I’m Not Just A Granny!

A new doily “Katy” designed by Glenda Clemens, 2017.
Photo by Glenda Clemens 2017

“My grandmother started walking five miles a day
when she was sixty.
She’s ninety-seven now,
and we don’t know where the heck she is.”
― Ellen DeGeneres

I’m not just a granny or grandmother or grandma and I sure as hell don’t walk five miles a day! I might sweat and I don’t like to sweat.  That’s not the point of this post but I did want to be clear.  It turns out that because I crochet doilies and I love doing it, some people actually attribute to me characteristics that are surprising to me. Well, fuck!

“This is a place where grandmothers
hold babies on their laps under the stars
and whisper in their ears that the lights
in the sky are holes in the floor of heaven.”
― Rick Bragg

That’s nice Rick Bragg, but that’s not me.  I am a bleeding heart liberal who loves to cuss and loves to crochet doilies. I’m not some sweet little granny sitting around being all lovey dovey with everyone she meets. I’m a grandma who loves fiercely and crochets obsessively and believes deep in her gut if I don’t say “Fuck” at least one time a day I risk dying.  If I love you, and most of you I do, I’ll stand with you no matter what–unless spiders are involved. If you keep posting photos of big ugly spiders I’ll unfriend you on Facebook.

“I thought grandmothers had to like you.
It’s a law or something.”
― Mary E. PearsonThe Adoration of Jenna Fox

Nope. We do not have to like you. We’ll probably love you, feed you, clothe you and make you a doily or two or a hundred. But. We do NOT have to like you! Having said that, I think my grandchildren are the epitome of what grandchildren should be. That’s because their Momma’s raised their parents to be good parents so the grandchildren are great.

“And I can’t die easy thinking
maybe the menfolks
white or black is making
a spit cup out of you.
Have some sympathy for me.
Put me down easy, Janie,
I’m a cracked plate.”
― Zora Neale HurstonTheir Eyes Were Watching God

Assuming that I’m a sweet, adorable, cuddly grandmother because I crochet incredibly beautiful doilies (that’s really not bragging–IMHO) just pisses me off. So this is me:

  • I am a rebel at the core of my being.
  • I hate it that we have a card carrying member of the Idioti in the White House.
  • I rage against the man who is our current Representative because of his mean and spiteful stances again the people he is supposed to serve.
  • I despise hackers! Yeah I know they have shed some light in dark places but they have compromised all of us and our ability to enjoy the open borders that the internet has given us.
  • I stand for equality for every single human being on the earth. Your white skin, tiny hands and tinier penis do not impress me.
  • I loath spiders and they scare the bejesus out of me so fucking quit posting them on Facebook!
  • I love to crochet doilies and lace. It helps keep me centered and keep me out of prison and keep you alive.
  • I’m a cracked vessel (and so are we all): that’s how the light gets in and shines out.

“What she showed me was, Yes, I am Grandmother as she is; there is no separation, really, between us. And that, on this planet, Grandmother Earth, there is no higher authority. That our inseparability is why the planet will be steered to safety by Grandmother/Grandmothers or it will not be steered to safety at all.”
― Alice WalkerNow Is the Time to Open Your Heart

Having said all of that, I have doilies to crochet and people to piss off on Facebook and coffee to drink and Morning Joe to watch. I love you all and always will, but if you don’t start playing nice with all of us, that can change.

Imagining And Creating Love

Suncatcher #2, created from a pattern by Grace Fearon and photographed by Glenda Clemens, 2017

“Imagination is everything.
It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
― Albert Einstein

Imagination is the key to a creative life. I’ve been crocheting for many years but recently I’ve been creating Sun Catchers out of doily patterns and they are a big hit. I’ve made these and doilies as gifts for family members–whether they like it or not! Someone asked if I would make a Sun Catcher for her and let her pay for it. So my husband and I talked about what would be a fair and reasonable price for both myself and the customer. During the process he asked, “When are you going to make one for us? I’d like to have one hanging in our window.” I dropped all other projects and made the one above for him/us to have in our window.

