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:

Fucked up.


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


“[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.

We Deserve The Best!


My Granddaughters Photo by Glenda Clemens, 2014

My Granddaughters
Photo by Glenda Clemens, 2014

We Americans deserve the best in our leaders. It is a tumultuous political landscape we are presented with this fall. These beautiful girls in the photo, Marti and Katy, and my grandson Luke are a big part of why I am voting FOR Hillary Clinton. They deserve the best of everything our country and world can offer. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their size, shape, color, gender, life style, sexual orientation or social status. They deserve all of this because they are human beings.

Our Children Deserve The Best!

Every child deserves the chance to live up to
his or her God-given potential.
—Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has created programs for children and their health and education but hasn’t received a lot of recognition for her work. She never expected recognition. She expected to be a part of something bigger than herself and then got busy creating new realities for children. It began in 1985 in Arkansas. As first lady of Arkansas, she introduced the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program, which helps parents teach their children at home before they begin kindergarten. Here is a video clip about her efforts:

Here is where you can read about Hillary’s platform on children and childhood education.

Voters Deserve the Best!

We should be making it easier to vote, not harder.
–Hillary Clinton

We live in a country that has promised us that we are all equal. However, that is not what we as women and children have experienced. For example, white women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years! Our African American citizens did not have guaranteed equal right to vote until August 6, 1965. Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act on that date. It outlawed discriminatory practices that many southern states adopted after the Civil War.

Here is a link where you can read about this incredible injustice that was changed in 1965.

Women Deserve the Best!

Too often, these are called women’s issues. Well, I am a proud lifelong fighter for women’s issues, because I firmly believe what’s good for women is good for America.
—Hillary Clinton

We have NEVER had a woman president. It’s hard to believe how far behind we are compared to other countries. India, Germany and England for example have all had top leadership posts filled by women. I wish I had an answer for why this is so. I do not. I do have an answer for how to bring America truly into the 21st century—VOTE FOR HILLARY! She is fighting for our children, our families and for the women of America. She is playing the woman card and I for one thank her!

Here is where you can read about the women’s issues she is fighting for.

There are lots of issues that are important to me as a woman, a wife, a mother and a grandmother and friend to many people of many different cultures and skin colors. These three issues I’ve talked about are my top three issues—children, women and people of color. Because of her stand and record on these three issues as well as many other issues she has tackled I’m voting for Hillary Clinton.

In future posts between now and the election I’ll address some of the other issues I feel passionately about.

Here is where you can read about ALL the issues she has addressed on her platform for President of the United States of America.

Vote FOR Hillary

Hillary Clinton A woman to vote FOR!

Hillary Clinton
A woman to vote FOR!

Extremism thrives amid ignorance and anger,
intimidation and cowardice.

–Hillary Clinton

There are so many reasons to NOT vote for the crazy man, Donald Trump. But. I don’t want to vote against anyone. Even him. I don’t want to campaign against anyone. Even him.

Let’s continue to stand up for those who
are vulnerable to being left out or marginalized.

— Hillary Clinton

What do I want? Someone who isn’t crazy. Someone who really cares about America. Someone who will look out for ALL of us. Someone who won’t divide the country. Someone who will welcome everyone to America. Someone who will hold up the light of freedom.

I want Hillary Clinton for president. It is more than wanting a woman to be our president although it is WAY past time for that to happen. It is because she stands for what I believe in and what I know will make and keep America a strong leader in our World.

