Posted in books

Some post-election thoughts from a right leaning woman

First off, know this: It’s not you, it’s her and THEM.

I did not vote for him. Nor did I vote for her. But I am Republican woman, and I associate with a lot of Republicans. I listened to those around me, both sides. And I can tell you, most that I know voted not necessarily for Trump, but against Hillary, the Clintons, and the elites.
Those I know don’t want her corruption, the Clinton corruption. That is scarier to them than the horrible things he has said. They can forgive those for the same reason they can’t vote for Clinton: He’s not a politician. He’s not been tempering his public thoughts for years. (And if you think the Clintons don’t use ugly words behind closed doors I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. Do you think she didn’t call Bill’s women some horrible names? Or that upstart Barrack Obama in 2008? Or Trump, in the last few months?)

The Trump voters don’t want the elite on the coasts telling them what to do, how to vote. No Hollywood preaching from actors and entertainers who don’t know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck.

They don’t want to be told that they’re backwards and upside down as they watch their paychecks disappear in taxes and their healthcare go up in flames.

These people don’t want to elect a woman just to elect a woman. Especially not that woman.

MOST (not all) could care less about your gender, your color, or who you marry. They’re more worried about their town, their neighborhood, their family. They know that free college means more taxes, because nothing in this world is free.

Hillary refused to address that part of the electorate, except to call them deplorable.

She’s a known insider. Middle America watched her trade national security for ease and comfort — and many feel she traded security to keep her own secrets.

So know that everyone who voted for Trump is not a bigoted, hateful person that you’re painting them to be. To many, it’s worth knowing that it’s not a Clinton in office. America chose the anti-politician because they couldn’t elect a Clinton.

So put it all behind you and give people the benefit of the doubt. Look at your neighbor and decide whether you can help him or hate him.

It’s not going to be Donald Trump who changes this nation, but our reaction to his presidency.

And, if it all gets too much for any of us, remember–there are always books.

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Posted in books

Why this conservative woman won’t vote for Trump

This is a hard one for me to write. These are things I don’t talk about. Not with friends. Not with family. Not at all.

And these  things that I don’t discuss are things I don’t really want people to know about me.

But there are times when buried secrets are unearthed in a flood. Right now, this election is my flood, and Trump is the name of the storm causing the flood.

Through my tears, I think it’s time to tell you some truths about me.

A few months ago I wrote a blog post about politics on social media. Specifically, don’t try to tell me what to do — because you’re not going to change my thoughts.

And you’re still not going to change my mind, and I’m not going to try to change yours. But I am going to try to explain mine. I’ve been wrestling with this since last spring, when Trump sewed up the Republican nomination. Before that, I was sure he couldn’t be the guy.

I watched people laugh and joke about how great he is, about how he speaks his mind and how refreshing that was for a politician. But I was despondent when he got that magic number.

(I’ve come to appreciate some political polish, by the way.)

This was the year; Clinton has so much baggage, and there were a lot of people in the running for that nomination who would have been good opponents for her, that would have had a chance of winning.

These last few days have solidified what I’ve been feeling in my heart. Actually, all the way down to my toes.

As a conservative, I believe the women who came forward with allegations against Bill Clinton . As a woman, I believe those women who came forward with allegations against Bill Cosby. As the mother of girls who are almost women, I believe the stories coming out concerning Donald Trump, whether they come from his own mouth or from the women who lived through it.

I believe them because I’ve been there. No, not with Donald Trump, but I’ve been that woman. I’ve had my butt pinched for no reason. I had strange men touch my boobs. And I then I did nothing. Because I wasn’t supposed to. I smiled. Because that was what was expected of me.

As a young woman, I let happen because I was supposed to be all about my looks and my body. I purposely forgot that I had a brain. Because it was what I believed people wanted from me. I didn’t believe I was worth enough to have thoughts that people wanted to hear. (Note for the fathers out there: listen to your daughters. Make them know their minds and their thoughts are gold. And thank goodness for wonderful mothers.)

