Election Connection: 42 Weeks

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From Crooked Media comes a new six-episode series talking to whomever necessary in order to defeat Donald Trump at the ballot box on November 3rd. This election is too important to skip out on. We’ve seen what can happen when the wrong person is in The White House, and we have forty-two weeks to rectify this.

What will it take to defeat Donald Trump in November? In season 2 of The Wilderness, Jon Favreau looks for the path to victory in 2020 by talking to voters, strategists, organizers, and candidates in the battleground states that will decide the election.

Favreau takes listeners to the four most competitive regions on the road to 270 electoral votes and 51 Senate seats, where he conducts focus groups with voters in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, and Wisconsin. The series also follows grassroots organizers and candidates in these states who share their winning strategies to reach these voters.

Through his own experience as a campaign veteran and speechwriter for Barack Obama, Favreau attempts to unpack the complicated and often surprising reasons voters support a particular candidate, or choose not to participate at all.

Episodes 1 and 2 are available now wherever you get your podcasts. (I personally use Player.FM and like its service very much.)

Subscribe so the rest of the series will automatically download each week and you won’t miss any. If you didn’t catch The Wilderness, Part 1 when it premiered, the link will take you to the first of fifteen episodes that are well worth listening to.

The Wilderness, Part 2

Episode 1: The Stakes

Episode 2: The Northeast

Friday Food: Super, Simple Super Bowl Snacks

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With New Year’s just past and the Super Bowl coming up in a few short weeks (Feb. 2), I thought I’d share some of my family’s easy to prepare foods. For New Year’s this past week, we actually cooked very little. Most of our food was simple, store-bought, easy to prepare, easy to clean up, and best of all, yummy.

1. Dip. We love the dill dip from Marzetti. It can be found in the refrigerated area of your grocery’s produce section. We like to pair it up with a variety of items to dip, including: pretzels, crackers, bread chunks, raw snow peas, raw green beans, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, potato chips. If you want to dress up your table, scoop out the insides of a round bread loaf and put the dip inside. Looks great, no clean up!

2. Hot dogs wrapped in crescent roll dough. You can buy these premade (we like the Hebrew National ones) or you can make them yourself. I’d recommend cutting the hot dogs in three, and cutting each crescent roll triangle in two. You get twice as many little dogs and it’s not over doughy.

3. Mini quiches or mini potato puffs. Again, you can buy these premade or make them yourself. For either of these, use a mini muffin tin. Put in a puff pastry square and add your ingredients. For quiches: eggs, cheese, onion, bacon. For potato puffs: mashed potatoes, bacon, cheese. Delicious.

4. Cheese and crackers. In addition to cheese cut in chunks, there are also cheese spreads that are very good on crackers. Add pepperoni to the platter for a little extra.

5. Dessert. Break and bake chocolate chip cookies. Brownie bites. Ice cream. Mini cheesecakes are also an excellent option. Use those mini muffin tins again. Put some crushed graham crackers in the bottom, use your favorite cheesecake recipe, add whipped cream when serving.

NEW SERIES: Election Connection

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Beginning today, each Tuesday, I will have a post related to the upcoming election. It will focus primarily on the Presidential race, but will also include important local and state races. As we saw in 2018 and 2019, all elections have consequences. We saw in 2016 what complacency and disinformation can do, not to mention foreign interference. We have forty-three (43) weeks until Election Day. It’s a lot less time than it feels right now. As I write this, we are on the cusp of another unnecessary war by an unfit and incompetent President. We cannot let him be re-elected. He does not represent the values that we espouse as Americans and the values we try to raise our children with. Everything he claims to be is a lie, and we need to continue to call out those lies; not just his directly, but all of his surrogates, supporters, and enablers. Voters may still like him and want him as President, and that’s their decision to make and to live with, but we can’t let them continue to lie and to gaslight the rest of us. As a journalist on Twitter reminded me the other day, there are more of us; we are the majority.

You’re probably wondering what you can do in the next 43 weeks?

I hope to share some ideas and advice with you between now and November 3rd.

First, are you registered? If you’re answer is ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know,’ find out and get registered. Right now. I’ll wait.

