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I Smile Through The Tears


For most people, at least I hope so, life is full of the love of family. Holidays are a special time. The family gathers to enjoy a holiday feast, but most importantly, they gather to share their love for one another.

That is most families. I, unfortunately, don’t know how that feels.

I used to. Before my dad died, family holidays were the best! Actually, we didn’t just get together for holidays. We got together all the time.

I was blessed to have two grandmas growing up and a grandpa. My grandpa Sundquist died when I was 3, so I don’t have many memories of him.

I also was lucky enough to have the extended family! Many aunts and uncles and great aunts and uncles. My great Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Leroy were more like grandparents to me than a great aunt and uncle.

Time passes People pass away. Family dynamics change.

Let’s fast forward to 1999. Dad died from an accident at work. We had to take him off of life support. I won’t go into details about that. Most people would understand how awful that would be.

I remember telling the love of my life, my husband Jeff, how I knew if Dad died before Mom, it wouldn’t be long, and I would be out of the family. I don’t know if it was just a feeling I had, or knowing how I was treated differently by mom.

I feared her all of my life. I still do. Nothing I ever did was right. She ridiculed my laugh. She actually told me to just shut up. Who says that? I know my laugh is loud. How do I change my laugh? I have laughed this way all of my life! I was born with my laugh. Her comments cut me to the core.

Three years ago in July, the family was to gather at Fremont Lakes for a sort of get together. This was a get together my sister Angie had been in charge of for a few years. Jeff and I had planned on going, as we usually did when it was his weekend off of work. Angie tried to plan it so all of us could go. But, later that morning, Jeff told me he didn’t want to go. He was just exhausted after a long week of work. He only gets every other weekend off, so being tired was understandable. So, we didn’t go.

I really didn’t think it was a big deal. Until later in the day when my sister Angie texted me calling me many names I won’t repeat.

Since then, I have been deleted from the family. So has my daughter Whitney.

She didn’t go because she was visiting her brother-in-law in the hospital.

I have reached out to my mother and my siblings only to be ignored or to have horrible things said to me that are not close to true. How can someone that has known me all of my life say such things? How can my own mother say the horrendous things she said to me that day? I had her on speaker phone so Jeff heard her. He was shocked. I just can’t repeat it. What she said is so beyond my realm of understanding. She had texted me months prior telling me that she was going to call Jeff and tell him he better straighten me out! What??? I do know how much Angie loathes me. She has all of her life. I tolerated her behavior because I wanted to get along. She took advantage of me and yes, I let her. I am beyond appalled at how this all turned out.

Maybe I shouldn’t share this. But, I am going to. If my dad was here, this would not be happening. I was his “sis.” He was always my good parent. He read to me when I was little. He was always there for me. He was the best dad ever. He would be ashamed at how the family that he loved and was so proud of, turned out.

At the end of the day, I have so much to be thankful for. Whitney and I have gotten so much closer. Her and her husband Tri, and the kids, Penelope and Rowen mean the world to me. And another one is on the way! We spend our holidays and so many other days together. I love them more than I can say.

Each and every night, when I close my eyes to go to sleep, I pray to my dad. I know he is looking out for me. I know I have his love each and every day. He gave me life, but more than that, he gave me all of his love. And for that, I will be eternally grateful.

 

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Election is in Just Five Days!


I would like to start my column by reminding everyone to vote! Also, for the citizens of Oakland, remember, there is a debate tonight with the candidates for the Mayor and the candidates for the Oakland-Craig School Board. The debate begins at 6:30 p.m. at the gymnasium in the new school. This is your chance to learn about the candidates, where they stand on issues, why they are running for their respective offices and also for them to answer questions from those in attendance.

I strongly encourage everyone to attend. I have always believed in getting the facts about those running for office before making a decision on whom to vote for. I don’t vote for someone just because I know them or like them. People often are different once they are elected to an office than who they are personally. I am also one that doesn’t like vague responses to questions. I want exact answers. To me, if someone is being vague, they are hiding something. I lose trust for those type of people quickly.

There is another item on the ballot that concerns Oakland citizens greatly. Do you want the sales tax in Oakland raised 1/2%? I will vote no for this. Why? Because as I just mentioned in the last paragraph, vague answers as to what the money will be used for. Do we need an auditorium? Maybe. But, bottom line to me is, do we want the library moved to a new building, possibly the upstairs of the auditorium? Or, more recently, the rumor has been going around town that the library could be moved to the Police Department building. As I said, rumor. Nobody is being clear on the future of the library. I will say, I have been in the Police Department, and that is not, in my opinion, a good fit for the library. Size is a concern to me. Keep in mind, the library purchased the vacant lot next to them to add on to the library. I am all for that happening!