I flirted. I smiled. That was all okay. I liked boys, and I liked the attention I got when they liked me.

And then, one night, that attention turned sour. I was raped. I didn’t say yes, I didn’t want it. I found myself alone, crying, vulnerable, broken. I broke. And I didn’t think I deserved to be fixed.

I don’t know if I was believed by everyone when I told my story. I didn’t press charges. I didn’t press the issue, because part of me, a large part of me, thought that I deserved it. I had flirted. I had liked the attention I got from boys, even from that boy. So why wouldn’t I have deserved it?

After that I ran wild. I went out all the time; I didn’t like to be alone with my thoughts. I got lost for a good portion of my 20’s, running wild to keep myself from thinking too much. From feeling too much. I didn’t get too close to people, even when we were good friends (I still have problems with that, truth be told). I did stupid things for reasons I still don’t understand.

During those wild days I was touched inappropriately quite often. It was the late 80’s, and then it was the 90’s. I thought that’s was a byproduct of having fun, and I let myself get numb to the manhandling. I laughed it off, even though I hated having strangers grab me. Most of the touches and grabs were tentative, unsure, not fun or invited, but harmless to my body even as they softly crushed my soul.

Some were horribly aggressive. One I remember in shuddering clarity, brought to the forefront of my memory when a similar act was described by Trump on the infamous video with Billy Bush. It was humiliating and degrading, especially because it was in a public place.

Somehow I lived, surviving my 20’s. There were times I wasn’t sure I would, or if I wanted to.

At some point I slowed down; I put that past in a closet in the back of my brain and attempted to forget that room was there. To my horror, the room wouldn’t be forgotten, but I found I could keep the door closed most of the time.

Slowly I started to find other parts of myself–those forgotten rooms of my heart. A large piece was found when I met my husband, a man willing to give me space when I need it and to push me when I need to be pushed. A man who teaches his daughters the value of hard work and talking through every problem. He’ll make sure they can wire a lamp, change a tire and make a mean pot of green chili.

I found even more of myself when I gave birth to first one girl, whom I loved beyond belief, and then another who showed me that a heart has infinite room for love.

That second daughter, I believe, has been God’s way of helping me find those tricky corners of my heart, the ones that I thought might be lost forever. Those nooks and crannies God knew I needed to be whole again.

Those two girls — the world I want them to experience — that’s why I’m spilling my secrets. I never want my older daughter to go through what I did; I want her to be proud of her brain and her strength and to not question either one. I want her to be sure of who she is, to know she’s loved, and to not worry about what boys are saying about her in the locker room. I want her NEVER to think that she deserves to be grabbed and mauled without her consent.

I want my other daughter to grow up in a world that supports her and gives her time. A world that can accept her differences and know that she and others with special needs have a lot to offer this world. That she, like her sister, should not have to worry about what the bullies of the world are saying behind her back.

That’s why I can’t vote for Trump.

It’s been hard to accept that the person running against Clinton doesn’t deserve my vote.

In fact, I don’t think I can vote for president. I may vote third party, but we’ll see.

I’m a Republican. I’m (pretty much) a conservative — more fiscal than social, if that matters.

I believe that people in individual states should make decisions for their states, pretty much, because we’re such a big country, and it’s hard to say what’s good for those in Washington State is also good for people in Arkansas.

I believe the federal government should  protect us as a nation, and make sure that the playing field is even for all of us.

And I’m still a Republican and proud of it. I’m a conservative (pretty much) and proud of that. I believe in liberty and personal choices and The Constitution. But I know there are people who believe these things in the same way as me but that ALSO believe in things that are way out of my wheelhouse.

I know there are people that have views on these issues that differ from mine but with whom I share other core values, such as a love for family and community.

I know I cannot vote for Trump. I cannot vote for Clinton either (I think she’ll win, and I’m sad that she’ll be the first woman president because there are so many other good women out there who are more deserving).

I’m having a lot of trouble being a conservative woman right now. Not that I’m losing my faith in my conservatism. But that it is being invaded by so many who don’t respect me as a woman.

