Shrew U: An Open Letter To Our New Congress

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Welcome to a new day!  As you take your seat and represent your constituents please remember these things:

  1. You were probably elected within a close margin so work with your peers on both sides of the isle as if our Republic depended on everyone’s educated input.
  2. Base this educated input on facts not feelings.
  3. Focus, focus, focus.  Your job is dependent on your performance.  And Yes!  We are watching.
  4. Civility should be your middle name 🙂  Don’t be concerned about the President’s behavior because it speaks for itself.
  5. You’ve sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution so read it and apply it to everything you consider.
  6. Cultural changes are inevitable…These are better left to the communities from which you came.  Also, change can be infectious when handled conscientiously with everyone involved.
  7. Fascism is not a one way street.  Any political party can believe their policies are the best.  Be concerned about any one sided political push or group think.
  8. Laws were not meant to be broken or discarded lightly.  Follow them or change them!

Thank you and have a nice term…

The Shrew View – We Are At A Tipping Point!

RA house divided against itself cannot stand – Abraham Lincoln

Who are we kidding?  Neither the liberal left nor the conservative right have all the answers to our country’s problems at this point in time.  Have they ever?  Let’s be honest…The best answers come in the form of a small community working together in a non partisan manner.  And, if someone is not connected to and working against the community then we should consider that it may be by choice.   Families, neighborhoods, churches, schools, Rotaries and even sports offer opportunities to connect in a variety of healthy ways.  The only skill you need at first is curiosity.  Defined as a strong desire to know or learn something, curiosity can open doors to a stronger sense of belonging.  The best part about this is that you can belong to many different circles of community thereby finding your niche to make a positive impact.

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I have a feeling that anyone who picks up a weapon to inflict harm on a community really knows down deep that they are not solving anything.  Like being totally on the left or totally on the right the answer to their problem leaves a literal hole that oozes pain, guilt, horror and disgust, all of which are the antithesis of curiousity and clearly the mask of evil.

Isn’t this evil what the extreme left wing Democrats see in President Trump?  And by the same measure isn’t this evil what the extreme right wing Republicans see in the extreme left wing Democrates?  When did Congress stop being a community for the people? Elected leaders must have the skill of curiosity to belong to their peer community no matter which side of the isle they are on.  The President is putting forward his ideas, but it seems as though Congress has no strong desire to learn or know how to debate and offer a compromise on the ideas.  And what is worse,  Congress has been modeling this behavior for far longer than I can remember.  Unfortunately our leaders of the next generation are not witnessing the intended function of Congress.

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I think we have reached a tipping point in this country.  Evil is showing its ugly face in unimaginable ways.  We must acknowledge its ability to reside amoung us and be curious enough to ask why it exists.  Only then can we learn together the path of the humble messenger that we all can become.  God help us…

Shrew U: Local Economy and Balancing Faith with Commerce

The fact that so many faiths can co-exist in U.S. Culture today speaks volumes for our progress as a nation.

In my last blog I stated that balance is a welcome state of being for humanity and very important for all facets of our lives. Because I am finding that certain elements in this country are ginning up much hostility toward capitalism, in this blog I would like to reflect on how we balance faith with commerce.

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Once upon a time in order for a new community to be established in the North American territories it needed a church and a pastor.  Faith was central to existence because life presented a multitude of hardships (One could argue that we still have many hardships, but that is a topic for a future Shrew blog).  Many of these communities still exist today with a First Parish Church in its midst.  Of course today most of these communities also have several other churches along with perhaps a Temple and even a Mosque.  Faith in God or a Higher Power can be a grounding influence for many people, and I believe that religious practice in communities is a key ingredient for goodwill among humanity.  The fact that so many faiths can co-exist in U.S. Culture today speaks volumes for our progress as a nation.