“Creating means living.”
― Dejan StojanovicThe Shape

For me, the above quote is true. Whether is is writing, cooking, crocheting, knitting, or speaking creating is the root of all my happiness in life. I don’t care so much about the finished product of my creation but I care deeply about the process and what the creating does for me.  So as Valentine’s Day approaches and I work on kindness and love, I dropped all other projects to create a Sun Catcher for David. For with every stitch, yarn over, chain 4 and double crochet in the 4th stitch from the hook I was imagining love and creating a deeper reality for my life.

“I’m always thinking about creating.
My future starts when
I wake up in the morning and see the light.”
― Miles Davis

That’s how it is for those of us who create. I dream about creating. I think about creating. When I wake if I’ve not settled on what to create today, I pick up where I left off yesterday and continue creating what is already started. I don’t really understand how anyone can live without creating or how they can love without imagining how that love will be and how they can create the love they desire. For me, there is no other pathway.

Become a dollmaker,
there are NO limits to your awesomeness,
you can create anything you can imagine and more!”
― Gayle Wray

I’m a doily maker not a doll maker but I have discovered that there are no limits to what I can create if I put my mind to. This week, I’ve been imagining love and it’s relationship to my creativity impulses. It is simple for me. When I create anything I do it with love in my mind and heart. So when I give a gift of a Sun Catcher or a doily it is imbued with love. Now that I’m going to sell some of my creations I hope the receiver will feel the love that is in every stitch.

“Love is all you need”
–John Lennon

Back In The Saddle Riding Out Of The Blue

Cohen Just Wants to Lay Down, photo by Glenda Clemens, 2017

“I didn’t want to wake up.
I was having a much better time asleep.
And that’s really sad.
It was almost like a reverse nightmare,
like when you wake up
from a nightmare you’re so relieved.
I woke up into a nightmare.”
― Ned VizziniIt’s Kind of a Funny Story

Yep. That old blue feeling called depression–a real nightmare. That’s pretty much been my life for the past few months. Poor Cohen. In the photo above he is laying in Marti’s bed. We were hanging out with Marti while her mom and dad went to a party. I’m not sure whether Cohen was anxious, sad or just cold. Regardless when I was putting together the quotes and photos for this post, this photo of Cohen seemed about right. For the past few months I just wanted to lay around and do nothing.

“There are wounds that never
show on the body
that are deeper and
more hurtful than
anything that bleeds.”
― Laurell K. HamiltonMistral’s Kiss

It wasn’t just one thing that had me down, feeling blue. It was, as depressive episodes go, a confluence of things. First Mollie, my dear little dog, died. Then my dear friend Doris died. Then my brother-in-law became very ill. Then we elected a pig for president (with apologies to the pigs of the world). Then my brother-in-law died. And then—nothing in particular but I was just too overloaded with grief and dismay and had to hide for a bit. That’s how depression works. Hiding is the only real option that works for those of us that live through it.

“I can’t eat and I can’t sleep.
I’m not doing well
in terms of being a functional human,
you know?”
― Ned VizziniIt’s Kind of a Funny Story

Well, except I’m a woman of substance and so I could eat. I can always eat, even when I’m really blue. But in the middle of depression I don’t enjoy it much at all which takes away the pleasure of eating. I didn’t sleep well and certainly wasn’t a functional human being. In fact, I tried to joke, I was not doing well enough to be safe for human consumption. A few friends can attest that this was true and to them I apologize and give thanks that they still are friends.

“I believe that words are strong,
that they can overwhelm
what we fear when
fear seems more awful
than life is good.”
― Andrew Solomon,
The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

Then today, a miracle happened. Some dear person posted on a Facebook post of mine, “Keep Writing, Mighty Pen!” Wow. Amazing. I had simply copied and pasted something that someone else had written, yet this person saw something in that post that touched her in a way to write those words “Keep Writing, Mighty Pen!” And so today after so many long weeks I am writing again.

Always believe
Your words have power.
Always believe
Your words can be a sword
Or
Your words can be a balm.
There is power
In your words.
Wield your power
With love and kindness.

