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Posts Tagged With: vote

Random 5 *Vacation* Friday

It’s Friday, the last Friday of October (what??) so it’s probably time for 5 randoms from my world.

1)  Recently my job took me to Charlotte, N.C.; before my conference began I made time to visit the Billy Graham Library – the library sits on beautiful grounds.  I found the opportunity to review his life’s work inspiring.  When a volunteer offered to pray for me at the end of the tour I felt myself overcome with emotion ~ while the conference was eventful, that visit, and her prayers, were life-affirming.

  • “I have never known a man who received Christ and ever regretted it.” – Billy Graham

2 )  Last Tuesday I turned on the out-of-office messages, walked away and managed to stay offline for over a week.  It helped that I was visiting on family farms with 1 cell bar and limited broadband.    Disconnecting  so as to reconnect … ahh.

3 )  The November Primary is fast approaching ~ between Robocalls, political ads and door stuffers, we’re bombarded with information.  Last night, the phone rang as the doorbell chimed ~ I answered the door to find two young and cheerful volunteers stumping for a Congressional candidate.  Neither could answer my questions about the candidate’s position on various issues but the handout they gave me was a glossy full-color job.   Maybe it’s me but if I were knocking on doors for someone I’d make sure I knew what they stood for.

  • Stand your ground; it’s sacred.

4 )  On vacation I went to bed late, got up early, walked a lot, talked more and enjoyed some pie.  No regrets.

  • “Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” ― David Mamet

5 ) Visiting my childhood home again something jumped out at me: the moon.  That big Harvest Moon.  And not just the brightness but the nearness of it.

Taken in the valley south of North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Photo by Jeff Wizniak

  • Three things cannot be long hidden:  the sun, the moon and the truth. -Buddha

 * * * * * * * * *

I’m on vacation still and was wide awake at 5:30 this morning ~  Coffee up!

So, what’s new in your world?

 

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Categories: Blogging, Elections, Faith, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Life, Opinion, Personal, Thoughts, Travel, Women, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fearless Radicalism

I’ve never been radical but I’ve always been fearless.

Fearless enough to venture far, far away from the nest and find my way.

Fearless enough to study for and pass my U.S. citizenship test with flying colors.

Appreciating the privilege, I’ve never not voted.

Never.

Yes the phone calls and flyers, negative ads and people at the door can get annoying.

And yes, there are items on the ballot I don’t care much about  — like who serves on the Board of Regents for various public colleges.

But most things I do.

And I’m so grateful to have a say.

So today, I’ll be late for work because I am stopping to vote first.  I’ll chat with the poll workers who know me by name and just that experience right there will put a spring in my step and a smile on my face.

As a citizen of this country for only six years, maybe I am a little bit radical.

fearless radicalism_womens vote

“Resolved, that the women of this nation in 1876, have greater cause for discontent, rebellion and revolution than the men of 1776.” – Susan B. Anthony. Google.images.com

God Bless America, Land that I love || Stand beside her,  and guide her || Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains..to the prairies || To the oceans..White with foam || God Bless America! ||   My Home Sweet Home

You voting today?

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, fear, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Politics, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Vote | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 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

On deciding where to go

“You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You’re on your own.

And you know what you know.

And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
— Dr. Seuss

Today we vote: it’s time to decide where we’ll go.

You going?

google.images.com

As we head to the polls today, America, let’s be all that we can be: civil, respectful, patient and kind. I’ve met and witnessed too many wonderful people across this great land to ever believe that what’s shown on TV represents the best of us.   God Bless America!  – your grateful citizen, MJ.

Categories: Attitude, Elections, Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 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

On Passion

Uh huh huh .. a lifelong Elvis fan, yes I have found my inner Elvis!

Passion is defined as having a “powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, such as love or hate” about a given topic.  We all know someone who’s passionate about their sports team, fitness, travel or even gardening.  Most I know care deeply for loved ones, homes and pets.