If a country doesn’t recognize minority rights
and human rights, including women’s rights,
you will not have the kind of stability
and prosperity that is possible.
–Hillary Clinton

BUT. Let me be clear. She is a powerful, kind, generous, loving and brave woman. Here are some facts about Hillary Clinton:

  1. She is pro-choice. I want to clarify something for everyone who doesn’t understand pro-choice. It is NOT pro-abortion. It is giving a woman the same rights as we give men to have choice about what happens to our bodies. If men could be pregnant this wouldn’t even be an issue! They would have freedom and not have women dictate to them what they can and cannot do with their bodies.
  2. She wants to make it harder to buy guns. She wants purchasing a gun to be a responsible choice made by a responsible adult who is NOT a criminal. This means eliminating loopholes and having background checks for every single gun purchase no matter who or where the guns are purchased. She does NOT want to take away your second amendment rights and anyone who says that is what she wants is a liar. Period.
  3. She wants guaranteed paid family leave for both fathers and mothers because neither should have to go back to work unwell or without bonding fully as a family. Also no woman should have to face career stagnation because she has just given birth or go back to work before her body has had a chance for healing after the ordeal of birthing. (Yes I know the old saw about women giving birth in a field and getting right back to work—-when that was the reality most women didn’t live past age 30!)
  4. She wants tax equality. This mean no rich person should pay less in taxes than the people who work for them! It is time for America to ditch trickle down economy. It hasn’t work since it’s inception. It is rather like beating a dead horse and expecting your plow to move—not working!!
  5. She wants equality for all Americans. I know the constitution guarantees this but the reality is far from that guarantee. It is time to treat every human being on this planet as an equal. (and in case the Christian fundamentalist right want to rear it’s ugly bigoted head I will remind you what Jesus had to say: “LOVE thy neighbor as thyself.” Get it. Live it.)
  6. She has always fought for our children. We all should have but have not. Why not?This is truly a mystery to me. Children are the future of our planet. Investing in children through good elementary education, health care, free college is investing in our country and our World. This will keep America great (which it already is).
  7. She wants the Affordable Care Act left in place but improved. I’m for that. As a health care provider, I’ve seen the terrible toll the lack of affordable care takes on our citizens. I am for single payer. I created a clinic in central Oklahoma that made a profit for me taking only cash ($40.00 per visit), check, credit cards, Medicare and Medicaid. It can happen anywhere in our country if we give up on greed and focus on health care. I want the insurance and pharmaceutical industry out of our health care negotiations. I’ll fight for this for you and every American.

I believe that the rights of women and girls
is the unfinished business of the 21st century.

–Hillary Clinton

If hating her is your game, that’s your choice. But remember haters are hated. I want to be loved. Lovers are loved. I want to be kind. Kind people are treated kindly. I want to honor everyone. Honorable people are treated honorably.

Dignity does not come from avenging insults,
especially from violence that can never be justified.
It comes from taking responsibility
and advancing our common humanity.

–Hillary Clinton

I have one more Jesus quote: “Judge not that you be not judged.” Period. I do not judge anyone even people who lie. If the best you can do in life is to lie or vote for liars, I feel compassion for you because you are missing out on the juiciest parts of life. Caring for and loving each other is the ONLY thing that makes sense to me. I want to fight FOR something. I want to vote FOR someone. I want to live FOR good.

Here is another great blog post: Lindy West is the author

On The Road From Damascus

“Recognize yourself in he and she
who are not like you and me.”
― Carlos Fuentes

 I have the great good fortune to belong to the Greater Issaquah Toastmasters group. They have been not only kind but steadfast friends who have supported me and inspired me. Last Thursday night, one of our members, Jane Garrison gave a speech. There was a painting with it’s back to us. She started her speech with this:

“When I retired I thought “finally, I get to paint.” My husband said, trying to be helpful, “Paint what you know.” Good words. I painted suburban sprawl, parking lots, cars, tract housing and highways until I was blue in the face. I wanted to go somewhere else, so I did.”

Then she reached up to turn the painting around and said, “Please don’t feel you have to compliment me or say this is any good.”

On The Road From Damascus Painting by Jane Garrison 10/2014 Photo by Glenda Clemens, 2016

On The Road From Damascus
Painting by Jane Garrison 10/2014
Photo by Glenda Clemens, 2016

All I could say or think was “Oh my!” I was immediately struck with the powerful story this painting was telling.