Second, visit Stacey Abrams organization, Fair Fight 2020 and find a way that you can help ensure that everyone who is entitled to vote will be able to vote and that their votes will not be suppressed. In all likelihood, Stacey Abrams would be governor of Georgia right now if not for the Republican candidate’s voter suppression efforts. He was the Secretary of State for Georgia and made the election rules including where and when polling places would be open, what kind of identification is acceptable, and whether or not and when to certify the election. He is now the Governor. Election fraud and voter suppression hurts everyone.

If you have any ideas to share for voter protection, please put them in the comments.

Inspire. January.

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New Computer. New Calendar. New Creativity. (c)2020

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.

– Ralph Marston

Getting Through the Holiday Letdown

Nothing in our lives is perfect; nor should it be. No matter how wonderful the holidays are, I feel as though there is still some underlying disappointment. Since Halloween, we’ve been rush-rush-rushing to get everything done: Thanksgiving travel and dinner, cleaning our houses to some perceived perfection for house guests or just answering the door to the mail carrier, who I just realized I never gave a Christmas gift to. *facepalm* We’re shopping, wrapping presents, trying not to eat out too much but not having time to cook, putting up the tree, finding (or not finding) the boxes of ornaments, planning the menu, remembering what times the religious services are, finding the mismatched candles for the menorah and like every other Jewish family across the world, laying down a strip of aluminum foil to catch the wax drippings. When Christmas dinner is over and the dishes are put away, we barely have time to breathe before the year ends, and a new one begins. Will there be parties? Work? Sleep? There will be food, but what kind and how much effort? Or is that just me?

Did I mention that my daughter’s birthday is at the end of the week?

What are some ways that you deal with the holiday letdown and prepare for the excitement and anticipation of the new year? Comment with your best advice. Here are a few of my own:

1. Breathe. I know I said it last week, but it’s true. Breathing is essential. Slowing down, counting to ten (or twenty or one hundred) and breathe. In through your nose; out through your mouth. You can do it; I know you can.

2. Journal. Even if you’re not typically a journal keeper, get a cheap notebook for the next couple of weeks, and write it down. Write down your feelings. Write down a list of what you need to do. For me, if it’s not on a list, it won’t be remembered.

3. Doodle. If you’re not a journaler, doodle in the margins like you did in school. Stick figures. Hearts. Circles, squares, triangles, and more circles. Trees and flowers. Mindless doodling.

4. Water. Have a tall, cool glass of water. It will make your whole body feel better.

5. Music. Listen to something you love. My two go-to’s for getting lost in the sound are the Patrick Doyle’s Henry V soundtrack from the 1989 movie and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. Equally engrossing at loud or soft volume. It pulls me in and keeps me there.

6. Read. Read something new. Read something you love. If I haven’t already, I’ll share my 2019 books to offer what I read and what I recommend.

7. Relax. I do not mean this in that condescending way that people often advise you. I speak from where you are because I’m there right now and have been there before. Take a minute. Most of what we’re worrying and stressing about aren’t as big as we think they are. Step back, relax, and the keep moving forward.

Happy New Year!

Inspire. December.

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Deep Snow. But thanks to my husband and son, my driveway is clear, and thanks to our local DPW, the roads are clear. The day is mine. (c)2019

“To many people holidays are not voyages of discovery, but a ritual of reassurance.”

 –  Philip Andrew Adams

How will I make tomorrow better?

By tomorrow, I don’t mean December 4th, but tomorrow in the extisential sense. During the weekend before Thanksgiving, I attended a retreat with the theme of joy. I went into it with a low mood hanging over my head, and left a bit better. Today is even better, and tomorrow can be too. 2020 is just around the corner, and putting aside politics for mere moments (it’s hard, I know), but putting it aside a moment, there is so much that can go right in 2020, and every moment is an opportunity; every failure or perceived failure, another chance. Learn from everything. Blog. Journal. Share. We are together; never alone.

Have a blessed December whatever your beliefs are.

Rekindle. Renew. Inspire.

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With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
– Eleanor Roosevelt

(c)2019


What direction am I traveling in?

I just finished an essay for my memoir workshop’s annual journal. Our theme was centered on the roads in our lives, and it struck me at how many of those roads converge throughout time. Roads are everywhere, and at this time of the year, as the leaves are covering them and darkness comes earlier, do we stay on the same track or wander off? As the year closes, and a new monthly series opens today, I am in constant wonderment of where I am heading and that makes the simple question of what direction am I traveling in that much less simple.