I agree the city could use more money. Budgets are difficult to do. I am personally aware of that. But, definite answers are what I need to hear before I will vote for a sales tax increase. Maybe there are other ways to come up with the money? I have looked at the budget sheets for the last several years and this year. I wish everyone would. Then maybe you would see where your money is going. I am sure after looking over the budgets, you would have some serious concerns. I know I do.

Remember, every one of us has freedom of speech. I personally don’t care if you have a sign in your yard indicating who you favor in the election. You have every right to say who your candidate is, who you will vote for and yes, put the sign in your yard if you so choose. Nobody should treat anyone differently because of who they are supporting in an election. And, you should never fear backlash for doing so.

Let’s be kind.

Go to the debate.

Go to the polls.

Vote.

Whoever is elected, we want the best for the community and the school.

Wednesday, the 7th, we move forward.

 

Election Time is Nearing!


Where did freedom of speech go?

Why can’t people voice their opinion, especially in politics, and not be verbally abused for doing so?

I am one to speak up! As I say over and over again, we are to leave this world a better place than when we found it.

I take freedom of speech seriously. I also respect those that disagree with me. Isn’t that what makes the world go around? Just because you disagree with someone, doesn’t mean you can’t respect them. I cherish my friends. We don’t always agree. But, they are still my friends.

On one news site, I made a comment supporting President Trump. I cannot tell you the verbal abuse I received over that! I was called names that would make Joan Rivers cringe by people that didn’t even know me.

Do I stop speaking? Do you know me?! I ALWAYS SPEAK UP! I appreciate a dialogue with others where conversation and varying opinions are respected. I don’t appreciate being called names for having my own opinion by people that don’t even back up their opinions. Instead, they choose to be verbally abusive.

Responsibility begins with YOU! Not just on a national level, but on a local level. Do your duty! Do your research. Call those running for office, no matter what office it is, and ask questions. Pay attention to where your tax dollars are going! I recently picked up the budget sheets for Oakland. I haven’t had time to review them yet, but I will be doing so very soon. Oakland citizens, are you wondering what the budget is for each department? Did you know you can go to the city office and pick one up? They are available to the public! It is our government!  You can also get budget sheets from the past years so you can compare them. That is what I did. I also have budget sheets from when I was on the council a few years ago. Take the time, pick them up, look them over and ask questions!

It is your right and responsibility! Ask the questions! Do your due diligence!

Stay tuned!

More to come!

 

VOTE! VOTE! Be Responsible, Do Your Research and VOTE!


Voting isn’t just filling in a box on a ballot, it is a personal responsibility. 

I have voted in every single election since I was 18. I didn’t blindly vote, going along with how others were going to vote.

I did my research. On a national level, I watched the news. Back then, they actually reported facts. Now, I do my own research. The media is very biased, in my opinion, so I do research on legitimate, true, fact-based websites, to find out everything I want to know about those running for election.

On a local level, I go to city hall. I want to see the budget the council approves each year. Having served on the city council, I am aware of how the budget is formulated. I know first-hand how each department operates. Each department has different needs, based on their current situations. Imagine what it takes to fund a street department? The park? The dump? The library? The water and sewer department? The police department? It is quite a task.

Does one department require more funding than others? Again, that is situation based. Do you know how much funding is needed for the street department? Or any of the other departments?

Given that your tax dollars assist in funding your city and all of the local departments, don’t you think you should check into that? DO YOUR RESEARCH?

I have budget sheets from when I served on the city council. I will be obtaining the current budget sheets, which are in effect for the next fiscal year. I plan to review the last two years as well. That is being a responsible citizen and a responsible voter.

I can’t speak strongly enough about this subject. VOTE!

If you would like to speak with me, I am here! I welcome all phone calls and messages. 

I will share the information I have with you. I welcome the opportunity.

Again, don’t be a go with the flow person. Be the person that stands strong and votes responsibly! Do your research!

Always, always, always, call those running for office with any questions you have!

You are a taxpayer. We are all taxpayers. We have every right to voice our opinions!

VOTE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Your Research and Vote Responsibly!


There is something to be said for speaking up!

How often do you speak up? The first amendment gives you the right to freedom of speech.

I take the first amendment very seriously. However, there is, as they say, a time and a place for everything.

The time and the place now is voting in November! I am not speaking on a national level. I am speaking on a local level, which effects many of us more than some realize.

Your vote carries more weight than you realize.

Voting for someone you know without knowing what they stand for is not really voting. At least, not in my mind.

It is important to know the individual (s) not in a personal way, but as a public figure, responsible for your tax dollars.

Where are your tax dollars going in the city you live in? You can always find that out. Go to your city office and pick up the current city budget. This will provide a detailed statement of how much money is in each department. This of course varies from department to department. Each department lists many items, the first being salaries. The list goes on. I happen to be very familiar with budgets and how they are implemented. It is a very lengthy process. Each council member and the mayor are responsible for every single dollar in this budget and where and how it will be spent. Not an easy task.

