Monthly Archives: September 2014

Autumn Leaves – The Politics at Hand


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Sept 21 WordPress Daily Prompt: Autumn Leaves

Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?

I have mentioned that politics do not dominate my landscape per say. But I have to admit, when I read this prompt, I couldn’t help but think of politics and how the mid-term elections are coming up. I have also heard that mid-term elections typically have poor turnouts, which I understand, as I myself have skipped a few over the years.

I have to tell you, I am now making it my business to know who is running and who I am voting for. We have got to start instilling some change in this country, in the way problems/issues/legislative actions are approached and then dispositioned, in the way those who WE elect into office represent us once they are elected, and in the way we are actually represented overall as a whole – a constituency.

This takes a lot of research and a lot of time, but I am dedicated to it. I can’t afford not to – none of us can! Complacency leads to neglect, which leads to contempt – I can promise you, not because I want it to, but because it does.

Regardless of how you vote, and what your ideologies are – you have to ensure you educate yourself and make your voice heard. The “Old Guard” just doesn’t have their hand on the pulse of America, and they certainly aren’t hearing us.

Just something I was thinking about . . . ☮

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Thanks For Letting Me Do It My Way!


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Don’t you hate when people take your picture and you’re talking & they catch you with your mouth open! YES this is me – when I was about 16 or 17 🙂 I remember this girl – though it was a long time ago 😉 If I knew then what I know now – damn I would’ve been an incredibly dangerous woman LMAO!!

Today is my birthday – I am 53. Sometimes I am shocked that I made it this far, and sometimes I can’t believe how fast the time seems to have flown by.  I have learned so much, yet still have so much to learn! Spent the day very low key and spontaneous 🙂 (Nothing earth-shaking yet – still feel it coming though!!!!)

As I am about to end my  “special”day, I was sitting here thinking of all the things I am grateful for – & my WordPress family/community is on that list. I want to thank you all for sharing your time with me – taking the time to read and comment on my assortment of musings!

I so enjoy reading your posts, too – though I am seriously behind this past week for sure! I have read some fabulous thoughts/features/narratives/poems that were inspiring, funny, thoughtful and/or thought-provoking, informational/educational, and everywhere in between. [My Nook and bookshelves have been feeling a bit ignored lately 🙂 ]

I’m getting close to 200 followers, almost doubling over the summer – which has been a pleasant surprise. Thank you all for the great inspiration and motivation you provide! I look forward to continuing writing my way 🙂 And I look forward to your continued visits and comments, and visiting your pages and commenting, as well!

Here’s to the coming year!! ☮

Just something I was thinking about  . . . ❤

A 9/11 Memory


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Today is the 13th anniversary of one of the worst days in American history. I am sure many of us remember where we were and what we were doing that horrific fateful day. I was working at NASA as an education project manager and journalist. I had an interview that day with one of my subject matter experts onsite at 10:30 a.m.

I had just gotten out of the shower, and had walked into the kitchen in my towel to get a glass of water, when I noticed on the television that a plane had flown into one of the Twin Towers. The sound was down on the television, so I couldn’t hear what was going on and just thought there had been an accident. About that time, my phone rang. I answered it, and my sister, almost frantically, asked if I had heard what happened. I explained to her that I had been in the shower, but from what I was looking at, some fool had hit one of the towers. At that point, as I am watching the television, another plane struck the other tower.

“What the hell is going on,” I asked my sister. She is a first grade teacher and was at school, which is why I thought it so odd that she had called me.

“We are being attacked!” she replied, her voice cracking.

“No, we’re not,” I said. “We are not being attacked! No way!!”

She asked me if I was going to work that day. “Yes,” I said, “I’m getting ready to go in and interview this cool scientist.”

I was stunned, as she begged me not to go in. “You can’t go in today! Please stay home!”

“I have to,” I told her. “This guy’s real busy and I have been trying to pin him down for weeks. This is going to be an awesome interview and I’m not going to miss it.”

