Christmas Blessings to All

How time flies!

Is it just me, or does time fly by faster now?

Maybe it is my age. I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem possible that Christmas is five days away! Where did summer go? We really didn’t have much of a Spring or Fall. Today is the last day of Fall. Winter begins tomorrow. We have already had cold and snow. I think they need to change the beginning and ending days of the seasons. Mother Nature seems to have her own ideas as to when each one will begin and how long each season will last.

We have also been blessed so far this December. The weather the last several days has been beautiful. I have enjoyed many beautiful walks lately. The sunset last night was a sight to behold. I love capturing nature’s beauty in a picture. I look at the photos and am reminded how beautiful life is, how precious life is and how none of us should take a moment for granted.

I enjoy every part of my life. I am blessed and very thankful for all I have. I am not talking about material items. I am talking about the people in my life. I have been married to the love of my life for 22 years! We have been together for 24 years. Another reference to how fast time goes by. I remember when we were dating. I remember vividly the day he proposed. A snowy December day, Jeff proposed to me on a bridge at the Troll Stroll in Oakland. I cried and said yes! Every day since has been a treasure. I am also blessed to have a daughter that is also my friend. We talk every day. She is also happily married, has two beautiful children and is expecting their third child in June! Jeff and I are so happy for them! We are also very excited to welcome another grandchild into our lives. Our son-in-law, Tri, is a great dad and he is also very good to us. Does life get better? I don’t think so. Penelope and Rowen, Whitney and Tri’s kids and our grandkids, come to stay with us quite often. They sure keep us busy, but we love it! Watching them grow is cherished blessing. I don’t know how it got started, but I call Penelope Peeps! I haven’t nicknamed Rowen, other than to call him Rowie sometimes. I think every grandparent thinks their grandkids are the best, and they are right, they are!

When I look back, I realize every part of growing, every part of our lives, from adolescence through adulthood, plays a part in who we are as we get older. The trials and errors of life determine who we are as we get older. Hopefully, we become wiser as we get older. I hope I am. I try anyway. I have heard some people dread aging. Why? There is only one alternative to aging.

As President George H.W. Bush said, “The goal is to die young as late as possible.”

God Bless all of you! May Santa give all of you the joy of Christmas.




I wonder how many families feel this way???

The more dysfunctional, the more some family members seek to control the behavior of others.     

The Christmas Season

What is your favorite Christmas show/movie?

Mine is Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer! I have watched it at least 3 times this year! I don’t doubt I will watch it several more times before Christmas Day. I have the dvd and also have it on the dvr. I watched it on tv too. Jeff teases me because I am watching the commercials too and wouldn’t have to. I don’t mind. I have watched it with commercials all of my life!

I also enjoy A Christmas Story. I like the humor behind it and who can forget the lamp in the window!

Who can forget Christmas Vacation? I believe Clark Griswold has been the inspiration for many who light up their houses for Christmas! A Griswold Christmas would be a memorable one indeed.

There are so many Christmas shows to choose from. Hallmark has so many shows to watch, I don’t know how anyone can keep up! I have only caught a few of them this year.

Christmas is an amazing and wonderful time of the year. The Christmas spirit seems to spread to everyone, bringing joy and happiness to everyone it touches.

Unfortunately there are those that aren’t blessed with the Christmas spirit. Not because they don’t like Christmas, but because life has been hard on them in any number of ways. Maybe they have lost a loved one, or lost their job or maybe they don’t even have a home. There could be any number of reasons that someone doesn’t welcome Christmas. There are those that hurt so much that Christmas compounds their pain. I don’t doubt that many of us have felt the same pain at one time or another during Christmas. I know I have.

There are many ways to give back, to help those in need. I try to do what I can. We have been giving to the local food bank. I do believe in giving back, helping those in need. I don’t do it to feel good about myself, I do it because I have had hard times. I know how it feels to be in a dire situation. I don’t want others to suffer too. I can’t help everyone, but every little bit counts. I can’t stand the thought of people, especially children, going hungry.

Let’s keep those in need in our thoughts and prayers this Christmas season. Let’s keep those suffering through the loss of a loved one in our prayers this Christmas season. Let’s also do this year round. People need help and prayers every single day, not just at Christmas.

God Bless all of you.

Do What is Right for You

Words I will always live by.

First and foremost, take care of you. Do what is right for you, in your heart, your mind and your soul. The rest will fall into place. To love others you need to love yourself. Life happens but once. If you live life for others, you are not living life at all.

Take care all. Hugs and prayers to all.

Life is the Memories Made

I remember being a young child and loving Christmas! I couldn’t wait for Christmas morning to come to tear into the presents under the tree!

Those days are long gone. Now I can’t wait to see Christmas through the eyes of Penelope and Rowen. I love it when kids still believe in Santa Claus! Oh the innocence of a child. There isn’t anything more precious than a child. Especially a grandchild!

We celebrate every holiday with Whitney and her family. We make each and every one special! I take many pictures, capturing every memory to cherish forever! I also write every moment down in my journal. I write everything in my life in my journal. I think it is very important to document the events of my life to look back on, but also to leave for those who live after me to read and keep so they know more about me. I love to write, so my journal is very extensive.

I also love all of the lights at Christmas. The new lights on Oakland’s Main Street are just beautiful! Good job Oakland! Jeff and I have drove around a few times looking at the many light displays around Oakland and other communities. There are so many beautiful homes full of lights, Santas, nativity scenes and on and on. I feel like a little kids when I look at all of them! I just love it!

We have 2 projectors lighting our house! And some lights on the fence. We aren’t as fancy as some people, but simple is the name of the game at our age! I light up the inside of our house too. Besides the two trees we have up, there are lights on the fireplace mantle, a lighted wreath on the door, many snow globes that have lights, Christmas houses with lights and sound and a Thomas Kinkaid tree that is ceramic and has a train that goes around and around it along with Santa and his sled with the reindeer going around the top of the tree. It has sound and lights too! Penelope loves to turn on all of my toys! So do I!

I hope everyone enjoys the lights and the magic of the season! Make all of the memories you can with the loved ones who are a part of your life! Take the pictures, write the memories down, do whatever makes your heart content. Enjoy every moment because it will be gone in the blink of an eye.

I have been taking time each day to remember my loved ones who are no longer here. I pray to them and remember the precious times I had with them. That is life. Memories.

May this Christmas be a special one for all of you! I know it will be for me. I am so thankful for the loved ones in my life. I have learned so much along the way. Life isn’t about things, it is about the people in your life. You can’t take things with you. But, when you leave this earth, your soul will be full of memories.

Don’t miss a single one!



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.


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.


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!














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.


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