The Hiearchy of LIFE

The Hierarchy of Life

This is a subject that,
 for many reasons,
 most humans just don't understand.

First of all there is the "educational system",
which teaches us about evolution,
 about all the different species that inhabit this planet,
and informs us that we humans are basically the top of the food chain..
the smartest..
the most advanced..
And then there are the animals....
then the plants, bugs,mosses, one celled animals etc.

And there is,"the Church",
which informs us that there is this Amazing Super Mega Super hero God that existed as some separate entity,
then decided to create everything else...
Which of course was inferior to Him..
And then there was The one and only Son of this Super Hero,
who was himself a superhero, but not quite as much as his Daddy,
but certainly more than his human Mother..
So These guys, and all the Angels they cavort around with
are all superior to the ignorant Humans...

Believe it or else!!

It's no wonder humans are so confused 
about one of the most basic issues;
The Hierarchy of Life.
So I'm here today to remove all that confusion that was imposed to keep the masses obedient to their Masters...
To keep the Hierarchy in it's place.

So here it is....
the absolute truth in just 4 words..

There is no Hierarchy of Life

Every single thing in creation is  
 EQUALLY important.
Equally Sacred
Equally imbued by the same
 LIFE that motivates all things. 

OKAY, sure the humans have more crap running around in their brains...
more mental and emotional noise that disconnects them from their Source...
And next we have Animals, which have more mental and emotional noise disconnecting them from their Source than do plants.
But personally I wouldn't equate "Superiority"
with disconnection from Source.
The absolute Truth is that we are not all separate things,
existing at differing degrees of Importance in the scheme of things..

And despite the fact that humans have seemingly separated themselves from Truth with their "superior intellects"..
And many animals, especially "domesticated" ones
have also learned to be disconnected..
The actual truth is that it's only their consciousness that's disconnected....

The Truth is that we are all One Big Thing.

And this is God,

Not some Super Hero Dude that likes to immaculately fornicate with humans so that his son can be a primary cause of a large percentage of human distress throughout the ages.
We Are One

The human is no more ... sacred than the "beast"
And the "Beast" is no more sacred than the Plants.

It is this misunderstanding that there is a Hierarchy of Humans...
and a hierarchy of all living things..

that has been at the roots of so much Suffering...
and so much destruction.
The White Man believed he was superior to the Red Man, 
and the Black Man
and the Muslim .
So many rich people believe they are superior to poor people...
Some look down on other religions
 as if they are somehow ,
"less in God's eyes." 
So MURDERING them was and is no big deal.

Man believed he was "above" the Plants and animals, and soil, and earth...

so used these  without Respect
 to support his greed, and lust, and desire.

While destroying them in the process. 
Vegetarians and Vegans believe that animals
 are more sacred than plants,
and so harm their bodies and their future generations by denying themselves the diet humans were built for,
 based upon this incorrect assumption.
And yet they will consume the Plants simply because their awareness is unable to hear the plants screams. 
Poor people believe they are less than rich people...
Fat people somehow beneath skinny people. 

If people could understand the Truth
  there would be no "Inferiority complexes"
no "Superiority complexes".
Religions would stop using the Myth
 of some separate greater entity,
to keep people down.
But rather would teach people to see the "God"
that they are an equally integral part of.
God didn't create humans any more than the humans create God.
I'll use the analogy of a mighty Oak
 to illustrate this Truth about "God". 
The mighty oak is not one huge separate thing...
it's a gazillion cells that combine in harmony
to make that one huge thing..
So, is the little acorn that divides to become the tree, God?
Is the first sprout that emerges from that acorn God
or "the Son of God? 
Or is God the Tree?
Or is God Everything that makes that tree? 

There is no Hierarchy of Life.

We are all equally sacred.

Humans have imposed their intellects...and emotions upon everything that they perceive.

They know nothing but their thoughts and emotions..
which are quite distinctly separate from what actually is,
divorced from those thoughts and emotions.
The intellect and emotions,
those things that man believes makes him superior to Nature..
to what really is...

are what actually disconnect him.
It really is time to stop listening to these things..

Time to quiet them down..

Then we can KNOW the truth
not just have some emotion tinged idea about it
or blind acceptance of some lame story
 others for reasons of their own,
 wish us to believe.

And the Truth is,

We are One Thing.

All Equally Sacred.





Could this be true?

What does Putin really think of Obama?

If I, sitting alone in my house, have figured out that Barack Obama is gay, then you can certainly bet that Vladimir Putin, the current President of Russia, is well aware of that fact.