So which came first, faith practice or commerce?  I think this question is comparable to the chicken and egg hypothesis.  We know that Britain colonized America in 1607 at which point the North American resources became valuable to many markets (Again, exploitation of these resources is another great topic for a future Shrew blog).  In the very early days the settlers bartered their goods and services, no money was needed to support their basic lifestyles.  Indentured slaves and negro slaves were in full use by 1640 thanks in part to the Dutch who brought the first negro slaves…Britain benefited the most from this practice because new markets for cotton and tobacco amoung other things were expanding at great rates and new immigrants to America were smart enough to know that this work on southern plantations was less than desirable.  Moving ahead 50 years, the first paper money wasn’t issued until February 3, 1690 to pay for military action during the King Philip’s War (military personnel required payment to make their fight worthwhile).  By 1776 the British pushed American “free spirits” to their limit.  Because religious freedom was central to the impending free nation, British rule equated to Anglican hierarchical practices.  I find it interesting that it took 170 years for these European free spirited transplants to break away from Imperial bonds, but honestly that is what tyrannical control can do to people…dependence on the “Mother Land” is like clinging to your mother’s warm bosom.  It took tremendous personally inspired faith to fight for independence.

And so, the land of opportunity was born…Each man and woman sovereign to him/herself with inalienable rights and property protections.  Property of course also includes your business and ability to make money which involves a tremendous amount of creativity.  God created the Universe and we, as part of this creation, are inspired to also create .

I believe the best economies are local.  They reflect the community of people united with threads of purpose.  And many times they use the bounty of resources located in their region.  These communities educate their young, learn from their past, celebrate their better days, reflect on their challenges, honor Mother Nature and love life through a respectful relationship with their Creator.  A nation that respects a community’s innovation to thrive will reap the rewards.

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Which came first, faith practice or commerce?  One definitely defines the other and in my dictionary faith defines commerce…Just look on the back of our currency! In God We Trust 🙂

I’m Shrewd: Somebody Has A Plan For You

Now more than ever we need the Female Principle identified and honored for what it is, a balancing affect on the “Resistance Movement”.

Balance is implicit in the experience of wholeness for humans. There can be no doubt that male and female are identifiable characteristics for the basis of scientific theory in much of nature. However, science does also identify crucial differences in the natural order of procreation and therefor must consider these differences when recording data for more theoretical analysis. For instance it is a fact that approximately one out of every 2000 human babies are born with ambiguous genitalia. This ambiguity has many variations (visit childrenshospital.org for more information), and I would imagine that each of these babies have incredible challenges ahead in a society.

Beyond science, we humans need a connection to concepts of the human spiritual plain in order to inform us about our deepest desires and higher aspirations…These desires and aspirations are not found in science and therefor we humans must relay them and relate to them through a more metaphysical means. I think a good statement to reflect this is, “Somebody has a plan for you.” I would like to show how  this statement can be applied to the 3 core realms of consciousness:

  1. State
  2. Self
  3. Creation

1. State: The United States is currently experiencing a shift in cultural belief systems. No where is this more obvious than with the almost weekly coalition of demonstrators. We might notice that these demonstrations accrue as we get closer to elections. For the most part these demonstrations claim to be representative of a majority of “the people”, however I would classify them simply as public lobbyists – influencers who appeal to the media for attention rather than serve as individuals among a diverse group of thinkers perhaps on a civic board or commission. Personally, I serve on two boards and one commission and I find it to be very rewarding volunteer service in my community.

Singularly focused social action demonstrations are driven by outside agitators who envision a Utopia…”Somebody has a plan for you” in this sense means that the State (or governing authority) should be in charge of organizing all aspects of your life so that you will never want for anything. Balance is not achievable because it is slanted only toward State action.

2. Self: This word is very tricky to understand because what we are really involved with here is the ego. Ego pays little attention to community or spirit. “Somebody has a plan for you” becomes “You have a plan for you” and the ego is driven toward that end. Confusion and indecision of your plan can cause tremendous anxiety and/or anguish. Living your personal “truth” is wrapped up with your desires and you believe that no one else in your life can ever know what you are going through. Balance is not achievable because it is focused only toward the one individual.

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3. Creation: This is the Devine nature of being. It has no ego and cannot be forced into anything except it’s authentic self. I can experience this authenticity when I paint a picture or design and sew a wedding dress.

Most religions exist because they attempt to piece together an experience to help the human translate what or who the Creator is. In this “piecing together experience” a doctrine is formed in order to allow the ego a way to transform into its authenticity and reach a spiritual plain. The “Somebody has a plan for you” becomes “God has a plan for you” in which God is understood as the Devine or the Creator. In the United States the government has no influence on a religion except where secular laws may be concerned, and a religion has no influence on the government except for how an individual applies a faith based or goodwill approach to government policy and law. Balance is achieved because our Constitution’s Framers were mindful of this necessary inclination toward the Devine.