–Glenda Clemens

I’m not always very good at being kind with my words. However, after the kindness shown by the person who urged me to write on with my mighty pen (I use a keyboard) I feel a renewed sense of the need to write and use my words BUT to use them with care, with love and with kindness. I’m not fully over my blue state of being but I’m better and I’m back.

Solstice And Holidays

Coming Home,
Photo by David P Clemens, 2016, used with permission

The best thing one can do
when it’s raining is to let it rain.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

It has been a long time since I’ve written a blog post or anything else for that matter. I have been going through a long spell of grief over the past few weeks. Today however I realized that since yesterday the daylight hours are getting longer again and within a few months life will be rampant in my yard and world again. Then I started thinking about solstice.  It has always seemed to me it should be spelled “soulstice” since the changing of the seasons seems to have such a powerful effect on many of us.

Life is thickly sown with thorns,
and I know no other remedy
than to pass quickly through them.
The longer we dwell on our misfortunes,
the greater is their power to harm us.

– Voltaire

 

Usually I’m no so affected by the winter doldrums but this year a close family member died in early December and left me and the rest of our family reeling with the grief and loss. I’ve tired knitting, crocheting, baking, being with other and yet the doldrums seem to hang on. I know that at some point in time, I’ll be better and things will become more normal, I’ll be happier, life will go on.

The best way to cheer yourself up
is to try and cheer somebody else up.

– Mark Twain

 

Today, when I saw my Cracked poster, I thought I’d let you know that I will be fine–just not today.  This reminds me of Louise Penny and her character Ruth, the crusty old poet, who defines fine in capital letters:

F.I.N.E.
Fucked up.
Insecure.
Neurotic.
Egotistical.

 

What I want to do today is to wish you and your family and friends Happy Holidays no matter what holidays you celebrate during the winter. Happiness with family is where love expresses the deeply profound effects on our souls of being alive in this here and this now.

Many Bright and Cheery Blessings
To you and your family and friends!

 

 

Get A Grip! A Call To Action

Get A Grip!

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

“Someone threw a cabbage at William Howard Taft.
That didn’t bother Taft.
He quipped,
“I see that one of my adversaries has lost his head.”
― Judith St. GeorgeSo You Want to Be President?

Politics, as usual, is a dirty business and yet it is the only way any large group of people or country are governed. We all have opinions about what that should look like and what the experience should be. AND when I say all, I mean every person in America citizen or not! So we have had an election for President of the United States. About half of us are wildly happy and the other half of us are totally grief stricken. I say it is time to “Get A Grip!” Period. Whether you are giddy with joy or you are catatonic with grief, it is time to get up, brush the trash of politics off and “Get A Grip!”

“Don’t blow off another’s candle
for it won’t make yours shine brighter.”
― Jaachynma N.E. Agu,
The Prince and the Pauper

Some of you are calling for the electoral college to vote differently than the outcome of the election actually is. Yes I am aware that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. She knew going in that she was required to win the electoral college as it is laid out on the map. AND she is coping with grace (if not ease). It is the rest of us, her followers and legacy, who are struggling. Again I say, “Get A Grip!”

“Those who cannot remember the past,
are condemned to repeat it.”
― George Santayana,
The Life of Reason: Five Volumes in One

First, I give you the history lesson and say to you, we need to pay attention to history, not only because we can learn from it, but if we remember it we have some small chance of not repeating history. Five Presidential candidates have won the popular vote but lost the election because of the electoral college system. They are:

1824: Andrew Jackson
1876: Samuel Tilden
1888: Grover Cleveland
2000: Al Gore
2016: Hillary Clinton

Some of these candidates went on to be president in other elections, but most did not. There is a lot of debate about whether we really need the electoral college. You would not be the first person to ask the question, “If Al Gore had been president when the 9/11 terrorist strike happened, would we have gone to war?” However we will never know the answer to that question and to discuss it doesn’t change history but does continue to sow seeds of tension and anger and anxiety. I strongly feel the same is true of the debate about trying to change the electoral college system. It is too late for this election! Get A Grip!

For this election as for all previous elections, it is too late to change the constitution and switch to a popular vote rather than Electoral College vote. Am I disappointed that Hillary Clinton did not win? YES! However, today I am asking all of you to consider this question:

Which is most important to you: Winning the election or getting on with life and working to keep America great for everyone?

