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Posts Tagged With: politics

Random 5 Sunday ~ Cows, gifts, dogs and Bradley Cooper

It’s the first Sunday of March, yay!  I’m gearing myself up for several weeks of business travel and heading into some of the coldest temperatures of the year.     Time for some Randoms from my world.

1 )  This picture describes this winter!

2 ) Lately my Facebook feed has been filled with political posts by well-meaning friends ~  I admit to having snoozed” a few ( to avoid seeing their stuff for 30 days)  because I can’t take the rants.  Give me pictures of your babies, kids, dogs, cats, casseroles or cakes.   The other stuff I’d just as soon pass over.  But this one, now this one made me laugh:

3 )   I asked our youngest boy for just a little bit of his co-worker’s “homegrown honey.”  This is what he gave me.  Nothing says love like a year’s worth of amber deliciousness~!

An Emjayandthem(C) Photo

4 ) Maybe it was the cold or just being home and inside but this year I watched the Oscars.  Haven’t watched in years!  Hubbs and I were “dog-sitting” our oldest son’s dog, Roscoe, and he watched the Oscars with me.  It was a cold & stormy night (sounds like something Snoopy would write) and the winds were howling (the Bomb Cyclone was underway).    Between us, we decided Roscoe-Doggus should have been nominated (and won) in the most dramatic category:

  • #highwindsequalhighbarks
  • #willbravethesnowfortreats
  • #workingPopsforpizza
  • #Nanaisasuckerfortheseyes
  • #moveoverBradleyCooper

Grand-dog Roscoe ~ we sure missed him when he went home. An Emjayandthem(C) Photo

5 ) Speaking of Bradley Cooper… this also made me laugh.  (Bad weather can certainly = carb noshing!)

In case you missed their Oscar performance, see link below ~ ME-Ow!

 

And how was your week?

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Categories: Animals, Family, Food, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Men, music, News, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

It’s not the grief, it’s the longing

Six years ago I registered for this blog site – 6 years!  My very first post involved lessons learned from Mom – you can read it here.

Man, I miss her.  She was my “go-to” person on so much but especially politics.  Oh the conversations we’d be having right now!   She’d snort, I’d laugh and the two of us would conspire like school girls.  I remember her whispering to me once that “none of the other kids read like you and I do” – now some siblings do read, a lot. But the way she said it makes me grin because I know she saw herself in me.  I couldn’t be more proud of the similarity.

This is the same woman who gifted me (and my sister) a scandalous book about grey ties. She had no intentions of reading it but told me, “You can handle it.”  I know she did it to scandalize us… and it worked.    The two of us horrified our (grown) kids by leaving it out on end tables.  The looks my  boys shot my way were worth it.  That was her point, to stir things up and to remind us we always have a choice.  God, I love her.

I’m lucky to have had someone so feisty as my role model.  Someone who didn’t let her gender define her. Someone who slung her purse over her shoulder and leaned in as she marched forward, even when she didn’t know the script.  We talked about this often, how as women we do more – we’re expected to  – be more, accomplish more just to earn a seat at the table.  We often talked about “not having the playbook” and her response was always the same, “you’ll figure it out, kid.” And I did.

So I think I’ve finally hit on out why conversations around me  of late have left me bored: It’s the lack of layers. The surface talk. Not having her intelligent interjections to both jar and delight me.

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen King

 

What conversations do you miss having?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Family, Grief, Growth, Humor, Joy, Mom, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Wisdom, Women, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Random 5 Friday – 12/12

It’s Friday! It’s Random! Here we go …

1.  I work with someone who lies.  A lot.  He lies so much he forgets which lies are which and gets tangled up in them, like someone trying to walk through a jump rope.  One of these days he’s gonna get busted and land on his face and  I kinda hope I’m around when it happens.

Karma's coming!