The Shrew Blog tries to maintain a perspective of balance as it considers the finer implications of social, cultural and theological influences in the U.S. Balance cannot exist without considering the polar opposite acceptance of the Male Principle (Order) since The Shrew admittedly understands more precisely the Female Principle (Chaos). It is my belief that the “Resistance Movement” is based on the Male Principle only because it chooses to use the State as a tyrannical keeper of order (in other words Socialism). The feminist “mask” is pushing for this order too because at its foundation is their equality with men which is far from being a balanced approach. To further complicate matters, the “Resistance Movement” has played on fears of racism, sexism and bias which are connected to the ego of individuals…Just witness how expertly maneuvered the resistance equation is: Complain, impose, blame => Socialist dominance by the few. And what is being resisted? Constitutional Liberty for the whole.

Now more than ever we need the Female Principle identified and honored for what it is, a balancing affect on the “Resistance Movement”.

Next up: Why the local economy matters…

Shrew Brews: The Summer Sampler!

 

It is hard to believe that the middle of August is almost here! For me, this is a sign that my work with bridal gowns is beginning to slow down…This has been an incredibly busy season for me, but I have not forgotten to take some well deserved time off in my home State of Maine AKA Vacation Land.  I’d like to introduce to you some of my favorite summer brews and tasting rooms that I have found and visited in my precious time off 🙂

 

Light and refreshing, Bud has it right with their Bud Light Lime and Bud Light Orange and Leinenkugel’s Grapefruit Shandy.  At 4.2% ABV and with a fruity citrusy flavor, all are nice to enjoy on a hot muggy afternoon.  Personally, I cannot drink more than two of these at a sitting mostly because they are sweet (especially the Orange). But yes, they are very refreshing as stated earlier.  The Bud Light slim cans are easy to pack…Leinenkugel’s could learn from this 😉

 

Don’t forget to have a desert or small plate with your beverage >>>

Just off a busy corner of Main Street in Saco is a relaxing drinking space called The Lady and The Mench.  They serve plenty of local beer on tap, however the martinis are FABULOUS! I had the chocolate martini which had a Hershey’s Hug at the bottom…Delish :O

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Banded Brewing (formerly Banded Horn Bewery) in Biddeford is a definite place to make a stop.  Not only is it located in one of the historic mills, it also is positioned beside a great pizza place, gin distillery and ice cream stand.  My sampler on this day was as follows: Wicked Bueno 4.3% ABV (Mexican Style Larger), Breakfast Land 8.2% ABV (Imperial Stout with Palace Flapjacks, Harris Farm Maple Syrup and Tandem Coffee), Green Warden 5.6% ABV(Pale Ale with spruce tips), Resolution 10.5% ABV (Campaign inspired mixed fermentation ale).  I loved them all!! Oh yes, and they now serve a wee bit of food to have with these wonderful brews…I think that is because you’ll need to give your tummy some solids with all these liquids 🙂

 

Barreled Souls in Saco has a great variety of sours if you like those, but that’s not my thing.  This place has atmosphere though!  The barrel chairs are cool and there are plenty of games to play.  My group had a fun time on the table shuffle boards.  My favorite beer here is the Blonde on Blonde, 12.^% ABV. The flavors of apricot, peaches and citrus are pleasing. Also, a wee taste of any of their Dark Matters is a bonus!

 

While visiting Camden, Maine I came across this funny one…Porkslap Pale Ale, 4.3% ABV.  I loved the hint of ginger…It’s from New York though so I’ll try not to hold it against them.

 

Nice views of the lake and ferry from your table.  Please don’t feed the ducks!

A special shout out to my step son, Patrick.  He deals with beer sales in a specific region in Maine and the Frye’s Leap Cafe on Frye’s Island Sebago Lake is one of his accounts.  The Cafe held a special tasting of several regional offerings.  I tasted all except the IPA.  Long Trail Blackbeary Wheat, 4.2% ABV, was tasty dispite it’s play on the name.  Their barrel aged stout, 9.6% ABV, I found to be even tastier.  Otter Creek Ella, 5.2% ABV, was hoppier than what I would typically drink, but it was definitely worth a taste. And the Otter Creek Raspberry Stout, 4.5% ABV, was a bit sour for me, but the raspberry flavor was real nice 🙂

Can’t wait to see what the Fall flavors will bring for my beer binge!!