The reason I think that is the question we each need to answer is that we cannot change history but we can affect change for our futures. We can continue the great work we have begun to create a more perfect union with liberty and justice for all. This includes equal pay for equal work. This includes marriage equality for every person in America. This includes the right for a woman to make decisions about her own body. This includes stopping the permissive rape culture we live in. This includes freedom from religious persecution. This includes guaranteeing we all have freedom of speech.

“Maybe history wouldn’t have to repeat itself
if we listened once in awhile.”
― Wynne McLaughlin

I think it is time to Get A Grip and listen to history. If we want to change the electoral college get busy doing so but do not expect this to be easy or to happen before they vote next month. Let your legislators and your president know your desires. Start a movement and get busy working on it. More importantly though it is time to Get A Grip!

“You are not responsible for the past,
but insofar as you do nothing,
you are complicit in the present created by it.”
― Jonathan R. Miller

Embrace the reality you wish to create. Be a part of becoming the reality you wish to create. Work together creating our new reality. I am encouraging you, dear reader, to embrace the power we each have to create an environment of love, kindness, generosity, acceptance without worrying or fussing over what the other man or woman is doing. Get A Grip and do as Hillary Clinton says:

“Do all the good you can.
By all the means you can.
In all the ways you can.
In all the places you can.
At all the times you can.
To all the people you can.
As long as ever you can.”
― John Wesley

Wear White On Election Day For A Brighter Future!

Marti Loving Hot Chocolate, photo by Glenda Clemens 2015

Marti Loving Hot Chocolate,
photo by Glenda Clemens 2015

I want a bright future for my granddaughters!

“I declare to you that woman
must not depend upon
the protection of man,
but must be taught
to protect herself,
and there I take my stand.”
― Susan B. Anthony

On November the 8th, 2016 I’m wearing white to assure a better future for my granddaughters. We have an opportunity to vote for a woman for President of the United States who has spent her entire life working for the protection, health, well-being and rights of women and children. We also have the opportunity to vote for misogynist, tax-evading man who publicly states that it is OK to grab women by their pussies and kiss them without permission because he is a rich, powerful and famous man. That sentence is all I’m going to say about this vile man.

What I want to talk with you about today is women’s right to vote. The right to vote, which should have been ours all along, was granted to us in 1920 with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. This means that we women in America have had the right to vote for less than 100 years! Yet many women still do not vote. Sometimes, I feel, that we take for granted our right to vote (and many other rights we have fought so hard for). Women were beaten and were sometimes force fed when they went on hunger strikes while marching and writing and verbally demanding their right to vote. Some of these actions were seen as proof by the male leadership that women did not think clearly or rationally enough to be given the vote.

“There never will be
complete equality until
women themselves
help to make laws
and elect lawmakers.”
― Susan B. Anthony

The suffragettes often wore white when marching to show their innocent belief that this was a right they should have had all along. History shows us that innocent belief is often beaten down and trod upon. This is certainly what happened with the suffragettes who work so very hard and some even sacrificed their lives so that we women, in 2016, could choose who we wanted to be our political leaders. There are lots and lots of photos on the internet that I could copy and paste and use in this post but I’ve chosen instead to use a photo of one of my granddaughters. I’ve done this because I want all of us to be fully aware of the importance of this presidential election and the legacy we leave our daughters and granddaughters.

“That we have the vote
means nothing.
That we use it in the right way
means everything.”
― Lou Henry Hoover

I’m wearing white on November the 8th even though I probably won’t leave my house. I’ve already voted for Hillary Clinton for President. I loved knowing that I was voting for who I believe will be the first woman President of the United States of America. Is she the perfect candidate? No. Do I wish Bernie Sanders had won the Democratic Party nomination? Yes. So, why am I voting for her? Is it simply because I’m a woman and so is she? No. It is because, as Lou Henry Hoover exhorted us, my vote means everything to me and I am compelled to use my vote in the right way. I voted for Hillary Clinton not because she is a woman but because she is an experienced, smart and hard-working woman who has the back of every woman and child in our country and around the world. She doesn’t take us for granted; she works for us. She doesn’t want to violate our bodies; she wants to keep strong laws protecting us. She doesn’t want our families to continue to struggle with the financial inequities of our current system; she wants to help us all by reforming the tax codes. She doesn’t want us to go deep in debt in order to educate ourselves and our children; she wants there to be affordable and even free education for everyone through the first four years of college.

