shave ice!









For locations and more info please go to

A Year(book) To Remember

It may appear that the young man in the picture above is almost…ready…to…doze…off. I will admit that discussions about font style and paper texture did could get a little tedious.

The lessons learned in Mr. Cannalis’ classroom though were much more useful than I realized. I learned the value of setting and meeting deadlines. I learned sales techniques in order to fund our yearbooks. I also learned what it feels like to be rejected midway through a sales pitch only to have to shake it off and go to the next prospect.

I learned the rush that cracking open a brand new yearbook could bring. I can still tell you what font, photo technique and layout decisions were mine.

In the end, we published a pretty darn good book. And I learned valuable life lessons even though, as a teen, you’d never get me to admit it.

One thing I will admit. I miss my hair.…