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A walk in my neighborhood…

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All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”

~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Yesterday evening was so nice, and I was feeling somewhat stunned from some meds I was on but still needed to get out of the house, so I went for a walk. I have always loved to walk in cities. I may walk a bit slower than I once did, and it may take me longer to get to a destination, but still I love to walk. Walking in cities is always inspiring to me, and I am lucky enough to live in a historic neighborhood where the architecture itself is inspiring. Anyhow, I simply meandered the streets like a tourist in my own town and snapped a few photos. Here’s a few of the things I saw. Click any for a slightly larger image.

Seven fading flowers and a quote…

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As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.

Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slaves of permanence.

~Hermann Hesse

The Glass Bead Game

Urban Simplicity.

And by the way…

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The month of May is National Bike Month

Urban Simplicity.

A Bicycle for Mului (updated)….

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Joe and Mului (small)

Update…So we surpassed our goal in a little over an hour! Amazing, it really is. With all the negativity that is portrayed in the media each day this outpouring of generosity is really moving to me. Thank you. According to the website it will take about ten business days for the funds to reach me. When they do I’ll post pics of Mului on his new bike. Peace, and thanks again.

 

Hello Friends,

This is a picture of me with Mului, a co-worker. I am trying to raise $325 to purchase a bicycle for Mului. He is new to our country and works very hard to support his wife and young daughter, but he needs transportation to get to work. Right now he either walks or takes a bus. A bicycle would be much quicker and also offset the cost of a two-way bus ride everyday. $325 would be enough to purchase a bike, a good lock, and proper lighting. Contributions will not only help a person in need but also a local business as I will purchase the bike from a local independently owned bike shop. Click here if you’d like to help. Thank you for your consideration,

Sincerely,

Joe

 

 

Urban Simplicity.

Tomorrow will worry about itself (because a little bird told me so)…

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So this is interesting, or funny, or coincidental, or whatever. Without revealing too much personal information, these past few months have been difficult for me financially. And yesterday I was stressing about money (but what is money…just pieces of paper, right?) so I did what I often do and took a long walk with headphones and music. This usually helps. It did for the most part (I also stopped for a beer). Anyhow, on my way home I passed a bank that had recently closed (it seems weird to see a bank close; I didn’t know they did that) and the place where there was once an ATM machine was covered with plywood and had this graffiti on it. I laughed aloud to myself; I’m sure I looked like a crazy person to passersby. Anyhow, I thought I’d share this and a bit of scripture which came to mind as well.


 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:25-34

Urban Simplicity.

 

A few things I saw while walking this morning…

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Urban Simplicity.

A sort of churchy sort of environmental post (but not really, but maybe)

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Okay. So if you’ve been to this blog before then you know a few things about me. One, of course, is that I like to ride bikes, a lot. Another is that I like to bake bread. And likely another thing you know about me–though it may not come across quite as overtly–is that my spiritual life is very important to me. I am a deacon in my church and am in fact attending a part-time inter-faith seminary and, if all things go as planned (fingers crossed), I will be an ordained interfaith minister this coming June. The reason I mention this is that I recently came across this suggested carbon fast for Lent, which begins next week. But I’m jumping ahead as I sometimes do. I really believe that if you are on a spiritual path (or not) it is nearly almost impossible not to care for the planet. For me spirituality and environmentalism are inseparable, as is the care for our fellow humans…no matter what background, skin color, gender, or sexuality preference. We are, in my eyes, all one people. It’s for this reason I am proud to be a member of the denomination, The United Church of Christ (UCC), which is in fact one of the most liberal and progressive denominations, if not the most. Anyhow, as Lent approaches I have been thinking of what discipline I would take up (I am not in the mindset of just “giving something up” for the sake of giving it up, I’d rather add something in return, such as an activity or spiritual discipline that can enhance my inner life). Anyhow, I came across this carbon fast and thought it was a pretty good idea (though I do some of these things already). Here’s an excerpt from the post…

“During this year’s Lenten season, members of Honolulu’s Church of the Crossroads United Church of Christ will leave their cars at home and instead walk, bike or use public transportation one day per week. They will pledge to start a garden or shop at local farmer’s markets more often this spring. They will wash the majority of their laundry in cold water, and advocate on behalf of energy conservation and renewable energy policies.”

Anyone, of course, can take this personal pledge. If you sign up you will get an email every day offering small suggestions to lower your carbon footprint on this planet that we all call home. Anyhow, in the event you missed the link, here it is again

Urban Simplicity.

Olive Oil for the Dogs

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That’s Franklin on the left and Maxwell on the right, and they love olive oil. Well, OK…they would love any food I gave them. And yes, while some may find a pug unattractive, I think they are almost too cute…they are great house dogs and companions; and it’s like having two little aliens follow me around the house all evening. Anyhow, I’ll get to my point. Most know that olive oil, which happens to be my favorite cooking oil, is good for us humans on many levels, but did you also know that it is good for dogs as well, specifically their skin and coat? And this, I believe, is true for any breed dog, not only pugs. But I have  to back up a bit. Pugs, I’ve come to learn over the last few years, are prone to skin problems; Maxwell and Franklin are no exception. They get rashes and itchy skin so bad that sometimes they chew themselves raw (literally). I’ve taken them to the vet only to spend big bucks on medications and physician’s fees with little results. A few people have suggested putting fish oil on their food, which I did for a while. Recently, though, I came to learn that olive oil is just as good. I put a tablespoon or so on their food in the morning and evening. It took about a month to really show difference but what a difference it is. Their coats are soft and shiny again, and they have nearly stopped scratching…they even smell less “doggy.”  The only issue is that now every time I reach for the olive oil when I’m cooking dinner they start going nuts because they think it’s their dinner time…

Anyhow, I just thought I’d pass this along to other dog owners.

If you’d like a few recipes (for humans) using olive oil, click here.

Urban Simplicity.