Karma’s coming!  Google.images.com

2. Monday I endured 5 – count em- 5 hours in the Dental chair.  4 old crowns were sawed off and I was prepped for 4 new ones.  My face still hurts and soup is my new best buddy.  Bah!

image from cooking-questions.com

image from cooking-questions.com

3.  Speaking of today, I’m off to meetings at the Capitol.  Ever heard the term “Lame Duck?”  Quack Quack 🙂

Michigan State Capitol

at Michigan State Capitol

4. It’s Friday and I am this happy about it!

excited

Weekend!  Google.images.com

Tonight we’re meeting friends for drinks & yums at a cool old burger joint downtown. Tomorrow night is bowling with friends and Sunday? Sunday I’ll just collapse :).

5.  Saw a great clip this week that helped me in my quest to dodge Holiday stress:

Google.images.com

Google.images.com

 

Happy  Friday! What’s on your agenda this weekend?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Friendship, Holidays, Home, Life, Random, Relationships, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

The foundation of a free society

google.images.com

google.images.com

Hubbs noticed it before I did: stacks of political mail – all addressed to me.  Multiple phone messages – left for me.  Campaign workers at door asking to speak – with me.

You see as a new citizen, as soon as I could vote, I did.

And I’ve not missed an opportunity to since being granted that privilege.

Yes, it’s a bit disconcerting that my voting record is accessible to the pollsters.

But then I think about how when I use my “frequent shopper card” at the grocery store some marketing guy somewhere knows what kind of dish soap I prefer, too.

I heard yesterday that only 30% of eligible voters are expected to turn out for today’s Primary.

Elections are the foundation of our free country, but they are only effective if you take part.

I believe that every vote counts and, for that reason, I’m headed to the polls now.

“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”  ― Abraham Lincoln

 

Categories: Attitude, Elections, Gratitude, Growth, Life, News, Patriotic, Personal, Politics, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Grow the people

I’ve been thinking a lot about something — something that’s had me troubled since I took the  new job 6 months ago.  Sure, I knew how the department worked, I’d been a key part of it for years. I had a list of what needed tweaking and where changes could be made.

But an area I was least familiar with turned out to be the most important of all.

You see, because the other employees were my colleagues all those years, I really didn’t know what it was like for them.   Now that I was their boss, it was my job to find out. 

Located all around the state, none of us share an office and we rarely see each other. And even though my management style and the previous boss’s are vastly different, I didn’t want to make changes too quickly.

So I started out slowly.  Visiting the team, spending time with them on their turf. Listening.  Bringing forward their ideas, offering encouragement. Bridging the gap between trusted colleague and trusted adviser.

I found myself thinking most about an employee who should have been promoted long ago.

He was doing Manager level work, and had been for years. He wasn’t being paid Manager-level wages.  Oh no, that had never happened, despite the promises made by another.

He didn’t have the right title, although he had all the responsibilities that go with it. Not having the right title meant he often was left off emails sent by other departments.   Not having that information left him at a deficit and unable to perform to the best of his ability.

This wasn’t right.

How to fix it?

I talked with H.R. and my supervisor and slowly but surely,  made it clear that his move up was priority #1.  I kept that move on the forefront of conversations; just enough to have it remembered, not enough to be annoying.

Why?

Because here was someone working hard and not getting ahead for it.

Isn’t that why we go to work?

For the reward? The money? The status?

The more I dug into it, the madder I became.

At the years of indifference.

Years of neglect.

The years of hard work for another’s benefit.

No, not this time.

It was not for nothing.  It was going to be for something.

I am delighted to report he got the promotion he deserved and some more money, too.  He’s a proud man, and his quiet but dignified “Thank you, thank you so very much” was beyond meaningful to me.   We laughed about his email in-box “blowing up” with congratulatory notes, and I took great joy in hearing the joy in him.

Thinking about it further, I came to see that this is why I am in the job.

Not just because I understand the policies and can navigate the systems.  Not just because of my experience and good reputation.

No, that’s not it.