No book review right now. I may post one later. Right now I’m feeling a little raw and emotionally worn.

Be nice. Be kind. We all have to get through the next four years together. Vote your conscious and the let it go. Let’s do it being the best versions of ourselves.

Don’t loss those corners of your heart.

They’re hard to find again.

Posted in books

Repost + a new review: You’re not changing political minds on Facebook +Joshilyn Jackson’s “The Opposite of Everyone”

a3bfca12d7843a01d60e1673264f86dfThis is a repost, but it seemed like a good time to remind everyone!

It’s a little less than a year until our next presidential election. The election itself is something we all should take pride in, something in which we all should celebrate and participate. Prior to the actual election, everyone should become knowledgeable on the candidates and the issues, and should vote according to their conscience and their mind.

However, I don’t need to know your thoughts and ideas. If I want to know, I will ask you when I see you face to face.

I will admit that in the last election cycle, I was one of those irritating people who shared a bit too much of my mind on Facebook concerning my political beliefs. To those I offended, I’m sorry.

But guess what? I’m pretty sure sharing articles and memes, announcing my deep political thoughts and views changed no one’s mind. I know this, because no one else’s shares and feelings have changed my mind.

This time around, I’m still reading a lot of articles (on all sides of the issues) and making sure I’m informed. But I’m staying out of the fray on social media. I follow a lot of political people–candidates, political ‘operatives’, reporters–especially on Twitter. Sometimes I interact with them, but not often. I read what they have to say, peruse their articles, but I rarely retweet. And on Facebook, a place where I interact with many more of my friends and family? I now share NOTHING political.

Because what I believe, for myself, following my own conscience, is not going to change what you believe. It’s not going to change your vote, if you are actually voting according to your own beliefs. We might agree, and that’s all well and good, but we might not.

The reason I’m your friend, I hope, is because you have a good heart, and you follow your conscience. We may be on different sides of the political aisle, but we can agree on many things.

We love our families.

We want the world to be a better place.

We want to live our lives in peace.

We like to laugh. And maybe we like wine. And coffee. And fun.

These are the things that are important in friendships.

What this boils down to is this: politics is best discussed in person. And, if you don’t know what the issue is–well, Google is great for finding stuff out. Read about it before you spout about it. Or, if we see each other, or you text me or whatever, I’ll attempt to explain the issues or the candidates from all sides, from what I know. If by chance you want my opinion, you can ask.

But I know you’re not going to change my mind with your partisan article that hit all the points YOU with which you agree. And, if you and I do by chance fall on the same side of he political spectrum, we’re not changing minds with our articles. Even when, to us, they seem reasonable and smart.

Social media has given us spaces to find old friends and new ones, to find people we look up to and connect with them. But, when political season roles around, it’s a great time to lose friends by spouting your beliefs behind the seemingly anonymous computer or phone screen. We all like to think that if we like and respect a person, well, then they’re political beliefs must be inline with our political beliefs. But I try not to choose my friends by their politics.

So, I’ve learned. I’ll Tweet all about my girls and and the wonderful things they’re doing. I’ll ramble about my family on Facebook. I’ll Insta pictures of my dogs. I’ll even pontificate about the incredibly annoying commercials gracing the airways at any given moment. But I will NOT share any political messages.

At least not this election cycle.

And now onto a lighthearted, fun book: The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson.


I had spent my whole life hungry for forgiveness. It had not come, so I didn’t know firsthand what he was feeling. But I had imagined it, over and over. I’d wanted it so bad. I’d wanted Kai—or anyone, anyone who knew the worst in me—to say that I was still dear, and good, and worthy.

Paula Vauss

 The Premise

Paula Vauss is a tough-as-nails divorce attorney. No nonsense, no emotional entanglements, no problems. But it wasn’t always like that.

