Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, January 19, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page B:2




Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 19, 2019 

Jeff’s Book Pics By Jeff Brown



Estate planning is often considered something you 
only need to worry about once you get married. But the 
reality is every adult, regardless of age, income level, 
or marital status, needs to have some fundamental 
planning strategies in place if you want to keep the 
people you love out of court and out of conflict. 
In fact, estate planning can be even more critical 
for unmarried couples. Even if you’ve been together 
for decades and act just like a married couple, you 
likely aren’t viewed as one in the eyes of the law. 
And in the event one of you becomes incapacitated 
or when one of you dies, not having any planning 
in place can have disastrous consequences. 
If you’re in a committed relationship and have 
yet to get—or even have no plans to get—married, 
the following estate planning documents are an 
absolute must: 

1. Wills and trusts

If you’re unmarried and die without planning, 
the assets you leave behind will be distributed 
according to California’s intestacy laws to your 
family members. These laws provide NO protection 
for your unmarried partner. Given this, if you want 
your partner to receive any of your assets upon your 
death, you need to—at the very least—create a will. 
However, a will is not always the best option. 
First and foremost, wills do not operate in the event 
of incapacity. Moreover, a will requires probate, 
a court process that can take quite some time to 
navigate. And finally, assets passed through a will go 
outright to your partner, with no protection from 
creditors or lawsuits. To protect those assets for your 
partner, you’ll need a different planning strategy. 
A better option may be to place the assets you 
want your partner to inherit in a living trust. First 
off, trusts can be used to transfer assets in the 
event of your incapacity, not just upon your death. 
Trusts also do not have to go through probate, 
saving your partner precious time and money. 
What’s more, leaving your assets in a continued 
trust that your partner could control would 
ensure the assets are protected from creditors, 
future relationships, and/or unexpected lawsuits. 
2. Durable power of attorney

When it comes to estate planning, most people focus 
only on what happens when they die. However, it’s 
just as important—if not even more so—to plan for 
your potential incapacity due to an accident or illness. 
If you become incapacitated and haven’t legally 
named someone to handle your finances while 
you’re unable to do so, the court will pick someone 
for you. And this person could be a family member 
who doesn’t care for or want to support your 
partner, or it could be a professional guardian who 
will charge hefty fees, possibly draining your estate. 

 Since it’s unlikely that your unmarried partner 
will be the court’s first choice, if you want your 
partner (or even a friend) to manage your finances 
in the event you become incapacitated, you would 
grant your partner (or friend) a durable power of 

 Durable power of attorney is an estate planning 
tool that will give your partner immediate authority 
to manage your financial matters in the event 
of your incapacity. He or she will have a broad 
range of powers to handle things like paying your 
bills and taxes, running your business, collecting 
government benefits, selling your home, as well as 
managing your banking and investment accounts. 
Next week, I’ll continue with part two in this 
series on must-have estate planning strategies for 
unmarried couples. 

 Dedicated to empowering your family, building 
your wealth and defining your legacy,

A local attorney and father, Marc Garlett is on a 
mission to help parents protect what they love most. 
His office is located at 55 Auburn Avenue, Sierra 
Madre, CA 91024. Schedule an appointment to 
sit down and talk about ensuring a legacy of love 
and financial security for your family by calling 
626.355.4000 or visit for more 

The Gulf: The Making of An 
American Sea by Jack E. Davis 

 Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for 
History “Davis has written a beautiful 
homage to a neglected sea” (front page, 
New York Times Book Review).Hailed 
as a “nonfiction epic . . . in the tradition 
of Jared Diamond’s best-seller 
Collapse, and Simon Winchester’s 
Atlantic” (Dallas Morning News), 
Jack E. Davis’s The Gulf is “by turns 
informative, lyrical, inspiring and 
chilling for anyone who cares about the 
future of ‘America’s Sea’ ” (Wall Street 
Journal). Illuminating America’s 
political and economic relationship 
with the environment from the age 
of the conquistadors to the present, 
Davis demonstrates how the Gulf’s 
fruitful ecosystems and exceptional 
beauty empowered a growing nation. 
Filled with vivid, untold stories from 
the sportfish that launched Gulfside 
vacationing to Hollywood’s role in the 
country’s first offshore oil wells, this 
“vast and well told story shows how 
we made the Gulf . . . [into] a ‘national 
sacrifice zone’ ” (Bill McKibben). The 
first and only study of its kind, The 
Gulf offers “a unique and illuminating 
history of the American Southern 
coast and sea as it should be written” 
(Edward O. Wilson). 26 illustrations 

