Monday, July 7, 2008


My husband and I and some of our family just spent the July 4th weekend with his brother and his family at a lake in West Texas. His brother loves to shoot off fireworks at the edge of the lake behind their cabin, as does every­one else who lives or weekends at that lake. My 5-year-old grandson had the time of his life helping his great-uncle with the fireworks, and it was a hoot watching them.

But that isn’t the most notable thing about our weekend. You see, my hus­band’s brother supports John McCain as staunchly as we support Barack Obama. Over the past few months, we’ve exchanged e-mails in sup­port of our two candidates that have progressively become more intense. It’s obvious that we’re going to have to agree to disagree, because even though we respect each other’s opinions, none of us is willing to budge from our own. (I guess you could say we’re the political equivalent of the immov­able object meeting the irrestible force.) So before we went to the lake, we asked that the lake cabin remain politics-free while we were there, and my brother-in-law agreed.

While we were there, in addition to the fireworks, we went waterskiing, played board games, ate lots of great food, caught up with what’s going on in each other’s lives, got some much-needed rest, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment just being with family that we love and respect. The phrase “politics-free zone” came up a couple of times, but only with a smile and a wink of the eye.

I’m sure there’s some profound lesson to be learned from this experience, but I’m not going to spend time looking for it. I’m just going to remember the past weekend as one of the most loving, fun, unforgettable experiences of my life. And when November rolls around, I’m going to remember my brother-in-law and others like him who support John McCain. We all share the common goal of wanting what is best for our country, because it will have an enormous impact on the future of everyone we love. We sim­ply have differences of opinion as to how “the best for our country” can be achieved.

But my brother-in-law is not the enemy, nor are we.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


I talked to a guy the other day who told me has no computer, because he thinks they "suck the soul right outta people's bodies" (or words to that effect). I told him he should consider moving into the Smithsonian, because he had to be the only living human being without a computer.

It got me to thinking, though, about the array of electronics that my husband and I own, even though I suspect we're pretty much "average" among American households in this respect. We have televisions, telephones, cell phones, IPODS, computers, printers, and a fax machine. We have DVD players, CD players, and one dinosaur of a boom box that I still actually play cassette tapes on when I'm washing dishes. We even have a doohickey that "burns" the music from vinyl "records" (remember those?) onto CD's.

Would you believe that we two people use every single one of the above-mentioned items on a regular basis? Is it any wonder that my poor brain is barely functioning, due to EAAO (Electronic Appliance/Accessory Overload)? I'm surprised I have time to go to the bathroom these days, much less make any kind of noticeable contribution to society. And yet, I still seem to find time to read, watch TV, talk to my friends and family by phone on a regular basis, and generally enjoy life. Amazing.

What's really amazing is that with the exception of telephones and televisions, my grandparents could never have even imagined what to do with any of the electronics listed above. Not even my parents, who both passed away in the 90's, would know what to do with most of those things.

What an age we live in. And yet I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I was perusing craigslist recently in search of a good, preowned piano, when I ran across a forum on politics. I was struck not only by the present-day relevancy of the words I found in the following quotes, but also by the names of those who had spoken them:

"Naturally, the common people don't want war ... but after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." [Hermann Goering]

"The unwilling, led by the incompetent, to do the unnecessary, for the ungrateful" [found inscribed on a vietnam-era coffin]

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." [ Theodore Roosevelt ]

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron." [ Dwight Eisenhower ]

"History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap." [ Ronald Reagan ]

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." [ Benjamin Franklin ]

"War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength." [Big Brother]

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

If in the fall I were given an assignment to write about “What I Did Over the Summer”, I’d surely have to include an accounting of my trip to Austin for the Texas Democratic Party Convention. I’ve been a Democrat my entire adult life, and yet this was my first convention. Go figure.

For all you people-watchers out there, have I got a venue for YOU!! At the Texas Democratic Party Convention, there are people of every race, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, hair color, skin color and body type imaginable. As a big-tent kind of person, that makes me extremely proud.

I was allowed into the convention for just one day on a “Guest Pass” which I won in a lottery (probably jinxing my chances to win in all the big money lotteries that I never play). A Democratic activist who writes a REAL blog told me I was extremely fortunate to have won that pass, because her sen­ate district, which consists of 19 counties, had been given only 18 guest passes.

As guests, we weren’t allowed to be in the same room with the delegates and alternate delegates, so we were ushered into an “overflow” room. Imagine my surprise when I saw hundreds of empty chairs in a room that was sup­posed to be filled to capacity by lucky guests such as yours truly!

The speeches (which were broadcast on a big-screen closed-circuit television) were WAY more interesting than I expected. In fact, I found myself on the edge of my seat, clapping every bit as enthusiastically as I would have had I been an actual delegate. I resolved to go home and do whatever I could not only to help Barack Obama in his bid for the presidency, but also to help other Democrats win theirs.

Of course, since I live in a blood-red county in an even bloodier-red state, I doubt that my efforts will help much. But I’ll still do what I can, because as I said in an earlier blog, I want to do everything I can to make this country a better place to live for my kids and grandkids. They deserve nothing less.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Part I

I’ve found many aspects of this year’s election to be fascinating, in particular the ongoing “discussions” between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But there are several issues with regard to Senator John McCain that have been kept rather low-key thus far. They are issues that I believe need to be exposed to the light of day, rather than pushed to the back burner in favor of the more “scintillat­ing” Clinton/Obama controversies. I hope to explore these issues in my next few blog posts.