I currently have all of the budget sheets from when I served on Oakland’s City Council. I will be picking up the new budget sheets. I will be curious to see how it compares from the last two years since I served on the City Council.

I have heard rumor, but just that, rumor. I want to see it in print. I will be sharing that information with everyone soon.

Remember, the money supporting your community comes from your wallet. Be responsible!

The future of your community lies in your hands. As I said, voting for someone is not based on the fact that you know them. In a small community, such as Oakland, everybody knows everybody. Public office is not personal. Far from it. Attend a city council meeting, ask questions. Take the time to call those running for office and ask the questions! Otherwise you are voting blindly, trusting someone just because you know them.

Until next time, which will be soon, the responsibility is on you.

 

Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head


Raindrops keep falling on my head.

This song popped into my head today. The dreary, wet, rainy, foggy days are beginning to become annoying! Did we move to Seattle?

How do people live there? I would be depressed. To be honest, this rainy weather is taking the motivation right out of me! I want to be in my pj’s, sipping coffee and crocheting while watching catching up on TV shows from the DVR. But, I can’t do that for days on end! I did just that this morning and realized breakfast isn’t going to cook itself. I also had a few grocery items to purchase and didn’t want to look like I was shopping at Walmart!

On the bright side (pun intended), it is nice to enjoy a cozy day inside (just one day is enough) with fall scents in the air, enjoying fall decorations and above all, spending the day with Jeff.

Life doesn’t go the way we want it to each day, not by far, but looking for the positive aspects, not the negative, will bring a smile to your face and sunshine to your heart and soul.

Outside chores went undone today. They will be there when the rain stops.

A friend of mine shared a bit of wisdom with me and I remind myself of this over and over. We live but once. So something didn’t get done today, such as mowing, laundry, housework, etc. Oh well. Those chores will wait. Go fishing, take a long walk, spend the day with a friend. Do what you want to do! Go live!

No, you can’t ignore responsibilities.

But, you can’t ignore yourself either.

Take a day and live! Smell the roses, dance in the rain, hug your children/grandchildren often, read a book, sleep in late, whatever your heart desires.

Don’t get so caught up in living that you forget to LIVE!

Let the raindrops fall. There is beauty in nature, even when we are tired of seeing it!

Have a wonderful, rainy evening. 

Take Care and have a great week!

 

 

Innocent Until PROVEN Guilty


The 14th Amendment to the Unites States Constitution states a person is innocent until proven guilty.

When did the rules change?

Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been nominated by President Trump to serve on the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land. He and his family have endured much scrutiny throughout the interrogation process, and now from women alleging sexual misconduct against Judge Kavanaugh.

The allegations stem from over 30 years ago, while Brett was in high school and college. There are memory lapses by the accusers due to drinking at the parties Kavanaugh was allegedly at, and of course, the many years since such alleged incidents occurred.

I have read the reports. I have been watching the news. So far, there isn’t any corroborating evidence from any incidents that sexual misconduct happened. The media has reported extensively on this situation, and many news outlets have written stories on the subject. In the pursuit of proof, they couldn’t find any. There weren’t witnesses that remembered the parties, or didn’t know of Judge Kavanaugh doing what the accusers say he did. But yet, many are believing what these women say, just at face value with no proof. Yet, they won’t believe Judge Kavanaugh when he says he never did what they are accusing him of.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I understand women have such things happen to them, and are fearful for whatever reasons, to report it. But, when reporting such an alleged crime, there must be proof. That is the main problem in this instance, as of now. No proof.

To those adults in your 40’s or older, do you remember what you were doing when you were 17? Did you go to parties, drink quite a bit and remember everything that happened? I am 55. I went to parties. When I look back now, I don’t remember every party. I don’t remember every person that was there. Having some drinks and time being what it is, a long time ago, that makes perfect sense to me.

One politician said it is up to Judge Kavanaugh to prove he is not guilty of such an accusation. The same politician says he believes the accusers. Saying a person is guilty of any accusation without proof is not how we do business in the United States.

A reminder to all, there is what is called burden of proof. Defined, it is the obligation of a party in a trial to produce the evidence that will prove the claims they have made against the other party.

To all of our representatives, this isn’t about the upcoming election in November, although I personally believe this is why all of this is going on. I also believe it is because so many have nothing but hate for President Trump that they will do anything to derail any nomination he makes to any position.

Food for thought: Why shouldJudge Kavanaugh be disqualified over something that may or may not have happened over 35 years ago? If we held everyone in government to that standard, there’d be no democrats left.

 

 

Death Penalty. Yes or No?


Nebraska is set to execute a prisoner in just moments. It has been many years, I believe since the 1990’s, since a person on Nebraska’s death row was executed.