Growing up, Paula traveled light with her free-spirited mother, Kai,who named her Kali Jai (although her grandparents, in charge of the birth certificate, called her Paula). Raised on stories of Hindu gods — some traditional, some woven into their story by Kai, Paula follows her mother from boyfriend to boyfriend. But when her anger gets the best of her in her early teen years, she calls the police on the current boyfriend and his weed-growing enterprise in Georgia. Unwittingly, she also gets her mother arrested, sending her to foster care. The bond between the pair is fractured, and when the truth of the phone call is learned, it can never be repaired.

Fast forward to the present, where attorney Paula sends her mother money every month to assuage her guilt. When the last comes back to her with a note from her mother with a cryptic note “I am going on a journey, Kali. I am going back to my beginning; death is not the end. You will be the end. We will meet again, and there will be new stories. You know how Karma works,” Paula’s life is turned upside down.

While she’s dealing with that, Paula’s unknown brother  (he was born in prison, and was put up for adoption) shows up, and they discover a sister last in Kai’s care. With the help of Paula’s investigator (who is somewhat more) Birdwine, the three might just figure out how to help the young girl.

My Thoughts

The Opposite of Everyone was a really fun, emotional read. Just what I needed after a few dark mysteries and a very heavy literary fiction book.

Paula is a very flawed, very likable character, especially as the book goes on. Her heartaches and hurts that made her the tough woman she is are explained as they tough exterior is rubbed away.

Birdwine, the incredibly damaged man that Paula seems to actually – maybe – love, is an incredible anti-hero.

The weaving of Hindu legend and lore, as well as the way Kai takes the stories and makes them American and Southern and personal, is beautiful. The subtext and lesson of the book is Karma, and how you have to make peace with your past mistakes in order to move on with your life in any constructive way.

I give The Opposite of Everyone 4 stars.  Joshilyn Jackson never disappoints. Thank you!!

Posted in books

You’re not changing political minds on Facebook +”Dorothy Parker Drank Here” by Ellen Meister

a3bfca12d7843a01d60e1673264f86dfIt’s a little less than a year until our next presidential election. The election itself is something we all should take pride in, something in which we all should celebrate and participate. Prior to the actual election, everyone should become knowledgeable on the candidates and the issues, and should vote according to their conscience and their mind.

However, I don’t need to know your thoughts and ideas. If I want to know, I will ask you when I see you face to face.

I will admit that in the last election cycle, I was one of those irritating people who shared a bit too much of my mind on Facebook concerning my political beliefs. To those I offended, I’m sorry.

But guess what? I’m pretty sure sharing articles and memes, announcing my deep political thoughts and views changed no one’s mind. I know this, because no one else’s shares and feelings have changed my mind.

This time around, I’m still reading a lot of articles (on all sides of the issues) and making sure I’m informed. But I’m staying out of the fray on social media. I follow a lot of political people–candidates, political ‘operatives’, reporters–especially on Twitter. Sometimes I interact with them, but not often. I read what they have to say, peruse their articles, but I rarely retweet. And on Facebook, a place where I interact with many more of my friends and family? I now share NOTHING political.

Because what I believe, for myself, following my own conscience, is not going to change what you believe. It’s not going to change your vote, if you are actually voting according to your own beliefs. We might agree, and that’s all well and good, but we might not.

The reason I’m your friend, I hope, is because you have a good heart, and you follow your conscience. We may be on different sides of the political aisle, but we can agree on many things.

We love our families.

We want the world to be a better place.

We want to live our lives in peace.

We like to laugh. And maybe we like wine. And coffee. And fun.

These are the things that are important in friendships.

What this boils down to is this: politics is best discussed in person. And, if you don’t know what the issue is–well, Google is great for finding stuff out. Read about it before you spout about it. Or, if we see each other, or you text me or whatever, I’ll attempt to explain the issues or the candidates from all sides, from what I know. If by chance you want my opinion, you can ask.

But I know you’re not going to change my mind with your partisan article that hit all the points YOU with which you agree. And, if you and I do by chance fall on the same side of he political spectrum, we’re not changing minds with our articles. Even when, to us, they seem reasonable and smart.