The Broken Earth Trilogy: The 
Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, 
The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin 

 This collectable boxed set edition includes all 
three books in N. K. Jemisin’s incredible three-time 
Hugo award-winning Broken Earth 
Trilogy. This is the way the world ends 
for the last time...A season of endings 
has begun. It starts with the great red 
rift across the heart of the world’s 
sole continent, spewing ash that 
blots out the sun. It starts with death, 
with a murdered son and a missing 
daughter. It starts with betrayal, 
and long dormant wounds rising up 
to fester. This is the Stillness, a land 
long familiar with catastrophe, where 
the power of the earth is wielded as 
a weapon. And where there is no 

Awakening to the Natural State 
by John Wheeler

 John Wheeler met Bob Adamson 
(a student of Nisargadatta Maharaj) 
on a trip to Australia. In short 
order, Bob cleared up John’s doubts 
and questions and pointed out to 
him the fact of our real nature: self-
shining, ever-present awareness. Bob 
Adamson has encouraged John to 
share this understanding of ‘who we 
really are.’ The articles contained in 
this book (extended by another 30 
articles in this edition) cover some 
of John’s experiences with meeting 
‘Sailor’ Bob Adamson and various 
aspects of the understanding which 
subsequently unfolded. Interspersed 
with these are chapters of email 
correspondence with enquirers who 
have been drawn to this radical and direct approach 
to self-realization. John’s has talks on 
The 3 reviews are from

All Things By Jeff Brown



A huge discovery for scientists, who found blue 
flecks in the bones from a medieval woman’s jaw. 
They were able to identify the blue particles as lapis 
lazuli — a deep blue, semi-precious rock that was 
highly prized at the time for its symbolization of 
royalty and godliness.It’s possible the stone was even 
once placed “in the original breastplate of the High 
Priest,” according to Crystal Vaults. The particles 
were occasionally ground up and used as a pigment.
In 11th- and early 12th century Europe, lapis lazuli 
was traded as a luxury good and used in pricey 
artwork or literary works.After studying the woman’s 
dental remains, scientists were able to conclude the 
woman was likely a medieval nun from Germany.A 
1000 yrs.ago, women weren’t known for writing or 
painting with the coveted stone, though a lack of 
signatures on these pieces of art made it difficult to 
prove that was the case. Nonetheless, monks were 
known as “primary producers” of books throughout 
the Middle Ages. But evidence of a woman with lapis 
lazuli challenges past conceptions.This evidence 
shows that women at that time, particularly nuns, 
were “not only literate but also prolific producers and 
consumers of books.The woman who was buried in 
a German churchyard was probably a highly skilled 
artist and scribe.”It’s kind of a bombshell for my field 
— it’s so rare to find material evidence of women’s 
artistic and literary work in the Middle Ages,” 
Alison Beach, a professor of medieval history and co-
author of the study, said “Because things are much 
better documented for men, it’s encouraged people 
to imagine a male world. This helps us correct that 
bias. This tooth opens a window on what activities 
women also were engaged in.”At that time, the 
precious stone was only mined in Afghanistan. So, 
when it was delivered to spots in Europe such as 
Germany and Austria, it was probably met with a big 
price tag. Because of the cost of carrying it to Europe, 
ultramarine was reserved for the most important 
and well-funded artistic projects.



The next selection in the Off The Page series of free 
staged play readings at Sierra Madre Playhouse 
will be Father of the Bride. 

 Mr. Banks learns that one of the young men he 
has seen occasionally about the house is about to 
become his son-in-law. The young couple don’t 
want a “big” wedding—just a simple affair with a 
few friends! We soon learn, however, that the “few” 
friends idea is out. Then trouble really begins… 
You’ve seen the Spencer Tracy & Elizabeth 
Taylor classic and the Steve Martin remake, now 
hear it live on stage!

 Adapted by Caroline Francke. Based on the 
novel by Edward Streeter. Directed by Roxanne 
Barker, who coordinates the Off The Page series 
with Artistic Director Christian Lebano.

 Caroline Francke’s other plays include The 49th 
Cousin, The Fighting Littles and Exceeding Small. 
She also wrote for the screen: Bombshell, starring 
Jean Harlow; The Wiser Sex; The Misleading Lady. 
Additionally, she wrote many episodes of the 
Henry Aldrich radio series. She died in 1960.