“I thought I had been a suffragist
before I became a Poor Law Guardian,
but now I began to think about the vote
in women’s hands not only as a right
but as a desperate necessity.”
― Emmeline PankhurstMy Own Story

I feel that we are at a perilous crossroads where we can follow the vile, corrupt, money grubbing or we can rise up and as women own the legacy of the suffragettes and thereby create a more stable and woman friendly future for our daughters and granddaughters. So, yes, I’m asking you to wear white on November 8th, 2016 to not only honor the women who came before us assuring us the right to vote but for our innocent daughters and granddaughters to assure them the right to vote and stand for what they believe in for their futures.

I’m with Hillary Clinton!
I want the future bright for all women
For all children and
Yes, for all men as well.

It’s About Women And Original Sin

garden-of-eden

“[I]t was with a good end in mind – that of acquiring the knowledge of good and evil – that Eve allowed herself to be carried away and eat the forbidden fruit. But Adam was not moved by this desire for knowledge, but simply by greed: he ate it because he heard Eve say it tasted good.”
― Moderata FonteThe Worth of Women: Wherein Is Clearly Revealed Their Nobility and Their Superiority to Men

OK…I know there are those of you out there who are shocked by this post (or soon will be) and you are certain I am going to Hell.  Let me help you put your mind, heart and soul at ease. I don’t believe in Hell or Heaven for that matter. I believe it is a myth so I’m not at all worried. BUT if you are worried feel free to pray for me.  It couldn’t hurt—or at least I hope not. However, make NO effort what-so-ever to convert or save me. It won’t work and it won’t be pretty.

“There may come a time when you will wish you had never tasted the fruit from the tree of knowledge. There may even come a time when you will lie about who took the first bite.”
― Louise HawesA Flight of Angels

As you are aware (or would be if you’d paid any attention to previous blog posts) I am a bleeding heart liberal and an un-repentant heretic but perhaps my worst sin is that I am a woman. It is sinful to be a woman because of the mythology I was raised with was that Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden because they ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. God told them not to and so they did (sounds like human nature to me but that’s a different subject). Adam tried hard to be good but that woman Eve she was uncontrollable from the first. She took a bite of that fruit (we say apple but it probably wasn’t) and said, “Holy Moly this tastes good!” So Adam had to have a bite. From that moment forward the mythology of Christianity would have us believe we are all sinners—born in sin, original sin, passed down to us all by Adam and Eve.

“To proceed with the Biblical curiosities. Naturally you will think the threat to punish Adam and Eve for disobeying was of course not carried out, since they did not create themselves, nor their natures nor their impulses nor their weaknesses, and hence were not properly subject to anyone’s commands and
not responsible to anybody for their acts.
It will surprise you to know that the threat was carried out.
Adam and Eve were punished
and that crime finds apologists unto this day.

The sentence of death was executed.”
― Mark TwainLetters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings

Now, I love Mark Twain and love all his work including the Letters From The Earth, but in this quote I think we have the shock of our nation right now. We feel as if we are under a sentence of death or at least the potential of it in Donald Trump. I have been shocked and amazed at what Donald Trump has said about women, people of color and those with religions different than he approves of. My question here is why are we as a country and the Republican Party specifically suddenly now shocked at what he says?

“Only a shallow mind would be puzzled by the fact that Original Sin appears to be distributed so much more noticeably among the deprived…
than among merchant bankers
living in Surrey’s green belt.”
― William Donaldson

I think it is because he bowled everyone over with his money, his glitz and his big mouth. He has said many other vile things and this statement on this video about grabbing a woman’s pussy without her consent is the one that is sending everyone reeling. What is it about what he is saying now that so upsets the party. It upsets me because he is bragging about his ability to sexually assault a woman and get away with it because of his wealth and fame. Now even the conservative right is upset. I say unto you, “Do not be dismayed. The conservative right, fundamentalists are ready, willing and able to forgive him.”

