Category Archives: Courage


We are fortunate to be loved by Gloria.

Gloria Kliewer Roe is the most loving, caring and talented individual I’ve ever had the privilege to know. Throughout the challenges known as Life, we shared the most precious elements, love and respect. My sister Gloria dedicated her life of discipline and sacrifice to providing hope, guidance and assistance to others through her amazing artistry.

Continue reading Gloria

Trump Improving Chinese – American Relations

Chinese state-run media lauded Donald Trump Tuesday after a phone call between him and President Xi Jinping, saying that the president-elect’s emergence could mark a “reshaping” of Sino-American relations. The pair spoke Monday, when Xi said that the two powers needed to co-operate and Trump’s office said the leaders “established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another”.

On the campaign trail Trump frequently demonized Beijing, but questions have been asked whether his conduct in the White House will match his promises as a candidate. Monday’s conversation was “diplomatically impeccable and has bolstered optimism over bilateral relations in the next four years”, China’s frequently nationalistic Global Times newspaper said in an editorial. Barack Obama, whose foreign policy pivot to Asia alarmed Beijing, was “profoundly affected” by the Cold War-shaped outlook of American elites, the paper said, but Trump’s views “have not been kidnapped by Washington’s political elites”. “Trump is probably the very American leader who will make strides in reshaping major-power relations in a pragmatic manner,” it added, saying his ideology and experience “match well with the new era”.

It was a sharp contrast to the same newspaper’s editorial the day before, which baldly warned the incoming president not to follow through on campaign-trail promises to levy steep tariffs on Chinese-made goods or Beijing would take a “tit-for-tat approach” and target US autos, aircraft, soybeans, and iPhones. But the president-elect’s ambiguous and sometimes contradictory views on key questions on the relationship between the world’s two largest economies, including trade, the South China Sea and North Korea, have cast a pall of uncertainty over how he will manage it. While campaigning,

Trump went as far as calling the Asian giant America’s “enemy”, accused it of artificially lowering its currency to boost exports, threatened to impose tariffs of 45 percent, and pledged to stand up to a country he says views the US as a pushover. But he also indicated he is not interested in getting involved in far-off squabbles, and decried the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal, which encompasses several other Asian countries and has been seen as an effort to bolster US influence, for costing American jobs. TPP has been signed by the US but not ratified by the Senate, where its chances are seen as poor.

Tuesday’s editorial in the government-published China Daily newspaper called the Xi-Trump chat “propitious”, noting that Beijing is “understandably relieved that the exclusive, economically inefficient, politically antagonizing TPP is looking ever less likely to materialize”. Instead, Washington should consider joining the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade area encompassing the Southeast Asian grouping ASEAN, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Something of a mirror image to the TPP, it includes six of the putative Washington-led grouping’s 12 members.

Donald Trump has been President Elect for less than a week and everything is already falling into place. Both Canada and Mexico plan to renegotiate NAFTA. Mexico is considering talks about the wall and is preparing for mass deportation. Russia wants to help us destroy ISIS. China thinks our relationships will be better. The UK is very optimistic of relationships with the US. TPP was declared dead. All good things. Meanwhile, our mainstream media still hasn’t accepted the fact that he will be our next president.

The Chinese in general admire strength tempered with respect, protocol and politeness. Donald Trump is well and truly capable of all that.


The Value of Competition

Rock Bottom Lake Racers (2)

What is the value of competition? Is it the acquisition of a prize, like Olympic gold or the praise of fans and friends? While completion may provide some incentive through the lure of winning something, it seems the real value is in the physical, mental and emotional strength developed in us as we discipline ourselves to push toward achieving a goal. Having someone to work with or compete against provides an extra push and gives us a measure of our level of engagement within a social setting.

Life is full of opportunities to compete, not only in sporting activities, but also in every activity throughout our day. Can we be aware enough of our actions to gauge if we are improving how we function? While it is fine, and even necessary to relax and enjoy the ride in resting intervals to regain our strength, finding the next level of our capacity can be greatly rewarding as we increase our strength, and even amplify the bond we have with others.

I was having these thoughts about competition yesterday morning while enjoying the ten minute rural commute to my office in Duvall. All of a sudden, I focused on a truck in front of me that I had just caught up with at the stoplight entering town. I was blown away by the message on the rear door and grabbed my phone to take a quick photo (below) while stopped behind it. This was just too weird, considering where my mind had been for the past ten minutes before seeing the truck (and I drive a Jeep by the way). I’m pretty sure it was a coincidence…but I had to consider other options. In any case, Bam, a life message right in my face.

Compete 2

Do you have a competition specialty? If not, perhaps today is a good time to get in a game…you’ll be stronger in many ways for making the effort, and you might have some fun and even make some friends. Come on, I dare you! Join me, because I’ve decided to find a game today. Let our games begin, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

Offsetting the Decline of Bee Colonies Around the World

As producers of a variety of garden edibles, the importance of timely bee pollination is obvious. Around the world, the implications of decreasing food supplies due to declining bee colonies is a critical problem facing the future of our planet.

The most common cause for the bee decline is the use of pesticides. From around 6 million bee colonies in 1945, it is estimated that only 3 million bee colonies remained just 10 years ago.


Today, we had the great fortune of meeting a man on the move, dedicated to working with like-minded people to create a solution to the loss of pollinating bee populations. Dave Hunter, the founder and owner of Crown Bees, is rapidly growing a business supplying a species of bee (the Mason Bee) to offset the decline in Honey Bees, which has served as the main food pollinators in the past. The Mason Bee actually has superior pollinating characteristics, and is a gentle and easy to breed species.