 Father of the Bride will be performed as a 
staged reading on Monday, January 28, 2019 
at 7:00 p.m. at Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. 
Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. 
This is just east of Pasadena. There is ample free 
parking behind the Playhouse. Admission is free. 
Donations are gratefully accepted. Website: www. Phone: (626) 355-4318.



Do you remember the “like 
attracts like” principle? It 
illustrates the idea that the 
more energy and thought 
we put into something, the 
more it will grow. Also, the 
longer we are in that place 
or state of mind, the greater 
the tendency is to stay there. 
It becomes comfortable. 

 This applies to thought patterns and habits, or 
even optimism and negativity. Gandhi illustrates this 
point of view eloquently: “Your beliefs become your 
thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your 
words become your actions, your actions become your 
habits, your habits become your values, your values 
become your destiny.” In other words, “like attracts 
like.” So, how then do we change course and step off 
the flow of negativity? 

First, the realization of the power of choice must come 
into awareness. No one, no circumstance, no external 
structure has power over our lives and inner peace. 
Higher values of love, compassion, tolerance, and 
universal connection with one another are the guiding 
force by which we soothe fear. To take the fuse out of 
fear, truthfulness (honesty), or satya must be present. 

 Second, after becoming aware and acknowledging 
the feeling of fear or the train of thought of negativity, 
cultivate the opposite. Optimism and love are the 
antidotes to overcoming negativity. Even doing this 
begrudgingly will call upon those higher principles 
when we act in our higher selves. 

 This process will lead us into the spirit of open-
mindedness. This process is one of the core reasons 
why yoga benefits the world. The world has enough 
pain and negativity. Yoga cultivates compassion and 
tolerance –for everyone- and that means everyone! 
Each one of us is experiencing the human condition 
together. Any actions I take affect not only others but 
myself as well by creating my own internal suffering 
from living in a negative frame of mind. Resist and 
defeat negativity with hope and a positive attitude. 

 Knowing all of this, my yoga practice, meditation, 
and a practice of loving-kindness feel more important 
than ever. 



Keely Totten, Yoga & Meditation Teacher, 

Fan of the resistance against negativity


Real Life Tips from LIfe's Instruction Manual


You have to have a 
thick skin if you have 
ever been friends with 
a defense attorney. 
The same is true for 
personal coaches. 
Why? We are always 
looking for the silver 
lining. We can always 
see a different way 
to look at things, we 
look for a different point of view, and that is not always a 
welcome quality when all you want to do is rant and vent. 
Many folks are looking for blanket support, a ride or die, a 
friend. Picture this: Your spouse has returned from a hard 
day at work. They are complaining about some injustice 
from the supervisor. As they describe the event to you, 
your response is, “well maybe he didn’t mean it that way, 
or have you considered this?” Your poor spouse could feel 
further dejected and alone like they are in a true help the 
bear moment. 

 “Help the Bear. That means if you see me and a bear 
fighting and you can’t come with something good and 
supportive, then help the bear, cause you ain’t no help to 
me.” “Checkmates”, Ron Milner, 1987 

 The truth is that there is always another way to look 
at things and we can all benefit from a willingness to see 
things from the opposite side. Pretty much nothing is 
black and white. Two people in any situation may, honestly, 
perceive a circumstance differently. In your personal 
relationships, it with serve you well to consider another 
perspective. Do you want to be right or do you want to 
have a relationship? If you are prepared to fight every 
disagreement or opposing point of view, you and your 
relationships will suffer. 

 Conversely, if you are willing to not make assumptions 
and not take things personally those two qualities will 
help you to foster loving and enriching relationships. Be 
willing to consider you might be wrong or there may be 
another way to look at things. Further, ask yourself, “is this 
disagreement worth damaging my relationship? Do I need 
to be right?” In the words of the Disney Princess Elsa, “Let 
it go.” Give people the benefit of the doubt. Ask yourself, 
“Is there a positive way to characterize my beloved’s 

 Perception is one of our six mental faculties. If we would 
change our point of view of ourselves, if we would look at 
ourselves a different way, our whole world will begin to 
change. When we are willing to monitor our perceptions 
we open ourselves to an entirely new, elevated level of 

 We have more power than we realize, let’s use it wisely. 


 Lori A. Harris is a lawyer and coach. She help’s mid-
career professionals get more love, creativity, and fun out 
of life. Learn more at or download her 
complementary Gratitude Train app to your smartphone or 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: