Next…moving along, not moving on

I couldn’t watch the inauguration. Late in the day, while we were on the road to take Amigo to La Petite’s for the weekend, I scanned my Facebook page. I kept getting choked up – but not sadness this time. My Facebook newsfeed was filled with friends and acquaintances determined to make themselves heard.

Several showed off their pink knit pussy hats for the rallies and marches. Those pink hats on display say very clearly “We are women, hear us roar!” and “Hands off my body, you jerk.” Their presence at rallies and in marches shouted out a reminder of an inspiring woman: women’s rights are human rights.

Now here it is, Saturday, and I’m not marching. I worked on grades for progress reports, and then I started the weekly task I call laundry. Meanwhile, my friends marched. Several in Madison, at least two in Washington, D.C., a significant handful in Chicago, a few in California and Washington state – and more.

And before I forget (yeah, right), I have one more quote to share. It’s a wonderful moment when the student surpasses the teacher. This statement came from a former student, a recent college graduate. She has the right attitude.

Today, and for the next 4 years, I will show love. I will fight for equality, for human rights, for women, for science, for education. But most of all, I will use the privileges I have been given to show love to those who will need it most, so that their world may look just a little bit brighter.

Well said.

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Eight Years Ago

Memories — Recipe for an Historic Inauguration
Take one republic, preheated by
Poverty and
Health care crises.
Blend worries, industry failures, job losses
Top with slashed budgets and crashing morale.
Mix dedicated candidates with
and Passion.
Nurture from deep grass roots
Seek hope, change, and motivation.
Beat at high speeds until competition peaks.
Organize. Volunteer. Vote.Set aside to cool.
Season with Knowledge
Plans and Ideas
Fold in global perspective,
Authentic world view.
Ship by train to nation’s capital.
Set atop quality cabinet.

Serve with courage and inspiration.

photo credit: La Petite, at a rally last June

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Take the Positive and Rephrase the Negative

When they go low, we go high.  – Michelle Obama

The Hillary Mug

Never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. – Hillary Clinton

Don’t stop believing. – Journey

My inner English Language Arts teacher is cringing. Let’s get the passive out of this saying. Let’s un-split the infinitive. And then, let’s imagine those words coming out of Hillary Clinton’s mouth – and out of ours.

Believe it; fighting for what’s right is worth it.

Keep fighting for what’s right; it’s worth it.

Keep on fighting for what’s right; the fight is worth the effort. 

Believe in the future; the goal is worth the fight. 

Keep on believing and keep on fighting for what’s right. 

Readers, which do you like best? Or do you have another way to rephrase this? Let’s do it, and then let’s make t-shirts and mugs of it. Oh, heck. More importantly, let’s choose a phrase and then make it happen.

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Goodbye, 2016. Hello, 2017.

“Happy” New Year? The inauguration of a horrible leader is looming. It’s not a happy start to 2017.

R.I.P. 2016 and all whom we lost during that time period. Some were elderly and ready to go. Some were *gasp* my age or close to it. How did George Michael get younger than me? Carrie Fischer was a few years older than I am, but not many. And Prince? The man seemed ageless, and his talent infinite.

Maybe we need to get used to seeing notable people die in, gulp, larger numbers. The entire Baby Boom population is in the AARP range now. Many are in and many are approaching social security age. Proportionately, the number of deaths will make sense. To our hearts and memories, those deaths strike us as significant.

Back to January 20. I’ve been sitting back and observing my activist friends. Don’t count out those progressive spirits who worked their tails off for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. They took time to mourn after November 8, and then the grass roots began growing again. There’s already a sizable citizen action co-op operating in my area. Last time I heard, there were enough people committed to demonstrating in D.C. and in Madison that coach buses were being reserved. To prepare for the demonstrations, some are making pussy hats. Search the web for knitting and crocheting patterns if you want one. Grab that, DT.

Friends and colleagues admit to having trouble speaking or even typing Donald Trump’s name. Think about Harry Potter, my friends. He Who Shall Not Be Named or You-Know-Who – by not saying his name, they gave him power. With that in mind, folks, let’s not give Baby Hands or Cheetoh-head any more power than he deserves.

Let’s call him Voldemort.

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Dear Facebook Friends; it’s all about the smile.

If your post says, “Share if you (fill in the blank)” it doesn’t matter if I (fill in the blank) or not. I will not share it. I find it insulting that someone should order others to prove their support, but not trust those others to know how to demonstrate their allegiance.

I no longer sign online petitions, no matter what the cause. I do, however, appreciate posts that describe concrete methods of activism such as postcards, phone calls, and the emails of influential people in power.

I revel in the cuteness of bunny pictures. Oh, yes, and those baby goats in pajamas that keep turning up. The baby bunnies in sweaters? I’m still cooing and smiling over them.

I respect and admire my fellow progressives. I might not be sharing your posts, but I’m liking a lot of them. I’m also expressing myself by using the “sad” and “angry” emoticons.

Those memories? Sometimes they’re scary. I haven’t shared many of my stroke-related memories because that was a difficult time, and not so long ago. Sometimes they’re happy, though. Many of the seasonal memories make me smile.

That’s where it ends, Facebook friends and family. I’m operating under a careful policy for the time being. In order to rate a Share on my part, er, page, the meme or video or post must inspire a smile. Baby goats in pajamas: yes. Trump bashing – no. I don’t respect him, and I expect to fight him when I can, but not through Facebook. Snowfall on branches: yes. Baby pictures from friends and extended family: absolutely yes.

For now, peeps, laughter and smiles must win.

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It’s all in the fortune cookies.

Chuck is a tolerant sort. He knows I have trouble throwing away the fortunes from the cookies that come with Chinese take-out food. When I cleaned out my work desk last spring, I found two (only two!) in my main desk drawer. A few days ago, we ordered Chinese for lunch at work. As we gathered together away from our desks, we shared both the humorous and the thoughtful on the little slips of paper in the cookies.



I might have more faith in it if there were more than two weeks left in the current year.

2016 has definitely been a roller coaster. The apocalypse of November 8 was a highlight, er, lowlight on the calendar.

Now, to the future. 2017 has the potential to bring to reality all the fears of 2016. The question: how can I resist the negative? Where are the best opportunities for activism, opportunities that will have an impact?

Meanwhile, I’ll settle for a photo of this fortune. I don’t need to keep it any longer. In two weeks, it’ll be history.

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In the words of others, it sounds easy.

It’s time to turn our anger into action.

Take one action each day. Write a letter. Send a postcard. Make a phone call. This friend posts her “One Thing” on Facebook and shares opportunities for others to join her in staying active. One Thing.

Speak up when you can, Show up where you can, and Stand up with whomever shares your values. This activist friend used this, her new motto, as the heading in her email. The email continued with an upcoming event at which she hopes many will show up, stand up, and maybe even speak up.

From The Art of Non Conformity, I found this gem:

We’re not going to change the world, but you can. You are the only life you have ownership of. You are self-governing and can use whatever powers you have for good.

From a leader of our local teachers’ union came a similar thought.

I cannot go back and change history; while Act 10 and recent elections may not have resulted in our favor, I can control my mental well-being. There are plenty of attacks on public education that are trying to derail its progress and undermine its significant importance. I do not need to be one of the complainers. My goal is to initiate positive conversation and look at the glass as half full.

In the words of others, it sounds easy. Correction: when I listen to others, it reminds me that taking action isn’t easy, but it is important. No, not important: essential. I will see the glass as half full, not half empty, and stand up and speak up to keep the contents of that fragile glass in place.

Pour me a cold one, someone, half full if you must. And then fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a very, very bumpy ride.

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Dreams with broken wings

We’re still grieving. We’re still fragile. “We” are those who saw not just an election, but a dream break down.

I remember seeing Michelle Obama as a guest on a talk show, discussing how she knew Barack was ready to be president. She wasn’t sure that America was ready for him.

Well, Michelle, enough Americans were ready for Barack Obama that we elected him twice. Those who were not ready for him were, unfortunately, those in Congress. Their goals, dare I say it, their dreams were simple: block this guy’s agenda, no matter what.

I’m grieving because enough Americans were not ready for Hillary Clinton to break the glass ceiling. I’m grieving because the opponent, He Who Shall Not Yet Be Named, appealed to the lowest common denominator – the racist, the misogynist, the defiant and narrow-minded among us. Who would have guessed that so many voters fall into those categories?

The saddest part may be seeing that the glass ceiling still holds firm. That, my friends, is where dreams go to die. But this dream – the idea that the most intelligent and competent and experienced potential president should fail in the attempt? Langston Hughes said it best.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

I’m not ready to let go of the dream. I will grieve for Hillary Clinton, my idol for many, many years. I’ll grieve for the potential for our country under her leadership. This dream, the one that a qualified and amazing woman can become president, this dream can not die.

We’ll carry on. We aren’t likely to keep calm. This dream, that of a woman president, will not die with the election of 2016. I don’t know who will be next to have the courage to run, but I know that if she’s even close to Hillary’s knowledge and experience and greatness – dare I say it? I’ll be with her, too.

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Election Day – and the memories

I was getting teary eyed just looking through Facebook. Eight years ago, the nation made history. Now we stand on the edge of making history again. Rather than panic, instead of worrying myself sick, I looked through my blog posts from Election 2008.

Grab a tissue.

From 11/6/2008:

It’s a Presidential Election that made history. Best voter turnout in forty years or a century, depending on your source. Record money raised and spent, although that can be taken as a positive or a negative. Record number of early voters by absentee ballot.

And the most important record of all: the American electorate finally crossed the racial line and elected a young, intelligent, articulate, and forward thinking man. And in the process, America elected Barack Obama the first African-American President of the United States.

La Petite was away at college, covering the election for the school paper. She had voted early. Her first presidential election, and she voted early because she knew she’d be busy on election day. We kept in touch by text message – the old fashioned kind of text message, with thumbs pounding out numbers multiple times to make the words. My thumbs, I kid you not, were sore.

As one state after another turned to blue on the map and the electoral vote total grew on Obama’s side, we sent each other texts that grew shorter and more and more exciting. When it was all over and she had finished putting the school newspaper into print and online, she emailed me and called the whole experience “… amazing. It’s going to be one of those ‘I remember where I was, who I was with, and what I was doing when I found out that Obama was elected as our 44th president’ type moments.”

Well, people, prepare for another one of those milestones. Will you remember where you were, who you were with, and what you were doing when the final word comes in? I’ve already voted. How about you?

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And so it goes – by text message

Actual text conversation regarding my laptop:

Chuck: The problem is a known thing that happens to many. Major Software Company has not been forthcoming with a fix. Solutions are available, but complex enough that I don’t want to try.

Chuck again: Shall I call (local computer shop)? I’m sure they can do it, likely need unit for a few days.

Daisy (at work): If you do, ask if it’s worthwhile.  might provide a patch.

Note: at this time, we were just worried about minor problems such as the laptop running slowly and being glitchy when I wanted to access the start menu or shut it down. We had no idea. 

Chuck: At (local computer shop). On your desktop are apps called Blah Blah and Blah Blah Blah. Are they important? Do you use them?

Daisy: No. You may uninstall both.

Chuck: First one won’t let us uninstall, but got the other. Then things got worse. Lost most access to everything. These are known malware, usually comes bundled with something else. Explains all your recent complaints. It’s at (local computer shop).

Daisy: Crap. Thank you for taking care of it.

Chuck: Hoping to have it back three days from now. Sorry.

Daisy: So be it. Sob. I’ll live.

Note: I was working an extended night because of parent-teacher conferences. Add to the exhaustion of the long day the knowledge that my laptop was in the computer hospital, and I was wiped out.

If you read the last post, you know it took me a full week or more to recover access to my blog dashboard. Now that it’s back, I think we’ll have a party of some sort. Coffee, anyone? Chocolate?

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