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Satyagraha and Acts of Resistance

Satyagraha and Acts of Resistance

For many years, I taught college writing courses that had a special focus on key American arguments about the rights declared for all men in the declaration of independence.  As part of these arguments, we looked closely at Gandhi’s ideas about nonviolent resistance and when they are justified — when they are backed up by(…)

A Religion of One’s Own

A Religion of One’s Own

I recently read Thomas Moore’s book, A Religion of One’s Own. More is a former Catholic monk, with a doctorate in theology.  Many of you will be familiar with Thomas Moore, who also wrote the wonderful book, Care of the Soul.  He is a very accessible writer, a counselor, who writes in the language of(…)

Wishing Tree

Wishing Tree

Kids love to makes things special, and in spring, it’s fun to make a wishing tree, as people have all over the world for generations. Not only is it a beautiful way for us to see our dreams manifest as a beautiful tree blooms, but wishing trees are a sign of hope and compassion — spring(…)

Corn Dolls for the Harvest

Corn Dolls for the Harvest

Just like the heroine in Berry Magic, you can make your own “magic” doll.  This simple doll is taken from Native American traditions.  Legends have it that corn dolls are magical friends.  They will be loving companions, as long as you make them with love and you don’t put any facial features on them.  If(…)

A Favorite Book for Kids during Berry Season

A Favorite Book for Kids during Berry Season

Berry Magic, by Terri Sloat A Tlingit story of how one yucky bitter berry was made by magic into all the sweet berries of Northwest America.  This is a myth — a creation story about why things are as they are.  It celebrates a young woman’s magic and the gifts of listening, making, and dancing(…)

One More for the Road — Memory Jars

One More for the Road — Memory Jars

Here is another fun way to save fun summer memories — create a memory jar.  Use a mason jar, a vase, or anything that would be nice to display.  You can slowly add to it over the summer — keeping items that symbolize fun events, trips and moments.  At the end, put on the cap,(…)

A Summer Activity: Adventure Journal

A Summer Activity: Adventure Journal

With all 0f this heat in Portland, it feels like summer is already here.  The kids will be out of school soon, and they will suddenly wander around the house asking what you are going to do with them.  Here’s an craft idea that will be special all summer: a summer adventure journal.  The tradition(…)

Make Chinese Gift Envelopes for the Year of the Fire Monkey

Make Chinese Gift Envelopes for the Year of the Fire Monkey

  Here’s a little DYI tutorial for making gift envelopes.  My kids made these for the Chinese New Year, but you can also use them to celebrate generosity anytime.   To wish someone Happy New Year, you say, Kung Hei Fat Choi! (It is pronounced “goong hay fat choy” in the Cantonese dialect.) This year the Chinese(…)

How to Force Cherry Blossoms

How to Force Cherry Blossoms

In the spring, I love to bring trimmed tree branches into the house to bloom. I’ve include a few directions for how to force cherry blossoms below.  For Chinese New Year, which was February 8 this year, it’s traditional to force cherry blossoms, so that’s what we did with our cherry tree branches. But you can do(…)

Conversation Project: Talking About Money with Oregonians

Conversation Project: Talking About Money with Oregonians

I’ve recently been traveling around Oregon, leading a Conversation Project for Oregon Humanities. The conversation asks the question, “How Much Inequality is Acceptable?” A lot of people have been turning out for it, and the conversations are really interesting. Oregonians have a lot to say about the changes they have seen in their lifetimes in(…)

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