"VISITORS WELCOME" travelightly's Profile

"Our life is frightened away by detail...simplify, simplify."

"I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society."

"I have thus a tight shingled and plastered house, ten feet wide by fifteen long, and eight-feet posts, with a garret and a closet, a large window on each side, two trap doors, one door at the end, and a brick fireplace opposite."

Henry David Thoreau

For comparison, my cabin is thirteen feet wide by twenty feet long, eighteen feet tall, including the sleeping loft. There are windows on all sides. A cast iron fireplace is at one end. A deck overlooks a small creek below. There is room for a desk chair and a love seat which is ample room for any company I may wish to entertain. And outside I can sometimes hear the train whistle eight miles away through the night woods.

I'm an escapee from city living, having lived from Los Angeles, California, up through Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington. Currently living in Rose Valley, Washington, a country community about 45 minute north of Portland. [Two churches, a grade school, a small grocery store/gas station, a volunteer fire department, a kids baseball field, wild critters and me--along with maybe several hundred others dotting the landscape down about 13 miles/21km up the main country road.] Update: the kids baseball field was removed. More and more McMansions are going up all the time.

I spent 9 months of my week-ends and evenings working on this hand-built cottage, living in a tent during construction. No power tools were used. Carried every nail, board, bag of concrete, a 150 kg woodstove, roof shingles, etc., 100 meters into the woods. About a week after moving in, during the middle of the night, a large tree fell on top of the tent.

But that's doing better than the couple who were sleeping and during a rain storm a tree crashed through the rafters into their living room. They ran to see what kind of damage was done. As they stood looking at the tree, a second tree fell through the roof to their bedroom, landing on top of their bed. Some people are just lucky.

My VT External Page has the best night-time view of my home.


The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shakin' hands, sayin', "How do you do?"
They're really saying, "I love you."



Manhole covers, or couvertures de trou d'homme, as I like to refer to them, are always underfoot and trampled upon. So few appreciate their artistic craftsmanship. And beauty. Take a peak. The "Sewers" site offers 3116 covers from around the world. (Preview snapshots are viewable by clicking the numbers on the left side column--or choose to look at your country's listed below the previews.) If you only have a limited amount of time for admiring these portals into the underbelly of our civilization, take a look at the Japon Covers.
You will gaze in awe!

My ppp was taken in the downtown area of Istanbul, Turkey.



Since becoming a member of VT, I've become even more fascinated by the world we share. I love when I run across someone’s site and they add a few of their favorite websites to their Homepage - here's my additions. Oh, and if you haven't done so, you might enjoy clicking your cursor over the What A Wonderful World title - sound on, too.

Inspired by Wild Orchid's 2004 Christmas page.
(Sound on for this link, too.)

Wonder what the rest of the world might be thinking of us? Don't discount this site--it has over 2.5 million hits on it!

If I had only one radio program to send out for people to experience what is most real about the people of the USA, I would choose This American Life. It speaks not of our celebrity-filled world, but the lives of the rest of us—(mostly) quite ordinary people.*** It speaks of who we are, naked, with and without the mask. TAL is ironic, serious, touching, humorous, profoundly revealing, irreverently honest and hopeful, and decidedly entertaining; then again, after a few hours of listening to this program you may possibly be thinking to yourself: And these are the people who elect the most powerful leader of the western world?
Read Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet’s Review of This American Life.

This is my favorite station for social commentary.

For the strange new world we live in, this is the best site I've found that covers the workings of our communications in the virtual world of VT and on other sites. One article addressing the subject of email courtesy is: E-Mail Communication and Relationships

When people can get over their diagnoses of each other--their judgments, evaluations, criticisms--and connect to what's going on in each other, conflicts which seem impossible to resolve seem to almost resolve themselves.
~Marshall Rosenberg
developer, Non-violent Communication, or Compassionate Communication

My best friend is a trainer in this approach toward communication. My life has been profoundly influenced by her sharing, our disagreements, our arguments, and our new understandings over the meanings we make of what it is to communicate as member of the human community. NVC has contributed greatly to these new understandings. This approach is, overall, the best antidote to "baboon consciousness" that I have come across. (No offense intended to the baboons.)