Next Jane said, “So two years ago my head left suburbs and went to Syria. This graphic is called “the Road FROM Damascus”, to counter the many paintings from the Middle Ages called “The Road TO Damascus”. With both Assad’s armies and ISIS ripping through Syria many people had lost their homes and fled. Three million fled to Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. Two years later, today, the figure is over 5 million. These people in the picture are heading out across the desert to Jordan. The sun is just coming up. It’s going to get hot, dry and dusty. Some won’t make it.”

At this point in the speech a dropped pin would sound like a bomb. I held my breath. Between the power of the painting (which she called a graphic) and the power of her words I was captive and walking with those people along the road from Damascus. The speech was not finished.

“I really wanted to paint this picture, but the words, “Paint what you know” haunted me. Do I really KNOW these people? You bet I do.”

Then she began to tell the stories of those people in the painting. She pointed to the man with the checkered head dress and said:

“I know this guy. He comes from a wealthy family and was shipped off to MIT to go to college. He hated the American egotistical and materialistic ways. He felt disrespected. He finished school, but then went back home and donned the traditional garb and lifestyle. He foments anti-American feelings. I can tell, however, that he’s worldly by he carry-on bag.”

Then she pointed to the woman with the white headdress in front of the man and said,

“This lady lost her daughter and son-in-law in a bomb blast. Her granddaughter was in school, so she made it. Her husband died many years ago. The little girl was wearing western clothes before her mom died, but Grandma wanted her in more discrete cover. She’s sad, confused and dingy. She has a rough road ahead, and so does Grandma.”

Then she pointed to the man in the gray headdress carrying the orange bedding and said,

“I know this old guy too. He was well respected in his village east of Damascus before Assad bombed it to rubble. He loves traditions and everyone still comes to him for advice. A few years ago he took a young wife and now has a wife and son to care for. He’s worried he might not make it all the way to Jordan. He’s tougher than a boot. I think he’ll be fine.”

Pointing to the young man with the red baseball cap she said,

“Look at this guy. He’s carrying a pc and a laptop in those bags. He is self taught and tech savvy. He rejects tradition and likes all things new. He’s afraid of ISIS but more afraid of Assad’s military. The would kill him, but ISIS would want him. He wants United States involvement, but it’s very complex, and he knows it.”

Then she points to a little boy in a white t-shirt and says,

“Then there is this kid. He was jumping all over the place and just driving me crazy! His mother was busy talking to her friend and wasn’t paying attention to him. I calmed him down for the painting, but he’s going to really act up before they get to Jordan. I feel sorry for everyone around him.”

With those words she smiled–I’m not at all sure Jane didn’t like him best! Then Jane pointed to a woman with white headdress in front of the little boy and said,

“I felt really bad when I painted this fat old lady. She lost everyone in her family and had to leave the pile of rubble she used to call home. Her feet are killing her; her breathing is labored as she shuffles along. Everyone is avoiding her like the plague, because they know she won’t make it.”

Then Jane pointed to the girl with the wheeled carrier and said,

“This pretty teen-age girl and her little brother lived in a very nice house. Their parents were killed in blasts that ripped through their town. They didn’t know how to drive, so they left the cars in the garage, took a little cart that was stored there and loaded their favorite things on it. She took her clothes and her mother’s jewelry; he took his laptop.”

Then Jane looked at us ignoring the painting and said,

“It’s fun to paint pictures. I get to travel the world and meet lots of new people. I know all of these people. YOU know all of these people, because human beings are all the same, with the same strengths, weaknesses and needs. Would knowing that, help promote a solution? I like to think so. I know these people. I can paint them if I want to.”

It won’t surprise you to know that Jane won the Best Speaker award for the evening. It also won’t surprise you to know that we were all moved not only by her painting but by her words. Yet when I asked if I could use her painting and her words she was surprised and in typical Jane fashion she said,

“I would be honored.”

Typing those words bring tears to my eyes for I know, as you must dear reader, that the honor is all mine and now yours.

“Taking Mum’s hand, I whispered
“Are we really safe, here?”
― Alwyn EvansWalk in My Shoes