First up: Cindy McCain’s Wealth

I wonder whether most people are aware that John McCain’s wife Cindy is worth well in excess of $100 million dollars. She is an heiress to the Anheuser-Busch fortune, and although most everything is in her name, there is no question that her husband shares in the lavish lifestyle that her wealth affords her, his lack of taxicab fare notwithstanding.

Make no mistake: I do not begrudge Sen. and Mrs. McCain their wealth. If they can live with the fact that their family has benefited immensely from the alcoholism from which millions of people suffer (and in turn, their families), so can I. I am simply astonished that almost no one (including the so-called “family values” crowd) has brought this to the public’s attention.

So why do I find this point to be of such interest? Four years ago, John Kerry was trying desperately to become President so he could attempt to save our country from the ruination that George W. Bush has done his dead-level best to achieve (and to some extent, has succeeded in doing so). However, one of the things that was repeatedly brought to the voters’ attention during that campaign was the wealth of Senator Kerry’s wife, Teresa, who is an heiress to the Heinz fortune. (At this point, it’s worth mentioning that although I have met many a ketchup lover, I have yet to meet – or even hear of – a single person with a bedlam-inducing ketchup addic­tion.)

I never quite understood why such a spotlight was shone on Mrs. Kerry’s wealth, because many politicians and/or their families are wealthy. But it was one of sev­eral silly, yet effective, strategies utilized by George Bush’s camp to distract easily-distracted voters from the issues that truly mattered, such as the thousands of lives lost and the billions of dollars spent on a war that will forever be known as The Pig in a Poke from Hell.

So why aren’t Sen. McCain and his wife under a microscope similar to that of Sen. and Mrs. Kerry? Why the double standard? That’s a question that perhaps would best be left to Hannity and Colmes to argue, but one can’t help but wonder: If John Kerry had been elected President in 2004, would the last four years perhaps have proven to be less damaging to our nation’s economy and less tarnishing to its reputation on the world stage? Would those years – which we will never get back – have occu­pied a brighter spot in our nation’s history than what George W. Bush has wrought?

Unfortunately, we’ll never know…

Monday, March 3, 2008

On Fathers

My sweet, intelligent, beautiful-inside-and-out niece Cory recently wrote one of the most masterful pieces I've ever read about a day trip she took while on vacation in Hawaii recently. That day trip turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences of her life. It's a rather lengthy essay, but well worth one's time. If you have some time, and a desire to read something that is absolutely beautiful, it is posted to her blog at

In her essay, Cory wrote of her relationships with the men in her life, both past and present, including the men to whom she's related. On her Hawaiian day trip, she had an epiphany about her need to embrace "God (the father)" as well as the mother Goddess. Some folks have difficulty understanding the concept of two Gods, one a father figure, and one a mother figure, especially since we've been taught since early childhood that "God is our heavenly father".

For those of us who had a contentious relationship with our earthly fathers, the idea of a loving, nurturing heavenly father is often difficult for us to embrace. I can relate to the love and nurturing I received from my mother, however, so the concept of the duality of God, male and female, is something in which I personally find a great deal of comfort.

Don't get me wrong: My father loved us all more than we probably ever realized, and he showed it by working his butt off in order to feed us and put a roof over our heads. But he himself had not had a very good role model to show him just how loving and affectionate a father can be. And who knows? Perhaps his father's father hadn't had a good role model, either, and so on and so on.

My children and grandchildren have all been quite fortunate in that they have had loving, nurturing fathers. My children have the most wonderful father one could ever ask for. Both of my grandchildren's fathers are good, solid, salt-of-the-earth young men who have and will continue to make outstanding fathers.

But not everyone I care about has been quite so fortunate. And yet some of them have made very good lives for themselves in spite of it. So even though having a loving, caring, nurturing father is ideally the way things should be, perhaps it is not absolutely necessary in order for one to make the most of his or her life. One particular member of my family (who I'll not name here in order to protect her privacy) has proven that to be the case better than anyone I've ever known. She is one of the most centered, "together" people I've ever met, and my respect and admiration for her is endless.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I Can't Believe I'm Actually Doing This

Although I've always enjoyed writing letters, e-mails, etc., I've never done any kind of creative writing. I'm told I have decent writing skills, but when it comes to imagination and creativity, I've always felt I missed the mark. But there comes a time when a person has to just throw caution to the wind and write what's on her heart, regardless of the creativity factor (or lack thereof).

So having said that, this begins my very first blog entry ever. And in honor of beginnings, I can't think of a more appropriate subject for my first blog entry than the birth of my first granddaughter on Feb. 7th. Her name is Kya Karis, she weighed 7 lbs., 9 ozs., and was 21 inches long. And she is perfection...

I myself gave birth to two beautiful baby girls, so I know firsthand just how special they are, and Kya is no exception. The velvety softness of her skin, the fine-as-silk texture of her hair, the precious newborn sounds she makes...all of these things bring back vivid memories of my babies and transport me to a simpler, more innocent time in my own life. A time which I would love to revisit simply for the joy of holding my babies in my arms once again and feeling them snuggle next to me. A time in which they both needed me. Now their babies need them. There's no denying the circle of life...

Welcome to our world, Kya. I pledge that I will do everything within my power to make it the world you deserve to inherit someday. Lollie loves you and always will!