“By the way, if you get mad at your Mac laptop and wonder who designed this demonic device, notice the manufacturer’s icon on top: an apple with a bite out of it.”
― Peter KreeftJesus-Shock

Sadly, the far right are not so inclined with Hillary Clinton. They will not forgive her because she talked of grabbing a man’s penis without his consent because she didn’t say that (although I’ve been sorely tempted to say off with his dick!). No. They hate her because they say she didn’t behave very well when her husband strayed from the fidelity of marriage. For them, because she stayed with him and saved her marriage she is an enabler. They say because she was a court appointed lawyer for a man who was accused of rape that she is callous. All of these things make me think “Hmmmm.” A man is forgiven but a woman is not even though the man’s actions and speech are much more vile. It has been this way for thousands of years and shows no signs of changing. The original sin is woman’s to bear for all time. Women are seldom forgiven and men often are — at least in my experience over my father’s knee and at the end of his belt and fist. There is something in our society and culture that holds up a man even if he is vile and vulgar. This is the same society that stomps over or stones or burns at the stake a woman who dares to speak and stand up for herself and others. I think at issue, it may well be this “original sin” concept we have all been indoctrinated with as soon as we popped out of our mother’s wombs.

“In his natural perversion,
a man wants to lie with a hooker,
wed a virgin,
and keep both.”
― Ron Brackin

Well. I don’t know what else to say except that I’m dismayed. It is not that I don’t have enough words. The problem is that I have so many that want to spew out of my mouth and yet my heart is aching–aching for women, for girls, for children and yes for men and boys. My heart is aching because we as a society have come merely a few short steps from the Garden and it seems we are doomed to keep repeating these horrible mistakes.

“There is no such thing as a bottomless pit. If it were bottomless, it would not be a pit.
The only thing that comes close to being a bottomless pit is the intrinsic depravity of mankind.”
― Ron Brackin

I think one of the problems with words right now is that we are using a big word–Misogynist–to speak about and describe Donald Trump. That’s just too big a word for guttural satisfaction. Were he a woman we would call him “bitch” and “slut” and “hussy” and “whore”. There are many more synonyms (I know because I Googled them!). I’m having difficulty coming up with short, pithy words to describe a misogynist. I found “boor”, “cad”, “lout” and “rogue” and “sexist”. They will never do! They sound way to prim and proper for the vile sewage that spews forth from this man’s mouth. To call him a pig insults porcine animals around the world. We could call him a chauvinist but that too has a ring of gentility–Donald Trump bears no resemblance to gentility.

“The true nature of man left to himself
without restraint is not nobility but savagery.”
― Steven JamesThe King

So in the end I’m not going to call him any names. I am going to say to him and the extreme right fundamentalists who are so eager to forgive him (which he hasn’t asked for by the way): Fuck you. My pussy and I don’t need your religions, your politics and your myopic view of the world. My pussy and I don’t need your forgiveness and I’m certainly not asking for it. My pussy and I need to vote for the first woman President of the United States, Hillary Clinton.

Now for a little light-hearted Mark Twain:

 

In Praise of Civility

Civility Is Appreciated!

Happy Dinner With Grandkids! photo by Glenda Clemens, 2016

Happy Dinner With Grandkids!
photo by Glenda Clemens, 2016

“She couldn’t survey the wreck of the world
with an air of casual unconcern.”
― Margaret MitchellGone with the Wind

I have always felt that being nice to each other created an air of civility that made a space for us to be more agreeable and more pleasing to be around. This starts with simple manners like saying “please” and “thank you” and “may I be excused”. In the big picture of life however civility makes it possible to discuss difficult issues without becoming mean or rude or hateful.