Putin is a man who obviously worships at the altar of machismo. And while some of his own "adventures" turned out to consist of various staged poses, it's hard to escape the impression that he is at heart a tough, no-nonsense kind of guy.

It is also true that gay liberation has not made the same progress in Russia that it has here in this country. My guess is that Vladimir Putin - and most of his colleagues in the Kremlin -- are themselves quite old school when it comes to such matters.

I would love to have been privy to Putin's reaction when he was first informed that Barack Obama was gay. I can't help but suspect that his initial disbelief was soon replaced by mirth and a sort of primitive joy. There was undoubtedly a lot of delighted chortling. A lot.

Putin, a former KGB operative, may have initially considered the possibility of blackmail, but then dismissed it as impractical, and also because the alternative -- the election of a Republican President -- would simply mean an opponent more willing to stand up to Russia.

I would also guess that Putin probably enjoyed passing this information along to various uninformed colleagues, and that this tidbit was uniformly greeted with initial incredulity, then great whoops of laughter and contemptuous snorting.

Perhaps one of his generals suggested, "We will screw him over -- and he will like it because he is a [Russian pejorative for homosexual]." This would undoubtedly have been greeted by hearty guffaws all round.

Putin might have replied, "There is no need. He is already unilaterally disarming, like a woman taking her clothes off without even being asked." This comment, too, would probably have elicited much merriment.

After Dmitri Medvedev's famous hot mike conversation with Obama in which Obama informed him that he would have "more flexibility after the election," some wag at the Kremlin may have joked, "Don't worry, we're going to put you in positions even you have never dreamt of before."

Putin must just love the image of the United States as a country led by a President who prefers to have sex with other men.

Weekend Give Away: 5 Pairs of Shoemint Shoes

It's the weekend! After the past couple of crazy weeks, I am welcoming the chance to sneak out for a date night with Michael. Plus, I've been dying to wear these new flats from Shoemint (the shoe company that Rachel Bilson works with!). I love the bows, and burgundy is totally the hot color for fall.

Shoemint offers the most fabulous, high-quality leather or suede shoes, all for less than $80. I have a couple pairs and they are all incredibly comfortable. I could walk 40 blocks in the bow flats!

Shoemint is very kindly offering up three shoe closets (which is 5 pairs of shoes!)! To be eligible to win, please register here and then leave a comment on this post with your favorite shoe style. The winner will be chosen randomly and emailed. So have your choices ready. The hardest part will be nailing down your picks! :)

Check them all out here. And lucky you, click through and receive 35% off your first purchase! Those fringe booties are calling my name...

Contest ends Friday, October 5 at midnight. Good luck!

PS The neon yellow tote above is the bag in these photographs. It's really cute. :)

Comments are now closed. The winner will be emailed (so check your inboxes!) Thanks for playing!

Someone's head is gonna roll

Just saw the most amazing thing, a TruTV article, linked to by the liberal HuffPost, titled, "10 Dumbest Athlete Quotes of All Time":

They were all fairly funny, in a Yogi Berra-ish sort of way, but what was amazing about the article was that 7 of the 10 athletes quoted were black. That's the kind of skewed sampling that most media try desperately to avoid. Especially when the word "dumbest" is used.

Someone is in big, big trouble.

President Turtle

An online comment from one Ariel St. Germaine, in response to an article in today's Wall Street Journal:

"Obama is a turtle on a fence post. You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he is up there, and you just wonder what kind of a dumb fool put him up there."

I had a feeling this was a line I'd heard before, so looked it up on Wikipedia. Sure enough, it's been used many times before by and about politicians. The original joke, provenance unknown, goes like this:

An old rancher is talking about politics with a young man from the city. He compares a politician to a "post turtle". The young man doesn't understand and asks him what a post turtle is.

The old man says, "When you're driving down a country road and you see a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle. You know he didn't get up there by himself. He doesn't belong there; he can't get anything done while he's up there; and you just want to help the poor, dumb thing down."

I guess Democrats must have been as tickled to hear this expression applied to Bush as I was to hear it about Obama.

The Playhouse

One of the homes we lived in when I was a kid had an awesome tree house in the yard. I played there with my brothers and sisters and friends for hours and hours every day. I have some seriously fond memories of that tree house and I've always dreamed of giving my girls a similar place to create memories. One of the reasons we moved to Brooklyn was because the girls could finally have some easily-accessible outdoor space (it's tough to get to the park every day!). And now that we're here, I want to enjoy this yard as much as possible. For us, it was so worth the investment to buy and built our new play house.


Remember what it looked like before? Cute, but meh. I thought it had potential though... 