Social media has given us spaces to find old friends and new ones, to find people we look up to and connect with them. But, when political season roles around, it’s a great time to lose friends by spouting your beliefs behind the seemingly anonymous computer or phone screen. We all like to think that if we like and respect a person, well, then they’re political beliefs must be inline with our political beliefs. But I try not to choose my friends by their politics.

So, I’ve learned. I’ll Tweet all about my girls and and the wonderful things they’re doing. I’ll ramble about my family on Facebook. I’ll Insta pictures of my dogs. I’ll even pontificate about the incredibly annoying commercials gracing the airways at any given moment. But I will NOT share any political messages.

At least not this election cycle.

Okay, onto the wonderful Ellen Meister’s lastest book–Dorothy Parker Drank Here


She had been so vulnerable, and Norah wanted only to protect her. But that vulnerability was tied to a massive mistake, a perception of herself too damaged to love. If Norah got anything from this book, it’s that we’re all damaged. The tragedy is letting it define you.

The Premise

Thanks to a fascination with the occult by an old manager of the famed Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan, Dorothy Parker has the chance to wander the hotel, continuing her spitfire, heavy drinking ways with the living and those passing onto into ‘heavenly peace’ with loved ones. Parker can find nothing wonderful about spending eternity with her loved ones, so instead she chooses an in-between existence. But her life is lonely.

When she realizes that literary recluse Ted Shriver, a man who once dorothy_parker3interviewed her, is at the hotel, she decides that he’s the guy who would be perfect to hang out with at the Algonquin for eternity. When she makes contact and asks him to hang with her after death, he gives Dorothy a huge, resounding “NO!”

Enter young, energetic, motivated Norah Wolfe, who comes to the hotel in search of Ted Shriver, hoping to get him to agree to a guest spot on the failing talk show for which she works. With her appearance Parker’s hopes rise, as she sees in Norah another chance at Shriver. As suddenly as they meet, though, the two embark on an adventure to save Shriver’s reputation and to get him on the talk show, leading them to the truth behind Shriver’s reclusive life. And this discovery, along with many other truths, could change everything for Norah, Shriver, and a slew of others.

My Thoughts

How can you not love a book featuring the wit and zingers of Dorothy Parker, a book which also gives us a glimpse past that facade to the truth of Parker: a deeply sad, disappointed woman?

And, although that’s all wonderful and beautiful, then there is Norah’s story! She’s really the main character, and her story is sad and hopeful, filled with secrets she longs to tell while still holding them close.

Norah is intrepid and smart, with ambition, passion, and zeal that help her discover the truths that she will share with the world while also giving her the push to share her own secrets and truths.

And Ted Shriver is the perfect literary curmudgeon. Smart, cynical, and reclusive, Shriver has a secret he has kept for decades, damaging his reputation in order to save a woman he loved and hurt. His redemption, along with the woman’s, is the heart and soul of the book, with Norah as their savior and angel.

And for Norah, the cynical, smart, meddling voice of Dorothy Parker continues to spurn her on. Parker is the catalyst that keeps the group going when each is ready to give up the search.

I enjoyed this book immensely. Meister knows a lot about Parker, and that creates a very realistic character (even though she is a ghost). Meister lectures on the legendary literary character and her cohorts (The Algonquin Roundtable), and runs the Facebook page for Dorothy Parker (find it, follow it–it’s lot’s of fun).

Dorothy Parker Drank Here is the perfect winter book. A little ghosty, a lot mystery, and a bunch of heart. Perfect for cold days by the fire with a stiff drink in your hand (Dorothy Parker style), or maybe just a cup of cocoa.

I’m giving Dorothy Parker Drank Here five (yes FIVE) stars. So much fun, lots of heart, well written, and engrossing. The characters are perfect and real (even the ‘ghost’ of Parker), and the story resonates. I think this would make a fun movie, and it’s a great book club pick!!! Get it now, and read it over the long Christmas break when you’re stuck with your family!!!

I LOVE it. I think you will, too!!!!