“I believe in civility.
But it is not a requirement of civility
to pretend there is no war.”
― J. BudziszewskiWhat We Can’t Not Know: A Guide

We are in the middle of tumultuous times both in our country and around the world. It seems to me that we may have thrown the baby out with the bath water: we have decided it is OK to call each other names and shout ugly rhetoric because we know that we are right and everyone else is wrong. We are willing to accept the telling of lies about important people and important ideas in order to win. Some actually have accused civility of being political correctness. Even though civility is part of political correctness it isn’t in and of itself political correctness. Civility is a way of behaving in society so that we can discuss ideas, feelings and beliefs without always agreeing. It is what keeps us from killing each other. Civility is defined by Webster as “polite, reasonable and respectful behavior”.

“To work best democracy needs a diversity
of thoughts, ideas and expression.
This is only possible with freedom and civility.”
― Kevin Stirtz

For me, the hope is, that we will continue to agree or disagree without debasing ourselves or each other. There doesn’t have to be a division among reasonable, polite and respectful people. This includes name calling! Calling our President Obummer, or the Democratic nominee Crooked Hillary, or the Republican nominee Trumpster are not examples of civil behavior. We have all been guilty of incivility. I’m suggesting that we give civility a try. I’m going to try it whether you will or not.

“People who cannot restrain their own baser instincts,
who cannot treat one another with civility,
are not capable of self-government…
without virtue, a society
can be ruled only by fear,
a truth that tyrants understand all too well”
― Charles W. ColsonHow Now Shall We Live?

Of course if being unreasonable, rude and disrespectful is your way of dealing with politics, please talk to someone else.

Playground Politics And Bullies: The Sand Kicked In Your Face

We Don’t Want Bullies On The Playground!

Katy and Beth Swinging Photo by Glenda Clemens, 2014

Katy and Beth Swinging
Photo by Glenda Clemens, 2014

“Life is a fight,
but not everyone’s a fighter.
Otherwise, bullies
would be an endangered species.”
― Andrew VachssTerminal

Bullies. Oh, my goodness!  This political season seems to be more vicious than previous ones. Maybe only because it is the political season in which I’m involved right now! Regardless I keep thinking this political season reminds me of elementary school bullies. I’m reminded of the bullies and how a small cadre of not particularly nice or likable kids would follow them around the playground–mostly out of fear. The rest of us tried to stay out of the way which, of course, was not always possible.

“People who love themselves,
don’t hurt other people.
The more we hate ourselves,
the more we want others to suffer.”
― Dan PearceSingle Dad Laughing

I remember that I loved to swing and that I still do.  There was this one kid, however, who would come over and try to shove us off the swings. He would go down the row, shoving us stiffly in the back and we would fall out of the swing in mid-arc. We would cry and pick ourselves up with our scraped knees and dirty faces and go hide away from him. Then one day, one girl tricked him. He was coming down the row of swings pushing us out. When he got to her she waited until the split second before he was going to shove her out and she threw her head back and broke his nose. Yep. She got in trouble but he never shoved another girl out of a swing again.

“Haters and bullies are always cowards, you know.
They like to pick on little guys.”
― Scylar TyberiusSebastian the Great

He was eager to push us around until someone fought back. Now, I’m not a fighter by nature. I feel there is every possibility that we could, if we would, and if we really wanted to, be kind to each other and create a world of peace and love. Bullies do not agree. Bullies much push every one out of the way. Bullies are determined to win no matter what harm they do in the process.

“Each of us deserves the freedom to pursue
our own version of happiness.
No one deserves to be bullied.”
― Barack Obama

We have had eight years of growth. Eight years of Barack Obama and his family setting the example of what kind and loving people and families do. When he became President of the Untied States, he did not shun Hillary Clinton. He brought her into a high position to help America get better and better.

America is great. Together we can keep it great. I urge you to stay away from the bully and fight back with a vote for Hillary Clinton. Don’t you wish, at least once in your life, to punch the bully in the nose? VOTE! That will be the best punch ever.

