He Says, She Says…

Greetings, Dear Reader!

Well, with the end of the month falling on a Sunday, we’ve all of a sudden discovered that we had one post to do yesterday, two today and one tomorrow!  We might have to take a break in there somewhere just to allow the keyboards a bit of a rest!

If we look at time as the linear passing of one moment to the next, then it could be said that we have both been walking a ‘spiritual path’ for a very long time.  In some circles that might be cause for veneration, but we both agree that the only question really worth asking from all of this is, “Have we found joy in our discoveries?’  Yes, for the most part we have.  We get better at is as we go, or maybe it’s just that we’re getting better at discovering that it always exists within us.

Of the many books that were written by Seth, Jane Roberts and Robert Butts, the first Seth book we each read was ‘Seth Speaks‘.  In that book ‘he’ wrote:

”Using the inner senses, we become conscious creators, cocreators.” ~ Seth Speaks, session 515.

The very basis of Seth’s teachings, and the teachings of many others can be formed along the lines of: ‘You form your own reality’.  So, taking that in hand we thought that this week we’d turn our minds and our keyboarding fingers toward ‘Conscious Co-Creation‘.

Hugs,
M&M

Follow these links to read what He Says/She Says: Marcia’s View / Mike’s View.

Photo of the Month – Making Small Creative Edits in Lightroom

Hi Folks: I usually dedicate the last day of the month to my favourite image made that month, but this month I’m going to do something a little different and dedicate it to an idea. I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (I currently have both LR 2.6 and 3 Beta installed) to do all of my file management, tagging, and pretty much all of my editing, etc. One of the biggest changes between LR 2 and LR1 before it was the ability to make selective rather than global changes to an image; I have no doubt that this will be expanded upon in LR 3 when it comes out, but we’ll have to wait and see. Now Photoshop is THE pixel editing program, and there is so much that can be done in Photoshop that can’t be done in Lightroom, so we’ll get that argument out of the way right up front. However, rather than be stymied by limitations, I always like to know how far I can take something – in this case Lightroom’s selective edit commands: the brush tool and the gradiant tool. I find mostly what I use them for is making very small adjustments. By small adjustments I’m talking generally ½ a stop or less. Still I think small corrections can make a big difference. I’m no Lightroom guru, but in all of the various Lightroom tips, tutorials and videos I’ve seen I’ve yet to see anyone cover this so I thought I’d give it a shot. Further creative effects may be achieved by changing the saturation, clarity, brush colour, etc. but this tutorial focuses solely on exposure adjustments. Continue Reading →

Eating Our Way Through Victoria!

Greetings Gourmands!

Before I delve into the tantalizingly sweet and savoury tidbits of this month’s subject, let me guide you first with a wee bit of geography and history to lay the groundwork for today’s tasty treat of a food review.

Welcome to Victoria! Victoria is the capital city of the province of British Columbia in Canada. Located on the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island, it is a mere 1 1/2 hour ferry ride through the Gulf Islands taking you to the mainland and the city of Vancouver where the final days of the 2010 Winter Olympics are winding to a close. Go Canada! Check out the location here. (Click on the photos on this map and you’ll see some of our more famous buildings!)

The Empress Hotel – now the Fairmont Empress – is a world-renowned resort hotel. Often referred to as the ‘Grand Lady’ – a castle in her own right – she rules over our Inner Harbour and is a must see attraction for visitors from all parts of the globe. You can’t come to Victoria and not wander her halls, peruse her galleries, stop for a rest and take an appreciative look and deep breath or two in her incredible rose gardens.

The Empress Hotel is the journey we take today as we eat our way through Victoria. Of the many restaurant options The Empress has to offer, it is the Bengal Lounge that shall capture and satisfy our epicurean nature. Continue Reading →

Being Green – Good News!

Hi Folks!  Friday again… where does the week go?  Wait a minute – didn’t I ask that same question last week?  Oh well…  This is going to be short, I’m afraid, but I didn’t want to let a Friday go by without doing a ‘Being Green‘ post.  I’ll add my usual weekly links at the bottom, but I wanted to mention a few ‘good news’ items I’ve come across recently.  While I don’t like to show favouritism and highlight specific companies, there are many that are making a conscious effort to go greener in different ways.  I’ll let you decide whether or not their products are right for you.  One is Method, a company that makes environmentally friendly cleaning products.  They’ve just announced a new non-toxic, plant-based laundry detergent, super-concentrated, but the best part is that it’s “the world’s first Cradle to CradleCM certified laundry detergent, thanks to its comprehensive green design. And like other method products, it’s recognized by the US EPA’s DfE program for its safer chemistry.”  They even show their ingredient list on the site. Continue Reading →

Poetry Corner – Potential

Hello Dear Ones!