If asked, I’d have to say the following:

I’m passionate about my marriage.  We are surrounded by couples in distress, and that has made me even more attentive to our union.  But here’s the thing .. hubbs and I are not all that similar. We have different interests but similar philosophies.  One of the reasons we enjoy time together is because we  give each other the space to pursue what we love and then make it a priority to come back together again.  He loves to compete and is an avid sports fan. I’ve never seen anyone happier than him as he’s readying for a golf date on a Saturday morning. But .. he’s happiest when he returns, having competed and laughed with friends, excelling at a sport he loves, and all with my blessing.  When he’s away, I do what brings me joy … read, write and play with music and technology.  We don’t need to be alike or together all the time to be compatible. And when we are, we’re interested and interesting to each another.  And the best part?  After 19 years, that spark is still there.

I’m passionate about being a good example to my boys.  I let them see me work hard, laugh loud, get frustrated, mess up and keep on going.  They know  that, generally, I’m pretty easy going; they also know that if they cross the line they’ll hear about it.  I love that they know me, respect me, and most of all, value me.

I’m passionate about how I dole out my time and to whom.  I think of our grand kids, for example, and how much fun it is to answer questions and just play with them, marveling in all that they do.  I relish slow walks with the elderly dog and power walks for myself.  I’m passionate about sharing homemade salsa and the conversations it sparks with neighbors … about helping when I can, and chats with friends and family and strangers in the coffee shop.

I’m passionate about a meal lovingly prepared and liberally shared. As someone who loves to cook, there’s no better person to cook for than someone who loves to eat. Recently, we had friends in for an impromptu meal… nothing fancy, just hearty Midwestern food: roast beef, mashed potatoes & gravy, corn on the cob, salad and dinner rolls.  These friends often go out to eat so when they (shyly) accepted our invitation, they stepped into boisterous conversations peppered with requests to pass the butter.  To my delight, they relished every morsel. Our youngest and I shared a smile when our guest looked up, his buttered face accompanying his wide smile.   Moments like that reinforce that, while I enjoy cooking,  what I really enjoy most is sharing the meal with others I care for.

I’m passionate about the “little” things in life that make it delightful: the heady smell of lilacs in Spring, the sweet sounds of northern songbirds at daybreak, roadside fruit stands, the wind in my hair, the sun on my face and Michigan summer nights that require a “hoodie.”  I’m passionate about writing my blog, chatting up vendors at the farmers market, and days without schedules.  I’m passionate about “big” things, too: exercising my right to vote (I’m a new citizen), being on time, leading by example and doing the right thing.

I’m passionate about learning. Learning from others, learning from my mistakes, learning what’s worked for me and what hasn’t. I’m passionate about trusting my instincts, that it’s OK to be wrong but more important to be accountable.  And learning that, at 48, I am still capable of learning and growing, changing and evolving. And learning that life is still so exciting that I don’t want to miss … a thing.

What I’m passionate about comes down to this: it’s what’s not negotiable. It’s what I could never, ever leave behind.  It’s how I behave and who I am whether anyone is around to know. I know, and that’s enough. It’s honing the traits and values that I’ve carried with me from middle school to middle age.  It’s all of that and what’s yet to come.

What inspires passion in you?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Random, Relationships, Romance, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 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

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

Donate Halloween Candy to our Troops!

If your house is like mine, you’ve got leftover Halloween candy. Candy we don’t need. Candy we don’t want.  Candy that probably will end up at the office or thrown away. 

Did you know there’s an organization that would be HAPPY to get your  leftover (wrapped) Halloween candy?  And that this candy is shipped to our military personnel around the world?

Called “Operation Gratitude” (www.opgratitude.comtheir most urgent need is for:

  • personal letters,
  • candy, 
  • hand-made cool-ties /scarves,
  • Beanie Babies/WebKinz/Trolls
  • and financial donations to pay for postage. 