 

Baby Boomers and Millennials: The Politics of Two Generations

Katy Making A Happy Mess. Her mom is a Millennial! Photo Josh Hailey

Katy Making A Happy Mess. Her mom is a Millennial!
Photo Josh Hailey

“Compared to other generations,
millennials tend to be more collaborative,
are accustomed to working in teams
& have a passion for pressure.”
― Joanie ConnellFlying Without a Helicopter: How to Prepare Young People for Work and Life

My mother Beverly Rains holding me as an infant. I'm a Baby Boomer. Photo 1950

My mother Beverly Rains holding me as an infant. I’m a Baby Boomer.
Photo 1950

“Sometimes it seems both our kids and our parents were smarter than we were. We fell somewhere between our parents’ thirties idealism and our kids’ eighties cynicism. Somewhere deep down we still believe
that all we need is love, love, love.
Somewhere deep down we question how we got grey hair.
How on earth did we get to be the grown-ups?
The wonder is that our kids are growing up — despite all that we did to destroy them.”
― Erica JongFear of Fifty

My youngest daughter, a millennial and I, a baby boomer, were discussing politics yesterday. I have learned at least as much from all my children as I have from any books or thoughts I might have. It is surprising to see the gray hair and realize that I am a part of the establishment that I once railed against.

My children have grown up in a time when they were guaranteed a right to vote, a right to be treated as equal regardless of gender or skin color, a right to move forward and upward depending on their abilities and skills. The millennials grew up in a time when women were guaranteed the right to determine what happens to their own bodies and had access to birth control. Previous generations did not have this.

Just two years after my youngest daughter was born, I was told by an automobile dealership that I could not test drive or buy a car without my husband present because in Oklahoma a married woman could not sign a contract without her husband’s consent. It took only 25 years for me to consider buying a Ford, Lincoln or Mercury new car over that episode!

I was a young woman during the civil rights movement, Viet Nam, Richard Nixon, women’s rights movement and the voting rights movement. I remember how stunning it was for me a sheltered young woman to find out about a war ONLY when my husband was drafted for that war. I remember being shocked that my father thought I should not have African Americans as friends. I protested the war and wound up on Richard Nixon’s list of subversive elements in the country.

I worked for equal rights for women. This included working with a group of women where we were employed to get the right to an indoor bathroom like the men (ours was across the alley without hot water and exposed to the elements) and get paid on the same day as the men (who got paid a day earlier than the women) and get an hour for lunch like the men (when the women got only 30 minutes). Amazingly we won our case and not only got our demands but the court made the company pay us at time-and-a-half for every day we worked and only got a 30 minute lunch break.

Going back to that other time in American history, as Trump and the far right want us to do, is not in my best interests, the millennials best interest or I believe in America’s best interest. Continuing to move forward is the only rational move for America. I want us to move more quickly than we have been!

Much of my our conversation yesterday revolved around encouraging my daughter to vote for Hillary, which, it turns out, she was planning to do anyway.

Hillary is the candidate who, as the first woman president, will work to be sure the freedoms and equal rights we have secured will remain the law of the land. For all the millennials out there, I also believe she will move our country forward in profound ways. I believe this because of her platform and stand on issues that affect each and everyone of us including you the millennials. Bernie Sanders made sure that many of the things he campaigned about were part of that platform.

Today as I explored the differences between Millennials and Baby Boomers I came to the conclusion that although my generation didn’t do everything right by a long shot. BUT. We did a great job raising our children.  They are brave, thoughtful, strive to make communities stronger and believe in the overall goodness we each have inside. They do not hesitate to stand up for what they want and believe in. They work hard together in ways my generation hasn’t always done. We have much to learn from them. I encourage both the Baby Boomers and the Millennials to vote for Hillary because she is our next best hope for America.

To Hillary Clinton I say, “Please start selling yourself more directly and quit worrying too much about anything Donald Trump has to say. He has nothing to say that will help this country move forward. He mostly talks to build himself up, stroke his ego and bluster about things that aren’t important. You, on the other hand, Hillary Clinton are brilliant! You have positive plans for moving us forward and real concern and caring for all of the people. As a mother and a woman I applaud you for your stand for children that has always been front and center for you.

Hillary, please quit worrying about Donald Trumpet because to quote my husband about him, “He must be well-endowed because he does keep stepping on his dick!” There is no need to get into the slime-slinging with him. You, Hillary Clinton, are much better than that.