“You CAN’T go in to work. PLEASE stay home today – NASA could be a target,” at this point she is crying so hard I can barely understand her.  She continues to plead with me to stay home and not go to my place of work.

“Okay, okay. Calm down. Let me get online and see what’s going on. If it’s a true threat, the center will post a message telling employees and contractors not to come in. Let me get dressed and then I’ll check it out and call you back.”

“Okay, we’re on lock-down here, so call me back,” she said as we hung up.

I got off the phone, and got dressed, combing out my hair wondering if we were truly under attack ,and if so what would that mean. I turned the TV up so I could hear it. Back then, my Internet access was dial-up, so I couldn’t be on the phone (no smart phones back then either) and get online.

I got on my computer and signed in via VPN to the local intranet for my NASA center. I didn’t even have to log-in to the internal network when I saw the message that all NASA centers were closing down and would be closed until further notice, and all non-essential employees were instructed to leave.

I called my sister back and assured her I wasn’t going to work, and asked how things were going at school. Some of the teachers were freaking out, and this was starting to make the kids uneasy. They were all doing the best they could to keep things as normal as possible under the circumstances.

I called my husband at work, and he and his co-workers had found a television and were gathered around watching in shock, too. I thought about my child and her safety – but had already heard her school was on lock-down, too – no one in and no one out; so nothing I could do there at this point. (Yes, I must admit, this made me quite uneasy as a mother!)

Okay, now I was in total disbelief and was completely glued to my television. (Actually, as a journalist, by this point I had 3 TV’s on – the 2 with recording capability were set to record different channels.)  I had hoped that this Twin Towers accident was all just being blown out of proportion, but by now the Pentagon had been hit, also.

New York City was completely shut down – all airspace, bridges and tunnels. Then one of the towers collapsed. Then the second tower collapsed. I watched this and was absolutely horrified at the images I was seeing and the knowledge I was now aware of. The fate (and heroic measures) of Flight 93 were now being discovered, as well. [My timeline may be off a little, but I believe this is an accurate one.]

At some point, it was announced that ALL flights in the continental United States airspace were grounded. This had never happened in my lifetime; as a matter of fact this had never happened before in American history. As I sat and watched all of this play out in my living room, I was completely shocked. I was on the phone here and there when people who knew I might be home would call for more info.

I continued to watch all day and late into the night. The United States was on its highest military alert next to ready for nuclear attack. (I believe we were at DEFCON 2.) I woke early the next morning to see the news coverage continuing. It was like this for days (as almost all regular programming on television had been pre-empted), and after about three days, I had to disengage for a bit. That’s when having a large CD and movie collection helps.

I was also about to turn 40 and had a huge party planned, margarita machine rented and all. This had been planned for months. I had no idea if I should still have the party under the circumstances. Though it was planned for 4 days after the attack, I just wasn’t sure I was in a partying mood, of if anyone else would be either.

I discussed it with several family members and friends, and I decided to go ahead and have the party. Looking back on it, I’m so glad i did, as it was obvious people needed something fun to focus on. People needed to laugh and spend time with those they cared about and loved. THIS is what living and life is all about.  The terrorists want us to live in fear – that’s one of their goals. I think I can safely say, as a nation, we do not live in fear, per say – though there is a huge amount of information and data gathering as a result.

My heart went out to all of those involved, those who knew the fear, had a sense of what was coming, those who died just for being there, and those who died trying to save those in the wrong place at the wrong time. This country may be divided on many things, but I think we all feel the same about the events of this day. As a country, we were violated. We were raped. We were maimed. And after the reality of what had happened set in, we were outraged.

[I am sure many who live in other parts of the world wonder about American’s “false sense of security.”  They wonder why we feel we are above being attacked on our own soil. It’s not that we think we are above it all, it’s that except for the American Revolution and our own Civil War this is not part of our experience – particularly anyone alive today; that was not part of our everyday world. It has been mentioned in a few conversations I have had that our location on Earth with the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans separating and buffering us from Europe and Asia and the Middle East, have made us less of a target than many other countries. But if we were attached in land mass, things might very well be different. I don’t know, thoughts for another day, maybe. I have a few thoughts that might be for another day, but not for today.]

Today, on the anniversary of one of the worst days in the history of this country, I am bowing my head in respect, honor, reflection, sorrow, and prayer. I don’t mind telling you, I shed many tears as I wrote this. I can only hope this never happens here again . . .

I wish this kind of violence, murder, intimidation and oppression never happened anywhere, but I know that’s not even a pipe dream . . .

Just something I was thinking about today . . . Peace ☮ ~ ☮ ~ ☮
Just realized this is my 50th blog post!

UNDERSTAND, ADAPT and SURVIVE: Re-* (SoCS)


Response to Stream of Consciousness Saturday  (SoCS) writing prompt –“ The prefix, re-.  Add whatever you want to the end of it and away you go!”   If you’re interested, go on over to Linda’s Blog and read the rules to participate 🙂

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After listing a few “re”-words, it’s easy to see – words using prefixes with re- are just another way of saying doing it again. At first thought, this seems wasteful – wasting time, energy, money, materials. Upon reexamination though, many “re”-words are expressions of survival, adaptation, working through problems – all actions important to be successful in life and understand how to cope with  certain disappointments with  careers, relationships, passions, dreams, goals, and other journeys people take through their lifetimes.

Relive the joys

Rejuvenate your energy

React after counting to 10

Reapply concepts that worked

Retrain your mind

Reevaluate your goals

Redefine your career/life choice, as you grow

Remake your “public” image

Resupply your self-esteem

Replay your dreams

Review your affairs regularly

Reflex and intuition can be trusted

Reset your response clock

Rewrite your destiny

Revisit the past, especially the best parts

Reappear in someone’s life

Research your needs

Rewind your negative attitudes

Rebuild flailing relationships

Rearrange your priorities

Revise your plan as needed

Refill your happy cup frequently

Reinvent your life

Rerun the traditions you value

Regroup when frustration sets in

Relax your expectations

Reassess your weaknesses

Reinforce your faith and trust

I don’t know, this is just me writing stream of consciousness, but seems to make sense. Maybe overall, a good philosophy. What do you think?

Just something I was thinking about . . .

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The LIEBSTER AWARD – A lovely way to meet new writers


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I have been really busy this month – watching my grandkids 3-4 days a week, making more jam than I could ever eat, a slew of family birthdays keeping my weekends busy, and looking for a job, as well as getting a nasty summer cold not once, but twice.

Catching up on my comment responses, I found a lovely nomination from Smriti at mumbaimornings for the Liebster Award. Thanks so much Smriti, I am honored.  I do not write for awards, but it is nice to know someone is reading and enjoying or finding value in my musings 🙂 Since this blog is more in the editorial spirit typically regarding current events, I don’t always write much about me personally. Often awards ask you to share information about yourself – which I’m becoming more comfortable with, as well as nominating others – which is the part I like the best!!

According to Smriti, The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Just another way bloggers support each other, as opposed to trying to knock each other down or stabbing each other in the back 😉 It’s a great way to discover new bloggers!  I love being a part of this community ❤

THE RULES – Yes, there are rules, but if you don’t want to participate, it’s all good. I have to admit – I changed the wording of the rules a little by editing out the “You have to’s” and the “You must’s.”  Being the non-conformist and rebel I am, had to do it 😉  The whole point of this is to introduce new bloggers to other bloggers!

  1. Saying thanks 🙂   Link back to the person that nominated you.
  2. Share a little about yourself 🙂   Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.
  3. Mentor other bloggers and engage them 🙂   After completing these questions nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers and give them 11 questions of your choice.
  4. Just common sense 🙂   Do not nominate the person who nominated you.
  5. Share the news 🙂   Let your nominees know that they have been nominated and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.

Here are the questions given to me:

  1. Tea or Coffee? Neither, really. My guilty pleasure is a Starbucks venti mocha frap (with only ½ the amount of Frappuccino and chocolate syrups) with 2 shots of espresso. Hot drinks are not my fav. Never liked tea of any kind.
  2. Beaches or Mountains? BOTH, absolutely!
  3. Backpacker hostels or Luxury hotels? (assuming you have the money) If I am assuming, then Luxury all the way 😉
  4. What is your favorite food? Have to be a toss-up between Mexican food and seafood.
  5. Which city would you love to live in? I honestly can’t answer that – not sure, as there are many – I truly do like the beach & the mountains. I‘d hate to live in the big city, I know that.
  6. Who inspires you? People who stand up for the little guy or change, even though it may cost them, because it’s the right thing to do – people like Erin Brockovich, Crystal Lee (Jordan) Sutton [the woman who inspired Norma Rae], Erin Gruwell [teacher who founded Freedom Writers]. These people didn’t start out to be activists, they just wanted all people to be treated fairly and compassionately. I am also inspired by writers like Robert James Waller – Bridges of Madison County, and Matt Damon and Ben Affleck – Good Will Hunting. They just wrote it and got it out there and it was thought-provoking, provocative, emotional and people loved it! Then there’s William Young who wrote The Shack – he self-published after being turned down by 26 publishers. (Come on – as writers, expression is most important, but money is always a bonus not to be turned down!!) Really, I am inspired by many different people and a variety of things.
  7. If a day had 25 hours, what would you do in the additional hour? That would depend on the day 😉 [Read, sleep, write, spend with family or friends, sit on a deck drinking a margarita watching the pelicans fly over, sit in the woods listening to it talk,  etc.]
  8. What would the name of the movie based on your life be? If It Was Easy Where Would the Fun In That Be?
  9. What is the one thing (single most important) you itch to do in life? Many many things, but (I had to really think about this one to pinpoint it down) I’d love to write a Pulitzer Prize winning piece 🙂 (Yeah, I dream big!) Seriously, the thought of owning a bakery or a little pub has come up in many conversations, too 🙂
  10. What is holding you back? Fear – of failure, success, whatever, and Money – the root of all evil LOL!!! Don’t need a lot, but do need enough. 😉
  11. What is the one piece of advice you would want to give all your readers? Live for today, but don’t forget about tomorrow – chances are you’ll have a few of them 😉

The best part – the 11 bloggers with under 200 followers, I wish to recognize and nominate:

  1. http://davidscottmoyer.wordpress.com/
  2. http://whenwomeninspire.com/
  3. http://joeburridge.com/
  4. http://leftbraintendencies.wordpress.com/
  5. http://lifewithgreeneyes.wordpress.com/
  6. http://sideofheart.wordpress.com/  (Live free or die trying)
  7. http://littlelearner.wordpress.com/
  8. http://minahmisteri.wordpress.com/  (People Places & Perspectives)
  9. http://monimorphism.com/
  10. http://laurelclarke.wordpress.com/ (Words:  a steamy love affair)
  11. http://sophiaschildren.wordpress.com/

My questions for you:

  1. Do you have more than one blog?
  2. Do you like (good) surprises?
  3. Favorite book and why?
  4. Night-owl or morning person?
  5. Do you write & hit publish right away or do you spend a considerable amount of time editing?
  6. Would you stop & help a turtle cross the road?
  7. Do you know your blood type? (And NO I don’t want to know, but you should if you don’t!)
  8. What would the name of the movie based on your life be?
  9. Who inspires you?
  10. What is the one thing (single most important) you itch to do in life?
  11. What is holding you back?

 

Thanks again Smriti – certainly appreciate the shout out!!

Just something I was thinking about . . . ☮