We bought the playhouse on sale for $450 plus shipping. I know - not so cheap. I did so much looking around on this one though - I looked at all sorts of playhouses, even sheds suitable for using as a playhouse. And I priced out the materials for just building our own. For us, it was going to cost almost $500 in materials and transportation costs and I'm sure the end result would have been questionable! I don't really trust my carpentry skills.

The house comes (very) disassembled and in a giant, heavy box. If putting together IKEA products makes your head spin, you might want to hire this out to a handyman! Luckily, Michael came to my rescue and put the house together on the lower deck with my very helpful brother in law, Matt. I forgot to paint the shingles and door before Michael and Matt put the house together, which was a bit of a pain, but not that big of a deal to paint with a roller after the fact. (I used Rustoleum's black enamel in flat finish for the roof and shutters.)

The girls helped me paint the door (it's not a perfect paint job, but I wouldn't have it any other way). We used the mint paint from this post. Isn't that dutch door the cutest?

One sort of tricky thing about this playhouse is it doesn't come with a floor, so we bought some plywood to finish off the bottom. To prevent sinking or water damage, I dug the ground out a little and laid out nine cinder blocks and sort of half-buried them. It was really important to get all the cinder blocks level.


Then I filled in the gaps with mulch which is supposed to help with bugs, weeds, and moisture issues.

I put down the plywood, cut to fit the bottom of the playhouse, and painted it with a gray primer. I'm planning to do something else on the floor later, but I wanted to get the primer down before putting the house up.

Once the paint had fully dried, we hefted the (VERY HEAVY) finished house on top of the platform. There is a lip on the inside of the house, so we just ran some screws down into the plywood base and everything feels super secure.

Some fun things I like about this playhouse: the funny little weathervane, the working shutters, the doorbell, the flower boxes under the windows, and the fact that I can just *barely* stand up inside the house. I feel like it's the perfect size.

We moved our trusty play kitchen inside and it fits perfectly. I was happy to free up the floor space in the girls bedroom, too, so win-win.

I got sick before I had much of a chance to really do anything with the inside of the playhouse, so it's pretty bare bones for now. I always want it to be on the unfussy side though, so the kids can really play without worrying.

So while not being my least expensive project that I've shared on LGN, I feel like we're going to get a lot of really great use here. Zero buyer's regret.

Some of you asked if my yard's all done now. Not even close! But it might just be good for this year. I feel like I can pick things up again next spring (though the upper deck will hopefully get done this fall). We've come a long way baby.

President "Eye Candy"

As has been amply documented, President Obama passed on meetings with other world leaders at the recent UN summit so that he could appear on The View, where he said, "I've been told I'm just eye candy."

The mainstream media, of course, let that pass without comment.

But can you imagine the outcry had Mitt Romney said that? It would have been labeled as another "gaffe," and the poison pouring forth from the media would have been nonstop:

"The man's vanity knowns no bounds."

"As if we needed any more proof that Romney is a complete lightweight!"

"Whoever told him that is, in the parlance of psychologists, an 'enabler'."

"Romney really needs to stick to his Teleprompter. Every time he goes off script, disaster strikes."

"Does this man have a death wish? Does he actually want to be President?"

"Libya has just murdered four Americans, Egypt is protesting, Achmadinejad almost has the bomb, our economy is imploding, unemployment is stubbornly high, America is divided, and Mitt Romney has his  eye fixed firmly on the mirror."

"The final nail in his coffin. His political epitaph will read: 'Here lies Mitt Romney, eye candy'."

But, unfortunately, Romney wasn't the one who talked about his looks. Obama was. So we get dead silence instead.

Fig trees, Mums and Boxwoods

I thought it would be hard to find plants that I like this time of year, but I'm learning there are all sorts of pretty plants available right now. And so many great prices!

I've always appreciated big bouquets of carnations and huge orbs of mums. They are not particularly impressive flowers on their own, but they can make a big statement in large quantities. I bought two of these huge purple mums bushes from Home Depot a couple weeks ago and they are making my not-yet-touched back deck so much prettier. I love seeing the bursts of lilac while sitting in my living room. (the astroturf - not so much!) :)

Target is having a huge sale on all their outdoor items. I bought a ton of stuff like hoses, a sprinkler, gardening gloves, and two of these giant black planters for 75% off. I love their modern shape and matte finish.

I also cleaned out their string lights section. These were only about $8 a box! Such a steal.

Also, if you've been trying to secure yourself a fiddle leaf fig tree and don't want to drop $250 on a mature tree (like the flower shop on 28th St is asking!), why not buy a small seedling from IKEA for only $13?