I found this from the _rudolph j rummel_ site to be a fascinating view of what we are currently doing on the planet as homo politicus. You might want to start on the PERSONAL box reading his short biography before proceeding into the bowels of this site.

No explanation needed.


***There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.
—C.S. Lewis
The Weight of Glory


This first quotation by Mister Rogers would be my choice for a second VT motto and I believe it should be added as a second saying included with every fortune cookie.

If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of.
Mister Fred Rogers
Host of the childrens' program, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

* * * * *

We can choose to use our growing knowledge to enslave people in ways never dreamed of before, de-personalizing them, controlling them by means so carefully selected that they will perhaps never be aware of their loss of personhood.
Carl R. Rogers, humanistic psychologist
(Science, 1956)
Unrelated to Mister Rogers

* * * * *

It is time to move beyond black and white and to start thinking in color. Dualism is as colorblind in ethics as it is in aesthetics. Those who approach the riches of the moral life with the traditional dichotomies of good and evil or just and unjust are like aestheticians who know only two terms, beautiful and ugly, and possibly pride themselves on their progressiveness because they actually recognize degrees of beauty and ugliness.
Walter Kaufmann, American philosopher

* * * * *

My own ethic is not absolute but a morality of openness. It is not a morality of rules but an ethic of virtues. It offers no security but goals.
The Faith of a Heretic, Walter Kaufmann

* * * * *

The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.
George Bernard Shaw

  • Intro Updated Aug 4, 2009
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Comments (173)

  • shelnlin's Profile Photo
    Jul 23, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Hey there... Hope that you are well wherever you are... its been so long since we last caught up and I hope you had a wonderful birthday recently. Drop me a line sometime, it would be great to hear from you. You are still on my FB too! Hugs from here :-)

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Pleased to note that I'm not late for your birthday wishes, only 361 days early!

  • EllenH's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    Happy Birthday Graham!

  • unravelau's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    Hello Graham, I do hope that you have the best birthday ever. Regards, Carole.

  • zanzooni's Profile Photo
    Jan 3, 2013 at 6:31 AM

    Well. Fancy meeting you here. Haven't heard from you in eons. I'm mainly on FB these days.~

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    Dec 11, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Nice to see you around. Am intrigued with your life in Ecuador. Glad to see you back on VT :-)

    • kiwi's Profile Photo
      Dec 11, 2012 at 7:13 PM

      Well done for staying there as long as you have :-) Well down here is great, apart from earthquakes, volcanoes and even the odd tornado to give us headaches, otherwise all good :-)

    • travelightly's Profile Photo
      Dec 11, 2012 at 7:30 PM

      Other than the tornados, sounds much like Quito.

  • thinking's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2012 at 6:56 AM

    Even if you don't ever sign in again, I want you to know I was thinking of you. I am thinking of you. Happy Birthday!

    • thinking's Profile Photo
      Dec 12, 2012 at 11:02 AM

      Bonjour! Difficult choices ahead. I wish you every good fortune and every happiness.

    • travelightly's Profile Photo
      Dec 12, 2012 at 1:46 PM

      Fortunately, I have an adventurous spirit. Thanks.

  • EllenH's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    better late then never, hope you are well and had a wonderful day. Meet again someday on the avenue....

  • Eurasian68's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2012 at 4:14 AM

    Glad we finally met :-) And hope we will meet again....

  • unravelau's Profile Photo
    Jul 24, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Latin lovers are old hat anyway Graham. Asia is the up and coming place to be don't you think? Regards, Carole.

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“He who would travel happily must travel light. ~Antoine de Saint Exup�ry”

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Top 10,000 Travel Writer
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Real Name
Quito, Ecuador
Member Since
May 23, 2003

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