I am here to grow the people.

And in there is growth for me as well.

no point climbing the ladder just to sit there by yourself

no point climbing the ladder just to sit there by yourself

You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”
― Woodrow Wilson

 Have you ever been in a similar position?  Were you able to fix it?

Categories: Faith, fear, Forgiveness, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Men, Quotes, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , | 26 Comments

The first step

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Growth, Opinion, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

The Average of Five

A quote shared by my friend Beth inspired this post today: (check out her blog here)

“You are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.”
― Timothy Ferriss, The 4 Hour Workweek

Doesn’t that quote make you step back and think?

Think about who you work near and interact with the most.  Think about who challenges you, inspires you, motivates or aggravates you.  Think about family members, neighbors and friends.  Think about it all and then ask yourself this: Who’s on your Board of Directors? Is it time for a re-org?

..google.images.com..

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Life, Thoughts, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Vote by voting or not showing

I will never forget the first time I voted in the United States. It was November, 2008, and the citizens were deciding who would take the Oval Office for the next four years.

I woke early and dressed carefully, paying attention to the reverence I felt for this special day. You see, as a Permanent Legal Resident, I’d had the responsibility of paying taxes for years, but I’d yet to experience the privilege of voting that comes with the promise of citizenship. I could hardly contain my excitement.

As I neared the polling location and saw the lines of people out front, to the side, and around the back of the building, I could hardly believe my eyes.  Fighting back emotions, I took a moment to consider the significance of this day.  I reflected on how well I’d done on my citizenship test – earning a 100% I might add – and how very proud I was to take the oath at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential museum.

Nervously, I checked my purse again, ensuring my identification was in order. Of course it was, it was right where I’d left it the last time I’d checked. Geez.

The mood of the people was palpable and so much, so very much, was riding on this day.

Taking my place in line, I noticed how most folks seemed patient, how many shifted their weight from one foot to another, and that quite a few passed the time chit-chatting with others nearby.

Roughly four people ahead of me, there he stood:  Mr. Notice-Me.  Mr. Impatient.  Mr. tap-tap-tap his foot so everyone around would know how important his time was. As if ours wasn’t.

He did his best to engage others in his commentary about the inefficiency of the system, how sorely lacking our Township for not having “enough” voting booths, at the fact that many of the poll workers were pensioners who moved slower than molasses-in-January.

I saw him trying to catch my eye and suck me into the conversation; I looked everywhere but at him. I didn’t want his negativity to taint my special day.

Finally, he couldn’t take my silence any longer and said – loud enough for many to hear – “You’re so quiet, how can you be so content just standing there?”

This time, this time I looked him dead on, smiled warmly and said: “Sir, I’ve waited years to stand in this line. You see, I’m a new citizen and this is my first time voting here and I will happily stand all night and into tomorrow if I have to.”

There was a sea of delighted “Congratulations” and “Wow, that’s awesome!” comments that surged around me.  But I don’t mind telling you, it was with pleasure that I accepted his hand and his humble words of “Welcome, point well taken.”  He was oddly quiet for the balance of our time together.

In May of 2008, seventy-eight of us (from thirty-four countries) took the oath of allegiance to the United States of America and stepped forward as brand new citizens right here in Grand Rapids, MI.  It signified the end of one journey and the beginning of another.

We’ve got 60 more days of promises, campaign ads, documentaries and debates to slog through. But no matter that, I will happily take my place in line come Election Day.

Will you?

