Stuff to Consider

  1. A special day like show-and-tell  (or our Kids’ Picture Book Day ), when everybody brings a favorite one to share:        
    • POEM DAY
    • ????

  3. One-word topics (like Jack’s, on Prayer)             
    • JOY
    • ZEST
    • PEACE
    • HASTE
    • FEARS
    • ??? 

  5. Questions (like Sue’s:  What helpful daily Rituals do you have?)
    First some about appreciating the good stuff:

    • What moments of grace or beauty have there been in your life recently?
    • What’s made you smile recently?
    • What’s made you grateful recently?
    • What have you learned recently?
    • What’s given you hope recently?
    • What gives you joy?
    • What  are your favorite simple pleasures in the day?
    • What’s your favorite (adult) book; or a book that recently moved you a lot?
    • What allies or spiritual kin–writers or public people, or those you’ve known personally, have been inspirations/ guides/teachers/ models/ heroes to you?
    • What public acts of yours have served as announcement of intention/ resolve/ values?
    • What does it mean, to be zesty?
    • What does it mean, to be peaceful?
    • What does it mean, to live in community?
    • What will you do with your Lottery winnings?

    And some about navigating the rough waters:

    • What thoughts, quotes, words, images help bring you back when you’re caught in anger, fear, guilt, or sadness?
    • What has helped you with difficult interpersonal situations recently where people have had strong differing opinions, beliefs, habits, needs?
    • What’s your most troublesome compulsion or addiction, and what helps?
    • How do you handle “overload”–of information, words, choices, STUFF?
    • What would you like most to change about your self, your culture?
    • What kind of effect did your early experience (or lack of it) with organized religion have on you?


And what other ideas do you have?

Some of us would like to revisit LIVING SIMPLY in some form, on a regular basis.
(That very stimulating conversation left lots of threads to follow, like:)

  • Consumer Culture (Consumed by consumption?)
  • Info Overload, and Stuff Overload (How to get free?)
  • Slowing Down (What does that look like?)
  • What’s a Necessity? (and What are our faux necessities?)
  • What do we want, need our Communities to be like?

More theme-threads ideas to follow:

  • Changes—How have we managed ours
  • Laughter—What are our favorite funny stories
  • Reminders—What pictures, words, items have we got strategically placed and why
  • Teachers—What and who has shed light for us over the years
  • Learnings—What have we discovered this long winter
  • Priorities—What these days, and are they different than a year ago or so
  • Meaningful life—What is that, anyway
  • Talents and skills?—Yes, we do too all have them
  • Procrastination—Is it all bad, and what’s behind it
  • Impatience—How to deal with this so common thing, in us and others
  • Ingrownness—How to be introspective without gettiing self-absorbed
  • Mental ruts—How to get and stay open, and outside the box (or oven, if it’s Ann)
  • More future theme ideas for your cogitating pleasure:
    • Boxes
    • Buttons
    • Creativity
    • Art
    • Something Hard You Made Yourself Do
    • More Than One Right Way
    • and…?
  • Among recent suggestions, like Good and Evil, Aging, Loss, to name a few more big hard ones, here’s a little guy

    Walking this cold sunny day, your editor was twice struck in the smile place by Small Pleasures: first, the way a neighbor’s 3 different-sized and placed porch-chimes were being played in stunning, angelic harmony by some very creative wind, and then the way 4 boys in this same interesting but 20degree wind were playing rollerblade hockey in the street because it was spring wasn’t it—-so, please add the idea of these little everyday moments—SPs.

FIELD-TRIP IDEAS (another pump-priming list)

NEARBY–(Local / Capital District / Mohawk Valley)

  • Iroquois Museum / Mike Tarbell’s guided nature walk
  • Vrooman’s Nose
  • Thacher Park, other area parks
  • Arboretum programs, esp. nighttime, Esperance
  • Kirtan/chanting, Yoga on Main St., Cobleskill
  • Helping Hands concerts, Presbyterian Church, Schoharie
  • Islamic Center/Mosque, Albany
  • Programs at the Linda, Albany
  • Movies at the Spectrum, Albany
  • Bethlehem Neighbors programs, other nearby peace group programs
  • Old Chatham Quaker Meeting/ Powell House events, Old Chatham
  • Kanatsiohareke Mohawk Community, Fonda
  • Indian Castle Church and Nowadaga Creek (falls and fossils), near Canajoharie


  • Peace Pagoda, Grafton
  • Blue Cliff Monastery, Pine Bush
  • Rev. Billy revival, NYC
  • Omega Institute events


  • Matilda Joslin Gage House, Fayetteville
  • Frederick Douglass Museum, Rochester
  • Oneida Nation VIllage
  • Syracuse Cultural Workers
  • Strong National Children’s Museum of Play, Rochester


  • Kripalu programs, Lenox
  • Rowe Conference and Retreat Center, Rowe
  • Dr. Seuss Sculpture Park and Museum, Springfield


  • Adirondack Natural History Museum, Tupper Lake
  • Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake
  • the Adirondacks!!!!!

concerts, festivals, conferences, movies, plays, readings, speakers, beautiful places within 2-3 hours ?

And it appeared many of us also wished to greet the day consciously, with some intentional act. Maybe we should add to the Field Trip Ideas, a Dawn-Greeting Day some beautiful place in beautiful Schoharie County, followed by a nice breakfast, of course.

And let’s add: E.F. Schumacher’s classic book Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, almost 40 years ago was talking about the unsustainablity of our economic system and advocating regional economies, appropriate technology and a standard of living based not on GNP but on “obtaining the maximum amount of wellbeing with the minimum of consumption”. Did you know the EF Schumacher Society and Library is nearby, in Great Barrington, Mass.?

Another wonderful place to visit: an hour and a half away in Coldbrook, NY, the Shawangunk Nature Preserve, where an amazing couple have lived truly simply, off the grid, beautifully, in a tiny handmade home on their wild land for more than 30 years, and do tours and programs for the public.

And the Butterfly Museum, Oneonta.

And lots of museums, events in Cooperstown.

And a big bright idea that followed from part of the conversation about the Kingsolver book—the prospect of a cooperative food adventure at one of these Skippys—yes, a softcheese-making party!!!!! (Without the goat)

WHAT ELSE ??????



  1. July 4, 2009 at 2:59 am

    […] changes to the blogsite, adding an INDEX PAGE of Topics we’ve visited these 2 years, and an IDEAS PAGE for future topics and field trips, etc. Please check these […]

  2. September 4, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    […] changes to the blogsite, adding an INDEX PAGE of Topics we’ve visited these 2 years, and an IDEAS PAGE for future topics and field trips, etc. Please check these […]

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