I bought two (along with a pair of their pretty, large terracotta pots) to also sit on my back deck. They'll stay out there for another couple weeks until it gets too cold and then I'll bring them in.

Tomorrow, if I'm feeling well enough, I'll be planting some some dwarf boxwoods I picked up at Home Depot for $12 each. They're so pretty and I get such a kick out of keeping them all trimmed up. :) I bought a pair of full size boxwoods for the front stoop as well. I'm thinking of trying to shape them into squares? You have no idea how much joy all these silly things bring me. :)

What are you up to in your yard these days? Is there anything I should be doing now to prep for the winter? Help this first-timer out!

Bracken...Precious Little Boy


I see so much of myself in Bracken..

I love him so much.

There is nothing that makes my heart shine so much as when he falls asleep on me.

He's a pretty hyper child:
Hyper because EVERYTHING interests him
And there is just so much to find out..
to discover.
And he wants it all Now.
So, like me he never rests..
till he drops.

But ever since he was born I have taken
walks with him....
And we are very quiet within ourselves.
I call it our meditation time.
And it's so sacred..
And both of us crave it..
So at home when he rides on my back 
while I go about chores,
or just walking around.
It seems it's about the only time..
when he isn't breast feeding...
or asleep
that he quiets down.

And at Market..
all the people...
and all the Vibes...
Bracken is Wide open
he doesn't miss a thing...

But sometimes wishes he had...

So I see how incredibly sensitive he is....

For him to be truly comfortable...

People Gotta Be Real.. 

I adore our Little Boy

Recent Pics

New Hat Taryn made for me

Sweetest little boy

My Wonderful Family

My Sweetie and me

Fun Time

Joys of my Life

Limiting Your Medium

I started the draft for this post a while ago and never got around to posting it. Before I got sick we pumped out a lot of yard projects (photos to come!), and I had this post in the back of my mind when I made some of the plant choices. Here's the old post...

Someone commented here to remind me about Julianne Moore's lovely new landscaping of her West Village brownstone. And then I was chatting with the lovely Joslyn (who was on the SF trip last weekend) about how awesome her yard is. Simple. Artsy. Pretty easy-care. This might be the right approach for us busy ladies.

So I pulled up the article from Arch Digest on my flight home Saturday night. The photos really are cool (Her whole house has a great vibe - I've included photos from other shoots here, too).


I was super fascinated with this part of the article where Julianne mentions that she only wears and decorates with a handful of colors. She won't buy it or bring it into her home unless it's white, black, gray, green or purple. At first I was like...huh. But the idea has stayed with me all weekend.

Wasn't it was Matisse who talked about how the beauty of art comes from the struggle of an artist and his limited medium? I think the idea works in designing a home.

As a decorator who usually uses a lot of color, I think I'm making my life harder by not limited my color palette a little. When there are infinite choices, it's easier to make a misstep.

Although, let the record show, I am not usually in favor of matchy-matchy rooms and I think what we're talking about is a very different approach. The key here is to vary the shades and tones of similar colors.  Use peach and tangerine colors rather than the same bright orange on every accessory. Try mixing sky blue with cobalt. I doubt Julianne's house is filled with the exact same shade of plum over and over again. It looks like she mixes plum with dusky gray lavender and deep burgundy, which feels lovely and warm.

What are your thoughts about limiting the color palette in your home? Do you love for things to match in your home?

The real Ginger

Was just watching the great Scorsese movie Casino on AMC when a note appeared at the bottom of the screen that Ginger, the character played by Sharon Stone, was based on Geri McGee, the Vegas topless dancer and part-time prostitute who married Frank Rosenthal (whom the DeNiro character was based on). Curious to see what she looked like, I Google-Imaged her:

Wow. Every bit as good-looking as Stone. Maybe better.

Money well spent

A friend just sent the following picture, of a 450 foot long life size replica of Noah's Ark built by two billionaire Chinese brothers:

The ark, designed by a team of architects, sits by the Tsing Ma Bridge in Hong Kong and features life size fiberglass replicas of pairs of various animals.

I had three reactions to this story:

First, it's sort of funny that they're building a "replica" of something that never existed in the first place. 

Second, the Chinese (and Japanese) are awfully good at putting a monumental effort into building huge, intricately designed, utterly useless monuments like the Great Wall, or this "ark." (This blog is probably an example of that on a smaller scale.) 

And third, it must be nice to be a billionaire and just do whatever the heck you please. 

Gay guys married to women

The natural assumption about any married guy is that he got married for the usual set of reasons, so as I was with President Obama, I'm always a little surprised to find out that some married guy is gay. 