About 10 years ago, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled the electric chair an inhumane way to kill someone, calling it torture. Today the individual will be given a lethal injection. There is a great deal of opposition to this also. Many are concerned about the drugs he will be given. After today, Nebraska will not be able to get the drugs for a lethal injection. Then what?

How do you feel about the death penalty?

I am for it. Just saying that may cause me to get a great deal of feedback. That is fine. As I have said, I like to hear other people’s views.

There are the pro-life people who are in Lincoln now, protesting this upcoming execution. I understand their feelings as well. It is hard to comprehend a deliberate killing of a person. Religious beliefs play into this as well.

I am a religious person. But, I am also a realistic person. This individual killed people. He had no regard for their lives or the family that he had and how they would suffer for the rest of their lives due to his actions.

Many believe that life without parole is the proper punishment. So, the murderer sits in jail, eats three meals a day, can use a weight room to work out every day, can possibly even get a college education. All on the taxpayers dime! Tax dollars need to be spent on better things than this! They say it is more expensive to execute them than to pay for life without parole. Maybe so. I haven’t seen the numbers on that. It is a sad situation either way.

People say the murderer has rights. What about the rights of the victims? I hear more about pro-life, human rights for the murderer, but nothing about the victims.

They were working to support their families and had their life stolen from them. The murders affected many lives. What about their rights? What about the pain and suffering they went through, for the rest of their lives!

Maybe their isn’t an answer. It isn’t an easy one. But, I will continue to support the death penalty. But, I will listen to all points of view, and maybe, only maybe, will I be swayed.

But, I doubt it!

Never Fear Speaking Your Opinion!


I tend to speak my mind. Tactfully, not angrily. I believe everyone should do so. Nobody is alike, thus nobody has the exact same thoughts or opinions.

I want to hear what others have to say, even if I don’t agree with them. I believe hearing another person’s point of view could possibly sway my way of thinking, or at least help me to understand why they think the way they do.

As of late, many people are unwilling to hear what other individuals have to say. I have actually had people swear at me when I share my point of view, especially politically. Or, I am called some very choice names that I would never repeat! I am not intimidated though. I still share my own opinion. It is mine! I have the constitutional right to voice it, and I will continue to do so. I base my opinions on facts. Those that have called me names have never counteracted with facts, just awful insults. I have had some fun political banter with some friends. We don’t agree on things, but we don’t throw hate either. We are adults and act as such. We respect each other and always conclude the conversation with just that, respect.

In other circumstances that I have mentioned, respect is non-existent. But, throwing hate is at an all-time high! People are quick to throw hate on social media. But, would they do the same if we were face-to-face? I highly doubt it. Social media has allowed people with no backbone to type their hate to whomever they choose. I never take anything on social media seriously. I put it in perspective, knowing that a keyboard is their courage. Without it, they would be left to use their knowledge of right and wrong, and would know better. At least I hope so. I won’t count on it though!

In conclusion, never fear those throwing hate. That shows their true character, not yours. Never stop speaking up! If you don’t, nothing changes!

Election for Office of Mayor of Oakland is Nearing. Be informed!!


It is an election year! I hope everyone has registered to vote. I personally consider voting a privilege. I take casting a ballot very seriously. I have not missed voting since I was old enough to do so. That has been a while ago!

This year, Oakland has two people vying for the office of mayor. The candidates are Ted Beckner, current Mayor of Oakland, and Dan Jacobs, a member of the Oakland City Council.

I am not writing to sway anyone’s vote. I am writing this column to share some insights with my readers on the important issues to consider when voting.

I wonder how many citizens of Oakland have looked at the budget the city puts into place each year? I am sure everyone is aware the city operates on a budget, and each department has a certain amount of money allotted to them for necessary expenses.

Since I served on the city council in the past, I am aware of how a budget works. Prior to that, I will honestly say I did not pay attention to a budget or what the city council was even doing.

If that describes you, please change your ways. Your tax dollars are what keeps Oakland running. If you want to see the budget, just go to the Oakland City Office and ask for a copy. The new budget will be in place October 1st. This will show you what each department is spending. I strongly encourage everyone to take a look at it. I know I want to know where my money is going!

I also encourage you to visit with each candidate. That is the only way you will know where they stand on the issues that concern you. I think everyone could agree that our community is very important, so knowing what each candidate’s intentions are is very important. I was on the council with Ted, and I have visited with Dan. How I will vote, I won’t say. But, I will take my own advice and get a copy of the budget.

Another important issue in Oakland is the auditorium construction and possibly relocating the library to the top floor of the auditorium. I have expressed my opposition to moving the library in the past. I still feel this way. The library has purchased a lot next to it to expand the library! Why go in reverse and relocate it to the top floor of the auditorium? I hope this is on the ballot for the community to decide. We should be able to decide what is best for Oakland! Just my opinion.

Election is just a mere three months away! Remember, your vote is important. Be informed!

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