(On the website is an excerpt from a Marine’s letter:  “I live with 17 Marines and Sailors in one room. Everyone got a package and everyone loved it especially the cookies and beanie babies. The cookies are excellent and the beanie babies help us out a lot with the local kids. We give them candy and toys and they give us the location for IED’s. Once again, thank you for everything and for all the hard work that you put into the package. LCPL ND” 

Today’s Election Day.  

I’m thrilled to vote.  I’m honored I can do something that might put a smile on a soldier’s face.

* * *

Wrapped Halloween candy can be delivered/shipped by December 3 to:

 Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Charlie Othold:  818.437.6201
 
 For more information please visit:  http://www.opgratitude.com/howtohelp.php?page=individual 
 

 

Categories: Elections, Gratitude, Holidays, Life, Patriotic, Politics, Random observations, Seasons, Vote | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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

High wind warning?

The weather guys are tripping over themselves with repeated warnings of high winds expected later today.

Is it all the political hot air flying around? 

Or … could it be the winds of change?

Categories: Elections, Life, Life Lessons, Politics, Random observations, Uncategorized, Vote | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

A new citizen votes .. again

That's me, holding the flag, during my swearing in

I am excited to vote on November 2nd. Because I can count one hand the number of times I have been able to do so.

I became a citizen two years ago and that moment stands as one of my proudest. Choking back tears, seventy-eight of us (from thirty-four countries) took the oath of allegiance to the United States of America and stepped forward as new Americans.  It signified the end of one journey and the beginning of another.

 “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform non combatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”  http://www.uscis.gov/

Coming from Canada, I didn’t experience some of the challenges that other immigrants do. I already spoke the language and I understood most of the references. That doesn’t mean it’s been easy, because it hasn’t. It’s difficult to be far from my family, far from who knows me and what’s familiar.  However it was in stretching my boundaries and moving beyond what my wonderful parents taught me, and what my community instilled in me, that really made me grow.  

Could I have done this in my homeland? Of course I could have. But I didn’t. I chose another path. And that path took me here.

So in just over a week we vote again and, standing in line at the polls, you will hear me humming the melody to this lovely song:

God Bless America, Land that I love

Stand beside her,  and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains..to the prairies

To the oceans..White with foam

God Bless America!

    My Home Sweet Home

America still is a land of opportunity. I know, because I’ve had many.

Categories: Attitude, Elections, Patriotic, Politics, Random observations, Traditions, Uncategorized, Vote | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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Connie Rosser Riddle

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Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

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

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Midwifing women all over the world!

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just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

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A view in pictures, from me to you

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Undercover Surfer

...random thoughts and images overflowing from my brain

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.

Georgette Sullins's Blog

My view of the cow parade

these days of mine

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

Writingfeemail's Blog

Random observations on writing and life

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...

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

Waiting for the Karma Truck

thoughts on the spaces in between

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

Flamidwyfe's Blog

Midwifing women all over the world!

Operation Gratitude Blog

Care Packages for Deployed U.S. Troops, Veterans, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, First Responders & Military Children

Hot Rod Cowgirl

Riding Through Life One Horse At A Time...Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling Up Anyway!

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

Undercover Surfer

...random thoughts and images overflowing from my brain

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.

Georgette Sullins's Blog

My view of the cow parade

these days of mine

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

Writingfeemail's Blog

Random observations on writing and life

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...

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

Waiting for the Karma Truck

thoughts on the spaces in between

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

Flamidwyfe's Blog

Midwifing women all over the world!

Operation Gratitude Blog

Care Packages for Deployed U.S. Troops, Veterans, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, First Responders & Military Children

Hot Rod Cowgirl

Riding Through Life One Horse At A Time...Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling Up Anyway!

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

Undercover Surfer

...random thoughts and images overflowing from my brain

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.

Georgette Sullins's Blog

My view of the cow parade

these days of mine

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

Writingfeemail's Blog

Random observations on writing and life

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...