Action Mapping Workflow

December 12, 2017 1 comment

I’m finding myself lately in a role where I’m directing learning projects executed by vendors most of the time and doing less consulting and needs assessment. So when it comes time to talk through learning needs for an organization, I’m a bit out of practice.

This Action Mapping Workflow was shared by a colleague and is a great way to refresh on the important questions before consulting with a business team. I’m just going to leave it right here: Action Mapping Workflow

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Staying Politically Positive

January 31, 2017 2 comments

An invitation:

I’ve summed up my strategy of staying politically positive by being firm on issues and compassionate with people. I’m not “shoulding-on” anyone else. I’m just sharing my plan with an invitation to join me if you’d like.


First I want to get a few things straight:

  1. I’d like to preface that I’m the wrong generation to be a “snowflake”. Even so, I think it’s a dismissive and derogatory term. A few folks may actually earn it, but they aren’t all millennials, and they certainly aren’t all liberals or progressives.
  2. I understand that the Electoral College fulfilled it’s obligation to vote as directed and we have a new President. When I see that “Not MY President” sign, I think “That’s right, he’s OUR President now. Let’s hold him accountable to his responsibilities to the office.”
  3. I have no interest in name calling, body shaming, hyperbole, or drama.

That being said, let’s get back to the advice I seem to be getting lately:


“Deal with it like we did for eight years!”

This is what I think they mean based on some of the bad behavior that I remember from folks who were upset about having Obama as president, and how we could avoid that this time:

  1. Demand documentation that proves the sitting president is eligible for the job.
    Done! I asked President Trump to release his tax returns (FYI: Pence released his) and divest from his business interests to avoid the perception of and actual conflicts of interest. Your move, Mr. President.
  2. Block the sitting President from making progress on fulfilling his campaign promises.
    Writing and calling my representatives is the first step. Even though I have high trust in Suzanne Bonamici, Ron Wyden,  and Jeff Merkely to represent fairly and equitably, it’s clear that throwing around money (as wasteful as it can seem sometimes) is how things get done. Conservatives are throwing in their money. We have to do our part too. My charitable giving strategy for this year includes:
    International: International Rescue Committee
    National: The American Civil Liberties UnionThe Obama Foundation
    Local: Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, Oregon Public Broadcasting
    Reality check: I know not everyone has money to throw around, and you might not think your $5 will do much, but consider this: What if every person who voted for Hillary Clinton picked three charities they wanted to support and gave them each $1? Each of those organizations would receive an extra $67 billion dollars this year. That’s ~$200 billion dollars out there working for us. Send the $5 and know it does make a difference.
  3. Burn an effigy of the sitting president.
    Yeah… I’m not really into simulated murder. I’m not a flag burner either. I do like s’mores, though. How ’bout I just put on my pink pussyhat and start writing some checks. (See #2) Who am I kidding? No one writes checks anymore. I want those credit card points. What? Points are good…
  4. Berate the President and his family.
    That’s a big tall glass of nope!
    A. I’m a bigger fan of “going high,” not low. If I condemn body shaming of women, I can’t condone shaming President Trump for his hair/skin color or he size of his hands.
    B. Nobody deserves to be trolled, especially a child. I absolutely don’t condone speculation about Barron Trump having special needs or shaming him for being awkward. He’s a kid who certainly didn’t choose this for himself. If his mother chooses to keep him home to avoid interrupting his routine, good for her. I’m glad she’s putting her child first and being a mom before being FLOTUS.
    C. It’s patently unfair and unclassy. and if I’m anything, it’s classy. 😉
    D. How can I expect anyone to take me seriously if I’m acting like a troll? I’ll attack unfair and unwise policy, horrible cabinet nominations, and  infringement of the constitution… but not the comb-over. I’ll leave the satire to SNL. They’re better at it anyway.

So take a deep breath everyone. You got this. Decide what is important to you and support the hell out of it. (Yes, even if you are a conservative. It’s your country too.)

Most importantly, I’d challenge you to be firm in your beliefs and compassionate with people. Be heard. Be classy.

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Fun with Bug-Out Bags

January 9, 2016 1 comment

Earthquake kits

Every member of my family, including the dogs, has an Emergency Kit (aka Bug-Out Bag). We all have them because the aftermath of Katrina scared the living shit out of me. (No Brownie, it wasn’t “a heck of a job”.) We don’t really get hurricanes in the Pacific Northwest. If we did, my family is lucky enough to have the means (and flexibility of working remotely) to drive to a safe place or hop on an airplane. Unfortunately, earthquakes don’t work like that. You don’t get a warning.

In the event of an earthquake, we could probably shelter in place, but there could be power outages or water main breaks. At a bare minimum I think everyone, regardless of where you live in the country,  should at least have a flat of water bottles in case of contamination that boiling won’t fix. We could use our kits to shelter in place if we happen to be low on groceries as well.