Years ago I bought myself a small spiral notebook and pen to keep in my purse. (BTW: Today, the notebook in my purse is about the 25th such writing journal.) On the very back page of this notebook I began jotting down different topics as they came to me randomly – for use as poems, short stories, or as simple paragraphs that might, someday, find their way into a story. It’s a mere list that looks somewhat like this:

Grandmother
Thunderstorm
Mashed bananas
The scent of a baby
Fresh ground/fresh brewed coffee
Candles
Riding a bicycle
Driving a car
The first pickle in the jar
A hug

My list now has about 350 entries of topics I still might write about – someday. Many have already inspired me to write. Some I have written about and yet I have kept the topic on the list as there are so many ways to express the different facets of that same topic – such as thunderstorms! Each and every storm is unique and pulls emotions from within as varied as the storms themselves!

How do I use this Potential Writings list? Continue Reading →

Celebrate What’s Right with the World!

Hi Folks:

This is a very quick post, but I wanted to point you in the direction of the following website.  Photographer Dewitt Jones has created a site called ‘Celebrate What’s Right with the World!‘ that will be updated weekly… Each week he’ll post a new image, with the underlying theme of celebrating what’s right!  Each image is beautiful on its own, and in taking a moment or two to appreciate it, give yourself permission to appreciate that moment and to give thanks for all that’s right in your world!  Practice senseless acts of beauty and random acts of kindness on a daily basis.

Hugs,
Mike.

P.S.  Our friend Samantha Standish has two blogs that also focus on this idea of beauty: Zuli Love and The Power to Flower.

P.S. II (the sequel)  If you’re interested you can click here to see some of my ideas of beauty in the world.

Marcia’s Meanderings – Anything But The …

Hello Dear Ones!

It’s well after noon on a sunny Monday as I sit myself down to write. I finally made it to the desk to type. It was truly a challenge for me to do so. And that has me laughing as I record these words!

Why a challenge? Were there other things happening in my life that precluded my time at the computer? No. Not unless you consider doing the dishes, sweeping and mopping the bathroom floor, reading, watching the Olympic Curling match – Canada vs. the United States – as being of more importance. Let’s see now … what else did I do this morning?

Maturity – my own – has helped me to understand one very major factor in my life. Procrastination – which for me is a major form of writer’s block – is never sitting down to write and facing a blank piece of paper or computer screen and finding nothing at all comes to my brain inspiring me to write. Procrastination is not forcing myself to sit and sit even though the brain is empty of ideas. Procrastination is not writing terrible material resulting in the frustrated scrunching up of balled and wasted paper (what Mike refers to as beginner’s origami!) nor is it the frequent use of the backspace or delete keys on my laptop.

Procrastination, for me, is simply doing anything but the very act of what it is I know I could/should do. It is plain and simple avoidance. Finding creative ways to avoid what I feel obliged to do. My creativity is momentarily misdirected to any activity other than writing. I can get very creative with things to accomplish – to the point of the ridiculous on occasion. If it weren’t for my periodic bouts of procrastination, that pile of papers building up in one drawer of the filing cabinet would never get sorted through (with most of it being recycled) and organized. The fact that it’s been building up for over 6 months now and there is no rush to get it done today or even tomorrow – and yet, for some reason, it has become the most pressing thing to do on a day when I have a book to finish or a post to write.

Sound familiar? Do you do that too? I’m not alone? Well, I’ll be …

As you may be able to envision, I’m smiling as I write all this. I give thanks to my writer’s block and my procrastination skills. They help me realize how truly human I am. They also help me get my filing cabinet kept up to date at least twice a year.

Today my bathroom is now clean – top to bottom. It practically sparkles! Plus I got this post written. I would not have found a topic for this post if it hadn’t been for the very act of procrastinating, so I’m doubly blessed.

In Light and Laughter,

Marcia

He Says, She Says…

Greetings, Dear Reader!

