Protesting in Mexico City against the murder of 43 students.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My 14 faves of '14: #1

I suppose this is a list.

I have done this before.  A couple of years ago I did a post about my favorite products. I have also written about my favorite women. And men.

This month I had been thinking of all of the wonderful things that have happened in my life this year. I'd like to share them.

These will be in no particular order, except for the post on the 31st which will be my absolute #1 favorite of the year!

So here is my first fave of '14!

Vegan Heartland's Vegan Chicken Pot Pie!

One day at work I pulled up his blog and saw a photo of his Chicken Pot Pie. I salivated all day. On the way home I picked up a couple of products. When I got home I pulled out the recipe and got to work.

Remember, I am not a cook. And I have never made a crust in my life!

A few months later I have made this over a dozen times! Why, because it is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. For us it makes a great dinner and then an awesome lunch with the leftovers.

You must try this recipe!

Here you go:

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

No gifts, thank you.

I am super grateful to all of my family who, for years now, have donated to a local animal shelter or HIV/AIDS organization instead of getting us a Christmas gift. It's been at least ten years since my parents started doing this, and every time we are back in Michigan we get to see the results. The animal shelter in Bay City where my mom donates in our name even has a brick for me and Mike!

So many amazing organizations doing so much good work.

Every year around this time I like to write about this. It's pretty simple. We have the power to make an intense amount of change by asking our friends and family to donate to an organization we would support rather than get us a gift. I have altered that for some folks who insist on a gift as it's "what they want to do" to say that if you get us a gift, please make a donation of equal value.

Our friends and family have loved this. So have the small, local HIV/AIDS organizations and animal shelters.

Everybody gets a gift. Plus, those who love us get the chance to know us on a deeper level by being a part of supporting groups we support. And they get to learn why we support these groups.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A few tips to political folks

So much is being written about this past election, as if one party had never controlled both the US House and US Senate, ever. We know this is not the case. As a progressive, I remember that, in not so distant time, both chambers and the presidency were controlled by Republicans and we got through it. Yes, it might have sucked and yes there were some bad things that happened, but we got through it.

After spending a lot of time helping candidates I support get elected, and hanging out at election parties, I was reminded that I have always wanted to write a note to those in politics in regards to my thoughts on what they could do better. This goes to folks in all political parties.

Here you go:

When in public, be kind. Don't be arrogant. This goes for your staff too. Nothing is worse than running into arrogance-filled staff members at events. Anyone representing you or your campaign should be rocking it for you in public.

If you were part of something good, talk about it. Even if it means talking positive about someone who is not popular. For example, the economy seems much better off than it was two or four years ago. Certainly better than six years, no matter who is talking about it. Sure someone who hates the President will tell you, when talking about better unemployment numbers, that this number doesn't include folks who stopped looking for employment, but they never have. Never. So it is still apples to apples.

If you like something, admit it. Don't bs us. I firmly believe that folks will respect someone who sticks to their beliefs, even if those folks don't agree with those beliefs.

Thank people. Yes, you won. It was close. Thank those who took their personal time and decided to do what they could to help get you elected or re-elected rather than spend time with their family, go for a run, or volunteer for a non-profit.

Show up. Nothing sucks more than to see ads with you being attacked for not being present at work. This doesn't fly for most of us, nor should it for you. If you have missed a bunch of work, in any capacity, tell us why.

If you lost an election, don't stop. If it is a four year term that is a bit tougher, but for two year terms run again. And again. If you firmly believe that you are a better candidate and would support the citizens better than the other person, keep going. Rock it in between elections and run again.

Give a shit. This is crucial, although many folks get elected who don't. Many folks in politics want to be mayor or governor or president. If that is the only reason you are running for state house or some other position, please don't tell me that. I want to believe that you actually care about the people who you are asking to vote for you. I get that folks aspire to a higher office, and I also want someone who represents me on any level to give a shit.

And my regular readers would be shocked if I didn't include this part. If you want to make change but do not want to get into politics, the least you can do is vote.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Be nice today

So many terrible things were said during this past election. I thought I had heard/read it all.

Until the President's speech last night.

Holy cow.

I started reading comments on Facebook and Twitter. Then I went to newspapers and TV websites. I have watched horrible things be said about our President and have always shook my head. What I have read in the last 24 hours just baffles me.

So much vile. So much hate. So many terrible words not only about the President but about immigrants, liberals, and anyone who might support anything the writer disagrees with.

I disagree with many when it comes to politics. And I agree with many. Those I disagree with I choose not to hate or demonize.

I'm much more about finding what we have in common and building bridges. Having a conversation. Debating our thoughts, ideas and solutions.

So I am going to be nice to those I disagree with. I am not going to become a person filled with negativity, judgment and hate.

I am just as powerful of an activist while filled with kindness.

Thanks for reading!