ORIENTED TO LIFE

Unexpected Gifts

When I was a child, Christmas gifts were a big deal.

My mother put up a gorgeous Christmas tree every year—a copy of a tree she had seen in a fancy department store in New York City. And under the tree were gifts and gifts and gifts. My brother and I each had twenty or thirty gifts. And they would be opened one by one and each gift passed around for all to see. Yes, it took all morning, and no, I don’t come from a wealthy family. My mother just saved up any and everything we needed starting in September or so, so some of the boxes contained underwear or socks or crayons…whatever she would have given us in the course of daily life, she instead waited until Christmas and put it in a box. And she wrapped every single one with beautiful paper and ribbons.

We did our part to keep the industrial economy going every Christmas.

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The Importance of Importances

This week I’m working intensively on completing The Lifely Group website over the Thanksgiving holiday, so i can go live with it early next week.

Given this short deadline, I’m finding myself looking at what is most important to do this week, and what can be put off until later or eliminated entirely.

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Retailer REI Counters Consumerism on Black Friday

REI is a major retailer of clothing and equipment for outdoor enthusiasts. And as such they have a dilemma. They want to encourage getting outdoors—whether for a walk around a park or an extreme adventure—but having those outdoor experiences require clothing and gear in order to be safe and comfortable. And they have come up with some interesting solutions.

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A Huge Shift

For several months I have been working intensively on The Lifely Group website, which will provide the background information on our lifely viewpoint. About a month ago I was closing in on being ready to go live with The Lifely Group website, but then just as I was about to work on it for a week and finish it up, there was the fire and evacuation and other obstacles came up.

Then on 6 November, I just felt like my life was stalled. It wasn’t that nothing was happening, it was that it seemed like everything I was doing had stopped. At sea, this is called the “doldrums”—areas of the ocean where the winds are calm and you just can’t get your boat moving. There is a path you are moving on to get from one place to another, but at the moment you are just sitting there wondering how to get things going.

So I decided that I was going to get all the doldrums moving. As I made a list and started working on them one by one, everything started moving. And then suddenly I had a big shift—no, a huge shift—that was entirely unexpected.

But before I tell you about the shift, I need to tell you what happened the day before the shift.

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The Ultimate Emergency Preparedness: A Tiny House You Can Drive Away

Since we’ve been talking about emergency preparedness after the fire evacuation, I wanted to wrap that up by getting our Tiny House Toxic Free blog live, Because having your own house on wheels that you can drive away at a moment’s notice is the ultimate in emergency preparedness, as well as being a resource-efficient way to live that is in alignment with lifely principles.

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Three Little Shops on Judah Street

On Tuesday morning Larry and I went out looking for breakfast.

Our friend recommended we walk up Judah Street to an all-organic place called Judahlicious which was organic and delicious. They specialize in serving uniquely crafted raw and vegan cuisine with fresh juices and smoothies made to order.

Judahlicious happens to be next door to Other Avenues, a worker-owned 100% organic food co-op that started way back before there were many natural food stores.

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Hand Lettering and Watercolors

Because I was “forced” away from my desk by the fire evacuation last week, I had plenty of time to wander around San Francisco and explore anything I wanted to explore.

So one place I went to was my favorite art supply store, Flax. Now last time I went to Flax it was a huge store filled with all kinds of papers and leather binders and pens of all types—just an art supply wonderland. While in the past I wasn’t the type of artist who draws or paints, the materials themselves always inspired me, especially all the papers.

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How My Favorite Food Appeared for Our First Evacuation Dinner

When we were evacuated from our home because of possible fire danger, we went to San Francisco because it was the closest place that had power and better air. And we could stay with a friend.

The first night we decided to all go out to dinner together. We agreed on a restaurant that our friend had been to before, but we hadn’t. We decided to take the streetcar because parking in that part of town would be impossible.

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Time Outside of Time

Many years ago I had an “a year and a day” appointment book, which had an explanation at the beginning about the meaning of “a year and a day”.

Now I’m telling you this from memory, so it may not be accurate, but if I remember correctly, at some early point in history when calendars were still being developed, the “year” was 364 days and “a day” was an day outside of the year. So the old year would end, “a day” would pass, and then the new year would begin. There was a day-long festival on “a day” and that was that.

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Emergency Preparedness + Being Mobile

When I was a child in school, I went through the entire Girl Scout program, starting with Brownies and all through high school. I was even a Girl Scout camp counselor. So I was am well familiar with the Girl Scout motto “Be Prepared.” For Girl Scouts this means being prepared at any moment to face difficulties and even dangers by knowing what to do and how to do it. This is an excellent motto for life and has served me well. Girl Scouts prepared me to know how to do many things, but at the time the organization did not prepare us for emergencies of the type we face today.

What I want to give you here are some things that I learned about how I wasn’t prepared for last week’s evacuation from my local wildfire. I didn’t realize until after I was driving away what I had left behind.

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uite simply, this blog is about orienting ourselves and our lives to life, instead of orienting ourselves and our lives to industrial consumerism. Here we are sharing our own journey. You come too.

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Debra & Larry Redalia
lifepartners + soulmates

For more than 30 years we have been delving into the nature and activities of life together. Indeed, this has been and continues to be the very reason we are together. With delight we research, explore, observe and even wake each other up in the middle of the night to discuss how life functions and how we can function as life—even while living in the modern world. We each are different from the norm, but we are different in the same way, so we have been able to think outside of the ordinary together and find the extraordinary workings of life.

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Good, the more communicated, more abundant grows.
— John Milton