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

If you’ve read these posts before, you’ll know that every Sunday Marcia and Mike pick a common topic and write about it individually.  Neither reads the other’s posts until both are finished.  The title for this week’s talk, ‘The Elephant in the Room‘, comes from a post written by journalist Robert Scoble during his time at the 2010 TED Conference in Long Beach, CA.  You can read his article here: The elephants in the room at TED.  The ‘elephant’ in this case is money.  Those having taken a vow of poverty aside, money is often among the most challenging of ideas held by many if not most people.   It doesn’t matter if you are a street person, a corporate executive or a subsistence farmer, or whether the currency is dollars, pounds, rubles, kroner, baht, pesos, rand or yen.  Both Marcia and Mike have been included in this, at least at times.

The title of this week’s post came from Robert Scoble, but the inspiration for this week’s post came from our wise and wondrous friend, Samantha Standish and a series of blog posts she has written recently on her ‘I Am Pollyana‘ blog.  Our thanks to her and to the many, many people who have been and continue to be our guides, our teachers and our friends.

Hugs,
M&M

Follow these links to read what He Says/She Says: Marcia’s View / Mike’s View.

Being Green – Social Networking

Greetings!  Friday once again… where did the week go?  Ah well, as the saying goes, there are 168 hours in a week; what you do with them is up to you.  I was sitting at my computer, staring at a blank screen (that adamantly refused to write anything on itself), when my wife (who sits at the computer beside me) suggested I ‘follow’ on Twitter someone from England who blogs about rooftop gardens, green roofs, etc. (@gardenbeet on Twitter).  That got me thinking about an article I had read earlier today entitled, “Why you have to engage in social media, even if you don’t want to“.

While it’s true that twenty years ago few people had ever heard of a ‘web site’, the simple truth is that websites now get lost in their sheer numbers and social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, and more are sweeping the world and very directly changing the way we do business.  Marcia and I wrote a post last month about our own foray into Social Networking, and we now have a Twitter landing page on this site, where we provide links and information related to social networking information (updated as we can).  Social networking affects every group or business, in every field.   During the recent 2010 TED Conference in California, there were over 40,000 ‘tweets’ (short posts) about the conference.   Chris Anderson of TED can be found at @TEDChris. More and more businesses are allowing/encouraging their employees to post about their experiences with and within the company, and while there have been a couple of instances of people being dismissed as a result of their posts, these events were anything but private and reflect back to the company as well.  ‘CoTweet‘ for example is a resource that allows the employees of a company to share one Twitter account, engaging with their clients online.

Curious, I went to the US Green Building Council home page, and they have a Twitter account (@usgbc).  Being Canadian, I also went to the Canada Green Building Council home page, and they’re not (yet?) hooked up to Twitter.  I’ve sent them an e-mail letting them know that when they do, I’ll be happy to update this post!  Some of the groups, organizations and companies I ‘follow’ on Twitter in relation to sustainability and green building, in addition to those mentioned above, are:

I’m sure you’ll develop your own lists.  Oh, BTW, if you’re like me and tend to be a bit loquacious, I highly recommend Twitlonger.

Articles, sites and news I found this week include the following.  Before I get to that, a reminder that there’s a webinar on ‘Understanding Green Schools‘ on March 17, 2:00 p.m. EDT.  Click on the link to register.

In no particular order:

Have a great week!

Mike.

P.S.

If you’re in the Portland, OR area on March 20–21 and are looking for a way to release some of the stress in your life, drop by the Ohara Ikebana Exhibition at the Portland Japanese Garden.

Poetry Corner – Slam Poetry

… slammed and proud of it!

Every Canadian that could be was glued to the television set and/or other modes of viewing options to take in the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. We did ourselves proud and it was a joy to share that skill and pride with the world. Kudos to all who put their heart, soul and talents to work in that highly technical and truly Canadian production. I loved it all. My very favourite part of the entire production was the whales floating along ‘under’ the concrete surface of the stadium floor and spouting water as they swam from one side to the other. WoW!

Yet in addition to that (plus seeing Donald Sutherland dressed so regally in white and proudly carrying our country’s flag), what I enjoyed most was the amazingly accurate description of Canadians and our gentle, loving, profound way of life as depicted by Canadian slam poet Shane Koyczan. Continue Reading →