Let’s Talk About Civics

Over the past few national election cycles and now with the federal government shutdown, I have been dishearted to hear and read the misinformation, and lack of information, on how our government works. I’ve also been a bit horrified to read how people don’t understand our rights and duties as citizens, as well as how some elected officials are actively working to prevent or discourage citizens from exercising their democratic rights.

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It’s Over . . . For Now

Relief. At least for now.

After 35 days of enormous stress, I feel a bit like a mack truck has run over me. It has been an incredible amount of stress to endure, sitting, waiting, watching, counting every penny to try to make it last.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me catch you up.

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An Open Letter to Mitch McConnell & All of Congress

Dear Senate Majority Leader McConnell,

I am just one of 800,000 faceless furloughed federal government employees being used as a pawn in this shutdown power struggle. And although I don’t expect you to ever read this, I felt compelled to speak because as an American, I have that freedom.

And I won’t bore you with my shutdown story because it’s clear the (increasing) hardships faced by those of us furloughed have no impact on you. If any of those Christian values you all love to preach actually meant anything, then the numerous heartbreaking shutdown stories I’ve been reading would have pushed you to reopen the government weeks ago.

No, I won’t bore you with my personal story of hardship.

Instead, I’d like to point out how you are misguided in thinking that throwing money to build a wall will solve anything.

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Thoughts on Death & Grief

There are certain times of the year that are hard for me and this is one of those times. This week marks the 9th anniversary of my father’s death.

Death is not an easy subject for most of us. We don’t like to talk or think about it. When we have to speak of it, we use “soft” words and phrases, like the person passed. And we certainly don’t like to be reminded of it. We tend to shrug it off as if death, and the resulting grief, are something we can just do and move on.

Death and grief are inevitable in this life. The one experience that we will all share.

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The Magic of Letter Writing & a Challenge

Along with my great affinity for obsession with pens and all accessories that go with pens (including inks, paper, journals, wax seals), I love to write.

No big secret there. I’ve talked often about writing (NaNoWriMo anyone?). I journal (occasionally). Hey, I have to justify buying new journals somehow. And of course, I write blog posts. (Or at least I do when I’m not being a big slacker).

But there’s something magical about writing an old-fashioned, handwritten letter.

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Playing The Glad Game

Recently, I have been mega-stressed, frustrated, and generally down. Being furloughed and not getting paid for 4 weeks because of the shutdown tops the list of reasons why.

Then as I’ve found, misery breeds more misery. Once you get on the misery merry-go-round, sometimes it’s hard to get off. When one major thing goes cattywampus for me, I then tend to find more and more things to get upset about. It doesn’t help that every time I turn on the television/read the news/scan social media, the messages all seem to be negative.

Miserableness, mega-stress, negativity are all bad for you. Bad for your physical health. Bad for your mental health. Bad for your emotional health. All of which cycles back into more stress, more misery, more negativity. It can be a vicious cycle.

Enter the Glad Game.

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New Year, New Lessons: Stay Out of the Kitchen

After a rather long hiatus, I’m on a roll this week with posting. I decided to write try an entire week of “New Year” posts. (This also helps me meet my 500 words per day goal for the winter writing festival.)

Continuing on the New Year theme, today’s topic is New Lessons or Why I Should Stay Out of the Kitchen.

At this point, I’d like to clarify here that I’m not really learning “new” lessons per se. It’s more that I’m being reminded of things I already knew, but because of brain freezes, inattention, or just general stupidity on my part, I clearly needed a reminder.

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