Any number of things could cause you to need to evacuate your home after an earthquake: structural damage, gas leaks, fires, downed power lines, and chemical spills. Source:

Following guidelines from and supplementing with things that are important to us, here is everything we have in our kits. (List below pic.)

earthquake kit deconstructed.jpg

For Each of the Humans

1-2 week supply of maintenance medications
Travel size bottle of Ibuprofen
First aid kit
Phone charger
Light weight fleece sleeping bag
Clothing: T-shirt, jeans, 3 pair of undies, 3 pair of socks
Hygiene: travel size versions of deodorant, shampoo, bar soap, hand sanitizer, lotion, facial cleaning wipes, wash cloth
Feminine products
Toilet paper (remove the cardboard roll, smash flat and it will fit in a quart-size zip lock bag
Toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste (got these in a pack at the dollar store)
2 packs of travel tissues
Folding travel brush (also a dollar store find)
Crossword book (me), Sudoku book (Stace), Mad Libs (Liam)
Travel games
Rain poncho
Flashlight (batteries taped together and stored separately in a plastic bag – we had to replace the flashlights because the batteries corroded)
Extra zip lock bags (gallon and quart size)
3 garbage bags
Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, insurance, etc)
2 – 3-way Lego sets (Liam)
A twin of Liam’s favorite stuffed animal (Liam)


2 – 1 liter bottles of water (the square Fiji ones make for easy packing)
1 can Progresso soup with the pop top (pick a variety you wouldn’t mind eating cold)
3 Organic Slammers (fruit and veggie puree)
2 Bumble Bee Tuna Sensations (1 can tuna + crackers)
4 Nugo meal replacement bars
3 packs of single serving cookies
2-3 packs of single serving cheese and peanut butter crackers
2 Snickers bars (calorie dense, plus some protein, and will feel like a luxury item if stress eating is required)
4 plastic forks

We also have a flat of water bottles in the garage next to the kits that we can toss in the car. We would drink those first and save the ones in the pack in case we end up on foot.

Everything is packed in a backpack in case we have to ditch the car. My backpack weighs about 20 pounds. When I’m looking at food for the kits, I lean toward plastic packaging when I can because cans to reduce weight. I also look for things that last a year or longer so only have to update the kits once a year. (If you have very small, fast-growing children, abandon that dream.)

For extra food we keep on hand in the garage for sheltering in place, cans are better because they keep longer. I don’t have much of a formula for the extra food, I just buy flats of things we use a lot from Costco. It’s pretty random.

For the kids: Kids thrive on routine, so try to pack a copy of a favorite book, a twin of a favorite toy or plush. Try to stick to nap time, mealtime, and bedtime routines as much as you can, even if you are not at home. Kids can usually adapt to a change in about 3 days. If you keep as much else the same as possible, it will help them adjust.

Pro tip: If you have to pack diapers, use a vacuum sealer to compress them to save room. This also works well for children’s clothing because it’s small enough to fit in the bags.

I also mentioned we have a kit for the dogs.

earthquake kit for dogs

For Each of the Dogs

1 – 1 liter bottle of water
3 days of food, measured into zip lock bags for each dog per day
An extra lead
A ball and squeak toy
Collapsible bowls for food and water


Rick Steves is in Israel!

May 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Rick Steves is in Israel this week scouting locations for an Israel travel episode! Check it out! Yes, of course I commented on his blog to tell him he must go to Caesarea.

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Comfort Food: Guinness Beef Stew

April 22, 2013 Leave a comment

I feel like this is turning into a cooking blog–which is actually fairly appropriate, because cooking was such a big part of my life in Israel. I’ve mentioned before that Israel made me a much better cook.

I’ve been taking part in the 10 Tools Challenge this year and writing about it on my professional blog, Virtual Learning Space. While evaluating Flipboard for the challenge, I stumbled upon this fantastic recipe for Guinness Beef Stew just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. What I really loved about it was the accompanying video. I often have to guess at what some culinary terms mean. I can honestly say I wasn’t 100% sure what “de-glazing” was until I watched the video. I feel so much smarter now, and I’ve become a huge fan of Chef Jon’s videos on Food Wishes. The stew was amazing. I’ve already made it three times since St. Paddy’s.

Here is a link to the original post with the full recipe.

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Support the Sandy Hook Community

December 18, 2012 Leave a comment

weeping santa

Our hearts break for the Sandy Hook community. If you wish you could do something, then please take a look at all the ways you can help. Pick something below that speaks to you.

Personally, I donated to Newtown Youth & Family Services. My gift will help provide counselling for families, staff, and first responders. It was super easy. They use PayPal.

From the Connecticut PTSA:

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook
Please help the students of Sandy Hook have a winter wonderland at their new school! Get Creative!!  No two snowflakes are alike. Make and send snowflakes to Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT  06514, by January 12, 2013.

From the RIP Sandy Hook Elementary Victims facebook page:

The U.S. Postal Service has established a unique post office box to allow the public to send condolences to those affected by the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., last week. Those who wish to send expressions of comfort should address them to Messages of Condolence for Newtown, P.O. Box 3700, Newtown, CT 06470.

* Newtown Youth & Family Services
Contact # 203-270-4335
Address: 15 Berkshire Road
Sandy Hook, CT 06482

 **Donations can now be directly made to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Please visit:

*Newtown Parent Connection
Contact # 203-270-1600
Address: 45 Main Street PO Box 187
Newtown, CT 06470


*Newtown Savings Bank
Contact # 800-461-0672
(Check Donations Only) Please call the number provided for other means of payment.

 Check donations may be mailed to:

Sandy Hook School Support Fund
c/o Newtown Savings Bank
39 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470

****Questions have also been asked if The Fire Department & EMS personnel are Accepting Donations to their Local Fire Department, and the answer is YES. I spoke to them directly by phone and they are accepting them through Postal Mail at the Address below. Also there contact Number if you would like to call them. Very Nice Wonderful people.

Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue (SHVFD)
P.O Box 783
Sandy Hook, CT 06482
Contact # (Non-Emergency) 203-270-4392

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Reports From Israel

November 19, 2012 1 comment
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