We have begun creating a central place for Dave’s Crown Bees in our garden sanctuary, and have gained immediate enthusiasm for the species.

We have at the same time gained a great level of respect for Dave and the mission of the Crown Bee group he is forming to make a significant impact for ethical change on our planet.

Take a look at the website and learn more about Mason Bees and how you can help change the course of history for the better.

Honey Bee and a Mason Bee

Below is a quote from the blog:

Science proved in the 1980’s that when mason bees were used in orchards, farmers increase the yield of their crop. Cherries can increase by 200-300 percent, almonds by less. Studies have been replicated in the US, Europe, and Asia for increased production of apples, pears, kiwi, peaches, and many other fruits and nuts which show amazing results.

These gentle mason bees exist in backyards and meadows worldwide. You might have them at your home, but until today, they have gone unnoticed. Gardeners are now using mason bees to gain more fruits and summer vegetables.

You can discover more about this astounding bee through reading the “learn” portion of Crown Bees website. You can raise this gentle bee yourself. Get started today.

Boston Light and Flying Santa


One of our favorite lighthouse traditions is the story of a man who showed uncommon respect for the Light Keepers and their families. Capt. William H. Wincapaw, known as an adventurous and skilled Airman, unknowingly began a tradition in 1929. He was just a guy who wanted to bring holiday cheer to the lighthouse keepers along the East Coast by dropping packages of toys, coffee, shaving supplies, and snacks around Christmas time. He soon became known by the Light Keepers as the Flying Santa. Over the decades the planes and pilots changed, but except for a break during World War II, the practice continues today, now by helicopter.

Frank wanted to pay respect to the tradition and special tribute to the new Airman in the family, his grandson Griffyn. So, the 30” x 24” acrylic on wood panel painting was produced and added to Frank’s lighthouse series. The lighthouse seen in this painting is the Boston Light. This is the site of the first lighthouse built in the United States, dating back to 1716, with the current one in the painting built in 1783. This painting honors those who have shown special care and concern for the all-important Light Keepers, as well as remote Coast Guard outposts.

We thank all those who bless and protect us with their courage.

Racing the Storm at Pigeon Point


If you Google “lighthouse in a storm” and then select the art category along the top, you’ll probably find an image of Frank’s Pigeon Point Lighthouse painting from one of the sites displaying his work near the top of the results. Pigeon Point is probably the most photographed lighthouse on the west coast due to its classic shape.

You can see the lighthouse driving along California Highway 1, 20 miles south of Half Moon Bay and 27 miles north of Santa Cruz. Heck, you don’t even have to leave your car, or even slow down to snap a picture of this beauty…such a shame. You should have to walk to enjoy this kind of setting…all the cars just ruin the effect of this cathedral.

Frank painted this work both “plein air” at the site on a sunny day, and then back in his studio for the storm effects. (You can click-through the picture to get a more detailed view.) Frank’s landscape teacher thought the painting too dark to become popular.

When traveling the Pacific coast, Frank and Mary were struck by the stories of lighthouse keepers, and their dedication to working the lights to protect the lives of people traveling along the treacherous shores.

This  48″ x 30″ acrylic on canvas painting “Racing the Storm at Pigeon Point” above is part of a series of lighthouse paintings by Frank. In this series, he re-creates settings from over 100 years ago, when the lights were critical life savers, while including some contemporary views and stories as well.

There were no electronics to guide the ships. The critical mechanics of the lights were driven by weights, pulleys, and gears. The Light Keepers kept the lights burning with oil and kerosene before electricity, sending beams of light over twenty miles out to sea. A daily practice of hard work by the Light Keepers was absolutely critical to keep a light working.

Frank has found his painting copied on other sites and even used in a YouTube video…but he is OK with that, as long as those that use his work share their profit from it with him.

Today, we should show our greatest respect to those who labor to make things of value to our lives, and treat them with fairness.

Respecting the Vital Work of Others


This painting titled “Light Keeper” (oil and acrylic on canvas 24″ x 18″) is a portrait of a modern-day docent, Del, at the Point Sur Lighthouse in California. Apart from the cap he was wearing and his portrait, the rest is Frank’s researched imagination.

The drill for the Light Keeper over 100 years ago was to have the big light on a half hour before sunset, and keep it going until a half hour after sunrise. This painting depicts him running to make his appointed time with the setting sun.

It took a dedicated person to keep a lighthouse flame going so it would project its lifesaving light 20 miles out to sea. Light Keepers were highly respected by most for their critical, yet lonely work. Often isolated far away from busy towns, they would sometimes work through the night to keep the light burning and the emerging technology of gears and pulleys functioning to turn the massive lens shining its distinctive light code, revealing a specific place.

Keeping the light burning and the hundreds of lens prisms polished, was a very disciplined and courageous practice. It may seem romantic, being at the seashore and all, but the reality is that some of the Light Keepers went over the edge, either figuratively or literally, while fulfilling their lonely duties. Some landlubbers on the shore just took the Light Keeper’s work for granted, even scoffing at their value or disrespecting their lifestyle.

The captains and crews of the vessels plying the coastal waters had great respect for the unseen Light Keepers. These traders and builders of commerce showed their support for those protecting them from unseen dangers. It would have been unheard of to demean their vital work or cast aspersions on their lives.

Today, we all should show proper respect and consideration to those who labor to make our lives better. We need to give appropriate consideration to those who serve us with their skills, seeking to protect and serve those in danger, lest shame fall on us for being thoughtless and inconsiderate.