Tuesday, December 25, 2012

More on Tiny Houses

I am receiving no compensation or inducements to share this material, I'm just doing it because I think what they are doing is neat.

Small is beautiful when it comes to this Whidbey Kitchen

Small Kitchen design in unique in its need for both functionality and eye appeal. Lindsey Lewis of Little Rock, Arkansas abapted the kitchen in our Whidbey plans and takes high honors in both!


Storage is one of the biggest issues confronting the occupant of a small kitchen. Kitchens, by their very nature, require "stuff" - pots, pans, utensils, etc. Storing these necessary items in a way that does not create visual clutter is key. Lindsey's stunning banquet is a great option. Linens, large pots and pans, over-sized serving platters or your Aunt Helen's favorite candle sticks will all fit snuggly and out of site in large, neutral colored baskets beneath the seating.


An island at the center of the kitchen provides additional workspace and another option for covered storage. It has the added benefit of providing space to place items coming out of the refrigerator or, with the addition of a stool or two, a space to socialize with a glass of your favorite Sonoma wine while the meal is being prepared.


Affordable House Plans

We've made it easier than ever to afford Tumbleweed House Plans. Now you have the option to order your plans today and pay them off over the next year. Click here to learn more...


Studio 310 sq ft
1 Bedroom 404 sq ft
"I'm glad... to live in a way that supports my values" - Read more from this happy tiny home owner.
117 sq ft Sleeps 1-4
Builder Pepper Clark made this custom Lusby for a customer in Southern California. Read More >>>

117 sq ft Sleeps 1-2
Breadmaker JT got creative building his Walden and used commercial shelving. Read More >>>

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saying foolish things

Based on personal experience, I can tell you that people saying foolish things to those who are grieving, saying things that make it worse or that cause pain, is something that is much too common.

There are a number of reasons that happens.

* the speaker is feeling confusion caused by pain and shock at what has happened to you. This appears, to me, to be the biggest reason people say things that are confused, cause pain or don't make sense. If you are suffering from terrible tragedy and someone says something foolish, that hurts, I would suggest that the best starting place for thinking about what they've just said is that they are confused and in pain on your behalf. 

 * the speaker suffers from shallowness and lack of knowledge and perspective and the lack of self discipline to stay silent.  I have always tried to be grateful that they have not had the experiences that would have taught them better.

* the speaker suffers from self absorption and the desire to put the other person out of the speaker's misery by saying something that comforts the speaker and allows them to move on in their bubble.

* the speaker suffers from narcissist behavior and the need to re-assert their central place in the world. Your pain has interrupted that and they are trying to re-establish what they believe to the proper order of things.  I was always glad I wasn't the speaker.  When someone says "you just buried a child?  That is nothing compared to my suffering" and then proceeded to tell me about the hang nail they just had, or something similar, I would remind myself to be grateful I did not suffer from the mental and spiritual illness the speaker had.

* the speaker suffers from utter fecklessness and a willingness to harm others for some benefit to the speaker. So, your child was murdered and someone starts trying to sell bullet proof vests for children using the tragedy (or to make any political or other point at their expense -- especially ones you do not agree with).  /Sigh.  People can't help themselves.  Some really think they are helping others as well.

However, all of that said, I would like to emphasize that as we hear what people say about the tragedies that others experience I would suggest that it is better to assume confusion and pain than fecklessness and sociopathy. 

So, what should you say?

It is easy to say, "I'm so sorry.  I don't know what to say, but I'm so sorry for your loss."  That is always the safe thing to say.

"Tell me about ...." is also good, if you are willing to just listen.

Those are two starting places, two good places, in all the other things people say and do and speak.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ethical Climates and Religion

One growing area of study in experimental ethics is the effect of what are often called climates.

It started with noticing that beggars outside of a bakery are more likely to receive charity than those near a sewer. But it has expanded into realizing that many cultures have an ethical environment.

To read scripture, moralizing and philosophy it helps to appreciate that there are huge differences in different times and places as to what is important ethically and what is not.

Those differences can often be observed as a spectrum of competing virtues. It also helps to look at yourself.

 What is more important to you?

 Rights .......... Social Good?

Which personal state of justice or harmony do you feel is core to spirituality?

Self Knowledge

How important is duty? Is it essential or meaningless?

How significant are private vices? Total or none whatsoever?

 Is a person always the same person or is transformation a real force (e.g. is the model of Nephi or Mormon more significant to you than the model of Alma and Alma the Younger)?

 Often conflicts between groups in the Church consist of vast differences in what we consider important. Does the first and greatest commandment, to love the Lord your God mean that you should obey God? Does it mean that you should "do your duty."

 Or is it a means to self knowledge and enlightenment?

Is obedience to every jot and tittle of the law more important than charity? Or should we encompass both?

What do you think? How does your answer to these questions affect how you interact at Church?

I got to thinking about this again when someone said it was nonsense that anyone would think God valued loyalty.  "The first and great commandment is to Love God with all your heart, mind, and might" did not mean that one was loyal to God, they saw absolutely no connection between loving God with everything and being loyal.

Nor did they see obedience as having anything to do with what Christ said was the greatest commandment.

It struck me, suddenly, that the person talking did not value loyalty or obedience at all.

Then I had another conversation where the other person saw loyalty to leaders as paramount, but felt leaders owed no loyalty whatsoever to the οἱ πολλοί, hoi polloi.   That struck me.  To him, loyalty was a one way street.

Made me think that other people's experiences with the climates and environments, and the values behind them, might be interesting (not to mention, different historical eras often have a set of values that are accepted by the majority in that era and that set a framework for writing, reason and thought).