There are women who enter into a marriage of mutual convenience, knowing that that's what they're getting into, and understanding that their role is to maintain the appearance of a normal marriage. What such a woman gets in return is usually a certain amount of financial security. And given that a woman willing to enter into such a marriage may well be gay herself, she may also benefit from the false front.

But there are probably a lot of marriages where a woman is fooled into marrying a gay guy without being aware of his proclivities. I think this was much more common in the past, back when homosexuality actually was the love that didn't dare speak its name, and there was more pressure on  men to get married and produce a family. It was probably also more common because of the pressure for a woman to "save herself" for marriage.

I've known of a few marriages like this, and they always struck me as tremendously unfair to the woman -- especially back when divorce was regarded as a larger stigma. A gay guy, by essentially tricking a woman into marriage without letting on that he is gay, is effectively consigning her to a marriage without sex.

It's not that regular sex lasts for that many years anyway; people do tire of each other, and after ten years most marriages are nothing more than an accumulation of petty resentments. But this kind of dishonesty still seems tremendously selfish.

I don't think the Obama marriage was like this; my guess is that Michelle knew perfectly well what she was getting into, and there was no subterfuge on Barack's part.

On the other hand, it was dishonest for him to pretend to be a moderate when he was in fact a radical.

Michelle may be satisfied with her arrangement, but the country itself is currently in a very bad marriage.

(Time for a divorce.)

The Buck Stops Here

I saw this on Pinterest and it rings true to a point of severe annoyance:

"People won't remember all the times you helped them, but they'll never forget the one time you don't."

I don't know who said it and it's loosely paraphrased I suppose but it encapsulates a lesson I'm still learning about my need to "rescue" people.  Why is it that when I help and help and help (ad nauseam) someone in both small ways and with the really HUGE stuff, it always goes due South at whatever point I pull back...even a little??

The latest lesson I'm learning is from a college student who in all likelihood will be academically dismissed at the end of this semester, especially at the rate they're going.

We had a deal though.  I thought it was clear and reasonable:  you make good grades, work hard, and take school seriously and we'll help you.  After two consecutive semesters of constant partying, indignant alcohol consumption and utterly dismal grades, isn't it safe to say their end of the bargain wasn't honored?

So I've throttled back.  Significantly and with ample warning but now I'm the bitch who "does nothing" to assist.  Makes sense.

Don't worry, we'll keep paying for your cell phone and I'll continue to send you grocery gift cards when I can.  No.  Don't count that as helping, really.  Just keep telling everyone how you're "on your own."  And when you get kicked out of school in December, you can commemorate it with another tattoo.  Classy.

It sucks to see potential in someone and have reasonable expectations for them.  It sucks too to see someone idolize and emulate low-achieving losers and find pride and fulfillment in how fast they can complete a keg stand two nights in a row.  Did I mention classy?

This is "enabler" signing off.

More Pattern Play (and $100 L&S Give Away!)

L&S Fabrics is giving away another $100 gift certificate! (Also - did you hear they are running a sale through the end of the month? 20% off with the coupon code LSFABRICS FIRST) They have some really awesome new fabric patterns, most ranging from $10-$35 per yard. It was easy to pull together fabrics for a whole imaginary house (I used my pattern-mixing formula).

I like more neutral fabrics for this imaginary living room. Maybe a colorful rug, or some fun accent pillows? With neutral base fabrics, anything goes. PS I will always love a buffalo check!

I thought these colors would be fun for a dining room. They seem so cheerful. And if you haven't seen the full repeat of the coral floral in the upper right, check it out here. Gorgeous.

The family room in this house would also be pretty neutral. I love toile for curtains, because the pattern is less intense and obvious. I like the gray variations in this one - it looks like an expensive Schumacher pattern. And wouldn't that faux bois pattern be great on a pair of arm chairs? It's a like a modern take on the traditional lodge/man den look.

For a sweet, feminine nursery, I would mix some large and small-scale stylized florals with some fun check and dots patterns.

For a little boy's room, how awesome are the anchors? The hits of dark charcoal keep things from going too sweet.

Oh man. I just ordered some of this abstract-like fabric for pillows, and I'm hoping it's just as amazing in person. I love it.

All fabrics, and so, so many more, here on L&S.

For a chance to win $100 gift certificate (new drapes? pillows? an upholstery project!?), please leave a comment on this post and share what you would purchase with the $100. The contest closes this Friday at midnight and the winner will be chosen at random and emailed. Good luck!

And don't forget the 20% off coupon code, good through the 30th! LSFABRICS FIRST

Contest is closed and the winner will be emailed (so check your inbox!) Thanks for playing!