“Every election is determined by the people who show up.”
―Larry J. Sabato, “Pendulum Swing”

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Elections, Forgiveness, Joy, Opinion, Uncategorized, Vote | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

A little of this and a lot of that…

Mom & me enjoying a Killian's Irish Red @ Waxy O'Shea's Irish pub in Branson, MO

Chatted on the phone with my mom last night and here’s a sampling of topics we discussed:

  • American Politics
  • The Wikipedia leaks and their impact
  • The passing of Elizabeth Edwards
  • Hockey stats
  • Restructuring of the business tax,
  • Eye care in Canada vs. the U.S.
  • Economic changes in Michigan
  • Cost of imported fruit

Mom still lives on our family farm. She’s 80 now; a former school teacher and easily the smartest woman I know.  She’s Mom to 5, Nana and great-Nana to many. She’s funny, charming, interested and interesting. She’s diplomatic, has a cheeky sense of humour and an amazing memory. She was a loving wife and partner to Dad for 52+ years.   I know she misses him more than she would ever say.

Mom suffered a pretty serious fall recently and is convalescing at home. This has been a big adjustment for her;  equate it to having her wings clipped. Right now, limited mobility, no driving,  and regular assistance from my brother and sisters with perhaps more tasks than she’d like but …she’s gracious and appreciative.   Still … a very big change for someone so fiercely independent.

 Talking with her last night, her comment on the whole situation floored me: “Well at least I’m not flying.”

HA! 

In response,  I sang to her my local radio station’s new hit song for the holiday, “Grandma got molested at the airport” and we both roared with laughter.

Positive. Intelligent.  Loyal.  Kind.  Determined.  Loving.  Fierce. Playful. 

If I can be half the woman my tiny little Mom is some day, I will have achieved all I’ve aspired to.

Categories: Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Friendship, Gratitude, Humor, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Mom, Personal, Politics, Quotes, Random observations, Relationships, Self Discovery, Travel, Vote, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

With a wink and smile..

source: tomandali.onesugar

Old people make me smile.  

I gravitate to them. They remind me of simpler times in my life, when my Grandparents were still alive.

I love it when an old man catches my eye in the grocery store and, with a wink, he pauses for a moment to tell me a joke. A joke expertly delivered, I might add.

When that happens … I know that this moment – this one moment – is his one opportunity to tell his joke to someone new.

I  also know it’s quite possible the  wife is sick and tired of hearing the same joke and, very likely, he made up a reason to go to the store.    It’s  a quest – a quest to find someone new … a reason to get up. To go out. To interact.

People just want to be heard, and I actually quite love it when they choose me.

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Gratitude, Humor, Life, Life Lessons, Opinion, Random observations, Relationships, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

It’s all about the numbers…

895 days ago, I became a U.S. citizen.  🙂

This morning, I was the 89th voter in my precinct.  

It was my 4th opportunity to vote! 

We don’t expect our elected leaders to give us half an effort. We don’t hire them to serve half the people. 

Yet about half of us are expected to skip today’s elections in Michigan, content to let the other half do the hiring that we all will have to live with.

I showed up. I hope you will, too.

Why Election Day matters … read more here: http://www.freep.com/article/20101102/NEWS15/311020001/1322/Why-Election-Day-matters

Categories: Attitude, Elections, Gratitude, Life, Life Lessons, Patriotic, Quotes, Random observations, Vote | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ready to vote?

 We’re one week from the mid-term elections on Tuesday, November 2nd

  •  Not sure who’s running for local office?
  • Want to take a look at your ballot ahead of time?
  • Need more information on candidates? 
  • Not sure of your precinct #? 

I live in MI and found this helpful link.. perhaps other states are offering it as well?   Simply type in your name & address & it generates a sample ballot populated with candidates websites and $$ spent.

https://webapps.sos.state.mi.us/mivote/     

Michigan has 83 counties, 274 cities, 1,242 townships and 259 villages and, some say, has been hit the hardest in the recent economic downturn.

  • In the last Gubernatorial (Governor’s) election (2006) 50% of our eligible voting population voted.
  • In the last Presidential election (2008) 66.2% of our eligible voting population voted.   source: https://webapps.sos.state.mi/us

Categories: Elections, Life, Life Lessons, Patriotic, Politics, Useful Information, Vote | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

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RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our wild little farm.

3bones

Laugh. Dream. Dare. Inspire.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...